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The Lockyer

Posted on 15 Feb 2022 @ 5:46pm by Lieutenant Commander Tiberius Grayson & Lieutenant Malekai Howe

Mission: Walk, Don't Run
Location: Sagitta (Ready Room), Starbase 129 (Briefing Room)
Timeline: MD 1 - 1400

Lieutenant Tiberius Grayson stood in front of the viewer in reflection mode in his Ready Room. He had only been wearing the white tunic uniform for a few days. He knew in time the new rank insignia lapel would grace the flap.

"Bridge to the Captain," a voice came over the comlink.

Grayson tapped his commbadge, "Go."

"Admiral Corrigan has asked for you to join him in Conference Room One onboard Starbase 129."

"Acknowledged, on my way. Let the XO know that I like him to join me," Grayson replied. "Grayson out."

The comlink disconnected, "Computer deactivate reflection mode."

SOMETIME LATER



Howe and Tiberius walked a foot apart down the corridor on the command level of Starbase 129. The farthest the two of them had made it to this level was on the Turbolift following the Judge Advocate General tribunal that resulted in his promotion to Lieutenant Commander and Acting Commanding Officer of the Sagitta, "Do you think he's calling us about our first mission? I'm sorta worried maybe he's found someone to replace me as Captain... won't you be happy about that?" Grayson asked in a somewhat rhetorical method but mostly in jest.

Malekai glanced at Tiberius with a sidelong, desiccating wryness, his brow raised in the most Vulcanesque manner. "In Academy, you were so attractive until you opened your mouth," Howe smirked. That was a very, very long time ago. Malekai fixed his rank strap to close his breast flap then his hands clasped behind his back in his formalized shoulder square. "I'll still be stuck with you as an XO." He reached with his mind, grazing the consciousness of the room beyond. "I don't sense anyone new. Just Corrigan. My guess is, mission."

Tiberius looked over at Malekai and raised an eyebrow, "I'm pretty sure I'm just as attractive maybe even hotter."

Tiberius nodded, Howe's telepathic abilities were something he knew little about but started to become more hyper-aware of since the tribunal. His anxieties seemed to ease at the knowledge of Admiral Corrigan so far being the only one in the briefing room. "Thank you for coming with me today. I, feel better, with you, at my side. Through all of this."

Malekai smiled into a cheek and turned, after an eye meeting with Grayson, to face the door. "Mmmhmm. And no less full of yourself."

Tiberius tapped the call button to inform Admiral Corrigan of their arrival while he looked back to Mal.

"Isak for your thoughts... even if I could have them for free," Malekai said, feeling Grayson's eyes on him. But in that moment the comm cleared.

"Come in gentlemen," the voice belonged to Admiral Corrigan. The doors opened. A Yeoman passed between they and the Admiral's station, carrying a pot of coffee. "Have a seat I will be with you momentarily. I'm finishing up a meeting with Strategic Operations and Intelligence."

Tiberius eyed the coffee pot that the Yeoman was carrying in hand and walked over to the seat that Admiral Corrigan. He took a spot and set his hands together down on his lap as he waited. He looked over to Mal who sat down next to him. He wasn't sure what his XO was referencing before the Admiral had invited them in.

The Yeoman came over with the coffee pot in one hand and two mugs in the other, "Coffee, Gentlemen?"

Malekai raised his hand as a no, instead focused on the Admiral's administrations.

Tiberius nodded his head in agreement and the Yeoman poured him a mug. He held the mug gingerly between both of his hands but didn't speak until the Yeoman had left the two men alone at the table. Grayson had looked up at the mug to Mal, "This all feels... surreal?" He shook his head, "Feels out of place with the past week that here we are as CO and XO awaiting an Admiral to debrief us on our next mission. It wasn't so long ago we were on our way to our shakedown cruises as Midshipmen."

"Mmm," Malekai agreed with an affirmative nod. It was overwhelming.

Corrigan turned attention to the young men. "How soon can you get your crew underway, Captain Grayson?" He asked. "We have a mission for you, low risk."

Grayson started to do a calculation at the top of his head as he carried the information on their timetable, "They're just calibrating our new long-range sensors. I think that might take a shakedown cruise to properly calibrate."

"Calibrate en route," Corrigan countered. He leaned into his desk. "Lieutenant," Corrigan handed Malekai a PADD. "You will set course for the M'Tar system. You're looking for a Heavy Tug, the Lockyer. Its overdue from its check-in. Are you familiar with it?"

Malekai looked up with a burn in his black irised eyes. His mouth formed a line while he looked at Tiberius.

"The name is familiar but I can't place it," Tiberius replied while he looked over to Mal then back to Corrigan, "Were they making the Starbase 11 to Deep Space 10 route before returning back to port here at Starbase 129?"

"M'Tar system," Malekai interjected. "There's not much there." His vexxed frown hinted at an inner storm. "What was a Heavy Tug doing in that system?"

"Recovery operations," Corrigan said with a line of patience. He folded his hands on his desk. "Yes, that's a standard route between 11 and DS10 via Antares Surplus." He refixed gaze on the Betazoid, "M'Tar is prone to stellar ion storms. It's a flare star. But there's nothing there that should've hindered the Lockyer. Still, standard MO is to get out of communications distortion range and make a check-in. They've missed several."

Tiberius listened to Corrigan and nodded his head, "It seems to be pretty routine check-in we will go investigate and report our findings as soon as we can."

"Good," Corrigan uttered. "Now because of the flare star, your sensors may be limited when inside M'Tar system. Get your science department to work on a method to extend your sensor range beyond the interference." He waggled a finger at Tiberius once, "If you detect Cardassian vessels in the vicinity, you run like hell. The nearest ships in the vicinity are the Hermes and the Lakota."

"Excelsior-classes." Malekai said with a lean toward Tiberius.

"The man knows his ships," Corrigan said as he stood. "Gentlemen. Good luck."

"He's a bit of a know-it-all -- the reason why I made him XO," Tiberius grinned while he joined the Admiral in standing up from the table. "Thank you, Admiral. We'll depart within the next hour."

Malekai, hands behind his back, smiled dry and small into one of his angular cheeks. "Admiral," he nodded with respect and turned, walking behind Tiberius on the way out.

Tiberius tapped commbadge, "Tiberius to Sagitta, signal the crew back to the ship. We disembark within the next hour. Tiberius out." He looked over his shoulder at Mal, "Thoughts?"

With a set jaw, the black eyes of the Betazoid settled on Tiberius. "The Lockyer was the tug Starfleet wanted to assign me to in lieu of not taking an assistant job on the Sagitta." He noted. "I'd get MacHale, T'Varis and Spencer working on a way to cut through the ionic interference in the system."

Tiberius nodded his head, stepped out and turned around to face his XO. He gently set his hand on Howe's shoulder and looked him in the eye. He searched the Betazoid's eyes. He was about to say something but said something else, "We'll find them and we'll tow them back to Starbase 129 if we have to." He gently brushed and then patted Mal's shoulder before turning around to address his other point, "Sounds good. Do you have an ETA when we can be on our way?"

Malekai's brow rose. A rare smile tetched up at the corners of his mouth. "I'll push for a few hours. It'll depend on if 129's quartermasters are feeling generous enough to bump us up the queue." He sighed and put his hands behind his back. "I'll get it done, Captain." With a nod, Malekai moved swiftly into action to set the wheels in motion.

Tiberius nodded, "I know you will... Number One. I know you will."

 

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