USS Lexington

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Posted on Fri Jun 3rd, 2022 @ 4:47pm by Ensign April Collins & Lieutenant JG Moriah Ama
Edited on on Sun Jun 5th, 2022 @ 3:06pm

Mission: S1, E2: Unexpected Changes
Location: USS Lexington - Deck 5 [Various]
Timeline: MD001, 1000 hrs
1821 words - 3.6 OF Standard Post Measure

"Personal log, Ensign April Collins. Starfleet loves to throw a curve ball the moment things start to feel normal. A couple of days ago I learned that I would be taking over the duties of Chief Flight Control Officer. My first reaction was why? What happened to Lieutenant Ama?

I have learned that nothing has happened to the good Lieutenant. She was being recalled to Starfleet Academy, but she was not the only officer being recalled. Most of the medical staff was being recalled, the communications chief and the operations chief.

The start of our five-year mission is already hard and losing members we are supposed to become close too does not help the moral of the crew. Especially this crew member.

I thought I would have more time to work with Lieutenant Ama. . .learn from her and have her mentor me. Starfleet on the other hand, had other plans for her. As said, not just her. Before the Lieutenant goes, I want to stop by her quarters, give her my best and tell her thank you.”

“Computer end log for now," April called out as she took a breath, then started to head out the door.

The doors to the room swished open as April left. She started to debate on what to say when she arrived in the quarters entrance. The journey to Ama's quarters was not long; they lived close by one another. April tapped on the intercom outside of Ama's soon to be former quarters.

A visitor was an unexpected development for Moriah, which manifested in the wrinkling of her brow as the summoning chime sounded.

“Who’s there?” she asked, looking up from her tablet to project toward the transceiver directly above. It was an old habit meant to address the inferior ambient filtering of older comm systems, which also tended to poorly reproduce her voice.

April was not surprised by her tone. She was not anticipating her arrival. She paused for a moment, debating about what to say. Then she finally spoke.

"It’s Ensign Collins."

Moriah's intrigue and expression deepened. Her relationship with Collins hadn't developed much beyond co-operating Lexington. They weren't uncordial but Moriah noticed her partiality to asking Captain Bond's guidance. Despite knowing of April's newness, the subsequent compromise of the autonomy with which Moriah had become accustomed to operating irked her into keeping her distance.

Yet the situation wasn't so insufferable that she'd refuse outreach.

"Come in," she beckoned, rising from the corner of her bed, and transitioning into the tiny cabin's foyer with barely a step.

April took a moment, then walked through the doors, she noticed the small step that Moriah took towards her. "I hope I am not disturbing you," April said, hoping that it was all right for her to stop by unannounced. She felt bad for not doing this sooner. Hunter had been a wonderful distraction for her. However, with that said, she was not close to some officers as she would like to be.

"Not much to disturb," Moriah chuckled, arms extended from her sides in indication of the nigh-unadorned cabin. The war had inherently curtailed personal effects, so in coming from the Laënnec, she hadn't much to unpack. Or subsequently repack.

"What brings you by?" she then asked, eyes fixed upon April in search of cues.

"I wanted to see if you wanted a hand. And if you could offer up some pointers to me. I have never been a department head before," April suggested. In reality, she felt bad for not getting to know the lady she worked next too for the short time she was on the Lexington.

Behind the incisive gaze Moriah gave her visitor, the departing helmswoman's mind reeled. She wasn’t surprised by April succeeding her: suspicion of Captain Bond's prerogative aside, Flight Control was a perfect first department because its functional subservience to Command meant he could provide direction and support without undermining her authority over her team. It thus made even more sense to go to him with an issue or concern now.

So why wasn't she? Finding out piqued Moriah into indulging her.

“Most ensigns haven’t,” she said with a shrug, smiling faintly in the hope of lightening the mood. "Got to start somewhere, right?”

"If we are being honest, it’s a big place to start for an ensign," April suggested, feeling a little overwhelmed. She hoped that Moriah would provide some insights or at least tip or two.

Turning and perching on the edge of 'her' couch out of suspicion that the subsequent conversation would transpire at length, Moriah then asked, "How so?" After all, 'big' was a pertinent adjective to several aspects of Lexington.

"I never expected to get a senior role so early in my career." April started to say, not sure how to work what she wanted to say next. She took a breath then proceed on. "I assumed I would shadow you for at least a year before being considered for the assistant position."

