Cl.01.09 – Captain’s Log, stardate 70688,2 – It is going to be a busy day today. After spending the last 24 hours on optimizing the security protocols on the ship and finetuning the program for our highly esteemed guests, today the day has come for their arrival. Initially I will conduct a few inspections before the President and his fellow delegates arrive on the ship. Thankfully the ship has been cleared for high warp trials, which we will be conducting while they are aboard. I cannot wait for this day to end.
0520 hrs- With a final tap on the button as Calyssa finished recording her log entry. She shoved the last piece of toast into her mouth and as she left her quarters, she finished her orange juice. A short turbolift ride later, she found herself standing on the corridor of deck 1. In contrast to other ships she had served on, the Azura’s deck one was large enough for it to have another turbolift access at the rear of the deck. She quickly hurried her way to the front part and before reaching the bulkhead at the far end of the bridge, she took right turning into the briefing lounge of the U.S.S. Callisto.
“My apologies..” Calyssa apologized for being on the late side. “You can start the briefing now.” She quickly took a seat, allowing the engineer of the night shift to brief the senior crew on what items from the shakedown list had been covered during the night. As the engineer gladly reported that several tests on the ODN relais on the lower decks had finally passed scrutiny, a twitching motion from her new XO caught her attention. Apparently there was something he wanted to tell her. He placed his fingers on the left corner of his mouth, making some kind of wiping motion. Finally Calyssa understood what it meant and she copied his motion. She looked at her fingers and noticed a considerable amount of crumbs that got there by rushing in her breakfast. With a swift glimpse at his white-haired XO, she thanked him for the notice.
0825 hrs – “I am sorry, Lieutenant. This day simply is ahead of me and I don’t seem to be able to catch up.” Calyssa was late for yet another appointment. This time, she had arranged that Lieutenant C’riss would meet her on deck 2 in the VIP area of the ship. The gold haired feline security chief went over the last arrangements that have been made in order to safely accommodate their guests. “With approval from the President’s Chief of Staff, the security details have been tripled. They will be patrolling each access point to this area of the ship. A perimeter has been installed at every access point that leads to this deck, again manned by armed security personnel.” Lieutenant C’riss carried on for another decent 30 minutes before she had briefed the Captain on all the latest precautions. “Have we confirmed that the current security protocols are approved by the President’s staff?” “Affirmative, Captain. Now, Captain, if you’ll follow me for the last inspection round.”
1123 hrs – “Thank you for waiting, Roland.” Calyssa entered her readyroom and asked her dear friend to sit down on the sofa facing the windows on the lower level of her ready room. “You must be a very busy person at this time.” Commander Roland Hart chuckled. “Can I get you anything?” Calyssa asked before joining him in the lounge area of her office. “Mate tea, please.” Calyssa nodded and instructed the computer to synthesize what they want. “You don’t mind if I shove down some fast lunch?” Roland shook his head. “So when are they planned to arrive?” Roland asked as Calyssa took a seat on the comfortable chair in front of the sofa he was seated on. “The President is scheduled to set foot on the Callisto at 1400.” She said, taking a bite from her cucumber sandwich. “Most of his cabinet members will be arriving around 1300. Departure has been scheduled, immediately after arrival of the President.” She finished her sentence, washing the last bit of her sandwich away with a decent gulp of palandri juice. “So, I know you longer than today, to what do I owe the pleasure of you visiting me?” She asked the engineer who had been chiefly responsible for designing the ship she was now commanding. “Don’t hate me for it, Calyssa, but I have instructed to join you in this mission. It’s precautionary.” Calyssa sighed but understood why it had been decided to have the engineer assigned to a new starship when a group of highly ranked dignitaries was aboard. “What does Tyala has to say about this.” She smiled. Calyssa referred to his partner who now must be about eight months pregnant. Roland got up from the sofa and walked to the window. “I am not happy with these orders either, Calys.” He said. “I should be with Nezeri now. For all I know she could go into delivery when we are away.” He said. “What if she came aboard the Callisto?” Calyssa knew that it would be fruitless to pursue the option of finding a replacement design engineer who could take his place. Starfleet Command would insist on Roland taking on this mission. “Do you mean that?” Roland faced her friend who was now standing beside him. “Of course. This ship has all the comforts. Doctor Nayru is a skilled physician who has experience in obstetrics. “Very well. Let’s make it happen. You are a good friend, Calyssa, do you know that?” She smiled and embraced him. “Make sure she gets here within one hour.”
