Posted on Sunday December 29th, 2019 @ 3:16am by Lieutenant Damian Kane
Location: Runabout Rhine on route to USS Poseidon
" This is going to be great " Thought Damian as he saw Star base 3 starting to appear before him in the window. " The last leg of the trip. After this, next stop will be the USS Poseidon. " Damian watched with the wonder of a child as he saw the ship he was on enter the docking hanger of the gigantic star base. then, a perfect touchdown on the landing pad. And the ship was successfully docked.
" Okay, we stop here for 1 hour and then we take off again. " Said the pilot as he left the helm chair and proceeded walking down to the airlock door. " Be back on time, or we WILL take off without you. " And with that, the door airlock was open and the pilot left the craft.
Damian left his seat and proceeded to the door. He looked out to a busy hanger deck. Everyone looking busy. Everyone in a hurry. Damian left the Runabout. and looked around. Damian saw the hustle and bustle of people doing their thing. He saw the fast pace of everybody working like a machine. Then, Damian smiled because he saw something that was like a sight for sore eyes to him. Damian saw a sign. a sign that read like the finest novel. The sign said 1 word. It simply read...... LOUNGE.
Damian entered the lounge and couldn't help but to notice that business was good. Lots of people. There were Star Fleet personnel, Civilians, people from all races and walks of life. Damian smiled. He walked to the bar, and sat down on a stool in front of it. He signaled to the barman. Then ordered a synthale. After a few moments, his drink arrived. He started to enjoy his beverage with the ambiance of the room.
Damian noticed a man walk up to the bar and sit beside him. He looked tired. Like he just completed his duty shift. He wore Operations gold. On his collar was the pips of Petty Officer. " I would LOVE a synthale. " said the man to the barman. He said it like a man drowning in an ocean of despair and heartbreak. And this drink would be the life preserver that would bring him back to safety. The man's face lit up like a Christmas tree when the glass with the golden liquid arrived. and he quickly chugged his first sip. Like he was stealing fine gems and claiming them for his own. The man looked at Damian.
" Hello Sir." He said as if trying to prove to a superior officer that his manors were still in tact.
" Hello " Said Damian.
" I think you might have guessed, It's been a day. " The man said chuckling. Then both men started to chuckle.
" I know the feeling. " Said Damian. " Let me guess......Security? " Said Damian.
" Engineering. " Said the man. " And trust me, I've been arguing with transducer coils all day. " The man took another sip. " I'm Stevens Sir. " Said the man.
" Call me Damian. In my line of work, we don't center on rank to much. "
" You wear Blue. You in Science section? Maybe Medical? " Said Stevens.
" I'm a Chaplain. " Said Damian.
Stevens began to laugh as if he thought Damian was kidding. But stopped when he realized that he was not. Then, looked embarrassed thinking that he might have offended Damian. " Sorry, I Just......I mean I...... " Stevens said stumbling over his words trying to explain his actions.
" Its all right. I'm sure you don't meet one of me everyday. " Said Damian.
" Your kinda right " Said Stevens. " I hope you're not going to try to convert me " Stevens said only half joking with a rye smile on his face.
" Into what? " Said Damian trying to settle any awkwardness with humor.
" I suppose a lot of people have different ideas of what you really do. " Said Stevens.
" Chaplains are spiritual leaders in Star fleet who support military personnel in their careers both at home and abroad. Chaplains care for and advise members of the Fleet on spiritual expression that includes all types of religions. Me, as a Buddhist, I’m grounded in my faith tradition, I’m educated in my faith tradition, I’m part of my faith community. That’s my foundation. But certainly I work with people of all different backgrounds. And people seek our assistance for various reasons. Chaplains are advocates. We walk with people through their difficulties and their challenges. People trust us. We’re that impartial member of Star Fleet where people can seek support and assistance through. And that, I think, is the essence of what Chaplains do. This can include supporting families and their loved ones, offering counselling services, and helping members with their spiritual needs. They serve on bases and ships across the Federation, and in deployed theaters of operation like humanitarian missions or anti terrorism operations. " Said Damian
" That's Cool. " Said Stevens " I just thought you guys just preached. "
" Chaplains may also work with civilian religious faith groups in the course of their duties. I think that’s what I love the most about my job is every day is different. It’s very dynamic. A day could consist of me doing physical training with the troops, serving food, and just interacting with the members on the ground or ship. Or it could be me performing religious services, doing a parade. And one of the things I love doing is connecting with the chain of command to inform them of the pulse, the morale of the unit and see how things are going. And I think that’s a function which is central to what I do – is to make sure everyone is doing OK. "
" I never thought there was that much to it. " Said Stevens. " Where do you begin? "
" Chaplains typically begin their ministries as a unit chaplain with Star Fleet or in the Fleet Marine Corp. for the first three to four years of service. A big part of what we do is what we call ministry of presence. Chaplains have to be present in all aspects of the unit life. Which could mean having a coffee with the members, you know, see how things are going, having lunch with them. A big part of understanding military life is simply: walk with the troops. And at the core of what we do, that ministry of presence is what makes us unique as a military occupation.Chaplains are highly skilled in active listening and have a sense of adventure.They have an open attitude and promote diversity within Star Fleet by providing an environment that is caring and compassionate. "
" Is that all you do? " Stevens asked.
" Not at all. " Damian said " Some of us are clinical chaplains – mental health chaplains who work in the clinic alongside the mental health workers. We have other chaplains that specialize in conflict. Other chaplains that specialize in pluralism and in ethics. So there are many options available later on in your career where you can specialize in these unique areas of ministry and advocacy. "
" What about you? " Stevens asked.
" When I look around myself, I see myself in position where I can respond to where I see the gaps – things that are missing. Part of it is education. We all need to learn about difference, we all need to learn about diversity, and we all need to learn about each other. And one of the greatest joys I participated in is to set up and to establish educational opportunities for members at my unit. To set up opportunities, to experience other religions, other cultures. And I think this has been one of the greatest joys of my career is to have this opportunity where I can teach, where I can be part of the change, and advocate where advocacy is needed. " As Damian spoke, he knew that Stevens was listening. And he knew he opened a mind today.
Just then, Steven's combadge chirped. " Mr Stevens, please report to Engineering. "
" On my way " He said chugging the last sip of synthale in his glass. " It was a pleasure to meet you Damian. You stationed here? " He asked.
" Nope. On my way to my duty assignment now. Take care. Good talk. " And with that, the man disappeared out the door.
Damian sipped his ale. Then looked at the clock behind the bar. " Crikey!! " He exclaimed. He had 5 mins to get back to the Runabout. and with that, He hurried out of the lounge to continue on his merry journey.
Lt Damian Kane