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Starfleet Academy - First Cadet mission

Posted Nov. 19, 2020, 2:31 a.m. by Captain Dante Knight (Commanding Officer) (David Shotton)

Posted by Captain Dante Knight (Commanding Officer) in Starfleet Academy - First Cadet mission

Posted by Captain Dante Knight (Commanding Officer) in Starfleet Academy - First Cadet mission

Posted by Captain Dante Knight (Commanding Officer) in Starfleet Academy - First Cadet mission
Posted by… suppressed (7) by the Post Ghost! 👻
Snip

Some people might have thought her raised voice was a ‘fight’ of sorts, but Dante knew her well enough by now to know it was her just wanting his attention and affection. He also knew her well enough to know he had to make her work for it slightly, she was passionate and loving but in a way that was only enhanced when she was feisty, and both of them revelled in that passion she carried.

When she had walked off the middle of the intersection and was facing him, he took a step forward so they were close, far closer than the ‘proper’ distance required them to be but he knew she loved the feeling of breaking the rules slightly. It was now that he reached up and tilted her face up to him, and brushed a lock of her hair behind her ear the way he always did when he wanted her to remember and focus on the fact that he was in love with her, even if it was still early in their relationship.

“Sunshine I promise you that you will get your seven hours of bliss and a glass of wine, I’ll make it happen, trust me. But not this weekend, this weekend we have a job to do and you are my Chief Medical Officer. I chose you because I can trust you, I believe in you, and want to be near you every moment of the day. After this, you get your bliss and more, I promise you that.” As he spoke, he had moved his lips close to hers but did not touch them with his, and he spoke gently but firmly. “Now say thank you, and add a sir to that, Natasha.”

Cadet Dante Knight

As much as she wanted to continue her tanty as Dante called it, Natasha had a hard time staying mad at Dante when he was like this. She had a hard time staying mad most of the time. It was his voice. Something in his tone and rhythm had a hypnotic effect on her. When he whispered low and soft, it made Natasha stop and pause, focusing all her attention on him. Some claimed it was Dante just learning to use the command voice all cadets recognized as authoritative. Natasha knew he had mastered that skill already when I came to her, when she wanted it to that was.

“I only say thank you when services are rendered....Sir,” she raised an eyebrow at him with a smirk on her face. Nat paused long enough after Dante issued his order to let him know she had put a pin in this conversation but was ready for the next idea he had suggested. “Kiss me and I won’t make your life hell,” she teased him softly and daring him to continue what he started. This was not Find a Spouse University as Herman Hornsby called it. No one lip-locked in the center of the campus, in broad daylight, unless they were that bold enough not to care about demerits if caught. Closing her eyes, Natasha raised on her toes so that Dante had to move even less than a moment earlier. Holding a perfect releve was not an easy task but Natasha Daye was half Russian. Ten minutes after she was born her Babushka had her in ballet lessons which made bridging the height difference between her and Dante easy as making borscht.

“You already make my life hell, and you know it,” Dante said to her quietly. “That’s why I love you so much,” he grinned and put his hands on her waist, leaning forwards to kiss her as she asked. He wasn’t worried about repercussions, they had a mission to do and it wasn’t likely that they were going to be grounded over the weekend that the assignment was scheduled.

Out of nowhere a heavy weight pounced on his back lurching him forward slightly. The action threw Dante’s head into Natasha’s creating an audible crack as their foreheads banged into each other. “Dude what are you two doing,” Kelly laughed pitching Dante’s hat off the front of his head. “You know that will get you both demerits and then no away mission.”

“I was banking on the away mission being extended to get more time away, Kelz,” Dante said sarcastically as he stood and put a hand on his head and glared at his room mate. It wasn’t an honest glare, Kelly knew exactly what she had done and the reason was a fair one. Still, it meant that Dante now had a reason to get her back and even the score.

“I think I have a concussion,” Natasha rubbed the top of her forehead as if trying to smear the pain away.

