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Ens Kaya & PO3 duPont - "Three Men In Black Said, Don't Report This"

Posted on 2019-02-09 12:47 by Petty Officer 3rd Class Cecil duPont & Ensign Kaya

Mission: Charon

Reports coming out of Romulan space were concerning, rumors of Empress Janicka Selok's execution have spread across subspace like wildfire, and understandably the USS Joshua Norton was still unreachable. While they were in the joint Romulan and Yridian space they would be operating silently, and an away team been planned to be in attendance at the event — they may have been witness to what was happening in The Palace of the Raptor. Cecil knew that thinking about it too much would lead to too much speculation on his part, so he needed to focus on what was here for him to do. That meant new crew waiting to join the Joshua Norton when it arrived back from the mission.

The computer informed him that he would find one of the new crew, Ensign Kaya, in the mess. He was able to easily spot her based upon her picture in her service record and approached her table.

"Excuse me, Ensign Kaya?" Cecil came to a stop a respectful distance back, holding his PADD behind his back clasped in both hands.

Kaya looked up from her PADD and then quickly stood.

“That’s right,” she said putting on a smile. She took a deep breath, clearing some of the fatigue. She’d spent the last seventy-two hours going from shuttles to ships on the journey to Erebus. She’d been assigned guest quarters - she wouldn’t be here long-, but she knew she’ll fall dead asleep if she saw that bed.

“Sorry, I’m knackered. Remind me of your name?” Kaya couldn’t remember if she’d been told the Yeoman’s name or not, just that they’d be around to collect her.

"Cecil duPont, ma'am. I wanted to make sure your trip out here went okay, and you had everything you needed while we wait for the Emperor to return from its current mission." He smiled.

The Trill’s next grin was more genuine. “The Emperor. Right.” She’d been filled in on the ship’s namesake, an Earth folk hero who'd clearly earned his legendary status. But to the task at hand, Kaya gestured with the PADD.

“Just working through the paperwork.” It was all the typical onboarding for a new ship assignment: schematics, ship-specific manuals and procedures, medical forms, security forms, all that. Plus a dozen more that were clearly unique to Clandestine Ops, from the truly unique build of the Defiant-class Joshua Norton, it’s cloaking device, and something about a code name.

"There's always plenty of paperwork, I swear I'm filling it out in my sleep sometimes." Cecil shrugged and chuckled just a little. "Would you like any help making heads and tails of it, or do you have a handle on it okay?"

Kaya started flipping through the files. “Yea, sure…” she said. “Oh right - never thought my lack of Human mythology was going to come up. Looks like I need to pick a code name. ‘Human Greek mythology’,” she read out, and winced.

It wasn’t easy to forget how Human-centric the Federation Starfleet was; Human culture permeated everything. Kaya would have to admit she resented that at times. But codenames were cool; she’d never had a codename.

“You’re Human…” she asked hopefully.

"Can't say that its my area of expertise, but that's why I created notes, so it doesn't have to be." He winked and pulled a chair from the table they stood by. "Pond thought she was being cute picking Persephone as hers, and suggesting Akoro answer to Hades. Which left me as Cerberus, which means she sometimes calls me Spot because of the etymology of the name." He sat down and quickly switched between documents on his PADD before he set it in front of the chair Kaya had vacated when he arrived.

Kaya paused to regard the peculiar yeoman before taking a seat again. She didn’t know who Pond was. Persephone, Akoro, or Hades for that matter. Spot was a generic Human name for a dog. She arched an eyebrow.

“That’s not made this clearer,” she said, then looked down at the PADD. It was a list, apparently, of figures in Human Greek mythology with a short description. She paged through. There were dozens. She found Cerebus and snickered.

“Right then. Three-headed canine. Got it.”

