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Earth Spacedock: United Federation of Planets

The Pershing's senior staff gathered around the pad in Transporter Room 2 eager to meet their new science officer.

"I hope this guy isn't as much of a giant tool as his name implies," Scharr said curling his antennae.

"Again, Tren," Annabeth said with a grimace, "the kid can't help his name. Be nice."

"I'm too damned old to be nice…" he muttered back.

"T'les, you'll obviously be in charge of getting him oriented with our science section and ship's procedures."

"Understood, Captain," T'les said calmly. "I have already put together a detailed schedule for our relief in place."

"I'm sure you have," Annabeth muttered, "but Phil, I was wondering if you could help with getting him in tune with the ship's social groups," Annabeth asked.

Katie put a hand over her mouth and snickered.

"And what precisely is so funny?" Phil asked his wife.

"Nothing, Sweetie," Katie said. "It's just the idea that you would be in charge of anything social is a bit ridiculous…"

"Thanks," Phil said sarcastically before turning to Annabeth. "But it is true. I don't know anything about Starfleet Science."

"Well," Annabeth explained, "you're both human males in your twenties from Earth. I just thought you had that going for you."

"Don't you think Kinzo would be more appropriate as the ship's doctor?" he asked. "I mean, they both wear green shirts."

"I don't mind," Katan said shaking his head. "But I'm still pretty new here myself."

"Exactly," Annabeth said. "C'mon, Phil. No one aboard has a better holoprogram catalogue to choose from."

"That is very debatable, Ma'am," Katie said laughing.

"Just do it, Lexington," Annabeth said. "And you, other Lexington, stop being so difficult."

"Yes Ma'am," the pair said in unison.

"Captain," Chief Carter said from the control station. "Starfleet Headquarters is signaling they're ready for transfer."

"Good, Energize," Annabeth answered. "Best behavior everyone," she warned while looking around her motley crew.

A blue shimmer appeared on the transporter pad and materialized into a young officer with slicked brown hair in his mid-twenties. He lumbered under the weight of a large duffel bag slung across his shoulder.

"Yup," Scharr said as soon as the kid appeared. "He's a total weenie."

"TREN!" Annabeth whispered angrily.

When the scientist saw the group staring at him, he snapped to attention with surprise.

"Ma'am!" he said suddenly. "Lieutenant Aaron Adamson requesting permission to come aboard."

"Granted, Lieutenant," Annabeth said with a smile as Adamson stumbled off the platform. "Welcome aboard the USS Pershing."

"Thank you," he said adjusting his bag. "It's really exciting to be assigned aboard a Pershing class. I was expecting to be assigned to a survey mission next."

"Yeah, that's not surprising," Katie muttered.

"Well, I'm sure you have a lot of questions, Lieutenant," Annabeth said, "and here are the two people who are gonna help you get situated," she said indicating T'les and Phil.

"Lieutenant T'les," she said with a polite bow of her head. "I stand relieved at Science."

"Oh," Adamson said with a smile. "I'm looking forward to speaking with you about what's been going on. Spatial anomalies, temporal rifts, subspace eddies…"

"We have had no irregular contacts for the past seven weeks. Merely two close flybys with some unremarkable comets and an interface with a Class III Hydrogen cloud. However, it is all annotated in my logs which we will go through in depth over the next three days."

"Three days?" Adamson said in dismay.

"Yes, I have abridged them for your convenience," T'les said. "Though I did keep enough detail to satisfy professionalism."

"You have three days' worth of logs on two comets and a gas cloud?" Adamson said still in shock.

"Of course," she said. "Science is in the details. I would think you would know that as a scientist." The others held back laughter.

"Well, when you're not busy with T'les going over the logs, I'll be showing you around the ship and what she has to offer. I'm Phil Lexington, Helmsman," he said shaking Adamson's hand.

"Good to meet you. I'm Aaron," Adamson said still a little overwhelmed. Suddenly, Chief Carter's console chirped again.

"Ma'am," he said surprised. "Starfleet HQ is saying our other officer is ready for transfer."

"What other officer?" Katie asked taken aback.

"Good," Annabeth said. "I wasn't sure my request was going to go through, so I decided to keep it a surprise."

"Keep what a surprise?" Katie asked even more nervously.

"Why your replacement, Katie," Annabeth chuckled. "You can thank me later. Chief, Energize."

Everyone turned their attention back to the transporter as another individual materialized wearing a brown leather flight jacket. When they saw who it was, their jaws dropped. Annabeth laughed.

"This is bullshit," Daredevil said pulling off her aviator sunglasses and dropping her duffel bag. "I'm a fighter pilot, not a damned babysitter."

"DEE!" Katie and Phil said in unison as she walked off the pad.

"Welcome aboard, Lieutenant Commander Neman," Annabeth said still laughing.

"Ma'am," Daredevil said holding up her hands, "I don't know what you pulled to get me reassigned to the Pershing, but my next stop is supposed to be squadron command. I am in no way qualified to be your XO."

"Interesting way to make a first impression on your new boss, Dee," Annabeth countered, "but I respectfully disagree. You've proven yourself a damned good Squadron XO and you already know what a Pershing class can do. With everything that's happened, I wanted to keep the first officer in the family. Admiral Paris and Captain Bennett agreed. Stay with us for at least a year or two. If we can't win you over to the fleet side of things, I'll make damned sure there's a fighter squadron waiting on you. I have one or two favors left at Starfleet Command."

"This is still bullshit," she said before quickly adding a "Ma'am," on the end of her statement. "But it looks like I don't got a choice."

"Damn right you don't. They're all yours, Number One," Annabeth said happily indicating her staff.

"Looks like you're riding the bus with us now, Dee," Phil said chuckling.

"Oh, watch your mouth, Sab," Dee said shaking her head. "I'm your XO now which means I own your ass even more than the Fleetie over there does," she said nodding to Katie.

Phil swallowed a lump in his throat as Dee turned to look at Adamson.

"And just who the hell is this?" Dee said pointing to the new science officer.

"Lieutenant Aaron Adamson, Ma'am, I'm the new science officer," he said cheerfully.

"Great another skinny human kid I gotta carry…" Dee muttered. "Alright folks, Mama's in charge now. Fall in and follow me. We're gonna run Captain Geist's giant warp speed carnival like a Vulcan pocket watch or I'll turn in my spots," the Trill said picking up her back and leading the staff out into the corridor.

Annabeth flashed a look back to Chief Carter and then grinned from ear to ear.

"Lady Blackjack is coming back…" she whispered to herself.


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