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Changing of the Guard

Posted on 09 Feb 2014 @ 8:46pm by Captain Harvey Geisler

Mission: Echoes
Location: Captain's Ready Room
Timeline: January 2, 2387 || 1145 hours

Lieutenant Beh'ruken was growing physically older though to many he was rather young, to those who did not know Anticans at least. He was in his 40s which to many species such as the Humans that he often found himself serving with, this was no where near the age of a natural death. However, Antican's life spans were roughly 50 years give or take health matters. However, Beh'ruken had taken excellent care of himself and had unlike most Anticans, left his home world and was under the care of standard Federation medicine. He anticipated living into his 50s, and if the celestial spirits blessed him for more than that, he would see it as their will for him to continue his work.

They worked in mysterious ways, or so he believed. Starfleet Command had ordered him to Carnwennan Station months ago where he took over temporarily as acting Station Commander until he was relieved by the Station's Commander and his First Officer. Beh'ruken had intended to carry out his assignment their as Chief Science Officer and Second Officer which he did in fact do for a few weeks, helping ready the station for service though Command was never something he looked at as a future for himself. He was a science officer and perhaps to an extent a diplomat in the making, but his eyes were never drawn to a command chair.

Destiny, Fate, or perhaps simply the Admiralty at Starfleet Command had other plans in store for him. When he retired to his quarters one evening on Carnwennan, met with orders for an immediate reassignment, a special assignment nonetheless, Beh'ruken was taken aback. Surely, he thought before reading further that the assignment would be something temporarily and involving his scientific and diplomatic experience. However, as he read on and learned that the assignment was on a Starship tasked to explore the Gamma Quadrant of all places, he sat back in his chair perplexed. What use am I in the Gamma Quadrant? I am a scientist, but my specialty is in Geological studies? thought the Antican.

The orders were rather tight lip. He had no details on the assignment aside from when he was due to disembark from Carnwennan and when he was to board The USS Blackhawk. To what capacity he would serve nor for how long, but by the looks of things, this was not going to be a simple in and out special assignment. He packed his belongings that very night and met with Carnwennan's Station Commander about the reassignment.

A Federation transport arrived at the station the next day to retrieve Lieutenant Beh'ruken and brought him to Deep Space Nine where he awaited an additional transport to the USS Black Hawk, his new assignment and new home. He knew nothing about the starship aside from her class, which he only obtained by inquiring. An Akira-class cruiser was something quite different than his more recent assignments which had all been planetary or station assignments. In fact, a large amount of his service post the Dominion War had been strictly academic in nature.

Most peculiar thought the Antican as he was brought aboard the USS Blackhawk for the first time. He would be serving on this starship, and that still was just beginning to sink in. I haven't served on a starship for... he froze for a moment, even stopped in his tracks. Starfleet forgive me, but when was the last time? he pondered. Then it came back to him, The USS Albany which was soon to be over a decade ago.

The starship was not very large, especially compared to the Goliath Carnwennan space station or Deep Space Nine for that matter. The trip from transporter room to the Bridge went by rather fast. Beh'ruken was trying to prepare himself for meeting the ship's Captain but it was of little use. Had he been given more time, maybe he could practice what he would do or say. He found himself being brought to Captain's Ready Room where he awaited approval to enter.

More than an hour had passed since the Away Team landed on the surface below. So far, they had more questions than answers. Nothing more could be done until the logs, what was left of them anyway, had finished uploading to the Black Hawk for analysis.

Though he would rather wait on the bridge and coordinate with the Assistant Chiefs left behind, a transport arrived with some peculiar orders affecting an immediate change of the Black Hawk's command structure. His XO of five days had been immediately recalled and reactivated for an intelligence assignment. Apparently, there was no way around it, though he was given no information. A replacement XO was on board the transport. He would carry few answers, so it was best to not think about it, and rather move forward with the mission.

Harvey had retreated to the Ready Room to confer with his new XO in private and bring him up to speed. He stood next to the window, lost in thought, when the door chime sounded.

"Come," he ordered, not turning to see who entered his ready room.

Beh'ruken stepped forward at the confirmation that he was permitted entrance. The doorway parted ways exposing the Captain's Ready Room, and the Antican cautiously entered.

He cleared his throat with what may have been perceived by human and humanoid ears as low growl, though Beh'ruken had not intended it to be threatening. He saw the man, his soon to be Commanding Officer was a human by appearance, and not nearly as young as Beh'ruken's previous Commanding Officer. At least I will not be dealing with children thought the Antican as he recalled how it felt to be on Carnwennan where the Senior Staff were all in their 20s or early 30s.

Walking in, the Antican had a somewhat toothy grin and a PADD of his orders in hand. "My transfer orders" announced the Antican scientist as he sat the PaDD on the Captain's desk. "Lieutenant Beh'ruken" added the Antican.

Harvey turned and looked at the new arrival, noticing immediately he wasn't human. He had worked with his fair share of other species in his service, so he wasn't offset by the notion. In fact, he was pleased to have a little more diversity among his senior staff.

The captain approached his desk and picked up the PADD. Normally, he would have offered a chair, but he didn't want to stay away from the bridge long. "Commander Harvey Geisler," he spoke, not looking at the lieutenant and instead quickly skimming the orders marked just for Harvey's eyes. As expected, there were few answers, leaving behind even more questions. Harvey set the PADD down and looked back to the other person in the room, noting the teal collar and cuffs of the uniform he wore.

