The Black Planet Rises
Location: Space Station Cyrga
"Lt. Grace, would you come in here please" asked Cerywyn. A moment later the doors to her office slid open and Grace strode in, stopping just short of the desk. "Ma'am?"
Cerywyn handed her the PADD. "See for yourself." Lt. Grace scanned the PADD and then handed it back to the Admiral, "The timing could be worse, I'll grant you that, but not by much." As usual, Cerywyn's tea tray sat on the small table between the two guest chairs. Grace looked at the selection of teas, picked up the one orange spice, pouring the water slowly over the tea ball and then repeated the process for her own mug before handing a cup across the desk to the Admiral. Cerywyn gingerly took the small cup and brought it forward inhaling deeply the pungent notes of clove alongside the brighter citrus notes. She allowed herself a moment to close her eyes before taking a sip. "I'll need you to locate Captain Rasmussen and any intel you can find. I need to know when she's due to arrive and I have a sinking feeling she's probably closer than I'd like and any hope of getting used to this idea is…futile at best." Grace arched an eyebrow. The fact that the Admiral didn't like change was clearly noted in more than one data file, of that she was certain. Under any other circumstance, the Admiral would grumble, but not be so discomfited. This, however, was a gut blow because in Captain Konuha, Cerywyn had perhaps seen more of herself than she cared to admit. The two of them had served together through some major shifts in Starfleet and the Federation. They had never doubted that the other would have their back when the situation demanded it.
"Who is this woman!" Cerywyn snapped. "Why don't I know who she is?"
Lt. Grace shook her head. "Honestly, time does move on, with or without you Admiral." Cerywyn narrowed her gaze across her teacup, but bit back the icy retort. Grace finished her tea, stood up and took the PADD from the Admiral's desk. "I'll patch her through when I find her."
~~~~~ 3 hours later ~~~~~~
++taps++ Admiral, I've located Captain Rasmussen.
++taps++ Put her through, Lt.
Cerywyn turned to the viewing console on her desk, tapped in her authorization codes and waited for the screen to stabilize.
Aboard the USS Trumaye, a woman in her forties had made her way to the console in her guest quarters. Her appearance was pretty nondescript, brown hair with streaks of grey sneaking in, brown eyes, average length, average build. Indeed the appearance of someone who didn't stand out in a crowd. You could come across her hundreds of times on any promenade, and never recall seeing her.
Her face still bore a greenish tint, a result from their spell through the wormhole, and her look was murderous. The fact that she was suddenly facing an Admiral, didn't do much to change that look. "Admiral Cerywyn, you wanted to talk to me?" she asked in a tone that could be interpreted anywhere within the range of annoyed / result of sickness / disrespectful / bored / anything in between.
Cerywyn nodded. "I did. I see you managed to navigate the wormhole. That's something at least." If Cerywyn had a flaw, and she had many, just well hidden, the one she couldn't hide was her emotion. Her eyes gave her away every time. Her eyes hardened into blue gold amber and the tiny muscles at the side of her jaw could be seen ever so slightly tightening. "How much longer before you reach the station? "
Beth wasn't a telepath, not by a long shot, but you didn't have to be one to figure out that she wouldn't exactly be welcomed with open arms. But that was alright, she didn't even want to be here in the first place. Over the years however, she'd learned that you could just as well make the best of any given situation, because it would only make you more miserable if you didn't. So, instead of speaking the thoughts that were foremost on her mind, she looked away for a moment, obviously at a different console. "We're just a few hours out. I should be able to report in with you before the day's over."
Cerywyn nodded. "That's good." Her hands ran over a console. "We have you on long range sensors now. When you arrive and dock, Ens Salavare will show you to your quarters. Freshen up and meet me in my office. Ens. Salavare will wait and show you the way."
That sounded like a prisoner who was going to be shown to their jail cell, but Beth managed to hold back the retort, and just give a tight "Yes, Admiral," instead before the channel closed.
As they got nearer, the XO-to-be couldn't help but be impressed by the sheer size of the station. It had a certain beauty to it, but she realized it was probably an acquired taste as well. So far, all her duty stations had been aboard ships, and this was going to be quite the challenge. As soon as they docked, she had the aforementioned Ensign waiting for her. Aside from the respectful communication, they kept communication to a minimum. Her quarters matched the impression of the station: way too big for what she'd ever need. She wasn't going to complain, but it was going to take some getting used to. The sonic shower she took to 'freshen up' took about twice the time it usually did, just to make the Ensign wait longer.
