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Opposites assigned

Posted on Thursday January 7th, 2021 @ 8:27pm by Commander T'Pasek

Mission: Episode 1: The Maelstrom Awaits
Location: CSO's office
Timeline: Day 1 at 0000

He walked up to the door and rang the bell, stepping back again. He was infinitely curious to meet T'Pasek as he was with all other Vulcans. He folded his hands as he looked at the door, patiently waiting.

At her desk, T'Pasek's brow was furrowed as she studied the text on her screen. Dr. Morm Oney, a colleague of T'Pasek's at the Daystrom Institute had presented a theoretical answer to the subspace rifts that had developed in the Hekaris corridor. The technology did not exist to implement the solution, but it would give researchers a direction to move towards.

T'Pasek had to admit that Doctor Oney's use of nonlinear partial differential equations to address the fluid, multispatial nature of the rifts was insightful, though she felt that Dr. Oney had not adequately addressed the problem of the relative negative energy density associated with the rifts in the corridor.

T'Pasek was about to begin composing her response when she was interrupted by a signal at her door.

"Enter," she instructed whoever was at her door as she closed her message window.

A Vulcan male entered, looking up at T'Pasek. He was pondering something, something of great importance to himself. His father was unfortunate enough to injure himself in a skiing accident, snapping his right arm like a twig. He cared deeply for this man, the one who raised him. He snapped out of it and centered his attention on T'Pasek.

He held up a ta'al, a traditional Vulcan greeting. "Ensign Akron, reporting for duty." He stood at attention, scanning her room. His eyes darted around from end to end, looking. What he was trying to ascertain, even he didn't know.

He was concealing his emotions, not as successfully as he had hoped. He was quite nervous.

T'Pasek wordlessly returned the salute, before gesturing for the Ensign to take a seat on the other side of her desk.

"Ensign Akron," T'Pasek began, "My normal mode of operations when assigning duty to my subordinates is to first request for them to express their expectations for their current duty stations. I will take into consideration their expectation, then consider both the current needs of the ship and my assessment of their service record and their abilities before assigning them their primary duties. I have found this leads to an optimum performance from both the subordinate in question as well as the Division as a whole."

If T'Pasek had taken notice of either the ensign's nervousness or his clearly un-Vulcan name, she gave no indication of it.

"So what are your expectations on serving on the Nogura?" T'Pasek inquired.

He quickly took the seat in front of T'Pasek. "That is the most logical course of action, ma'am. I would like to have a station that works best for my position as the assistant chief of science. Something that works well and affords me the opportunity to assist you with your duties as well as make my life easier while I complete my duties."

He paused for a second, thinking more about the options. "I specialize in biology and biochemistry. A station that suits those needs would be preferred." He said, folding his hands behind his back.

"I will be assigning you direct responsibility of the hydroponics bay, the auxiliary science lab attached to hydroponics, and the personnel assigned to both," T'Pasek said as she made entries into the LCARS interface on her desk. "In addition, I will be assigning you shifts at the science station on the bridge, alternating between Beta and Gamma shifts. Any questions?"

He paused for a long time, thinking. He looked up at her, starting to speak again. "I have no questions at this time." He continued to look at her, awaiting anything else she had to tell him. He started to scratch his neck.

"I am currently preparing a briefing for the senior staff on the Maelstrom," T'Pasek continued, looking up from her interface. "Considering the often conflicting theories used to describe the nature of the Maelstrom, I will be relying on predictive, rather than comprehensive, theories. Once I have completed that briefing, I will send a copy of it to both you and other officers in our department. I shall expect you to familiarize yourself with the material and evaluate it."

The Vulcan Chief Science Officer paused before continuing. "I realize the material is outside your specialty, Ensign. When comparing the disparate levels of our careers, both academic and in Starfleet, it would be illogical for me to assume you could make a meaningful contribution or critique of the material. However, Starfleet expects its Chief Science Officers and, by extension, its Assistant Chief Science Officers, to be scientific dilettantes. You will be required by your superiors to speak knowledgeably, if not extensively, on subject matters well beyond your trained area of expertise. It is not an expectation that is based on logic, of course, but the expectation will still be there. And you will be expected to fulfill that expectation."

The Vulcan Assistant Chief Science Officer listened, nodding as she spoke. He understood how this might be difficult, but he could become knowledgeable on the topics in the allotted time.

"I understand, I will fulfill that expectation, ma'am. Once I get the materials, I'll review them and prepare myself to present an extensive and professional presentation." He paused for a long second as he looked at her. He had completed more complex assignments in his rather short career. This would be a challenge, but complete-able.

"Bearing in mind that I will be the one making the presentation from my own material," T'Pasek remarked dryly. "But it would undoubtedly help you to assimilate the material if you prepared a presentation as if you were actually going to conduct one."

"I understand." He replied as he gave her a warm smile. "I shall practice with the presentation. It seems to be the logical thing to do, to help myself like you said. Do you require any additional assistance that I should know about?"

T'Pasek shook her head. "Familiarize yourself with the hydroponic bay and your bridge duties. Complete your 'checking in' requirements. We do have a Vulcan physician onboard for your baseline medical examination, if you care to avail yourself of her services. It is not a requirement that utilize her, however. But you will require a baseline examination."

"Otherwise, if you have no questions for me, Ensign, you are dismissed," T'Pasek concluded. With that, the Chief Science Officer returned her attention to the reply she was composing.

He nodded to her and rose. "I will meet the doctor and familiarize myself with my duties. Thank you for your time. Peace and long life, Lieutenant." He replied, turning and exiting.


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