"Sorry, I probably jumped into the deep end there. Pond is a personal nickname that your new CO, Captain Waterhouse, answers to. She's my son's godmother, and she is probably a little more relaxed about some regs than she should be, so it's probably more of a habit than it should be for me to refer to her as such. My apologies." Cecil cleared his throat. "Most of the crew have tried to select a name that also reflects their position in the crew. You're focus is computers and communications in engineering, correct?"

Kaya nodded. “Yea. Computer systems.”

The last six months had been some of the most complex and difficult training she’d been through. She was about to get her hands into one of the most souped up rigs in the fleet. But today? Today she was choosing a codename from a list.

“Neurosurgeon for starships...” she mumbled, half her attention on duPont’s PADD. She interrupted herself with a bark of laughter. “There are forty daughters who killed their husbands and were damned to carry leaky jugs. Danaides. Such a shame someone’s probably claimed that one…”

"I don't think so actually. We can flag it for consideration if you want?" He started to reach towards the PADD, but decided not to invade her personal space and pulled back to rest his hands clasped on the tabletop.

Kaya pulled the PADD back. “Tsst! No, I want a good one.”

Her interest well piqued now, she kept looking. “What about this one,” she said after a moment, and flipped the PADD around. “How do you say it?”

Mneme ( Μνήμη ) - One of the original three Muses, associated with memory and the invention of words. Might be the shortened version of Mnemosyne.

"Mneme?" Cecil scrunched his face. "I'm not sure if that's right." He reached and tapped the word on the PADD and the computer's voice read it aloud.

Kaya contemplated her choice. “Mneme. Suppose one name’s as good as another. Sounds a bit like the Trill word for a type of tree...”

She went back to her own PADD and keyed it in. “You don’t serve on the Norton, then?”

"Oh no, I'm assigned to the Commodore here. But I usually interface between him and Waterhouse, so when the ship's at the base you'll probably see me a lot." He took his PADD back since the matter of Kaya's code name appeared to be solved. "I think field work would be a little too exciting for me. I've read all of Waterhouse's after reports for the missions the ship's been on, and well, some people are cut out for that sort of thing, and some of us prefer to grow plants, collate data, and get to bed early."

What sort of thing?” Kaya asked, leaning forward on her elbows.

Cecil pursed his lips and looked around. "We probably shouldn't get too into it here. It looks like just Starfleet personnel at the moment, but the mess is accessible by civilian visitors of the base too. I know you've been through the training though, don't they tell you what to expect?"

Kaya took a quick glance over her shoulder and leaned in closer. “They also told me never to rely on a single source of intel.”

She slid out of the chair and hoisted her bag to her shoulder. A little louder, she said, “Thanks, yea, a tour would be brilliant.”

Cecil had to bite him lip to keep from laughing. "We'll start with the arboretum then. You'll really want to see the fountain, they just finished installing it recently." He stood up and lead the way across the mess. The arboretum was still in public space, but he'd heard that the sound of the fountain made listening in on conversations difficult. "The view looks out on the front of the asteroid, giving a magnificent view of the surrounding field."

“Nothing beats a quality water feature,” Kaya agreed with sincerity. The doors of the mess whispered closed behind them as the pair made their way to the turbolifts.

When they were in the clear, Kaya tried again. “Please, I’m dying. Training is dreadful. It’s all hypotheticals and drills and simulations.”

Cecil laughed. "Honestly, for the most part, intel really is as boring as the training makes it seem. Somehow, Waterhouse still finds the excitement to get right into the middle of." The short lift ride finished and the door slid open. Cecil half wished he'd selected the aft lift to the upper level, a small part of him was enjoying stringing Kaya along. The forward lift they'd taken wasn't far from the arboretum.

Kaya gave Cecil a stinky look and leaned on the railing. The view really was something, the asteroids floating in the black, the blinking currents of tiny shuttles and transports moving along invisible trails between each mass. Occasionally a thruster would fire, gently adjusting the course of one hunk of rock or another. A sleepy, massive, ballet.

A graceful dance compared to the stumbling tango she was attempting with the coy Yeoman Cecil duPont.

