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Come Dine With Me

Posted on Sunday March 8th, 2020 @ 12:33am by Captain Oliver Campbell & Captain Thomas 'Tom' O'Brien & Commander Izari th'Zorati & Lieutenant Commander Jamie-Leigh Armit & Master Chief Petty Officer Nami Chang

Mission: Their Finest Hour
Location: Starbase One
Timeline: Wednesday 18th February 2156

Arriving with some members of his senior staff, including his newer recruits, Captain Campbell was introduced to Deputy Secretary Lucca Whelan. She was a few inches smaller than Campbell, was wearing a tight maroon red polo-neck top that had flares coming off the sleeves. Her tight skirt was of the same colour and the whole ensemble showed off her hour-glass outline. Campbell had read more about her after O’Brien had told him she would be involved in his next mission. Whelan was a few years younger than both O’Brien and Campbell. But like them, she had a military career where she had risen through the ranks as a member of Earth’s Global Defence Force. She had left the service a couple of years ago, leaving with the rank of major and went on to win a by-election for the seat of Midwestern United States. The president had made her deputy defence secretary shortly after he made Thomas Vanderbilt the Defence Secretary last year. Her senate confirmation hearing had been extremely painless. She was known for her directness too. Something that Campbell was prepared for.

“A pleasure to meet you Captain Campbell,” Whelan had said after O’Brien had open the formalities and she had extended her hand to shakes his. “I believe you know Secretary Vanderbilt quite well?”

Nodding to confirm, Campbell answered her. “Thomas’ wife was my former commanding officer. My husband and I would spend some of our leave with them.”

“The secretary spoke highly of you both when I spoke to him earlier and mentioned I would be meeting you today.” Whelen said, “He explained to me that your husband serves with you on the Endeavour, can you explain to me in what capacity?”

A bit embarrassed that he had to talk about Fynn to her, Campbell quickly did his best to change the topic. “We’re actually divorced now and he is one of our MACO soldiers. Tell me deputy secretary, how was your time on the surface of Berengaria Seven?”

“Boring,” she said in a hush and almost jovial tone as she raised her hand to cover her mouth from anyone else seeing what she said. “It’s nothing exciting to be honest, it’s a mining complex, I’ve seen my fair share of others before.”

Captain O’Brien made a noise, liking clearing out his throat and indicated for everyone to join him at the table. The entire group were currently in the station’s wardroom. It was about the size of Endeavour’s mess hall with a large thick wooden and marble rectangular table in the middle. O’Brien had obviously got his catering team to go full out as they had already laid the table down with cutlery, plates as well as glasses. Their host went on to share that his chef had prepared a three-course meal for them. Stewards shortly after this came out and went around offering drinks to everyone.

"Just chilled still water for me please," Lt.Commander Armit requested as she shifted to get comfortable in her seat.

“Single malt scotch, neat” Nami said, then adding “Make it a double.”

"Andorian ale," the new Executive Officer requested, having brought bottles aboard when she arrived.

Campbell had been placed on the right-hand side of O’Brien (who was sat at the head of the table). Across from Endeavour’s skipper was the defence secretary. Going down the table from the left of Campbell was his new first officer, Commander Zari, then Master Chief Petty Officer Chang. Next to the Defence Secretary was Doctor Davison and then their new chief science officer, Lieutenant Commander Armit.

As they were served their drinks, O’Brien spoke up. “So deputy secretary did you meet any dragons on the planet?”

“I did see one fly over my head after my shuttle had landed.” She admitted. “Quite impressive.”

"Do you know there nine known species?" Armit piped up from her seat.

"I have to say though, when I was down on Berengaria Seven, I did feel like I was watching one of those films set in the medieval era where dragons fought against elves and witches." Whelan added.

O'Brien chuckled, "I'm sure wherever Doctor Cochrane is today, he never imagined his warp drive would be taking humanity to meet real flying fire-breathing dragons."

“Commander Armit, I didn’t get chance to ask you earlier,” Campbell spoke up, “What type of research have you been undertaking here on the station?”

Feeling eyes fall on her, Armit took a long drink of water, "actually, Berengaria Seven has been the focus of my work. There are proposed plans to expand the mining operations but there are concerns on the impact upon the local wildlife and the wider environment. We are running impact assessments before a formal decision is made. I think, for everyone else, it is entire uninteresting. Or so Captain O'Brien has often hinted at."

At that comment she flashed the captain a knowing smile. He had endured the briefings, yet with a distinct look of, well, boredom. Ultimately he was waiting not on the fine detail but the final recommendation which was now just a few weeks away.

Nami just listened as she tried to get a read on the new science officer as well as their guest.

Likewise, the new executive officer watched the dynamic around the table as people talked and others watched. As communications officer, watching body language was as crucial as listening to words. There was so much a person could learn from ones actions.

O'Brien, who squirmed a bit from Armit's remarks, flashed a smiled back at the science officer. "I am certain the Foreign and Commonwealth Affair's department for colonisation research would be interested to know soon if establishing more facilities on the planet would be ideal. There's even talks about opening a science outpost here with other members of the Coalition."

"Those talks may not proceed any further captain," Whelan stated as she took a sip from the glass of sauvignon blanc that had just been handed to her. "With the war on, all efforts are being placed for military resources - starship construction, weapon platforms and sensor networks just to name a few."

Campbell looked at the deputy secretary and spoke up, "Is that another reason why we are heading to meet with the Kreetassans?"

Whelan placed her glass down as she replied, "In part yes, their industrial aid would make a difference to the war effort and their direct involvement too."

At that point the stewards started to come in with the main starters and lay them on the table. Whelan remained leading the conversation. "Has anyone met a Kreetassan before or been to their homeworld?"

Shaking his head, Campbell answered. "No, unfortunately for me most of my previous starship experience has been based within the Inner Core Territories."

"Can I suggest you read Captain Archer's multiple reports and the current diplomatic protocol in dealing with them and their government?" O'Brien said in between sips of his own drink. "They're easily offended from what I'm aware."

"Really?" Campbell questioned. He looked around the table at the others, "Has anyone met them before?"

"While I haven't met one personally, I did serve on Enterprise the year after they encountered them and reviewed Lieutenant Reed's and Ensign Sato's notes" Nami offered.

"They are a most complex species," Commander th'Zorati remarked from behind her glass of Andorian ale, gaining the attention of one or two around the table. "While I have not met one myself, I too have researched them a great deal and the way they combine their language with gestures and movements is fascinating. It does, however, make interactions with outsiders that much more difficult," she concluded.

Campbell cleared his throat, "Well let's hope we make a good enough impression with them then."

The captain look around the room, feeling more confident that this mission would be a better success then the last one...


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