Crisis on the Frontier 4X01
Location: Endeavour Umbilical Dock
Timeline: Season 4 Prelude
"A new diplomat, a new comms officer, an FTA liaison." Commodore Gregory Farragut looked over the personnel transfers on his PADD and shook his head. With Remak and Zavia taking leave, the Endeavour's senior staff and department heads were going to be filled with new faces. The threat of the neural parasites made him uneasy about new people joining his crew, but Greg tried to set the distrust aside. The controller parasite was dead. Hundreds of officers and civilians were reportedly freed of the creatures' influence in the immediate aftermath. He couldn't shake the feeling that it had all ended too easily.
Lost in thought Farragut didn't see the station technician trudging through the Endeavour's empty corridors with a pallet of equipment until the last second. He sucked in a breath of air and pressed himself into the bulkhead. The man continued on his way with a shallow nod.
"Head out of the clouds, Greg," Farragut grumbled to himself. With his eyes ahead, he resumed his trek down the hallway until he reached the gangway connecting the Endeavour to Langley station. Unlike a larger starbase, the regula-type outpost allowed only a single crew-capable connection to the station. In the hour after they first docked it was a mad house. Now with everyone off ship except necessary personnel it was deserted.
Heading up the gangway from the station side Mercutio spotted his new commanding officer coming towards him and felt an entire flock of butterflies start up their fluttering in his belly. Giving himself a quick once over, and tugging his uniform into place better he smiled as they approached one another. "Commander Farragut." He said, making it both a statement, and a question.
The introduction drew a smile from Greg. "It's Commodore now, but you've find the right man." Farragut extended his hand. "Ensign Rawlins, correct?"
Already feeling self-conscious Mercutio blushed at his mistake. "I'm so sorry, sir." he said. Then it dawned on him that the man had actually known who he was as he'd walked up. Out of a large crew he had taken the time, and care to actually know who a fresh young ensign just starting out on his ship was. "Yes, sir. That's me." he said, giving him a smile and shaking his hand. "I was just on my way to report in actually." he added.
Farragut offered the young Ensign a firm shake and withdrew his hand. "I figured I would save ya' the trouble and meet you at the airlock," Greg said with a lopsided smile. "And don't worry about the rank, Ensign. I'm still getting used to it myself." He cocked his head toward the Endeavour and set off at a slow pace.
"So, Ensign Rawlins, how did you find Langley Station?"
Mercutio thought about this question for several moments before coming to an answer. "Honestly, I thought it was great. It has a certain vintage appeal, and yet, everything works perfectly. I have always thought that the aesthetics of the era the station was built in were a bit more utilitarian, and less fancy. I sort of like that." he answered. "But I'm still excited to see what the Endeavour has to offer!" he added, quickly, and with true enthusiasm.
The Ensign's enthusiasm reminded Greg of his own first assignment. The thrill of being sent into the great unknown and embracing his destiny. It was, however, in a different backdrop: war and the heroes forged from conflict. He envied the young man's chance at a career in a time of peace.
"So, where were you posted for your academy field assignment?" Farragut asked. He led them down the Endeavour's corridors to the junior officers quarters.
"I was actually sent to the Vulcan Science Academy for that. They have one of the most advanced linguistic databases, and an extensive training program for new communications officers.", he said as he began walking with the other man. "It was pretty routine, but because of my knowledge of some of the more obscure languages I did get a chance or two to help the V'Shar on some lower level translation work. Made me glad I didn't go into the intelligence track. Everyone thinks it all glitz and glamour, but I've never seen such bored, and overworked people in my life. And that was just the Vulcans." he added, attempting to make a joke.
Farragut let loose a small laugh. "That's why I wear red, not black." He tapped his PADD against the inside of his palm. "You would consider yourself capable of translating without the assistance of the universal translator then?"
Mercutio shifted a bit uncomfortably. His natural shyness made him very leery of talking about himself, but he was working on that, and his instructors had definitely gotten him past the worst of it, but still, any time he had to discuss his talent with language he felt like a braggart. Finally he answered, "Yes, sir. I am a level three polyglot." he answered, and then realized he might not know what that meant. "Basically I am in the same line of talent as Ensign Hoshi Sato from the old NX days. Not quite as skilled as her, but not too far below it." he added.
"Our mission will be taking us into uncontrolled territory. The Endeavour will be operating on her own for extended periods of time. We may encounter people and languages unwilling to speak with us officially," Farragut explained. "That may mean some field work for you and the chance to catalog new dialects and vernacular."
A sudden excited twinkle appeared in Mercutio's eyes at what he'd just been told. "That would be amazing." he gushed, sounding as excited as a small kid at Christmas. "I've always dreamed of being the first person to get to experience a new language, or even a new aspect of a known one. I never expected it would happen when I was so new to the job though..." he added, his mind drifting off to the possibilities his new position was going to present to him.
Farragut came to a halt outside the Ensign's quarters and pointed at the label on the door. "All yours, Ensign Rawlins. You have an additional 48 hours of leave before we launch. Take advantage of it. We're going to need everyone at their best when we launch from Langley Station. Understood?"
Snapping back to reality from his mental meanderings Mercutio looked at the small label on the door. It had his name on it, beside the room number, and he felt a sudden swelling of pride. "Thank you, sir. I will definitely do that!" he said, and then walked through the doors to his new quarters.
Farragut shook his head and smiled. He left the Ensign to his own devices and sauntered back down the corridor. "One down, two to go."
Commodore Gregory Farragut
Ensign Mercutio Rawlins