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New Ship, New Color [CD]

Posted on Thu Dec 5th, 2019 @ 10:46am by Captain Malcom Llwyedd & Commander Hansel (Hans) Friedrech

Mission: Interlude 4
Location: Empok Nor
Timeline: 18 February, 2395 - 1100 Hours

[ON]

~ Officer's Quarters, USS Belmont ~

It had only been a couple of hours since some crewman had taken the last of Hansel Friedrech's things. He stood there staring at his empty quarters as he caught the flash of red in his peripheral vision. He had never gotten used to a fresh uniform and this one was red. Hans had spent nearly 20 years aboard the Belmont and he honestly thought he would stay on until he was given the Captain's Chair. This was his home, and he was lucky enough to stay on as long as he could, but it was time for a change. Taking one last look around he grabbed the PADD with his orders on it and slung a small bag over his shoulder. Without anymore ceremony he turned and left his quarters for the last time.

The turbolift doors opened on the bridge of the USS Belmont with the normal whoosh and Hans stood there for a second taking it all in. Since the ship had docked most of the bridge crew was attending to other things on station, but a few junior officers where monitoring ship operations and the Executive Officer, Charlie Robinson, sat at the Captain's chair with a steaming mug of what Hans assumed was fresh coffee. Approaching the man Hans held out his PADD with a solemn look on his face. "Sir, my orders to disembark,"

Commander Robinson took the PADD and scanned it, "What's this Sir, business Hans," a smile brightened the mans face as he handed the PADD back to Hans. "Good Luck, you need anything at all you reach out and the Belmont will be there at the drop of a hat." Charlie stood and shook Hans' hand his smile disappearing. "You'll be missed, but on to bigger and better for you. The Captain is waiting in his Ready Room."

Hans frowned, when he arrived on the bridge and didn't see the Captain he thought he might be able to leave without the unpleasant business of saying goodbye to everyone. "Of course, Sir... Ch... Charlie, I'll go see him now." As Hans turned to walk to the Ready Room he stopped and looked back at the younger man. "Of course, if the Belmont is ever in trouble you better reach out. It appears I might know a real fast ship that can be there at a moments notice." Hans smiled and turned back to meet with the Captain of the Belmont one last time. Hans always felt like his smiled seemed artificial. Hitting the buzzer at the Captain's Ready Room, he heard the man inside with his calm cool collected voice call for him as the door slid open.

Captain Jonathan Morales was just a few years older than Hans, although he wore the age better than Hans. He sat at his desk watching something on his computer. He didn't look up as Hans entered the room and stood in front of his desk. "Please have a seat Hans, I've been expecting you."

Whenever Hans got nervous he felt his left leg throb with soreness and today was no different. Hans didn't like goodbyes and was awful with social situations. "Of Course, Sir," he said sitting and rubbing his leg nervously.

"Please, Hans, call me Jon," the Captain smiled. "I just wanted to congratulate you again and wish you luck. I know you'll make us all proud. I don't know what the ship will be like with out you on it. You've managed to be on her for almost 20 years."

"She's a good ship, Sir," Hans replied with a frown. "If I have to be honest, I'm trying not to think about leaving her."

"You'll be fine Hans, it's your time. You are a great officer and The Firebird is in need of one." The Captain stood up and Hans followed. Jonathan held out his hand, "Just promise me one thing Hans."

Taking his Captain's hand one last time, "What's that Sir?"

Jonathan frowned, "Jon! Don't lock yourself away once you get aboard with your models. Be a part of the crew on and off duty. If you ever get a command of your own you'll appreciate that you were able to mingle with your subordinates."

"Thank you Jo... Jon. I'll do my best," Hans replied.

~ Docking Ring, Empok Nor ~

It was a short walk from one airlock to the other. Both the Belmont and the Firebird were on the upper docking ring, but as the Firebird came into sight Hans felt his leg alive with pain again. Arriving at the airlock with a slight limp. He took a second to compose himself before coming aboard.