“You are fine. The only person’s head harder than yours is his,” she pulled at her skirt adjusting the length back to where it was supposed to lay. Most of the women wore the pants option for uniforms thinking it made them look more authoritative or some random bull like that. Kelly never understood why looking like a woman because she was a woman was ever a bad thing. It also helped to procuring things Dante’s serious scowl never would. A loud, sharp whistle echoed through the quad turning everyone’s attention to a ruggedly handsome senior cadet on the path across the grass from them. Kelly’s smile brightened considerably as she turned to face the sound.

“Cadet Shultz I am going to suggest you do not perform that maneuver with that hem line. I will be performing a uniform inspection and reviewing your ability to take down an enemy before the away team departure,” he snapped never breaking his stride or facial expression.

“Yes sir. I am having issues with the chapter on escaping from security restraints,” Kelly called out never taking her eyes off the man on the other path. A laugh erupted from the stern man and he spun around walking backward, spreading his arms wide indicating he was speechless. Only Kelly could render him speechless like few others but if you knew Kelly and Ric you would know why.

“Is that what the kids are calling it these days,” Natasha hit her shoulder forcing the young blonde Co-Ed to focus her attention back to Knight and Daye.

“It’s what I am calling it,” Kelly’s smile was wide.

“As I recall,” Dante said, taking Natasha around the waist and Kelly by the shoulders and turning them in the direction of a block of buildings in the distance, “You failed that course as well Tasia. It must be something like the Kobyashi Maru test, you know, something you just can’t win. Let it go,” he smirked at the both of them.

“Okay so if she is wanting to escape then you are doing something wrong my friend,” Kelly hip checked Dante with a laugh. “I mean I can give you both steps to the bloss…” Kelly began as she twisted one hand around the other and began to stand on one foot.

“I know anatomy and aren’t we supposed to be working this weekend on something other than biology,” Natasha replied squeezing Dante’s waist slightly and tugging at his uniform so that his attention was directed down towards her face. “We are so trying that tonight,” she mouthed to Dante with a gleam in her eyes.

“So who do we have for the command team. Nat as CMO, me as your better half, Ric as the security rockstar, Phil as our science guy,” Kelly began walking with Dante and Nat towards the hangar. They still had three hours to form the team but the last thing Kelly wanted was to be assigned someone. They already got stuck with Phillip Sye the overzealous science guy. She didn’t want some boot kissing, promotion seeker on this mission who would run back to command with a PaDD filled with an unofficial performance review on all of them just to get another pip attached to his neck. “So who are we getting for the tactical position,” Kelly asked Dante matching his stride.

“I know a guy,” Dante said, but the tone of his voice was dodgy.

“Since when do you know a guy,” she reared her head back slightly. “That’s my line. I got the legs, north forty, and south forty to prove it. You got two girls and all the girls you are ever gonna need. I’m your left and she is your right,” Kelly hooked a thumb at Dante causing Natasha to bust out laughing. “Sorry but you only get two and if you stray we will double team you and take you out like a thief in the night…Knight.” Kelly’s tone was fun but serious and she ended the sentence with a play on words.

Kelly had known Dante for four years. The first three she dubbed the red years filled by the copper vixen Kelly had fully intended to blow out the air lock if Dante had ever had the audacity to think about marrying Ashely. Kelly and Ashley were like oil and water. It started when Miss Madison needed a lesson about how no one was ever going to be his right hand man except for her. Then came Natasha the firey brunette that was able to accomplish in less than a semester what Kelly had not done in six. Regardless of what happened with Dante and Nat in the future, Kelly would be eternally grateful to the ballsy Russian fourth class cadet.

“So you have in mind for tactical,” she asked Dante.

“But your not gonna like it Kelz. Thankfully I’m the boss on this one, you’ll just have to follow my lead.” Walking with Daye on one side and Shultz on the other, Dante turned down a path towards another block of buildings. There were a lot of blocks of buildings on campus. “Trust me, I know what I’m doing.”

