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Uncomfortable news

Posted on Mon Feb 4th, 2019 @ 3:45pm by Admiral Charles Grayson & David Hawkins

Mission: Jarland

Admiral Grayson tugged his uniform sleeves and and entered the Captains ready room on the USS Gladiator. He stood next to the window, a place he often stood when he was brooding. He watched the shuttle arriving from the surface, aware that Hawkins had wanted to do an external look of the ship before boarding. He waited, content in the silence.

Mercias arrest had been difficult for him. He was horrified at her behavior, and he'd spent the last period time reviewing his guidance of her career, especially in the lat year. Her accusation of him setting her up was nagging at him. Was she right?

Lost it thought he heard a sound behind him after a time, he turned when the door opened and smiled wen he saw the Hologram stroll through. "Emmah, Please inform Captain Hawkins I am here and need to speak with him." he said.

Emmah blinked looking surprised, "Of course, Admiral." the aide turned and walked back out on to the bridge.

It didn't take mote than ten minutes, from the time that Hawkin's shuttle had landed in the shuttle bay, till the time that David had found himself walking into his ready room where he had mad a b-line for. There was no reason for the Admiral to arrive but then again, he knew that this unexpected meeting was going to be about. So when he saw the Admiral standing in his office and the announcement from his aide, he wasn't surprised, whatsoever.

"I wish I could have said it is a surprise, Admiral." the captain stated as he announced his place in the office, even if he hadn't heard the sliding door of the office.

Charles turned a round and eyed the man. He held out his hand to shake it, but looked solemn. "She's in a lot of trouble David. I'm not sure how to get her out of this one." he said his voice laced with both anger and sadness. He motioned to the Captains chair and moved around to the other side of the desk, allowing the Captain to sit in his own chair.

Shaking the older man's hand, David sighed as he knew what he was talking about. "Pretty simple, just get Jarland to drop the charges," he countered as he took his seat behind the desk and grabbed one of the newest padds on his desk. He tapped the tip of the tablet on the table as he thought deep on the whole thing. He knew all to well that they weren't going to get that from Neville. The man was a twisted son of a bitch, to say the least.

Charles tried to smile, "Well it's your lucky day David. Neville will be accompanying you on this mission. You'll have all the time you need to convince him that he should drop the charges. And also prove you and your crew are actually professional." he added quickly.

"Good joke, but no. Not on my ship," David shook his head as he was not amused whatsoever.

Charles shifted in the chair and shook his head. "Jarland will be observing and reporting his findings to Starfleet."

"Did you get dropped on your damn head or something? You know better then this."

"Slow down David." Charles said trying to be understanding. Hawkins had extra reason to not want Neville Jarland near his ship. "His uncle will be examining operations at Memphis Island Command. Mercia's actions have put us under a new microscope, and despite the history Starfleet Command felt he was more than qualified to collect the reports. We have to prove that her actions were her own, and not because we have allowed her behavior to become... systemic. They need to see we are not a risk to the fragile set up here... and that was just her." he said. He hated how his words made it sound like they were being forced to throw Mercia under the shuttle as it were. "They're always looking for a reason to shut The refit project down... I don't want to sacrifice her, but if we don't play along we have no chance at getting her or ourselves out of this." he added.

"For crying out loud, Charles. The refit project and Mercia have nothing in common. She hasn't been in the program for several years. For anyone to say the two are connected is a stretch, at best," David countered as he started to rock back slightly in his chair and sigh. "I'm assuming there was a push for Neville to take temporary position of Executive Officer during this time as well?"

The Admiral arched his brows, he saw the connections, and it disturbed him that David didn't. Charles was under examination and people who have been trying prove that the project doesn't work found an in with Mercia, a reason to dig in and find other failures. She wasn't the reason, she was just an in. A prime opportunity for his enemies who fought his assignment to command Memphis Island and the fleet serving the region. Prove his project a failure, prove his Captains as failures and a lot of people would suffer. Rather than berate Hawkins for his narrow mindedness he took a deep breath, "There was, but I managed put my foot down on that one. You will need that position filled though before Neville arrives."

