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Just under the wire

Posted on 14 Jan 2018 @ 2:21pm by Captain Ricardo (Rico) Montoya & Lieutenant Commander Cevel Th'raran

Mission: New Beginings
Location: USS Phoenix
Timeline: Md 1 - 1450 hrs

Cevel had been on deep Space 5 for only three days and in his temporary quarters when he heard the station wide announcement, =^= Attention all personnel assigned to the USS Phoenix. The USS Phoenix is now docked with the station's main docking facility, docking bay 94. All department heads are to report to your commanding officer by 1500 hours. All crew may begin boarding and can begin reporting to their respective department heads 0800 hours tomorrow. That is all. =^=

He had arrived at 1450 on the bridge of the USS Phoenix and stood before the Captain's ready room. He pushed the door chime and waited for the Captain to answer.

With his feet up on his desk Rico had been watching the time tick by on his holo-monitor. Shaking his head and setting his cup aside, he dropped his feet to the floor and sat up. "Enter."

Cevel stepped in, snapped to attention, "Lieutenant Commander Cevel Th'raran, reporting for post, sir."

Not sure if the martial greeting was due to his Andorian heritage or the fact that he showed up at the last minute. Either way he waved the man in. "Cutting it close there aren't you Commander?"

"Apologies sir, Deep Space Five is designed differently than Deep Space Two, but that's still no excuse. I will arrive promptly fifteen minutes before any future meetings or duty shifts, Sir." Cevel responded, still in the door way.

Rico bit his tongue to keep himself from laughing as he thought to himself. ~five hours given to report...he shows up 10 minutes before the deadline...and he's blaming the layout...wonder what was he really up to???~ Waving him in and motioning to a seat on the couch to his right. "Come in...come in. You can relax, have a seat. Trust me if I were going to bite you would have known."

Cevel nodded hesitantly and thought to himself, Terran humor. I have never gotten it. Perhaps it may be time to change that. He moved to the couch and took a seat as requested, "If I may be so bold sir, this is your first command, correct?"

" second actually. I commanded one of the escort vessels assigned to the Achilles mission...before it was recalled."

"I remember reading about that. It was a mission to the Gamma quadrant, using the Bajoran wormhole at DS5. it was suppose to be a 70 year voyage. Complete exploration journey. the files never said what happened to have the Achilles mission recalled." Cevel said with a slight matter of fact tone to his voice.

Giving his head a tilt as shook his head. "Unfortunately those events have been classified. At any rate I wanted to get your thoughts on the crew Starfleet has assigned us. We have officers straight out of training, some...most lack experience in their departments or this is the first time in leadership roles."

Cevel nodded and thought for a moment, "From what I have seen from the crew manifest, there are no notable personnel. Not having met any of them prior to being assigned to the Phoenix, all I have to go on is the files Starfleet has on each of them. That being said, sir, I am aware that Lieutenant Kent was at one point the Chief of Research and Development on Starbase 80. The parts of his file that aren't redacted are impressive, although the psychological profile is a bit inconclusive. One wonders why he left that posting. My understanding is chief of research and dev is a very nice job to have."

He took a breath before continuing, "Lieutenant Junior Grade Zitla has an impressive record and performance evaluations from each of her postings. My honest opinion is that I'm surprised that she is still only a JG. She seems more than capable and more than likely has had some run-ins with her superiors or other crewmates that have kept her from getting promotions. Her aptitude on paper, as it were, is outstanding. If she serves the Phoenix well I could see her making Lieutenant in a matter of months. That is, my personal opinion though sir."

He took another breath and let that sink in for a moment. "I could continue sir, if you would like me to."

Gesturing with a wave, "By all means...continue."

Cevel nodded, "As you wish sir... let’s see. Lieutenant Miller started as a flight control officer. Then changed tracks to Security and Tactical. He definitely has command training; however this is his first assignment in the Security field which is quite a stretch from flight control. However his scores from his aptitude tests and exams in tactics is superb. Lieutenant Hayami is fresh out of the academy. This is her first posting and it is a command position for her. I'm curious to see how she reacts to the stresses of command." Cevel nodded once more indicating that he was done.

"And the same could be be said for the Marine CO and most of the other officers. Seems we have a mix of fresh graduates, those having completed training of some kind, first time in leadership roles, and even a few cadets for their cruise. I have my suspicions as to why and I am currently working to confirm my suspicions. However, we are going to take these...'diamonds in the rough' and polish them into not just a razor sharp crew, but a family."

Cevel nodded, "I agree sir. It's not an ideal crew, but we do what we must with what we have. I have no doubts that we will be tested and prove our metal. Do we have any perimeters for black duties? Exploration, security, scouting, surely not rapid response?"

"It's very likely we could see any of those assignments. Once engineering resolves our power issues we will have an advanced guard patrol assignment outside of Federation space...which would fall under the scouting category."

