Was it professional for a starship captain to sit at her desk, elbows on the desk and head resting in upturned hands while having a conversation with a subordinate? Likely not. But that wasn’t stopping one Tikva Theodoras right now as she was in her ready room and speaking with Adelinde aboard the shuttlecraft Waihou. Though calling the Waihou a shuttle was a bit of a stretch. It wasn’t as multi-purpose as a full runabout but the type 11 shuttles were short of a comfortable half-way point that Tikva had opted for when she’d modified the Atlantis’ loadout.
“…and it would appear Lieutenant Chalmers was able to resolve the issue at Gamma 3, so the holdouts are boarding the mining skiff now and should be headed for Stormlea within the hour. Turns out all Chalmers did was use the shuttle to simulate a radiation source and asked the miners to confirm the radiation levels in their bunker.”
“Smart kid Chalmers,” she spoke up, resulting in Adelinde looking up from her notes. “Was thinking of having a talk with him about career advancement. Get him doing a few more courses and the such. Mentor him up with you.”
“Think he’d enjoy it actually. He’s got a diplomatic streak to him, as well as some tactical smarts. Might be good to consider forming our own hazard team and bring him on,” Adelinde said, smiling. “That said, I should go in a moment. T’Val and I are approaching the Barghest shortly. We’ll be beaming De León and Weber over to look at their engines while taking them undertow to Stormlea as well. Eighty-nine scientists and a handful of miners who’ve left their ships at Lorelai Station for the storm. If we get Barghest’s engines running again, we’ll turn them loose and head back out to the belt.”
“Sounds good to me. What about the other shuttle crews?” she asked. “Nothing we need to worry about?”
“No, not really. Most of the stations are pretty good at self-evacuating. We’re just spreading out to give assistance, when need be, as per the plan. We’ll likely have everyone off these stations in a day after they’ve locked down and secured as best, they can and taken their own ships in.” Adelinde turned to listen to something off screen and just outside of the audio pickup’s cone. “We’re coming up on the Barghest.”
“Stay safe out there,” she said to Adelinde, giving her a wink. “Dinner when you get back?”
“Sounds good. Waihou out.” With that the comm line went dead, her computer terminal momentarily blank, then replaced with the standard blue and Federation logo.
We really should get that changed to the ship’s crest.
We have a ship’s crest?
We need a ship’s crest. Then change that to the ship’s crest.
With a shake of her head, Tikva stood, pulled her uniform tunic down to straighten creases, then stepped out onto the bridge of her ship, working like a well-oiled machine. “No need to stand Rrr, just passing through. How we doing for time?”
“Highcroft Control has just given us an orbit and cleared us to beam the tower assemblies to two locations. One outside of Brunswick, the other about a thousand kilometers in the middle of nowhere.” The gaen spoke, their voice rumbling from deep in their being.
“Communication from the mayor’s office,” the young ensign at Ops spoke up. A glance to Rrr and they mouthed ‘new transfer’ in response to the unspoken question of ‘who is that?’. “Mayor Drummond extends an offer to beam down and travel with him to the nearby construction site to survey the work.”
She couldn’t help but smile and chuckle. Right on cue, the local politicians wanting to show off. From her own readings however, it was probably because Arthur Drummond was a genuinely proud mayor who loved to show off the accomplishments of his people. A forever politician who’d been in office as mayor of Highcroft’s largest city for decades, he’d apparently become a bit of an institution as chief cheerleader and capable, scandal free leader of a city of millions.
“Tell the mayor’s office that I and Lieutenant Maxwell will be beaming down shortly to take him up on his offer.” She could already feel the protest from Rrr and the static she normally felt from Ch’ttk’va ramped up as well. “It’ll be fine. There are no security threats, we’re deep in Federation space and I’m just touring a construction project. Maxwell and I will be safe.”
“Captain,” Ch’tkk’va spoke, the clicks and hisses just hidden under the universal translator, “there are regulations. A security team should accompany you.”
