YE/D01 - Bridge
Peter was on the bridge, taking in status reports and summarizing them for the Captain's review once she came back out. The Captain was in her ready room, waiting for the new transfers to present themselves; one of the duties of command. The rituals had to be observed.

He couldn't help but smile a little at the trepidation with which he'd reported for command that first time on his first assignment out of the Academy. The Chin'toka.

What a shit-show that first assignment was, he thought. He still remembered being made to fight the enlisted as a "team building exercise". If he didn't think that statutes of limitations would be in effect, he'd definitely try to make a legal matter out of it now that he was a Commander. things stood, perhaps the past was best left in the past.

He sighed, and quickly sized up the new Midshipmen as they arrived on the bridge to head for the ready room. He had of course read their files, and was definitely hopeful. Both showed great potential. Midshipman Turner was apparently a child of two worlds - which was not all that uncommon. What interested Peter far, far more was the fact that the man seemed to be an engineering wizard. He didn't know much about engineering apart from the crash course in the basics that he took at the Academy, but the fact that the man had managed to design a calibration tool that was even more effective than the current type in use, while not even out of the Academy yet spoke volumes about the promise he showed.
And as for Midshipman West,  Peter saw a lot of himself in her. She seemed the martial type of security officer, rather than the Sherlock Holmesian-type, which was something that resonated with Peter a lot. And he'd be lying to himself if he didn't admit that he saw a bit of a diamond in the rough. Only time would tell if he was right, though.

== Welcome middies! Big Grin  We're happy to have you join us! ==
Qi had always preferred to spend time in his lab. The strict protocol of the bridge was stifling, like trying to paint while wearing oven mitts. Today, though, he was happy to take his station on the bridge. He couldn’t afford to hide away while most of the Yeager’s senior staff already knew each other.

As the turbolift doors slid open, Qi scanned the room to find his station. It was quiet, as he’d expected. Jensen seemed to be waiting for something or someone.

“Good to see you again, Commander,” Qi said. “Just getting my station set up. How are you finding the new ship so far?”

== Tag Jensen ==
[Try it now.]

Ensign Setthik's frustrated voice came across the weapon station's speaker. T'Lari had found him to be a rather skilled chess player in the little time off she'd had since arriving on the new Yeager. He was also quite the skilled engineer, specializing in weapons system, but even he was having difficulty with the software running the panel. The display continues to make a 'fritz' sound as the system keys appeared, dissolved into static, and reappeared in a different spot on the display.

"Nothing, Ensign," the Tactical officer replied calmly. "AE Fault 344 at Junction GR-522-2. That is a new message."

[Believe it or not that actually gives me something to work with. Hold on.]

The panel had worked fine for her first three days aboard, and then a new software patch had caused it to give the half-Vulcan nothing but trouble ever since. She'd basically monopolized the Saurian engineer's time for days, but it was necessary. The ship couldn't launch without weapons access... and even switching controls to a different station hadn't solved the problem. The code to operate the ship's weapons was more than a bit jury-rigged... but then so was so much else on the Yeager. Software development was standardized for new starships, developed specifically for their classes, but this ship wasn't a standard model. At least Stafleet had anticipated the problem and had put people aboard to handle such problems.

[Found it! I'm going to do a code rewrite on the junction software at that section. Give me an hour and a half and I'll have you up and running, guaranteed. Setthik out.]

T'Lari stood and stretched. 90 minutes. Fine. She needed to get some food anyway. As she did so the Chief Science Officer entered and went to address Commander Jensen. She needed to report her station's status, so she approached the two of them, patiently waiting as Qi spoke.

== Tag Jensen and Qi ==
Peter was still compiling reports when he heard LCdr Qi's voice. He looked up and gave the man a courteous smile.

"New", he said with a bit of laconic wit, then went on. "Honestly, it's a good ship. She packs a decent punch, and has decent speed. We can get a lot of good done with her.", he answered the question, then continued:

"The Captain is welcoming the new Midshipmen", he said, looking at the door to the ready room.

