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Captain, I'm Leaving... For a few months

Posted on Sunday, 25 July 2021 - 4:30pm by Lieutenant JG Adrianna Eberhardt & Captain Barret Stillwater

Mission: Operation: Lazarus

Further to seeing Soral and then Alex, Adrianna still had one person to talk to. He'd been busy when she had tried before but now he looked between meetings and with Soral's insight into when the captain would be free, she'd managed to track him down with ease. She quickly walked closer to him down the corridor, having spotted him. "Captain," he said, "sorry to catch you between things, but do you have a moment that we may speak privately?"

"Of course, Adrianna," Stillwater replied. In his final weeks aboard the starship as Commanding Officer, he had been more than counting down the days. He had been loosening his grip with formality. He was returning to the leisureliness of being retired both in body and in mind. His use of her first name was not something he would have done so nonchalantly even a few weeks ago. "We can speak privately, and don't worry, I have the time."

Adrianna was taken back by the use of her first name. She suddenly zoned back in. "Si, sorry," she followed him into his office and waited for the doors to close, "I have smugglers and contacts that party too hard and get lost on Freecloud that are easier than finding a moment with you, captain, that is not work related."

"Personal request?" he smiled. "I know I am not the easiest person to corner and force to sit down for a 'pow wow' as my ancestors would have called it," he said with a chuckle. "The Captain is always difficult to get alone, but this starship's small size has its advantage in favor of cornering me. I don't have as many hiding places."

Adrianna chuckled, "I like that word. Pow-wow. It's fun." She cleared her throat, "it is a personal request. A request to put in a good word for me with the new cap-ee-tan. I've had a change in circumstance and since I'm only enlisted, the rules differ slightly, but frankly, I don't want off this ship yet. My time has not ended here."

"Enlisted, yes, but crucial," he reminded her. "You hold a Department Head position regardless of your rank, that status alone elevates you. Your department may be tiny but your duties aboard are plentiful. I do not know if Starfleet Command would manage to assign an officer to replace you, and frankly doing so would be more than poor taste. You have a lot more experience than an ensign fresh out of the academy."

"I appreciate the optimism and compliment, sir," she replied, "but Starfleet's hands will be tied with this one. They are going to have to replace me."

He observed her for a moment. There was nothing that looked too out of the ordinary except...that glow he thought to himself. "Have you picked a name?" he asked. "I hear Barret is a nice name," he added shaking his head. "Did they replace Lieutenant Vali? No, no, they did not."

Adrianna chuckled, "I'm sure Barrett is a lovely name." She smiled, "I just wanted to tell you before you just received a report in the next day or two. That and I just wanted to ensure my ability to stay here on the Standing Bear, like Vali, even though I'm only enlisted."

"I have to give this same speech each time," he said clearing his throat. "The USS Standing Bear is a Merin class patrol vessel, a small nine deck starship built for speed and maneuverability in missions focusing on but not limited to the patrolling of Federation borders and the immediate pursuit of suspected pirate, marauder, raider, and bootlegging vessels operating around Federation trading route and shipping lanes. It is not a starship of luxury nor one designed for families. You may want to consider putting in for a transfer, but the starship would be losing a fine individual."

He shook his head. "I can block Starfleet as best I can, but if this crew keeps having children and starting families, they will be turning this starship into a gentlemen's club."

Adrianna nodded, "I promise I won't pop them out like my mother."

"Or foster and adopt them like Commander Soral," Stillwater added shaking his head. "A couple of kids are not going to be too much of an issue, but once we get beyond that, that may cause concern. Personally, my biggest concern is the nature of the starship. Our missions are not sunshine and roses, and we are often out there chasing down potentially hostile vessels without nearby support or backup. This starship is exactly."

Adrianna had to agree, "there are worse ships, but I do agree that this ship is perhaps not the safest. I'm just not ready to lose this team yet."

"They are not ready to lose you either, and my replacement will see the value in you."

"Thank you, sir," she replied, "it'll be a change either way. A positive one I am sure."

"Just do me a favor, do your best to give the new Captain the best intel for situations, if your gut tells you otherwise, note it. If the Captain doesn't listen, make them. Keep this crew as safe as possible. I don't know who will be here after Talarn and I leave as far as Security goes, but make sure you work closely with them."

" I have every intention to continue as before Ekos," Adrianna replied, "I am sure that, though the crew will be in a patch of mourning, they will go on and make you proud."

He nodded. "They will," he added. "I know they will."

Adrianna smiled, "I won't keep you, sir. I'm sure you must be busy."

"Busy times...busy times" he echoed.

Adrianna stood up, "well, I still owe you a bottle of grappa for helping with the Russian. I cannot repay you for negotiating us out of Ekos. Just, thank you."

"I just got the gears turning, Admiral Kitan was the real driving force to getting you released."

"Nothing works without an initial on switch," Adrianna encouraged, "you got me out because you instigated change. You also seemed to have great timing. Just accept the thanks... Barret, I'm grateful to you, first and foremost."

He winced a bit at his name. "You're welcome."

"Too strange," Adrianna chuckled at his reaction to his name, "I felt that way when you used mine."

"Turnabout is fair play" replied Stillwater. "Point noted, Petty Officer" he added with a chuckle of his own.

Adrianna smiled at the agreement, "I won't keep you, sir. Thank you for listening."

"Of course, Petty Officer, anytime," he replied.


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