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Part of USS Akira: Akira Squadron {Boldly Going}

Accepting Command

Starbase 72 - Alpha Quadrant
March 1, 2400
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Th’lora, deep in thought over the current ship deployments, was interrupted by her office intercom “Ma’am, Captain Vax, and Commander Bettencourt are here to see you.”

“Send them in,” she replied, rising from her chair to straighten her hair and tunic.

Vausees and Cody had taken a seat while they waited for the Ensign to announce their arrival. It hadn’t taken all that long and they were escorted into the CO’s office.

“Yes. Please take a seat. I have a couple of important matters to discuss. This shouldn’t take too long.”

Cody looked at Vausees, confusion was visible on his face and concern registered deep within his eyes. He wondered if his dark secret was now in the light. A hand gently came down on his shoulder, a form of comfort. Vausees knew what he was thinking and she smiled.

Taking a seat across from her Commander she nodded, “Captain,” is all that she said. Cody on the other hand remained standing off to her left, even though there was a seat empty for him.

Th’lora returned to her seat and continued, “For the first order of business, I’m going to be blunt. The Heracles is being mothballed. She’s old, and Starfleet has decided to retire the class. That does not mean, however, that you are losing your command.” she said, looking directly at Captain Vax, assuring her this was not some vain attempt to remove her from the captain’s chair.

“What I am offering you in exchange is the USS Akira, namesake of her class.”

“Captain. This could have been told over the line,” Vausees exclaimed. Cody looked from Th’lora to Vausees. ‘Am I being replaced?’ he thought to himself.

“That Mister Bettencourt is why I’ve asked you here. Your service to Starfleet has been exemplary. We have a need for another ship commander, so I am offering you a promotion to Captain and reassignment to the USS Wolf if you’re interested. There, you will serve with Captain Vax as part of Akira Squadron, operating in tandem where necessary.”

Th’lora opened the uppermost right-hand drawer of her desk and pulled out a felt-lined clamshell box. She opened it up revealing a solid solitary pip and placed it before Bettencourt, pausing, awaiting his reply.

Cody took a step forward and turned to face Vausees. She stood up, took the silver pip from the small clamshell box, and placed it on her former XO’s chest, next to the other three silver pips.

“Excellent. Station operations can direct the two of you to your new ships, and Commodore Jalian, as Station Commander will conduct the transfer of command ceremonies.

Vausees looked at Cody and motioned for him to depart. When the door slid back into place she turned to look at Th’lora. “Why the sudden change?” she knew something was off and needed clarification.

Th'lora took a deep breath before answering. "I've received new orders from Starfleet Command. We've been tasked with strengthening our bonds with the Cardassian residents in Federation territory, particularly in the Former Demilitarized Zone. That's why I'm sending the Akira with the aid of the Wolf. You have the experience needed to do the job and I believe are the right person for this mission."

Vausees nodded as she sat there, but she hoped in the back of her mind that she was the right officer for the job. "I'll get it done," she says.

Th'lora smiled. "I have no doubt you will, Captain. That's why I chose you for this assignment."

Standing up, Vausees nods again and turns to leave Th'lora's office. She leans up against the bulkhead and lowers her head for a moment as the door closes behind her. This mission was clearly outside of her comfort zone, and she was aware of it.

Everyone in the fleet knew that Vausees and her crew were combat-oriented and that if her ship was called into a diplomatic situation, it was usually because things had gotten out of hand and her expertise was required in a show of force. But this... this was way out of her comfort zone. Vausees knew that she could do it if push came to shove, and it looked like the shove was indeed needed. She just hoped she didn't make her Task Force Commander look stupid.

She took a deep breath and stepped away from the bulkhead, heading for her ship.