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Assuming Command

Posted on 14 Dec 2013 @ 2:28pm by Captain Harvey Geisler
Edited on on 01 Jan 2014 @ 6:37am

Mission: New Voyages
Location: Deep Space Nine
Timeline: December 26, 2387 || 0730 hours

The Type-11 Shuttle certainly accommodated an individual more than any other shuttle Harvey had been on before.

He did, however, prefer a runabout. Much more space. Individual quarters. A quiet place to review the schematics and log books he had been cramming over the last couple of days. Harvey was thrilled the Black Hawk carried two runabouts. He was sure they'd be used well over the new few years.

A glance across the small cabin to the snoring petty officer reminded Harvey once again of the small space. The young man, like Harvey, was being transferred to the Black Hawk. He would be assigned to maintaining the flight deck, bringing with him invaluable experience from his last assignment, also an Akira-class vessel. Harvey took advantage of the time, asking the Petty Officer anything he could think of. The Commander had been on a carrier once before during the Dominion War, but never made the trip to the hangar deck. Harvey believed that if he was to command to vessel, he had to know as much as he could.

The snoring was now too much to take. Harvey locked his PADD and rose from the cot. He crossed through the double doorways that separated the cabin from the cockpit. At the helm sat a female Andorian ensign. A discussion from two days ago informed him that through she was flying this shuttle to the Black Hawk, she would take a cargo shuttle back to Starbase 211. Apparently, she was one of the few that enjoyed ferrying passengers from one destination to another, piloting a different vessel each time. The Type-11 was one of her favorites, this one, the Spiner, in particular. It was being reassigned to the Black Hawk. The Petty Officer in the back was going to have to remove the Starbase 211 markings and apply the Black Hawk's.

"Good timing, Commander," said the ensign, not looking up. "We're two minutes out from Deep Space Nine."

"Good," Harvey replied, folding his hands behind his back. His gaze locked on the starstreaks shooting past them and allowed himself to be hypnotized by their sight. In all his years, he always had something to do, or at least found something to do. Here on this shuttle, in this short state of limbo, did he first realize the beauty of the infinite vastness of the space Starfleet explored. It was a beauty he connected with one of his few precious childhood memories, looking through a microscope for the first time and viewing the cellular structure of a Centurian white blood cell attacking a virus. That was the day he decided to follow in his parents footsteps to pursue a career in medicine.

He almost wondered what they would think of him now, having traded a life of accomplishments and decoration for the research, including a cure for Edlund's Disease, for command of a starship.

Harvey flinched, suddenly realizing the starstreaks were gone and a close view of Deep Space Nine and a starship filled the forward window. He couldn't quite read the registry, but there was no mistaking that the ship in front of him was his new home, the Akira-class USS Black Hawk. She was docked at one of the lower ports with her nacelles and deflector dish still active. Harvey thought she'd be pulling enough power from the station to not need those, but given the rotation of the station he mused that the Black Hawk had to protect herself from lingering space debris.

"Shuttle Spiner to USS Black Hawk," said the Andorian, slowing the shuttle down. "Request permission to come aboard."

Silence lasted for a moment, before a deep voice replied, "Shuttle Spiner, permission granted. We've been expecting you. Come aboard via Launch Bay forward access."

"Thank you," she replied. "Spiner out."

"I hate ceremonies," Harvey muttered.

"I've seen my fair share, Commander." The pilot looked up at her superior officer. "These never take long."

Harvey chose not to reply, but instead watched as the Andorian skillfully piloted the shuttle into the hangar. As they glided in, Harvey took note of the four Valkryie fighters positioned perfectly to the left. A banner hung under the window of the control room extruding from the top of the hangar featuring a hexagon and a black silhouette of a hawk with outstretched wings. BLACK HAWK it declared in bold white letters.

The shuttle began to turn around, pointing the forward window back to the stars. Harvey took the cue to return to the aft compartment. The Petty Officer had awakened and was checking his gear. Harvey nodded to the enlisted man and packed up his few loose belongings.

"I'll make sure the yeoman attends to those," the Petty Officer offered his soon-to-be commanding officer. "I'm sure you have a lot you need to get to."

"Thank you, Mr. Groman," Harvey replied as the pilot entered the room.