They hadn't been deterred though as they still stood waiting for her as she left her quarters in a fresh uniform. Up they went, to the Admiral's office. Along the way, Beth saw way too much to take in on the first go. She'd have to take time to get to know all of this. In no time time however, she found the Ensign pushing a chime, nodding and stepping away, leaving Beth alone to face the woman on the other side.
Lt. Grace, the Admiral's yeoman, looked up. "Thank you Ens. Salavare. You can return to your post." The young man nodded his ascent, turned smartly on his heel and exited the office. The outer office was comprised of what one would expect. Lt. Grace turned back to the newly arrived Captain and extended her hand. "Welcome to Space Station Cyrga, Captain." She motioned to the doors on the far side of the outer office. "Admiral Cerywyn is expecting you."
Cerywyn was in a somewhat pensive mood. She'd yet to hear from Admiral Korin. The latest reports coming gave reason for her concern. Outpost 45 Delta had ceased transmitting at 0400 hours. Until that moment, it had been constantly transmitting a subspace signal without interuption. It was a science outpost collecting data on spatial weather anomalies. Space storms in their assigned sector were spectacular, according to the chief scientist, Emil Larsen, a human from Earth from somwhere called Svalbard. Apparently, he had seen the Aurora Borealis as a child and his imagination and love of science were kindled; he compared the space storms his team had tracked to those beautiful dancing lights. Cerywyn frowned; his team....a relatively small group of scientists from various regions of the Delta Quadrant...under his guidance. Cerywyn liked Emil and admired his work. He'd done much to improve her stellar cartography data files of the Delta Quadrant. And now, there was only silence. That did not bode well. Her thoughts were interupted by the buzz of her communicator. She and Grace had worked that signal out years ago so that the Admiral was never caught off guard, well at least not when the yeoman's desk was occupied. That signal meant her new XO was outside her door. The petite admiral checked her appearance. A brief smile flashed when she saw her reflection. Korin always said blue and silver were her colors. The non-traditional unifnorm may not look like Fleet issue, but everything about Cerywyn did. She smoothed stray hairs, checked for wrinkles in her clothes and actively relaxed her posture from the top down, tension ebbing from her face. Assured all was in order she turned on her heel to glance about. The office was her second home. Behind her desk was a beautiful set of backlight stainless steele, wood and glass shelving and in each little delicate cube rested what some would see as dust collectors but what she saw as memories. Her eyes lingered for a while on the small sphereical box - a gift from Cmdr Ferelli . . . if she could have only saved him. There were others too. Gifts from the twins, not her children, but her children nontheless. Tesslie would be proud of the people they had become. She sighed as she walked over to one of the two empty seats away from her desk and across from the small fireplace in her office. This fireplace was small in comparision to the one in her quarters. She smirked. Some fights were worth having. She checked the trays Asa had delivered a little while ago. The water was still nicely steaming and the plates contained a wide array of his pastries. He'd sent a new blend of tea for her to try. Standing as tall and straight as her 4'11 stature would allow for, she called out "Enter" when the door chimed.
Beth wasn't easily lost for words, but when she entered the office, she definitely was. It was like entering a living room instead of an office, or at least, that's the very first impression she got. As she looked beyond that first impression, she could see the desk, and the work space and how this was a room that was set up for professional gatherings rather than personal ones most of the time, but still. She looked around at all the items, all the gadgets, all the little quirks in the room including the fireplace. She filed away in her mind before her eyes (finally?) settled on the other woman in the room. She was small enough not to be noticed at first, but once Beth had seen her, it was hard to imagine she'd ever missed her or ever would miss her again. It was clear from the first glance why this woman had made it to the rank of Admiral. Beth could appreciate that.
"Admiral", she nodded respectfully. "Captain Beth Rasmussen, reporting in as ordered."
Cerywyn nodded and extended her hand. "Welcome to Space Station Cyrga, Captain." She then motioned to the two chairs. "Please, take a seat. I've had a tray brought up from one of the Promenade shops. Asa's,." She smiled every so fleetingly. "Well, it's actually, Asa's Too. He followed us hear from Versailles." She pointed to the tray. "He has some of the best food on the station - definitely better than the replicator. There's hot steaming for tea or you're welcome to have the computer provide you something more to your liking.." As she talked Cerywyn had herself poured steaming water over a silver tea ball. and then placed the delicate saucer over the top. She picked up the cup and took one of delicate fruit filled pastries from the tray and moved over to her seat. At first glance, Cerywyn seemed more focused on her tea rather than the new arrival. Once seated, she placed her tea on the small table to her left. She waited for the Captain to decide what she wanted before clearing her throat quietly.
"So, Captain, why don't we start with an obvious question. Why are you here?"