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val'ri

Inspection - final

Inspection has gone through its final edit. As its short, coming in at 2647 words, I'm posting it here: 

Please comment -  even if its just a note to say you read it.

Story:  Inspection
Universe: Star Trek: Fifth Fleet  (Current era)
Starbase 719
Year:  2385
Pairing: Val’ri Raiajh/Charissa Xaran

Rating:   PG
Words:   2647

 

Stardate 62451.9

 

                The two women made for an unlikely pair of traveling companions.  One appeared Vulcanoid and the other was Betazoid.  However, no one aboard the transport paid attention to the two Starfleet officers.

                Looming before the viewing port that Ensign Charissa Xaran and Rear Admiral Val’ri Raiajh stood before was the newly constructed Starbase 719 which stood at the edge of the Typhon Expanse.

                There were still several months before the starbase was to become operational.  Raiajh decided that this would be a good time to do an informal inspection and tour of the base as she was scheduled to assume command of the station in a few days time.

                Raiajh chose to take Charissa along not just because she wanted to spend some time with her now-adult adopted daughter, but because Starfleet HQ insisted that she bring along an engineering officer and Ensign Xaran was a diagnostic engineer who was currently assigned to the Utopia Planitia Fleetyards.

                For many years Charissa was the only child that Raiajh and her husband, Sylvan Xaran, had cared for.  Charissa’s older brother Jonathan had remained on Betazed after the accident that had killed his and Charissa’s parents, and he continued to reside there still.  Over the years many Betazoid and Vulcan doctors have been unable to help him out of the catatonic state that was brought on by his parent’s tragic deaths.

                Then, over the last fifteen years, Sylvan and Val’ri, the help of Sylvan’s friend Dr. Julian Bashir of Deep Space 9, had added four biological brothers and sisters to the adopted Charissa and Jonathan.

                Doctor Xaran and the four younger children would be joining Raiajh on the starbase in about six months as more areas of the station becomes operational and more staff and their families were permitted on board.

                After the transport docked within the station, Raiajh and Ensign Xaran made their way to Operations, where the admiral’s office was located.  Since the starbase was still under construction, it was quiet except for the work crews finishing the interior areas of the structure.  Walking through the corridors, it was evident to see there was still a lot of work to be done.

                It was still more than six months before the base would become fully operational.  Once it was, it would serve as home base for the USS Dauntless, USS Sarek, USS Besiege, USS Bellerophon, and the USS Triton.  Raiajh had served aboard the Sarek as one of her crew fourteen years earlier and aboard the Besiege as its first commanding officer several years later still, and it was in large part due to the admiral’s influence that both ships had been assigned to the new base.  The five ships that were to become the reactivated Federation Fifth Fleet were embarking on new missions of exploration of the Typhon Expanse and beyond.  Starfleet and the Federation had begun to resume missions of exploration in earnest again after many years of war with the Dominion, the Borg Collective, and several other adversaries.

                When the pair had finally reached Operations, the control center was quiet.  This part of the starbase was among the first to reach completion.  There was already a skeleton crew on duty, responsible for monitoring systems and directing traffic to and from the spacedock.

                Lieutenant Gregory Korolov noticed Raiajh and Xaran’s arrival in Ops and immediately snapped to attention.   “Admiral on deck,” he exclaimed.

                “As you were,” was Raiajh’s reply.  “Ensign Xaran and I are here on an informal inspection of the starbase.  The station is yours for a few more days, Lieutenant.”

                “Understood, Admiral,” was the lieutenant’s reply.

                Raiajh and Xaran crossed the deck and entered the office overlooking Ops, the doors slowly closing behind them.

                The office was only slightly larger than the office Raiajh had used back on Earth, and contained similar amenities, though it was plain and undecorated.

                Xaran sat on the couch which lined part of the interior wall and looked out into space through the window that dominated the far wall.

                Raiajh sat down in the chair behind the desk and grimaced as she found the chair to be extremely uncomfortable.  Xaran noticed her mother’s reaction and inquired, “What’s wrong?”

                “It is not like my chair in the office on Earth.  I’ll have to have it shipped here with the remainder of the belongings your father and I are bringing here,” Raiajh replied.  Xaran laughed.

                “I’m sure the Admiralty will find that request amusing.”

                “They probably will, Charissa.”

 

 

Space, the Final Frontier…

 

Star Trek: Fifth Fleet

 

“Inspection” by Nadine B. Bach

 

 

                After a good night’s rest Raiajh and Xaran started the next day walking around the station.  With no set agenda in mind, they chose to just meander around the station and stop in different areas along the way, assessing progress.

