Part of USS Achilles Archive: It Resides in the Purview of the Diplomats

So, Here We Are

Captain's Ready Room
August 1st, 2347
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Claudia crossed the bridge and gave several of the officers there a friendly nod before stepping up to the door. She pressed the door chime and shoved her hands into the pockets of her white lab coat while she waited for the Captain to invite her in.

Inside the private office on the edge of the bridge, Captain Nazir was hard at work, reading through countless data PADDs as she tried to get a handle on what was left to come personnel wise. She had much to do to try and get a final, complete crew in place for their mission. It was during her search for crew that the door chime interrupted her again.

“Enter!” the captain beckoned from within.

Claudia entered the ready room with a motherly smile, “Good morning captain.”

“Doctor,” the captain nodded to the visitor, “what can I do for you?”

Claudia took in the younger woman for a moment, “Actually I was going to ask if there was anything I could do for you.  You look…” She hesitated searching for the right word.  “You look mildly discomposed. Command can be stressful at times.”

“The burden of command,” Keziah smirked, looking somewhat sheepish as she relaxed back into her chair and gestured for the doctor to take a seat opposite her. “I’ve got a billion people who want to join this ship, and a dozen or so positions left to fill. I’ve got a new XO who I’m not sure I can trust and a mission that…” she shook her head with a sigh, “well, let’s just say it is going to be far from easy.”

Claudia considered the captain’s comments for a moment.   Drawing out a wooden box, stained a dark red-brown, from her lab coat she set it on the desk and slid it to Keziah. “Aldeveron black-tea.  It doesn’t have caffeine like most teas, and contains a low dose of the same chemical used to treat anxiety. Plus it’s chock full of antioxidants,  and trace essential vitamins. And why would you feel you cannot trust our new XO? Is it her illustrious past in the JAG Corps or something else?  You wouldn’t be the first officer to find discomfort from officers of that particular branch.”

“She wasn’t my choice,” the Captain told the chief medical officer with a shrug, “I had no say in her appointment, and that’s not something I like. I don’t like command messing around with my ship,” she responded as she graciously picked up the tea and walked over to her replicator to get some water for her new beverage. “Every other person on this ship I have had some say about, but not her. It makes me think she could be a plant.”

“Then I am grateful for the opportunity that you have given me. Not many captain’s would be willing to give someone old enough to be their great-grandmother a chance. I am for that matter.”  She sat down and folded her boney hands into her lap. “It has been my observation that few people are irredeemable,  and things always work out the way they are supposed to, if not in an ill-timed manner. Call it fate if you will.  Many don’t like that.  It takes their decisions out of the equation and hands them off to some cosmic ebb and flow of events… or a diety if you will.  If our friend is a plant what are your concerns, beyond not having a say?”

“If she is infernal repairs, or JAG, or whatever,” Nazir always told jokes when she was uncomfortable, “then that suggests there is something wrong, or they perceive that there is something wrong, on this ship already,” she frowned, 

“Well, Captain I have monopolized enough of your time.  If you need anything you know where to find me,” Claudia rose and stood at a loose attention out of respect for her commanding officer waiting for the order to be dismissed. 

Nazir appreciated having a sounding board, and in the absence of a counsellor (for the moment at least), the much older woman was as good as anyone. “Thank you Doctor, you’re free to go,” the Trill smirked as she nodded to the woman in thanks.

Claudia gave her a warm smile, turned and headed for the door.  At their parting she paused,  “Back in the day, a ship’s counselor was unheard of.  I have filled that role many times, though. Not that I’m saying that you need such a thing, just that that resource is there for you and the the crew should you, or they, find that they need it.”  And with that Claudia was gone. She was surprisingly nimble for someone of her age.