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A Diplomatic Meeting

Posted on 25 Feb 2019 @ 4:02am by Captain Abigail Rhodes

Mission: Prologue
Location: Mark Miller Ready Room


Abby walked through the ship, grinning to herself.  She surreptitiously peeked into various compartments, noting the increasing population.  Sometimes she was successfully stealthy.  Other times she'd have to wave down the invariable calling the room to attention.

Everyone was still getting settled and becoming accustomed to what protocols were expected.  Every ship becomes it's own little microcosm; an extension of the Captain's personality.  Some ships become strict military operations, and others akin to a flying party.  Abby hoped the M&M would be somewhere in between… a bit of fun, but not too much.

She was quite pleased to see the ship fill in.  It made their mission more real by the day.  Checking a wall chronometer, she noted that her new Diplomat would be arriving shortly.  Another… interesting candidate.  It was almost becoming a theme.  She continued her rounds, but with a destination in mind.

Abby wasn't entirely sure when he was going to arrive, just when his transport was due, and when his Report No Later Than time was.  There was a logical time between when he'd be aboard, depending on if he'd want to drop off his personal effects or not…

Abby shook her head; she wasn't a Vulcan, and predicting people hurt her brain.  So, she waited in her Ready Room for him to report on his own time.  She figured it was better than randomly ambushing him in the corridors.  A cup of coffee and the latest status reports kept her occupied in the meantime.


"Thank you.  You're most kind."  Five words so rarely spoken in combination to the security guards posted at dockside ports.  Merux smiled politely as he strode past the checkpoint and into his new posting.  Subverting expectations was enormous fun, even when he was the 'victim.'  He used the exercise both as a way to maintain his skills as well as to remind himself not to take things for granted or at face value.  

Take this ship, for example.  He knew plenty about it: the Hull history, refitting schedule, and especially her assigned area of responsibility.  He even had access to detailed profiles of the entire crew to include the command staff.  Everything pointed towards the ship and crew being one of THOSE ships.  The kind within the fleet that had the more colorful adventures.  He'd been wrong before, but this time …. He'd wait and see.

In the meantime, he had his Captain to report to.  The guard said she was onboard, and the computer locator placed her in her ready room.  Thankfully this ship was more reasonable than some others.  He hated having to walk through the bridge just to report in.  It was an unnecessary distraction to the watch crew.

Abby glanced up at the door chime, this time recognizing it for what it was.  She may have been new to the chair, but she was a quick study.  She dropped her legs from the desk where they had been resting and set down the report she had been reading.  It was a dry topic and she welcomed the interruption.  "Enter," she said to the door.

Merux strode into the office curious about the architect.  The compartment was easily as big as a set of junior officer billets, and far larger than the bolt-on cubby hole that Galaxy class captains 'enjoyed.'  

All those thoughts happened in a flash, and the only telltale signals that he was thinking of anything was a brief flick of his eyes, surveying the visible spaces quickly as he entered and approached.  "Lieutenant Merux Lex, reporting for duty, Ma'am."

"Welcome aboard, Lieutenant," Abby said in greeting, extending a hand to the chair across from her.  "Care for a beverage?"

He shook his head as he shook her hand.  "No, but thank you.  Alcohol does a real number on my telempathy, and I'm not the one who ends up getting hurt."

She smiled, but shook her head, "Not allowed on duty on my ship.  I was more thinking a coffee or tea or whatever your fancy."

Merux grinned.  It was a genuine smile, equally reflected in his eyes.  "I'm good, thanks."  A subtle test of his new CO.  Test passed.

Her eyebrow rose a fraction, but her amiable mien didn't change.  "Fair enough.  Looks like we might have some… interesting encounters out here.  How familiar are you with our AOR?"

Ah.  Straight to business.  "Not as much as I'd prefer.  I'm well experienced in dealing with Klingons, but I've only just begun sinking my teeth into the meat and potatoes of the other, lesser powers in our area.  I'm having to dump everything I know about the tholians and cardassians."  While not assigned to the Bajor sector, his last post had him in that general region.

She nodded in reply, "That's about all I can expect.  All this is new to everyone, so I'd be surprised if you had any prior experience with the worlds out this way.  The Romulan Republic worlds seem friendly enough on paper, though some do still cling to the idea of the old empire.  With the Klingons being the most likely antagonist out here, your experience with them will be invaluable, I'm sure."

"Klingons are deceptively easy to understand and face.  Just wave your biggest stick in their direction and be prepared to use it.  On the matter of Romulans, I do have some insight into the old Empire," he returned.  "My mother had a hand in dealing with the post-Shinzon fallout."  Merux paused for a moment.  "You wouldn't happen to have any insights into the local region, perhaps offered by someone who's been around the neighborhood?"  He already had plans to stop by the starbase Embassy and get as much face time as possible before the Miller steamed out.

She shook her head, "I'm just as new out here as anyone.  Though you might find it valuable to talk to people on the starbase or the surface outpost.  Though there they have been focusing mainly on studying the planet."

Merux nodded.  "I'll pay a visit to the Embassy, as well.  Get our official positions."

"Sounds like a plan," she agreed.  After a quick check of her DADD, she added, "Don't dawdle, though.  We are likely to ship out at any time.  We're getting more ready by the day, and I'm sure the Admiral will want us out there as soon as we can be.  And, honestly, I agree."  She smiled with the last, her eagerness to begin their mission evident across her face.

A sly grin spread across his face in return, but for far different reasons.  "No time to waste, then."


Captain Abigail Rhodes
Commanding Officer
USS Mark Miller

Merux Lex
[OO   }
Chief Diplomatic Officer
USS Mark Miller


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