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Come Fly With Me

Posted on Sat Feb 10th, 2018 @ 5:07am by Lieutenant Commander Yara Blackwater & Captain Alexander Kurtz
Edited on on Sun Feb 11th, 2018 @ 6:32am

Mission: Earth
Location: Aerospace Corps Headquarters, Earth
Timeline: MD04 16:35

Captain Alexander Kurtz didn't have the luxury of building his own crew. He had inherited the Valkyrie at a difficult juncture. The crew was still fairly new and they had just lost their commanding officer, the man whose job it had been to bring them together and turn them into a team. Now Alex had to come in and keep that group together somehow despite the fact that it had already begun to fracture. A crew was like a machine, you need the right parts to make it work. Alex had been studying the Valkyrie machine and he had concluded that the second officer was a vital

He had tracked her down to the aerospace corps, apparently doing some kind of work for them, although his source didn't know exactly what that was. The headquarters was a little out of the way, and surprisingly nondescript, it reminded him of an old airfield. He supposed that pilots liked to feel connected to the romantic old era before anti gravity technology. He entered the reception area, which had a few examples of aerospace art on the walls, but again was fairly spartan.

The young Andorian petty officer at the desk looked up as Kurtz stepped up to him. “Good afternoon, Captain. How may I help you?” He asked with a respectful if a bit gruff voice.

"I'm here to see Yara Blackwater.” Alex replied.

“Blackwater?” He questioned, perking up a bit and sitting straighter. “I believe she has just gotten back in from a flight. Do you want me to call her out for you or would you like someone to take you to her?”

“I'll go to her.” From what he had read about Blackwater, she wasn't the type who responded well to being summoned. He needed her on side if this was going to work. The Valkyrie needed some kind of continuity and consistency within the command team and Emil Nosske was not the person to provide that. Alex had already tried to get rid of the XO, but the man apparently had friends in high places. They were stuck with him for now.

The Andorian nodded and tapped an area on the console in front of him. A moment later, a cadet walked into the reception area with a smile. "Captain, please come this way." She said and turned to lead him back into the facility once he was close enough. Obviously, she was a bit nervous as it didn't take her long to start speaking again, rambling a bit as they walked. "It's been really nice to have the lieutenant back here. It was a tough loss when she was reassigned to the Valkyrie; she helped out a lot here, especially with the cadets like me. She's nasty at times but she knows her shit - I mean her stuff - and I guess as long as you don't get on her bad side, everything goes well enough. It is nice."

“People who know their shit are a valuable commodity cadet.” Alex said. “Good to hear you're making the most of the resource.” Job satisfaction was a tricky thing to contend with. If Blackwater was doing good work here and enjoying it, then it might prove difficult to persuade her to return to the Valkyrie. That would put Lieutenant Kel in line for second officer, which seemed viable, but he was convinced that Blackwater was the best fit for the role.

“Thank you, captain.” The cadet said with a note of pride even though in reality she had nothing to do with it. They fell into silence as they walked but every so often the young woman would glance up at Kurtz in that way many cadets would captains, a bit of hero worship as it were. She lead the way toward one of the maintenance hangars and opened the door.

“You are one stupid son of a bitch, Windam.” Came the angry female voice that carried easily through the hangar even above the sounds of work being done.

“Hey, don’t you try to fucking blame this on me!” Came the reply, “I can be blamed for pilot error.”

“Pilot er- get your ass over here and look at this.”

“No! I’m busy!”

It was about this time that the cadet walked around a few of the shuttles and fighters to the source of the commotion. Standing next to one of the fighters was a tall blonde officer dressed in a flight suit looking entirely pissed off as she glowered to a man a few paces off looking over another fighter.

“Don’t make me come over there and drag you. Get over here now, Chief. That’s an order.” The blonde ordered, the sharp irritated edge giving way to a more authoritative note.

“Gods dammed upstart officers.” The grizzled old man grumbled loud enough for everyone to hear as he stalked over to the woman. “What?”

The pilot took a step to the side and gestured to something on the back of the wing. There was a long, tense pause between the two before the older man turned away and trudged off, now muttering under his breath about young engineers not knowing their foot from their ass.

Alex watched the engineer walk away muttering to himself. He felt a little sympathy for the man as a fellow engineer, but he definitely wasn't going to voice an opinion on this one. A quick look at the fighter's wing told him that there was a problem with the sublight stabilisation plates. The most likely explanation was incorrect installation and testing, since the smallest error would be amplified once the ship took flight. He cleared his throat, deciding that tact was his best option at this point. “Lieutenant Blackwater, have you got a few minutes?”

Yara turned to look at Kurtz and her expression soured even more. "I imagine no wouldn't go over well, so sure, of course I have time." She said and gestured toward an area of the hangar which was less populated, walking over toward it as she pulled off her gloves.

The response was more polite than Alex had expected, even if her expression didn't fill him with confidence. Minimal bullshit, he had already decided, was the best way to approach Blackwater. “My name is Alexander Kurtz, I'm the Valkyrie's new commanding officer.” He explained. “I'm here because I want you back aboard the ship.”

