USS Aeon - Prologue - Bumping into the Counselor
USS Aeon - Prologue
Location: USS Aeon
Timeline: MD2: 2130 hours
Estrad materialised onto Transporter Room 1 with a carry bag hung over his shoulder, filled with the last assortments brought up from Earth; PADDs filled with mission notes and important data, a few trinkets bought along the market outside of Starfleet headquarters, and even a few impulse purchases of some Trillian Whiskey he happened to spot that reminded him of home. Not that he drank, ever; but a Captain has to have something like that secreted away for special occasions.
He stepped off the transporter PADD and sighed. Tired was an understatement. The various meetings interposed with bumping into Commodore Bel Moroi and a fast-tracked shopping spree with very little sleep in between, piled on top of his already hectic time over the past month or so preparing for the Aeon, had finally caught up with him.
He had wanted to catch up with his first officer, see what had transpired while he was away, even if she had met with him for the first meeting; but he shook that idea aside and decided it could wait until morning.
Moving out of the transporter room, he banked left and followed the corridor round, his thoughts revolving around everything he had had to absorb over the past couple of days; so much so that as he rounded the corner he didn't notice the ensign coming in the opposite direction until it was too late.
Castor, laboring under his own few hours of sleep, seemed to notice Estrad even later. Too late, in any case, to avoid a painful first introduction to his Captain. The stack of PADD's he had been carrying went flying as he bumped into Estrad. Castor stepped back, confused at what happened, annoyed he didn't know and hurting a bit, all at the same time. When he finally did figure out what had happened all those feelings merged into one of embarrassment.
"Captain, sir..." He uttered, throwing a quick, yet precise salute, realizing mid way that old habits die hard. "My apologies sir, I should have been paying attention."
"I am as much to blame as you... Ensign," Estrad finished as he noticed the pips on the Ensign's collar. He was usually far more observant then this, and avoided running into people along the corridors, but his tiredness was obviously causing him to be lax. Rubbing his eyes in frustration, he bent down to help pick up the PADDs off the floor. "So, what department are you working in? Or are you part of the Starbase crew?"
"Counselor, sir, on the Aeon." Castor looked at Estrad, the Captain looked as tired as he felt.
"Captain, if you don't mind me asking, as a counselor, you look tired. Are you sleeping alright?"
Estrad stared at the man in front of him for a second or two, and suddenly remembered who he was. Being joined gave him the advantage of having a very good memory, as both symbiont and host held joint memories of a particular event, but it seemed he was too tired to recall who Castor was until the counselor had prompted him. Hopefully it would pass with more sleep, or he was going to have problems.
"Counselor Navin, of course," Estrad nodded absent-mindedly as he mused the counselor's question. "Yes, I am, just not enough of it. It's what comes with a solid month of staying up too late and waking up too early. I'm sure it'll pass with more sleep."
Estrad stood up and handed the PADDs to the counselor. "Anyway, welcome aboard counselor. Are you all settled in?"
Castor nodded, "I arrived last night, got assigned my quarters and just jumped into bed the moment the door closed. I haven't quite unpacked yet and was just now on my way to the counselors office to 'inspect the facilities' as they say." He looked around as if seeing the entire ship.
"Of what I have seen so far the Aeon is a fine ship. A lean, clean, science machine." He chuckled, momentarily forgetting he was talking to the Captain.
Estrad smiled. "Indeed, that she is. Hopefully where we are going, we'll get to use her as a 'lean, clean, science machine'", he replied, his smile broadening as he used the counselor's phrase.
"I share your hope, sir" Castor agreed. "I have no desire to see combat" -ever again- he added silently.
Repositioning the bag still hanging from his shoulder, Estrad looked up and down the corridor and realized he had been about to go in the wrong direction.
"Well, since you seem to have a better understanding of where the turbolift is on this deck, Ensign, perhaps I will follow you to it," he said, motioning for Castor to lead the way.
Castor nodded and motioned Estrad down a corridor. It occurred to him that this vessel was so new even its Captain had still trouble finding his way. That was a new thing for him.
"I'm sure you are aware of the conference meeting, 0900 hours this Friday?" Estrad asked as he stepped in to walk beside Castor.
"I am now, sir" Castor shrugged apologetically. "I'm sure it is in my agenda, I just haven't had the time yet to properly look it through. I'll be there."
"Not to worry, Ensign," Estrad replied, then paused to maneuver out the way of some passing engineers on their way to an assignment. They quickly scurried past when they realized who Estrad was, causing a small smirk from him.
"As I was saying," Estrad continued, "we're all settling in, even myself. Still, it would be good to have your input."
"I'll do my best to contribute, sir"
Estrad reached out and called the turbolift, which must have been standing ready as it opened almost immediately. Estrad motioned for the counselor to enter first.
Castor stepped in, realizing to himself that the Captain had been way more approachable than he had thought. He had feared he would only talk to the captain during mandatory counseling session every once in a while, but here he was, barely on board, talking with the man. For some reason it made him feel more welcome on board.
Estrad followed him in. "If I remember right, your office is on deck 5, one floor down," he said, and nodded to indicate Castor should state his deck first.
"I believe it is, sir" Castor stated his destination and fell his stomach lift a bit as the lift started moving down.
"I'll drop you off here, so to speak, then head back up to my quarters for some shut eye. It was good to meet you, Counselor," he added, as the turbolift shuddered to a halt once again.
Castor got of the lift and turned around, "That sounds like a good idea Captain. Sleep well."
"You too, Counselor," Estrad smiled as the doors closed. "Deck 2", he said, eager to get back to his room and fall asleep.
Captain Estrad Dagan
Ensign Castor Navin