Lieutenant Commander Esa Kiax - Interrogating Ensigns

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Feb 25, 2024, 6:47:29 PMFeb 25

((Chief of Operations’ Office, Operations Centre, Deck Five, USS Astraeus))


Ever since arriving back in their own universe, communications between Astraeus and Starfleet Command, via the brass at Starbase 118, had been almost non-stop. They’d requested virtually every byte of data they’d collected for scientific study, and intelligence had formally requested every single transmission log that had been sent to or from the ship with the alternate universe Starfleet for their own analysis.


Even though there was no more Romulan Star Empire, and they were on peaceful terms with the Romulan Republic, it was apparent to Esa that there was some level of their intelligence community that still liked to play the “what if” game. Not that she had any proof, of course. There was every possibility that they simply wanted to make comparisons between this alternate universe and their own.


Finishing up the last of her reports for the Chief of Fleet Logistics, via the Captain, she leaned back in her chair and flexed her fingers, popping the nitrogen bubbles in her knuckles with a satisfying crack. For a moment she sat in silence, before her terminal chimed, signalling the receipt of a new internally posted message.


It was widely known amongst those that had worked in Ops with her for long enough that she much preferred a face to face conversation. There was too much variability with text-based communications, and far too much opportunity for meaning and intention to be misconstrued. So, either it was something that was relatively unimportant, from someone who didn’t have the time for a conversation, or from someone who didn’t know any better; or perhaps all three. She leant forward and tapped the screen, with the message and its contents popping up in view straight away. As it turned out, it was from one of their newest Ensigns; so the third option it was.


Esa smirked, and began reading.


Good morning Lieutenant Commander,


The Captain spoke to me recently regarding the Alpha shift helm position. Hopefully he's mentioned something to you about it?


He hadn’t, but they did have an opening. Callahan was an exemplary officer, but his official position was that of a relief helmsman. He’d taken on the Alpha shift to plug the gap when Cadfael had transferred to being the Chief Engineer, but was long overdue for being transferred back to the Bravo shift. She’d have to give this new Ensign the once over, but ultimately the Captain and First Officer made the decisions about where people ended up.


I know that with shore leave there’s only a skeleton active crew at the moment but I was wondering if there were any tasks I could complete, I know there isn’t necessarily much need of a pilot whilst we’re sitting in planetary orbit in Federation space but I like to keep busy, please let me know if there’s anything you need.


She wasn’t sure how much she agreed to that statement. Whether they were stationary at a starbase, or en-route to somewhere else, there was always a need for pilots. Runabouts and shuttles came and went carrying personnel and supplies that couldn’t be brought aboard via the transporters, navigation data and star charts needed updating, flight recertifications had to be scheduled and carried out… Frankly, if this Ensign was crying out for work, she could pile his plate so high he wouldn’t have any downtime left. Not that she would, mind you – shore leave, even if they weren’t physically disembarking from the ship, was still shore leave.

Changing the subject, I was wondering if there might be a convenient time to discuss my assigned quarters. If I'm on bridge duty perhaps it might make sense for me to move to something above deck 8 and if I am ever needed to help out back at the main shuttlebay then something closer to deck 4 might help with that as well?


Ah, now there was the rub. It was hardly subtle, and it wasn’t the first time that she’d had a Junior Officer making thinly veiled demands about their rooming assignment. Ensigns were issued with roommates to ease their transition from the Academy, where they were in dorms, and to help them make friends on board. There were always one or two who didn’t get on at first, but ultimately learned to live with each other, and some even ended up forming stronger bonds with their crewmates because of it. Only once officers hit Lieutenant Junior Grade did they qualify for their own quarters, and Esa wasn’t about to change that now.


Let me know your thoughts?


Her thoughts? Her thoughts were to tell this fresh-out-of-the-wrapper officer to suck it up and get on with the job, but she wasn’t that mean. Instead, she’d simply have a conversation. Hear what the man’s gripes were straight from the source. So, she tapped her combadge.


Kiax: =/\= Commander Kiax to Ensign Caldwell, please report to my office as soon as possible. =/\=


Caldwell: =/\= Response =/\=


The commline went dead, and Esa grabbed a slice of salted caramel cheesecake from the replicator while she waited.




The doorchime sounded, but the huge floor to ceiling windows that afforded Esa the opportunity to keep an eye on the goings on in the actual Ops centre had tipped her off to the Ensign’s arrival.


Kiax: Come.


The single word was enough to signal the computer to release the privacy lock on the door, and the two halves slid open almost silently. Caldwell stepped through, and Esa got her first real look at the young officer. She’d looked up his record, of course, but there was nothing like sizing up a colleague in the flesh. Only slightly younger than herself, he carried himself with what looked to her like self-assured confidence, mixed with perhaps a dash of arrogance? Maybe. She wasn’t sure. Reading people at face value was not her strongest talent, but figuring out where they fit in best to her department was.


Kiax: Ensign, good morning. Have a seat.


She gestured to the chair that sat opposite her own, across the desk.


Caldwell: Response


Esa smiled and leaned forward, pouring herself a glass of water, from the lemon infused jug that was sat on her desk. She flicked her eyes up as she finished pouring, angling the jug slightly towards the other, still empty, glass.


Kiax: Would you like some water?


Caldwell: Response


Kiax: I received your message. Certainly an interesting way to make a first impression, don’t you think?


She relaxed back in her chair, and folded one leg over the other, giving off an air of relaxed confidence. Her speech was measured, and deliberate – she was determined not to give anything away too soon.


Caldwell: Response


She chuckled, softly.


Kiax: I prefer to make my first impressions in person... ::Beat:: So!


Her demeanour changed, as if a switch had been thrown elsewhere on the ship, with her entire body looking more assertive and engaged.


Kiax: First posting, helmsman on a Galaxy Class… Lightyears from Federation space, save for our little colony. The Expanse is a fascinating place to cut one’s teeth at the helm. How are you finding it so far?


Caldwell: Response



Lieutenant Commander Esa Kiax

Chief Operations Officer

USS Astraeus – NCC 70652



25/02/2024 23:47 GMT


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