Shadows of Weimar
Location: Cargo Bay 2
Timeline: Mission Day 1 at 1400
Finding herself much more comfortable in the red utility working jumpsuit than her standard duty uniform, Ty'licia readjusted her ponytail, then looked back to her PADD. Cargo bay 2 was quite full, of some personnel going back and forth, but substantially more-so of cargo. The map on the PADD showed the manifest of supplies, It had been a juggling act of finding space for it all to be transported in sequence, and for the more volatile material to be taken down via shuttlecraft.
The other difficulty was not knowing the full situation on the ground, having to cater to multiple options was what was frustrating. If the Cardassian engineers on the ground hadn't made the correct preparations, that would impede the progress substantially. Ty'licia was going to give them the benefit of the doubt, they certainly needed a little lee-way with rebuilding their civilization.
Having become a Starfleet officer after the Dominion conflict, it wasn't her war, so she had to check herself whenever she encountered feelings of animosity toward the Cardassians. Her musings had distracted her, and she had missed a Container of Polyduranide being put in the wrong location.
"Ensign!" She called out, tucking her Padd into the front of her jumpsuit, "With the other Polyduranide if you please," she activated the anti-grav handle assembly, and the crate lifted up off the deck a few centimeters.
"Sorry Ma'am," the rather sweaty Ensign replied, helping to get the container moving toward the right area. The main effort was getting the large heavy container moving, once it was it was a simple matter of getting it to the right area.
Ty'licia had been helping as much as possible, and had developed a healthy sheen of sweat, feeling the heat more than the other's due to her heritage.
The characteristic whine of the Cargo Bay doors opened to reveal a silhouette, whom Ty'licia recognized.
"Be with you in a moment Captain," She said, starting to strain to slow the momentum of the Polyduranide, before bringing it to a stop and lowering it into its designated place.
Ty'licia brushed off her hands and walked up to meet the Captain, "To what do I owe the pleasure sir?"
"The ship's computer ratted you out as not having left the cargo bay for at least three hours," Hunt said, strolling into the expansive cargo bay with his hands clasped loosely behind his back. "I wanted to make sure you weren't working yourself to starvation. Delegation is a possibility you know, even if just for an hour to grab something to eat."
"It's been three hours already?" Ty'licia checked her PADD, "I guess that's a good enough time to have a break."
She tapped her commbadge, "Cargo Bay 2 Personnel, stand easy, go have a break," she said, hearing her voice echo through multiple commbadges that were close together. Some of the crew turned to nod at her, others placed the container they were carrying on the floor and walked off.
"I am all yours Sir," Ty'licia smiled.
"Let's go check out the mess hall," Nate said, leading Ty'licia out of the cargo bay. He'd already eaten a light lunch from his ready room replicator, but had been keen on checking out the mess hall soon anyway. He was also keen to make sure his XO didn't take the short break as an opportunity to just do different work for an hour. After a few moments walking down the corridor, he followed up with, "So, tell me a bit more about yourself, Commander. Your file said you grew up on Andoria? I must admit I've never visited."
"I have no idea how you came to that conclusion," Ty'licia said, her antennae twitched a smile appearing on one side of her mouth, "Andoria is breathtaking.." she paused, "...mainly if you don't wear the proper apparatus on the peaks."
"Hey, no assumptions from me," Nate said, holding up his hands in mock self-defence. "I knew a family of Andorains who had lived for three generations in the mountains of Mantinea. Just 'cause you like the cold, doesn't necessarily mean you grew up on the planet that surpasses the dictionary definition of the word."
"To be honest I wanted to get away from there as far back as I remember," Ty'licia said, a note of sadness in her voice, "Hence me learning to fly as soon as I could, and to join Starfleet. Now I am flying a chair."
"Any particular reason you wanted to leave?" Nate asked, his tone more sympathetic than before. "If you don't mind me asking, that is. I'm not one to order my staff to reveal all their inner thoughts to me just to sate my curiosity."
"No I understand sir, you can only glean so much from a Personnel file," She said, "My parental group had my life all figured out for me, I didn't really want my life to be dictated to me, so I flew away. Rather silly now that I think of it," a pang of regret evident in her voice.
"You 'flew away'," Nate repeated, picking up on the phrasing she had used. "Not 'booked yourself on a ship away'? Do I take it you flew your 'escape craft' yourself? Must have been fairly young if it was before your parental group's life plan could take effect."
"Figuratively speaking of course, I found a love for flying that was my own, not someone telling me I had to like something. I then joined Starfleet to continue flying, haven't looked back. I love my life," She said with a smile.
"And you put me in a strange cockpit, I could fly that thing in about 5 minutes, and I do expect you to hold me to that sir," Ty'licia said, boasting a little.
"Well I'm sure we'll find ourselves in plenty of situations where you'll have the opportunity to show just how true that statement is," Nate said, grinning at her enthusiasm.
As the two entered the mess hall, they were greeted by the multi-level main eating area, with a large area as the main area and a more secluded second level with more intimate seating arrangements, closer to the massive windows. This is where a majority of the crew would come for their social time, and to enjoy a meal if they didn't want to eat in their rooms. Ty'licia noted the room lighting was a little flatter than normal as the only exterior light to shine in was that of the stars warping by, not the orange rays of sunlight of a nearby star. She missed the gorgeous rays of light that would bake the whole room in warm colours.
