Persistence is NOT Futile
S1-A1-Ep. 1: Spectrophobia
Location: USS Poseidon; Guest Quarters, Deck 3
Timeline: Just moments after the events of, "The Audit"
"Ask forgiveness, not permission. But make sure you bring your results with you."
-Amy Jo Martin-
The turbo lift doors opened on Deck 3 with a swoosh. And out stepped Master Chief Payne. He was moving at a clip that only could mean one thing....Man on a mission. There was almost a spring in his step. He had just gotten permission to do a readiness report for the Captain. Usually, this would be standard and routine. But, with being a test bed for Starfleet Academy....that makes this a little more challenging. And needs to be a little more detailed. And Payne was certainly up to the challenge. Charles only hoped this would help out the Captain when it was time to write his report to Starfleet Command.
Charles passed the Officer's mess on his right. He loved this place. And because of his position, he was the ONLY Non-Commissioned member to have standing permission to dine there on a regular basis. Well, Life is good. He thought as he strolled on. A little further down, Payne came to the Auxiliary Communication array on his left. His destination was not far now. Them, there it was. The sign read Guest Quarters. But this was the assigned living/work space of Commodore Gregory Paladin. This was who Charles had come to see. Before he rang the chime, Charles looked down the hall. Main Engineering was still ahead. Oh the Engine Room. His old haunt. He smiled. and thought to himself....I'm going to need to go there soon and scare some fresh faced Ensign. Then, he tugged the bottom of his uniform and rang the chime.
The Commodore answered promptly, though without the top half of his uniform. In fact, he appeared to be in a sort of workout attire, shirtless and sweating. In one hand he held a towel, in the other a glass of water that he quickly gulped down then set on a stand to the right of the entrance. He gave a knowing smile to the Master Chief after a few moments.
"The Commander said you'd be arriving soon," Gregory said as he stepped to the side, allowing entry. "I didn't know how soon, so I went ahead and started my workout routine. Want any refreshments, Master Chief Payne?"
"Thank you Sir, no." Said the Master Chief. "Did the Captain tell you why I'm here Sir?"
"He did," confirmed Gregory. "Come on in Master Chief. Let's have a discussion."
Gregory politely waved towards the nearby couch, a standard piece of furniture in any guest quarters on any Starship. The Commodore went briefly into the restroom area, turning a corner to briefly disappear as he washed his face and used his towel to clean up the rest. Walking out, he grabbed a shirt from off a hanger on the wall, putting it on to approach the Master Chief, leaning on a support beam near the outer wall of the room.
"The Commander told me you wanted to appraise - the word he used was 'audit' - the Academy processes here on the Poseidon," Gregory said. "I don't see an issue with it, I just want to know your end goal here."
"Well Sir, originally it was just a readiness report. The Captain needs to file one every couple of months with Star fleet. It's usually the XO's responsibility. But she has alot on her plate right now. I was just looking to pick up slack. It was the Captain's idea to do a report of that, and how the Academy is intergrading in. How it effects the running of the ship, and where any changes could be made that would be helpful and beneficial to this project Sir." The Chief said. "Give it kind of an independent Audit. Another opinion to base the report from. And, a preliminary look at what could be changed Sir."
The Commodore nodded, casually asking, "Want anything to drink?", as he walked over to the small replicator in his guest quarters. With his back to the Master Chief he continued speaking on the topic at hand.
"I like the sound of an independent audit," he said as he casually approached the replicator, still enough time for Charles to reply his desired beverage. "Having someone with a unique set of experiences and skills delivered to the table can usually bring about observations that people trained in set areas can miss. I should know, a lot of times jack-of-all-trades can think outside of a box that professionals find themselves trapped in. What experiences can you offer me to deliver that result?"
He turned just enough to glance at Charles then, standing beside the Replicator as he awaited whether the Master Chief wanted anything or not and his reply to his question.
"Thank you Sir, Water will be fine. Mineral water If you please. -2 Degrees Celsius." He replied. "Well Sir, I've served most of my adult life. With a short stint to have a successful music career during the Marquee affair. I've been in combat situations MANY times. I've even had to assume command a time or 2. The point is, I do know how a ship is supposed to run. And I know what to look for when it does not run well. But most most important, I've been around long enough that I know what a problem looks like. And have enough experience to find a viable solution. If I can trouble shoot a problem before it's a big problem, then it would be a good thing. And that's what I hope to achieve. Giving a little scrutiny now. So a lot of scrutiny later will NOT be a problem." Payne said
Gregory nodded in response, repeating the requested beverage and the conditional temperature for it, afterward requesting an energy water for himself - strawberry flavored. He handled both glasses, then approached the Master Chief to set his water down close to him on the table separating the guest chairs, and Gregory sat down on the opposite one that was free. He took a long drink of his flavored water before gingerly handling the glass in his hand as he eyed a Charles.
The Commodore eyed Charles for longer than comfortable, clearly evident that his own mind had a chaos of thoughts. Before it would become uncomfortable, Gregory gave a sigh and looked away, swirling his glass before sipping as if it were some fine wine. His eyes lingered on the replicator in the distance, though not truly concentrating on it.
"Alright," Gregory said. "I'll allow it. Report directly to me your findings, then you will give a report directly to Commander Johnson. In my report you will outline any necessary improvements to help better prepare the cadets. For the Commanders report, I only expect the traditional rundown. But I have a favor to ask in return, after all this is said and done."
The Commodore glanced towards the Master Chief.
"Absolutely sir. What would that be?" Charles asked while taking a sip of his mineral water.
"That you keep an eye on the cadets here on the ship," Gregory said. "I need someone who I can trust to make sure my project stays on track. Are you someone I can trust?"
Payne looked at the Commodore with a slight surprise to his statement. Then, looked at the man for a brief moment before speaking. "Permission to speak freely Sir?" He asked.
"Speaking man to man.....I will NOT let you down Gregory." He said extending his hand in friendship and sincerity.
Commodore Gregory Paladin
Master Chief Petty Officer Charles Ermey Payne
Chief of the Boat