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Security Check-In

Posted on 05 Nov 2017 @ 3:12am by Captain Harvey Geisler & Lieutenant Camila Di Pasquale
Edited on on 05 Nov 2017 @ 3:15am

Mission: Crossing Over
Location: Security Office
Timeline: MD2 || 0900 hours

The next stop on Harvey's inspection tour, and the place where he'd find up finishing the last of his freshly brewed elixir, would be the Security Office. Lieutenant Di Pasquale hadn't been back long, but he knew she was hard at work making sure things were just as they should be.

Sure enough, the Lieutenant was sitting at her desk with a clear tankard of coffee sitting on the edge of her desk which was covered in PADDs. She had a list of personnel up on the screen and was making notes, changing schedules, assigning duties and five hundred other details. "He just had to leave, didn't he?" she muttered to no one. "One Chief leaves and he buggers off the moment a new one comes aboard. Fine. I can do it without an assistant."

An individual in red, one whom Harvey recognized as an adjutant from administration, nodded to the Captain. "She's in there," he pointed at the closed door that was clearly labeled "Office."

Harvey thanked the yeoman as he approached the door and pressed the announcer button. While he waited, he took a sip of the dwindling coffee.

Camila looked up and sighed. Who is it this time? she wondered as she pressed the door release. "Come in," she said as she set another PADD aside.

The Captain stood in the open doorway, mug still at his lips. After a moment, and after lowering the mug to level with the middle of his chest, he stepped inside. "Lieutenant."

"Hello, Captain," she said as she made a attempt to clear her desk. "Please, have a seat, Sir. What can I do for you?"

"Don't mind me," he said as she brushed away her clutter. "Just don't tell Senior Chief Rasputin what my desk looks like." He'd hear enough about it later regardless. "Daily inspection, Miss Di Pasquale."

"Only if you don't tell her what my desk looks like," Camila returned and came to her feet. "Would like you like a tour of the facility, Captain?" she asked. "Or some more coffee? I'm afraid all I have is replicated."

Harvey shook his head. "I already shouldn't have this," he said, indicating the coffee. "Takes an entire box of mints and seven glasses of water to cancel this out before lunch."

She looked confused and took a moment to process what he had just said and still failed to come up with a logical reason. "Why?" she finally asked.

"Just the smell of coffee is enough to turn my wife's stomach," Harvey explained. "This... pregnancy has prompted many life changes. Such as this being my first cup of coffee in two weeks."

"Ouch," Camila said. "I'm sorry to hear that, Sir. I couldn't live without it, but there has to be an easier way to hide it. What about a breath spray that neutralizes odors quickly?"

"You've never been pregnant, have you?" Harvey took a moment to have another sip. "Her senses are dialed to a hundred. Someone can be brewing it across the deck, and she'll smell it."

"No, Sir, I haven't," she responded. "And to think I had coffee when she came to see me after I first got back. I hope I didn't upset her. I'll have to sanitize my office when we work together again."

Harvey raised an eyebrow at that. "If you'd upset her, I'm sure we'd both know." He took another sip and continued. "Settling back in okay?"

"As well as can be expected," Camila said and gestured at the stacks of PADDs. "I was hoping to have an Assistant Chief, but I did without one before and it looks like I'll be doing without one again."

"Wasn't Corwin your assistant before?" asked Harvey, wrinkling his brow. "Or wasn't it Cooper?"

"Both at one point," she said. "Cooper is still the Assistant Chief of Tactical though. As you know, Lieutenant Geisler went to Intelligence, which surprised me, but I'm happy for her."

Harvey nodded. "There's still time to find one from within, or get someone assigned. Though it seems security has already been lacking from this sector for a while now."

"Not to mention recent events," Camila pointed out and immediately regretted it. Not to mention the fact that he had to shanghai her to get her back after the last Chief was reassigned. "But I'm here and I'll get the job done, Captain. You know I won't back down." Although I may run and hide from it once I get off duty she mentally amended.

"Precisely why I had you transferred," Harvey declared with a grin. He caught a glimmer of something in her eyes. In fact, he recalled her doubt from the other day, when he had shanghaied her. Harvey knew first hand the guilt associated with massive psychological trauma. He recognized it in Camila just as much as he had Jayla and other members of the crew. Perhaps, in time, he'd be able to help bring Camila out of it. For now, he had to respect her space. "Speaking of recent events, are you up to speed?"

"As much as I can be," she replied. "I'm not used to having more personnel to review and Commander Teixeira wants full evaluations on all personnel. I feel like I'm falling behind already and I'm just starting."

"It takes getting used to," Harvey replied just before taking another fleeting sip. "This girl's almost double the old one's size. I think I've just now got her down."

"You know," Camila mused. "When I first got assigned to the old girl, I actually thought it was a bum assignment. Getting stuck on a small ship with a new Captain. I learned a lot on her though and I learned a lot about you. I've also learned that it's not the ship, but the crew that makes them what they are and there's no one I'd rather serve under."

