//Captain's Log, Stardate 239710.26
At our science officer's request, we've stopped along our way to Donova IV to study a protostar nebula. Lieutenant Lafizatar is hoping to learn more about how the nebula interacts with the subspace fractures and tetryon fields around it. I've gathered my senior staff to brief them as well as note their accomplishments from their last mission, under the command of Acting Captain Sky Blake.//
((Briefing Room, Deck 1, USS Veritas))
Captain Roshanara Rahman stood in front of the metal back wall of the room that displayed the lineage of early space travel of the four founding members of the Federation and looked out at the roomful of officers as she wrapped up the overview of the nebula study.
Rahman: ...so we'll take our scans, gather a few nice photos for the FNS and scientific journals, and then be on our way back to Donova. Commander Flynn, you'll want to work with Lieutenant Lafizatar closely as you plan our survey course. We don't want to get snagged by any of the fractures or pockets of high-intensity tetryon fields that lie scattered through the nebula.
She nodded and then looked over at their gold-eyed science officer.
Rahman: Lieutenant Lafizatar, is there anything else you want to advise the crew about in regards to this nebula?
Rahman: Good. All right then, everyone, I have a final announcement: Lt. Commander Alentonis will be leaving us. He's been assigned to a deep space science vessel. ::She looked over the man and gestured for him to come join her.:: Commander, if you'll please come up here.
Rahman: It's been a pleasure having your expertise aboard. I hope your transition from civilian scientist to commissioned officer has been an enjoyable one for you as well.
Rahman: I wish you pleasant journeys wherever the stars take you. My last duty as your captain then is to bestow upon you--along with your shipmates--the recognition you have earned in service to the Federation and Starfleet. Since Commander Blake was serving as your commanding officer in the last mission, she selected the following citations. Commander Blake, if you and Wil will do the honors of handing out the ribbons, I'll go ahead and proceed with the official entry into the ship's record.
Rahman: First off, for avoiding detection and subsequently a direct conflict with the Tholians, the crew of Veritas (Blake, Solak, Flynn, Alentonis, Kelrod, Parker, Vanlith, Rao, Emi, Navarro, Lafizatar, Dwight) is recognized with the Peacekeeper Service Ribbon. Next, for the outstanding performance of their duties, Lt. Commander Antero Flynn and Lieutenant Charlena Vanlith are recognized with the Legion of Merit. Congratulations.
Rahman: Furthermore, Lieutenant Vanlith, for your excellent leadership of the Engineering Department in Lt. Commander Ukinix's absence and with the recommendation of said chief engineer, I am delighted to promote you to the position of assistant chief engineer. The department and this ship are in excellent hands under the care of you and Wil.
Rahman: Next, Lieutenant Solak is recognized with the Captain's Commendation for his leadership and support to Acting Captain Blake.
Rahman: Finally, the crew (Blake, Solak, Flynn, Alentonis, Kelrod, Parker, Vanlith, Rao, Emi, Navarro, Lafizatar, Dwight) is recognized with the Orion Syndicate Service Medal for their actions against the Syndicate. Congratulations, everyone!
Rahman: All right, let's get some pretty pictures of that nebula. Dismissed.
As everyone got up to leave, the captain called out to Hannibal Parker.
Rahman: Commander Parker, if you'll stay behind for a moment?
Once everyone else had cleared the room, the captain walked around the table and took a seat back in her chair.
Rahman: I read the mission report from Blake and reviewed the away team logs. You did well assisting Vanlith and the engineers on that station.
Rahman: It showed... leadership. Dare I say the hints of a commander?
She folded her hands and looked away, out at the colorful nebula that lay beyond the windows of the room. Wisps of blue and orange gas swirled around nascent stars.
Rahman: How did you do in your astronomy courses at the academy, commander?
Rahman: Out there right now are hundreds of unborn stars coming into existence... each with their own potential to be the life bearer of the next great civilization.
She looked back over at Parker.
Rahman: That's not too unlike the life cycle of a commander. Stars are born from the elements in that dust cloud, just like commanders are born from the individual elements that make up a crew: science, medical, engineering... ::She nodded in his direction.:: ...security. And once they form, they shepherd their own crew. You came onto this ship unsure why you were sent here, but you told me you wanted one day to have the priviledge of leading the men and women around you. Is that still true?
Rahman: Then I suspect I know why you were sent here. It's time for you to grow. To become more than just the element you've been for nearly your entire career. If you want to remain a soldier and finish your service in Starfleet as one, that's your choice. But if you're serious about wanting to move onward to something else, then change is inevitable. Do you understand?
Rahman: I've done a little digging since you've been assigned to my ship. Pulled a few favors among the friends I do have back at Command to learn what the Admiralty thinks of you. I'll be frank: many see you as just a man with a gun. A warrior and nothing else. The Federation needs such men and women to be sure, but you have found yourself in an interesting dilemma, Commander. If this were a Klingon ship, I have no doubt you'd already be a captain. But not all captains are created equal. There's a reason the people of the galaxy hold a Starfleet captain in high regard. Because a Starfleet captain *is* held to a higher standard. Their duty is not just to their ship... or their government. They are held to the fundamental ideals of Starfleet... of the Federation.
She looked back over at the metal wall that proudly displayed the early spaceflight designs rising up towards the Great Seal of the Federation.
Rahman: Do you understand what that means?
Rahman: All right, then if you're ready to begin that journey, an opportunity has just opened up for you: this ship needs a new operations officer. I need a new operations officer. I could order you to take the post, but I want you to understand what it entails and for you to make that choice for yourself. Operations on this ship is not a department. You will no longer be concerned foremost with the needs of just your department but that of the entire ship, coordinating across multiple departments. You'll be working directly with me, the XO, and the second officer to strategize how best to achieve our mission tasks.
She paused to stress this next point
Rahman: It will be a major adjustment in the way you think. And there will be a learning curve, I have no doubt. You will make mistakes, and I will correct them.
She stared back at him for a moment.
Rahman: But like those unborn stars out there, I see your potential. So is this still what you want?
Captain Roshanara Rahman
CO, USS Veritas