(( Captain’s Ready Room, USS Chin’toka, just after staff briefing. ))
She was sincere now. She truly wanted to know what he had found objectionable about the way she had asked. She was determined to work well with him, and that meant learning his ins-and-outs. Not to mention the fact that earning her commanding officer’s respect and trust was part and parcel of her sense of honor. If he was displeased, she was failing on that front, and Serala refused to fail anymore. People tended to die when she failed in her duties.
Settling back in his seat, Mei’konda nudged his tail off to one side, rather than through the hole he’d prefer was back there, and folded his fingers together on the desk.
Mei’konda: As you saiid, many member’s of the Chin’toka’s crew are aware of the loss you suffered on Tibro. But you aren’t the only one who suffered trauma on that planet, Commander, and if they see you pre-emptively requesting to be excused from away missions, then others may start following suit. And soon enough, we maay have essential specialists thiinking it is acceptable to pick and choose their assignments.
Serala nodded. That made perfect sense, and she hadn’t really considered it when she made the request. All she could think of was what had happened. The pain she felt when she saw Stevok’s body in the aft section of the shuttle. But she was the First Officer now. She needed to start thinking things through before she acted.
Serala: Yes, sir. I can see that. I just didn’t think it through at the moment. I need to work on that.
The Caitian inclined his head slightly toward the woman. She seemed receptive and understanding, and that was more important to him than whether or not they meshed one hundred percent on their command styles on what was literally the first day.
Mei’konda: Good, Commander. We all have things that we need to work on, don’t we?
He paused for a moment.
Mei’konda: I suppose now is as good a tiime as any to ask, Commander. Are you sure that you’ll be able to carry out your duties on this mission, or should I be prepaaring a contingency?
Serala thought that question over. Admitting weakness was not a good idea in Romulan culture. Especially not to one’s superiors. But she needed to establish some kind of rapport and trust if she was to work with this person. And in the Federation, that sometimes meant opening up.
Serala: Well, honestly, I am having a hard time with it. And that is not an easy thing for me to say. I am working with Hal Mika on that and other issues. The one thing that keeps me going is - well, two things - are my daughter and my duty to the Federation.
Though he didn’t have children yet, the thought of a surrogate or adoption had occurred to both he and Evan over the course of their relationship. Both had acknowledged that their current devotion to their careers and the fact that they were both high ranking members of Starfleet’s command program, often on risky assignments, made raising children something to put off until later. He thought he could understand, to a point.
Mei’konda: So you’re workiing to make the galaxy a better place for your daughter and the Federation?
Serala: :: nodding :: Partly, yes sir. One thing that is very important for you to know about me is that my sense of honor is the ultimate driving force in my life. That includes, and is for the most part, defined by my sense of duty. Duty to the Federation. But, my duty to my daughter is a duty as well and I take it just as seriously. She’s all I have left of my husband and I want to make her proud of me so that she can one day say that she had the greatest mother she could ever have had.
The Caitian allowed a slight smile to cross his muzzle.
Mei’konda: I can hardly thiink of a better reason to push through this, Commander.
He paused, and tapped a few buttons on his console to make notations for the upcoming away team assignments.
Mei’konda: I’ll do my best to keep you on the Chin’toka for the upcomiing mission. And I would liike you to keep me up to date on how… everything is going. Let’s set a weekly daate to meet up. Tea in the morniings on Fridays, perhaps?
Serala: That sounds good, sir. Though my preferred tea is aesohll with a touch of lemon in it. In case you’re not familiar with it, it’s a Romulan tea. The leaf is almost impossible to get now since Romulus was destroyed, though some good strains are still grown. But I have programmed a decent likeness into the replicators.
Satisfied, Mei’konda offered her one more nod.
Mei’konda: I’ll be sure to giive it a try, Commander. In that case, you’re dismissed. I will see you on the Bridge, later.
Serala stood and nodded in respect at the Captain.
Serala: Yes, sir. And thank you. I truly didn’t mean any disrespect.
Serala turned and headed out, grateful that the meeting had been as pleasant as it was. Yes, this person was someone she should observe so she could refine her own command style for the day when she might eventually be granted her own command.
Captain Mei’konda Delano
USS Chin’toka, NCC-97187
Lt. Commander Serala
Training Team Member
Image Collective Member
Community History Team Member
Chat Team Moderator/Co-Facilitator
USS Chin'toka NCC-97187