Commander Ezio Bertanni walked through the corridor to the office of Admiral White, the commanding officer of Starbase 497, his black hair spiked as per usual and his tan skin glistening slightly where he'd just been jogging. He approached the door and pressed the chime, standing patiently outside. A moment later, the doors slid open, allowing him entrance he entered and stood opposite the grey haired man sat behind the desk.

"Commander Ezio Bertanni, reporting as ordered." He said, standing at attention.

"At ease, Commander." White said, seeing the man opposite him visibly loosen up "I guess you're wondering why I called you here Commander."

"I'd be lying if I said I wasn't curious." Ezio said, suppressing a grin "Why am I here, sir?"

"Well, as you know, Captain Kalloway has just retired, leaving the Callisto without a CO." White said "That's why, effective immediately, I'm promoting you to Captain and putting you in command of the ship."

"You're kidding, right?" Ezio said with a chuckle "Why me?"

"Well, you've served as the XO of the ship for the last six years. As I recall, you turned down a transfer to the Enterprise as its new XO last year, so presumably, you like it there." White said "So, Starfleet decided you were our best candidate. Do you want the job?"

"Yes sir, yes I do. Thank you." Ezio said, seeing White had stretched out his hand and taking it while shaking it firmly "So, what about the senior staff?"

"Well, that's the kicker." White replied "They've all already been re-assigned. You have a fortnight to assemble a new senior staff."

"Okay then, shouldn't be hard." Ezio said "I already know who I want for my first officer."

"That could be a problem." White replied "See, we needed to get a new first officer to you fast, so we assigned you Commander Suran Jameson, half Vulcan, half Human. He's good, served as chief of ops here for the last four years. He's not the most emotional man I've ever known but he's not completely devoid of them either."

"Okay then sir…" Ezio said "Permission to be excused to go through personnel files so I can pick my senior staff?"

"Granted." White said "Dismissed."

Ezio turned on his heel and walked out, slightly disappointed he wouldn't get to pick his own first officer.


After pouring over PADDs with personnel files for the last four hours, Ezio hadn't got anywhere with choosing his senior staff. It almost made him grateful for having his first officer chosen for him. Almost, but not quite.

That's when it hit him. He walked over to his desk and activated the console and screen on it. He pressed a few commands before eventually, the image of a young Human woman came up.

"Ensign, this is Captain Bertanni." He said "Get me Commander Korl on Starbase 143. Tell her it's Ezio calling."

"Yes sir." The young woman said, disappearing for a moment before re-appearing "She'll just be a moment, she's just got to finish in the sonic shower."

"Of course." He replied, sitting back in his chair for a moment before the Human woman disappeared and was replaced by a Trill woman who didn't look much younger than Ezio, wearing a towel with her dirty blonde hair still wet.

"Hello Ezio." She said with a grin "What can I do for you?"

"Get dressed, for a start." He replied "Then we'll talk."

"Fine." She said, getting up and turning off the viewer but leaving the audio on "One second."

He waited for a moment before she reappeared on the viewer, this time wearing her uniform.

"That's better." He said "First off, how are you?"

"I'm fine, what about you?" She said "How old are you now anyway? 31? 32?"

"35." He replied "And I'm good thank you. Just been promoted and given command of the Callisto. It's why I'm calling actually."

"I can't come and give you a send off kid." She replied with a grin "Of course, I'll do what ever I can. I kind of owe you one after that incident on Rigel 3. What is it you need?"

"I need you to get transferred over here." He said, smirking "I need a good chief of ops, and quite frankly, I need someone I know I can trust on my senior staff."

"I'll see what I can do, no promises." She replied "Anything else, Captain?"

"Yeah." He replied, before laughing "Don't call me Captain. Bertanni out."

The screen faded to black and he leant back in his chair. Jorana Korl was the current host, as of the last 14 years, to the symbiont his father's deceased second wife had carried. More recently, Jorana had served as both his friend and confident when they had served on the USS Sovereign together up until six years ago. Even afterward, he had maintained communications with her.

He leant forward and began going through PADDs again. Then it hit him. He'd been avoiding applicants that were relatively fresh from the academy like a plague and maybe that was the wrong way to do it. He checked the desk before finding the PADDs with the recently graduated. First was a junior Lieutenant, a Human named Jonathan Davidson, who had literally just graduated from the academy three weeks ago. He was also in the top two percent of graduates in the flight control department.

Ezio added him to the list of officers to contact. Next was a fairly recent academy graduate, Lieutenant Jg Christopher Johnson, a Human Counsellor. However, after that, he found no one else to recruit virtually direct from the academy.

He pulled up a list of personnel currently on leave from Starfleet. He figured it was as good a place as any to keep looking. First person he picked up on was a diplomat, Lieutenant Commander Julia Lohana. She was half Betazoid, so that would make her a good contact specialist. He decided to get her in, since she'd been replaced at her posting on the Paladin anyway. There were no others, so he quickly tapped a message out on the monitor and sent it to the people who had held senior staff positions onboard the Callisto for the last six years, since, aside from the Chief of Security, that would finish his senior staff off.

He had an idea for the chief of security; his younger sister had spoken well of the assistant of the chief of security she worked under, a Deltan woman called Ikaria. He tapped out a message to her before rubbing his eyes. He hadn't realised how tired he was until now. He closed down the console before going to bed and collapsing onto it, falling asleep.