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Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 3,353
# 8
10-16-2013, 12:16 PM
Fresh Meat

"Would you look at that," Cadet Benn ch'Rmann gasped wistfully, peering out of the shuttle viewport as it approached the USS Vanguard on a low angle.

"Apparently, she has transwarp coils for slipstream drive," said Cadet Daniella Vorkuta, peering over the Andorian's shoulder, and taking in the slender form of the Eaves Class tactical explorer. "Our midshipman cruise could take us almost anywhere."

"That's nothing," replied Cadet I'K'rR'h c'r'nai, flexing from the waist to lean in behind her friends. "According to the specs, there are two class fifteen industrial tractor emitters installed. She could turn a moon into an asteroid field..."

As the shuttle drew closer to the starship, sunlight reflected blindingly off sections of the hull, and I'K'rR'h's black inner eyelids automatically snapped shut, as she continued to gaze upon the sleek vessel.

"Vanguard shuttle control, this is shuttle Musevini on final approach, requesting landing clearance and approach vector," said Lieutenant Simon Van Doren from the pilots' console.

***

"First of all, I want you all to know, that you are all here with my personal approval," Captain Amanda Palmer announced, as she looked over the three dozen third year cadets assembled in the main shuttle bay. "No one needs to impress me, because your records have already done so. All of you are here, because you have earned the right to be here.

"I run a fair ship, and don't display favouritism, as some captains have been known to do. I extend privilege to those who earn it, I discipline those who deserve it. Over the coming year, you will put into practice the skills you have thus acquired, as well as developing new skills. You are now no longer students, but serving officers, and any one of you may become responsible for the fate of the ship and all hands aboard. That is the burden and privilege which comes with being a Starfleet officer. I know you are all capable of shouldering that responsibility, or I wouldn't've approved your postings.

"That will be all, please report to your assigned duty stations."

***

The holographic view screen positively glowed with the cerulean maelstrom of the Vorlan nebula, bathing the bridge in its azure light.

From the command chair, Palmer observed the handful of cadets earnestly observing her officers and making notes on their PADDs. A nostalgic smile played across her lips, as she recalled her own midshipman cruise aboard the Ganymede.

"You have the bridge, Commander," she said as she rose from the command chair and walked towards her ready room.

"Aye, Captain," Commander Brandon Mayer acknowledged, turning the Ops console over to Cadet I'K'rR'h, who had been shadowing him all shift, and moving toward the central chair.

As she entered her ready room, Palmer stalled just inside the door, for sitting behind her desk, idly twisting her curly red hair, with a sly Cheshire cat grin, sat Q. Reaching out, she spun the ergonomic cream-colored ovoid form of Palmer's Verticoli hairbrush on the desk, which the captain snatched away from the enigmatic being.

"Give me that!" she snapped, cradling the hand-carved whalebone brush to her chest as if it were a newborn child.

"Oh, so rude!" Q observed. "Is that any way to greet your fairy Q mother?"

"What do you want?" Palmer demanded.

"I couldn't help but overhear that lovely speech you gave to the new recruits," Q said. "All that talk about responsibility and duty."

"An important part of any officer's life," Palmer said. "Something you would know if you had actually earned that uniform you're wearing."

"So you truly care about every officer under your command? From your senior staff to the lowliest cadet?"

"Yes, of course," lowering her hands, Palmer began to unconsciously tap the brush on her upper thigh.

"What if I were to tell you, that there was recently someone who came your way, in need of assistance, but you cast them aside?"

"I'd say that's nonsense," Palmer retorted. "Anyone who comes to me with a problem has my full attention and support."

"Oh really?" Q insisted. "Let's just see about that, shall we?"

She raised her hand, her fingers pulling together --

-- and in a flash of blackness, Palmer found herself standing in a room, Q beside her. She recognised that she was in the residential quarters on Spacedock, and fought the impulse to slap her comm badge.

"What's going on?" she demanded, as assorted S:CIS officers moved about the room in head to toe polymer coveralls, bagging and tagging items, mostly PADDs containing a variety of extreme pornography.

"Oh they can't see or hear you, Manda," Q said conversationally, as a suited technician passed clean through Palmer as if she was not even present. "Just take a peek in the closet.

With an uneasy feeling building in her stomach, Palmer leaned forwards, pushing her head through the closet door.

"HOLY S**T!!!" she screamed, recoiling in shock.

"Anything interesting?" Q enquired innocently.

Looking as if she was about to vomit, Palmer pointed towards the closed doors with a trembling finger.

"There is a naked man in there, hanging from a noose, with a f**king bag on his head!"

"Anyone you know?"

"What?! No! I -- Hang on..." with a sigh, Palmer stuck her head back through the closet door, and recognised Adam Cornish. "I declined his transfer aboard the Vanguard before we first launched. He had behaved -- highly inappropriately towards a female officer aboard the Phoenix. I didn't feel comfortable with the idea of him aboard my ship, and feared he may try something similar with one of my female officers."

"Well, after the Vanguard, he tried the Bedford, the Tiburon and the Endeavour. Each captain declined his transfer, but Commander t'Kazanak was particularly scathing after Captain Atreides' dismissal of Mister Cornish, although she clearly made an impression, as you can see."

Palmer looked down at one of the unbagged PADDs, and saw it showing an issue of Romulan Babes.

"I guess you're trying to tell me that if I had let this pervert serve aboard the Vanguard, he wouldn't be dead now," Palmer sighed. "That he was just a misunderstood soul who needed help."

"Oh he was sicker than an Orion Matron's playtime," Q said. "But just remember, that your duty of care extends to everyone you meet, not just those under your direct command. At least I didn't have to take you back to the road to Damascus so you got the message."

"Consider the lesson learned," Palmer insisted. "I'll be going back to my ready room now."

Last edited by marcusdkane; 10-17-2013 at 07:47 AM.