USS Omaha
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Second Chances

Posted on Thu Jul 23, 2020 @ 3:31pm by Commander Jason Faulkner & Lieutenant Commander Briar Tovan & Lieutenant JG Jayden Bren

Mission: Episode 1: The Milk Run
Location: Shuttle Bay, Ready Room
Timeline: Mission Day 2 at 1630

ON:

Jayden climbed out of the Argo-class runabout and heaved a sigh of relief.  It had been over a week trapped in the vessel alone at warp three.  Sure, command could have put him on a transport that would have had him at the Omaha five days ago, but that would have meant he was in positive favor with them.  Despite the fact that he was still wearing the Starfleet uniform, Jayden knew that it would be a long time before being out of boiling hot water with them.  At least the Argo-class had a sonic shower, and luck had shone on him though, as the Omaha's mission had put it on a course that cut two days off his journey.

Going against his better judement though, Jayden decided he should report in right away rather than freshening up.  Since his communicator hadn't been synced with the Omaha's communications system yet, Jayden walked to the nearby control terminal, fixed his hair in the reflection, and accessed the computer system.  "Computer, what's the location for the ships CO?"

Briar was well aware of when the new flight control chief was due to arrive, so much aware that he was growing increasingly annoyed every time that the ships computer reminded him. He was on his way to the shuttlebay and stepped out of the turbolift when he almost ran directly into the man.

"Mr. Bren?" Briar asked.

Taking a moment to take in the man who called his name, Jayden was surprised to see Lieutent Commander pips on someone so young looking.  Jayden had only briefly looked at the Omaha's roster which, regrettably, did not include pictures but he knew there weren't more than half a dozen of the mans rank on board, and the only one likely to know his name would be the XO.  "That would be me... Commander." Jayden responded, the rank feeling odd in relation to the man in front of him, who he couldn't see as being that much older than himself.

"Commander Briar Tovan, XO," he said, extending his hand. "Welcome aboard."

"Good to meet you, sir." Jayden answered, taking the mans hand.  "I was just about to go find the CO to report in.  I don't suppose you know where he might be?"

"Probably in his ready room," Briar offered. "Pardon the lack of voice recognition, ops is doing and update on the computer system. I can show you the way if you'd like."

"Definitely." Jayden said, gesturing towards the turbolift.  "I'd like the company after my solo trip."

"Right this way," Briar said, gesturing towards the turbolift.

"Served with the Captain long?" Jayden asked as they entered the turbolift.

"Not really," Briar said, as the door slid shut. "Although we've crossed paths in the past."

"Deck 2, Ready room." Jayden ordered, sending the turbolift into motion.  "What kind of officer is he?" he asked.

"Fair, intelligent, listens to others when he's out of his depth," Briar said. He left off some of the more personal details, like the man's obession for miniatures. "Probably a lot better than some commanders."

*Pretty hard not to be better than the last one.* Jayden thought to himself.  "That's good to hear." was all he could think of to say as the turbolift came to a hault and the doors swished open.

"After you," Briar gestured.

Jayden nodded and walked through the door, looked right and left trying to remember which direction the ready room was from the turbolift, and opted to go right.  The pair made it about a third of the way around the fairly small deck before coming to the door labeled "ready room."  Reaching out, Jayden tapped the small icon button to the right of the door to activate the door chime.

"Come in," Jason called from inside, setting a PADD he'd been reading down on his desk.

Following the lead from the turbolift, Jayden entered the ready room ahead of the first officer once the doors opened.  He glanced around the office and took it in as he spotted the sole person who had been in the room.  "Captain, I'm Jayden Bren, your new CFCO.  I hope I'm not disturbing you but I wanted to report in."

"Well, I guess if I have to, I could take a few minutes away from reading a report on how instablity in Ferengi financial markets may be driving an uptick in piracy," Jason said, standing and offering his hand. "Welcome aboard."

Jayden smiled.  It was a definite change from his last CO to have one with a sense of humor.  "Thank you, Sir, and thank you for giving me the oportunity to serve on a starship again."

"I suppose you were thinking you'd be stuck flying courier shuttles for the next fifty years, or maybe working your way up to helm on a cargo ship," Jason said, sitting back down and gesturing for Jayden to do the same. "Briar, in or out, please."

"I think I'll just stand in door to annoy you," Briar replied. Jason ignored him and kept his attention on Jayden.

Jayden took the seat as indicated and agreed.  "That was about my best case scenario, yes, Sir."

"I'll be candid here, I was not only captain that the Office of Personnel forwarded your file to," Jason said. "For that matter, I understand that pool was put together after ships with fighter detachments had been canvassed already."

