Chase watched the spinning hologram of the square purplish life form. How had she never heard of the Traveler’s Bug? It was a unique form of life. They were hard to detect, especially when dormant. They barely registered on sensors when they were active. According to what she had read, it was a combination of the make-up of their carapace and the structure of their body. It acted like a natural stealth field. These stealthy buggers had almost finished them. There was no way they could have known about them ahead of time. You had to be incredibly specific with your scans and you had to know what you were looking for. Now that they were aboard the Avalon, Chase could finally rest.
She had run herself ragged over the course of their desperate fight for survival. Chase had showered and eaten and then replicated some giant pillows and blankets before setting up camp on the floor of her guest quarters. Flambeau was in tow and there was nothing left for her to do but recover. Ashara should be over in another half hour and it would be great to spend some time with her. Or so she had thought. When Ash finally showed up, Chase knew that something was amiss. By the time they had finished their conversation, the decision had been made. Ash would be leaving the Flambeau to take a much coveted position with the Starfleet Corps of Engineers. It was something Ash couldn’t pass up, and Chase would never dream of asking her to. While she was sad, Chase was also insanely happy for Ash. It was the opportunity of a lifetime.
The “do not disturb” message didn’t come off the door for a full 26 hours.
The days of travel on the Avalon turned into an opportunity for Chase to brush up on a few technical journals. Her ship was headed for a massive refit. Chase meant to be with her every step of the way. She knew the Flambeau well already. Her plan was to be able to identify every gamma weld to every section. She made a point to sit down to a meal with different crew members and to check in on those that remained in Sickbay every day. She was their XO. They were her charges. Aboard ship or not they were her responsibility. Looking at the PADD that held the refit information, Chase knew they would be docked at Mandukar for quite a while.
She started checking the roster for what vessels would be in the area. Dallas, Ark Royal, Redoubt… wow the Clemenceau would be there! Chase had never seen a Typhon-Class starship before. That would be a treat. A couple of her friends that were pilots were assigned to the carrier. It would be great if they could get together, so she sent them each short messages.
There was always a little work to do, even when you were a guest on another starship. Chase loaned her brain to the Avalon’s Science Division. They had an interesting conundrum regarding an as yet unidentifiable radiation source coming from a nearby planetary system. Chase always liked a good puzzle. Commander Koslov was running this little exercise himself. He shared her same dual roles as XO and Chief Science Officer. It would be a good learning opportunity for her.
After the exercise, Grisha insisted that they have lunch. He told her the most interesting story about a group of survivors. They were composed of Starfleet and Rihanssu personnel. It was a tale of hope in the face of uncertainty and of possibilities made reality when an undiscovered country is born. Grisha Koslov had lived it. Amazing. When Chase had finally retired to her quarters, she grabbed the PADD to continue working the earlier problem. All the while her thoughts drifted to that wonderful, fragile unity that Grisha had described.
Lt. Commander Chase Damon
Chief Science Officer / Executive Officer