West’s message

Cl.01.04 – With a few taps on the buttons of her desktop interface, Calyssa entered her command codes into the computer. Instantly transparent screen slid upwards from the desk, displaying the Federation emblem as soon as it stopped moving. When Calyssa finished entering the necessary codes, she leaned backwards while the emblem on her screen was replaced by the image of a Starfleet Admiral in his early forties, sitting behind a desk. The man had his arms firmly placed on his desk with his fingers intertwined. His hair was short and brown, neatly combed to one side. His sideburns were greying as well as the beard and mustache he was wearing. The striking brown eyes seemed to be gazing straight into hers.

“Calyssa, good to see you. I take it that you enjoyed your shoreleave?” The Admiral asked. Calyssa realized that is must be a rare thing in the fleet to have a Admiral interact as quaintly as he did with his direct subordinate Captains. She would like to think that she is more than that. Calyssa considered Daniel West as a mentor and even a good friend. “It was fantastic…” she replied, taking a sip from her coffee in between sentences. “Finally some time to do the things that I always wanted to do.” The Admiral chuckled. “Good to hear you enjoyed yourself.” He leaned forward. “I’ve got something special in store for you and you are not going to like it so lean back and let me tell you what we have in store for you. ” Calyssa did not like what he had to say. She did like his candour however, it was always a good thing to know that Admiral West says what is on his mind. “I am ready for it, Admiral.” She said, sighing one more time, putting the cup of coffee against her lips.

“The GYor war has cost Starfleet a great deal of resources and thanks to long and hard lobbying, we were compensated to the fullest of extends for which I am very grateful. It seems that there are still a lot of questions asked in the Federation council on what it is we are actually doing here in The Reach. I thought that it was time to give the expedition a clear face. The Council and Starfleet Command have been very good for us and it is time that we do something back for them.” Calyssa started to sense the direction that Admiral West was about to take and like he had indicated, she did not like it one bit. It would involve a very unwelcome disruption of their shakedown procedures. “I have agreed to a committee of representatives of the Federation Council and Starfleet Command to come over and show what we are doing. They specifically requested to tour along with an active ship in the expedition itself instead listening to some Admiral stowed away in a dusty space station…”

“So you have picked me for this job?” Calyssa cut straight to the chase. Admiral West started to grin. “You read my mind. I know you don’t like the spotlights directed at you, but consider this: The Federation and Starfleet needs to know how important our expedition is and let’s be frank, the ship and crew that have accomplished the most is the Callisto. On top of that, Starfleet Admirals are eager to see their newly launched jewel in action. You are the most logical choice.” Daniel allowed a few seconds of well planned silence to fall. Calyssa was looking for a way out, knowing that she would probably fail. “How can we host a group of higher-ups when we are in the middle of a shake down cruise? This is a Federation Starship, not a luxury starliner. Let them take the Risa Express instead” “That is just a matter of proper logistic management. A lot of tests and trials can be done with them enjoying a glass of Romulan Ale in your VIP lounge while your crew works double shifts to make sure all tests are done before the deadline. You have an able senior crew, delegate!” Calyssa sighed, realized that she indeed just had failed. “I cannot brown nose my way out of this one, right?” She leaned back in her chair, crossing her arms like a small child that did not get what it wanted. “I am afraid not, besides consider this as the perfect opportunity to do some professional networking. It is always good to have a few Federation Ambassadors and Starfleet Admirals from Command on your side. You have to think about your future, Calyssa.” Daniel winked at her. “I am not much of a politician, but I see your point.”

“Good…” Daniel smiled. “Report back to Earth. Once you are in orbit, you’ll be contacted with the appropriate details. You pick them up, bring them over via the jump gate, tour them around The Reach, transfer them to another starship when it is all over. I need a week or three of your time.” “You’ll have it.” Calyssa reluctantly replied. “Perfect. I will see you in a couple of days. Oh and Calyssa, Commander Faulckner has minored in diplomacy. I would charge her with chaperoning the ‘higher-ups'”. Now Daniel leaned back. “Thank you, Admiral.” She closed the commline and immediately the screen retracted back into the desk. With a tap on a button she opened an internal channel to the bridge. “Commander Kobrrei, set a course for Earth, warp 8,5.” “Ma’am?” The reply from the Commander was to be expected. They just came from Earth. “We have new orders. As soon as we are on our way, come to my ready room and I will fill you in.” “Aye, aye, Captain.”

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