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Part of USS Thyanis: Acts of Mercy

Prelude to Aid: Etan

Stationed nearby the Iota Geminorum system, Beta Quadrant Stardate
Stardate 77708.44
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USS Thyanis Ready Room

“Cadet.” Kurios lifted his mug in greeting as he studied the PADD on his desk.

“Good morning, sir.” The Romulan gave a nod before placing her own PADD upon the desk in front of her. “I have reports from engineering and from the helmsman for you to sign off on, sir.”

The Trill officer took a deep and long drink from his mug. “Can I get you anything? The replicator makes a pretty decent raktajino, and there is a surprising number of teas as well.”

“Sir?”

Cimojzen Kurios placed the cup down with a loud clack. “As you have said in the past, we have a small crew. You, meanwhile, have been pacing around the deck like an especially nervous acturian dog-bird. That is a species, you will note, that are quite renowned for their rather chaotic nature. Which means,” he motioned to the PADD, “either you have some very good news or some very bad news. Moreover, I deduced from your typically shining expression that you have some very, very bad news. Am I correct, cadet?”

“Ensign Puhr already discovered a leak in engineering, sir. She and a small team of engineers are working to resolve the problem.”

“And yet, you are sitting in my office, instead of shuffling off to file more reports, to hassle the engineering team, or finding additional ways to thrill and excite the crew.”

The Cadet stared at her Trill Commander in disbelief. The man gave her a cocksure smile, but there was little warmth in his eyes. The ensign’s eyes seemed to pierce through Etan as she struggled with her emotions. This ship and this posting had been somewhat different than she had expected. While she had been more than capable in her previous position dealing in Logistics, she was out of sorts here. She had never met a commissioned officer as frustrating as the man she found herself serving below now. On Starbase Bravo, her expectations were quite plain, and she was allowed to do her work in peace.

It didn’t appear that Ensign Kurios worked that way, however.

She had already seen how he regarded their officer on the conn. Their sickbay was manned primarily by an old EMH Mark 1, and their engineering officer already seemed like she was on the knife’s edge of having a panic attack. The ship had been upkept, and yet there was a leak in main engineering that was dosing their team with a slow but steady stream of radiation.

Between the Trill at the helm, the Trill in command, herself, the Andorian Engineer they comprised already a fifth of the crew. Yet, Etan was already finding herself flustered and frustrated with so small a crew.

“We need to find the source of the leak in engineering. We have already been getting hails from Romulans. Our engineer looks like she is already running on far less sleep than she should be and my direct commanding officer is treating me like an idiot.” The words spilled out unbidden. “We are supposed to be out here in the former Neutral Zone and the territories of the Romulan Star Empire and yet-”

“I expect you to do your job.” Ensign Kurios’ tone was flat. There was no yield, nor kindness in his tone. “You hand me the reports, you ensure the crew follow their orders and you handle the logistics. It is no different than being on a starbase, cadet.” The Trill intertwined his fingers as he leaned forward. “Where is the problem here?”

“I come to you awaiting further orders, sir.”

“I am not the one giving out orders! Captain Maxwell and the officials at Starfleet are the ones giving out the orders. The same orders that get handed down the chain of command. The same orders that we have been following. We set down on a colony, we drop off supplies and engage in trade. If necessary, we start providing medical assistance. This isn’t some movie where the CO drops into the fray with the rest of the landing party, cadet. This isn’t some action-adventure holoprogram. We all have jobs to do.”

“This isn’t quite what I had expected to be doing, sir.”

“Well, given I had expected to be treating patients on a starbase, this is a bit new to all of us. If you need to come up to my office to tell you when you are acting like an idiot, I can do that. Until then, you can keep doing the job that you were commissioned to do.” The Trill waved his PADD in the air. “You are doing fine at your job so far. We have only had a couple encounters with some rowdy ne’er-do-wells in the old Neutral Zone. We’ve had no threats to colonies, no withering diseases, no spatial anomalies, or even any conventional issues like logistics or illness on board. So sit down. There will be plenty of time to panic, later.” 

Walking over to the replicator, Cimozjen Kurios punched in an order. The first part was another double-shot of raktajino for himself, and the second was a piping cup of Tarkalean tea for his second in command. As the drinks materialized, the Trill spoke again. “You have been doing fine, Cadet. We haven’t been out here for a week already, and you are getting a bit stir crazy. You need to take some time. Read a book, visit the holodeck, or even just go and take a nap.” The ensign walked over, clutching a mug in both hands and offering one of them to the Romulan. “You are constantly on edge. Give yourself a break. Hell, I can make it an order if I need to.”

The Romulan stared at her commanding officer with uncertainty in her eyes. On one hand, he was as seemingly crass as ever for a member of Starfleet, but on the other hand there were these little kindnesses. This man puzzled her more and more with each day. “What do I do with Puhr, then?”

“Let her do her job. Being out in an uncertain section of space like this always makes me a bit jumpy. The last thing I need is my first officer making me even more nervous. Take some time to mingle and connect with the rest of the crew. Give yourself a break. You are aboard a Raven-class vessel, not helping to pilot the flagship of the fleet.”

Cadet Etan considered his words for several moments before she gave a nod. “I will try to do so, sir.” Turning towards the door, the Romulan cadet’s mind was already working. Like her posting on this ship, she still had a lot to get used to.

Comments

  • This was an illuminating prelude, giving us another introduction to the lead characters of the USS Thyanis. I enjoyed the characterisation you offered of Etan as a chaotic arcturian dog-bird. It so very quickly pointed a picture of Etan's body language and movement through the scene. "No yield, nor kindness" was also a beautiful descriptor that tells me everything I need to know about Kurios. With that hard edge, it was heartening to read Kurios' kind words for the cadet. All that tension is building up a a central relationship that ought to be pretty meaningful. But I can't wait to see how the mission itself will strain their relationship even more!

    September 17, 2022