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A Common Interest

Posted on Mon Jun 13th, 2016 @ 12:30am by Captain Claudia Ainscow

Mission: S1E1 - Booby Trap
Location: Stellar Cartography - USS Vindex
Timeline: Mission Day 1; 13:30

Laena found herself in the place she loved most: Stellar Cartography. She was happy to be away from the space station she'd been serving on for the past eight years, but she did miss their stellar cartography room. While the one on the Vindex was still 3 decks tall, the one back on Deep Space 10 spanned a dozen decks.

But she smiled and was thankful she at least had one. She'd heard that many ships were being outfitted with a new astrometrics lab, a place that removed the rounded room and replaced it with a simple screen. Lucky for her, such a refit hadn't been done on the Vindex yet.

"Computer, display our current region of space," she said, and her eyes sparkled as the massive room lit with the light of a million stars. Her pink lips curled into a smile and she was so engrossed in the beauty of it that she didn't hear the doors to the room open.

Claudia strolled in and saw the young Stellar Cartographer admiring the view that she was presented with. Claudia appreciated it too - and as she walked up to Laena she smiled and was taken in by the sheer beauty of the current sector of space the Vindex was in - not even thinking that whilst it was a beautiful area of space it was also very dangerous too.

"Beautiful isn't it?" Claudia said.

Laena jumped at the voice, becoming startled, and fell out of her seat. "Captain!" she said, lying on the floor. "I was...uh...just getting aquatinted with the systems."

Claudia chuckled as she joined the Petty Officer on the floor of the Stellar Cartography facility and turned to face Laena.

"Sorry about that. I'm Commander Ainscow - thought I'd come down and have a look to see what you were getting up to. I have to admit I'm quite a fan of it but never got around to doing the training. Still - it's better to leave it to the experts. How are you finding things here?" Claudia said.

"So far, I'm finding things great, Captain," Laena replied. "I mean, Commander. I'm Petty Officer Laena, Stellar Cartography."

Claudia kept looking up at the stars whilst she spoke to the Stellar Cartographer. The area of the Gamma Quadrant the Vindex was assigned to was only a tiny fraction compared to the rest of it - but now she was here Claudia was fascinated by it and wanted to see more of it. Sadly she didn't think that was going to happen any time soon.

Claudia smiled. "Nice to meet you Laena. I'd love to explore more of the Gamma Quadrant but given the present circumstances I think that might have to wait a while...but I guess it's worth waiting for"

Laena smiled, "Hopefully after the conflict has been resolved, we can resume a life of exploration," she said, looking up at the screen and then back to the woman who was sitting in front of her.

"I'd like to think so. After all the ship we're on as advanced as it is was designed for exploration. It'd be nice to do some of that one day - but I guess wherever I go in the area we're assigned to is somewhere new. Everywhere's a new place at least once" Claudia replied.

She sat cross-legged and looked around the room again. This was the exact sort of thing that made her want to go out into space and explore the stars - now Claudia was sat in the stellar cartography facility on a starship that she commanded.

"I like that attitude, Commander." Laena smiled. "If you'd like, I can continue to take scans of where we go, and give you regular reports as if we were exploring. We may be in a combat situation, but it doesn't mean we can't take a peek at the roses while we pass by."

Claudia smiled. It was a nice analogy and something Claudia felt could be a worthwhile distraction from the current situation. She nodded in agreement and looked at the Petty Officer to address her.

" start with that's a good analogy...and I think your idea is excellent. I think it'd be nice to provide a distraction - and if we find something that's of interest and we get the time then we could always go and have a quick look" Claudia replied.

"Glad I can be of service," Laena replied with a smile.

Claudia continued to admire the stars above them. She was glad that the Vindex had been fitted out with a stellar cartography facility rather than an astrometrics lab. An astrometrics lab was interesting for sure - but it just didn't have the same effect as the room Claudia was sat in at that particular moment.

"If you ever get a chance once you've settled in I wouldn't mind a few lessons in stellar cartography. I've always meant to get around to it but...I've never been able to for some reason or another" Claudia said.

Laena crossed her legs and leaned back, putting her hands behind her on the deck. She looked up and took a deep breath. "I'd be more than happy to, Commander. Any excuse to be in this room."

"Better than any holodeck. I used to love going to planetariums and seeing space that way before I was old enough to join Starfleet...thinking about it that was a long time ago - coming out here was the best thing I ever did" Claudia replied.

Laena sat there in silence, looking somewhat uncomfortable. She leaned forward and stood up. "I'm sorry, Commander, but I need to report to my department head."

"Of course - that reminds me I've got a few things to do myself. I'll catch you again soon" Claudia said.

Claudia stood up slowly and made her way out of the room and off towards the Science Laboratory so she could introduce herself to the Vindex's Chief Science Officer and see how he was settling in. Claudia could see something was bothering the Petty Officer but she didn't want to pry and decided it would be best to get on with the next task on her list.


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