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A Breath of Fresh Air

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  • A Breath of Fresh Air

    Post - Time to Pack
    Characters - Admiral Paka Larem, Commander Camille Hanover
    Timeline - 0900, Friday 16 December 2388, 65099.237
    Location: Starfleet Command, Earth, Admiral Paka’s Office.

    24 Days to Departure

    "Good Morning Commander." Admiral Paka said, with a smile across his face, as he entered his Yeoman's office. As usual, she had been there since 0700. "I still don't know how you manage to be here as awake as you do with 2 children." He let out a small chuckle.

    "Coffee helps. So does having Darren around more." She smiled as she grabbed a cup of coffee for the Admiral from the replicator built under her desk. She preferred a minimalistic office, and fortunately, being a Yeoman for Admiral Paka, he had given her permission to rearrange her office.

    He grabbed the coffee from her and sat on the sofa in the waiting area. She had worked for some Admirals who were all about rank, but Admiral Paka had always made a point to get to know as many of the officers under him as possible. "Oh, does he not still own the restaurant?"

    "He still does, but he finally got around to hiring a second manager, so he only goes into the San Francisco branch when there is an issue now, which doesn't happen very often. It's also freed up enough time that he thinking about opening a third branch now too. Just got to decide where."

    "I know one is in San Francisco, but where was the second one again? Somewhere in England if I recall." He asked.

    "Yeh, Liverpool. It's in the North West of the country. In a lovely area by the River there. He is thinking of opening the third off world. Just got to find a nice little planet somewhere not too far away." Her console beeped. "Sir, Admiral Glash's office just informed me it is sending someone down in a few minutes. Your eyes only."

    "Well, I better get started then." He stood up and walked into his office.


    He walked into his office and activated the wall monitor. It showed various ship deployments in and around the Sol sector, which was under his purview. He sipped his coffee once more, sure that Commander Hanover had adjusted the pattern and added something to the recipe of the coffee. He sat at his desk, and almost instantaneously, Commander Hanover had forwarded his schedule to his desktop console, and one of the PADD's on his desk.

    Then his schedule was cleared. Commander Hanover didn't have the authority to do that, which means it came from someone else. The comm panel on the desk beeped.

    "Admiral Anderson from Admiral Glash's office to see you, Admiral." She sounded uncomfortable, presumably because she just used the word ‘Admiral’ 3 times in 1 sentence.

    "Send him in Commander, thank you." The door opened and in walked Admiral Stephen Anderson. 'Not one of the friendlier officer' he thought to himself. "Come in Stephen, can I get you a drink?"

    "No. Your Yeoman already offered me one." 'That explains why she was uncomfortable.' "What do you know of the Task Force we have in the Delta Quadrant."

    "Straight to business I see." He paused, purposely longer than he needed to, and took a sip of his tea. "I don't know much of specific deployments, but I am aware of our assets there, in a broad sense.

    "Admiral Glash has made it clear that this isn't necessarily an order, based on the distance and time involved. The position of Task Force 38 Commanding Officer is open. He had several thoughts on who should be offered the position, including myself. He wanted to give you the first choice of refusal. You have the option of taking a flagship, and your own staff."

    "That's quite an offer. How long do I have to decide? Where is the position?" Larem asked.

    "We think gateway is due to open in 24 days. The Admiral would like an answer in the next few days. And you would be based out of Starbase 38."

    "You think? We don't know for sure?" He asked.

    "The USS Khepri came through a semi-stable wormhole from the Epatha system in the Delta Quadrant to the Raeyan System, in the Fourth of July Nebula. Using previous readings from the sector, including the time that the Khepri came through, there was the same raised theta-band radiation detected from long range sensor posts. They occur approximately every 45 days. By our estimates, it is due to open in 24 days, but we don't know for sure. We are assembling a Task Group, including a colony group."

    "A colony group? How many ships and colonists are we talking about?"

    "14 ships, so far, including a Flag Ship for yourself. And around 5000 colonists."

    "That seems like a lot of colonists for an area so far away." Paka was trying to work out what was going on.

