Part of USS Ulysses: Season 1 Episode 1: On the Precipice of Greatness

Resisting Change

USS Santa Fe, Starbase Bravo Dockyards
August 1st, 2399
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Javorian stepped out of the turbolift with a determined look on his face, one might even say a certain fire in his eyes. In his left hand, he held the padd he’d transferred his latest communique onto. Approaching the ready room doors he reached out and pressed the chime to request admittance. Standing and waiting his mind was still racing, spinning even, as it attempted to process the information he’d received. There was no way he was just going to accept it. He couldn’t. His sense of duty, honor, and frankly comfort weren’t going to just fold and let him do it.

Finally, after what felt like an eternity, the doors parted and allowed him entry into the executive officer’s inner sanctum. Approaching the desk he spoke, “I am very sorry to bother you, ma’am, but may I speak to you about something?” he asked.

Peering over the top of the large data PADD in her hand, the antennae of the Andorian dropped slightly with concern as the ship’s head of sciences approached her. She’d been in the room for a little while, carrying out a few administrative tasks since she had welcomed the new Captain aboard, but she hadn’t expected to see anyone else for a while. “Of course Lieutenant,” Tharia eventually smiled as she sat forward in her chair and lowered the PADD she had been holding onto the desk gently. Holding out an elegant arm, she gestured to the vacant sofa chairs opposite her.

Javorian sat in the closest chair and leaned forward. “About an hour ago, just as I was starting lunch in the mess hall, this arrived at the terminal in my quarters. I found it about fifteen minutes ago,” he said, showing the woman the screen of the padd he’d carried where his transfer orders were plainly visible.

“I wanted to ask you if there was anything at all we can do to remedy this? I know I’ve only been aboard the Santa Fe for a few months, but this ship has become home, and I’ve come to understand you, and the way you expect things to be done. I’ve also come to think of you, in many ways, as a friend. That’s not even mentioning all the work I have going on. Unless I absolutely have no choice in the matter I must protest my reassignment…” he added, his voice obviously agitated.

Tharia’s brow furrowed as she reached out for the data PADD and took possession of it. After a few moments of reading the contents, she let out a sigh and tossed the data recording device onto the desk, leaning back in frustration. “We’ve been given a new commanding officer,” she frowned, “he’s making his mark felt,” she sighed. Rising from her chair, the Andorian walked towards the replicator on the side wall of her private quarters, stopping to ask if her visitor wanted anything.

Javorian nodded, “Coffee, two sugars, and amaretto cream,” he replied.

After speaking to the replicator, the Commander looked back at her friend and colleague. “In fairness, it’s a fantastic opportunity for you. The Nogura is a Sovereign-class starship, with an excellent commander. They’re headed out into the wilderness, the great unknown… that’s every science officer’s dream isn’t it?”

“Ordinarily I’d say yes, but not in this case. I just got here. I just got settled in. And I’ve got so much work already going on. Plus, I’m sure you’ve noticed it can take a while for me to really get comfortable with people, and I’ve started building bonds here. I don’t want that all thrown away because Command seems to think this ship needs some shaking up. It’s not fair to anyone involved,” Javorian retorted, fully aware of the fact that the last part seemed more than a little petulant.

Reaching out to take the cup the Andorian woman brought back with her he leaned back in his chair and took a sip before continuing. “I’m sorry, Commander. I know I’m more upset than I should be, and I know it’s unfair to bring this to you like this, but I guess I was just grasping at straws…” he said.

“I’m not sure it’s a case of shaking us up, I just think the Captain is trying to blend new people with the current staff at his disposal,” the Commander shrugged as she sat back with her cup of raktajino gripped firmly between her hands. “I can understand why you are upset Javorian, and I’m not exactly pleased about it myself!” she smirked before taking a sip of her warm beverage. “I am grateful you want to stay here, and are so passionate about it. I’ll speak with the Captain and let him know that your presence is mission-critical,” she smiled from behind the steaming drink.

“Thank you,” Javorian replied, exhaling a breath he hadn’t even known he’d been holding. “I apologize for the comment about shaking us up, it was simply the first thing that came to mind when I was so upset. This is a good ship, with a good crew, and no shake-up would be necessary,” he added.

“No apology necessary,” Tharia smiled as she held up a hand in protest before taking a sip of her beverage, “and I agree with you entirely.”

Taking a longer sip of the warm coffee she’d brought him he sighed, “The replicators on this ship get this just right. My last posting was not so lucky. I actually had to switch to tea, and I think that was done on purpose because the ship’s XO hated even the smell of coffee,” he said with a slight chuckle, finally relaxing from the more agitated state he’d been in. “While I’m here is there anything at all you’d like to discuss about my role in the mission going forward?”

