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Jarred Thoran

JP: Fleet Captain Taybrim & Captain Whittaker: Good News

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A wonderful reunion - truly a joy to read from @Sal Taybrim & @Theo Whittaker

 

((Ready Room - Deck One - USS Columbia))

((Time Index: Two days after Columbia leaves the Spiral Nebula))

::From the porthole in his ready room, Theo watched the Columbia slipping into orbit of Delta Vega I, slowly gently rolling into place  until the orb of the red-brown planet appeared as a slim crescent across the bottom of the narrow window. He sipped his chamomile tea as he felt the tension of the past day evaporating from his body. Kaironn was in custody, the ancient Tkon relics were back in the hands of those who would not abuse them (although the question of where they would be studied- aboard Columbia or on Dehner Base) remained ‘up in the air’) and he had reached an understanding with Professor Sellards- albeit a tenuous one. Yet he had not been able to relax until that moment.::

::He could, in short, rest easy again.::

Pran: =/\= Bridge to Captain Whittaker. We have entered orbit of Delta Vega I.=/\= ::came the voice of the Security Officer. =/\=And I also have Fleet Captain Taybrim on subspace.=/\=

::That brought a warm smile to Theo’s face and he turned from the porthole and set the tea cup down on his desk. Word had reached him courtesy of a subspace data burst from Starfleet Command that his former Captain, mentor and close friend had recieved a well deserved (and much overdue, in Theo’s eyes) promotion to Fleet Captain. Even after a year, Theo missed the Betazoid commanding officer of StarBase 118. Given Columbia’s distant assignment, the chances for the two of them to talk were limited. But this was one conversation that he would have moved heaven and earth to have.::

Whittaker: =/\= Thank you, Lieutenant. =/\= ::he replied, sinking in to the comfortable, high backed chair behind the desk. =/\= Transfer the Fleet Captain through to my ready room.=/\=

Pran: =/\= Aye sir. =/\= :: she closed the channel at the same time that his desktop monitor activated, the symbol of Starfleet’s Communications Research Division displayed up on it.::

::The symbol was very quickly replaced by the smiling visage, ginger hair and twinkling black eyes of a man that Theo respected as one of the fleet’s greatest captains and loved like a brother. His smile, already wide, transformed into a proud grin as his eyes fell on the thin gold bar below the four rank pips attached to the red collar of his uniform.::

Whittaker: Hello Sal! ::he said, his joy and pride drenching his every word.:: Congratulations!

Taybrim: =/\= Hello Theo! =/\=  ::Sal has that same open, warm smile that Theo remembered::

Whittaker: ::with a snicker, he could not help but add:: Does this mean Mirra can punch you in the face now?

::Two years before Mirra- never one to hold back with her opinion- had struck Commodore Allan Kinney, the corrupt Sector Commander who had been spreading disinformation against the crew of StarBase 118. He had been in the pocket of the resurgent Orion Syndicate who were attempting to gain a foothold in the Trinity Sector and once uncovered, Mirra had taken matters into her own hand. It had become something of a local legend in that part of space- not to mention a running joke between Taybrim, Theo and his Diplomatic Officer.::

Taybrim: ::Sal clicked his tongue at Whittaker:: =/\= I’m not a Commodore… yet =/\=  ::Dark eyes sparkled, he was amused by that.:: =/\= But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit! =/\=

Whittaker: If only I could, old friend. Columbia is exploring the very edge of the galaxy and we don’t have a transport ship due to visit Dehner Base for two weeks I’m afraid! We are even too far out to use real-time holo-communication technology. ::he said ruefully, remembering how Captain Brell of the Atlantis had utilised it to great effect for his own promotion party.:: So I’m afraid, good old fashioned subspace communications will have to suffice for now.

::Sal gave a soft smile.  He understood the limitations - which was regrettable and yet realistic.  Then again he had largely eschewed a party as well. He had attended many ostentatious parties and despite the fact that he was a social butterfly, Sal Taybrim was also not an attention-seeking personality.  A small formal affair was enough.::

Taybrim: =/\= Subspace communication works fine.  Though I still think you should come back and pay a visit.  Not for an occasion, just for old times sake. =/\= ::He smiled gently, light sparkling in his dark eyes.::

Whittaker: I promise that the next time I take shore leave- forced or voluntarily- I will pay you visit on my way to wherever I end up. ::he chuckled.:: How is the station doing these days? Scuttlebutt around the fleet is that you got an invitation to go targ hunting? ::he had a hard time picturing Sal Taybrim hunting the small Klingon beasties.::  Was Admiral Hauke punishing you? ::he added with a smirk.::

