Location: Starbase 72: Rear Admiral Woodward's Executive Office
It had been a long week for Julius, not only had he been in diplomatic talks with the Diplomatic Attache from Cardassia, but he also was undergoing daily intelligence reports; which ranged from the Alrakis Pact to the Cardassian activity in the Gavarian Corridor. He also had not hear word from the USS Magellan which was patrolling along the Tzenkethi border as well. As he exhaled from signing another report, his aid Lieutenant Branson stood next to him with another padd in her hand. "I promise this is the last one you have to sign Admiral."
"I hope so, it has been an endless week; with endless paperwork," he said as he reached over and took the padd from her; and started scanning over the padd. "What is this in pertain too?"
"Reassignment orders," she said plain and simple. Julius looked at her with a cocked eyebrow and continued scanning. The war with the Gorn was getting heavier by the week, and Starfleet was looking for seasoned veteran captains to take over starships to help bolster their lines. "Does Captain Clearwater know about this and Commander H'adrak?" he asked.
"Yes sir Admiral, Vice Admiral Tauvits spoke with both of them earlier in the week; Captain Clearwater gladly accepted to take command of the USS Somme. Going from commanding a Saber class starship to a Akira class is a nice step upward. Also Commander H'adrak has been transferred to be the new XO on Starbase 215," Alisha replied.
"Did Admiral Tauvits say who is was going to put in command of the Kitsune?" replied Julius as he signed off on the transfer orders.
"He left that squarely to you Admiral, and here is the current crew manifest of the Kitsune." As she transitioned one PADD out of his hand and slipped in another, Julius scanned over the roster and gave smirked smile. "Get in contact with Lieutenant Waters and have her report to my office," he said as he handed the padd back to her.
"Aye sir," replied Alisha as she gathered the rest of the Padds and walked to her desk outside of the Admiral's office.
It was about ten minutes later before Chloe arrived at the admiral's office. She had no idea what this was about. But with both Clearwater and their Klingon Xo seemingly having disappeared from the Kitsune... she wasn't really certain she was going to like this. Huffing quietly, Chloe rang the chime.
Alisha heard the chime go off, she quickly cleared off her desk; and made sure that a loose strand of hair was tucked back in place behind her ear. As he pressed the button under her desk to unlock the front door. "Please come in," replied Alisha as she sat up in her chair.
As the doors opened to admit Chloe she paused, took a few steps forward, paused again and moved in a little bit further. This felt... odd, to put it mildly. Why was she being summoned to the office of an admiral?
Reflexively Chloe stopped in front of the woman at the dsk and offered a rather stiff salute, her robotic voice droning as her mouth remained noticeably still. "Lieutenant Chloe Waters... reporting as ordered."
"Glad to see you Lieutenant Waters, the Admiral is expecting you; just a moment please." Alisha maneuvered her fingers over her desk and opened up the one way comm channel to her boss' office. "Yes Alisha," replied Julius.
"Sir, Lieutenant Waters has arrived," she replied in a prompt manner, their was a hint of excitement in her voice, but who could blame her as to what was about to happen.
"Excellent send her in," his heavy voice boomed and the channel was closed. Alisha tapped a few commands and unlocked the admiral's door watched as the doors opened up. "Good luck lieutenant," she said as she slightly wrinkled her nose letting out a slight giggle at the end of lieutenant.
Chloe cocked a head to the left in confusion as she slowly approached the admiral's door. It hissed open, permitting her entrance before she could crash into it.
Chloe at first merely poked her head in, before stepping into view more fully. "Lieutenant Chloe Waters, reporting as ordered," she droned.
"Good to see you lieutenant," replied Julius as he looked up at the young officer. "Please have a seat," he said as he ushered her to sit in one of the chairs in front of his desk.
Chloe nodded her head slowly, quietly making her way across the room and to the offered chair. Sinking into it she truly felt the... lack of size that she possessed. It was an odd feeling to say the least. She almost felt like she could drown in this chair under the weight of... whatever prompted her to be called to this office..
Julius cracked his knuckles and rested them upon the top of his desk and slightly cleared his throat. "Lieutenant I have called you to my office because of recent developments that has basically stripped the command foundation of the Kitsune," he said as he was disappointed that Starfleet Command would willing strip a ship of her command structure.
"I know that it has reached you that Captain Clearwater has been reassigned to another vessel, and transferred to the Gorn front. Starfleet Command has been able to hold the line temporarily in the war with the Gorn; and so they needed experienced command officers to transfer to that theater. Captain Clearwater was selected for that very reason, and also the former XO of Starbase 215 was promoted to Command another vessel on the Gorn front." Julius tapped the console in front of him and pulled up the front lines on his computer screen, and spun it around to show the lieutenant.
"Commander H'adrak, as been transferred to take over the void XO spot on Starbase 215." Julius paused for a moment, as he choose the correct words to say. He did not want to come off that he was anti-Starfleet, but he did want it to be known that unwise decisions can be made when things seem desperate.
