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Time for Donuts!

Posted on Mon Jan 18th, 2021 @ 3:20pm by Captain Sadie Stanton & Commander John Collins

Mission: The Trumpets Sound
Location: Deck 1: Ready Room
Timeline: MD 07 - 0730 (Set during the previous plot/prior to shakedown cruise.)

This morning, John Collins made sure to show up in front of the doors of the ready room not merely with a PADD full of briefing documents for the CO (though one was indeed present) but with something else entirely. Namely, his hands held a box. A white box of purple and orange trim. "Computer, sound chime inside the ready room," he requested of the always-listening ship's computer.

"Enter," called the voice from inside the ready room.

Sadie looked up to see her XO walking in, even though she'd already known it was him. She eyed him, the box, and then the PADD in his hand. She didn't recognize one and didn't like the other, but all she did was nod as she finished ordering her morning raktajino from the replicator. "Good morning, Commander. Coffee?"

"Sure, thanks. Donuts in the box if you want em." Collins replied, sensing that sugar would go far with the boss this morning (which explained his grin). Once they were both settled, Collins handed over the PADD locked to Stanton's thumbprint and pulled out his own. "So, quick update on construction activity. Intel spaces are built out on Deck 14. Equipment's been getting installed overnight; Garran's department takes control in an hour, as soon as the INSURV guys are done checking all the work." INSURV was Starfleet's Board of Inspection and Survey, the starship equivalent to a town sending a guy to make sure you built your renovation in compliance with code. "No problems reported thusfar, and given that Engineering figured on 2 weeks to do everything I'm recommending a letter of commendation for Lieutenant Cortez for coming in ahead of schedule so significantly...If the inspections come back clean, which they should."

"I expect they will," Sadie agreed, half-glancing at the PADD and half-glancing over the open box to see what was available inside and if she wanted any. "From my experiences with her, Lieutenant Cortez tends to not sleep much or have a social life. She gets a lot done."

That got a nod. "Moving on. We're getting indications from San Francisco as to our likely orders after our shakedown is complete. Nothing's confirmed, but early reports have us being assigned to Fifth Fleet, but then detached temporarily to the Tzenkethi border. Clear on the other side of the Federation from the Romulan border where Fifth is headquartered." A shrug. "Tzenkethi are making moves that concern basically everybody tasked to minding the issue, and the local Federation worlds are recently settled Earth colonies. They have fully equipped and manned local defense forces that are utterly untrained. We are likely to be sent to both show the flag to the Tzenkethi navy, and train our local troops."

Sadie had finally settled on one of the simpler confectionery offerings and had eaten half of it while he told her about their potential orders. Sipping her coffee, she smiled wryly. "I can't say I'm surprised," she said. "If we're lucky, there'll only be a lot of saber-rattling from various unfriendly corners and not anything worse...but I suppose time will tell."

"I want to agree with you, but my gut tells me it'll get worse over the short-term," Collins mused, sipping from his coffee and grabbing a glazed chocolate donut. "My big concern there: Starfleet doesn't have enough hulls - forget the right mix of ships, we don't have enough ships period - to properly guard the Romulan, the Klingon, and the Tzenkethi borders all at once. Tzenkethi border usually loses, but the thing is that the local defense forces there, unlike on more important borders, are manned by the colonies themselves; Maybe the CO of the local defense force will have the training required for his rank and position, equal to your grade, but even his senior officers are unlikely to, being selected more for political influence by the colonial government than the presence of skill or training. Perfectly adequate for disaster relief or search and rescue after someone wanders away from settled areas and gets lost, but not combat ready or disciplined."

"I imagine you're right," Sadie agreed, "but it's not actively our problem until command makes it our problem. For the moment, dock wants us out of their hair and we have a ship to put through its paces. How are department reports on our readiness to depart?"

"Every department reports ready to undock; Command Master Chief announced recall deadline of 0900 for all crew on starbase or planetside liberty at 2100 last night, on my order." Collins hadn't gotten his position without being able to anticipate his bosses' needs, after all. "We can leave dock as early as 1000, but CMC asks we give it til 1100 so he can minimize how many junior enlisted have to be masted for missing movement."

Sadie smiled wryly. "Granted. Eleven hundred hours it is. I'm sure we're all eager to get back out there and on the move again. Spacedock is nice, but only for short periods of time."

"For us, maybe," Collins replied. The youngest crew members didn't seem to agree, after all.

"Perhaps so," Sadie said with a quiet chuckle. "But we are the ones in charge."

"Indeed. Otherwise, anything in the written brief that catches your eye?" Collins asked.

Sadie picked up the PADD for one more quick review, then she shook her head. "No, all looks in order for the time being. At least until the shit hits the fan." Which seemed to be inevitable, eventually.


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