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Posted on Wed Jan 30th, 2013 @ 11:09am by Lieutenant Lissan zh'Zarath

Mission: Part of the Team
Timeline: Backpost. Proir to departure of Lieutenant Commander Kent

“Ms. Zh'Zarath, would you be so kind as to inform Starfleet Command that the Steadfast has taken aboard the additional crew needed to perform her shakedown. This will be performed while she makes her way to her assigned patrol sector. Also, would you inquire as to any updates on the situation within the Star Empire and what the Steadfast can expect to see.”

"Aye Sir," she replied running her fingers over the panel, pleased that something was working for once. "Starfleet Command, this Lieutenant zh'Zarath of Deep Space 12. Come in please."

"DS12 this is Starfleet Command. Go ahead."

"We wish to inform you that the Steadfast has taken on additional crew to perform her shakedown cruise whilst on her way to her assigned patrol. We request information on the state of affairs concerning the Star Empire and what the Steadfast is most likely to encounter."

“We do not have any Intel beyond what you have already been supplied, Lieutenant. We are relying on facilities such as yourselves to keep us informed. Any new information on what is happening in your sector will be greatly appreciated. All we can say for sure is that the situation is...fluid, would be putting it mildly. There is a nominal Provisional Government in place but the reality of the situation appears to be that regional commanders have set themselves up a satraps and answer only to themselves. The only reliable Intel we have is that the Riov Ustarl has been stationed along the Romulan side of the Neutral Zone opposite your sector.”

He turned to the Acting First Officer. “Ms Kent. I want you to organise a ship-wide drill to test our readiness should the Neutral Zone prove not to be so neutral after all. I looked at the logs and it has been some time since one was conducted. I would also like you to liaise with the Chief of the Boat concerning crew morale. I believe Chief Jrez occupies the position.”

“Chief Jrez is indeed the Chief of the Boat, Sir,” Kent replied briskly. “I will speak to him forthwith about morale. I think it would be best to get his assistance in organising drills, too. Being only new here, I'm still feeling my way. From what I've seen in that time, though, I believe this is a good crew.”

“As you wish. I do not doubt that the crew is a good one, Ms Kent. My concern is that we face a volatile situation with far to many unknown variables. I want the crew ready to respond at an instant's notice and to do so knowing that they can rely implicitly on those around them.”

“They will be ready, Sir,” Kent assured him. “It will mean working longer hours. I have much to do and little time to do it in.”

Harrison was about to turn on Kent for that comment but caught the tone in her voice at the last moment. It had not been a whinge, merely a statement of bald fact.

“Yes, Ms Kent, I know you are busy with accommodations for the refugees. A First Officer must be able to multi-task and to delegate. I intend to run another simulation when the refugees are aboard so that we can cover all contingencies. However, I believe we should run one now so that we can see where we need to improve before they arrive. I do not want them panicked because they think we are incompetent.”

“As you wish, Sir.”

She turned to go. Harrison noted that, for all her complaint about her workload, she appeared unhurried. He liked that. He had no use for an executive officer who was spooked by the responsibility placed on her shoulders. He had seen all too many of such types in his time; junior officers who showed promise but were promoted before they were ready. In a Fleet where chronic personnel shortages were more the norm than the exception, it was an all too common occurrence. It appears that the Academy is, at long last, able to devote the time to nurturing cadets rather than churning them out as fast as possible. he mused.


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