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[Prologue] JP - Maj Greaves & LT Kel - Offers of Reconciliation

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OOC: Prologue to our mission, which will be @Wes Greaves practical.  The tension between his character and Kel has been building for a while and I love that we get to see how they are goint to work through this!  Also...so many good tidbits in this.  




((First Officer’s Office, Deck 2, USS ‘Oumuamua))

Three months and twelve days had passed since the ‘Oumuamua had transited the wormhole back into the Gamma Quadrant. In that time the Luna class and her crew had conducted one first contact, six diplomatic follow ups with various species, and generally shown the Federation flag about the quadrant. While they were primarily on a mission of scientific exploration, the ship had been directed on more than one occasion to follow-up on some task Starfleet Headquarters had deemed vital. It was a routine occurrence across the fleet for ships to be selectively retasked for specific missions, but normally that burden was spread across hundreds of vessels in the Alpha and Beta Quadrants. With the ‘Oumuamua being one of only a handful of ships in the Gamma, and the most capable at that, she was the Admiralty’s go-to choice.


Which was exactly how Wes had found himself in the situation he was in. Starfleet Headquarters had decided that diplomacy with the United Dominion of Planets was priority number one for the quadrant as the Federation attempted to determine whether the UDP was starting down a path to a Second Dominion War. In that regard they had tasked Commodore V’Airu personally with attending diplomatic talks with the UDP. She wouldn’t be alone, but some four star admiral somewhere had determined that V’Airu, with her wartime record and first contact experience was the ideal person to chair the Federation’s newest team. That was where the ‘Oumuamua was headed to. The predicament the Marine found himself in however didn’t end with a run of the mill diplomatic mission. No, the ‘Oumuamua was specifically ordered to not be present during talks. It was to be a show of goodwill toward the UDP. They would drop the Commodore off for several days to a week to lead the talks while her ship sailed off into the black without her, continuing a mission of exploration.


And that was how Wes was to find himself in command of a starship yet again. In the very same quadrant that he’d nearly lost his last command. Hell, it was only lightyears from the same planet the Thor had been ambushed. That wasn’t what was on his mind just yet though. The ‘Oumuamua was a day out from the peace talks and Wes still needed to pick someone on the senior staff to serve as the acting First Officer.


It was that question which he was currently wrangling with. With the crew relatively new to the ship still, he wanted to make an impartial decision. Counselor Brodie had immediately jumped to mind, but Wes ultimately had rejected the idea. Alex was more than a capable officer, and that was the problem. They were on a routine mission and this was a prime opportunity to introduce command to some of the newer officers. Peri had also come to mind but Wes shut that idea down just as fast. The two of them had a long running personal relationship which Wes still couldn’t exactly figure out what to call it. He didn’t want to appear like he was playing favorites with the choice. Whoever took the temporary duty would… well it would look good in their service record.


The decision he finally had made was one which he struggled with. V’Len Kel. The animosity which they shared hadn’t faded one bit since the near destruction of the Thor. Wes had come to respect the Doctor’s passion for service to the crew, but he just disagreed with many of the man’s judgment calls. The past several months had convinced the XO that Kel felt the same way toward him. Every time they’d worked together it had been like mixing oil and water. This opportunity fit too well though. Kel still hadn’t been made the ship’s CMO yet, but he was a fine officer who clearly showed leadership capabilities. The Doctor also dabbled heavily in the sciences as a hobby. Especially in fungi and plants, which was a massive part of what they came across in their mission to explore. Their time away from Commodore V’Airu was expected to be short and low threat. It served as the perfect mission for Kel to cut his teeth in a command position. And yet Wes still felt unease about the decision.


Regardless, it had been made, and Kel was already on the way to his office for Wes to break the news. 


(First Officer's Office, Deck 2, USS Oumuamua))


V'Len Kel's antennae were twitching at a rapid pace and the doctor was forced to lean against the wall to avoid falling over.  The summons from Greaves had come, not from by the standard audio comms system, but rather the text based message system.  This suggested an air of secrecy and V'Len suspected a confrontation.  Now standing in the hallway outside the Major's office V'Len tried to steel himself for whatever fiasco was coming.  


