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Part of USS Altai: Spectres in the Dust

Where Yeoman Has Gone Before

Outpost 1-SZ, Station Commander's Office
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Streth beamed to himself. The day was going well. Days like this didn’t come by often, and he was damned if he wasn’t going to enjoy one when it did. This next meeting was a slightly different matter, however. He held the black box in his hand, as he had for Katsu earlier. 

“Ensign Maec, please report to the Station Commander’s Office,” he announced.

D’vaid had been recuperating from the time in space after his decision to help all of his crew escape the Dreadnought. He had just gotten back to duty for his first rotation when he heard the Commanders request. He had been going through the request for the station but saved his progress and replied “On my way, Sir.” He replied.

The door chimed, Streth gave the signal, but instead of a Romulan it was the tall form of the freshly minted Lieutenant Commander Jones that was next to appear.

“Mr. Jones,” Streth drew himself up to his full height in mock-seriousness, “as you’re no doubt very aware from the station rumour mill, Starfleet has seen fit to recognise all those involved in our recent mission,” the Andorian paused, barely containing his smile. 

Jones smirked at the look on Streth’s face. “You’re going to pop a vein if you keep doing that.” He told him. “And yes, I’ve heard those rumors. I also hear that Mr. Beck will be leaving us.”

Streth’s smile diminished, “Ah yes, Mr. Beck. It’s a shame to see him go…” his voice trailed off wistfully, “Still, he’ll be a credit to his next command. Anything in the rumour mill about where that might be?” Streth assumed the ex-intelligence officer would certainly know this particular detail.

Jones patted Streth’s shoulder when he saw that smile disappear from his face to reassure him. “I’m certain we will get another fine engineer in his place.” Jone said as he went over to the replicator. “Computer, Jones One.” Was a pre-programmed order for a hot black coffee, strong and sweet, that materialized in a mug, steam flowing out from the top. Jones picked up his cup of coffee before he turned to face Streth. “From what his transfer orders say, he’s was plucked by Captain Henry Maxwell to be chief engineer of the USS Verity. I believe that is Task Force 93’s flagship.” Jones answered the question before taking a small sip of his coffee.

D’vaid made it to the Commander’s office and saw the door was sealed. He paused for a moment before activating the chime to see if he could enter.  

“Enter,” Streth’s voice signaled a busy day in his office, “Mr. Maec, right on time!” CO and XO both stood facing the Romulan, “How are you after that impromptu spacewalk?”

D’vaid chuckled uneasy “Let’s just say I don’t want to do that again anytime soon, Sir. It wasn’t the most pleasant experience.” He concluded looking and Jones and nodded as was his customary greeting.

Jones smirked. “Sounds about right.” Right before he took another sip and then placed the mug down on Streth’s desk. “There’s at least a few good things that Mr. Beck will leave behind for us. One, the holographic matrix that hides our base from the Breen or anyone else who decides to poke around our neighborhood. And two, the DOT that helped install that matrix. So if it ever needs repairs, we got a specialist who can take care of that. As well as other things that the DOT will be useful for.” Jones explained to Streth.

“Good things to have.” Streth said, a wistfulness rising in his tone, “Verity‘s a fine ship. They’re lucky to have him, but at least we’ve got his stuff. Now, I believe we have more pressing business to attend,” he looked Maec up and down, “Ensign Maec, after your recent display of extreme bravery in the face of overwhelming odds, Commander Jones and I have decided that the Yeomanry might not be the best fit for an officer of your calibre.”

D’vaid couldn’t help but to raise an eyebrow at the statement “What do you mean, Sir?”

Jones held back a grin. “It means that you are out of uniform, Ensign! Now stand at attention while you are being addressed by your commanding officer!” Jones rose his voice briefly. Then he turned around completely so his back was to Maec, so the man couldn’t see his grin that he showed to Streth.

Maec was confused because he was already standing at attention. His look must have caught the Commanders eye because Streth smirked slightly at him. HE stood there waiting and trying to understand what was happening.

Streth approached, holding out the small black box in what he realised had now become something of a routine, “Mr. Maec,” his eyes gleamed, “I hereby promote you to the rank of Lieutenant, Junior Grade.” He leaned in to pin a single, hollow pip to the Romulan’s black collar. Stepping back, Streth looked with pride at his officer, “I should also inform you that, given all that’s happened, Command has decided we’re in need of a Strategic Operations Department. You’ve shown some excellent initiative, and you’re familiar with the area now, so I personally recommended you for the job.”

D’vaid’s eyes grew wide, but he tried to contain the excitement, though he didn’t expect the change he was excited for it. “Thank you, Sir! I will do my best to not disappoint and to do the same ethic I did as your yeoman.” He pulled a bag out of his normal carrying case “I think this warrants a celebration.” He pulled out three pepperoni rolls.

“I have to say,” Streth’s eyes gleamed upon sighting the rolls, “I hope you’re starting your department head role as you mean to go on,” he reached towards one of the delicious Earth treats. 

Jones didn’t hold back his smile anymore as he had turned to face the Ensign; now Junior Lieutenant, when Streth gave him that hollowed pip. Jones held out his hand towards Maec. “Congratulations, Lieutenant. You earned it.”

D’vaid nodded and accepted the hand with a smile on his face. “Thank you, Sir!”

Interspersed between bready bites the three officers, all now senior, discussed the ongoing metamorphosis of Outpost 1-SZ. Mere months ago, it had been an undisturbed backwater. Now, it had caught the attentions of more than one set of prying eyes. Unbeknownst to the room’s occupants, as pepperoni roll crumbs fell to the floor, a pair of these eyes looked on with unblinking interest.