Thursday, February 18, 2010

Meeting the Crew II

[Cmdr. Vanessa "Van" Caro]

Standing at the far end of the bright room, staring out at the view was a tall (relatively speaking) man. Her new captain. Van felt a small, small amused smile pull her lips and lift the corners of her eyes.

“Commander Vanessa Caro of the Starship Lexington, reporting for duty, sir,” she said calmly and clearly, enjoying the cadence of the words though her small smile neither grew nor faltered. It wasn’t the most musical thing she’d ever said, but saying the words ‘of the Starship Lexington’ pleased her immensely. It was going to be her home for the near foreseeable future, after all.

Van stood attention, waiting to be recognized.

Adams turned and faced her, smiling slightly. There was being polite and then there was stretching it. …Being a captain, he decided he might as well take the initiative himself. That in mind, he strode towards her, purposeful strides carrying him to her. He reached out a thick hand to her.

"Commander Caro, a pleasure to meet you. Com...Captain Ben Adams."

Van returned her new captain’s handshake firmly. She’d never appreciated soft, dainty handshakes although she’d use one if the situation called for it. Sometimes people were more willing to do what you asked when you seemed to be soft and dainty yourself. There were many times when Van had seen her mother go from ruthless haggler to dainty maiden in the course of an hour.

She returned her captain’s smile as well. Apparently this captaincy was very new, if that near slip-of-the-tongue was any indication. That he’d left the windows to greet her instead of compelling her to go to him was noteworthy as well.

"I apologize for being the lone member of the welcoming committee. It seems the rest of the senior staff is...well, not here at the moment. Hopefully that will be changing...soon."

Van’s smile slowly widened into an easy grin. “Actually, sir, I’m surprised we aren’t meeting on the Lexington. Captive audience, you know.” She released Capt. Adams’ hand, though her stance was still fairly formal. “Have you had a chance to take a tour of the ship, sir? I’ve reviewed the specs, of course, but it’s not the same as doing your own walkthrough. I admit I’m looking forward to reviewing the science labs.”

The doors behind them opened. Van’s smile reverted to her more usual expression of friendly curiosity. She noted that the other woman had, unfortunately, been saddled with a close-necked version of the dress uniform. If she remembered correctly, the skirt was less likely to ride up but the fabric was too stiff—and thus too tight—around the neck. It was enough to make you wonder who designed the dress uniforms. The standard, everyday uniforms were much more comfortable. Apparently there was something wrong with simply adding the appropriate embellishments to an already proven design.

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