((Starbase 118 - Captain’s Office))
Taelon had given her the idea, but now Alora was eager to actually implement it. She couldn’t just do that though. Despite the fact that she wasn’t exactly the low man on the totem pole, she also didn’t have the jurisdiction to implement such a thing without speaking to her superiors. So, that’s exactly what she would do.
Except it wasn’t something she could do first thing in the morning. With everything going on in the science department, Alora found herself logged with a million and a half items to check off her list - though she imagined the captain had ten times as many. And there she was just about to add one more - though hopefully his involvement would be minimal.
The hours ticked away. Lunch came and went, and Alora managed to forget about that with everything that came her way. The afternoon saw just as much buzz and activity, and it was almost the end of the shift before she found herself finally making her way out of the Science Offices and heading straight for the Captain’s.
As soon as she arrived, she pressed the button which caused the computer to ding. Once the doors parted, she swept into the room, plopped herself in a chair opposite of the red-haired man, leaned forward to fold one arm over the other atop his desk, and grinned at him.
DeVeau: I have an idea.
An idea that sent a little thrill to dance up her spine. Oh it wasn’t particularly grand or mighty, but one that brought a tickle of amusement and delight in its own little way. Her brothers would have probably shaken their heads at her excitement, stating it wasn’t such a big deal. Well, all except Aimé who, though without such overt enthusiasm, would have been staunchly supportive. Adrien would have just snorted and rolled his eyes. It didn’t matter. They weren’t there, this was her thing, and it excited her nonetheless.
Taybrim: Oh? I’m quite happy to listen to ideas. ::He smiled easily and evenly at her.::
DeVeau: I don’t think it’s particularly original mind you, and maybe it’s already been implemented here. If so, I had no idea and I want to participate. If not, then I’d like to start one.
Good humor played in Sal’s dark eyes, a casual pleasantness that hung in his expression. She was excited by something and that made him excited to know what that was.
Taybrim: Start one what?
DeVeau: A mentor program!
Taybrim: Mentor program? ::Certainly that sounded like a fine idea, but there were many ways a mentor program could be implemented. Who would be mentored and who would do the mentoring?:: Tell me more.
Alora’s feet tapped against the floor and she cocked her head to one side, dark hair flipping over her shoulder with the motion and green eyes alight with her grin. If she had been in secondary school with an opportunity like this, she was sure she would have taken advantage of it. She might have had to give up some of her other activities, but it would have been worth it for the extra time in the field that so fascinated her.
DeVeau: So I was thinking, we set up a program, maybe start out once a month, or once every other week. Invite kids who are interested in the sciences to come and actually work in the lab - under supervision of course. Any officers who are interested would get assigned a student and they’d work together. Granted, there are some things the kids couldn’t do, but even so, it would be a good experience, and a way to encourage their interests.
Taybrim: I think that’s a great idea! The teachers on Ops love any chance for outreach.
Oh good, so he didn’t think it was such a crazy thing. That had been a possibility, and Alora had been prepared for that. Then again, she’d been called crazy before, and people weren’t exactly wrong about that. Crazy or not, he was supportive, which made her even more ecstatic. There was another idea too, but the captain continued before she could bring it up.
Taybrim: Well, I know with Lieutenant Galven out on medical leave for the foreseeable future we are missing a department head for Science. They would generally do such scheduling screening for the officers and enlisted scientists who wanted to be paired with a student.
Then again, if he came to think of it, maybe he did have a perfect department head sitting directly in front of him and this could be one of those ‘you have an idea and I have an idea conversations.’
Well that was a bummer. But that didn’t mean it still couldn’t happen!
DeVeau: Well, I could do it until we get a new Chief of Science. I don’t mind. I mean, I was planning on doing it anyway since I’m the one that wants to start it!
Taybrim: So what sort of resources do you think getting a program like this off the ground would need?
DeVeau: Well...first, I’d want to talk to all the science officers, see who’s interested, who’s not. The more the better, but I don’t think anyone should be forced. Not everyone’s called to this sort of thing, after all.
Alora straightened and waved her hands around a bit as she spoke, her motions in time with her words. She knew very well there would be some people extremely hesitant to engage in that sort of activity. Maybe if they got the program off the ground with those who /were/ interested, those who were hesitant might see the benefit and eventually become interested. If not, no harm done.
Taybrim: Agreed, you’d need to do some screening. With the extended specialty labs on StarBase 118 we have some scientists that are… ::He paused, smiling a bit. His civilian job before joining starfleet was as a scientist so he said this from experience and with a warm humor:: unlikely to socialize well with unknown adults let alone children.
And honestly that was fine. Being completely anti-social was not ok on a starship where every member of the team needed to work together and adapt to every emergency or nuance of each mission. And the same was true of the senior staff of Ops. But the StarBase was huge and there were certainly plenty of fine worked in specialty roles who would live on the base their entire lives and preferred to stay at the station day in and day out focusing on their specialty area. They did valuable work and it was part of the reason Sal felt it was so important to keep StarBase 118 safe.
DeVeau: Then I’d probably want to take some time, talk with the officers about what sort of things they think they’d like to do with the students. I couldn’t really tell you what resources we’d need until we have that information - because it’s so dependent on what they do and don’t do.
