The crew of the USS Norway had assembled in the mess hall, they had been told there would be an announcement at 14:00 hours. They were scheduled for their shakedown cruise the following morning so most of the gathered crewmen assumed they would be hearing from their new commanding officer. One of those inspirational pep talks that all new CO’s seem admanent on delivering.
Commander Teknat stood at the front of the mess hall, his hands clasped behind his back, his gaze fixed out of the window. He hated waiting, he always had done. Teknat wasn’t an impatient man, or at least that’s what he told himself. Truth is this was probably one of the most important events in his career, his first command.
The mess hall doors slid open. This was it, he thought to himself, the moment he had been working toward his entire career.
Captain Remmington entered the mess hall followed closely by a second officer. Both men walked toward the front of the room where Commander Teknat was standing.
Remmington extended his hand to Teknat, grasping it firmly.
“Commander,” Remmington said quietly, “there’s been a last minute change in plans.”
Teknat’s expression changed instantly, furrowing his brow.
“Sir?” Teknat replied, looking visibly concerned.
“The Norway has a new mission, one that requires a more… experienced officer for the time being.” Remmington said releasing the commanders hand.
Teknat stood there in disbelief, he had been replaced. Replaced before he had even officially taken command.
“Attention to orders,” Remmington barked, the assembled crew falling silent.
Remmington lifted the PADD he had been carrying and began to read from it.
“Effective immediately the USS Norway will be under the command of Captain Jacob Brendt.” Remmington paused, looking up at the room. “Computer, transfer all command codes to Captain Brendt, voice authorisation Remmington Alpha Two.”
“Command codes transferred. USS Norway now under command of Captain Jacob Brendt” the computer responded.
Teknat stood there, quietly humiliated. Nobody had told him of this ahead of time. Why was he even here? To be made a fool of? Had he fallen foul of the brass some how?
“Command Teknat will serve as XO for the duration of the mission.” Remmington said, acknowledging Teknats visible frustration.
Brendt nodded, stepping forward.
“Thank you, captain.” Brendt looked toward Remmington and Teknat before returning his attention to the room assembled before him.
“Our orders have changed,” he continued “the Norway will no longer be embarking on a ‘shake down’ cruise. Instead we will be departing for Devron Fleet Yards at 21:00 hours this evening. I expect the ship to be ready to depart by then. Dismissed.”
Brendt turned to Teknat as the crew began to filter out of the mess hall.
“Commander, a moment,” he said.
“What is this?” Teknat said bluntly. “Why wasn’t I informed about this change? I was assur…”
“Because, quite frankly Commander, the nature of our mission requires a more… informed officer in the chair.” Brendt interrupted.
Teknat was angry, and he knew it was showing. He had to consider the next words out of his mouth carefully.
“And that mission is?” He said, his face betraying his frustration.
“Ensure this ship and her crew are ready to be underway by 21:00.” Brendt replied, a smirk crept up in the corner of his mouth.
“How delightfully non-specific,” Teknat sighed in response.
“You have your orders, commander. I suggest you get on with it.” Brendt snapped in reply. “Before I find someone who can.”
“Yes. Sir.” Teknat replied bring himself to attention. “Am I dismissed?”
“Absolutely.” Brendt replied, not breaking eye contact with his new XO.