It had started months ago with a medical exam that had gone awry.  V'Len had accused Greaves of being reckless and while V'Len had honestly just been worried about a friend and mentor, it had not been his best bedside manner.  Following that a full blow up when the Thor had been shot down over the ocean of Okaea and Kel and Greaves had disagreed on the best path to follow.  V'Len wanted the Thor to lay low and make an escape in order to protect the injured and collect those who had escaped the ship during the crash.  Greaves had been determined to bring the fight to the pirates who had sunk the Thor.  After that Greaves had helped an injured Kel through an away mission and that might have allowed them to bury the hatchet; except the inquest into Greaves actions on the Thor had dredged up the previous conflict.  Maneuvered into admitting he had considered removing Greaves from command V'Len was definitely out of the man's good graces.  If Greaves in fact had good graces.  The last 3 months had found them at odds in senior staff meetings from everything from away mission organization to training injuries to food at diplomatic functions.


Kel: oO Maybe he wants an update on the training injuries?  Did something happen to the Commodore?  Maybe Greave was injured? Oo


V'Len straightened up and quickly moved to the Major's office and activated the door chime.  If the man was injured V'Len did not want to waste any time.  The door burst open and V'Len cautiously moved into the room. 


Kel:  Major?  ::beat, looking around the room:: Are you injured?


V'Len looked across the room and saw the man standing behind his desk. He appeared to be alright, but perhaps the man had injured his vocal chords.  It would explain the text message. 


Wes, for his part, nodded in greeting  but quickly registered a confused look as Kel asked about injuries. Shaking his head the Marine motioned toward the seat on the far side of the desk. 


Greaves: No, of course not. I’m fine. Have a seat. 


Kel: oO Greave's becoming mute was probably a lot to hope for. Oo I'm glad to see you're well.  ::skeptically:: How can I be of assistance?


There was something lingering in the Trilldorian’s tone that irked him. It brought up memories of  the dripping sarcasm from Okaea, although in this case there wasn’t anything so overt. No, it was as if V’Len was annoyed at the summons. 


Greaves: I wanted to speak with you. Please sit (motioning again to the chair).


Given that the man was not injured or ill, V’Len figured he’d been called in for a dressing down.  There was no sense in beating around the bush.


Kel:  With all due respect Major let's dispense with the pleasantries. What do you want?


Wes frowned again at the bluntness of the statement. So that was how it was going to be then. They wouldn’t ignore the animosity. Fine. Wes could work with that. He preferred it to tiptowing around it anyway. In his response the Marine dropped any sense of warmth in his voice. 


Greaves: You’re going to be the acting First Officer for the next week or so. 


V'Len visibly rocked and shook his head.  He didn't quite have the words and a moment passed before he could speak.  He knew he was a component officer but had no idea V’Airu thought so highly of him.  It would have been nice for her to have asked in person, but no doubt she left administrative tasks to her XO and it brought a smile to Kel’s face to think Greaves had to be the one to deliver the news. 


Greaves: Lieutenant Kel…?


V’Len shook his head and snapped back to reality.


Kel: ::smiling::  Tell the commodore it would be my honor.  (beat) And where are you off to? Some kind of marine training on a swamp world?  oO That would be right up your alley. Oo 


For a beat Wes wasn’t sure what Kel meant until it dawned on him that V’Len misunderstood. The doctor wouldn’t be filling in for him. He’d be helping Wes as the Marine filled in for the Commodore. 


Greaves: I’m not going  anywhere. The Commodore is going to be off ship. 


Kel: :; eyes wide:: Wait! (beat)  You want me to be YOUR first officer?  


While V’Len had not known the Major to have a sense of humor, surely this was some kind of prank.  Not being an Aenar V'Len had no idea whether Greaves was telling the truth or not.  He gave Greaves an incredulous look.  He walked across the room and then back.


Greaves: (Serious tone) Yes, that’s what I’m asking.


Kel: You’re serious right now?  I don’t know if you’ve kept up on current events but we’re not exactly oO how would the terrans say it Oo peanut butter and jelly right now.  Surely there's a better candidate.  


Even as the words left V’Len’s mouth he thought about Lt. Katsim, but knew she and Greaves had some kind of "thing" going on.  It moved at a glacial pace, but it was there nonetheless.  Kel made a note to look at the work Dr. Bashir had done to assist Commanders Worf and Dax. Perhaps he'd need to produce Terran/Cardassian/Bajoran babies in the future.


Greaves: There are more qualified candidates, absolutely. Lieutenant Commander Brodie for instance. But no, you’re the best candidate. 


V’len gave the man another cryptic stare.  


Kel: Is this your idea of a joke?  (beat)  Or is this some kind of test?


Wes sighed heavily and finally moved to the chair behind his desk. V’Len could stand if he wanted, but Wes was going to sit for this. Hell, a stiff drink might even be needed to get through the rest of the conversation.


