The Leadership Gap
Posted on Sun Oct 14th, 2018 @ 5:17pm by Lieutenant JG Jamie Franklin
Edited on on Mon Oct 15th, 2018 @ 12:39am
Episode 5: The Adversary (Joint Mission)
Location: Main Security
Timeline: MD119, 1830 hours
Jamie paused as the door to the main security office slid open. He walked in while taking a sip of his dark Columbian roast coffee and suddenly realized that perhaps he should have slipped a shot or two of whiskey into his mug. Pausing again, he noticed an atmosphere of near chaos. As he stepped forward and began moving towards his desk, he wondered what the hell was going on. Crewman and officers were traversing the large office at nearly a sprint and not a single desk was occupied. As he approached his desk littered with PADDs, he closed his eyes for a moment and let out a sigh. As he sat down he slid his mug to the edge of the desk to prevent him from downing the entire contents.
He knew things would be a little different with Thawn’s sudden departure but did not realize that the department would throw itself into chaos. Or maybe he simply just ignored the possibility by minimizing the effect her departure would have on the crew. Afterall, not many had liked her, and it was no secret that his relationship with her was tense at best. He had initially gambled that her departure would have been good for the department. He figured that with the wicked witch gone, the name given to her after a showing of the Wizard of Oz a few months back, the crew would feel less restricted. Unfortunately, he had not accounted for the gap left when she took her leadership abilities with her. If there was one thing she was good at, it was getting the job done and keeping the crew on track. On the other hand, up to this point he had not been good at that. Under Thawn’s guidance and instruction he had drilled and evaluated over half of the security teams on the ship, developed and maintained rosters, and even completed a major inventory of all torpedo magazines. But alone, he was having difficulty figuring out how to prioritize without that guidance and instruction.
Though he had not expected to see this level of chaos when arriving on shift this morning, he had already planned on addressing it as well as implementing a friendlier version of Thawn’s leadership. He would need to do it soon too, before the XO or captain made their way down to deck five. He stood up from his chair and reached for his black coffee. The chaotic view around him had already proven enough to wake him from his early morning confusion, but he took another swig anyhow, wishing there were in fact some whiskey or brandy swimming in the coffee. His intended short swallow turned into a longer one as he began to grow nervous about roping in his department. He only hoped that Thawn’s replacement, whomever it is, is on the way.
“I need everyone’s attention, please,” Jamie said setting his mug back upon his desk.
Despite the chaotic movement throughout the department, there was not an excessive amount of noise at this time. However, only a few crewmen, the closest, bothered to show any degree of acknowledgment. Whether intentional or unintentional, Jamie was growing frustrated and annoyed towards his fellow crewman. He moved his coffee mug towards the edge of his desk so that he had room to step up onto the desk without knocking it off. He caught the gaze of a couple of the nearest crewmen and threw his right hand into the air and began waving.
“I need everyone’s attention over here!” he nearly yelled this time. It worked, though, since everyone immediately stopped what they were doing and turned their heads in their direction. Clearing his throat, he continued, “Everyone gather in front of me,” he said a bit more calmly, but firmly. Slowly, the confusion dissipated as everyone slowly coalesced into a group in front of Jamie. As he surveyed the crowd, he counted 14 crewmen; a few enlisted, some Ensigns, and one Lieutenant Junior Grade. Despite this, he addressed the crowd.
“I know things have been difficult and chaotic since the sudden departure of the Chief Tactical Officer. I’m sure that the Captain is looking for a replacement and one will be on deck as soon as possible. Despite this, we still have a job to do and a department to keep intact.” He paused to ensure that he had everyone’s attention. He was surprised to find that everyone was paying close attention, including the one officer in the room that outranked him.
“Nothing has changed with her departure,” He continued, noticing some scoffs and jeers. “Really, nothing has changed. We still have a job to do in protecting this ship and our fellow crewmen. Security team postings and schedules remain unaffected. Equipment inventory schedules remain unaffected. Bridge postings and schedules remain unaffected. And, training and evaluation schedules remained unaffected.” He paused again to reevaluate the group, determining that the chaos was coming to an end.
“All I ask of you is to continue operating as things were prior to the Lieutenant’s departure. Ensure you and your teams are performing your duties and the department will be fine. Are we in agreement?” As he finished his rally speech, he hoped to the Gods that those present were on board. Nods of agreement and “Aye” followed in unison. With a brief smile, Jamie hopped down off his desk and grabbed his nearly empty coffee mug. He pushed the desk chair back into position behind the desk and stood for a moment staring at the empty Chief’s desk in the office in front of him.