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 Welcome (?) Aboard

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Corman Stark
Rear Admiral Lower Half
Rear Admiral Lower Half


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Posts : 378
Join date : 2014-06-28

PostSubject: Welcome (?) Aboard   Sat Jun 06, 2015 2:26 pm

[USS Phoenix - Captain's Personal Mess]

Corman Stark, duly vested as Rear Admiral (Lower Half) by authority of the United Federation of Planets, watched his own reflection in the transparent aluminum viewport.  He felt as if he wore his nearly fifty years especially heavy today, though most would say that he had kept up pretty damn well over time.  He certainly didn't have the hairline recession or expanding waistline of many other admirals.  Stark sometimes wondered if his paunch would start to grow the instant he fully accepted the fact that he was a desk officer, now.

Face writ large over the stars, blah blah, he thought, shaking is head as he smiled humorlessly.  That's why you're a starship commander and not a poet.  Well.  Was a starship commander.  And yet...here he was again.

Moving back to the table, Corman picked up his coffee from the burnished metal tabletop.  It was good, dark Colombian roast.  As much as Stark was steeped in Klingon culture, he'd never been able to bring himself to like raktajino.  Corman Stark liked his coffee like he preferred most things - strong, direct, unsubtle.  Easier that way.  He glanced up toward the door, knowing that Captain T'Koris still had five minutes to go until their scheduled meeting time.  He knew, though, that she wasn't known for being late.

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Archangel T'Koris
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PostSubject: Re: Welcome (?) Aboard   Sat Jun 06, 2015 3:03 pm

[Captain's Mess - USS Phoenix]

After the impromptu and shaky alliance that had happened out in the nebula the Phoenix had been investigating, Archangel was exhausted. Working alongside the Romulans, Klingons and Cardassians had been quite the tiring experience, but thankfully, they had been able to assist in the repairs of the Cardassian ship to help it on its way as well as ensure that the Klingon and Romulan survivors that had been brought aboard the Phoenix repatriated to their homeworlds.

Now, with the Phoenix docked at Athena station in order to receive repairs and stock up for their next mission, her captain had been summoned to a meeting by the station's XO, Rear Admiral Corman Stark. It was a little confusing. She had already been debriefed only the day before by Admiral Deacon and welcomed her husband back onto the ship as its Chief Engineer.

Since there was only one way to find out, she stepped into the captain's mess exactly on time, her uniform immaculate and hair tamed into its usual plait. Stark was already there, which was to be expected. Standing a few paces into the room, she folded her arms behind her back and stood at parade rest, her expression tailored to be carefully neutral, as she had done for the months since Gabriel had departed. His return the night before wasn't enough time for her to break certain habits.

"Captain T'Koris reporting as ordered, sir," she stated calmly.

_______________________________


Rachel Deacon | Archangel T'Koris | Zero Alpha | Ilana Telak | Mira | Persephone M'Rai
|  Now she's stronger than you know, a heart of steel starts to grow  |
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Corman Stark
Rear Admiral Lower Half
Rear Admiral Lower Half


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Completed Plot and Bio Page
Participated in the first mission
Founding Member
Posts : 378
Join date : 2014-06-28

PostSubject: Re: Welcome (?) Aboard   Sat Jun 06, 2015 3:25 pm

Archangel T'Koris wrote:

Since there was only one way to find out, she stepped into the captain's mess exactly on time, her uniform immaculate and hair tamed into its usual plait.  Stark was already there, which was to be expected.  Standing a few paces into the room, she folded her arms behind her back and stood at parade rest, her expression tailored to be carefully neutral, as she had done for the months since Gabriel had departed.  His return the night before wasn't enough time for her to break certain habits.

"Captain T'Koris reporting as ordered, sir," she stated calmly.

Stark glanced up again at the door, smiling to himself as he noted the time on the chronometer.  Four and a half minutes to spare, he thought, standing as Archangel entered the room.  The girl looked like she always did - as if she were girding herself for battle.  He idly wondered if, depending on how this conversation went, if he should be the one strapping armor on.

"Indeed you are," he said, gesturing at the tabletop.  "Come on in...and for God's sake, don't stand at attention.  This is your mess hall, after all.  Can I get you anything?"

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PostSubject: Re: Welcome (?) Aboard   Sat Jun 06, 2015 3:38 pm

Corman Stark wrote:
Stark glanced up again at the door, smiling to himself as he noted the time on the chronometer.  Four and a half minutes to spare, he thought, standing as Archangel entered the room.  The girl looked like she always did - as if she were girding herself for battle.  He idly wondered if, depending on how this conversation went, if he should be the one strapping armor on.

"Indeed you are," he said, gesturing at the tabletop.  "Come on in...and for God's sake, don't stand at attention.  This is your mess hall, after all.  Can I get you anything?"

While Archangel did relax fractionally, dropping the parade stance, she still remained tense.  Being in the same room with an Admiral, having received summons but not knowing what was going to happen didn't generally add up to a good meeting.  

The offer of something to eat or drink threw her a little, since she had always seen the Admiral as being a man who cut to the chase quickly and without preamble.  "Tea, please.  The computer knows my preferences." Taking a few more steps forward, she continued to watch him with a hint of wariness in her expression. "If I may ask, what is this about, sir? I've already been debriefed concerning the Phoenix's last mission, and I'm not due for a briefing on the next one for two days yet."

