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The Welcome Wagon

Posted on Fri Oct 9th, 2015 @ 9:58am by Commander Narayn Ballard & Commander Jordan Gunning

Mission: By Dawn's Early Light
Location: Internal Docking Port [Deck 202]

Jordan Gunning had expected his new duties to allow him more time to destress and relax but that had been far from the case. Eight hours into his new job as Chief of Station Security, he had spent more time trying to motivate a dilapidated and demoralised team of security officers than he had on the important things like bolstering their ranks and - he had almost forgotten among the upheaval - preparing for the arrival of the Sojourners.

The com panel on his desk chirruped as he was taking a moment to look out into the bullpen of the security centre. For all the world it looked just like an old fashioned police station with desks laid out for the senior security officers, flanked by briefing rooms, interrogation rooms and a corridor which went off toward the brig and firing ranges.

"Gunning here." He said, trying not to let his exhaustion seep out into his voice. He needed to sleep, even just one night before everything kicked off.

"Commander, this is Dock Control. You asked to be notified when Shuttle SF-Six-One-Three-Gamma was arriving. It will be docked at Port 465 in ten minutes."

Shuttle SF-613C was vitally important to his new role since it carried his replacement as the Station's First Officer. Good. Gunning thought. Let him pick up the paperwork.

[Shuttle SF-613C]

Commander Narayn Ballard had never got used to the sheer size of Stardock class stations. They seemed to him to be much too big for their purpose, especially this last bastion of Federation civilisation stuck out in the middle of nowhere.

He chuckled to himself, trying not to disturb his pilot. When he had applied for a 'front line posting' he had seen himself on a patrol vessel along the Tholian border, not on a rickety old station which Starfleet couldn't have cared less about.

He began to wonder what he had done wrong.

[Docking Port 465, Deck 202]

Thanks to his unmitigated access to personnel files - more of a curse than a blessing - Gunning already knew who he was expecting to step off the shuttle. The guy had only just become a full commander after something of a sketchy service history. He seemed like exactly the type of person Starfleet would see as a fit for 332.

He extended a hand as the door to the port opened, revealing a man, possibly in his early forties who was looking around himself with a due sense of familiarity. "It must have been three years since I was last here." The older man said, accepting Gunning's handshake.

"Narayn Ballard - you must be Jordan." He smiled a half-smile. "Terribly sorry. Commander Gunning."

His accent was everything and nothing at the same time, one of those accents which had seen the galaxy and absorbed every bit of it. In just the time it had taken him to say a couple of sentences Jordan had already picked up elements of that bland 'Fleeter' brogue but incorporating moments of a much more relaxed, almost drawling tone.

"That's me. Nice to meet you, Commander. You'll forgive me if I don't have time to show you the bars, but I'll escort you to Ops where Captain Von is expecting you."

As they walked through the corridors toward the Ops-access turboshaft, they shot the breeze a little as Jordan tried to run through the vital statistics of the station. A deck number here, a torpedo system there, but it hardly mattered. Either Ballard already knew the station's capabilities or he'd soon find out.

"Have you encountered the Sojourners before?" Gunning eventually asked..

"Not when they were Sojourners, but I know their type." Ballard's answer was cryptic but he assumed that he would know Jordan had looked him up. The new Commander could prove to be more valuable than the whole task force which Starfleet had promised to send them - he had been in the Vinarian Syndicate when the Sojourners broke away.

Jordan made a slight sound, trying not to ask too many questions. Ballard eventually broke the silence. "I'll prepare you a pack with some thoughts on how they might fight. It's been twenty years, but I doubt these guys will have learned much. Might save your life."

There was that half smile again. Jordan couldn't work out if he was joking or deadly serious, he wasn't even sure he wanted to know.

Commander Jordan Gunning
Chief of Security

Commander Narayn Ballard [NPC: Gunning]
First Officer
Starbase 332


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