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Ready and Willing

Posted on Mon Feb 10th, 2014 @ 8:11am by David Hawkins & Lieutenant Commander Vanora Stele

Mission: Photons Everywhere
Location: Captain's Ready Room
Timeline: post-briefing


Vanora dropped her duffel off in her quarters after the briefing. It had taken a few minutes for her to find it, given that the Sovereign class was almost forty percent bigger than the USS Bouzid, which was an Excelsior class explorer. The Senior Officer quarters were massive compared to her last set of digs, junior officer quarters that she had shared with a pair of ensigns. She began to unpack when the computer chirped, interrupting her. "Lieutenant Stele?" a voice asked over the comm.

She tapped her comm badge. "Stele here, go ahead."

"This is the Captain's Yeoman," the voice continued. "Report to the Captain's Ready Room."


She would have to wait, apparently, to explore the space and settle in. Vanora strode briskly to the turbolift, took it up to Deck 1, and was ringing the Ready Room door chime a few moments later.

"Come in," Hawkins called out as he looked out the view port to the earth below. Just hours away, and he couldn't wait. He didn't want to give up command to a a computer program just like the rest of the senior staff. But this was their mission. He expected as much from them as many others. It was only a matter of time before they saw the outcome... But what would it be.

At any case, he turned to look at his new Operations Officer. Crap, another female officer, he thought to himself as he straighten his uniform and looked at the officer.

"Lieutenant Junior Grade Vanora Samsoe Stele, reporting for duty," she announced herself, placing her official transfer orders on David's desk. "Commander, Sir, or David?" she asked. "Your preference for being addressed, that is."

"On duty, Commander or sir will work just fine. Off duty, I really don't care. we are all equal but we all have our jobs as well. So I'll let ya know when not to do something," Hakins explained as he plopped down in his chair and thru his feet up on his desk. "So start talking."

"Commander, then. You want me to tell you about the good and the bad that I'm bringing to your ship? I had a freighter, I loved that freighter, almost as much as I loved my husband. Then some fraking Ferengi raiders came along and took both away from me. Ship would have blown and I'd probably be dead if the USS Bouzid and Captain P'Trell didn't come along as our warp core was about to breach. I was pretty messed up for a while, Medical had me on some scrips, but P'Trell needed an Operations Officer, and I'd run a ship and crew before, so I got the gig. Starfleet seems like a good enough fit, but I never had any interest in the Academy, that was my sister's thing. I did the OCS thing instead, got my official commission. I want my own ship again when I can get it, with bigger guns this time, and I guess your ship was the first one willing to take a non-Academy officer with some serious psych baggage on as a Chief Ops." She looked up, trying to remember if she had forgotten anything. "Ah, and I'm Elasian, on my mother's side. I've filed the appropriate paperwork with Starfleet Medical regarding my psychotropic tear ducts, so you're doctors should have a copy of that."

"I'm not much of a medic or scientist... what's up with your tear ducts?" Hawkins looked at the female officer with interest and concern.

Vanora's ever-present smile widened, as did her eyes, which shined with amusement. "Ah, you don't know about us Elasians. Elasian society is primarily dominated by women. My mother liked to tell us that this was largely because we're faster, better with a knife, and more clever. Which is maybe true," she grinned, "but it probably didn't hurt that, during the evolution of our species, we evolved so that our tears--that is, the tears of us women--cause a biochemical reaction in anyone who come into skin contact with our tears. Those exposed become infatuated with us, and so far it seems to affect all Alpha Quadrant species that Starfleet Medical has tested. Starfleet developed an antidote pretty quickly upon First Contact, so your doctors should already have that formula in their database, should anything happen."

A slight grin grew on David's face as he thought to himself on how fun that would be. It also may come useful in some cases. Either way, besides some details, he knew that she would be worth keeping around. "Good to know Lieutenant and quite frankly, it may be of use if you are willing. But in the note of taking an officer with no academy background... honestly I could care less as long as you are able to be the best in your career field."

"Not all COs think that way, so I appreciate your vote of confidence, Commander. I guess we'll find out whether or not I'm the best as we shake out." Vanora brushed a strand of hair back out of her face. "And, yeah, regarding the tear thing, it can come in handy. I've certainly avoided a few bar fights that way."