“Parker, Levinson....Donelley,” she snapped her fingers trying to figure out who Dante had already selected. Kelly had learned to match Dante’s pace over the four years they had been together at the academy to keep up without running because Dante had learned to shorten his stride and speed just slightly so that Kelly could lengthen and quicken hers. The visual image was that of a command team in sync wherever the went. Thier legs moved as one in a perfect synchronicity with the sound of thier steps masking whether they were alone or in a pair as the ascended the marble steps to the building.

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Alexander Hall
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The doors to Alexander Hall always felt oppressive even though the pneumatically retracted upon approach. It was probably the decor of the room that made Kelly feel this way. Alexander Hall was home to the tactical officers of Starfleet. The murals, mosaics, and art that lined the walls was of every military tactician in history. Kelly’s heels clicked a steady beat in time with Dante just at a different pitch from his flat soled boots. By now many cadets knew this sound because Kelly and Dante were the most well known of the cadet command teams. She never left Dante and Dante never chose anyone but her. The relationship was so close many wondered where Daye or Ric fit into the picture when it came to Shultz and Knight. Stopping at the door Kelly’s contact at the registrar’s office told them they could find one Senior cadet Ethan Nash.

Cadet Natasha Daye

“Oh my god, you have got to be kidding me. We are not taking this guy,” Kelly moaned hearing the last member of the command team. “The guy is too serious, moody, an overachiever, and we are not sure he is rowing on the right side of the boat,” she began to pepper Dante with the facts of why anyone but Ethan Nash should be selected for the mission.

“I’m telling you we need the guy,” Dante told Kelly, glancing at Natasha for support and angling his eyebrows that she should already be giving it. “Ethan is the best in his year at the Tactical Simulations, just because Perkins wants him on his team doesn’t mean we shouldn’t bring him along. The guy doesn’t know what he’s getting into with Pitiful Perkins, it’s our duty to steer him right. Right?”

“If he is steering at all it should be a way for Perkins. You know me. There is no dissension in the ranks regarding Reginald Perkins. If you are not with us then you are against us.” Even though every cadet was assigned by their years, schools of study, ranks, and specialties the lesser-known division was a matter of two sides: Perkins vs. McLaren. Perkins versus McLaren was the Starfleet version of the Hatfields and McCoys. Strangely enough, there were rumors that the classic feud did go back that far in history especially when noted McLaren was from Kentucky and Perkins was from West Virginia. As with true Perkins form, Reginal cited his mother’s ancestry from New York and Washington DC to give him more political clout instead of his true roots in the backwoods.

“Are you asking me to sleep with the enemy,” Kelly asked crossing her hands. To be fair, Nash seemed like one of the few people on campus that stayed out of the whole McLaren-Perkins feud preferring to focus on whatever task or assignment that would best prepare him for the future.

“Okay maybe that, thing, means that you two haven’t exactly gotten along for a while,” Dante admitted, scratching the back of his neck as he looked at Kelz. “But he still knows what he’s doing, and you do want to pass, right? We need him, admit it, and play nice for a change.”

“I am always nice. In,” Kelly rolled her eyes and curled her lip annoyed. “And if he knew what he was doing he wouldn’t be joining the Devil Incarnate for any training exercise. Perkins will suck his soul dry,” Kelly crossed her arms. Glancing at the door she chewed her lip. “Okay fine. It is our moral imperative to include him so that he is not sucked into the darkness of Perkins and his croonies but if he gets on my radar....well just make sure he doesn’t,” Kelly said with a wink.

“I will cover him in tin foil, that should help hide him from your radar,” Dante teased her.

The joke of getting on Kelly’s radar was a long one. For the most part, she never really cared what anyone did as long as it did not affect her or her own. When someone or something however got on her nerves, that grump than transferred to what she called her radar. This meant anything or anyone that presses her buttons instantly was locked on as a target much like a photon torpedo is locked onto an enemy target. As her rank increased, as did her responsibilities, the younger set learned that when Kelly was on the warpath, do not add targets for her to shoot down. Lame comments, stupid questions, and passing the buck locked and loaded her fiery temper straight on them. Dante, often found it rather amusing to press her buttons in this moods. Kelly needed no imagination that Nash would probably poke the bear, just like her roommate if the situation presented itself.

