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LTCmdr. Quentin Collins - The Family You Make

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((OOC: Here @Quentin Collins III masterfully ties together other people's posts, while adding his own unique flavor into the tasty simming gumbo. This is peak collaborative storytelling/Rping. Cheers.))  



((U.S.S. Arrow, Deck 6. The Starboard Bow.))

Serinus: Thank you everyone who's shown up so early, due to space constraints, we are moving the ceremony inside. So, please come on in.
Quentin Collins shuffled carefully back into the compartment with the rest of the crew. He had seen the design elements and even the whole space in its rawest form, but seeing it complete...it was nearly awe-inspiring. An instantly charming and comfortable area just for them and them alone.
Once again, his mind and heart ticked warmly back to The Eagle's Nest. How it too carried with it immense details and easy accessibility to the crew it supported.Glasses were being distributed across the still swelling crowd. It was slightly overwhelming for a bit, just with the amount of people in the room.
But there was nowhere else Quentin would have rather been. Unless...his eyes drifted momentarily to the viewports, housing the gleaming and enticing silver frame of DS33.  He allowed himself a tight smile and a chaste sip of the glass the striking Vulcan man had handed out. 
oO Soon, my dear. Very soon...Oo
He refocused himself on the Magna Roman of the hour, who had started to take "center stage" as it were. 

Serinus: Friends, Colleagues, Shipmates. When this journey began, early last year, it was merely a flight of fancy, a dream that the Arrow could have a gathering place for this fine crew to relax and congregate together in the fine tradition of Starfleet crew lounges. I mentioned the idea to my old friend Commander Quentin Collins, and he, in his typical fashion, was both wholeheartedly supportive, and curious to explore this new idea.


Quentin blushed slightly at the mention. Sure, he had had his bits, but this was very much Serinus and Connor's baby. He was, as per usual, just happy to be here. The Chief continued amicably.


Serinus: Ruminating on the idea over a few months, I finally determined to  fully set out on the path that led us to this corridor tonight. We met, and were joined by Lieutenant Dewitt shortly after. Roping him into our plans, we three began to plan in earnest. On the day that we went to finalize the  design on Deep Space 224’s holodeck 3, the fourth piece to our impromptu planning committee fell into place, the Ops Chief of the Excalibur, that would become our current first officer, Commander Niac. Once the plans had been crafted fully, the time and labor of many additional volunteers helped to turn an empty storage space into this haven for the weary and bored Arrowheads amongst us. Many unexpected delays have plagued this project since then, but like we always do, we have overcome them. And thus, we stand here today to officially christen The Starboard Bow, and bring it online to offer every Arrowhead, and their guests, a cozy place to congregate and socialize. Before we hear from all of the other planners, I would like to introduce you to the staff who will be serving you this evening, and hopefully for a long time to come, please give them a warm Arrow welcome. First off, Melissa Dane, your lead bartender for tonight. 


The Chief motioned carefully toward a...frankly drop dead gorgeous Centaurian woman, clad in a smart green smock atop dress serving blacks, that seemed to serve as The Bow's "uniform". The tightly contained and maintained beehive on her head gave the whole look a ravishingly Mod look that Quentin almost had to look away from in the moment. It was...too much! But also, very like The Chief.


Polite, but warm applause concerted her smile. Ash leaned closer into The Captain. Quentin might not have heard it if he was a bit further away.


MacKenna: ::whispering:: Bartenders?


Quentin leaned into his raven-haired and smartly dressed friend.


Collins: Keeps us from possibly over-serving ourselves.




Serinus: And this ::he motioned to the Vulcan man, still lithely "patrolling" the crowd in the same uniform as Dane:: is Samot. He and Melissa will alternate every 3 evenings for regular shifts, and work together for special occasions such as this. 

Quentin raised his still mostly full glass.
Collins: Well met. ::he...couldn't keep eye contact with Dane for long...a fact that seemed to delight her to no end, and blossom Quentin's cheeks Red Alert crimson.::



More warm, slightly reserved applause greeted the assembly.


Serinus: I have yet to hire a bouncer, and ::he tried to deliver this in an uncharacteristically humorous manner:: I’d appreciate it if you didn’t make me.  


Collins: HA!


Quentin clamped his mouth shut, realizing the eyes that were on him.


Collins: Sorry. Just...no promises, Chief. ::he said with a theatrical and knowing wink.::




The Chief took another polite beat and continued.


Serinus: With that out of the way, I’d like to call up our next speaker, my first collaborator on this project, Lieutenant Commander Quentin Collins, to say a few words.


Quentin carefully sat his glass on the immaculate bar, adjusted his suit coat sleeves, and slowly crossed up and into the space that The Chief had once occupied. He had been...crazy nervous about this. He had made copious amounts of notes (now all in a tall, listing pile in his quarters). He had tried recording something to rehearse, which all were promptly deleted and further expunged from the ship's computer entirely. And he had even taken to his Office archives, looking desperately for some sort of inspiration or bedrock to start from.


Both Sara and David would have keelhauled him knowing that he had tried the truly tired "Various galactic dictionaries define the word "friend" as...".


But in the end, Quentin did what he always did. He took stock of the people around him and his ever-deepening love and respect for them all...drank deep the ambrosian warmth of the room. A warmth that he once thought completely alien and inaccessible to someone like him. Someone with his cursed name...


But then he spoke from the heart.


Collins: I, uh...First off, I wanna thank The Chief and Connor and all of you for...well, everything, to be totally honest. The entire idea of this place was built with all of you in mind and I can only hope you get as much out of it as we put into it.


