Senior Staff Luncheon

Posted on Sat Sep 26th, 2020 @ 3:46am by Commander Gregory Watney & Lieutenant Commander Silas Shrike & Major Quinten Brody & Lieutenant Frenda Seivelun & Lieutenant Alexander Berkel & Lieutenant JG Evelyn Cogley & Lieutenant Saul Whitford

Mission: Episode 1: New Toys to Play With
Location: Conference Room
Timeline: Mission Day 2 at 1200

Greg walked into the conference room. He smiled as he approached the long table. There were trays of sandwiches, chips, pitchers of water, carafes of coffee all laid out on the table. The galley crew had outdone themselves. This would be the first time that he would meet the Senior Staff all at one time, and for many of them, first time meeting each other. Greg looked at the chrono on the wall and it just struck 1200, which meant they should be arriving anytime. Since he had labelled it as a mandatory meeting for all of them, even though that was an exaggeration.

More than once during her career, Evie had served under commanding officers that believed that to be on time was to be late and to be early was to be on time. She hated that sort of mentality. It wasn't that she liked to be late, but the whole idea that you had to show up early for something or you were in deep water irked her. So she was certain she would not be the first person in the room, and she wondered in the back of her mind, how her new boss handled these kind of things. As it was...he was the only one in there. She came up short, and surprised, looking around, then checking the watch she wore, an ancient aviator style chornograph set to ships time. "Am I...early?"

"Not at all Lieutenant." Greg said as he motioned towards the food, "Please. Help yourself to some food." The Australian man said.

"I heard 'food'." Shrike entered just as Greg finished his sentence. Even if this weren't a mandatory meeting, Shrike would never miss an excuse for something extra to eat. The man looked up towards Evie and nodded a greeting, then towards Greg. That was it. He wasn't the overly talkative sort, and his amicable mood from yesterday's novelty of a new ship had almost entirely worn off. Shrike usually liked to arrive to things a touch early, but only so that if he were running a touch behind, as he was today, it would balance out and he would be on time. And perfectly on time he was. The officer made no comment about such, instead sitting down at the closest seat.

Greg to the seat at the head of the table and grabbed himself a sandwich an a cup of coffee, and added cream and sugar. "Just save some for the rest of us Commander."

"I can't make any promises." It seemed a bit of Shrike's good mood was still there if that joke was any indication. Then again; he was always more polite like this in the company of his superiors. He seemed to take Greg's own actions as an invitation for him to serve himself, so he grabbed a sandwich and set it down on his plate.

If the commander was grabbing the food, then really it was fair game. And he had told her that she could. So after letting the XO get his choice, Evie followed suit, grabbing something wedged between two dark slices of bread, and for the moment ,settling on what looked to be a glass of lemonade. The lemons on Earth tasted different than the one's she'd grown up with, but the drink was pretty tasty here. She gave it a sip, nodded, and meandered over to take a seat herself. "So we've been here a whole day. What do you two think of the ship?" She asked, belatedly remembering to add, "Sirs."

"She is definitely a beauty." Greg said in between bites of sandwich, "It has all the bells as whistles Starfleet Engineering could pump out. Also a Warp 6 engine." He winked at the helm officer, "I head that by our first refit, they will have the warp 7 ready to install."

"Let's just hope we don't get shot down before that first refit." Shrike added a touch of his brand of joking pessimism.

"She best not" a voice said ftom the doorway. The petite blonde haired chief engineer said as she walked in. Unlike the others she had grease and dirt on her uniform, cheeks and in her hair, no doubt from the engine room and the many interior components if the ships systems. She looked over at Gregory. "Greg..." she addressed him blushing slightly.

There was no hiding the fact that Evie was eager to push the new engines to see how fast they would go. The idea of setting a speed record sung in her heart. Before she could comment on that, a familiar sounding voice called out from the door and Evie turned, glass half raised to her lips, and blinked in surprise. "You were on the Intrepid, right? Two years back?"

Frenda nodded as she slid down into a seat. "Yeah I was on the Intrepid, she wasn't anything like this ship though. The maximum speed that old girl could do was best warp three, three point two on a good day with some pursuasion" Frenda explained. She looked the young woman up and down. "You're that young pilot girl... Evie wasn't it?"

