Obsidian Command

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Silent Relief

Posted on 23 Mar 2021 @ 8:38am by Admiral Zavareh Sepandiyar & Captain Corvus DeHavilland

Mission: M2 - Sanctuary
Location: Captain' Ready Room - Obsidian Command
Timeline: MD1 - 1013HRS
2344 words - 4.7 OF Standard Post Measure

”Black tea, hot, with a splash of milk,” Captain Corvus DeHavilland ordered. The replicator hummed to life and after a flash of swirling particles, a steam cup of tea appeared on the pad exactly as ordered. Corvus took her hand from the wall where it’d been resting and picked up the saucer with the cup balancing upon it and walked back toward her desk, savoring the aroma of the tea as much as the fact that the replicators worked and she could have one any time she pleased.

Obsidian Command, her command, was now fully operational. All the major league issues that had plagued the station since the moment she’d set foot on it had been address by Lieutenant Commander Quinn and the rest of the combined Engineering staff’s of the assembled fleet around Obsidian III. They had the collective engineering power of half of Starfleet and had made short work of their power issues, and were now making steady progress in repairing the battle damage from their little engagement almost two weeks ago. Even the shipyard facilities were preparing to come online. Already Starfleet was queuing up vessels for refit in their yard.

That meant that shields were online at full power as well as their weapons. Transporters, replicators, turbo lifts and even the sonic showers were fully functional. Even without the Fleet in orbit of Obsidian, and trolling nearby space for any sign of their attackers, Obsidian Command was no longer helpless. They could easily hold their own. Not to be caught unaware again, no sooner than the power and weapons been restored, Corvus had begun running readiness drills for the CIC staff. Simulated combat games, emergency decompression drills and every other scenario in the textbook. She wanted to make sure that, no matter what, they were never caught this unprepared again. She’d even gone so far as to require every CIC officer, no matter what shift they were on, to be refitted for an EVA and to undergo recertification training. She wasn’t cutting any corners.

For the first time since she’d received the orders for this command, things were going smoothly. Corvus sipped her tea contently and watched the glowing orb below them, slowly tracing the path of various craft moving to and fro. She was finding it to be therapeutic. A simple distraction to let her mind drift away into nothingness for little while. Sometimes a simple brain dump like that could make all the difference in a day.

She was halfway through a sip when her door chime rang. She finished carefully and then called absently over her shoulder, “Come.” A moment later, the door swished open and footsteps padded softly into the room. Oddly though, they didn’t say anything, which was strange. Typically anyone coming to talk to her would at least announce themselves. Irritated, but trying not to show it straight away, Corvus turned about to offer some kind of sarcastic or witty commentary on her guests silence but instead blanched and stood a little more rigidly. “Admiral, sir. I… wasn’t aware you coming aboard,” she managed, quickly setting her tea down.

“Need I announce it every time?” Admiral Sepandiyar asked, looking about the room.

Corvus’ Ready Room looked nothing like it had that first day Sepandiyar and her had set foot in it after the battle was over. Up to that point she hadn’t bothered to unpack or get settled. Part of her hadn’t truly accepted that the command was and would stay hers. After the battle, when Sepandiyar didn’t strip her of rank and title and cast her into the void of Starfleet’s failed commanders, she’d accepted this post was hers and unpacked accordingly. The bookshelves were filled with her selections, there were holo’s and photo’s of her family and friends. There was even a bouquet of lilies on the coffee table; a splurge from the replicators.

“I see you’ve settled in. Good,” Sepandiyar nodded, walking towards the bookshelves to inspect the collection.

“Now things have calmed down, it felt like a good time,” Corvus replied, walking carefully around her desk to be available whenever he chose to get on with why he was here. She’d come to learn he liked his readiness reports provided in person, and suspected that’s what he’d come to hear.

“You’ll find you spend more time here than in your quarters,” he mused as he read the spines of the books, “It should be a space comfortable for you,” he added, turning a brief glance over his shoulder. “Report,” he ordered.