"Have you met your own department? Anything of note to report?", he asked, genuinely interested. Might as well get the report from the horse's mouth
==Following the Ready Room thread==

Coffee mug in hand, Jenny strode from her Ready Room onto the Bridge of the new-and-improved USS Yeager; it was a different layout than what she'd been used to, and she knew it would take time for her to acclimate to the positions of some of the consoles, but it was what it was; for a ship that had allegedly slipped through the cracks at the Bureau of Shipbuilding and made it to a construction slip before anyone realised their mistake, having slightly odd Bridge layouts was hardly the worst thing that could happen.

Atypical Bridge for an Atypical Ship with an Atypical Crew.

Jensen and Qi were talking and T'Lari appeared to be waiting in the wings for her chance to speak; likely they were discussing the usual last-minute minutiae that often needed addressing before the ship was able to launch; missing personnel, alterations to room assignments, and the like. Unless it was going to interfere with the launch of the ship, it was the First Officer's purview, while Jenny was left free to deal with getting the ship out of dock.

Rather than interrupt Jensen, Qi and T'Lari, Jenny simply moved toward her seat and dropped into it; the seat was more comfortable than some she had sat in, and would be beneficial during long and boring patrols to which the Yeager was likely to find itself assigned. They didn't have official orders yet, but scuttlebutt said they'd be updating starmaps along the Talarian border, a standard mission for a ship on shakedown but a criminal misuse of her crew's talents.

A waste of not, orders were orders, and their departure time was swiftly approaching. With a soft sigh, Jenny settled deeper into her chair and pushed the button on her armrest that activated the internal communications system.

"This is the Captain. All hands report to departure stations."
The readiness light for Sickbay would change to green, indicating that Sickbay was ready for launch.

However, each bridge officer's PADD would have a message delivered to it, with an appointment range for their Star Fleet-mandated physicals on it. The location however, was not in Sickbay, and was instead on the holodeck, with a note that added their physical's difficulty would be tailored to their capabilities. Even Captain Braggins was assigned one, though that same note added that the officer in question could request a traditional physical to be administered by sickbay if they did not want to utilize the holodeck physical.

Commander Jensen however, received a message from Kal-Geal, asking if the Commander would prefer him to remain in sickbay, or report to the bridge for the departure sequence.

==tag Jensen==
== This is after the conversation with Qi. A short post to get things wrapped up Big Grin ==

Peter had received and acknowledged each departments status report. Luckily there was no hindrances in their path

For now

But he was still missing two: Beinn and T'Lari.

He quickly sent a message to Beinn that for now he should remain in Sickbay - he'd be summoned if needed. Which Peter fervently hoped wouldn't be the case.
Finally, he reached out to T'Lari first, turning to her and giving her an encouraging smile.

"Yes, Leftenant?", he encouraged her.

When all was said and done, Peter turned to Braggins.

"All stations and departments reporting green, Captain. We are ready to depart on your command", he announced before taking his own seat just in time to hear her give the order.
>> Crew Mess >>

The short hop from the mess on the deck below to the bridge took about a minute, and coffee cup still in hand. Black entered the bridge. The Captain was sat in the centre seat already.

Damn it... She thought, noting that the Commander was in the forward footwell seated at the Ops station, while T'Lari and Qi were also already present at the rear stations.

“Sorry I'm late.” She said instinctually even though she wasn't.

Stepping down, and taking the helm position next to the Commander. She logged into the station. “Helm ready, Ma'am.” she said after a couple of seconds preparing to input the Captains course heading once given, while glancing sideways at the Commander.

This is going to be be rather uncomfortable. She thought with the First officer sitting right next to her. She didn't want to think about what he thought about the seating plan.

== Where did I put that gold tin of travel sweets covered in white powder? ==
"Yes, Leftenant," Commander Jensen addressed T'Lari. The Captain entered the Bridge as she spoke, sitting down in the center chair

The half-Vulcan nodded respectfully to the First Officer and gave her report. "The software problems with the weapons controls will be resolved within 87 minutes, Commander. The difficulty with the recent patch downloaded from Starfleet has been located and Ensign Setthik is performing a code rewrite on the faulty system. Weapons are otherwise fully operational, but as they have never been fired I would recommend that we perform a test as we travel out-system. Perhaps on a local asteroid or comet." Chain of command dictated that she inform the FO of the status, but Captain Braggins was of course easily able to hear as well.

