Part of USS Europa: And the Cradle Will Fall

The Principal’s Dean

USS Europa, Administration Section
MD02 - 0801
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She knew she was late, the time it took to convince the Chief Engineer, get her signature of approval, locate and find the Head of the Science Department speak to the Head of the Science Department, get their signature of approval, locate and find this Commander Forrest that she was ordered to bring her report to…took longer than she wanted it to take. But she knew the Chief Engineer was busy, so she didn’t want to step on her toes any more than needed, thus why she got stuck waiting for almost half an hour to prove her tweaks will work. Suppose she could have gone and found Commander Price while she waited, but the fact remains, they’re not in the Badlands yet, she is absolutely positive that they will find the ship faster, save those lives, and go home happy. A minute late or two to hand in her report ain’t going to change that.

She arrived at where Commander Forrest was then, at least what the Computer told her when she asked, and took a deep breath to relax herself, as well as suppress her Klingon side with the urge to snap her PADD in half. The stress of her poor time management was on her. Having to explain her work for the third time, that she has yet to blame for that stress. She pressed the chime button and waited patiently, likely going to add another minute to her tardiness.

“Enter!”

Akira took a second longer to make sure she was proper before inching forward for the door sensor to remember she was there, and that the command to enter was recognized and walla, door opened. She stepped through but stopped inside, door closed behind her and waited patiently.

Forrest had commandeered an office in the ship’s administrative section, connected to a work area shared by most of the ship’s command and operations yeomen. It was a place where they could rest between assignments, as well as coordinate when more than one person was necessary to finish a particular task. In addition to the office, Forrest had also commandeered one of the yeomen themselves, transferring reports with him between physical PADDs and a holographic display floating over the desk.

“That’s low priority. I’ll have him look at it later,” Forrest noted to the yeoman, before glancing up to where Rowe was standing. “Need something?”

Not surprised the operations yeoman got snagged to be this guys secretary but she wasn’t going to say anything, even though she would never make a yeoman work for her. But that’s just her.

She stepped forward, pulled out the PADD she had tucked away under her arm and held it out to him for him to take. “My report on the modifications and tweaks I made to increase the sensors’ efficiency. As well as my calculations, and two signatures from the Chief Engineering Officer and the Chief Science Officer of approval.” She waited for him to take it before clasping her hands together behind her against the small of her back.

Forrest glanced at the report and then back up at the lieutenant. “Were you asked to consult with engineering or science, Lieutenant?” he asked, before scrolling through the report. “The task was simple: a report on what you’ve altered.”

She frowned for a moment when he said that, then returned her face to being expressionless, despite how annoyed she was already becoming. “I apologize for going the extra mile in my report, sir. But I don’t half-ass my reports and just trying to be a team player, sir.”

“Yeoman, take these new charts to the captain. He’ll be in the briefing room,” Forrest ordered, ignoring Rowe for a moment and handing the young man two large-format PADDs with the latest stellar cartography data on them.

The yeoman looked between the two officers, and then grabbed the reports–obviously eager to find somewhere else to be for the rest of their meeting. Forrest waited until the doors closed behind him before focusing his eyes back on the operations officer.

“That’s an impressive amount of words for a question that should’ve been answered either ‘yes, sir’ or ‘no, sir,’ Lieutenant. And given that you apologized, I’m sure you understand the answer I was looking for was ‘no, sir?'” Forrest asked, leaning back on the desk and crossing his arms. “I suppose you know better than a fleet captain, as well?”

She saw the look on the yeoman’s face and felt the same feeling. But she did not have the luxury to just leave. She could, but that would only make matters worse. But after the yeoman left and after what Commander Forrest said, the matter is already going to get worse.

The moment she wanted to say that she didn’t realize that they were suppose to act like a bunch of drones, and the next time she sees him, she’ll remember to do so for him but she just squeezed her wrist that had the scar to remind herself of her training. Though she did wonder, ‘We back in the Academy now? What crawled up his rear and died?’

“No, sir.”

“Do you know what my job is, Lieutenant? Besides sifting through a few hundred intelligence reports a day and looking great doing it? I deal with the bullshit that Captain Logan doesn’t have time for,” Forrest replied, with a smirk. “If you were confident in your modifications, you didn’t need to bring them up, but you did it to brag. And it piqued his interest enough to have me double-check your work because all he knows about you is that you’re a junior lieutenant who’s ‘improved’ critical systems.”

Forrest paused briefly.

“I happen to know that this is also your sixth ship in less than two years, so maybe next time, just provide what you’re asked for. Assuming we survive the Badlands, he is not going to be your captain for very long, but he is going to be the boss of whoever is, so here’s some free advice about the Fleet Captain: he wants you to follow your training, Starfleet regulations, and his orders to the letter, so that when it is time to test the limits, he knows what the variables are.”

There was a beat.

“Understood?”

The urge to punch a superior ass was high, so high that she had to dig her nails into the palms of her hands while balling them up into fists. Then she relaxed and started to take apart what he said that was all wrong. “Permission to speak freely, sir.”

“Sure. I could use a laugh.”

“So that’s why you’re so full of shit. I didn’t bring it up in the Briefing Room to brag, I brought it up because of the fact it was a critical system, a system we will be needing to find that ship, hopefully quicker so we can get them and get out of the Badlands sooner rather than later. And I was taught by other Heads before me to say it rather than leave it as a surprise, because no one likes surprises. But if you don’t want the modifications, then order me to remove them!” If her glare were a weapon, she be burning holes into his skull.

“And you don’t look so great sifting through intelligence reports when you got it all wrong. I didn’t leave those other assignments by bragging and being disobedient, matter of fact, you can ask my former Captains and Heads on that question and they’ll set the record straight. I left them on personal reasons, reasons that no one has the business to know. And if that’s not good enough for you, then demote me, remove me from Head of Operations. I don’t even know why I got it in the first place because I never got the chance to ask the last Captain before he left!! But clearly it was a mistake!” She quietly took a deep breath, having used all her energy to resist from yelling at the top of her lungs had taken all the air out. Unfortunately, she couldn’t stop herself from visibly rubbing the scar around her right wrist. Why did it itch so much?

More quietly and calm, “Am I dismissed?” She asked. Whatever the repercussions would be, she’ll take it but she wasn’t going to be bullied by this jerk who was so wrong. And she didn’t want to stay anymore and be asked about the scar, one everyone always asks about.

“Yes, you’ve wasted more than enough of my time. Get out,” Forrest replied, turning his back on the lieutenant to get back to his reports.