Sri glanced around the four faces in the ready room. Congenial, serious, placid, all listening attentively to Commander Syvok, Captain Tilmana’s First Officer. Only the Captain seemed slightly distracted, paging through his PADD as his first officer paused for the other officers to review their own PADDs
As she read, Sri felt the vulcan’s attention, and looked up to let her own gaze solidly meet his scrutiny and for a moment was fifteen again -- an oddity in a Vulcan monastery, practiced reflex erasing emotion from her face and mind. As she blankly regarded him, she felt his surge of recognition, and responded with a tiny tilt of her head to the side. He arched his brow then snapped his mind shut with such force Sri could almost heard it.
“With each list of responsibilities are the metrics by which you will be measured, weighted by situation. As these metrics change based on the current situation, and as such, the overall metric turns into a continually evolving hyper dimensional algorithm. For the sake of transparency, you will be able to consult your PADD to see your duty effectiveness ranking in real time.”
To her left a lean Andorian cleared his throat. “Lieutenant Tran, Sir.”
“You have a question, Lieutenant?”
“Yes Sir. It seems like we’ll be able to see all the scores-”
“Metrics” Syvok corrected.
“That’ll cost you two points.” Dr. Fenna murmured. Inwardly, Sri winced, but Syvok ignored her comment.
“Metrics” Tran corrected. “We’ll see each other’s Metrics?”
“That is correct, Lieutenant.”
Sri felt the ripple of unease around the table. Tran’s antenna curled downward slightly, and Sri tried to remember her Andorian body language. Frustration? Resignation? She felt a flicker at the edge of her vision, and saw D’Shyv’s projection in the corner of the room. She pointedly looked down at her PADD as the Aenar waved.
What are you doing here? Sri thought at D’Shyv in a whisper, not at all eager to test Syvok’s sensitivity.
I was curious what they would say, and see more how non-telepathic cultures interract. I've only observed Andorians until now.
Captain Tilmana cleared his throat, and the attention of the table turned to him. “As you know the battle to protect the Preserver Library was very costly in both ships and personnel to Starfleet. As such, you are being assigned additional departments. A regimen of training has been prescribed for each of you to bring your metrics up to meet your new duties. It is already understood that for many of this is a stretch” Tilmana stared pointedly at Sri. “But, we have every expectation you will succeed. We have a war to win. I expect top metrics out of all of you.”
Syvok said, “Lieutenant Commander Fenna Rhys.”
Most cultures would consider your actions a breach of their privacy, and would be offended.
“Doctor will do fine, thank you. Present.” She said.
They have not indicated they want privacy. In fact, aside from the Vulcan-
“In addition to your normal duties as Chief Medical Officer, you are now Chief Counselor of the USS Oppenheimer.”
Go. Sri thought so firmly, that Syvok glanced at her and to the corner, but D’Shyv was already gone.
Fenna rolled her eyes. “I’ll stock up on pillows for people to cry on.”
“Lieutenant Commander Juliette Sri.”
“Sir.” Sri simply said.
“In addition to Chief Science Officer you are hereby Chief Operations Officer, relieving Lt. Tschok who has been interim Chief of Operations. We have also added communications to the Operational duties.”
“Sir.” She said as acknowledgement, while cringing inwardly. Operations and logistics had been a nightmare, and the reason most of the other departments were not ready. It did not help that Tschok didn’t know how to adjust for the concept of “Risan Time” and had been driven to distraction with everything being at least a half hour late. While Risa was the place for a Starfleet officer to take leave, Risan planetary operations was the reason Starfleet officers needed leave.
“Lieutenant Sar Tran.”
“You shall relieve me as Chief Security Officer as well as maintaining your duties as Chief Tactical Officer.”
The Andorian paused, his arms crossed, as if weighing the pros and cons of the expanded assignment. “Yes Sir.”
“Lieutenant, Junior Grade Nigel Anres.”
The saurian across from her perked up from surveying his PADD. “Sir! Yes Sir.”
