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Checks and Inspections

Posted on Tue Sep 28, 2021 @ 8:32pm by Lieutenant Jaro Antos & Lieutenant Sakkar

Mission: Mission 1R - Vigilance Be Our Shield
Location: Bridge
Timeline: M1D2 - 0500 Hours

The Bridge of the Hornet was a hub of activity as personnel from the alpha shift filed in relieving their colleagues from the night before. It was no different for Antos. Following the staff meeting from last night, he had gone to shuttle bay to provide updates on the meeting to his staff and issue new directions. Then he had gone to bed.

He was feeling a lot more refreshed now with a full night's rest behind him and a steaming hot cup of raktajino. His internal biological clock was still not fully adjusted to the day cycle on board the Hornet but it was only a matter of time.

Antos watched the hub of activity passively from his station, which was towards the front of the Bridge. He glanced to his left as he noticed that there was a duty change about to happen and he recognized the new officer that was starting.

He recognized the Vulcan Lieutenant from the staff meeting that took place from the night before. "Lieutenant Sakkar I presume," he greeted, extending his hand. "I'm Lieutenant Jaro. Pleasure to meet you."

Sakkar hesitated for a moment. Vulcans were not normally accustomed to physical touch. He understood, however, that it was a friendly gesture among many cultures, not intended to cause offense. Besides, they would be working closely from now on. It was best that their working relationship be amicable. Jaro's attempt to establish familiarity was therefore logical.

"Mister Jaro, good morning" Sakkar said, accepting the offered hand. He sat down at Ops. "I have prepared an operations briefing as we approach the mission objective. I will submit it to you now." As he spoke he typed commands into his console. The report he spoke of was standard stuff. It was worth the attention, however, because they had installed a new module. A new hull configuration meant some differences in the ship's flight characteristics.

Sakkar began. "With the new module, equipment, and personnel, the ship's mass is 205,447 metric tonnes. That gives you an estimated 17-second burn to reach full impulse, and a 22-second retro burn to come to full stop. Your RCS thrusters have been adjusted for a maximum roll/pitch/yaw rate of 130 meters per second without the necessity of inertial dampener compensation."

Now a star chart appeared on the main viewer. Sakkar continued, "Astrometrics has evaluated our most likely navigational approach. They advise that a neutronic storm will be 2.1 light years to starboard on our final course vector. It should not be a factor as long as we stay clear of it."

Antos smiled as Sakkar meticulously walked him through the information, glancing down periodically at his console only to verify certain information. Overall though, it was fairly consistent with the information he had received from his flight team, for which he was now grateful for.

He had not served with many Vulcans, but was very much appreciative of their attention to detail.

"Thank you Lieutenant," he replied. Personally, he was disappointed that the ship's new module limited the speed and maneuverability rating of the Hornet. Even still, the Monarch class starship was still a leader in terms of speed and maneuverability.

"I'm a bit worried about the 17-second ramp up to full impulse and the 22-second. Any chance, we can work with Engineering on reducing this time? I suspect it won't come up during this mission, but in a combat scenario, that lag would be concerning to me."

That provoked a raised eyebrow from the Vulcan. "The acceleration and deceleration governors are not an engineering limitation, but a feature of the flight control software, calculated by the computer and based on our mass and hull configuration. Altering them would require us to divert more power to the inertial dampeners. May I assure you that with sound tactics we would likely fare well against potential threats?"

Antos seemed deep in thought, realizing for the first time that he should look more thoroughly at the extensive reports from the shakedown cruise of the ship. He had only received a high level briefing on it. Nevertheless, he was convinced that in a combat scenario, those numbers could be problematic especially if they had to rely on speed and maneuverability against a vessel with superior firepower.

"Let's park that discussion for now," Antos added with a smile. "I'll have my team look more thoroughly at the reports from the shakedown cruise. I think this mission will also allow me to gauge the ship's speed and maneuverability.

"Any notable power allocation changes, beyond the typical prioritization that I should be mindful of when the ship's alert status changes?"

"The new dorsal module is drawing extra power," Sakkar replied. "We have a host of additional sensors up there. Most are for command and control purposes. A few have special reconnaissance capabilities. Their power requirements should have no effect on the helm. On a different topic, I thought we could also conduct an on-board safety inspection. If you don't mind?"

Antos nodded to Sakkar. "Ready when you are Lieutenant."

Sakkar began typing commands into his console with assertive purpose. "Exterior illumination, navigation, and running lights?"

"All green," Antos replied, verifying the diagnostic readout on his control. "Navigational sensors operating within normal parameters..." he paused only for a bit to acknowledge that normal was really relative here, given that the sensor capabilities of the Hornet was significantly enhanced as a result of the command and control module that had been integrated into her systems.

"Were you part of the shakedown cruise Lieutenant?" Antos asked, feeling like having a conversation while the two men worked through an otherwise tedious checklist.

"Negative," Sakkar replied, still looking down at his console. "I am also new here. It is my first starship posting in two and a half years. Verify all external hatches are closed; confirm airtight integrity with level four diagnostic."

Antos nodded. His rough estimation of the service history of the crew was that only a small fraction had been part of the shakedown cruise, which was not in and of itself necessarily peculiar. "Where did you last serve?" Antos asked.

He was not quite sure why he asked the question as he doubted he would recognize Sakkar's previous posting, but he was interested in fostering a positive relationship with the Lieutenant given that both of them would be working closely together.

He raised an eyebrow as he noted how quickly Sakkar was moving through the emergency procedures check, most recently completing a system check on fire suppression.

"Fire suppression force fields are green on all decks," Sakkar reported. Then, realizing Antos had asked him another question, added, "I came here from shore duty at Regulus Fleet Yards. Before that I was a helmsman on USS Steadfast." Then he moved on to the next item on the checklist. "Verify all escape pods are set to standby/active mode, and that all escape pod hatches are free from obstruction."

