Chapter 5 - New Tides, Old Currents

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Stardate: 74980.41

Esquimalt Station


The cargo bay was alive with work bees, shuttle activity, and personnel transferring cargo onto anti-grav sleds to all parts of the ship. In one corner, a squad of dolphin marines in armored type-6 environment suits, their robotic arms and legs making them look like mechanical crustaceans, were working together to move particularly large pieces of equipment. Although the armored Cetaceans moved with precision, their chatter was filled with good-natured ribbing and occasional buzzes of mirth.

One dolphin, supervising from the side, turned as she noticed a gold-uniformed Tellarite approaching with a phaser on her hip.

Sheza walked purposefully, scanning ranks notated on the armor suits.  She stopped when she came to the sergeant in charge.  “Sergeant Lau, I am Ensign Yaz, the security and tactical chief,” she said with a slight inclination of her head.  “I would like to include your squad in some drills with my team so that we can learn to work together.  I was thinking a repelling boarders scenario unless you have something you would prefer.”

Lau, her armored form towering over the Tellarite, paused to process the request. “Ensign Yaz. I was wondering when we’d meet our new officer.” The robotic limbs of her suit adjusted slightly, giving her a slightly more upright posture. “Welcome aboard. These are some of the marines you’ll be working with.” She gestured to the group, who were beginning to cast curious glances toward the newcomer. “They don’t look like much, but they’ll get the job done.”

As if on cue, one of the marines, a younger dolphin, called out across the intervening space, “Hey, Ensign! Think you can keep up with this?”

“We can find out,” said Sheza, shifting to face both Lau and the marine.  “Name the route.”

Amid the gaggle of approving razzberries that followed, another marine chimed in, “Got your sea legs yet?”

Lau, sensing the playful tension, interjected, “Alright, that’s enough. Ensign, as you can see, we’re a little tied down at the moment. But give us a time and place and we’ll be there.”

“Holodeck One, tomorrow, 0700,” the Tellarite replied.  “I look forward to it.”

Lau watched as the officer strode away, her gait confident and purposeful. There was a glint of anticipation in the sergeant’s eyes as she watched. Tomorrow’s exercise promised to be interesting.

Her robotic limbs adjusted again, bringing her closer to the ground, more in line with her natural aquatic posture. She turned her attention back to her squad, who were now exchanging glances and buzzing murmurs among themselves.

“Alright, you heard the ensign,” she called out to the idlers, her voice firm but not unkind. “Let’s get this gear stowed and then we can start prepping for tomorrow. And I expect everyone to be on their best behavior. We’ve got a reputation to uphold.”