A tale of shadows and stars..

(The events of this story take place in 2299, and is not intended to impact the Argo story)
Part One

The buzz from his bedside stirred him from his sleep, groggily he pulled himself upright as hit the response. “This is Lieut…shit… Commander Kix.” Jovar knew last night he was going to regret that third bottle, he really should switch over to the new Synthehol stuff.

“Sorry Commander.” The Voice of Captain Yeoh’s Yeoman, Ensign Aros, rang out a touch too loud for Jovar’s current hangover “Captain wants you in her ready room in ten… Should I tell her you’ll need more time?”

“No… no, I’ll be there.” Jovar stopped kicking himself mentally as he pulled off yesterday’s uniform and reached for a fresh one, he should take a sonic shower first, but there was no time. “Can you have a fresh pot of…”

“The Raktajino is nearly ready Commander, the Captain is having it brought in with breakfast.”

Jovar sighed “Thank you Ensign.” Jovar hung up on the comm as he stepped into his bathroom, he allowed the sink to fill up with cold water before he splashed his face and used a washcloth to rinse off his face. He looked himself over in the mirror, his face no longer held his previous youthful glow from his past, however he had to admit the crows feet in his eyes and the slight shades of grey in his brown hair had added a distinguished aged look he had always wanted in his junior years.

His signature marks down the side of his head have always been faded compared to other members of his species, in time many of his fellow crewmates and friends were able to forget his origins from the purple sea world of Trill, but for Jovar, he could never look in the mirror without seeing the face of Ayla Kix staring back at him. Reaching over, Jovar took out his handy oxy hypospray and injected it into his neck, his hangover quickly melted away. He tugged down and snapped shut his clean deep maroon uniform jacket and stode out into the hallway.

The USS Yorktown, one of the Federation’s first Excelsiors that rolled out of the shipyards nearly twelve years before, had recently seen action near Gorn Space after being asked by the Klingon Empire to mediate a trade dispute. Their efforts nearly failed when a radicalized cell of Gorn extremists had stolen a Federation shuttle and hit Yorktown in a Kamikaze run. The damage had been minor thankfully, but the Yorktown still lost six crewmembers. While the majority of the damage had been repaired by their engineering teams, much of the area still remained sealed off, thus adding an additional five minutes to Jovar’s usual route to the Bridge.

As Jovar arrived on the bridge, he shook his head to the Lieutenant on the bridge to not announce his arrival, he made his way to the door of the ready room and stepped inside just in time to see the steward step out the backdoor of the room, on the table sat their usual Saturday brunch meal a rich stack of Belgian waffles and a side of fried eggs with bacon. The brunch meal was the one time of the week that Jovar indulged himself in eating more than he needed, He took the seat across from his captain, and long time friend, Captain Zoë Yeoh. She had just finished pouring her own cup of the Klingon coffee, which had exploded into popularity among many Starfleet officers following the signing of the Khitomer peace Accords with the Empire, as Jovar helped himself to his own stack.

“Are we in a rush today Captain?” Jovar attempted to lightly jest as he picked up the syrup, he allowed the thick and sticky deep purple icoberry syrup mingled with the melted butter from the waffle’s heated surface, forming a misty colored pool along the surface pockets. His face lightly fell as he saw no reaction to his jest in Yeoh’s face.

“Jovar… You’ve served by my side for over fifteen years. But it’s time for us to part ways.” Jovar’s entire inside body felt like he just fell off a shuttlecraft in high orbit in free fall. “Oh relax Jovar… It’s not a punishment.” Yeoh reached into the side table and tossed Jovar a jewelry box. “Orders came in from Fleet Admiral Nagala, as of this afternoon, you are to be promoted to Captain of the USS Kumari.”

Jovar’s stomach still felt like it was in free fall. “Why me?”

“Starfleet Intelligence discovered a Romulan spy inside Utopia Planitia last week, approximately thirty hours ago, they escaped custody. Starfleet has issued a fleet wide red alert, we are to rendezvous with the Enterprise in the Celes sector, you will be transferred to the Kumari and Admiral Vaughn will debrief you on your deployment orders.”

Jovar’s appetite had vanished, he took small bites of the waffles for substance. “I suppose that makes Dunbar your new XO? Not much time to brief her on everything…”

“There is a reason she’s second officer. You have six hours to make the necessary arrangements. My steward will help you pack.”

Jovar sighed as he accepted the jewelry box and opened it, he rubbed his thumb along the Captain’s pin, the three bars and the pair of chevrons. “Very well… It has been an honor to be at your side, Captain.”

Jovar stood upon the Yorktown’s transporter pad, it still hadn’t felt quite right, the captain pins on his chest and his sleeve weighed him down. In contrast, his suitcase barely felt any weight in his hand. It shocked him how easily the last twelve years of his life fit into one handy case.

“Sir.” The Transporter Chief shook Jovar out of his thoughts and he looked up. “The Enterprise is ready to receive you.”

Jovar swallowed and nodded, he took a deep breath and gave his final command onboard the Yorktown “Energize Chief.”