USS Traveller
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Close Friends, Closer Enemies

Posted on Fri May 7th, 2021 @ 12:49am by Commander Onofron Zuir & The Narrator

Mission: S2:2: Something Missing Something New
Location: Canopus Station, before the Travellers return.
Timeline: March 2390

Meeting with the commodore was a grand honor. Anytime an officer was recognized by leadership was a time for celebration, to be certain, but this instance was even grander. Commodore Grissom was the sector commander of the first area of operations beyond the galactic barrier. And Ono had a personal meeting with him. The commodore wanted to see him, had summoned him by name.

Ono had stood before the reflective mirror smoothing over nonexistent wrinkles in his uniform for almost an hour. Immaculate. Precise. Sharp. Were he a machine, Ono would be a well-oiled one. His blue skin and eyes held a stark contrast with the red of his uniform. All in all, he knew he was a dapper man. But would he appear as a competent officer.

"Good day, Commodore," he said into the mirror.

No, that wasn't right.

"Good day, Commodore!" he said more brightly.

Too ecstatic.

"Good day, Commodore..."

Would the lingering cadence suggest uncertainty on his part?

"Good day... Commodore."

Yes, that was the one. The pregnant pause would sublimate a desire to be heard and acknowledged by Ono, but then would be met by a respectful gesture. First impressions were always the most important, after all. Ono was determined to make this a good one.

At Grissom's office, Ono was early, and yet the commodore's yeoman allowed him to enter as if he were right on time. Was mere punctuality not enough? Ono quietly congratulated himself on being early. Evidently such preparation would pay off.

"Good day... Commodore Grissom," he said as he entered.

Zelonites were not a meek and timid people. Being quick to act meant requiring a strategy. Ono kicked himself for nearly forgetting to add the commodore's name to his title. He would never forget to do that again.

"Commander Zuir," Grissom said in a drawl. He didn't get up from his desk, which was his due given his station and rank. The yeoman stepped around Ono and set a coffee cup before the Commodore. "Thank you, Mitch. Can Mitch get you anything? Sounds like you had a late night the way you suppressed a yawn sayin' my name. I like that in my officers. Mitch, get the commander a cup of coffee. Black. Bitter."

He gestured to a chair.

"Settle yer self in," Grissom said, and gestured to a holo pane above his desk. "Just need to sign off on a few deployment orders before we get started."

Suppressed yawn? Late night? Ono made to object, but when Grissom gave his approval... well, the Zelonite closed his gaping mouth.

"Yes, Commodore Grissom, sir. Thank you, sir." He sat down as directed and rested his palms in his lap. On second thought, he squared his shoulders and let his hands hang loose at his sides. Ready, at attention, slightly mussed, prepared for anything.

"Think nothing of it. I don't give Mitch things to do, he's liable to take my job out from under me. See that's the power behind an officer, a competent command staff able to appreciate the need to clear the way," Grissom said. After a moment he flicked at the air, and the holo pane vanished. "You'd think being 8000 light-years from Starfleet would cut back on the paperwork. You'd be wrong."

The yeoman returned, placing a cup of coffee on the table in front of Zuir. TF-Hecate was emblazed on the mug's glazing. Once the yeoman had left, Grissom leaned his elbows down on the table and steepled his fingers.

"You're a learned fella from what your file tell's me. You done the reading on the Long Jump Project? The first survey reports made by the USS Traveller?" Grissom asked.

Ono sat up like an eager schoolboy. "Yes, Commodore Grissom! The USS Traveller launched last year from the Far-Far-Away system in the Alpha Quadrant and has since charted its way across the Messier 4 globular cluster. Unfortunate events stemming from First Contact with the Myriad civilization resulted in the crash of the colony barge and the creation of the Landersfell settlement below. The ship departed the system through an ancient starfaring device in the solar core in pursuit of its stolen computer core and returned with an enemy armada on its tail."

Taking a deep sigh, as Ono had recounted the first flight of the Traveller in a single breath, the Zelonite zealously awaited the kudos from the commodore for his rote recitation of events.

"Unfortunate events are the hallmark of the Traveller it would seem. You see, Remas and his crew were heading back to Carpathia to make a last stand above Landersfell. Leading a whole pack of Reka murderers along with'em that we now have to pry out of the Unicorn asteroid belts now that they gone scattered after the Battle Of Canopus Station," Grissom growled. "You see, there was a reason Remas got his independent command. He's a wanderer, and damn good explorer at that. But the deeper strategic picture's gonna keep him in a captain's chair instead of gaining admirals pips one day."

He reached for his coffee cup, and took a sip.

"Now, a man able to see beyond the first move of the game, that's a man who can see his own advancement and prospects rise," Grissom commented with an arched eyebrow towards Ono. "A man like you, Commander, for instance."

"Me, sir?" Ono was shocked at first, but then he quickly caught up. This was going a very ideal direction, indeed. "Why, yes. I uphold the protocols and ideals of Starfleet to the letter. The colonists of Landersfell should have been the priority for Captain McDonald, not vengeance. And then bringing the Reka back to the hapless crash survivors? Nobody could put it better than you, Commodore Grissom."

In slid the knife and now for the twist.

"It sounds as though you are considering a change of staff for the Traveller." The Zelonite could not help but puff up at the statement. If Grissom did not have him in mind for the command chair, then why would they even be having this meeting? Still, there was decorum. Ono shuffled ever so slightly in his chair as he pursed his lips to suppress the tantalizing anticipation of the offer that was all but sure to come.

"Perish the thought. Captain Remas is something of a darling for those in the Fleet who seem to think he's the second coming of a new age of scientific advancement and peaceful exploration," Grissom scoffed at his words. "So far in coming out here we've run into the Reka, the Myriad, some frog fella, and let's not forget the Concordance who we have only seen the effect of. This is a frontier more than willing to push back, and for once we're on the lower-tech pole to lot of folk out here."

Grissom leaned back in his chair.

"I'm considering the future of Starfleet in Messier 4. And that future might mean making sure that the command cadre of the ships under my command are all on the same page. And rogue elements are removed if need be," he said tactfully.

Ono braced himself for what was gearing up to be incredible news. Could he really be getting his own ship? He'd been an executive officer half a dozen times over so it was well past time.

"I think I understand, Commodore Grissom," the Zelonite said with solemn wonder awe. "And I accept."

"Never a doubt in my mind that you'd turn down the offer. According to your record, your time served more than allows for a fourth pip in your future," Grissom said warmly. And, according to his aide, the other half of the file contained some glaringly forthright personality traits that couldn't quite hide their necrosis. "Now, saying that I can't just shelve Remas the moment the ship connects the pier tie-downs. You'll be assigned as his Executive Officer, his loyal right hand. Of course, Starfleet Regulation 112 states that should a CO being emotionally unfit for his post, putting his personal agenda ahead of that of his orders...well the Regulations are there for a reason."

Ono couldn't help but jump to his feet and clack his heels together. "Indeed they are, Commodore Grissom, sir!" He cut a sharp salute. "Indeed they are."

"Good! Like I said, your a learned man and smart as a whip. Now, if you don't mind I have to meet with some deck thumpers from the SCE's. Probably want me to pick out the hull paint for the Pollux Ship Yards," Grissom got up, leaning over the desk and extending a hand. "I look forward to seeing your future prospects become realities with great interest Commander."

"Yes, sir, Commodore Grissom, sir!" Ono jumped to his feet and clicked his heels together like a greenhorn cadet.


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