    "Helios Colony has around 13,000. Persephone around 160,000. But they are in The Round Table. We have a few loose assets in the Gradin Belt, including Kartelan Station, but no other planetary assets. From sensor scans the Khepri brought back, there is a mountainous planet around two and a half light years from Kartelan. Its M class and there appear to be no indigenous lifeforms. Command wants to establish a colony on it. We could send about 45,000 on the ships we are sending, but we are limiting it to 5000. 2 of the ships in the group are SCE, and they are taking an extra 400 engineers between them. Initial estimates show they can have the basic infrastructure of the colony up and running within 3 weeks.

    "That seems rather quick. How are we building it up that quick?"

    "The SCE ships are Insignia class, fitted out with extra industrial replication modules. I'll have all the information sent to you. But you have a few days to think about it. It is a long way away."

    "Very well, Admiral, I shall let him know my answer by Monday. Thank you, Stephen." Paka nodded to Admiral Anderson, who remained in place. "Was there something else?

    "Yes, Admiral. What do you think your decision will be?"

    "I have just found out, and already told you I will decide by Monday." It was clear from his demeanor that Admiral Anderson wanted the position. Larem also knew this wasn't the first time Anderson has been passed over for a position. "Now was there anything else Rear Admiral." He emphasised the 'Rear' indicating that this conversation was over. Anderson shook his head and left the room. "Thank you."

    He called through the open door. "Camile, come in here for a few minutes please." She walked into his office with a PADD.


    "Admiral, I'm sorry, I don't know what happened to your schedule, I am looking through the backups and" Larem held up his hand.

    "It's not that. Please, have a seat. You have been my Yeoman now for what, 8 years?" He asked her.

    "Yes, coming up on 8 years next month." She paused, and a wave of worry passed over her face. "Am I being reassigned, Sir?" She visibly stiffened up.

    "No, but I was just offered a position I think I will take, and I wanted to know if you would join me." He saw a smile on her face, but he kept his face as stoic. "It's Kartelan Station, in the Delta Quadrant."

    "I thought we were cut off from the Delta Quadrant?" She asked, with a hint of confusion and worry in her voice.

    "The USS Khapri appeared in the Raeyan sector. They came through a wormhole which apparently opens every 45 days, but they aren't sure. They are sending a task group through when, or rather if, it opens. Admiral Anderson is going to send me the information, but can you check up on it. He sounds like he wants the position himself. I don't want you to make a decision now. I am asking you, and I don't want you to go if you, or your family, don't want to."

    "How would it work with the family? I doubt there would be many civilian positions in the task group." She asked, almost sounding hopeful.

    "You are right, however, there are two SCE ships and a colony group. We are starting a new colony on a planet near Kartelan. If you decide to, we can add Darren and the kids to the colony group. And naturally, if it doesn't work out, you can come back. Take the morning off, get Lieutenant Commander Seresta to take you over. Go home and discuss it with the family. I still have to decide for myself if I want to go."

    "Thank you, Sir. The rest of your schedule has been cleared from somewhere, and I'll be back after lunch."

    Paka nodded. He had already made up his mind. 'Time to pack' he thought to himself.
    Last edited by aio; 01-14-2019, 02:00 PM.

  • #2
    Post - Time to Pack
    Characters - Admiral Paka Larem, Commander Camille Hanover
    Timeline - 0900, Tuesday 20 December 2388, 65109.71
    Location: Starfleet Command, Earth, Admiral Paka's Office.

    20 Days to Departure

    "Good morning Commander. How was the weekend?" He had given her Monday off. Evidently, the talk with her husband on Friday had not been completed, and he really wanted her decision today or tomorrow.

    "We're coming."

    He stopped in his tracks. Turned to her and saw her beaming smile across her face. "That is wonderful news! And it was a mutual decision?"

    "Very much so. When we talked about it on Friday, he was as shocked as I was, and he was adamant that he didn't want to go. But we chatted over the weekend, and he is probably more excited about it now than I am. He wants to open a restaurant on the new colony. It will be the first restaurant franchise outside of the solar system, and then some. He wondered if it was even allowed."

    "We can make that work. New colonies tend to run from replimats, so having a restaurant there will add a bit of change to the food. I can't guarantee him a lot of fresh produce for the first year, because we don't know what the situation on fresh food is going to be. But I can guarantee him a couple of replicators to work with initially."