1345 hrs – “Captain!” Calyssa walked the corridor of deck 2 as she was called. She recognized the voice, it was her second officer, the red-haired Irish Commander Faulckner. She was dressed in her dress uniform as protocol dictates. As of early this morning, she had transfered helm control of the ship to her assistant department chief. As of right now she was the chief diplomatic officer who had an important task as head steward. “What is it, Commander?” Calyssa said now that the young human female caught up with her. “A message from the chef.” She handed a PADD to the Captain. “Has he properly settled in?” Faulckner nodded “He has started the preparation of the banquet later this night. “He wanted to know whether we should serve cod fish or monk fish as fifth course.” Calyssa eyed her third in command. “Is that a serious question, Commander?” “I am afraid it is, Captain. I would advise to go with the cod fish. It is less likely to cause any kind of gastro-intestinal distress in any of our guests.” Calyssa frowned as she listened to Susannah. “The President’s minister of science is a Benzite and they are known for having trouble to break down a variety of marine-based proteins. According to the scans we made, it seems that cod fish contains a significant lower amount.” “Very well, inform the chef that we’ll be serving cod tonight.” Calyssa resented the very idea of having to occupy her mind with such trivialities. She made a mental note to ask Admiral West for some form of compensation as soon as the delegation had left her ship. “I have been told that President Okeg is quite the wine enthusiast. May I suggest to swop the 2303 Chateau Picard for the 2331?” Calyssa stopped walking the corridor and eyed her second officer for a short while. “Better vintage?” Calyssa asked. Susannah nodded. “It seems to have a ‘woodier’ aroma, something the President prefers.” “How do you know all of this, Commander?” Calyssa crossed her arms, applauding Commander Faulckner’s thoroughness. “I wouldn’t be much of a diplomat if I did not know these things. Let’s just say, I have my sources, ma’am.” “It is good to hear that I can leave this entire ordeal to you. Commander, you have carte-blanche on all banquet related matters from now on.” Calyssa smiled, feeling reassured that she is able to leave this matter to the attention of an expert. “Who has already arrived?” She asked her. “Ministers of Security and Transports and logistics, as well as Starfleet’s chiefs Personnel affairs and Starfleet Tactical. I have received confirmation that the President will be here in 10 minutes.” Calyssa nodded. “Cater to their needs and make sure that they are settled with VIP quarters.” Susannah smiled. “They are already comfortable in their assigned quarters, Captain.” Calyssa sighed. “Very well, let’s say hello to the President then.”