Cevel nodded understanding and then creased his brow, "The ship is having power issues? I would have figured station engineering would have fixed any hiccups like that by now."

"As would I; however this morning they had to tow the ship into the bay because the yard personnel couldn't get the power initialization sequence least that was their claim. None of their explanations made sense to me but our Chief Engineer is looking into it now. Hopefully we can get on internal power and get underway soon. Hopefully Mr. Kent has an idea of what he's dealing with by now."

Rising Rico stepped to the replicator. "Would you like anything?"

Cevel nodded, "Yes sir. Some Green Tea would be nice."
Cevel relaxed just slightly. He wasn't used to this type of treatment with a Commanding Officer. I suppose this is something I will need to get used to now that I'm an XO. "Sir, if I may ask, do you have any idea why I was chosen for this posting? I have command experience, but I wasn't aware I was even being considered for the position of XO on any Starfleet ship." Cevel asked shifting in his seat slightly.

Here we go..., Rico thought to himself as he moved to the replicator. "One green tea and one black tea hot."

Handing his XO his tea Rico took a seat not behind his desk, but the chair by the sofa. "Well as you know a Captain usually gets to select his or her XO from available candidate officers. This is not the case. I was in the process of reviewing local candidates when I was informed of your...assignment. The answer to your question is that I don't know why you were selected or why we have been assigned the officers we have. This class of starship, especially coming right out of construction yard, would usually be assigned a more seasoned crew. For some reason the opposite has occurred. Perhaps you have some contacts in the intel community that might be able to shed some light on this."

Cevel took the cup of green tea and let out a small sigh, "I've got some resources I can pull from and try to figure out what is going on. Also, sir, for the record, I have no problem being the XO. I will see to it that I make contact with some assets later today, put some feelers out as it were." He sipped his drink as he ran through a mental list of intel assets.

Rico decided to push his luck, but there was something going on and if it was going to affect him and his ship he wanted to know what was up. "While you’re at it see what Admiral T'Vel has been up to...her activities may have had something to do with the unusual assignments."

"Aye sir." Cevel said with a nod.

Rico took a drink of his tea and set the cup aside. "There is one other issue, a personal matter, that I need your intervention."

"I was married on my last assignment but there we had the option of her serving under another Commanding officer. Here we don't have that luxury.
As XO you manage the crew, however should a situation arise that would require a Captain's involvement, I may need you to handle that as well."

Cevel thought for a moment then nodded, "I can do that sir. Is there anything else that needs my direct attention at the moment?"

"Nothing out of the ordinary. Get settled in, make yourself known and available...get a status report on the ships power issues from Mr. Kent. I have already spoken with most of the department heads. We are still short Operation and intel...the Marine CO should be arriving soon. That said, what do you think of assigning the Marines some of the more routine security matter aboard ship?

"Traditionally when shipboard, marines handle small amounts of security. I see no problem giving them more duties in security. How would you want the security duties divided?" Cevel asked after making a mental note to talk to the Chief Engineer.

"Nothing out of the ordinary. Guarding critical areas, specific deployments during alert statuses and for MVAM operations. Once the Marine CO reports aboard, we can set up a meeting with all parties involved and set things up."

"I like that idea. Do we know when the MarDet CO will arrive sir?"

"Should be later today or tomorrow so don’t be surprised if a few lost Marines come your way."

Cevel nodded, "Understood sir." He finished his tea and then mentioned, "If we need someone to head the Intel department, I can put a few man hours in if we need. As long as you are okay with me dividing duties, that is."

Gesturing with a finger, "I'm glad you brought that up. With the Phoenix being a smaller ship and your background in Intel, I decide to merge intel into Strategic Operations."

"That would make sense. Strategic Ops and Intel work hand in hand more often than not. It's a logical move to merge the two departments." Cevel admitted.

"That and it allows up to expanded staffing to other departments if needed, not to mention cutting down on the number of areas for you to oversee."

"I wonder what kind of progress Mr. Kent has ma..." Rico was interrupted by the chime to ready room. "Enter."

The doors parted and Admiral T'Vel stepped through.

Coming to his feet, "Admiral, I wasn't informed you had come aboard, please come in." Gesturing to Cevel, "My First Officer, Lieutenant Commander Th'raran."

Cevel jumped up and snapped to attention a bit more stiffly than he should have.

Nodding to the officer she returned her gaze to Captain Montoya. "I would speak with you Captain, privately."

Looking at the Admiral for a moment then to his XO. "That will be all Commander. Check with Mr. Kent on his progress with the ships power systems."

Cevel nodded, "Aye sir. Right away."
He nodded to the Admiral, "Admiral." And headed out the door to check on Engineering.

Captain Ricardo Montoya

Lt. Commander Cevel Th'raran


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