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[2373] USS Renegade: It's a working holiday challorn, anything can happen

[Transporter Room 1 | USS Renegade in orbit around Starbase 1| Stardate 50374.2]

As dark fingers slid down the console, Petty Officer 2nd Class Simonds completed another scheduled transport cycle from the Starbase.  Looking up from his console, a small wave of satisfaction rolled through him as another batch of personnel stepped off the transporter pad.  It had been a long day for the crew of the New Orleans class frigate after she'd completed her post refit trials around Vulcan.  The excited scuttlebutt that was circulating around the ship was that they were scheduled for an exploration mission of the Betraka Nebula and it was going to be a long mission, so the crew would be breaking new ground as they went. 

Simonds musings as he finished logging the last transport were stopped as the transporter room door opened and a curvaceous Andorian female walked through.  Any attempt to give the woman an appreciative examination stopped well above the shoulders as her blue neck was surrounded by the red of the Command Division, and bore the three full pips of a Commander.  Commander Threross was definitely considered beautiful example of a female humanoid by any definition, but only a fool would take liberties with the ship's executive officer.  It was well known she was a warm and fair person, but did not suffer fools gladly.  Commander Threross looked at Simonds and gave him a courteous nod and a smile before linking her hands behind her back.  "Good day Petty Officer, how long until the next transport is ready?" 

Simonds turned back to his console and checked the update from his opposite number on the Starbase.  "Should only be a couple more minutes ma'am." "Excellent! Proceed when ready."  the XO replied before turning to face the transporter pad.  A mental eyebrow twitched in interest in Simonds head.  It wasn't often that the XO got excited, but delight was definitely dancing through the Commander's alto voice.  The transporter technician considered looking at the manifest to see who was coming in, but decided a few more minutes wasn't going hurt, so he waited for the ready signal.  Scuttlebutt though was the the person coming in was important to the Commander, probably a family member, maybe on of her bondmates.  Wife, husband, who knew?

A chime sounded and Simonds hands flew over the console initiating the transport sequence.   It was all very automatic, but it didn't hurt to keep an organic set of eyes on the whole process. When all the checks had been made, and the system ready, his hand moved to the execution bars.   "Energizing"  he called and kept an on the pad for the matter stream as his fingers moved steadily up and down.  As the shimmering lights grew brighter, then faded, details began to come together about the mystery visitor.  The easy part was that she was Andorian.  She was definitley easy on the eyes from what Simonds could see. Long shiny platinum hair, raised cheek bones, well developed, and toned body.  Everything looked good.  No Shit Simonds thought to himself as the transport cycle completed and the young woman fully materialized, wearing tight, if somewhat casual wear, a leather jacket, and a pair of Starfleet containers over her shoulder.  Clothing aside, she looked like a younger version of the XO.  Those bright ice and jade eyes immediately began looking around getting her bearings when she saw the Commander standing there and if possible, the eyes got bigger and brighter, and a smile that could light up a dark forest materialized on her face.

"Zhavey!" XamotZark zh’Ptrell called excitedly as she dropped her bags and  ran down the steps to grab her birth mother for a long overdue hug.  Only to be stopped by an upturned hand from her matron and a stern look.  XamotZark stood there with her arms mere inches away from enfolding her mother.  Commander Threross brought the upstanding hand into a fist and brought it to her mouth before letting out a slight theatrical cough and linking her hands back behind her.  "Is this how you report aboard ship cadet?" Cadet XamotZark zh’Ptrell dropped her arms and came to parade ground attention.  Simonds looked up and his eye brows tried to climb into hair line in surprise.  She is a hard woman for treating her kid like this.  Cadet zh’Ptrell on the other hand barked out the only possible response as she stood at ram rod straight attention.  "Begging the commander's pardon! Cadet zh’Ptrell requests permission to come aboard!"  The younger Andorian's response was severely marred by the red tank top, black leather leggings, and black booties she was wearing.  Better not say anything, but daamn, her daughter cuts a fine figure.  As if she could read his thoughts, the XO's gaze snapped to the transporter tech, who just as quickly dropped his head and found his console to be suddenly intensely interesting.

