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Old March 19 2012, 07:09 PM   #19
CeJay
Commodore
 
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Re: And a Star to Steer Her By

It was amazing really.

She had stayed up all night to study everything she could about her new ship. Had familiarized herself with all the technical stats, all the design features and mission objectives. She had learned that Agamemnon was only a few months out of spacedock but already had a full crew complement on board. She wouldn’t get to choose her own officers but it didn’t bother her. She had also learned that her ship was one of the first ones to carry a detachment of Marines, something that had only been previously done during times of war or during dangerous missions. She had proceeded to read every single service file of the senior staff and quite a few others as well.

And yet after that marathon studying session she was still bright-eyed and wide-awake at oh-seven-thirty the following day as she stepped foot onto her new ship for the very first time.

She knew the moment she was aboard that it was her ship. It had nothing to do with her orders but was purely a gut feeling emanating from somewhere in the pit of her stomach. She belonged here and no matter how much she had tried to talk herself out of taking her own command over the years, she knew now without a shadow of a doubt that this was exactly what she was meant to be doing.

She had to focus to keep a silly smile off her face half an hour later when she stood next to Admiral Glover on Agamemnon’s huge shuttlebay with a great number of the crew – her crew, she reminded herself – assembled to witness the change of command ceremony.

Afterwards Samson Glover had shook her hand and come dangerously close to becoming sentimental as he wished her the best of luck. It was all she could do to keep from getting teary eyed herself.

Shortly thereafter she found herself in her ready room. As expected it was almost entirely undecorated, the walls mostly bare and the carpet still smelt as if it had been laid the day before. The room was more spacious, brighter and more welcoming than the office she had used on the starbase. It was a space befitting a captain.

In her mind she was already seeing part of her African ceremonial mask collection neatly lining the far wall. Maybe a model of the Columbia in the corner.

“I think we’ll be happy here,” she said to the green and yellow heap curled up under the window, his large head resting lazily on his impressive paws.

Cosmo it seemed had already found his favorite spot. He purred with agreement. Then he raised his head in startled alarm, his piercing yellow eyes focused on the doors so intently, one would have though the animal possessed x-ray vision.

The enunciator sounded an instant later.

Amaya chuckled. “Who needs a door chime if you have a le-matya?” she said. “Down boy.”

Cosmo obediently complied.

“Come in.”

The doors parted and she smiled when she saw a familiar face step inside.

“Congratulations, Captain,” said Vej as he walked into the office. “I can’t say that I’m surprised.”

She looked at him suspiciously. “Don’t tell me you knew about this as well?”

He quickly shook his head. “I had no idea this was in the works, if that’s what you mean. What I knew was that sooner or later something like this would have to happen.”

“That’s right,” she said, remembering their last session together and sat down behind her desk. “I keep forgetting that apparently you know me better than I know myself.”

He sat also. “Tell me I’m wrong. Go to the admiral and tell him he can give this fancy new ship to somebody else. Somebody who really wants it.”

She looked around the room for a moment and then right back at him. “Nah.”

He smirked.

“Fine, you were right, happy? You don’t have to be so smug about it.”

His boyish grin remained as he raised his hands. “I don’t get to be right very often. I have to cherish these moments.”

She rolled her eyes. “You don’t get to be right very often?” she said. “Remind me why you are my counselor?”

“Must be my magnetic personality. But you’d be surprised how often I just wing it,” he said with a laugh. Then he became more serious. “Sadly it would appear that you will have to find somebody else to open up to now that you’ve gotten yourself your own command.”

She leaned forward and onto her desk. “Not necessarily.”

“You expect to stop by DS5 once a week? That could be difficult.”

“Very.”

“Subspace sessions?” he said.

“Too impersonal.”

“I don’t understand. What do you have in mind?”

Her grin widened. “Well, Agamemnon needs a counselor. You are a counselor.”

At this his eyes opened wide. “You can’t be serious.”

“But I am.”

He shook his head slightly. “Maya, I can’t. I have patients on DS5 who need me.”

“You’d have patients right here. And I need you,” she said and picked up her padd even though she knew she didn’t have to. She had already committed its contents to memory. “I’ve got the greenest crew ever to serve on a starship. My chief engineer is a Xindi-Insectoid who is not used to working with humanoids. My chief medical officer is the first Selay to serve in Starfleet and honestly I’m not even sure yet if she understands that most of us are warm-blooded. My helmsman is a DeSoto who I suspect believes that he’s entitled to preferential treatment due to his heritage and don’t get me started on my science officer who is related to none other than Richard Daystrom himself but seems to want nothing to do with his own legacy.

