Chapter 1: Across the Cosmos
Ithca Stations weren’t anything spectacular in their own right. Esquimalt had been part of the Dominion Line, towed into place at the beginning of the war and then abandoned when she was damaged too far to be useful. It had taken nearly five years to get her functional again, what with the rats’ nest of conduit that had been run through in an effort to keep it as a sensor beacon. A series of starship repair facilies had been added, with four dry docks, and a series of smaller repair facilities surrounding the base. Just outside the windows of the Admiral’s office was the view of these facilities, the massive expansive window allowed him to watch the coming and going’s of the various ships. Sitting in one of the drydocks was the Vesta undergoing a wide spread series of repairs following her previous mission. According to the Dock Master and the stations Chief Engineer, it was going to take them weeks to undo the spotty repairs the crew had done to get her out of the space-time distortions. Which was fair, they were heat of the moment repairs.
The Admiral’s ready room was large, a occupied the rear wall, with his desk seated just in front of that. It allowed him to sit and watch as people entered into the space. Across dark ebony wood desk was two chairs, facing towards, and allowing him to entertain more series discussion. From here the room opened up, taking two steps down to a wide open area designed to entertain. A large table occuplied the space, currently surrounded by eleven chairs – one at the head and five to a side. This acted as a board room as well, and could easily be converted to a dining lounge with direct access to a near by galley if needed. Replicators dotted the curved dark walls hidden from immediate site, and a collection of bars were just behind panels should the be needed.
The room was meant to be oppulant, not to showcase the occupants oppulance, but to act as a place that could serve that purpose if it needed. Diplomatic meetings and treaties could be signed here. Punishments and promotions alike could happen here. All of it controlled from a chair slightly above the rest, with the stars to its back and looking down on the rest. Even the floors were the same polished ebony wood, the stairs lit from behind to give a soft glow to the room even when the main lights were off. Anyone here would surely have shown the space a great deal of respect. That was why the designers would be crying in their bunks of they could see the wet sloppy tennis ball that was being nosed across the ground by an adolecent australian shepherd, dutifully attempting to stop the orange and white ball from rolling too much further away. Finally he managed to grasp it, and dropped it at the feet of the room’s owner, one Yoshi Minawara. “Good boy Kevin,” he said, grabbing the ball, and tossing it towards the other end of the room. A skitter of claws on wood was heard, as the dog, not yet used to it’s legs, chased after it in a calculated ball of chaos.
Ledeya was not surprised by the invite in the slightest from her old friend but she was surprised to find it already on her desk seconds after her request for a base assistant after her Executive Officer had disappeared. It was still unnerving that Christopher has vanished after being supercharged into an almost ‘Q’ like being but they were still on the case of tracking him down and getting the sphere and Christopher back but they needed a moment’s respite before continuing the chase. She pressed the door chime and was confused by the noise within the compartment of pattering feet that sounded like several children. Had Yoshi had children in the years since Starfleet Command had been forced into breaking apart team 72 due to rumours and gossip around the former task force commander? A bark within made her release instantly her error and that there was an enthusiastic dog waiting for her on the other side of the door.
“Kevin you stay back,” Yoshi said with an authority that would make a Starfleet Cadet tremble. Kevin, on the other hand, completely disregarded the command in its entirety and bounded for the door, which dutifully opened to allow the excited pup to slide across the floor in a vain attempt to stop. Failing that, instead, he slammed into the woman at the door sideways, before proptly sitting and dropping the tennis ball he had previously held so proudly. Blue eyes looked up at her, and a tongue lolled to the side. The Admiral wasn’t far behind, scooping the dog up off the ground and under his arm to carry him back towards the centre of the room. “It’s been too long Ledeya,” he said, a genuine smile cross his face as he plopped his dog down. He gestured to the couches that nestled into the walls behind his desk and out into the windows. “How have you been?”
“Kevin obviously has no respect for you in the slightest there Yoshi.” Ledeya chuckled leaning over to stroke him before he was hauled off the floor to leave her alone. She retrieved the ball and threw it once again when he was free of Yoshi. “I have had better months but your star is certainly rising i see.” She teased trying to not think on the last month or so and the chaos her ship was in thanks to Christopher’s disappearance.
“He’s a mommy’s dog, and rather likes to torment his father,” Yoshi said with a frown as the shepherd went tearing after the tennis ball. “I’d heard about your second in command,” he mentioned as he seated himself into one of the couches. “Another power trip for a Starfleet Officer, and no doubt a bunch of undue press. If you need anything, from a friend or the Brass, you now where to find me. We have resources now,” the last comment was almost oozing with sarcasm.
