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New Faces

Posted on Wed Oct 13th, 2021 @ 2:58pm by Captain Jocelyn Blake & Fleet Admiral Sturnack & Rear Admiral Jan van Groesbeck & Rear Admiral Duncan Hurroo & Rear Admiral Joshua Whitford & Commander Marlena Glenn

Mission: Episode 2: 18th and Constitution
Location: Starfleet Command - CinC's Office
Timeline: Mission Day 9 at 0900

Jocelyn Blake was trying to be early. The operative word in her intentions being trying. After the disruption of Whitford's actions two days prior and the return of Sturnack to the CinC's office there had been a lot to do. Press briefings still needed to take place and, in light of the rather dramatically public nature of Whitford's transgression against her, there were rumors to quash. In fact, she had started the day wondering if there would ever come a time when there weren't rumors about her to quash.

After she returned to her office, much to the extreme surprise of both Jordan and Landingham, they had set to work on a one week highlights reel of the news coverage with specific attention to the bombing and to the Chalvana System. They had wrapped up the run down that morning and it was now stored happily on the PADD clutched in her left hand. Her right held her coffee tumbler, freshly filled from the replicator. Not the best taste, but at least it was coffee.

As she walked, she kept her eyes peeled. She was joining the Fleet Admiral for a briefing with the two acting heads of Intelligence and Homeworld Security--both men she knew by reputation, but whom she had not met. She picked up her pace a touch, tipping the tumbler back as she went for a sip of the coffee and only barely sidestepping the man who stepped out of the adjoining hallway just in front of her.

"Oh my goodness," she said, swallowing coffee just a bit too quickly and placing a hand to her lips to make sure she hadn't lost any. "I am so sorry, I nearly ran you over there," she exclaimed.

"Certainly not the worst that has happened to me, Captain," Duncan Hurroo, acting Homeworld Security director responded with a frail smile. He looked exhausted he had been working way more than he should of but with the events that had been happening did he have a choice? The Homeworld Security staff had been massively effected by the terror attack and he was waiting very impatiently for a new director to be appointed so he could return to running the Operations Center for the agency.

"Heading to Admiral Sturnack's office?" Hurroo asked, politely as he stepped aside and motioned for the press secretary to continue in the direction she'd been going.

Jocelyn nodded, falling into step next to the man who had turned to head in the same direction. "Commodore Hurroo, yes?" she asked. She had made sure to review what was available to her about both men before the meeting so that she at least knew who to look for. "How are you holding up?"

"Yes, nice to meet you," Hurroo responded. "I am holding up as well as anyone can be expected in our roles in these times. Or at least I like to pretend."

Commodore Jan van Groesbeeck sat cross-legged in the waiting room in reception outside of Fleet Admiral Sturnack's office with his hands folded onto his lap. Commodore Hurro along with Captain Jocelyn Blake stepped in through the door. Groesbeeck remained seated collecting in the information on how both of them carried themselves into the room with urgency. In a noticeable South African accent he greeted the two of them as his accent had been amplified since returning home to bury his father, "Greetings Commodore Hurroo," then nods to the Captain, "Captain Blake."

"Commodore van Groesbeeck," Hurroo said, with a polite nod.

Jocelyn had followed the Commodore into Marlena's domain--a not overly large space that was rapidly filling with the arrival of herself and Hurroo.

"Commodore van Groesbeeck," she said, acknowledging the greeting of the man who was already seated in the waiting area. "It's a pleasure to meet you." She offered the man a quick smile before turning to Marlena.

"Is he ready for us?" she asked, pressing her lips together lightly. After Sturnack's intervention with Whitford she had found herself almost unaccountably nervous every time she was called into his office for a meeting. She was sure, by now, that Marlena must have noted the difference, but she did her best to appear cool and collected all the same.

Marlena smiled wide as Jocelyn approached, though did not come around the desk for hugs as she normally might. After all, with the higher-ranking officers now waiting to enter Sturnack's office, it might not exactly come across as "professional." So instead, Marlena let her sparkly eyes do the greeting for her, shining with happiness to see the woman.

"Yep, he's ready. And good morning," Glenn offered to each of the men in turn. "I believe you know the way, Captain?" she smirked, chucking a thumb toward the CinC's door.

Jocelyn met the other woman's smile with her own wide grin and a nod. She found herself wishing it was just the two of them so she could ask how Sturnack was before making her way into the office, but that didn't seem like the right way to lead off a meeting with a high level group of department heads. Instead she gave Marlena a surreptitious eyebrow raise as if to say, here we go, and responded, "Great, thanks!"

She turned quickly then and then made her way into the office, pausing only to turn back and indicate that Hurroo and van Groesbeck should follow.

As the group entered, Fleet Admiral Sturnack was visible behind his ornate desk. In fact, given the hover-chair he sat in, it was impossible to miss the Vulcan. He looked up as the procession entered, offering a nod in greeting to Blake and the others. "Good morning," he said, defaulting to the human phrase as he maneuvered his chair around the desk. With a whir, the machine carried him forward into the more social portion of his office -- it was adorned with a plush couch and a couple of arm chairs, which the Vulcan gestured to. "Please, make yourselves comfortable. Can Marlena get you anything?" Sturnack asked, indicating his aide-de-camp, who'd entered behind the group and stood at the side of the room.