This crew will need somebody like you. And don’t tell me that you are not intrigued at the idea of serving on a starship and going places nobody else has gone before. Getting a chance to meet and study races nobody in the Federation has ever even heard of before.”

“You do make a good sales pitch.”

She smiled sweetly. “That’s why they made me captain, I suppose.”

Cosmo had gotten up from his corner but Vej had been too preoccupied with his own thoughts to notice the domesticated wildcat sneaking up on him. He flinched noticeably when he finally saw him. He purred slightly and then pushed himself past his legs.

“See, even Cosmo wants you here.”

“No doubt so he has a spare food source should the replicators ever fail.”

Donners laughed.

“I admit you make it sound interesting but how do you think Starfleet would feel about having a civilian counselor serving on a starship? I’m sure they wouldn’t be happy.”

“They’re not happy that I keep Cosmo around, either. Besides I’ve already cleared it with Admiral Glover. He doesn’t want to see you go but he has approved my request. I think he believes he owes me for putting up this whole show of his. Of course the truth is I owe him.”

Cosmo’s head abruptly turned again towards the doors.

“Come in,” said Amaya.

The doors opened and a startled Commander Arden Texx stood in the doorway. “Sir? How did you know I was here? I was just about to press –”

“I have my ways,” she said with a smile. “Please come in, Commander. I’d like you to meet a friend of mine.”

The Bolian did.

Cosmo hissed at the new arrival and Texx froze for a moment.

“Don’t worry, Commander,” Donners began. “He’s really just –“

“You have a le-matya?” he said, interrupting her. Without a second thought he walked right up to the animal and squatted down in front of him. “And what a great specimen he is. Look at that colorful hide and those ears,” he said and began to pet his head with both hands. “What a big beautiful boy you are,” he said to Cosmo who seemed to enjoy the attention and purred pleasingly as he let the Bolian pet him.

Vej and Donners had stood and now gave each other surprised looks.

Texx seemed to notice. “I apologize. My brother used to have a le-matya. But his was quite a bit smaller than yours. Very impressive creatures,” he said and then managed to tear himself away.

“That’s quite alright,” said Donners. “Cosmo doesn’t make friends easily so I suppose I should be relieved. Commander, please meet Vej a friend of mine and hopefully –“

“Your new counselor,” said Vej and held out his hand.

Texx wiped his hand on the side of his trousers before shaking the counselor’s. “A pleasure meeting you and welcome aboard.”

“Gentlemen, I would appreciate if you would stop interrupting me all the time. I am your captain, you know.”

After they both looked sufficiently chastised she smiled again and looked at Vej. “You won’t regret your decision.”

“We’ll see. Cosmo may have made a new friend but I can’t help wonder how many crewmembers will need some serious therapy after meeting your pet.”

“Couldn’t think of a better person for the job,” she said.

He gave her an appreciative look. “If you’d excuse me now. I better get packing. Besides I will need to write letters to a number of undoubtedly very disappointed former patients of mine.”

“Of course,” said Amaya.

Vej and Texx exchanged courteous nods and then the counselor left.

“Commander,” she said, focusing on the Bolian now.

“I wanted to let you know that we are still scheduled for departure at 1800 hours unless you would prefer to delay our launch.”

She shook her head. “I wouldn’t dream of it. Besides we are due to get our first orders from Admiral Owens shortly. That won’t give us much time for a test drive.”

He nodded. “I meant to ask you about that. Admiral Owens is not our sector commander.”

She had wondered about this herself and in fact had already begun to form conspiracy theories in her head. Jonathan Owens generally had little to do with fleet operations as far as she knew. And yet her first order had been to report to him. It was not the way Starfleet generally did business. But her euphoria over her own command didn’t allow her to see anything sinister about this. She knew the admiral reasonably well thanks to her friendship to his son and she was sure that whatever he needed her for was perfectly legitimate.

“I wouldn’t be too concerned about it, Commander. I’m sure Starfleet has good reasons for what they’re doing.”

He nodded. “I’ll have the senior staff ready to meet with you within the hour. After that I thought I’d give you a thorough tour of the ship.”

“That sounds like an excellent idea.”

“Cap,” he said with a nod and then turned to head for the doors.

“Arden?”

He turned before reaching the exit.

She had been startled by the odd nickname he had used but now as the Bolian looked at her expectantly she suddenly found that she liked the sound of it. “Never mind, carry on.”


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