A Flyboy For Your Troubles?
Episode 0: Maiden Voyage
Location: Starbase Arcadia
Timeline: MD2, A Day after Reynolds' Arrival on Defiant
Admiral T'Vor sat quietly behind her desk. Her tightly curled black hair trimmed close to her skull, and her sparkling eyes, such a deep brown they seemed to be black, as well as her deep chocolate brown skin, making it clear she was not the typical Vulcan most people were used to running into. The melanized population of Vulcan was incredibly small, inexplicably, seeing as the planets UV saturation rate was so high, but some trick of the genetics in her species had somehow compensated enough in most cases that very few of them had dark skin.
Beyond that difference, however, she was the epitome of what you'd expect her to be. Her uniform was perfectly neat, and straight, and her expression, mannerisms, and vocal inflections were all precisely exacting in every way. Even the way she sat, ramrod straight, and with her hands folded placidly in front her, giving you a sense of emotionally detached calm that only Vulcans could truly give.
"Lieutenant J.G. Dante Rawlins," she offered to the holographic representation of the blonde woman sitting across the desk from her. "His scores in simulated instances of the constitution class vessel in the last year have placed him firmly at the top of the entire division of people who have tested for the class. That, coupled with his admirable service record makes him an ideal choice for this posting. I do not, however, relish the idea of simply assigning you your officers. I do value input from those I am in command of, no matter how marginally that command might be," she added.
Charlotte Reynolds looked over the file in front of her. The young man's record was quite impressive. Not just through his aptitude tests, but through his service history. His time on the Sarajevo had allowed him opportunities to develop into a talented young officer, leading his division. And his previous work training aboard a Kelvin-class meant that he was among a somewhat limited group who actually had practical experience on a vessel comparable to Defiant's size.
Generally, she would have preferred a larger say in who was assigned to her ship, but given their mission profile and the level of technology on Defiant, she welcomed the expertise. And in all honesty, Rawlins had command potential hidden all over his file. Looking up from the file, she gazed at the Vulcan admiral. "His record is extremely impressive. I'm glad you brought it to my attention. Out of curiosity, does he have any training in command?"
"He's taken the bridge officer certification course, under the direction of his last ex oh," the Vulcan woman responded, not even having to glance at the file pulled up on her terminal. "After which he acquitted himself well on the few times the command team made use of him in an official capacity. With proper direction and grooming, I believe he will make a strong candidate for a command of his own in a relatively short period of time," she added.
"I agree. I believe Mr. Rawlins should have a bright future ahead of him," Reynolds replied, paging absently through his resume. "Alright, you've sold me. I want him as my helmsman. But, I have a request."
T'Vor looked at her impassively. "I am far from surprised by that, Captain. What is your request?" she asked, a small quirk to the ends of her lips the only hint of her sarcasm. Many were slightly taken aback by her choices of words, and her apparently acerbic comments, but anyone who knew her well enough knew that she used it to assist people in more easily relating to her. It was how she'd climbed the ranks so quickly to an admiralty, well before her fiftieth year, nearly thirty years behind her now.
The comment caught Reynolds off guard, but she was aware her own reputation preceded her. "I went into this command relatively blind. I'm fairly certain that was Admiral Denovtiz's doing," she said, a smile creeping onto her face at the thought of her former CO orchestrating the surprise. "I'd like to make Mr. Rawlins our Chief Helm Officer and Second Officer. I think he'll make a fantastic command officer and I want him to grow into it. I also want to give him an opportunity to recruit his own team. Letting him choose a navigator who works well with his style and support crew who round out the team's strengths would give us a very strong division. However, my request is that I want him to come in cold. When he arrives, I want him as unaware of his placement as I was."
A devilish smile spread across Charlotte's face. Denovitz was still teaching her things even years after she'd left his ship. The experience of arriving at Arcadia and having no idea of the prestige of her command had been a learning experience. A humbling one at first. Don't judge things by their first impression. Any situation can provide unexpected surprises. If Rawlins was going to take a command path, she wanted to impart the better lessons she'd picked up. Why not start early?
At that T'Vor very nearly lost her composure. It wasn't every day she met someone quite as devilish as Denovitz. She had the feeling the crew of the Defiant were in for a rather interesting ride under the command of this particular Captain. Schooling herself back to her normal serenity she nodded, "I believe that can be arranged. He is currently awaiting a new posting, so I will have him transferred to Arcadia for a meeting with yourself and the Commodore, nothing more. Is that satisfactory, Captain?"
"That should do nicely, Admiral," Charlotte replied. She sat back in the chair, closing out the padd. "On that note, any final requests ma'am?"
"No, Captain, I believe that will be all for now. Live long and prosper," T'Vor said, and then reached out to deactivate her holo display.