_______________________________


Rachel Deacon | Archangel T'Koris | Zero Alpha | Ilana Telak | Mira | Persephone M'Rai
|  Now she's stronger than you know, a heart of steel starts to grow  |
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Corman Stark
Rear Admiral Lower Half
Rear Admiral Lower Half


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Completed Plot and Bio Page
Participated in the first mission
Founding Member
Posts : 378
Join date : 2014-06-28

PostSubject: Re: Welcome (?) Aboard   Sat Jun 06, 2015 4:12 pm

Archangel T'Koris wrote:

While Archangel did relax fractionally, dropping the parade stance, she still remained tense.  Being in the same room with an Admiral, having received summons but not knowing what was going to happen didn't generally add up to a good meeting.  

The offer of something to eat or drink threw her a little, since she had always seen the Admiral as being a man who cut to the chase quickly and without preamble.  "Tea, please.  The computer knows my preferences."  Taking a few more steps forward, she continued to watch him with a hint of wariness in her expression.  "If I may ask, what is this about, sir?  I've already been debriefed concerning the Phoenix's last mission, and I'm not due for a briefing on the next one for two days yet."

Stark rose, taking the newly-replicated cup of tea from the dispenser and sliding it across the tabletop to the Romulan. She still was watching him like a cornered animal, making him feel a bit like approaching a wolf in a leg trap. He thought back on his own days in the center seat, wondering how he'd react if someone was about to drop the same bomb he was prepping. 'Not well' was pretty much the only reaction he could come up with.

"It's a hell of a thing, losing an XO," he said, moving back over to the window. The Athena was as busy as always, with twinkling little lights of myriad impulse thrusters moving here and about. "My Number One on the Tuscarora was Chalas. She was an Andorian, former Imperial Guard. Despite her warrior upbringing, she was one of the most level-headed and fair-minded people I knew. When Starfleet called her up to the captaincy of the Andromeda, I was happy for her...but sad to lose what had been an integral part of my command structure."

Turning back to Archangel, Stark tilted his head slightly, raising an interrogative eyebrow. "You've lost two. Granted, Arthur's billet as your second wasn't meant to be permanent, but...still. How are you holding up?"

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Archangel T'Koris
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PostSubject: Re: Welcome (?) Aboard   Sat Jun 06, 2015 4:30 pm

As the cup was slid toward her, Archangel picked it up, discreetly taking in the aroma to ensure that it was the same as always. Granted, there were many poisons and toxins that couldn't be detected by smell, but paranoia was a terrible thing. Taking a token sip of the hot liquid, she set it back onto the table in favour of folding her arms behind her back once again.

There was a slight narrowing to her eyes as Stark began to talk about his first officer on his best known command. What was this leading up to? What was the end game here? For all the Romulans were known for playing games of chess with their opponents, she didn't have enough information here to be able to predict what his next moves were going to be.

The question about how she was holding up to losing two first officers may have thrown her slightly, but there was minimal translation of this to her facial expression beyond a slight raising of an eyebrow. How was she holding up? Well, after the loss of Gabriel, she had blown off every counselling session, disengaged her emotions as much as she needed to in order to maintain her focus on the bridge and thrown herself into her work. She hadn't had enough time with Sheridan to build up much of a relationship with him and his transfer off the Phoenix to work under the Borg experts back on Earth hadn't affected her much.

"I am holding up adequately, sir," she replied evenly. "Starfleet command ordered a few counselling sessions after Commander Arthur took medical leave." Which I never went to, but he doesn't need to know that. "Commander Sheridan is far better suited to his new post, I believe. The Borg are his area of expertise after all."

_______________________________


Rachel Deacon | Archangel T'Koris | Zero Alpha | Ilana Telak | Mira | Persephone M'Rai
|  Now she's stronger than you know, a heart of steel starts to grow  |
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Corman Stark
Rear Admiral Lower Half
Rear Admiral Lower Half


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Completed Plot and Bio Page
Participated in the first mission
Founding Member
Posts : 378
Join date : 2014-06-28

PostSubject: Re: Welcome (?) Aboard   Sat Jun 06, 2015 4:55 pm

Archangel T'Koris wrote:
As the cup was slid toward her, Archangel picked it up, discreetly taking in the aroma to ensure that it was the same as always.  Granted, there were many poisons and toxins that couldn't be detected by smell, but paranoia was a terrible thing.  Taking a token sip of the hot liquid, she set it back onto the table in favour of folding her arms behind her back once again.

There was a slight narrowing to her eyes as Stark began to talk about his first officer on his best known command.  What was this leading up to?  What was the end game here?  For all the Romulans were known for playing games of chess with their opponents, she didn't have enough information here to be able to predict what his next moves were going to be.

The question about how she was holding up to losing two first officers may have thrown her slightly, but there was minimal translation of this to her facial expression beyond a slight raising of an eyebrow.  How was she holding up?  Well, after the loss of Gabriel, she had blown off every counselling session, disengaged her emotions as much as she needed to in order to maintain her focus on the bridge and thrown herself into her work.  She hadn't had enough time with Sheridan to build up much of a relationship with him and his transfer off the Phoenix to work under the Borg experts back on Earth hadn't affected her much.

