Familiar Faces USS Verne Unspecified 2393 - En route to Seabase Nautica
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The words were still playing out in Kristopher's head, aside from the splitting headache that felt as though it were expanding like an uncontained warp bubble, the images of the ceremony flashed though his mind. The words following. It may have not been that much of a grand ceremony, only having taken place in an Admiral's office with a few other Admirals present and a representative from the office of the Secretary of Starfleet and the Deputy Federation Secretary of Defense, but it still was a rather big deal. It just had not completely settled in as of yet. “Captain Kristopher N. Kerouac” he heard the man's stern voice saying as Kris himself stood at attention. All he could think of at the time was when he was facing the Judge Advocate General in his Court Martial hearing. The following words, however, were not that of a sentencing...well, that was still left to be determined. They were words of a promotion, a career advancement to the likes Kris never fathomed. “You are hereby promoted to the rank of Commodore with all the duties and privileges” said Admiral Rashad.

Kris just remembered standing almost statuesque as someone, maybe Rashad stepped forward and pinned something beneath his four solid Captain's pips. It was the Broad pennant which underscored the Captain's pip, essentially stating that he had been promoted to the rank of Commodore, a rank that was seldom brandished around Starfleet in the 24th century. It was a peculiar advancement, placing his ahead of that of Captain and yet beneath that of a 'lower' Rear Admiral. In traditional Earth naval sense, someone with the rank of Commodore was to hold the command of more than one vessel or were part of a larger task force. He did not know exactly what was coming his way until he had been presented with his orders.

Aboard the USS Verne, named in honor of Jules Verne, Commodore Kerouac was still reading over his orders, or rather reading them over again for the seventeenth time as it seemed. They shoved me in a station had been Kris' initial reaction before fully grasping the significance of his assignment. More details then trickled in as he processed the information further. The USS Camelot which was undergoing repairs after a nasty little skirmish with some angry Tholians would 'set sail' again in coming months, but it would not be departing with Kerouac in the center chair. Of course, Kris immediately recommended both his Executive Officer and Second Officer (much to her displeasure) for the command. He was not sure if Starfleet would agree, but those matters were now out of his control.

What was in his control, however, was the ability to snatch some his crew from the USS Camelot and have them reassigned to Nautica, Kris' next command. Submersible Seabase Nautice to be exact. The first and only of her kind thus far, a Nautilus class submersible station which was a damn crazy idea if Kris ever heard one. Which is why you were the first soul that came to mind for this he told himself. His antics had seen him through two commands with a stint in a Klingon prison to bridge the gap. Fortunately, there was no prison time to bridge the jump from Camelot to Nautica.

He sat there his feet were thumping and he was sweaty profusely. How could one really be calm knowing they were going into something like this? The USS Verne was also technically under his command. At least it would be. It was a Aerie class starship like the Raven, which had been outfitted with the ability to perform far beyond space travel. It was equipped with immersion shields and could venture beneath the watery surface of the planet Volos II, also known as Monea Kris looked around the ship. There was a small crew of a few bodies assigned to the Verne, tasked with ferrying the Commodore and company to Seabase Nautica in one piece.

Familiar faces were around him. Lieutenant Ion Neith was one of Kris' top selections, a young talented man who had served on the Camelot as Chief Engineer. If there was anyone who could problem solve on the fly, provide at least somewhat digestible techno babble, and learn the inner workings of the Seabase, it was Ion. Kris knew that Lieutenant Neith would be the only Chief Engineer aside from Jennifer Matthews that he'd feel safe with, knowing that on the Seabase only the 'tin can' was what was between him and a watery grave.

Then there was a more personal selection, though Kris' reasoning was not solely shouldered by his heart, but also by his brain and command intellect. Federation contact with the Monoean people was still rather fresh. Thought the Universal Translator was accurate at least 80 to 85 percent of the time with the Monean language, there were still times where certain words, expressions, and idioms just would not translate or would be mangled by the translator after going through a dozen languages for a poor interpretation. If there was anyone that was going to the fill in the gaps and make working side by side with the Monean Maritime Sovereignty easier, it would be Dr. Scott Fisher. As Chief Science Officer, Kris knew he had someone he could depend on to work with both Starfleet, Federation Civilians, and Monean scientist. Someone like Jordyn Elbrun would have stuffed up the whole collaborative thing in a matter of days with his antisocial soured attitude. Fisher was far better with people, and in Kris' honest opinion far superior intellectually.