As the Klingons say, 'No blade can be trusted until it has drawn blood.' A bit colorful, but accurate. Given the patched-together nature of the ship and the software that runs the systems it would be best to discover if the weapons will work before they are needed.

== Tags Jensen and Braggins ==
Qi shook his head. “The labs have been out of commission. I tried to connect a data module that I built on board the Geronimo, and it knocked out power to half the deck. Apparently, the power signatures were incompatible. I didn’t want to have my first department meeting by candlelight, but things should be in working order shortly. I just came up here to finish some last minute calibrations before we head out.”

The bridge became more crowded. A Vulcan (or possibly Romulan) woman approached Jensen with further updates on ship status. The captain entered from the Ready Room, followed shortly by Black from the Turbolift. Qi gave them both a courteous nod before returning to his work. He needed to make a strong first impression on his new crew. Glitches were a fact of life, but they weren’t an excuse for being unprepared.

A notification appeared on Qi’s console, alerting him to his mandated physical. Oddly enough, it seemed to be located on the Holodeck. Qi wondered if Sickbay was experiencing similar technical issues. He decided to pick the earliest possible option. These little distractions tended to pile up, stopping him from completing his actual work.

>>>> Holodeck >>>>
Departments all ready. Systems all green. Aside from a few calibration tweaks, the new-and-improved Yeager was ready to depart, as was her crew. Her Captain, on the other hand, wasn't so sure any more; she looked between her officers, going about their duties and daily lives as if her actions hadn't threatened to ruin them, and in some cases probably had. She'd never apologise for what she did, she'd had the moral high ground and had been right in the end, but the way things had gone down on the Philadelphia was regrettable - she should have trusted Jensen, he should have trusted her. Or she would have been better off casually deleting the message, any log of its receipt, and then ordered the ship to turn around anyway. By giving the crew an out, she'd put them in a terrible position, one she knew she might be called upon to put them in again.

Is it worth it?

Not for the first time, Jenny's malaise clouded her appreciation of the big picture; she did what she did to protect people, not the vocal minority who lambasted her every choice, but the silent majority who would never know her name or the acts she'd been forced to commit in the name of their safety. It wasn't fair to say that the young Captain had become jaded, her viewpoint had always been that the Federation was a bloated bureaucracy with too many people in the top ranks and too little interest in the little people, but recent events had shown that despite everything, the rot at the top still existed. Maybe not in the CinC or Presidential Offices, but certainly in the upper echelons that reported to them. 

Maybe it's time to force the issue of retirement; I can't be that vital that I can't be replaced...

Pushing such thoughts from her mind, Jenny sat back in her chair and let out a calming breath that she almost succeeded in preventing coming out as a defeated sigh; here she was on a brand new starship about to take her on her maiden voyage, and all she could think about was how it was time to move on. That did a disservice to her crew, who deserved the best she could do while she occupied the centre chair.

"Theresa, ahead one quarter Impulse until we clear the docking slip, then set course one eight zero mark zero five and go to full Impulse."

She didn't know their orders, all she knew was that they were going "south" down towards what had once been the Talarian Republic and was now the most recent addition to the Cardassian Union, despite bitter resistance from the Talarian military and several enterprising "private forces" made up of mercenaries and adrenaline junkies looking for adventure. The Federation had, allegedly, been providing discrete assistance to the Talarian Resistance, but that was based on unsubstantiated rumours; more likely she was going to be tasked with preventing smugglers entering the warzone and thus protect the peace the Federation had with Cardassia.

Peace that the Cardassians had broken. Repeatedly.

"When we leave the system's gravity well, set course for Starbase 214, Warp Six. We'll give the engines time to warm up before we really push them. T'Lari, keep an eye on your sensors; if you find anything you'd like to blow up to calibrate your weapons, let me know."
"When we leave the system's gravity well, set course for Starbase 214, Warp Six. We'll give the engines time to warm up before we really push them. T'Lari, keep an eye on your sensors; if you find anything you'd like to blow up to calibrate your weapons, let me know."

She nodded. "Understood, Captain. We're approaching the system's asteroid belt. I'll attempt to locate a target that will make for a suitable test."

Truth was she wanted something that would allow her to really push the weapons. It was one thing to fire a few phaser shots and launch a couple torpedoes, quite another to get a true idea of what the systems could do when stressed. The last thing they needed was for a fault to appear when battle started. T'Lari wasn't sure what the Captain would think of that. Braggins had a reputation as a 'cowboy,' well deserved... but reducing an asteroid to pebbles just to test the weapons might seem excessive.

