((Executive Tower, StarBase 118))
::It felt like it was just yesterday, and Andrus was still in command of the mammoth station. The memories were mostly good of his previous command, but there were some that took a toll on him. He could see himself walking through the corridors, thinking of the life he lived while he was there. Things had indeed changed, but that was life. The last time he was on the station was when he had the privilege of promoting Kali to Captain. In his career, time seemed to fly past without warning. The Betazoid felt that if he blinked the wrong way, another year would go by. He made his way past security in the lobby. After the terrorist attack on the station over a year ago, Jaxx was instrumental in adding extra layers of security to sensitive areas. He never got the chance to hear what the admiralty thought about the extra hoops that had to be jumped through to make it into the tower.::
::Making it through the sea of visiting diplomats and various StarFleet brass, he found his way to the nearest lift. It was a decent sized line to enter the small lift. A line was not something he had to worry about as commanding officer of the station. The senior staff enjoyed the fruits of site to site transport. Now, he was like the rest of the cattle on the station, being herded into lifts and waiting in lines. It did not take long for him to reach the lift and calling out his destination.::
Jaxx: Level twenty-three.
::He got a few looks sizing him up. There were multiple decks that housed the offices of the fleet administrative officers, ending on level twenty-four. The higher the number, the higher up the command chain you went. Level twenty-four housed only one office, Admiral Tristan Wolf, when he was in the sector and not at StarFleet Command or gallivanting around the galaxy. The level below, and Jaxx’s destination, housed only two offices.::
::His visit to the station was accompanied by a summons from Admiral Luke Reider. The Admiral had been the Chief Administrative Officer for as long as Jaxx could remember. As anyone could imagine, that job kept the man quite busy. Their paths would rarely cross while Jaxx had command of the station. He figured it was the nature of the beast and was the same for all of the station’s commanders.::
((Outer Office - Level 23 - Executive Tower, StarBase 118))
::As the doors opened to reveal the outer office, Jaxx felt as if he were back at the Academy and had been summoned to the commandant’s office. It had only happened a couple of times, one was pleasant, the other was due to his mischievous nature. The latter occurred his second year, and he wanted it to be the last time he was called to the man’s office. As he stood there, he was grateful for the fact that Admiral Reider was Terran. Jaxx would be successful at stowing his childish nervousness, and put on his command face. Approaching the secretary at the desk, he smiled slightly.::
Secretary: Can I help you?
Jaxx: Yes, Captain Andrus Jaxx to see Admiral Reider.
Secretary: ::smiling politely:: Captain Jaxx, he is expecting you...go on in.
::With a polite nod, Jaxx moved toward the door and let out a sigh before approaching. He still had no idea what he was being called in for. With no doubt, the Admiral had most likely read the recent reports from the Thracian system. Things were continuously heating up between the Romulans and Klingons...and Jaxx had been in the middle of those two species on more than one occasion.::
((Admiral Luke Reider’s Office - Executive Tower, StarBase 118))
::Jaxx took two steps into the office. The mischievous side of him thought about plopping down in the chair across from the man and kicking his feet up on the desk. Over the years Jaxx found it increasingly easier to ignore that part of him. Snapping to attention, he followed protocol, at least until he was directed different.::
Jaxx: Captain Andrus Jaxx reporting as ordered, Sir.
Reider: At ease, Captain.
::Reider stood and approached Jaxx, his hand outstretched. He was jovial in appearance, and carried himself like a young man in an old man’s body -- spry, but starting to creak a little.::
Reider: How’s space? Feels like I never leave this place anymore.
::He gestured to the office around them.::
Jaxx: The trip in was uneventful, Sir. The Apollo is docked for some slight repairs.
::Jaxx played the part of a typical captain quite well. In his mind, ‘slight repairs’ covered the hull breaches, damaged computer core, and the laundry list of systems that were operating below his normal standards. In his mind, it was nothing that a couple of days on the station could not fix. When they cleared the spacedock doors, the Apollo would be just as good as she was when they arrived in the Thracian system.::
::Reider winked at Jaxx’s minimizing of the damage -- he had an office with a window, after all -- and motioned to the chair across the desk.
Reider: Please, have a seat, Captain.
