Links in a Chain
Gods of War
Timeline: OOC: This takes place before the plot logs.
"Ma'am? We're being hailed. One of the civilian ships," the Ensign at Ops spoke.
Cecilia wasn't sure what one of the civilian ships would want with her, but such contacts were not unheard of either. She looked away from the console screen set into her armrest and moved her dark eyes toward the front of the bridge. "On screen," she ordered.
"Ma'am," came the short reply from the Ops Ensign.
The screen filled with the view of a starship's Bridge. But where one might expect the sleek, clean, futuristic appeal of a modernbridge were instead the warm, rustic tones of a shag carpet and wood paneling on the walls. Solid oak beams replaced the normal pillars, and even the consoles were dressed up to match the tone. The bridge - obviously civilian - was spacious and inviting, comfortable, with the few crew assembled on it wearing classy, tailored outfits.
Sitting in the center chair - a sumptuous and luxurious affair of leather - sat an older, distinguished gentleman. Salt-and-pepper beard, a burgundy long sleeve shirt under a black brocade vest, pressed pants and highly polished, gleaming leather boots. He beamed a smile as Cecilia appeared on his screen and rose to his feet, leaning on an intricately carved walnut walking cane as he did.
"Ah, Captain Rau. Truly a pleasure to meet you. I, am Kieran Hunter the Third, captain of the FCS Dresden, here to introduce myself, my ship and to make you an offer, if you are inclined to give me a minute or two of your - undoubtedly quite busily contested, time." His voice was a deep, booming, basso profondo.
"Captain Hunter," Rau greeted with a skeptical brow. "I suppose I can spare a few minutes. Did you want to talk now or meet up on one of our ships?"
"Whichever is most convenient for you, Captain," Kieran offered with a smile. "I am fully aware that you are a very busy woman and have a lot of things on your plate, far more than me, so I will bow to your preference."
Cecilia briefly wondered if this guy was for real...but she kept that thought to herself. "Come over to the Minerva and you'll be directed to my ready room. Rau out." She gave the nod to cut the channel and then got to her feet. "Show Captain Hunter to my ready room when he arrives," she ordered as she walked off the bridge and into her office, wondering what this visit would be about.
It wasn't long before he made his way inside her ready room. Walking with a limp, using the intricately carved walnut walking cane for support, a warm smile on weathered features. "Captain Rau, thank you for taking the time to listen to an old man's proposition. I'll get right to the point; you're going to need a liaison, a bridge between you and the civilian fleet, someone to see to the needs of the civilian fleet and organize them into a semblance of cohesion. Someone to be a go-between, a spokesperson for the civilian fleet as well as yourself. I am here to offer my candidacy for that position."
The Captain of the USS Minerva felt her brows rise. "I see," she began. This was certainly not what she was expecting. "I'm not sure that anyone else has stepped up for that, though what command we have left over the fleet--" Whether that was the remnants of the UFP leaders or SFComm was still up for debate. "--is probably in need of it. Have you spoken with anyone else up the chain?"
"No, Kieran admitted. "Just you. I figure you're the one I'd be working with, and in a way, for, the most. So you're the one I approached. Since I'm not officially part of Starfleet - or what's left of it - I don't fall within their chain of command, and with you in command of the most powerful ship in the fleet - and by extension in a role of seniority among the assembled Starfleet captains - you seemed to be the person to approach. Likewise the Dresden seemingly being the most powerful ship in the assembled Civilian fleet, seniority among said civilian fleet would fall to me, if my knowledge of Starfleet regulations does not deceive me. Assuming the remaining civilian captains would be willing to defer to me, of course," he added with a patient smile.
"Of course," she drawled. Her brain racked through the ships in the fleet, wondering if the Minerva did rank as the strongest. She supposed it did, by this point. "Well, I can't make the decision on my own, since there is still something resembling a chain of command, but I take your reasoning. Do you think the other civilian captains will defer to you, however? Everyone is a little..." She smiled mirthlessly, slightly sharp teeth flashing under her lips. "...edgy these days."
"They will if someone in the military chain of command tells them to," was Kieran's simple reply. "As will I if said chain of command picks someone else," he added. "I have for you a PaDD with basic information on Dresden and her capabilities if you believe that might help. Plus, I believe this a suitable time to offer the return of some military - assets, that came my way during the war. Three Valkyries, with flight crews, survivors from a ship that met a less fortunate end. I will transfer them to your ship or one of your choosing upon receiving the word to."
The last was a surprise and her brow arched, but she inclined her head. "Transfer them here," she said. After all, she was running pretty short in the wing these days. She held her hand out for the PADD.
The PADD handed over, he gave a nod along with a pleasant smile. "I'll send them over right upon returning to the Dresden," he spoke in his rumbling basso profondo, letting the moment linger before continuing. "That concludes my business, unless you have something to add, Captain?"
She took the PADD and began looking over it. "Not at the moment," she said. "I will contact you again after I've spoken to--" Located... "--the remaining command chain for the fleet."
"Of course. Was a pleasure meeting you, Captain - though the circumstances could have been better," Kieran acknowledged with a practiced smile. "Until next we speak," he added, heading back to the transporter room.