The next familiar face was that of the Norwegian man with mixed Klingon heritage, he was fair skinned with very faint cranial ridges, the only sign he was Klingon other than arguably his hair which was often worn in dreadlocks or in some interesting braided style of the man's liking. As Commanding Officer, Kris did not really mind how the man wore his hair nor the length of it. MaS Måne was also a Federation civilian rather than in Starfleet. He had only been on the Camelot for a few months serving under Kris as Morale Officer, though Kris felt the man had done a good job, more than that, Kris felt the man would be an asset to Seabase Nautica. Building strong diplomatic relations with civilian crew and the Moneans was probably best done by someone who was not Starfleet, and that was something MaS was not. Commodore Kerouac wanted to keep MaS on as Morale Officer, but was hoping to speak with the man soon about taking over additional duties as Nautica's Chef.

The last face of the familiar variety was that of a woman who was still much more of a mystery than anyone Kris had ever have serve underneath him. Counselor Quinzel, a Q who no longer had her 'God Like' powers, and yet still managed to terrify Kris. However, at times she seemed child like with her wander, her study of what it was to be like to be human. There were a few reasons why Kris wanted her with him on Seabase Nautica. One being, if anyone knew what was out there in the Delta Quadrant, it quite potentially would be her. With her knowledge of the galaxy, she was the perfect person to have as his broader diplomatic right hand and as someone to monitor the psychological health and well being of the crew.
A Yeoman and Leola Root Tea USS Verne Unspecified 2393 - En route to Seabase Nautica
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Commodore Kristopher Kerouac was still very much lost in his own mind, sinking deeper into his subconsciousness as he thought more and more about his new assignment and the fact that the transport vessel he and the others were on, the USS Verne was currently in space, but would soon be making a landing on a planet that was significantly over ninety percent covered in water. He had been taking in the sights of the few crew traveling with him and the others they had picked up a long the way, though it was only a small sampling. There was already personnel at Seabase Nautica awaiting the as well as more souls still on their way. Kris had been so lost in thought that he had not heard nor seen the woman who had approached him with a deep navy blue colored Federation PaDD tucked underneath her arm and a steaming mug held in her hand.

She had probably been standing by Kris a good minute or two lightly clearing her throat to break his concentration and bring him back to reality, but he was just not there mentally. Perhaps his mind was just too busy racing through memories and ideas or perhaps he had just not gotten a good nights sleep in so long, but whatever the case was, this woman was not going to let him lose himself entirely. Commodore Kerouac seemed to be jolted back to the here and now when the woman moved the hot mug she was holding to her other hand and gently clasped Kris' forearm with her warmed hand, shaking him slightly. “Commodore...Commodore Kerouac...Sir” she said with a politeness to the tone of her voice. She smiled when Kris finally looked up at her. “Oh good you are still with us, Sir” she added cheerfully. “I brought you some hot leola root tea and some reading. The tea is quite relaxing, but I cannot speak for the reading. It's some information from the Monean Maritime Sovereignty in regards to your taking command of the Seabase. I believe it also has information pertaining to your first mission” she added.

When Kris looked up he was slightly taken aback by the woman. It was not like she was extremely alien looking or anything. She was humanoid and quite possibly human or from some human colonized world. What he taken him aback a bit was just the woman's general appearance. He quickly took note that she must have been a Yeoman, but not any sort of Yeoman he was used to. Not to be judgmental or stereotyping, but most Yeoman or at least female Yeomans he had come across were usually small petite women and typically younger. This one was young looking, but definitely more matured than say in her late teens or early twenties. This woman seemed vibrantly youthful, but probably in her thirties. She was also no stick figure. A woman with a woman's figure, a little curvaceous with some meat on her bones, and there was nothing wrong with that in Kris' book. She was well dressed though not in a Starfleet uniform, and her top hugged the upper half of her figure, highlighting her headlights a bit which did cause Kris to blush ever so slightly. This woman could pull off the tops of Klingon women's attire nicely if she so desired.

