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Know anybody who wants to pilot a planet

Posted on Wed Sep 5th, 2018 @ 2:26pm by Captain (Marine) Roland Hallowes & Lieutenant Commander Ronan Channe

Mission: Episode 2: Columbus Ascending
Location: Shuttle near SB611
Timeline: Current

Four days mourning his losses and 3 days at loose ends on the starbase, had been enough for Roland he had had woken on the eighth day ready to get back to work. After getting a clearance from SB medical, he had reported to flight operations for duty where he had to convince the Lieutenant handing out the assignments that he would rather be piloting a shuttle than hanging around the starbase.

Roland was averaging about ten shuttle runs a day over the last few days and was on his fourth run of the day out to the behemoth of a ship that was currently being crewed and supplied. Every run had one or two crewmen who preferred to not use transporters unless there were no other choices and this run was no different. Three crewmen were in the back of the shuttle keeping the cargo company, while Roland sat in the cockpit listening to the a selection of Vulcan Blues.

"Who would have thought the Vulcan's of all people could make great Blues music." he remarked to the empty cabin as he sipped a cup of coffee.

The familiar chirp from the console, combined with the Starfleet logo on the screen, signaled an incoming communication.

"Computer pause playback." Now who could that be he thought as he set his cup down and pushed the button to answer.

The logo disappeared, replaced now by Ronan Channe. Once the Assistant Chief of Security, rapidly unfolding events on board the Columbus in its last days of service had elevated the dark-haired security officer first to Acting Chief and then to Acting XO as the body count mounted. Nearly shoulder-length black hair and blue eyes that reflected the enormity of what had happened were familiar enough though the change in pips on his collar were new. "Captain Hallowes," he said. "Found you at last."

Surprise at seeing the XO of his old ship instantly registered on his face as he took in the details of his former XO. "Lt. Commander Channe it's good to see you but I didn't know I was lost Sir" Roland greeted him, a smile on his face. "What can I do for you" he asked his expression becoming more serious as he read what he was seeing on the monitor.

"Ever hear of the Valkyrie? Titan Class," Ronan asked. His expression turned neutral as the war between wanting to 'sell' the new ship to get the right people on board warred with his distaste for its size and ended in a draw.

"You mean that behemoth their trying to fill, I've been shuttling crew and supplies from passing starships to it for 3 days now. Is that your new posting? What's she like?" his curiosity piqued despite his doubts about the ship.

"Huge," Ronan said and, as neutrality gave way to humor, he chuckled softly. The Bridge has a mezzanine ... there are civilian shops ... and way too much of everything for my liking. Still, there are 33 shuttlebays and 144 fighters ... and we're going to need someone in charge of all that..."

"Whose brilliant idea was it to put civvies on a giant floating target that would have a hard time getting out of a planet's way" Roland replied around a chuckle. "But seriously a mezzanine, that doesn't seem right" Roland continued a smile on his face. "As to your personnel problem scuttlebutt has it that 3 major's and a Lt. Colonel are bidding for the posting" he offered in a more serious tone. "From what I've heard they all see it as a stepping stone to becoming a flag officer."

"I have asked myself the same thing," Ronan said. "We need to track whomever it was that took down the Columbus and I just don't think we're going to do that too successfully on a barge ... but, right now, that's what there is. As to the posting, yes, there have been ... overtures. Capable but much more interested in the ... uh ... political advantages ... what we need is ... well, what we need is you. So, what do you say? Want to come help me track down a killer?"

All hint of amusement left Roland's face as he leaned into the monitor staring intently into the Lt. Commander's eyes. "I've never liked leaving a job undone. If you're going after the syndicate that took us down, I want to be part of that effort even if it's just piloting that behemoth. You say the word and I'm there."

"The word is given, Captain," Ronan said and in his answering look was the same grim determination. "We will bring them to justice for what they've done. Its not something we can leave to someone else to do. We don't have a Captain as yet but your orders will be finalized once we finish this call."


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