USS VINDEX - NCC-2474-A
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Cat Ahoy!

Posted on Sun Jul 9th, 2017 @ 3:29am by Lieutenant Commander Arturo M'Rohass

Mission: S2E1 - Secrets
Location: Shuttle Bay
Timeline: MD99: 0700hrs

The shuttle carrying Lieutenant Arturo M'Rohass to his final destination, the USS Vindex, was on final approach. It had a been a long journey, but he was finally here. When he found out that he and his paramour, Lieutenant Xiulan Song had been assigned to different ships, he was devastated, but not defeated. Arturo called in every marker, offered every bribe, dug up whatever skeletons he could find and used them to blackmail people in BUPERS. That got him a holocall with the Chief of BUPERS which was when he pulled out his secret weapon his sad, heartbroken kitty face, the one with the big eyes. That worked like a charm and Arturo was assigned to the USS Vindex. That only left getting to his new assignment before Xiulan got there. A few more bottles of good whisky placed in the right hands got him priority travel orders and he was off.

The shuttle touched down gently on the deck of Vindex's shuttle bay. Not as gently as if Arturo had been in the pilot's chair, but gently nonetheless. Arturo stood and put on his uniform jacket. He thanked the pilot and exited the shuttle, looking for someone to help him arrange to get his belongings to his quarters...wherever they were.

Ryland had his feet up and crossed on his desk, enjoying a secret cigar, when word came of an inbound shuttle--first one of the day.

"Computer, max ventilation." He put his cigar out in the ash tray and got up to meet his new CFCO.

After the shuttle landed, he rounded its front side to face the door.

"Good morning there, hoss," Ryland called out to empty air. When he looked down at Arturo and noted his pips, realization settled in. "Or I guess I should say Boss."

"Yes," Arturo said with an enthusiastic grin. "It is I! Lieutenant Arturo M'Rohass! Newly assigned as Chief Flight Control Officer here on the USS Vindex! And I am, indeed, your boss. What, my comrade in arms, is your name?"

Ryland stared down at him and clicked his tongue. He had pussies for superior officers before, but this was something else entirely.

"Uh-huh...I'm Lieutenant Dedeker, but everybody calls me Ryland. Normally I'd welcome you to my abode here in the shuttlebay, but as it stands, sir, mi casa es su casa." He realized that expression might be lost on the Caitian. "Which means..."

"My house is your house," Arturo replied. "So, mio amico, you are the shuttle bay manager? Or perhaps the chief support craft pilot? Or both? It is a pleasure to meet you, Ryland. I look forward to many adventures with you. Please ask operations to deliver my belongings to my quarters if you would, and then you can tell me everything there is to know about the craft we have here in this bay."

Arturo saw no reason not to get a little work in before he went to his quarters to freshen up before meeting the captain.

Ryland blinked several times at the entire situation. It wasn't often that he was caught completely sideways, but this was definitely it.

"Ah, yeah. The maid will see your gear to your quarters. I run this place, and seeing as how I have more flight hours in a starfighter cockpit than any three FCOs combined, I am indeed the chief shuttle pilot. Benefits of rank, you see, as I don't get behind the stick much anymore...."

He trailed off a moment before continuing. "As for your other question, we maintain four runabouts, 10 shuttles, and eight work bees. You came in at a good time, too, seeing as how we just got them all up to snuff. They, eh, were pretty bad."

"Well," Arturo said. "I'll make a point of coming down here to see for myself what condition all twenty-two vehicles are in. So, you have a great deal of fighter time? Why aren't you off flying fighters instead of babysitting space taxis and work bees? In other words, Ryland my new found friend, who did you piss off to get this job?"

Ryland flinched at the question, though he covered it with a devil-may-care grin. "Somebody with far more clout than you and I put together. Turns out admirals don't like it if you pork their daughters on their office desk." Uncharacteristic wrath flared in Ryland's eyes. "The old bastard had it coming." The wrath cooled back into his mirthful good humor as he added, "And, literally, so did she."

Arturo frowned.

"So," he said. "You fancy yourself a swordsman. Well, if you bedded this admiral's daughter, especially where you bedding this admiral's daughter, simply to stick it to the admiral in question, then perhaps you had it coming, too, no? Or was it you who were bedded to get a neglectful father's attention or to hurt a father for simple revenge for some slight, real or imagined? My question, mio amico, is who screwed whom in this scenario?"

"Swords...man?" Ryland scrunched his forehead. "Yeah, I'm not into... that. No, the admiral's son was the real problem. His daddy was just doing what unjust and evil man on a power trip would do. His daughter was his yeoman, and she was more than willing, so it's probably as you say. Just two people making vengeful love to spite an overbearing authority figure."

Ryland gave Arturo one last lookover. "Speaking of flight hours, how many have you logged behind the stick? Can you, uh, how can I put this--reach the console?"

"As a fighter pilot?" Arturo said. "None. As a starship pilot? Many, as well as many hours in smaller craft, runabouts, shuttles, assault shuttles, as well as Nyberite corvettes, gunships, and cutters. And I have managed to reach the controls of every craft I have piloted...sometimes with a few adjustments, but nonetheless, I manage."

Ryland laughed at the Caitian's enthusiasm. He dropped his hand to waist level to clap him on the back. "I think you're exactly the kind of shake-up this ship needs. Welcome aboard, Skipper."

"Thank you!" Arturo said. "I look forward to working for you, Ryland, my new friend. Arrivederci!"

Arturo hefted his personal bag and left the flight deck. Using the panels on the wall, he had the computer direct him to the quartermaster's office. A few bottles of very well aged whisky later, he had a surprise all set for Xiulan when she arrived.

 

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