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Changing Hands

Posted on Mon Apr 3rd, 2017 @ 2:09pm by Rear Admiral David Hutchinson Sr & Captain Isobel Joyce

Mission: S1E5 - Unknown Territory
Location: USS Derbyshire
Timeline: Mission Day 74; 15:00

David had finally realised he could no longer permanently command a starship whilst being in such a critical role within the task force - he would have to give up the centre chair for the time being and hope that one day he would be able to run his own bridge again. Less than a week after taking command of the Derbyshire he was now ready to surrender command of the vessel to one of his most trusted advisors who had been officially approved to take over from him in command of the Century-class starship.

With his office now as bare as his quarters David sat on the desk of the Derbyshire's ready toom and summoned his replacement to make if official. Once this was done he was off to New Bajor for a briefing with Vice Admiral Archer - his first.

=/\="Commander Joyce - please meet me in the ready room"=/\= David said.

Isobel was already on the bridge so it wasn't far to go - although what bugged her was David said the ready room - and not my ready room. She shrugged and tapped her commbadge whilst standing up - indicating to Carl that the bridge was his until she returned.

=/\="Won't be a moment sir"=/\= Isobel replied.

Arriving outside the ready room she was surprised that David opened the doors the moment she pressed the chime. Isobel entered and sat down at the table - wondering what was going on when David didn't sit behind the desk and instead sat on the desk next to her.

"It's time for me to give up the centre chair on a permanent basis Ms Joyce - I'm being assigned to New Bajor to help Vice Admiral Archer run the task force so as much as I hoped I'd be able to I can't keep permanent command of the Derbyshire. Sadly that means as the empty ready room suggests I'm standing down from command of the Derbyshire" David said.

Isobel was sad to hear David was going - she had now survived two Commanding Officers since her assignment to be Executive Officer of the crew she served with - and now it looked like a third was on the way and more 'getting to know you' and 'this is Lieutenant Jones' meetings would be needed.

"Oh...I'm sorry to hear that Commodore - but at least you'll still be around and technically you'll still be able to give orders to this starship so all isn't lost. Is there a new CO lined up or do we have to sit around and wait for them to arrive?" Isobel replied.

David chuckled and shook his head. He knew Isobel well enough that she disliked Starfleet's logic at times - although this time around there'd be no waiting and the Derbyshire and her crew could get on their way as soon as possible. Their first assignment under their new Commanding Officer would be to transfer him up to Starbase Unity to oversee exploration of the area for a short while before returning to Deep Space 11.

"Not this time Commander. The new Commanding Officer has already arrived - would you like to meet them?" David said.

Isobel nodded. "Might as well get it over and done with Commodore. I just hope they're not as uptight and a massive pain in the backside like the Renown's previous CO before you was. I'm not sure who was happier he left - him or us. Sorry sir - not professional I know"

David grinned and stepped up from the table.

"While you're waiting for them to come in why don't you have a look over their file in that chair behind their desk. I just need to go and get something I forgot to pick up from my quarters...I won't be a moment" David said.

Isobel blinked. "Alright then..."

Isobel stood up and just as David left the ready room she sat down in the chair behind what was David's desk and turned on the console - using her codes to activate it and access the file of whoever David was on about. A few moments later Isobel had her answer and she was rather surprised - mainly pleasantly - at the person whose profile she was looking at on the screen.

Joyce, Captain Isobel R.; Commanding Officer, USS Derbyshire-C; Effective from 65773.5

"Alright Commodore the joke's not funny anymore. You can come back in now" Isobel called

Isobel stood up from the chair and waited a few moments - David had always been a bit of a wind up merchant but evidently this wasn't a wind up - she'd finally made it up to Captain and had her own starship for the first time. Isobel wondered if this always the plan although knowing David he'd probably have to be dragged from a bridge to sit behind a desk rather than go willingly. Still - Isobel was happy for him and looked forward to working with him on a higher level in the future.

A few minutes later David came back in and almost immediately after he stopped in the doorway he knew the look Isobel was giving him - she didn't like surprises but this was too good an opportunity to pass up. David remembered when he handed over command of the Blackburn to his Executive Officer in what was quite a standard affair - this time David wanted to make things a bit more interesting.

"Ah there you are. Permission to come in?" David asked.

Isobel replied. "Denied. Come back later"

"You're such a tease. I even brought you a bottle of wine so we could celebrate" David replied.

Isobel tittered. "Alright - you can come in seeing as you have wine. I'll get the glasses from the cabinet providing you haven't taken those too. Are you leaving me with anything here or do I have to go back to Deep Space 9 to get some decorations for my ready room?"

David moved away from the closed doors and sat down at the opposite side of the table - it was an odd feeling but one he knew he had to get used to. It was a tough choice but he wanted to offer what experience he had to help rebuild the Idran Region after The Consortium crisis.