Calm down Hansel, one step at a time and this is the next step, Hans thought as he stepped through the airlock.

"Computer, where is the Captain located?" Hans asked.

=^=Captain Llwyedd is on deck seven in the secondary communications array=^= The computer said.

*******************************

Malcom decided that kicking the array was a good solution. He'd be the first to admit that engineering was not his favorite subject in the academy. He'd barely scraped by the curriculum and only managed that with some serious tutoring. Which was why he rarely ventured down to the Firebird's engineering section. It only offered opportunities to make a fool out of himself. He knew the theories behind the major engineering principles. He just wasn't good at the practical applications.

But he'd also allowed the crew some shore leave after their escapade in the Tuvok system and that meant when things broke and nobody was left, he had to put on his engineering hat. He hated that hated.

Malcom kicked the malfunctioning secondary communications array. Nothing changed. He sighed. He shouldn't have let the newly promoted Petty Officer Lopt go on shore leave. He decided that nobody in engineering was ever going on shore leave again. He wiped the sweat from forty minutes of effort from his brow and kicked the array again. The door to the compartment opened.

Hans walked through the door to find the Captain kicking the comms arrray. The walk to engineering had felt different and uncomfortable. The corridors of the Firebird were a lot tighter than the Ambassador Class Belmont, that combined with the fact that his new superior officer was frustratingly kicking Starfleet equipment made the muscles in his leg spasm almost unbearably.

Doing his best to straighten out Hans held out the PADD with his orders, "Sorry to interrupt Sir, Commander Hansel Friedrech reporting."

Malcom nodded and took the PADD. He read through the contents quickly and then placed it on a nearby work bench. "Welcome aboard the Firebird, commander. I saw that the Belmont had arrived at Empok Nor. You must hold the record for shortest distance covered in a change of duty station process," Malcom said. He leaned over and looked at the secondary communications array again, noting where his boot had left a smudge.

"I have to tell you, I read your file before your arrival. I'm a little worried about how you are going to settle in here, after serving on the same ship for so long."

"I'd be lying if I said it won't be an adjustment," Hans noticed the Captain looking at the communication equipment and pulled open a nearby panel. "But, to be honest, I'm ready for the challenge," Hans quickly switched a few of the isolinear chips around scanning the array. "I've read up on the Firebird, she's an incredible ship. Try it now," Hans gestured to the control panel near the array.

Malcom moved to the array's control panel and tapped through to the subsystem. "Well, it wasn't working at all and now it is working a little. That's a great improvement," Malcom said. "I'll leave the rest to Petty Officer Lopt. Why don't we head up to my ready room?" Malcom smiled, grabbed the PADD and walked out the doorway, making sure his new XO was following.

"So what is it about this challenge that you are looking forward to? The Firebird is a unique ship both in her systems and in her crew."

Hans was already putting his foot in his mouth, "I didn't mean the ship or the crew would be the challenge Sir, I've looked over ships record you definitely have managed to put together something special here." Hans' limped behind the Captain. "It's just my first time in a red uniform and I'm looking forward to what that means."

The duo stepped onto the turbolift as Hans spoke. "Bridge," Malcom said and then turned to look at his new XO. "Thank you. This crew is small but they are an outstanding group of people. Commander Han, my former XO, has just taken over as the sector intelligence chief, based right here at Empok Nor. She was an unusual choice for XO. A lot of captains have a negative opinion about our intelligence services. A lot those same captains might have concerns about an XO who is new to the red uniform. I'm not one of those types of captains, commander." The turbolift doors opened and Malcom stepped off. He saw his Marine commander, Lieutenant Cunningham, start to get up from the command chair and waved him down.

"As you were, lieutenant. All's well?"

Jack settled back down into the captain's chair. He'd volunteered to be officer of the watch with so many people on leave. "Aye, sir. All is well. Commander Leed wanted me to remind you that he's left for DS9 to visit his family. He left a briefing PADD for you in your office."