"In the twenty plus years I've been in Starfleet I have never seen an entire ships command structure decimated like this, since the Dominion War," he said as he was being honest with the young lieutenant before him.
Chloe stared at the admiral before her as she processed what he was saying. She was well aware of the fact that both her CO and XO had been... noticeably absent from the Kitsune. However, the why was beyond her. Now it made sense. And her being here... Chloe wasn't sure how she felt about where this was going.
"Starfleet Command had slated the Kitsune to be mothballed and her entire crew transferred to other commands. However Vice Admiral Tauvits and I stepped in to keep that from happening; especially with recent developments along the Cardassian border and the along the Breen and Tzenkethi borders as well," he said as he pushed back in his chair and stood up from his desk and slowly started pacing the floor.
Chloe nodded her head slowly, watching, listening. Oh how she desperately wished that she could be the admiral right now, rather than... herself. She wanted desperately to move, before this chair sucked her down beneath its visible surface. She wanted to walk... where, she didn't know, but Chloe wanted to move. Chloe wanted to pace... or anything that she could get away with. But right now all the little lieutenant could do was sit.
"We made Starfleet Brass see reason as to why we could not spare another ship, but they could not spare an experienced captain to command her either. Which is why you are here today," he said as he sat down on the edge of his desk facing the young lieutenant.
"It is our decision lieutenant to offer you a serious promotion, one that hasn't been offered to an officer of your age in literally over a hundred years. We are offering you to take command of the USS Kitsune, and should you agree you will be promoted to the rank of Captain with all the rights and privileges thereof. What do you have to say lieutenant?"
Chloe's neutral expression, for once, failed her entirely. She stared at her superior officer with a mix of shock and disbelief on her open mouthed face. Was this some kind of a practical joke? Was she really being given command of a ship, small as it was?
For a long time Chloe couldn't say anything. She had nothing to say, a rare event to say the least. Still... after at least twenty seconds of silence Chloe finally spoke up, saying the only thing she could. "I accept... sir."
"Excellent," he said with a smile as he clapped his hand once and maneuvered over to the desk and pressed the comm padd to his console. "Alisha," he said with his deep voice. "Can you please come here, and bring the package with you."
A few seconds later Alisha walked in carrying a dark box with a red and gold ribbon around it. As she approached the Admiral she handed it to him and took a few steps back. "Please stand Lieutenant Chloe Waters."
Chloe wasn't quite able to suppress the level of shock on her face. Actually she wasn't able to suppress much of anything at the moment. Her mental firewall held up, at least. As the lieutenant slowly stood up, she couldn't help but feel as if... as if some kind of weight were pressing down on her from above.
Rear Admiral Woodward slowly took his time unraveling the ribbon and opened up the box, showing two solid gold pips. Taking both pips out, he handed the box to Lieutenant Brandson and slowly pined both pips on Chloe's collar. Taking a couple of steps back, Alisha handed him a data PADD; which he accepted and activated.
"Lieutenant Chloe Marie Waters, it is hereby my authority as Task Force Executive Officer to promote you to the rank of Captain, with all the rights and privileges that come with this rank," he said as he then started reading from the PADD.
"As of Stardate 73161.3 I hereby also transfer command of the USS Kitsune NCC-79832 to you as her new Commanding Officer, signed Rear Admiral Julius Woodward Jr, Task Force 72 Executive Officer. Congratulations Captain Chloe Marie Waters, the new commanding officer of the USS Kitsune."
Chloe reached up to the collar of her uniform with a slightly trembling hand and ran her finger over each pip, both existing and new. Despite things seeming real she wasn't quite convinced of reality as her translator droned, "Thank you, sir."
"I honestly believe the Kitsune is going to be in great hands, once we get the Kitsune re-crewed and resupplied i will speak back with you further for your mission orders. Anything you wish to ask go right ahead," replied Julius as he sat back on the edge of his desk.
Chloe frowned as she considered for a moment, her unease surrounding her like an invisible blanket. Still... she had accepted the promotion. But... what of the other officers she would now need. "What is the estimated time of arrival of replacement personnel?"
"We have a surplus supply of crew here on the station, that have transferred off ships," he said as he moved around his desk and pulled up the stations personal files. "I will make all the officers files available to you Captain, but it also depends on where those officers are located. Keep your search narrowed to the Alpha Quadrant any with Starfleet Academy being close, we have fresh graduates here in about two weeks."
Chloe nodded slowly, looking about the office with a contemplative expression. Was she ready for this? Was she really, really ready? Maybe so. Maybe not. But... Chloe was here. She was going to give this her damndist effort at the very least. "Then permission is requested to attend to these matters, sir."
"Permission granted captain," he said as he handed her a data padd with all the information on it that she would need. "Let me know when you've met with your crew, and I'll issue out your orders captain. Again congratulations, dismissed."
Chloe took the PADD and gave the admiral a nod. "I will," her translator droned in its dreadful, depressing monotone. As she walked out the doors which slid shut with a whispering hiss behind her, Chloe could only wonder one thing. 'Am I really ready for this?