Posted on June 8th, 2022 by Ian Blackthorne and A.C. Zuriyev
It was all said and done; command of Starfleet had been officially passed to Admiral Ian Blackthorne at precisely noon, without ceremony beyond the dramatic-sounding authorizations to the computer from Fleet Admiral A.C. Zuriyev. The outgoing Commander-in-Chief had insisted on the lack of pomp and circumstance, since he still found the memories of the intentional spectacles surrounding his Section 31-induced telepathically-forced retirement seven years ago as part of that organization’s attempt to seize control of the Federation to be unsettling and strange.
A few weeks ago, Zuriyev had visited to deliver the news and had explained, “Fleet Admirals are appointed only in times of emergency, and for me, that emergency was the aftermath of the Section 31 Crisis. That matter is dealt with, as is the Xovul Conflict, as is this whole bizarre matter with The Fall, so I think it’s time for me to step down. Whatever the next crisis is, I’m certain that you and T’Kirr can handle it, since you will assume the role of Starfleet Commander-in-Chief, and T’Kirr will replace you as Director of Operations. As Brooke and I get to retire together this time, we’ll have to examine candidates to fill her position of Starfleet Medical Director, but you won’t be rid of us both so easily; we have to keep visiting little Kirsten, after all.”
It was monumental news delivered by an old friend to another, with wistful smiles over glasses of whiskey. Now, as Alexi left his office for what would likely be the final time to sail into the sunset — he had actually said that was literally their plan — the new C-in-C could still scarcely believe his own situation. Ian was a man who had once declined promotion to full Admiral with the justification that he had all the rank he needed, a man who had once routinely ignored regulations he considered to be pointless, a man who his superiors had once almost certainly been sick of hearing about, and now he was Starfleet Commander-in-Chief. Ten or fifteen years ago, the very idea would have gotten laughter not just from him, but from almost anyone who knew him.
Shaking his head at his past self, Ian smiled as his eyes fell on the holopics on his desk: one taken many years ago that used to adorn his desk on Atlantis of he and T’Kirr, attractive in their swimwear on a Calaphaltran beach with their eyes locked as if no one else were present, and beside it, a more recent one of them sitting on the beach outside their house on the southern tip of Baja California. Standing between them in the recent holo was a blue-eyed girl, nearly four years old and grinning exuberantly at the camera, with shoulder-length straight black hair tucked behind ears that curved to a point. He still missed being in command of Atlantis, but Ian wouldn’t trade his life on that Mexican beach with T’Kirr and Kirsten for anything, especially after having missed these years of his son’s life, so being Starfleet Commander-in-Chief would have to do.