Canopus Station
Previous Next

Smooth As Glass, Sharp As A Knife

Posted on Sat Mar 21st, 2020 @ 2:47am by The Narrator & Lieutenant Commander Amie Cerys

Mission: S2:1: Into The Drowning Deeps
Location: Canopus Station, Small Craft Bay Beta
Timeline: MD4 12.00

For the most part, the bay had been cleared of all the other craft that had been assigned there. Cargo skiff's and Work Bee's had been assigned elsewhere, and the two Rescue Cutter's that had taken up most of the bay's small space had been moved to a moored docking berth on one of the piers.

All to make room for a ship barely larger than three runabouts parked side by side.

Shaped like a flying wing, with the nacelles of a warp drive tucked into the wings and with its impulse drive hidden behind a set of baffled thrust vectoring plates, it didn't look that impressive. Commodore Grissom had talked up the Black Bird as a state of the art Ghost Works prototype. A ship so new the two working models were being tested in Messier 4, and by Starfleet Intelligences own Red Team. One was an unknown minefield of dangers, and the other had a sealed battle record that could be viewed by the public in 2599.

So the grey wedge of clay was something less then the mind had been lead to believe. But the rear access hatch was open, unfolding to simple stairs to an airlock door.

And from the stairs came the smell of...pancakes?

Running a hand along the ship as she got into the bay, Amie nodded to a few workers she passed before stopping in her tracks. "Pancakes?" Following the smell, she stepped into the rear hatch, "Hello?"

The interior was a little more impressive if a little more cramped than expected. The airlock was narrow, with EV suits set into form-fitting alcoves in the wall to save on space. After that was an armoury and equipment berth, and a few of the toys carefully racked next to their power packs and ammo cassettes looked new. New enough that the ink on the training manuals was still wet.

And still the scent of pancakes, and now the tiny saxophone yowl of smooth jazz.

Next was a crew berth, four narrow staterooms with the sort of folding furniture that could be a bed, a desk, or a chair without ever making the room larger than a cargo pod. A sealed door at the end of the passageway was marked 'Sonic Shower', so just like at the Academy it was a communal space. And past the showers was the galley.

The pancakes.
...and the robot.

It reached across the table, and with the accuracy of a guided missile turned the maple syrup jar two-tenths of a degree to the right to align it perfectly with the cutlery it had placed out. It was humanoid, but it was not an android. Parts of its chassis were bare, revealing pistons and servos, whilst others were wearing the anti spalling padding you might see on a ballistics vest. Its head had two optical sensors, one larger than the other, placed one atop the other.

"Commander Cerys. Your personal jacket marks you as punctual, but it was lacking in the fields of gastronomy. I hope you don't mind if I defaulted to design standards," it spoke up and gestured to the galley table with the pancakes. The plates of pancakes. The mountains of pancakes. Light and fluffy mounds of pancakes. From Japenese cheesecake style to buckwheat and chocolate chip. Not a single ethnic group of the pancake species was left out.

Nor the litre of maple syrup or the six carafes of steam coffee.

"Allow me to introduce myself. I am Battlefield Rifleman, Infantry-class 3rd Enhancement. Though I think you can call me Bree."

Eying the line of pancakes, Amie just sort of stood there, but did take some of the coffee. "Well, thank you for all this, Bree. But, I don't think in a week I could eat this many pancakes."

"As I said Commander, I defaulted to design standards. Which, in retrospect, are platoon strength. I'll correct that in the next update cycle." Bree stepped neatly around the table, the hum of the servo's neatly underpinning the movements as he pulled one of the galley chairs out for her. "Will Lieutenant Tevran be joining us? I am able to give the same briefing to him when he joins us, or I can deliver it at a time more in keeping with his schedule."

"Thank you, and please do readjust the portions to just a few people, not a platoon." Amie sat down and listened. "Go right ahead. Tevran can catch up later."

"Very well. The USS Black Bird is a long-range patrol and observation craft, official designation an Osiris class corvette. She is outfitted to be minimally manned with two sentient crew members, but can also facilitate the accommodation and deployment of Platoon level troop forces along with their support and command personnel. Forward of the galley is the medical pod, operated by a Triple-A Compliant Pathos Medical AutoDoc, followed by engineering access spaces and the flight deck. Sleeping quarters, armoury and ship stores are aft of the galley." Bree said, making hand gestures as he directed to each compartment.

"The Osiris class is warp-capable, with a short-range QS drive rated for fifteen light-year hops on a single charge. Shields are of the Buckler class system, operating as individual shield plates that can be layered in exchange for a lack of surface area. Weapons compliment are two 20cm phaser cannons mounted in the nose, with deployable turrets rated in the Giga Watt range from the dorsal and ventral hull. Standoff range weapons include conventional antimatter tipped photon torpedoes, as well as a selection of submunition variants for anti starfighter engagements." Bree finished. "Combined with the Masker stealth system, the Osiris's original design brief was to be a cloaked first strike platform. Simulations suggested a 97% success rate in remaining undetected in Romulus high orbit for more than six days once on station."

Amie listened, some of the information went over her head even as an Intelligence officer, but she still appreciated it. "Sounds like we get to have fun in this little thing once we get going."

"I would agree with you, Commander. The Black Bird is a ship designed to hide and hit well above its weight class. But it is still only a small ship. Against larger combatants and concentration of enemy numbers, even the Masker will not hide this ship for long," Bree said. "I am provided along with the ship to act as both custodian, guard, and back up should you require it."

"I am hoping that we don't need the backup. But I do appreciate that you are provided." Amie's eyes turned to the pancakes, but she really wasn't that hungry. The chocolate chip did look good though. "Are you going to be able to cater to just two people instead of a whole crew?"

"Huum, an interesting question," Bree said, the slight hum of the servo's filled the air as the machines sensor systems focused on the arrayed food items. "I'll do my best to curb the mass index on my skill tree, but I seem to recall something about an army marching on its stomach. I was made for Ma'am, born and bred you might say. I'm here to fight and make sure your self and Luetenant Tevran return home in one piece. That's Directive Two on my hard-wired ROM's."

"Directive two? Do I want to know what directive one is?"

"I have a confidential setting Ma'am, and Directive One is need to know. Commodore Grissom's orders," Bree said, and with a machine efficiency began to pick up plates and feed them back into the replicator for reclamation. "End of day, we won't need it. On the roster, you two meat bags are in command, and I'm just along for the ride to safeguard my stockpile of human slaves for my robot colony."

Shaking her head, Amie got up but took her coffee with her. "Word of advice? Don't call us meat bags. We don't really appreciate it." She smirked and headed off to tour the rest of the ship.

"Roger that Ma'am, I'll dial the sass back to 62% for the duration of the mission," Bree informed.


Previous Next