Taybrim: =/\= Oh, no.  We were targ hunting by invitation. =/\=  ::he smiled mysteriously:: =/\= You know all that fancy diplomatic stuff including gagh and bloodwine and targs.  It was invigorating!=/\=

Whittaker: I’ve seen images of targ hunts in books before and… the smell alone…. ::he said with a mock shiver.:: Maybe I transferred elsewhere at the right time. ::his eyes twinkled with mirth.::

Taybrim: =/\= Well, yes it did take a few sonic showers to get the smell of wet targ out.  But with enough bloodwine you start thinking that eau de targ is a good combination!=/\= ::he grinned merrily.::

Whittaker: You know that bloodwine and I do not get along! ::this time the shiver was authentic. StarBase 118 had a Klingon drinking establishment known as The Bat’leth and there had been one rather heavy night there…… he didn’t like to think about it.::

Taybrim: =/\= You know scuttlebutt around the fleet says you are dealing with more pirates…=/\=

::Not just pirates.  More pirates.::

::Theo sat back in his chair and nodded. It had only been a few days since the situation with Kaironn had come to its conclusion and while life aboard Columbia had all but returned to normal, the events of New Years Day were still fresh in everyone’s minds.::

Whittaker: Sometimes, Sal, I fear that my lot in life is to spend my days rounding up marauding criminals. ::beat.:: The scuttlebutt is correct, although there were nowhere near the level of Chennel, thank goodness. They stole some archeological samples from Dehner Base and ambushed us. Took out a fair few of our systems before we could respond.

::That got the ginger Betazoid’s brows perked.  Archaeological samples? Who stole Archaeological samples?  That was something he thought of as quite the mystery to be solved.::

Taybrim: =/\= What happened after you engaged? =/\=

Whittaker: We managed to retrieve the samples after we chased them to a nearby Nebula and we’ve now got their Captain in our brig. ::it felt good to be able to say that.:: All is well that ends well, no?

Taybrim: =/\= Hopefully! =/\=  ::he said optimistically:: =/\= My curious question would be - why did they want archaeological samples?

Whittaker: They were intending to sell them on the local black market, I imagine.

::He worded himself carefully, not entirely sure whether he should divulge the nature of Professor Jev’s relics. He knew that Sal would not go off shouting his mouth about the discovery of several artefacts from one of the galaxy’s most advanced races- but had still yet to hear from Starfleet Command about how they wanted to proceed with them. If they wanted to suppress their true nature (Theo could not blame them given how fearsome Tkon technology had been)- then he did not want to get on their bad side by detailing everything to Sal.::

Taybrim: =/\= Curious, indeed. =/\= ::he nodded, considering the information:: =/\= Maybe I’m paranoid because of that big imposing intel tower in my attic. =/\= ::he took the opportunity to laugh a little at himself.  He wasn’t by nature a paranoid person, but he never did trust criminals - especially after Chennel.::

::He smiled at that, thinking about how Aitas- 118’s current Chief of Intelligence had managed to integrate the Intelligence Tower into the daily life of the station, rather than remaining hidden in shadows. Of course, operational security was a necessity and those not cleared to enter the tower did not gain access but the Tower worked much closer with Ops than ever before.::

Whittaker: Aitas is not that bad. ::he chuckled.:: How is the station? Any big developments? Is Mrs. Anders still prowling about? ::he suppressed a shiver at the memory of the terrifying woman who had almost become his mother-in-law.

Taybrim: =/\= Oh, not too much has changed =/\= ::he chuckled:: =/\= Taelon returned to us… after a sticky trip through time.  El-Aurians… =/\= ::he shook his head::

::Theo straightened in his chair at that little morsel of information. He and Taelon had been almost involved prior to his assignment to the Blackwell, although it had ended prematurely- not to mention poorly, as Theo had no idea how to broach the subject.::

Whittaker: Oh...