"I left those for a special occasion - they're still where they were when I showed you them the other day" David replied.

Isobel reached for the two glasses - engraved with the Derbyshire's mission badge - and put them down on the table. Reaching for the bottle of wine and securely holding it Isobel gently twisted the cork which popped out with a loud bang and straight into one of the ceiling lights which immediately broke. Putting the now open wine bottle back onto the table Isobel bit her lip and looked at David.

"Oh shit...Rafael's going to kill me" Isobel said.

Seconds later the pair of them broke down in hysterics for what felt like ages - before finally calming down and helping themselves to a glass of wine each. With both of them standing up and holding their glasses David proposed a toast.

"Congratulations Captain - not only have you got command of the Derbyshire you've also managed to break one of the lights in your ready room with a cork from a wine bottle" David said.

Isobel giggled and tapped her glass against David's before taking a long and slow sip of the contents. It was one of the bottles David received as a present for his promotion and it was extremely nice too - although Isobel managed David had probably either given half of them away or all but the bottle they were having were drunk at the Derbyshire's christening party on the night before their launch.

"You've seen nothing yet Commodore" Isobel replied.

David chuckled. "Oh I know - I've never had an XO like you before and as a CO I think despite your rather unique sense of humour you're going to do rather well. You've got your partner in crime out here too so I'm sure everyone will be quaking in their boots at the thought of facing you and Captain Ainscow at the same time"

"Well - I was serious about you not coming in but seeing as it's you and you had a bottle of wine then I thought I'd let you in this time" Isobel responded - grinning.

David smiled. "You're too kind. Have you thought about who to appoint as your Executive Officer yet?"

"Well yeah I was thinking of either Carl or Rafael - but I'd imagine the latter will probably want to stay in Engineering for a bit longer yet. I'm leaning towards Mr Redmond but I'll have a think about it first - as long as your first orders to me aren't to take over the galaxy I think we can manage without a first officer for a few days" Isobel replied.

David nodded. "Both would be a good choice but I think out of the two Carl is more likely to be willing to step up. Rafael is a great officer don't get me wrong but I think he's more than happy with holding a hyperspanner or running diagnostics for the time being yet. If you do go for Carl then let me know and I'll run a promotion through for him. He's a good guy too and the crew know him - probably a better idea than getting someone in from somewhere else"

"I know that feeling Commodore - that's how we ended up with you on the Renown to replace Captain Uptight-Miserybum" Isobel said.

David chuckled. "Oh the cheek of it. Anyway before I go and meet the Vice Admiral - and if I may do so - I'd like to make your promotion official and give you that fourth pip on your collar"

"Please do" Isobel replied.

After removing the pips from Isobel's collar and putting them on the desk David took four solid gold pips out of his pocket and one by one he placed them in place of the ones he'd removed. He'd given Isobel his own four Captain's pips as a parting gift - and he felt there was nobody more worthy than her of receiving them.

"I always said I'd give my four pips up to the right person if I ever got promoted - and they're now yours. Congratulations Captain Joyce - it's been an honour and a privilege to serve you and I hope to keep working with you as Task Force Executive Officer" David said.

Instead of a handshake Isobel smiled and gave the Northern Irishman a hug. David was by far the nicest and best Commanding Officer she'd served under and it felt like a massive honour to receive his Captain's pips instead of a fourth to go with her own. She and the crew would miss him but at least this time Isobel was given the chance to take over and lead a crew she knew more than anybody else on board.

"Thank you sir - and the same goes to you too. We'll all be right here if you need us" Isobel said.

David smiled. "I know Captain. As a matter of fact I need you to wait around for a little while - I'm heading to Starbase Unity after the meeting and I need a ride up there. Any chance you could do that for me?"

After releasing David from her embrace Isobel smiled and decided to share one last joke with him before he finally departed the Derbyshire for his new role as Task Force Executive Officer.

"No problem Commodore - but I'm leaving the meter running while you're gone" Isobel replied.

David grinned. "Oh well I'll cope. Computer - transfer all command codes of the USS Derbyshire-C from myself to Captain Isobel Joyce. Authorisation Hutchinson-1-2-Sierra-Foxtrot"

"Transfer complete. Captain Isobel Joyce is now in command of the USS Derbyshire-C"

Isobel smiled. "I relieve you Commodore"

"I stand relieved Captain. Take care of her" David replied.

Isobel nodded. "You can count on it"

With the meeting now over for the time being Isobel remained behind her desk and finished her glass of wine whilst reading over mission reports from the Battle of Gavara IV and Battle of Deep Space 11 - something she had not done despite the battles being around two months ago. Life as a Commanding Officer wasn't going to be easy but Isobel knew she could count on her partner in crime Claudia Ainscow and her mentor and friend David Hutchinson to help her if she ever needed them to.


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