"I am holding up adequately, sir," she replied evenly.  "Starfleet command ordered a few counselling sessions after Commander Arthur took medical leave." Which I never went to, but he doesn't need to know that.  "Commander Sheridan is far better suited to his new post, I believe.  The Borg are his area of expertise after all."

"Adequately." Corman nodded, leaning against the duranium viewport frame. Though the Phoenix was in dock and technically under his indirect jurisdiction, he'd preferred to hold this meeting aboard the ship and not in his own starbase office. It somehow seemed more...appropriate. "I'm glad to hear your counselling sessions were helpful," he added, saying it with a look that was meant to let her know that he didn't buy that bullshit for a millisecond. Not that it was any of his business. Yet.

Sighing, Stark reached over to the small side-table, picking up a padd of data. "Captain T'Koris, there's not an easy way to do this, so we'll not dance around it anymore. The question of who is to take over your XO spot has yet to be decided. Until that time arrives," he said, handing her the padd, "you will be serving as First Officer. As of 0800 hours tomorrow, I am assuming command of the Phoenix as a temporary measure."

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Archangel T'Koris
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Posts : 1715
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PostSubject: Re: Welcome (?) Aboard   Sat Jun 06, 2015 5:09 pm

Corman Stark wrote:
"Adequately."  Corman nodded, leaning against the duranium viewport frame.  Though the Phoenix was in dock and technically under his indirect jurisdiction, he'd preferred to hold this meeting aboard the ship and not in his own starbase office.  It somehow seemed more...appropriate.  "I'm glad to hear your counselling sessions were helpful," he added, saying it with a look that was meant to let her know that he didn't buy that bullshit for a millisecond.  Not that it was any of his business.  Yet.

Sighing, Stark reached over to the small side-table, picking up a padd of data.  "Captain T'Koris, there's not an easy way to do this, so we'll not dance around it anymore.  The question of who is to take over your XO spot has yet to be decided.  Until that time arrives," he said, handing her the padd, "you will be serving as First Officer.  As of 0800 hours tomorrow, I am assuming command of the Phoenix as a temporary measure."

Archangel had reached out and picked up her tea again, mainly for something to do with her hands rather than just stand and stare blankly at the Admiral in the way that was quickly mastered by command officers all over the service when it came to dealing with their superiors behind desks. However, as he dropped the bomb on her, the cup crashed to the deck plates.

Rapidly putting her composure back in place, she nudged the broken pieces out of the way with her foot as she stepped forward, taking the PADD. She didn't bother to read its contents, that could wait until later. There was only one thing on her mind at that point:

You failed.

"Acknowledged, sir," she replied curtly. "I will arrange for a meeting of the senior staff at that time."

_______________________________


Rachel Deacon | Archangel T'Koris | Zero Alpha | Ilana Telak | Mira | Persephone M'Rai
|  Now she's stronger than you know, a heart of steel starts to grow  |
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Corman Stark
Rear Admiral Lower Half
Rear Admiral Lower Half


Captain's Recognition
1 Year Service
Completed Plot and Bio Page
Participated in the first mission
Founding Member
Posts : 378
Join date : 2014-06-28

PostSubject: Re: Welcome (?) Aboard   Sat Jun 06, 2015 5:23 pm

Archangel T'Koris wrote:

Archangel had reached out and picked up her tea again, mainly for something to do with her hands rather than just stand and stare blankly at the Admiral in the way that was quickly mastered by command officers all over the service when it came to dealing with their superiors behind desks.  However, as he dropped the bomb on her, the cup crashed to the deck plates.

Rapidly putting her composure back in place, she nudged the broken pieces out of the way with her foot as she stepped forward, taking the PADD.  She didn't bother to read its contents, that could wait until later.  There was only one thing on her mind at that point:

You failed.

"Acknowledged, sir," she replied curtly.  "I will arrange for a meeting of the senior staff at that time."

Corman nodded, accepting her acknowledgement. "We'll worry about informing the staff later," he said, resting his tall, lean frame against the back of one of the chairs. He'd never liked standing for too long. It tended to play hell with his artificial knee. Another little gift from the Cardies. He glanced down at the shattered teacup's pieces, the liquid starting to soak into the thin carpeting. "As long as nobody cuts themselves, I think we can take care of that later."

He sighed inwardly, fighting his own well of conflicting emotions. Stark had yet to see any evidence that T'Koris was unfit for her command, so she might indeed be one of those rare instances where a confluence of political expediency and genuine skill made for the right person for the job. She was respected by her officers, as well as those within Starfleet Command that didn't dislike her on principle because of her heritage.

And yet...

And yet here was an opportunity for him to get out there again. It would be disingenuous if he pretended like this was an onerous burden.

Corman reached up, taking off his commbadge with a small chp sound, the device clattering across the tabletop as the tossed it aside in the universal sign of things being 'off the record'. "I hope you don't take this as a punitive measure against you, T'Koris. It isn't meant to be permanent."

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Archangel T'Koris
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Posts : 1715
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PostSubject: Re: Welcome (?) Aboard   Sat Jun 06, 2015 6:02 pm

Tossing a commbadge aside was generally a gesture that didn't bode well for Archangel, so seeing Stark's skiting across the surface of the table was not a sight that she welcomed. It tended to mean that there was no way she was going to like what was coming next. However, in return, she plucked her own from the front of her uniform, carefully placing it on the table with a quiet 'clink'. Apparently, their discussion was about to become off the record.

