Another Round

Posted on Sat Jun 3rd, 2023 @ 9:42pm by Lieutenant Commander Geneva Kysler & Lieutenant Danica Lukas

Mission: #1 Assignments
Location: Starfleet Academy, Presidio Campus
Summary: The Jupiter's newly assigned CO meets a friend at the Starfleet Academy Bar to discuss her change of fortunes.
Timeline: Mission Day 1 at 1815

= Starfleet Academy Bar =

"Another round, please," Geneva signaled the barman, gesturing towards her nearly empty wine glass. "Keep them flowing."

It was the early evening, right after the day's classes had concluded, and Geneva sat at the Academy bar, patiently waiting for her friend Danica Lukas to arrive. It didn't take long before the flight instructor made her appearance, her red Operations tunic still exceptionally neat even after a long day.

"You look like you've been through the warp core," Danica remarked upon her arrival, sweeping her blond hair behind one ear. "Whiskey, please," she ordered from the bartender. "What happened? Rough day?"

"I just experienced the thrill of getting fired and then immediately rehired," Geneva replied, a hint of irony in her voice.

Danica's brows furrowed in confusion. "Wait, what? Start from the beginning. What exactly happened?"

"After my class this afternoon, Michaelson swung by to drop the bombshell that they're integrating my class into the astrophysics curriculum," Geneva explained. "Needless to say, I was both disappointed and furious. And then he dropped the bombshell that they want to give me command of the USS Jupiter."

"Whoa, hold up," Danica interjected as her whiskey arrived. "They're scrapping your class altogether?"

Geneva nodded, her frustration evident. "Yes! Apparently, they think the enrollment numbers aren't up to par."

"And then Michaelson goes ahead and offers you command of the Jupiter?" Danica questioned, her voice tinged with surprise.

"Well, technically, it was Starfleet Command that extended the offer. Michaelson simply passed on the news," Geneva clarified, setting the record straight.

Danica took a brief moment to absorb the information. "The Jupiter... That's one of the ancient training vessels, right? I thought they decommissioned it prior to the war. I remember seeing it when I was a cadet."

"It was indeed around when I was a cadet," Geneva responded, her words dripping with sarcasm, subtly implying the vastness of time that had passed. "Seems like they've decided to breathe new life into it, give it a makeover... and now, they've bestowed the honor upon me."

Danica focused her gaze on Geneva, curiosity evident in her eyes. "Well, spill it then. What was your response?"

Geneva let out an exasperated sigh. "I... reluctantly said yes," she confessed.

Danica burst into laughter. "Oh, dear. Let me guess, Ben played his part in convincing you, didn't he?"

"He certainly made quite the persuasive case," Geneva admitted, her attention fixated on the swirling depths of her wine glass.

"Dani... I'm starting to think I've made a huge mistake," Geneva admitted, a hint of panic creeping into her voice. "Teaching a class of cadets is one thing, but commanding an entire ship full of them? It's a whole different game. And let's face it, command gold isn't exactly my most flattering color."

"I have to agree, gold doesn't exactly bring out your best features," Danica quipped, injecting a touch of humor into the conversation. "But don't underestimate yourself. You've got leadership skills."

"That's what Ben keeps saying," Geneva reflected. "But honestly, I'm not sure if I'm really ready for this."

Danica's tone turned more serious as she responded. "Listen, the war was a nightmare for all of us. When we were on the Reykjavik, you stepped up after Chen was killed. Not only did you save our skins, but you also managed to hold the crew together and navigate us out of some pretty tight spots. And let's not forget, the Reykjavik wasn't some small science vessel. It was a Shepard-class cruiser with a full-fledged crew."

"Thank you, but that's precisely my point," Geneva interjected. "It had a proper crew. I couldn't have done it alone. Each person's expertise contributed to our survival during the war. All I did was give orders."

Danica countered with conviction, "Those orders made all the difference between life and death. You stepped up and led when it mattered most. You remained cool and calm even under immense pressure. If you had asked me beforehand whether the eccentric chief science officer was cut out to be a commanding officer, I'd have had my doubts. Maybe you would have too. But you proved us wrong and showed us what you're truly capable of. We're all here today, alive and well, in no small part because of your actions."

Geneva let out a weary sigh. "Well, most of us, anyway," she murmured, her thoughts drifting to their fallen colleagues who didn't make it out of the war alive.

Observing the lively atmosphere of the bar, Geneva couldn't help but reflect on the past two years of teaching. It had been a peaceful period, a break from the constant danger that seemed to lurk around every corner. Safety had its merits, no doubt, and maybe it was what she needed for a while. But deep down, she knew that she wasn't truly challenging herself as a professor—she was merely challenging her students. Perhaps it was time to step out of her comfort zone, to seek something new and invigorating.

She had always been driven by a thirst for knowledge, a passion for unraveling the mysteries of the universe. And she realized that she wasn't going to discover those secrets by playing it safe. Her thoughts drifted to her father, who had ventured into the vastness of space after her mother's passing. Maybe, on some level, she had subconsciously tried to counterbalance that by staying in one place.

Geneva let out a sigh and turned her gaze towards Danica, setting her wine glass aside. "Alright, if I'm going to do this, I'll need an exceptional first officer. You mentioned earlier that you were considering returning to a starship assignment next year. What if we fast-tracked those plans? Would you be interested in being my Number One?"

A smile tugged at the corners of Danica's lips. "You know, I always had a specific career trajectory in mind. I wanted to start as a helm officer, work my way up to first officer, and eventually aim for command. The war sort of threw a wrench in there." She studied her whiskey before looking back up at her friend. "I had envisioned starting on a smaller ship, but the Jupiter's not quite what I had in mind... and I certainly didn't expect the offer to come from you."

"So that's a no then?" Geneva ventured slowly, raising an eyebrow at Danica.

"No, it's a yes," Danica laughed. "What I'm saying is I never would've imagined this is how it would happen. But it's a yes. I'll be your number one. I can't sit on the sidelines forever. It's time to get back in the game."

"Oh, thank god," Geneva exhaled a long-held breath. "I wasn't sure if I could do this without you."

"I'm not so sure I'm you're lucky charm," Danica quipped.

"I think you are," Geneva said knowingly. She raised her glass to her new first officer and offered a toast. "To our new career paths."

"May the odds be ever in our favour, then," Danica replied with a smile and inhaled sharply. "And may this not turn out to be a colossal mistake."

They clinked their glasses together, their laughter mingling with the lively atmosphere of the bar. It was a reminder that they had each other even in the face of uncertainty.


LtCmdr Geneva Kysler
Commanding Officer
U.S.S. Jupiter NCC-1024
Lt Danica Lukas
First Officer
U.S.S. Jupiter NCC-1024