Permission To Come Aboard III
Location: USS Victory, Utopia Planitia shipyards, Mars
Keying the door chime of Captain John Herod's quarters aboard the USS Victory, Charybdis considered leaning seductively on the door frame and deceiving the current captain, entrapping him to some degree, but she decided that wouldn't be right. She didn't know this man, but she was retiring him... the least she could do was let him have his dignity and relieve him gracefully. It had been a moment, so she keyed the doorchime again, and a few seconds later the door swished open.
"What? WHAT?!? What is so goddamn important that you have to disturb me in my own quarters when I'm not even on duty, and you have the piss-poor judgement to ring twice? WHAT DO YOU WANT... captain..."
It took him that long in his diatribe to notice the rank of the officer in his doorway, and a wave of emotion washed over him. "Lady Vulcan... captain? This is new... what the hell are you doing here? What, are you supposed to be my damn science officer finally showing up? Because I'm not going to have another captain on MY ship. And since when did they start making you people captains, forget about women?"
She smirked slightly and cocked her head slightly to the side. "No... two captains certainly wouldn't work well, would it? My name is Charybdis, Captain Herod... may I speak with you in private for a moment?"
His eyes narrowed and he drew back. "You can come see me in my ready room at my leisure, Kar.. Kori... damn alien names. Captain." With that, he stepped back and the door shut in her face.
"Well that's amusing," she chuckled as she punched a code into the door and it slid open again, and she stepped into it to keep it open. The look on his face would have been priceless, but he immediately launched into a line of invectives that was rather impressive.
"You override my door... MY door in MY Quarters on MY ship?!? I'll have you busted down to ensign for this! Hell, I'll have you court martialed! How dare you violate my privacy, you alien invader to Starfleet! Get out! GET OUT!! Now, or I'll have security haul you to the brig kicking and screaming... or hell, maybe I'll just throw you out of an airlock!"
Throughout it all Charybdis remained calm, that half-smile still there on her face, her hands folded behind her back. "Well, I see that reports of your mental deterioration have not been exaggerated. You genuinely have lost your mind, haven't you, John?"
It hadn't occurred to her that he could actually turn redder, but he managed it with that. "How dare you..." he hissed, and she watched him ball up his fists. She really did not want to give Yuna an excuse, but if he didn't calm down she wasn't going to have any other alternatives. Calm him with logic- explain that you are here on fleet business and stop baiting him, the voice in her head that lent itself to calm logic said.
"Captain Herod, calm down and listen to me. I am here on fleet business on order of... whoops." He swung a slow and very telegraphed swing at her and she took a page from Selune's book and sidestepped it, letting his momentum carry him out into the hall, where he stumbled, but retained his balance.
"How DARE you! SECURITY!" he bellowed, and the small crowd of passersby stopped and formed up around them in a semicircle. Inwardly Char sighed... this was just what she had been hoping to avoid, and it was escalating out of her control rather quickly. You never had control of this. End it, said the voice in her head that made much more sense at the moment.
"Captain Herod, please... calm down and let us discuss this matter in private..." she said as he grabbed her by the face and pushed her back against the bulkhead.
"You invade my ship without my permission, you invade my quarters, you assault me, and now you want me to calm down and discuss it in private, you alien tramp?" he practically spat the words at her. "You'll be lucky to be able to walk off this ship when I'm done with yoOOOWTCH!"
Diplomacy be damned. Charybdis took the hand that was holding her face and twisted it off of her, then turned the arm, driving him to the deck. She placed her foot on his head as she held the arm, and explained carefully. "I have a message from Starfleet Command, Captain Herod. If you can stop your insane ranting and personal assaults for a moment, I would like to deliver it so that myself, this crew and Starfleet in general can get on with our lives. Do you think that you can be silent long enough to manage this feat?"
Meanwhile Yuna was comfortably watching Fi's takeover of the bridge when the call came over the comms for, "Security to deck 5, Captain's quarters.".
"Oops, that's my cue, Zarath, would you mind?" Yuna stood from her station, motioning for her Master at Arms to man her station.
She jogged to the turbo lift and descended to Deck Five, the deck the Captain's quarters were located. Pulling her phaser as a matter of protocol only, Yuna paused as she heard voices in the corridor. She approached cautiously, pushing her way through the crowd of spectators and rubbernecking officers and enlisted personnel that had gathered.
"Captains?" she called, trying to get to the heart of the problem.
"ARREST THIS TREASONOUS WHORE, YOU MORON!" Captain Herod bellowed from his position beneath Charybdis' boot on the floor, whereupon she moved his arm quite suddenly to the left by a few centimeters, and there was a rather painful crunching sound.
"A moment, if you please, Lieutenant Commander," Char asked cheerfully as she held up a finger from her free hand. "Captain Herod, by lawful order 9827654 of Starfleet Command, I do hereby relieve you of duty and assume command of this vessel. It is also my duty to inform you of your retirement, effective immediately, with full retention of your rank and... sir, please, stop screaming, I'm not finished yet."