    "That would be wonderful, thank you, Admiral." The smile still across her face.

    "That is no problem at all. What's on the schedule for today." You have a meeting with Admiral Anderson and Commodore Taulder and some people from the FO double-C. That's at 0915. They wanted earlier, but I know you enjoy catching up with a coffee. They wanted to fit you in at 0900."

    "You're a good Commander, you know that right?" he said with a slight chuckle.

    "I try" she replied with her own little chuckle. "Schedule is on your PADD, coffee is on your desk."

    "Thank you, Commander. Let me know when they arrive. If there are more than 4, find me a briefing room." She nodded to him as he walked into his office.


    His console beeped. "Admiral Paka, your 0915 has arrived. Your office will be sufficient."

    "Thank you, Commander, send them in." His door opened and in walked 4 people. Admiral Anderson, Commodore Taulder and two people who he didn't know. "Stephen, Wes, come in." He stood up and walked to the two others, a human male and a female Trill. "Admiral Paka Larem, you are from FOCC?"

    The male nodded. "Greg Roisin, DCS and Ramis Beil, BCM. A pleasure to meet you, Admiral."

    "So who is going first. Stephen?" Who nodded his confirmation. He invited the two Starfleet personnel to seat at his desk and directed the other two to sit just behind.

    "Thank you Larem. The Task Group in question, which we are calling the Epatha Task Group, or ETG is to be comprised of fourteen ships, including your flagship, the Martinsson. In addition to that, there are to be around 5000 colonists. As previously discussed, the capacity is around 45,000 colonists, but we are keeping it to around 5000 to ensure it isn't too cramped."

    Paka brought up some information his PADD. He still had yet to receive specific information. "What's the breakdown of ships to colonists and crew?"

    "Two Akira class, two Galaxy class, two Insignia class, four Nebula class, and four Steamrunner class. There may be another, but I have to do some double checking first. Only the Galaxy and Nebulas are carrying colonists, around 900 and 800 respectively per class. The FOCC can go into more specifics on those." He gestured to the other two people, who nodded in unison. "The Insignia's are SCE and are carrying an extra 400 engineers between them. The crews of the ships come to just over 9550, which including all the colonists is just over 14550. He turned to his left. "Commodore Taulder." Who acknowledged the Admiral and began to speak.

    "As you know, the Galaxy class and Nebula could probably take upwards of 45,000. We kept this low for a couple of reasons. Firstly, all ships are carrying a lot more cargo than they would normally. A lot of replicators, some prefabs, and some other stuff that can't be replicated, some fresh produce etcetera. SCE estimates show they can have the basic living quarters for around half of the colonists within the first 3 weeks, working 26-hour rotating shifts. This also takes into account the basic infrastructure, power, water etcetera. They estimate if there are no issues, they can finish the remaining housing within 2 weeks after that."

    "Sounds like everything is taken into account, I would expect nothing less. What of the SCE ships?" Paka asked.

    "They are being fitted out with extra industrial replication modules, and some large scale transporters. That's how they expect to be done as quickly as they can be. With all hands on deck, they think within 6 months, there should be some sort of self-sustainability. Once the Galaxy and Nebula's have offloaded their colonists, They are to remain under your command. The Insignia classes are to remain in orbit of the new colony for a year, providing any large scale replication that is needed. After the year, they are to begin building an orbital station in orbit of the colony. Class to be determined as yet. The 400 extra engineers are to remain on the colony and maintain it, along with building up a small Starfleet post on the planet.

    "Who is going to be in charge in orbit of the Ourea? I presume I am still expected to remain on Starbase 38?" He asked no one in particular.

    "Yes, I will remain in orbit of Ourea on the Hephaestus coordinating the ground-based teams." Commodore Taulder replied.

    "Sound's like everything is in hand. Anything else I need to know from the Starfleet side of things?" He asked the officers.

    Anderson shook his head. "Nothing so far. There are likely some other details, but they have yet to be formalised. We will take our leave", he stood up along with Taulder. "And leave you with Greg and Ramis."

    "Thank you, Stephen, Wes." Who nodded, and headed out. The two others stood, nodded to the officers, and sat at the desk.

