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Reporting for Duty

Posted on 27 Dec 2013 @ 12:52am by Captain Harvey Geisler & Lieutenant JG Ross Armani
Edited on on 01 Jan 2014 @ 6:38am

Mission: New Voyages
Location: USS Black Hawk
Timeline: December 26, 2387 || 1730 hours

Eager to get started, Ross had asked for all his belongings to be delivered to his quarters for him to sort out at a later date. He knew though the likely chance of this being done was slim as when he was packing from his last assignment he found several bags still unpacked from his move from the academy to the Peacekeeper. Other than his holodeck appearances, this was the first time he had stepped foot onto an Akira class vessel and his first destination was straight to the nerve centre – the bridge!

Stepping out of the turbo-lift he bravely entered. The bridge was alive with the hustle and bustle of the life of a Starfleet. He could hear many conversations taking place around, one being about supplies and the other was what seemed to be an argument between 2 officers about disembarkment protocols. He walked around barely unnoticed – other than the occasional smile that he received. He noticed the captains and first officers chairs in the middle but his line of sight went immediately to the station ahead of the chairs – the Flight Control station – his new home!

Armani walked towards the station which appeared to be redundant and unmanned at this time – they where after all docked and would be going nowhere until the commanding officer gave new instructions. Which served as a reminder that he still needed to report in. Walking towards the ready room doors he straightened up his uniform for the 18th time since being on the ship, took a deep breath and waited to be invited in.

Harvey towered over the replicator when the door chime sounded. It was too late in the day for coffee, yet he still had a few hours before he could call it a day, hence the cup of Darjeeling the replicator was dispensing. "Come!" He ordered. Taking a cue from earlier, he looked towards the doors as they parted to reveal a young officer in red. Harvey noted the two pips, one solid gold and the other a hollow black. Several of the officers aboard shared this rank, so Harvey assumed this man was the current Officer of the Watch. He would, however, hold this assumption in private as to avoid embarrassment if he were wrong.

Ross had never been a huge fan of introductions (especially to new commanding officer) so tried to make the introductions swiftly over and done with. Walking over to the replicator were the Commander stood he put on his usual plesantry smile and extended his hand. "Ross Armani, reporting for duty as your new Flight Jockey" he said as he paused for a moment to realise what he had just said, "I mean, Chief Flight Controller, Sir. Sorry" he said as he realised exactly what he had said.

Harvey issued a soft grunt as a response. Starfleet was doing its best to assemble an odd command crew for the stiff Commanding Officer. So far a doctor with a list of warnings from prior COs, an attractive, yet well to do Chief Engineer, and now a hot shot pilot. He would almost bet the next senior staff member to walk in would be a rookie Ensign as a Security Chief.

Still, wearing a uniform with officer's pips meant something. At the end of the day, those who wore it were guaranteed to be among the best and the brightest in the galaxy. Harvey would hope that continued to ring true.

"Commander Geisler," Harvey replied, shaking the lieutenant's hand. Letting go, he added, "Have a seat." Harvey walked back to the desk with tea cup in hand. "And tell me about why Starfleet thinks a carrier needs a young jockey at the controls."

Armani had to think very carefully about his response as the first thing that came to mind was 'because Starfleet has screwed me over putting me on that rust bucket for the last 3 years and they feel the need to pay me back' but managed to resist the temptation. "Sir, if I can be honest, I might be young, look young, act young and so on, but I like to think I am one of the best, best in ability and best in determination" he took a breath and paused for a moment. "I've made mistakes, and I will most likely continue to make mistakes, but I am always willing to learn, I'm not afraid to push myself or ask for help when I am struggling. We are after all going out into the unknown, I don't want to let this crew down, or you, Sir."

Before the commander had the opportunity to interject with anything else, Armani finished up - "I rather hope that Starfleet has sent me out here because they see the potential I have to offer any star ship or any star ship Captain"

Harvey sat there, his tea cup and saucer held gently in his hands, and listened to the lieutenant's comments. He noted his quick stance to defend himself, a quality not unlike his Chief Medical Officer. "I certainly hope so," Harvey truthfully replied. "The unknown, however, may not be nearly as forgiving as I am, which isn't much. We'll be on the fringe, and the Gamma Quadrant is not a friendly place. A single mistake could be very costly. Are you prepared for that?"

