SIM:Varaan: New Beginnings

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Crew of Deep Space 26

Varaan WIP.jpg

Commander Varaan

This SIM was written and presented on April 8, 2005, (corresponding to the IC stardate 238204.08).

::((Stardate 238204.08 - 0934 hours)) ((Starbase 118 - Transporter Room 4))

::Varaan finished materializing on the transporter pad, and nodded thanks to the chief operating the system. The chief nodded back, and Varaan stepped of the raise pad to the deck of Starbase 118. He had been on the station many times before, but never really had a chance to look around. Seeing as how the transport from Vulcan he had just beamed off of was two days late getting here, this stay on the station would be no exception.::

::The doors swished open before him and he walked purposefully down the corridor, his Starfleet issue kit, containing some personal belongings, slung over his right shoulder. He was already a day late for his briefing with the admiral, but the base had been alerted to the transport's engine trouble, and the briefing had been rescheduled for today, in exactly 6.2 minutes. The transport would still be stranded out in deep space if Varaan hadn't been on board. He had offered his engineering expertise, which hadn't been used in quite some time, and between himself and the transport's chief engineer, they had managed to strip the engine down and rebuild it in record time, solving the problem between the intermix ratio and the field frequency in the process.::

::He had spent a very relaxing several days on Vulcan, staying in his own home and visiting with his wife and daughter. The little one was healthy, and growing quickly, but still dependent on her mother for everything. That would not be the case by this time next year. Varaan had enjoyed his leave, but it had only been a week, and that time was up. It was necessary to return to his duties now. The rest of the Paladin crew should be arriving within the next day or so.::

::He stepped into a turbolift with a civilian woman, human looking, who requested the main promenade level. Varaan spoke up and requested OPS. The turbolift doors closed and the car began to hum as it moved through the various shafts to its appointed destinations. Varaan was still somewhat confused, though. He had queried the base about Paladin's location, so he would know which docking tube to use, and was told that Paladin was not currently at Starbase 118. When he asked about his ship's ETA, the computer had no answer. OPS had requested he report to them ASAP when he contacted them.::

::Because the civilian did not have clearance to OPS, the turbolift delivered her to the promenade first. The rest of Varaan's ride was alone and in silence. Much the way he liked things. He reflected back to the week before, when the crew was all on Mars, at the Utopia Planitia complex. He understood the necessity of keeping up appearances for the most accurate results. It was most logical. However, most of those who were not Vulcan had a decidedly negative response to the testing. They were under the sway of their emotions, allowing themselves to be controlled by their emotions. This, of course, only served to strengthen the argument for those in favor of automation on starships.::

::He hoped that the crew had sufficient time to "get over" what had happened, and were prepared to move on. If not, their counselor, Ensign Vessa, would undoubtedly have her hands full for the next while. He did not envy her that task. Mostly because he did not feel envy, but also because quite a bit of the crew's hostility was directed at himself and Captain Daninburg. It was difficult to perform at your best when your crew did not respect you. He sincerely hoped that this was not the case.::

::The turbolift stopped and the doors opened for him. He stepped out onto the stations Operations Deck, into a short, well lit and carpeted corridor that led off to the left or right. A security officer was stationed at one end. Varaan approached the man and asked directions to Ops. Upon identifying himself, Varaan was directed towards the doors at the other end of the corridor, and told to take a right once he was through. Varaan thanked the officer and proceeded as he was directed.::

::When Varaan stepped into the station's CIC center, he was stepping into a beehive of activity. Not only was Starbase 118 a Starfleet facility, complete with repair and maintenance capabilities, but a center of trade and commerce, which meant a myriad of civilian ships, cargoes, and people that all had to be tracked and controlled, apparently from this one room. Varaan visually scanned the personnel inside and stopped upon recognizing Rear Admiral Teran Izuldi, a decorated and long-serving Betazoid officer who was currently in charge of fleet assignments and maneuvers in this sector of the quadrant. The admiral looked up from the console he was reading and saw Varaan. He used his head to motion to a doorway off to the left, and finished his conversation with the lieutenant he was with as Varaan made for the door.::

::Varaan entered ahead of the admiral, and set his kit on the floor beside the closed door behind him. The room was a fairly standard Starfleet-beige colour, with a light burgundy carpet. There was, of course, the familiar glass-topped desk, identical to those in virtually every office in Starfleet. One chair behind the desk, two chairs in front, a sofa and chair off to the right, and a display cabinet underneath a Situation Monitor for this sector off to the left. Varaan had only taken a few nonchalant steps inside before the doors opened again and Admiral Izuldi entered his office.::

IZULDI: Commander, please, have a seat.

::The Betazoid motioned to one of the two chairs in front of the desk, even as he moved around behind it. He set a PADD down on the desk, took his seat and leaned back, folding his hands on his chest. Varaan nodded and sat, stiff-backed, on the indicated chair.::

VARAAN: Thank you, admiral. When will Paladin be arriving, sir?

