Nouveau Roman

Posted on Sun Aug 11th, 2019 @ 2:30pm by Captain Nycolas Temple & Lieutenant Yasmin Cortez

Mission: Death in Paradise
Location: Captain's Ready Room


Nyx was deep into a logistical manual on his PADD, while his desk screen showed a complex maze of calculations, as he begrudgingly studied the proper appropriation and distribution of holodeck credits in a low-cycle power situation. It was riveting stuff, in the same way that watching grass grow may be fascinating to some. For Nyx, it was a tiresome, fastidious chore that he had been forced to do while the Pandora was without a proper Chief of Operations - after Lieutenant Kaleri wisely jettisoned herself over to Counselling. Of course, he had considered dumping the odious task onto Commander Nash, but even he couldn't be that cruel. Kill a man with his bare hands? Sure. Torture their soul with never-ending paperwork? Nah. Too far.

Temple was delighted, therefore, to receive news from Starfleet Command that not only had the brass finally found a permanent replacement for Kaleri, but that the new Chief Ops was already on her way. He quickly ensured the junior staff had the department ship-shape for the new Chief and even deigned to finish off the out-standing paperwork before Lieutenant Cortez arrived from the USS Palatine. He oddly found himself wanting to make a good impression on the Lieutenant, given she was coming with an exemplary record and many commendations from previous Captains.

It was while in the midsts of this last-minute list-checking that Temple was interrupted by the chime of his office door.

In that second when her finger tapped that door chime, her stomach did what pilots called a barrel roll. The flamboyance of the maneuver was a sight to behold from a pilots perspective, but from a bowel movement, not so much. It was also one of life's many ironies given that Yas was not a nervous person by nature, and yet here she was with the old butterflies in the stomach ailment. She always wondered why in this day and age of medicine there was no cure for that. Her mother always compared it to first dates, although how that ever helped her with these scenarios is a lost logic to Yas.

Yas seemed to count time for a mount in her head as she waited that command to enter. She was already going over in her head how to make a good first impression and had to almost pull herself back from going too far down that rabbit hole. Thanks dad for that. Instead, she stood tall and listened for the summons to enter respectfully.

Choosing to stand and welcome his guest like a gentlemen, Nyx had dropped the PADD upon his desk (with insurmountable relief) and hurried over to the Ready Room door as quickly as he could. He wasn't about to summon senior staff to his side like a tyrant ordering food, but instead greet them as friends and as new members of this little ragtag Pandoran family. The door swished open with efficient ease and Nyx immediately spoke with a warm smile, "Greetings, Lieutenant."

The second that door swished open, Yas raised her gaze to see the Captain front and centre at his own ready room door. At first she was a little surprised as in the past she was used to being vocally summoned into the room and the Captain, almost by default, sitting behind their respected desks. Not this time. Her mouth, for a second hung mildly open in surprise at the forward greeting. It was different to what she was accustomed to, but that was not a negative. The Captain’s voice took away that surprise quickly as she turned her expression into a warm smile. “Captain.” There was a pause in her sentence before she continued towards that 'by the book' greeting. “Lieutenant Cortez reporting for duty.”

"We're very glad to have you," Nyx replied, counting the ways in which that statement was true. He gave a slight movement of his neck for the Lieutenant to follow as he sauntered inside his office; the door closing behind them with a gentle 'swish'. He casually dropped into his chair behind the desk and didn't hesitate to ask Cortez to take a seat as well. "I hope your journey to the Expanse was uneventful. It's been... quite an interesting few months for us." Nyx couldn't help but smile at the thought.

Having followed the Captain into his ready room, she next followed his gesture to sit and did so opposite. His open statement as it were prompted Yas to reflect on her trip to the Expanse and the now forgotten guest quarters that served her so well. She quickly chose not to dwell on it for long and instead found interest in the Captain’s reveal of the ship having had a few events to contend with. “I tried to familiarize myself with the events during my trip Captain, but I will admit that I feel I have barely scratched the surface.” Yas knew she had a lot of catching up to do in terms of integrating herself into this ship and crew but equally found the Captain’s smile when he referenced those events as a source of great anticipation. She was an adventurer at heart after all.

“There’s a lot to cover.” The Captain nodded, which was utterly an understatement. The Lieutenant had multiple missions of exploration, conflict, discovery, and losses to review. He could only hope the rest of the senior crew would be able to fill in the blanks, as Nyx wouldn’t be able to satisfactorily recount every detail of their journey so far. He chose to stick with the most recent events instead, “Well, I guess the most important thing is our current situation.” He began, reaching for a PADD. “We’ve sustained damage after a skirmish with two Breen Warships. We’re currently on course to return to Federation space to receive new orders and we’re in the midsts of basic repairs in the mean time.”