Cadet Natasha Daye

At that moment, the door opened and a Cadet walked out. Wearing his Academy uniform without a wrinkle in sight and shoes polished to enable scans to be taken from the reflection of the sun, the young man was laughing with a number of other cadets, including a stunning redhead that for all the world looked like she wanted to be walking with her hand around his waist. Instinctively Dante slid his own hand around Natasha’s waist and pulled her closer to him. The woman Ethan was walking with wasn’t Ashley, but her hair flowed around her shoulders in the same way with the same sheen that Dante’s former girlfriend had.

Natasha immediately transitioned from melting girlfriend to dagger filled Russian bear digging her nails into the hand around her waist. Moving his hand, she looked up at Dante with an expression most described by others as if looks could kill. “Oh no. No way, we are not taking Ashley with us,” Nat’s pronouncement almost echoed in the marble hall.

“What are you talking about?” Dante asked her, a confused look on his face. “Why the hell would I want Ashley with us, have you seen her?” He looked around, but was oblivious to what Natasha was looking at. Dante simply wasn’t paying attention to the redhead.

“Wait you are bringing Mad Maddie,” Kelly punched Dante in the shoulder. “Are you expecting her,” she pointed at Natasha, “to show earn some kind of resuscitation badge because Daye is going to kill her and even if Nat doesn’t kill her on this mission there is a good chance I will.”

While both women shared many traits that defined an officer, they also shared a hot temper and lack of any rational thought when it came to cadet Ashley Madison. Like a matador in a bull fight, Kelly and Nat only needed to see a flash of red to make them see red.

“I am not bringing Ashley,” Dante said flatly, then his eyes fell on the redhead and the link clicked. “Oh my god,” he said to the pair, “am I going to have to police every member of my crew for eternity to make sure they don’t have flaming red hair? How about I reduce the number of escape pods and assign redheads to number 13 and then make that one an airlock? Would that make the two of you happy?”

Spotting Dante, Nat and Kelly off to the side with their attention on him, Ethan paused a moment then made his way over to the trio. “It looks like the three of you are lost,” he said to them, and crossed his arms while his gaze settled on Kelly. “Or did the three of you get assigned refresher courses for some idiotic scheme that Dante or Kelly came up with?” The girl Ethan had been talking to walked up beside him and smiled at the three, “Hi,” she said to them, then looked at Ethan as if he was forgetting something. “We need to go, we’re going to be late and I do not want Hornsby assigning me cleaning duties in the changing rooms again, that is so gross.”

Cadet Knight

Natasha could not help but look down and away in embarrassment at the woman’s comment. Daye wasn’t sure if that was code to this Nash to get in trouble or stay out of it. Her and Dante never minded a bit extra assignments but they were not like other couples.

“I know right,” Dante said to the redhead, “some people do unspeakable things in there.” The girl looked at Dante and rolled her eyes in agreement. “I know right, last time we cleaned up there was a sweaty butt print on a locker door. It was like this big!” She held her hands up to indicate the size of the print. “Are you sure?” Dante asked her, looking at her hands. “I think it was more about this size,” he held up his own, and the sizing was considerably smaller. He was also smirking slightly as he watched Nat out of the corner of his eye.

The Redhead was about to reply, a confused look on her own face when Kelly butted in.....

“You don’t have any relation to Cadet Madison,” Kelly chimed in before getting a sharp elbow in the ribs from Dante. The oompf that escaped her lips showed Dante hadn’t been playing around. Rubbing her side, Kelly gave the woman a half smirk. “Long story and one I promise to tell you about later but right now we need him as the tactical officer for this weekends cadet training exercise. So,” Kelly clapped her hands together and rubbed them together in a happy gesture, “let’s go to the motor pool and get this show on the road. I promise to bring him back in one piece,” she added to the woman with a smile.

Cadet Kelly Shultz

“You want me to go Tac officer for you?” Ethan asked, clearly surprised, then looked at Kelly. “Wait, You want me to go Tac Officer? What have you done to earn this mission? I feel like you two are in trouble again and plotting some kind of coup against Perkins. There are no goats again, are there?”

