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Fair winds and Following Seas

Posted on 241808.24 @ 22:10 by Lieutenant Commander Matthew Desmond

Mission: Lacuna
Location: Starbase 438
Timeline: One week ago and to the present

A knock at his door startled Lieutenant Commander Desmond out the PADD he was engrossed in, going over the latest equipment count for the 15th Marine Expeditionary Brigade. He looked up and saw Major James Harrison, aide-de-camp to Brigadier General Alison Langford, commanding general of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Brigade standing in his doorway.

"What can I do for you Jim?" Desmond asked.

"Commander Desmond, Brigadier General Langford would like a word with you in her office."

Desmond let out an almost exasperated sigh, not knowing for sure if this was another one of Harrison's pranks. He leaned back in his seat, for a moment and studied the man. There was a bit of a twinkle in his eyes, could be a joke...then again....

"Come on Jim, I'm up to my neck in paper work, I don't have time for any more of your practical jokes."

Major Harrison shook his head; "I'm not joking, Matt. The General wants to see"

Desmond chuckled, "I don't have time for that. You guys are supposed to go on a training exercise in three weeks. I've got maybe a week to finish putting together all of these equipment requisitions. If you want to sneak off to the O Club, just tell me."

"We don't have time to go to the O Club, Lieutenant Commander Desmond. General Langford to see"

Desmond sighed and tossed the PADD on his desk, "I'm sure it beats the heck out of going over the equipment count, let's go."

=/\= Office of Brigadier General Langford =/\=

"Come," came a gruff voice from the other side of the door as Major Harrison pushed the chime.

Desmond and Harrison entered General Langford's office and went to attention.

"Commander Desmond reporting as ordered, ma'am," Desmond said.

"At ease gentlemen," Langford said.

They both went to parade rest, knowing it would be wiser to not get 100% comfortable around the General.

"Commander Desmond, have a seat, Major Harrison, please step outside and close the hatch."

"Aye, aye, ma'am" they said in unison, Harrison exited the office and Desmond sat down as he was told.

"Commander Desmond," Langford began, "you've been under my command for the last....six...? Seven years?

Desmond thought for a moment, "Yes, ma'am, that sounds about right. My first assignment out of Operations School."

Langford leaned back; "You had a real baptism by fire there...we threw everything we could at you...and some how, you managed to keep your head above the fold and figure it all out. You've learned a lot here...and....I wanted to talk to you about an opportunity that I have recommended you for."

Desmond's head cocked to the side; "Ma'am...I'm really not interested in coming to the Marine Corps, we had this discussion six years ago....and every six months since then..."

Langford chuckled; "I'm well aware of that Commander...however, the U.S.S. Vindicator needs a Chief Operations Officer, and Commodore Ivanova has accepted your application along with my recommendation."

Desmond thought for a moment, he vaguely remembered hearing about Commodore Ivanova and her reputation had preceded her. From what he was aware she was smart, and fiery. Not one he wanted to mess with...then again..he did have a nasty habit of getting in to the thick of things, even when he shouldn't.

"I'm honored, ma'am. But....what about the work that is to be done here?"

"Commander, in our line of work, there is always work that is going to need to be done. The difference is knowing when you need to do it and when you need to pass it off to someone else. You'll do well out there. Commodore Ivanova is a good officer, she's fiery, and tougher than a bag of hammers. She'll guide you and mold you in to the finest officer you will ever be. The U.S.S. Ranger is going to take you out to link up with the Vindicator."

"The Ranger leaves in two hours, ma'am."

"I know it does. Don't worry, everything has already been taken out of your quarters and transferred. You're dismissed, Commander."

"Aye, aye, ma'am," Desmond said as he stood up and headed towards the door.

"Commander," Langford said, her tone softened a bit.

Desmond stopped and looked back at her; "Yes, ma'am?"

"Commander, it's been a privilege watching you grow. Good luck to you."

"Thank you, ma'am."

=/\= Cold Station Theta, one week later =/\=

Lieutenant Commander Desmond paced back and forth across the officer's lounge of Cold Station Theta. He was waiting for his clearance to go aboard the U.S.S. Vindicator, his bags had already been taken over about an hour before. He was told to wait. But he grew tired of waiting.

A soft female voice called out behind him; "Excuse me, Commander Desmond?"

He turned to see a Chief Petty Officer standing at the door to the lounge, "Yes?"

"Sir, I'm Chief Petty Officer Monroe, I'm in Operations on the Vindicator. I'm here to escort you aboard. You have a meeting with Commodore Ivanova in ten minutes."

Desmond nodded and walked next to the Petty Officer, "How long have you been onboard the Vindicator, Monroe?" she was young, he thought, can't have been more than 20 years old.

"The Vindicator was my first assignment, Sir. I arrived here four years ago fresh out of Technical Services training."

Desmond's eyebrows shot up at that, "You're about two years ahead on the promotion scale, Chief. You must be very good at your job."

"Yes, Sir," she said as she led them through the airlock to the Vindicator, she looked at the security officer at the entrance, "Chief Petty Officer Monroe bringing aboard new arrival, Lieutenant Commander Matthew Desmond, our Chief Operations Officer."

Desmond looked at the security officer; "Permission to come aboard?"

The security officer looked at some information on his terminal, then looked back at Desmond; "Permission granted, Sir. Welcome aboard the Vindicator."

Desmond nodded, "Thank you, Lieutenant."

"This way, Sir," Monroe said as she led him through the corridors to a turbolift.

"Chief, if you're as good as I think you are...why aren't you at the Academy?"

She shrugged; "Bridge. It's not something I ever really thought about, Sir. Nor am I interested."

Desmond smiled wryly, "You got it, Chief."

The turbolift stopped, Desmond waited for Monroe to exit. "This is your stop, Commander, I'll be in the Ops Office."

Desmond nodded, "Thank you Chief. I'll be down to meet everyone as soon as I am able to."

Desmond exited the turbolift to the bustling activity of a ship in port, he took a moment to take in the view, it was stunning. "May I help you, Sir?" the officer in the command chair asked.

"Ah, yes, I'm Lieutenant Commander Desmond, I'm here for..."

"A meeting with Commodore Ivanova, you're a little early, but I'll let her know you're here," he turned to crewman and nodded.

Desmond nodded, "Thank you."

"The Commodore will see you now," the crewman said a moment later.

"Thank you," Desmond said as he walked towards the Commodore's ready room. He took a moment to straighten out his uniform and then pressed the chime.


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