"Also with this holographic project under way I want you to work along with our Andorian chief engineer very closely. He was one of the lead engineers in the project so you can learn a lot from him on these items."

"Always glad to learn from the source," she nodded. Vanora had a soft spot for Andorians, after P'Trell saved her life and then gave her a new path toward staying in space. "Anything I should know about the crew dynamics? Not sure how much of the duty roster you want personal control over, or whether that's something you want to dump off on either your XO or me, but it will be helpful for me to know who exactly I'm dealing with, and any flash points to try to avoid."

"The reason why I'm bringing it up again is cause I want you to understand that this is coming from me and noone else. Lieutenant Jarland is known for being... very by the book and will sometimes push you more than you are normally used to. Do what he says unless it pushes you more than normal.

"Myself, I am who you see," Hawkins admitted. He was more than capable to talk to his people and even read other people... but when it came to himself, he kept his thoughts and emotions to himself, for the most part. "As for the rest of the crew. I suggest meeting them on your own. WIth me being the man in charge, they could respond to me differently compared to yourself."

"Understood. I was planning on making the rounds with the department heads anyway, see whether they had any special requisition requests while we're still in drydock. Thanks for the heads up on the XO. Can't say I'm completely used to the Starfleet officers who nitpick on regulations, even after a few years, but I'll do my best."

"Well you better, no promises on how you will take the XO, he is one of a kind," He worned as not a big surprise at all. "Have your report in before the end of the day and if you need anything, my doors are always opened."

Vanora nodded with a smirk. "I hope you don't regret that offer, Commander. I've been known to walk through open doors."

"Ok now that we have the official sh-peal over with, what ya do for your past time?" Hawkins asked as he pulled out a bottle and two glasses. "Rum?"

"Rum will do for an old sea dog like me, but only if it was actually made in the Caribbean. None of this Risan synthenol nonsense." She relaxed her stance and sat on the edge of the commander's desk. "This is the part where I get to call you David, eh?"

David poured some liquor into the glasses and slid her a drink as he leaned back in his chair and nodded, "Sure why not, David works. But around others or on official occasions, Captain or rank is prefered. And no Aye, sir. I may have a naval rank, but I prefer yes, sir."

"I sometimes prefer 'yes, sir,' as well," she threw a sly smile the commander's way, followed up by a small shrug. "I haven't ever been one for all the formalities. Comes from life in the merchant fleet, I suppose. Too much of that and your crew'd be likely to mutiny."

"Its a Marine thing I guess and cause I grew up saying yes sir or no sir," Hawkins grinned a little as he took a sip of his drink. "So what do you expect to achieve while on the Gladiator?"

"I'd like your job, for one." She took a long drag from her glass, then looked up and grinned in anticipation of a reaction. "Not your job literally. But I do want my own ship again, someday, this time with lots of phaser banks and photon torpedoes and ablative armor and so on. Being Chief Ops on this ship...." She shook her head. "I wouldn't have seen it coming. Wouldn't have believed you if you'd asked me about it five years ago. But I'll do the ship proud, and Starfleet, and hopefully Starfleet will see fit to help me along toward the captain's chair in exchange."

"Just do me proud, don't worry about Starfleet. I'll take care of my people as people take care of me," David said honestly. He was true to his word and if people had a goal that they really were striving for, he would do his best to see them happening.

"A solid philosophy of leadership. I'll make sure to live up to your trust as best that I can," Vanora smiled.

The alarm on his monitor started to go off and he looked at the time, "Crap," He said as he took down the drink. "I hate to cut this short. I just have to go take care of something," He paused for a moment after standing up. "Tell you what, drink all you want of that, just close it and put it in my desk afterwords."

Vanora finished her glass in a single swig and placed the empty glass in its place. "Thanks for the offer, David, but I have a lot of department heads to meet if I'm going to have that report in to you today. Next drink's on me, when we have a bit more time to be leisurely about it. I'll leave you to it first," she said before straightening again. "It was a pleasure you to meet you. I'll see you at launch, if not before that."

"I look forward to it," David grinned as he nodded and left the ready room. He had one more appointment to make before he met up with Mercia. He was kind of looking forward to it as well.


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