Roughly thirty-six hours after her board concluded Aryanna received a message on her PADD from the young Lieutenant that recorded the proceedings of the board.
:: Lieutenant Commander Rigras, Aryanna
This message is to inform you of the findings of the board.
The board has found and ruled that you are mentally and physically capable of returning to the duties and responsibilities granted to you, as per your rank. The board has informed the Chief of Staff that you are cleared to return to duty in the fleet.
Expect a message from the office of the chief of staff concerning your future assignment within the next twelve to twenty-four hours. ::
She rereads the message once, and then twice. She then picked up the cup sitting on her desk, stood, and turned to look out the window panel of her small office. Seeing the four shapes of ships nestled in their hangers as they underwent the final phases of their build or retrofit. Turning slightly towards the starboard view out of her window she could just make out the hanger holding the USS Concord going through its repairs after the attack during the Romulan situation. She looked down at her arm and then back at the ship. “You took a piece of me ol’ girl but that’s all you get.” As she raises the cup in a salute.
<< ”So, what’s next? Don’t tell me you haven’t been thinking of it. I hear your thoughts just as much as you do.”
“So you tell me then, what’s next? What should we do? You know as well as I do they are just as likely to leave us here running the Beta Six hangars as they are putting us back on a starship.”
“Don’t give me that crap, Aryanna. You know just as well as I do that you need to be out there, amongst the stars. What’s stopping you? Do it.. Do what you know you will need to do to get back out there. Beat them to the punch, send the request that has been sitting on your console since the first day you thought that returning could be a possibility.”
She turned to look at the four ships that were in their final stages. Tapping her fingers on the cup. “Which one? Which captain do I write a “please pick me” letter to?”
“It doesn’t matter, send one to all of them.”
She nodded and turned back towards the console pulling up the letter, and hitting send to the list of captains and admirals. Anyone that she thought could get her back in a chair, any chair. ”Time to play the game, ol’ friend.”
“That’s the way to do it. Time to play the game indeed.” >>
As she hit send, she saw the green-skinned gold tunic’d Lieutenant Zhaishi approaching through the glass front wall of her office. She beckoned her to enter, with the hand holding the cup, as she approached the door. “Morning Zhaishi, you’re up and about early this morning. Is there a reason?”
“Not really, commander. I was up and..”
Aryanna held up a hand. “Let me guess, he was already up and making coffee.”
“The guy you were flirting with last night in the bar, hmmmm was it the second one or third one that I saw you dancing with?”
“His name is Brian, and he was the fourth guy I danced with.” the Lieutenant shook her head. “Anyways, seeing as he was making breakfast already I decided to get up and start early.”
She handed the commander a couple of PADDS. “The morning engineering reports. Looks like the Tomcat ran into a hiccup last night with their computer core upgrade, took a couple of hours to run down the problem and fix it. The alpha shift crew says they should have her closed up by noon and will be ready to move her into Bravo for her crew to take over with final preparations. Other than that the rest of them seem to be on time.”
Commander Rigras took the offered PADDS. “ Very well. What’s on the agenda for today? Anything noteworthy?”
Lieutenant Zhaishi looked at her PADD. “No, Ma’am. Seems like a pretty routine day as far as work goes. I’ll keep you in the loop if anything comes up.”
“Please do,” Aryanna picked up her cup of Raktajino and took a sip.
Chief Thorn stuck her head into the commander’s office. “Ma’am, the commodore called for you. Said to have you meet him in his office as soon as possible.”
“Thank you, Chief.” She took another sip from her cup, grabbed her PADDs, stood, and made her way out of the office. Looking at the Lieutenant “When a commodore says as soon as possible what they really meant is get your ass up here now. Are you coming?”
“That is all you ma’am. Unless Chief Thorn forgot to add a part, which knowing her I doubt very much that she would forget something like “oh if that engineering Lieutenant is with her have her come up to.“” So I’ll just head back to my office and wait, Good luck commander.” As she followed the commander out of the office.
<<” Hold on. Are we going to talk about this?”
“About why the commodore of all people would suddenly call you to his office.”
“Well I suppose it may have something to do with that earlier message, I doubt he could have gotten too many complaints yet about my message to the fleet’s captains.”
“Wouldn’t surprise me if he has a stack of messages on his desk about that very thing. I mean, I agree we need to be back out there. However, sometimes there are right ways to do things and then there are wrong ways to do things.”
“Rigras, when have you ever known me to tread carefully? It’s not in my nature as you are aware.”
“I know, I know..”>>
Several minutes later she entered the commodore’s main office/waiting area and made her way to the desk that was located in the center of the room in front of other doors.” Lieutenant Commander Rigras is here to see the Commodore as per their request.
The human lieutenant behind the desk looked up as she introduced herself and looked down at the console in front of them. “Yes ma’am, unfortunately, the commodore was just called away to an emergency meeting of some sort. Though they did ask me to give you this.” As he handed her a sealed envelope.
<<” Interesting, that’s an old-fashioned way of doing business. Makes you wonder why they couldn’t just send the message to you via normal means.”
“Not sure, though I do know they are an old-fashioned type. Makes you wonder what is inside.”