A smile blossomed on Evie's face as she discerned that she was correct. Beaming she nodded her head a few times, "That's right. Mostly I was a navigator - cross training on sensors under the science department, but I spent plenty of time behind the helm. It always seemed to glitch up a bit at warp 2.7, and the steering would need some extra jiggle on the stick, but she was a fun girl to fly." She raised her glass in a bit of a toast to Frenda.

Greg watched the Engineer take her seat. "I will try my best." The commander said as he took a sip of coffee, "Enjoy some food, and get to know one another. We will begin the actual meeting shortly."

Saul meandered in having found an invitation waiting for him, 'room for one more?' he asked as he flashed a smile to the room. Eyeing up the food arrayed on the table he waited for permission come in, 'Lieutenant Whitford reporting.'

"Hello Lieutenant. Welcome, please take a seat and grab some food. We were just sitting down to meet face-to-face, then we were going to have a quick meeting before we leave tomorrow." Greg said standing to his feet.

Grabbing a plateful of ham and cheese sandwiches and the largest mug of coffee he could find, the Armory Officer nodded, 'suits me just fine.' He piloted the plate and mug to an empty chair around the table. Saul suspected this would become his usual spot during staff meetings, 'a pleasure to meet you all I'm sure.'

Giving the newcomer a once over, Evie again raised her lemonade again, though there was less in her glass now. It was pretty good, all in all. "A pleasure," she mimicked his words, in that oddly flat accent of hers.

'Pleasure's all mine, ma'am,' Saul replied in between bights of his sandwich and throwing a thumbs up.

Despite herself, Evie chuckled softly. "I'm sure it is."

Sprinting down the corridor, Quinten scrambled to get to the meeting on time. How could I have been so stupid?! He arrived at the door and waited a second or two to catch his breath. Brody took a step forward and opened the door, revealing the Senior Staff enjoying conversation and food. Food! Excellent! “Apologies for my tardiness Commander.” Quinten tried to say without sounding like he was out of breath. He looked at the chrono as it switched to 1202.

"That's alright Major." Greg said as he refilled his coffee mug, "Enjoy some food before we get started."

"Will do, thank you Sir." Brody looked a little sheepishly at the trays of delicious looking food before him. He grabbed what looked to be a couple Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches and took a seat. It reminded him of home, something he had tried to keep deep down inside him as it was too painful to bring back up. But it was just the type of comfort he needed after embarrassing himself by being late. A soldier is never late. If they are early then they are on time, if they are on time then they are late. Brody was just late late, unacceptable. He took a large glass and filled it with water. Quinten took a big bite out of his sandwich. The taste of the strawberry jelly was so refreshing and calmed him. Then the stickiness of the peanut butter started to overwhelm his already dry throat. He quickly grabbed his water and chugged it, trying to wash down the too big of a bite he'd taken. Brody tried to recover from this awkward moment he was sure everyone witnessed by leaning back in the chair. “I’m Major Brody, nice to meet you all. I look forward to serving with each of you. If you have any questions about the M.A.C.O. just let me know. We’ve got your back.” Quinten leaned forward, reached for the pitcher of water, and refilled his glass.

'Major, a pleasure to make your acquaintance,' Saul gave the Major a wave with his free hand, 'I'm sure we'll be working closely seeing as I'm our resident Chief Armory officer and all.' He leaned forward across the table, extending his hand for a shake, 'Saul Whitford.'

Brody reached across to grasp Whitford's extended hand and shook it. "Same to you Saul. Talkin' shop and coordinating is something I haven't been able to do on the smaller ships I've been assigned to. I look forward to it."

'Me too Major, me too.' Whitford released the man's hand and sat back down on his own side, taking a sip of his drink.

Alexander had had the opportunity to look very briefly into sickbay, then he'd returned to his quarters until it was time to leave for the meeting, which he then almost missed because he was engrossed in a book. He arrived a couple of minutes after Quinten, a little winded. "Good afternoon," he greeted the others, "apologies for my lateness." he looked around, smiling pleasantly to his new colleagues, "Alexander Berkel, I'm assigned as your CMO, pleasure to meet you." He took a seat and poured himself a cup of coffee, spotted a meatless sandwich which he nipped at.