She stopped at the door at the back of the room and entered a command into the nearby console. It parted to reveal the aft ramp still in its closed position. Before Harvey could even think about saying a word, all three heard a hiss and the ramp began to be lowered. Slowly, the interior of the launch bay was revealed. A collection of personnel, enlisted and officers from every department were gathered. A younger petty officer (everyone on this ship would seem younger to Harvey's 43 years), an attractive human female who wore command red nearly hidden by her flowing blonde hair, stood near a podium. Harvey recognized the face from the manifest he reviewed as his yeoman. An older man stood next to her wearing Chief Petty Officer chevrons, the acting Chief of the Boat.

As soon as the boatswain spotted Harvey aboard the shuttle, he blew his whistle, snapping all of the crew to attention. "Commander on deck!" the boatswain announced.

Harvey then noticed his traveling companions had also snapped to attention at the bottom of the ramp. Here we go...

PADD in hand, Lieutenant Commander Harvey Geisler walked down the ramp to the podium. He set the PADD down, unlocked it, and accessed his orders. He cleared his throat and began, "To Lieutenant Commander Harvey Geisler, Executive Officer, USS Schuster. You are hereby requested and required to report to relinquish your position and take command of the USS Black Hawk, Registry NCC-63554, effective this date, 64929.6."

The Chief of the Boat stepped forward. "Computer, transfer all command codes to Lieutenant Commander Harvey Geisler. Authorization Sikes Gamma Epsilon Two Two."

The computer's chirping response rolled throughout the launch bay. "Command codes transferred. USS Black Hawk now under command of Lieutenant Commander Harvey Geisler."

The boatswain sounded his whistle again. "Dismissed!" he ordered.

"Welcome aboard, Commander," Chief Sikes said to Harvey.

"Thank you," Harvey said, shaking the man's hand. He turned to the yeoman, "Petty Officer...?"

"Carter," replied the yeoman with her gentle British accent. "At your service, sir."

"Please have my gear transferred to my quarters," he instructed. "Also, I understand that there are no official Senior Staff already aboard, but I would appreciate readiness reports from all departments within the hour."

"I'll have them delivered to your Ready Room."

"Thank you," Harvey said, dismissing the yeoman. He turned back to the Chief. "Fine ship, the Black Hawk."

"She is indeed," Sikes replied, leading the Commander along the launch bay.

"How's the crew?" he asked, taking a look at one of the Valkyries as they passed by.

"Nervous. There's not much else to expect when the entire command crew is replaced. They'll adjust."

Harvey nodded. "I hope so. We'll be venturing into parts unknown."

An awkward silence enveloped the two as the Chief noticed his new CO was more interested in taking a look around before really getting to know the crew. "If I may, Commander," he said, being careful not to position himself in the Commander's eyesight as Harvey took a closer look at the Valkyrie. "Captain Bueller allowed the crew an option when it came to the daily uniform."

Harvey interrupted his visual inspection of the fighter and turned around. "An option?"

"A old custom actually, dating back to Earth's nautical times."

And then, Harvey saw what the Chief had been holding this entire time. The Chief calmly extended it towards Harvey, who cautiously took it. The black brim was mostly flat and the dark blue-gray shell was of a decent structure, not too rigid and not too loose either. On the front of the shell was the same logo he saw on the banner hung proudly in the launch bay, the black hawk with wings outstretched.

"I haven't seen a cover since..." Harvey paused, trying to remember. "The Academy, I believe." He never really cared for hats, but this was a new ship with a new crew. He had his own way of doing things, and he knew this crew was going to need time to adjust.

He adjusted the brim, curving it a bit more before placing it on his head. His hair was a bit longer than most men in Starfleet wore their hair. Harvey brushed back the excess behind his ears and looked at the Chief. "How do I look, Chief?"

"Like the CO of the Black Hawk, sir," the Chief replied with a smile.

Harvey found a reflective surface and examined his appearance. It wasn't repulsive... Just...

New.

"Then the option may continue. Make sure the quartermaster issues a cover for every member of the Senior Staff when they come aboard."

"With pleasure, sir."

Harvey noted they were near a turbolift. "I'd like to review the enlisted manifest with you this afternoon. 1400 hours in my Ready Room."

"Aye, sir." The Chief folded his hands behind his back. Harvey stepped into the 'lift with a simple nod to the Chief. After the doors closed, the Chief dropped his smile. Ceremony was over, and it was time to get back to work.

 

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