Guardian Station

Barzan Sector

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"En Route, Disembarkation & Orientation"

Posted on Thu Apr 23rd, 2020 @ 9:15pm by Lieutenant Commander Riah Amberlyn PhD, DxVM

Personal Log by Lieutenant Riah Amberlyn PhD, DxVM
Mission: Arrival
Location: Transport Ship to Starbase 38 – Barzan Sector


// “En Route” Starbase 38 – Barzan Sector // 

Lt Riah Amberlyn's first sight of the actual Starbase 38 was distant. Like a toy, it hung in the darkness off the port bow of the transport ship. Riah sat cross-legged in a comfortable club chair in the port observation lounge of the transport. It was her favorite spot on the ship to pass the weeks, the days, the hours, the minutes of her trip from Earth to Starbase 38. 

Most of that time had been spent writing an article for publication in The Denobulan Medical Review on the Altarian Marsupial, a creature whose droppings contained an amazing regenerative enzyme used in both veterinary and general medicine. It was the first article she had been asked to contribute to the prestigious inter-galactic journal. She was most industrious and encouraged by the project. She had an 8x10 inch electronic PADD in her lap, scribbling editing notes freehand on the screen with a stylus. However, her mind was actually wandering to their impending arrival at Starbase 38. 

Her first impressions of the distant station: the raw materials of a poem perhaps, or an essay about her arrival at the most advanced and far flung space station the Federation had yet established. A fitting introduction to her new home. ‘A toy’ she wrote on the PADD screen. 

The station appeared as a bright shining toy or a holiday tree ornament. Until now, there had not been much to see of the Starbase. But the elongated shape was discernable now, and it was clearly defined as a space station. She actually felt far more inspired to draw today than write. She scribbled a little outline of it on the PADD and returned to the editing process of the introduction to her article. 

Laughter brought to her attention a couple sitting across the room heretofore engaged in quiet conversation. Enjoying the sound of their jovial outburst, she sighed and cast her gaze once again to the distant outpost. She was mildly surprised to see the “toy” had increased significantly in size. More impressions; /old-fashioned postcard image/, she scrawled on the corner of the PADD, and glanced at the laughing couple again. Somebody else happy to be on their way to the Base: /laughter, jovial, witness, carousal, gloaming, twilight, sparkle/, she brainstormed onto the PADD. She never questioned this word association game she played. It almost always led to a poem or creative connection, in spite of the apparent randomness of the words.

She was in her traveling Fleet uniform. Comfortable, stretchy, casual but properly dignified. The teal color of her Science Department was well displayed in the mock turtleneck sweater, as well as in the piping on the over-jacket, which was slung over the arm of the chair. The pants were darkest gray and the jacket itself was the lighter Fleet gray. There were a significant number of animals that lived in the Zoology department on the Starbase, as well as a number of pets belonging to individuals, both civilian and Fleet. As a xeno-veterinarian, she looked forward to providing proper health care for them all, as well as researching the extraordinary new species of zoological life to be found in the Delta Quadrant.

She stopped writing and stared arbitrarily at the laughing couple again, her mind wandering to images she had seen of the science department on the Station. She imagined herself in her lab coat in the projection alcove, watching video feed of some new species from Planet “XP”, evaluating the behavior patterns of their interaction with others of their species. Gazing "through" the couple across the room seemed to visually mesmerize her, until her mind began to sort out the words of a conversation behind her. 

A woman’s voice, a very young woman by the sound of it, was speaking. “They say whole sections of that one deck really belongs to the pirates.” A sweet, little-girl voice. “Don’t get caught there, I’ve heard. Bad stuff happens.”

Another woman’s voice, slightly bored and indulgent. “I’m sure there are bad sections, but you’ll learn from your friends where, and stay away from there.” 

“What if they don’t like me?” asked the tiny voice again. 

“Who? Your friends? They’ll like you. What’s not to like?” the patient voice asked in return. 

“I’m young.” The voice made /that/ reply obvious. “Pirates like young girls.”

“What? …Look, Esmy. Your dad is a powerful man in the social and business community on this station. Why are you worried about getting lost on a pirate deck? You’re not gonna run with a crowd that hangs out on the pirate deck,” the slightly less patient voice explained. 

“But I’m pretty. Someone will sell me to the pirates.” The small voice whined. 

“What have you been reading, Esmy?” It was a rhetorical question but got a quick reply. 

“The Desperation Diaries.” The whisper reeked of the taboo involved. 

“What?! Those are adult stories. Where did you get your hands on those?” the judgmental voice asked in earnest. There was no verbal response. A resigned voice murmured, “Might have known. You are too smart for your own good, Esmy Carter. So, did you finish them?” Another silent answer was exchanged. “Good, can I read ‘em now?” 

“Yeah.” The small, happy voice replied, relieved. “I’m hungry. Let’s go get something to eat.” 

Riah smiled and chuffed a laugh but did not turn around. Instead a young woman and a girl walked by, stepping closer to the portal. Esmy, just a girl of perhaps 14 at most, carried an animal carrier over her shoulder. Riah could not tell what kind of creature occupied the carrier. Her companion might have been a sister, though they looked nothing alike. The younger was slight and blonde, pretty enough to tempt a pirate. The elder was dark and muscular, perhaps in her early 20s. Still pretty, but not as easy a pirate target. Both were dressed in civilian clothes. After a quick look out the portal, the older of the two spoke. “Yeah, we have plenty of time. Let’s eat.” They headed toward the exit. 