DeHavilland perked up a bit more, “Aye, Admiral. Obsidian Command is now fully operational. There are no systems currently offline, and no areas of the station in need of any further repair beyond the cosmetic or to gain greater efficiencies. Shields are at full capacity, as are weapons,” she explained, “Since my last report we’ve run twelve readiness drills, two battle scenarios and five explosive decompression drills,” she continued at an even pace so she didn’t appear like an overeager cadet. “The crew have responded magnificently. But just to be certain, I’ve ordered all CIC personnel to undergo EVA recertification and to be re-fitted for their suits; one of which will be stored here in the CIC.”

Sepandiyar completed his circuit of the bookshelves. “Your staff?” He asked.

“All departments are reporting fully staffed and ready. We have no shortages anywhere. If I’m honest, we have a surplus with all the extra staff from the assembled Fleet, the Marines from Falkirk still here and the crew of the Ardeshir, which is preparing to begin a six-month refit.”

The elder man nodded and addressed her face to face, “Your First Officer?”

“Still in Sick Bay on the Ardeshir,” she answered. “When I spoke with Doctor Turan, he seemed to think it could be another couple of weeks until she was ok to return to duty.” The Admiral just looked back at her, as if he was waiting to hear more, but she didn’t have anything further to add. There was nothing she could do to accelerate the process.

He looked down with a slight shake of his head and slowly took off his glasses, sliding them into his pocket before returning his steely gaze to her. “What exactly is your First Officer suffering from?” He asked quietly.

“Doctor Turan’s explanation to me was that she is recovering from prolonged hormonal therapy,” Corvus answered truthfully.

Sepandiyar gave a slightly crooked smirk, the kind that made her think that her answer was not what he wanted to hear. She felt the hairs on the back of her neck stand up. Corvus couldn’t explain it, but there was something about the Admiral that just put her on edge.

“Your First Officer has been consuming a mind-altering drug in significant enough doses that her body is now in complete withdrawal. Doses that Doctor Mazur would describe as near-lethal and that Doctor Llwyd attests are of zero medical need… and you believe this to be… ‘prolonged hormonal therapy’ issues?” He asked.

Part of her wanted him to jump and down and yell, as if that would justify the fear he was generating in her. He’d just offered the information so calm and quietly, asking his barbed question so smoothly it felt like this could be just normal conversation. Corvus swallowed the lump in her throat.

“Commander Zahn explained to me what was going on when I addressed a change in her behavior,” Corvus answered as calmly as she could muster. “She told me she’d been on this hormonal therapy for two decades, but that Doctor Mazur wouldn’t fill the script because she said it was poisoning her. I called her out for ignoring the Doctor’s orders and instead taking half doses,” she sighed, “I made her choose between the last dose and resigning. She surrendered the dose. I realize, Admiral, that under normal circumstances Commander Zahn should been relieved until Doctor Mazur released her… but I didn’t have the luxury.”

“Knowing this, you still let her lead the EVA escape from this deck and allowed her to go alone to transporter control.”

“The ranking Officer besides Commander Zahn in the CIC was Lieutenant Sakander. She was the most qualified, even in her compromised state,” she shook her head. She’d of course had that debate in her head, but even on her back foot she was still the best choice. “I sent Lieutenant Rhiannon with her. She wasn’t alone.”

“Yes, of course. That makes the decision all the wiser.”

Corvus guffawed in disbelief, “I didn’t exactly have weeks to plan this, Admiral,” she fired back testily. “We were under attack. No power, no options. I did what I had to do to keep us alive and try to regroup. I knew the risks in sending Commander Zahn.”

Sepandiyar stared silently back at her, his eyes just boring through her as if she were made of vapor. She felt like a kid again being scolded by her dad for not doing as she was told. It was a feeling she hadn’t had in a very long time, almost certainly not while she was in Starfleet. The old man apparently had a gift for it. Finally he glanced away slightly.