“Yeoman?” Kris said taking the hot mug of tea and then accepting the PaDD that she handed him. “Thank you” he added politely. He was rather interested in learning more about this woman and had hoped the tone of his voice expressed that without him having to pry more out of her. He looked up with his kind eyes, expressing as much gratitude for the drink and the PaDD as he could. She of course had to bring him the PaDD, but bringing him a hot drink was definitely above and beyond her duties. It was her job to move information around, circulating it, and assisting with scheduling meetings and events. As a Yeoman, she was far more involved in ship or station matters than playing stewardess hand carrying trays of food and beverages.

The woman stiffened up a bit and tried to fix her blouse, making herself more presentable. “I apologize if my appearance does not meet your standards, Commodore. If you require me to change into something else I will do so. And if you insist on everyone wearing the standard Starfleet uniform under your command, I will of course do so” she said promptly. “Hildebrand” the woman added gently with a bit of a curtsy. “Beatrice Hildebrand, Commodore, and I am pleased to addressed as Yeoman if you would like, but I have no rating. I am civilian, not Starfleet” she explained.

Kris looked at the woman and flashed a smile. “My sincerest apologies then, Miss Hildebrand” he said sincerely. “And how you are dressed now is perfectly acceptable aboard the Seabase or any of our auxiliary vessels” added Kris. “I will not require you to wear a Starfleet uniform unless you want to wear one. You may not officially hold a Starfleet rank or rating, but I might get rather used to calling you Yeoman” he said politely. “Thank you for the tea and the data PaDD, Beatrice.”

The woman blushed and fixed the ocular spectacles that rested on the bridge of her nose. The Commodore did not ask her about them and though her eye sight was not the greatest, she had come from a colony that raised her without dependence on modern technology and practices. She could have simply had an operation for ocular correction, but forgone it for her own stylistic choice of glasses. “Actually Commodore...nobody calls me Beatrice” she said. “Bessie or Bess” she offered.

“Bess” repeated Kris. “I like that name” he added as he stood up and extended his hand to shake hers. “It's wonderful to have you serving under me Bess. Kris then began to read over some information on the PaDD. There was a small memo that snagged his attention. “Oh” he said abruptly “Looks like they want me and the others in for a subspace briefing” he commented.

Yeoman Hildebrand nodded. “Yes, Sir. I have already taken the liberty of setting up a small room for a conference setting on the Verne. I also stopped by Commander ch'Ghorev's guest quarters to hand him a nearly identical PaDD half an hour ago. He seems rather nice albeit a bit dry and stiff, but from experience, that tends to be the Andorian way” she said in passing.

Commodore Kerouac nodded. “Aye, that's for sure” he said with a small chuckle. He had not met this man yet, but according the PaDD, this Commander ch'Ghorev had recently been picked up the the Verne's last stop with transfer orders to the Seabase Nautica to serve as Kris' Executive Officer. “I have actually had an Andorian First Officer before, hopefully this one is a little more flexible than the last one I had the honor serving with” said Kris with a small sigh.

Bessie giggled a little. “Sir, if you would like, you can head to the conference room and meet with the Commander for a little bit. The two of you probably should get a little more acquainted with one another before we touch down at Seabase Nautica” she said pleasantly. “I will collect the members of you Senior Staff that are present and have them join the two of you shortly” added the woman. Kris was in full agreement with her recommendation and headed off to meet with this Andorian he was going to be working with.
Ascending the Castle Seabase Nautice | Command Operations
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'Commodore on Deck!' Kris could hear it in his head, the sound of the boatswain's whistle grabbing everyone's attention as his arrival at Ops was announced. It was all he could think about when he stepped onto the lift that quickly jolted and ascended upward towards the top discus. He had not seen much of the Seabase yet and was quickly on his way to relieve the OOW (Officer On Watch). In this case, it was the highest ranking officer before Kris and the others arrived, a man who had been holding the fort down for the past few weeks, Dr. Nah Rehu. He was a Physician and Scientist, a Romulan with a great deal of experience under his belt.

