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Echoes of Your Voice, Part 2

Posted on Mon Mar 31st, 2014 @ 1:19pm by Lieutenant Commander Vanora Stele

Mission: Photons Everywhere Part 2
Location: USS Gladiator/USS Bouzid
Timeline: Present/2387


USS Bouzid, 2387

Vanora was not one hundred percent. Her mood was due in no small part to the fact that what she assumed was a surprise drill had conveniently started while she was in the shower, and at some point whichever genius was running this mock red alert had turned off all non-essential systems. Which, of course, included her sonic shower, leaving her feeling not quite fresh, the way one feels when woken rudely in the middle of a sleep cycle. She made her way through her now mostly-darkened quarters and threw on her loose fitting tunic and trousers as quickly as possible, her current circumstances causing her to recall with very little nostalgia being woken in the middle of the night when the Lady of the Lake had been attacked, and her sorrow had begun.

She shook herself from the momentary flashback as she manually pried open her quarter doors and stumbled into the hallway. She tapped the temporary comm badge that P’Trell had insisted she wear, but it did not register. "Fan-freaking-tastic," she muttered to herself as she squinted down both ends of the corridor, trying to remember which way the closest emergency radio was; she could not make out flashing beacons in either direction, so she made her way toward the nearest turbolift shaft and hoped to run into someone with a working portable comm on the way. "Since when do shipwide communications get blown out from an Engineering explosion?" Lana complained aloud to no one in particular. She didn't mind challenging drills, in fact, she rather enjoyed them and had put her own crew through them regularly, but this was definitely over the top and seemed to confirm the grumblings she'd heard about the way that Lieutenant McMore was handling the Bouzid’s readiness. "It's like we're stuck in the 23rd century," she sighed.

She turned to head toward the turbolift to have words with McMore, when the ship suddenly shook violently and she was thrown against a wall. Emergency steam release vents burst open and the corridor filled with white smoke. This was not, apparently, a drill.

“Do you remember when we were on Risa?” She was at the replicator, making them a cup of tea.

Tang smiled. “How could I forget? It was the best week of my life.”

“It was supposed to be a day at most,” Vanora laughed. She poked him playfully in the ribs. “I know, you know.”

“Know what?”

“That you faked that whole episode with the possible Orion pirate fleet along our next shipping lane.”

“I knew you knew,” he said in his rich voice. Vanora practically melted. “We had to have an official story, and it seemed as good as any.”

“I should have punished you for lying to your captain,” she laughed.

“As I remember, you did not go easy on me that week.”

“I won’t go easy on you now, either,” Vanora said slyly as she abandoned the tea and turned to seduce her husband.

Instead of being greeted by his open arms, however, there was only her empty quarters.

USS Bouzid, 2387

The Bridge was in chaos by the time Vanora reached it. Several crew members were on the ground, being treated for electrical and plasma burns by harried medical officers. Captain P’Trell himself seemed to have been wounded, a trickle of blue blood streaming down his forehead as he sat at attention in the CO’s chair, yelling commands at his staff.

“By Chan, McMore, where is my auxiliary power to forward shields?!” P’Trell called out again.

Vanora looked up at the viewscreen just in time to see the Romulan Warbird unleashing another set of torpedoes.

“Helm, evasive maneuvers! Brace for impact!” P’Trell called out.

Vanora ran to the closest console and grabbed it to steady herself. The Bouzid shook violently and she nearly lost her footing. Nearby, the tactical console exploded, sending a yellow-collared ensign flying backwards.

“Damage report, someone!” the captain bellowed.

Vanora looked around instinctively. On the ground next to her was a small, crumpled and burnt mass, also wearing a yellow collar a pair of lieutenant’s pips. It was Leroy McMore, the Chief of Operations. He looked so much sadder and completely harmless now, and Vanora was overcome by a deep feeling of guilt for having thought of him so poorly when she had met him. “Keval,” she announced to the captain. “McMore is dead. So is whoever was at Tactical.”

“And we’ll all be dead in less than a minute if we can’t get more power to forward shields,” he yelled back grimly.

Vanora gave a quick, single nod back in response, and set to work at the console. She pulled up the auxiliary power grids, and, finding the EPS network damaged, searched quickly and expertly for a way to reroute the power to the shield arrays.

“Warbird has powered up its disruptors…” A very young Tellarite petty officer who had taken over Tactical reported.

“All auxiliary power to forward shields!” Vanora exclaimed, right as the Warbird fired. The Bouzid was shaken hard again, but without explosions this time. She checked her console. “Shields holding at 26 percent.”

“Very good, Ms. Stele. Helm, bring us into attack pattern Delta. Ms. Gaalarg, is it?” he said to the Tellarite petty officer, “Let’s show these Romulans what Starfleet is made of. Phasers and photon torpedoes free… fire!”

USS Gladiator, Present

Vanora stared at herself in the mirror as she fastened her uniform tunic and prepared for the trials ahead. The flash of her gold pips on the yellow collar recalled in her mind a pair of memories from years ago now, both of musk and sweat and strong emotions. One memory, that of someone she had once known, for a very brief time and yet still longer than she would have preferred, who she had thought little of, and yet was so essential to where she was now. The other memory, also of someone she had once known, for much too short a time, and who was still with her now, feeling as real as ever. And still holding her back from moving on.


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