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Part of USS Resolute: The masks we wear and Bravo Fleet: Blood Dilithium

5 – Imposter Syndrome

Resolute
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Chief Counsellor’s Log

 Having been aboard the Resolute for only a few days, I have completed my initial review of the crew’s files and have started to conduct introductory meetings. While my initial feeling was that this crew is… experienced, I am a little concerned that they appear to be disparate personalities in such a way I am not entirely sure how they are actually working as a cohesive whole. Somehow, it appears to be working though. 

My first assessment, of course, would always be of the captain and senior staff. Commander Mason—

 Talia paused, and closed her eyes. What the hell was she even doing here? The ship was filled with misfits and outcasts that the captain seemed to have gathered around himself for one reason or another. The crew files were filled with disciplinary incidents and demotions galore. 

Their chief engineer, for example, should have been at least a lieutenant commander by now. And in fact, was. For about three hours before he’d called his superior officer an idiot, among other things, and gotten himself demoted. It was a theme that was repeated around the ship. Their chief medical officer had disciplinaries (multiple) for punching her captain… At least half the crew seemed to be war veterans from one war or another. All small system conflicts but still. 

She hadn’t even realised that there had been that many wars. 

And she was just… Talia Armstrong. Newly minted as a Lieutenant, she had no idea how she’d managed to land this assignment, especially to a captain as hard-edged and experienced as Raan Mason. She felt like a mouse in a tank full of piranhas, desperately swimming to try and keep her head above water and hoping like hell none of them realized her piranha suit was just that, a suit. 

Saving her report for now, she gathered her padd and left her tiny office. Her target was the chief helm officer, Rayani Kovash, who was due for mandatory evaluation. This was not that mandated meeting, but Talia just wanted to go ahead and introduce herself somewhere what wasn’t the senior staff briefing room. Perhaps grab a coffee or hot beverage of choice to break the ice before the official stuff began. 

Walking toward the turbolift, she rubbed at the small disc on her neck. She wasn’t a scientist, or an engineer, so she had no idea how it worked. All she knew was that the little metal disc reported on her back to sickbay, where all the telepaths on board were being monitored continuously because of Blood Dilithium. 

That was good enough for her, a sense of safety and security wrapping around her. She didn’t think that it would affect her overly much. She was only about an eighth betazoid, on her mother’s side. Just enough to get a general hint about things, and people… although that could just be more she read body language excessively well. 

Like the set shoulders of Quinn Allen, the ship’s chief science officer, who stood waiting for the turbolift just ahead of her. 

“Good afternoon, Lieutenant Allen!” she said chirpily, offering a bright smile as she joined him to wait. “How are you this afternoon? Are you heading up to the bridge?” 

His expression was neutral as he turned his head to look at her, but she was stunned by the coldness in his eyes. 

“It was,” he said shortly. She almost recoiled from the rage and hatred emanating from him. 

Her abilities were purely passive, she didn’t read people’s minds or anything like that, but he was projecting so strongly she was surprised it hadn’t crossed over into sound as well. She stopped her half step back mid-step, somehow managing to keep the polite smile on her face. It had frozen halfway but she managed. 

You should have stayed back at TFHQ,” he hissed, turning on his heel and stalking away, leaving her staring in shock at his broad back. 

Her stomach lurched and dropped, feeling like it hit the deck by her feet like a tonne weight. He thought she shouldn’t be here too? How did he know? Had someone said anything? She knew she was too inexperienced to care for a crew like this… did they all know it too? Where they laughing at her? The newb counselor playing at a real chief counselor’s job? Or did they think they could run rings around her?

Then she became away of Dayne Bennett, the chief engineer, one huge shoulder leaning against a bulkhead as he waited for the lift as well.

“I-err…” she fumbled her words for a moment, still surprised by the scientist’s viciousness. Then she lifted a shoulder in a half shrug. “I guess you can’t get along with everyone.”

“No,” Dayne rumbled, pushing off from the wall to walk toward her. 

She ended up tipping her head back so she could look him in the eye. Like the captain, he was huge, more a mountain than a man. Especially with that beard. Ship gossip, which she absolutely did not listen to thank you very much, said the captain had had to recover him from a bar before they’d left because he hadn’t reported in. That the captain had carried him aboard over his shoulder. Her mind boggled at how much strength it would take to lift a man like Bennett.

“No?”

“No. That was just plain rude.” Bennett looked up the corridor the science officer had disappeared down.  “If he does it again, let me know. Okay?” 

“Oh! I can take care of myself, but thank you!” 

A warmth spread out from the center of her chest at his offer. Far from being the big, scary not-nice person she’d assumed he would be, Bennett’s smile was gentle and the look in his eyes warm as he looked down at her. 

“Everyone needs friends, counselor,” he replied, motioning for her to precede him into the turbolift. “Especially on a small ship like this.” 

“Th—“ 

She had been going to say thank you, but her words were cut off by the red alert klaxon.

A gasp escaped her, but Bennett just chuckled. “Once more into the breach. Don’t worry, doll, stick with me and you’ll be fine.” 

 

 

Comments

  • Another good character display piece, letting us see Talia's way of thinking, what she's thinking and how things change her thought process. I like the interaction with Dayne at the end but I'm honestly hoping that we get to see Talia be kickass herself in the face of Allen. And even in the face of Dayne's 'doll' comment. Looking forward to seeing more!

    November 11, 2022
  • lololol, I love the way Talia is a well-adjusted Starfleet officer, among the best and the brightest in the Federation, and yet she's feeling insecure because she's been assigned to THIS captain and the RESOLUTE crew. I suppose Talia might as well have been assigned to a Terran Empire ship in the mirror universe, given how out of place she feels. Her perspective is so relatable (if a little exaggerated) to anyone stepping into a new workplace. Like Alexandra, I'm excited for the character arc to come for Talia from here -- especially in light of Allen and Dayne's reactions to her.

    November 11, 2022
  • Talia being a prim and proper, by the book type officer is so unexpectedly refreshing among this crew of misfits. I can see many opportunities ahead for some exploration of this new relationship between her and Bennett, and I can’t wait. I wonder if Allen’s aggressive reaction is anything to do with BD? We know it reacts badly with telepaths, but what do we really know about how it impacts ‘normal’ people? Or maybe he is just an idiot. Can’t wait for more!

    November 12, 2022
  • Talia is certainly the calm in the middle of this storm that is the Resolute crew - I wonder though how much her influence can rub off on them to 'straighten' things up and make the crew less of a misfit crew and the good example Starfleet expects from everyone. I am intrigued though to know more as to why Raan had brought everyone around him that is like this. What was his thinking? How would help him in making this command work? Bennett's change in character, in showing a softer side, was a welcome one and makes his character more than just the guy we met in the first instalment!

    November 13, 2022