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A new home

Posted on Sat May 4th, 2019 @ 4:05pm by Captain James Tyson Sr.

Mission: Wounded Pride
Location: Captain's Ready Room, Deck 1

Zhaan found her way to the Bridge through the help of a friendly petty officer - Sharon her name was. Spray of freckles across a pert nose and smooth brown hair pulled back so severely that Zhaan found herself wondering whether the poor woman went home with headaches every night. Sweet in her own way and more than a little chatty. Not that chatty was bad; it was more that she just didn't know on the subject of knitting. Okay, she knew nothing about knitting though the idea of a blanket to snuggle under while she read had some appeal.

Sharon escorted her as far as the corridor leading to the turbolift doors; Zhaan thanked her and headed up to the Bridge. Center of power on any ship though quiet now. Slumbering came to mind. Yes, slumbering. She liked that. She offered a smile to the duty officer who looked bored out of his mind, something she could sympathize with, stopped long enough to introduce herself before quick stepping over to the Ready Room door. She pressed the chime and waited.

Edward's day had finally come to a close except for some additional additions coming aboard the Sutherland, he was informed by Operations that the Sutherland's Chief Science Officer would be arriving sometime during the day. He was intrigued and also he was impressed that this time the junior operations officer managed to send over the correct list of officers for him and his executive officer to review, he had placed his monitor on sleep. As he stood up and took a slight stretch and a yawn he glanced out of his window the United States, the State of California and the entire West coast was appearing in his view. He poured himself a cup of hot coffee from the pot he just had brewed 15 minutes ago, and sat down in the chair to relax before he retired to his quarters when his door chimed. While he was pouring he said "Come in," as he slightly over poured the coffee and grabbed a napkin to wipe up the spill on his table.

Zhaan entered, sighted the individual she presumed to be the ship's commanding officer, and walked up to the guest side of the desk. "Lieutenant Commander Edri reporting for duty, Sir," she said. Back when she reported to her department, the whole process had been a great deal less formal because they were all scientists first. Command, however, went by different rules and those had been drummed into her by her first First Officer. Edward? No Edwin Mercer though he'd never been anything but Commander Mercer to anyone she'd heard speak to him. She stood quietly and waited for his response though she took the moment to slide her carry all off her shoulder and drop it ever so gently, so it barely made a sound, onto the floor beside her.

Edward looked up at the young officer before him, and gave the most polite smile that he could muster at this particular time of day. "Welcome aboard the Sutherland Commander," he said as he offered her one of the guest chairs in front of his desk. "If you don't mind around here I call my senior officers by their first names; however if you aren't comfortable with that, I can make up a name for you," he said as he gave a slight chuckle at the end of his sentence. As he poured himself a little cream into his mug of coffee, and he took a nice long draw on the brew, he sat back slightly and took in the full view of the young officer before him. He had managed to read her file, and the one thing that he wanted to know even though he wasn't going to ask her directly was which side was she deaf on.

"Zhaan is fine, Sir," she said as she took the seat, automatically tucking one leg up beneath her as she did so. "And thank you, its good to be here."

"I've read your file Zhaan and it is impressive," he said as he allowed the coffee to further place him in a relaxed frame of mind. "You've come aboard the Sutherland at a very unique time. We are on the verge of finishing up a major refit and once that has happened we will be heading out towards Starbase 214 to resupply her." Edward took the napkin that was on his desk and neatly folded it up and sat his mug on top of it, no matter how hard he tried to break the habit; his wife's voice echoed in his head to use a napkin or a coaster. "We've also upgraded the Sutherland's sensor pallets across the ship and she had a few upgraded science labs to go with that refit process. So tell me what brings you to the Sutherland?"

Zhaan listened, forming the beginnings of her 'to do' list from the Captain's description and only broke off when he asked her a question. She stopped, cocking her head slightly to one side, as she shifted from what she needed to do for the job into the past few months. "Well, I was stationed aboard the Nighthawk. Genus Chordeiles, sometimes mistakenly referred to as a 'Goatsucker'. You know, the Nighthawk, or Nightjar, travels 20,000 kilometers a year during mating season. Impressive, isn't it?" She shook her head slightly, a mental reminder to get back on subject. That had also been a lecture from Mercer. "The Nighthawk, sad to say, is going out of service which meant transferring the crew. They offered me a couple of positions back on Earth; I turned them down. I wanted to serve on an active vessel."

"Very impressive," Edward said as he was very much impressed about her knowledge in Aves. "They also breed on the very continent that is in my window," he said as he leaned back with the west coast clearly more visible than before this conversation started. "I also take it that the reason you wanted an active vessel was to study that which has not been discovered yet. Perhaps have the chance to discover a new planet; with a chance to study new animal or plant life." Edward took another sip of his coffee and slowly placed the cup back upon the napkin that it was previously rested upon. "Tell me Zhaan, what drove you to science?"