Keeping her gaze on the transporter tech for a few more seconds, the Andorian XO shifted her gaze back to her daughter and gave the young woman a critical once over.  Well, I guess she can't help it since she is on break now.  My how she's grown though.   As the twinkle returned to her eyes, a smile pulled at the older Andorian's mouth highlighting the smile lines she was starting to form.  Shaking her head and snorting, Commander Threross decided to relent, holding her arms out for the delayed hug. "It's good to see you challorn, come gimme that hug." XamotZark relaxed instantly, smile returning, and flowed into her mother's arms.

Re: [2373] USS Renegade: It's a working holiday challorn, anything can happen

Reply #1
[Cadet XamotZark zh’Ptrell (Cadet Zark) | USS Renegade interior]

To those that were paying attention, there was a strange sense of double vision as two relatively identical Andorian women walked down the corridors.  It was an intensely distracting sight as most passing crewman were town between the urge to check out the younger more casually dressed woman and the who was clearly the ship's executive officer.  Commander Threross generally kept one ear open and commenting when necessary as she led her daughter towards her quarters, steadily cataloguing the number of things that she was going to have to discuss with her exuberant daughter.  Long practice allowed her to compile her list as she filed each tidbit and bit of information on how XamotZark was doing on her first year out of the academy.  Given how much she appeared to want to talk at the moment, the older Andorian thought her daughter would have become a counsellor or a diplomat, but she sounded like she was steadily drifting towards Security.  The XO nodded to someone she was more familiar with as they passed. Still, it was nice to hear her voice in person, though she didn't quite remember her child having this much energy.  XamotZark must have chosen correctly when she decided to go to the academy.  Sighing, the elder Zhen decided that she must have done something right.

Cadet zh’Ptrell continued to babble on, but her keen eye picked up on the sigh her Zhavey had put out and wondered if it was anything troublesome.  On the other hand, it couldn't be that bad since her 'mother' as the pink skins called them was smiling.  Her thoughts and babbling came to an end at a set of doors and Commander Threross pushed the admittance button.  As the button whooshed open, her Zhavey gestured in to the small room.  it's not bad, at least I have the room to myself.  I do like Carter, but she is a bit of a slob. The younger Zhen thought to herself as she took in the room.  It wasn't much, a bed, a desk, a table with a couple of chairs, and a bathroom unit.  Cozy enough.  Cadet zh’Ptrell placed her bags on the bed and took off her jacket before placing it in the closet.

Commander Threross took note of the muscles developing on her Zhei and once again idly wondered where that little squalling baby had gone.  Shaking her head, she gestured to the table with a pair of chairs and sat in one while XamotZark took the other.  There was a brief pause as the Commander martialed her thoughts.

"Zhei, it is good to see you, and to hear that you're doing well at the Academy, and as much as I'd like to treat you like a ten year old and let you run around the ship, the only way I really got the Captain to agree to you visiting was that this is part of your Starfleet education."  XamotZark's eyebrows raised at this admission from her Zhavey, but it was not exactly unexpected.  Most students stayed on Earth, or went home for the holidays, but that was harder since her Zhavey was a serving officer and frequently not home.  "It also helps that you were effectively raised on the ship, so Captain Albrahani knows you and is looking forward to seeing you again.  Though he did ask that you try not to treat his liquor cabinet as a toy chest this time."  The elder Andorian smiled as her Zhei blushed and smiled demurly when she had opened the aforementioned drinks cabinet and began playing knights with the bottles.  "Now, I know you're on vacation, so I don't want to see you dressed like that on duty, yes I said on duty. Commander Threross raised a hand to forestall any argument.  "This is a working vacation challorn and since your chosen track is security, so you'll be reporting to Lieutenant Niyoda, he's our security chief.  Before I go on, how aware are you of the galactic situation?"

