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Randall Landers


December 7, 2295

"Come in, Mister Floyd."

"Thank you, sir." The young, handsome commander stepped inside Captain Sulu’s quarters. Running a hand over his head, he glanced around the room quickly. His eyes narrowed slightly in what could only be suppressed disapproval.

Sulu studied the man carefully. "Welcome aboard the Excelsior. I understand that you put in for this assignment."

"Yes, sir." The officer clasped both hands behind his back, assuming a classic "at ease" position.

"Why?" The captain looked for some sort of indication of what sort of man—who had been assigned as the Excelsior’s executive officer—Michael Floyd was. Sulu knew the particulars. He’d grown up in Valdosta, Georgia, in North America. He’d attended the prestigious Georgia Institute of Technology where he had earned a master’s degree in Astrophysics. He had transferred to Starfleet Academy afterwards, and went through all four years of the program (as opposed to the usual one-year or even ninety-day programs for specialists) gaining commendations from many of his professors. He’d spent the last six years aboard the assault patrol cruiser Hanzo where he had nothing but stellar remarks on his record, working his way through Security then Navigation, finally serving as Second Officer and then as the Hanzo’s exec. So now he stood before Hikaru Sulu as his new executive officer.

"I think my record speaks for itself, sir."

"Indeed, it’s most impressive. Almost too impressive."

"If you insist, sir."

"So why are you here?"

"I requested this position, sir."

"Yes, you did. Why?"

"I think the Excelsior is an excellent lateral move in my career path, sir."

"I’m not sure what you mean by that, Commander. Excelsior has been a...troubled ship."

"I’m aware of that, sir."

"So why did you request this post?"

"I’ve already explained that, sir."

"Yes, a ‘lateral move’ in your career. I’m afraid you’ll have to explain that to me. That, Commander, is an order. And if you’re worried, you have my permission to speak freely."

"I’m not worried, sir, nor do I need your permission. But I should think that my explanation has been sufficient, sir."

"You’re being presumptuous if you think that it has."

"It’s your prerogative to think what you will, Captain."

Sulu stared at his new first officer, almost in disbelief. Try as he might, he couldn’t suppress the consternation from showing on his face.

"If there’s nothing more, sir?"

"Hell, yes, there’s more, Mister Floyd. I’d like that explanation."

"Very well, sir. Since you appear so desperate..."

"Excuse me?" Sulu was indignant.

"I’m trying to, sir."

"This is bordering on insubordination, Mister."

"It’s also bordering on badgering, Captain."

Sulu glared at him sternly. "Very well. You obviously have some sort of issue with me, Commander. We’ll be putting in to Serenidad in a few days. I’ll have you transferred to the Wasp at that time."

"I don’t think so, Captain Sulu. At this point, your only choice is to accept me as your new first officer. I think that transferring me off your ship will only serve to illustrate your inability to command."

"Ah," Sulu leaned back, "now we come to the crux of the matter. You don’t believe I’m qualified to command."

Floyd didn’t bother to reply. It was plain on his face what he thought of the captain of the Excelsior.

"So why are you here then, Commander? You obviously would rather be elsewhere."

"No, sir, I think this is exactly where I want to be."

Sulu’s eyes couldn’t get any more narrow. "You’re expecting that I will be relieved of my command, and you’ll be able to step in as the new captain."

"Sir, I expect you will fuck up so badly that I will have to personally relieve you of command, either under direct orders from Fleet Captain Chekov or Commander-Starfleet Davis herself."

Sulu leaned his head back, and grimaced as he looked at the ceiling of his quarters. "Well, now I understand. Completely. You’re here for my job."

"Yes, sir."


"Yes, sir." Floyd turned smartly to leave.

"And Commander," Sulu called, "you’re going to be disappointed."

"Perhaps, Captain," the man turned, emerald eyes flashing, "but you’d best be on your toes."

The new exec strolled out into the corridor.

After the doors closed, Sulu made a few notations in his log, noting the acrimonious meeting between Captain and Executive officer. The door to his bedroom slid open, and Doctor Ariel Cord entered the office. "Well?"

"‘Well’ what, Ariel? Been eavesdropping?"

She ignored the question. "You have to get rid of him. He’ll usurp your authority, your command, and ruin your career."

"I don’t think so." He sighed. "I think he’s what I need to keep me on my toes."

"He’ll trip you first chance he gets, Hikaru."

"Then let’s hope that I land on my feet."

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