USS Alexander

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Brass Tacks

Posted on 06 Mar 2020 @ 7:53pm by Admiral Zavareh Sepandiyar & Captain Edward Drake

Mission: Season 1 - Into the Deep
Location: Sepandiyar's Ready Room
Timeline: MD1 - 1017HRS
2540 words - 5.1 OF Standard Post Measure

.:Admiral Sepandiyar's Ready Room:.

Admiral Zavareh Sepandiyar stood pensively at the viewport of his Ready Room, staring out at what should have been the inky darkness of the void, but instead watching as the fifth in a line of eight workbee pods streaked by. Beyond them was the stale gray interior of the docking bay of Starbase-99 where dozens of other workbees, shuttle craft and smaller starships moved in and out on their way in for resupply or back out into the void like so many ships passing in the night. Most took up a single docking stall, but none took up the amount of space the huge Ascension-Class vessel did; easily gobbling up six separate docking ports.

It was almost frustrating to the point of madness, sitting idly by while the ship took on the materials and provisions it would need for her upcoming mission; one that would take the Alexander well beyond the nearest Starbase's reach. Starfleet intended them to be a test for what could become the new standard in the fleet at large. For some time now Starfleet had been dependent on Starbases like the one they were docked with now; massive Stardock class stations housing ten's of thousands of personnel. They took considerable time and resources to build, and they were forever tethered to the worlds they were constructed before. The Alexander could do everything a Stardock class starbase could without the need for so many personnel and with the ability to traverse the stars just as well as any smaller ship could.

The logistics of it all was what was the most frustrating, and complicated. How did one plan the provisions not only for the needs of a single ship's deep space cruise, but the needs of a veritable fleet of vessels that would come calling. For a Stardock, it was nothing; they had space to spare. But even on a ship the size of the Alexander, for this, space was at a premium. To say that the logistics were complicated would have been an understatement of epic proportions.

Zavareh calmly removed his glasses and began to wipe them clean with a small cloth as he continued to stare out the viewport of his ready room at the interior of the station. Overhead the door chimed, interrupting him from his silent musings.

Drake had spent most of the last few hours in meetings with quartermasters and dock masters alike. He'd been engaged with not one, but two separate meetings to discuss supplies and which fighters they would be carrying aboard. Even as he made his way through the bowels of the ship towards the access to the Admiral's Ready Room, he was chatting with a Yeoman that had asked about two dozen questions about the assignment of which personnel to which bunk quarters. "...So we should probably consider that if we are going to have the shared species quarters, which species we should put where," the young man finished, a polite, if fake, smile on his face.

"Yes we should," said Edwards as the lift slowed. "But also remember, we are Starfleet, and this isn't a pleasure cruise. Some people will have to just deal with the situation." The doors hissed open, and the Captain handed a PaDD to the Crewman in question, leaving himself with only one and stepped out of the lift. "Just make it happen Yeoman, I don't have the time to sit and dispute every housing request." The lift doors closed, and Edward crossed the expansive bridge of the Alexander class towards where the Ready Room was. Pushing the chime, he waited a second before the doors parted, granting him entry.

Two quick paces into the room, and he stopped, standing easy inside the room. "Admiral, I hope I'm not disturbing you," he said, his voice smooth and calculated.

"Not at all," Sepandiyar answered, glancing at the reflection of the man in the glass before him before turning around. He put his glasses back on, "How are things progressing with the crew?" he asked with as pleasant a tone as he could manage. He'd seen more new faces since they'd arrived than he could remember seeing in the past. Granted, the Alexander was a massive vessel and there was no way he could know who every single person aboard was, but he could at least be familiar enough to recognize that they were a part of the crew or one of the family members of crewman even if he didn't know them by name. He knew it would get better as they got underway and the shifting crew stabilized.

"Slowly," admitted the Captain. "We have a few supply delays, and we're waiting on anti-matter supplies to be fully replenished. We left a little short supplied before our mission, so we need a full restock to ensure everything is going smoothly." He regarded the door briefly, and then turned back to the Admiral. "As for the crew themselves, they are settling in nicely. We had a few transfers, and a few new come ons. We'll have a new rotation of fighters come through, we'll have to wait and see if we get a new CAG with that." He paused for a half second, and added, "All in all sir, we should be at emergency operational standard tomorrow afternoon, with full ready status by the end of the week." It was an annoyance to Edward, if he was honest, in that during the Dominion war he had cycled crew members in a matter of hours, but this was different, and this wasn't a war footing. Still, it tugged at him a little.

"And our remaining crew rotations? They're having no troubles accessing the station and its facilities? No trouble has been caused that I've not been made aware of?" Sepandiyar asked, nodding appreciatively at the fact that the rest of everything had been going on relatively smoothly. What was most shocking was that his twin sons had managed to stay out of trouble too; something that was hard enough to do on the Alexander alone, which either meant he'd finally scared them into submission or there was something brewing that they'd not yet managed to succeed with. Yet. "Yourself included, I expect, Captain? You've found time to get off the ship as well?"

"Kyla and myself took some time enjoy the station's environmental facilities, yes," replied Drake, a warm smile spreading across his face. "We are lucky that the Alexander is so large and gives us plenty of space to walk. As for the rest of the crew, it seems that the station has been treating us well. It seems that our crew has been mostly staying clear of trouble, seems we tired them out. " He stopped, and added, "And no sir, no word about your sons either."

"Good," he nodded, now pacing over to his desk to pick up a data PaDD resting there. He handed it over to Edward, "The Academy has sent us a listing of cadets they feel would be suited to the Alexander. Take a look and let me know your opinions," he explained, "I have marked a few that I feel may be suitable. I should add that Fleet Command feels it is necessary that we take on more cadets than is typical by simple virtue of our size," he added with a just a touch of frustration in his tone.