Antos looked up to face Sakkar with a smile, "A fellow driver I see." That was an unexpected development and the Vulcan officer suddenly became more interesting to Antos. "All escape pods accounted for and on standby/active mode," he responded turning back to his console for the moment. "Sensor confirmation of zero obstructions..."

There was an audible series of beeping. "Scratch that...escape pod 12-G is reading as hard sealed and requires manual release. Flagging to engineering for follow up. All green for the other pods."

"Flight Control to Operations...that must have been quite the change. Mind if I ask why the change?"

"I was wounded on an away mission," Sakkar replied. "During my convalescence I took the opportunity to cross train in another field." He leaned forward and read a report coming into his station. "A repair team has already reported to the disabled escape pod. Impressive response time." He turned to Antos with a question of his own. "And you? By now you have probably served enough time in grade to try something new. I assume you must enjoy flight control duty?"

Antos considered the question thoughtfully. On the one hand, the answer was fairly straight forward. He was a pilot through and through and could not imagine doing anything else, short of the command track. However, up until a few months ago, he had been quite happy to trade in his wings for the civilian life by retiring from Starfleet. Even then, he had notionally thought about joining some sort of cargo service as a freight captain or pilot.

"Enjoy it?" Antos repeated. "I live and breathe it, perhaps a bit too obsessively as my wife protests from time to time." He paused before adding, "I was born a pilot Mr. Sakkar and will likely leave this existence as one, if it is the will of the Prophets" Antos said with a mischievous grin.

"To devote oneself to a particular discipline is commendable," Sakkar said, his fingers still tapping at his console. "However, one must also be cognizant of other opportunities as they present themselves. Verify all auxiliary craft are aboard and secured." The shuttle bay personnel would have already seen to it, but it was the bridge's duty to make sure. The checklist had to be followed to the letter.

While Antos took care of that the Vulcan moved to the next item, verifying that all personnel's commbadges were active and connected to the internal monitors. "What is your wife's name, may I ask?"

Antos paused at first surprised by the question then realized that that he had recently referred to Aiko as his wife when she was in fact his fiancée. It was a common occurrence for him although lately he found himself increasingly wondering what exactly they were waiting for.

"Aiko Kato," Antos replied, which reflexively triggered a smile. He resisted the urge to pull out the necklace tucked underneath his uniform that held a holographic capture of his wife to show to Sakkar. "Although I guess if I'm being factual, she's not my wife...yet, but will be soon. It's sadly all too common for me to refer to her as my wife."

Antos confirmed the number of auxiliary craft and ensured that it matched with the ship's manifest. He knew this to be the case having previously received reports from his flight team. Still protocol was protocol. "All auxiliary crafts accounted for and secured."

Antos turned ever so briefly to Sakkar taking a momentary glance away from his console. "And what of you Sakkar? Any one you are betrothed to?" he asked.

"Cargo bay manifest," was the immediate reply. Hornet was carrying a lot of cargo, mostly for humanitarian assistance. It all had to be accounted for -again- and the various tie-downs, locks, and stasis fields had to be verified funtional. Sakkar tapped away with his slender fingers. In a few seconds the internal sensors began their work.

The results were not instant. It would take a moment to finish. As the Ops console beeped and chirped away Sakkar drew a breath to answer the helmsman's question. "My bondmate's name was T'Vandrah. Our bonding was never completed, however. Her desire was to become a High Priestess, and so she went to Mount Selaya to initiate that training. It is a path that requires total commitment. She has given me leave to seek a different mate, should I require."

"In other words, you are single," Antos stated. "And looking to mingle?" he asked with another mischievous grin. He searched the Vulcan's features to see if he understood the Terran colloquialism, which coming from a Bajoran was rather ironic. But as Antos had been reminded for a great portion of his life, he was more human than Bajoran.

Antos' analysis of Sakkar's facial feature for comprehension proved unfruitful. As was to be expected, the Vulcan's expression was inscrutable.

"The Vulcan way is different," Sakkar said. "Most people do not comprehend it. Furthermore, the emotionally chaotic nature of relationships in other cultures is just as alien to us." He stopped his typing and turned to Antos with a firm expression. "Please do not attempt to pair me with someone you know. If that is what you are thinking." Logically, he knew that the helmsman was probably not thinking that. Still, it was not unwise to issue an early warning. Sakkar had had previous experience with such attempts, either by genuinely well-meaning people or by those who enjoyed the humor of it.

A gentle chime emanated from the Ops console. The cargo bay check was complete. "All items are locked down and secured per regulations," the Vulcan declared.

Antos raised both his hands up in surrender. "I would never dream of it Mr. Sakkar," he said although he wore a smirk on his face. In truth, he had been contemplating playing the role of matchmaker but he faced the obvious challenge of not knowing most of the people on board the Hornet, being new to the ship and crew.

So, for now, he would acquiesce to the Vulcan's wishes. But that may not be true a month...few months...a year from now. Just as he suspected Sakkar's position may change.

Just then, multiple contacts appeared on his screen, an action that was promptly followed by the raised voice of an unfamiliar officer from the tactical station. "Multiple sensor contacts...reading several Klingon ships decloaking and moving to their designated area. They appear to be the first wave of the Klingon fleet amassing ahead of the skirmish with the Gorn."

Antos' jovial attitude suddenly changed as he was promptly reminded of the mission ahead and the danger it entailed. He nodded knowingly to Sakkar, a silent acknowledgement that pleasantries were over...for now.


Lt. Sakkar
Chief Operations Officer
USS Hornet

Lt. Antos Jaro
Chief Flight Control Officer
USS Hornet


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