"Well if its due to me not having a name to replace her, for the time being, it will be Zeti. She is has been looking forward to a chance to step into those shoes for a while. If this thing with Mercia is stretched out longer than needed, Tayla will take up the position to allow Zeti to take on her Chief rolls," the captain quickly explained. He wasn't the type to just not have a back up in these moments in time, but now he had a reason to counter any possible outside interference in his command.

"Lt. Commander D'Jax may have other assignments before you return, but she would make a good choice. I'll keep feelers out." Charles watched Hawkins, "Listen David. Listen carefully. You aren't the target in all this. Honestly Neither is Mercia, or any one else under your command. There are larger forces at work. I need to have a similar talk with the Captains of the three other ships under my command out here."

"It was very hard to get assigned out here, It took years and every favor I ever garnered to get this command. I saw an opportunity to expand and do some good. I had few supporters, but won enough favor to make it happen. That favor can change at StarFleet command. Do you even know who my competitor was for the job? Admiral Jarland." he said and paused for a moment to let that sink in.

"Each of the four ships are getting an observer, as is MI command. How we conduct ourselves is important. The results of the reports may or may not have a significant effect on you or your crew, but think of the bigger picture. If the Project gets shut down people like Mercia, or your security officer Lt. Turner will never get the same opportunity.

"If I loose command of Memphis Island the wrong way, you can bet that they will put someone in command who will not like your..... cowboy way of command. Who will shut down the project. Who may even reassign you or members of your crew to fit their own vision. What happened with Mercia... you and I know was all on her. The problem is people who have been hunting for an in found it through her." he leaned back. "Admiral Jarland told me to my face he thinks the Project is foolish and dangerous and he has been an active voice to shut it down for years. He also doesn't like you and your methods very much." he tapped his finger on the desk. "He is shooting for Memphis Island command, David. Don't be foolish. See beyond your ship. He is playing a hard game, and he's got a shot at winning. This mission needs to go smoothly, and your officers need to run by the book, and I mean really by the books." he warned him.

"Or the next Admiral that steps in to your office will be Admiral Jarland to inform you of his new command." Charles said. "I trust you, as I trust my other Captains, but I would be a fool not to warn you of what I know is actually going on."

David clicked his tongue as he looked at the Admiral before taking in a deep breath. "Listen, Admiral. I am not as narrow minded as you think. Hell, you know this," he paused as he sighed while leaning back and thinking it through. "I know its all about politics and the run for dictating the actions out here. But I know what you are talking about."

"Good." Charles said. "Politics are annoying, but a part of this gig." he said.

"I am just irritated over all this. Past couple years should have been more than enough to keep them all in check at Command. But its just another election year for some of those people," the captain muttered as he shook his head. "Should have stayed as a Commodore and kept my small task force."

"Maybe, but even you had enemies at that point. Moving down and being under my command has sheltered you from that a bit. Lucky you." he said standing up. "Commander Jarland will be observing the ship's operations and conducting interviews. You are under orders to fully cooperate, Captain, an order I expect to be passed to your crew." he said.

David looked at the Admiral and nodded out of respect, even though the two both knew how... stupid... the order was. the captain stood up and shook the man's hand.

The unspoken assesment of the order passed between them as they shook hands. "Thank you David." Charles said before nodding and heading for the door.

"And ... sheltered..."

He smirked, "happens to the best of us." he said before he headed for the door.

"I have always had enemies... But to say sheltered... You begged me, and if I remember correctly, I do believe you still owe me," David countered as he stopped the Admiral from walking close enough for the sensors from causing the doors to slide open.

Charles stopped. He tuned almost afraid to ask. But he had to. The Admiral turned around and looked at the Captain. "Are you calling in that favor?" he asked stepping a bit more in to the office again.

"No, not yet. But I didn't want you forgetting about it. It maybe coming up here soon," the captain said simply as he smirked slight. "Don't worry, Admiral, I may not like this, but the crew and I won't let ya down. Sorry for the stress of all this."

Charles took a breath but really had nothing to say. David would take on as much as Charles would when it came to dealing with Mercia. They both had helped her excel and overlooked things. Maybe they pushed her too far. That was a question for another day. He nodded. "I know you'll be you Hawkins. I want nothing more, nothing less." he nodded before he excited the office, off to his next uncomfortable conversation.



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