Meet the Commodore
Posted on Thu Apr 18th, 2019 @ 10:29pm by Captain Phoenix Lalor & Lieutenant Commander Carlos Harriman & Commodore Evelyn Mountbatten & Commander Gary Taylor & Commander Liselle Qwyyn & Commander Aurelia Holmes & Legate Anje Brett & Lieutenant Commander Sthilg & Consul Toran - Son of Thopok House of Thopak & Lieutenant Commander Arrianna Salannis an Vantar & Lieutenant Kara Hoffman & Lieutenant Wynter & Commander Garrett Lovejoy & Lieutenant Commander Percival Albright
Episode 1: Hell is a four letter word
Location: Deck 16- reception room 1
Timeline: MD1 - 20h
The message had gone out. And it was clear. ALL Senior staff were to be in Reception room 1 at 19h45 and in Dress uniform. That was to say, Dress whites. The reason given: Commodore Mountbatten was on board.
Phoenix checked over her uniform in the mirror of her quarters and once she was satisfied everything was perfect, she left her quarters and headed to Reception Room 1. She wanted her senior staff in place a good 15 minutes before the Commodore came in. She had, made sure, both of the Commodore's aides were invited as well. Give them a chance to see what the Elysium senior crew looked like.
Gary stood in front of the mirror and sighed. He was wearing his dress uniform. "You look ridiculous." He muttered. Yet he would comply with Phoenix's request that all the senior officers wear dress uniforms for the dinner with the Commodore. Shaking his head and knowing Catlin was having a good laugh at him, he exited his quarters and headed for Reception Room 1 and a dinner he didn't want to be at.
Kara arrived at reception Room 1, her appearance immaculate as always. ~My very first Senior Staff get-together and it's also to meet a commodore...~ She shook away her anxiety and stepped inside. It appeared she was even earlier than even the Captain, as the Room was empty for now. "Better to be eagerly early, than late I suppose." She sighed lightly and leaned against the wall casually, waiting for the other Senior Staff to arrive.
Gary came down the corridor and a smile came to his face. Kara was already there, leaning against a wall. "Kara, don't you look stunning in your dress whites. I see you wanted to make sure you got here early."
Next to arrive was the ships, chief medical officer. The big gorn looked slightly out of place in the formal uniform, but he politely nodded to everyone and took his position.
Kara smiled wide as she saw Gary. "Why thank you sir, your looking dapper too, very handsome!"
Gary smiled broadly at Kara's compliment. "Why thank you Kara. You sure that's not a lot of blarney?" He teased. "Hiya Doc." He greeted the CMO as he joined them.
Toran has taken perhaps a bit to long getting ready, but his daughter had at least helped out with the dress uniform and his customary house sash. He was accustomed to being in slightly more formal uniform then most, but the dress whites where pretty rare. Striding into the room a good ten or so minutes then required.
Anje had snuck in behind Sthilg, not wanting to be noticed until she absolutely had to. She overheard Taylor and Hoffman, Hoffman looked weird without Gallia or Tayalas, almost like she was missing an appendage, "Blarney's Irish, Sir. Hoffman's a Scot, they don't do Blarney. Kind of like us Russians, we rely on good old fashioned bullshit." She joked, hoping it would go over better than it usually did.
"Ahhhh." Gary replied a smile on his face as Anje enlightened him on the difference between the Irish and Scots. "Thank you Anje. Now I know. Oh, one thing do the Scots shovel their bullshit as high as the Russians?" He joked.
"Sure." Anje replied, "But only because they have more time. Ours freezes solid in a Russian winter."
Gary laughed at her reply. "Well now I know and who says you don't learn something everyday?"
Kara couldn't help but laugh, she nodded to the doctor, and to Anje. "Good to see you both."
Arrianna entered the room when Gary and Anje began their talk about excrement. She raised her eyebrows at the discussion and sat down with a pad. "Humans are such an enigma." It was odd to her that they were in dress uniform. Was an ambassador coming aboard? This was... irregular.
Carlos Harriman entered in silence. He was relatively new among the senior staff, and his department was an amalgamation and thus, he worked closer to the XO rather than anyone else in the room. He nodded in greeting and stepped to the side to await what was coming.
Liselle moved quietly along the wall as she came into the room, scanning the room for her twin sister. She knew that Merella would not have been invited to this function, but she didn't put it past her to find some way to force her way into attendance. Oddly, she couldn't help but notice Anje's eyes drifting over to her. Qwyyn weakily returned her smile, a gesture forced for the stress that their upcoming departure was causing her.
