Part of Starbase Bravo: January 2400

Learning the Ropes

Promenade Security Office, Sector India-Navy
January 2400
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Ensign Celandra Bastin was excited, not just at the prospect of getting to know more of the people in her new department but at the prospect of starting to work in the job she had been wanting to get into for quite a while since she joined Starfleet Academy. Her father had once commented that her drive to be in a combat oriented career field reminded him of her mother, even though the two of them didn’t get along in any manner that wasn’t professional. His insistence that she had anything in common with her mother irked Celandra, and given their family circumstances, it wasn’t all that hard to understand.

Walking into the main administrative section of the Security Offices, Ensign Bastin spotted the person that she’d been told would give her a rundown of what would be expected of her as a newly commissioned security officer, and likely a rundown of where she would be assigned for her first duty rotation aboard. The somewhat vague description of the man in question was still enough to pick him out of the group he was in when she finally did spot him.

“Lieutenant Callahan?” Ens. Bastin asked, giving him a small wave, “I was told to find you for my assignment briefing.”

He was sat at his desk in the bullpen, working at his console. The screen was out of sight, but above it hovered a holographic map of the lower promenade for reference, and it was only when he looked up at it that he spotted her. Callahan gave a quick blink, snapping out of his focus to turn to her, and switched the map off. “That’s me.” He grabbed his PADD and took up a stylus, twirling it in his fingers. “Name? We got a lot of new staff.”

“Right, sorry about that. Ensign Celandra Bastin,” the young woman said with an apologetic smile. Her eyes began to wander around the room for a moment, taking in the various faces and the various snippets of conversation momentarily as the man sitting in front of her connected the dots of who she was and what he was meant to do with her.

The tap of a stylus had the information before him, and Callahan got to his feet, brightening. “Bastin it is. First job is easy: bit of a workplace orientation. You been shown much around the precinct office itself, or can we skip to the promenade? For that matter, you ever been to Bravo before now?”

“I’m pretty sure getting around the precinct will be pretty straight forward compared to the station itself, so I’m happy to skip that part if you think we can get right into it,” Bastin said cheerfully, “And no, the last time I was anywhere near Starbase Four, she was a Spacedock.”

“Oh, really? That’s pretty cool.” He eyes brightened as he put his PADD away. “You’ll find the place a lot bigger, especially the promenade. Two sections of five decks each; it’s the closest thing to a city you’ll get after leaving atmo.” He set off through the bullpen, heading for the main lobby, the big doors that would take them to the promenade proper. “Do you know what your beat is yet, or is there anywhere in particular you want to be shown around, or will we just do the lot?”

“I haven’t been given a beat to walk yet, the person doing my in processing said I’d get that information from you,” Celandra said sheepishly, “I wasn’t sure if I should have asked for it anyway, but he was kind of intense when he was rattling off everything so I didn’t. If you wouldn’t mind taking me around where I’m expected to patrol, I’d be grateful. I’m pretty confident that once I walk it once, I won’t get too turned around… hopefully…”

“Right.” The PADD came back out for Callahan to double-check the file. “Bastin… got it. Lower promenade – oh, I see, Section 12. Yeah, I’ll show you the region. It’s pretty dense with nightlife entertainment, which can get pretty wild as it’s like that all hours of the day. You’ll have had your morning coffee and they’ll be on their sixth pint.” He gave her a sidelong look. “You’ve got some experience of what starbases are like to live on, at least?”

Celandra’s face scrunched up a tad at the mention of coffee. Most of her Academy friends drank the stuff, and while she didn’t outright despise the liquid, if she had a choice she preferred a good breakfast tea instead. It had earned more than a few snarky comments from the people she hung around when they found out about her aversion.

“Dad never got assigned to a starbase, so I only ever got secondhand information about them from the people who came to our ship from one. But I trust my father when he says that no information can beat firsthand information. He always used to tell me that stories about your last assignment usually got blown up a bit to cover for how monotonous it was. So while I think I might have a rudimentary understanding of how things are supposed to work, I’m smart enough to know that I don’t actually know and to keep an open mind until I see for myself what it’s really like,” Celandra explained as the pair continued to traverse the pathways toward their destination.