"Thank you, Jack. Carry on," Malcom said and walking at a moderate pace, entered his Ready Room. He motioned to the couch and chairs that sat near a bank of windows. "Have a seat. Care for a drink?"

Hans relaxed into a chair letting his leg rest. It had been a long couple of hours. "Hot chocolate, if you don't mind Sir."
Hans looked around the Captian's office. He appeared to be a confident leader and even a peppy, easy to smile and you could tell he cared about his crew. Hans had decided even though he just met him he liked him. "Perhaps I should ask about your expectations of me, or your leadership style," Hans wasn't really one for small talk.

"One hot chocolate, one mango green tea, hot," Malcom said. He waited until the two beverages appeared on the replicator, grabbed them, and made his way to sit on the couch. He handed the commander his cup. "Excellent question," Malcom said and took a drink. "I know, drinking hot tea while sweating seems strange but it helps. Anyway, the most important thing I expect of you is putting the crew before yourself. My command philosophy is that our job is to protect them when possible, help them advance their careers, and make sure that are challenged in ways they don't know they need." He took another, longer drink.

"My next expectation is that our mission always comes first. Our role is to go places other ships can't. To care for those who have nobody to care for them and to save lives. When you've figured out how to manage expectation one and two better than me, I'll give you my chair," Malcom said.

Hans smiled. The Captain was not what he expected, "I understand Sir." It appeared that Captain Llwyedd was very much the opposite of Hans. An extrovert who made big emphatic gestures. Hans preferred to watch, observe, and note the strengths and weakness of those under his care and put them in the best place to succeed. "I appreciate your trust and I'll always put crew and mission first, but I think the job of any good XO is to be the voice of dissent at times and to speak for the crew in matters that the Captain might not be privy too. It might take some time, but eventually, I want to be frank with you, I've been told I'm a very blunt and straight forward officer. I hope that won't be a problem,"

"If I wanted someone who agreed with me all the time, I'd just ask for my yeoman to be made my XO," Malcom said and looked over at the door. As if on cue, a faint voice responded.

"Not a good idea, sir!" Kipp said from his station outside.

Malcom laughed and then grew serious. "He is actually worse than my mother. But in truth, I value a command staff that is confident in their abilities and voices their opinions. The ship and the crew are much more important than my fragile ego," Malcom said. "What other questions do you have for me?"

"Not particularly, I'm certain I'll have more questions after meeting the rest of the senior staff and crew," Hans stopped for a second the muscles in his left leg finally rested he looked at the Captain with a smile. "Do you know what our next mission is or would you like to brief me with the rest of the crew at a later date?" It was funny that he could relax in the presence of a new commanding officer so quickly, but there was definitely something likable about the man.

"Right now the crew is taking some leave and we are having some other personnel change. I don't know of anything on the immediate horizon but I suspect we are eventually going to run up against some more Romulans. They have continually turned up around Empok Nor. It has all been a little too convenient, especially when some of our worst missions have involved Romulan technology and influence. I want you to read up on all our reports and let me know if your fresh eyes spot anything new," Malcom said.

"Yes Sir," Hans liked being set on a task. "I'll start going over the reports as soon as I've settled into my quarters. I never was one for shore leave." Hans finished his hot chocolate in with a final sip and looked at his new commanding officer. "If there is nothing else Sir, I'd like to see my quarters."

Malcom nodded and stood. "Take your time getting settled in. Please feel free to use my yeoman if you need any assistance. He knows everyone in the sector from admirals to bartenders," Malcom said, extending his hand. "Welcome aboard, Hans."

"Thank you Sir," Hans said taking Malcom's hand.

[OFF]

Captain Malcom Llwyedd
Commanding Officer
USS Firebird NCC-88298



Commander Hansel Friedrech
Executive Officer
USS Firebird NCC-88298

 

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