Greaves: V’Len, no one is messing with you. Have a seat for god’s sake. We’re here to discuss. This isn’t a test, it's an opportunity. 


V’Len slowly sat down in the seat in front of the  Major’s desk.  Greaves was serious.  He was offering V’Len the opportunity to be second in command of a starship.   It was the perfect trap.


Kel: So how exactly is it you’re getting to be Captain of the Oumuamua? oO I hope this isn’t the mirror universe Greaves. Though how would you tell? Oo


Wes shook his head, a little more intensely than he’d intended. Kel’s tone and general demeanor was still antagonistic and it irked him. Wes was a senior officer. His First Officer at that even, and the overarching theme of their interaction was that of mistrust and disrespect. He was starting to doubt this was a good idea, but it was the best one he had, and the Marine forged ahead. 


Greaves: Commodore V’Airu is being dispatched to lead a diplomatic team to the UDP. That leaves me in command and I need an acting First Officer. You, despite my… 


Wes paused in his speech, deciding that what would have come next didn’t need to be said. With a deep sigh, he changed directions.


Greaves: Nevermind… You have the capability and this experience would look great on your record when it comes time for future promotion or assignment.  


Damn him.  If V’Len turned down the offer it would look like he did not want command or could not “play well with others”.  If he said “yes” and he could not get along with Greaves, which would be very hard to avoid, he would also be blocked from command.  It was a lose/lose and Greaves had set it up perfectly.  He was good…very good. 


Kel: So you honestly think you and I can command a starship together?  You have no reservations in light of recent events?


Greaves: Damn right I have reservations. I’m pretty sure that inquiry was clear enough in that regard, but if you need it said out loud, I have a really hard time trusting you. You openly questioned me during a critical moment of command, and more importantly, you considered relieving me of command, not for a medical reason, but because you disagreed with me. 


The harsh words rushed forth in a torrent, reminding Wes how angry he still was about the situation. Each time he’d been given distance from the catastrophe of Okaea, something ripped the wound open. First the inquiry, now this conversation. He wanted nothing more than to put the whole thing behind him, and yet others kept dragging him back. 


V’Len for his part looked down momentarily.  He had honestly hoped to minimize the disagreement on the Thor as much as possible.  The Androian prosecutor, Ress, had asked him a question point blank and V’Len felt compelled to tell the truth.  It had not helped Wes’ position though thankfully he remained XO of the Oumuamua.  


Kel: ::sighing::  I am sorry about the inquest.  It was not my shining moment.


He stopped talking for the moment and looked around the office hoping something would break the tension.


Wes sighed deeply as V’Len’s gaze shifted away. 


Greaves: V’Len, I’m making this offer because this (motioning between the two of them) can’t stay like it is. I can’t be this ship’s first officer constantly wondering if you’re going to try to usurp me or challenge my authority again. Consider this an olive branch. 


Greaves wasn’t wrong, but a blatant bribe?


Kel: So you’re trying to buy my loyalty by making me XO?   I get a gold star on my record and you get my unquestioning support in the future?


Greaves: (Snort of sarcastic laughter) I’d sooner transfer one of us before trying to buy you off. It’d be easier anyway. That’s not what I’m talking about. (Sigh) Let me spell it out; V’Len, I want to fix whatever this is going on between us before we have another Okaea. This is the best idea I could come up with to rebuild some trust?  Unless you have a better idea…


V’Len considered for a moment.  Being CMO was already further than he expected to get in Starfleet at this point in his career.  He liked…no, he loved being CMO so even if it was a trap and limited his future mobility, he was happy enough where he was.  If it was a joke, that would be harder to live down, but he’d had siblings embarrass him before. 


Kel: Ok. O.k. I’ll do it. I'll be your first officer.  Do we need to set some kind of ground rules or something?


Greaves: I can’t have you openly opposing me. Plain and simple. 


Kel:  :: incredulous and chuckling::  Oh come on.  I can’t possibly promise not to question your orders. I thought that was the whole point of a first officer.  And before you ask I also can’t promise to remove you from command. If you were injured what choice would I have?


Wes pushed back away from the desk a few inches and rolled his neck from side to side. This conversation was giving him a headache. He had to admit though, the doctor had a point. That was one of the roles of the First Officer. It just required tact, something V’Len had shown a considerable lack of while interacting with him in the past. 


Greaves: Fine. You of course have the right… no, the responsibility to replace me in command if it comes to that… honestly, I don’t feel good trusting you in that judgment, but I’m going to anyway. This won’t work otherwise. 