“Only if we are lucky,” Kelly let out a laugh.

The redhead elbowed him in the side, just as hard as Dante had elbowed Kelly. “Stop it with the goats already, you keep saying that was their fault but you know it was never traced to anybody on campus. They need you because you are the best, Ethan! Right?” She said, looking earnestly at Kelly and Nat.

Cadet Dante Knight

Kelly couldn’t help but like the redhead. She recognized the look in the woman’s eyes. It was the same look Natasha gave Dante and the look she gave Ric. People called it doe eyes but there was something more. It was the look of a team that was ready to take on the universe no matter what it threw at them. While Nash was brooding and dark, the redhead was sweet and innocent. In truth, the pair would probably fair better as a couple than any of them. Opposites attracted and the bond held them together was unbreakable.

“Yes, he is,” Kelly smiled nodding at the woman, “and we need the best so…gotta move this along. Chop chop,” she hooked her thumbs towards the door in a gesture indicating they needed to get moving.

“You sure she isn’t wearing the pants?” Ethan looked at Dante and asked, tilting his head at Kelly before the redhead beside his leaned it and kissed him on the lips, whispering something in his ear before turning towards her next class and looking back with a light smile as she walked away, Ethan looking after her for a moment and sighing.

“No.” Dante replied, and that was all he said as he draped his arm around Natasha and turned with her to follow Kelly to the launch pad.

==================
Academy Landing Pad
==================

Kelly could barely contain the skip in her step as she approached the shuttles. She had this mission in the bag. Reaching over to Dante’s shoulder, Kelly punched him repeatedly in the shoulder with a gleeful little laugh. “You are going to love me forever for this Knight. Ask me why.” The sentence was not a question but a statement.

“Do I have to?” He replied, making sure that he sounded unimpressed but secretly curious as to what she had managed to pull off. If there was some kind of advantage that could be gained from something that nobody else had considered, Dante was sure that Kelly would be the one to arrange it. It was why he always picked her as his XO, she might be a little gung ho at times and put ten rounds in a six shooter, but she could deal a Ferengi out of his lobes with spare change.

“There are two missions today,” she spun around walking backwards as she talked to Dante. “One to Bajor to transport a few high ranking officers to a conference and one to Risa to drop off some and I got the Risa one.” Kelly jumped up in the air like cheerleader speaking with a high pitched voice.

“How did you do that,” Nat asked wrinkling up her forehead in confusion. “Risa is like a three-day trip and we can’t be gone that long.”

“We can if it is duty related its approved and I had lunch with Cadet Hank Dexter to ensure everything is in the bag.”

Lt. Commander Natasha Knight.

“What does Dexter have to do with anything?” Dante asked Kelly while they stepped up to the shuttles, Dante looking around to check on the arrival of the rest of his command team. “Dexter is licking Perkins boots trying to get assigned to Fleet Operations, but he has no authority to actually do anything.”

“No, but when he was looking at my north forty I was able to access his computer. I put in the crew manifest giving us the Risa assignment and weeded out the..” Kelly didn’t finish the sentence. Dante would know what was on her mind with almost psychic clarity.

Dante swung around and came to an immediate stop, the look he gave Kelly was clear, even without raising an eyebrow. “You edited my manifest and dropped them didn’t you,” it was rhetorical of course, he knew damn well she had. “Kelly, I picked them specifically so we would get the job done. Why you gotta go and stick your fingers in pies that aren’t even baked yet, huh?”

“Oh don’t look at me like that. I am not giving up a day of unsupervised and uncharged shore leave because you wanted to bring Halston, Beckern, and Gertz. Yes they are absolutely the best but one day you will be a captain and you won’t get the best. Think of this as a double layered training event.” Kelly did not even flinch when Natasha and Dante looked at her. Halston was a top notch candidate and McLaren supporter however he was a career climber and by the books guy. Berkern and Gertz were as stunningly beautiful as talented. While Kelly had no doubts about Ric’s affection to her, one did not just hand someone a bag of potato chips and say just take one. Temptation was an evil beast. Why even give Dante or Ric eye candy? The Tellarite and Rigellian female cadets were smart and competent. It also helped that they were so not Dante or Ric’s type The last thing Kelly needed was for Dante’s wildcat to go off in a pressurized tin can in space.

