Episode III: The Battle of Wolf 359 (part one)
by Justin Lindsey Allman
III: First day on the Job
The door to Jubaes’ quarters hissed open and the young Andorian girl bounced out on one foot, precariously trying to put her boot on while still in motion. A few more well placed hops and the boot slid into place. She was then out the door and on her way to a very important meeting.
She ran her fingers through her thick, meticulously braided snow-white hair and wiped a bit of lint from one of her antennae. She fussed and readied herself for her first meeting with the head of medical at Utopia Planetia. She was late and she knew this was going to be a bad first impression.
Two turbo lifts and one excessively long corridor later Juabe came to Utopia Planetias central Medical Facility. It was on deck twenty-four on the fourth stationary complex. Known as the M’Benga facility, it was designed to aid the nearly seventy-five thousand officers and crew that were permanently assigned to the shipyards.
Jubae had just arrived from Starfleet Medical having only days before finished her internship on Earth.
The planet was on similar day cycles as Mars, but the alarm just didn’t wake her. She had been having nightmares again and they had been keeping her from decent night’s sleep. She would have to schedule some time with a counselor.
As she walked into the mammoth facility she was awed by the fact that all of deck twenty-four, and the above three decks had been cleared out to create the hospital space. It was a series of structures that were surrounded by a holo-matrix of the morning sky. Presumably it transitioned throughout the day giving the patients and staff a feeling as if they were planet-side.
She entered the building and rushed towards her late appointment. She looked desperately for Dr. Sandu’s office, finally resigning to ask a passing nurse. When she found it the door was ajar and there were two officers inside waiting expectantly.
“Doctor Bo Vadikaluala, I presume?” came a dry two hundred-year-old voice.
“Dr. Bova is fine,” Jubae corrected shyly. Few people could pronounce her name correctly.
“Well then Dr. Bova, I can’t help but notice your twenty-two minutes late.” He turned to the person next to him. The man was wearing a captain’s rank and was easily recognized through out Starfleet.
“Captain Hansen.” The young Andorian nodded.
The two men glanced at each other and then proceeded to sit down in the well decorated office. On the wall a picture of the Horse-head nebula hung, barely visible in the corner of the picture was a Constitution Class Heavy cruiser.
Bova stood her ground until directed to do otherwise. Dr. Sandu, an older noble Vulcan, motioned her toward a chair, sat behind a modestly decorated desk and then began to explain the situation. It wasn’t anything that her official orders didn’t cover. She was assigned to Utopia Planetia, but would accompany ships on short-term test flights. Sandu was to the point and didn’t seem to be very friendly at all. He had been with Starfleet for nearly one hundred and fifty years, serving on board several starships and bases. He was part of Starfleet history and Jubae had studied his work as part of her curriculum.
Once the administrator had finished his speech he turned to Captain Hansen. The Captain was tall, but was heavy-set for a human. He was a strong, with a barrel shaped chest, thick hands and a stern look that impressed the young Andorian.
Jubae felt small before these two men. Most Andorians were deceptively thin, herself weighting in at less than 33 kilograms. Of course, she could press two times her weight and was extremely agile. But it wasn’t her size that made her feel so tiny.
“You will report to me on the Agincourt tomorrow at Oh six hundred. We will be doing weapons testing for two days. Assemble a team and,” the Captain paused, “Be on time.” Hansen smiled, but there was more than just a smile.
Bova nodded and was about to excuse herself when Dr. Sandu stopped her.
“You were selected for this post because of both your strengths and your weaknesses.”
Bova’s antenna raised up; she didn’t understand.
“You did very well on your exams, but you were late to the testing.”
“I passed with the highest score in my class-” she quickly protested, but then caught herself.
“Yes. And that would have gotten you your choice of assignment, but in space it isn’t always about the score.”
This from a Vulcan! Jubae was furious. Her antennae focused on the alien before her. Her body relaxed, and readied itself. It was instinct.
Then there was a strange sound; a klaxon that hadn’t sounded in these great halls before.
The two officers stood up and Jubae was puzzled. The Utopia Planetia base went to red alert. Across the massive facility necks reached, and ears cocked. Was it a drill? A mistake? As it continued on a sinking feeling dropped across the thousands of officers and crewman. A pit in their stomachs formed and a palpable tension thickened in the air.
“Bova, assemble your team and head to the Agincourt as soon as possible.”
The Young Andorian bowed slightly and then exited. Hansen looked at Sandu with a worried glance. A red alert for the fleet couldn’t be a good thing.