Episode 5: The Adversary (Joint Mission)
Location: Executive Officer's Ready Room
Timeline: MD120, 1110 hours
Jamie had spent the last hour since the Captain left organizing tactical data. Of course, 15 minutes had initially been spent researching what a tactical operations report looked like aboard the Nogura. Thinking he had what Commander Neprem wants, he swept the PADD from the desk and tucked it to his side. Nearly stumbling around his new desk, he regained his balance just in time to find himself face-to-face with closed hatch. He had locked the hatch to prevent from being disturbed while compiling the report. He reached up and touched the control panel, immediately allowing the hatch to slide aside. Within a few steps, he passed his old desk; a desk that he will have to fill somehow in the coming days. Deciding that this was a task for a later time, he continued forward and out of the security office.
The corridor was far less busy than earlier in the morning. He only passed two separate crewmen on his way to the turbolift that would take him to the bridge. Upon stepping in to the lift, he spun around and barked his command.
"Bridge," he said with far more confidence than his first trip to the bridge earlier this morning. The lift hummed to life and he spent the five-deck trip quickly proofreading a portion of his report as quickly as possible. He was soon interrupted by the sound of the lift door sliding aside. He hadn't noticed the lift slowing or the hum disappearing. Tucking the PADD back to his side, he stepped onto the bridge and turned left. With the exception of the Captain's and XO's chairs on the middle platform of the bridge, each bridge station was occupied. This was not surprising since the Nogura was set to depart in the next hour or so.
Stepping down onto the middle platform, he passed the auxiliary mission operations and science stations. He stepped down onto the lower platform and passed the operations and flight operations stations before moving slight right towards the Commander's ready room at the fore of the bridge. Stopping arm's length from the hatch, Jamie reached his hand out and pressed the chime button.
"Enter," Tara called out. The Captain wanted the Nogura battle ready, so she was just finishing up some details before heading out to the Bridge to stand watch. But first, she had to deal with whoever was at her door. "Lieutenant Franklin," Tara said in greeting when the doors swished open to reveal the new Sec/Tac Chief. "I just sent you a message; we're nearing the Yadera system and need to be prepared for the possibility of battle. Is Tactical ready?" she asked as she shut off her console while rising from her chair.
Jamie stepped forward towards Tara. He had never actually been this close to her. From behind her desk, she seemed taller and more intimidating. He had never had to deal with her directly; until now. He looked her in the eyes and responded.
"Yes, Ma'am," he replied, holding out the PADD he had been working on for the past hour. "Security and tactical teams are at the ready and Commander Th'iqiarrroq is manning the tactical station for the time being."
As the Trill came around her desk, she took the PADD and gave it a quick once over. "Very good," Tara said approvingly, then returned the PADD to Franklin. "Now how much Bridge experience do you have? Are you prepared to man the Tactical station in the event of a combat situation?"
Jamie fidgeted a bit and looked to the deck briefly. "I haven't touched a tactical station since advanced tactical school let alone on this bridge," he replied, looking up at the Trill, expecting to see a wince of disappointment in her eyes. "But," he began in an attempt to advocate for himself, "in a pinch I'm sure it would come back to me."
"In that case, I would like you to man the station, but pick one of your staff with Bridge experience to back you up, just in case," Tara said without a shred of disappointment. "And chin up, Lieutenant, inexperience is nothing to be ashamed of; better to admit your shortcomings so you can better prepare than to let us down while feigning experience. Now, Bridge shifts are mandatory for department heads, and I'm going to recommend a course of training simulations for when you're not on the Bridge. After that, you just need time."
"Of course, Ma'am," Jamie replied, more upbeat and less shameful. "I will ask Ensign Ja'Qull from delta shift to back me up and at the earliest possible moment, I will run your recommended training simulations," he assured his new boss.
"Excellent," Tara replied, giving the junior officer and encouraging grin. "Was there anything else you needed before we report to the Bridge?"
Jamie racked his brain for a moment, searching for anything but he could find nothing to add. "No, Ma'am," he replied with a smile.
"Don't strain yourself there," Tara said with a chuckle. "I'll be waiting for you to report to the Bridge once you rouse Ensign Ja'Qull. And be quick about it, we'll be arriving at the Yadera system soon. Dismissed."
"Aye, Ma'am," Jamie replied, snapping to the position of attention. He smiled and departed the ready room.