It has been 16 months since I have taken the promotion of Rear Admiral that sent me Earth-side. This is not the first time I've taken a ground assignment, but it was rather necessary in order to help direct in the rebuilding efforts of the Federation.
While taking an office position does have the benefit of being on the home soil of my stomping grounds of Boulder, Colorado a lot more frequently than being a ship's captain, I will admit... being away from the center seat has me yearning to return to my roots of being in space again. At this rate, I'll be languishing behind the desk now that there's not much to do.
I have been on sporadic contact with my former first officer, Captain Tuqua Chavis and crew of the Arcanus. Its nice to know that they have done well in my absence. I'd be a damn fool not admit that I'm more useful out there than I am here.
(Looking out of the Starfleet Headquarters second story office window, Farrior, a stern and rugged black male with a clean shaven head and touches of gray in his goatee is observing over the campus grounds of several officers and cadets walking by. The skies are partly sunny... shuttles and other flight vehicles whizzing by in the distance. Standing with arms behind the back in military fashion. A female voice is heard after the chime of the communique sounds off in the office. )
Female Voice: "Admiral Farrior... you have a unscheduled visitor who wants to see you."
Farrior: (bewildered expression) "Hmm, I'm not currently busy. Send them in." -turns toward the door-
(The door opens and a lovely, slender mature woman with short blonde hair wearing a black and red fleet uniform enters.)
Hopkins: (gradual smile) "Try not to look like you're working too hard, sir." -walk up toward on each other-
Farrior: "Pam... (the two hug each other) I haven't seen you since you left the Arcanus two years ago. What brings you here??"
Hopkins: "It's an off week of my training sessions with the cadets -- so I thought I'd drop by. You look good Warrick."
Farrior: "Likewise... (gestures to Pam) take a seat. -walks over to the replicator- Computer, two glasses of french red bougelet. Vintage year - - 2389."
(Two glasses of wine appear in the replicator. Farrior grabs both and hands one to Hopkins. He then takes a seat on the vinyl couch next to her.)
Hopkins: -takes a sip- "Mmm... good year. And very smooth"
Farrior: -takes a sip- "Well, I don't have a bottle of the real deal currently. Ambassador Picard's wife Anij, gave me a couple of bottles during my time here. Great lady indeed. -pauses- So, taking the week off now?? You must be getting soft with the young upshots."
Hopkins: "Meh, maybe. But being cooped up with not much time for myself over the past year, I needed a bit of time. While I'm sure being head of strategic affairs has kept you occupied."
Farrior: "Given now that the Federation has been rebuilt and re-organized on the homefront and the tensions between us the Hegemony are diverted elsewhere into more pressing matters - - I now wonder where do I go from here." -Farrior and Hopkins both drink more of the wine-
Hopkins: "I know you Warrick. Running things behind a desk just doesn't fit you. You went through this before. The itch of being in the center seat is where you belong. -pauses- I'm willing to bet you've been eyeing one the newer refit class ships you spearheaded yourself."
Farrior: "The Soverign-Vesta hybrid series is the unofficial name. But I won't lie... I think I've done my time here to be honest. -hesitates in thought for a moment- I think a couple of days back at home in Boulder riding around the mountains might help me make things more clearer. -looks at Pam and smiles- Think you can handle a Clydesdale this time??"
Two days later...
Location: Boulder, Colorado - Home Residence of Warrick Farrior
(It is a nippy, early Tuesday morning. The sun rising behind the mountainous peaks. The multi-colored fall leaves scattered about on the ground. The soft rush sound of the cold creek covered within the mist. A couple of elk nearby feeding on grass and bark - - only to be startled by the nearby presence of a wolf. They scurry off into the forest with the wolf not far behind.
Farrior and Hopkins, both in civilian attire. Farrior sporting a black riding duster while Hopkins is wearing a short navy duffle ride along side each other on chestnut colored Clydesdales with white markings on their face, legs and underside of their bellies. They ride up further along the range for a short time more. They come to a stop to enjoy the view.)
Hopkins: -while her horse snorts and rustles her long mane- "Easy girl, easy. (pauses and turns to Farrior) Now, I see why you've grown attached here over the long years. Going from city boy to life near the mountains. Can't believe you have this much land to roam about."
Farrior: Well, its still less than a couple of miles from the city. Of course I'm not the only resident in these parts. We're well spread out and enjoy our quiet with visits here and there. (inhales the air) This is what I've missed most.