Riah turned her attention back to the view into space, pondering what might have been in the animal carrier. A cat, a rabbit, Tovarian vole, a Dali vol’sha, even a small dog? /Tovarian vole/ she wrote on the PADD and proceeded to sketch a small four-legged creature.




~~~




// “Disembarkation”, Observation Lounge, Transport Ship // 

Riah Amberlyn watched the station looming larger and larger against the curtain of space. It looked like a jewel encrusted brooch consisting of hundreds of diamonds clustered together in an elaborate design. And yet, they were still far, far away. What she thought were individual lights - individual jewels - gradually defined themselves as entire decks and sub-sections of still more lights, more jewels. 

She stood in awe at the port in the Observation Lounge. Eventually, they were so close she could no longer see either the very top, or the very bottom of the Station, it filled the entire window. And yet, they were still many ship lengths from the docking facilities. Small shuttles disappeared into bays that could easily accommodate her transport. It was astounding. 

Finally, she could see figures at the windows, people. Something with which she could make a legitimate comparison, but by then, they were completely overwhelmed by the station. She watched as they passed two other starships, much larger than the transport. /They are so graceful/, she thought as they turned and maneuvered, seemingly without effort or power. The entire scene was magical and wondrous. 

Eventually, the transport settled to a halt. There was no bump or shudder to mark the moment. With the grace of a dancer, it simply ceased to move. 

“Passenger Disembarkation begins in 30 minutes. Station Time is now 2217 hours. Welcome to Starbase 38.” 

The announcement was so mundane, so "business as usual". Yet Riah’s stomach was in a flurry of flip-flops. She was here. At long last, something she had dreamed of for 7 years, since joining the Fleet …it was happening …to her. God, she hoped she was ready. Her usual confidence seemed as dwarfed by the reality as the transport was by the Station itself. 

Taking a last look through the window, she saw someone in an observation lounge within the station, looking out at her. A man, she thought. A man in a uniform. Starfleet perhaps. She couldn’t tell, not definitively. She raised her hand and waved once. The man returned the salute with a wave of his own. She nodded, and a brief smile spread her lips. A minor greeting, but a greeting, nonetheless. Yes, someone here expected her, but she didn’t anticipate being met at the dock. She would likely never know if she met the unknown man in the non-descript uniform. But he had made her feel /welcome/.




~~~




// “Orientation” :: Arrival Docking Bay :: Starbase 38 // 

Arriving at the Station at 2300 hours had its advantages and disadvantages. While extremely busy at all hours, the docking bay was not as swamped at it might have been during peak departure hours, which were generally between about 0800 and 1900 hours. The disadvantage was she was very tired, and needed to sleep before reporting to her new DH, LtCmdr Gedan Demar, Chief Science Officer.

She was through the initial arrival procedures in less than 30 minutes and referred to a “new arrivals” area, operated specifically for incoming Fleet personnel. To her relief, she was informed that contrary to her understanding, she had 36 hours left before she was due to report to LtCmdr Demar. Now she just needed a bed to sleep the night in. 

She was been warmly greeted, in spite of the late hour. Her personal PADD was downloaded with a station map, well designed for finding her current position and mapping her journey to her intended destination. She wondered if the device knew which deck to avoid for threat of pirates. It seemed to know everything else; she had but to ask it verbally. 

She was also given a station communicator and a large packet of miscellaneous things, which included everything from Starbase 38 shoulder insignia to tokens for various services on the Station. She was given information about setting up a “deposit box” for storing personal valuables, setting up passcodes, and intra-station electronic communications; all now available on her personal PADD, the home page of which listed invitations from restaurants on the Promenade and information on the Officers and Enlisted recreational facilities. The Duty Officer assured her there were also instructions for scheduling incoming routine checks in the Medical Department, the Counseling Department, the Personnel section of Operations, and the Station’s uniform laundering services. Where was the bed?she wanted to ask. Instead she smiled, and nodded, and asked a couple of properly inane questions to assure the woman she was awake and listening. She chose not to ask about the pirates.

“And your personal belongings will be in your quarters when you take occupancy tomorrow. Any other questions, Lieutenant?” asked the Duty Officer. 

“Where do I sleep tonight?” she finally asked the only question that mattered at 0045 hours.

“Oh, yes. There’re quest quarters for just this kind of thing on Deck 24. Let’s see,” she said, looking at her terminal. “2447 A. You might have a roommate.” 

Riah wanted to groan but refrained. 

“No, no, looks unoccupied. Just tell the position map /Room 2447 A/, and it will direct you right there. Lifts are around the corner there. Take you almost to the door, it will. Welcome to Starbase 38, Lt Amberlyn.” 

“Thank you. Thank you very much,” replied the science officer. She picked up her backpack, the packet and the Personal PADD of Endless Information, and turned toward the lifts and sleep. Hopefully, 24 was not the pirate deck.
~~~
Lt Riah Amberlyn, DxVM
Xeno-Zoology-Veterinary Medicine



Assistant Chief Science Officer
Starbase 38 – Barzan Sector



 


 

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