Location: In orbit of Jutus
Speed: Standard Orbit
Shields: Nominal
Hull: Nominal
Systems: All Systems Nominal

Bridging The Gap
Episode 11 - Family Matters
Stardate 73834.3
MD005 0900 hrs

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Operational Troubles

Posted on Tue Nov 21st, 2017 @ 5:22pm by Captain Tyler Malbrooke
Edited on on Thu May 31st, 2018 @ 11:45am

Mission: Episode 1 - Pioneering Spirit
Location: Captain's Ready Room - Deck 1 USS Pioneer
Timeline: MD003 1400 hrs
Tags: SD 71367.1400

T’Rish was frustrated. She was feeling overwhelmed and it was not a sensation that she enjoyed. There were emotions she enjoyed and experimented with, but frustration was not one of them. She looked at the computer screen in front of her. She had a problem in her department. A young crewman that in the short two days she had been on the ship had screwed up the accommodations of thirty seven crew members, fail to arrive for her duty shift less that twenty minutes late, and had already been to the infirmary for a hangover that resulted in the Vulcan filling in as Quartermaster for the day. This was not part of what was taught at the academy.

The logical portion of her brain told her that the crewman needed to be put in her place with Starfleet allowed punishments. The emotional betazoid part of her wanted to shove her out an airlock. Between the remaining gremlins in the power systems and replicators, she didn’t have time for this. A learning curve was to be expected, but this was outside of her comfort zone.

It was until T’Rish was already approaching his ready room that she realized perhaps her CO was not the first person she should have gone to with this problem, but logically it was the fastest way to come to a resolution. She tapped on the chime to announce herself and waited.

“Come on in…” Tyler had been reviewing mission orders when the chime interrupted his train of thought and log recording. As the doors swished open Tyler saw the youngest of his senior staff standing there. “...Computer pause recording… Ah T’Rish what can I do for you today?” He said motioning to a seat in front of his desk and flipping a PADD over so that she could not see.

It was curious to the Vulcan that the Commander made the effort to turn over the PaDD. It was a typical human response to keep items close to the vest. He was her CO and he was human so it didn’t surprise her she merely found the practice curious. With a shake of her head to dismiss the train of thought she looked up at the Commander. “Commander, I wished to speak with you regarding the appropriate discipline procedure for a crewman within my Department. More specifically, what actions that should or should not be taken with your crew.” Straight and to the point.

Tyler smiled, “Please have a seat. First and foremost this is not my crew, it is our crew. Secondly, it is your department I would expect that you can reprimand your people how you see fit. That is unless the infraction is so severe that it merits my inclusion. Why don’t you tell me what your issues are and I will see what I can do to assist you.” Tyler leaned back in his chair as he looked at her. He liked her, and if he could achieve anything with her during her tenure on the Pioneer it would be to loosen her up just a bit.

T’Rish let out an uncharacteristic sigh as she moved to sit in the chair. Her face was passive, as always, but the empath was very good at hiding how she felt. “Petty Officer Alenis, Sir.” She started. “She is assigned as the Quartermaster for the Pioneer.” She extended the PaDD she held in her hand towards the Commander. “In the last two days I have received thirty-six complaints of wrongly assigned quarters, quarters input incorrectly into the ship’s computer, she has been unable to complete two shifts of her last two shifts, as well as incorrectly allocation replicator credits among the crew.” She paused giving him a chance look over the list. “I realize that we are only two days into the operation of this ship, but my department is not large compared to the size of the ship or the demands of the ship. I am merely inquiring regarding my options.” She wanted to be the hard Vulcan everyone thought she was, but her empathy was making it difficult.

“Have you spoken to the Petty Officer. It has been my experience that when someone acts this way it is because there is an underlying issue one that has nothing to do with duty, Starfleet, of this ship. If that tactic does not work I will talk to her, usually that scares the bejeezus out of em…” Tyler chuckled. “The ultimate answer is transfer if nothing works. I told you before that I think of this crew as a family and as such you do not just send your brothers or sisters away for ‘acting up’.”

“Or out an airlock” T’Rish replied under her breath. “I have spoken with her on three occasions.” She started. “As the Department head I have taken it upon myself to pick up her slack, but I am finding it out of my ability to keep up with her work and mine.” She paused before shaking her head. “I am hesitant to contemplate transfer for her as we would be pushing the problem onto another ship. I feel I may have acted rashly in coming to you with this, but they don’t cover this in the Academy. I mean they do...but.” She realized she was about to start rambling and stopped herself. Reinforcing her Vulcan persona she finished. “As always, I would greatly appreciate any suggestions you may have.”

