Obsidian Command

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The Holy Grail

Posted on 26 Mar 2021 @ 2:18pm by Captain Corvus DeHavilland & Commander Thaddeus Zayne
Edited on on 27 Nov 2021 @ 9:11pm

Mission: M2 - Sanctuary
Location: Turbolift / Captains Ready Room
Timeline: Immediately Following Self Destruct Complete
1810 words - 3.6 OF Standard Post Measure


Corvus stepped into the turbolift on the Infirmary deck and turned about to face the doors as they closed, offering a curt and professional nod to the Nurse that smiled at her just as they were closing “Senior Officer Quarters,” she ordered. As the door sealed shut and the lift thrummed, she leaned back against the wall and pinched the bridge of her nose, letting the emotions of her encounter with Calliope wash over her. As much as she wanted to bottle them up, she knew she couldn’t for long. It would end up coloring her decisions and her interactions with everyone. If she could have let out a blood curdling scream just to let it all out, she would have. Instead, she just tried to let the emotional reaction she’d been holding back happen.

It was short lived as she felt the lift drawing to a stop and quickly recovered herself, palming away the tears creeping along the edges of her eyes and otherwise drawing herself upright. She was Captain here, it wouldn’t do for her to look like some emotional teenager moping about the station. She put her best game face on as the lift doors opened. A young, red-haired woman in command red that Corvus had never seen before stepped onto the lift followed by Commander Zayne. The two were having a quiet conversation and both smiled to her as they walked in.

“CIC,” Zayne ordered, turning his attention to Corvus, “Captain DeHavilland this is Lieutenant St. John,” he said, gesturing to the Junior Grade in front of him, “She’s the Admiral’s Yeoman,” he explained.

“Nice to meet you, Lieutenant,” Corvus tried to smile.

“You as well,” the woman smiled eagerly, looking to Corvus as if she was some kind of celebrity. It was such a silly reaction, but it pierced the cold heart forming in her chest and made her smile slightly. She remembered what it was like to be a fresh-faced young Lieutenant looking up to the ranking senior officers; especially the women like her. It was like looking through a telescope through time, hoping she would be that person one day. Now on the senior officer end, it was like looking back at the person she had been.

“Computer, change my destination to CIC as well,” Corvus ordered, reconsidering her trip to her own quarters to collect herself. Zayne hadn’t been told the extent of his new orders and she knew he had planned to leave shortly to return to Falkirk. She certainly hoped that MacTaryn wasn’t upset with her for stealing his officer, but in reality she hadn’t had any choice in the matter. It might have been the right call, but it hadn’t been hers. That was assuming of course that he accepted.

“When do you head back to Catus, Commander?” St. John asked conversationally.

“A few hours,” he replied. “I have a meeting with the new Strat Ops team here, and then I’ll be on my way. I’ll try not to keep your runabout too long, Captain,” he offered to Corvus. She just nodded, hoping that he wasn’t going anywhere and that the shuttle would be staying put.

“Must be weird leaving after all the crazy things that you’ve been through here,” St. John cottoned on obliviously.

Thaddeus returned a wan smile, “It’s been… interesting,” he admitted slowly.

Undeterred, St. John pressed on eagerly, “I heard that the Supper Club’s opening tomorrow night. It’s supposed to be really good food and of course, dancing,” she smiled eagerly. “It’s been a long time since I went dancing with anyone.”

Corvus glanced over at Thaddeus, smirking. “Are you a dancer, Mr. Zayne?”

“Do I look like a dancer?” He asked dryly.

St. John laughed nervously, “I-I wasn’t suggesting you go dancing with me, Commander,” she clarified. “Not that I wouldn’t… go dancing with you… that’s just not…” she trailed off lamely.

“It’s fine, Naomi,” Thaddeus smirked.

The Lieutenant was spared any further indignity when the lift doors opened again, revealing the CIC rotunda. “It was nice to meet you, Lieutenant,” Corvus said as they exited and the young woman made a b-line for the stairs.

“Y-You too, Captain,” she said quickly before she went up.

“Mr. Zayne, can I have a word, please,” Corvus said, gesturing to the corridor that led to her ready room. He just nodded in reply and followed her.

It felt like a different command now. The man following her would be her First Officer and by all expectations would do the job better than most would. He just wasn’t who shewanted. She’d worked extensively with the man since she’d arrived. He was smart, driven, and extremely efficient. But he was cold, quiet and would just as soon toil in silence than make a sound, let alone crack a joke or break the tension. Nothing at all like Calli’s generally genial personality.

