A Change Is Gonna Come
Episode 5: Better Angels
Location: USS Defiant - Ready Room
Timeline: Defiant at Warp
Dante had received word from the young tactical crewman that he'd finally gotten a chance to speak to his superior and let him know of his desire to begin cross training at the helm. He'd also made it clear that he might possibly even decide to switch departments, but that decision still remained to be made. Now Dante had to discuss the matter with the captain, and despite their apparent friendship, he wasn't at all sure how the conversation was going to go.
Walking onto the bridge he noted that she wasn't in the command chair, and he gave a questioning look to the person sitting there, receiving a slight head tilt towards the ready room door. With a nod he walked to the door and pressed the small button to activate the chime and announce his presence.
Charlotte has busied herself for the last several minutes adjusting an issue in one of her models. The nacelles of the NX-01 were slightly askew and it had bugged her long enough to spur her into action. At the sound of the chime, she actually didn’t bother to turn around and face the door, but instead simply spoke up. “Enter.”
Strolling in to the captain's ready room Dante noticed two things, Charlotte wasn't in her chair behind the desk, and she was hunched over what looked like a scale model of a starship, making some sort of adjustment. "Good morning, Captain. Everything alright?", he asked.
"Yes, everything is alright," Charlotte said as she finished tinkering. "Just a lot of waiting. So I keep finding ways to keep myself busy."
"Think you could spare a few minutes for a quick chat?", Dante asked, a hopeful look on his face. "Official ship business.", he added a second or two later so she wouldn't think he was there to waste her time.
"Absolutely," she said, finally standing again and turning to face him. "What's it about?"
"I was approached yesterday by Crewman Carter, from tactical. He made a rather unorthodox request for someone so fresh out of the training academy...", he said, letting his words trail off. "To make it short and sweet he asked me to start training him for helm, and even sort of hinted at a possible full transfer request.", he added.
"Interesting." Charlotte raised an eyebrow, crossing her hands and leaning against the display desk. "The crewman is pretty green. After what we just put him through, I wouldn't be surprised if he'd want something less tactical. Do you think its genuine interest or just a reaction to our recent circumstances?"
"I asked myself that question over the past twenty four hours, and I also asked him something similar in our impromptu meeting. If you want my honest opinion, I think it might be a mixture of both, but I'll tell you this. I think it leans more towards a genuine interest. He mentioned doing computer simulations, and studying up on helm control in his free time. It seems that he really has a desire to learn about it. He made a passing mention that getting into tactical was what made sense because of his size. I honestly don't think he ever wanted that as his career on a deep level.", Dante replied.
"And I checked back into his records. Even though flight simulators are not tracked by the tactical training programs at the STSA they are still tracked by user. I was able to cross-reference them, and, well, frankly he's pretty damn good at simulations. I'm genuinely surprised he didn't end up moving to helm while he was there.", he added.
Charlotte considered this for a moment. She'd never had anything pulling her in a direction other than helm, at least until command training. She could see how he'd feel pulled toward tactical. "It's your department, so I'll defer to your judgement. But it sounds like he might have some promise as a helm officer. Once we're through this situation, we can get him some hours flying a shuttle. If he's doing well there, we can upgrade him to actual helm training. In the meantime, no reason we can't give him some more time on a simulator."
With a nod and a smile Dante spoke, "Agreed. I'll speak with Mr. Roseland, and have him set up some extra training time for Mr. Carter. I'd like to see him doing some official helm sims myself, just to make sure he's got what it takes."
"And I'll, of course, keep you up to date on his progression. Is there anything in particular you'd like his training to focus on? Any specific aspect of helm control, or particular types of ships, or even situations?", he asked.
She thought this over for a moment. What would be a good test? "I'd load up some asteroid field navigation sims. Maybe assisting a stranded vessel. Nothing too hard. We can let him build up before he gets into something like magnetic belts. But let's simulate training in a larger, clunkier ship. Newton class maybe. Those things are a bitch to handle, and I think it'd be a good test of his natural instincts." If the Crewman was able to keep up with these, he'd definitely be qualified for helm. If not, it was a goal to work toward.
Dante smiled appreciatively, "I like that idea. Newtons are pretty terrible, as far as helm control is concerned.", he said. "I'll pass that on to Roseland, and see what he comes up with. Thanks.", he added.
"I won't take up any more of your time. I just wanted to run that by you. I'm due on the bridge in about an hour, and I'd really like to get some breakfast first.", he said, and then waited for her to dismiss him.
"Sounds like a plan," Charlotte said. Her own shift would be starting soon. "And keep me posted on his progress. I'm always happy to see a new helm officer get their start. Stop by anytime."
"Will do!", Dante replied, and made his way out of the room.