((Conference Room, USS Veritas))
Walker: Captain. My inappropriate escape from sickbay notwithstanding, I feel I must disagree with part of what you’d said.
::Roshanara raised her eyebrow at the other woman and interlocked her fingers as she listened. She doubted Walker was hoping for a trip out the nearest airlock, so she waited to be sure.::
Walker: As you pointed out, I’m the Chief Engineer. Lieutenant Rosek, was following my directives in the meeting. And with that in mind, her actions were my responsibility. I encourage, and continue to encourage, all of my people to speak their mind regardless of rank. :: She frowned and looked over at Rosek for a moment before turning back to the Captain. :: I hadn’t previously made it clear that primarily applied to internal engineering meetings, again my responsibility.
::Lael grimaced, wishing with everything in her that the deck would swallow her up. She so didn’t want to be present for this part of the conversation. She felt awkward enough given her own screw up without being forced to watch this confrontation unfold. Keeping her mouth shut, she kept her gaze averted to the deck, her eyes closed tightly as she tried to tune out the conversation.::
Rahman: And it is my responsibility as the ship’s captain to ensure that point is made clear when you do not.
:: She took the remark as perhaps more of a reprimand than the Captain intended, but nodded gravely. It might not be the most fun part of the job, but it was hers. ::
Walker: In my opinion, Captain, it was unfair to remain silent when I’d given her that instruction earlier. I accept full responsibility for both our actions during the briefing. As I would for any of my people.
Rahman: I respect that devotion to your staff, commander. It is one I shared when I held your post not that many years ago, and why I trust you as my chief engineer now. But they are not just “your” people, either. They are “our” people, and I am addressing you both now, here together, because I ultimately am the one responsible for all of your actions, especially when we are dealing with civilians.
::The captain took a moment to reflect as Rosek and Walker sat there uneasy. Finally, she spoke again.::
Rahman: You know what the issue really is? We’re all stubborn. And we’re stubborn *engineers,* which is just the worse. A stubborn person can just be stubborn to be a pain in the ass. But a stubborn engineer is *righteously* stubborn because she thinks she has the answer to a problem.
::She looked at both of them, and waved her hand around all three of them.::
Rahman: Because that’s what we do. We’re problem solvers. It’s in our blood. It’s why we joined Starfleet--because there are no problems as challenging and great as the ones that get thrown at you out here.
::She turned to the lieutenant, her gaze piercing into the other woman’s eyes.::
Rahman: You want to do what’s *right*. What you believe in. Everything your advanced education and experience has taught you thus far. ::She pointed over towards Walker.:: And in a few years from now, you’ll probably end up sitting in that chair as a stubborn engineer turned stubborn chief engineer.
::Roshanara then looked at Walker.::
Rahman: And you were just as stubborn and outspoken a few years ago sitting in her place as you are now. Maybe even worse. But now you’re a stubborn *chief* engineer, so you’ve learned that you’re not just responsible for your own actions but those under you and feel protective of them since the only person that should be allowed to yell at them is you, damn it.
::And then the captain pointed back at herself.::
Rahman: And one day, you both might turn into *me*, a stubborn engineer turned stubborn chief engineer turned stubborn captain. Truly no worse fate for an engineer--banished from her own engine room to be left reading intelligence reports and taking calls from politicians and admirals. And because the universe loves irony, you’ll find yourself dealing with two stubborn engineers of your own. But right now, ::looks to Walker:: you’re still sitting there, and ::looks to Rosek:: you’re still sitting there. And as the stubborn captain, I get the privilege of having the last word.
::She took a breath before letting out a long sigh. She gestured to the planet that lay out beyond the conference room windows. Her voice was now more solemn.::
Rahman: Over a thousand people are dead, hundreds more injured and scared. I know we’re all tired, and you both were personally involved in a life-threatening situation down there in the mines. We try to make the right decisions through the stress and emotion, and sometimes that can cause tempers to flare.
::She looked at both women earnestly.::
Rahman: But we can’t forget why we’re here--which is to help these people and reassure them that we know what we’re doing during these chaotic times and that we’re a team.
::She looked over at Lieutenant Rosek.::
Rahman: So report to Lieutenant Delano and begin working with him and Ensign Sepek.
::Lael nodded and exited the room without another word.::
:: Hoping the conversation was nearly over, Luna tried for a weak bit of humor. ::
Walker: I don’t suppose I could be confined to engineering or something as punishment for sneaking out of Sickbay?
Rahman: You can only hope the doctor is as understanding as me, commander. ::Another raised eyebrow, the only acknowledgement the captain was willing to let slip of her appreciation for the joke.:: Let’s go.
:: She stood up and watched as Commander Walker got up as well, taking a hold of her crutches. ::
::As the two left the conference room, Roshanara let Walker slip by first through the door. She couldn’t help but then ask.::
Rahman: How did you even manage to sneak out hobbling on those?
Walker: :: grinning:: They had a hologram nurse there since they were short handed. I just put it in a maintenance mode until I reached the door. :: smirking:: Like I said, no one told me I couldn't leave...
::The captain just shook her head in disbelief.::
Rahman: I guess I should be glad they haven’t made holographic captains yet.
::Although knowing Walker, the woman likely just thought of it more of a worthy challenge trying to figure out how to operate with her organic commanding officer.::
A JP By
Lieutenant Lael Rosek, Eng.D.
Engineering Officer, USS Veritas
Lt. Commander Luna Walker
Chief Engineer, USS Veritas
Captain Roshanara Rahman
Commanding Officer, USS Veritas
Capt. Roshanara Rahman
Commanding Officer, USS Veritas
Writer ID: I238705TZ0