The screaming turned to sobbing, and the Vulcan captain looked guilty. "I should have known better. Lieutenant Commander, can you help me get him up, please?" As they attempted to help him up, he scrabbled to get a one-handed grip on Yuna's phaser.
Yuna was quick to react, slapping his grubby paw away from her hip as he tried to grab her weapon. Within an instant he found himself in an arm lock, his hand twisted painfully behind his back. Score one for Celes.
Charybdis gripped his face, in the very same grip he had held her in a moment ago... however, she was considerably stronger, and his toes strained to reach the deck as her voice, lit with anger, explained the situation to him.
"I was willing to let you have your dignity and do this privately, but you refused. I was willing to do it behind closed doors, but you wanted a spectacle. I was willing to just let it go with a little reminder never to touch a woman like that.... but you..." she growled in a cold fury, "you just went for a phaser. You just tried to use deadly force... on one of MY officers, on MY ship."
She narrowed her eyes and brought him in close. "You... are... dismissed," she hissed, ripping his Captain's insignia off the breast of his uniform. "Get this piece of trash off of my ship, Lieutenant Commander, with my compliments. As he is currently a civilian, he can seek civilian medical care," she said, and let him go.
"I'll have you court-martialed for this! I'll have you hung up by your ears, you traitorous OWWW!"
The turbolift door slid open. "Guess so," Maur commented, stepping out to allow the Security Officer ample space to maneuver through the doorway. "See ya later, Johnny."
"Gladly." Yuna used all her leverage to haul the slimy Captain to his feet, keeping his arm twisted tightly behind his back to maintain control. "After you... Sir... oh wait, that wasn't a question." She shoved him forward and down the corridor towards the nearest airlock, as the crowd parted before her.
The curvaceous lady captain took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "Well, that could have gone better," she quipped with a shrug. "Well, let's get to work, folks. We've apparently got an awful lot of work to do before we launch here in a few weeks... and something tells me all of you have scuttlebutt to spread," she added with a wry smirk as she strode confidently up the hallway toward the access ladders.
For a moment they just gaped at her... then like magic they scattered in different directions and the word started spreading at warp speed. There was a new captain, and Herod's reign of terror was officially over, and rather spectacularly at that.
Charybdis had memorized the layout of the ship already, of course. She didn't know every single system and conduit and pipe and bulkhead... but she would in time. There was that gimmick that Siivas had offered, and she would likely take him up on it. For now she needed to just learn the old-fashioned way... which was just fine. She had a project or two to work on... and that was aside from working to undo the damage that the previous captain had done to the crew and morale.
"Stand by, one, Captain," Maur gave a little wave. "New Officer here, ma'am, if you don't mind." The man rebuttoned his shirt. "Sorry, I'm on shore leave, but had to come up here to pull at Herod's tail."
He grinned. "Gotta say, I like this a helluvalot better than if Johnny had stayed in charge - you want an initial brief for Engineering staff, such as it is?"
"I very much would indeed, Lieutenant Weaver. I'll be interviewing all of the staff to get up to speed tomorrow... for today I've a considerable amount of damage control to assess. Your department is one of my highest priorities Chief, I assure you... can that brief be tomorrow at 1100?"
"It'll be when and where you want it, you're the skipper," Maur grinned again, "Short and sweet just so you have something to think about, though..." He ticked off a few fingers. "As designed, she's got a base of Warp six point two off the mark. I don't think that's accurate, given what little I've seen, five point eight with a rough ride is probably more accurate. I'll give you seven point four in a week, if we have that much - pending a survey. Last, I've got personnel issues, but I'll work around them and give you a better read tomorrow. Good?"
The voluptuous Vulcan smiled and nodded. "Excellent, Lieutenant. Please have a list of problems, as well as the requisitions that have been stalled for parts, supplies and fixtures as well please... I'll need to know. And I rather think you and the first officer will get along swimmingly... I'll be sure to have her there as well. Enlisted mess, deck eleven, I'll bring the coffee."
"Aye." Maur nodded. "I'll spend the next few hours onnit, I need a bit of time to unpack as well, so you know, formally, I'm on shore leave, but this takes the precedence, if you don't mind me being a bit out of uniform for a time." He frowned and jammed his hands in his pockets. "I gots my suspicions as to why I'm here, but I gots one personal request if you wouldn't mind chasing it down, no rush, just at your convenience."
"I'm all ears," she said, turning her head slightly to emphasize the points of her ears with a wry smile.
He looked at her, just nodding slightly at the ears and appearance, it didn't seem to phase him one bit. "I'd be obliged if you'd look into getting me a field-promotion, seems to me that the Fleet Table of Organization and Equipment calls for a Lieutenant Commander in the position."
