Location: USS Independence
Timeline: After the Welcome Ceremony
The majority of the Independence’s 60 commissioned officers were gathered in the ship’s mess deck. Only those few junior officers required to keep watch while the ship was dock at Starbase 10 were missing. The officers had waited in the reception line to be introduced to the Federation Ambassador, and now they stood around consuming non-alcoholic beverages and engaging in small talk in what was commonly referred to derisively as command-directed fun.
Ambassador Edward Baer walked over to where Captain Ellis and Commander Gillespie were standing. In his hand he held a full champagne flute whose design was unrecognizable as anything used on the Independence. He took a sip and addressed the two officers, “My compliments, Captain, on an excellent welcoming ceremony. Your ship’s crew did themselves proud with the full display of Starfleet traditions.”
"Thank you ambassador, but the credit goes to my officers, they took it upon themselves to do this." Mystery replied "The main officer in charge was Commander Gillespie."
Ambassador Baer took a sip of his champagne and turned to Chuck. "Well done, Charles my boy. Well done indeed!" The Ambassador smiled, "I was talking to your grandfather about six months ago. He speaks very highly of you and his expectations for your career."
Chuck glanced at Mystery and did his best to stifle a grimace. "Thank you, ambassador. I was fortunate to have the assistance of Mr. Lance and Chief sh'Rosa."
"Hallmarks of a leader of sentients," the Ambassador acknowledged, "Of course, you have the advantage of coming from a long line of Admirals."
"Begging the ambassador's pardon, I've always believed it's what you do with your opportunities that counts." Chuck downed his drink a little faster than propriety would suggest.
"I am a firm believer in playing the you are dealt," replied the Ambassador taking another sip of his champagne, "I lacked your advantages but I believe that I have played my hand very well indeed." Turning his attention to Captain Ellis, the Ambassador continued, "I remember you from the Academy."
"The academy seems like a life time ago now. You were one of my instructors," Mystery commented. "The years have flown by."
"I was a guest lecturer, actually," the Ambassador deferred, "I gave a series of lectures on the Moral Application of Military Force in Diplomacy. You asked several inciteful questions, as I remember."
Mystery nodded "You are correct, and it was as a result of those questions and your answers that led me later to go into special operations."
"Always glad to hear that I was able to influence a young officer's career," the Ambassador said, polishing off the last of his drink and surveying the room, "Ah! I see Lieutenant O'Connell. Your pardon, Captain, but I need to speak with him." And the Ambassador was off, a white jacketed civilian with a wine bottle in hand following in his wake.
Chuck looked visibly relieved. "It's a good thing we're serving synthahol..."
Mystery winked at the commander "I have the real stuff in my quarters. Rank has it's privileges,"
Chuck smiled, "Thank you, Captain. I must warn you, though, I'm an honest drunk. All truth, no filter." He scanned the room, looking for the other officers he hadn't met yet. Even if this was mandatory fun, it could still be pleasant. "If you'll excuse me, ma'am, I should socialize with the other members of the senior staff." And, he thought, avoid one ambassador.