Major Brody nodded at the Medical Chief. "Major Brody, MACO detachment. Hopefully we won't be seeing too much of you but I'm a realist, you'll see us the most. Hope you're ready!" He finished with a hearty chuckle.

"My pleasure, Major. Yes, I'm afraid you will, but not to worry, it's not my first posting," he appreciated his friendliness, "and your sickbay is very well stocked."

"Good to hear - don't need my unit showing up to their OP looking like a Mary Shelley monster." Brody was particularly pleased at his reference to old Earth literature, something he'd just recently gained an interest.

Alexader laughed shortly, "I've never had to resort to that. I might be German, but I am not a mad scientist."

Quinten almost choked on his water. He wasn't expecting a joke out of the German but it was a pleasant surprise. Good bedside manner...I may actually get my yearly physical for once.

"Evie Cogley," the rooms resident redhead noted, watching with amusement the interaction between the ships Chief Medical Officer, and the head MACO, giving each man a one over and making a few mental notes. She wiggled her glass in one hand and added, "Chief Helmswoman." There, that should take care of her introductions, she thought to herself.

Alexander nodded in greeting to her, "good to meet you. Do you like the ship so far?"

"She's growing on me. Ask me again after I get to set a few speed records," Evelyn could not stop the eager grin that split her face at the prospect, a notion she knew she shared with the Chief Engineer.

Her eagerness was infectious, “I will ask. Where were you posted last?”

"SS Eberswalde" Evie said, her tone slightly less jovial. "May she rest in peace. One of the Ganges-class of warp deltas. Not terribly fast for a speed junky like me, but she handled like a dream."

Alexander sobered up too, "I am sorry for your loss."

There wasn't much for Evie to say to that, and she just gave a small nod and left things there. Much nicer to think of speed records, than her previous posting.

Alexander didn't like that he'd stepped on it, he turned his mug in his hand, "I am not even sure what the current speed record is." It was perhaps a clumsy attempt at diverting the topic, but an earnest one.

That same eagerness was not quite so infectious to Shrike. He glanced over at the mention of "speed records". Trying to set speed records seemed, to him, a good way to break the ship. And for what? Bragging rights? The man looked back down at his sandwich, and he felt almost a bit guilty for wishing he had the helmsman and engineer from his last crew beside him.

Alexander noticed his look and nodded, smiling politely as a way of greeting, but he didn’t want to force conversation on a man who appeared to rather be left alone.

Smiling, Saul watched the interaction between the officers. It was good to see them get along, even if it was only the beginning of the Ceres' mission. It would take time to see if the dynamic shifted as much as it had on the Ganymede towards the end of his time there.

Shrike ate in silence while the others shared pleasantries. He was already on a second sandwich. He wasn't much for social gatherings; even the temptation of food was only enough to bring him out to those maybe half the time. He was really here for the mandatory meeting.

Greg swallowed the last bite of his sandwich and then looked up at the crew, "Great, as you all finish, I am going to get started. First of all, welcome aboard, again. This will be a short meeting. Some logistics first. By 0800 tomorrow, each department head's report is due. At 1000 we will be departing dry dock and heading out..." The commander checked his notes, "...Porrima system. There we will run system diagnostics to make sure that everything is running smoothly. Once Starfleet has approved, we are to meet up with Task Group 3 at Kaleb. Which is front lines. Any questions so far?"

