Fly Boy Talks
Episode 8: A Greater Power
Timeline: Day 181 at 1200
Lieutenant Mitchell was a man without a home. Like most of the Roehampton's crew, he was in limbo while awaiting new orders. Most of his time was spent holed up in his guest quarters, trying to find ways of distracting his mind from dwelling on his memories of fake events. On those occasions when he did venture out, scuttlebutt was running wild regarding an incident in the Mess between the Captain and Nogura's Chief Ops Officer. They had never been able to see eye to eye and now it seemed that the reasoning for that had come to light.
Today he'd managed to venture out of his quarters once again, this time to spend time in the water. If flying was his first love, and it was, then swimming was his second. He loved spending time in the water. It had always helped him unwind, and he needed to unwind now more than ever. He reached the end of the outdoor pool, the sun high in a cloudless azure sky. He turned in the water and kicked off the wall, sending himself back in the opposite direction.
It wasn't long before the door to the holodeck opened with the loud rumble and hiss usually associated with the massive entrance way, and a man in relaxed clothes entered and stood at the edge of the pool. It was not his intention to get the swimmers attention yet, not until he was ready, but he wanted a conversation and there were certainly conversations to be had.
Xander didn't notice the new arrival at first. For the first time since he'd been brought out of stasis, he was at peace; his mind was clear. He could pretend that the rest of the universe didn't exist. Deciding to take a break, Xander swam towards the edge of the pool. As he did, he could see a pair of legs belonging to someone standing at the the edge. When he pulled his goggles off and looked up he found the Nogura's Commanding Officer standing there. "Sorry Captain. I didn't realise that anyone had this Holodeck booked."
"Don't worry Lieutenant," Drayton smiled as he shook his head, "I just wanted to have a little chat with you about something if that's ok?"
Alexander nodded. "Yes sir." He climbed out of the pool and reached for a towel he'd left nearby. As the Captain began to speak, Xander began drying himself off.
Drayton walked over to some pool side tables and took a seat, looking around the holodeck program with interest. There was so much that he never tried but would have liked to experience. Perhaps he would ask for the Lieutenant's programme some day. "So," he started, "it's been a couple of days and I hear you've spoken with Counsellor Kizohl," he smiled.
"As ordered, yes sir." Xander replied as he dropped the towel and pulled on the white t-shirt and board shorts that he'd left beside the towel. He'd made it sound like the only reason that he'd spoken to the Counsellor was because of orders. That was far from the truth. "I'd needed to speak to someone so even without those orders, I'd have been seeking out the Counsellor's services regardless." Alexander sat himself down in the chair opposite Captain Drayton.
"Rather you than me," the Captain smirked as he shook his head and lent back in the chair, "don't get me wrong, Idra is a fabulous Counsellor, but man alive... I can't stand people probing into your thoughts and feelings," he laughed, before realising he probably sounded very hypocritical and corrected himself, "but I felt that in this instance, with what everyone went through, we had to provide some concrete support."
Xander nodded in understanding. "Starfleet needs to make sure that this experience hasn't broken us. Or that it's not going to trigger us a month, six months, a year from now. I understand the need for the psych evals. I went through something similar not too long ago." He'd had to undergo a mandatory psych eval following his mishap more than a year ago.
"Well," the Captain took a deep breath before going down the route he had actually come to discuss, "I'm told that one of the biggest hurdles to overcome after things like this is to decide what to do next. Have you given that any thought?"
He'd already talked about that with the Counselor and been thinking about it. "I've been thinking about resigning my commission," he paused before adding, "again. After my mishap, I strongly considered requesting a JAG billet or resigning my commission. But I love to fly, and what's more I'm a good pilot. That's why I re-trained to fly capital ships and qualify on the QSD. Maybe the Counselor's right; why give up something that I love and that I'm good at? What we went through recently was horrible...traumatic even, but if I resign, I'd just be running away to hide on Earth. The Dominion War taught us that even Earth isn't the safe haven we often think it is."
Opening up like that to anyone was unusual for the Lieutenant. That it was a Captain, and one he barely knew, was downright weird. "You offered those of us displaced a chance to serve on the Nogura." Sitting back in his seat and looking the Captain in the eye he asked, "Got room for a Flight Ops Officer?"
"I have myself a capital ship. I have myself a quantum slipstream drive," the Captain nodded slowly, "what I don't have is a Chief Flight Operations Officer," he confirmed with a smile. "Jobs yours if you want it?"
Part of him was still reticent to take the job, worried that remaining on board the Nogura would constantly remind him of what happened. But that could be true of any Starfleet vessel he wound up being assigned too. At least here he was surrounded by people who'd been through the same thing; a support network that he wouldn't find anywhere else. Finally he provided an answer, "I'd like to remain aboard sir. Would be a shame for my talents at the Helm go to waste."
"I entirely agree," Drayton grinned as he offered a hand to the man in congratulations. "I'm delighted to have you with us Lieutenant. Take whatever time you need to adjust and let me know when you are ready to take to the bridge," he informed, in reference to the previous order for those involved in recent events to take some time to readjust.
Alexander smiled as he shook the Captain's hand. "Thank you, sir. After speaking with the Counsellor, I think its best that I get back in the saddle sooner rather than later. I'll be back on duty first thing in the morning."
"Excellent news," the Captain nodded with a thumbs up. "I expect you to keep up with your appointments though," he grinned.
He knew that he still had some things to work through and had no intentions of attempting to duck his appointments with the Counselor. "Aye sir."