“Actually, Jovarian, there is,” the Commander sat forward and placed her cup down. She began to rummage through a small pile of data PADDs on her desk until she had her ‘eureka’ moment and found the very one she was looking for. “As you can tell from reading this, I hadn’t planned on you departing. I know you’ve never really shown any interest, but I feel like this is the obvious next step for you,” she slid the data PADD across the desk, a huge grin on her face. “This is my official request to Captain Farrell, that he consider you occupying the role of Second Officer aboard the Santa Fe.”

Javorian sat back, eyes slightly wide, and quickly blinking in surprise. He took a few moments staring at the PADD, and looking up to the woman’s face, back and forth, before he was able to respond. “I would be honored, ma’am,” he finally said, smiling. “Sorry for the delay, I was just a bit shocked. I had no idea I was even being considered,” he added.

“You have a bit to learn about command, but who doesn’t?” she smirked, “You have the potential to be a fine command-level officer, with training and experience. You could get that elsewhere, even at the Command Academy, but I thought it more beneficial if you did it in a familiar environment where, if you are agreeable, I could mentor you?” she suggested hopefully. Even though she had lost a number of her trusted colleagues, Javorian was one she was more than happy to keep with her and was, in her eyes, a logical choice.

“I am more than agreeable. You’ve shown yourself to be a very competent officer and an exemplary leader. Add in my comfort level with you and I feel that it would be a very agreeable arrangement we can both benefit from,” Javorian replied.

“Excellent,” the Andorian grinned as she took ownership of the PADD once again, “I’ll speak with the Captain… and hopefully you’ll be able to consider these transfer orders null and void,” she told with a satisfied grin.

Standing Javorian took the offered hand and shook it firmly, “Thank you, Commander. I’ll wait to hear confirmation from the Captain then…”

“I’ve submitted the list for your approval sir,” Tharia nodded, shuffling from side to side on her feet as she glared down at the Captain who was looking at her data PADD. “Noli will make an excellent Tactical Officer, and Zinn will be a perfect addition to the crew in sickbay,” the Andorian continued whilst watching the man for any sign of approval or not.

Eventually, the Captain let out a satisfied smile. “Good, excellent. I’ll submit this to command and have the necessary personnel transfer aboard as soon as is practicable,” Farrell nodded, sliding the PADD onto his pile of things to do in the immediate future.

“There was one more thing,” the Commander spoke up, her antennae standing as if on tiptoes, unsure of what the Captain might think of her next move, “Lieutenant Commander Travis; our Chief Science Officer. You’ve slated him for transfer,” the Andorian began. The move drew the Captain’s gaze upwards.

“Oh? And what about him?” the Captain queried, his hands steepled together as he regarded the woman carefully. How this interaction went now would tell him everything he needed to know about their new dynamic. When they had served together in the past, they had been colleagues, but now he was her superior and unsure of how she might act.

“I honestly think his transfer is a mistake, sir. If anything, the man shows clear potential worthy of consideration for second officer,” she responded somewhat boldly. On the outside, she looked as cold as the exterior of her homeworld, but on the inside her heart was racing. Standing up to your new captain in the first few hours of their command was, she thought, well… one could insert any appropriate adjective, but she felt it was right, and that was all that mattered.

“Are you questioning my decisions, Commander?” with a lowered tone about his voice, the Captain slowly, and purposefully, used his hands to push himself up from his chair.

Tharia took a deep breath and steeled herself. “Not questioning your orders, sir. Just offering alternatives so you can make the best informed judgements you can, as the job as executive officer requires,” she concluded.

Sebastian glared at her for several moments, apparently taking in every blemish on her blue skin, until his demeanour thawed. “Consider his transfer cancelled. I was never really set on it anyway, but command wanted some Vulcan brought in instead,” Farrell shrugged as he returned to his seat. “It takes a good executive officer to stand up for their crew, especially to a new captain. Drayton was clearly right about you,” the Commander nodded sagely, “inform Travis of his promotion to second officer and let him know he doesn’t have to pack up his experiments and stuff just yet.” the Captain winked, by means of dismissal.

“As you wish, Captain,” the Andorian nodded swiftly before doing an about turn and exiting the ready room she had temporarily claimed prior to his arrival. Once the door was closed behind her, she left out a sigh and her stance visibly relaxed. Being put through your paces was one thing, but this man seemed to almost enjoy it. He’d changed since they had served together, but at least he was open to her advice.

If he could identify that she would be a good executive officer, then she could identify that, for now, he seemed like he might just make a good commander.