Nate spent a moment taking in the room. He had served on a Galaxy class before, but the Mercury was new, and benefitted from a number of design changes from the older ships of her line. The old 'Ten Forward' design that the Enterprise-D had boasted was still present in many ships of the design in the fleet, but Nate liked this much more expansive version better. It meant losing a couple of guest quarters from deck 11, and the moving of some ancillary rooms on deck 10 to allow the room to extend deeper towards the centre of the ship, but given the sheer size of the class and number of empty quarters and other rooms in the saucer section, that hardly seemed like a compromise at all. Ships like this were often described as mobile mini-starbases for all the personnel and creature comforts they carried, and the new mess hall design seemed fitting for such a description.
He led the pair over to the bar, where having already eaten his lunch two hours earlier, he ordered himself a non-intoxicating synthehol whiskey, before indicating to the staff that they should ask for Ty'licia's order.
"Liquid lunch hmm, I'll have a frozen lemon and mango sorbet with mixed berries," she said, wanting to keep things light, and fancied something to cool her down a bit. Taking the glass and spoon she offered some to the Captain.
"No, thank you," Nate said, holding up his hand to the offer of the sorbet. "I already told you, everyone else had lunch two hours ago. This is more like an afternoon tea, but with whiskey."
Taking a spoonful and relaxing her shoulders at both the taste and the temperature of the sorbet, she realized her company, "So what about yourself sir, I would like to learn more about you. If that is an alright question to ask."
"Of course. It's only fair that you would want to know more about your captain. I just get to reserve the privilege not to answer," Nate answered with a smile. "What would you like to know?"
"Well obviously everything, now you have piqued my curiosity," Ty'licia took another spoonful of sorbet, "What made you join the fleet?" She said realizing she was speaking with her mouth full, and to a superior officer, "Sorry sir."
"To be honest with you, it wasn't really a planned thing. Two of my brothers were in Starfleet before me, but I was serving as a law-keeper out on Matinea." Nate said. "How that came to be is a whole different story, but a little while after the Dominion War, a Changeling who had apparently gone rogue from the Founders ended up there. I'd been investigating some murders - not unheard of out there, though still not too common, but these ones were particularly strange, beyond the frequency of them. Anyway, it turns out that this shape shifter's mind had degraded; something about how he wanted to leave the 'Great Link' and the others tried to stop him I think.
"I saw him change form as he fled from the fourth murder, which is when I made a call to my brother Thomas, who was a Security Officer on the Gallant at the time. The closest ship to us was a few weeks out, but they started heading our way. By the time they got there, me and my deputies had managed to capture the changeling without them. They were so impressed, and with my brother's recommendation to go along with it, they started twisting my arm to get me to join the fleet. Ended up getting a commission straight to Lieutenant. The rest, I'm told they say, is history."
"That is quite an impressive tale. So you went the security route up the chain? Wish I could have skipped Ensign myself, didn't feel like I was part of the Fleet till I got Junior Grade," Ty'licia replied, quite entranced by her CO, just noticing and watching for emotional cues or foibles. More of a learning experience for her, getting to know someone.
"I did," Nate answered, taking a sip of his drink. "Though I wouldn't recommend skipping out on the lower ranks. I think a lot of my peers felt rather cheated that I had come straight in to a senior position. That passed eventually as they worked with me, but don't overestimate the acceptance you gain from going through the same thing that everybody else does. 'We're all in this together' is a strong bonding mentality, even if you have to get past that first hurdle for it to kick in."
Ty'licia remembered fondly being shoehorned into quarters on her first ship with 3 other Ensigns, she chose to make more of an effort to remember those memories, "I guess it's just not knowing what to do at that early rank, feeling like just being in the way," The conversation came to a small pause.
"Now it's your turn," Nate said, turning the conversation back around to his XO's past. "Tell me about that incident on the Indefatigable. What made you come up with that manoeuvre with the shuttle transponders?"
"Oh the Indy, yeah that was tough. I had the idea based upon the Picard manoeuvre to be fair, having the ship be in 2 or more places at once, but given the Indy's state, offensive action was not an option. And I came to think of the opposing ship oddly as if it was a wild animal. Make enough of a display and it should scare it off, Lucky for me it happened to work. Remind me to send my regards to the Admiral for the idea."
"It was out of the box thinking," Nate said, pointing at the commander. "Not many other officers would have thought of doing what you did, especially given the stresses of the situation. I like out of the box thinking, it's one of the reasons I selected you as my first officer."
Ty'licia was taken aback slightly, as she was just doing her job at the time. Crew and Ship had come first for her, "Thank you sir, I hope I wont let you down."
"Speaking of first officers," the captain said, sitting back. "I want you to run a briefing for the senior staff on our mission. I know you're new at being at this, especially given the size of the crew on the Mercury, but I want to make sure you get comfortable doing things like this. I'll be there too, of course, but you'll be leading the meeting and dishing out assignments to the rest of the staff."
"Yes sir, It will be done," Ty'licia said, without hesitating, "I should probably start preparing for that. Better let the guys in the cargo bay know," She said standing, "Would there be anything else Captain?"
Nate finished his drink and stood. “Finish your lunch first, Commander,” he said. “That’s an order. You’ll be no good to me on an empty stomach.”
Captain Nathan Hunt
Lt. Commander Ty’licia zh’Kirisor