Harvey grunted, though it merely was in jest and not frustration. "Bum assignment?" he asked, hoping for a bit more of an explanation.

"Yean, a bum assignment," she said. "One given to a new officer who spent a few years doing nothing on a starbase before getting tested out on a relatively small ship. Little did I know that something so small could do so much. What did you think of her when you first took command, Sir?"

He smiled, having already decided to tell her at the first mention of a bum assignment. "My first impression..." his voice trailed off as he invited himself to sit in front of the security chief's desk. "Well, it was tainted. It's been more than a decade since the Dominion War, and capable command officers are still lacking in the fleet." He chuckled, recalling being surprised at the time when Starfleet considered him capable.

"When I first boarded the Akira, I saw a ship that had been broken. The crew still cared for her, but I didn't see it. Kinda like my own life I guess. It all changed, a little more than a month in, when I visited the memorial. That's where I saw the ship's soul, or that she still had a soul. I think the ship and I vowed that day that we'd help restore the other. I'd like to think that happened. In fact... may I?" Harvey gestured for a free PADD, one large enough to display a photo.

Camila rummaged through the PADDs on her desk until she checked one and handed it to him as she thought about what he had said. "I joined Starfleet five years after the war ended," she said. "I like to think I would have made a difference if I had been born earlier, but I've become more of a realist since then." I know that I can't make a difference and that I'm just one more person that's expendable as everyone else she added in the privacy of her thoughts.

Harvey opened a new tab on the device and synced it to the ship's library. Matters regarding the ship's crash were public record, and Harvey had even selected a few of the photos himself for said record. He found one of the old girl's battered hull and smoke still billowing out of her innards. It was a difficult picture, even for him, to look at. Yet, it was one of his favorites. Harvey flipped the PADD to show Lieutenant Di Pasquale. "See here?" he asked, running a finger along the front of the ship. In the ship's worst moment, the saucer formed a smile with two large pillars of smoke coming out from above to form eyes. "In her last moment, she died happy, doing what she was made for."

Where he said a ship that formed a smile and eyes from smoke, she saw a ship that had been taken down by brothers and sisters in a conflict that never should have happened. I should have been on her when she was going down, she thought. "So it would seem," she said and it sounded non-committal to her own ears before she added. "Of course, it could be just what you said. She was a real workhorse and never gave up despite everything we'd taken her through."

"I believe that's it," Harvey replied, deactivating the PADD before returning it to its owner. "And it's like you said. It's all in the crew. As much as I miss my first command, if there's one thing I've learned by being an XO on many vessel... ships are replaceable. Family is not."

"You have that right about family and you got most of us back," Camila said with a slightly lopsided smile. "Even if you did shanghai some of us....Sir."

"It's impressive, really," Harvey said, rising now from the chair. "Admiral O'Connell arranged every single one, save you, Bast, and Lieutenant Marion. The old Curmudgeon won out on Marion, Bast retired, and you... well, that doesn't seem to matter much now."

The smile turned into a sneer at the mention of Bast and she shook her head. "You know, you could have just requested me to return the ship, Captain," she said. "I was only volunteering on Deep Space Eleven and didn't know there had been another Black Hawk commissioned." Because I was busy killing myself with work and booze.

"Touché." Harvey sipped his coffee, frowning at the moment he tasted grounds. Had he been able to from the onset, he would have. "But, as I said. Doesn't matter all that much now. What matters is that we need to be ready, for anything. We're going into the true unknown. We don't know anything of what awaits us, and even the Aketi weren't much helpful."

Without being at the briefing and hearing very little of what was going on, Camila raised an eyebrow. "Aren't we always going into the unknown?" she asked. "Or is this something different? I'm sort of in the dark on that one and no one is saying anything while getting the ship ready for everything. Speaking of that, I did put new protocols in place if you've had a chance to look them over."

Harvey shook his head on the protocols. The truth was, he had reviewed them. Several times in fact. Each time, he'd barely been able to comprehend them as his mind continued to wander. "I thought you said you were up to speed," he instead countered.

"Up to speed on my department, Captain," she said. "As you may know, I sort of got dragged back here and Commander Teixeira never briefed me on anything that we're doing. To the best of my knowledge, we're here to defend the station until more Starfleet ships show up."

The Captain sighed. "Secure your office, Lieutenant," he said, reaching for that PADD again.

"Computer, seal office until I release, authorization Di Pasquale Omega Nine-Two-Five Alpha."

"Office sealed," the computer responded as the doors locked.

Harvey secured the PADD with his Alpha Two clearance and called up the briefing notes from Deep Space Nine, starting with the image of the Convergence Zone. He handed the PADD to Camila and explained everything that was discussed in the briefing, then brought her up to speed on what happened on Finnea. "The probe that came through, it's secure below decks," he continued. "Only senior officers have access. But this zone... no one knows what's on the other side. Except danger. The Dominion, Consortium... all child's play compared to this, I think."