Corvus found her office door and stepped through, the security unlocking it in her presence and Zayne followed, coming to a stop between the two chairs facing her desk as she walked around it. She shrugged quickly out of the jacket top of her uniform and plucked her badge off the front, planing it on the strap of the vest underneath as she hung it on the back of the chair. She’d opted for something more formal for the conversation with Calli. This one, not so much.

“Have a seat,” she said, settling casually into her chair. She resisted the urge to flop into it and bury her head on the desk. Zayne did as he was asked, crossing one leg over the other and looking back to her with intensity. Of course, he always looked intent, like he was waiting for soul-crushing news. Corvus drew a little closer to the desk and found the data padd she’d prepared for him and drew it forward. She stared at it, and then tracked up to Zayne. “Are you familiar with the details surrounding Commander Zahn?”

“Yes,” he replied succinctly.

“You are?” She pressed.

“I’m the Strategic Operations liaison for this sector, ma’am. Details are in the job description,” he replied dryly.

Corvus harrumphed, “Tell me what you know then?” She waved.

He pursed his lips slightly, then answered. “Your First Officer is currently recovering from an addiction to hormonal suppressants. An addiction that led to her attempting to trade Starfleet materials for the drugs that were denied to her by Doctor Mazur,” he offered plainly. “That correct?”

“Almost,” Corvus answered.

Thad lifted his head, narrowing his gaze. “What did I miss?”

“She’s not my First Officer,” she answered quietly. “I relieved her a few minutes ago.”

The blonde-haired man nodded, “I’m sorry to hear that, Captain. I know she’s your friend,” he replied, cocking his head slightly, “But I’m not sure she left you with any other option but to.”

She sighed and sat back a bit, “I know,” she agreed. “That doesn’t make it any easier.”

He just nodded, not saying another word in response. Corvus just tried to accept that Thaddeus and Calliope were just too vastly different individuals. All that mattered though was getting their jobs done and done right. He was the natural choice. The right choice. She just had to get over the loss of her friend - a wholly personal matter. Admiral Sepandiyar expected the best from her, so she had to provide it. No matter the personal cost at the moment.

Corvus picked up the data padd and tapped the corner of it on her desk for a moment and then looked up again, “Commander, I approved Arrow Runabout four and one of the support pilots to take you to Catus XI,” she began, “But I’d prefer you didn’t leave,” she said, pushing the padd across the desk towards him. “I’d like you to stay as my Executive Officer.”

The normally unflappable facade the man always presented faltered for a moment, replaced with genuine surprise as he sat up and took the data padd like he couldn’t believe it until he saw the orders officially. Of course it was what he wanted; what he had wanted for a long time. When he’d taken the posting on Catus XI he had hoped it would be the foot in the door to actual command; that by proving himself capable in the role he would finally get noticed for a command spot on a small ship or an executive spot on a larger one. He was certainly willing to work his way up. His career had just seen his progress derailed by other missions and goals. He hadn’t been able to follow the natural path from department head to XO and beyond and he desperately wanted to be back on track.

This posting was the holy grail. First Officer of a Fleet Starbase. Officers would kill for that opportunity and it would no doubt lead to bigger things for himself, even possibly assuming the command himself in time. But, at least for now, it was tainted. Tainted by the history of his predecessor and her influence on the crew still here, the least of which ran the Engineering department. How was he going to manage his duties as First Officer leading a man who’s wife he’d replaced. It was a big ask, but he’d been asked for big things before and had delivered. If he could get through this, it’d be a significant feather in his cap. Besides, this place was his home. He had hated the fact he was having to leave it. Now… now he didn’t have to.

Thaddeus finally sat back and that practiced facade had returned, “It would be an honor, Captain,” he said finally. “I wasn’t really looking forward to leaving.”

Corvus gave him a tight smile in return, “I suppose you can go dancing now,” she tried to joke for her own sake as much as his.

“Maybe so,” he smirked, powering off the padd.

Letting out a slow breath, Corvus sat back in her chair, “Ok. Anything you need to take care of, or should we just jump right in?” She asked.

“As long as the runabout isn’t leaving with my things, I’m good to go, Captain,” he smiled.

“Corvus,” she countered, pointing to the door. “In here, it’s Corvus.”

He gave a genuine smile in reply, something she’d never actually seen before. “I prefer Thad.”

Feeling at least marginally better about their prospects going forward, Corvus pulled up the next padd. “Alright then. Let’s get started…”

 

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