He took a beat. Casting an eye around them all and slipping his hands into his suit trouser pockets.


Collins: I grew up in a place where the polite thing, the CORRECT thing to do was keep to yourself. Keep to your own and cast a suspicious eye to the outsider. My own family wasn't even immune to it. Part of my drive toward Starfleet, toward all of you, was I knew, I just KNEW life had more to offer than that. There was more to see, more to do beyond what I was told to accept as "normal".


A wide smile found his lips.


Collins: And time after time, ships like this, people like you, and rooms just like this one have proven me right. I realize now, I was simply existing back on Earth. Sure, I was breathing and eating and talking. Usually too much as I am sure you all can attest to now. But it wasn't until I got RIGHT HERE. ::he points to the deck plating::...it wasn't until I knew all of you...that's when I really started living. I want to thank you all, sincerely thank you all, for having me. For being here, sharing this journey and being the officers you are.


He took another beat.


Collins: For...giving me a life beyond just living. Thank you.


He took a step back. Suddenly...overwhelmed with feeling (and appreciative he didn't try to overwrite it).



Serinus: And now, please help me welcome Lieutenant Junior Grade Connor
Dewitt to share his thoughts.
Connor stepped up.
Dewitt: As a child, I began to tinker with my mom's home appliances very early. I always enjoyed creating and making something a better version of itself. Although, I have to admit that they did not always become better ::short pause:: This room was a standard issue Starfleet closet when we first saw it. Thanks to Commander Serinus' imagination and passion, it has become a gathering place for my new family. ::smile::

Con looked toward The Chief. Quentin's heart felt very full in the moment, but he kept silent with respect.

Dewitt: Thank you, Commander, for seeing this through. And for allowing
me to be part of it. ::raising his glass: To many nights we will spend here, remembering all the good and the bad times and figuring out what the next kitchen appliance will be that we make better.
As Connor raised his glass toward The Chief, Quentin gave the Engineer warm and genuine applause. He was a Gold Shirt after his own heart. Quentin too was always looking for the better, weirder thing. It was only too right that one of the main minds behind The Bow was on the same path and searching journey. 
All of them would stand to benefit from it. The Bow itself was proof enough. More speakers were on deck, Quentin allowed them the space and reverent silence to hear their thoughts.
But as the assembly started to break, The Chief had other thoughts. And Quentin did as well. Miss Dane shuffled slightly behind the bar, likely producing a few of the props Quentin hoped were still on deck. 
oO Gods, I hope so. If that gold ended up somewhere else, I swear, I'll fong Cosmini within an inch of his insectoid-life...Oo
Serinus: ::turning to Shayne:: Please remain here, sir. ::turning to the
crowd:: I’d like to call the rest of our speakers back up please. But
please join me in one last round of applause for our Captain.
Collins: Hear, hear!
A comically large set of shears and a tightly wrapped flat parcel were placed on the bar and Quentin felt a sweet relief. But kept his silence for a bit. He wasn't sure entirely if Artinus knew he had done this, but if not, he wished to preserve the surprise for the moment. He moved closer to the bar and Dane quietly slid the parcel into his hands with a wink. 
Quentin was growing increasingly fond of her and her tightly controlled, nearly impossible hairdo. She moved off again, pressing a button on a PADD and "Pomp and Circumstance" started to pipe through The Bow's sound system. Quentin couldn't help but smile. Did The Chief have this streak of theatricality in him the whole time? He desperately hoped so.
Herding them slightly once more, ribbons were cut, holo-pics were taken, and smiles were all around. Quentin couldn't wait to tell Sara and David about this. Would they probably think it was corny? Absolutely. But he didn't care. It was theirs and they had made it happen. That was enough for him. 
Once more the assembly started to break, but this time Quentin stopped them, finally producing the parcel from the bar and into his hands.
Collins: If you'll all indulge me a bit further, I took the liberty...
Carefully, Quentin divested the plate of pressed gold and silver from its silken housing. Made from the same foundry and provided gold as the plate in the Living History Annex was nearly its twin. Quentin tried to hold it out for all to see.
The Starboard Bow
USS Arrow NCC-69829
Dedicated On 240003.04
Design Team: A. Serinus, Q. Collins, C. Dewitt, K. Niac
First Officer: Karrod Niac - Commanding Officer: Randal Shayne
Collins: Master Cosmini sends his regards...
The Chief was usually slightly implacable. That was one of the reasons he was so good at his job. But Quentin Collins would remember forever the open and clear emotion on his face seeing the plaque. It was absolutely worth its weight in the gold he had spent. 
And he would have done it again and again, just to see that look once more.
Serinus: Thank you. We will find a good spot to hang this.
He turned his massive frame back to the assembly. 
Serinus: The Starboard Bow is officially open for business. All serving
shall be moved to the bar, so please make yourselves at home. This place
is for you!
More drinks were distributed by the cool-eyed Vulcan. Quentin felt as if he was floating. And he knew it wasn't the drinks.
At least, not yet.

Serinus: Please stay tuned for at 1900, Commander Collins will lead us
in a Terran style Formal Champagne Toast!
Quentin tapped the center of his glass.
Collins: Just remind me after about two more of these! Unless you may have to settle for a rude sailor's limerick. 

Lieutenant Commander 

Quentin Collins III

Chief Science Officer


U.S.S. ARROW NCC-69829

ID: E239512QC0



(SB118 Forums


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