With a mixture of relief and elation, Lieutenant Commander Kretorg stepped onto the boat. As soon as his identity was verified, the security officer directed him to the bridge at his request. As he stood for a few moment and took in the layout of the bridge, it was hard not to notice the Captain at center stage. He was in conversation with an officer reporting for duty, or, more accurately, the ensign was rambling while the captain looked like he’d rather be just about anywhere else.
“Commander Lewis, it seems you are doing my job?” Kre remarked as he crossed the few paces from the door to the CO’s chair.
Even in his peppiest of times, Commander Lewis found check in procedures useless. At the end of a double shift that had seen him supervise an interrogation, get incapacitated by a hit squad, call out a Captain and a Commodore, and then do a full eight hours of mundane administrivia from aboard a ship docked safely within a starbase, he was at his wit’s end. Hearing about how honored this ensign was to be aboard the Bellona made him want to slap the guy. The arrival and interruption by his new Klingon Executive Officer, something that would have irritated many a traditional CO, was a welcome event for him.
“Ah, Commander Kretorg,” interjected Commander Lewis into the middle of the ensign’s stream of conscious before turning back to the ensign. “I’m sorry Ensign, but I’ve got to take this. We can pick back up over a bite in the mess hall someday.” The Ensign’s mouth was wide open, a confused look of both disappointment and excitement flashing across his face for the new CO had both cut him off and told him he’d like to get dinner.
“Of… of course Commander.”
With that, the Ensign scuttled off the bridge.
“How was the trip in?” asked Commander Lewis as he gestured to his Ready Room.
“Long, and then it was also long, and then long,” Kre said with a dead pan face, as he entered the ready room, familiarizing himself with it before taking a seat. “Needless to say, I am glad to be here,” he stated. “But from what I heard and seeing,” noting how tired Lewis was, “you had a bit of an active couple of days…”
“More like an active couple hours. A whole bunch of hurry up and wait, mixed with bureaucracy, until, in the wee hours of the night, a black bag caught us with our pants down,” replied Commander Lewis, his vulgar language attracting a couple stares from those on the bridge who still hadn’t gotten used to his style yet. “At the end of this, we’re left with more questions than we started with.”
Kre noted the door to the ready room was still open and he ordered it to close. “Is there anything of that ‘black bag’ that I should know?” Kre asked. He was not tired and eager to get into the swing of things on the ship.
“As I’m sure you have gathered by now, not all the facts about this assignment have yet been shared with us,” replied Commander Lewis. “It appears that someone else in the community, someone who knew about our mission on 141, had their own interests in our unsub. Needless to say, we’ve got a dead end – literally.” He didn’t mean it to come out as cryptic as it did, but the outcome of the mission left him with little more.
“The story of our lives…” Kre mused. He could see that the man opposite him was exhausted. “Talking about dead. Captain, I am pretty sure you are not dying, but it sure looks as if you are half way there. I didn’t plan to take over command of the ship so quickly. So please take a break, really, you look like crap,” Kre said bluntly. “Captain.”
Commander Lewis chucked. Good, an XO that would speak their mind, and in this case, it was probably true. “Sometimes I forget I’m not a thirty year old operator anymore,” he said with a nod, especially resigned after the dumpster fire of a conclusion to their first mission. “But tomorrow, we shake it off and hit it fresh and anew.” A smile returned to his face.
“Yes, I agree, but go and sleep first,” Kre said. “In the meantime, I am going to meet with as many of the senior staff as I can before we hit the road so to speak,” he said getting up.
The Commander nodded. He wasn’t one to soon relinquish the driver’s seat, not during missions or anything like that, but at least when it came to routine things like this, he’d welcome the relief.