1408 hrs – Anxiously Calyssa was standing just out side of the airlock on deck 7. The time had come that the President was about to arrive. She could hear from the turmoil coming down the space station’s corridor that he was not that far away. From a distance, Calyssa noticed a herd of reporters and security personnel getting closer and closer. She knew that somewhere in that mass of people the President was attempted to reach the ship. As soon as he was about to set foot on the Callisto’s deckplating, the press was kept away by the security personnel. From a small distance, Lieutenant C’riss was monitoring whether everything happened as planned. “Good afternoon, Captain. Permission to come aboard.” The warm smile of the President was captured by at least five different holo-imagers. Calyssa attempted to follow his example without trying to force a smile. The fact that the President officially requested permission to come aboard actually helped her to conjure up somewhat of a sincere smile. They shook hands the same way as they did before a couple of days ago. “It is a pleasure to have you aboard, mister President.” Calyssa smiled while the holo-imagers of the press where now focussed on her. “May I introduce you to Commander Li-Kobrrei, my first officer.” The two males exchanged glimpses while they greeted each other with a firm hand shake. “And my second officer and your personal stewart, Lieutenant Commander Susannah Faulckner.” The young Irish female made a slight bow with her head, respecting the office the President occupied. “It is a pleasure feel so welcome, Captain. May I introduce you to some my cabinet and staff.” President Okeg stepped aside so other members of the delegation would become visible. Firstly we have Minister Gorrin of Science…” Calyssa greeted the chocolate skinned Vulcan traditionally. “And this is Minister Ozetta Kayal of Diplomatic Relations.” Calyssa focussed her attention to the Trill female who stepped forward when she was introduced by the President. “I understand that Ministers Jrezz and Chibbin are already aboard?” Okeg asked calmly. “They are, your excellence. May I escort you to your quarters?” Commander Faulckner requested the dignitaries to follow her. “After you have settled in, the Captain invites you to the lounge for a welcome drink.” She smiled, showing the Federation Officials the way. As soon as they vanished, two highly ranked Starfleet officials approached. “It is good to have you aboard, Admirals, welcome.” Calyssa extended the warmest of welcomes to the Admiralty. Firstly Admiral Nayagi stepped forward. He was Starfleet’s Chief of Staff under Fleet Admiral Necheyev. Secondly Admiral Tiyal of Starfleet Fleet Operations stepped forward. “If you would be so kind to follow my first officer. He will arrange quarters for you.” Both admirals nodded and they followed the Efrosian to their quarters. With a small sigh of relieve, Calyssa was glad to know that the worst part was behind her. “Alright people. The show is over, please head to the air lock, it is time for us to leave.” Lieutenant C’riss shouted, forcing the press to cease their activities. “Those who have a pass, can accompany Lieutenant Ayyali for their security clearance.” Calyssa nodded at her chief of security, signaling her that she was doing a good job. In the next five minutes the area just behind the air lock cleared up pretty fast and just before Calyssa was about to head back to the bridge, she noticed a pregnant woman experience problems passing through security at the air lock. Calyssa quickly moved over and allowed the woman to pass. “Nezeri, good to see you.” She said, guiding her safely passed security. “You look astounding.” Calyssa said, embracing her friend. “Don’t lie, Calys. I look like a Tyrelian whale.” Nezeri Tyala chuckled. “I am so glad I am able to be here. I cannot thank you enough, Calys.” She expressed her gratitude. “It’s alright.” Calyssa smiled while signaling a security officer to approach them. She ordered him to escort Nezeri to Roland’s quarters. “Feel right at home. Unfortunately security is pretty tight with the President being on board, but we’ll try to work around. We’ll catch up as soon as we can.” Calyssa smiled. “Of course.” came the warm reply from her pregnant friend.
1430 hrs – Calyssa felt a bit guilty having to leave Nezeri Tyala alone being eight months pregnant. Unfortunately, the circumstances left her no choice. Thankfully, her partner and the father of the child was present on the ship, should it decide to want out. Before she headed down for the inspection earlier this morning, she informed Fenna that should be counting on a delivery somewhere the following three weeks. Of course the medical officer had no problems with it, but it gave her ample time to prepare for it. Calyssa was on her way to the bridge now all the guests had arrived. Susannah was taking care of the guests in the VIP lounge on deck 2. The lounge had a panoramic view of the stern of the ship which will offer them a fantastic view of the Azura class starship jumping to warp.