Hopkins: -looking outward at the mountain slopes in the distance- "That out there is no doubt a pretty sight."
Farrior: "You're looking at The Flatirons, Pam. We're on the side of the Green Mountains. But you haven't really seen its beauty unless you look at it during winter."
Hopkins: "I'm sure that it is Warrick.... I'm sure that it is. Must be a good thing to have your mother, cousin and a couple of hired hands to take care of things while you're away."
Farrior: -turns to Hopkins and smiles- "So have you thought about my offer?"
Hopkins: "We've been friends for long time and served together once before. You know I can't say no to you. (pauses for second) Provided if I'm your chief of security."
Farrior: -smirks- "You sure drive a hard bargain, Pam. Of course you got the job. Come on, lets have some breakfast. We have a command crew to assemble."
(Both Farrior and Hopkins pull the reigns of their horses and begin the ride back home)
Hopkins: "You have yet to tell me how Fleet Admiral Kim took your request for demotion to get your hands on the Excalibur."
Farrior: "Always appeal to the soft side of your mentor."
Six days later...
Location: Earth Orbital Dry Dock
In the cold, vastness of space, an orbital dry dock hovering near the Earth houses the newly refurbished and modified Sovereign-class starship Excalibur. Registry number NCC-101784. With small cargo vessels and worker bee crafts whizzing back and forth to the ship from a nearby starbase. Approaching the Excalibur, a shuttlecraft carrying Captain Farrior and Lieutenant Hopkins is hailing the ship that by way of onboard communications. The female pilot is of the Bajoran origin and speaks in a rather gentle voice.
Craft Flight Officer: "Starship Excalibur, this is the shuttlecraft Xerxes on final approach. Captain Farrior's party request clearance to come aboard."
Excalibur Officer Voice: -voice only on comm channel- "Xerxes, this is Excalibur. You are cleared to land. Looking forward to the captain's arrival."
(Farrior walks up behind Hopkins, who is sitting in the co-op chair. The reflective image of the ship and the dock lighting heightens the interior of the shuttle. The Xerxes approaches slow as it comes around the rear of the vessel.)
Hopkins: -smiles and look up at Farrior- "Can't wait to get her underway."
Farrior: -looks onward at the ship- "Neither can I lieutenant. Now I feel I'm back to where I belong."
Hopkins: "Who did you get as an engineer?"
Farrior: "Our old chief engineer from the Arcanus.... Rembrandt Reigns."
Hopkins: -surprised- "How you manage to pluck him from Captain Chavis??"
Farrior: "He heard through the grapevine that I was coming back to the center seat and that I was in need of an CE. He jumped at the chance. Reigns should already be onboard. And he wasn't the only one to put in a transfer."
Hopkins: "Oh??" -ponders in curiosity-
Farrior: "Andrea did as well. She took a science re-assignment on Deep Space 9 not long after I left. She wasn't totally thrilled about me leaving at the time. We'll get her on our way out there."
(The shuttle enters the Excalibur and slowly comes to soft landing in the shuttlebay. The force field of the bay is now active as it vents breathable air and the bay doors close. The Xerxes powers down, while the shuttle doors open.)
Hopkins: -sarcastically speaks in tone- "We'll, the reunion of you and Andrea should be a fun one."
(Seen coming in the bay, a tall, clean shaven black male in his mid 30's and short, trimmed hair walks up to greet them as it appears to be the chief engineer, Commander Reigns.)
Reigns: "There you are, captain. -smiles a bit- I was starting to wonder if you changed your mind."
Farrior: "Unlikely Rembrandt. You're not having problems in engineering already?"
Reigns: "Don't be ridiculous. -turns to Hopkins- You're looking good Pam."
Hopkins: "While you look like you put on a couple of pounds Rembrandt."
Reigns: -wafts his hand at her- "Meh, I can trim down in a couple of weeks. (All three walk together out the bay area) I must say, sir... I wasn't expecting to be a bit light on a senior staff."
Farrior: "Well, Rembrandt -- I'm sure a man of caliber can handle a bit of babysitting. Besides, under your savvy, they'll grow into a very efficient department. (pauses) How long until we're ready?"
Reigns: "Ohhh, 4 hours... perhaps less. I'm putting them through the paces. Efficiency rating currently at 86%."
Farrior: "Let's go for 100%. Then we can make our way to DS9"