=/\= Starfleet Headquarters, Earth, 0300 Local Time =/\=
Standing at the window in his office, Zeke admired the serene view of
San Francisco's city lights reflecting off the bay amidst the cool haze
of the nightly fog front. On his desk was a PADD with his orders,
reflecting what President Bedford had told him and Rear Admiral Talar
mere hours ago at their meeting in Paris. Admiral Ashton had informed
the President of his intention to retire, though apparently Tal had
asked the President that his reasons remain private for the time being.
Starfleet needed a leader, the President had said, and with the upcoming
elections she did not feel justified in naming Ashton's successor when
her term was about to end. However, she said, she was confident that
Zeke would be able to hold things together until then. Vice Admiral
Zeke Travers, Acting Commander of Starfleet. The weight he felt on his
shoulders now, even though temporary, was enough to crush Atlas
himself. But Travers was not one to shy away from his duty, no matter
how out of his league he might have felt.
= Several Days Later =
"Commander," Zeke greeted his aide as they entered the secure conference
room, deep in the heart of the Headquarters Central Building. "Have
they arrived?" he asked, in referring to the two Fleet Commanders which
Travers had asked to come to Earth to meet with him. Upon reflection,
Travers thought they would probably be more accurately called Quadrant
Commanders, but such were traditions. The aide said they had, and the
Acting CinC gave the nod for them to join him. Seated to his right
already was Rear Admiral Talar.
=/\= USS Thunderchild =/\=
Lieutenant General John Liconie sat in the familiar command chair of his
first command, the recently found USS Thunderchild. It had been docked
in the Versailles fleet yards undergoing repair and this was her maiden
voyage after being released. John smiled as the stretched stars went
back to multicolored pin pricks of light and they entered the Sol
system. They'd been traveling for the last few days to reach Earth,
stopping along the way to test fighter launch capability and the weapons
Sensors would be done on the trip back, there were a few planets and
asteroids science had sent requests about along the way, "sir, entering
Earth orbit," the Lieutenant at helm called.
Liconie nodded, "good, request dock at Starbase oh one and take us in,"
he ordered then stood up and came to a stop behind Helm and Ops.
There was a quick exchange with the Starbase then the big doors opened
on the top and yellow running lights started. The Lumina class ship
slid through the doors and then, after a short few minutes, pulled into
it's birth, "alright, connect umbilicals and switch to external power,"
Liconie said then slapped his comm badge as the Ops officer ran through
the sequence, "Liconie to all hands, shoreleave on Starbase zero zero
one and Earth is authorized, however, do not leave the planet and be
prepared to depart in the the next twenty four to forty eight hours," he
said then retapped, "inform command I'm on my way," he added then left
the bridge, rematerializing in the Starfleet Command transporter room a
few minutes later.
[ USS Quantum ]
Enor stood quietly gazing out the massive windows of his temporary quarters
aboard the Sovereign class USS Quantum, although the luxurious
accommodations would have been more aptly described as a stateroom. The
palms of his hands pressed gently against the cold metallic surface of the
window frame as he quietly observed shuttles from the ship race out towards
the bronze and beige swirls of Jupiter. In the periphery of his view he
could see the saucer formation of Jupiter station and just beginning to come
into view he could see the dark brown splotch of Jupiter's eye turning to
gaze at him. He let out a cool sigh as the chime to his door rang and
wrestled his attention away from the scene. "Enter" He said.
"Sorry to bother you Admiral." A young Andorian Ensign stepped into the
doorway holding a large wreath. "Captain Brisbane asked me to fetch this
for you. I had it delivered via a shuttle from Earth. It is actually
organic and from a florist in Venice Italy, if you're familiar with Earth's
regions... The Captain also wanted me to inform you that we will drop you
off at Earth after all the scientists have disembarked. He hopes it is not
"Thank you, Ensign..." He paused and then remembered "Ensign Jaseiri."
Enor smiled at the tentative blue woman as she seemed to beam at the mention
of her name and he approached her gently accepting the wreath. He pulled
the collection of flowers up to his nostrils and carefully inhaled- the
scent was sweet. It was perfect. "This will work very well. Also, please
tell the Captain that my stay has been great, he, and the crew, have been
most hospitable. I regret that our schedules won't allow us to meet again
before I disembark."
The young Ensign nodded her head and then pointed behind him "it seems we
have finished." She said. Enor twisted around to see Jupiter begin to
shrink into oblivion. He turned back and nodded his head at the Ensign.
