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The Fork In The Road...

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#1 Cdr Jennifer Braggins

Cdr Jennifer Braggins


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Posted Star Date 21912.01 @ 19:57 (07:57 PM)

==Miramar Aerospace Station, Miramar, California. Two weeks after Rogue Planet mission.==


"I'm grateful to the Captain for the opportunity and I'd like to think one day I'll have my own ship, but I'm a pilot. I'm used to whizzing round the galaxy on my own, or with one other person with me; fully in control, nobody dependent on me but myself."


The words circled Jenny's mind like a shark circling a sinking ship as she sat behind the desk in the tiny office she had inherited at the Miramar campus of Star Fleet Academy and annotated the most recent piece of trivialised trash her students had submitted as part of their twice-weekly assignments. Though they found it interesting as a concept and had some unique thoughts on the matter, the student truly had no real concept of how formation flying worked as a tactical and strategic tool. Clearly whoever it was, the anonymous marking mode made it impossible to truly know though Jenny had her suspicions, hadn't been paying attention in their history classes. It wasn't just this student, either, several papers had already passed through the grading system with similar comments; Cadets these days just didn't seem to take the whole thing seriously.


You're the one who accepted the job as standin professor while Myra and Jasal went on vacation, you only have yourself to blame...


Leaning back in her chair and rubbing her eyes, Jenny looked out of the window towards the runway. Several Academy Trainers were lining up ready for a formation launch under the command of, who had the 1300-1500 flight slot? Jenny couldn't remember. The Instructors around here were a far cry from the combat veterans of the old "Top Gun" program who inhabited the area a little over three centuries previous; back then they were all combat veterans who had progressed through the program and received high enough marks to return as Instructors. Now almost anybody could volunteer for Instructor duty so long as their record was clean; Cadets were missing out on the benefits of a lot of experience simply because the Instructors themselves had so little themselves.


A new era of peace and exploration, maybe Instructors better-versed in theory is what we need? Still, if Cadets can't even figure out the importance of sticking together in a fight... Explains a lot about the current Artemis crew...


Shuffling back forward in her chair, Jenny assigned the paper a D grade for interesting insight but failing to grasp the core concept of what was being asked of the student, signed her name, and opened the next paper. The roar of engines outside the window grabbed her attention once again as the three training craft hurtled down the runway in a near-perfect V-formation before disappearing from sight. With a sigh, Jenny once again found herself reclining back in her chair. Why was she here? Had she really been so naive that she expected to get more stick time? A few hours a week was better than she could expect as the Artemis' First Officer, but it was still a desk job and the people she oversaw were only a little more incompetent than the new Midshipmen and women she was meant to mentor.


The salary wasn't as good, either...


Closing her eyes, Jenny pondered whether the private sector was the way forward. Freight companies needed experienced pilots at the helm of their ships, especially those running the high-risk routes along the border territories or out into the Gamma and Delta Quadrants. She could even take up her grandather's offer (he was her stepmother's father but it still counted) of getting a controlling interest in his freight firm and running her own crew - that didn't appeal to her as much as a return to the simplicity of flying, but on the smaller freighters the Captain was also the pilot, and she'd get to select her own crew. Perhaps Bryan could be tempted to hang up his uniform and sign on as First Mate? Cera would make an excellent Quartermaster on a freighter, and if Tyra actually went ahead and retired like she'd hinted she might more than once since the Rogue Planet incident, the bubbly Betazoid would be in the market for a career change herself.


Clearing the paper, still unmarked, from the screen, Jenny called up the specifications of several smaller freighters; range and cargo capacity were important, as was velocity. The faster a cargo could be delivered, the more likely a customer was to continue using that courier, and if she was honest with herself, Jenny knew that she would never be content trundling along at Warp Six with the rest of the haulers. Nothing for sale at any of the dealerships at Jupiter Station caught her fancy, but there was one up for auction by Star Fleet Security that might be worth investigating...

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#2 Cdr Jennifer Braggins

Cdr Jennifer Braggins


  • First Officers
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  • 1305 posts

Posted Star Date 21912.05 @ 02:05 (02:05 AM)

==Alpha 441, Badlands==


The Security auction had been a bust, predictably. The former smuggling vessel had been stripped of anything that made it interesting or useful to the young pilot-turned-officer; no boosted engines, no sensor jammers, no enhanced weapons package. Of course, she could have simply asked her father for permission to have those components reinstalled, but where was the fun in that? Fortunately an acquaintance from the Ticonderoga before her destruction had given her a tip-off regarding a former Maquis base on Alpha-441 in the Badlands; it had been abandoned during the Dominion War and most of their equipment had been abandoned with it.


Along with this beauty!


The ship was an old Peregrine-class Courier, the ship that the Maquis had first weaponised during their insurrection against the Cardassian following the Federation-Cardassian war of the 2360s, and had later been turned into the ubiquitous Federation Attack Fighter during the Dominion War. Fast, agile, and relatively well-armed, one of these would be absolutely perfect for Jenny's plan to get out on her own for a bit. It would take a lot of work to make the ship entirely hers, but that could wait; first she would have to make sure it was spaceworthy.


Just you and me now, sweetheart!


Climbing into the cabin through the hatch in the vessel's ventral surface, Jenny shone her flashlight around the cramped area. The cockpit door was open, the seats beyond dusty from four decades of neglect. The cargo area Jenny found herself in was cramped, barely big enough for a few small crates, but it would do for smaller courier runs or rapid personnel transport; that's what the ship had been designed for in the first place, after all. Hauling her toolkit into the cabin, Jenny crawled into the cockpit and clambered into the pilot's chair; the cockpit was designed for two, which would have to change, but it would do. Her parents had flown these during the civil war on Dhar'hyyk, they could probably give her some pointers about how best to utilise the ship with one pilot, but that was another thing that could wait.


Let's see if you'll start...


It was unlikely that the ship had enough power left over in its batteries to remain operational for long, but if the main reactor was still fuelled and she could get that started, Jenny would have a decent starting point. Removing the access cover behind her seat, Jenny pumped the lever that would manually prime the injectors for the main reactor before closing her eyes and hitting what she hoped was the emergency manual restart button. The ship rumbled and whirred as the reactor began pumping, the engines began to whine, and the lights flickered on. The deck rumbled with power, ever so briefly, before the engine whine abruptly ceased and the cockpit was once again cast into darkness.


Well, crap...

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