“Right and the intelligent eye candy had nothing to do whatsoever with the manifest fiddling, gotcha. Now of course it’s just you and Nat that are the eye candy, right? Double layered training my ass, you just want to make sure the competition heats up outside the ship, not inside it.”

Taking a PaDD from one of the ground crew, Dante began to flick through the list of pre-flight checks. “We got the USS Firefly for this Op,” Dante paused and scrunched his eyebrows up, looking at Kelly. “Isn’t that the old cruiser that was mothballed and dragged out of storage a few months ago to be used as a target in Aggressor training? I thought Perkins was going to use it to test unconventional tactics against Standard Federation defence techniques with a hand picked crew at some point?”

Cadet Knight

“Yes and we are it,” Kelly threw up her hands in a premature victory. “That is how we get to Risa. Follow me cappy.” Taking a command stance Kelly laid out the plan in more detail.

“You’re yanking my crank, right?” Dante said flatly. “We are the target in Aggressor training in an old hulk of space junk while transporting VIP’s to Risa, and you dropped three of my top rated hand picked crew cause two of ‘em have a nice butt. Seriously woman? What on Earth would possess you to do that outside of your regular crazy?”

“Remember last week when I was on the driving range?” Fluttering her hands about Kelly signaled this was a rhetorical question meant only to set the stage for what came next. “Well, Fergus Perkins was on the spot next to me guffawing like a damn donkey. You know that laugh he has.” Inhaling deeply, Kelly let out a series of choking forced laughs that seemed to emanate from her stomach like she was retching up dinner.

“Sexy babe,” Ric replied approaching Dante’s team on the tarmac. Winking he made a series of clicking sounds with his tongue as gave Kelly a thumbs up.

“Like that,” Kelly winked flirting at Ric before looking back at Dante. “Any way I couldn’t leave well enough alone. So I asked the Commodore next to me on the other side what was up with the nimrod next to me. After I got a bit o’ the lecture about minding my own business and attending only to things that concerned me the commodore told me that Perkins was making a side wager that he was creating a new Kobayashi Maru program and no one in the Academy was going to be able to defeat it. Dante,” Kelly looked at him pleadingly, “you know we have to do this. I am not going to leave this academy and countless cadets after us dealing with some half assed program that is not going to teach us anything but only serve to point out how smart he is.”

Running his hand over his face, Dante looked at Natasha and shook his head. “And she still, despite putting us in as guinea pigs for Perkin’s new No-Win Scenario, dropped my crew cause they have nice butts. See what I have to work with here? I bet their replacements like hairy toes and blink with their nostrils. Okay so what about Dexter, how did he fit into it all again?”

“So that is where Cadet Dexter came in. I got the training PaDD, altered a few things and got us assigned to the Firefly. Perkins thinks the crew is not going to be suspecting it but we are. After that we drop the diplomats off at Risa for thier conference and we get a weekend of fun and sun. Let’s go.”

Natasha Knight, CMO

Walking out after Kelly and Ric, Ethan turned around and walked backwards facing Nat and Dante for a moment. “I’m sensing some tension here,” he said with a smirk, his hands moving from side to side, palms down. “You sure you wanna bring Captain Plucky along for this one? Maybe she will behave if you let her choose what phaser colour we use on this mission huh?” With a laugh, Ethan turned and made his way into the shuttle behind the first two leaving Nat and Dante on the tarmac.

“You know,” Dante said, looking at Nat, “I think Perkins is going to get that program shoved so far up his jacksey, that he will be speaking in computer programming for a week despite us winning or losing.” He sighed and grinned slightly. “Damn her for changing my team, we’re going to need them on this one.”

Looking at the shuttle, he grimaced. “Even the shuttle is an old type, what the heck are we flying into Nat. Maybe instead of a hypo you will get issued with a handle of Rum and some bloodletting tools on this one.”

Cadet Knight


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