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Theo Whittaker

Lt JG Jona ch'Ranni - Memories of the Verlaxi

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((Bridge, Deck A, Dilithium Freighter Verlaxi of the Andorian Merchant Marine))

((Time Index: 5.5 years ago, Stardate 239008.14))

 
::The palest blue color flashed on the viewscreen. It was a thing of beauty. The sensor overlay alarm indicated they had found their quarry.::
 
th'Ryken: Bring us about nice and slow, crewman.
 
ch'Ranni: Aye, Captain. 
 
::Jona tapped the thrusters that would align the freighter with the asteroid.::
 
ch'Ranni: Adjusting pitch positive two degrees, yaw negative five degrees. ::beat:: Ready, sir.
 
::Captain Tov th'Ryken flashed a smile at the new helmsman, impressed with his abilities. Jona prided himself on how quickly he had familiarized himself with the ship's controls.::
 
th'Ryken: Good. Bring us within 100 meters of the surface. We'll use the cutting lasers to carve out the section on grid pattern G-4.
 
::Once Jona had the vessel at the right distance, the young woman, Jhetu sh'Qaarah, sitting to his right activated the cutting laser as bits of dust and ice spewed away from the hole created by the super-heated ionizing beam. Within seconds a quarter ton chunk of rock floated free from the main asteroid and the ship's tractor beam caught it and lifted it away.::
 
sh'Qaarah: Analyzing. ::pause:: Confirmed, sir. Dilithium ore is present.
 
ch'Ranni: Yes! ::composing himself:: Sorry, sir. We could send crews down immediately to set up extraction charges.
 
th'Ryken: All in good time, crewman. Just take in the sights for a moment. There's nothing quite like it, is there? Look at that asteroid belt out there.
 
:: The immediate field of vision was obscured by the crowding of the closely-spaced bits of rock. Jona knew that if the ship was at a higher plane he would see they really stretched outward for a few thousand kilometers. That made for millions of asteroids and a few of them contained prizes like this one. He smiled back at his captain.::
 
ch'Ranni: Aye, sir. Quite amazing.
 
th'Ryken: You don't know the half of it, boy. I've been mining dilithium for forty-two years now. Each discovery still brings chills to the back of my neck. These resources will be used to power the greatest ships the Federation can produce. And its our job to mine them and get them home safely. Keep your eyes peeled, you know the Nausicaan pirates have been on the rise in this area.
 
ch'Ranni: Aye, aye, Captain!
 
::Jona definitely felt excitement when he signed on to the crew. His charan, Vorka, had been ecstatic when they young Andorian expressed interest in getting some experience piloting a freighter. No doubt his father had visions of Jona one day piloting an Andorian Guard cruiser just like him. Jona had conveniently left out the secret hope which he maintained - that this experience could be a stepping stone to his entry to Starfleet.::
 
th'Ryken: Watch the drift, Jona.
 
ch'Ranni: Yes, sir. Compensating. 
 
::He mentally chided himself for his wandering thoughts. He needed to pay closer attention. "Be in the moment", as his thaven, Spel, always berated him. He loved both his fathers but they could be a little demanding in both their expectations and criticisms.::
 
sh'Qaarah: ::whispering with a small smile:: Yes, crewman. Watch your drift.
 
::Jona chuckled lightly and shot back a retort at the Operations Specialist.::
 
ch'Ranni: I'll watch the drift, if you watch the stabilizers on the tractor beam. Your waveform is out of sync by five kiloveds, Jhetu.
 
sh'Qaarah: Yeah, and you're sitting there with your hand on the targeting lock. Its more efficient to let the lock float unless you're actively targeting something. ::Her antennae writhed in agitation at the young man.::
 
ch'Ranni: Well, you obviously ...
 
th'Ryken: Children ... ::the Captain slowly drew the word out in an almost sing-song voice so as to stop the quarrel but also take the bite out of the chastisement. He paused for several seconds until both crew members turned to look at him.:: That's better. Now, shall we go collect some galactic jewels?
 
ch'Ranni: Yes, sir. 
 
::For the moment, Jona was happy to comply. He valued his life aboard the Verlaxi and was grateful for the experience it gave him in piloting.::
 
::But his heart belonged farther out among the countless pin[...]s of light scattered across the blackness of space.::
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This a stunning piece of writing by @Jona ch'Ranni who gives us a glimpse at his life before joining Starfleet. Phenomenal work, Jona!

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