USS Lexington

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A Test for Posterity

Posted on Thu Apr 15th, 2021 @ 7:24am by Captain Steven Bond & Lieutenant JG Thoni ch'Vrosia & Lieutenant JG Moriah Ama
Edited on on Mon Apr 26th, 2021 @ 12:28pm

Mission: S1, E0: We need each other.
Location: USS Lexington - Captain's Ready Room
Timeline: MD001, 1545 hours
1196 words - 2.4 OF Standard Post Measure

"Captain Bond, your helmswoman stole my ship," spat an apoplectic Midshipman Alex Merrill, pointing behind himself in Moriah's general direction with similar verve. "And despite having been a passenger and consequently bearing witness to the crime, your Security Chief has informed me that he doesn't intend to do anything about it!"

Situated a step or two behind the visitor she'd escorted up because the orthographic knowledge to find his own way aboard a Constitution-class vessel wasn't yet commonplace, Moriah—a pointer beckoningly risen—interposed, "Chief Helmswoman. And while I get that Starfleet technically classifies any spacefaring vessel as a ship, referencing a Class C Shuttlecraft as one feels like an attempt to gussy up the severity of this."

Steven had a big grin on his face. His new CCFO had a little spunk to her. He hoped she could keep it in check. He liked personalities and having fun, both of which seemed to exude.

"Lieutenant ch'Vrosia is this true?" Steven asked. He was only hearing one side of the story, and still needed to hear the other two sides of the story, before he passed any judgements.

"Captain," Thoni began. "As the midshipman says, the shuttle did lift off with Lt. Ama at the controls," he said, not one to lie to his captain. "But I disagree on the theft, I saw it as commandeering," he said, enjoying this probably more than he should've. "And I saw no problem with it. To me she followed regulations by using her rank to fulfill the midshipman's mission. If I read the situation right, he's just trying to save face so to speak."

"Seriously?!" Merrill snickered, the Andorian's assessment momentarily bending his fledging self-restraint.

"Seriously," reiterated Moriah dourly. Confident in her decision to commandeer the shuttle, discovering Lexington's Security Chief among the passengers and that his perspective aligned with hers made her more so. "I made all of your rounds. I conducted no extraneous activities as everyone aboard can attest. Which includes you because I retrieved you via transporter rather than stranding you on the Laënnec, where Transport Ops would've undoubtedly asked how you were relieved of your shuttle in home sector. So, I'd also say that this is ego-patching."

She then looked to her new captain, struck with the realization of her hijacking the proceedings. It'd taken a threat of beaming Merrill into the nearest brig to break his will to press the matter while in transit, during which she invited him to log a complaint with her commanding officer. That he'd chosen to do so reminded her of the futility of a direct confrontation.

"Sorry, sir."

Steven just sat back in his chair, sipping on his coffee. He heard from the midshipman. He heard from the security chief and he had heard from his pilot. What was still missing, was the big question. "Lieutenant Ama, why did you commandeer the shuttle?" Steven asked. What was her motivation and reasoning for it?

Moriah hadn't wanted to disclose the full extent of Merrill's actions. Despite the midshipman—who faced her with crossed arms—having irked her, snitching didn't appeal to her. She was young and dumb once and thus willing to tolerate similar naivety. Yet she spoke her answer instantly, mind made that he'd inflicted the one circumstance she wouldn't suffer: a lack of introspection.

"Because Midshipman Merrill's preoccupation with a disembarking female passenger was compromising the integrity of his and the Laënnec's transport operations," she said amidst a brief glance his way. "They spent over ten minutes socializing, during which the bay manager asked him through craft and internal comms to depart. Another passenger and I also approached and informed him of our readiness to do so. When we observed his continued refusal to reassume his duties, I decided that I'd had enough and invoked regulations to commandeer."

"Did it occur to you, to express your concern verbally, by reminding the midshipman to perform their duties?" Steven asked, as he looked over to Moriah. While in theory he agreed with her, the legality of it, was different. Protocol should have been followed.

It had been by Moriah's estimation. "My approach wasn't quite patterned along the lines of 'get back to work or else' out of consideration for the midshipman's. . .situation," she replied. "However, I did state after recognizing his intent to ignore my passive guidance that bay control had repeatedly summoned him, and that further delay could invoke more severe follow-up."

"You're walking a dangerous line, Lieutenant. Part of me, wants to write you up. Another part of me wants to congratulate you, for doing your job. Clearly the midshipman was distracted and should have never been assigned to the posting. I will have a separate conversation with the dockmaster about that." Steven started to say, as he sat up in his chair, and corrected his posture. Time to get serious.

"I have been reviewing the footage." Steven said, as he turned the monitor at his desk around, it was supporting the claim that Ama had made. "I am going to recommend a reprimand to your CO." Steven said, as he looked over to the midshipman. Then he focused his attention on his own officer. Steven was surprised that the midshipman was this dumb and wanting to press the issue. Since the issue was pressed, he was forced to act on it.

"Lieutenant, for the next week, you will assist Chef Bond in the galley for two hours each night." Steven said, knowing that was not really a punishment. He had to show some sign of discipline for the officer.

The midshipman did not appear to be happy. Deep down, that look was bringing a smile on the inside. This should have been handled by his CO going to him and not bypassing the chain of command.

Moriah's jaw clenched in restraint, the overriding trigger amusement with the disparity in the consequences assessed. She harbored no sympathy for her new CO's all-but-guaranteed disciplinary recommendation for Merrill despite firsthand familiarity with how a reprimand could impair one's post-graduation prospects because she knew it recoverable. As for her own 'punishment,' she would've preferred none. Yet a hazy intuition stayed her inclination to protest it. Initially uncertain as to Captain's Bond's intent beyond conveying his preference for more polish in future disputes at first, Moriah realized her mistake; wielding the triviality of this issue against Merrill worked, but choosing to import rather than settle it at its origin reflected poorly upon her leadership. She had no defense other than her eagerness to reach Lexington, which she hadn't even taken in thanks to the perpetuation of this nonsense.

Merrill's voice roused the pilot from her ruminations, its reemergence unexpected. She didn't register what he'd said in entirety but caught enough to know that he'd chosen to try and temper Bond's decision. An eye roll preluded her interest in spectating the attempt, of which she expressed her expectation.

"Sir, may Lieutenant ch'Vrosia and I be dismissed?" Moriah advertently cut off Merrill with the query. "I think the midshipman has digging his grave well in hand. . ."


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