Let's have a party!
Location: USS Independence
Chuck tapped his comm badge. "Captain, this is Gillespie. I'd like to brief you on the preparations."
Mystery looked up from the book she'd been reading and tapped her com-badge "This is the captain, what preparations are you talking about?" Her orders had been to provide an escort, she knew nothing of any other preparations
"If you would be so kind to me meet in the command briefing room, I can give you a full accounting," Chuck replied.
"I'll be right there," Mystery said setting her book down, and headed to the command briefing room puzzled as to what was going on.
As Mystery entered the command briefing room, Commander Gillespie, Lieutenant Lance, and a female Andorian operations petty officer stood to attention.
"At ease," Mystery said "What is going on?"
Chuck replied, "My apologies, Captain. I assumed you were aware of the request." His face betrayed his embarrassment. He handed Mystery a PADD and began detailing the request and the preparations.
Gillespie nodded to Kevin. “Ma’am, Ambassador Baer will embark at 1500 hours ship time from the port side aft entry port on Deck 12,” Kevin activated the room’s briefing screen that displayed a detailed sequence of events, “Operations is clearing adjoining cargo bays for the embarkation ceremony. Starbase 10’s band will be on aboard and in place by 1400. Ship’s marine honor guard, firing squad, and sideboys in place by 1430. Senior officers in full dress are asked to be in place by 1445. At 1500, Ambassador Baer will arrive, escorted by Admiral Villashahraja. We will pipe the Ambassador aboard and the marine honor guard and band will render honors to the Ambassador as the Admiral has deferred. The band will continue with the Federation Anthem and the Betazed Anthem. Then the firing squad will render an 11-gun salute to the Ambassador. Afterwards, you will formally take over escort duties from the Admiral. You will make a welcoming address to the assembly, followed by the Ambassador. Then the Ambassador will inspect the honor guard after which the band will play To The Fleet ending the embarkment ceremony."
"I see," Mystery commented "I am puzzled as to why I'm just finding this out now? Shouldn't I have been informed before this was done? I don't even know what kind of welcoming address I need to do."
"My apologies, Captain. I take full responsibility for the snafu. Mr. Lance brought it to my attention as soon as he could and I assumed you had been informed of the overall event. It won't happen again.
"Mr. Lance and Chief sh'Rosa have gotten the details together. The Chief and I can assist with protocol matters. Bottom line - we are here to make this a success."
"As to the welcoming address," Kevin continued, "It can be as simple as 'Welcome aboard the Independence' or as long as you want. It is a tradition that dates back to the Age of Sail on Earth but typically isn't observed today."
Mystery shook her head "No I've been informed of nothing. My orders were to provide an escort. Nothing was mentioned about a reception, a welcome address, a dinner that was going to clear out two cargo bays, ten gun salute or the Federation Anthem being played. And who is Chef sh'Rosa?" Mystery said
"I am, Captain," the Andorian Petty Officer replied quietly.
"My apologies to you, but I'm sure you can understand my confusion is all of this as this is the first time I've heard of any of this," Mystery said turning to her two officers "Since everything has been done and decided what is it you need or want me to do? But next times something like this happens I'd like to be kept in the loop."
“Again, Captain, I apologize for the oversight,” Gillespie replied, “It won’t happen again.” Kevin nodded he agreement. Gillespie continued, “What we need is your approval to continue with the arrangements that we have made. We can cancel or change the ceremony if you desire. Also, we need to know your orders regarding the reception following the welcome ceremony.”
"Since you've already gotten them started and since you know what's your doing and what you feel needs to be done I guess the only recourse I have is to let you continue. As for the reception following the ceremony I have no idea what to suggest," Mystery remarked.
"Captain," Chuck began, "this is your call. The Chief and I can arrange the reception for you. You are expected to play host. However, if you are uncomfortable in that role, we could arrange for you to be called away on ship's business. Regardless, we are here to make you, and the Independence, shine like the morning star."
Chuck snapped to attention. Kevin and sh'Rosa did the same. "Your orders, Captain?"
"Continue with the preparations that you have going and keep me posted on things. I do plan to attend the reception and dinner. So having me called away will not look good. Plan a tour for our honored guests and offer them VIP quarters should they wish to stay aboard," Mystery said "I'll go check in on the cargo bays and see how they look and see if anything needs to be changed, added to or if they are fine the way they are."