“Report.” Calyssa said as soon as she left the turbolift. “All stations report ready, Captain.” Commander Kobrrei was seated on the chair that was assigned to his position, on the Captain’s left hand side. “Release moorings, retract docking clamps. Prepare for departure. Calyssa took a seat on her chair, while logging in onto her arm rest console. She checked the status in the VIP lounge and Commander Faulckner had cleared the lounge for departure about 5 minutes ago. Faulckner’s regular station on the bridge, the helm station was now manned by Faulckner’s second helm officer, Lieutenant Junior grade Greyyel, a young and eager Benzite. “Docking clamps removed. Departure clearance received. Thrusters standing by.” came the report from the helm officer. “Take us out.” Calyssa ordered. Kobrrei got up from his chair and started to a set of instructions as the massive tritanium space frame started to gain momentum. Despite of the fact that the inertial dampening fields was fully operational, Calyssa was able to sense the first few milliseconds of movement. It took the ship a decent 25 minutes before it reached the outer rim of the Sol system. Traffic was heavy and with such an important delegation aboard, the Callisto had not been assigned to the quickest vector out of the system.
“Sol control to U.S.S. Callisto, no further vector guidance, cleared for own navigation and warp speed.” Since Sol was a busy system, Calyssa made it a habit to have the control frequency on the bridge intercom system so all present on the bridge would be able to pay attention to their messages. Greyyel instantly switched to own navigation. “Your orders, Captain?” He said after having swiveled his chair to face his commanding officer. “Set course to the Chozo gate, heading 023 mark 109. Warp 9.99” Calyssa said. It would be her first time traveling at that speed. Her previous commands had not been able to go any faster than warp 9.975 but as the Azura class had been designed to eventually carry a quantum slipstream drive, it was able to reach higher warp speeds with a conventional warp core. “Standing by to engage, ma’am” Greyyel reported after entering the necessary data into the navigational computer.
“Engage.” As soon as she gave the order, it was confirmed by the helm officer which caused the ship to respond instantly. The inertial dampening field jumped to maximum. The warp core’s intermix chamber was filled with a steady stream of antimatter which caused immediate annihilation of both matter and antimatter. The energy that was released was immediately channeled away towards the nacelles that housed the warp coils. They started to generate a very powerful warp field that was reinforced by the main deflector. Not longer than 3 seconds later they ship had jumped to warp speed, leaving behind a bright flash of blue light between the distant stars.
Captain’s Log, supplemental – The Callisto has been at warp 9.99 for more than two hours now. Although a speed increase from 9.975 to warp 9.99 seems to be nothing, it surely makes a difference. We have already passed the Epsilon Eridani system which we would normally pass in about 5 hours at emergency warp. If this is what the new warp core configuration can achieve, I am interested to see what a quantum slipstream drive can do. If Callisto is able to keep up this speed, we’ll be at the gate coordinates in less than three days. Now that must be something that will please President Okeg and the entire Admiralty.
1615 hrs – The hexapedal Kaaroan chief engineer came walking out of his office, he headed to the guard rail that kept crew from falling from the highest level onto the lower second level. He placed one of his arms firmly on the guard rail while he used his large gecko like feet to push off. Elegantly he jumped over the guard rail, landing about 4 meters lower on the second level. He had received an automated alarm in his office, indicating that there was a slight instability in the matter antimatter intermix. Now that he was at the appropriate console, he checked the problem. “Increase magnetic containment with 5%. Narrow the antimatter injection stream by 2 microns.” the Kaaroan ordered. He allowed his junior engineers to take care of the problem while he closely supervised, taking notes on a PADD. As soon as the problem seemed to be contained, he climbed up the ladder, finding Captain Aelyn standing on the higher level.
“Captain, what can do for you, ma’am?” Lieutenant Jaura faced the Captain, crossing both sets of arms. “How is our warp engine doing, Lieutenant?” Jaura allowed the Captain to go down the ladder first to the lowest level of engineering which was two levels down from the high level. Three slender bright blue spires were located next to each other in a straight line. Each spire was innervated by computer inputs as well as plasma cooling conduits. The Azura class was one of the first vessels that was equipped with three independently operating warp cores that operate in unison to produce enough energy to guarantee safe flight at very high warp speeds. “They are doing quite fine, Captain.” Jaura said as he checked several parameters on the low level consoles. “Whoever designed his new warp engine should receive a medal.” Calyssa chuckled. “I am sure he will. How long are we able to sustain our current warp factor?” the Captain asked as her chief engineer jumped from console to console, checking basic warp parameters. “As stable as the intermix currently is, I see no reason got cut back our speed in the foreseeable future, ma’am.” the engineer replied. Calyssa gazed at the three warp cores. As the matter antimatter annihilation deep inside the reactor cores caused a variety in peaceful and colorful whirls, it was hard to imagine that such a violent process was taking place creating incredible amounts of energy. “Job well done, Lieutenant.” Calyssa said, heading back to the ladder. “You should commend the designers, Captain. I am not doing an awful lot to let this ship fly.” Calyssa produced a smile before she started the ascend to the highest level. “Keep at it, Lieutenant. I see you at the banquet later tonight. Don’t forget to put on your dress uniform.”
