((Observation Lounge, Deck 1, USS Atlantis))
((Time Index: Day 26 of Shoreleave))
He rose from the seat and made his way past the assembled officers to the display on the wall. With a couple of taps he brought up the MSD of their new ship, wishing the Atlantis had been upgraded with the type of holographic technology Theo had in his office. It would have been much more satisfying to allow his officers to see a holographic representation, much as he had. But then, Theo always did have a flair for the dramatic.
Thoran: May I present the USS Chin’toka, an updated Akira class, first of its kind. And our new home. Starfleet Command has been following the evolving situation in the Expanse and is assigning the Chin’toka as the Federation’s flagship for the region. It is hoped that such a move will cement the Federation’s place in the region and reassure it’s allies of their commitment. Questions?
th’Koro: After the Atlantis’ refit, will it join us again in the Expanse?
Jarred nodded. It had been one of the topics of discussion with those at Starfleet Command when Jarred had been summoned to brief a few senior officers after he had met with Theo. They had seemed rather interested in what was happening in the region, with such curiosity rarely being a good thing in his experience.
Thoran: At the moment there have been no changes to the Atlantis’ assignment. Whether that changes upon conclusion of the refit I could not say.
Serala: I have a ton of questions, but for now I will just settle with, what is the time table here?
Raga: The entire crew is being reassigned? That explains the mystery. I..
McKnight: So when should we start packing our bags, Captain?
Levinson: How long do we have for packing?
Lephi: When can we expect the manifest for the skeleton crew to be posted, to know where we're going?
Logan: I hope she does follow us back the Atlantis has been there pretty much since the beginning.
Kiax: ::Smiling slightly:: I’m sure she’ll be back with a vengeance, Kurt.
The questions were coming thick and fast, not that Jarred blamed them. He too had many questions, most of which had thankfully been answered. He still wasn’t wholly convinced by Theo’s answer as to why he had been the one chosen to command the Chin’toka. There had to have been far more experienced officers out there who deserved a prestige assignment on Starfleet’s newest ship.
Thoran: The engineers would like to begin work on the Atlantis as soon as possible. As such we will be moving to the Chin’toka within the week, so start packing. To celebrate the commissioning of the Chin’toka a party is being held tomorrow evening on board the Chin’toka. A number of senior officers are expected to be in attendance so attire will be dress whites.
Serala: By your command, rekkhai.
Raga: Yes, sir. I imagine a lot of the crew, myself included, are going to have a difficult time leaving the ship. This...is our home. Winds know, she’s seen us through a lot, and a lot of good Atlanteans memories will always be a part of her. Those…::He took on a somber tone:: who never left and can never leave her.
McKnight: That's the life of Starfleet. Your assigned ship is your home...until the next duty assignment.
Raga: Once an Atlantean…::He stated stoically::
McKnight: Always, my friend. ::He pats Raga on the back.::
Jarred pressed his lips together and nodded silently at the words. They had become the unofficial motto of the Atlantis. Powerful words that were said at each gathering and memorial. He wondered whether they would live on after the crew had transferred to the Chin’toka.
Rosek: ::clears her throat softly:: Will there be a christening ceremony, sir, or has that already been taken care of?
Thoran: As I said Ms. Rosek, tomorrow evening.
Rosek: ::pauses:: There’s somewhat of a tradition from what I’ve read where on some new ships her Chief Engineer christens the engine room prior to the maiden voyage. With your permission, sir, I’d like to do something similar for my team. It might boost morale and make the transition a little bit easier. Keep the focus on the positive things.
Lephi: I'm more than happy to help out in any way needed, sir.
Thoran: I would have no issue with that. If you are able to provide me with the details I will get that approved.
He paused for a moment, before continuing, taking the time to examine the faces of those around the table. Many old faces, officers who had served on the Atlantis for their entire career, new faces too, beginning on their own journey amongst the stars.
Thoran: I understand that the Atlantis has been the home of many of you for a number of years. It is never easy to say goodbye. But this is an exciting new opportunity and we should make the most of the celebrations.
Rosek: ::nods:: I agree. ::glances at the others:: I know some of you have been with the Atlantis for a long time. I’ve been through enough reassignments to have an idea of what you’re feeling. I believe the more we do to build this into a celebration, the less focus there will be on leaving the Atlantis behind.
Levinson: Would the celebration be open for the new arrivals as well?
Lephi: A celebration sounds good to me.
Snow: Me too.
Logan: Well if it's a party you want then I'm sure the Marines can be trusted to lead the way.
Jarred shot Kurt a glance. He had heard stories of Marine parties, specifically how they ended up, and it wasn’t quite the idea Jarred had for the commissioning ceremony, especially with a number of senior officers in attendance. No doubt with the changes to the marine contingent they would be throwing their own farewell.
Kiax: I can vouch for that. They’re a force to be reckoned with when it comes to drinking their fellow officers under the table.
Thoran: You are all indeed invited, even those who have just arrived. You are after all going to be transferring to the Chin’toka. Whilst I appreciate the sentiment Mr. Logan, I feel in this instance, given the high profile nature of the party, that the Marines cover the rear instead. Now, if there are no further questions, you are dismissed. I am sure you have much to prepare.
With that the senior staff began to shuffle out of the room, a few chatting amongst themselves. After a couple of minutes Jarred was alone in the Observation Lounge. He walked past the briefing table, running his hand along the surface, feeling the polished mahogany beneath his fingers.
He fell into what had been his chair, situated at the head of the table, three large windows behind him offering a fantastic view of the blue marble they were presently orbiting. This room had been the focal point of so much that had happened during his tenure as the Atlantis’ commanding officer. The site of numerous pre-mission briefings and staff meetings. The Atlantis had carved quite a name for itself and he had been proud to have his name associated with the ship and it’s crew. He hoped that he would be able to create such a legacy with the Chin’toka.