"Kurtz, hm? I've heard your name thrown around now and then. Hero type? Saved your ship and crew at great personal risk?" The tall blonde asked as she unzipped her flight suit down to her navel just to stop feeling so suffocated, revealing the dark grey undershirt as she leaned against the shuttle they were standing next to. "Is Nosske being reassigned there?"

“Hero? No, I just played the only card I had to cheat death. It cost me, but not anywhere near as much as the alternative.” He replied. “Nosske isn't being reassigned. He's got contacts up the chain that won't allow that, believe me I tried. That's why I need you there Lieutenant. I've done my homework and I know he's not someone who should be in unchallenged command of a Starship in an emergency.”

"Oh trust me, I know." She replied flatly. Kurtz didn't look like much, but he also didn't give off that irritating optimism of a young CO too wet behind the ears to have a handle on reality. Of course on some level, Yara felt responsible for Kincaid, but on the other hand she truly stuck by her own judgment of he hadn't been ready to be put in the situations he had been put in. Hopefully, something would come of his death in the fact that the brass might start looking a bit harder than they had been at readiness of officers for command - you had people like Kincaid on one hand and Nosske on the other - neither should have been where they were for various reasons.

“This is your decision Lieutenant, I'm not here to shanghai you onto the ship. The crew needs stability and continuity and I think you're the one to give them that.” Alex explained. “Are you interested?”

Yara couldn’t help but laugh at that, a skeptical, bordering on bitter sound as she shook her head. “I’d say you need your head examined. Have you actually read my file or asked around? I’m not exactly considered the most stable of people.”

“You've pissed a lot of people off.” Alex admitted. “But I'd suggest that's an achievement looking at some of the names on those reports. There's no such thing as a perfect officer, just the right person for the job. I think that's you, but I need you to think the same.”

"Well, you've definitely got the 'I believe in you, believe in yourself too' part of being a captain down, don't you?" The blonde returned in her usual sardonic tone. "You'll find I'm not as enthusiastic or agreeable to inflict discomfort on myself as most officers are. So, answer the question of 'why should I' and I'll give it fair consideration."

The Tempest had spent three years on deep space missions and Alex had gotten good at working out which officers were suited to an assignment like that, and which weren't. Blackwater's file had given him an idea of the type of officer she was, and meeting her was helping to refine that. “You get to be an explorer out on the frontier. Fly the ship where nobody has ever flown a ship before. There's no bureaucracy out there during a mission, just us calling the shots.

“You're an asset to the Valkyrie Lieutenant, I'm not sure you realise quite how much.” He paused for a moment. “And it'll really piss off Emil Nosske.”

It wasn't until the last comment was made that Yara's look of disinterest in the entire matter shifted to a smirk that wasn't wholly good in nature. "I was losing faith that you were going to come through for me but you showed up at the very end." She rolled her shoulders and stood up straight again. "I wasn't planning on leaving the Valkyrie anyways, captain, I've simply never done well with being idle so I spend my 'shore leave' doing some work here and there."

“Glad to hear it Lieutenant.” Alex grinned. “I needed to be sure you were all in. I think you're a vital component for the Valkyrie, and I wanted to speak to you before we leave Earth. The ship’ll be undergoing refits for a while longer, so take as long as you want down here.”

"I was planning on it. Now, anything else you need to bother me with?" She asked, the easygoing tone in her voice letting him know she was simply teasing with her words.

“Just one more thing.” He took out a small, unassuming black box from the shoulder bag her was carrying and tossed it to her. “Congratulations Lieutenant Commander.”

Yara caught the box easily enough, looking to it then to Kurtz for an explanation which when delivered, earned him the most unenthusiastic, "Yay." Still not opening the box, she quirked a brow at him. "And just what did I do to deserve this particular torment upon my person?"

“The way I hear it, you salvaged the situation of Davos Prime, and kept it from becoming a disaster.” Kurtz explained. “That kind of thing still gets recognition. But you should know that Commander Kincaid out you forward for promotion before Davos Prime.”

Her face scrunched up at his explanation and she held the box out at arm's length and just looked at it as if it were going to come to life and bite her. "Well, I suppose the why of why he did that is just going to be something I wonder about in the back of my mind until I die."

“I'm afraid so.” Alex replied. “Unfortunately there's no way of knowing his reasons. We'll do what we can to honour the man's memory though.” The rumours about the Valkyrie being pressed into service prematurely extended to her late commanding officer too. It was unfortunate that he would never have an opportunity to grow into the role.

"Yeah, I imagine he would like that." Yara replied and gave a shrug as she pulled her arm back in with the box in hand. "Well then I think I'm going to go home now. If there's anything else you need, find someone else to do it; I'm on shoreleave."

“Enjoy Lieutenant Commander. I'll see you on the Valkyrie.” He gave the pilot a nod and headed back the way he came. Blackwater had been, for the most part, what he had been expecting from her file. He remained convinced that she was in integral part of the Valkyrie's crew, even if she didn't realise it herself yet.


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