Lieutenant Carson had completed his third after action review of the day, having tied up a holodeck for his department’s training purposes without a break. First was his security team, then a tactical exercise, and finally a solo run with James throwing variety of scenarios where he may have to lead the defense of the ship against the entity. Deep down he knew all but the tactical exercise weren’t exactly necessary; there was no likely scenario where his security officers would take on their foe, that didn’t mean things had gone extraordinarily terrible. And, the final stretch of exercises really did little more than to placate his own insecurities.
Truth be told; he was in so far over his head he couldn’t see the surface by a mile. His career had been stellar, but nothing he’d done came close to this. The fact that it was a very real possibility that Jame’s first action as Chief Tactical Officer would be a fight against the closest thing to a mythical beast there could be, well, it wasn’t a good time to be his nervous system.
The Lieutenant in question stepped into his quarters, waiting for the doors to close behind him before letting out a noise not unlike an untied balloon flying around the room. He stared at the viewscreen on the wall, having entered in his message, letting out a much calmer sigh before executing the command. The response was quicker than he expected, although James didn’t expect to be left waiting long anyway.
A man appeared on the screen, similar to himself but older, and with Captain pips where his meager pip and a half sat. The man smiled, “Jay! Isn’t it past your past your bed time?”
“Good Evening, Sir!” James snapped off a perfect, but yet somehow patronizing salute. “No, Sir! The work never ends for us junior officers. A man of your age.. Stature, I mean, I thought you’d want to be well rested for tea and golf with the admiralty in the morning.”
Captain Andrew Carson couldn’t help but laugh at his little brother. “Oh, little Jay. Remind me to send my condolences to Captain Plase. I should have warned him you were coming.” His smile wained slightly. “How are things?”
“Could be better.” Jay sat down, trying to hide how tired he truly felt, but explaining the situation.
“You’re not the first member of the ‘Fleet to feel like the weight of the universe weighs on your shoulders. And, like any good Officer, your universe is your ship. Your crew.” Andrew nodded knowingly, his own career starting in much more humble beginnings but forged through conflict, struggle, and loss. “James, do your job. That’s all anyone will ever ask of you. Do it well, and your ship will be in good hands.”
The junior Carson matched the nod. He felt like a little boy again, looking up to his big brother like a superhero. The memory of watching his sibling graduate from the Starfleet Technical Services Academy, he knew that one day he’d follow in his footsteps. That day had come, but he still admired the man no less. “Thanks, bro. I will.”
The conversation continued, catching up, the fleet, family, hobbies, but little more about the mission. They stalled until inevitable end of the conversation was at hand, “It was good to hear from you, Jay. We’ll talk soon. Take care of your business, and maybe next time you’ll call just to chat.”
James smiled. “Isn’t that what this was?” He responded with a smirk. “I know you’d be worried, Captain.”
The aforementioned Captain rolled his eyes, “Yea, you bet, Lieutenant. And if you salute me again I’ll personally nail that hand to my wall. Goodnight, fella.”
James raised his hand in a salute-like motion, before turning the gesture into a wave. “Goodnight.”
The screen went blank and Carson sighed again, but this time there was relief, and he had a job to do.
Lieutenant, Junior Grade James Carson
Chief Security/Tactical Officer, USS Cygnus