A lesson in communications
Episode 1: A Lesson in Humility
Location: XO's office
Timeline: MD11 1500
Thyra was standing outside the office, pacing back and forth. Then she took a deep breath and hit the chime. She decided to just be herself. It never failed her. She now just needed to be invited in. The seconds felt like forever and she stood straight with her hands balled a bit as she somehow was trying to hold on to all her thoughts.
Inside his office, Maralen was going over crew reports. He hated paperwork, had been gladthat others had always had to do it for his missions with his former... employers. But here, it seemed to breed when he was not looking, and that was distinctly... irritating. Fortunately for his sanity, or what remained of it -- who could be entirely sane after having lived his life, after all -- the door chime interrupted the latest of the tortures... err, reports.
"Enter." he called, noting that there was a tone of relief in his voice. Had the visitor on the other side of the door heard it? Part of him hoped not.
Thyra walked in to the office. She'd never been in the XO's office. Her antennae moved around a bit and then she looked to Maralen. "Sorry to disturb you, sir, if you have some time I would like to talk to you about something a bit private. A bit personal."
Maralen studied the woman for a moment. He remembered having spoken to her when she had first boarded. He had not really had the opportunity to interact with her since except on duty, so he was a bit caught off guard by her statement. Unless she was having a problem with another of the crew. He hoped not.
"You're not disturbing me, Ensign Sh'shraaqir." he said, pronouncing her name with only a slight accent, mostly the slight hissing of the s's and purring of the r's. "Please come in and have a seat. What is it I can help you with?" He let some of his natural warmth enter his manner as he spoke, hoping to set her more at ease.
"Well I..." She said as she sat down and trying to say this. "You see, I...I never been a situation like this. I wasn't certain what the protocol was here, so I decided to have a word with you. I was with the doctor..." Unlike her she started to ramble, "We were in the lounge, we kissed and we left, and other people saw us. And they can talk about us. And I don't know if it is alright." Her face turned several shades of blue darker.
Maralen had not been certain what she would say, but that hadn't been it. He sat silently for a moment before speaking. "Well, there are always going to be rumors on a starship. It's a small, closed community where eventually everyone knows everyone else, like a small town. It isn't nice to start rumors about others, but it isn't forbidden by Starfleet either, sadly." he began. "As to you and the doctor, there isn't really a rule against it. Starfleet would prefer if higher-ranked officers didn't have relationships with lower-ranked ones, but it isn't forbidden. And generally, that 'rule' is intended where officers might have to order someone they love into a deadly situation. You two are in two different departments, and he is only onje rank above you. As long as you two don't let it affect your work, I don't see a problem." He sure as hells hoped that was what she had been asking.
"Oh good," Thyra sighed in relief. "I have never been in a relationship before. Not like this anyways. I did have the invites to drink, the distant flirting and the marital proposals over the com system. I never took those serious. I may have broken a few hearts though." She laughed. "And no, it wouldn't affect my work. I will be the polite voice of the Defiant as I always have been." She looked around the office a moment. "Wow, this went better than I expected. I was kind of nervous to meet you, sir, you made quite the impression the first time we met on the bridge. I don't know why I was so worried...I really should stop talking now right." She laughed nervously.
Maralen smiled a warm smile, or that was what it was intended to be. "Did I know? How's that?" he asked, wanting to know what impression it was she had gotten of him in that meeting. He needed to know how the crew saw him in order to know how to better relate to them, after all.
"I...it was just a feeling I got when we were talking," Thyra said, "It's not that you didn't try. you did, I just got that feeling...vibe thing and it's been bugging me ever since. But you know, it could have been because you were distracted. You were on the bridge that day and I may have come up to you by surprise. If that is the case, I apologize. I can be a little enthusiastic sometimes."
Mar smiled at her, hoping to ease her mind a bit. "I apologize," he offered genuinely, "for giving that impression. What you encountered was my" he paused to find the right description "on duty persona. I tend to maintain this Calm Shield when on duty. I guess it comes off as aloof or removed. That isn't the intention, though." It had served him in the Realm, but it was not serving him here. He would need to do what he did best, adapt.
"Ah," Thyra nodded in understanding. "I can see the merits of being serious on duty. Keeps you focused. I guess." She shrugged and smiled. Then she got an idea and her eyes lit up a bit. "Well, maybe we should start again." A bright grin graced her face as she held out her hand. "Hello, Commander, I am Ensign Thyra Sh'shraaqir, your communications officer."
Mar chuckled softly and took the offered hand. Maybe this was a good idea. Too bad he couldn't start over with everyone. "Hello, Ensign. I am Commander Maralen Seitha, the Executive Officer," he reciprocated, the chuckle having been followed by a warm smile. "Welcome to the Defiant."
"Thank you, commander," Thyra said still smiling. "It is an honor to serve here."