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Souperior Officers

Posted on 08 Jan 2018 @ 4:29am by Commander Thiago Teixeira & Captain Harvey Geisler

Mission: Crossing Over
Location: Captain's Mess
Timeline: MD1 || 1400 hours

One month. He'd been aboard a full month and the one place the Captain had yet to frequent was the exclusive Captain's Mess. The room was connected to the primary mess hall, and it provided a very unique view of the Black Hawk's starboard bow. In this case, the blue Zone membrane outside the window cast a soft blue gaze into the room. Harvey had a feeling he wasn't going to see anything but blue for the next few months. Not that he didn't mind it. After all, once upon a time, we wore science blue.

Harvey expected the ship to be studying the Zone well into the early part of 2389. Therefore, this was the chance to finally settle into some sense of normalcy aboard the ship. And, he planned to start at the top, with the ship's Executive Officer, whom Harvey had invited to join him for the first official lunch in the Captain's Mess.

A morning spent dealing with the various administrative duties that fall to the Executive Officer, Thiago was grateful for the opportunity to take a break. That it was lunch with the Captain was even better.

"Afternoon sir," he said, as he passed through doors into the mess.

Harvey, who’d decided to take yet another brooding position by the window, turned to face the gentleman who’d just entered. “Thiago,” Harvey greeted. “A full month in, and we are finally here.”

"Indeed," the Brazilian man responded. "Imagining the worst? Again?" he said, motioning towards Geisler. For someone with so much to be happy about, the Captain was regularly focused on some potential impending doom. Or so thought Teixeira, who was typically focusing on other things.

Harvey grunted. "Trying to see all of the angles." Which was difficult to do, considering they had no idea what they were looking at. But, yes, truthfully, he was imagining the worst.

"Obtuse or acute?" Thiago asked, working hard to keep a grin from breaking out on his face.

The Captain smirked appreciating the joke. Though he could keep talking to the Executive Officer, thanks to the reflection in the window, Harvey turned to face the man. "And how's the crew compared to their brooding Captain?"

"They are, as usual, working hard," he confirmed. "I was meeting with the department heads earlier. Crew evaluations." Teixeira looked towards the door, curious when food would be arriving. He hadn't had much to eat yet.

As if the chef had an extrasensory perception, the doors parted and the chef arrived with their lunch orders. Unlike prior lunches where the Captain had dictated what would be available, Harvey had elected for his first officer to request a meal of his preference. Harvey, for instance, would be dining on a turkey panini and chips.

"An excellent way to pass the time," Harvey remarked as the chef set both meals down on the table and left. The Captain then gestured for Thiago to have a seat as he himself sat down. "After all, who knows how long we'll be on this side of the zone, and drills can only entertain for so long."

He looked down at the plate before him. Topping a bed of rice was a heaping serving of feijoada. On the side was a small bowl with farofa, which he picked up and sprinkled on the rice and stew. "I was a bit surprised soup wasn't on the menu today, sir," Teixeira teased. Geisler was notorious for serving soup.

"You know," began Harvey, "it's an odd thing. As you know, my wife is pregnant, which has all but destroyed any regularity when it comes to food. In doing so, I've... discovered how much I'd been unnecessarily restricting my own diet. Soup only takes me so far, and with a larger ship to run and two kids on the way, I need to make sure my nutrition is on point. Fuller meals especially, since too many things will become irregular." That was, perhaps, too much information to start the meeting.

"I'll take your word for it," the Brazilian offered. "Never been a father myself. Haven't even been married, for that matter." He mixed some of his feijoada with some rice and lifted a forkful to his mouth. "Haven't found the right person," he said before putting the food in his mouth.

"So you are looking then?" Harvey asked, a bit surprised that he was so informal about such things. Perhaps his time on the Black Hawk, and the crew around him over the course of a year, had performed their task of breaking down his barriers better than he'd imagined.

Unsure if he was ready to go further down that path right then, Thiago deflected. "Were you?"

Harvey noted the deflection as he grunted with a smirk. "Time for evaluations, is it?" he asked, returning to an earlier subject. "I suppose that means I'll have to evaluate you as well."

"Sim," he replied, a forkful of feijoada and rice in hand. Putting the delicious food into his mouth, he savored the smoky saltiness of it. The farofa he'd sprinkled on top added some texture and a little nuttiness. "You know the drill: write the evaluation, we discuss it, make any revisions, and submit it to Administration for my file. Simple."

The Captain nodded, biting into his panini. After chewing and swallowing, Harvey said, "The last time I had to worry about crew evaluations was back on the Schuster, sometime last year. I can't say I miss them."

He smiled. "I try to stay on top of these sort of things. One of my responsibilities as Executive Officer is overseeing the crew evaluations. And so I will." He mixed some of the beans on his plate with some of the rice. "Of course, the timing is less than ideal. With so many of the crew being new, the senior staff haven't had much chance to observe them yet."

"Indeed," Harvey confirmed, having had the chance to review the entirety of the ship's personnel records. It was an amazing thought, considering that much of the crew was new. Until the Consortium Crisis, Harvey saw a lot of turnover in the crew, having a new senior staff practically every month. Once the Consortium arrived, the ship's manifest had been relatively locked. Most of that crew now served aboard this Black Hawk, and there was a definite difference between the two groups. "We need to make sure everyone is properly integrated. We might not all share the same experiences, but at the end of the day, we're all Starfleet."

"We are all in this together, it's true," Teixeira confirmed. "With Lieutenant Di Pasquale's return, the Black Hawk is back together. More or less."