Zark had to think of it for a moment as she pulled the information from various sources.  "Generally not the best from what I understand.  The situation out by Bajor is tense with the Dominion on the other side of the wormhole, and Starfleet is expanding it's war fighting capability quickly."  The Zhavey nodded at this.  "Good.  One thing that the humans and most of the Federation now realize is that the galaxy is much more hostile than we believed between the Khitomer Peace and the Enterprise encountering the Borg.  Even Andoria forgot that momentarily, but we were better prepared to accept this eventuality.  Lieutenant Niyoda won't go easy on you, but at the same time, he will mentor you in what he thinks you'll need for the coming times."

Zark was shocked, surely her Zhavey didn't mean war was coming, and the unspoken was naked in her eyes.  That familiar smile formed on her Zhavey's face once more, when she worked to re-assure her child was completely absent.  "We do hope the diplomats manage to sort this all out, but Starfleet is the main line of defence for the Federation, so we have to be ready."  Holding her zhei's eyes for a moment, the smile eventually returned.   "I wouldn't worry about it at the moment though, because in the meantime, we get ourselves a good old exploration mission, so change into something less revealing, and let's make our way to the mess hall where I can give you the details on what's going to happen to this merry ship!"

Re: [2373] USS Renegade: It's a working holiday challorn, anything can happen

Reply #2
[Cadet XamotZark zh’Ptrell (Cadet Zark) | USS Renegade]

Cadet Zark couldn't quite keep the sigh of exasperation off her face when her zhavey had admonished her, again, for her clothing choice.  It's not as easy as she thinks! Zark thought to herself petulantly, which annoyed her more since she knew she was being childish about it.  The only place that felt remotely comfortable was northern Canada. the blue alien grumped.  Seeing the inquiring look at the tightening lips on her birth mother's face, she quickly schooled her features to one of non-expression and dug out her cadet uniform.  Taking some some care to smooth out the wrinkles, and removing a few bits lint, both real and imaginary, Zark completed missed the look of approval on Commander Threross face.  The commander's face tightened as her zhei stripped without thinking of who else was in the cabin.  The tightening was only partially in disapproval of how the free spirit of her daughter didn't seemed to have been dampened from the little girl who took delight in running into the snow naked only to come back more blue and nearly frozen each time.  Now it was the well defined musculature across her back indicating serious physical training. Commander Threross in that instant had a flash of passed regrets as she started to feel some of her wrinkles and in that familiar gnawing that she should have had one more child. It wasn't an unfamiliar feeling though and she shook it off just like every other time she got a message from her daughter.

Closing up the zipper of her cadet greys, Zark playfully spread out her arm as she smiled "How do I look?"  Commander Threross  could only shake her head and smile at her zhei's irreverence, but she did cast a critical eye over the uniform and couldn't find fault with it.  "I think it's adequate." was the elder Andorian's response and it took an act of will to maintain her professional demeanour as Cadet Zark seemed crestfallen. "Come on, let's go get something to eat before I show you your duty assignment."  Zark bright eyed and dutifully followed her mother as the two made their way through the ship again where they quickly grabbed food and began looking for a place to sit. 

The elder Zhen spotted the exact person she was looking for as her sweeping gaze landed near the tall windows on the edge and motioned her daughter to follow.   The two blue women quickly came next to a well groomed Asian male wearing the rank of Lieutenant Commander and wearing a mustard shirt.  The man had spotted them coming and looked up before they even got ten feet to him.  Zark felt herself suddenly under the microscope as those dark intelligent eyes landed on her.  There was no physical or emotional interest, simply an analysis of a new person in an old setting.  Commander Threross either didn't notice or more likely was impervious to the analyzing gaze. "Can we join you Commander Lin?"