Tyler almost bursted out laughing at the duality of the young woman. She had the potential to do great things and he was going to see to it that she did. “Did you ask her why? Why the drinking? Why the lateness? Etc… Reassignment usually works as well give her another task and assign someone else to the quartermaster. However, I prefer the guidance method, there is an issue at the heart of this. Perhaps enlist the Counselor’s assistance. The Petty Officer is Bajoran perhaps she is one of many who suffered under the hands of Cardassians and is uncomfortable being assigned in Cardassian Space.”

After a pause “Oh where are my manners would you like something to drink.” Tyler said as he went to the replicator. “Let’s take this over on the couch.”

T’Rish was surprised by the informality but showed nothing on her face. She almost declined his offer but thought better of it. Most of the humans she had met always asked her twice when she declined outright. “Black tea hot double sweet.” She responded as she rose from the chair and moved to the mentioned couch. She took a seat close to the arm making sure the space between them was adequate.

Tyler got the drinks and sat down on the couch, he threw his arm up on the back. “Listen you need to get to heart of the matter. Make her realize that you are there for her even if it is just to chat. You can’t lose your cool, and you can’t shrug off her emotions.” He sipped his coffee “You are a senior officer and people are going to test the waters with you especially because you are so young.”

“I never lose my cool.” The hybrid started. Sitting this close to her commander made her on the verge of being uncomfortable. She cleared her throat. “I am more than willing to try again.” She started. Something he said struck something within her. “I am not sure I can adequately deal with any issue people may have with my age. My age is irrelevant.” She wasn’t going to acknowledge the emotional aspect in his statement.

“Your age is irrelevant to you and in fact to me, that is why I gave you the job. However, it is not to older people who have to serve under your command. Some of them can be resentful that is something you are going to have to deal with. The only way that you could in my opinion is to earn their respect. Show them the skills that I know you have.” Tyler was not used to having to be the one doling out sage advice, but like he just told to woman before him, something one has to get used to.

T’Rish shifted her her seat crossing her legs away from Malbrooke as she took a sip of her hot tea which she had yet to touch. “Your overconfidence is me is appreciated but up to this point unfounded.” The phrase escaped her lips before she thought about it. She chastised the Betazoid in her that allowed for emotional responses. “I will do my job and I will do my best to keep my department under control. I apologize for taking up your time.”
“No apologies are needed this is what I am here for. I know you have studied Vulcan logic, but I wonder if you have studied the great logical minds of Earth. Lao Tzu an ancient philosopher and tactician once said ‘Because one believes in oneself, one doesn't try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn't need others' approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.’ I believe this is some logic that you need to follow for a little while at least. Take credit for your skills, be confident in you motives and doings with the crew. For if you are they will fall in line. In terms of your petty officer issue you kill more flies with honey.” Tyler said as he sipped more coffee

T’Rish had no idea what to say. She nodded in agreement as she took a sip of her tea. Between the Commander and the Ensign in the Counseling department this was going to be the ship of speeches. “Catch,” she started. “I believe the human phrase is you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” She took another sip of her tea. “I appreciate what you are saying.” She continued. “I will attempt to look at the situation with an open mind and as uh...pleasant demeanor.”

“Indeed you should… I'll tell you what, if this doesn't work with the petty officer then I'll get involved.” Tyler said with a smile. “What else can I do for you?”

T’Rish simply shook her head as she took the last sip of her tea. “I appreciate your time and your advice, Sir.” She started as she leaned forward to set the cup on the table. “I have found our conversation...enlightening.” She wasn’t sure what to do now. She liked the informal protocol that was typical between senior officers and commanding officer. The informalness of this meeting made sense to human logic, but was unnecessary to the Vulcan.

Tyler looked at his Ops Chief he didn’t see a Vulcan hybrid he saw a person. He didn’t understand why she thought of herself exclusively as a Vulcan. However, it wasn’t his to understand. As much as he wanted her to loosen up, it occurred to him that perhaps she couldn’t, perhaps she needed the rigidity of the command structure for at least a time. For this reason he chose to use her rank and not her name. “Ensign, I would like you to know that when you need it my door is always open, for any reason, no questions asked.”

“I appreciate that, Sir.” She replied. She leaned forward and placed her cup on the table. She rose to her feet. “Again, I appreciate your time and your advice, Sir.” She turned to face him with her hand behind her back. “I should return to my department and deal with Ms. Alenis sooner rather than later.” Her request to be excused and return to her comfort zone was implied by her tone.

Tyler smiled, “Well then Ensign as you were…” He thought as she left with a little molding and a little help she will be one of the best officers in the fleet.

A Joint Post By

Commander Tyler Malbrooke
Commanding Officer, USS Pioneer

Ensign T'Rish
Chief of Operations, USS Pioneer


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