Commodore Kristopher N. Kerouac stood up straight after fixing his collar and playing with the four pips and underscore. He then swept his hands behind his back and waited for the lift to reach its destination. The trip was relatively quick. These lifts seemed to be a bit quicker moving. "Welcome to Command Operations" came a voice that caught Kris by surprised. It was generated sounding, not very natural nor human. The Computer he thought to himself. I don't like it. That needs changed he thought hearing the default voice of Nautica's computer.

There was no boatswain's whistle. There was nobody standing there to greet him or announce his arrival. Instead, Kris was just greeted by this computer's voice when the lift arrived at the destination and opened up for him to exit. He stepped out and found himself observing a dozen or so people buzzing about work consoles. None of them batted so much as a lash. He saw some Starfleet uniforms, but primarily uniforms of the MMS (Monean Maritime Sovereignty). Kris awkwardly weaseled his way away from the lift and headed over to the center of Ops where he saw one Starfleet Officer looming over a console. Most certainly a Vulcan. "Commander Rehu?" asked Kris, addressing the man by his commissioned rank.

Nal Rehu hooked a finger in the collar of his uniform and pulled. The tunic, for whatever reason, seemed small, and he made a mental note to replicate one size large the moment he had some free time. He been in a somewhat foul mood today, but then again that seemed to be his mood most days since he had arrived on this seabase. He still was perplexed on why he was chosen for this assignment, he had been perplexed why Starfleet was so keen to snag him up and hand him a commission. He should have said no, but as a scientist and a physician, he had to admit he was intrigued by the seabase. Plus, he was now as far as possible from coming across other Romulans, when he was in the Alpha and Beta Quadrants, he constantly ran the risk of running into one of his people. He still, after all these years couldn't face them. In a way, he refused to face them... or his past.

At the sound of his rank and surname being addressed, Nal looked up from some sensor reports that we coming through on a monitor. The man that was approaching was short, and thin, and had unruly hair. This is our new CO? What, did Starfleet dig at the bottom of the barrel for this one? he mused to himself. "You are speaking to him... Commodore."

Kris nodded "I can see that" he said looking right at the man and motioning his index finger to the tips of his own ears. "They kind of gave you away. I don't think we have to many Romulans on the Seabase or Vulcans for that matter" explained Kris. The Commodore went to extend his arm to shake the man's hand, but midway pulled it back. He then went to do a Vulcan hand gesture only to remember that was only really appropriate for a Vulcan, not a Romulan. He knew the Romulan military greeting of a superior was to clench his fist, bring it to his chest and bow a little yet that seemed wrong in this case since he outranked the man and was this man's superior.

The Commodore aborted the Vulcan hand gesture not the least bit smoothly. He ran his fingers through his hair and rested his hand on the back of his head for a moment. "Ah uh mmm" he said nervously. "Yeah, I just arrived not too long ago with some of the other crew. I came to let you know that I will be reliving you of duty...COMMAND. Sorry. I meant command. I'll be taking over as Commanding Officer, but thank you for holding down the fort until I arrived" added Kris.

Nal gave a short, curt nod as he crossed his arms over his chest. "I gladly stand relieved," he said, though he spoke in a soft voice, it was quite deep. He kept his gray eyes on the shorter man, watching his movements, taking note of the nervous twitches. It wasn't his way to prejudge someone, but this Commodore was not making a very good first impression. "On your desk," he indicated the office, "will be reports concerning crew rosters, who is here who isn't, initial sensor scans, and engineering reports."
The Book of Mermen USS Verne - Aerie Class - Crew Cabin
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It would be a few days travel, but the majority of the journey was already done and over with. A Vesta class Federation starship with a quantum slipstream drive had taken Kristopher and Scott to Starbase Delta 5 where they spent the past several until the USS Verne arrived to ferry Kris, Scott, and others to their new posting. No longer a Captain, but Commodore, Kris was finding himself on the receiving end of more stiff salutes than he had been comfortable with. Given that he technically was not on duty until his feet touched the deck of Seabase Nautica, Kris quickly stripped himself of his uniform and popped the rank pips off the collar and stuck them in the pocket of his slacks.