The smile withdrew and the left eyebrow rose as she looked him over. "Duly noted. Any other requests while we're here?" That genial good nature had left the hallway, left the ship and apparently the shipyards.
"Nope," he said. "Ain't not a big thing, I'm mostly to blame for pissing on people's boots during my career, and it's just something that's been an irksome note for the last few years, and promotion or not, I aim to put this ship in the stars where she belongs...and keep the department as straight as I can. You'll see folks all over the place, rechecking from frame to frame, because there's major work to be done that ain't been." He winked. "Thanks, Skipper. I appreciate the time."
"Thank you, Lieutenant. It has been enlightening. Carry on," she replied, then turned on her heel and departed toward the access ladders rather than the turbolifts.
As she climbed up the access ladder to the bridge, she stepped off unnoticed, save for the sharp-eyed Andorian with the military posture standing by the turbolifts. She came to attention and announced, "Captain on the bridge!"
Oh, she liked this one, she nodded with a small smile.
Fiona was on her feet immediately, and she stood at attention next to the command chair, "Change of command protocols instituted, Captain;" she said politely.
"Thank you Commander- at ease, all." She had noticed that the young ensign at the helm position wasn't very quick onto his feet- she wondered if it was a discipline problem or damage she had to deal with. One problem at a time, she realized. She strode over to peek into the door of the Captain's ready room, and as she saw the interior, she sighed and pinched the bridge of her nose. She caught Fiona's eye and chucked her head to silently indicate 'c'mere and look at this'.
The first officer walked over and peered around the Captain. Overly lavish, ostentatious, the great oil painting of himself behind the desk, the crystal wetbar, the oriental carpet... the huge antique wooden desk that must have had the room built around it.
"Respectfully request permission to secure a detail tae package oop Captain Herod's personal belongings? " Fiona wrinkled her nose slightly.
"Cheerfully granted, Commander. Oh, except that I don't think that desk is going to be able to come out without removing this bulkhead... unless..." the cheshire captain said coyly.
"I could disassemble tha desk," Fiona said with a smile, "can't be damaging the bulkhead. Then again it may be permanent."
"Ugh. Good people worked hard putting these bulkheads and displays and panels in place- they aren't budging. If it doesn't disassemble, find a chainsaw and mail him the pieces. Or let Security use it for phaser target practice."
"Disassemble the desk it is then." The former engineer walked over to the emergency supply closet and pulled out a fire axe, "No problem!"
The ear to ear grin was genuine. "As you see fit, commander. I relieve you of duty... I've some work to do setting appointments with department heads, looking over rosters and about two thousand things on my 'to do' list. If we could have every trace of the former commanding officer's presence expunged from my ship by twenty-four hundred hours, I would be a very happy woman."
"I'll get right on thet Captain... ready room then quarters," the wee first officer shouldered the axe and strode into the ready room.
"Thank you so much, Commander." the new captain strode across the grey felt carpeting to the corrugated metal diamond-plate tritanium decks that led to the center of the bridge and ran her fingers over the Captain's chair.
It was smaller in this incarnation... the one that she remembered from her own era had been huge, with those great armrests and a wide seat. This one looked more comfortable, perhaps, and definitely more slimline, less ostentatious.
But it was special, because this one was hers. Gingerly she lowered herself into it... it was indeed more comfortable than the one that she remembered, though it would definitely be more of a challenge to vault the rail and land in it ass first, as she had mastered on the Bonaventure. She leaned back in it for a moment, and smiled as she looked around the bridge, realizing that the bridge crew were all looking at her.
There was a loud crash from the ready room before the doors closed, shutting out the sound, and she chuckled.
"We'll all get acquainted in the coming days, people. But for now... communications?" The button on her armrest wasn't there anymore.. she would have to do something about that. "Please open a shipwide channel for me."
The comm officer nodded, and she stood up. "This is Captain Charybdis speaking... as of 0618 hours I have assumed control of this vessel as her duly appointed captain, according to Starfleet order 9827654. I will be meeting with many of you in the immediate future, and discussing our mission moving forward. I realize that this is a scramble, and an uncertain time for many of you."
"But moving forward, I want you to know that Starfleet has heard you, recognized your efforts and has every confidence that the Victory will be the finest ship in the fleet from this point forward. And that is what I and my officers will dedicate ourselves to from this moment on- and it is my hope that you will all accompany us on this journey, and be proud to serve on the Victory. Please check your chain of command for changes in the duty roster to learn who your new senior officers are so that you can turn to them as needed. That is all... for now. Captain Charybdis out."
It was at that precise point that Yuna hefted Herrod forward with a final shove out the umbilical tube that connected the Victory to the spacedock. She slapped the door controls as he stumbled, with a resounding shout.
"And Stay Out!" she shouted before allowing herself the first REAL smile she'd had in a very, very long time.