Need a Title / Reporting In

Posted on Sat Feb 4th, 2023 @ 8:34pm by Captain James McGowan & Lieutenant Commander Seven Zhaan

Mission: Preparing for Launch

While the path was a direct line to the Ready Room, Seven walked slowly, taking the time to get to know the ship as she went. Her entire post-Academy history had been on the Faraday and this new vessel, strange and new to her questing gaze and trailing fingertips needed to be learned, understood. One of those late-night, beach house discussions had been about the concept of the ship being itself a member of the crew. Fanciful but interesting and it certainly did its part to protect those who lived and worked aboard.

And so she walked while thoughts tumbled about in her brain, organizing themselves into priorities and to-do lists. There was much to be done what with learning the ship and getting to know its crew; while the captain maintained a distance by necessity, as first officer, her job involved closer interaction. Capabilities, weak points and strengths. On an away team, knowing the individual members could make the difference between success and failure, life and death.

As she stepped out of the turbolift and onto the bridge, her gaze automatically went to the deck plate to the right of the doors. There should be a divot in the floor, carved out during a battle for control of the ship, but it wasn't there because this wasn't the Faraday. This ship, the Andromeda, had yet to be tested in battle and she carried with it a sense of newness, beginnings. She wasn't sure that was a bad thing and the thought surprised her.

She stepped up to the Ready Room door and pressed the chime, waiting for permission to enter.

"Enter," said the voice from inside the ready room as the doors parted. One of his other senior staff had exited a few minutes prior, so he expected a few more, but he was surprised when he saw whom he saw. McGowan was a consummate professional, but even his broken heart skipped a beat seeing the new officer before him, but he didn't let his facade slip, even in his voice. "Welcome aboard, Commander. I'm Captain James McGowan. Jim to my friends."

He came around the desk to shake hands.

"Thank you, Sir," Seven said as she extended her own hand. Handshakes were not something she had even heard of until that lecture her first year though her real understanding of it came in discussions with her quad-mates coupled with a few practice sessions and critiques. "Commander Malleigh Zhaan. Seven to mostly everyone."

"Pleased to meet you, Seven," he said with a smile, and gestured to one of the chairs for her to sit. "I spent the good part of yesterday talking to your former captain on the Faraday. He was sorry to see you go, but he gave you the highest praise. The mission you took down those pirates on was 'inspired' he said. Your hand-to-hand fighting style was like watching a 'symphony of one,' he said."

"Captain Danaher is being kind," Seven said as she dropped gracefully into the offered seat. "It was a team effort really and the culmination of two years of hard work." Her expression turned regretful for the barest of moments. "Shame that it cost us the ship but we always knew they weren't going to go down without a fight."

"I understand," he said with a little of his own sadness. "We lost the Kenyatta about ten years ago. It's tough losing your home away from home like that. Losing family..." he added the last bit, leaving a little bit more on the table than perhaps he intended before moving on, trying not to let himself be too vulnerable.

"So, I have Captain Danaher's official reports, but tell me how you ran things on the Faraday," he said as he scrolled quickly through a list of reports, then up to his new first officer. He had a good sense of character and was interested in hearing what she had to say.

"I grew up with the crew, " Seven said with a slight shrug. "Started out as a security officer so you could say, I grew into command on that ship. I paid attention. Sure, there were missteps along the way but what I learned was the importance of knowing the crew beyond what the department heads would report." She shook her head slightly. "Because they never reported everything and sometimes, what they didn't report was important to know. I had an office and I seldom used it. I made myself visible and approachable. Worked out with the security personnel. Asked questions of the science people. Encouraged the morale officer on team-building events and traditions. Whatever it took. I learned their strengths and weaknesses, especially those that went on the away teams."

"That's definitely important," the captain said with a nod. He'd been on a number of away teams, and losing a fellow crewman was tough on everyone, and as captain, he'd have to inform their families, and he always felt responsible, even if he weren't on the mission. "Your ready room is across the bridge if you need it, next to the battle bridge turbo lift. We'll be underway shortly, so use the time, get to know the crew. I'm working with Starfleet right now to confirm our CMO before we head out."

"I'll add settling in both there and in my quarters to my list," Seven said. "I intended to check in with the department chiefs to make sure that they're settling in alright."

McGowan stood, as it sounded like she was eager to get going and extended his hand for a parting handshake. "Again, it's a pleasure to meet you, Seven. I'm looking forward to having you aboard. We should have our mission brief in a few hours ship-time."

Seven extended her own hand in the way she'd been taught back at the Academy, smiling as she did so. An entirely human custom but one she liked. "Thank you, Sir," she said. "I'm eager to get started."

"Then I won't keep you any longer. If you need anything, let me now, but I'll let you get settled in. I'll see you at the briefing," McGowan said as his first officer left.