She smiled again "hope you enjoy your stay on Earth Admiral. I need to
return to my duties! Good bye."
When she was out of sight Enor returned to the window holding the wreath.
It wasn't long before the blue glow of Earth was reflecting on the metallic
tapestry of the Quantum's hull. It had been a very long time since he last
stepped foot on Earth. The last time was still vivid in his mind. Bitter
memories and enormous sorrows. He sighed again causing a loose petal on the
wreath to flutter away.
It would never truly symbolize the breath of the tragedy that occurred at
Utopia Planitia but the memorial wasn't there to serve the dead- only the
living. In that regard it served its purpose well. The simple granite
monument stood at the east end of the Starfleet Command center. Carved into
its face was the image of Utopia Planitia and Mars underscored by the words
'in memory of all lost.'" Several bouquets and flowers adorned the
periphery of the monument. Enor quaintly ignored the 'do not step on grass'
sign and placed the wreath directly in front of the monument. He took a
slowly step back, judged the position of it, and then nodded his head
approvingly. Behind him he could hear a young man "you're not supposed to
be up there!"
He turned around and nodded at the man, a security Lieutenant by the looks
of the uniform "my mistake, I'm sorry." Stepping down onto the concrete
pathway he smiled "It's been awhile since I've been here. I assume
everything is the same? I have a meeting with Admiral Ze..." Enor stopped
slightly embarrassed that he had forgot his colleagues name "the Commander
"Admiral!" The Lieutenant nearly shouted the designation appearing a bit
flustered "I'm sorry I didn't know! Yes, not much has changed." He looked
Enor and then blanched "well- not since the war ended anyways. The meeting
rooms are still in the same place. I can give you an escort sir."
"That will be unnecessary Lieutenant, but thank you." Enor smirked "and
just for the record. Admirals are not above the law. Please feel free to
write me up for this indiscretion." He was tempted to laugh at the
indescribable expression that dotted the Lieutenant face for a moment but
instead turned around and made his way towards the main command center.
=/\= Starfleet Command Briefing Room =/\=
Travers extended a hand of greeting to the two fleet commanders as they
entered the briefing room, followed by gesturing for them to take
seats. The table was set up to seat as many as 20 officers, with large
screens and monitor stations throughout the room for aides and staff to
operate as needed, but for now it was just going to be the four of
them. "General Liconie, Admiral Enor, thank you for coming," he said. "You
both know Rear Admiral Talar," he said, knowing that they did but
it was polite to confirm anyway.
"I'm sure you were both as surprised to learn of Admiral Ashton's
retirement as we were," Zeke continued, taking his seat along with the
rest of them. "But with the elections looming, we have to be prepared
for any shift in the political landscape of the Federation that my try
to spill over into Starfleet. As such, though my position is only a
temporary one, I want to be sure we're all on the same page and to get
your personal takes on the status of the fleets."
"General, I know you've not had much time with your own recent
appointment, but you've worked closely with Admiral Cerywyn during her
tenure. What can you tell me about the state of Beta Fleet?"
"Aye, sir," Liconie started as he sat down, sitting at a semi-attention,
"but, only in as much as had to do with my Command of the Second
Division. I've reviewed everything on file so far and Beta Fleet seems
secure with only a few real points. To start off," he said then typed
on his PADD, bringing up various reports, "after assisting the RSE with
the Vulcan ship, the Charon has stopped to study an impending
supernova. At last report they were just getting into position. The
Archer is still deep in Klingon space and are chasing an outlaw named
Durril with a ship from the KDF. They had found Durrils ship and were
"The Vindicator is still in the quarantine zone and seem to have suffered
some damage, but comms aren't going through. I am going to send a ship
in the next forty eight if I don't hear from them. Things on Versailles
are pretty calm, the Ambassadors are settled in. The boarder defense
force has encountered some ships, but information was still coming in on
what the situation is. The Enterprise has also lost contact, however I
have heard from Commodore Archer who was on the USS Wolverine heading
back. The Task Force is stretched across the sector defending it
against Zyboresque androids. They are investigating sacrifices that
were being made to some kind of destructive entity," he added then ran
through the rest of the Fleet, giving quick updates and highlights from
the full reports displayed.