Taybrim: ::Carefully, speaking gently:: =/\= He has a daughter now… =/\=

Whittaker: ::he blinked several times before responding.:: Oh… ::he repeated.:: I did not see that coming. ::he shook his head.::  H-How is he….? ::he almost did not want to know.::

Taybrim: =/\=He is OK.  Surprisingly good for living on a Klingon ship for a decade.=/\=  ::Sal’s tone said there was more to that story, but it was more in the sense that it was likely better said face to face with strong drinks.  Which was a luxury that wasn’t always available to Starfleet officers.::

::A Klingon ship for over a decade. Theo knew there was more to the story that Sal was willing to let on, which made him wonder whether Taelon had been treated well by the Empire… he hoped that he had, but realised that it would not be as cut and dried as that.::

Whittaker: I see.. ::he said slowly.:: Send him my best when you get a moment, would you? I know that I did not treat him well after my departure from the station-, but I want nothing but the best for him and his daughter. ::he meant that- every word.::

::Sal smiled gently at that::

Taybrim: =/\=I know, and I will tell him=/\=  ::he paused and allowed the moment to linger before spekaing:: =/\= How have you been, Theo?  How is the Columbia? =/\=

Whittaker: There is plenty new with Columbia besides pirates.. ::he said, glad to be moving on from the topic of Taelon.:: Uprated sensors, new laboratories… she’s practically a whole new ship. She’s a testbed for the Nebula-class becoming long range exploration and reconnaissance vessels. ::beat:: No wonder they put me in the big chair, being an engineer. ::he chuckled.::

Taybrim: =/\=I’m so very glad that the Columbia is a leading ship in the fleet again=/\=  ::he smiled fondly. They both had good memories of the Columbia, though the ship had always been Theo’s baby.::

Whittaker: As am I, Sal. As am I. I still have to pinch myself whenever I think that Starfleet gave her to me- but I’m sure that will pass. ::he smiled.::

Taybrim: =/\= But, more to the point, how are you, Theo?  Personally how are things? How is Mirra treating you?=/\=

Whittaker: I don’t think she likes the fact that she’s no longer cleared to tamper with my replicator now she is serving as a diplomat. ::he chortled at that.:: I’m doing well on the whole. I feel more comfortable in the centre seat than I ever have before- even if I could do without Professor Sellards from Dehner Base breathing fire every time we clash. ::that made his smile falter.:: But I am hopeful that we’ve reached some sort of understanding.

Taybrim: =/\= Oh, really? =/\=  ::he prodded gently for more information.::

::He sat back in his chair and looked away from the screen for several seconds before he looked back at the ginger haired man on his desktop monitor.::

Whittaker: She doesn’t trust us and she kept some rather crucial information about the archeological samples hidden until one of her colleagues revealed their true nature. ::he hesitated for a moment, wondering whether he should divulge the situation with Sellards- deciding he needed to vent to a neutral party, he pressed on.:: Her uncle was involved in the Pegasus disaster and lost his life. It essentially tore her family apart and she has spent a great deal of time resenting Starfleet. We’ve clashed a number of times over operational concerns, although I’m hopeful that our encounter with the pirates has made her see that Starfleet isn’t just a group of moustache-twirling villains who operate in the shadows.

Taybrim: =/\= Starfleet is a very varied organization and you have the chance to show her the very best side of it =/\=  ::he said with a smile of encouragement.::

Whittaker: If she will let us. ::despite their acrimonious beginning, Theo remained hopeful that he could prove to her that Starfleet was not the organisation she thought she was.

Taybrim: =/\= Of course it will take time.  But if she values honestly, and steadfast support she’ll find no better crew than you and yours.=/\=

Whittaker: That’s most kind of you to say so, Sal. ::he was about to reply when a message flashed up in the corner of his screen. With a frown and a sigh he realised that he was needed elsewhere and that he would have to end the call with his dear friend.:: Looks like I have a staff meeting I need to oversee. I hate to cut this short, but you know what it’s like at the top. ::he smiled at the Betazoid.:: Next time I’m back in Federation space- I’ll be dropping by to see how the old girl is doing. Take care of yourself, Sal.

::Theo leaned forward and terminated the call. For a second, he thought fondly of the man who had helped to mould him into the Captain he was. How far he had come since Sal Taybrim had lured him to the darkened engine room of the Columbia and asked him to jump off the proverbial cliff! They had been through much together and out of it had blossomed a wonderful, much cherished friendship. Theo was proud for his dear friend. Fleet Captain… nobody deserved it more.::

::And with that moment passed, Theo got to his feet and headed to his staff meeting, and wondered what misadventures the twinkling black eyes of Sal Taybrim would find themselves in next.::

--

Captain Theo M. Whittaker

Commanding Officer

USS Columbia

NCC 85279

ID: C239203TW0

&

Fleet Captain Sal Taybrim

Commanding Officer

StarBase 118 Operations

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