Episode 5: The Adversary (Joint Mission)
Location: Tactical Office
Timeline: MD120, 1000 Hours
With the Captain having been detained elsewhere for a short while, he had completely disregarded his previous arrangement to have the Assistant Tactical Operations Officer report to him. It was only upon his arrival back at the bridge that he had been reminded and had quickly set out for the Tactical Operations Office.
Sauntering in through the doors, several officers were taken aback by the Andorian's sudden appearance. "I'm looking for Franklin," he spoke in his gruff voice.
Jamie had not been paying attention to the comings and goings within the department. Instead, he had spent the last hour since leaving the bridge reading and approving shift rotations, personnel changes, and shore leave requests. At the announcement of his name, he looked up while at the same time thinking, who could possibly be asking for me down here? In a small pond of fellow crewman, he saw him. Standing just inside of the hatch surrounded by perplexed and confused faces was the new Captain. He stood taller than the others and he looked menacing. Maybe even angry. Startled by the Captain's sudden presence, Jamie barely noticed the PADD slip from his fingers and clatter onto the desk. Oh crap! he shouted silently to himself. Launching from his office chair, it was as if he suddenly shape-shifted into a plank of oak.
"I am Ensign Franklin, Sir," Jamie announced firmly from the position of attention.
"At ease Ensign," the Andorian ordered as he approached the far younger man, his antennae bopping away atop his silver barnet. "I came to apologise for missing you on the bridge earlier. Something came up outside of my control," the senior most officer revealed.
Jamie loosened a bit but not so much as to look sloppy. "It's no problem, Sir. You did not have to come down here. I would have come back up to the bridge," he said, now feeling as if he had made the right decision not to throw a fit before. "What can I do for you, Sir?"
"I realise that the previous department head left under a bit of a cloud and Tactical Operations has been working without a replacement ever since," the Andorian revealed as he perched on the edge of a console. it is my intention to rectify that today."
Excellent. The replacement is finally here, he thought only to himself, trying not to display the excitement he felt. "That is great news, sir. When does the new chief arrive?"
"He's already here," the Captain revealed before pointing at the Ensign. "You've been keeping things running in the absence of a Chief, so I have decided to give you the job. I'd usually appoint someone more experienced, but someone once told me that to get experience, someone must give youth a chance. Consider this your one chance Lieutenant," the Andorian smiled uncharacteristically as he offered a hand of congratulations.
Jamie looked down upon the large blue hand extended towards him. For a moment, a number of conflicting thoughts ran through his head, none of which he could understand. He looked up at the captain. Knowing this was his one and only shot, he firmly gripped the Captain's hand and shook slightly while displaying a smile.
"I won't let you down, Sir," Jamie said, easing his grip on the Captain's hand.
"The ship reaches her destination in less than two hours. I want a complete report on the Tactical Operations department on Commander Neprem's desk before we leave," the Andorian ordered as he released the new Lieutenant's hand.
"Aye, Sir," Jamie acknowledged, shaking his head in agreement. "It will be done."
"Get to it Lieutenant," the Andorian nodded before departing the Tactical office and leaving the youngster to his new duties.
Jamie stood aghast for a moment as he watched his new commanding officer depart the office. He was not the only one set aback by the unexpected news. He made eye contact with nearly all dozen crewmembers standing between the entrance and Jamie. "I can't tell whether they admire what just happened or if they feel bad for me, he thought as he portrayed a slight grin to his new staff. Before the atmosphere could become awkward, he simply turned his back to his desk and began organizing the PADDs he had been slowly making his way through. Picking them up and securing them in his arms, he walked the few feet to his new office, which resembled a large cylinder in the middle of the office. The doors slid open and he slipped into the vacant office. Stopping at his new desk, he placed the stack of PADDs upon the left side of the desk.
Raising his chin, he reached for the top of his jacket, unzipping and removing it to reveal his gold colored undershirt. After placing the jacket neatly upon the barren desk, he walked over to the replicator mounted upon the bulkhead. He punched in a couple of commands and the machine hummed to life, turning energy into matter. Upon completion, he grabbed the small item and held it up to examine it. He gazed briefly upon the small black bar bordered within a thin line of gold. He smiled and turned back to his desk, which was only about 10 feet away. He walked the brief distance and bent over the uniform jacket he recently removed. He smoothed over gold patch sewn above the jacket's right breast with his finger and used his other hand to press the metallic bar snuggly onto the patch, tucked up against the once lonely gold bar.
Placing the jacket upon his shoulders one arm at a time, he zipped it closed and pulled the bottom below his waist line. After moving behind the desk, he sat down and slid his chair to a comfortable position towards the desk. Lieutenant Junior Grade, he thought to himself with a smile as he reached for the same PADD he had been reviewing when the Captain arrived. Knowing that his day had just become much busier, he began reviewing and tapping upon the PADD.