“Commander Peter Flynn, I’m assigned to the Vienna to be the new XO,” Flynn explained to the duty officer.
The lieutenant checked his data slate, then nodded. “Yes, sir, everything appears to be in order.”
“She’s likely to be in her quarters. I can have an Ensign Montoya show you the way, sir.”
Flynn nodded, and the ensign guided him through the cramped corridors of the Vienna. She was bigger than the Temujin, the ship Flynn had been reassigned from, and he thought that would have meant he wouldn’t have to worry about banging his head through every hatch.
Ensign Montoya delivered Flynn to the Captain’s state room, after which Flynn dismissed him with a quick salute. Flynn could hear voices on the other side of the door, and wondered if he should wait.
There’s no telling how long I’d be out here waiting. If it’s important, she’ll make me wait, but I need to at least knock.
He rapped three times on the door.
“Come!” came the command, a woman’s voice, which he believed to be the captain.
Flynn went in and saw Captain Rachel Powell behind a desk, her black hair in a regulation braid in case of gravnet failure. She had crow’s feet around her dark eyes, and a set to her jaw that said she didn’t brook interruption lightly.
On the other side of the desk was a familiar face, but Flynn needed to address the captain, first.
“Captain, Commander Peter Flynn reporting for duty.”
“Captain,” Keith Lanning smiled, “Peter’s an old friend from the academy. You don’t have anything to worry about with him as the new XO.”
“Is that so?” Captain Powell returned Flynn’s salute. “At ease. Well, we’ll put that to the test soon, shall we?”
“Yes, sir,” Flynn said.
“XO, tell me about Commander Flynn.”
“Pete’s, well, he’s unique, Captain. He’s a natural with tactics, not that his grade would reflect that. See, he decided to create variations on the established tactics, and even came up with some original maneuvers. Not all of them worked, though, and some of the captains and admirals didn’t appreciate his originality.”
That’s an understatement. Of course, I wish Captain Powell wasn’t hearing about those incidents in quite this way.
“Really? Well, I like to do things by the book. Can he accommodate that?”
“He knows the regs, and he’s never had a problem with the chain of command.”
“I see. Well, Captain Shin speaks highly of him.”
I’ll miss the Temujin. I made some good friends there, and the Captain was one of them.
“Well, Commander Flynn, welcome aboard the Vienna. XO, why don’t you show him the ropes.”
Flynn followed Keith to his new state room, and did a quick tour of the ship. The layout was pretty standard for Alliance ships, with only certain variations. When finished, they had some time to put to shore and have an honest-to-celestials drink, something Flynn hadn’t had in months as the Temujin had been on deep patrol near the Imperium.
“It’s good to see you again, Pete.”
“You, too, Keith.”
It really is. I’ve only been able to keep in touch with a few from the academy days, and Keith is one of them.
“Hey, do you remember those fan dancers we snuck in at the Academy?”
“You mean the ones we dressed up as SPs and had them bring us in?”
“Those are the ones. Man, that was one of our bolder moves, wasn’t it?”
Flynn grinned. “We got away with it, too.”
“Your tactics, my charm,” Keith held up his glass.
Flynn clinked his against it. “The good old days.”