Even though it was quite late, Kre was anxious to get going even though he would have to wait around the station for what felt like forever. That was all he had been doing day in and day out since his journey began four months ago.. He hesitated to tap his badge, but then decided to give it a go. The thing actually worked sometimes. But not this time, once again, it decided not to chirp, but was as dead as a dodo.
“Computer locate Major Soya,” he instructed. At least the computer recognized him without him having to repeat his code.
“Major Soya is in her quarters.” The computer replied. “It is on deck, 8, section 4, room 112.”
Kretorg was in two minds about disturbing someone in their private space, but he remained with his initial resolve and made his way to her quarters after consulting a console. It was not too far from his, and in a few minutes he pressed the chime outside Renota’s door.
“Come,” Renota said putting down the tablet she had been reading and glancing at the chronometer.
“Good evening, Major, I am Kretorg, the new XO,” he said with an apologetic smile once the door was open. He did not actually step inside, only positioned himself so she could see him clearly. “Please accept my apologies for barging in, but,” he pointed to his badge, “it’s dead,” indicating that he would have preferred to ask first. “I would just like to meet with you, so that I can do something at least…” he explained
“Come in, grab a seat, can I get you something to drink.” Renota said, gesturing for the seat across from her. “And it really isn’t an interruption I still have a few hours of work.” She added gesturing to the mess of PADDs on the table. “Given the Bellona’s role it’s hard to get access to reports before you get aboard.”
“You telling me!” Kre agreed as he sat down. “Even with my clearance I can access nothing but reports they issue to the reporters of weekly Starfleet’s WhatsUP” he said referring to a unauthorized gossip news circular. “You don’t happen to have a single malt scotch whiskey lying around?”
She smirked rising to her feet and moving to the cabinet under the monitor on the other wall and pulled out a bottle. “Rocks or straight?” She said grabbing two square glasses off the tray on the same cabinet.
“You are a life saver,” Kre said, his mood lifting. “Straight please,” he said. He watched her and as she came over. She was a like a breath of fresh air in comparison to what he had had to endure the past four months. “How long have you been here?”
“Second day here.” She said handing him the glass with a healthy measure of scotch, her own with a single large ice cube in it. “Yourself?”
“Arrived a few hours ago”, he said taking the glass from her. After taking and savoring a sip, he continued. “Good scotch, thank you,” he commented. He hated synthanol and avoided it as far as was possible. “I have been in transit for months, now I am waiting again. It is frustrating to say the least.” He paused as he took another mouthful of the golden liquid. He had not read her file prior to meeting her, accept for the last two pages. So he knew about the Druid and the mission before that. He needed no file to tell him that she had lived through the war. Apart from being the right age, there was a distinct look in her eyes which he recognized. He will never forgot the time he helped to free Bajorans, during and after the war. They had a profound impact on his life. “So how are you feeling about our new posting?” he asked.
“It should be interesting, from the sounds of it anyway.” She said sipping her own drink. “What about you, excited?” She said with a slight sarcastic tone.
“Very,” he answered, matching her subtle sarcasm a bland expression on his face. Frankly, in comparison with his previous posting, this would be a walk in the park. “I am looking forward to working in intelligence operations again. I will have to get used to a Federation ship again, but” he added with a shrug, “who knows, we may be blown away.”
“Or blown up.” She quipped, “We probably have equal odds given what I’ve read about this ship and he mission.”
Kre laughed, nodding in agreement. “True,” he said, studying the liquid in his glass for a few moments. “You were a security officer, how did you make the jump to Intelligence?” he asked, wanting to know what motivated her to switch to intelligence.
“While I was on the USS Coronado I was assigned as Chief Tactical Officer, a bit of an odd appointment for a marine on a regular fleet ship. That sort of started it, I was then posted as Intel Officer on the Druid, where I apparently attracted the interested of SFI who assigned me to the Special Analytical Unit. So It wasn’t really a single jump, sort of just how it progressed.” She replied. “Your recent assignments were Klingon ships weren’t they?”
“Yes, for the last 6 years. Am I still smelling?” he asked with as he smelled his clothes, with a completely straight face. He emptied his glass and got up to pour himself another drink. “I will have to learn to be nice and polite again,” he chuckled.
“No, I’ve been reviewing the files of all senior staff. That’s quite a long stint away form the Fleet, what brought you back?” She asked, gesturing with her empty glass for him to refill hers as well.
Once he poured her drink he settled into the chair again, all the while thinking of how he would answer that. With an internal shrug, he decided to tell it as it was. “Because of a screw up,” he said, staring at the glass, suddenly wishing it was bloodwine and that he could get thoroughly drunk. “We had a leak on a sensitive joint mission into the Beta Quadrant. I bit the bullet and got called back,” he said, realizing he didn’t actually say anything. “Someone said stuff to some elements in the Federation they shouldn’t have..”
“That’s unfortunate,” She said, swirling her own drink. “It happens to all of us, I had a colleague who got burned on Cardassia, barely made out of their space. Job hazards they call them.”
Kre nodded. “True. We are never quite ‘safe’ especially in command. And one finds out how dispensable one is, which is a sobering thought. And one also finds out who your friends are,” he remarked. “You have had your troubles too… Couldn’t have been pleasant,” he commented.
“It’s all part of the job, what’s the human expression, hindsight is 20:20.” She replied, “We make judgemental calls, sometimes they’re the wrong one, sometimes they are the right ones and the consequences still suck.” She said.
“Always does,” he agreed thoughtfully. “I know it is early days, but please let me know if there is anything you come across or want to discuss. I now I know where to come for a good whiskey, until my own stash get onto the ship in one piece,” he said chuckling as he got up.
“I think everything is going pretty well for the moment, we’ve got some tactical drills scheduled that I’m coordinating with the Master Sergeant. Then trying to get to know my team a bit better. I’ll be sure to let you know if anything comes up.” She said.
“Have a good evening Major, and thank you for your time,” he said before he left. “Oh shit… ” he thought, he probably should have refrained from drinking whiskey on his first day on the ship. He would need to get some Sjtanje quickly. It was a cheese he discovered while in Riza once, and he didn’t even know where it came from, but it disguised alcohol on your breath like nothing else.
“Good night sir.” She said with a smile.