== Tag ==
Seat set, and helm configured, Black only had to wait a moment for the Captain to give her orders.

"Theresa, ahead one quarter Impulse until we clear the docking slip, then set course one eight zero mark zero five and go to full Impulse."

“Aye aye, Ma'am.” He replied. Then over the comm to the station CnC; “Antares control. This is Yeager. Disengaging docking clamps and preparing to move off.”

[Copy that Yeager.] Came the reply. [Good luck and fair weather.]

“Thank you control.” She replied closing the channel. The yard had done a better job on this ship than her predecessor she mused. The delay between engaging the impulse drive and the ship moving was imperceptible unlike the old Yeager where you could engage the engines, walk to the replicator. Consult the menu and return before the ship moved.

"When we leave the system's gravity well,” Continued the Captain, “set course for Starbase 214, Warp Six. We'll give the engines time to warm up before we really push them.”

“Starbase 214. Warp six, aye”
Truth be told, Peter was no more comfortable with the seating arrangement than Black was. He couldn't forget what he had seen in her eyes during the "bridge incident", as he had now compartmentalized the standoff. But he was also a professional and forced the feeling back down.
He didn't precisely like the arrangement of seats, and not just because of Black. While he could definitely see the reason for it, seeing as one unlucky - or lucky depending on whose perspective - shot would not longer be able to kill both the CO and XO at the same time, and thus cut off the heads of the chain of command, it also meant that he had no ready access to the Captain without having to go over there and talk to her.

He wouldn't be able to lean in and whisper in her ear without the crew noticing, let alone hearing. The possibility of a "private word" or discreet bit of advice or warning was completely and irrecoverably gone. The entire bridge would now notice if there was a disagreement between the two heads of leadership. And that was something Peter was not a fan of.
The value of CO and XO being able to have a "quiet conference" without drawing too much attention to themselves was gone. Now, he would have to ask Braggins for a private meeting in the ready room if he had something to say he didn't think the crew should hear.

Which idiot designer thought this layout was a good idea? Someone who's never served one minute, is who!, he thought angrily, but made his best effort to push the thought down and away so he could focus. And then realized that, if needed, he could use the console in front of him to send Braggins a messasge. It was not ideal, but it was the second-best thing he could think of.

He then heard Braggins give the order:

"Theresa, ahead one quarter Impulse until we clear the docking slip, then set course one eight zero mark zero five and go to full Impulse", and Black's acknowlegement of the order. He nodded. They were heading towards what used to be Talarian territory. He hoped it would only be a patrol mission. Just another routine mission.
But realized as soon as he'd thought it that he could very well have just jinxed that notion.
==Timeskip - 5 Weeks Later==

After four weeks at Warp Six, the Yeager arrived at its assigned starting point between Deep Space Nine and Starbase 214, which also happened to coincide with the official and galactically-recognised border between the Cardassian Union and the Talarian Republic. It spent the next week moving system to system, taking detailed scans and running drills to keep the crew sharp and maintain an element of routine and structure among the monotony of stellar surveys and cartography. The occasional mechanical hiccough had not managed to delay the mission, but they had made for some entertaining and butt-clenching moments.

It was almost five weeks to the hour following the Yeager's departure from the shipyard, during a routine sensor sweep of the system while the computer compiled information to generate new star charts, that an odd blip appeared on the lateral sensor array. For a moment it looked like a sensor ghost, or maybe just a glitch, but it appeared again in a different location as the array completed a follow-up sweep.

Though the computer could not immediately identify the object, two things would be obvious to the sensor crews; 1) it was very hard to see, and 2) it was moving on a straight course to the Talarian border.
New ships are a wonderful way to try out new technologies. And to try the patience of the crew along the way also.

Given that the primary mission of the Yeager was to map the boarder systems along the Cardassian /Talarian  DMZ, Black was all too ready to lynch whichever of the Antares shipyard team had not only failed to update over forty tera-quads of off the shelf navigation charts prior to launch, but had managed to install both the secondary AND tertiary quantum-astrolabes upside down.

