It is early morning, and outside the USS Riker it is already a hectic bustle of activity as the space-stage is being erected outside the main access hatch of the Riker. Ensign Gallifrey is monitoring the proceedings closely. It was an important honor to be assigned by Pawfleet Command to be the Mistress of Ceremonies for the Riker’s commissioning ceremony… particularly since she was still barely a Cadet when the assignment orders were transmitted. Still not having formally graduated from the Academy, the responsibility was still weighing heavily upon her shoulders. Unfortunately, this meant that she was a little on edge.
“No! No, no, no, no, no… the bunting doesn’t go on the BACK of the chairs… it goes on the SIDES of the chairs, facing the center aisle! And don’t put the red carpet there… it’s supposed to be to the left of the stage so that the Official Party can have easy access to their seats up there!”
The poor workers were a little frazzled, but this wasn’t the first commissioning ceremony they had done, so they were used to having things change from the written plans at the last minute. Nothing EVER goes according to plan.
Ensign Gallifrey scratched her head and looked back again at her checklist…
“Ok. Bunting… done, but I hope no one gets distracted by the dangly bits. Stage… done. Red Carpet… done. Microphone check… I’ll get to that in a second. Programs… printed and placed on each guest’s seat. It’s still a shame that the Pawfleet Academy Band was booked for another event, but… these things happen. Dress Uniform has been tailored, cleaned, and is waiting in my LATKIS…”
Ensign Gallifrey’s mind wanders a little bit as she gazes at the space-stage in front of her. The elevated platform was draped with heavy, pleated, black cloth. The podiums at both corners were of dark mahogany, and were polished to a high shine. The four chairs at the back of the stage, set up for Captain Watson, the soon-to-be-Commanding Officer Kona, Admiral MacGuffen, and herself, were draped in bright, white satin and the golden Pawfleet emblem embroidered on the chair-back could be seen quite clearly, even from where she was standing at the back of the event pod. The clear walls of the pod itself had been cleaned so thoroughly that the stars outside looked as though they were close enough to touch, with no barrier to prevent the touching. The area where the event pod connected to the hull of the USS Riker behind the space-stage looked as though there was nothing there… as though the pod and the ship were as one. She knew it was just because of the efforts of the event cleaning staff, but Ensign Gallifrey couldn’t help but be impressed by the effect.
The chairs for the guests were arranged, facing the stage, in precise rows… each one topped with a pet-bed embroidered with the Pawfleet emblem in black and gold. To the right of the stage, the area for all the Pawfleet crewmembers (both for the Crusher and the Riker) was also laid out with the embroidered pet-beds… Ensign Gallifrey knew all too well how exhausting these ceremonies can be, and how hard on the paws it can be if everyone had to stand for the entire thing.
To the left of the stage, the red carpet for the Official Party’s entrance was laid out, with three holographic sideboys on either side. The sideboys were a custom from the old Earth-Navy days, and were still used today for events in which an Admiral was present.
Looking at the sideboys reminded Ensign Gallifrey to get back to her checklist…
“Ok… so, I will be on the stage, I’ll start the ceremony, and then Captain Kona will officially arrive, then Captain Watson, then Admiral MacGuffin… my chair is on the far-right, Captain Kona next to me, Captain Watson next to Kona, and Admiral MacGuffen on the other far end, next to the other podium…”
Ensign Gallifrey continued running through the schedule and the rest of the details in her mind… making sure she didn’t miss a single detail. She hoped that all would go well…