DEEP SPACE 224 — The crew of the USS Excalibur (NCC-41903-A) recovers from physical and psychological traumas at Starfleet’s largest installation in The Borderlands.
Following two consecutive harrowing missions, the Excalibur returned to Deep Space 224 for extended shore leave. The crew dispersed about the station and the region to pursue various personal and professional objectives.
Chief science officer LtCmdr. Etan Iljor underwent a command training exercise under the supervision of chief operations officer Cmdr. Karrod Niac. While Iljor performed well on the assessment, a clerical error of Niac’s forced them both to face the wrath of first officer Cmdr. Addison MacKenzie, after she awoke to alerts of multiple engineering failures and severe injuries without realizing a simulation was in progress.
Still, the exercise allowed Iljor to demonstrate his skills and ponder the philosophy of command. “Does anybody really grow comfortable making those impossible decisions?” he asked.
After a time-obsessed Q, called CloQ, subjected them to repeated temporal hijinks, many on the crew dreaded the omnipotent being’s potential return. Acting chief intelligence officer Lt. JG Talos Dakora summarized the feelings of his colleagues:
“I can’t shake the feeling that any moment now we’re gonna get that white flash, and CloQ’s going to show up and taunt us for ever believing any of this was real, and then we’ll be off to the next nightmare.”
In response, chief engineer Lt. Hallia Yellir led a team that developed a prototype early detection system for the Q continuum, using sensor logs that detected elevated chronitons a split second before each of CloQ’s appearances. Although the device requires further testing before deployment, initial reports were encouraging.
As with any shore leave, there was a transition period as officers and crew transferred onto and off the ship. Amongst the new arrivals were Ens. Hera Kijana, a recent Academy graduate, and Lt. Seta Jinean, a transfer from the USS Saint Raphael. The latter’s services were in high demand upon her arrival, because many amongst the crew felt depleted by the recent missions and because her rather unorthodox predecessor rubbed them the wrong way.
As shore leave drew to a close, commanding officer, Cmdre. Kalianna Nicholotti instructed her crew to organize a memorable ribbons ceremony on the ship’s outer hull. Refining a technique previously used aboard the USS Gorkon (NCC-82293), Excalibur’s engineering and operations departments encased a section of the hull in a pressurized force field, complete with artificial gravity and a spectacular view of nearby stellar phenomena. The ceremony will be even more special as Nicholotti invited the crew of the visiting USS Arrow (NCC-69829).
Written by Yogan Yalu