“You said you demanded that Commander Zahn give you the last of the medication, or resign her post?”

“That’s correct, Admiral,” Corvus nodded, turning back to her desk. She quickly opened the lone drawer on the side and withdrew the small vial and set it on her desk. “She has none left,” she declared confidently.

He raised an eyebrow in an almost Vulcan fashion, “And if I told you that Commander Zahn had arranged for the prescription to be refilled by another Physician outside of Starfleet? What would you say?”

Corvus hesitated. Was he saying that’s what she’d done and was just now telling her, or was she questioning her faith in Calliope? No. No, Calli had said she was giving her the last of it, so she believed her. “I would say that’s not true. Commander Zahn gave me her last vial,” she declared, tapping the one on her desk.

Sepandiyar again just stared silently at her. She could feel the truth emanating off of him like he was some kind of telepath, not just an old man. After a few moments of painful silence, she began to shake her head, slowly at first and then fervently. “…no,” she managed, her voice cracking, caught between multiple emotions. “She gave me her word.”

“She lied to you, Corvus,” Sepandiyar replied, for the first time calling her by her first name. “An old colleague from the Federation Medical Corps contacted Doctor Llwyd. She’s on the surface here, on Obsidian. Commander Zahn had arranged for the perscription to be filled by her, in exchange for Starfleet supplies.”

The wind left Corvus lungs in a burst and she leaned back against the edge of her desk, shaking her head in disbelief at what he was saying. “… it truly is an addiction…” she sighed. What else would make her do something so… stupid. Without thinking about it, she ran her hands through her hair and paced away behind her desk towards the window she’d been contemplating the stars through when the Admiral had arrived. She felt a pit in her stomach growing larger by the minute as she considered what the Admiral was most likely expecting from her. She looked back at him just watching her quietly. She opened her mouth to speak, but before she even utter a sound, the Admiral spoke up.

“Commander Zahn is to be relieved of her posting,” he declared calmly, sparing her the indignity of having to say it.

Corvus just nodded. What other option did she have? The Admiral wouldn’t have walked through that door and given her this information if it wasn’t legitimate and properly vetted. He wasn’t some Ensign sharing fresh gossip. “Aye, Admiral.”

“I have reassigned Commander Zayne to Obsidian Command. He will serve as your First Officer.”

“And Commander Zahn? What happens when she’s recovered? She can return to her posting?” Corvus asked.

Sepandiyar harrumphed, “This is the flagship command for the entirety of Obsidian Fleet. Her Command crew should be of the highest pedigree. I have faith in her Captain,” he said, gesturing to her. “I have faith in Zayne. I have none in Commander Zahn,” he declared. “Until you prove otherwise, Zayne will remain your First Officer.”

Corvus leaned onto the top of her desk, her chest tightening. Slowly she nodded, “Aye, Admiral,” she said quietly. With some effort she managed to draw herself up. “Anything else I can do for you, sir?”

The elder man reached back into his pocket for his glasses and put them on again, adjusting them with both hands. “I wish to get to know the men and women under my command,” he answered cryptically, “I find this is best done over a shared meal. Tomorrow night, eighteen-thirty hours. My quarters on the Alexander,” he said, the statement a mix between an order and a simple statement. “You and Commander Zayne.”

DeHavilland looked back at him, surprised but recovered quickly, “Aye, sir. Eighteen-thirty.”

Sepandiyar just nodded once, adjusting the cuff on his right sleeve, then turned and left without another word. Corvus waited until he had gone, the door had closed and a solid five seconds had ticked slowly past before she bowed forward over her desk, overcome with the emotion of it all. She felt the desperation, sympathy, fear and anger bubble over all at once. She lashed out, grabbing the empty vial and throwing it against the wall with a howl of fury where it exploded in a shower of glass. “God dammit, Calli!”


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