Cmdr. Shayne: A Less Than Auspicious Beginning

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Quinn Friedl

Oct 14, 2020, 8:27:20 PM10/14/20
((Deck 1, Main Conference Room, USS Arrow)) 

Shayne: Lieutenants, for lack of time, we’ll hold any proceedings here. ::He gestured to the conference room:: Small though it is, it’s better than nothing. Please retrieve refreshments and PADDs for us to use; meet back here as soon as you can and put on your best diplomatic smiles. We won’t get another chance to make a first impression.

Under normal circumstances, a convention as diplomatically fraught and momentous as what they were attempting would be proceeded by months, or even years of planning. If Shayne could have stood the boredom of such a career, he might have done well in organizing accommodations for Federation mediation and diplomatic efforts; the bureaucratic minutiae was right up his alley, and personal experience informed him of impact that proper planning could have on the success of any negotiation. This, though… this was flying by the seat of their collective trousers. Instead of a lavish yet tasteful hall, filled with dress-uniformed attendants and civil protocol, this conference would take place in the cramped confines of the Arrow

R’Ariel: Captain, we are trying to keep these proceedings as "Neutral" as possible, right?

Shayne: Indeed- our goal is to open a running dialogue. Anything after that is gravy. 

Well, if all went well, it would be gravy. Shayne could easily imagine matters devolving with a single misplaced word, an accidental slip of the tongue, and then the gravy could just as easily turn to blood. 

R'Ariel: Only how neutral can it be with our guests on a warship, surrounded by nothing but uniforms, security, and a Warship Captain?

Shayne’s eyes narrowed slightly, while his face remained passive as he scrutinized the counselor. Those close to him knew it was a dangerous expression for Shayne to harbor. 

Shayne: Do you see a way to become… more neutral, Lieutenant? 

R'Ariel: Some ship's counselors, in order to facilitate a more neutral and open dialogue, are encouraged to wear less military attire. It creates a less threatening atmosphere, a safer space.

Now Shayne’s expression did furrow, more in surprise than anything else. Shayne had always been rather obsessive with his uniforms. Synchronicity in function was important, even in regards to an organization as purposefully diverse as Starfleet. Indeed, he spent most of his life in his standard black and grey jumpsuit. Thus, to see others out of uniform, even on duty, was a senseless, unhealthy but vivid pet peeve for Shayne. Emergencies did not care what shift you were assigned to; catastrophes would occur where they willed, and wouldn’t give special warning of their arrival most of the time. As such, the idea of someone being forced to strip and resolder a matter injector in their jammies, or man the Ops station in a bikini, was distressing to the commander. But despite all of this, Shayne had to admit that the counselor had a sound point, even if he was not necessarily enamored with what she was suggesting. 

R'Ariel: After all, it was your idea earlier, something about me being out of uniform.

It was common for Shayne’s actions to come back and bite him on the rear end. It was less common for the bite to be delivered eloquently, and in the pursuit of a mission. Shayne’s respect for R’Ariel, already at a high level for her less than objectionable counseling techniques, rose further. He gave a moment’s consideration, and then, grinding his teeth all the way, he nodded. 

Shayne: Very well, lieutenant. Less military attire it is. 

He wanted to advise her on what might be too inflammatory, or less than efficient, but that level of control was simply not his to command, and for good reason. His fears about the mission were bleeding into the confidence he felt in his crew, and that was a state of affairs that had to end. He shot a glance at Wilde.

Wilde: Don't look at me, I'm staying in uniform. You said time is of the essence and I simply don't have enough time to scour through my entire wardrobe for something distracting to wear.

Shayne’s mind involuntarily led him to an image of Wilde in a pair of Starfleet-issue skants. He hated skants, and the fact that they were still permitted by Starfleet regulations was something he regretted. Silly things; showing forty percent of your body while traversing through space with nothing but a fragile ship around your flesh to protect you? Wilde seemed like just the sort of free spirit to find them appealing. He scowled and smiled tightly. 

Shayne: Will wonders never cease. We’ll meet back here as soon as possible. 

R'Ariel: Response

Before Shayne could turn away to attend to the matters on his mind, Wilde spoke. 

Wilde: Sir, one more thing. In regards to ship security I recommend a visual presence. I'd like to post armed security at the doors to the transporter room, conference room and bridge in accordance with Starfleet protocol. I'd also like a discrete detachment of people casually patrolling the areas surrounding main engineering and the armoury. 

