SkyGirl Posted December 28, 2017 Report Share Posted December 28, 2017 THE SKY VOYAGER Part I: Strange New Worlds I was writing the concluding paragraph of my weekly report when my comm badge buzzed and interrupted my thoughts. "Ensign Elvenword to the bridge, please." To the bridge? I froze and stared at my screen, my fingers motionless over the keys. That sounded like Lieutenant Tuvok, the chief of security! Me to the bridge? What for? I was only a junior-grade ensign on my first mission - what was I needed for on the bridge? "Ensign Elvenword, please respond." I jumped and slapped my badge. "Yes sir - on my way, sir!" My heart raced as I fumbled into my uniform jacket and paused at the mirror to adjust my tightly braided hair with trembling fingers. I had been stuck with the rest of the crew on Voyager for almost a year after we were flung into the Delta Quadrant by the Caretaker, but my position as a communications intern - later upgraded to "assistant science communications officer," which meant I was responsible for proofreading and compiling the science officers' weekly reports into an archived brief - never brought me into direct contact with the bridge crew. During the last six months, I had been independently studying Starfleet Academy language materials from the computer database and practicing speaking in the holodeck, in hopes of being allowed to go on an away mission someday; but I had not told anyone besides my roommates about my work - had one of them mentioned it to a bridge officer? The ride up to the bridge felt exceptionally long - until the turbolift glided to a stop and the doors opened up into the brightly lit space. There was Lieutenant Tuvok at the security station, silhouetted by dozens of brightly colored lights and buttons, and Ensign Kim at Operations; and down in front, I could see the backs of Captain Janeway and Commander Chakotay's heads as they looked at a small star system out the massive viewscreen - so much larger than I imagined it! Everything smelled like heat and metal, but it was not hot, only very bright; and every officer's face was composed, focused, and occupied. Lieutenant Tuvok glanced up as I hesitated at the open doors, his fingers never stopping their graceful, efficient movements over the touchscreen. "Ensign, it does not take fifteen minutes to make your way from your quarters to the bridge," he stated, more of a factual observation than a rebuke. I hesitated, uncertain how to respond. "Yes, sir," I finally said lamely. "Did you wish to see me?" "Yes." He moved aside from his station and gestured for me to join him. I squared my shoulders and tried to look confident as I strode across the open space (feeling very small) and climbed the small step up to the security station. "Ensign, the next part of our journey will bring us into contact with several diverse alien cultures," Tuvok said, his voice measured and matter-of-fact. "The captain has asked me to select an additional crew member to function as an assistant on our diplomatic missions, preferably someone with exceptional interpersonal communication skills and combat experience. I have reviewed your performance during the rescue mission aboard the U.S.S. Ranger as a Starfleet cadet, and found it exemplary. I have also reviewed your progress studying the Academy language curriculum on your own, which indicates that you have initiative and a desire to expand your current role, which you have performed punctually and accurately for the past eleven months. Although you lack the Starfleet experience that some of your older crewmates possess, I believe you have promise, and that the training and experience you will receive as a diplomatic adjutant would enhance your career significantly once we return to the Alpha Quadrant." He raised an eyebrow. "Does this opportunity interest you?" I fought to keep my face from betraying the scream of joy that was bubbling up in my stomach. "Yes sir, it interests me greatly. What would I have to do to get started?" Tuvok reached under the console and handed me a PADD. "I have constructed a plan of study for you to continue your language studies, using additional data on Delta Quadrant species that you do not have access to in the Academy database. These lessons include language, culture, and protocol components. Additionally, I have arranged weekly meetings with five senior officers, to familiarize you with bridge and away mission protocol. Each of them will likely have additional training assignments for you to complete. You will continue your weekly duties as science communications assistant, but you will also be assigned a duty station on the bridge, which you will be expected to man whenever you are summoned, day or night." "Yes sir. Will I be further instructed on my duties at my new station?" "Yes. After one month, you will meet with the captain, and she will assess your readiness to assume your new duties. At that time, you will be officially designated a Diplomatic Adjutant and instructed in the duties of your new station." I took the PADD and stood as tall as I could. "I understand. I will begin my studies as soon as I complete my weekly report." Tuvok nodded gracefully and turned back to his station. "Very good. The five officers assigned to be your mentors will contact you to schedule your weekly meetings - their names are listed in your first lesson. Please see me or one of them if you have additional questions. You are dismissed." "Yes sir." As I stepped off the station platform and walked back toward the turbolift, I snuck a small peek over my shoulder at the captain's chair - and my heart missed a beat when I met Captain Janeway's eyes, already turned in my direction. Her stern face cracked into a slight smile and she nodded briefly. "We look forward to seeing you on the bridge, Ensign," she called across the room, her voice businesslike but pleasant. "Study hard and I'll see you in a few weeks." Dear Dad and Mom, I wrote in my letter that evening. Today was quite possibly the biggest day of my life - I have been chosen for promotion! After only a year out of the Academy! Can you believe it? I was summoned to the bridge this afternoon by Lieutenant Tuvok - yes, I finally got to see the bridge and the bridge crew! It was amazing! - and he said that the officers were looking for an assistant to specialize in diplomacy and language, to accompany them on away missions as a Diplomatic Adjutant. Because I've been studying languages on my own for the last few months, and because he read about my work on the USS Ranger, I was chosen! Over more than a hundred other people! What it means is that I will be given extra homework by five of the senior officers, in order to get ready - my weekly mentors will be Neelix, Lieutenant Tuvok, the Doctor and Kes, and Commander Chakotay; and once a month, I will also meet with Captain Janeway, to keep her informed on my progress. I don't know any of the bridge officers personally, but one of my roommates spent a couple of months as a navigational assistant on the bridge, and she has told me lots of stories about all of them, so I think I have an idea what to expect. When I was on the bridge, I tried to sense their emotions, but I'm not as good at that as you are, Mom. They all mostly just seemed busy and focused. When the captain greeted me she did seem sincere, though - I have so much admiration for her and I want her to be pleased with my work. As I may have mentioned once or twice, I hope one day to be a starship captain just like her. I love you both and miss you more than I can say. I heard a rumor today that some of the new species we'll be meeting soon might be able to help us get home faster ... I tried not to listen, of course, but of course I did anyway. I hope my new job won't take up so much time that I can't write to you every day - but even if it does, I'll keep good logs of everything I do, so I can tell you all my wonderful stories of data entry and report-writing when I get home. Maybe spiced up with a few alien encounters now and then, I hope. Talk to you soon. Lots of love, Sky 9 Quote SKY ELVENWORD NOBLEHEART The Silver Archer, Ranger Level 51 Jesus-follower | Writer | Encourager | Resident Myers-Briggs and Enneagram Geek "Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people." - Fred Rogers Link to comment
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