Executive Decision

Posted on 29 Apr 2021 @ 11:50pm by Captain Varak & Commander Vrossan zh'Qiaqir

Mission: Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations
Location: Starfleet Headquarters, Earth
Timeline: January 18th, 2163
Tags: Earth, Starfleet, Andorian, Vulcan

Captain Varak stood on the concrete balcony of Starfleet Headquarters, the twinkling lights of San Francisco just visible in the distance. On the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge, you could see the new Starfleet compound being built, at the former site of the Presido. The only thing to be heard was the sound of water, coming from the bay, and the occassional whir of a passing shuttlepod.

In his hand, he held the PADD detailing his new command assignment - the USS T'Pau, currently docked at Starbase 11. His former captain had told him to pick an all-Vulcan crew - after all, it was a Vulcan ship, and logic dictates that you should get a crew with experience aboard that ship. Varak, however, had something else in mind.

Hopefully this meeting would go well.

Varak heard the sound of footsteps as someone approached.

"What sort of half-wit do you have to be to propose this?" Vross roared, half amused, half serious, "Are you trying to cause a diplomatic incident?" Her uniform and hair were both in disarray from storming from her shuttle to this room, but her incredulous smile proved she wasn't truly angry.

She was here to question him. If he seemed like he couldn't handle her, he wouldn't be able to handle a crew like he was proposing. If he could, he might even be someone she could respect, and therefore his idea had merit. Anyone crazy enough to ask someone from a race that had been at literal war with their race to be their first officer- and who could pull it off- was worth knowing.

Out on the balcony, she stopped short of his reach.

"Correct - I am trying to cause a diplomatic incident, and one that the Federation needs if it is to survive." Varak was quite amused by the accusation - not that he showed it. "You must be Commander zh'Qiaqir", he stated, holding his hand out for a handshake. A human greeting, but one that had become quite popular amongst Federation species.

Vrossan grabbed his hand and shook it, smile broadening, "And you must be Captain Varak! I do hope you weren't kidding in your brief, but from the sounds of it, you weren't. I am excited to hear what sort of plan you have for getting even two races to get along, much less four or more. Is this scheme coming from a place of that new-or is it old- philosophy vulcans are getting into?"

"It is both old and new - but I highly doubt that you came all this way to discuss Vulcan philosophy." Varak paused for a moment, and commented "Would you care for a refreshment?"

"Do you have mint tea?" Vross stepped in from the balcony, then waited just inside for him, "I did read your proposal, and I'm interested in seeing your vessel's successful re-launch, with the crew you want. I agree that the Federation can only lie in stagnation without some development on inter-species relations and rapport, but a nearly even ship? Wouldn't it be better to start with a transfer program or some other smaller step?"

Varak paused, and then turned to face over the balcony. "Just ten years ago, our species were at war. To this day, there is still much tension. Picture a lone Andorian serving on a Vulcan ship, or a lone Vulcan serving on an Andorian ship. Would you want to be in that position?" At that last sentence, he turned to face Vrossan.

"So instead of a lone sacrifice, you want a crew-wide war?" She leaned against the doorway while she waited for him. She wasn't about to make tea in his office without at least his assistance finding things. "Forgive me if I don't quite see the logic yet."

"I believe that all species are willing to cooperate, if you give them a chance to." Varak stepped into the room, tapped a com panel on the wall, and spoke into it. "One Vulcan mocha, and one mint tea". He turned back and faced Vrossan.
"There are many who see the Federation as a mistake, including within Starfleet. Unless beliefs change, I calculate that the Federation will collapse from internal pressures in less than 40 years, based on current political movements." Varak paused for a moment, pacing around the table in the room. "It is not only logical, but essential, that proof of interspecies cooperation exists."

A slight whirring came from the table, as two cups were transported into the room from the cafe. Varak reached for the Vulcan mocha, and took a slight sip. "While a mixed crew would not be definitive proof of interspecies cooperation, it would make a significant impact."

"I don't see any reason to miss the chance, but caution will be necessary. It's a grand experiment of sorts, and failure would only make the inverse impact." She picked up the mint tea and paced for a moment before sippping, "If people believe the Federation is a mistake and a ship like this has any problems stemming from crew misunderstandings, then they will feel validated in their belief. Misunderstandings, of course, will occur without doubt, but the T'au will have to be sucessful and without reproach if you're trying to make a proof of potential to skeptics."

Varak nodded. "I have done everything in my power to ensure that the crew will run smoothly." He pulled a PADD out of his pocket, and placed it on the table. "All crewmembers will be made aware of the situation before joining the crew. A counsellor with expertise in xenopsychology will be joining the crew. And I requested you as my executive officer."

"You expect that due to my family history I'll be a good fit- and you're not wrong-" She picked up the PADD, "But anyone willing to sign onto your command team would have to be insane or foolish."

Varak raised his eyebrows, his mind racing as it ran through a dozen counterarguments.

She downed the mint tea suddenly, and set the mug down firmly on the desk. "Thankfully, I am one of those. Without someone on your side, this wouldn't work. I trust that you've done your homework on andorian, human, and tellarite culture in order to prepare for accomadating a mixed crew like this, and I'm sure you know what it means when I swear my blade to your service." She started scanning the information presented on the PADD.

Varak took a sip of his Vulcan coffee, and nodded. "Welcome aboard, Commander zh'Qiaqir. Emvaiir za dva Federation thezuraa."

With a sudden smile she sat, "I'm willing to die for you, but I don't know if I'll ever get used to hearing a vulcan speak my tongue. Your accent isn't bad. Hope for the Federation, and hope for the T'Pau- someone bless her bulkheads. Straight to work, I assume?"

"It is only logical", Varak concluded. "We will be leaving for Starbase 11 in 4 days, aboard the USS Forrest. In the meantime, we should review the maintenance schedule. Section 4 is of particular noteworthiness..."