Updated: Mar 18
"Personal log stardate 92557.7; Commander Keelah Se'lai recording..." Keelah began as she paced back and forth across the freshly laid carpet of her new quarters,
"Our months of hard work have today paid dividends as we finally prepare the Dawnstar for her first trip out of drydock. It's hard to believe that when I first arrived at Utopia Planetia they were estimated a 6 month delay to completion. I see now why Command insisted I begin my commission as Executive Officer early - honestly I sometimes wonder how human engineers ever accomplish anything. They should certainly not require a field officer's aid to bring a warp core online. Still, I can not deny the logic in my assignment. My experience serving aboard front line ships has allowed the Dawnstar a unique opportunity in being primed beyond specifications for optimal performance on deep space assignments." she pauses for a moments contemplation and lets out a faint sigh before continuing whilst pacing back and forth across the room,
"I must confess, I can not deny a strong feeling of pride at our accomplishments with the Dawnstar - it feels... good to be back serving on board a starship after my... extended leave. But I must maintain my vigilance - now more than ever - it's hard enough to masquerade as a 'normal' Vulcan at the best of times, let alone when surrounded by all new faces - not least of which being my new Captain. I certainly do not want to give him any reason to doubt his newly promoted first officer purely from any misconception about how Vulcan's 'should' be."
Keelah turned towards her bedroom and eyed her meditation lamp sat on a table by the door, it had been presented to Keelah by her mother... the Admiral, the day she first left to join Starfleet Academy and had not been lit once since that day. Keelah approached the lamp and gently ran a slender fingertip across it's cold surface as she continue her log entry,
"What do think mother, is it really too soon for my return to duty? For the first time since that fateful day I find myself doubting my own strength and wondering if you were right; what if it was too traumatic for one such as me to deal with - losing one's betrothed in a core breach... One that I could have prevented had I only been on duty!"
She takes a moment to regain her composure as she feels her eyes begin to well up, "It has been considerable time since those events. But did I make a mistake pursuing a career in Starfleet after all that?" She wipes a stray tear from her cheek and lowers her head into the palm of her hand whilst the other rests gently atop the lamp,
"No, I will not be defined by the events of my past. It worked out alright for you after father passed away after all, so what if I wear my heart on my sleeve and don't suppress my emotions like you? Besides, a lot has changed since you were a young officer - even human's possess a stronger measure of morality now - who's to say they wouldn't accept a V'tosh ka'tur?!" She sighs out loud, "I know, it's not the humans I need to worry about; for all we as a race preach to the rest of the Federation, it is in fact my fellow Vulcan's I must be weary of. Why after all this time do our people still insist on living in fear of their emotions? Have we really lost our way that much...?"
"No!" She shouts, allowing her strong emotions to surface, "I can NOT believe that... I WON'T!" She takes a calming breath before continuing, "Mark my words Admiral Se'lai, I WILL prove you wrong; you will see that there IS a place in society for the V'tosh ka'tur - in Starfleet AND on Vulcan!"
Intercom Chimes overhead
"Attention all hands, this is Captain Forresster; prepare for imminent departure. Senior staff to the bridge."
Keelah stares directly ahead at her reflection in the mirror - deep into her reflected eyes - before tugging her tunic straight and making her way to the bridge to greet her new CO.
As Keelah makes her way down the long corridor towards the turbolift, she observes her fellow shipmates all rushing about as they prepare for their maiden voyage. The tension in the air was tinged only by an overwhelming air of excitement and anticipation, which Keelah deeply shared. Above the murmur of the crowd, the warp core could be heard humming to life as it sent a gentle vibration throughout the ships bulkheads. The Dawnstar's nacelles began to glow with a gentle pulse in sync with the thrum of the warp core as her exterior lights flickered on.
Keelah stepped out of the turbolift and on to the bridge that was to become her new home. As she stepped forward the echo of docking clamps beings released echoed around the Dawnstar's bulkheads and a very light jolt could be felt underfoot as the inertial dampeners kicked in. Keelah took her seat at Captain Forrester's side as the helmsman called back, "All moorings report clear, Captain. Awaiting your orders." The entire bridge crew fell silent as the pent up trepidation climaxed with Captain Forresster standing up and raising his right hand to point ahead, "Helm: take us out" An unwarranted wave of cheering and applause washed across the bridge as the Dawnstar's impulse engines hummed into life. The vessel slowly crept forward clear of the drydock before accelerating into a sharp bank ready to warp out of the system. Keelah allowed herself a proud smile as the entire bridge crew reveled in their landmark moment. Their voyage... had begun.