Part of Starbase Bravo: Sundered Wings and Bravo Fleet: Sundered Wings

The Babysitters’ Club

Cadet Management Offices, Starbase Bravo
May 2400
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“You want us to do what?” Callahan said before he could stop himself, and the closest to salvaging the situation was to add an inadequately-apologetic, “Sir.”

Lieutenant Rykeen, one of the supervisors from the Mellstoxx campus assigned to oversee the cadets living and working on the starbase, gave a tired raise of the eyebrow. “It’s a routine training mission. We have a selection of cadets who, after their last simulated exercise, would benefit from a live situation where they might be less inclined to play, shall we say, fast-and-loose. A simple survey operation by runabout should give them some low-stakes responsibility.”

“But not too much responsibility,” Callahan pressed on, “because you want Ensign Connolly and me there.”

Rykeen clasped his hands on the desk and gave Callahan and Connolly both an insincere smile. “You’ve been considered a good fit,” he said, and declined to explain if this was a sign of their superiors’ trust in them, or a suggestion they, too, needed to prove their mettle. “As I said. It’s a simple survey operation. Get them some hands-on experience managing the runabout’s systems, give them a long rein in planning and deciding the surveying. You have the star charts and headings and protocols. Any questions?”

Yeah, why me? That was the first thought that occurred to Connolly, but he immediately pushed it down. Callahan’s attitude had already placed them on thin ice with the Lieutenant, more attitude from Connolly would only make things worse and as the most junior officer in the room, he’d be first to feel a boot in his ass. “None from me, sir.” Connolly’s resigned tone probably didn’t do him any favours but he couldn’t mask it.

“Then you have your mission plan and your orders.” Rykeen smiled like he was doing them a favour, and the favour was a box of snakes. “Dismissed.”

They were out in the corridor before Callahan spoke again, throwing his hands in the air. “Who’d we piss off?” While the question was rhetorical, a look of slow-dawning horror crept across his expression, and he gave Connolly a quick look. “You didn’t do something that’s got back to Captain Horin, did you? Good or bad?” It wasn’t beyond imagination that this was some staff member’s idea of a reward.

“No.” Connolly replied indignantly, which was immediately replaced by self-doubt. “At least, I don’t think so.” How eyes narrowed when a thought struck him. “How do we know this has anything to do with me? Maybe you’re the reason we’re here, though I don’t understand how we’ve been tied together on this. We don’t have much interaction in the course of our day-to-day duties.”

“None of these kids are really Security,” Callahan agreed, studying his PADD. “So I really don’t know why I’m here. Rank? Maybe I really annoyed the Old Man and he decided to teach me a lesson. But he wouldn’t be coy.” He sighed and ran a hand through his hair. “We must have got ourselves into this mess separately. Damn. So more important, how do we get out of it? I don’t mean land ourselves in Sickbay so we can’t, but I’m kind of open to ideas…”

Connolly wasn’t sure which idea he hated more; supervising the cadets or an injury painful enough to land them in Sickbay. “We could get you drunk.” The tactical officer offered. “They can’t send us off to supervise cadets if you can’t stand up unaided.” He would have suggested they both get drunk but he decided that was too big a risk for him.

“Why do I have to be the one who gets into hot water? And if that goes wrong, you end up supervising them alone,” Callahan pointed out, and made a face. “I think the only thing worse than doing this, is doing this without backup.” He sighed. “Maybe we can use this to let you show off your leadership acumen, or something. They have to think you got something in you to sign us up for babysitting four cadets.”

The thought of supervising the cadets without support sent a chill down Connolly’s spine, causing him to visibly shudder. “Y’know what? Your right. Let’s not look at this as a punishment but as an opportunity. We’ll take these cadets out on their little excursion, make a good impression and maybe some higher up will look favourably upon us.”

Despite committing to the mission being his idea, Callahan laughed and clapped Connolly on the back. “That’s what I like about you, Aiden. You’re the perennial optimist.” Chuckling, he shook his head, and his gaze turned a shade more sincere. “Nah, seriously. We’re taking some cadets on a routine survey mission so they can feel like they’re wearing grown-up shoes doing something mundane. How bad can it get?”

Comments

  • Extremely enjoyable back and forth between these two, and I really love how taking charge of just four cadets is being billed like a matter of (almost) life and death terror for them. The stakes are high! It's easy to see that both of them are still uncomfortable with command, and that makes it perfect to have them placed into a position of command. It reminds me a bit of Paris and Kim in the dynamic and the humor, with the clear foreshadowing that some sort of hijinks will ensue on the training mission (but probably the kind that is a learning experience for everyone involved). Looking forward to reading more of this!

    June 4, 2022
  • Extremely enjoyable back and forth between these two, and I really love how taking charge of just four cadets is being billed like a matter of (almost) life and death terror for them. The stakes are high! It's easy to see that both of them are still uncomfortable with command, and that makes it perfect to have them placed into a position of command. It reminds me a bit of Paris and Kim in the dynamic and the humor, with the clear foreshadowing that some sort of hijinks will ensue on the training mission (but probably the kind that is a learning experience for everyone involved). Looking forward to reading more of this!

    June 4, 2022
  • This was fun! Two young officers both trying to figure out either what they did wrong or did right to land this duty so they can avoid it in the future, but also how to try and get out of it right here and now, both knowing that's not a good idea. The logical path of doubt, avoidance, and then settling for 'this is a good thing' all makes sense and I'm sure more than a few of us have had this conversation pathway at some point. I'm looking forward to more from these two!

    June 5, 2022