Celtris System: Federation Occupation Zone, Cardassian Space
The door to Tigranian’s ready room chimed.
“Come in,” he said not looking up from his paperwork. Annabeth stepped inside and collapsed onto his couch.
“We can’t both be exhausted, Number One. Someone has to keep this ship running.”
“I haven’t been sleeping well,” she said with a smile. Tigranian looked up at her.
“But something tells me it’s not for a reason you’re upset about.”
“Nope…” Annabeth replied happily.
“So marriage is really treating you and Alex that well?”
“What can I say? Coming home to a wife at the end of the day has its benefits.”
“Are you just here to rub my non-existent love life in my face or does this little encounter have a point?”
“Somebody’s in a great mood,” Annabeth said leaning forward. “In fairness, your non-existent love life is completely your fault.”
Tigranian tossed his PADD onto his desk and leaned back in his chair.
“What do you want, Commander Geist?”
“Well, Captain Tigranian, Starfleet Command is requesting the first draft for the staff’s annual evaluation reports. You owe them mine and senior rater comments for the rest by the end of this week.”
Tigranian grimaced and covered his face with his hands.
“No…I hate writing crew evals. You said all of them?”
“The entire senior staff came onboard the same time…which means all their evals are due at the same time.”
“Nobody gets promoted. Not a single one. I’ll just write that in the block on the form.”
“I’m pretty sure Starfleet would see that as a reflection on your command style.”
“Then they can fire me…”
Annabeth leaned back.
“Ok, Dan, what’s wrong?”
“I just haven’t felt myself the last few days. That’s all.”
“Perhaps the last six days?”
“You don’t quit, do you? I said ‘no,’ Annabeth. I don’t date women under my command. Even if I did…she’s not my type.”
“You mean intelligent, well-read, and cute?”
“Well, thank you, Annabeth. You just wrote my senior rater comments for Laria’s eval.”
“As long as it gets her promoted…”
“You know, when I told you it was your job to stand up for the crew, this is not exactly what I meant.”
Annabeth stood up and headed for the doors.
“By the way, I’ve been meaning to ask you, how was the the Battle of Klach D’Kel Brakt holodeck program she got for the two of you?”
“Get out!” he said picking his PADD back up.
Annabeth laughed as she walked back out onto the bridge.
“Do not go in there,” she said taking her chair.
“Hadn’t planned on it,” Katie said not looking up from Tactical.
“I don’t even know what the inside of that room looks like,” Phil said adjusting the Pershing’s trim.
Katie’s console started beeping.
“Ma’am,” incoming transmission from the Vulcan Science Academy.
“Must be Laria,” Annabeth said calmly. “On screen.” The image of an older Vulcan female appeared on the screen. Annabeth suddenly looked confused.
“This is Commander Annabeth Geist of the Federation starship, Pershing. How may I help you?”
“Yes, Commander. I am T’ren, Chief Lecture Coordinator for the Vulcan Science Academy. I am wondering, has Lieutenant Amira adjusted her flight plan and failed to inform us?”
“I’m sorry, Ma’am,” Annabeth said growing very concerned. “We thought that she had already arrived on Vulcan.”
“Yes,” T’ren replied. “She is over twelve hours overdue and our sensor stations show that her runabout is nowhere in this entire sector. All attempts to reach her on subspace have failed.”
“Oh my God,” Katie said from Tactical.
“No, we haven’t heard from her at all…” Annabeth said trailing off.
“Very well, I recommend that we execute missing starship protocols immediately. We will alert search parties in our sector. I recommend that you do the same in yours.”
“Yes, of course,” Annabeth said in shock. She sat back in her chair.
“If you have no further information, Vulcan Science Academy, out.”
Annabeth stared straight ahead at the blank viewscreen. Without looking down, she pressed her intercom.
“Yes, Number One?” Tigranian said still sounding annoyed.
“Please come to the bridge…"