Anje couldn't understand why Liselle was keeping such a distance, maybe because of the circumstances of this gathering. She waved slyly and blew a little kiss, hoping they'd get some private time soon.
Qwyyn blinked. The expression painfully slow as she tried to clear her vision of what she had just seen from the Lieutenant Commander. Rather what she thought she had just seen. Gods, her mind was tired.
Wynter entered silently before he took a seat rear. He watched in silence as be often did as he waited for things to start.
Lia slowly entered behind Wynter and like him found a quiet chair to the rear of the room, this wasn't what she wanted right now, she wanted no needed to be alone to gather her thoughts. But orders were orders, and they had to be obeyed. So here she sat waiting to see what would transpire, with luck it would be over quickly.
Phoenix entered the room, knowing she was last, and glad of it. A glance at the chrono told her she had 5 minutes. "Okay, Listen up." She said to the gathered group. "We have had a flag officer come on board. Yes I know we are meant to be on 2 weeks shore leave, and it is still happening. For I am NOT cancelling leave for this ship again. This is a dinner to meet the flag officer and her attache's who will be wandering the ship and looking around at things. They will want to interview you all and your teams. You are to cooperate."
"Captain, with all due respect." Arrianna noted. "Commodores do not come on-board Federation Starships to 'wander and look at things.'" Arrianna was already questioning the Commodore's motives.
Kara stayed quiet for the moment, to hear the other senior Staff's opinions. ~Yes, It's typically true. If a Commodore has come on board, there has to be a specific reason...What could it be~ She thought to herself. She folded her arms and looked around the room contemplating the Commodore's motives.
The gorn let out a groan as he ran his hand along his head. So someone was wanting to poke around the ship. This was the last thing they needed. He hoped his medbay would be up to standards.
Anje definitely felt for the Doctor, her department's roster was short handed on a good day, right now it was anorexic. She considered bringing this up, but knew it wouldn't do any good. She decided to remain silent and just get with Case about getting things straightened out before this Commodore invaded.
Toran has waited for the captain not really speaking with her but he always thought it was polite to wait for the commanding officer. Listening and nodding he did agree it was irregular. "Commodores don't normally come on board a ship without a reason. But they also don't tend to concern themselves about weather or not the crew knows why they are on board... It's best to just except the visit and try to... what's the expression? Keep our noses clean?"
"Ambassador, 'you cannot reason with a tiger when your head is in its mouth.'" Arri noted. "I plan on informing my team that they are not to answer any inappropriate or personal questions. This has all the signs of a smear campaign by certain elements in Starfleet that may undermine this ship and crew. And I will want a transcript of all interviews submitted to the ship's legal officer."
Kara listened intently. ~ reasoning with a tiger, when at the brink of being devoured by the beast, would be impossible. An apt analogy.. for a wounded tiger perhaps, but no healthy uninjured one.~ She thought. " But how bad could this commodore be..." Kara had met a few members of upper admiralty, during her training on-board earth space dock; granted it was off duty, but none of them struck her as uncaring or...as evil as to bite a mans head off, who was pleading for reason.
As everyone seemed to be jostling to be heard, Lia watched and waited. Was she concerned? Yes, but for now she would watch and direct her people. Senior Admiralty Staff had a different outlook to ship board Command Staff, and Phoenix was supposed to be the block to separate them from each other. She wondered how Gary was handling all of this, talking was still strained between them. Did he had doubts?
Gary kept silent as the others gave their opinions. To him it was best to sit, watch and wait to see just what the Commodore and her aides were after. Once that was known a proper course of action could devised to deal with the Commodore and her team. Until then this the talking accomplished nothing except to get people more on edge than they already were by the visit.
Phoenix took a breath as an ensign whispered in her ear. "Thank you." She said and the ensign moved off. "The Commodore and her aides are here." She said and turned to face the door.
The door opened and three figures appeared. In the lead was Commodore Evelyn Mountbatten.
Phoenix, her training to the fore, moved to greet her. "Commodore Mountbatten. "
"Captain Lalor." The woman replied.
"I would like to introduce you to my senior staff." Phoenix waved a hand to her team.
"Of course. Please led on."
Phoenix nodded and moved to the first officer. "Commodore, this is Commander Aurelia Holmes, our chief of security and tactical"
Lia moved slightly forward, "Pleased to meet you Commodore, I trust your visit will be short and sweet. I'm lead to believe work loads are quite busy". She waited for Mountbatten to respond, and kept her eye's straight ahead, with her department spread through out the ship any inspection of them would be difficult.
Evelyn looked Aurelia up and down. "Commander, the visit will take as long as it takes I assure you."