“I’ll have the mayor’s security. Don’t worry about it.” With that final statement she departed the bridge, via Engineering to collect her assistant chief engineer, then planetside via the wonders of the transporter.
As they materialised at the stated coordinates, it was easy to see why the mayor had given them. A tranquil garden in the middle of the city, tall buildings of steel and glass a few hundred meters away at least. She knew Brunswick had a large park at its heart, but this was stunning and this particular part was…so quiet. She could hear the sound of a city in the distance, but the dominant sound here was a babbling stream over rocks and an older man humming to himself as he greatly spread something from his hand with a wave over a pond.
“Please walk calmly Captain, you’ll scare the fish.”
“Mayor Drummond,” she responded, moderating her steps as she approached.
He was wearing a simple blue suit, nothing fancy, of a style perhaps a few centuries out of date by now, but still fashionable. “Please, call me Arthur. I only make the city counsellors call me Mayor. Reminds them who actually is in charge,” he said with mirth in his voice and his thoughts. “Let me just finish feeding these koi and we’ll head for my vehicle. My driver is likely getting bored now anyway.”
“Excuse me sir,” Maxwell chimed in. “But why are you feeding fish in a public garden?”
“Why aren’t you?” the older man responded, then smiled, offered his bag with fish pellets to Maxwell and waited for him to take some. “Gentle like,” he said before demonstrating how to throw and spread the pellets out over the water. “You too Captain Theodoras.”
She didn’t protest, just indulged the man in his pastime, though taking larger handfuls to help finish the bag off faster, which to be honest didn’t take long.
“You still didn’t answer my question sir,” Maxwell stated as the three started walking to where the mayor said his vehicle was.
“You’re perceptive, I didn’t.” He clearly waited, expecting a protest, then continued. “And you’re patient too. I like that. As for the fish…it calms me and is one of my little quirks. Everyone knows the mayor feeds the fish in the botanical gardens. It’s sort of a public engagement time. I’ve had a number of constituents just approach me and ask questions. Help feed the fish too.”
“I…see?” Maxwell said, trailing into a question as he doubted his own answer, looking to her for any answer and she just smiled, shrugging her shoulders.
Okay, favourite politician.
What, cause he’s grand-papa’s age? And gives the same feeling of…calm?
He’s also weird. Good weird mind.
“Arthur,” she tried to use his name as naturally as possible, “is it a long trip out to the construction site? I don’t mean to rush, but Atlantis needs to get back underway to return to Stormlea to pick up the next tower assemblies.”
“Oh, it’s a trip yes. Perhaps you should send your ship along and you can return when they get back? I could use the extra time to squeeze in a short tour and see if I can’t persuade you to take leave during the storm here in Brunswick versus back in Sydney with the governor.” He smiled as the neared his mode of transport, a black hover-car with a driver standing outside of it.
“Alright, that sounds like a plan.” And with a tap of her commbadge, a quick conversation, she was the last into the vehicle, not including the driver. “Atlantis is away. Should be few hours before they’re back. Shall we look at the site first Arthur, then you can give us a tour on the way back in?”
“Gav! Gav! Just had a call from Branson. The mayor already has the Starfleet people and is heading out to the construction site. Only reason to be heading this way, right?” Charles shouted as he entered into the cave that their little group had made into their base of operations.
Gavin nodded, then stood from the table he’d been sitting at, reading one of the books that he’d brought here to help while away the time. “Yah, has to be Chuck. Get the boys t’gether and go deliver our message to the Starfleet folks. Might be the only chance we get. And Chuck,” he squeezed in as his oldest friend and chief lieutenant had started to turn around. “No harm remember? Get in, deliver our message, leave the comm device so they can call us, then get out.”
“Yah yah, I remember the plan.”
He let out a sigh as Charles then walked away, barking orders at a few of the men to go with him, get vehicles ready, grab weapons and the such. With a shake of his head, he sat back down, picked up his book and found where he’d left off. He knew he could trust Charles to get it right.