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From Poolside to Gamma Quadrant

Posted on 27 Aug 2021 @ 12:31am by Lieutenant Commander Ogunsanwo Babatunde

Mission: 2390
Timeline: Date at 0000

“Lieutenant Commander Ogunsanwo Babatunde, please report to the Administration level.”

He looked up from his PADD, as if he’d actually see the source of the voice summoning him. “On my way,” he said, his words entering the air and fading like vapor. Around him, built into the bulkheads, and on his chest, in the form of his comm badge, were microphones which captured his words and relayed them through the station’s comm network where they ultimately arrived at their intended target.

Standing up from the deck chair, he slid his feet into his sandals before leaving the pool area. With his ship, the Fearless, in port, the crew had been given shore leave. Fortunately, this particular starbase had very nice recreation spaces, including an expansive pool complete with lounge chairs, cabanas, both a swim up bar and one on dry land, all with a tropical theme. For the last several hours, Sanwo had hung out by the pool, mostly just reading, but also doing some people-watching.

As he walked across the pool deck, his eyes darted around, looking at the swimwear-covered bodies; men in board shorts or trunks, women in colorful one pieces or bikinis. He looked down at his own clothes; bright pink square-cut trunks with black trim and a gauzy floral print shirt, worn unbuttoned. On his feet were simple black sandals. He thought, briefly, about changing into something more fitting for being summoned to what amounted to the command deck. In the end, he decided that promptness was more important, so he proceeded directly to a turbolift.

“You should be in uniform, Commander,” he heard the moment he stepped onto the Administration level.

“I buttoned up on the turbolift,” he replied, turning towards the source of the comment. Suddenly, he rethought his snarky quip. “Sorry, Admiral,” he stammered.

The Trill Flag Officer motioned for Babatunde to follow her, and she began walking down a corridor lined with offices. She stopped at one door, which whooshed open. “In here.”

Sanwo entered the small office and stood, waiting for the Admiral.

“Have a seat,” the woman ordered as she passed him on her way to the other side of the desk. “I’m Rear Admiral Yazro Pum, Office of Mission Operations,” she said, introducing herself.

Knowing he had already crossed the line, he just nodded silently.

“Are you familiar with the Scientific and Technical Assessment Team program?” Pum asked.

“Not very, no, ma’am,” he replied, shifting his weight.

“Well,” the Admiral continued, “the program consists of small teams stationed throughout Starfleet, on starships, starbases, stations, outposts, and other Starfleet facilities. These teams are assigned to missions that are too small to necessitate dispatching and tying up a starship. The missions are also important enough to require action more immediately than might be possible if we wait for a ship to be available. As the name implies, the focus is on scientific and technical missions.”

Sanwo nodded again. “Makes sense. Having a team on standby increases response time and increases flexibility for Starfleet.”

“Exactly. The STAT program has been around for some time, operating as a division of the Office of Mission Operations. We’re now looking to expand the program, creating some additional teams. And we’d like you for one of those new teams.”

While he didn't have a new assignment lined up already, Babatunde knew that his time on the Fearless was pretty much over. He'd been on board for a post-refit shakedown cruise and that was done. There was a chance that he'd be assigned permanently to the Excelsior-class ship, but it was just as likely that he'd end up somewhere else. He certainly had not seen this particular assignment coming though.

“You need a linguist or communications specialist for this team?” he asked. “Or a pilot? Maybe a computer guy?”

Pum shook her head. “The team needs a leader, Commander Babatunde. You, specifically.”

*****

That had been six days previous.

His leave had been cut short as the starship that would be transporting him to Gamma Command, the USS Polaris, was about to leave dock. He’d gotten a list of the team members, a manifest of their assigned equipment (including six Arrow-class runabouts and several different modules for them), and had a chance to meet with the Polaris’ CO, Captain Boq’ta Vadosia, a goateed Bolian who was far less jovial than others of his species.

Now, Lieutenant Commander Ogunsanwo Babatunde stood in his quarters, back in a red Command division uniform, preparing to for the Polaris to dock at Gamma Command. He wasn't sure how many, if any, of his team was already present, but figuring that out was the first thing on his task list.

 

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