Episode 1 - The Hunt Begins
Location: Admiral's Office - Deep Sapce 04
Timeline: MD001 0830 hrs
1741 words - 3.5 OF Standard Post Measure
Declan Ford sat behind his desk and looked out over the ships in dock. In the upper right corner of the window he could see the newly refitted NX-14 Artemis. She was the ship that he had been granted to achieve his dream, a Criminal Investigation Service within Starfleet. The only regret in his head at the moment was that he could not command her, an Admiral's job was too fraught with meetings to run a ship. So he hand picked the command team. He let out an audible sigh as he turned away and looked at his computer screen. There he saw a side by side layout of two service records. "Captain Marc Kidd, and Commander Kayleigh Harper." He read aloud as if saying their names would make the moment more realistic. Ford had summonsed them both to his office. "Reading about your accomplishments is one thing, however, if I am to trust you both with this mission I need to get to know the real you." He spoke to the empty room.
The ride from Earth was long and arduous for Marc. He was filled with excitement for his first command and wanted nothing more than to talk about it. However, the pilot that shuttled him over to the Starbase was not interested in small talk. As such the two week journey seemed to last forever as they went forth in silence. Marc made the most of it by reading up on the specs of his new ship as well as getting to know all he could about his new CO the Admiral. All he seemed to be able to find out was that Ford was a scary person, well according to reports anyway.
Marc stepped through the airlock and onto the station, he wanted nothing more than a shower and a bed. However, a Yeoman came to him and informed him that Admiral Ford wanted to see him right away. Marc sighed, asked the Yeoman to bring his bags to his quarters and went to see the Admiral. The voice from within said come on in and when Marc walked in he did not notice the Admiral at first. The office was cluttered with old files and evidence collection equipment from ages gone by. It seemed that Declan was a collector. "You wanted to see me sir." Marc said as he looked around the room. "Yes Captain please have a seat, can I get you some whiskey. We might as well enjoy ourselves as we wait for the Commander." Ford replied as he turned his chair from the viewport toward his desk.
Kayleigh did not want to keep the Admiral waiting. She was a little surprised that she was meeting him before meeting her own commanding officer, she wondered what that was about. She was already on the station, when she got the message. She had snuck onto the station early, to get a good look at the Artemis. This would be one of the few times, she would be able to see the ship from the exterior.
Kayleigh tapped on the intercom, waiting to be let in. Deep in her mind, she was trying to figure out, why the Admiral wanted to see her first?
"Come on in Commander you are expected." Declan replied in his trademark cadence. "Captain Marc Kidd I would like you to meet your Executive Officer, and Armory Officer Commander Kayleigh Harper. There now with the introductions out of the way we can get down to business. Can I get you some whiskey Commander?" He poured one for Marc and before she could answer poured one for Kayleigh. "...I have selected both of you personally for this mission." After Declan had handed off the whiskey he leaned back in his chair to give the two other officers a chance to get to know each other.
Marc took the glass and set in front of himself. He was a little taken aback that the Admiral had selected an XO for him. Marc had always been under the impression that he would be able to select his own XO. He smiled in the direction of the Commander. "Pleased to meet you Commander. I have read all about you and now it is nice to meet you in person. What brings you over to the CSIU?" Marc hid the stammer that he felt in his gut well. He had not expected to have such a beautiful woman as his first officer.
"The Admiral brought me over, Captain. I go where Starfleet and by extension, where Admiral Ford tells me to go." Kayleigh said, wondering why she sounded so cold with her tone. She did not mean too. Deep down, she was trying to say, without actually saying it, that she did not want to come over to the CSIU. She wanted to be an explorer, not a law enforcement officer.
Declan had just finished a swig of whiskey when he smiled and chimed in on the conversation. "I had her come over because in order for this to succeed you are going to need an Armory Officer for your number two and Kayleigh here is the best."
Marc smiled a uncomfortably he was not ready to see a woman as the Armory Officer, not for this ship. "Sir... Ummm... Is this the right decision. I mean the Armory Officer on the Artemis is in charge of the Detention Center. Some of the people being held would not have seen a woman in a dog's age let along a woman as handsome as..." His voice trailed off as he realized that he probably just offended his XO. Not a great way to start. "...Errrr I'm sorry I didn't mean..."
Kayleigh remained calm. Her first reaction was to smack the man. She managed to keep her temper in check, by squeezing her hand tightly. "My status should not be an issue, I am more than capable of handling any situation, that might arise. As far as the prisoners, they will be treated humanly, but you ask anyone that has spent time in my brig, they will tell you, I can be cold as ice, and tougher than a Lioness, when she is hungry." Kayleigh pointed out to Marc and the Admiral.
Ford smiled and tented his fingers. "That my dear Captain is the reason that I picked the Commander. Her ferocity, is what is needed here. Once the crew is assembled the labs will get up and running. We will be receiving evidence from all over the Federation and processing it. As for the ship it is to be sent out for investigations as they come in. The mission of the ship and this department is pretty cut and dry."
Marc heard the Admiral however, he was still a bit flustered by what he had said. Marc had no interest in ostracizing his XO before they had even gotten to know each other. He extended his hand toward her. "Listen I hope there is no hard feelings. I am sorry I did not mean to insinuate that you cannot do the job." He smiled as he wondered if there was any way to come back from a blunder such as the one that he made.
Kayleigh noticed the hand, at first she wanted to smack it, but she resisted the urge. She instead extended her own hand, to accept his peace offering, and in her own way she was offering her own peace offering. "I have thick skin sir. You can count on me to uphold the Federations principles, and help you run a smooth operating ship and crew." Kayleigh said, sounding a little boastful, but trying to keep it limited, to be respectful.
"There now that we have all made up, the two of you can get to the business of assembling a crew." Ford mused.
"Thanks, I am going to need all of the help that I can get. I think our first order of business should be getting the science and investigatory teams together." Marc spoke to his XO and he hoped that they could come back from his misstep. Marc had a horrible habit of putting his foot in his mouth at times.
"That I can help with sir, have you met Doctor Logan Burnett?" He could be a good choice for Chief Medical Officer, met with him a little ago, after our encounter, I started to review his file. I believe he would be an ideal candidate, and has excellence references." Kayleigh started to say, realizing maybe they should wait to talk ship business, till after they left the Admiral's quarters.
Declan observed the other two talking, he was a self professed people watcher. Dispite Kidd putting his foot in his mouth, Ford knew that the Captain was tireless in his pursuits, when he had a mission he would go to hell and back to get it done. As for Harper the Admiral knew that she was just the person to keep the young Captain in line. He smiled as all of his careful planning was coming together. "Well I can see that the two of you have a lot to discuss and get done. I suggest you get it all done before our first case drops. If you have no other questions for me then you are dismissed."
Marc came to attention and faced the desk, a quick side glance to his XO sent a wave of nervousness to through his stomach. "Thank you sir. I will see you at the launching."
"Thank you sir." Was all that Kayleigh wanted to say pubically, she really wanted to give the Admiral a piece of her mind. But she had to believe that the Admiral was doing this for a reason. She did not understand, what that reason was. But that did not change the fact, he chose her for this mission. He chose for them to work together. She needed to trust, that the Admiral knew what he was doing.
A Joint Post By
Commander Kayleigh Harper
Executive Officer, Artemis
Chief Armory Officer, Artemis
Starfleet Criminal Investigations Unit
Rear Admiral Declan Ford
Starfleet Criminal Investigations Unit
Captain Marc Kidd
Commanding Officer, Artemis
Starfleet Criminal Investigations Unit