"It appears your transfer was initiated to fill the currently vacant Chief Science Officer position aboard this vessel," Harvey stated, reading what he could from the orders. "That isn't, however, what you will be doing."

Beh'ruken's ears twitched ever so slightly and his head sort of cocked at the remark. "Oh?" responded the Antican with somewhat of a groan. "I'm a career science officer. I cannot fathom any other way that I can be of assistance to yourself, this ship or her crew" added Lieutenant Beh'ruken in a gruff tone.

"What other purpose would you have of me...a old antique relic from the Dominion days? I am a scientist, Captain. I study worlds and the life on them, mainly the geological activity on planets and moons. Hell, I haven't even served on a starship in close over ten years."

That was an interesting choice of words, Harvey thought. Harvey too was a relic of the war. The latest generation of officers hadn't seen conflict and were definitely not quite as seasoned, though not nearly as hardened. Experience, however, took years to collect, and this Ready Room contained the bulk of the ship's experience.

"Until a couple years ago," Harvey countered, "I was a career medinical researcher. Today I'm a captain because that's what Starfleet needs from... relics like us."

Harvey folded his arms in front of him. "Starfleet needs experience out here in the unexplored Gamma Quadrant when it comes to its Captains and First Officers. And, really, the timing of having a scientist as a First Officer on a mission gone south is quite convienent."

Beh'ruken crossed his arms and allowed those words to be absorbed, though he had no intention on digesting them. "A fascinating change of career, Captain. However, I am but one of many leftovers from the days of the Dominion War. Am I to understand that my assignment here would be in the position of First Officer?" asked Beh'ruken.

Preposterous thought the Antican. He let out an exhausted sigh. "Life, is a great long journey but blink and it is gone. You took a journey to career in command, I would guess that one day the stars showed you that you were meant to command, to leave medicine. For me, Captain, the stars still shine on the path of science."

"I understand. There are days that I miss the joys of the Research Lab." He took a look at the Antican before him. "And that's not to say a promotion such as this will keep you from science. Starfleet did not force me completely into command, but rather gave me a nudge."

Harvey shifted his weight, leaning more to his left before resetting his balance. "Yes, you've been, to use an idiom, Shanghaied into becoming my First Officer. This ship is a carrier, but is also equipped with the latest in sensor palettes and research facilities. Our voyages will consist of supporting Task Force needs and exploration of the unknown. Our mixed backgrounds of war and research will be optimum for the days ahead."

"I see" replied Beh'ruken with a gentle nod of his head. His canine features were distinguishable, quite contrasted when considering the current crew makeup of the Blackhawk. "I would have liked to have some say in this matter. I certainly am not one to turn down the prospect of discovery or enlightening myself with new cultures and civilizations. Would you not feel more comfortable with another officer as your First Officer? Perhaps one with more command experience or at least a tactical background?" asked the Antican.

"I would," Harvey replied. "But only if I too had more say in the matter. If it makes you feel better, the Science position is still vacant. I wouldn't mind if you doubled..."

"No thank you" replied the Antican. "If my orders are to serve as your First Officer, then that I what I shall do. I will have to place my faith that this was what was meant for me, regardless of how odd it may seem."

"Very well." Harvey tapped a button on his desktop terminal and picked up the PADD he prepared when before Beh'ruken's arrival. Handing Beh'ruken the PADD, Harvey said, "This contains everything we know so far. Down below is supposed to be a five-person research team. Today we found them absent with no sign of where they went. Lieutenant Kerr, our Chief of Security, also found one the labs pillaged and booby trapped. Commander DeVries, my former XO, was leading the Away Team. The Shuttle Spiner is standing by to take you down."

Beh'ruken accepted the PaDD from Captain Geisler with a subtle grunt. "It would appear as though I have some light reading on my hands. I'll see to it that I bring myself up to speed before the shuttle touches down. Is Commander DeVries to remain in command of this away mission, Captain?" asked Beh'ruken before departing.

"No," Harvey replied as the Ready Room door opened to permit Yeoman Carter to enter. "He will be immediately returning via the way you came." To the Yeoman, who handed Harvey a small box, the captain said, "Thank you."

As Carter left the room, Harvey circled the desk and approached the Antican. "I know this is all sudden, and I know you won't have a chance to change before getting to the planet. There is one detail, however, that I need to attend to immediately." He popped open the box to reveal a hollow pip. "By order of Starfleet, you are hereby promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander, all rights and privileges therein. Normally, I'd say congratulations," Harvey said, extending the pip to Beh'ruken, "but under the circumstances, I'll simply say, Welcome aboard."

Bestow me with such great military advancement thought Beh'ruken a bit sarcastically. His eyes fell upon Geisler, and the Antican did not know how to properly respond. One does not simply refuse a promotion in rank thought the Antican, growing more nervous about the rank pip. He begrudgingly accepted. "Yet another matter that I have little to no say in. The life of command, I presume?"

"You get used to it," Harvey replied.

With a small wolfish grin that was more of a grimace than anything, Behruken nodded. "We'll see."


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