The Golden Opportunity
1,645 words; about a 8 minute read
Location: Captain's Ready Room - Deep Space 12
Timeline: 2399-09-20, 20:00
Michael had arrived at Deep Space 12 and unlike the rest of the new arrivals he was not in hurry. He made sure that his belongings were transferred to the quarters that awaited him. However, that was probably the only thing that he did quickly. Rather check in like he was supposed to Harris decided that a stroll on the promenade and a little mead would do him well.
Every deep space station had a number of bars and this was no exception. Upon finding one that suited his fancy one mead led to another and another. Before he knew it about four hours and too many bottles to count had passed. Now the time was right to meet the Commodore. So, he made his way to the Ready Room and received a number of odd stares along the way. Michael was no stranger to these stares and he simply quipped things to the effect of "Have you not seen a real man before." and the like. But in due time he made his way to the Captain's door and rang the chime.
Commodore Dazad sat in his Ready Room aboard Deep Space Twelve reading the report from Fleet Admiral Kirsten Clancy about the exploits of Admiral Jean-Luc Picard. Not long ago he'd been sitting aboard the Saratoga watching his former CO doing an interview with FNN that went south very quickly. Now it wasn't much of a surprise to see why. As he read about the discovery of a race of synthetic beings and the involvement of the Romulan Free State in a potential incursion on Earth, Dazad smiled inwardly at the success of one of the Federation's most famous people at uncovering one of the biggest threats the Federation faced.
Now they were coming here, to Deep Space Twelve, to set the record straight and determine a course for the future. With the Geronimo still not back from its mission, Dazad knew that he would have to get the assignments in place quickly for the traditional pomp and circumstance afforded an Admiral, even a retired one. While many in Starfleet were offended by what they saw in the FNN interview, Dazad was not one of them. He would work to ensure that Jean-Luc had the stay he would be afforded. That, and that the squadron Clancy was sending would be ready.
Hearing the door chime he glanced up from his desk, "Come in."
When the doors opened Michael stumbled right through them. "Afternoon Commodore. Lieutenant Commander Michael Harris reportin as your new Chief Science Officer." He said with a mock salute. Nothing about this new arrival said Starfleet Officer, save for the uniform. His hair was mussed and there was a drunkenness in his eyes. However, if one looked deeper they would find the intelligence that dwelt within those eyes, the extreme intelligence that dwelt there.
Commodore Dazad turned away from the wall mounted computer console and was immediately struck by the new Chief Science Officer. He didn't have to be El-Aurian to pick up on a few things about the demeanor of this new arrival, but his species ability to listen certainly gave him a few more insights. "Commander Harris," Dazad greeted as he chose to remain seated instead of rising, "Welcome to Deep Space Twelve. I see that you have already made usage of the station's Concourse."
"Yessir... There are some mighty fine establishments there. Now I make my way to you." Michael stood and swayed a little as he looked around the room. Everything he saw screamed to him Starfleet Admiralty. It was a shame because he hoped he would garner some knowledge of the man by looking at his office. Due to a want to vent off excess and nervous energy Michael began to pace as he spoke. "I have never served aboard a station so I am not sure what to expect. Tell me what kind of Science work is to be done here." Michael tried to point out that while a ship could go to anomalies it would be hard for a station to do the same.
"The Maelstrom Sector is unlike any other Sector in space and is highly volatile," the Commodore got right to it. He picked a PADD up from on his desk, checked it quickly, then handed it off. "Star systems here produce triple the amount of ambient radiation of other stars and the region is full of subspace rifts, quantum destabilization, and high radioactivity - which further complicates life out here. Colonization has been next to impossible because of all the dangers. Technological and scientific advances have made terraforming possible here, but still its a pretty dangerous environment."
Harris took the PADD and read quickly his eyes widened at the sight of the quantum destabilization. "I am a quantum theorist by training. You are no doubt aware that all of this adds up to time travel. This area is ripe for incursion. We need to be prepared. I mean we would never want to be caught with our pants down like the Enterprise and Deep Space Nine. I mean we are better than that." He smiled broadly as he tossed the PADD on the desk. When he smiled it rather made his face seem gruesome due to the scar that ran through it. "It seems that you have been handed the rather dirty end of the stick."
"I don't rule out any possibility, especially when I am the one responsible for ensuring the safety of the region," the El-Aurian answered as he sat opposite the new Science Officer. He rose from his seat, walking toward the windows to see the New Holland Colony floating below. He tugged on his uniform jacket before crossing his arms and turning back toward the Scientist, "I am not a scientist. I made rank through being a Security Officer, served on both those facilities you just mentioned, and now Starfleet has assigned me to clean up the mess that they made when they pulled out of this region after Mars. The natives are not exactly friendly to our return here," he glanced at the PADD containing the report from the Geronimo, "and I need about two dozen more ships to make this whole damn thing work." The last part was an aside that he couldn't believe he'd said, but couldn't take it back now.
Ever sure of himself and his abilities Michael responded almost immediately. "Well never fear Commodore you have me now. I have done so much with so little for so long, that now I can do anything with nothing. Give me some time and I will make sure we are protected and ready for anything."
"I am definitely a fan of that type of mindset, Commander," Dazad answered. "Your department is diverse aboard the station. You have a primarily civilian complement aboard, but Starfleet has assigned several officers and enlistees to service here. You'll work mainly from Blue Sector, a dedicated scientific module built into the superstructure of the station. It is comprised of modular sections that can be setup for diverse needs. I'm sure you'll want to get acquainted soon."
"Indeed I would..." Michael's voice trailed off as he thought of all the possibilities the labs will allow him for study. A mostly civilian staff was not something he expected though. "If I may be so bold Commodore. Why has the fleet seen to give me mostly civilian scientists?"
"This station is a joint military and civilian endeavor, Commander," the El-Aurian replied matter-of-factly. "With the distance from the rest of the Federation, the current state of our fleet personnel wise, and the overall situation out here my assumption has always been that they were trying to give us all the help that they could. This is the frontier, we make do with what we have."
"I agree. However, are these scientists trained in Starfleet protocol at all. I would like to run my department as Starfleet would have it. However, I cannot have civilians mucking it up." There was a slight tone of disdain in Michael's voice as he spoke about civilians.
The Commodore replied in a manner that would probably surprise the scientist. The Commodore shrugged. "Our former Chief Science Officer was a civilian, Commander, and I won't deny that she wasn't up to speed on Starfleet protocol. Then again my understanding is many of the others are former Starfleet so they would have some knowledge. My predecessor was not exactly keen on denying people who wanted to serve or work here because he knew what Starfleet and the Federation withdraw had caused these people."
The withdraw was all the more reason to have Starfleet personnel instead of civilians and Michael of all people could not believe that he felt this way. "Of course sir. I am sure they will do their best and I will do mine to keep things up to snuff." He said with a smirk on his face.
"I'm glad to hear it, Commander," the El-Aurian answered. "We are going to be having a lot going on around here over the next few days. If you'd like, you can go explore the Science Module and see what resources you will have available to yourself there. If there is anything else, Commander?"
"No sir and thank you sir." Michael replied as he expected the dismissal to come next. The next few hours would either make this the greatest assignment ever, or get him reassigned. Either way he would have a good time doing it and Michael loved that idea.
Dazad answered honestly, "I look forward to working with you, Commander. Dismissed." The Commanding Officer of the station released the Science Officer as he returned his attention to the computer panel and the latest updates from Starfleet Command regarding the events in the Vayt Sector.