“Rising stars are a whole other matter. I think this is a gentle plea from the upper elements of Starfleet Command to stop getting kidnapped or trapped in time altering anomalies. My guess is Admiral Sepandiyar hopes the two full bars are going to be enough to stop the chaos that comes with these things.” A playful smile returned to his face. “Though, I would be lying if I said I had no plans to disappoint. And since Harrington… made a mess, things have been a lot of public clean up.” He carefully referenced their old friend, no doubt as much a sore point for her as it was for him.
“I am sure Christopher will reappear eventually. Whatever the cube did to him is being investigated but until then we have an avenging angel out there in the universe.” Ledeya was not sure it was the right wording but it was how she thought of the man. The mention of Harrington was something that neither of them had commented about in previous meetings. He had been the reason she had been on independent fleet operations as to keep her away from the association with someone who had become quickly an object of press coverage. “Well I am sure seeing that little one has a Mummy you will be less of a pain in the ass for the brass with the press for that reason at the very least. That is something to be thankful for I guess.” She teased just a little. She was pretty sure that no manner of extra bars would keep trouble magnets away from the trouble.
Laughing, Yoshi nodded, and said “Well I mean, I doubt I’ll be as much of an issue with the press. They already were sent running after I took command of the Vesta, and had a bit of their own wave of embarassment when we reappeared the day the FNN had planned to air a memorial to us. Did I ever tell you the time a reporter tried to get fiesty and accidentally disconnected my arm?” He gave a wiggle of the mechanical fingers and laughed again, letting to roll and subside. “I am sure I’ll keep Starfleet from too much trouble. Hell, way out here we might even be able to do some good. With Persephone being rebuilt and additional resources being funneled through Esquimalt to the outter regions, maybe we can earn some good will.” He let that notion hang for a second, before he pressed on. “Speaking of, I hear the Cosmos will be moved back to 72. Anything you need from me to assist, or anything I can do to support?”
Ledeya was a trained professional but even she struggled to not let out a small snicker at the mention of his arm being disconnected by a Federation News Network reporter being feisty. It was too good of an image. “I do not believe you did but the image is amusing image.” The mention of them being reassigned was a sore point for some of her command team but for Ledeya she had no issue as it meant they had a lot more support being back in from the cold and in her opinion it meant a much better professional task force and that she might no longer have to keep such a close eye on Alexis as Harrington was long gone. “Support us in not judging our friendship with Fenris Rangers or Freecloud.” It had been hard working getting the planet and the Fenris rangers to see them as anything other than trouble so she did not want to lose those steps in some type of communication.
Raising his hands in a mock defensive gesture, Yoshi gave a shake of his head. “I am no fan of the Rangers, and I feel Freecloud could do with some… oversight. But as it stands, if you and your crew have a working relationship with both organizations, and there is no risk to the Fleet as a whole, I won’t stand in your way.” Pulling a PaDD from the small shelf behind the seating, he keyed some things in, making a note to file it away for later. “I’ll make sure Intelligence doesn’t hound your crew or go chasing your leads without your knowing. The compromise is your send me some updates if you think there is any real risks that show up. No protecting sources at the cost of greater security. You know how some Admirals these days get, Ensigns during the Dominion War looking to hang medals on chests. There will be a flotilla of starships parked above Freecloud the second one of them thinks they can win a victory in the eyes of their peers.” He passed the PaDD across so she could review the notes, fair and square. “Deal?”
It was probably the closest the man had felt to an Admiral so far, lecturing someone who had been his peer not a few weeks earlier. Though it was less of a lecture, and more of him ensuring no one got caught in some wanna-be Section 31 ghost hunt. He had enough on his plate without having to worry about angry Admirals and front page title hunting press.
”Well they are a non-aligned Crypto Libertarian Pseudorepublic Sir. I do not believe oversight from us will help anyone and why I am very good at keeping the peace with certain parts of the populations. I will send you everything I have on people involved with them and keep the Watchdog from hounding Starfleet and vice vs. So yes deal Sir.” Ehestri had been dealing with the planet for well over a year now so it was not unknown for her to be a bit protective of the place when she had worked so hard to create relationships and broker some peace between some of the factions in that area. She’d even managed to keep tabs on Gregnol and the mess intelligence had made with him and his life.
“Good. I won’t keep you any longer, I think Kevin is ready for my wife to come grab him too,” Yoshi said gesturing to the pup, passed out in a dog bed not far away. “Don’t be a stranger, and look out for yourself,” he added, as he walked her to the door. “Have a good day, Commodore,” he ended with, a stiffening in mock regard for the formality of the fleet, ending with a cheeky grin.