Kel:  If it makes you feel better I’m not sure I’m ready to be captain, so it's very unlikely I’m going to remove you unless it's absolutely necessary.


Greaves: Fair enough. I doubt anything like that will come up, but if it does, you know you have the authority. No mutinies though. 


Nodding, V’len tried to think of something to assure the Major and himself that this wouldn’t end in flames for both of them.  


Kel: What if we agree that as far as possible we’ll vet any disagreements in the ready room?

Away from the rest of the crew.  


Wes thought about it for a second. That was how he’d dealt with things in the past with Commodore Kells, and while it hadn’t come up on the ‘Oumuamua, it’s how he’d handled it on the Nashira with Commodore V’Airu. 


Greaves: I’ll one up you. I may regret saying this but… I challenge you to poke holes in my plans when we’re in private. Just make sure we’re in private. It can’t look like we’re not on the same team in front of the crew. Give me your honest opinions and I promise to take them seriously… but once a decision is made, even if you disagree, I need you to roll with it and support me. I got us off Okaea in the end. Trust me enough that I know what I’m doing.


Kel:  ::nodding::  Fair enough. Perhaps we could have a safe word.  So that if things are getting too heated we both know to step away.  Take a time out if you like.


Wes let out a short laugh until he realized Kel was serious. 


Greaves: A… safe… word?


Kel:  We could use the word “dapple”.


The look on Greave’s face told V’Len that the Major was unlikely to use the word ever. 


Greaves:  (Sarcastically) I’m sure that’ll flow nicely into natural conversation. 


Kel:  O.k.  What’s your safe word then?


He thought for a moment, trying to think of something but his mind was blank. He went with the first thing that popped into his mind, which was not a very strong candidate. 


Greaves: Code red? 


Kel laughed out loud.  


Kel:  ::chuckling::  Why don’t we just say “warp core breach” instead? ::thinking:: How about a number? Say 47?


Greaves: I can see it now. (In a command voice) Helm, make your course three four four mark four seven. (normal voice) Might look weird with you running to the ready room at that command.


Wes visualized the scene in his head, bridge lights at red alert, some threat displayed on the viewscreen and the crew intently working at their stations.., then Doctor Kel sprinting from his chair to the ready room ready to argue some point. The whole idea cracked him up and the two broke into laughter.


The laughing had been more therapeutic than V’Len remembered.  He felt more at ease and the Major seemed more at ease as well.


Kel: Two questions. Do I have to wear red and when do I start?


Wes glanced down at his own uniform, still crested in Marine Corps green, and grinned. 


Greaves:  If I’ve been able to get away keeping this uniform on, then you’re free to keep that one… unless you want to wear red. Up to you. Just make your decision today. 


Kel:  That soon eh?  I assume you’ll want me to make Toz acting CMO.  I can’t wear too many hats.


Geaves: Don’t get too carried away. I still have four jobs. Security, Tactical, MARDET, and First Officer. You can do both, you just won’t be able to see patients regularly while you're filling in. 


Kel:  So do we have an actual mission?  Does it involve pirates?


V’Len realized he probably should have asked that question first, but it was too late and how would Greaves know anyway.


Greaves: (Snort of laughter) No, nothing so dramatic. It’s just a continuation of our current mission. The Federation doesn’t think that having a multi mission explorer hovering over the UDP talks looks good. 


Kel: The Oumuamua pack a bit of a punch so having it overhead during talks probably sends the wrong message. 


Greaves: Pretty much. They don’t want to look intimidating or overcommitted. Basically, we’re dropping the Commodore off, then going away somewhere. 


Kel: So we look for a nice cozy astro phenomenon to spend time with for a few days?


Greaves: I want to stay relatively close, but otherwise we’re to continue exploring. Strange new worlds and all of that. Actually, there’s an interesting nebula a short hop away that the Federation hasn’t charted yet…


Kel: Or and I’m just throwing this out there we could consider looking for a world with a nice sunny beach. I missed out on Bora Bora.   


The two men laughed again. V’Len stood up and shook the Major’s hand.  He found himself hoping the plan worked and somehow they would be more amicable after the experience. 


Kel:  Thanks Major (beat) for the opportunity. I’ll do my best not to let you down.


Greaves: (Nodding) Thanks Doctor. 


With that V’Len headed out the door.  




JP by:


Major Wes Greaves

Executive Officer

Marine Detachment Commander

USS ‘Oumuamua





Lieutenant V’Len Kel

Chief Medical Officer

USS Oumuamua NCC-81226


He/Him (character and player)


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