"About as together as it's going to get." Harvey took another bite. As he chewed, he considered the absence of familiar faces, ranging from the Trill Operations Chief, the bitter doctor, and the ginger executive officer. His mind also wondered to Lieutenant Carmichael, the familiar face in Science who always seemed to be around when Harvey needed him. "Out of curiosity," Harvey said. "Where did Mister Carmichael wind up? I know the Vasco da Gama was towed back to Deep Space Eleven for repair. What of its crew?"

"The lieutenant is still confined to quarters," Thiago started. "That isn't sustainable, obviously. Because of what Mister Carmichael knows, he wasn't released with the bulk of his shipmates."

Harvey nodded, considering the situation. "I'm sure he's not entirely thrilled. What about integrating him into our science department? His knowledge and experience could prove useful in the days ahead."

"Djinx would like that," he replied. "He came by to see me about Carmichael. He was rather insistent on knowing what was going on." Thiago deposited another forkful of the feijoada in his mouth. "He finally got through to him," he concluded after swallowing.

"Oh?" Harvey asked, looking up from his plate. "Any particular reason why Djinx was so insistent?"

"I'd imagine it had something to do with Carmichael being a scientist. Djinx wouldn't be the first department head to be protective of their own."

The Captain munched on another sample of his meal. After he swallowed, he stated, "One cannot fault him for thinking so. And, he probably could be of use during all of this. After all, he's got something we don't. Experience. I think we should give Mr. Carmichael a chance. What say you?"

"He's got skills we'll undoubtedly be able to put to good use out here. He'll probably get along well with Fordyce." Teixeira took a sip of his water. "And it's not the worst idea to keep him close. Given what he knows."

"And I'm sure Lieutenant Di Pasquale will relish having her guards back in regular rotation, not posted outside a cabin for a month," Harvey suggested. "All right, let's get him back into the swing of things."

Nodding, Thiago agreed. "I'll get him added back into the manifest and added to the shift rotation."

Harvey nodded his confirmation as well. "Good, good. What other sort of observations do have about the crew? Or its brooding captain?"

"Not so much about the crew," he replied. "Not yet at least. We'll see how the evaluations turn out." His head turned towards the wall of windows, eyes taking in the view for a moment before he looked back to Geisler. "I'm hoping we'll see less action than we have recently."

"As do I," Harvey admitted. "I must admit, I was not expecting our first mission back to be so intense. With the Consortium gone, I was really hoping we'd get back to what Starfleet does best. Exploring."

"That's why we're here, isn't it?" After a momentary thought, he added, "Most of us, at least."

"Indeed." The Captain took another drink and set the glass on the table. "I received these a few days ago," Harvey remarked, picking up a PADD and sliding it over to Thiago. "New security protocols from our reinstated Chief of Security. Have you seen these yet?"

Putting down his utensils and picking up the device, he scrolled through the information. "A bit.....martial, don't you think?"

Harvey shrugged. Part of him agreed with his XO's comment. The other half of him, the side under the influence of the message he'd sent himself, wondered if it wasn't enough. "The Consortium left an impact on us all," Harvey said at last. An image of being shot in his own Ready Room flashed in his head, and a phantom tingle of the shot washed across his abdomen. "And we did just witness two members of the Vasco da Gama perform treason... if it can be called that."

"There is, of course, a need for precautions," he agreed, "but automatic beaming to the brig? That's a bit over the top, no?" He set the PADD down on the table surface. "We," he began, indicating Harvey and himself, "served in the war. Even at it's height, did you see protocols like these?"

"I certainly didn't," Harvey confirmed. "But I can still tell you how much blood I drew from the crew of the Delaware on a daily basis, as well as all of the dirty looks I got from over four hundred people. Automatic beaming to the brig is probably a bit excessive, I can see that."

Teixeira looked down at the PADD again. "One hundred people total in Security. About thirty assigned to tactical duties. So thirty-five security teams. We've got twenty-four decks. Once you factor in posted guards at high profile locations, that leaves most decks with only a single patrol."

Harvey frowned, wondering if they needed more security before going in. "There is a lot more ship than the Akira," he confirmed. "What would you recommend?"

Leaning back into his chair, Thiago looked across the table at the captain. "Posting guards at the high profile locations makes sense. Everyone else...." his voiced trailed off as he thought about the physical configuration of their new home. "The remaining security forces could be positioned near major junctions. Major Jefferies tube access points. Turbolift shafts. For example."

"There's a lot of shafts," Harvey observed. "And Jefferies junctions. What would make a junction or shaft more critical than another?"

"Access," came the Commander's reply. "Not all junctions are created equal, Harvey. From some, you have limited access to vital locations and systems. From others... From others, an intruder would be moments away from much, much more."

The Captain thought for a moment, then nodded. "Very well then, Thiago," he stated. "I'll leave it to you and Lieutenant Di Pasquale to handle the details. Of course, I could go for another year or so without being boarded. Twice is enough for me."

"The decision is yours ultimately," the older man conceded. Reaching forward, he picked up his glass. "What other business do we have?" he questioned before taking a drink.

"I really can't think of any," Harvey said, mentally running through his checklist once more. "Is there anything else on your mind?"

Teixeira shook his head. "Não, Capitão," he confirmed with a smile. "Does that mean you're going to ask me about my romantic prospects again?"

Harvey chuckled. “I think not. Perhaps one inquiry is sufficient for a day. Or a year.”

A Brazilian smirk turned into a hardy laugh, matching the Captain's own jovialness.

 

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