Part of USS Venture: Episode 1: On the Frontier’s Edge and USS Venture: Season 1: Into the Frontier

XO and the Flyboy

Bridge, Deck 1
August 4th, 2400; 1200 hours
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Peace. It was so very rare to come across a zone of peace and tranquility on a starship, but when docked at a starbase, the bridge often became as close to it as anything. With so little to do, the majority of the crew off resupplying and carrying out routine maintenance, Commander Aamin Dahl had jumped at the chance to take the afternoon watch and get some administrative work done in the relative quiet of the command center. He was slouched in his command chair, legs dangling over the left arm of the chair, buried nose deep in personnel matters when the turbo lift doors opened and revealed a new face.

The turbolift doors opened onto the tomb-like ambience of the main bridge. Lieutenant Commander Nate Wilmer stepped out, taking in the central nervous system of the beautiful ship. Every bridge had charm, every station had its own character. Just like individual school desks back at the academy, each bridge station revealed signs of the personality of each user. Nate approached the center seat, taking in its occupant for all-in-all.

He cleared his throat and stood to the side in full attention. It wouldn’t do to comment on a senior officer’s posture, or seating position, and so he treated it like it was normal.

“Lieutenant Commander Nathaniel Wilmer, Chief Flight Controller, reporting for duty, sir.” He said.

A flicker of the Commander’s eyebrow betrayed the man’s innate curiosity of all things peculiar, and a Flight Controller at such a high rank was more than peculiar. Flight tended to be one of those stepping stones to greatness, something more junior officers tended to do before they moved on to bigger and better things. This guy, though, was apparently in it for the long haul.

Spinning on his backside, the XO dropped his feet to the floor and rose to offer his greetings to the newcomer. “Commander Dahl, first officer,” he smiled, thrusting a hand at the fellow red shirt before him.

Nate smiled and accepted the handshake of the First Officer. He was always eager to make friends at his new post and he had good vibes about the ships executive officer.

“I’m recently transferred from the Excalibur, but I’ve already given myself an impromptu tour of the ship and she’s amazing. I can see that Captain Scott keeps a tidy vessel.”

Nate’s body remained at attention. Even all these years after graduation from Starfleet Academy, he adhered to the rules of service. An officer of lesser rank did not, under any circumstances change his body posture from full attention to parade rest until authorized to do so. It didn’t matter how relaxed the atmosphere was; those were the rules. No matter how opposite his behavior was off duty, Nate always did his best when in uniform.

Look your best, be your best. It was a sort of personal motto, and it had served him well so far.

Aamin waved away the man’s attentive stance and gestured for him to take a seat in the command chair whilst the XO returned to the sanctity of his own seat. “Captain Scott keeps a tidy vessel because I keep a tidy vessel,” Dahl told with a smug expression, “a good Captain is only as good as his crew, and especially his number one. We all run a tight ship because this is one of the finest in the fleet. You don’t get to be here unless you’re damn good at what you do, and we expect you to stay that way once you’re here.” The speech sounded more like a warning of expectation than anything else, but at least there was no threatening tone to his words.

Nate watched Commander Dahl exit the center seat. It seemed as if the First Officer was suggesting he should sit down and try out the Captain’s chair. But something about that didn’t sit quite right with him and he hesitated.

Nate nearly sat down, but then as he began to take a seat, stopped himself half way. If the Captain were to enter the bridge at that exact moment, the arrangement of his officers might look disrespectful. That was not the first impression he wanted to make. He made his change of bodily movement seem intentional and before he could sit, he stood upright again.

He headed directly towards the helm.

“Hey, I haven’t really taken a good look at the helm yet. Maybe I should acquaint myself with the old girl, before I do anything else.” He said enthusiastically.

It had been a distraction, of course. He didn’t want to offend the executive officer by turning down his offer to sit in the big chair. His words were not hollow ones. He did love the helm more than anything else.

But his instincts said no, and he always listened to his instincts.

Aamin nodded slowly, respecting the newcomer’s attempt to hide his reasons for not wanting to sit in the command chair. He wasn’t the first to reject the chance of sitting in Scott’s seat, and he wouldn’t be the last. “Just a word of warning,” he chimed in, looking towards the Commander, “never let the Captain hear you call his ship an ‘old girl’, or your assignment here will be incredibly short,” the Trill warned, a menacing look on his face.

As the newcomer turned away to focus on his work, the XO let out a devilish grin from behind the safety of his data PADD. Oh how he loved to torment newcomers.