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An Overdue Introduction

Posted on Wed Feb 24th, 2016 @ 2:27pm by Lieutenant Commander Vanora Stele & Lieutenant JG Paula Winchester

Mission: Mother Base
Location: USS Gladiator - Officers Lounge
Timeline: Backpost


Vanora had a lot on her mind. It was difficult not to, out of habit, ask the bartender for a hard drink, but these days the Chief of Strategic Operations wanted to keep her wits about her. After all, very soon she and others would be asked to engage in a very dangerous mission, hunting down terrorists who had proven extraordinary capacity to do damage and kill Starfleet personnel. It was no time to go on another bender. Such as it was, Vanora sipped on her hot black tea as she sat in the officers' lounge, reviewing the day's intelligence reports.

Paula entered the Officers Lounge and hadn't had the chance to meet Vanora at the Tiki beach party as she had been keeping tabs on Davina up to the point she had volunteered to help out at the bar with Peri, she looked over at the bar and walked over to her and sat down on a stool. She said, "Hi I'm Paula Winchester, Asst. Chief Security Officer," holding out her hand in greeting.

"Vanora Stele. Nice to finally meet you, Paula. I apologize for not meeting with you sooner. You came aboard at the same time I was dealing with some serious personal issues. I'm afraid that I rather failed in my former role as Chief Ops Officer to welcome you aboard. I hope that my Assistant... that is, the Assistant Chief of Ops, Lieutenant Wong, did an adequate job helping you settle in?"

"That she did," replied Paula as she looked back at Stele, she continued, "She even wanted your permission to take my daughter on an apprenticeship so she could get an idea of what Ops does," as she needed two senior officers to sign off on it as well as her own permission.

"I thought I heard something about that. I apologize for not getting to that before I officially transferred out of the department. I'll still sign off on your daughter working in Ops, though, if that hasn't been properly processed yet. That should be a good experience for her; Operations tends to have a variety of work happening simultaneously that could use that sort of assistance. You'll want to make sure the new Chief Ops is okay with the arrangement as well, of course."

"That's ok Vanora," replied Paula looking back at her new friend, She continued, "She has even taken on a role with a few of the senior girls when we need to evac the younger ones," as the glass of water was placed in front of her.

"Evac?" Vanora asked, raising an eyebrow in curiosity. "Were the two of you in an evacuation situation together?"

"when we were on the original Obsidian colony Davina's birth Mother and the rest of the village had been hit by an earthquake," replied Paula picking up the drink, she continued," I was tasked with the evacuation of the Village which was how I got to meet Her birth Mother and why she left me as the legal guardian to Davina,"

"I see. That's a pretty big responsibility to take on." Vanora couldn't imagine having a child. Part of it was definitely that she was still in her own mind less than a complete adult, despite her rank and age. "Admirable, but definitely not a life choice made lightly."

"So Davina is teaching them how to react in case we need to here," she said Looking back at Vanora.

"Like mother like daughter," Vanora smiled. "It sounds like Davina is a natural for Starfleet if she's already helping her peers without even having official duties. If there's anything I can do for her, or for you for that matter, even though I'm not in Operations anymore, let me know."

" I know Davina is not old enough to be classed as a Cadet, however; she has asked for the Cadet's course," replied Paula looking back at Vanora, She continued," as she feels that she is being looked down on by the other Cadets,"

"I'll mention it to Jay. I'm confident he'll be accommodating. From what you've said, it certainly sounds like she's ready for the additional responsibility. Have you begun training her for the Academy entrance exams?" she wondered aloud.

"Not yet, I was going to ask you if you would do it for me," replied Paula keeping her gaze on Vanora," as I would not be objective enough, "she finished as she took a sip of her drink.

"I'm not sure what my time commitments right now will allow, but I'm happy to run her through the practice exams. For the actual study, though, I don't think your objectivity is an issue. Just get her through the preparation materials. How much time do you think she needs before taking the first practice exam? Weeks? Months?"

"She hasn't had the coursework through yet," replied Paula looking back at Venora, She continued," and if she did, It would take her six months to a year before she done the practice exams,"

Vanora nodded. "That works for me. I have a mission that will take me away from the Gladiator and I'm not sure for how long. Let's schedule her first practice test six months from now, and see if she is ready. So," she said, switching gears, "I feel like I now know something about Davina, but what about you? What do you think of the ship so far?"

" I quite like it," replied Paula as she looked once more at her new friend, "although I did enjoy base life like Memphis island," she continued, as she finished her drink, She put the empty glass down she said,"although at the party I met up with an old flame of mine, Lisa Creed who is in the bases Security department,"

"Creed?" Vanora thought for a moment. The name was familiar, and she quickly remembered that Lisa had been one of the crew picked for the covert Resolute mission. "I haven't met her yet. An old flame, you say? Did you meet working in the same Security department, or at the Academy?" she asked.

"we met at the Academy and we were in the same class," replied Paula, She looked back at her reflection in the mirror opposite on the wall and continued,"we were together up and till our graduation when we announced that we were lovers to our respective families," she turned to face Vanora and started to wonder why now Paul had decided to speak to her now and waited for Vanora to respond to reply.

"How did your families take that?" Vanora asked. Sexuality and coupling was very open on Elas, the only cultural boundaries usually imposed due to feuds between clans, or other political reasons. Still, she had been around the galaxy long enough to know that wasn't the case everywhere.

"Well, my Brother Paul didn't take kindly to it and hadn't spoken to me til last week," responded Paula, She started to consider if Paul was now sincere in his tone and really wanted to make amends for his outburst five years ago. " He does want to speak to Lisa and apologize," she finished as she hoped that Lisa would forgive him.

"That sounds like serious progress," Vanora smiled, before her face returned to a neutral position, as thoughts of her own family's recent misfortunes rolled over her. "Reconciliation is good, when it's done the right way."

"That's if she will let him," replied Paula knowing full well that Lisa did hold a grudge against Paul, after all she had felt that Paul had got them split up.

"Here's hoping," Vanora raised her glass.

"Yeah," replied Paula as he picked up her glass and finished the drink, she finished, "Anyway I need to get to the Security office," as she rose from her stool and said, "Take care Vanora," as she turned and headed towards the door.

"You too," Vanora called after the woman, before finishing her own drink. "Another one," she called out to the bartender.


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