IZULDI: Ahh...she won't be.

::The admiral now leaned forward, propped up by his forearms on his desktop.::

IZULDI: Something's come up, and Captain Daninburg's marine expertise was required elsewhere. Daninburg and Paladi are currently incommunicado, and their location and mission are classified.

::Varaan was a little confused, and allowed it to show by raising his left eyebrow. The admiral flashed a quick smile and continued.::

IZULDI: The majority of Paladin's crew have been reassigned, including yourself.

VARAAN: May I inquire as to which vessel?

::The admiral stood up as he spoke, walked slowly around his desk, and leaned against the front. He picked up the PADD he had set down and handed it to Varaan.::

IZULDI: Well, you see the simulation which Harris ran a few weeks ago - the one which has caused all the commotion - was a little prophetical. The USS Atlantis is an actual ship, just like the one you and your crew lived on for two weeks. Only, this one is complete. She's yours, as is the Paladin crew. She's out in the main bay.

::Varaan was looking over the specifications on the PADD. Just like in the simulation, Atlantis was an Intrepid class explorer. They had based the holosuite data on the real thing. Only, as the admiral had stated, this ATLANTIS was finished. There would be no need for the crew to complete the construction en route anywhere. Eskyys would be happy. Varaan looked up to the admiral.::

VARAAN: Thank you, sir.

IZULDI: I guess that's the kind of response I should expect from a Vulcan, eh? Well, you're welcome, commander. And if your crew is as competent as they were in the simulation, I don't expect to be seeing much of ATLANTIS around here. Which will be a relief considering the kind of schedule we're running right now. But, I've got a few minutes right now, so why don't we go have a look-see, shall we?

::The admiral straightened up and motioned for Varaan to proceed him to the door. Varaan stood and walked to the opening door, stopping only for a second to pick up his kit and re-sling it over his shoulder.::

((USS ATLANTIS - Deck 8, starboard docking port - 1003 hours))

::Varaan and Izuldi stepped off the docking tube together onto the deck of the newest vessel in the fleet. There to greet them were two familiar faces, that of Chief Marquette and Lieutenant Hathaway. Both were beaming from ear to ear.::

VARAAN: [sarcastically] Permission to come aboard?

HATHAWAY: Granted, sir. Welcome home.

VARAAN: Lieutenant, did you and the chief not avail yourselves of the leave time?

HATHAWAY: I did, sir. I spent a few days with my folks, and got here yesterday.

VARAAN: Chief?

MARQUETTE: You know me, captain. I'm just not comfortable unless I know that the ship I'm on is in tip-top shape.

VARAAN: And your assessment?

MARQUETTE: She's beautiful, sir. I can't wait to shake her down.

IZULDI: Well chief, like I've been telling the commander here, you'll have to do that in your spare time. As soon as the rest of your crew arrives, you're warping out. Your mission specialist is arriving tomorrow, and will advise you en route.

HATHAWAY: What kind of mission, sir?

IZULDI: Need to know, lieutenant. And right now, you don't need to know.

The admiral looked around the empty corridor. There were only the four of them present, with a small security detail at the starbase end of the docking tube. He shrugged his shoulders and sighed.::

IZULDI: I like to do this with a little more pomp and ceremony, but I guess this'll have to do. Computer, what is the current time?

COMPUTER: 1005 hours.

IZULDI: Computer, access primary databanks and log. As of 1005 hours on stardate 238204.08, command of the USS ATLANTIS is hereby transferred to Commander Varaan. Transfer all command codes to him.

COMPUTER: Acknowledged. Transfer complete.

IZULDI: She's all yours, commander. Good luck.

VARAAN: Thank you, sir.

::With that, the admiral made his way back towards the starbase through the docking tube. Varaan, Marquette and Hathaway watched him go, then the Vulcan turned to the other two.::

VARAAN: Show me what we've got.

::The three of them left on the inspection tour.::

((Captain's Quarters, Deck 3 - 2153 hours))

::The doors opened and Varaan entered his new living quarters for the first time. He had been so busy all day that he still had his kit slung over his shoulder. He would worry about unpacking later. He sat down at the small desk he had and activated the computer. After a brief supplimental log entry, he instructed the computer to deliver a message to any senior officers already on board, or to leave them a message for when they reported for duty. There would be a staff meeting at 0900 hours tomorrow morning. Then he made his way to his bed. Normally meditation would be enough, but tonight he would sleep.::

((Briefing Room, Deck 1 - MD1, 0900 hours))