    Greg spoke first. "Admiral, it's a pleasure to meet you. As you know, I'm with the DCS so I am basically here as the FCOC rep, so I will let Remis talk you through."

    "Thanks, Greg. So I don't know if you have been involved at the beginning of a new colony." Paka shook his head. "Well, it's not as hard as people think. With Starfleet having such a huge presence for this colony, there is less of a need for many people from my office. There are still around 50 of us going, but they are there mainly for once the colony is set up."

    "What kinds of things do you take care of?" Paka asked.

    "During the first few months, it's basically just getting essential services up and running, communications, water, power etc. It's also during this phase we usually set up a small security team to act as a police force, but with such a heavy Starfleet presence on this one, that isn't a high priority."

    'Most colonies are usually formed with small Starfleet presence and mostly civilian ships designed specifically for colonies.' Paka thought to himself. "That makes sense. What else do you implement in the first few months?"

    "Setting up local government, designating districts, finding people to be counselors, mayors, heads of departments and the like."

    "Who will be my liaison for this?" Paka asked.

    "I will be. Simply because of the unique nature of this colony. We know Helios and Persephone colonies are also in the Delta Quadrant, but they were set up in pretty unique circumstances. So we aren't taking any chances here."

    Greg spoke up. "There really isn't much more to cover. A lot of the details are still being finalised, but you will receive the relevant documentation within a week or so. Unless you have any questions?"

    "No, thank you. You have answered a few I had unasked, and I appreciate that." He stood up, as did the two civilians. He shook both of their hands. "Greg, I'll probably speak to you at some point before we go. A pleasure to meet you."

    "Likewise Admiral. I don't get to visit SFC too often. It makes a nice change to have a meeting like this in a room with windows." He let out a small chuckle, as the others in the room also did.

    "I do enjoy a good view." He said with a smile. "Ramis, if you want to have a quick chat with Camille on your way out, I'd like to catch up at some point in the next week or so, before the reports. If we are to liaise, it would be nice to do so socially. She can help tie down a time and place."

    "That would be lovely Admiral. Again, it's been a pleasure to meet you. I look forward to working closely with you." She smiled.

    "It will be an interesting experience, that's for sure. Have a pleasant day, both you."


    • #3
      Post - Let's Do This
      Characters - Admiral Paka Larem,
      Timeline - 1410, Monday 9 January 2389, 65134.47
      Location: USS Martinsson, Raeyan Sector

      0 Days to Departure

      There were perks to his rank. One perk was his generously sized apartment, in San Francisco. He had seen some blueprints of his new living area on Starbase 38, and while comfortable, it wasn't as large as his current residence. Another perk was that he got to keep the apartment, even after he had moved to the Delta Quadrant.

      He has spent the last few days packing. He had recycled all the food in the apartment through the replicator, and gone through everything and given it a good clean. He had packed some stuff, pictures and memories he wanted to take with him to his new residence. But everything else would remain as it was.

      He checked the time. It was 1410 hours.

      The comm sounded. "Bridge to Admiral Paka." The call he had been waiting for from Captain Kidex. "We're just about ready up here if you would like to be on the bridge."

      "I most certainly would Captain, I'll be there in a few moments Paka out." He left his quarters and began the short journey to the bridge.

      He walked onto the bridge, the Betazoid Captain, standing up to give the Admiral command of the ship, and by extension, the fleet. He sat in the center seat, with the Captain taking the sit at the console to his right, with the XO taking over the left side station. "Thank you, Captain. Command Tarak, open a channel to Starfleet Command, Admiral Anderson's office."

      The Trill officer tapped a few controls on his console. "Channel open." He replied as Admiral Anderson's face appeared on the viewscreen. "Admiral, the fleet is ready. Permission to depart?"

      "Very well Admiral. Permission is granted. If all goes according to plan, after today our next contact will be in 45 days. So plenty of time to fill in your reports." A smile flashed over his face. "Godspeed Larem. Try and enjoy it."

      "Thank you, Stephen. I'll try." He returned the smile. "Martinsson out." The Starfleet Command logo replacing the Admiral's face on the screen. Commander, open a channel to the fleet please, audio only."

      "Channel open." He again replied.