“Only way to find out.”>>
She walks over to a corner where a small sitting area is, opened the letter, and quickly reads through it.”Damn it, you have got to be kidding me.” She rereads the letter and comments rather loudly to herself. “I am to report to Starbase Bravo and Commodore Ekwueme to await further instructions. What the hell does that mean, await further instructions? “ she stuffed the letter into a pocket on her dress-style uniform and quickly got up and left the office.
<<” Well in my experience, it means. Get the hell off of my station and go where they may or may not have a place for you. Makes me wonder if we might have ruffled a few feathers with that message earlier.”
“You think? Aren’t you just full of helpful information !”
“Don’t yell at me young lady, I’m affected just as much as you are. If I recall Starbase Bravo is the home of the fourth fleet, or Bravo fleet as it is known by, maybe we can figure out our options with some delving into the current happenings of the Bravo fleet and its assigned Task forces.”
“Your right, your right. Let’s go pack and start doing some reading. We are going to have some free time on the trip out there. >>
Roughly two weeks later
Lieutenant Commander Rigras stepped off of the transporter PADD and walked over to the young Andorian ensign. <<” Look at him, obviously the deck officer. Poor sap.”>> “Lieutenant Commander Rigras reporting.” As she handed her PADD to the young ensign.
“Thank you, Ma’am. Yes, I see you right here. Looks like you have been assigned to the senior officer’s temporary quarters. I’ve marked their location on your PADD along with the location of the commodore’s office as I see you have been temporarily assigned to his office.”
“Temporarily assigned? Any idea what that means, Ensign?” she scooted a step closer trying to see what was on the PADD in his hands.
He looked up at her as his antennae twitched. “Not really ma’am, I haven’t been here all that long myself.” he pulled the PADD closer to his chest.
“Very well, thank you ensign.” she took her PADD and glanced at it.
Entering the commodore’s office several minutes later she walked over to the lone desk.
“Would you please inform the Commodore that Lieutenant Commander Rigras is reporting in.” A middle-aged lieutenant looked up from the console they were reading from.
“Commander,” as he accepted her PADD checked a few things then passed it back to her.
“I’ll let the commodore know that you have arrived, unfortunately, they are busy in meetings the rest of the day, looks like there has been some sort of situation concerning the Delta Quadrant.”
<<” This could be the break we need. If something is going on in the Delta Quadrant they will definitely need crew.”
“I know, I know”>>
“What’s going on out there?” as she accepted her PADD back.
He shrugged his shoulders. “ I don’t know, just know there have been nonstop meetings the last couple of days.”
“How’s the promenade on the station? Any recommendations? Might as well take a look around as I make my way to my quarters.”
“Depending on what you’re looking for, Brew makes a pretty good cup of coffee, Downtime is more of a bar than a place to eat. Though many say it’s one of those places that you have to visit at least once while on Bravo Station.”
“Thanks. Unless I hear otherwise I’ll swing by tomorrow.”
“No problem, Commander.”
Later that evening her PADD bleeps with a new message. “Lieutenant Commander Rigras, Commodore Ekwueme office. We do not have a ship with an open position for which you are suited at this time. However, a situation is developing in the Delta Quadrant that may change that. Till a position opens that would benefit the fleet, the ship, and yourself I am going to temporarily assign you to a team that will be overseeing the implementation of a new program that will allow senior-level captains to be assigned command of small squadron-sized groups. Report to my office tomorrow morning and I’ll have one of my Yeoman introduce you to the team and office.”
“Damn it, what the hell? You can’t tell me that not a single ship needs someone to sit in a seat.”
<<” Well he didn’t say that exactly, now did he? He said that there was not one we were suited for. It sounds like he is hedging his bets that someday soon a ship will need, oh I don’t know, maybe an executive officer or maybe a captain. Play the game Aryanna. I know I know you hate it and you hate sitting around stuck behind a desk. obviously, he is holding his cards close to his chest. He knows something that he is not telling us.”
She lets out a long breath. “You may be right, what do you think about this new program he mentioned? They already have the Task Forces, why create smaller groups within them?”
“I’m going to hold my tongue on this one till we find out more tomorrow. Sounds to me like either they have an abundance of young relatively inexperienced captains that need to be reigned in or there is something bigger going on.”
“You could be right on the first one, I do remember there being an abundance of Raven class ships being built, and if I remember correctly from the reports they weren’t sitting around very long.”
Aryanna hears a bit of grumbling from Rigras. “Being a captain of a ship means freedom, freedom to conduct your mission as you see fit. No way would I want someone micromanaging me. Uh uh no way, no how.”
“And people wonder where I get it from.” she chuckled.
“It’s all you young lady, I think you’re starting to rub off on me.”
“Uh hu, sure old man.”>>
Sometime in January 2401
“Good morning lieutenant, The Commodore said he wanted to see me.”
At about that time, Commodore Ekwueme stepped out of his office and placed a PADD on the Lieutenants desk. “See that gets to Captain Abernathy on EOS station.”
The Commodore noticed Lieutenant Commander Rigras standing there gave her a once over and held out a hand toward the Lieutenant. “The top one on the new pile, Lieutenant.”
The lieutenant handed the requested PADD to the commodore with a slight smile.
“Walk with me, Commander.” As he headed out of his office.