Shrike said nothing, continuing to take a couple bites of his sandwich while Greg spoke. Front lines. That would be awfully soon to be on the front lines, especially for an untested ship with an untested crew - a ship with scientists running its bridge as well. He couldn't help but to frown just slightly. He had no questions important enough to be brought up - nothing that would of note to the entire crew. He wasn't quite sure what Greg wanted from a report; he had found that to be slightly different for each Captain he served under; but that would be answered in time. Were they meeting somebody in Porrima? Or were they just stopping there to see if the systems ran smoothly after that distance. Still; it was always interesting to see a binary star system. If he remembered correctly, the two stars in the Porrima system were supposed to reach periapsis in less than twenty years... If they had enough time it might be worth turning their sensors towards it, seeing if they could get some imaging to form a more accurate model of their orbit. But would they be using any of those same sensors to run the ships diagnostics? Perhaps those sensors could help, and he certainly didn't want the ship to be anything less than perfectly sound on a foray into the front lines. Perhaps he should check with engineering about coordinating that. Task Group 3... the man thought, trying to remember who he knew in that task group. His daughter's friend from the academy? Yeah, he had been assigned to one of the ships in Task Group 3, Shrike remembered that from his letters. Shrike had twenty things going on in his mind as he ate each little bite in silence, but chief among them: what would they find there, on the front line? What warranted rushing out a new NX class ship? "No questions, sir." The man responded with a disinterested tone.

Frenda lent forward in her chair resting her hands on the table. "I would like to give the engines a proper run in en route. The sticker on the side of the reactor says warp six... however I want to say if that's actually true and see what she can really do without us ending up becoming a supernova cosplay" she explained. She glanced over at Evie who seemed to be eager to get the ship up to speed.

The girl from Alpha Centauri had finished off a full sandwhich and was picking at a second (tuna, on rye apparently), musing over the orders. She looked up when she flet Frenda's eyes on her and nodded, swallowing, patting her mouth and adding her two cents. "I'm all aboard for giving this thing a test. I had to promise the Commander I wouldn't punch it all the way right out of drydock." A sheepish smile flittered over her features, but then she took a more serious tone. "I'm afraid I don't know much about Porrima. Is it just an empty system to fly around in, or are we expecting company?"

Greg turned towards his Helm Officer, "As far as we know, it is an empty system. Porrima V is the home of the Porriman civilization. The Columbia visited them last year to join the Coalition of Planets, but they wanted to remain independent. They have agreed, though to let us use their system as a checkpoint so that we can make sure our systems are working properly."

Pursing her lips, Evie sat back in her chair and made a mental note to do a bit more digging. "Aye sir. Thanks for filling in a few of the blanks. Rather nice of them to offer up their system." Even if they were staying neutral in the conflict. Still, as she took a bite of her own second sandwich, she decided it was genuinely good of them to offer a safe place for trials.

Nodding, Saul looked at his PADD then at the others, 'I'd like to at least run some tactical drills if we're heading to the front pretty much straight away. If it's at all possible I'd like to work with the MACO contingent to get our teams working seamlessly in the event of any hostile incursions. I know we have those fancy new Andorian shields ... but they may fail us.'

Quinten acknowledged Saul, "I think that is a great idea Lieutenant. I need to take my unit deck by deck to review strategic strongholds in case of boarding parties anyway. Bring your team to the MACO Training Room and we’ll get it sorted out. We’ll be there all day tomorrow so just give me a heads up when you are on your way.” He turned his chair toward Commander Watney. Brody was impressed by how this meeting was going and the poise of the Commander and the Senior Staff. He could see that this wasn’t going to be some ordinary assignment this time and Starfleet had selected some of the best it could offer for this mission. “Commander Watney? Do we have any idea what we should be expecting when we get out there?”

"Mainly Romulans." Greg said leaning forward on the table, "Maybe some Orion slavers or Nausicaans, but we can handle them. But do prepare for boarding's. I want security and the M.A.C.O.s to know this ship like the back of their hands."

Quinten confirmed, "Aye Commander, that's the goal. We'll be ready for whatever comes our way."

If anyone had been looking at her, they would have seen Evie pull a nasty face as Watney went over some of the possible threats ahead, something akin to outright hatred boiling up under the surface, before she schooled herself, tamped it back down, and hid any remaining expression behind the glass of lemonade.

Oblivious to the Helm officer's expression, Saul leaned forward, 'are we to understand the Romulans are utilizing Orions and Nausicaans as auxiliaries?'