      "This is Admiral Paka Larem to the Epatha Task Group." The Epatha group was the name given to the Task Group of 14 ships heading to the Delta Quadrant. "You have all spent the last few weeks preparing for this mission. I know it hasn't been easy, saying your goodbyes to your friends and families. For those lucky enough to have their friends and families coming with us, cherish the moments. You are going to be the first, of what will hopefully be many, new colonists to the Ourea system. With the wormhole estimated to only open every 45 days, that means just over a month and a half before we have any more contact with Starfleet. If it doesn't open every 45 days, then we will continue our mission until it does. That is our job and our duty. So let's do this. It's time to pack and go on our own voyage. Good luck everyone. Captains, please signal your acknowledgment. Paka out." The channel closed.

      Captain Kidex spoke next. "You heard the man. Let's do this. Commander Malik, report."

      The Martinssons XO spoke next. "Rabin, Jubei, Tomaselli, Ming Chuen, Hephaestus, Ogun, and Circassia all confirm ready. Pequod is having a minor issue with their starboard nacelle, nothing severe, just a minor variance that won't affect warp travel. Chang Teh has just beamed aboard the final colonists from Starbase and is moving to position now. The Circassia, Franconia, Kodiak, and Kyushu are also now confirmed as ready.

      "Now's as good a time as any. Martinsson to the fleet, yellow alert. Move towards the departure point. Galaxy's forum up behind the Martinsson, Nebula's and Insignia's behind those. Steamrunner, form up in front of the Rabin and prepare for departure." The fleet moved into position, and from outside, it was a sight to behold. Some, if not most of the commanding officers of these ships, were present during the Dominion War when the site of a fleet such as this meant preparing for the upcoming battle. "Captain Kidex, countdown please."

      "Gateway expected to open in 2 minutes." The Betazoid replied.

      "1 minute 30 seconds."

      "1 minute."

      "30 Seconds."

      An alarm sounded on Op's console. Lieutenant Command Sophie O'Connor spoke up. "Subspace radiation levels are increasing. Gravimetric pressures are increasing in the surrounding space. Aperture is forming. Size is approximately 600 meters, no, 900, no apologies Sir, is still increasing." She waited for a moment. "It appears to have stabilised at 1600 meters. Launching probe." This had been rehearsed for a few weeks now. " Gravimetric pressures are 87% of tolerances. Tetryon flix of 0.0006. The readings are within the margins brought back by the Khepri. Receiving in 3, 2, 1. The probe has exited the wormhole. Its sensors are picking up a signal from Starbase 38. It's in Epatha, Admiral." She finished, as a quiet cheer passed through the bridge.

      "Open a channel, fleet-wide." The Security chief nodded confirmation. "This is Admiral Paka to the fleet. The wormhole is confirmed as stable. Let's go. We don't have a great amount of time. Move out. See you all on the other side. Paka out." He looked to the Conn officer. "Lieutenant Barker, take us in, full impulse."

      Using sensor readings brought through by the Khepri, they had modified the shields to filter out a lot of the subspace eddies that the ships would be hit by. It would still be bumpy, but not as bumpy as the first trip through. 39 seconds had passed when they emerged from the wormhole.

      "Report Commander." The Captain asked his XO.

      "The Rabin has come through, all ships present and accounted for. The Pequod reports that an eddy hit the starboard nacelle. She still capable of warp, but it's reduced to warp eight. Other than that, the fleet is all in one piece."

      The Admiral stood up. "Have the Rabin, Circassia, and Franconia escort the Pequod to Starbase 38. Should take them just under 26 hours to get there at warp eight. Have the rest of the group warp to the starbase, on our mark. Captain Kidex, you have the bridge. On your orders, please. I'll be in my quarters." He walked toward the turbolift as the Captain took command.

      "Helm, lay in a course to the Kartelan sector, relay coordinates to the group and engage when acknowledged." The turbolift door closed, and he didn't hear anything after that. He went to his quarters. They would be arriving at the Starbase in about ten and a half hours, which would be around zero one thirty hours. So he would likely spend the night on Martinsson, and begin moving his stuff down to the starbase. For now he could relax a little. Catch up on some reading he had been doing. He moved to the chair under the window with his PADD. He had felt tired the last few days, but had spent most of it in meetings with various people regarding the new colony establishment. He closed his eyes for a few moments.