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Ulysses - The Great Wanderer

Posted on Monday September 21st, 2020 @ 10:04pm by Captain Keziah Nazir & Ensign Udal & Commander Aria Winters & Lieutenant Commander Jonathan Hill M.D. & Lieutenant Adam Paxton & Lieutenant Ameld Zian & Lieutenant Elleese Elloyia & Lieutenant JG Peter Wilson & Lieutenant JG Marcus Miridon & Ensign Jocelyn Zemke

Mission: Death Be Not Proud
Location: Bridge, USS Ulysses
Timeline: Day 21 at 1100

Whilst the bridge of a starship wasn't the biggest room on the vessel, it was perhaps the most important. As always, it was the focal point of the ‘Bridge Module’, the nerve-center of every starship, and was manned by the top officers of each department when required. For a ship's commanding officer, the bridge was their home, and no matter where their adventures would take them, they always found themselves to be truly happy when sitting in 'that' chair at the centre of the bridge. Captain Nazir was no different. She loved being on the bridge at the best of times, but the bridge of the Cassiopeia was something to be marvelled at.

The layout was superb, with many additional stations created and, most importantly, the vast majority of them facing the centre of the bridge so that everyone could pretty much make eye contact with one another when discussing the mission at hand. Perhaps the feature she was most proud of was the gold, hexagonal plate at the very heart of the bridge, upon which the logo of the United Federation of Planets was emblazoned. It was a sign, a reminder, of who they were and why they were there. It was also something that united the crews of both the Cassiopeia and the Ulysses - Starfleet, the Federation, the Galaxy. They had been brought together to serve and protect the interests of all they would come across. That started today, with their mission to locate their two missing crewmen.

Sitting at the center of the bridge, and with a data PADD in hand, the Captain waited for the arrival of her senior staff.

At Strategic Operations, Ensign Udal of the Ulysses had been drafted in to serve in the absence of Lieutenant Torres, and the massive Orion was already hard at work getting to grips with the offensive systems of the new Polaris-class starship he would serve.

Jocelyn strode through the aft-turbolift doors heading directly for her seat at the Operations Station. She had immediately scoped her seat out on the bridge shortly after the transfer orders were confirmed. She noted Ensign Udal focused on the console before him. She breezed by, swinging around to the left side of the bridge, taking her place at the Ops Station. As far as she was concerned, it was the second best seat on the bridge after the pilot and navigator station. There was nothing like being smack-dab in the middle of all the action.

Paxton was already at the CONN, doing the final preflights. The departure was finally upon them and there was a grin on the Lieutenant's face that had been there all morning. There was nothing quite like taking a ship out for the first time after taking over, and while it wasn't the Cassiopeia's first trip, it was her first official mission and the first time Paxton would have the controls.

Yasmin was also seated in the navigator's console adjacent to Paxton. Several flight paths and trajectories calculated by her, and confirmed by the computers, were highlighted on the screen. She smiled, able to see her partner's beaming excitement to be at the helm. She reviewed approved flight checks, confirming those required of the navigator.

The next to walk onto the bridge was Lieutenant Elloyia, who generally didn't spend much time up here unless her presence was requested. While she was a senior advisor to the captain and a frequent fill-in for a diplomatic corps, she always felt that her place was in her office. Talking to the crew, helping them, getting to know everyone and set everyone up for success for themselves and for the ship.

Now, though, her presence as part of the senior staff had been requested, and so here she was. She didn't know if she was meant to inhabit the third seat today, so she simply approached the captain with a polite nod of greeting. "Captain."

Later than he would have liked, Lt. Miridon strode onto the bridge from out of the turbolift in long, exaggerated strides. As with those entering onto the bridge, he offered his commanding officer a formal, "Captain" as he passed behind her and over to the science conn. From all of the specs and schematics he had observed of the ship, the Cassiopeia's bridge was still a sight to behold; streamlined and accessible; not gaudy, but the Federation had spared no expense in making it look everything like a modern bridge should look. Marcus felt a pang of pride, in himself and in his shipmates, that they were the ones manning this marvel. Though he hadn't spent nearly as much time on the bridge yet as he would have wanted, that all ended here; this was his place now, and he could feel that energy emanating from the emblazoned Federation logo at the center of their stations.

Doctor Hill was next to arrive. Like Elleese, he didn't spend much time on the Bridge, or at least he hadn't until that point. Now that he was Second Officer, that would change and so he felt the need to be on the Bridge for departure for the first time in his career. The command centre was impressive. He walked slowly around the perimeter of the room, taking note of the details. One in particular caught his attention; the seal of the Federation on the carpet in the centre of the room. Jonathan had never been one to miss an opportunity to piss on everyones chips and this was no exception. "Laying it on a bit thick, aren't they?" He asked before quickly adding, "With the seal."

Adam smirked, "I thought you marines loved iconography." He retorted.

"I'm not your garden variety Marine." Jon replied through a smirk of his own. The fact that he wore blue instead of Marine green these days made that abundantly clear.

"I mean I'm sure we can change the carpet, maybe a nice turtle motif." Paxton retorted, his fingers moving over the controls as he finished the last preflights. They'd be ready at the Captain's order to head out for their first official mission.

"I think it's there to remind the Federation of its roots, calling for us all to return." The Science Officer piped in, quite serious in his affectation, hands equally active across his conn as he made specific adjustments to his personal system for efficiency and peace of mind, soaking up the fact that the station was his.

