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Part of USS Steamrunner: Logistical Support of Bajor


Federation space, en route to DS9
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More than a week had passed since the USS Steamrunner had beamed up the supplies from Tychon IV and had headed out across Federation Space, with Deep Space 9 as their destination. Beyond a few minor course corrections, nothing else had happened during those seven days. No anomalous sensor readings, no communiques from Starfleet or pissed off Admirals, not even any personality conflicts with the crew. Nope, all in all, it had been rather boring. 

That is, until the door chime had sounded to the Ready Room in which Tim sat in. “Come in,” he said, knowing it would not be more than one person; the room was simply too small to fit more than one guest in there at a time.

As the doors parted, Lieutenant Commander Rose stepped in. “Good afternoon, sir. Not interrupting anything, am I,” she asked, sitting down in the chair without waiting for approval, or even a greeting.

“Would you care if you were, Amanda?”

She smiled. “Not even in the slightest.” She shifted in the chair, letting her left arm hang over the back of the chair, and crossed her right leg over her left, essentially sitting on only one cheek of her backside. “I need to talk to you.”

Coleman blinked. That sentence was never a good sign. Never. “Uh oh. What’s up?” He shifted in his own chair, moving his body so that he was focused solely on her.

“I’ve been offered a job,” she said, cryptically. “And I think I’m going to take it.” She figured there was no use trying to be gentle about it.

Coleman sat back in his chair. “Wow. Well, first, congratulations on the offer. What ship,” he asked, assuming she was going to be reassigned at Deep Space 9 when they arrived. He was sad to see her go, but glad she would be getting out from the stigma that was the Steamrunner, and the stain that was Tim Coleman. She deserved better, even though she also had made a mistake all those years ago. Still, he thought she had paid for the sins of her past with interest, so the move was absolutely a good one.

“No ship. Not even in Starfleet, hence why I came to talk to you. I want to resign my commission as soon as we have docked and secured all stations at Deep Space 9.” This was the moment she had been dreading all day, and now that it was out, it felt like a Sovereign-class starship had been lifted off her shoulders. She felt calm, at peace. It surprised her greatly, actually.

Coleman whistled through his teeth. “That is a big step, Amanda. Are you sure,” Tim asked, intertwining his fingers on the desk.

She thought for the briefest of moments, then slowly nodded her head. “Yeah, I am. I mean, look, my career is in shambles. I’ll never get promoted beyond Lieutenant Commander, and I know you have tried.” Coleman nodded at this. “And forget about ever being a commanding officer of my own ship, let alone the coveted Captain rank. No Tim, I’m sure. As much as I love Starfleet, unfortunately the love is not reciprocated. Sometimes you just have to break up and move your separate ways, right?” It was a rhetorical question.

Coleman raised his eyebrows up, then let them fall back to a natural resting place, the human non-verbal cue that he agreed with her. “So what job did you get offered?”

Amanda saw the facial expression and smiled a little, knowing he really couldn’t say much more on it. The fact that he let her see that was, in itself, telling. She appreciated him for that. In his way, he was making this easier. “I got offered to be the Senior Operations Executive at Terran Metallurgical Research Institute on Earth. It falls right in line with my training and specialty, plus it is rather prestigious. I was quite surprised when I got the subspace yesterday from their recruiter in Personnel Resources.”

“Wow, that really is a great offer, Amanda,” he exclaimed, and meant it. “Congratulations again.” He sat back in his chair, and though his words were hollow, he had to say them anyways.  “Is there anything I can do to convince you to stay aboard the Steamrunner, and in Starfleet? Remember, Starfleet needs all her officers, and the Federation needs everyone to serve for the greater good.” It was the typical re-enlistment speech given when someone was thinking about getting out, or their time was about up.

Amanda smiled again, knowing he had to say those words. “No sir, but thank you for the offer, and thank you for the opportunity to serve, and to stay, should I choose.” Like what he said, she needed to say this. It was, in effect, the closing of the book for her.

“Very well,” Coleman said, leaning forward. “Resignation accepted. As soon as we have docked with Deep Space 9 and all stations are secured, your service to Starfleet will be at an end. We will miss you, Commander, and I will miss you more than all.”

Despite herself, tears welled up in her eyes. Quickly wiping them away, she stood. “Thank you, Captain. For everything.” 

There was nothing more to be said. She turned and left the office. Suddenly the tiny closet pretending to be an office for the Commanding Officer felt so much more cavernous than it ever had. Almost empty. In just two and a half days, they would be at Deep Space 9 to offload the cargo and passengers they had, before heading back to Teylos IV for their second of three runs, sans Executive Officer Amanda Rose. 

He would need to start searching for a new Executive Officer immediately.