A small smile twitched into place on the man's face as he swept at the two empty chairs opposite him.  "Of course Commander." As Zark sat down, she felt that gaze never leave and try as she might, a small shudder seemed to escape her.  It also might have been her imagination when the Asian man's lips twitched a bit more.  Thankfully Zhavey saved Zark from further discomfort. "Commander Zhang Lin is the head of security on the ship.  He replaced Lieutenant Watson a few months ago, she had a tragedy in the family and was granted leave to deal with it.  Cadet Zark's eyebrows shot up and sympathy flashed across her eyes.  Cadet Zark opened her mouth to demand why she wasn't informed when the elder Andorian held up a hand.    "I already told Liara you also send your condolences, so don't worry about it.  In the interim Mr. Lin runs a very tight department and has done very well since taking over."   The Asian man modded minutely in thanks at the informal evaluation.  "So he's going to be your department head on ship while you're here."  Cadet Zark blinked and her head slowly swivelled back towards the Asian man who looked back at her impassively as she wondered what it was going to be like working for someone who seemed to have more in common with a computer than people. 

"You should eat cadet." Commander Lin said suddenly causing Zark to start before she began to blush and happily looked down at her food to hide her embarrassment.  As her mind was busy processing the implications of working for the human robot, Commander Threross combadge beeped suddenly causing the Andorian to sigh. "Engineering to XO, we have a situation that needs your attention." Tapping her badge, "On my way Shaun."  Tapping her badge to kill the link. "Duty calls, Zhang, she's all yours now.  Hon, do try to behave while on ship. "  Zark could only shoot a How Could You! look at her Zhavey before the elder woman left.  Suddenly left alone with her new boss, Cadet Zark slowly turned her head towards Lieutenant Commander Lin and wondered what her future would be.  "Finish eating cadet, then we'll go." was all he said in complete deadpan.  Cadet Zark hurried to comply. 

Re: [2373] USS Renegade: It's a working holiday challorn, anything can happen

Reply #3
[Cadet XamotZark zh’Ptrell (Cadet Zark) | USS Renegade]

The young Andorian followed the Security Chief after her meal and stayed a measured step or two behind as he led her through the bowels of the ship.  Zark had to admit that though the New Orleans class wasn't the newest design in the fleet, she was still a beautiful ship.  She'd over heard a debate amongst some of the Engineering students about the aesthetics of ships from time past, and some had argued that the New Orleans and it's more famous Galaxy class big cousin represented the pinnacle of space going crew design.  Others had pointed out that these ships represented the end of a golden age of exploration.  Despite being aggressively pleasant, Zark had to agree with the latter group.  The discovery of the Borg and the Dominion had reminded the Federation that the galaxy didn't share it's ideals or outlook.  To the Federation and Starfleet's credit, they hadn't buried their heads in the sand and hoped for the best.  The follow on designs such as the Sabre, and mightily impressive Sovereign were the result, and as elegant as they were, she hoped it was enough.  Still, the border skirmish with the Klingons was also a rude awakening that the Federation had better get ready for their own battles on the ground since the Klingon's couldn't be relied upon to always cough up the troops necessary. 

Cadet Zark was one of the results of that change in attitude.  The Starfleet Marine Corp had been quite small and going extinct prior to contact with the Borg.  After the disastrous first contact between the Enterprise-D and the Cube, the Corp had begun a steady expansion.  The expansion hadn't born much fruit till now as the Security Officer had been required to go to harmless sounding Advanced Fitness and Leadership Selection Course.  To everyone, it was known as the Commando Course, and she'd graduated after surviving the swamps of Louisiana, the Antarctic Circle, the inhospitable wastes of the of Io, and the desserts of North Africa.  Her reveries were stopped as Commander Lin asked her a questions.  "Sorry Sir. I didn't catch that." Commander Lin looked over his shoulder briefly before repeating his question. "What do you plan on becoming after your time at the Academy Cadet?" "Medic Sir." Zark replied instantly.  This caused the Security Chief to slow down, then stop and turn to face the slightly taller cadet. Brown almond shaped eyes regarded his newest addition carefully.  Zark felt like he was looking through her assessing her metal, and she stared back without flinching.  This caused the Chinese man to nod and turn about as he continued on his way.  What was that about? The Andorian thought to herself. "You're thinking what was I looking for." Zark's eyes turned to look at the back of her boss' head.  "I'm not going bald, stop staring."  the chief reprimanded his charge and her eyes turned straight forward again.  How does he do that? "I've been doing this a long time and no I'm not a telepath."  Zark felt it was better to stop thinking at this point.

