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Posted on Fri Dec 17th, 2021 @ 3:34am by Captain John Wells & Lieutenant Commander Trevor Andrews & Lieutenant Nerex & Lieutenant Brakon Ryal & Lieutenant JG Hank Solomon & Master Chief Petty Officer Alake Van Der Luan & Senior Chief Petty Officer Brandon Swift

Mission: Why Do Things Seem Different?
Location: Earth Space Dock
Timeline: After Shake Down


After the shake down cruise, the USS Eminence approached Earth for docking and last-minute crew changes before their mission was to start. Captain Wells sat in the Command Chair:

“Space dock to USS Eminence you are clear for docking.”

“Roger space dock, we are turning control over to you…”

Looking over at the bridge crew Captain Wells said,

“You all have done well. We will rest for a couple of days before we receive our orders and take the ship out again.”

"Do we have to remain on the ship, Captain?" Nerex asked. He would enjoy a chance to visit Earth.

"I think the Captain can be persuaded to allow some shore-leave as long as we have minimum crew levels for dockyard status" Brakon added. he was hoping for a chance to visit the Bajoran Temple that had been set up by Bajoran who now lived and worked on Earth, it was in a place called Crete and the island reminded him of his ocean-side home on Bajor.

In answer to the question Wells said,

"Shore leave will be grated, for 96 hours, to any crewmember that is not on watch.

Looking over at the Executive officer he continued,

"Do you remember that officer's bar right outside of space dock? That is where you will find me tonight.."

Everyone just smiled.

“Well” he looks around to see if anything is in order and if he was needed somewhere “If there’s no need for me on the bridge I’ll be in the Holodeck in deck 4” he finishes his sentence logging off from the science console and heading towards the exit.

“I want to attempt the climb to Mont Blanc…” and saying so he left the bridge.

Nerex decided that once things were settled, he would visit the Fleet Museum. It would be nice to see old famous Federation ships up close.

Location: Deck 4, USS Eminence Holodeck.

“Computer, start holo-program Mount Blanc-01. Authentication Solomon victor three.”

The empty holodeck room sprung into life and Hank found himself fully dressed in alpine gear. Pointing his headlamp towards his feet he could see the snow mixed with ice being pressed by a pair of high mountaineering boots with heavy ice-crampons that were protected his feet. Weather was rather good. The dark night sky didn’t seem to be cloudy since stars could be seen. A chilly little breeze would probably keep him company till the summit at 4810 meters.

Solomon briefly checked the hut behind him.

Gouter Hut, sitting on the ridge of the mountain at 3815 meters was probably the best starting point for the summit push if a climber wanted to conquer the Mount Blanc from the French border through the so called “normal route”.

Checking one last time every single rope, carabiner, climbing harness and ice axe in his backpack he started making his way towards the summit.

A normal summit push usually starts quite early, around 3AM. It takes quite some will power to force your body out of the cozy sleeping bad at those wee hours and hit the freezing outside temperatures in the pitch-black environment.

His nose was running due to the cold wind gusts hitting him.

Hank found himself smiling to himself.

One foot after the other he calmly found a consistent rhythm. Advancing on a glacier is always a risk, especially if doing it alone. Aside from avalanches and ice avalanches, that are quite a common occurrence, glaciers are mostly dangerous for seracs.

Falling into a serac is a nasty experience, especially if there’s no one else roped with you that can slow and stop your freefall.

“Next time bring a friend” he mentally noted while dodging the various dangers of the glaciers till reaching one of the many “false summits” of the area: Dôme du Goûter at 4250 meters.

Hank briefly watched his altimeter.

“Almost 600 meters to go” he thought while contemplating the magical moment in which the sun rose over the alps. Colors were wonderful.

“Better keep going” he finally turned worrying to be late for the summit push before needing to descend back to Courmayeur.

“Lots of effort for such a brief enjoyment” he laughed “people that are not accustomed to mountaineering might find this quite funny…or silly” he shrugged and focused his attention on putting one foot before the other, paying attention to correctly assault the iced snow with his crampons and ice axe.

A few hours and nasty technical passages passed before, at 9 AM, he finally set foot on the top of Europe. He finally conquered in a solo-hike Mount Blanc.

The view from up there was breath taking. And he was indeed finding it difficult breathing. Air at almost 5000m is quite rarified and takes quite some effort to breathe.

A 360-degree visual sweep showed smaller summits and mountains. A sea of clouds was approaching from south east, the Italian border. The feeling of being above the clouds was exhilarating. Higher than the clouds, and he made it there with his own effort. Without being transported or without using external help.

That’s the spirit of climbing, that’s the spirit of mountaineering.

He smiled.

He finally turned, after a last peek to the rocky peaks all around him. The way to Courmayeur, and to his safety was still long.

After almost 12 hours of climbing from the early start that day, he finally reached the base of the mountain and got rid of most of the alpine gear that found a place in his backpack that became heavier and heavier.

Hank sat down on a nearby stone, ate a small chocolate bar and, smiling, said: “Computer, end program”.

The natural place he was in disappeared, leaving the stage to the greyish area of the holodeck room.

Location: USS Eminence NCC 9008's Engineering Section.
After Docking at Starfleet Space Dock; Earth Orbit.

Lieutenant Commander Trevor A. Andrews congratulated the Engineering Section for a Job well done, as the ship's crew traded places with Space Docks Engineering Check-out Team.

When he heard , " Andy, You old bucket of bolts. How You Doing?" From the organized 'Mayhem'.

"JAMES! Glad to see you're still above ground." Andrews greeted a very Large Half Orion, in Starfleet Officer Fatigues.

" Yep!?! Just barely, Olde' Man, just barely." Retired Rear Admiral Niles James McCulloch, chuckled as he shepherded Andy into what passed for an office, with an "Animal Carrier".

"Where's Squeazal he was suppose to meet me..."

"I Be in here Dumby!" Squeazal squeaked, as a transparent 'Door' closed behind them.

" Anywho! Andy, I see this Tub pasted muster again. Somehow." Squeazal said as climbed out of the Carrier.

James shushed Squeazal. Who replied with a 'I-Don't-give-a-fuzzy-Bleep' Shrug, with the 'shoulders' of his upper set of Leg/Arms.

"You think they'll make you the new CEO?" James asked Andy , changing the subject. "Since the That Lass Yadira got reassigned."

" She seem like a very capable CEO threw both our adventures aboard Ship." Andy, replied in a way that could be interrupted as, 'I'll miss her.'
" AS to a promotion People especially Humans, even as long as I've been in service. Always seem to be Humanoid centric. Even when they claim They aren't." Andy stated as a FLAT FACT, with no arguer, or 'piss-offedness' in his voice.

" Let's just get out here what say, Guys." Squeazal changing the subject again. " And get pissed faced drunk, for real, real."



Captain John Wells,
Commanding Officer
USS Eminence

Lt. Nerex

Lt. Brakon Ryal

Lt Hank Solomon
Chief Science Officer

Senior Chief Swift

Senior Chief Russell


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