The Unexpected CSO...
S1-A1-Ep. 1: Spectrophobia
Location: USS Posiedon, Transporter 1 - Multiple Areas
Shalmira shimmered into existence, the straps on her shoulder bag suddenly feeling heavy and digging into her neck. She looked around the main transporter room of the USS Poseidon, nodding her head in the direction of the lone female Ensign on duty.
The tall Romulan woman sighed as she stepped off the transporter pad, pushing her long braided black hair away from her eyes and dropping her bag to the deck. “So much for a welcoming committee” she muttered beneath her breath as she looked over at the Engineering Ensign.
“Excuse me Ensign, I’m Lt Heddan… Shalmira Heddan the new CSO” she introduced herself. “Can you tell me where I can drop my gear… I am expected I suppose?” Shalmira asked with a raised arched eyebrow.
The young Ensign seem flustered, pushing a hand through a mop of unruly auburn hair as she checked down a PaDD restiong on the console. “Er… LT Heddan, transferred from the Ganymede. Yes… your quarters are on Deck 6, corridor C”. The Ensign handed Shalmira the PaDD, enlarging the deck plan on the screen.
“I'm sure I’ll find my own way” Shalmira stated flatly after a quick glance, picking up her bag and walking away.
~Little time later~
Shalmira gently placed the three leather bound volumes of the collected works of T’Pan, the one-time Director of the Vulcan Science Academy, on a shelf. She didn’t hold much with possessions per se and the bizarre human habit of collecting masses of meaningless “stuff” was beyond her. Though the three dusty books, annotated and edited in the author’s own hand, were the closest that she came to prized possessions. The sole reminder of her brief time on Vulcan apart from a few faded memories.
She looked around her new quarters, spartanly dressed with the few things she’d brought from the Ganymede. “Better go and see what shambles the Science Department is in” she mused to herself as she walked to the door.
As she approached the door chimed unexpectedly.
"Enter” she said and the door swished open.
Commander Franklin Johnson stood in the doorway as it opened, a look of brief surprise as he halted his advance into the room as he saw his new Chief Science Officer standing there. His look of surprise quickly transformed into a smile.
"Lieutenant Heddan?" the Commander inquired carefully. He was sure the person before him was Shalmira, but just in case he wanted to be polite about it. She had been a rather quick arrival from the resupply shuttle from Starbase 99 - a forced one, at that, ordered by the Commodore over his head. Events had transpired wherein they desperately needed a Chief Science Officer, however while the Commander already had a replaced, Commodore Paladin felt it was not the best choice. They had a disagreement over it, but in the end the Commander relented.
In their talk afterward concerning the new arrival, the Commodore had been careful to note the new CSO was a Romulan - not a Vulcan - so he felt warranted in his careful greeting. That she was very experienced and versed in the position and well qualified to resume where Lieutenant Commander Canaan Serine had left off. For the longest time Franklin had began to assume that there was something between Canaan and the Commodore, that maybe this was a personal matter. In the end, no matter his thoughts, the issue had been decided.
"I'm Commander Johnson, the ship's Commanding Officer," he stated, allowing the musings to pass in his mind. "I wanted to come down to greet you. See how you're doing."
Shalmira took a moment to look over the tall human male standing before her and noted his smile. Though she didn't return it.
"Lt. Shalmira Heddan, Commander" the Romulan introduced herself evenly. "Reassigned from the USS Ganymede, Starbase 99... and all points North, West and otherwise since leaving Starbase 99" she added wryly. "My transfer was... unexpected though I was informed that you on the Posiedon required a new CSO ASAP".
Franklin gave a warm smile. Outwardly he expressed a welcome that was granted to every crew member that had and ever would grace his ship with their presence. It was an honor to have so many come so far to help Starfleet Academy and the Poseidon move forward with their grand plans on things. Inwardly, however, his emotions were mixed. As he had recalled before, the decision to have her here was not specifically his.
"We most definitely did!" Franklin replied, trying to hide the ebb of frustration that had almost slipped. He then gave an affirming nod as he continued. "The Commodore was very specific about that, even pulled a few strings. I apologize on behalf of the Poseidon that you were so quickly pulled here. But I am thankful you arrived safely and promptly."
"I was going to take a look at the Science Department. What do I need to know?" she asked bluntly. "I also go by the name Schen, an old nickname" she added.
"You can call be simply Franklin, Ms. Schen," the Commander replied as he moved to the side of the doorway, giving her room to exit. "I'd be happy to escort you to your new department, if you wish?"
"Just Schen... otherwise Excellent" Shalmira replied brushing a stray strand of dark hair away from her eyes Wonder what the Commodore has said? Paladin, she'd heard, was not renowned for his diplomacy when dealing with lower ranks . "Lead the way..."
~ USS Poseidon, Science Department, some time later ~
Shalmira looked around the Science Department, her new domain. To be fair it seemed to be fairly ship-shape, always a good sign, though she'd have to run a full systems diagnostic and equipment audit before she signed it off.
"What's the compliment of my staff? How experienced are they?" she rattled off blunt questions to Franklin as she continued her inspection. She would review the personnel files and review the service history records later though, she thought, it was always a good idea to get the CO's opinion.