Travers listened intently to the verbal report and nodded as General Liconie
finished. "Thank you. I'd like a detailed tactical assessment comparison
of the Enterprise Task Force and the information we have on the Zybor before
you leave back to Versailles. I want to know what Admiral Roberts is up
against. As for the rest, I trust you'll keep us informed of the
developments. It's reassuring to see the 'great experiment' with the Charon
seems to be paying dividends in relations with the Romulans," he added the
Turning to the other Fleet Commander at the table, "Admiral Enor, your
report on the status of Alpha Fleet, please."
For her part CJ sat quietly making the odd note on the PADD in front of her
there was so much to get together over the next few weeks to make sure the
house was in order once the elections were over, because inevitably people
would want to put their stamp on the administration and shuffle the deck
chairs so like it or not she may not be having to worry about any of this
soon. She looked over at Admiral Enor waiting for the Alpha Fleet update.
"Thing have been quiet- relatively speaking." The Trill Admiral dug
into his pocket for a moment before pulling out a PADD and setting it on
the table. His fingers danced on the conference's tables holographic
control console in front of him. Above the settled group a holographic
display of the Alpha quadrant expanded and then minimized focusing on
Federation space that was outlined by a translucent blue glow "the most
notable thing was the destruction of a Cardassian ship at Deep Space
Nine. The Cardassians have been increasingly belligerent lately moving
additional forces along the DMZ nearest to Bajoran space." Enor tapped
on the console again refocusing on the DMZ "but they have not moved
beyond these- as the Bajorans have been describing it 'provocative
"Otherwise my primary duties seem to have been more so personnel
oriented. There have been recent high profile promotions such as
Commander Ryan Edwards promotion to Captain. Also several high profile
command changes, most recently with the Warrior, but also the Griffin."
Enor leaned back in his chair "but there have been some major events.
The USS Cortana is investigating a radiation attack. The USS Griffin
recently conducted an...eventful first contact mission. The USS Cortez
is continuing her exploration mission in the gamma quadrant, last report
we received they had discovered Vulcan life signatures on a planet.
Starbase Zetari has been ordered to place sensor buoys near the
homeworld of the Orbs. The USS Atlantia is still patrolling- and the
Warrior has returned to DS9 after her command change."
He looked away for a moment "I believe that is all..." he then sat up
"oh wait. I have also increased our vessel presence along the
dematerialized zone by fifty vessels to deter further Cardassian
belligerence and to appease the Bajoran government."
Travers nodded at that last, as he was going to comment on what Enor had
done in response to the Cardassian's posturing until then. Half a
century later and the Bajoran sector was still a hotbed of intrigue and
political maneuvering. Zeke made a mental note to look into other
avenues of preventing a dangerous buildup along the DMZ.
"Thank you, gentlemen," Travers said after taking a moment to silently
process all of the data, then standing. "Admiral Talar and I will
review the information and reports you've brought us, and we'll meet
again tomorrow morning at 0800 local to discuss what lies before us and
how we'll proceed from here. I promise I won't keep you awy from your
posts for longer than is necessary," Zeke added, referring to both
officer's dedication to their responsibilities. Earth was a nice
vacation spot, but that was not why they had traveled all this way.
Liconie nodded as his comm badge went off, "Thunderchild to Liconie,
there's transmission from the Archer coming in, sir."
"Acknowledged, standby," he called then looked to Travers, "sir, if
you'll excuse me?" he asked, sitting forward but not standing up until
he was given the ok.
Talar answered, "Yes Thank-you Gentlemen, you have both obviously been
working quite hard. I will be making sure that the diplomatic corps is
in contact with both of you to assist in the resolution of some of the
issues you have mentioned especially the first contact and the Archer
and Versailles. Oh and Mister Liconie the diplomatic office asked me
to pass on to you that there is a Betazoid matriarch asking after you,
something about a wedding?" She smiled then handed him and electronic
card, "she can be contacted there, good luck she sounds to be quite a
John stood then took the PADD and read it over then smiled, "aye, thank
you, ma'am, it's my future grandmother-in-law, I'm supposed to take her
back to Versailles with me," he explained then made a mental note to
have Thunderchild beam Jon junior down before going to meet the woman.
"Until the morning, then. General, Admiral," Travers nodded to the two fleet commanders, signaling the meeting was adjourned.
= End Log =
Vice Admiral Zacharias Travers
Acting Commander, Starfleet (NPC)
Rear Admiral CJ Talar
Starfleet Chief of Staff (NPC)
Admiral Jolias Enor
Alpha Fleet Commander
Deep Space Nine
Lieutenant General John "Razor" Liconie
Acting Beta Fleet Commander