"Of course not, sir," came another curt reply. Off the record or not, she wasn't about to start telling this Admiral exactly how she felt about being kicked down a position and having to give up her command to this man, nor what he could do with his orders.

_______________________________


Rachel Deacon | Archangel T'Koris | Zero Alpha | Ilana Telak | Mira | Persephone M'Rai
|  Now she's stronger than you know, a heart of steel starts to grow  |
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Corman Stark
Rear Admiral Lower Half
Rear Admiral Lower Half


Captain's Recognition
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Participated in the first mission
Founding Member
Posts : 378
Join date : 2014-06-28

PostSubject: Re: Welcome (?) Aboard   Sat Jun 06, 2015 6:30 pm

Archangel T'Koris wrote:
Tossing a commbadge aside was generally a gesture that didn't bode well for Archangel, so seeing Stark's skiting across the surface of the table was not a sight that she welcomed.  It tended to mean that there was no way she was going to like what was coming next.  However, in return, she plucked her own from the front of her uniform, carefully placing it on the table with a quiet 'clink'.   Apparently, their discussion was about to become off the record.

"Of course not, sir," came another curt reply.  Off the record or not, she wasn't about to start telling this Admiral exactly how she felt about being kicked down a position and having to give up her command to this man, nor what he could do with his orders.

"Of course not," he agreed, somewhat wryly. This time, he actually did sigh a little bit. Corman reached down, pulling one of the chairs out and taking a seat at the table. "Relax, captain. This isn't a tribunal." He picked up his coffee, taking another long drink and setting the mug down again. "I'm not here to blow smoke up your ass, T'Koris. While the tentative steps we're taking with the RSE have almost overwhelming support within the Federation Council, Starfleet is a bit more hesitant. Oh, everyone wants peace, but some are afraid of rushing into something too quickly for the sake of having it. War tends to make people antsy like that," he shrugged.

Corman tapped his index finger on the tabletop, looking up. "Would you sit down? I'm not used to people looming over me. Anyway. Back to not blowing smoke...look, there are people willing to jump on any deficiencies, perceived or real, in your command. Half-Romulan is still enough for some. But I haven't gotten wind that this has anything to do with it. In fact, I know for certain that it doesn't."

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Archangel T'Koris
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Starfleet Starfleet Award of Merit Command
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Participated in the first mission
Posts : 1715
Join date : 2014-06-27

PostSubject: Re: Welcome (?) Aboard   Sat Jun 06, 2015 6:57 pm

Corman Stark wrote:
"Of course not," he agreed, somewhat wryly.  This time, he actually did sigh a little bit.  Corman reached down, pulling one of the chairs out and taking a seat at the table.  "Relax, captain.  This isn't a tribunal."  He picked up his coffee, taking another long drink and setting the mug down again.  "I'm not here to blow smoke up your ass, T'Koris.  While the tentative steps we're taking with the RSE have almost overwhelming support within the Federation Council, Starfleet is a bit more hesitant.  Oh, everyone wants peace, but some are afraid of rushing into something too quickly for the sake of having it.  War tends to make people antsy like that," he shrugged.

Corman tapped his index finger on the tabletop, looking up.  "Would you sit down?  I'm not used to people looming over me.  Anyway.  Back to not blowing smoke...look, there are people willing to jump on any deficiencies, perceived or real, in your command.  Half-Romulan is still enough for some.  But I haven't gotten wind that this has anything to do with it.  In fact, I know for certain that it doesn't."

Of course Starfleet would be more hesitant than the Federation Council about relations with the Star Empire. After all, Starfleet was the one who lost people in combat to them, All the Council ever saw were sterile numbers and names that had no meaning to them. They saw the dignitaries and diplomats, not the soldiers and spies.

Although she didn't look particularly happy about it, Archangel took a seat at the table opposite Stark, neatly crossing her legs at the knee and folding her hands over it. Her fingers still rubbed absentmindedly at the joint, which had been replaced several months ago. She still had the occasional bout of phantom pain from the artificial knee that had been implanted, but she ignored that now.

"I am aware that there are a lot of people higher up who wouldn't have given a half-Romulan a command, sir," she stated calmly. "I had hoped that my performance through the ranks would have helped, but as you said, there are those who'll always be against it. I had thought that the last mission may have rubbed those people up the wrong way once they read the reports. It was rather obvious to my crew that the Romulans we encountered had a high degree of respect for me, or rather my position."

_______________________________


Rachel Deacon | Archangel T'Koris | Zero Alpha | Ilana Telak | Mira | Persephone M'Rai
|  Now she's stronger than you know, a heart of steel starts to grow  |
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Corman Stark
Rear Admiral Lower Half
Rear Admiral Lower Half


Captain's Recognition
1 Year Service
Completed Plot and Bio Page
Participated in the first mission
Founding Member
Posts : 378
Join date : 2014-06-28

PostSubject: Re: Welcome (?) Aboard   Sat Jun 06, 2015 7:28 pm

Archangel T'Koris wrote:

Of course Starfleet would be more hesitant than the Federation Council about relations with the Star Empire.  After all, Starfleet was the one who lost people in combat to them, All the Council ever saw were sterile numbers and names that had no meaning to them. They saw the dignitaries and diplomats, not the soldiers and spies.