"You didn't flinch or look away, which is a good thing, especially in your chosen profession cadet."  Commander Lin turned a corner and entered a turbolift.  "Computer, deck 5." he commanded as a soft thrum started. It was a short ride that was covered in silence as the two waited to reach their destination.  It was over almost too soon and Cadet Zark followed her superior out. "In many ways, you're lucky cadet.  We get one of the last exploration missions.  Fewer and fewer ships are being assigned that duty with war clouds on the horizon.  Still, just because it's supposed to be a nice quiet mission, doesn't mean everything will go smoothly. "  With that, Commander Lin led Cadet Zark into the ship's gym.  "Mr. Zangari will assess your readiness."  A muscular black human smiled as he approached the two.  "Good day Sir"  The security chief nodded.  "Chief Zangari is the hand to hand expert on the ship."  Zark's eyes widened as she looked between the two humans.  "Assuming you survive the Chief's attentions, you can have the rest of the day off to recover and I will see you tomorrow morning in the armoury for your assignment at 0700.  Carry on."  The dapper Asian man nodded and left.

Zark stared at him as he left before Zangari joined her.  "He's something else isn't he sir?" Zark turned to look at the Chief.  "I get called sir?" Zark asked the much more senior enlisted man.  Chief Zangari smiled.  "Or Ma'am.  Your a cadet, but on your way to being an officer, so get used to it. Now, there are change rooms over there and a clothes replicator as well.  Grab a mouth piece and some gloves.  You're going to need them."

Re: [2373] USS Renegade: It's a working holiday challorn, anything can happen

Reply #4
[ Commander Lin's office | USS Renegade]

It was well into the evening when the chime sounded. "Enter!" he called and the familiar form of Chief Zangari walked in.  "You asked to see me sir?" He asked in his usual deep and accented version of Federation standard.  A tight grin pulled at the Asian Security Chief's mouth.  "This was scheduled so don't act like it so sudden."  The Chief grinned back, but was quite punctilious about protocol at times, so he waited for Commander Lin to invite him to sit.  It wasn't a long wait as he was waived to a seat opposite the desk.  Lin didn't bother waiting for Zengari to take a seat before turning around to a cabinet and pulling a dark brown bottle with a long neck. Zengari arched an eyebrow inquisitively. "Saurian Brandy?" Lin placed two clear glasses between them and poured the viscous golden liquid. "Indeed, and only the best." After a couple of fingers were poured in each glass, the two men clinked and sipped, a long established tradition before they got down to business. 

"So, how did she do?"  Zengari smiled.  "You do have the rest of the department to worry about sir rather than one errant cadet." Commander Lin snorted his amusement. "She's also the XO's daughter and the newest addition to the crew, so stop evading and answer the question." The Chief shrugged. "She did fine."  This caused Commander Lin to pause with his glass part way to his mouth and gave the Chief a measuring look.  He took a quick sip then put his cup down. "Okay, we both know that tone. he started as he set the glass down and crossed his arms on the desk. "She did more than okay didn't she? Almost handed you your ass on platter I'd venture?" Commander Lin's grin turned into a small smile. Zengari gave a matching grin. "Not even close sir, but she does have potential.  We can review the video." he offered and the Commander nodded as he pulled up the relevant portion of training.

When the video came up in its paused form, Commander Lin's eyebrows rose.  "Please tell me you got her to change first." Big shoulders shrugged. "Can't.  It's one of those odd dispensations from Starfleet, not often used, but still on the books.  Andorian's can wear lighter for hard training." The security chief looked back incredulously. "She quoted the regulation sir and I looked it up.  She's right."  Commander Lin exhaled with acquiescence even as he thought. She's gonna be trouble.  The fight helmet was definitley sensible, but the tank top and capris shorts showed off a lot of blue and the effect was noticeable as several men and women from all species stopped to watch the vision cautiously walk onto a mat where the Chief stood waiting with his arms crossed.  The two stood facing each other and if he'd really wanted to, Commander Lin could have isolated and listened in on the conversation, but that wasn't the purpose of the review and he waited patiently while occasionally sipping on his brandy.

