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Meeting of Unlike Minds

Posted on Fri Jul 31st, 2020 @ 3:46pm by Lieutenant Ben Sheppard & Captain Dyllon McMahon
Edited on on Mon Aug 3rd, 2020 @ 2:31pm

Mission: State of the Union
Location: USS Ganymede
Timeline: Pre-launch

ON:

“…We can’t read you Dragon Four… The intakes are… Sheppard? Sheppard? Sit rep...”.
The controls shuddered in his hands as the ship was buffeted by strains and G-forces massively beyond those for which it was designed. The engines, which only a few hours ago had reverberating with a reassuring hum, had now become a menacing roar as over-rich plasma was forced through the intakes.
Sheppard felt his vision blurring as the G-forces rose immeasurably…


“Shit” Ben Sheppard snarled as the echo of an alarm call drove away the last vestiges of memory-come-nightmare. He flopped back in his bed, his long greying hair a wild sweaty mop as he pushed loose strands away from his eyes. He grabbed an ancient wristwatch from his bedside unit, a scuffed antique Brietling Aviator, and checked the time through bleary, sleep-heavy eyes…

Ten minutes later the new broad shouldered Chief Tactical Officer of the USS Ganymede was marching briskly through the corridors as technicians and engineering personnel jumped out of his way as they made last minute ‘adjustments’ to the Ganymede’s systems.

=^= “Lt Sheppard reporting to Captain McMahon, will meet you in your ready room in five” =^= Ben tapped his comms though he knew he was at least five minutes late for the meeting with his new CO.

Location: Captain's Ready Room

Dyllon was sitting at his desk, up to his elbows in PADDs. He took a sip of his coffee as the comm chirped, and Lt Sheppard spoke.

Dyllon looked up to ALYX confused for a moment, "Lt Sheppard is the new Chief Tactical Officer. You have a meeting scheduled with him beginning 4 minutes and 37 seconds ago" she said without being prompted.

Dyllon tapped his commbadge, changing his voice to pretend he was slightly disappointed, "You're late, Lieutenant. I expect you have a good excuse, and it better not involve dabo girls."

Moments later Sheppard presented himself to the CO's Ready Room and entered after it chimed.

"Lt Ben Sheppard CTO reporting" Sheppard announced as he entered. "No excuses... Think my body clock still out of sync since tranferring over from the Regellan freighter which transported me from the USS Thorp. If you know Regellans and their 30 hour day cycle".

Dyllon nodded understandingly. "Just don't let it happen again."

Sheppard eyed the CO's coffee appreciatively. "May I take a drink, sir?" he requested. He thought, the Xenexian CO looked like he knew his stuff. No fresh faced kid from the Academy, at least.

Dyllon was confused and taken off guard by the request. He wasn't too keen on sharing his coffee, as he had added his daily ration of whiskey to it, and he really needed it to get through the day. He looked up to his holographic yeoman, "ALYX, how about you get the Lieutenant a coffee, the way I like it."

Dyllon then looked back at Sheppard, and gestured to the seat in front of him. "Take a seat, lieutenant."

Sheppard nodded and accepted the cup, he settled for a moment then nodded to the information PADDS on the CO's desk. "I take it you've had the time to read through my ACT... sorry my career information" he said reffering to the personnel files. "Is there anything you need to know?" he asked bluntly.

"Honestly, yours is one of the more unique files I've read through. So... why did you return to the service after you... uh... returned? Why not enjoy your rest back on Earth?" Dyllon took a sip of his coffee, and awaited the answer.

"Nice coffee" Sheppard mused with a sigh as he gathered his thoughts, as ever finding it hard to relax in the company of others. For a moment he was silent, lost for words until they came tumbling out in a torrent.

"Well, Sir, it's like what you said about being 'back on Earth'. I know it sounds strange though it wasn't the Earth that I knew... In some ways I found it a more alien place than some of the exotic worlds I've seen since. I know you've made great advances over the centuries... World peace, an end to hunger and want and all that. Though the things I miss you wouldn't understand... The tang of petrol engines, the roar of jets and the mad traffic on the highways. The twenty first century and the raw chaotic beauty of it all... Though it probably sounds hellish to you"

Dyllon smiled. "I understand. I am not from Earth. I know I look human, but I'm actually Xenexian. My planet isn't what most people would call 'civilized.' After the war, they gave me a bunch of medals, and sent me to the Academy to cool my heels. Told me I was a wartime officer, not a peacetime officer. I've been fighting to get back into space ever since. So, you can imagine that I don't want to fuck this up, and I need good people who will do good work. I'm not one for pomp and circumstance, but I do expect respect, and I expect my orders to be followed. You follow orders, you do good work, and we'll get along just fine."

"There's something else.." Sheppard added, his tone low and strangely fierce. "Those alien bastards did something to me and made somehow into something else... Ageless. Inhuman if you will"

"Yes, I saw something about that in your file", Dyllon replied.

"I know few people would see immortality as a curse. Yet everything ages and fades and nothing ever ever lasts... Not love, not beauty, not friends, not lovers... Until you have to stay apart afraid of being close because losing costs you too much... Do you understand?"

Dyllon took a long sip of coffee. "I think I do, lieutenant. That being said, I'm not what most would consider a shoulder to cry on. I would highly suggest you schedule a meeting to speak to our ship's counselor."

"A shrink... no thanks" Sheppard laughed, though he suddenly realised that the CO wouldn't know twenty first slang.

Dyllon stood up, and looked out of the ready room porthole, which had a great view of DS9. "On a more pressing note, we were forced to leave drydock before calibrating our weapons systems. I was hoping we'd have plenty of time to handle that, as we were expected to use our slipstream drive to cut right through Cardassian space."

Dyllon turned to Sheppard. "But, it looks like that won't be an option. The chief says we need to run the slipstream through more simulations before we can attempt another conduit, and we've been asked to carry some cargo to Cardassia. Turns out that there's a whole mess of unfriendlies between here and there, and if we come across trouble, I expect my phasers to hit their targets. So, unless there's anything else, it's time to get to work. Dismissed."

"Aye sir... I'll get on it ASAP" Sheppard replied and nodded to the CO his thoughts his own.

END

Lt Ben Sheppard
CTO
USS Ganymede




 

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