Phoenix moved to the next officer. "Our chief medical officer, Lieutenant Commander Sthilg."
Sthilg gave the least threatening smile as he gave his response. " I hope my medbay and ssstaff are up to your ssstandardsss Commodore."
A Gorn was definitely unusual but Evelyn had studied the mans file. "I am sure it will be Commander."
Moving on, "Our chief of Operations, Lieutenant Commander Anje Brett."
"Welcome to Elysium, Commodore." Anje said, lowering her head ever so slightly, "May your visit be pleasant and meet your expectations. Live long and prosper."
"Commander" Evelyn said calmly.
"And this is Legat Toran." Phoenix introduced the Klingon Ambassador.
Toran gave the three a quick but polite nod. "Let me know if there is anything you the members of your party need that I can help with commodore"
She gave the klingon a smile and nodded."I will keep that in mind."
"Our chief of Science, Lieutenant Commander Arrianna Salanis an Vantar."
Arrianna gave her a silent and respectful nod.
Evelyn gave a slight nod in return. "Ah yes, I have read of your race Commander, rather fascinating to say the least"
"The Elysium's chief Engineer, Lieutenant Kara Hoffman."
Kara stepped forwards, extending her hand in a welcoming fashion, looking direct into her eyes. "A pleasure, Commodore. If you have any questions, I'll be happy to answer them, maybe tomorrow you'd like a tour of engineering?." She said calmly, ensuring not to lose eye contact.~If she questions the loyalty, or ability of anyone on board especially the Captain... I don't care if i get court martialled, I will not stand for it.~ Kara thought, preparing herself.
"My Aides will arrange a time for that Lieutenant, But I look forward to it."
"And this is our chief of Intelligence, Lieutenant Wynter."
"Commodore." Wynter said with a nod.
Evelyn nodded in return. The man's reputation preceded him. If there was one on the ship that concerned her who might be able to throw a spanner in the works it was the ships Intelligence Chief.
Moving to Carlos, Phoenix introduced him as the Chief of Strategic Defense. "Commodore, This is Lieutenant Commander Carlos Harriman, Our Strategic Defense Chief."
"Commodore, A pleasure." The man bowed politely.
Evelyn inclined her head. A marine she noted but not a marine in full. One, she knew had moved to Fleet officer course after basic.
Arrianna examined the Commodore as she spoke. She didn't want this woman here. The Alindari typed a search query on her pad with her free hand while her 'aides' were not looking.
Search Query: Evelyn Mountbatten, Full Biography of Evelyn Mountbatten, Service History, Psychological Profile, Command Evaluations, Commander Garrett Lovejoy. Lt. Commander Percival Albright. FNN Opinion Stories concerning Starfleet Officers.
All the while the Commodore's aide, Percy Albright, walked in and amongst the crew. He looked the officers up and down as he moved between them, tapping away at a PADD that he held in the crook of his elbow. He stopped before Kara and his brow furrowed.
Lieutenant," the aide asked without looking up from his PADD. "How long have you owned this uniform?"
The Commodore's other aide, Commander Garrett Lovejoy, walked along silently observing and making mental notes of the senior officers present and their responses to the Commodore. He already had opinions on Taylor and Qwyyn. Now questions were forming about the science chief and her cool response to the Commodore.
Kara looked down at her uniform, and frowned. "I've owned this uniform, since I became Chief Engineer. Is there some sort of problem, Mr Lovejoy?" Kara said with a cool tone.
Garrett fixed her with a cool look and his tone cooler. "Lieutenant. Lt. Commander Albright asked you the question not I however I do have a question. Are you usually so inattentive in responding to a senior officers question? I shudder to think how your department is run if so."
Phoenix had heard the comments and stepped up beside her CEO. "Problem?" she asked lightly. "Dinner is about to be served and I would hate to have issues so soon." Her blue gaze landed on Percy and narrowed in warning .
Kara bit her tongue hard. She had made a mistake. Thankfully, the Captain changed the subject before Kara could dig herself into a deeper hole. She remained silent, deciding it would be best to remain so for now.
Lovejoy met Phoenix's gaze unwavering. "I'm Lovejoy, Captain. He's Albright." He said looking at Percy.
"I am aware" Came the cool tones of the Captain. "I am aware of exactly who you all are. Now, as I said, Dinner is being served. Please, take a seat." She took Kara's Elbow and turned her CEO away from the two officers. And under her breath she muttered -"breath Lieutenant"-
Anje walked up and placed a comforting hand on the Chief Engineer's shoulder, after spending nearly three years as her Aunt's aide, nobody understood what kind of agony these things were better than Anje did. Of course, she'd always been under the protection of the fearsome Wolf Queen, someone capable of sending anyone, no matter how powerful, scampering for cover, she was glad to see Kara had someone like that as well.