The Promenade was like it always was: busy, especially in the central section where the precinct lived. Familiar with the navigation after a year aboard, Callahan took a few turns without seeming to think much about the route. “The big thing to get used to, I found, was the fact it never sleeps. Sure, station time is a thing, but ships come in at all hours, and who knows what schedule their crews are on. Some facilities on the promenade are more geared to people who live aboard, or have very small staff, so they might shut down overnight, but the bigger establishments, and the ones closer to the commercial docks, are just… constant. On a planet, or a smaller starbase, you walk into a bar and you know if it’s just warming up for the night or if it’s last orders. Here?” He shook his head. “It’s a real challenge, both to the job and just getting used to it.”

Bastin nodded along with the man’s words as she took in the scenery around her. She’d done what amounted to shore patrol back in the Academy, so the reference to bar activity was familiar enough to her. The fact that some of the bars in the area she would be walking through during her shift didn’t have established patterns was a bit concerning but it wasn’t so daunting that she felt it was an insurmountable problem.

“Will I be doing my rounds with a partner?” Celandra asked when the thought came to mind.

“At first, for sure. On this beat it’ll probably be with someone who knows the ropes, but who knows, your patrol leader might start pairing up new arrivals if he thinks you’re up to it. The Old Man usually likes you all supervised for a bit, but there’s such an influx of new officers that might not be possible.” Callahan shrugged. “So, your father’s Starfleet?”

“He is,” Celandra nodded, “He was a diplomatic officer while I was growing up, but they tapped him for command duty right as I was entering the Academy. Not really sure if he’s still on the Argonaut or not. I haven’t heard from him much lately…”

“Is that why you joined up? Family business?” His tone was casual, making small-talk and getting to know a new colleague rather than conducting an interrogation.

“Kind of,” Bastin shrugged, “Mainly I just couldn’t see myself doing much else. I don’t have the patience to study like some of my siblings so I was never going to be a scientist or a doctor. I can take things apart but that’s about as far as I get before I get bored. Joining Starfleet and being in security just seemed like the best fit. I can use some of the social skills my father taught me from his years in diplomacy without having deal with stuffy politicians… and every once in a while I might even get to be involved in something that really gets my heart going.”

Celandra turned to the slightly older man, “What about you, Lieutenant? Did you join for any particular reason?”

“I grew up on Mars. Mum worked at Utopia Planitia. Starfleet felt like the thing to do.” Callahan shrugged, not elaborating further than those points. “Can’t say I chose Security so I didn’t have to study, but the way the galaxy’s been going the last fifteen years, Starfleet needs more officers in this job. Whatever the old-fashioned types say, nice words aren’t going to keep citizens safe.”

“I can agree with that,” Bastin nodded with a lopsided smile, “No matter how well you can talk about your ideals, if you can’t back them up… eventually someone’s going to come along and stomp all over you. Feels like people have forgotten that over the years…”

Celandra sucked in a long breath before letting it out, “Putting all that aside, are there any places in Section 12 that I need to be on the lookout for? Any establishments that just have a reputation for being… rowdy?”

Bastin could tell their conversation was heading down a road that would only lead the two of them into awkward silences that wouldn’t really amount to much. She’d had similar conversations with some of her classmates before graduation and almost all of them had been tense and uncomfortable by the end of them. She wasn’t entirely sure if her sudden shift of topic had been executed nearly as deftly as she imagined it, but it was better than letting them continue down a slope she wasn’t sure either of them really wanted to head down together.

Callahan had nodded as she spoke, but seemed satisfied with a shift back to discussing work, and took it in stride. “A lot of it changes depending on time of day, who’s come in, what kind of place they want to be. I’d keep an eye on the Pit and Pendulum; it’s a perfectly nice place, but one of the closest I think Bravo has to a dive bar. It does easy drinks and low lighting and tries to be a bit more edgy, and a lot of freighter crews from regions like the Borderlands or those kinds of frontiers tend to stop off there. This is still the Mellstoxx Sector, it’s not like we get hardened smugglers and fighters coming through every day, but it’s worth familiarizing yourself with the place.”

“I’ll do that,” Bastin nodded thoughtfully, committing the name to memory before asking, “Is there anything else I should be aware of? Anyone in our precinct I should know of before I do or say something I shouldn’t?”

“The precinct’s changed a lot with the new faces,” was all Callahan said, with something of a smirk. “So I can’t guarantee how the team’s going to feel and act going forward. You’ve met the Old Man, so there’s nothing more to warn you of there. The rest – you’ll just have to figure out as you go along, Bastin.”

Celandra shrugged and nodded, “I suppose I’ll do just that. I appreciate all the information you’ve given me. My next step, I guess, is to just walk the beat and see what happens.”