“Wow, talk about a party!” Ensign Jonarom remarked the moment the large ensemble of Bellerophon crew entered The Auditorium. “And talk about a huge mess hall!”
Chuckling to himself, Captain Horatio McCallister looked at the young Ardanan man. “I’m not sure it’s quite classified as a mess hall, Jonarom.”
Blushing a bit, Jonarom responded. “Oh, well it must be at least five times bigger than our one.”
“I believe you will find the exact dimensions to be closer to ten times the size of our mess hall, ensign.” Lieutenant (junior grade) T’Penni disagreed as she pointed to the floor upstairs. “There is further space on the upper level.”
“This ship is a floating starbase,” Jonarom said in amazement.
“It is impressive.” T’Penni agreed.
Horatio smiled at how in awe the two youngest members of his senior staff were at his brother’s ship. T’Penni, his Vulcan chief engineer who had only been in charge of the Bellerophon’s engine room for a year now, remained unfazed by the huge social gathering. Instead, she remained almost stiff with her hands firmly clasped behind the bottom of her spine as she observed the room. Her tight black hair was pulled back as her almost icy eyes gazed at the scene before them. In contrast to her, Ensign Jonarom’s almost floppy, fluffy and messy brown hair was pushed back to the side of his face. Horatio’s new chief science officer, as of a few months ago, had a huge grin on his face. Knowing the Ardanan’s background, hailing from the former upper echelons of his people’s society where fancy gatherings were regular, he was quite used to such things to a certain degree. However, Jonarom loved spending more time in school, learning about the universe around him. Though some would call him a child-genius, Horatio had learned that even though Jonarom knew his stuff (he was very clever for someone so young and could understand most scientific concepts quicker than others, which was supported by an identic memory) he wasn’t a show off with it. Jonarom was the complete opposite, partly due to his naivety and found himself enjoying every new experience they encountered. Even through the hardship of the recent blood dilithium crisis where the ship assisted the Antarian Pact, he still found the whole phenomenon fascinating. A word he had coined from T’Penni and would often use.
Moving back to the room at hand, Horatio had never been jealous about the size of the Odyssey, in fact, he had always wondered how his brother had gained such a prestigious command in the first place. “Now remember, tonight is about us getting to know others. So please, behave and don’t break anything. I don’t want my brother charging me for repairs!” Horatio told his staff before they all went their separate ways.
Watching Jonarom offer T’Penni his arm, like a true gentleman, Horatio saw the two officers move off into the crowd to ‘explore’.
Jaz walked up to the captain’s side, “Your brother did say the drinks are on him, didn’t he?”
“I hope so, as I’m not having a tab open on my name with you and Edeena around,” Horatio answered, motioning to his second officer beside him.
The tall, slender Bajoran woman jokingly showed offence to her captain’s comment. “Really, sir, I’m upset you think Lirissa and I would do such a thing,” She replied.
Turning to Lieutenant Commander Jirani Edeena, the ship’s security and tactical chief, Horatio gave her that ‘look’ to say he knew better. “All I’m saying, commander, is where has the five cases of Antarian cider that Ambassador O’Zyele gifted to Rubon and me as part of our winning prize?”
Pushing her curly blonde hair back behind her shoulders, the Bajoran woman shrugged her shoulders before replying with a smirk. “As your security chief, I can inform you that they are securely locked away for the safety of everyone, sir.”
Horatio just grinned and shook his head. “Thank you for looking after us, commander.”
“You’re welcome, sir.” Jirani bowed her head slightly.
“Edeena, are you coming to the bar with me or not?” Jaz insisted.
The Bajoran woman excused herself as she joined her comrade as they made their way towards the bar. Horatio found himself standing with who was left. His Chief Medical Officer, Doctor Sarella Corben (of Betazed) had her armed linked in with his Chief of Operations, Senior Chief Petty Officer Bronden. The brawny Zaldan didn’t appear that interested or keen on the music being played (Horatio could see his nephew playing in the band and knew he would go over to see him).
“Before you say it, sir, yes we promise not to be attached to each other all night,” Corben said with a playful smirk. She let go of her partner (the two of them had been together for almost four years now) and pulled her hair up into a tight bun. “We’ve got to set the standard for the Bellerophon’s honour, of course.”
“Indeed,” Bronden said before the two of them walked away.
Horatio sighed. The two of them were the complete opposite of each other, but somehow they made their relationship work. Talking about relationships, the captain turned to the last two standing with him. His pilot, Rubon Jarata and his chief counsellor, Lieutenant (junior grade) Krizon Hilgan. The latter, like their first officer, was an unjoined Trill and like his pilot had similar short curly black hair. The two men had an on/off relationship and from what Horatio understood at present, they were off and had been for several months. Nevertheless, they found a way to keep what relationship they had when not together professional and didn’t allow it to affect their work. “Gentlemen,” The captain said to them, “please don’t feel like you need to stand around on guard duty for me. Go meet your counterparts and enjoy the festivities.”
After hearing their captain insist on them leaving him, the two men went in opposite directions and began their quests to find the different department heads from Odyssey, Triton and Themis.
Seeing his brother standing in the centre of the large crowd, Horatio made his way over to see James as well as his nephew, Alfie. As he made his way over, he wondered if serving under his brother would be a good thing. One thing he couldn’t complain about was not having the chance to spend some time with his three nephews. Besides his brother being one hell of an officer and captain, he was an amazing father.
Something Horatio was jealous of.