Canopus Station
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Raptors' Rest

Posted on Wed Feb 5th, 2020 @ 3:36pm by Petty Officer 1st Class Faen & Sera t’Jo’rek & The Narrator

Mission: S2:1: Into The Drowning Deeps
Location: Starbase 72 & Messier 4 Cluster

Starbase 72
Main Messier 4 Long Jump Hangar

There was a hustle and bustle that had not been present in Aerv's life for some time. Since their brief time in Starfleet Academy and in routine training and scanning runs at Starfleet's Starbase 72, things had been quite routine for the Romulans of Sovuur, even those in Starfleet. 20 in total had chosen to join Starfleet, although only a few more than the Raptor' Squadron's 12 pilots would be going to Messier 4. It was not a large number, as most of them just wanted to return to some sort of normal. Aerv had a feeling that most Federation citizens were glad the Romulans didn't join the military en masse.

Truth be told, Aerv did not mind the Federation or Starfleet. Even though he was alive during much of the recent turmoil prior to Hobus, he had grown to respect what the Federation stood for, especially some of the better brass and commanders. It goes without saying that Picard was in that category - without his movement, he would not have this great opportunity. The villagers from Sovuur would be homeless, or blended in with another Romulan colony ship or carrier. So to Aerv, this was all a good thing.

Did he now trust all Humans, or well anyone not a Romulan? Of course not. But many olive branches had been exchanged, so most distaste had waned over the last two years.

Aerv ran his hand along one of the egg-shaped wrappings for his squadron fighters. Twelve Javelin-class fighters had been granted the team, dubbed Raptor Squadron, to be assigned to Canopus Station in the M4 cluster. They were now packed in cargo containers and encased in a protective "shell" for the slingshot to M4. Aerv was told things would be just fine - inorganic objects hardly even shifted during the boosted jump.

"They are all there," came a female voice that Aerv recognized. "I was allowed to verify all encasements and preparations myself."

Aerv turned and saw Speaker Sera t'Jo'rek. She would be the new Colony Coordinator on Carpathia in the M4 cluster, the new home for the Sovuur Rihannsu. She managed to impose the traditional Romulan title of "Speaker" on people, which was similar to a governor or mayor. "Aefadh, lhhei Sera." [Greetings, madam Sera] Aerv gave a slight bow of his head and shoulders.

"You look good... Mister Aerv?" She grinned, using his new Starfleet rank address. "The outfit suits you."

Aerv nodded. Both the uniform for the pilots with their squadron patch, as well as the minor adornments to the fighters themselves, were very much an homage to the Romulan people. The slight hints of green blended well and added to the look and feel. "So are the villagers ready?" he asked, changing the subject.

"As they ever will be," Sera replied quickly. "Our colony is not quite complete, I'm told, so we'll have some work to do when we get there. That's part of the deal though, I suppose." She took off her decorative, white outer cloak that she wore almost everywhere, and set it down. In a small satchel at her side, she grabbed a rather dull robe. "You have yours?"

Aerv cocked his head, "Lhhei?"

"For the trip over?" She chortled uncharacteristically. "I've heard many do not handle the jump very well - their constitution is not as strong as they would hope."

Surely not I, Aerv thought. While Sera was half a generation or so his senior, he was still surprised she was expecting to be sick.

Sensing his hesitation. "Wear one, just in case."

The common language between the two had come from working very closely together since Hobus. Her leading the people after her husband's death, Aerv leading the evacuation and defense efforts. There were other Rihannsu involved in the leadership, but these two had been through a lot - she was like an older sister at this point.

Aerv just nodded at her imperative, looking back at the cargo before heading over towards her. The two exited the area and headed to wear all the other Romulans were.

As the two walked through the main staging area for the Long Jump Project, passing by both civilian workers and Starfleet personnel, they received second glances. Not as many as was perhaps normal before the Hobus event had put so many on the doorsteps of many Federation worlds, but enough to warrant a brief sense of relief as the air rang out with all hands announcement.

"Ladies and gentlemen of the Forth Messier 4 Expedition Group, this is Commodore Grissom. I have just come from Long Jump Control and have confirmed with their astrogators that all systems are go. The Alpha Phase Space Accelerator is functioning perfectly, and with the Canopus Station Phase Space Transceiver acting as a beacon an 80% accuracy rate on our jump is to be expected. To that end the clock has started, and launch preparations have moved into their terminal phase. The cargo ships of the supply flotilla have already been moved into position in orbit of the Back Stop moon, and the main group will be moved into position over the next twelve hours. Take a moment, look around. We are going where very few have gone before, to not only plant the flag for the future of our civilisation but the continued success of our fellowship as sentient beings. We're not the trailblazers, that accolade goes to the Traveller and her crew, but make no mistake each and every one of you will be making history in twelve hours. I am honoured to be a part of this, as you all are as well. All division heads submit final readiness reports no later than t-minus 8 hours. Commodore Grissom, out.

Messier 4 Cluster
Inside Long Jump Vessel

The injection they give, the seats provided, the instructions given... none of it helped. Aerv found himself, right next to his go-to pilot Faen, tossing up the last several meals and some stomach bile to boot. He was glad he took Sera's advice on wearing the overcoat.

"Here," said Faen, handing a towel over.

Aerv sighed, being done with the reaction, in theory. "How come you didn't need it?" He wiped his mouth and some of his clothing. Soon enough a crewman would come by and clean up the several messes left by him and others.

"Perhaps I deserved the commission?"

Aerv gave him a glare.

"A bad joke..." Faen took the towel for his squadron commander as a courtesy. "Rekkhai." [military Sir]

A dull thumping sound rang throughout the ship, and suddenly blinding light shot through one side of the compartment as the protective shielding of the fairing was jettisoned from the hull of the ship. Beyond the hyper diamond viewports, that were even then darkening to counter the glare of a distant radiant sun, a red and white striped gas giant could be seen glowing in a sea of stars.

Aerv looked around and most who had tossed seemed to be fine. They already had water bottles at their side so he began to rehydrate. The idea and excitement refueled him more than the water, any ill effects of the Long Jump subsiding quickly.

"What sort of name is Tangerine Dream?" one of Aerv's flyers asked, peering out the window. Clearly he'd read the backgrounder on the system the Long Jump Project had picked as a base. "I thought a Tangerine was some sort of fruit the humans ate?"

Aerv shook his head and managed a slight curve of his lips. "We'll have to partake and compare then, eh?" There were a few chuckles as conversation continued. But Aerv continued to watch the gas giant, and soon the moon Carpathia and Canopus Station, their new homes welcoming them in a strange but beautiful way.


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