Although she didn't look particularly happy about it, Archangel took a seat at the table opposite Stark, neatly crossing her legs at the knee and folding her hands over it.  Her fingers still rubbed absentmindedly at the joint, which had been replaced several months ago.  She still had the occasional bout of phantom pain from the artificial knee that had been implanted, but she ignored that now.

"I am aware that there are a lot of people higher up who wouldn't have given a half-Romulan a command, sir," she stated calmly.  "I had hoped that my performance through the ranks would have helped, but as you said, there are those who'll always be against it.  I had thought that the last mission may have rubbed those people up the wrong way once they read the reports.  It was rather obvious to my crew that the Romulans we encountered had a high degree of respect for me, or rather my position."

Stark waited for Archangel to finally take a seat at the table, nodding along as she explained her last mission. "I've read the logs. You did what you thought was best, and that's the hallmark that separates great captains from empty uniforms. 'Good enough' should never be good enough...not when it comes to this job. I think on that, you and I can see eye-to-eye. As for the other stuff," he said, shrugging. "As long as it doesn't jeopardize the lives under your care, it's between you and the Romulan Empire." I can't imagine what it must be like to live with everyone wanting a piece of your life, though, he thought.

He wondered if he should mention the second part of his reason for being on board the ship for the duration. Stark gave it a moment's more thought, and decided that that particular bit of information could remain classified for now. "I just don't want you to believe that I'm here to replace you. Resentment could lead to lapses in judgement, and those lead to injuries and lives lost. I've not been out of that chair so long that I've forgotten everything, but I'll need your experience. In this, you will truly function as my XO, and a captain and their first need to believe in and trust each other implicitly." The tone of his voice made it clear that he was not asking if they would trust each other.

_______________________________

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Retired
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Archangel T'Koris
Captain
Captain


Starfleet Starfleet Award of Merit Command
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Participated in the first mission
Posts : 1715
Join date : 2014-06-27

PostSubject: Re: Welcome (?) Aboard   Sat Jun 06, 2015 7:40 pm

Corman Stark wrote:
Stark waited for Archangel to finally take a seat at the table, nodding along as she explained her last mission.  "I've read the logs.  You did what you thought was best, and that's the hallmark that separates great captains from empty uniforms.  'Good enough' should never be good enough...not when it comes to this job.  I think on that, you and I can see eye-to-eye.  As for the other stuff," he said, shrugging.  "As long as it doesn't jeopardize the lives under your care, it's between you and the Romulan Empire."  I can't imagine what it must be like to live with everyone wanting a piece of your life, though, he thought.

He wondered if he should mention the second part of his reason for being on board the ship for the duration.  Stark gave it a moment's more thought, and decided that that particular bit of information could remain classified for now.  "I just don't want you to believe that I'm here to replace you.  Resentment could lead to lapses in judgement, and those lead to injuries and lives lost.  I've not been out of that chair so long that I've forgotten everything, but I'll need your experience.  In this, you will truly function as my XO, and a captain and their first need to believe in and trust each other implicitly."  The tone of his voice made it clear that he was not asking if they would trust each other.

Although she winced slightly at the thought of taking an XO position again, given how disastrous the last one had gone, Archangel found that she was more offended by Stark's inference that she wouldn't do her duty to the best of her ability. Very insulting to a member of a duty-driven species.

Whether she would trust this Admiral was one question, one that could easily be answered by a 'not yet', but the question of whether that would prevent her from acting in the best interests of her crew and her ship was not one that needed asking. She sat back in her chair, resting her elbows on the arms of it as she laced her fingers together, observing her new commanding officer over the top of them.

"Perhaps I should make this clear, Admiral: Whether or not I trust you, I will act in the best interests of the ship and her crew and perform my duty to the absolute best of my ability."

_______________________________


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|  Now she's stronger than you know, a heart of steel starts to grow  |
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PostSubject: Re: Welcome (?) Aboard   Sat Jun 06, 2015 7:52 pm

Archangel T'Koris wrote:

Although she winced slightly at the thought of taking an XO position again, given how disastrous the last one had gone, Archangel found that she was more offended by Stark's inference that she wouldn't do her duty to the best of her ability.  Very insulting to a member of a duty-driven species.

Whether she would trust this Admiral was one question, one that could easily be answered by a 'not yet', but the question of whether that would prevent her from acting in the best interests of her crew and her ship was not one that needed asking.  She sat back in her chair, resting her elbows on the arms of it as she laced her fingers together, observing her new commanding officer over the top of them.  

"Perhaps I should make this clear, Admiral:  Whether or not I trust you, I will act in the best interests of the ship and her crew and perform my duty to the absolute best of my ability."

Stark kept his face carefully neutral, but allowed himself a small, inward smile. That she would do her duty, there had never been any doubt. Still, his personal experience with Starfleet's only openly-Rihan commanding officer had been limited, at best. Not that he particularly felt like he needed to test her backbone, but...

"You are clear, at that," he mused, tapping his chin in thought. "Clear indeed." Corman thought back to his own first years of command...and to what his response would have been if anyone, admiral or not, had suggested that he would be derelict. He decided to switch tracks. "The last time we spoke in person was right before the Phoenix's launch. Do you still find the chair as heavy an albatross as you did back then?"

