USS Imperator

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Next Assignment

Posted on Tue Jan 5th, 2021 @ 5:39pm by Rear Admiral Oliver Lancaster & Captain Thomas Winter

Mission: Shoreleave 2
Location: Admiral's Office, Starbase Sirius
Timeline: MD05 1400 Hours

Tom walked into Oliver's Office. By this stage, he knew to just bypass the Vulcan woman that sat at the desk in the waiting area, as she would keep him there for what felt like an eternity while she awaited authorisation to allow him entry. Instead, he'd just told her he had an appointment and walked straight in.

"It's customary to knock, Captain." Oliver said from his seat behind his desk, setting the padd in hand down "Have a seat."

"Thank you." Tom nodded as he took the seat across from Oliver "Let me guess; you wanted me to come in for Imperator's next mission?"

"One step ahead, for once." Oliver teased, tossing the padd over to Tom "You're to be my taxi."

Tom looked down at the padd. It had mission parameters, orders, co-ordinates and even a fully logged flight plan. Far more meticulous than what he was used to seeing since taking Command of Imperator. It led him to one inescapable conclusion.

"Starfleet doesn't trust me not to go off book again while on patrol so they’re sending us to, what, mediate an election?” Tom asked “Admiral, I’m a Starfleet Captain, not a Bureaucrat.”

“I know you are, Tom. So does Command. This is my mission. As I say, you’re just along for the ride.” Oliver replied, putting a hand up to placate the protest he knew was coming “Don’t worry, I’m not going to be taking Command. Hell, I expect to barely be onboard. You’re just the most readily available ship, now that Hornblower has departed on her next assignment. So we’re going to Restnah IV. It’s about fifteen lightyears from here, a little closer to the Klingon Border. They achieved warp drive back in 2384, and since then have made advances in space travel that took Earth almost a century. They were a dictatorship until 2382, and it was actually due to that dictator’s efforts to perfect an anti-matter bomb that they came upon warp theory.”

“And why does it need to be you?” Tom cocked an eyebrow “Surely, Starfleet would be better sending someone from the Diplomatic Corps than the Cowboy Admiral and his recently maverick right arm?”

“You’re the left arm.” Oliver teased “As for why me, I was part of the away team that made first contact with these people in 84. I was the Chief of Operations and Second Officer on the Khitomer at the time. I’ve been one of the people to maintain dialogue with them. Indeed, when I took command of Asphodel in 86, we were on our way back from a Humanitarian mission to render agricultural aid to them. This is a people I hold in high regard, Tom, as I know their current leadership do me. When Command told me they had asked for someone from the Federation to come oversee their first Democratic elections, I leapt at the chance.”

Tom wasn’t fond of the idea. Everything Oliver was saying told him this assignment was personal. He himself had made the mission to rescue the Romulan vessel personal, and it had nearly cost him his Command and his Commission. However, it wasn’t for him to rebuke the Admiral’s orders.

“Okay, so when do these elections take place?” Tom asked “I’m going to need a First Officer by then.”

“Of course. I heard about Harry’s transfer to the Hornblower. Never took him as the type to want Command.” Oliver said “I’ve got a couple of suggestions, they’ll all be here with time to spare. I’ll have their files sent through. We leave in 8 days.”

“Admiral, with 8 days, I don’t have time to choose a new Number One and learn about these people.” Tom replied, sighing as he said “Assign your best suggestion. I’m sure they’ll be fine for the job.”

“Right you are.” Oliver nodded, pausing “Tom? Off the record, I can see from your face you have reservations about this. Understandable after you were put in front of that Inquiry. However, this mission is being ordered by the Federation Council. Their hope is that somewhere down the line, we might welcome these people into the Federation. For once, I agree with them whole heartedly. As I say, these are a people very dear to my heart, and to see them welcomed into the Federation within my lifetime, even if I’m an old man when it happens, would be the culmination of something I’ve worked on for more than half of my career. This is the first steps towards that. I’m not asking you to approve of me being part of the mission. I’m asking for you to be part of it with me.”

Tom was taken aback. He knew Oliver liked to keep tabs on worlds he’d been a part of First Contact with, a list that as Tom recalled was somewhere in the region of 12 or 13 separate civilisations. However, he’d not seen Oliver this impassioned about something since the day more than a year ago when he had come to inform the Admiral he was to be Imperator’s new Captain, something that had put them on something of a rocky start. In the time they’d worked together since, the two men had grown more cordial, even to the point that, as Oliver himself had stated after the Inquiry, they could be described as friends. Still, this was a change of pace.

“Yes sir.” Tom nodded with a small smile “I’d be happy to. Now, is there anything else you need from me?”

“Just for you to read up on these people and learn what you can in the time you’ve got.” Oliver replied “You’ve got 8 days to become an expert and brief your staff. No pressure.”

“No pressure my ass.” Tom shook his head “I’ll see you later, Admiral.”

“Good luck, Tom.” Oliver said “Oh, and one more question?”

“Yeah?” Tom cocked an eyebrow.

“What does the R stand for?” Oliver asked with a small smirk.

“Good bye, Admiral.” Tom shook his head as he turned and walked out of the room.


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