"The danger of assumptions," ribbed Moriah half-seriously. "Seriously, though: is this what you want? Or are you going along with it because important-looking people are 'asking' it of you?"

"I would be lying if I said I did not want it. I just thought I had more time to prepare for this moment though," April said, thinking she sounded silly for mentioning this now.

Though the back end of her younger colleague’s answer indeed struck Moriah as absurd, a small smirk was the extent of her criticism. "Well, if it's any consolation, you wouldn't have necessarily popped out of my shadow ready to take on the universe. We could've been a flight team for ten years, but you'd still encounter circumstances you don't have answers for once you left the nest. Because while experience can help condition you for challenges, it's the will to learn and grow that allows you to meet and overcome them."

Moriah was working toward what she said next, yet her gradual recognition of April's trepidation incited her to air its foundational thought directly. "This isn't about being afraid of looking foolish, is it?"

"I'm that transparent, am I?" April asked, feeling that the Lieutenant just pegged her to a tee. That was her biggest fear.

"It took me a moment to realize it," Moriah confessed to her visitor and herself. She'd struggled to peg April for reasons she touched upon in continuation: "New pilots are typically either not scared enough or so sacred that they waste more energy than a holo-chamber trying to convince everyone else they're not." She personally had favored the latter, though via self-containment rather than bluster and swagger.

"I guess I am not your average pilot." April said a little puzzled. She assumed she was a stage, but it made sense listening to her saying that. April noticed she was not as arrogant as her fellow pilots. She just assumed it was because she was too serious and dedicated to her duty to the Lexington and her crew.

"But you're not a confident one either, and that's almost as bad."

The comment stung a bit. But maybe she was lacking confidence. She scrambled to figure out what to say.

"I am a certified pilot. One would think that would make me naturally confident boarding on arrogant," April suggested to Moriah.

Unconvinced, Moriah shook her head. "True confidence is embracing the opportunities missteps afford, not fearing ever making them." She briefly paused, partly to further hone her thoughts and partly out of surprise with how succinct and sagely she sounded just then. "It's one thing to excel at a curriculum: because it's ultimately controlled, it can be studied and prepared for. It's quite another to do this job in its natural element, particularly when you're also accountable for others' performances and lives. I think you realize that on some level, which is why you're eager to gain knowledge and perspective from the captain and others. But there's going to come times in which their counsel can only inform you, and not necessarily when you feel good and well ready to make decisions on them."

April appreciated the insight despite how hard it was to get an honest opinion. Maybe Starfleet knew what they were doing when they assigned her to the academy. Cadets and junior officers could learn from her examples and lessons.

April nodded in agreement. "I think I understand what you mean. It helps. And I believe with time, I should get there," April suggested to Moriah. She paused for a moment. "Do you need any assistance? It seems only right to help you out, since you are helping me out." April said with a warm smile. She knew Moriah would be leaving the ship soon and wanted to take full advantage of this moment.

Moriah contemplated declining given that her packing was well in hand, only for her thoughts to reflect upon April's insistence on helping. Was she trying to atone for not cultivating a relationship between them sooner? Viewed through her newly forged frame of reference for her, it was possible. As much as she would've preferred that April directly acknowledge her perception of the offense, Moriah knew that wisdom wasn't always fully appreciated when first dispensed.

Standing, she chose to apply some once lent to her.

"How good is your transporter tag programming?"

"I am efficient, what do you got in mind?" April asked, wondering where she was going with this. Before Lieutenant Urano's arrival earlier today, she had been operating the operations station and backing up Lieutenant Ama at the helm.

Moriah stepped over to the bulk of her personal effects, which sat packed in a handful of cases along the front of her desk. Each had a transponder that could also be programmed with executable instructions for transporter conveyance, potentially reducing the workload of operator and recipient. . .if said instructions were competently programmed.

"Just wanted you to look over my work, make sure I didn't flub anything. Programming is not one of my strong suits; I'm impatient and tend to read over my mistakes with my intent."

April was surprised to hear her say those words. She was expressing her own flaws. Something Moriah had told her to be confident. She wondered if this was another lesson, or if she was looking into this too much. Well in all fairness April had expressed hers, so maybe in return Moriah was returning the favor.

It was hard to know for sure, she did not want to be rude and ask her. She decided her best course of action was to help and sound more confident. She would take that to heart, as she walked over to the desk.

"May I?" She would need to get access to a terminal to check the tag coding.


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