Episode 1: Requisitioned
Location: USS Venture - Deck 3 - Senior Officer Quarters
Timeline: Day 1 at 1030
Jack let out a small sigh as he began to scratch the back of his head while reading a report. "Mmm..."
"Hmm? Ensign?" Jack answered.
"Just curious where you want all this stuff?" He asked.
Jack paused, looking over at his belongings as they were being carried in by a small team of crewmen and women, each tasked with helping move the new Senior Staff into their quarters. "Uh... just leave the boxes in the middle of the room. I'll go through each and unpack myself."
Then Ensign looked puzzled for a moment before shrugging it off and waving the others forward. "Alright, you heard the Lieutenant! Center of the room, no box cutting."
Peeking up from the report, he watched as the Ensign and his team moved the boxes into his room. It was a rather odd thing to get used to, as he'd never been assigned to a ship being dispatched to a vessel that was going on an exploration mission. If anything, he anxious, which was weird for him since he wasn't usually the type to feel worried about much save his inability to make friends. Just another thing for him to adjust to, he supposed. With a small sigh, he dismissed the thought for now as he concluded with the report.
"Oh!" Jack exclaimed, "Ensign, do you know the room Lieutenant Aketh is berthed?" He asked after just recalling her name on the report.
The Ensign, huffing after putting one of the boxes down, turned and pointed down the hall. "Right next door, actually, Sir."
"Oh? Huh..." He paused, looking down for a moment before offhandedly tipping the datapad down in thanks. "Thanks."
Glancing at the others, Jack made a slight curt nod before leaving the room, not wanting to take up too much of their time or his own in trying to muster up the will to fight off his shyness. "Keep up the good work," Was all Jack could scrape together before leaving his room.
Walking across the hall, he noted the other crew members helping his acquaintance and only familiar face move her belongings into her own quarters. He minded his footing and managed to slip past a few without getting in the way, long enough to stand at the front door before knocking on the sidewall -given how the door was wide open. Stepping into the room, he did his best to avoid much of the chaos happening around him as he made his way further into the room until he caught a glimpse of Deep Space Nine, seemingly dancing around the nearby wormhole leading to the Gamma Quadrant.
"Never gets old." Jack thought aloud.
Despite having only briefly been aboard the station, he hadn't actually gotten a good look at it until now. Standing in awe of such a formidable station, it was a wonder how anyone thought they could penetrate deeper into Federation space with this thing hovering nearby. While it seemed more like a mall in parts, it was still very much a fortress in space.
Aketh, as a matter of fact, did not have many personal belongings. Those being moved in consisted of two boxes she carried herself and another two boxes carried by two slightly perturbed Ensigns. All of the boxes were incredibly heavy as if the Vulcan had packed each as tightly and efficiently as possible. As a matter of fact, she had. One of the boxes contained clothing of various types (almost entirely spare uniforms, along with two sets of clothes for off duty periods), another held several ancient printed books along with other 'personal items.' The third contained several logic puzzles, a chess set, and more books. The fourth contained various other miscellaneous decorations and equipment. The Ensigns aid consisted of delivering the boxes onto a large desk and then being hurried out of the room.
She had never been one for too many personal belongings. Especially not in Starfleet. Taking things that could not be replaced or done without into a place where they were in genuine danger was illogical. She spent a few moments carefully unpacking a box of clothing and neatly folding them on a bed before footsteps caught her attention, and she noted Jack passing her door.
He'd been bunked next to her. She'd memorized the crew assignments days before, so this was not exactly a surprise, but the somewhat humorous nature of the coincidence was not lost on her. It seemed that wonders never ceased. She finished placing the clothes into the closet, even as he knocked on the wall to get her attention. She turned, her face passive as she glanced at him and his comment.
The words drew her attention to the window and the view of Deep Space Nine. It hung in the void, like some fortress torn from the earth and flung into the void. It was most definitely a notable sight. The station had played such a critical role in recent history. It was hard to imagine that not too long ago, relatively, it had merely been an ore processing station for the Cardassians how things had changed.
She returned her attention to Jack. She knew what he meant, exactly. It was a beautiful sight. That didn't mean she couldn't amuse herself.
"The wormhole is quite old, Lieutenant. It dates back several millennia."
"Uh... oh? I... I didn't know." Jack muttered, caught off guard by how his previous thoughts were said aloud. "I... Well, I never really read much about the wormhole other than it being a strategic asset that needed to be guarded lest the Dominion try to assert their control over this quadrant." He replied earnestly.
