495: Tending to the Flock: One

by Zander Blakeslee and Commander Salvek
After Silent Transition

-=USS Alchemy=-

Ship's log, supplemental. We have retrieved our remaining crew from Betazed and per orders are proceeding to Klaestron for the mining negotiations. For the time being, I have only informed the crew of the negotiations mission, and not of the possible rescue of Captain Zanh's away team. I have merely told the crew that the Captain's team is on a classified mission, and we will meet up with them when they are complete.

For the time being I intend to make rounds to check on the well being of the crew. We will shortly test the transwarp drive to complete our trip to Klaestron, where the Serendipity will be waiting with the diplomatic team.

Salvek closed the log and walked back out onto the bridge. With much of the Command staff taken away for the rescue mission, Salvek with left with only a few personnel for the journey to Klaestron. February Grace, Vol Tryst, Rada Dengar, Lair Kellyn, Jack Hubbard and Zander Blakeslee were all that was left of the senior staff. In his current condition, Rada was unable to man his post for the time being.

Blakeslee and Grace shared the bridge with Salvek, along with a few support staff. He approached the helm, and placed a gentle hand on February's shoulder.

February was rather surprised by the gesture and looked up at Salvek, wide-eyed and somewhat curious.

"Hello." She said shyly.

"How are you feeling?" Salvek asked.

"All right I suppose. Why do you ask?" February looked down at her panel and scanned the controls, wondering if she had been acting distracted and missed something, and Salvek picked up on it.

"I know you are accustomed to the link you share with Commander Reece. You must feel as if something is missing when he is this far away."

February shrugged. "Of course, but knowing he's coming back makes it easier to handle. It was difficult to cope with when I thought our link was lost forever."

Salvek knew full well it was more than just "difficult to handle" when she nearly lost her link with Dabin. Despite his own beliefs about emotions, he knew as the leader of the ship it was his responsibility to make sure the crew was in good mental health, and that meant checking up on them.

Moreover, he simply cared for February and her well being, as a friend. His concern for her was not merely official.

"If you feel you need to talk, just let me know, and I will make myself available." Salvek said.

"Thank you, I'll do just that."

Salvek once again patted her shoulder reassuringly, before approaching Zander Blakeslee at the tactical station.

"Good evening Lieutenant Commander." Salvek said. Zander spun around half way to see Salvek.

"Good evening, Sir. Something I can do for you?"

"Not at the moment. I was just wondering if you had heard from your family, or had the chance to inform them we will rendezvous with the Serendipity soon?"

Zander smiled. "I haven’t spoken to my wife in person but I did send a message. I am sure they are safe and secure on the ship by now." He laughed. "Both my boys have had the freedom of wide open spaces for a while now and let me tell you that I do not envy my wife having to deal with them in the confines of a starship. I’ll have to buy flowers and send her to a spa when I get back to make up for my not being able to help out."

"But this is the life we chose when we joined up." Zander continued, smiling broadly. "No regrets here that is for sure."

"Our children each must learn quite a bit of patience, growing up in this environment. There are times I feel Arie's best interest may not be being met, but still she seems quite well adjusted despite it all."

"Do you ever have the feeling they wish for a more stable life, planet side?"

Salvek cast his eyes up in thought before answering. "Yes. However as Arie grows older and her independence blossoms, I can tell she does enjoy the certain amount of freedom that comes from a lifestyle such as this, with two officers for parents. Perhaps she enjoys it too much sometimes. Having your children to socialize with helps as well. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate the time you and your wife have spent watching over Arie when she sleeps over at your quarters."

"Well, she's a fine young lady, but I think you and Kellyn owe Samthia and I a few nights off."

"Agreed. It would by my pleasure to watch the children for you." Salvek replied.

“Ha, you might regret that offer.”

Zander leaned up against the tactical station. "So, mining negotiations. Sounds, well, boring." His slight smile was friendly but gave away the true meaning of the sudden statement. He simply did not believe the cover story.

He was sure that they were indeed heading to the mining negotiations but he had served long enough in Starfleet to know that they do not send a ship like the Alchemy or the Sera to deliver diplomats to talk about mining asteroids.

He also knew that where there was a cover story, there was a reason, and that reason would be revealed soon enough. Still, his curiosity was getting the best of him.

"Boredom is a state of mind. Starfleet feels the mission is worthwhile and that is all that is important. We will perform our duties to the best of our abilities," Salvek paused. "Until such time as our mission is complete, or Starfleet feels the need to alter our assignment."

"So you aren't going to volunteer any more information than that?"

"What makes you think I have any information?" Salvek asked.

Zander shrugged. “Oh, I do not think you have any other information.” He smiled. “To offer at least.”

He turned back to the tactical station. “We are on course and will arrive on time.”

"Stay alert, Mister Blakeslee. One never knows when a situation may arise that will require our attention. Perhaps a diagnostic on the weapons systems would be appropriate for the Alchemy, and the Serendipity as well when we arrive."

"Are we expecting the negotiations to go sour?" Zander asked, turning back to Salvek, attempting once more to pump the First Officer for information.

"Anything is possible." Salvek replied. "Tell me Commander, have you ever had an instance in your life where you felt the need to conceal something from your children, for their own good?"

“Beside the location of the hidden sweets, not quiet yet Commander. They are still blissfully young and generally unaware.” Zander replied.

“Why do you ask?” He began to run the diagnostic.

"No specific reason. Just that leaders, like parents, are often forced to make the same decision for the good of their crew.” Salvek let the comment linger, so the meaning would not be lost on Zander. “If you'll excuse me, I'd like to check on the rest of the crew. Let me know if you need anything else. You have the bridge."

Salvek gave Zander the same reassuring hand on the shoulder he had given February, and crossed the bridge to the turbolift.

Lt. CMDR. Zander Blakeslee
Chief of Security/Tactical
USS Serendipity/Alchemy


Commander Salvek
First Officer
USS Serendipity/Alchemy