After a few more moments, the two separated and took up positions a few meters from each other.  A crowd gathered and from his guess, the security chief guessed it was to see the newbie, but mostly to watch the Chief Zengari demolish her.  In a good natured fashion of course.  There wasn't too much expected as the two moved towards each other and began circling each other.  Zark didn't seem to be a fool as Zengari started off jabbing at her while the smaller woman dodged out of the way, or deflected a few punches and kicks that got too close.  She held out for a good few minutes, playing defensive, and he inexperience showed as Lin noted several places he would have taken pot shots at the Chief to keep him off balance.  The image of the Chief seemed to have run out of patience as he surged forward in a blur that caught the Andorian by surprise and her body bent from a punch to her mid section followed by a knee to the head that brought her back up quickly.  Big black arms wrapped around her and Commander had to wince as the lithe blue woman was smacked into the mat.  Several other agreed with the sentiment as their bodies naturally recoiled.  A few placed hands in front of their faces, while others clapped.  The chief got off the cadet and offered his hand to her to help her up and she hesitated for a moment before accepting it.  The hand-to-hand instructor placed his hands on his hips and spoke to the cadet for a few moments and she shook her head from side to side, then nodded vigorously.  She seemed to be bursting to stand on her tippy toes so she could try and match the Chief's height like she wasn't going to back down.

The test seemed to go on longer than expected as Zengari and Zark went at it with each other.  The Andorian got a several shots in and managed to knock down the Chief a couple of times.  The first time didn't elicit much comment, anyone could get lucky.  The second one elicited a chuckle as Lin took a sip of brandy and paused the video. "Losing your touch Chief?" The Chief offered a tight smile as he took another sip. "She's got guts and talent sir, what can I say, she really wanted to get at me."  Commander Lin made a come forth gesture to get more details ad Zengari gave a small shrug. "She's going to have an interesting set of bruises and leave a bit of a bloody rag, but she did get close more than I expected." Lin nodded at this assessment."Did you take part in any of the martial competitions during training?"  Zengari took a sip and nodded while his eyebrows narrowed at the non-sequitor. "I checked her record at the Academy, and she had quite the fight in the ring with a Vulcan. Miss zh'Ptrell won by the skin of her teeth on points, but it was noted that both fighters had to visit the infirmary afterwards."  Commander Lin gave a smile.  "Our feisty Andorian spent some time throwing up after the fight, and her opponent needed to have her nose fixed." Chief Zengari nearly choked on his brandy at hearing how violent the contest had gotten.

That gave the Commander an idea and he began watching how the Andorian moved when she got close to the Chief and the hand to hand expert sat as he let his boss think as he watched the replay.  "She seems a bit stiff doesn't she?" he pronounced afterwards.  Commander Lin tapped the desk for a moment.  The answer was in front of him.  He was sure of it. There was something in the way she moved that indicated a greater potential than the stolid dogmatic movements of the boxing ring.  The Security Chief's eyes narrowed as he pulled up her short service record and scanned it quickly.  The answer seemed to pop out as he looked at her extra-curricular activities. "Chief, I think we need a movie night." This was not what the enlisted chief was expecting and he replied with an understandable "Sir?" Commander Lin turned back to him and took another sip. "We need to expand this young woman's cultural breadth to properly appreciate something besides the holodeck, something like movies.  Zengari's stomach began to sink. "You don't mean..."  Commander Lin gave a tight smile.  "Indeed I do, she's got the combination, so in the next few days, she's going to watch The Avengers and learn to fight like the Black Widow."  At hearing the title of the movie, Chief Zengari stifled a groan at the new round of art related madness his boss was going to infict on himself and the XO's daughter. 

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