"I'm endless curious. Endlessly. About everything." She hooked her hair behind her right ear, hands settled in her lap. "I used to go with my father to the observatory back home ... in the Arendyne mountains. He and his friend would visit and I would get to look at the stars. I think that's when it started." She left out the part about how it had taken her a full five years to mention home without tearing up. Not first meeting stuff as Mercer would say. "I was good with computers, fascinated by the stars, and I wanted to see it all for myself. Discovering something new, that's interesting ... I'm all for it but for me, what drew me, is getting to be out among the stars. To see it all with my own eyes, close up. Well, as close as one can get." She paused for a second and added, "And to help. That's equally as important to me. Helping those that would be at someone else's mercy otherwise."

"Interesting. Most people in Starfleet say it was duty or honor that drove me; or the simple fact they want to sit in that seat behind that door," he said as he pointed behind her. Her honesty was a fresh approach, pure curiosity is what drove her to the stars and into the arms of Starfleet. "I remember being a boy, and I went camping with some friends of mine; and I was taken up to an observatory and I saw planets up close, for the first time with the naked eye," he said as he smiled at the childhood memory. "Now," he said as he paused and looked at the top of his withered hands with a couple of liver spots sitting on top of both of them. "Well that's another subject for another time. Tell me Zhaan, while we still have sometime before we leave dry-dock on our shake down cruise; what is that you want to add to the Sutherland that will help you be better at what you love to do?"

She smiled at that because there were two schools of thought. One was that you got everything you possibly could because the tools mattered and then there was the other school of thought. The caliber of the people was what mattered. "Starfleet generally does well by Science," she said after a moment. "Now, I'll go through the lab, the sensor pods, and the computer. Make sure that its what I consider to be good, better than good, but to tell you the truth," she leaned forward slightly, nose scrunching up slightly, "its a moving bar. There's always a newer version. What matters most to me are the caliber of people on my staff. With the right kind of minds, we'll get the job done."

"Great minds think a like," he replied as he took another sip of coffee. "Quality over quantity, well before we leave. If there is anyone you would like to be added to the crew just let me know. Because once our shake down cruise has been completed, we are heading to Starbase 214 on a supply run; and more than likely we will receive the rest of our orders when we get there. Any questions for me on anything?"

"I have to say, I appreciate that you didn't voice those highly insulting concerns about telepaths that most do. You know the ones, where they're convinced that every telepath wants to prowl through their minds at the first opportunity. But to answer your question, I can't think of anything other than food." She grinned cheerfully. "My last ship, they were consistently amazed at how often I eat and how I never gain any weight. Curse of a fast metabolism. So, I'll look things over and send you a list ... if I have one ... of questions or supplies or personnel ... whatever comes to mind. If that's alright? Or would you prefer that everything goes through the First Officer?"

"Oh I know most telepaths are bound by a code of ethics Zhann. As far as food goes, if there is anything you personally want to have brought aboard the ship and stored just let our operations officer know. As far as personnel goes let me know, I can pull some strings and have them transferred over quicker before we leave Earth." That was one thing he was good at, with his years in the fleet he could make inquires and pull strings and favors to get particular personnel over. "All other questions just let our first officer know, she will take care of it. However I want you to feel like you can speak with me about anything, my door is always open."

"Thank you, Sir," Zhaan said. "As I said, I'll look everything over soon as I'm settled and I get something to eat."

"It was a pleasure to finally meet you Zhaan," he said as he stood up and extended his hand towards her. "Again welcome aboard the Sutherland, and the chef in the Highland lounge makes a wonderful Jumbo Mollusk and he infuses it with Hasperat; I think you will enjoy it if you like food with kick to it."

Zhaan stood at once and accepted the handshake, smiling as she did so. Having grown up among diplomats, she was used to the customs of many worlds, and had even enjoyed tracking down the origins when she could. "The pleasure is all mine, Sir," she said, "and thank you. I'll make a point of trying it."

Edward returned the young officers smile and sat back down in his chair and sipped on his coffee, watching as she turned on her heals and walked out of his ready room door. It had been an interesting day to say the least and the end of it was simply interesting. As he polished off the last of his coffee he tapped his com badge and said =Tyson to Bridge, open up a channel to my wife and let her know that I will be joining her this afternoon for dinner.=/\=. After a brief pause the officer on duty replied "Will do Captain." With that the line went quiet and Edward moved to the rear of his ready room to freshen up with one of the last dinner dates he was to have with his wife.


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