Getting to Know the Woman in Blue
Shore Leave: Business As Usual
Location: Bridge, USS Defiant
The quiet pinging of the sensors provided a calming backdrop as Charlotte Reynolds finished the last of her cup of coffee. It was a calm morning, which was nice this time. Sometimes she got restless, but on a morning like this, it was nice to just relax. To drink in the calm between the stars outside. Or maybe she was just waxing poetic.
She roused herself from the musing to look over toward the science terminal. Lt. Isley was sitting at her station working diligently on some project which looked well beyond Charlotte's understanding of science. Also remaining enigmatic was the Science Chief herself. Perhaps it was time to rectify that.
Charlotte approached the science terminal. "Lt. Isley, care to join me for a brief walk?"
Isley hadn't really been paying attention to the rest of the bridge when the captain suddenly spoke to her. She had been checking out the results from a culture she had been attempting to grow in one of the labs. It wasn't progressing as much as she had hoped. It wasn't important -- just some unidentified cells on a survey sample -- and she suddenly felt awkward that she had been focused on it instead of the bridge.
She blinked as she looked up, trying to contain her surprise. "Oh, of course, captain." Caroline then pushed a few keys on her console, resetting for the relief officer and then stood up, smoothing her skirt as she did. She joined the captain and waited for Charlotte to take the lead.
The captain led the duo into the turbolift, entering the button to take them to Deck 6. She didn't have a specific destination in mind, but figured it'd be a good direction to head in. Giving Isley a moment to acclimate to her situation, Charlotte spoke up. "I apologize if I pulled you away from anything important. I just thought it might be a good idea to check in with my Science Officer. How have things been going for you lately?"
Caroline raised an eyebrow slightly in surprise at the inquiry, but quickly tried to resume her normal calm demeanor. "Not at all, captain. I was only checking on routine experiments. Nothing important." She then thought for a moment. "Things have been fine. Being chief science officer has been everything I hoped for and I love the ship." She then smiled wryly. "Of course, I didn't think we'd be fighting a war, dealing with parasites, or in constant danger every moment when I took the assignment."
Charlotte let out a laugh. "I assure you, neither did I. I am hoping things calm down every once in a while. Not sure how confident I am about that happening though..."
The lift came to a halt on Deck 6, and the duo exited, walking vaguely in the direction of the science labs. "I've been glad to see your division growing though. I think a strong Science Team presence on the ship is a good sign. So along those lines, I wanted to see if you had an specific priorities. Experiments, specific stellar bodies you wanted to study, specific equipment you need?"
Isley almost blurted out a ton of things at the question but was able to contain herself. She didn't want to seem whiny or take advantage of the captain's offer. "Biology is main interest, but I'm always fascinated by stellar phenonemon in systems with M-class or other life-supporting planets. They can influence the evolution of species in so many different ways." She thought for a moment. "We have a lot of the equipment we need -- this is a very advanced ship after all. Besides more sensor time, I can't think of anything critical."
"Well if you think of any, let me know," Charlotte replied. She wasn't totally sure how to broach the next topic. "What about on the social side of things? Are you feeling comfortable aboard?"
Caroline wasn't really one to discuss her social life with anyone, but she suspected the captain was pretty aware of at least one important part of it. "Not as well as I'd like," Isley said, just a bit icily. "But change is inevitable I think, and I've moved on."
"I understand," the Captain replied. "But if you need to...or want to, you should try and mingle with the crew. I think it'll do you good. Or at least let your fellow officers know you're actually human."
Isley let a half smile come across her lips. She was well aware that most of her staff thought of her as something of an ice queen. She didn't mind. She thought it helped her as a department head. But she wasn't sure that was such an advantage when dealing with senior staff. Maybe the captain was right. "That's . . . interesting but good advice, captain," she said slowly. "It probably wouldn't hurt to socialize more."
"At least with your fellow bridge crew. You can keep your intimidating aloofness for the junior officers if you want," the Captain teased. She herself was frequently viewed is intimidating by junior crew, despite her attempts to be approachable. She some of the rest of her bridge crew were downright terrifying.
Caroline smiled wryly. "Thank you, captain. I probably will keep doing that."
"Sounds like a plan then," the Captain said, as they arrived at a second turbolift. It seemed the conversation had essentially dragged them in a circle. "Anything else I should know about?"
"No, captain," Isley said. "I appreciate you . . . checking in on me." She smiled.
“Just making sure my crew is in good shape,” Charlotte replied with a smile. “I’m around if you need anything. But I’ll let you get back to duty. Thank you, Lieutenant.”