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PostSubject: Re: Welcome (?) Aboard   Sat Jun 06, 2015 8:42 pm

Corman Stark wrote:
Stark kept his face carefully neutral, but allowed himself a small, inward smile.  That she would do her duty, there had never been any doubt.  Still, his personal experience with Starfleet's only openly-Rihan commanding officer had been limited, at best.  Not that he particularly felt like he needed to test her backbone, but...

"You are clear, at that," he mused, tapping his chin in thought.  "Clear indeed."  Corman thought back to his own first years of command...and to what his response would have been if anyone, admiral or not, had suggested that he would be derelict.  He decided to switch tracks.  "The last time we spoke in person was right before the Phoenix's launch.  Do you still find the chair as heavy an albatross as you did back then?"

There was a twitch of a smile from Archangel as she remembered their last encounter in Admiral Deacon's office. She had had to bring the girls with her while Gabriel toured the ship and Seika had taken quite the exception to Stark. The normally friendly and good-natured little girl had decided to kick him in the shin.

The smile was just that, a twitch, as he went on to ask whether she still found the captain's chair to be as heavy a responsibility as she had done during that meeting. As she looked back over her missions with the Phoenix, at the damage she had done not only to the ship and the Federation, but most importantly to her family, she knew that the answer was:

"Yes, sir, I do. Lives have been lost under my command, relations with a possible Federation member damaged and my family torn apart."

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|  Now she's stronger than you know, a heart of steel starts to grow  |
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PostSubject: Re: Welcome (?) Aboard   Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:29 pm

Archangel T'Koris wrote:

There was a twitch of a smile from Archangel as she remembered their last encounter in Admiral Deacon's office.  She had had to bring the girls with her while Gabriel toured the ship and Seika had taken quite the exception to Stark.  The normally friendly and good-natured little girl had decided to kick him in the shin.

The smile was just that, a twitch, as he went on to ask whether she still found the captain's chair to be as heavy a responsibility as she had done during that meeting.  As she looked back over her missions with the Phoenix, at the damage she had done not only to the ship and the Federation, but most importantly to her family, she knew that the answer was:

"Yes, sir, I do.  Lives have been lost under my command, relations with a possible Federation member damaged and my family torn apart."

Torn apart? Corman wondered just what she meant by that, but he realized they'd likely have more time to go into better detail in the coming months. He knew, of course, about her husband's mental breakdown...in a way, Stark didn't blame the man. He'd read over Gabriel Arthur's psych file. Normally, he didn't have much pity for those that couldn't handle the stress of their job. This seemed like it had gone above and beyond occupational hazard, though. He couldn't imagine who in their right minds had authorized a married command team.

"A starship is no place for a family, in my opinion," he said, shrugging. "But Starfleet is attempting to return to the idea that we're not just a military force. I can't fault them for that, but...Archangel, I'm going to be perfectly blunt with you." He crossed his arms, leaning back a little in the seat. "Why in the hell are you still here? If this job makes you miserable, you owe it to those who serve under you to find another posting."

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PostSubject: Re: Welcome (?) Aboard   Sun Jun 07, 2015 8:01 am

Corman Stark wrote:
Torn apart?  Corman wondered just what she meant by that, but he realized they'd likely have more time to go into better detail in the coming months.  He knew, of course, about her husband's mental breakdown...in a way, Stark didn't blame the man.  He'd read over Gabriel Arthur's psych file.  Normally, he didn't have much pity for those that couldn't handle the stress of their job.  This seemed like it had gone above and beyond occupational hazard, though.  He couldn't imagine who in their right minds had authorized a married command team.

"A starship is no place for a family, in my opinion," he said, shrugging.  "But Starfleet is attempting to return to the idea that we're not just a military force.  I can't fault them for that, but...Archangel, I'm going to be perfectly blunt with you."  He crossed his arms, leaning back a little in the seat.  "Why in the hell are you still here?  If this job makes you miserable, you owe it to those who serve under you to find another posting."

"I couldn't leave my family behind," Archangel replied, continuing to observe the Admiral over the tops of her interlaced fingers. "I had no one I could leave Seika with, so she came with me. Things developed from there."

She fell quiet for a moment as Stark went for the soft underbelly question. She raised one upswept eyebrow slightly. She wasn't about to tell him about certain forces, especially since she wasn't sure how they still applied. It was easy to remember how she had started out in the service, a young hybrid determined to make her way up the ranks until there were no more ranks to be attained, all to prove her mother wrong. When things had started to go wrong, she could easily have stopped, admitted defeat and left the service, but there was something that had always kept her going.

"Just because you have a sting of bad luck doesn't mean you give up," she replied evenly. "The service has been my home for many years and I'm not ready to give it up."

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|  Now she's stronger than you know, a heart of steel starts to grow  |
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PostSubject: Re: Welcome (?) Aboard   Sun Jun 07, 2015 9:18 am

Archangel T'Koris wrote:

"I couldn't leave my family behind," Archangel replied, continuing to observe the Admiral over the tops of her interlaced fingers.  "I had no one I could leave Seika with, so she came with me.  Things developed from there."  

