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Change in Operations

Posted on 21 Oct 2018 @ 1:45pm by Captain Harvey Geisler & Lieutenant JG Jazmin Parks

Mission: Fractured
Timeline: MD2 || 1030 hours

Finishing up with the Chief of Security in the armory, Harvey exited into the corridor and set a course for the turbolift. He had much to do, and now armed with the blessing of the Chief of Security, Harvey now had to start the process to get the Operations department back in line, starting with establishing a new chain of command.

Tapping his combadge as he walked, he said, "Computer, locate Lieutenant Parks."

Jazmin was caught up in the contents of the PADD in her hands. She was finalizing her report for the Chief on their most recent "adventure." She almost didn't see the Captain as she rounded the corner, at the last moment, she saw him and sidestepped, losing her balance for a second and fumbling with her PADD until she righted herself.

"Sorry, Sir. I'll pay better attention to where I'm going from now on." Her face flushed with embarrassment and she wished she could crawl in a hole somewhere to hide.

The computer confirmed Lieutenant Parks' position, though it was no longer needed. "It's all right, Lieutenant," Harvey said, wondering if he should reach out to help stabilize her. It seemed that he did not need to do so. "Off to somewhere in a hurry?" he asked.

Jazmin regained her composure, standing up straighter. "I'm on my way to see Chief Di Pasquale. I've got my final report on the incident and what happened in the time frame I was sent to. Also, I have crew evaluations on how they handled the situation." She sighed. "To be perfectly frank, Sir, if we never go through something like that again, it will be too soon. The only thing worse would have been being stuck there."

"Agreed," the Captain said almost too quickly. "I'm sure Miss Di Pasquale can wait a few moments. Walk with me a bit, Lieutenant. You can give me the short version of your report as we travel."

Jazmin nodded and tucked the PADD into one of the pouches on her belt before falling into step with him.

"Well, sir, the short of it is that everyone in my department performed admirably under the circumstances. That's the politically correct thing to say, isn't it?"

The Captain grunted, starting his first walking lap of the deck. "I wasn't aware that we could be politically correct on board a starship in the vast unknown, Lieutenant. But as long as it's accurate, I suppose it does not matter that much as long as the statement itself is true."

Jazmin found herself smiling. "In principle, Sir. Security personnel did a find job. Their loyalty to the Chief is off the charts, Sir. That said, they were able to adjust to my taking charge. Everyone else I observed was outstanding. Ensign Mackie and Doctor Road most notably. Security systems worked great and I would not hesitate to put my life in their hands again. However..." she paused, unsure as to how to proceed.

"However what?" Harvey asked, doing a fairly good job of following her thought process so far. From what he'd heard from most of his senior staff was that the crew had performed as well as could be expected, if not better, than what the circumstances had allowed them to experience.

Jazmin took a deep breath, letting it out slowly. "Well, Sir, I was probably too by-the-book when I should have been more empathetic to what my people needed. It may have made me seem less like I cared about what happened to the missing crew and more about flexing my rank." She spread her hands plaintively. "I didn't know what else to do sir! When you have a dozen people all wanting to do different things, albeit towards the same goal, how do you get everyone on the same page and working with each other?

Harvey could understand her frustration, after all, even during the crisis, she was someone else's subordinate and not in a position to affect change outside of her department. "The easiest way to handle that, lieutenant, is to be the one in charge. When you're not, it's about listening to the options being made around you and then endorsing what you feel is the best one."

Jazmin nodded. It was good advice and she hoped that she would be able to remember it if the time ever came again for her to use it. "Thank you, Sir. I'll remember that."

"You might get to practice that sooner than you think, Miss Parks," Harvey observed. "Tell me, any career ambitions?"

Jazmin thought for a moment and sighed slowly. The events of the last few days were still front and center, the images of the dead crew, the blacked-out ship, the looming threat of radiation poisoning. It was a lot to process but somehow she knew that she wasn't the same person anymore. The thoughts of all those security personnel dead on her watch, the responsibility she felt for them, it was a lot to bear.

"Well, Sir. There was a time when I would have said Security Chief on a Sovereign Class, and then head of security for the Federation President." She smiled sheepishly. "But, now? I don't know. I've seen the toll it's taken on Chief Di Pasquale and I wonder if that's the same road I'm headed down?" She breathed deep and stood tall. "I've got a lot of years left in my career and I wonder if I shouldn't try my hand at something new."