::Jaxx moved into the office a bit further and took a seat across from the man. He had not had the chance to really get to know him, but it was something that would take more time than either of them had. The nervous feelings he felt on the way up were now gone. All he could focus on was his duty, and the fact that they were two StarFleet Officers. The reason he was there was now in the forefront of his mind. He was still not sure what it was, but figured it would come soon enough.::
Jaxx: So, Admiral...what can I do for you? ::snickering slightly:: I am sure you get enough small talk.
::Reider took a seat on the same side of the desk as Jaxx. Both were low-backed, StarFleet blue upholstered chairs, comfortable, but not too comfortable. Laid-out on the desk in front of them were a half-dozen piles of neatly stacked PADDs, a few isolinear chip stands, and two standing picture frames which were facing away from Jaxx and Reider where they were currently seated.::
Reider: I called you up here in regard to your recent performance, actually.
::Reider crossed one leg over the other, letting that statement sit in the air for just a moment. The pause gave notable density to the air. It was otherwise quiet in the room -- the hubbub of the starbase was far below them, and this area was uncommonly quiet. ::
::Jaxx sat across from the Admiral unsure of what to say. Jaxx knew there were a few places he could improve, nobody was perfect. Whatever the issue was, Jaxx was ready to face it head on and get it resolved. Perhaps he had not run enough drills, perhaps his department heads were lax in submitting their reports? His mind was going a mile a minute.::
Reider: You’ve really been quite exceptional, and we want to reward your courage, diligence, and leadership over the past few years.
::The Admiral leaned forward and slid a small box off the desk before handing it to Jaxx.::
Reider: Go ahead, open it.
::Inside the box was a single, solid pip, enclosed in a black lacquer square -- the Fleet Captain rank.::
::Andrus stared into the box for a few seconds. It was a little overwhelming for the Betazoid man. Everything the man had become was due to his crews of past and present. Jaxx held his taste in officers with high regard. They share in his success just as they shared in his failures.::
Jaxx: ::glancing up with a smile:: Well, thank you Admiral. I do not quite know what to say.
::Reider smiled at the response.::
Reider: You earned it. Congratulations! I’m sure they’ll have quite a party for you on the Apollo, once someone notices.
::Jaxx thought of the party he had just left, and was not fancying another. Besides, how many times does anyone actually look at his pips? Did they have to count and verify them every morning? If it were not for the automatic personnel updates, it would be any report he filed for there on out. The word would no doubt travel fast.::
Jaxx: ::nodding:: Yes sir.
::He chuckled, and handed Jaxx one of the PADDs.::
Reider: Now you also have the pleasure of shoulder the responsibility that comes with it. Starfleet has information that someone has been gathering the equipment to synthesize cobalt diselenide. We have no idea who is behind it, but the intel leads us back to the Quatal System. What do you think?
Jaxx: Last reports indicate the planet was held by the Maquis, but that could have changed since the last known intel is about a decade old. Either way, it is worth a look.
Reider: Good. ::Standing:: I’m sorry we didn’t have time for more pomp-and-circumstance, but I’m sure you understand. Nonetheless, it’s important you understand how much we trust you, and value your contribution to our fleet. You’re an important leader here, and your contribution is critical to the success of StarFleet’s mission.
Jaxx: Thank you, Sir.
::Standing up, Jaxx followed the man to the door. There was no doubt they would have their hands full this time out. As the admiral extended his hand, Jaxx firmly took it.::
::Reider extended his hand and shook Jaxx’s warmly.::
Reider: Don’t forget to put that pip on! ::He patted Jaxx on the back as he led him to the door.::
::Jaxx nodded and smirked at the comment. Making his way back down, he held the new insignia in his hands. One thing was for sure, he shaved another few seconds on getting ready in the morning. One pip in a box was much easier to put on than four circular pips, all lined up neatly.::
::The Apollo would need to set out once again. Jaxx knew that he never stayed in port very long. He had a unique way of making entrances grand, and departures low key. If someone was out there making chemical weapons, the danger factor was just increased. He kept his head down and quickly made his way back to the ship.::
Admiral Luke Reider
Chief Administrative Officer
As simmed by:
Fleet Admiral Tristan Wolf
Fleet Captain Andrus Jaxx
USS Apollo, NCC-71669