“No, that’s fine. Don’t tell me anything. They’ve got you on a tight leash, I get it. Wouldn’t want to put you in an awkward position with your CO,” she said with a shrug and looked back out at the view.

He gave her a little bit to enjoy the view, and looked around. This time of day wasn't usually too busy on the arboretum — most Starfleet personnel were on duty, and most civilian traffic in the sector had been light the last day or so after there'd been a sizable movement towards Yridian and New Romulus. The fountain behind them, and a lack of people nearby, made Cecil comfortable enough to speak a little looser. He turned his back on the view port so he could spot anyone approaching.

"I don't know if you heard about the bomb threat on HQ a few months back."

Kaya bit her lip in tiny triumph. “Only what came through on subspace. That is to say…I’m listening...

"Which is to say, you wouldn't have heard much..." He stepped closer. "Waterhouse, Tomar, and Takeuchi—her first officer and demolitions specialist respectively—were the ones who defused the bomb. It was a Thalaron radiation device. Understandably brass didn't want that getting out, so they smoothed it over and only let out the minimum they had to... couldn't hide the containment team going in to collect the device after disarmament, and the Federation News Network started speculating immediately so some sort of statement had to be made. But this is exactly the sort of thing she finds herself and her crew in the middle of regularly. We send her on a mundane assignment, and they find what's weird. It's a good thing, but it makes brass uncomfortable how often it happens."

Kaya was rapt. Disarming Thalaron bombs, containment teams, a natural attraction for the wild and weird. She shook her head slowly; not eight months ago she was a nobody on a diplomatic frigate, supervising routine updates and bug-zapping. She’d been plucked from obscurity and would soon be onto her next big adventure.

“Brilliant,” she said distantly. “The brass could benefit from a spot of discomfort. Here in their ivory .. dome.”

"Don't dismiss Akoro, he grew up during the Bajoran occupation, and he was a part of the resistance. If any brass knows what it's like to get their hands dirty, its him." Cecil's eyes were drawn to fast movement in the abstract reflections in the fountain's spray and turned to face the observation port as a fighter darted past uncomfortably close to the observation port. "And that was probably Bad Wolf. She's the only one brave enough to risk Akoro's wrath by buzzing the base, and only because she benefits from at least a little protection from someone higher up the chain than Akoro." Cecil laughed.

“Survived the Cardassians but Captain Waterhouse still makes him edgy? That’s fine then.” Kaya mumbled with a shrug. Probably said as much about Waterhouse as Akoro. She’d wait and see for herself.

“So what’s a bad wolf? More code names?” Kaya asked, nodding at the window.

"Bad Wolf is one of the fighter pilots we have to defend the base — a photonic life form. She was assigned a human name, as her default appearance is human, but she prefers to just go by her call sign. The fighter squadron is a mix of organic and photonic lifeforms. Mostly they run drills as we're a little off the beaten path here, and most groups that might find a mining instillation a tempting target think twice because we're Starfleet. The fighter drills just keep the small number who might otherwise dare it second guessing." Cecil continued to look out the port, knowing that Bad Wolf would likely circle around again, though not as close for her second pass.

“Photonic life form,” Kaya echoed, intrigued. “Hologram?” She leaned forward to get a better angle on the field, hoping to catch another glimpse.

"Yes. There are a couple on the Emperor's crew also. Ensign Drayok and Crewman Drummond."

The fighter flew past again, this time further away and chased by another. Suddenly the first one pulled sharply upward, rolling towards the base and soon flying straight above it.

“I think this is going to be a riot,” she said having stepped back at Bad Wolf’s daring approach.

=/\= End Log =/\=

Ensign Kaya
Engineering Officer (Computer & Communications Specialist)
USS Joshua Norton, NCC-74819-A

Petty Officer 3rd Class Cecil duPont
Yeoman / Mission Analyst
Erebus Base


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