Harvey took a sip of his tea, allowing the question to settle.

"Some mistakes have however, allowed us to discover the most important things, the best cures for diseases, the best positions to be armed in" he said as he looked directly at the commander, "We can only do our best, train to be the best, work with the best and we all rely on each other, if ones goes down, we go down as a team" he finished.

"True," Harvey acknowledged. He placed the cup and saucer on the desk. Then, he clasped his hands, placed then on the table and leaned forward. He had taken the liberty before this meeting of reviewing the senior staff personnel files. Harvey was now prepared to counter, yet support, the young lieutenant's point. "Your file indicates that you are pursuing a command opportunity of your own. Is that correct?"

The question took Armani a little by surprise. In one sense he always knew the end goal was to sit in that command chair - that was where the ambition should lead. But think about it directly, that was certainly something he had never done as of yet. "I think I would be foolish to say that I wasn't but i don't see my current journey as seeking that centre chair, my current journey is exploring and learning and discovering what is out there. Do we truly ever know where our paths may lead us?" he answered back rhetorically as he pondered the question further. "But to be direct, yes, I guess my career is working towards that goal of becoming a commanding officer, having my own ship, leading my own crew and making those tough decisions that could come at a heavy price to people." He paused, took a deep breath and smiled. The question still took him by surprise, as he finished his response, he was wondering if this new commanding officer saw him as a threat to his own position on the ship, a potential applicant to start a mutiny perhaps - he soon shook the thought out of his head respecting his commander to never feel that way about a member of the crew.

The conversation was beginning to become... a little too philosophical for Harvey's taste. Pulling it back a little closer to home, he said, "And that's why we must be careful about mistakes. It's one matter to make them, and another to make them known or be terribly flippant in their regard to others."

He tightened the clasping of his hands. "One of the greatest things to consider, especially this early in a career is word choice. A wise captain once said that risk is part of the game when it comes to sitting in the center chair. We, therefore, should concern ourselves not so much as making mistakes, a willingness to make sacrifices from which to learn later, but instead to take acceptable risks to preserve the lives under our command."

This conversation was in fact a risk on Harvey's part. This would be his first run in the center chair, not the second chair. According to the idiom, the buck stopped with Harvey. He left his medical career behind long ago for a pursuit of the center chair. Harvey wanted to make the Black Hawk his permanent home for as long as Starfleet would allow it, and it meant forming together a powerhouse team, if not with only what Starfleet felt best for his starting lineup.

Armani was too recognising how in depth and philosophical this conversation with his new commander was becoming. Eager to get started he decided to change the flow of the conversation. "The Black Hawk then, sir. She is a fine ship of which I am sure will serve her purpose in the Gamma Quadrant. How would you like me to get started, sir" he asked his new commander.

"Getting settled is the best way to start," Harvey replied, hoping Armani had been receptive so far. "Make sure you're familiar with the specs and such, and a couple training simulations may not hurt. That would also include our runabouts and such."

Harvey unclasped his hands and reclaimed his tea. "I would also recommend that you put in some time with Engineering and Operations, at least Operations. Flying a ship is one thing. Knowing how they run is another matter entirely."

Armani made a mental note of the people that he needed to spend some time with before the ship left for the gamma quadrant. "Understood, sir" Armani replied to the commander, "is there anything else that I need to be aware of?"

"Just this," Harvey replied, taking a sip of his tea. "Welcome aboard, Lieutenant. I look forward to our serving together."

Armani stood the chair he had been gracefully offered and smiled at the Commander. "Off to work I go then, Sir, Thank you for your warm welcome" Ross said as he stood and walked from the ready room.

Joint Post

Lt Commander H. Geisler
Officer Commanding


Lieutenant (JG) R. Armani
Flight Control Chief


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