Zian waited for the turbolift doors open and then stepped out onto the bridge. He paused, taking in the sight of the space. It was as impressive as any ship he'd served on and was so new. He scanned the stations and identified the small one reserved for security. His job on the bridge was to back up the Tactical Officer when needed and maintain an overview of internal security on the ship. He didn't expect to do much. He nodded at officers as he passed them, some of them he actually knew names but not most.

"Thank you for being the voice of reason, Lieutenant Miridon," the Captain smirked as she looked up from the data PADD she was reading, shooting off a look of disapproval in the direction of the CONN officer at the mere suggestion of changing the carpet. "We're going into the unknown, literally flying the flag for the Federation. Having the iconic symbol so close at hand serves as a vital reminder of who we are," she professed to anyone who might have been listening.

Doctor Hill snorted derisively as he rolled his eyes so hard that he was certain it made an audible noise. But, he managed to hold his tongue this time. He found a place to stand, near the turbolift, where he could watch proceedings and make a quick getaway as soon as they were underway.

"Yard control has sent our final launch permissions Captain, clear to depart on your order ma'am." Paxton said as his console chirp with the final permissions from the shipyard to allow them to head out.

"All departments report ready, Captain," Commander Winters assured their commanding officer as she entered the Bridge, fresh from an hour or two annoying the engineering department.

"Very well Commander," the Captain acknowledged the words of her new executive officer and diverted her attention to one of the stations behind the command chairs. "Lieutenant Ameld," she called out, observing the Bajoran naming tradition, "can you confirm that all visitors and yard personnel have disembarked? I don't want any hitchhikers on the journey to FreeCloud," she queried.

Zian nodded and examined his screen. He clicked through two different databases, one that tracked visitors and then conducted a final security scan of the ship to make sure only authorized personnel were left on board. "Sir, the last yard worker is departing as we speak. All remaining personnel on board are confirmed to be members of the crew. Unfortunately, Chief Petty Officer Flannigan is still in surgery on the station and will be in recovery for the next six weeks. They are the only absent member of the crew besides the object of our mission," Ziad said.

=/\=Engineering to Bridge. Warp core operating at peak efficiency. All systems check out and we are green across the board. All systems available for your command Captain. =/\= Wilson commed from down in Engineering.

'Let's get on with it already' Paxton thought to himself but kept his mouth shut as to not annoying the Captain any further.

"Commander, put me through to the rest of the ship," the Captain requested as she rose to her feet slowly, a data PADD in her hand as she took up a position in the centre of the Federation logo on the deck plating in front of her chair.

"Channel open, Captain," Aria replied after brief moment.

"=/\=All hands, this is the Captain," Keziah declared, her voice carried across all decks of the ship, "in the next few minutes, this ship will embark on a mission of great importance; by now, I am sure the ever accurate rumour mill of starship life is in overdrive and you are no doubt all aware that we are to locate and rescue two missing crewmembers. Our investigation is due to take us to the port of FreeCloud, but before we commence our search I must share with you some news from Starfleet Command, and the Chief of Starfleet Operations," Nazir told, taking a deep breath and preparing to share the contents of the data PADD. "At zero hundred hours this morning, I received a special transmission from Admiral Clancy herself. Starfleet Operations has granted us a special privilage. In honour of the long lineage of Starfleet vessels to bare the name, and faced with the prospect of no active vessel carrying the name for the first time in nearly two-hundred years, I can officially confirm that, in coordination with the office of Captain th'Zorati, the USS Cassiopeia has been re-designated..." the Captain turned on her heels and looked at the XO and Counselor who sat either side of her chair, " the USS Ulysses, NCC-85204. It is my honor to serve as the Captain of the Ulysses, of this fine, amalgamated crew, and lead you all on our mission of exploration. But for now, we have a mission to attend to."

Listening to their commanding officer speak, curiosity had turned to delight. Her smile perhaps one of the brightest, one of the most genuine, in weeks. "The honour is ours, Captain," Aria grinned, "and it is a fine name for a ship. Now we have to live up to it."

Adam glanced around the bridge, seeing more than a few smiles amongst the former Ulysses crew.

Zian could see the smiles around him. He nodded at the captain but in reality, he had no idea who or what Ulysses was named after. He was sure it was something important. He was, however, excited about the idea of visiting FreeCloud. He'd seen all kinds of vids of that place.

"Release docking clamps and clear all moorings. Helm, ahead one quarter impulse power. When we're clear, set a course for FreeCloud at warp seven," the Trill at the centre of the bridge commanded, and then looked at the XO. "Give the order when you're ready, Commander," she smiled as she passed the honour of taking out the newly christened starship to her XO.

"Cleared all moorings, taking us at one quarter." Paxton said, his fingers nibbling dancing over the control, spinning the ship onto it's departure axis. "Clearing yard control, taking us to full impulse. Ready for warp on your order."

Winters glanced across at Paxton as he signalled they were now clear and ready to initiate warp. "Thank you, Lieutenant... In that case, engage."

"Aye, taking us to warp." Paxton chimed, "Course confirmed, cruising speed of warp seven."

In the safety of her command chair, the Captain watched the stars zip by at warp speed, a content smile creeping across her face as she took in the welcome sight and absorbed the hum of the ship through the soles of her feet. It was fantastic to be back, out among the stars once again.

FreeCloud awaited.


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