Camila listened and nodded. "This sounds like something big is coming," she said. "I'll add extra Security personnel in the event of something happening and put only the best officers on it. I'll also cut duty shifts in half so only the freshest officers will be available and add three new shifts." She paused as she remembered something she had seen. "I noted that Lieutenant Carmichael is under quarters restriction in the logs, but it doesn't say if he's to be charged with something. Should I be aware of what's going on with him?"

How did he keep forgetting about Carmichael? Sooner or later, he'd have to correct that. "Mister Carmichael was aboard the Vasco da Gama during the beginning of all of this. We had to make sure he wasn't involved."

"Is he cleared or was he forgotten with everything that's been going on?" she asked. "Or should he remain under guard?"

"Commander Teixeira and I have been handling it," Harvey said. "And I think we're going to make a final decision tomorrow. Until then, we'll maintain the status quo."

"Understood," Camila said. "I did read the reports for Commander Yuki and Ensign Akagi and it appears they were working with the Selubassari other than their strange messages in their own blood. Do you think...it may be related to the Consortium again in some way?"

The Captain shook his head. “Unlikely. But they didn’t disappear this way when fleeing Deep Soace 11. And the motives don’t match either.”

"You're right," she said. "But people can change course once they're out of sensor range." She sighted and looked up at him. "But whoever is behind this, we're going to stop them."

Both of Harvey’s eyebrows arched in instant agreement. “You bet we will. Disrupting the well being of a planet, exploiting a half dozen fanatics and even diverting valuable a Starfleet resources, not to mention altering our own lives. For once, I could settle with mapping strange new worlds instead of hunting down rumors.”

"You don't plan on following up on who was behind Yuki and Akagi?" Camila asked, confused. "Not that I don't agree with mapping new worlds.”

“Sadly, Yuki and Akagi are closed cases.” Harvey sighed. “The Followers went underground after the Selubassari were evicted. However Yuki and Akagi got involved... the answers died with them.”

The words closed cases hammered themselves into her mind and stifled a plea to investigate. However, she had no intention of letting any other Followers interfere with the ship and crew if they resurfaced. "Understood, Captain," she said. "In the meantime, I'll take care of the personnel here on the ship." Even if I have to fine tooth comb everyone's habits.

“Something’s out there,” Harvey said. “That much is true. The key will be finding them before they find us. Whoever they are.”

"When my new Security protocols get approved, they're going to have a harder time than ever getting aboard this ship," Camila promised him.

He’d have to review those as soon as he could, at least with a pair of eyes that wouldn’t glaze over them. Harvey attempted a final time to sip his coffee, only to get more grounds than coffee. He was going to have to talk to the chef about this, and possibly replace the coffeemaker. “Indeed,” he said, moving over to her replicator to recycle the unit and generate a few breath mints. He knew they’d only go so far to disguise the smell, and hopefully it would buy him enough time before being able to properly rinse his mouth.

She watched him replicate mints before something she'd heard on the station came back to her. "Sir, I knew a crewman on Deep Space Eleven who had notorious bad breath and the Doctor there recommended Eucalyptus to help. Maybe you should try those. Not that you have bad breath, Captain, but it helped the crewman tremendously."

Harvey couldn’t help but chuckle. “If I didn’t have coffee breath, I wouldn’t need these.” He shook the small container of mints. “How would you prescribe the eucalyptus?”

"As a rinse from what I heard," Camila told him. "The crewman went from being able to make a Klingon nauseous at ten paces to getting a date. As for coffee breath...without coffee, the go in get up and go is gone." She looked at the transparent aluminum tankard on her desk and back to him.

“I’ll have to try that,” the Captain said. “Though I’m certain a Klingon wouldn’t hold a candle to a pregnant woman.” He grunted, imagining what sort of hell a pregnant Klingon would deliver.

"From what I hear, all it takes to make a pregnant woman nauseous is a cup of coffee," she said wryly.

Though Harvey could confirm that, he said, "I'll just leave that to your imagination, Lieutenant. Aside from being short staffed in the leadership department, is there anything else I need to know about Security and Tactical?"

"Everything is in order, Captain," Camila said as she brought up the departmental functions checklist which showed green lights across the spectrum. "I've reviewed everything and the backups for everything and we're ready for whatever gets thrown our way."

Harvey certainly hoped so, and he acknowledged her report with a simple nod of the head. “And anything I may have forgotten to ask, or anything that might be on your mind?”

She thought for a moment, but shook her head. "No, Sir," she said. "I think that covers everything and then some."

The Captain opened the container of mints and popped a couple into his mouth. He'd try the eucalyptus as soon as he was back in his ready room. Hopefully, it would do just the trick. "Then I shall take my leave. See you on the bridge, Lieutenant."

"See you then, Captain," Camila said before she settled down to go over the personnel list once more.

 

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