1805 hrs – The graphite grey dress uniform that Calyssa just put on suited her well. It elegantly hid the extra pound or two she had gained as the years progressed. Her collars were decorated with the Starfleet Chevron on the right side and the UFP emblem on the left side. After she had attached the rank bearing epaulets to her shoulders, she headed back to the living area of her quarters. She opened a drawer, taking out a copper coloured metallic disk of about 5 centimeters in diameter. She placed it onto her head, pressing a small button on the side of the disk. Instantly several articulated metallic spikes emerged from the side of the disk which instantly started to braid her hair into an intricate and complex pattern. Ever since the bond between her and Zhaant Captain Axxin had grown solid, she chose to wear her hair according to Axxin’s species tradition. The women in each family line of Axxin species wore their hair in a similar pattern of braids, curls and knots. Since Calyssa was always struggling with what to do with her hair while on duty, she decided to ask permissio from the line patriarch to use the Axxin’s line hair style, which in the end she received. About three minutes later they spikes had completed the braiding. The spikes retracted into the disk, which Calyssa placed back in the drawer. She quickly glimpsed in the mirror to see if it checked out and again she was amazed by the minute precision the little device was able to achieve. “Always a good hair day.” She smiled, walking out, heading to the VIP dining room.
1820 hrs – Calyssa passed at least three security checkpoints before she was able to arrive on deck 2. After the security officials were convinced that she was who she claimed to be and that she was not carrying any arms, she was allowed to get through. It was quite an odd sensation that she had to subject to such scrutiny on her own ship. Thankfully it will not last longer than a week or three, probably even shorter than that. After a short walk from the turbolift to the lounge of the VIP deck, she entered after the milk glass door opened. Inside she walked straight into a relaxed atmosphere of Federation officials all clothed in official attire in a variety of colours while the present Starfleet representatives were all dressed in a similar dress uniform as he was wearing herself. A steward had noticed her arrival and as she had come to expect a loud “Captain on deck” echoed through the room. For a moment the murmurs of people engaged in idle conversation died away as they all gazed in her direction. As soon as everyone had noticed that the Commanding Officer of the ship had arrived, the talking continued. “Care for a glass of champaign, Captain?” A steward approached her with a silver trey lined with crystal glasses filled with the golden yellow mead from the French region that still produces the finest carbonated white wines. Calyssa politely declined the offer. Something told her that it was going to be a very long evening tonight and consuming too much alcohol on a night like this did not seem sensible. “Bring me a glass of carbonated water, please.” The steward nodded and walked away to get the captain’s order.
“Captain…” A voice called her and Calyssa turned to look at the owner of the voice. It was the Bolian minister Chibbin who served in President’s Okeg administration as minister of Transport and Logistics. “May I compliment you on a fine vessel like this? I have seen many vessels, Starfleet and not, but this design is simply remarkable.” As the minister continued to rant about pretty much anything that he found interesting, Calyssa noticed that the people that were eager to talk to her seemed to be forming lines, right behind the minister. It indeed was going to be a long night.
