While Starfleet headquarters and the academy in San Francisco and the surrounding area, including the golden gate bridge are being rebuilt following the Breen attack. Starfleet is operating out of temporary headquarters in the American city of Washington DC.
Starfleet chief of operations Fleet-Admiral Veloru also a Bolian is sitting in his temporary office reading war reports, casualty lists and damage estimations of all the personnel and ships lost in the war.
When his assistant Lt. Practahn buzzes to let him know Rear Admiral Kelvin Hudson his 09:00am appointment is here and waiting to see him.
“Admiral your 9am is here, should I send him straight in?” Practahn asked.
“Yes send him in,” Veloru answered.
Outside Velorus’ office Kelvin is standing waiting while his assistant a young lieutenant announces him.
“The admiral will see you now,” Lt. Practahn said to him.
“Thank you lieutenant” Kelvin says as he walks past his desk and into the office. Inside Veloru is sitting at the big antique wooden desk an historic piece of furniture that originally belonged to a famous military leader of Earths’ past but he can never remember whose it was. Veloru stands up and comes around his desk to greet Kelvin and shake his hand.
“It’s good to see you Kelvin, I trust your journey here was a comfortable one, and I’m sorry not to have given you much notice before sending for you but this is extremely urgent and important.”
“Oh, I’m sorry where are my manners Kelvin but the first thing I meant to do when I saw you was pass along my condolences over the loss of your daughter, I’ve seen Elizabeth several times since the news came through and she is handling it remarkably.”
Kelvin takes a brief moment to compose his self, to think of dear little Liv, only twenty-one years old when she was killed while serving aboard the USS Stargazer at the battle of Cardassia, before replying.
“Thank you Admiral for your thoughts, both Elizabeth and I are trying as best we can to carry on in memory of our little girl and for our other children and my sympathies to you for the loss of your wife.”
“Thank you Kelvin. Well, I know you’ll have been curious as to why I called this meeting and was so secretive about it”
“Let me guess, you finally got sick of my disagreeing with practically every decision you make and are either going to ask for my resignation or you’re really sick of me and are planning to vaporise me.” Hudson answered with a smile on his face trying to lighten the mood of what usually turned into a tense conversation between them.
“Not quite, see the reason I called you here is that I wanted to say to you in person that I’ve come to realise that you were right a lot of the times when you disagreed with me.”
“That I’m sorry for leaving you sidelined during the war, stationing you at Utopia Planitia and putting you in charge of Starship construction was a waste of your abilities and an act of cowardice on my part.”
“I felt sticking you there was a punishment for disagreeing with me, but the more I thought about it the more I realise it was just ego I knew you could be a threat to my leadership and decided to sidetrack you, it was a bad choice and one I regret so I just wanted to offer my sincere apologies”
“The apology is appreciated, but I can’t accept it that easily I mean, although I liked serving at Utopia more than I expected, it was still insulting to be cast aside and ignored just because I disagreed with a few of your decisions”
“I appreciate your honesty Kelvin and you should know that the idea to put you at utopia was Cole’s idea.”
“Still I made the choice to listen to him and follow his recommendation and I hope that what I’m about to tell you and that you’re the first person I’m telling about my decision will go some way to make up for it.”
”See now that the war is finally over I’ve decided to step down as chief of fleet operations and I’m resigning my commission. I know it comes as a bit of a shock, but I’ve thought about it everyday for months now even before the war ended but I knew I couldn’t simply leave until the war was over, and now that it is I’m returning home.”
“I’m not sure what I’ll do once I get there which I guess is one of the perks not knowing what’ll come next not having to answer to anyone for every little decision I make it’ll be a blessing. You see Kelvin the truth is my heart just isn’t in this anymore, so its best that I make way for someone who can rebuild Starfleet restore the morale in our survivors and the desire for exploration, and in my opinion that person is you”
“I thought you’d be surprised”
“Absolutely, although I think surprised may be understating it, stunned is probably closer to what I’m feeling, I’m most definitely surprised seeing as how you and I haven’t always seen eye to eye and for another there’s Admiral Cole I thought he was your golden boy, your personal choice to succeed you.”
“Well, you’re right, you and I have had some major differences of opinion during my tenure but I’ve always respected you, you stand your ground always and aren’t afraid to admit when you are wrong.”
“As for Cole well, I hate to admit it, but you were right about him. You told me he can’t be trusted and I’m shocked that I didn’t see through him from the outset he’s duplicitous and power hungry.
“You know that at the height of the war he was trying to gather support to unseat me, trying to insinuate that I was mentally incapable of doing the job and he doesn’t know that I found out and put a stop to it, so he’s out only he doesn’t know it yet”
“I mean my wife a serving Starfleet Captain had been killed, so yes, I did lose a little enthusiasm for the job, but for someone to use that as a means to try and remove me, left me beyond angry.”
“If ever there was a sign that I’m past my best and need to get out of this job, it’s my failure to see Cole for the weasel he really is when so many others could see it and told me so, and I just defended him, it makes my skin crawl thinking about it really”
“Well, I’m glad you have realised what a bullying, manipulative bastard he really is. I can’t tell you how relieved I am that he won’t be given control of Starfleet.”
“I’m serious when I tell you that I was working to gain the support to stop you handing the reigns over to Cole. So I have to ask where is he now and when will you let him know, and on a personal note can I be in the room when you do.”
“I did know what you were doing and considered letting you get the support and letting Warren think I wanted him to take over an it was taken out of my hands.”
Until I thought about it and knew that I had to make sure he knew who stopped him and why. I’m not usually a vengeful man, but I have a pre-recorded message I’ll send out to him after the changeover is official, as for your questions right now he’s on his way to Cardassia aboard the USS Melbourne.”
“The Melbourne,” Kelvin muttered under his breath.