The commander appraised both of his new lieutenants, weighing the possibilities. On the one hand, they both seemed to be laboring under a crucially damaging misconception. On the other, they were looking out for the safety and wellbeing of the ship, its crew and its mission. That was always to be commended. In a moment of unusual intimacy, he leaned in slightly closer to the lieutenants and spoke in a low, somber tone. 

Shayne: This ship has seen war. It is not a warship. I will not run it as such, and I entrust my officers to reflect that in their actions as well. Mr. Wilde, by all means follow protocol, but limit unnecessary signs of force. It’s vital that we welcome these delegates with open hands and minds. 

It wasn’t a condemnation so much as a guarantee, and as he looked at them both meaningfully, features stern but eyes pleading and hopeful, he hoped the matter had been corrected. 

R'Ariel: Response

Wilde: Aye sir.

The group dispersed, and Shayne left for the transporter room. 

((A few moments later))

The commander entered the somewhat cramped compartment. Shayne had spent a short time aboard a Defiant class warship when he’d been a lieutenant, and though Arrow wasn’t quite that cramped, she was the smallest ship he’d been aboard since that fateful voyage. He turned and nodded toward the officer charged with manning the station, and waited momentarily for the collimated beam of light to appear. From it emerged a Caldonian of some stature- he commanded a kind respect that Shayne had tried his entire life to cultivate. With diplomacy his singular goal at the moment, Shayne inclined his head slightly, and approached, hand extended. 

Shayne: Welcome aboard the Arrow, Captain Dau. We are honored by your presence.

The Caldonian predilection for peaceful and respectful discussion allowed Shayne to say this without exaggeration. He really did delight in the presence of this formidable being. 

Dau: Response 

Shayne: You’re the first of our delegates to arrive; I hope you’ll excuse the spartanness of our accommodations. Given the nature of this meeting, I thought it best to proceed without delay.

Shayne politely stepped before Dau and began to lead him to the conference room, maintaining a respectful pace.

Dau: Response 

As the pair exited the transporter room, Shayne heard someone speaking rather loudly.

Shayne: oO Oh, please no… Oo

Wilde: Then the Antedean Ambassador rose to make his speech, and I threw up. Not my finest hour, diplomatically speaking. But I'm sure we'll be fine now. We're not serving fish after all!

Beneath Shayne’s calm exterior was a jaw clenched hard enough to shatter neutronium. His eyes flickered to Dau, while his bearing subtle changed. 

Shayne: What an intriguing story, Mr. Wilde. 

Shayne funnelled every scrap of energy at his disposal into one message, sent with his eyes. Shape up.

Wilde: Captain! You have an uncanny way of sneaking up on people! Much like that Antedean trout. The entree, I mean! Not the, errr, ::clearing his throat.:: Ambassador...

Shayne briefly considered his options. He could send Wilde away, where he couldn’t do any more harm. But then again, the damage was already done. There really was no way for Shayne to recover from this… unless he leaned in all the way. But how?

The answer came a moment later in the muffled sound of a transporter engaging. It was time to take the plunge. 

Shayne: Captain Dau, may I present my officers- Lieutenants Wilde and R’Ariel. They’ll guide you to the conference room where we shall begin our discussions presently. 

R'Ariel/Wilde: Response

With a last, semi-genuine smile, Shayne turned his back on the new trio, and went to introduce their latest guest. He was taking an incredible gamble, but it made Wilde (and R’Ariel) responsible for an important aspect of the mission. He had a feeling that Wilde could step forward if he had to, and now was one of those times. He prayed to whatever gods might be listening that this wasn’t a colossal misstep. 

Shayne entered the transporter room again just in time to see the second transporter signature filling in. The commander shot a glance at the transporter officer, but couldn’t neglect the figure that appeared on the pad. 

Where there had been a column of light, there was now a rather devious looking Ferengi. Shayne had learned to not presume that Ferengi were any longer guaranteed to be the lecherous creatures they’d once been, but this one certainly appeared to fit the bill. 

Shayne: Welcome aboard, DaiMon. 

Blet: Response  

Shayne tried not to show what he was feeling about the DaiMon at first glance.

Shayne: I… did not expect you so soon, but I’m pleased you’ve decided to join us.

Blet: Response


Commander Randal Shayne
Commanding Officer
USS Arrow
NCC 69829

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