Thank the stars he thought as he messed up his hair, disheveling it. Now, all he looked like was some off duty guy with bed head and in a dire need for a good shave as his facial hair was nearly in full bloom. He carried his uniform vest, draping it over his arms and explored the corridors of the four deck starship in his red undershirt untucked from his waistline. For the time being he was going fairly unnoticed as he passed a couple of crew in one of the corridors, neither of them paying so much a moment's worth of attention.

Kris was almost home safe as he rounded a corner, proceeded part of the way down a corridor and veered off towards one of the closed doorways which soon slid open in a subdued hiss. These quarters were somewhat small, not grandiose at all. Technically it was designated as a cabin rather than quarters. When he walked in, Kris caught sight of something that made him smirk. "Now that's a view" he said with a wolf whistle. It had been Dr. Scott Fisher that Commodore Kerouac had seen, standing in front of a long mirror in their quarters trying on the new Starfleet uniform, one that was going to be the standard duty uniform for Seabase Nautica. Division colors had undergone some minor changes as of a couple of months ago. the Science blue was being switched over to a shade of purple.

The Commodore smiled at Scott. "Guess I'd be a little dated if I call you my favorite little blue shirt now" teased Kris. He walked up towards the scientist and admired the new uniform. "I must say, you pull off the purple quite nicely" commented Kerouac. "I'm not sure I could do that color justice. I'm glad it went to science rather than command" he added.

A big grin formed on Scott's lips at the compliment. "Thanks," he said, "and I'll always be your little blue shirt. I mean I own a ton of blue shirts after all, probably too many blue shirts actually." He adjusted the collar of the new uniform and admired himself once again in the mirror. "I do like the color, I guess Starfleet finally wisened up and decided us scientists needed to be separate from the medical people." He looked to Kris and noticed the disheveled appearance. He liked the look, that was one of the many things that appealed to him was that Kris was quite unconventional in a lot of regards. How he made the rank of commodore, he wasn't sure, but he could only guess that Starfleet Command saw something in the man he loved. "Good thing they kept command red in command, we wouldn't want the upper ranking officers and upper echelons of Starfleet running around in such a color as purple. Though, I have always thought the color schemes were a bit silly, they are uniforms not pajamas ya know."

Kris chuckled "Don't knock the opportunity of pajama uniforms. I've had plenty of nights where I passed out at my desk or in my bed reading a PaDD with my uniform still on. Might not be a bad idea for them to go with something more leisurely" joked the Commodore. How Kris made Commodore was beyond even his comprehension. He would have not been Captain if the Katana's assigned Commanding Officer had not been killed so close to her intended re-launch date. Command then had been thrust upon him, and a field promotion to Captain followed in the months following. To be a Commodore though? I'm not sure even I want to know why he thought to himself.

The Commodore shrugged "Color schemes have their pros and their cons. Perhaps one day we will go back to a more unison uniform with a difference in patches or badges to distinguish division and departmental specialties" commented Kris. "I'm still nervous about this assignment, Scott. Part of me is excited because it is something experimental and new. The Federations has had planetary bases by the sea and ocean before, but never anything that was actually submersible" explained Kerouac. "It is like something right out of Jules Verne" added Kris.

"And that is what is exciting," Scott replied brightly. "I mean a submersible base, that seriously couldn't get any cooler than that. What would not be seriously cool is if the dang thing sprang a leak, I mean can you imagine?" He shook his head at the thought, if starships could get breaches, a submersible base certainly could get one. He was definitely excited by this new adventure. Not only did he get to be the chief science officer - which surprised the hell out of him - but he would get to finally put his linguistic skills to use on a more regular basis. He had been the one to figure things out concerning the Tholians, despite Lieutenant Elbrun's issues with him doing it. But, the simple fact of the matter was that Scott had linguistic abilities that the Elbrun did not. He wasn't sure why the lieutenant took issue with it, but in the long run it didn't matter.