Rear Admiral Whitford, meanwhile, rose from the chair he'd been sitting in -- stationed in front of the CinC's desk -- and moved to sit in one of the arm chairs, offering his own nod as means of a hello. "Hurroo and Van Groesbeck. Sounds like a comedy duo. You guys playing the local cabanas on the side?" His grin was charming and wide as he asked this, playfulness fully evident in his voice. For Blake, the Admiral seemed to have nothing for her beyond the tip of his chin to acknowledge her presence.

"Good morning Admiral and no thank you, sir, commander, I'm fine," Hurroo said, greeting the CinC first and then a glance to his aide as thanks. He turned to Whitford as he made his way to the couch, wanting a seat with an arm.

"Unfortunately I had given stand-up a try as a misguided youth and I'm probably much better suited for the uniform," Hurroo said, with a slight shrug and a polite grin before taking the seat he selected.

Commodore van Groesbeeck ignored Admiral Whitford's attempt at humor and made a mental note of his failure to acknowledge Captain Blake's entrance into the room with them. He sat down next to Commodore Hurroo. He nodded his head to his Commander-in-Chief and turned to Marlena, "I'll take a Rooibos tea, hot, no cream, milk or sugar. Please."

Jocelyn watched the exchange with interest, curious to see how the two men would respond to Whitford's painfully saccharine attempt at charm. Her eyes darted over to the DCinC, giving him a more appropriate nod of acknowledgement before settling into one of the chairs allowing herself space from anyone else in the group. "I'm alright as well," she said, indicating the tumbler of coffee she had brought with her and grinning at Marlena again. "Thank you, though."

She pulled out her PADD then, tapping to open a set of files and making a quick glance through the wires of the moment for anything that may have changed since she last looked.

"Their loss, our benefit," Whitford positively beamed at Hurroo. "Tough crowd, eh?" the man smarmed to Groesbeck before looking to Marlena. "Just a coffee for me, Commander. Creamer," he let the rank and noun blend together, "if you please." There was just the slightest of edges to his voice at this.

"Rooibos tea and a coffee," Marlena smiled back, though it didn't reach her eyes. "I'll be back shortly then," she nodded before stepping backwards out of the room. As she did, Marlena shot Jocelyn a look that positively screamed Did you hear him call me Commander Creamer?! The doors consumed her then, however, and the aide-de-camp was gone.

"Now," with Marlena gone, the DCinC turned back to the two new arrivals, obvious excitement coloring his features, "I suppose you know why the CinC has asked you here today?" His eyes flicked to the Vulcan in his hover chair, tacitly asking permission to do the honors. When Sturnack nodded his assent, Whitford's smile became something of a somber thing. "The...well, the circumstances of your superior's departures are hard. We honor their service deeply," he said, sounding quite sincere. "The work has to go on, though. Sir?" he said, looking again to Sturnack.

"The Deputy Commander and I both feel the two of you," the Vulcan nodded to Groesbeck and Hurroo in turn, "will make excellent and viable replacements for your respective department heads. Commodores Hurroo and Groesbeck," Sturnack whirred his chair closer, "I congratulate you on your promotions to the rank of Rear Admiral. You will hereby assume the duties of running your departments, reporting directly to Rear Admiral Whitford and myself. Welcome to Starfleet Command," the Commander-in-Chief dipped his head respectfully. "Captain Blake, would you mind assisting these gentlemen with their new pips?" Sturnack pulled two felt-lined boxes from a compartment in his chair, holding them out for the Press Secretary to take from him.

Jocelyn had set her PADD in her lap for the discussion, watching each of the men in turn as she tried to get a feel for the new heads of Homeworld Security and Intelligence. Though she had only known their predecessors for a short time she had liked them both. At Sturnack's request she stood, stepping quickly over to the CinC and accepted the proffered boxes.

"Admiral," she said with a warm smile as she approached Hurroo. She flipped open the small box as the admiral stood, two fingers extracting the new pip. Carefully she reached around the inside of his collar, flipping it outward so she could affix the back of the pip. "Congratulations," she remarked with a smile as she smoothed the collar back into place and then offering him the small box.

"Thank you," Hurroo said, sincerely but without excitement. He'd just been looking forward to getting to back to his regular duties and quite honestly he wasn't sure that he was the man for this job or this was a job that he cared to have. Certainly it would be the job he would likely retire from so now he was being thrust into something more political than he'd already liked and most likely forced out the door when he was completed. After all what more was there for him beyond this?

She repeated the motion with van Groesbeck. "May I?" she inquired. He had already risen from his seat, so she moved ahead at his nod, affixing the new pip in the same fashion. "Congratulations Admiral," she said, extending his own box for him to take before returning to her seat.