Franklin had to stop and look himself. Before Lieutenant Commander Serine had arrived, this department was a mess. Now, it was a smooth running machine. Academy Cadets with their appropriate pips ran around in a sort of organized chaos, carrying with them either datapads or other instruments useful to complete their tasks. A few of them even nodded to the Commander, who would promptly return. Nodding in satisfaction, he glanced at Shalmira.
"Your predecessor here, Lieutenant Commander Canaan Serine, worked hard to bring this department up from where it had been," Franklin said as he softly gestured around the large department. "He'll be leaving the ship soon, once we reach Starbase 47, and right now he's off preparing himself for his new assignments elsewhere."
Franklin cleared his throat, glancing somewhere else in the room briefly as he stated, "We had planned to give the department head position to someone else, but that seemed to of been decided for me in advance."
Gazing back at Shalmira, he smiled. "In either case, I think you should meet your Assistant Chief Science Officer. Ensign Finnegan, who served directly under and was instructed by Mr. Serine. I think we both do. There's a lot of explaining to do."
Aislin nodded politely at the new arrival, "Pleasure to meet you, I look forward to working with you."
"Ah, yes Ensign Aislin Finnegan" Shalmira mused making something of a mouthful of her name, as she looked down at the short human woman with the lustrous red hair. Her long fingers flicked across the touch-screen of her PaDD as she drew down Finnegan's Service Record. "Master in Physics care of the University of Ireland... served on the USS Rheus... I'm not aware of that vessel in particular, where were you posted?" the Romulan asked.
"It's a smaller vessel that caters more to training, and it was posted close to the Orion Nebula. It was a haven for the science department." Aislin admitted. She was trying to gauge how to best come across the new Science DH, but so far she wasn't getting anywhere.
Shalmira nodded, as the Orion Nebula was something she'd studied herself as it tweaked her interest in stellar nurseries. The Nebula in question was noted for a mass of young O-type stars around a nexus or core of four large stars known as the Trapezium. "I've studied the Orion Nebula, though not as up close and personal as yourself. It must have been an excellent experience" she said, her tone neutral. "What were your impressions?"
"It absolutely was an excellent experience." Aislinn echoed but with a smile. "It captivated my entire attention basically. If I could get the opportunity to study Theta Orionis C in more detail, I would be an extremely happy person." She didn't want to seem too eager.
"May I ask what you've been working on recently on the Poseidon? Anything in particular that I need to know?" Shalmira then asked. I wonder if this LT Finnegan was in line for the job as the Poseidon's new CSO? she wondered, glancing at the CO and then back at Lt Finnegan.
Aislinn moved to reach for one of the padds on the desk and picked it up, "Everything you need to know is here. The department is in working order now, all experiments are on track to be completed, and there's also the department roster too.
Shalmira nodded and she accepted the PaDd from Lt Finnegan and looked over to Captain Johnson.
Franklin caught the glance from his new Chief Science Officer, and perhaps in a moment of possible similar thinking processes caught the hint her eyes gave. It was instinctive at first, but he was sure after that glance he knew that she now knew about Lieutenant Finnegan. He gave a meek smile in response, eyes downcast briefly, expression granting admission that this line of thinking was correct. He offered a brief shrug of the shoulders in that moment, then glanced back at her, a firm but respectful stare. As quiet as could be, Franklin had stated through his small bodily and facial gestures that she, Shalmira, was the CSO and it was out of his hands. The Commander returned to a more moderate posture afterward, following the conversation.
Shalmira looked across at the CO though she'd missed any inference between the two humans as she'd listened to Aislin, making her own mind up of how to proceed. Though, she had noticed that, on her PaDD crew listing that Aislin Finnegan had been upgraded... recently promoted indeed to Lt JG. She nodded to herself wheels within wheels she thought with a slight smile.
"Congratulations on your promotion, Lt JG Finnegan" she said flatly to the young officer and turned to Captain Franklin.
"Thank you," Aislinn responded with a nod.
"Though in future, Captain, I would like to make my own decisions on whom to promote when it covers the remit of the Poseidon's Science Department" Shalmira said turning to to the CO. "Though, because of external pressures, I will agree to it this at this time. No doubt we can... discuss it further at out leisure"
"I can assure you that from this point forward, things will be streamlined," Franklin assured with a firm resolution. "At any rate, I see you'll be able to settle in here nicely and I'm glad to have you on board Schen. Is there anything else I can help you with?"
Schen shook her head, with a thin smile. "No thank you, Captain. Thank you for your time" the Romulan woman replied. "I'm sure that, Lt Finnegan here, will be able to assist me if I require anything from the Science Department. It was good to meet you... both (she nodded to Finnegan) and I'll return to my quarters to get settled in. Unless, of course, there's anything else you require of me, captain?"
"Nothing at this time," Franklin said with a slight smile. "I'll leave you two to it."
Turning on his heel after a nod to both, he departed.
Commander Franklin Johnson
Lieutenant Shalmira 'Schen' Heddan
Chief Science Officer
Lieutenant JG Aislinn Finnegan
Assist. Chief Science Officer