It was decidedly odd, T’Ren thought, to be working alone in Commander Enigma’s office. Even a month of working with the Commander had led to a rhythm to the space – Enigma’s brilliant energy amplified by Ensign Li Ling’s understanding of how the Commander thought, meeting the T’Ren’s own cool pragmatism. They found a balance between them that made them all more efficient.
Lacking that balance left T’Ren herself feeling a bit adrift, moreso because she had come to value Li Ling’s insights on duty rosters greatly. Ensign Halv from Logistics was handling the rosters now, and while he was very good, he didn’t have Li Ling’s instincts for the ways social dynamics could impact the efficiency of the station’s work.
Command was T’Ren’s goal, but two days running day-to-day operations on Roosevelt without Enigma or Li Ling left her deeply aware that she was still short the experience necessary to hold it effectively.
“Commander T’Ren to Ops,” came the call, and T’Ren put her PADD aside, rose, and stepped from the office to take her place in the thronelike command chair in the station’s heart.
“Report,” she said.
The Bajoran lieutenant who had been holding the shift – Barlan Vo – was at one of the consoles on the lower tier. “USS Kent is on approach, ETA twenty minutes,” she said. “Captain Tatsu has requested permission to come aboard immediately on their arrival, and Captain Suter has requested shore passes for the crew.”
“Granted,” T’Ren said. “Shore passes will begin once the ship’s arrival is processed.” She rose to her feet. “Page Commander Kron to meet me at the Long Shaft.
Upper Transporter Room
Nervousness was an emotion, too, T’Ren reminded herself, and it would be unbecoming of both a Vulcan and a Starfleet officer to check the shine on her commbadge again before the new CO arrived. Still, she felt a need to fill the silence with something. “Your department’s work on the archaea from the Sanctuary hot springs…”
Kron smiled at the prompt. “It goes well. We have identified two unique protein sequences in the microbes, one of which appears to interfere with the propogation of viruses native to the planet. It could be a weapon against the leaf rot.”
Then they both fell silent as the transporter whined, its green light filling the room briefly before coalescing into a figure. T’Ren regarded the newcomer, forcing the surprise away from her face.
Captain Erika Marie Tatsu was a quietly stunning sight to see, compellingly beautiful yet immediately wrong. Her skin was a pale grey given only the slightest hint of human pink by the blood flowing under it, and her eyes and long hair were only a shade darker, a slight blueish tint making her hair color utterly unique in T’Ren’s experience. At a glance, her figure was pleasing to look at, but a longer look revealed arms and legs a centimeter or so too long, too slender, too powerful for how slender they were. Over her right eye rested a long Borg implant tinted in gold with four violet lights shining in a row, and another web of gold cybernetics ran over the impossible skin of her left hand.
When she spoke, her voice was melodic and profoundly human, bearing a hint of San Francisco’s Starfleet-infused accent. “At ease.” She stepped down off the pad with a long stride. “I am Captain Erika Marie Tatsu. It’s a pleasure to work with you.”
It took T’Ren an instant longer than usual to respond. “Lieutenant Commander T’Ren, Executive Officer of Roosevelt Station. And this is Kron, son of Kator, our Science Officer.”
Kron nodded his greeting, and Tatsu’s cold eyes regarded him for a long moment. “I met your father once, Commander, before his death at Starbase 72. The stories he told…”
“My father’s stories helped me learn who I am, Captain,” Kron said. “And that there are battlefields more complex than any fought with disruptors and swords.”
“Then you learned a good lesson,” Tatsu said. “Now, come… I believe I will need help learning my way around Ops.”