She fell quiet for a moment as Stark went for the soft underbelly question.  She raised one upswept eyebrow slightly.  She wasn't about to tell him about certain forces, especially since she wasn't sure how they still applied.  It was easy to remember how she had started out in the service, a young hybrid determined to make her way up the ranks until there were no more ranks to be attained, all to prove her mother wrong.  When things had started to go wrong, she could easily have stopped, admitted defeat and left the service, but there was something that had always kept her going.

"Just because you have a sting of bad luck doesn't mean you give up," she replied evenly.  "The service has been my home for many years and I'm not ready to give it up."

And that...was why family was a superfluous entanglement...at least, when it came to shipboard missions. If someone wanted to raise a family, Stark wasn't quite sure the service should be responsible for their upbringing and safety. That's what you did, though...wasn't it? You had the choice between the service and a family. The choice he'd made had been obvious. No matter how many times he comforted himself by saying it was Alysandra's choice...he still wondered. Corman supposed that he always would.

Corman returned to the topic at hand, nodding in Archangel's direction. "Of course you don't give up. Anyone that would, doesn't deserve this uniform." Stark spread his hands out on the tabletop, leaning forward, his expression flat, though his eyes bored like augers - a look that many junior officers had tried to avoid over the years.

"You've been lucky so far, T'Koris. Oh, I've read all the reports. Your husband, your girl. Terrible as those things were...they could have been worse every time. Every time. Far more than just 'bad luck'. You keep playing those odds...soon enough, you're going to come up burned. You," he said, re-crossing his arms, "or someone you love."

There was still something off about Archangel's continuation in the service. It seemed to be more than just a sense of duty, though it was obvious that sense was strong in her. Something was still missing, and Stark was determined to ferret it out.

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PostSubject: Re: Welcome (?) Aboard   Sun Jun 07, 2015 9:53 am

Being under the Admiral's gaze was certainly uncomfortable, but Archangel made an effort to appear unaffected by it. It was, after all something that every captain had to be good at, keeping their poker face. One of the most useful elements in their armoury when it came to dealing with other life forms, hostile or friendly.

"I'm very aware of how bad things could have been," she replied evenly, as much as she wanted to . "I have suggested on numerous occasions that Commander Arthur take the girls and return to Earth, but at his insistence, he made the choice to remain. After the Yristian incident, we considered turning our medical leave into retirement, but Starfleet sent reactivation orders. We were both called back into service on the Phoenix."

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|  Now she's stronger than you know, a heart of steel starts to grow  |
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PostSubject: Re: Welcome (?) Aboard   Sun Jun 07, 2015 10:35 am

Archangel T'Koris wrote:
Being under the Admiral's gaze was certainly uncomfortable, but Archangel made an effort to appear unaffected by it.  It was, after all something that every captain had to be good at, keeping their poker face.  One of the most useful elements in their armoury when it came to dealing with other life forms, hostile or friendly.

"I'm very aware of how bad things could have been," she replied evenly, as much as she wanted to .  "I have suggested on numerous occasions that Commander Arthur take the girls and return to Earth, but at his insistence, he made the choice to remain.  After the Yristian incident, we considered turning our medical leave into retirement, but Starfleet sent reactivation orders.  We were both called back into service on the Phoenix."  

To her credit, Archangel didn't so much as flinch under Stark's dark gaze. It was something that he'd honed over the years, pulling it out like any tool to be used at the appropriate times. He was rather proud of the fact that he could make people sometimes feel like a fly in a web. Corman knew T'Koris was made of stern stuff, but...'trust, with verification' had always been one of his maxims to live by.

"Arthur's a good man," he finally said, nodding. Whether he was a good officer was another point entirely, and one that he wasn't here to address. It was a loyal thing to do, returning to the ship. Corman just hoped that the loyalty didn't get Arthur, or any of the children, further hurt. "I'll just ask you this, then...when you think of the chair? Does the responsibility of it all fill you with awe? Do you respect what it represents?"

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PostSubject: Re: Welcome (?) Aboard   Sun Jun 07, 2015 10:53 am

Corman Stark wrote:
To her credit, Archangel didn't so much as flinch under Stark's dark gaze.  It was something that he'd honed over the years, pulling it out like any tool to be used at the appropriate times.  He was rather proud of the fact that he could make people sometimes feel like a fly in a web.  Corman knew T'Koris was made of stern stuff, but...'trust, with verification' had always been one of his maxims to live by.

"Arthur's a good man," he finally said, nodding.  Whether he was a good officer was another point entirely, and one that he wasn't here to address.  It was a loyal thing to do, returning to the ship.  Corman just hoped that the loyalty didn't get Arthur, or any of the children, further hurt.  "I'll just ask you this, then...when you think of the chair?  Does the responsibility of it all fill you with awe?  Do you respect what it represents?"

Gabriel was a good man. That made Archangel's eyes narrow slightly. She didn't need this Admiral's approval to tell her that. She knew first hand that he didn't have an equal in the universe when it came to the goodness in his heart or the purity of his soul. However, this wasn't an argument she was about to get into with Stark, no matter how much she wanted to punch him and defend her husband.

"I respect the position the chair puts me in and the responsibilities is brings with it." Rearranging her fingers, she pressed the tips of her index fingers together, crossing her thumbs as she observed the Admiral. It was time to turn the tables on him. "Admiral, my crew is unlike any other in the Fleet. It's been observed that the Phoenix has attracted all of the misfits in service and given them a place to belong. What do you know of them?"

