Uss Vindicator

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Onward, Forward, Don't Step Backward

Posted on Tue Jul 1st, 2014 @ 4:26am by

1,263 words; about a 6 minute read

The past few months have gone by so quickly and confusing, I don't feel like I can keep track of everything that's happened. Just as I'd begun to get comfortable with the Emperor, having become familiar with its sounds, a wormhole appeared. Actually we were responding to a distress call, and after it stopped, we found the wormhole. Captain Glazkov had assigned me to keep a shuttle stable at the edge of it while one of our scientist took scans of its structure to see if it was stable, and if not, could it be made stable; she believed whatever ship had been broadcasting the call may have been sucked in. The only reason we didn't use a probe is the wormhole sucked the first one in before we could get any readings, and the propulsion in the probes didn't seem like it could be made strong enough to keep them close enough to scan without being sucked in. The Turing did its job well, responding to the modifications I'd made to the shields and impulse engines as I expected, but something Evie Jones did with her scans triggered something in the wormhole and I couldn't compensate for before we got sucked in.

When we emerged again, the stars looked the same, and the sensors claimed we were still at the same coordinates, but there was no sign of the USS Joshua Norton. We hailed the ship, and got no response, so we scanned for com traffic in the area. We did eventually pick something up on fleet channels, but the encryption wasn't what we expected. We hailed this unknown ship, explaining we weren't currently capable of communicating on that encryption standard. Evie had started to look for a program that might be able to backwards engineer their encryption, but the other ship identified themselves as the USS Titan after switching over to the encryption we were using. From there, we were able to piece together what had happened, between the Starfleet database providing the reports from the incident filed by the Emperor's crew, and mine and Evie's reports after landing the shuttle in their bay.

Twenty-four years had passed, and Evie and I had been declared MIA by Captain Glazkov. The crew of the Titan made an effort to try to send us back through, but in the end the wormhole collapsed. Following that, we were transferred to temporal investigations' care, where we were questioned, cross examined, and made to file reports for a good week before intelligence was given their turn. I had heard hew-mon crew mates talking about the lack of sense of humor both SI and TI have, but that didn't prepare me for how intense either debriefing was going to be. When they finally gave Evie and I the all clear, both of us nearly cried with relief.

Evie turned in her resignation within a week, intending to make up for missing almost the entirety of her daughter's life so far as a result of this (she'd only been back on duty after maternity leave for a week before the incident). I am usually bad at identifying hew-mons ages, but Evie and her daughter truly looked to be sisters since her daughter is now 24 and Evie's 27 considering the time skip. The three of us got lunch a few times while I waited for the fleet to decide what to do with me, and she and I have occasionally exchanged subspace messages since.

When I tried to reach out to Moogie once I was cleared for outside communication again, she hardly spoke to me. She wouldn't admit that I was me, saying her daughter had died wasting her time in Starfleet. Moogie had already sold my possessions, bribed on my behalf to get me into the divine treasury, and collected on my life insurance. That last one explained her refusal to accept I'm her daughter. A violation of contract is a grave offense, and negatively affects her chance to get into the divine treasury in the after life. She did say that she was unable to sell off one of her daughter's possessions, and even though I wasn't her, if I wanted to pretend, far away from Ferenginar she emphasized, I could pay for the 24 years worth of storage fees and she'd send the item in question. I thanked her for the offer, and told her I'd send her the Latinum and a location to send it to with 24 hours. That was my last contact with my Moogie. It wasn't long before I found out the item in question had been my white high heels with the chicken feet that my roommate in the Academy had given me.

Other efforts to renew connections haven't been as bad, but not that much better. Most people I thought I'd been friends with, from the Academy and crews I'd severed on, had long forgotten me. A couple vaguely remembered me, but couldn't find time to catch up. I did reach out to my father and brother, not expecting much, but they both were actually excited to hear from me. It is odd to look at someone who looks like a male version of me, know he's supposed to be my twin, and see he's so much older than me. I do wish I'd made effort to get to know them both before.

I'd also had luck tracking down Tierney Lockhart; she's now answering to Rinehart. Though she'd somehow avoided the attention of Temporal Investigations, possibly with the help of the name change, she's also found herself relocated in time. She hasn't gone into the details, but she doesn't look to be much older than she was when I'd last seen her on the Emperor. We did manage to meet up for lunch once, and we've stayed in touch via subspace. I'd considered her one of my better friends on the Emperor, so I'm hopeful that we'll keep up the contact.

The fleet has been giving me training to cover the twenty four years I've missed. Self study with access to Academy professors to guide me and proctor exams. They claim I'm ready for duty on a ship again, after only a few months of this... but I don't feel like I've caught up enough. They even offered to make me chief engineer on a ship, but I had to decline. I want some hands on experience with the newer tech before I can take on that responsibility again. Some day though, I was proud of how well I and my team kept up the Emperor, and I hope to one day be that proud again.

For now, I'll be serving aboard the USS Vindicator. I'm excited because it has a Quantum Slipstream drive, something that was only a rumor before the wormhole. Of course, I'd been listening in, reading up, and doing everything I could to learn about those rumors in the before time. Sure, you can't build a drive from rumors, but it was just so exciting, I couldn't help it. The actuality of it and being on a ship with one, I wouldn't have thought it possible if you'd asked me six months ago. Now I'll get to work on one! Every manual I can get my hands on, every report, every set of tech specs... loaded in my PADD, printed, written on, highlighted, and notated. I've got a scale model and a holodeck program to play with. The only thing I don't have yet is hands on experience, but that'll come soon enough.

=/\= =/\= =/\=

Lieutenant Zola
Engineering Officer
USS Vindicator


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