"Not necessarily. They have been known to use that area to attack cargo and civilian vessels of all races. And with the war, they may be going after left behind bulks of ship parts, or survivors of ships that haven't been rescued yet. Though..." Greg paused, "...that doesn't mean that it is not a possibility."

Alexander sat back and listened as the other discussed tactics. Stopping at Porrima to run diagnostics seemed like a good idea in his opinion, especially if it also was the case for Sickbay. He also made a mental note to find out if anyone was up for the yearly physical soo. With an unfamiliar sickbay, he'd also relish the opportunity for emergency drills.

"Do we have any solid reports of either parties snatching up survivors?" Evie sounded mildly horrified as she asked. Generally speaking Romulan's did not take prisoners, or leave behind anyone that might have seen them face to face. But that was less of a concern in a space battle, than a ground engagement. Survivors did happen...but the idea that they might get snatched up by Orions was...sickening. She'd read some reports from the Enterprise a few years back, when they first ran into the green skinned traders.

"Not in the area that we are going." Greg said, "But there are reports of it in other parts of the war."

That answer wasn't exactly satisfactory, but by the same token, it was the best that Evie was likely to get. Sullenly she nodded, and promised she'd be on the alert. Though, properly that was going to be the job of Whitford and Shrike, who'd be the ones keeping an electronic eye on their surroundings.

Quinten grabbed another PB&J and some chips. It was such a small and basic meal but was just perfect. He was reminded of those warm summer days as a kid where he'd just play all day, only stopping for lunch, where he could feel a cool breeze blowing through the screen door of the old 21st Century home. He almost forgot he was in a meeting and checked out for a bit. The Commander's words brought Brody out of his daydream.

"I have nothing else. I also need everyone to make sure that your physicals are up to date. Doctor, if there is anyone who needs an updated physical, let them know at some point." Greg said to the CMO.

"I'll get right to it, sir," Alexander said, nodding. He had not had the chance to review everyone's journal yet.

Here, at least, Evie was hopeful she'd be off the hook. The folks in Michigan should have transferred over her charts, record of treatment, and discharge confirmation already.

"If there is nothing else, you are all dismissed." The Commander said to officers around the table.

Not wanting to be the first to get up and bolt, Evie stayed in her seat for a moment, using the excuse of finishing the remnants of the second sandwich, while pondering grabbing one more for the road. Alpha Centaurians had a heck of a metabolism compared to humans that grew up on Earth. Some mineral in the local water source, if Evie remembered right.

"Thank you sir," Shrike said simply and made his way towards the door, already thinking about his report.

Brody noticed Shrike leave abruptly but he still had a half sandwich to scarf down. He wanted to speak briefly with the Lieutenant Commander about heading to the front lines but wasn't sure how Shrike would respond to it. "Cowwander, hank you for huh meal," Quinten said, mouth still full of the sandwich he shoved in his mouth. He swallowed with a giant gulp, "I'll make sure to have that report to you this evening."

Like most of the other officers, Saul still had his lunch to finish, so he carried on eating for a moment as he cleared enough of his plate that he could exit the room without too much embarrassment, 'some for the road,' he stated as he hefted the plate and stood. He flipped everyone a thumbs up, 'good luck with those reports now, folks.'

Alexander finished his coffee and stood, "thanks for the lunch, sir, it was good to have a chat before the briefing. You'll have my report shortly," then he left.

Frenda Rose from her seat. "I best return to the engine room. I've got to prepare the staff to row a bit harder" she commented before swiftly leaving the room.

Judging enough of the staff had left - all of them, in point of fact, Evie shook her head and laughed softly and rose. "Didn't want to be first out, looks like I'm last - save for you. Thanks for the lunch, boss," Evie tried the moniker on for size, snagging another 'for the road' sandwich like Whitford had, raising it in a sort of salute to Commander Watney and sauntered on out, adding, "I think I'll go follow up on those reports of Orion's and Nausicans. "

Greg watched as everyone left, and the room quieted down. He picked up his things and stood up, grabbing a sandwich and a bag of chips to go, and left the conference room. He punched on his PADD to signal the Support Department that the conference room was ready for cleaning. He was ready. They were ready. Ready to take the fight to the Romulans.

 

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