(( Conference Room, Deck 3 - Primary Hull, USS Chin’toka ))
Serala: Good. Now, there is one thing I would like to discuss with you since we’re alone.
She waited for him to acknowledge her before continuing.
Raga: Sure, Serala. What’s up?
Serala: Well, I know that every order you gave were good ones. However, outside of orders to the SOR Team, anything else probably should have come from me.
Raga: Right. I should have considered that before I spoke to Snow. Apologies.
Serala: Well, I know you meant well. And like I said, the orders were perfectly valid. However, I hope you can see how that undermines my authority with the crew? Now, I don’t really believe that any of them will read into it. More likely they will understand you were just trying to ensure all the bases were covered. But I am hoping you will get a shot at being a First Officer some day, yourself. And these are the kinds of things you should consider.
Raga: In my defense, this is my first day as First Officer. ::He smirked but gave her a nod of understanding :: Thanks for the advice.
She nodded. It helped that Toryn knew her. Otherwise, this discussion could be taken a completely different way. Serala did have a reputation for being a bit aloof and strict.
oO And probably for good reason Oo
Serala: Like I said, I know you meant well. And it’s entirely possible that when you do get the chance to be someone’s First Officer, they may welcome that kind of direct approach from you. To be honest, I might not mind it so much myself if I were actually the CO of this ship. But I am only filling in, so … Well, you know me. I always try to do my best at my job, whatever that is. And I need to make sure these people will follow me just as easily as they would Captain Mei’konda.
Raga: Serala. That’s something you don’t have to worry about. Even though half of our crew are new, they’ll follow you. You know for damned sure the Atlanteans will follow your orders.
Serala: I am sure you are correct. Probably just jitters at being left in charge.
Raga: I know you have confidence in me in being your First Officer while the Captain’s away. If I seem anxious about it it’s because...well to be frankly I don’t want to fail you again.
oO So, he’s finally ready to talk. Which one of the monkey’s is he referring to, I wonder? Oo
She raised her eyebrow in curiosity; a habit she’d gotten courtesy of the bond she’d had had with her husband.
Serala: Fail me again?
Toryn set his PADD aside and leaned forward on his elbows before rubbing his face with his palms. Then he looked up at her.
oO Ah, that one. Oo
Toryn, like her, tended to carry his failures with him. Or his perceived failures. The loss of her husband had torn out part of her soul. But never did she blame him for it. It was the work of a deranged individual under the effects of cadmium poisoning. From the report she’d received, nothing could have prevented it, and it was by far not his fault.
Raga: He died on my watch. While I was there. In command. Because I wasn’t good enough, aware enough, did enough, my goddaughter will grow up without a father and my best friend without a mate.
Serala was not going to let this go on. He had nothing to feel guilty about. He had nothing to apologize for, and she was not going to stand for it.
Serala: Toryn. You stop that right now. What happened was not your fault. You couldn’t have foreseen it. You had no way to know what was going to happen. And you could not have prevented it. If you’re going to carry weight on your shoulders, be sure it’s for things you deserve to carry. Not some imagined failing on your part. You have never failed me or this ship. You have no reason to carry these burdens around.
Serala: Nonsense. And I won’t hear of it anymore. And if anyone has failed the other here, it is I. I played on your emotions and caused you to charge headlong into a suicide mission that got you captured and imprisoned. I bear that weight everyday. Just like I failed the Atlantis Twenty-Seven. :: she shook her head :: No! And I will hear no more of this from you. Not now. But it sounds as if we still have some things to work out. :: pausing :: After the mission.
Before Toryn could respond, Serala heard the footsteps of the Chief Engineer approaching and pulled up.
Rosek: Oh. I’m sorry if I’m interrupting.
Serala: We were just finishing up here, Commander.
She looked over to see if he had understood the implied statement there. His nod confirmed he knew what she was getting at.
Raga: You’re fine, Lael. What can we do for you?
Rosek: Well, since we don’t know what we’ll be facing in the Uncharted Region, I thought now would be a good time to test the Reskari alloy I’ve been developing on designated sections of the ship’s interior hull.
Raga: Reskari? I don’t think I’ve heard of this alloy before. What are its capabilities?
Rosek: It’s designed to protect against radiation. When it was tested on a shuttlecraft, it proved effective at not only shielding the occupants, but also the craft’s systems when applied to the right areas. It increased overall communications systems and sensor functioning by 20%.
Serala: I think I remember a report about that, Commander Rosek. But I am hesistant to allow any modifications at a time like this. We’re going into an unknown region of space and this just feels like something I should leave to the Captain.
Raga: Given the nature of the Expanse, that would be a great addition to have, at least to our shuttles if not the Chin’toka herself. :: He looked back and forth between her and Lael :: Why do I get the feeling there’s a catch? I would think that every ship in the fleet would already have Reskari alloy in them, so I’m guessing it’s rare? Or difficult to replicate?
Serala: I have to agree. :: to Rosek :: Commander, can you give us some details about this alloy? Where does it come from and what kind of results are we expecting from it?
Raga: Well. We have plenty of shuttles, runabout and fighters. Maybe, we could take one of each class of shuttle and one fighter and refit them with whatever Reskari alloy we can manage. Or even just one if we don’t have enough for such a grand endeavour.
Serala sat back to consider it. She was hesitant to make any changes to the ship without direct approval from the Captain. It could very well have the benefit that Commander Rosek was expecting. But the Chin’toka was a new ship, with all the latest technology available to Starfleet. She wasn’t sure if this was the right time to start trying to make improvements. But a good compromise would be Toryn’s suggestion. It was true that Lael had said that it had already been tested on shuttles, but it hadn’t been tested in the Expanse, and that brought challenges all of its own. And if it was successful, she would have sufficient data to support the plan when Commander Rosek presented it to the Captain.
Serala: Commander Rosek. This does sound like promising technology, indeed. But I am not going to lie. This feels like a decision for the Captain and I am reluctant to make it myself. But I have a compromise. Let’s do as Commander Raga suggested and test it on one of each class of shuttle and runabout that we have on board. I will even authorize a fighter for testing. Coordinate that with Commander Leix.
Serala: I am aware you have already tested it on shuttles, Lael. But those tests were not conducted in the Expanse. And if these tests prove successful, then you can present the idea to the Captain and I will give it my full support. Does that sound like a reasonable compromise to you?
Serala listened to both of her senior officers before responding. She didn’t want to be too rash, but whatever decision she made here, it was going to be Captain Delano who would have to live with the consequences.
Serala: I respect your professional opinion, Commander. I do. However, while I am currently in command, this is not my ship and I do not want to commit it to something that Captain Delano may not be fully on board with. Let’s get some good data to back up your research and then we can take it to him when he returns.
Serala: Very good, then. You may begin modifying the small craft when you’re ready. :: turning to Raga :: Commander, please make sure all the proper people are notified about these experiments.
Serala: Very good then. Is there anything else, Commanders?