The exchange between the Commodore's aides was all Arrianna needed to know to explain the Commodore's presence. These people were a career lynch squad for Phoenix. Any misbehavior on any of the crew's part would directly speak volumes about their commanding officer, even if it was untrue and fabricated by innuendo. Her people did not practice these intrigues, but every Alindari knew them intimately. She had no way of communicating this to the others though. Alindari did not use their telepathy on the outsiders. This time she sorely was tempted to break the Law of Tirielle and touch their minds. But no, she would not break the highest law of her people for something so trivial that would only contribute to what the Commodore's aides were jotting down in their PADD's
Maybe there was a way to get the Commodore, and the Commanders to do more talking. "Commodore, I have a question?"
Evelyn nodded. "Of Course Commander."
"I'm afraid I have not had the pleasure of meeting you formally, and It is a honour. Would you satisfy my curiosity into enlightening me of your role in Starfleet?" It was a carefully laid courteous interrogation. And one of Arri's colleagues at the academy once said. When all else fails, kill em with kindness.
"I am apart of Fleet Operations and logistics. My Role is to audit commands and make sure the right person is in the right role." Evelyn saw no reason to hide that.
The Ambassador made sure to sit next to at least one of the Commodores aides. He knew a inquisition when he encounter one and while he was still a member of the ships crew. He also knew that he had a extra level of protection when it came to this kind of thing. After all he was in truth in a separate chain of command then most of the crew, and there where diplomatic elements with the Klingon's to consider. He simply put was able to do less damage with a slip up then the others. Directing his attention to Lovejoy, trying to provide some kind of distraction. "I trust the trip here wasn't to taxing?"
Lovejoy turned his head to look at the Ambassador his eyes emotionless, his face a mask. his voice perfectly controlled and even. "Your trust is well placed Ambassador, the trip was both uneventful and not taxing at all."
Watching the interaction between the Commodore's aides and the ships CEO, put Lia's alert status on high alert. Just what the hell did they think they were doing? To attempt to trap someone like that wasn't on, if they tried it with her they may come unstuck. As she watched Vantar moved towards the Commodore, *Now what are you up to?* she thought.
As Kara was moved aside by her Captain, she felt Anje's hand on her shoulder. Taking a deep breath she knew that not only was she forgiven for the mistake, she was supported. A wellspring of relief washed over her as she felt the camaraderie between the crew. ~Afterall we are all family, linked together by the Elysium; a bond that no-one could ever break, not even a commodore.~ She thought to herself, as she looked to her Captain from the corner of her eyes. She had a renewed confidence as she moved to the dinner table, sitting down. A serene but unwavering strength, almost like that of a young lioness, under the protection of her strong mother was how she felt. She watched the rest of the Senior Staff, the aides and the Commodore as they began taking their seats at the table.
As people sat, Phoenix signaled for the service to begin. And food was brought out and laid before everyone so they could serve themselves.
Arrianna gave everyone a quick glance, after the Commodore told everyone who and what she was, the crew would know what her game plan was. "Then I can think of no greater Captain to lead the Elysium, Commodore. Phoenix Lalor may be indeed be young, but she has lead us well through many perils."
Percy found his way to his seat, furrowing his brow at the food before him. With his arms pointedly held at the sides of his chair, he looked to Arrianna. "You're very generous with your praise," he noted, his tone neutral.
Hearing the comment made by Percy, Lia felt she had to respond. "Commander Albright, is it so unusual to find a crew or for that matter a crew member. That feels their Captain is the best? If a Captain can instill that in even one person, then who are you to question that person?" She sat down before Percy had a chance to respond, she may have had problems with Vantar but she was damned if she would allow an outsider to insult a fellow crewmember.