                One of the mess halls was the first place they stopped.  Most of the personnel who would be assigned to the starbase who were not married or had a family preferred to take their meal in the mess as opposed to eating alone in their quarters.  The mess was the perfect place to stop, as it was one of the first areas completed and most likely to be occupied.  Raiajh knew there would be a private dining room for the commanding officer and other high-ranking officers on the station, and she and Ensign Xaran would normally take their meals there.  But while the crew’s mess was completed, the commanding officer’s private mess was not.  The crew was still at work there, installing bulkhead panels when Raiajh and Xaran stepped in.

                “Carry on.  We will dine in the crew’s mess,” Raiajh told the work crew.  One of the chiefs supervising the installation replied.

                “Sorry, Admiral.  I promise that we will be cleared out and have this space functional by the start of Beta shift.”

                “That’s fine, Chief.  Don’t rush on our account.  I’m a few days early and evidently caught you off guard.  I have no objections to eating in the crew’s mess.”

                Raiajh and Xaran turned and left the room, headed for the larger crew’s mess.  Once there, they ordered breakfast, consisting of mixed fruits, and moved toward a small table in the corner away from the rest of the crew who were eating their meals.

                As the pair started to eat, the admiral’s communicator chirped.  Pressing it, she spoke.

                “Raiajh, here”

                “Lieutenant Korolov, ma’am.  There’s a subspace communiqué coming in for you from Admiral Janeway.”

                “Lieutenant, is the viewscreen in the commander’s dining room operational?”

                “Let me check, ma’am.”  Then after a quick pause, the lieutenant’s voice returned and said, “Yes, ma’am, it is.”

                “Patch the communiqué through to there.  Raiajh, out.”  She then looked at her daughter an said, “Continue with breakfast.  I’ll be back in a moment.”

                Xaran nodded and continued eating while Raiajh left the table, several eyes of the crew at other tables watching her as she walked into the private dining room.

                “Everyone please take a break,” Raiajh ordered the work crew.  “I have a personal message coming in.”

                The chief petty officer ordered the work crew out of the room.  When Raiajh was alone she activated the viewscreen and the image of Admiral Kathryn Janeway appeared.

                “Hello, Kathryn.”

                “Hello, Val’ri.  How are things on 719?”

                “I’ve been here less than 24 hours.  I haven’t even had a chance to tour the entire base yet.  But somehow I don’t think you called just to see how I like things on a starbase at the far reaches of Federation space.”

                “Actually, I’m calling about Ensign Xaran.  If the Besiege is going to be assigned to your starbase like you requested, she’s going to need a full crew compliment again, the Chief of Operations wants Charissa for the engineering staff.”

                “She joined Starfleet knowing what to expect.  She will go where she is assigned.  I’m not here to see that she is not put in harms way.   However, I do appreciate being notified.”

                “I know it wasn’t necessary.  I just wanted to keep you in the loop.”

                “Thanks for the heads up, Kathryn.  I’ll inform Charissa to expect the transfer order.  As she’s already here, should I have the quartermaster assign her quarters aboard the station until the Besiege arrives?”

                “I’ll have her assigned to Starbase 719 temporarily.  She can help you get your station up and running until her ship gets there.  Janeway, out.”  The screen then flashed to the image of the Federation emblem before deactivating as Raiajh returned to the mess hall.

 

*          *          *

 

                Raiajh returned to the table where Xaran had just finished her breakfast.  The admiral decided that she had enough of her own breakfast and returned the remainder to be recycled before continuing with their tour of the base.  The pair had decided to start their inspection in the reactor spaces.  With the news that Raiajh had received from Janeway, it was actually the perfect place to start.

                The reactor spaces comprised the center of two lowest decks of the first habitat section of the space station.  While there were similarities to a starship’s engineering section, the one main difference was the absence of a warp core.   In its place were a number of large fusion reactors that supplied power to the station.

                Raiajh took her time inspecting the space, stopping at each control station and spending a few moments talking with the engineers assigned there.  Once the tour of the space was completed, Raiajh and Xaran moved on.  As they walked toward the nearest turbolift, Raiajh decided to use telepathy to speak to her daughter.

                What did you think of the reactor spaces?”

                “Everything appears to be in order, and is well run,” Xaran replied.

                Would it be someplace you would like to be assigned?”

                “It is definitely a choice assignment.   However, I would like to earn such a position on my own merit.”

                “I totally understand. That communiqué I received from Admiral Janeway was actually about you. The Chief of Starfleet Operations has assigned you to the Besiege.”

