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Posted on Mon Feb 22nd, 2016 @ 9:34pm by Lieutenant JG Jacob "Jay" Jordan & Lieutenant Commander Vanora Stele

Mission: Mother Base
Location: Strategic Operations Office
Timeline: Backpost


Jay had been meeting a number of people, a task that would put many people he'd known off, but for him it was cake. He loved meeting new people, particularly the feminine variety, and from Commander Steele's service record photo, this meeting would not be an exception. He stopped in front of her office door and pressed the chime passively, then let his hands slip back into their pockets halfway, where he would say they belonged.

"Enter," Vanora said. She swept a hand across the three holographic viewscreens she had been using to craft a situation map of the sector, causing the photons to scatter into the air. The work she was doing now was completely different from Ops. Whereas Operations was practical and real, Strategic Ops was somewhat illusory and speculative. The transition, though, had been less shaky than she expected. Part of what would help the transition was the arrival of her replacement. "Lieutenant Jordan," she greeted him as he entered, standing and offering a handshake in the Human tradition.

Jay shook the hand without hesitation, taking a brief moment to notice the beauty of his company. He looked her in the eyes and gave his charming smile, but made no further signals of interest. He continued to hold her hand firmly as he spoke. "That's what they call me." he said simply.

"And 'they' usually call me Lieutenant Commander Stele," she said as she met his grip, and then released, motioning for the man to take a seat as she walked over to the replicator. "May I offer you a drink?"

"Just a glass of water, please." he said simply as he took the chair she had indicated to him. He didn't simply sit in it where it was, but moved it a few inches to where he most liked it and sat down. When he did so he leaned his elbow onto his leg, obviously not finding an incentive to be formal.

"So you're coming to us from the Rubicon?" she asked as she waited the moment for the replicator to complete its action. "How did you like it there?"

"Little ship in the middle of nowhere." he said simply. "What's not to like?" he cleared his throat and took the water from her. "It was fine. Some people like more action, but I don't really care what kind of missions I'm on...I'm more about the people, I guess. I made some good friends there."

Vanora frowned slightly for just a moment. The mission was more important to her now than ever, but she did understand that there were many reasons why officers joined Starfleet. "The people are key, that's certainly true. Especially in Operations. Most of us who have been with the Gladiator for a while now are only alive because of the quality of our crew and the strong bonds between all of us. Still, the mission is the reason we're here, isn't it? No reason to put a Sovereign Class cruiser out into space to serve as a floating Risa."

"I'm good at my job, ma'am." he said in straightforward fashion, taking a sip from his class of water and then licking his lips casually. "And I'm dedicated to doing my best. I'm not sure where I rank 'the mission' on a scale of importance, but it's never had any effect on my work before." he shrugged slightly, confidence without arrogance. "Some people do their best for mission, some people do their best for the people around them, or for the lives they can save."

She knew that she had to let go, but it was proving harder than she had expected. "Look, Lieutenant, I'm going to be straight with you. I have no idea how they thought a lieutenant junior grade was going to come onto the Gladiator and effectively run the operations of the whole ship." She paused and studied his reaction before continuing. "But I'm not just talking about you. I'm talking about me as well. I was your rank, too, when I sat in the office you're coming into now. I'm glad you're confident about your abilities, that's going to serve you well. But don't underestimate that job in front of you. It's a big ship, and we aren't in the middle of nowhere; we're right in the middle of some of the worst of what's going on in the Alpha and Beta Quadrants right now."

Jay's natural reaction to feeling underestimated was not good, but he managed to push many of those emotions to the side for a second and retained his calm and relaxed posture. He thought about her words as much as he could and leaned back in the chair a bit, nodding slightly. "I hear you." he said in his usual raspy hushed baritone voice. "I don't really have frame of reference for all that, but I'm trying to make up for it by learning as much as I can about the ship."

"It's been beat up pretty thoroughly. I'm not sure how many pieces are still original, at this point," she admitted. "But your timing for getting here is good; I think most major repairs are complete. If I can ask you a favor, as the outgoing Chief Ops: keep Peregrine on as your number two. She's still young and doesn't have all the leadership skills yet to be a department head, but she did a really great job as Acting while I was... not able to carry out the work."

He wasn't ready to commit to that, but he wasn't going to deny the request either. He gave a nod that was polite, but not overly so, and spoke again. "I'll meet with her soon. I'm sure she'll keep doing a great job." he took another sip of his water. "How long has she been running the department?"

"Two months now. And she was thrown into it without notice." It wasn't Vanora's proudest moment, but she took full responsibility for it.

Jay let out a whistle that indicated he was impressed that the woman they were referring to was able to handle that kind of situation. "That's pretty impressive in and of itself." he said, taking another sip of his drink.

"Last thing: if there's anything I can do to help, don't hesitate to ask," she said sincerely. "The Gladiator isn't just a ship to me, and even if my new job means I won't be around as much, it's still the closest thing I have to home. Whatever I can do to keep it together, you have me at your disposal."

"I appreciate that." he began, standing up from the chair and moving it back to where it had been. He offered her his charming smile and stepped around the chair, walking toward her. "If I have any problems, you'll be the first one I call."

Vanora nodded and gave him a friendly smile. "I'll let you get back to your department then. Until next time, Lieutenant."

Jay nodded, but didn't say another word. He turned on his heal and walked out the door with a lighthearted step.



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