She ran her fingers along the bulkhead as if she was reading Braille. "I'm a few courses away from my Law Degree, so JAG is an option. But I also minored in Communications and Operations in the Academy. So Operations might be a possibility as well, and I did enjoy pitching in and coming up with ideas when we were time-displaced." She stopped and looked up at the Captain. "I just know that with Security being such a hazardous occupation there'd be an awful lot of deaths on my soul. I don't think I can go back to that."

Her expression turned sad. "I hope you don't think I'm a coward for thinking this way."

"Danger is no respecter of persons," Harvey declared. "I spent years in medicine and my career was forcibly changed thanks to the Dominion War. I've never worn Operations gold, yet death has always surrounded me. But, it's part of the risk we take putting on this uniform day after day."

"True, Sir, but I guess that everyone has similar feelings about their own jobs since they're at the eye of the proverbial storm." She paused when he mentioned never having been in Operations, that and the question about a career ambitions. She kept her face passive.

"Sir, putting on my Starfleet Uniform everyday is a privilege. One that I hope to keep doing for many years to come. You're my Captain and you have my loyalty, Sir. Whatever you need from me, I'm your gal. I know I've dropped the ball a few times, but I promise you'll get nothing but my best."

Harvey chuckled at that note. She was certainly spunky and eager to please, especially in one of her rare encounters with the Captain. "Whatever I need, Lieutenant? I appreciate your volunteering, especially since I have a new assignment for you. I'm sure you've heard the scuttlebutt around the ship that our losses in the nebula included some extremely valuable personnel."

Jazmin sighed. They had indeed lost some valuable people. Hawthorne among them. He grated against her personally, but he had been the finest Chief Engineer she had ever seen, in her limited career of course.

She nodded to the Captain. "Yes, Sir. We've got a lot of exceptional officers onboard, Sir." She grinned. "Of course, you don't need me to tell you that. I'm ready to back up whoever you need sir, they'll have my full support."

She mentally reviewed the Operations officers that she knew. Quinn was incredible, as was Adan. If anyone was going to take over the Chief Ops position, her money was on Adan. He had the experience, and the rank. "Sir, if we're talking the Ops department, Ensign Mackie performed extraordinarily during the crisis. Lieutenant Adan was in a different time zone, but he's got the rank and experience. Either of them would have my enthusiastic support, Sir."

She frowned inwardly. She had only been on the ship a short time, but she hoped her tour of Assistance Security Chief had proven that she could help any Department Head and make the department run smoothly. It was strange, that the Captain would want her advice on something like this.

"I actually had someone else in mind," Harvey said, turning a corner to follow the corridor down the outermost edge of the ship. "Adan would make a fine Assistant, and Mackie's still too young. But what i need is someone to corral the department, keep them focused. In my view, that person is you."

Jazmin choked, stopping dead in her tracks. "Uh, I'd be honored, Sir, but are you su…" She stopped, never ask your C.O. if he's sure of anything. It's they're job to be. "I don't know what to say. I mean, I'm..." She stopped her face lighting up with a proud smile. "Aye, aye, Sir. Thank you for your confidence in me!"

He wanted to suggest that she should thank Chief Stephens for vacating the position, but that would certainly be far from good taste. "Lieutenant Di Pasquale is already aware, so there's little to worry about there. The important thing at this point is to get this ship back into shape, especially since the nebula and quantum filaments did a number on her. Coordinate everything with Staff Warrant Officer Griffin."

Jazmin sobered herself, nodding as he gave her first orders as Chief Operations Officer.

"Can do, Sir. I'll call my senior staff and get a priority list started. I'll coordinate with Staff Warrant Officer Griffin and we'll get the ship righted sir."

“See that you do,” Harvey stated, coming to a stop and facing the Lieutenant. “I expect a status report as soon as possible, along with recommendations for proceeding. As for the details, I leave those to you and Mister Griffin.”

Jazmin nodded. "Yes, Sir. If there's nothing else, I should get to it. It sounds like I've got six months worth of work and a week to do it in."

"Carry on, Lieutenant," Harvey confirmed, turning and disappearing down another stretch of corridor.

Jazmin watched the Captain disappear around the corner then sagged back against the bulkhead. "Oh boy, Jaz, you better pull this off or you'll be assigned freighter duty for the next twenty years." She smiled grimly at the thought. "Baptism by fire. Kelly always said that was the best way to learn."

She stood straight, took a deep breath and headed back the way she had come. A grin formed unbidden. As scary as it was, being put in such a position of responsibility this early in her career caused no small amount of excitement that had her grinning all the way to the turbolift.

 

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