The updates Yas was able to learn on-route made reference to repairs but were a little limited around the reasons behind it, well until now.

Nyx continued, “We’ve been intentionally running minimal shifts to give the crew some much-needed relaxation time, while also rationing our power supplies to ensure Lieutenant Mindo - he’s our Chief Engineer - has the capacity to patch us up. You’ll find your department will need some refocusing and, potentially, new recruitment. One of the Ops officers, Sasha Vieers, was arrested on charges of murder, treason, and serious obstruction of justice. She is currently in the Brig awaiting transfer back to Earth.”

Yas didn’t do overwhelmed, it just wasn’t in her DNA so she took everything the Captain had divulged in short order at her and then broke it down to manageable chunks. There was no escaping the highlights provided from the Captain and that was the repairs from the Breen skirmish, and that an officer was facing serious charges for murder among another charge. The recruitment needs were part of the responsibility as Chief of Operations, so that wasn’t even a thought at that stage. With slight unease, Yas leaned back in her seat crossing her arms. “Merde. You really weren’t joking about the whole; ‘there was a lot to catch up on’?” Yas couldn’t believe the latest events as it was almost a trifecta of bad. She had completely forgotten for that moment in her decorum in that moment given the realization of the events. “Forgive me sir. I guess I have a lot of history to learn.”

“Absolutely.” Nyx replied heavily, but then he had a moment of conflict - which evidently flickered across his usually serene face. “You know, let’s not dwell too much on our history. It was a fracking mess, if you don’t mind me saying, Lieutenant, and best left in the past. Learn what you need to do your job and help us get back on track. We’re still knee-deep in Alrakis Pact territory and the Breen will be none too pleased we escaped their attack. We need the ship functional and strong for whenever Command sends us our next orders.”

It was easy to get swept away with the past and let it define the present which Yas was doing in trying to order the latest events in order of importance. Thankfully that was brought to a halt when the Captain suggested, quite validly, to deal with the here and now. With a nod of her head and sitting forward again, "Aye sir. I will check in with Lieutenant Mindo and support with the repairs." Yas didn't mind getting her hands dirty as it were and get right to work, and it was also a great way to meet the crew in a more natural way.

“Ah yes, Mr Mindo is one of the finest Chief Engineers I’ve ever served with.” The Captain put on a smile again, making a conscious effort to show he was moving on. “You should also speak to our Executive Officer, Commander Nash. He came from Operations and will help you get acquainted to the Pandora’s inner workings.”

"Yes sir, I will do that." In her head, Yas was cataloguing where to start and who to see first, but in truth it didn't really matter as the end result was what was important here. She wanted to hit the ground running and make an immediate impact to the ship and crew. "Is there anything else sir?" It was an innocent question and not one to be implied as needing to dash out the room, but more a sense of eagerness to get started. She had to help with repairs, catch up casually on what the ship has been through in the expanse, meet and greet more colleagues, and lastly, and sadly probably the most important, check in with medical. Got to love those formalities.

“Anything else?” Nyx echoed as he contemplated the question. “Oh. Yes. Don’t forget to check out our Recreation facilities on deck five. It’s a little different than the usual Starfleet compliment, owing to our deep-space mission. I’d say it’s the best place to meet your new crew mates.”

"I'll be sure to do that sir" Yas nodded with a soft smile. She was eager to meet more of the crew so it was definitely a good idea.

“Very good.” Nyx said emphatically and clapped his hands together, something he typically did to signify he’d made up his mind on something. In this case, it was that the meeting had reached a conclusion. “I will let you get settled in now, Lieutenant. Unless you have any questions for me?”

As the Captain began to bring a close to the meeting, Yas stood up and clasped her hands behind her back, "No sir. Thank you." There were hundreds of questions but they were about the ships recent past and so she chose to park them for the moment and focus on what the ship, crew, and Captain needed her to do right now which was her job.

“Then there’s nothing left to say except,” he paused as he held out his hand for Cortez to shake, “Welcome to the Pandora.”

Yas unclasped her hands and shook the Captain’s hand while her smile brightened. “Thank you sir.”

The Captain quickly replaced his hand with a PADD; the one with all the calculations, logistics and regulations. “Oh no.” He said with a dry tone. “Thank you.

The substitute of the hand with the PADD made Yas shift her gaze from the Captain a moment. She could feel the tone even if the Captain did not try and conceal it. She returned her gaze to the Captain and nodded, “I’ll get to it sir.”