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PNPC William Maxwell: The Admirals Ball

Sal Taybrim

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((Starfleet Command, San Francisco.))

((Thirty-one Years Ago.))

::The gentle ripple of applause died down as the new flagship of Starfleet slipped her moorings and eased out into space. The room where he stood was finely decorated as there was also a ball taking place tonight to celebrate the promotion of Commodore Hansen to Rear Admiral. Several officers still stood in groups staring up at the screen as the Enterprise-D majestically cruised away from the shipyards, whilst others took seats at tables, stood gossiping or went in search of new drinks and old friends.

Two years aboard the USS Peter had earned him promotion to full Lieutenant, a couple of medals and a host of minor science awards. Now, he was the brand new Chief Science Officer aboard an old friend’s ship. And that old friend was an old friend of the now Rear-Admiral Hansen.

He didn’t really like formal occasions, and hated wearing his dress uniform because it meant showing off ribbons. And that usually drew attention considering his age.::


Captain Bell: Bloody hell, Will, crack a smile will you?


::Lieutenant William T. Maxwell turned to face the old friend he’d been thinking about barely a heartbeat earlier. Captain Ronald Bell was a year older than William and had earned a rapid captaincy due to both his abilities and unfortunate losses amongst the senior crew of his previous ship. Having been only a Lieutenant himself, Ronnie had been the only bridge officer left alive during a battle with a pirate cruiser. He’d taken command of the ship despite being wounded and escaped, earning him a rather grand promotion to Captain, and command of the USS Reiver, an Ambassador-class vessel.

He was also wearing the freshly awarded Purple Heart from that painful experience. Stood beside him was his first officer, Arturo Bianchi-Rossi. The Reiver’s former chief tactical officer had been promoted to Commander and appointed as Captain Bell’s right hand as he knew the Reiver better than any other crew member.

William had been school friends with Ronald, and had gone through the Academy with Arturo, and so despite being a new command team together, it was a reunion of old friends and a happy occasion.::


William: Ach, leave off, Ronnie. You know I cannae stand all ::pause, a vague wave of his hand:: this stuff.


::That earned a bark of laugher from the Italian First Officer.::


Arturo: Why, Ronald, I believe young Max is scared of all the braid floating around the room.


::William mouthed a good-natured obscenity over his glass of scotch as Ronald looked up at the screen. The Captain smoothed his beard absently as he watched the Galaxy-class vessel getting further away.::


Captain Bell: Be us in the morning lads. Off, out and away. ::A glance at William.:: Sure a young boy like you can handle a five year stint out there? ::A smirk.::


William: Handle it better than you, ye overweight pencil pusher. ::A grin::


::Ronald held a hand to his chest in mock distress. He raised his voice theatrically, gaining a mixture of looks from the nearest officers and their partners.::


Captain Bell: I get you a cushy posting, and you insult me! Insult me! My god who need enemies with friends like you!


::A couple of nearby officers gave William a look of disgust, and right on cue William, Ronald and Arturo burst out laughing like a gang of schoolboys caught in the girls changing rooms. At a wave of Ronald’s glass, the trio made for the bar. William painfully conscious of the clink of his medals and the senior officers staring at them and himself as he passed by.::


Captain Bell: Stop being so stiff lad. Be proud of those shinies, swagger like you own the place and they’ll soon stop staring.


::Easier said than done as far as William was concerned. He ordered himself another glass of scotch and stood with one arm resting on the bar, Arturo opposite and Ronnie in the middle. They chatted this way and that for a little while until Williams words died in his throat. Ronnie smirked over his glass as Arturo followed Williams gaze. Williams eyes had fallen upon quite possibly the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.

She was stood talking to a group of officers, laughing politely yet subtly looking for an escape. She was wearing a long red gown with a plunging neckline, and her dark brown hair spilled in countless gentle waves all the way to the small of her back. The rest of the room vanished into nothing as they locked gazes for a split second, William feeling his heart miss what felt like about twenty beats.

He responded absently as he realised Arturo had spoken to him.::


William: Sorry…?

Arturo: She is beautiful, yes? ::A smile at his friend.::


::William simply gave a dumb nod, unable to take his eyes from her.::


Arturo: You should go and talk to her.


::That got his attention and he choked on his mouthful of scotch.::


William: Don’t be bloody daft, man. She’s, she’s, well look at her. ::Wiping his chin with a napkin:: And I’m, well… ::He pointed up and down himself as if to say ‘The state of me’.::


Arturo: Then I shall talk to her for you.


William: Oi, don’t yo-


::But it was too late. Arturo was already gone, and William fidgeted nervously with his cufflinks as he saw Arturo talking to the woman that had captivated him. He turned to Ronnie, who was trying not to laugh and make himself invisible at the same time.::


William: Cannae believe you didnae stop him, Ronnie.


Captain Bell: My god. ::Laughing:: Look at you, Will. Twenty-four, a department chief with two silver stars, a captain’s commendation and three purple hearts to your name, and you’re scared of talking to a girl at a party?


::William raised hand to point at his friend::


William: F-


Arturo: Gentlemen.


::William turned, about to blast his friend for probably embarrassing him, and froze. The beautiful dark-haired woman was stood beside Arturo, arms linked together, and smiling right at him. The smile was friendly, amused, questioning and playful all at once and William bit his tongue in surprise at her being stood with them.::


William: Ah, bo-


Arturo: Ronnie you already know. And this ::A pause as he gently patted her hand:: is Lieutenant Maxwell. William and I were at the Academy together.


William: Good evening miss, a pleasure tae meet you. ::A quick glance to Arturo that said ‘I’ll kill you later’.:: I didnae catch your name?


::Arturo smiled again, his eyes sparkling with mischief as William looked at him.::


Arturo: How rude of me. William, I would like you to meet my sister, Abrielle…..



Lieutenant  William T. Maxwell.

Chief Science Officer.

USS Reiver.


Simmed by;



Lieutenant (JG) Arturo Maxwell.

Tactical Officer.

Starbase 118 Operations.


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