"That makes me feel better." Jayden admitted.  "I'm glad to be here either way though."

Briar stepped inside the room and leaned against the wall, intently listening in on the conversation.

"That's a good attitude to have, given the change in specialty," Jason said. "I hope you like a challenge. Flying a starhip this size is a lot different than a fighter. The thrust to mass ratio isn't that much lower, but it's still a lot less twitch reflexes and more forethought."

"I'll try to remember not to try pulling any L-4's at impulse then." Jayden said, laughing a little.  "Honestly, I don't think you have to worry too much about a learning curve though, I trained as a backup on the Venture and it was a little larger than this guy."

"That's good to know," Jason replied with a laugh of his own. Then, deciding this seemed like as good as point as any to through the liuenteant for a loop, he added, "Speaking of the Venture, what would you say went wrong with your last mission?"

Jayden sighed internally, regretting bringing up his last official posting.  "Well..." he started, wanting to think about how he chose to respond, "I was ordered to do something that I felt was... well, was just wrong.  I disobeyed that order and wound up in front of a Starfleet Disciplinary board."

"It just felt wrong?" Jason repeated. "That's it?"

Jayden thought a little longer this time.  The captain obviously knew at least the basics of what happened, or Starfleets version of it, from his file, but Jayden wasn't sure how blunt he could be with his new commanding officer.  "Permission to speak freely, Sir?"

"Absolutely."

"Captain Hill is a racist, Sir" Jayden blurted out, wanting to say it before thinking better of it.  "He would often be overheard saying derogatory and condescending comments about synths as well as any species that used cybernetic implants, and it was especially well on display when he ordered me to destroy a transport full of Binars.  They hadn't been on trial, they weren't posing immediate danger to anyone, and I disobeyed his order to destroy their ship because it was wrong."

"Much better," Jason said, nodding slightly. "Not as articulate as it might have been, but I've always felt that Starfleet Academy's core curriculum needed to include more rhetoric instead of pushing it into the electives, and it's an improvement your original limp-dicked response. So, with the understanding that I agree with you that the order was unethical and you were correct - probably even obliged - to disobey it, let me rephrase my original question. How could you have avoided the mission's final outcome without losing your wings?"

Jayden looked at the captain with a quizical look, trying to figure him out.  "I've really only thought of two other ways it could have gone.  Either I took the shot I was supposed to, or I let the transport go without reporting that I found it."

"Officer thinking," Briar said. "We would have also accepted an unplanned weapons malfunction."

Jason shot Briar a skeptical look. "What? No, you can't encourage - sometimes I wonder how you got back into Starfleet. Not that he's entirely wrong, if you look closely at history there's a long line of convenient malfunctions."

Jayden nodded.  "I'll keep that in mind." he turned his head to look at the first officer.  "I was never very good in history class."

"Consider this entire experience your first lesson that life is more complicated that it seems in training simulators," Jason said. "It only gets more so once you're out of a fighter cockpit. Avoid falling into a mindset where you only see two solutions, or better yet avoid situations where your options get that limited. Sometimes it's easier said than done, but it's usually worth the attempt."

"Thank you for the advise, Sir.  I'll try to remember that in the future." Jayden responded.  

"Moving on. Chief flight control is more than just flying the ship, it's a department head position. There's a fair amount of management and leadership involved. My advice there is to make good use of your CPOs, and talk with your peers if you run into any hiccups. The XO, despite his shortcomings in decorum, has been around the block a few times as well. And of course my office is just above yours if you need to drop in."

"Agist," Briar muttered.

"And on a final note," Jason said, focused firmly on Jayden, "if you ever think I'm stepping out of line ethically, my door is always open for dicussion. As is his, because even if he looks like an escapee from a secondary school he's been around the block a few times. I can't promise to agree with you but I'll hear you out."

"I appreciate that, Sir." Jayden said.  "Very much."  he added.

"In that case, you can go ahead and get settled in. Dismissed."

Jayden stood from his seat and nodded.  "I'm sure my bags have been beamed to my quarters by this point, so I'll have plenty to do tonight." he responded before turning towards the door. He really wasn't wanting to put that kind of work in though, so he was already thinking about finding the crew lounge.

Once the lieutenant had left the room, Jason looked at Briar. "Think this will work out? Admiral Soltani was giving me some seriously dubious looks when I told her."

"He's rough around the edges," Briar said, taking a seat across from Jason. "Seems to have a good moral compass but needs a little polish. Personally, I think that everyone deserves a second chance."

"I suppose that's true. And what's the worst that could happen, he pulls a Burnham and sticks a phaser in my face? Don't answer that."

OFF:

 

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