1905 hrs – After another 30 minutes of small talk about pretty much everything that did not seem to interest Calyssa at this point in time, it was time to head over to the dining room where a large rectangular table was flourishly decorated and set for the banquet that was about to begin. Calyssa was seated at the very head of the table, as tradition dictated being the host of the event. She got up to her feet and noticed how everyone who was present was dressed accordingly. The entire Callisto’s senior crew was present for the event, even Lieutenant Raa who, as Pahkwa-tanh was served an alternative meal. Additionally, Lieutenant Jaura was served an alternative menu as well as his digestive system had great trouble breaking down starchy and fatty meals. On the other side of the table, the official dignitaries were seated, including the President, his cabinet members and the three high ranking Starfleet admirals. Ship stewards came walking in, serving everyone a glass of champaign. As soon as they left, Calyssa tried to get everyone’s attention, using the traditional spoon and glass method.
“If I may have your attention please. It is with pleasure and honour that I welcome President Okeg, his cabinet members and Starfleet’s Admirals to the brand new Azura class U.S.S. Callisto. Though still on her shake down cruise, the crew has a very good idea of what this ship is capable of and it is our pleasure to show you the following weeks what months if not years of design work has culminated into. Additionally, to establish the importance of the work that is done by the Chozo expedition task force that operates in a very distant region of Federation operated space, we are heading off to the core of the expedition, the Nerey’N system. Once there, you’ll be able to see for yourself what years of exploratory initiatives have produced. I hope it will all impress you. To commemorate all the good work, I would like to invite you for this fantastic meal our chef has prepared for you. May it please you. Enjoy.” She raised her glass after her last word had been spoken and after a short round of applause, the first course was served by the stewards staff.
2315 hrs – After the meal, everyone was requested to head back to the VIP lounge for a relaxing atmosphere to end the evening in style. Most of the senior staff had already left the scene since most had to start early in the morning. As Captain, Calyssa felt obligated until the last of her guests had left the lounge. At this point, she had remained behind with two of the Admirals and the President himself. “So what is your stance on the significance of the Chozo Expedition?” Admiral Nayagi asked. Nhorr, the friendly Caitian had poured him a Saurian brandy which he gratefully took from his hands. “Your excellence?” Nhorr inquired whether the president would like one as well. “No thank you. As unlikely as it may sound, I don’t have a taste for it.” The orange hued Saurian said. “Can I get you anything else?” Nhorr asked. “No thank you, I will be retiring shortly.” Okeg smiled. “I would say that the progress we have made so far justifies the expedition.” Calyssa finally replied to the question that she was asked. “Tell me, Captain, what result would that be?” The Japanese Admiral clearly was not one of the expeditions biggest fans. Ever since the Admirals have been aboard, Calyssa feared a conversation like this. She intended not to engage into discussion, hoping that Admiral West would be better victim for their criticism than herself. “I think that the recollection of the data from numerous shards is something that will keep Starfleet engineers and scientists busy for the next decade or so.” Calyssa replied calmly. “What about the losses we endured during the GYor war? Can those be justified as well?” At this point the President intervened. “Admiral, though I respect your opinion on the matter I hardly think that this is the time to discuss the matter. I suggest you wait until we have arrived at Rivendell.” Okeg remained calm as he produced a smile on his face. “Agreed.” Came the reply from Nayagi’s fellow Admiral Tiyal. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll retire for the night.” Okeg got up and shook the hand of the Captain. “Thank you, Captain for a lovely meal. I am looking forward to what the day of tomorrow brings.” The President left and so did the Admirals. Calyssa got up, now that she was alone with a handful of stewards. She noticed that Commander Faulckner was busy in making arrangements for breakfast tomorrow. “That’s it.” Calyssa smiled, tired of all the consternation. “I’ll be off to the bridge now. Good work, Commander.”
0100 hrs – The doors to Calyssa’s quarters opened. She headed straight to the sonic shower after the doors closed behind her back. After the banquet ended, she headed to the bridge for the latest updates and to check up on the shake down schedule. The work that had piled up had kept her busy for an hour or so before she headed of to her quarters. She quickly got into her night gown, headed to her dormitory and laid down on bed. With a working day of more than 20 hours, it did not take long before she fell fast asleep.