That had taken over half a day to discover and repair when they'd found something was up by chance, when someone looking out the window noticed a planet on the wrong side of the ship.

Five weeks into the mission, may as well have been five months.

The shifts had swapped over about half an hour ago. Chertstone had been been on helm duty. He'd reported that there had been an anomalous reading from the lateral sensor sweeps during the last mapping pass, but the computer had classified it as a sensor ghost as it hadn't reoccurred.

Black accepted this as this region was quite heavy in gaseous interstellar matter, and had caused several other false positives.

However this time, when the computer flagged it again. It red flagged it as it was miniscule, but identical to the previous one.

Coincidences are never a coincidence. And if there's any doubt, there is no doubt. She turned back to address T'Lari who was seated at the aft tactical station.

“Contact bearing...” She gave a heading and inclination. “Identical to previous ghost contact half an hour ago. Can you confirm contact and heading?”

== Tag T'Lari and anyone else wanting to sound like they know what they're doing? ==
== I totally know what I'm doing. Fully 28% of the time. Big Grin ==

T'Lari gave the slightest of frowns as the sensor ghost reappeared again. “Contact bearing...” She gave a heading and inclination. “Identical to previous ghost contact half an hour ago. Can you confirm contact and heading?” Lieutenant Black had turned to her, having seen the same notification on her console.

"Confirmed, Lieutenant," T'Lari responded. "Contact is moving toward the Talarian border. Attempting to pin it down." The half-Vulcan quickly tapped in a series of commands into her station bringing a course into view on the holographic display, then sent it to Black with a tag for the Captain's chair as well. She gave the Lieutenant an estimated speed and time to reach the border based on the results of the two contacts.

It wasn't a cloaked ship, most likely, because they wouldn't have been able to pin down anything.

I am making an assumption, one that might not be correct. A cloaked ship of one of the major powers would be undetectable, but an older ship or an obsolete cloak might show up on the sensors as a 'ghost.' Smugglers, perhaps? Or a race like the Ferengi who often dealt with older technology?

She could, of course, 'light' the mysterious ship up with sensors and try and pin them down, but that would give away the game and let them know they'd been spotted. Ultimately that decision would be up to the Captain. The new Yeager did need a proper sensor test, but this was perhaps not the best time.

"I will attempt to determine the contact's origin point."

== GM Input puh-leaze: What is the contact's distance, speed and time to the border? And can T'Lari figure an approximate course back from the contact (with the obvious assumption that it traveled in a straight line) to determine a general area it came from? ==
==Temp Security NPC Tabitha Rotterdam (Human)==

Tabby was bored. Oh so bored. Every other rotation, a Security crewmember was to sit on the Bridge - or rather, stand, since there wasn’t a Security station. There were auxiliary stations, sure, but Captain Braggins wasn’t big on Chief d’Tor’an keeping an extra eye on her. At least, that’s what the rumor mill said. The two women still weren’t exactly friendly after d’Tor’an had tried to kick Braggins out of the Captain’s chair last mission. Was it mutiny, or miscommunication? No one seemed to fully know the answer except those that had been on the Bridge at the time in question - and no one was telling the Lower Deckers.

Twirling a strand of hair, Tabs let out a loud sigh. No one seemed to care that she was bored, and so likewise, no one seemed to care about her sighing. The Bridge hummed with busywork, and Tabby wondered if life would have been more exciting had she gone for that position on Starbase 27.

“Contact bearing identical to previous ghost contact half an hour ago. Can you confirm contact and heading?”

The Chief Tactical Officer was speaking, and Tabby tilted her head like a Golden Retriever. It seemed that a stray speck of dust had gotten the attention of the Bridge crew, and therefore, the officer tasked with watching them.

“Confirmed, Lieutenant. Contact is moving toward the Talarian border. Attempting to pin it down.” The Tactical team sure seemed like they were having fun! Tabby smiled ironically as she watched them chase down the sensor blip. She scratched the back of her head; the itch kept moving, and Tabby planned to take a shower after this shift.
Even out here on the boarders, subspace messages travelled to and from the ship. Mostly data packets were relayed through Starfleet's communications systems that gave Command real time locations and statuses of ships and facilities. But other more conventional messages travelled too.