"I'm going to cosign Cdr. Holmes, Commander... Albright, was it?" Anje quickly concurred, "You have to understand, Sir, when a crew has been through what this crew has together, bonds are formed, bonds that go even beyond loyalty, and these wouldn't form if the person in command was in any way unfit, the two are mutually exclusive because unfit commanders don't inspire loyalty and usually not longevity. Either through transfers, resignations, or attrition an unfit commander will break up a crew before bonds can even dream of forming. The fact this crew does so well together, as evidenced by our recent mission on Cortic VI, I feel stands as testament to our command staff. I'm sure a man of your experience knows that without my saying so, though." It was an old tactic, one from her Aunt's playbook and Marcia King's before that, but it tended to work; a politely worded eff you, followed by a backhanded compliment to make the attacker paint himself into a corner, ~Somewhere my Aunt is laughing and doesn't know why...~
Kara watched and listened, carefully thinking about what to say. She looked between the commodore's aides and the commodore before speaking. "I'd give my life, for anyone in this room. I'd give it for any single one of this special crew, onboard the Elysium without hesitation. I doubt that you have the loyalty to do the same, commander Albright." Kara was angry, however she knew she couldn't be too antagonistic. She did not want to disappoint the Captain. Huffing a little, she went back to eating quietly. ~These fools wouldn't understand true loyalty, why bother trying to explain it to them. They're out for themselves.~
For his part Percy seemed not to notice the ire raised in the gathered staff by his comment. "I can appreciate a sense of loyalty to one's Captain," he said flatly. "But every member of Starfleet swore an oath to a certain set of principles. It's important that you never allow yourselves to lose sight of that. I have found that sometimes even the most seasoned officers need a reminder. From time to time." And with those words spoken he began bobbing his head this way and that to survey the available food. Satisfied with his options, he began happily loading up his plate.
"People before principles Commander, when one serves aboard a starship. It's the first lesson you learn, a crew is a team and they have to work together or nothing gets done". Lia had now stood back up to see what food was available, this Aide was stuck in his own little bubble. Oh how she wished she could burst it, but perhaps she had better leave alone for now.
Phoenix was determined to ignore the aides and calmly turned her attention to the food. It was going to be a long couple of days she knew.
Anje decided not to say anything else for a moment, joining Lia as they filled plates, ~Now is the time to be the logical Vulcan, Anje.~ She reminded herself, comfortingly placing a hand on Lia's shoulder, Lia who had been through enough without this stooge giving her a hard time. Yes, now was the time for stoic Vulcan logic, though the Russian fire within her had given some thought to handing him his still beating heart, ~Kali ma, ublyudok...~
Arrianna spoke, "Commander Albright, what was your first active duty assignment?"
Percy lowered his hands so that he held his knife and fork at the sides of his plate. He carefully chewed his food, staying silent for several moments until the last bits were properly swallowed. "The USS Rutledge," he said. "I was a junior science officer serving under one of Starfleet's most revered and decorated Captains. The crew of the Rutledge held former Captain Benjamin Maxwell in the highest regard. No one questioned his orders. Every one of us, to a man, would have died for him. Without question." Percy paused, carefully setting his utensils down and fetching up his napkin to dab at his lips. "And then one day he took it upon himself to destroy a Cardassian outpost. He gave the order to fire. And the crew followed him."
Percy shrugged at his own statement. "Naturally, another Federation ship came to fetch him back to the nearest starbase to stand for his unauthorized actions, but Mr. Maxwell broke formation from the Enterprise and continued his attacks, destroying several Cardassian supply vessels. Of his own volition, Benjamin took it upon himself to declare war against the Cardassian empire on behalf of the Federation. And the crew followed him. Because they believed in their captain above all else."
Anje listened intently to Albright's story, it was very revealing about the man. She knew what regard her aunt held Benjamin Maxwell in as well, she'd no doubt pardon him in her first week as President. Sitting back down with her plate, she turned her attention back to Albright, ~Let's see how much juice we can get from this orange...~ "And am I correct in presuming you were there during this time, Commander?" She began, feeding him the bait, "What were your thoughts on the matter then? And now..."
Arri raised her eyebrows. She managed to keep this man talking, now she had to get the other one to demonstrate to the whole crew how much of a farce this was.
Feeling a hand on her shoulder she turned, Anje was there. "Hey, don't worry. Mr. Dipshit over there won't get me that simple, but thanks for the back up". She then openly blew Anje a kiss, that should rock a few muppets around here.
Anje, not used to this kind of attention, simply giggled and blushed, though the fact that Albright hadn't answered her question was not unnoticed, ~That's okay, your silence speaks volumes.~
The rest of the meal was filled with small talk and such. The Elysium crew knew they had vipers in their midst and they were on alert.
Captain Phoenix Lalor
Commander Lia Holmes
Chief Security/Tactical Officer
Lt. Commander Anje Brett
Chief Ops Officer
Commander Gary Taylor
Commander Garrett Lovejoy
Lt. Kara Hoffman
OOC Anje: Percy the Stooge!!! I LOVE IT!!!
OOC Percy(Willow): Ha! Seconded!
OOC: Lets wrap this up guys!