Before she did anything, she definitely needed to get details, but getting details couldn’t happen until she talked to people. Alora knew several in the Science department she was pretty sure would be thrilled to work with kids. There was also one that she wasn’t so sure would be thrilled, but she was going to ask Taelon anyway. The man was already working with his daughter, so maybe they could start there. Then again, he might want to prioritise the other idea she had, in which she knew he was at least a little interested.
DeVeau: After that, I’d talk with the teachers, ask them to see who’d be interested, get a list, and match those interests with officers who specialise in those fields. I mean, if this works out, we could even do this with other departments. But...yeah, probably just start here. I’m getting a little bit ahead of myself.
One hand made little circles, as if cycling back through time - perhaps a mental signal to her brain to stick to the near future, rather than the far.
Taybrim: I think it has a lot of merit. I’d advise to start small and take volunteers from the science officers who are most interested and capable of working with young minds and then working upwards from there.
DeVeau: Definitely. Like I said, not everyone is called to do that sort of thing. No one will be forced. Oh! ::Her hands drummed lightly on the edge of his desk as she brought up the second item on her list.:: I have another idea too!
He smiled, quite taken by the energy she had brought to this conversation.
Taybrim: Oh? Another one? Please, the floor is yours.
DeVeau: This one is actually geared toward Ops as a whole.
And if it worked, maybe it would help dispel rumours and fears. Alora’s conversation with Karen came to mind. Would the counselor be less concerned if she knew more about how those types of things worked? Maybe, maybe not, but it was certainly worth a shot.
Taybrim: Now you have me curious.
Sal was always looking for ways to help benefit Ops as a whole. Which reminded him. William Maxwell’s starfleet veteran’s proposal had been approved by the Commercial Center council. Sal wanted to have it enacted. For a moment he felt a pang of guilt and sadness that it’s namesake had passed since the proposal was entered.
He would have to talk with Max about it.
DeVeau: So, Taelon and I had a conversation yesterday.
Taybrim: Taelon? ::He paused a moment knowing that a lot of stressful things had happened lately with members of the science department, Taelon included.:: Is everything ok?
Sal worried sometimes. Always about people, people who were close to him. Taelon was close. Very close. Sal worried sometimes.
DeVeau: Oh no, he’s great. I mean, I want to just give the man a hug he’s so nervous, but no, he’s doing great. In fact, it was that conversation with him that gave me both of these ideas.
Taybrim: Oh? ::That followed through with the first idea:: So, don’t keep me guessing… ::He smiled in good humor.::
Alora was more than happy to oblige. The captain certainly seemed very open, which made it easy to launch in her second proposal.
DeVeau: Well, one of the comments he made was the general fear and distrust in cybernetics that people seem to have - and to be honest, I’ve run across this too. It just seems such a shame to have a fear about something that’s useful and can be just as beneficial as it can be dangerous - honestly, that can be applied to practically anything in life, right?
Sal leaned back and considered it. It wasn’t something he had strong feelings on as half of his background was in computer sciences and the other half in counselling. He had always integrated the two concepts in his mind.
But with the progress of technology there were always those who feared change and resisted beneficial technologies. He understood why, even if he felt it was - as a Vulcan would say - illogical.
Taybrim: This is true. Every major change brings a fear of that change as well as a fear of beneficial technology in a portion of our population. This is natural as some people are inclined towards curiosity while others are inclined to fear what they do not know. More knowledge, shared freely and with compassion helps to destroy that fear.
DeVeau: I was thinking, what if we did a small event and invited those from the Starbase. At this event, we could have Taelon do a presentation on cybernetics. He could demonstrate and show people that there’s really nothing to fear. If we dispel the myths, if we show the benefits, maybe people will be less inclined to be so fearful. I mean, I can understand why, but that doesn’t mean they have to be and this might help.
Taybrim: That is not a problem at all. We have access to a variety of public venues, and can easily broadcast the gathering on the starbase news
DeVeau: Great! If it goes well, I was thinking we could...maybe make it a regular thing. Maybe a twice a year event, or even once a quarter. Then people would get more exposure, which would make them more familiar, and thus be less likely to be fearful.
Taybrim: That sounds lovely ::He smiled::
DeVeau: I’m glad you’re so supportive. I wasn’t sure what you’d think of these.
Taybrim: ::he chuckled:: You’ll find I’m very amenable to all sorts of projects that will benefit the StarBase.
And very amenable to things that made people happy. That was most certainly an empath thing. The better the mental well being of the people on the station, the better the station’s commander was feeling as well.
DeVeau: Wonderful! I’ll try very hard not to blow anything up.
Alora’s face lit up in a wide grin.
Taybrim: No explosions ::He chuckled wagging a melodramatic finger at her.::
DeVeau: So...my next question - when can I start?
Taybrim: You can get started as soon as you like - just let me know what resources you need.
Alora clapped her hands together and rubbed them gleefully, for all of a moment, that grin stretching even further, eyes narrowing, a gleam within that green gaze. Oh yes. She had plans. And now she had permission to execute them.
Taybrim: Any other questions?
DeVeau: Nope, that was it. Just two wild and crazy ideas that I hope will, in the end, be somewhat useful. I should probably let you get back to work...though honestly, aren’t you supposed to be off shift now too?
He thought about that for a moment and tinged ever so faintly pink. Well, yes. Yes he was. He was just trying to get a few things off his plate.
Taybrim: Well, yes… yes I am.
Fleet Captain Sal Taybrim
StarBase 118 Ops
Lt. Cmdr. Alora DeVeau
Starbase 118 Ops