Rear Admiral-designate Jan van Groesbeeck watch Captain Blake intently while she removed his previous rank with one squared pip for the two squared one. He smiled at her nodding his head thankfully as she finished donning his new rank officially. He mouthed to her, "Thank you."

"You are both well suited to your new positions," said the Fleet Admiral, "and we are convinced we've made the right choices. As you work to get up-to-speed, this office will liase with you as needed. You, of course, have the opportunity to reorganize your departments as needed and desired. Should you wish to bring on additional personnel or make changes to the existing structure, I simply ask that you make such adjustments...strategically," he chose the word carefully.

"And that is because, with all the mess happening lately," Whitford shook his head, "we can't afford to bungle the announcement of new appointments and changes to staffing. Speaking of which," he perked up, "we'll be holding a press conference in short order, announcing your promotions and letting everyone know you'll be the new heads of Homeworld Security and Starfleet Intelligence. While that should be the news to discuss," the man let a slight sigh escape, "I suspect there are going to be a lot of questions about how your departments are handling things regarding the embassy bombing. Captain Blake here can help get you ready for what will no doubt come your way," he nodded to the woman.

Jocelyn shot Whitford a hard glance, not missing his sigh or his insistence that they be cautious of bungling anything. She already knew his feelings on the matter, but opted to ignore any undercurrent of disapproval.

"We'll prep for this first," she remarked, "But the key thing is just to keep to the most basic information. If they ask a question you can't or don't want to answer you can simply tell them that the information they are requesting is still developing and that they'll receive an update when it's appropriate to give one. You don't have to tell them anything you don't think is appropriate for public consumption, and, of course, I'll be there if anything breaks down and will redirect. You are the ranking officers, though," she remarked. "So I'll only intervene if necessary."

Marlena returned then, passing out the beverages she'd brought. "Congratulations, Rear Admirals," she smiled brightly at the two men in newly-shining pips. "I take it I missed the big unveiling but," Marlena's voice was sincere, "if you need anything from our office, just drop me a line and I'll be very happy to help wrangle these guys," she chucked a thumb towards Sturnack and Whitford, "into submission for you." It was a joke, obviously, but there was the slightest something in how she looked at Whitford as she said it.

Rear Admiral van Groesbeeck nodded to Captain Blake, "Very well. I'll use whatever talking points that are approved by the Commander-in-Chief and his Press Secretary. Is there someone already apart of the Admiralty that can give provide me a full up to-date debriefing? I had a bit of a fill in when I was in Johannesburg in my role as Deputy Director of Special Services but due to being on bevreavement leave, I don't feel like I know the full story."

Hurroo had nodded as Blake spoke and nodded his thanks at Marlena not wanting to interrupt. Unfortunate as it was for him he had been a part of the of attack, and in his role, already up to speed on his departments workings. That and there was nobody else in the department left that would have any clearance that he didn't have seeing as he reported directly to his predecessor.

"I feel more confident in my position within my department as I've been present and given my role within the department," Hurroo added in the break. "I do imagine that sitting directly on the Fleet Admiral's staff now that there may be additional things to be concerned for and that we may not be up to speed on. So a briefing on those matters would be helpful."

"In addition to being briefed by Captain Blake," Sturnack spoke up again, his eyes flicking to Blake and then back to the two men, "the departmental Directors will be meeting soon to discuss these matters and more. Daily -- and sometimes hourly -- briefs from your departments will be necessary in the coming days as we continue to investigate the situation with the embassy and Chalvana. Admiral Whitford," he tipped his head to the man in question, "will serve as your point of contact for such briefings."

"Once you're done with the Captain here," Whitford gave Blake a nod, "return to your departments. Figure out your command structure and include me on all staffing changes you make. We'll meet again once you've had a chance to settle in a bit. In the meantime, don't talk to the press outside of formal briefings. If anyone bugs you for statements, simply advise 'No comment for the time being' or send them Captain Blake's way. I can't stress how imperative that is...right now, the press is one of our biggest hurdles. Do you understand?"

"Understood, sir," Hurroo nodded.

The Rear Admiral simply nodded his head twice in confirmation that he understood Fleet Admiral Sturnack and Admiral Whitford without a verbal response. He was nervous now that he was the face of Starfleet Intelligence and most likely would face scrutiny from journalists. He was a career spy not a publicist.

Jocelyn sat forward in her chair then, recognizing the close of the meeting and moving to next steps. "Let's move to Briefing Room 1," she remarked, standing and indicating that the two men should do the same. "We can cover the details there and let the Admirals get on to their next appointments."

=/\= A Mission Post By =/\=

Fleet Admiral Sturnack

Rear Admiral Joshua Whitford (Played by Brad)
Deputy Commander-in-Chief

Rear Admiral Duncan Hurroo
Director of Homeworld Security

Rear Admiral Jan van Groesbeck
Director of Starfleet Intelligence

Captain Jocelyn Blake
Press Secretary

Commander Marlena Glenn (Played by Brad)
Aide-de-Camp to the CinC


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