                “Will I be meeting the ship here, or do I have to return to Utopia Planitia.”

                “You will remain here until the ship arrives.  You will have to have your belongings shipped here from Utopia Planitia.”

                “Understood.”

                Their conversation ended, the pair continued on in silence to their next destination, which was the astrometrics lab.  The lab was almost complete, but unstaffed.  This area of the starbase was still about six weeks from completion.  The technicians installing the equipment continued to work as Raiajh and Xaran walked through the space before continuing on to the hydroponics bays.

 

*          *          *

 

                Later that day, Xaran and Raiajh were back in the quarters that had been assigned to the admiral.  Their tour that day had covered half of the station.   They would tackle the remaining lower levels tomorrow.

                During their stop at billeting, Ensign Xaran was assigned quarters that she would eventually share with another member of the crew when the Besiege was docked at the station.  Since it would be several months before the ship would arrive, it would be some time before Xaran would know who her roommate was.

                In a few days, Raiajh would officially be taking over command of the station as prospective commanding officer, and Xaran would be assigned duty shifts with the engineering staff until Besiege arrived.

                The two enjoyed a meal together in Raiajh’s quarters, plomeek broth, a salad, some spaghetti squash and other vegetables.  The meal passed quietly.  It was a reprieve for both of them from sitting at a table with four kids all under the age of fifteen.  The oldest one was showing signs of wanting to follow Sylvan’s path into Starfleet Academy and then enter Starfleet Medical.

                Not that Raiajh did not miss Sylvan and the kids, but sometimes it was nice just to have some peace and quiet while enjoying dinner.  When they were together, Raiajh made it a point to at least to try and enjoy dinner with the family.  Most nights she was successful, especially back in San Francisco.  Here, on the edge of the Typhon Expanse, she was sure there would be the occasional problem that would disrupt the nightly routine.  Sylvan and the older kids understood this.  Elayne and Corrine would begin to understand soon.  The 5 and 3 year olds would learn by the example of their older siblings.  They were still back on Earth, getting briefed on everything they would need to know about living life on a starbase on the edge of Federation space.

                Xaran noticed that her mother seemed a million light years away, and commented, “I miss them too, Mom.”

                “You are perceptive.  I do miss them.  I wish they could join us sooner than six months, but until the base is up and running…  You know as well as I do the dangers of space exploration.  Remember all that time your dad spent with Dr. Julian Bashir on Deep Space 9 working to get his memory back.  What he lost seemed so random, but his being able to remember Julian was something that I believed helped with his recovery.”

                “I remember those days all too well.  It was hard, as I was just a few years older than Corrine is now when it happened.  I was extremely happy when Dad actually remembered who I was.”

                “Same here.  It was hard knowing he was alive, but not remembering either of us.  It was a bit weird when we would take leave from the Sarek when the ship was docked at Deep Space 9 to go visit him.  At first he would just call me Commander, then it was Commander Raiajh when he remembered.  I still remember the day that we walked into DS9’s infirmary to go visit him and I saw that look of recognition on his face.  It wasn’t like when he saw ‘Commander Raiajh.’  His expression said that he remembered that his family was coming to visit.

                “I remember.”

                “We were all extremely happy.  It meant that the three of us were going to be a family again.  It was shortly after that we decided to add to our family.  It took a bit of time because of the Dominion War, but with the help of your father’s friend Julian, we were able to see that dream become reality.”

                “Why don’t we call Dad?  I’m sure everyone would appreciate it.”

                “They certainly would,” Raiajh replied before tapping her combadge.  “Raiajh to Ops.”

                “Korolov here, Admiral.”

                “Lieutenant, can you set up a subspace transmission to Lt Commander Sylvan Xaran back in San Francisco?”

                “Yes, ma’am.  I’ll let you know when I have the Commander on the line.”

 

*          *          *

 

                A few days later, with the inspection tour complete, Rear Admiral Raiajh stood in Ops, alongside several of the crew that would make up some of the permanent compliment of the starbase.   Today was the day Raiajh officially assumed command of the station.

                “Effective immediately, I am assuming command of Starbase 719,” she said to the assembled crew.  “You will find that I am a fair and easygoing commanding officer when its business as usual.  However, during times of alert I expect you to perform at your best.  Life at the edge of final frontier is not the same as life in the heart of the Federation.  We will be facing challenges out here wilder than you can probably imagine.  You would not be here if I felt you were not up to this challenge.  Let us make Starfleet proud of us every day.  Thank you.”  Raiajh took one last look around the space, noting how young and eager everyone gathered there seemed before finally saying, “Dismissed.”

 

The End


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