“I trust you can handle being navigator as well as helm?” Syvok asked.
“Yes Sir, I’m ready and able, Sir.”
Sri clearly felt Tran’s wry amusement and Fenna’s contempt, and she hoped they were at least able to contain any outward expression.
“Are there any questions?” Syvok asked to a table that looked placid, but to Juliette Sri’s senses, was anything but.
“Yes, Lieutenant Anres?”
“Do we have an Engineering Chief, Sir?”
“We are working on that.” Tilmana said, barely looking up from his PADD. He paused for further questions. “Dismissed. Lieutenant Commander Sri -- a word.”
“Someone’s in trouble.” Fenna murmured with a smirk before she swooped upward, the first to leave.
Sri and Syvok regarded each other as Captain Tilmana set his PADD aside. “Lieutenant Commander, I understand you have…experience with photonic technology.”
“Some, Captain. My chief area of research was psi-“
Captain Tilmana held up his hand. “We’re well aware of your credentials, Lieutenant Commander. We are more concerned with results. The parameters of the assignment are on your PADD. Can you or can you not accomplish this?”
Sri glanced at the PADD. She closed her eyes. “I see.”
“Just answer the question, Lieutenant Commander.” Syvok said.
“Perhaps it is the wrong question – not a matter of if we can, but if we should.”
“That question has already been answered, Lieutenant Commander. The question before us is whether your skills are equal to the task.”
“I expect daily reports.” Captain Tilmana said.
“Yes Sir. I will need to do some preliminary research.” Sri said carefully.
“Then do so.” Syvok said. “We have set aside one of the labs for this project. I will see you there. Captain?”
“I have nothing more. You are both dismissed.”
Syvok stopped the turbolift mid-trip. She had felt the pressure of his attention since they had left the ready room.
“I believe I remember you.” He said.
Sri couldn’t help but arch a brow. “I know you do. It is unlike Vulcans to be so circumspect.”
“You were a student of Master Surot, and a ward of N’Keth.”
Sri carefully hid her apprehension. “I was, from the age of twelve to sixteen. But I do not remember a Syvok from that time.”
“That is no matter. However, I’m sure you remember a Denak.”
“N’Keth’s son.” Said, careful to keep her face expressionless even as she felt tightness in her chest.
“Your paramour, or as you Betazoids say – ‘Your Trivial?’”
“Why do you bring up a liaison nearly ten years ended, Commander?” Sri asked, unable to prevent the tiny edge of anger in her voice.
“Because it is symptomatic of a narcissism and selfishness that this ship can ill-afford, Lieutenant Commander. I will not tolerate it.”
“Subjecting a young Vulcan mind to your emotional needs without thought to the damage—“
“Commander, while I do think of Denak fondly, there was little emotion in our liaison, and I made sure to shield my mind, and concentrate on meeting a physical need-“
“You do not need to give me details, Lieutenant Commander.”
Sri let the heat of her anger slip into ice. “If it will make things easy for the Commander’s gentle sensibilities, I will stick with the Latin terms. You see, when two people—“
“That is quite enough, Lieutenant commander.” Syvok restarted the turbolift.
“Oh, I completely agree, Commander.” Sri said coldly. “This is all really too much. Perhaps you should take your accusations of emotional damage and--”
“Hardly mere accusations, Lieutenant Commander. Denak spent considerable time at the P’Jem Monastery after your ‘trivial’, and he failed his first attempt at the Vulcan Science Academy. One can easily see the connection.”
Sri paused. “I attended his wedding six years ago. I was not made aware.”
“And what would the purpose been of making you aware, Lieutenant Commander? Your expectation that you would have been informed just shows how little you know of Vulcans, despite the time you spent there recovering from your ‘condition’.”
The turbolift stopped and the doors opened. Syvok regarded her coldly “Your lab is here 38. I expect that you will focus on the task at hand, and not let your various wants and needs distract you or this crew.”
Sri said nothing, not trusting herself to reply rationally, numbly stepping out of the turbolift, her breath tightly held until she was in the lab.