It wasn't that Zavareh didn't mind cadets being aboard; a senior cruise was an invaluable learning tool for any cadet. But the Alexander wasn't a school, but Starfleet seemed to believe the they should be some sort of remote campus, insisting that they take on dozens of cadets rather than the traditional handful spread out between the relevant departments. He could already see the fight he would be having with Doctor Pembroke when he told him that he would be taking on medical cadets instead of residents, as that assignment number hadn't changed. He could have forced the conversation on Drake, but he knew Hamish wouldn't take it lying down. He'd be in his Ready Room immediately; so best to just have the convo directly.

Edward frowned. He had worked with Cadets before, but mostly at the academy, and the only time it had been during a regular deployment had been in the Dominion War. The latter of those had been desperation, a crew of poorly experienced cadets could easily replace officers who were dead. Picking up the PaDD, he scanned it quickly, mentally making notes of grades and such. "With respect to Command," said Drake slowly, "I think that this is a big ask for a ship such as ours. Science or Medical I can understand, but I am seeing security cadets, helmsmen, and fighter crews?" He placed the PaDD down, leaning back in the chair and crossing his left leg over his right. "Has MacTaryn told you you're taking the Marine training candidates off his hands too? Or has Starfleet decided we're not going to be the frontline support ship we are meant to be now?"

Sepandiyar lifted an eyebrow slightly, the only indication that he agreed with Drake's response, "I'm not sure what Starfleet Command is thinking. But I'm certain their expectations will be no less of us, regardless of how many cadets we've taking on. Their expectations of this ship and of the training the cadets receive," he replied, towing the line he knew he had to. The days of his being able to protest as a ships Captain were long gone. He was Fleet Command now. It was the price he had to pay to wear the bars, not just the pips. "Do what you can to incorporate them with as little fuss as possible. With as much unassigned labor as they're going to have, I expect each Department to have everything in pristine order. But I do not want to walk into Sick Bay or Engineering and see nothing but Cadets on duty," he added. "You can bunk them as many of them together as you feel necessary."

Edward bit his tongue, recognizing the tone of a man following a role he knew he had to play, and looked down at the PaDD. "Rotations between Delta and Alpha shift it is then," he said, adding "To ensure they see as much training from the senior staff as they can, as well as having an opportunity to practice on a slower shift, of course." He made a mental note to key in a reorganization of his NCO quarter arrangements, to rebunk as many cadets in cadet only rooms as possible. "I'll make sure to follow up on regulations in regards to cadets specifically. Perhaps we can ensure the staff aren't too hard on them."

"Do what you think is best, Edward, just keep them out of our way as much as possible," Zavareh added, heaving a sigh. "I'll have a word with Doctor Pembroke now. You're welcome to stay for it," he said, leaning onto the arm of his chair. He knew the answer, and the only reason he didn't pawn the task off on Drake was because he knew he would have the Doctor in his Ready Room within the hour trying to get him to counter the order. Best it came straight from him right at the start.

Edward actually laughed, and shook his head. "Sir, I would more happily face down the Dominion on a ship held together with spite and prayers than be in this room for that conversation." Standing, the man straightened his uniform. "But, let me know. We have a new Chief Tactical Officer coming on board, I will make sure to have them waiting by the door. And should you need, I have a bottle of Kentucky bourbon hidden away from prying eyes, you let me know and I'll send it up."

Zavareh gave what passed for a smile from him in reply and nodded gratefully, "Thank you, Edward. Keep me posted if anything else decides to go belly up," he added, cocking his head gently towards the door, "Dismissed,"

Nodding, the Captain quickly snapped to attention for a brief second, before spinning on his heels and exiting the ready room, secretly happy to not be in there when the good Doctor arrived. There was going to be a lot of angry yelling in the coming minutes, most of it on sided, and the last thing he wanted to be was caught in the middle. A quick step and a hop, a nod to the duty officer, and he was gone from the bridge.

The Admiral watched his first officer leave and then turned back to the view beyond his office into the void of the Starbase's interior. He watched for a moment as a small runabout left the shuttle bay of the distant Exeter docked on the far side of the bay, and slowly made its way around to the entrance before disappearing into the void properly. He stared at the empty space where it had been a moment previous and then heaved a slow breath as he tapped his commbadge.

"Sepandiyar to Pembroke. Report to my Ready Room," Zavareh ordered firmly.

A clearly agitated voice replied immediately, "On. My. Way."

Zavareh sighed to himself, Pembroke knows already, damn. The man was a brilliantly gifted physician, but it was times like these were he doubted that the man was truly suited for life in the Fleet. He certainly had his doubts about the Doctor ever passing the bridge officers exam, though Hamish had never specifically requested to take it. It was one of the things that Zavareh himself had in mind for the man simply because he didn't like his senior officers incapable of taking over should things go sideways. And things always somehow managed to do that in the end.

"Computer, where is Lieutenant Commander Pembroke?" he asked aloud.

"Lieutenant Commander Pembroke is not currently aboard the ship," the computer replied.

The Admiral leaned back in his seat, glad to have a few minutes to collect himself before the Doctor arrived. If he wasn't aboard, that meant he was on the station and hopefully that meant he might be in a better mood than normal, even with that information on his mind. All he could do now was wait and make it through this latest confrontation without losing his temper. Hamish was never insubordinate, or defiant, but the man tried his patience with his sharp disdain for all things Fleet command related. This conversation would be no different. With that in mind, he turned about and ordered a pot of hot water from the replicator behind his desk and got up to make himself a cup of tea from the tin on the shelf. Every little bit was going to help with this one. Every, little, bit.

Zavareh Sepandiyar
Commanding Officer
USS Alexander

Edward Drake
Executive Officer
USS Alexander


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