Turning to face the other Lieutenant, he regarded her with a small smile that quickly faded as his mental block came rearing its ugly head up, promoting him to turn back out towards the station. "So, the same ship again, eh?" Jack started, his eyes scanning the station, "Thought you'd have gotten tired of seeing me after all these years." Looking over towards Aketh for a moment, he let out a small sigh as though annoyed with the way he phrased his own statement.
"Sorry, I'm... I swear I'm like an android at times." Jack said, trying to sound at least a little calm despite his growing annoyance with his inability to speak.
It was a curse, a blight, a great annoyance and one that was likely going to hold back his ability to make any real friends aboard this ship. "I am happy to see you, though. Don't let my tone of voice tell you that I'm not... I am; I'm just trying to process the fact that we've somehow wound up under the same command again." He observed before walking towards one of the nearby open boxes. "Normally, you'd never see someone from your previous commands unless you held the rank of Captain and requested the other," Jack noted before noting how she had several ancient books tucked neatly within.
"It's odd, you know?" Jack continued, "Not that I'm complaining, though."
Peering over at the Vulcan, he had to wonder what was going on in her mind right now, more so now that they were aboard the same ship again, and again they were seemingly right next to each other as though the Universe was trying to tell him something. Annoying thoughts danced around his head like flies around trash, and already he was feeling his face grow red as his natural shyness began to seep past his mental defences.
Jack opened his mouth to speak, but no words came out, just air. Dammit! He couldn't stand this; he needed to get out, he needed to escape; he didn't want to deal with this right now, not again, not when he just got this command. He didn't want to make himself appear weak. Turning away from the box, he made for the exit.
"But... yeah, I'll leave you to it. Have a lot of work to do, right?"
"You should consider studying Bajoran history. It is a long and interesting topic. Though I suppose the historical value is limited to a human officer of Starfleet."
She began to put books on a shelf as she listened to him speaking, idly glancing back at him.
"It is unusual for us to have shared so many assignments. But with the number of officers, ships, and postings in the federation, it is not statistically impossible. And what can happen often does."
It was perhaps amusing that they had so many encounters. The chances of it happening were abyssal, and yet it continued to happen. If she were not a Vulcan, she might even go so far as to suggest someone was trying to make a point. But she was a Vulcan. So she was content to say it was just the whims of random chance, the universe's many unusual mechanics playing out in some incomprehensible range of complex interactions on a macro scale.
She arched an eyebrow at some of his other comments, setting down her books as she finally turned back to face him fully.
"I did not assume you were, Lieutenant."
She stepped forward a bit, her hands behind her back as she took a few steps across the room. She gestured at the almost entirely empty room, aside from the four boxes.
"No. I am not particularly busy, Lieutenant. I expect to finish unpacking within a standard hour. Are you?"
Jack paused, his mind a little lost into space when Aketh suggested studying up on the history of Bajoran people. "Maybe." He replied quickly, almost on reflex, before quickly following up with, "I likely will. You know me and my interests after all."
He wasn't meaning anything by it, merely stating a fact about how long they'd been together and had served together aboard more than a few ships. She was likely the only one aboard the Venture that had any idea what Jack was into, more so given how he was someone who had a profound love of things related to history and archaeology. Hell, during their previous assignment with the USS Ontario, Jack's second job was working with the Archaeologists aboard the ship, often examining ruins and texts from numerous species. Either way, he doubted he'd ever get such responsibilities for this posting, more so given how busy he was likely to be as both the Chief Tactical and Security Officer. There would be a lot to do and Jack believed he wouldn't have much time for studying up history beyond those moments of downtime. Not that he'd likely take them as he was supposed to.
Shaking his head, Jack promptly removed such thoughts for now as he turned to face Aketh. "I suppose that's true. I'm just..." Pausing he couldn't help but let out a sigh, "Just overthinking is all."
As he made for the exit, he paused as he noted Aketh's gesture, prompting him to scan the room once again, a small slash of a smile tugging at the edge of his lips as he shook his head. "No, I suppose you aren't." He noted, visibly relaxing some.
"No... to be honest, I'm not busy." He replied, "Not yet anyway." Jack added quickly as he stood in the doorway. "The acting head of security did a pretty good job setting up a proper schedule. Truthfully, I have very little to do until next week. If anything, I'm just going to have to spend the next week adjusting to my new roles."
