USS Zeus NCC 80211-A

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Curious Minds

Posted on Sat Nov 4th, 2023 @ 9:08pm by Ensign Ashlyn Ek

657 words; about a 3 minute read

Mission: [Episode 0]
Location: Starbase 100
Timeline: Current

[Start Scene]

Moored at Starbase 100, the dormant Zeus hung in the zero-gravity atmosphere of the station's inner shell. For months, the old Vesta-class starship had been present at the station, but nobody knew why it had been brought out of mothballs. The mere presence of the ship generated a constant sense of curiosity among the station's inhabitants and guests. This curiosity only increased when Starfleet's Corps of Engineers began working on the ship, coming and going at all hours while the vessel's interior underwent some transformation. The rumors and gossip circulating about the refit were wild and speculative, and everyone was talking about it.

The recent graduates of Starfleet Academy's distance learning extension on Starbase 100, known as Class of 2700, were particularly interested in learning more. Ensign Dok expressed his surprise when Ash claimed to know nothing about it. "What do you mean you don't know anything about it? Surely, your dad must have mentioned something!" Dok lamented while rubbing the bulbous flap of his Ferengi ears. Ash shrugged and quipped with a grin, enjoying Dok's dramatic reaction to his statement of ignorance.

"He's not said a word," Ash replied, "It's all been rather hush-hush."

Dok expressed disbelief, "An antique sitting in drydock for months and the son of one of Starfleet's ranking officers onboard the station knows nothing? I'm calling BS."

Ensign Jasmine Lief interrupted Dok, "Ugh, could you lay off! You've been bugging Ash about this for weeks. If he says he doesn't know, he doesn't know. Have you ever considered that even if he did know, he might be unable to tell us?"

Dok was outraged, "Why wouldn't he tell us? He's our best friend!"

Ash laughed, "She didn't say that I 'wouldn't want to tell you,' but that I 'couldn't.' You know, Starfleet regulations and all." He glanced between them as they walked the upper promenade of the merchant hub. "But, honestly, I don't know. It is curious, though."

Ensign Criss towered over the junior officers as it became his turn to join the conversation. "Curious about what?" he asked.

Ash responded to the Caitian's question by saying, "It has been a while since the academy hosted a cadre on the station."

Jasmine disagreed, saying that it was not unusual.

Ash replied, "I suppose you're right, but our cadre is the only one to be hosted in the last four years. And you heard Commander Klune mention during her commencement speech how special our cadre is."

"We're pretty special," Dok boasted, adjusting his uniform tunic collar with too much pomp. The group of four chuckled before Ash said, "That's true, but our group was relatively small and probably the most diverse."

"Mind you, we started with a class of 20," Criss countered. "And ended up with six," Ash added. "They quickly weeded out the low performers. But what you may not know is that they weren't dismissed from training - they were sent back to Earth to complete their training. Also, did you notice that we are from different divisions with different specialties?"

"You sound like everyone else speculating," Jasmine chided. "But you're right, and I have a feeling we'll soon find out why the ship is here and what part we're meant to play."

Ash nodded. Commander Klune had ordered their cadre to stay on station, and none had received their duty station assignments yet. If Ash were a betting man, he'd wager everything on their future deployment having everything to do with the Zeus and its future mission, whatever that may be.

"Anyway," Ash shook off the ominous feeling of the unknown as they rounded the corner and arrived at their destination. "Let's not dwell on what ifs and could be's. We have just graduated and become Ensigns of Starfleet. Let's go celebrate the last four years - drinks are on Dok!"

Ash, Jasmine, and Criss entered the Orion bar arm-in-arm while Dok quickly followed, whining the entire way.

[End Scene]


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