Black while at the helm noted that the small PADD she kept in her thigh pocket buzzed letting her know that it had received a communication from someone. The tactical team often sent notes and messages internally between themselves via text, so that it didn't interrupt meetings or other situations while on duty, just to let each other know tasks had been completed or as memos for meetings and such later.

Taking a moment while T'Lari was consulting the ships main computer, she called up the message which had pinged in a side window on the helm console. The second she saw who it was from, she froze. It wasn't an internal message.

They were five weeks out, and it had taken half of that time to reach them though it's journey through the network. It was flagged as a personal message that had been sent to her private account on the ships server for reading later off duty, but it had still pinged her while on duty. She knew the sender. She read the message regardless.

She read the message again.

“Commander.” She said after a beat. As calmly as she could. “Can I speak to you please?” It was only then that she tapped the screen to close the message and turned to face the First officer. “In private.”

== Tag Jensen (Assuming you're on the bridge) – Can we borrow the ready room? ==
To say Jenny was brooding as she sat on the Bridge overseeing yet another day of monotony was an exaggeration, but only a small one. Communications with the few contacts she had left at Starfleet Command over the last few weeks had done little to reaffirm her faith in Starfleet; Ben Elias had confessed to illegally installing a Klingon cloaking device in the Liberty Bell, and his career was over because of it. Tyra's would have been too if he allegedly hadn't taken full responsibility, but the Artemis crew would be lucky if they did anything other than haul garbage for the next year or so. Not that either of them had aspired to flag rank, but there were rumours that Tyra and Jenny had both been removed from consideration for promotion to Commodore any time in the next few decades.

Hell, it only took them what? Twenty years to rehabilitate Erika Benteen? And now she's Admiral Janeway's right-hand woman.

Drumming her fingers on her armrest, Jenny considered once again retreating into her Ready Room where she could actually get some worthwhile work done; her paper on Operation Return and the relative benefits and drawbacks of the command styles and tactics of both Sisko and Dukat during the battle was nearly complete, and she'd been asked to write a third-party assessment on Starfleet's proposed construction budgets for the 2405-6 fiscal year; Starfleet Command might not appreciate her or her antics, there were still a few people in civilian government and academia who valued her opinion. Though she hated to admit it, having been in Starfleet for most of her existence, but life as a civilian was starting to look more appealing, and certainly more lucrative.

“Contact. Identical to previous ghost contact half an hour ago. Can you confirm contact and heading?”

“Confirmed, Lieutenant. Contact is moving toward the Talarian border. Attempting to pin it down. I will attempt to determine the contact's origin point.”

Jenny suppressed a sigh; this wasn't the first random sensor contact they'd come across since entering the area, and it likely wouldn't be the last. Unlike the previous few, however, Jenny sincerely hoped this one wasn't a misaligned sensor or dirt working its way into the terminals. On the other hand, if this was a smuggler or someone attempting to sneak across the border, it would be on her head if she failed to stop them, and all of those lucrative positions she'd just been thinking about would dry up in the face of a dishonorable discharge.

"Science, run a diagnostic on the sensors and confirm the sensor contact. Then give me a scan of the other side of the border, I want to make sure there's nobody waiting to pounce if we try to intercept. Theresa, plot an intercept course but do not engage until Science gives you the all clear. T'Lari, if that's a genuine contact I'm going to want a warning shot prepared."

Though the sensor contact had given the crew a break from the monotony and a chance to prove they were capable of doing something useful, it did little to break Jenny's malaise. This would probably be another dead-end lead that simply wasted their time, energy, and would need to be logged in great detail anyway so the bureaucrats running Starfleet could pick over her every command decision.

"Peter, if this contact is genuine I'm going to want a boarding party standing by. Standard customs procedure, and see if we have anyone on the crew who might have experience in...hiding things they didn't want found during inspections."

The sensor contact was extremely weak, so the computer could only estimate a range; somewhere between ten and fifteen million kilometers from the Yeager's current position. Velocity was again, an estimate, of just below .25c. The computer also estimated that it would be between five and ten minutes before it reached the Talarian border.

Plotting a course using just two reference points, and estimated reference points at that, wasn't a perfect solution. The heading the vessel appeared to be on, assuming it was travelling in a straight line course, had it entering the system from interstellar space well away from any trade routes or inhabited planets.

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