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|  Now she's stronger than you know, a heart of steel starts to grow  |
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PostSubject: Re: Welcome (?) Aboard   Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:20 am

Archangel T'Koris wrote:

Gabriel was a good man.  That made Archangel's eyes narrow slightly.  She didn't need this Admiral's approval to tell her that.  She knew first hand that he didn't have an equal in the universe when it came to the goodness in his heart or the purity of his soul.  However, this wasn't an argument she was about to get into with Stark, no matter how much she wanted to punch him and defend her husband.

"I respect the position the chair puts me in and the responsibilities is brings with it."  Rearranging her fingers, she pressed the tips of her index fingers together, crossing her thumbs as she observed the Admiral.  It was time to turn the tables on him.  "Admiral, my crew is unlike any other in the Fleet.  It's been observed that the Phoenix has attracted all of the misfits in service and given them a place to belong.  What do you know of them?"

It was easy to see that talking about Archangel's family was hitting a raw nerve with the girl, so Stark decided to ease off the impulse engines on that one. He didn't want to antagonize her to the point of doing something stupid, after all. "Good," he nodded, taking up the cup of coffee in his hand again. "Whatever your reasons for it...the second you stop respecting that chair is the second you'll know you're in the wrong line of work."

Stark finished off his coffee, quirking a slight eyebrow at T'Koris' next question. Misfits, were they? Well. T'Koris did seem to have an unusually large gaggle of Romulans under her command, almost as if Starfleet didn't exactly know what to do with them all. Ignoring the vaguely-racist connotations of that, Corman shrugged a shoulder. "Beyond their service records and psych files? Not much," he answered. "I know you have Dr. Van Gelder's kid aboard, and that really puts a bee up Marius' ass," he grinned, before turning his expression back to serious. "That's where we'll need to be on the same page and work together, Archangel. You know your crew better than anyone."

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PostSubject: Re: Welcome (?) Aboard   Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:29 am

Corman Stark wrote:
It was easy to see that talking about Archangel's family was hitting a raw nerve with the girl, so Stark decided to ease off the impulse engines on that one.  He didn't want to antagonize her to the point of doing something stupid, after all.  "Good," he nodded, taking up the cup of coffee in his hand again.  "Whatever your reasons for it...the second you stop respecting that chair is the second you'll know you're in the wrong line of work."

Stark finished off his coffee, quirking a slight eyebrow at T'Koris' next question.  Misfits, were they?  Well.  T'Koris did seem to have an unusually large gaggle of Romulans under her command, almost as if Starfleet didn't exactly know what to do with them all.  Ignoring the vaguely-racist connotations of that, Corman shrugged a shoulder.  "Beyond their service records and psych files?  Not much," he answered.  "I know you have Dr. Van Gelder's kid aboard, and that really puts a bee up Marius' ass," he grinned, before turning his expression back to serious.  "That's where we'll need to be on the same page and work together, Archangel.  You know your crew better than anyone."

Hm, Archangel hadn't expected Admiral Stark to know much about her crew beyond the personnel files. They were a good crew, if a little disjointed at times. They hadn't been together long, so one couldn't expect them to gel together immediately, especially when one knew the walks of life that they all came from.

It was interesting that he had chosen to pick up on one of her science officers, Gavin Van Gelder, but she decided to explore that relationship at another time. It could simply be because of the young ensign's impressive intellect or due to his father being a well known figure at Starfleet Medical.

She leaned forward, resting her elbows on the edge of the table's glossy surface. "I would like to think that, but a captain can't know everything about their crew, especially one like this. I have the most Romulans on my crew, I have Cardassians, and I also have two special cases that I'm sure you've been informed of: Reyaen 3 and Zero Alpha."

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PostSubject: Re: Welcome (?) Aboard   Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:57 am

Archangel T'Koris wrote:

Hm, Archangel hadn't expected Admiral Stark to know much about her crew beyond the personnel files.  They were a good crew, if a little disjointed at times.  They hadn't been together long, so one couldn't expect them to gel together immediately, especially when one knew the walks of life that they all came from.

It was interesting that he had chosen to pick up on one of her science officers, Gavin Van Gelder, but she decided to explore that relationship at another time.  It could simply be because of the young ensign's impressive intellect or due to his father being a well known figure at Starfleet Medical.  

She leaned forward, resting her elbows on the edge of the table's glossy surface.  "I would like to think that, but a captain can't know everything about their crew, especially one like this.  I have the most Romulans on my crew, I have Cardassians, and I also have two special cases that I'm sure you've been informed of:  Reyaen 3 and Zero Alpha."

Corman was well aware of the fact that there were Cardassians on board the ship, as the involuntary twitch he could feel in his eye was testament to. As if that wasn't bad enough, someone had the bright idea of putting a Vorta in a Starfleet uniform. In a strange way, even though he'd fought against the Jem'Hadar and their Vorta and any other lab experiment the Dominion had thrown the Federation's way...he still found it harder to forgive the Cardassians. At least the Vorta didn't have a choice in what they were. Cardies, though? They not only chose to be utter bastards, but they seemed to revel in it.

"I'm aware," Stark carefully replied. Talk about lab experiments... "The Phoenix seems to be Starfleet's chosen proving ground for integration into our little galactic democracy. Any particular reason to bring them up?"

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