Turning back he noted the book that was now in Aketh's hands and began to dwell on his previous statement. "You never know, I might just spend some time brushing up on some Bajoran history. Might help me understand the quadrant a little more too." Jack said.
In truth, Jack likely was going to read up on all the races in the sector, as he had a habit of trying to learn as much as humanly possible when it came to cultures he was likely going to come to work with. It was the Lieutenant's habit of ensuring he had a total understanding of everyone's tactical and cultural history to ensure he was able to account for any sort of traditions or habits that a species was known for employing during meetings. If he was able to learn and study a culture and people he could easily find a means to defend against them or work with them. Such was his duty as the security head and one of the reasons why his Uncle and a few other Instructors thought it might have been more beneficial for him to go into Strategy; not that he really cared much for it. Jack was where he was, and he was content, he didn't seek out a command, nor did he care for it, and if he became a Strategic Officer here was a good chance he'd wind up in a position he disdained.
"But... what about you? Have you gotten the chance to examine the labs yet? I think there was some degree of chaos before your arrival so I..." Pausing, "No, it's none of my business, sorry."
She cocked an eyebrow again at Jack as she finished placing the books on the shelves. The names were all of old literature, mostly human and Vulcan books. The Kir'Shara, Federation history texts, Shakesphere, Moby Dick, Sun Tzu, and a few other texts from other peoples. The stand out item was written in Klingonee, and was a history of Kahless. Odd reading for a Vulcan perhaps, but Aketh considered herself worldly.
She would have brought more books, but she had decided to only bring a limited number of texts for now. She would likely move more onboard before too long. Her apartment back on earth was lined with them. And that didn't even include her digital texts, which consumed hundreds of thousands of gigabytes of storage space. She finished placing them and turned back to face Jack as she sits on the bed.
"I have not. I had intended on going on a walk through once I finish unpacking and preparing my quarters for habitation."
Jack watched awhile longer as she went about unpacking her stuff, and despite standing there with a stupid look on his face, he quickly shifted to help. So, without waiting to be asked, he began to help her put some of the books onto the shelves after she had managed to dislodge one of them from its protective box. As Jack placed the last of the books on the shelf, he noticed the name on it, having known some Klingon, he was able to pick up the name of the legendary Emperor himself, Kahless. It'd been a while since he'd heard that name, with the last time being of how the Klingon Empire had been regrouping under the Clone of their legendary ruler in preparation for some kind of event in the future. What the event was, was up to debate, but it wasn't something Jack was worried about at the moment, instead, he was focused on the mission he was part of. Either way, he was quick to dismiss the thought aside as Aketh wandered off towards her bed. As she walked through the long stretch of the room towards her own bedroom, Jack watched a while longer before she finally sat down and looked at him.
He finally got her answer, prompting Jack to open his mouth to reply, "I... see. I... I'd like it if we could explore the ship together? I mean, if you're up for it I mean. I know you're likely going to want to meet with your officers and personnel, but if you do find time feel free to message me. I've found the previous Security Chief did a rather decent job of setting up proper shifts of security, so I don't have a lot to do for the next little bit during my off hours." Jack noted as he moved away from the shelf and moved towards the ext once again.
"In the meantime, I've got to go and handle a few things here but, I'm hopeful we'll have more to talk about soon and be able to tour the ship together... more so given how this is the newest ship in the fleet... Intrigue Class. Not many of this type yet, but, I'll... well, I'll see you later Aketh." And with that, Jack gave a small wave before he wandered off and out of the door towards his own quarters, trying to hide the fact his shyness was creeping up upon him.
If anything, he really did hope he would be able to establish some sort of friendship with Aketh, even if it was unlikely given how she was far more talkative than he was despite him being a Human and her a Vulcan. Still, he just hoped for a better time of it than his previous postings where he had barely spoken, only speaking when it mattered in things related to his fields of work. He had a stellar record and service, but he had no real friends to speak of save a handful of people who were able to get through his introverted nature and push themselves into his life in a way that might be why he found his way aboard this ship. Odd as it was to admit, there was likely some good things said from his contacts that helped land him aboard the USS Venture and helped ensure he would be able to serve in a post that he had initially served as being in the vice chief of. Now, he was a Chief of the Tactical and Security, so it was just a matter of time before he would find himself swamped with work on this new ship, that offered new challenges, and new systems for him to create and come up with. How? He wasn't sure, but it would be something to look forward to.