Kris looked at Doctor Scott Fisher and crossed his arms. "No no no, do not even talk about engineering matters like that" said the Commodore shaking his head. "You have no idea how terrified I am of the water, especially open seas" explained Kris. He took a deep breath. "The last thing I want to think about is what happens if something breaks and we take on water...if we spring a leak. The only thing protecting me from flailing around drowning in the water is the hull" he said as he knock his knuckles against the metallic structure. "Bulkheads and containment fields, they had better not fail" he added.

Scott had been surprised by the admission, the two hadn't really talked about these things. Sure, some personal private fears had been brought up over the course of their relationship, but Kris had never mentioned this. He wondered why? The only thing Scott could surmise was that the possibility of being assigned to a seabase was fairly slim. Starfleet really didn't focus on the seas anymore. His mind typically processed things logically, and so to him a submersible seabase could spring a leak. But, that was what they had engineers and scientists for. The chances of a catastrophic failure was minimum. At least, that was his conclusion.

"So yes, I can imagine. There's hardly a moment that goes by that I am not imagining and it makes me want rum...lots of rum" he said nearly shaking. "It's ridiculous. I could have been sucked into space aboard a starship or a space station, but for some reason that never entered my mind...but there's just something about being on a Seabase. It disturbs me, Scott."

"It's not ridiculous to have these types of fears," Scott said as he moved the few steps to the other man. "And no rum," he added as he wrapped his arms around the shorter man and pulled him close. "Everything will be fine, the powers that be picked you for this command because they know you will do well. If they picked you to punish, well... screw them, cause I believe in you!"

Kris scoffed at Scott's comment about the rum. "Leave it to you to keep me away from my vices" said the Commodore with a small smirk. "I do appreciate though. With you in my life, I feel that I am more capable staying on the right path. You actually make me a better Commanding Officer" added Kerouac.

The Commodore did not necessarily believe that this was any form of punishment, just another one of those unorthodox assignments that could not go to just anyone. "Screw them? Such language from you" replied Kris with a small chuckle. "No, I don't think this assignment is really a punishment, but it will be a challenge. I am sure that there are some in Starfleet Brass who are waiting for me to fall onto my ass rather quickly and buckle under the pressure. I, however, have no plans on doing so" added Commodore Kerouac.

Scott smiled and followed that with a quick nod. "Or the Brass will completely forget about us, I mean it might be hard to keep tabs on us way out here. Plus when we are submerged, it will be like we are hiding."

Commodore Kerouac smiled at Scott. "I doubt it Fishsticks" said Kris using the nickname he had given the younger man when he first came aboard the USS Camelot. "We might not have much of a Starfleet presence, considerably outnumbered by Moneans and civilians, but the Federation Science Council will be looking over Starfleet's shoulder constantly. One of few joint operations with another civilization's government. It's practically Deep Space Nine and the Bajoran Militia all over again" said Kris.

He sighed. "I would not be surprised if some top Admiral decides to arrange his or her way aboard a transwarp capable starship just to come out here and inspect how everything is going" commented Kris. "Hell, with my record and luck Admiral Edward Jellico will come out of retirement just to come inspect the place."

"You worry too much," Scott responded. "I mean, I worry, and maybe we should worry, but we also know how to do our jobs. I get to be the Chief Science Officer, so the Federation Science thingamajigger is totally going to be watching. But, am I worried? Well... maybe a little, but all we can do is try our best. Look at DS9, sure Starfleet and the Bajoran Militia had VERY different ways of doing things, but eventually they learned to work together. I think there will always be tensions, I mean how could there not be, but the Moneans know we are here to help and not hinder so maybe that is a good starting point." He then shrugged, because despite his long winded, babbling answer, he still couldn't be sure what would happen. He did worry, but he was more worried about Kris than what would happen on the seabase.

After the babbling, he then sobered up. "Look, I do recognize what is at stake here. I know some people might think I don't, but I do. But, all we can do is our best, that is what I do. I mean don't you think I don't hear what people say about me, I mean look at how Jordyn Elbrun treated me. I rose above it because I knew I could do a good job, and that is what I did. I mean I don't know how this will all turn out, but an Admiral certainly can't fault us for trying or even giving it the best go at it as possible." After he spoke, one of those goofy smiles crossed his lips, and he then continued, "Besides, maybe we will get Admiral Janeway for a visit instead."