::Varaan sat at his place at the head of the table. Everyone had arrived on time and were ready and eager to go. He looked around. Most of the faces were familiar. Greene, his XO. Jamar, Moranta, Sabdok, Soul, Eskyys, Vessa, and Mondana. However, there were also two unfamiliar faces. The first belonged to a Lieutenant Commander Dyami Aren, their new Chief Medical Officer and apparently a joined Trill. Varaan had only a brief look at the man's profile, but was sure that he would get to know the gentleman better. This was actually the first the two had met.::

::The other new face was on Varaan's left, and Varaan had first met him roughly an hour ago when he arrived. Lieutenant Commander Anthony Stark, Starfleet Intelligence. LtCmdr Stark was to be their mission specialist for the next little while. They had spent the entire time between when he arrived and now in Varaan's ready room, going over the mission profile. He would present it to the staff in a minute, but first thing was first. Varaan stood, getting everyone's attention.::

VARAAN: To begin with, let me make a comment on the events leading up to your recent leave. While I cannot say I understand how some of you "feel", I am well aware of the general sentiments this crew has expressed over the...simulation. I can say for certain that the Department of Temporal Investigations would not give permission to change the past, so all I can do is apologize to each and every one of you who has felt somehow betrayed by me. Somehow I will need to regain the trust and respect I have lost, and I hope to have your assistance in this endeavor.

VARAAN: But we are beginning a new chapter in our lives. One that should be looked on with anticipation. In that vein, could I please have Ensigns Vessa and Mondana front and center.

::As the two female officers made their way to Varaan, both with confused looks on their faces, the Vulcan turned to Greene, on his right, who produced a tiny velvet covered box she had been hiding in her hands. She opened it and Varaan palmed the contents. He turned back to the two officers standing at attention in front of him.::

VARAAN: While it is true that the last mission was a ruse, the actions performed by these two officers during the course of their duties was not. As such, as of this stardate, Ensign Vessa and Ensign Mondana are both hereby promoted to the rank of Lieutenant, junior grade.

::Varaan reached up to the uniform collar of both women and added the black and gold half-pip to the solid gold ensign's pip they already had.::

VARAAN: Congratulations, lieutenants.

::There was a round of applause from the assembled. After some congratulatory handshakes and hugging, they returned to their seats and Varaan continued. He indicated the Trill officer.::

VARAAN: I would also like to welcome aboard Lieutenant Commander Dyami Aren, our new Chief Medial Officer. Since over the next several days we will all need to report to sickbay for our mandatory physicals, I am sure we will all get an opportunity to get to know Dr. Aren a bit more intimately. And he, us.

::There were some laughs and some groans at Varaan's attempt at humor. Something he still needed work on. After the noise subsided, Varaan introduced their new visitor.::

VARAAN: And now, to business. As you well know, we have already left Starbase 118. This is Lieutenant Commander Stark, from Starfleet Intelligence. He will be briefing us on our current mission. Commander?

::Varaan sat as the Intel officer stood. Thanking Varaan, the man walked over to the wall display and brought up a picture of some smoking ruins. He turned back to the command staff.::

STARK: These images were taken six days ago. Six days ago, this charred heap of rubble was the Andorian Consulate on Betazed. This act of terrorism cost 87 people their lives, with over 150 others wounded. It is believed to be the work of the "Paaran", an intragalactic terrorist, about whom we know very little.

::The images changed to a picture of a human male with short dark hair and a small scar on his left cheek. Curiously, he also wore glasses.::

STARK: Speculation is that the Paaran is in reality Dr. Emilius Browne, a former Federation scientist and Maquis member. The Paaran and his organization have taken responsibility for over a dozen terrorist acts within the last year alone. We've never been able to catch him before, mostly because he has associates do the dirty work for him. Sources on Betazed say this time, he did it himself. If that's the case, he's in the open, and now's our chance to capture him.

::The picture changed again, this time to a nebula of gold, fuchsia and blue.::

STARK: This is the Jenatris Cloud. It lies outside of Federation controlled space, and therefore Federation jurisdiction. Running through the middle of this nebula is a particle-free corridor, which houses a modified asteroid known as Midway Station. We believe that this is the Paaran's base of operations. Midway is entirely people by criminals, but because they're outside our jurisdiction, we can't legally do anything about it. We think this is why the Paaran chose Midway.

STARK: This is the plan. A small team will head into the corridor, to Midway Station, disguised as criminals, to recon the station and see if it is indeed the Paaran's base, and if he's returned yet. ATLANTIS will patrol outside the cloud in hopes of catching him on his way back if he's not already there. If the Paaran's already in the corridor, we'd need to somehow flush him out, back into Federation space, before we can make an arrest.

::The viewer turned off and Stark walked back to his seat. Picking up a PADD, he finished the briefing.::

STARK: After going over your personnel profiles, I've chosen four of you to infiltrate Midway. Comander Greene, Lieutenants Sabdok, Soul and Mondana. I've got alternate identities prepared, a captured Maquis Raider is in your shuttlebay, and we've got a deep cover agent on the inside as a contact. Are there any questions?