Location: U.S.S. Poseidon; Chief Counsellor's Office, Deck 6
Timeline: Day 004 - 0200 Hours
Jaxson's leave was finally up, and it was time for him to report for duty aboard the USS Poseidon. Walking along the gangplank, in full uniform for the first time in over a week, he got a very nice view of the beautiful vessel as she hung there in her berth. He'd always had a thing for Miranda-class vessels, and the Poseidon was no exception. He studied her nacelles as he strode along, and the hard lines, blended with the sweeping curves of her primary hull. As he neared the end of the gangplank he lost sight of the ship as the viewports disappeared, and were replaced by the harder walls of the docking seals.
Entering the ship through her primary docking port he came face to face with a fellow NCO. "Petty Officer Jaxson Morris, requesting permission to come aboard," he said with a slight smile.
The female NCO checked a roster on her padd and glanced from the screen to his face, and then back again to the screen. A few more seconds passed and she looked back up, apparently satisfied. "Permission granted, Petty Officer Morris, your belongings have already been beamed to your quarters, the XO is expecting you in her office, and she will provide you with any further details you might need," she said. Her matter of fact, no-nonsense style was slightly off-putting until he noticed the slight tilt to her brows, and the gentle, almost imperceptible points on her ears.
"Understood, thank you," Jax replied, and then continued on into the ship.
Five minutes later he approached the door to the XO's office. Reaching out he pressed the small button to activate the ship's chime and alert the person inside that he'd arrived.
Kanaka rubbed the sleep from her eyes as she stared at the PADD in front of her on her desk. It had been less than three hours since she had been awoken and summoned to the Captain's Ready Room to discover that she had now succeeded Phoebe as Number One. She hadn't returned to bed since, instead coming here to get to grips with her new assignment and process everything. It had all been so sudden, and while in the moment she took on the circumstances with poise, the weight of the circumstances was starting to hit her. She'd never really planned for any of this, certainly never wanted for any of it, but circumstances were what they were and so Kana rationalized it as best she could. She could do more to help and support the crew, especially the Commander. This had nothing to do with having greater authority; that's what her mother would have thought.
The new First Officer was immediately taken out of her thought as the doorbell chimed. Looking at the door with a slightly stunned expression, she quickly composed herself as she remembered the time. "That must be the new Propulsion Specialist..." She thought, glancing over the PADD which showed the young man's details. Petty Officer First Class Jaxson Morris, one of the last new arrivals joining the Poseidon's crew before the ship would depart in just a few hour's time. This would be a pretty routine meeting, quite likely mundane all things considered, but it still felt serious as it was her first action as First Officer.
Fastening up her jacket and making sure that she was well presented, Kana called out for them to enter. "Come!" As the doors opened, she turned to face the entrance, hands clasped behind her back and feet firmly planted on the ground, shoulders broad. The young human male who entered was a foot taller than she was, with a dark complexion and short hair. His face was fresh and full of vitality; it was strangely comforting and reminded Kana why she was here. "For the crew. Always."
Giving a polite smile, she introduced herself. "Petty Officer Jaxson Morris? Lieutenant Commander Kanaka Shakura, Chief Counsellor and Sec--First Officer of the U.S.S. Poseidon. Welcome aboard." She extended an arm out to take his own, prepared to give a firm handshake. She had to save herself in her introduction but managed it seamlessly enough.
Reaching out Jax took the hand she held out, his own, much darker, and heavily tattoed, contrasting against her much lighter, and unmarked. She had a firm grip and confidence in her shake that told him she was going to be quite good at her job.
"Please, sit." She directed him to the chair in front of her desk. The office was quite spacious but very dimly lit at this early hour, the lights of the stars out beyond visible from the viewport shining extra bright due to the dim light inside. "Do excuse the gloom, it's technically still 'out-of-hours' for this office. Well, not anymore, but we've yet to adjust that." She chuckled.
"Can I get you anything to drink before we get started?"
"No, ma'am, but thank you," Jax replied with a smile, as he took the offered seat. "Thank you for agreeing to see me at such a strange hour of the night. I know you have a lot to do.
Looking around at the office he added, "Honestly, the gloom makes it a bit more relaxing. Luckily I usually work on gamma shift, since that's the best time to do repairs and such, so I'm used to the lights not being quite so bright."
Kana nodded firmly as she took her seat. "I'm hoping to fill out the office more during our tours. Give it more character and life; it's pretty bare right now, but hopefully not for long." Her eyes sparkled with the ideas she had in mind, already thinking of the things she might be able to acquire at their next destination. Quickly though, she refocused on Jaxson.
"But yes, I've read your service record. Engineering Track at the Starfleet Technical Services Academy, and then two previous postings on the Nova Scotia and Proxima. Very impressive for a young non-commissioned officer, if I may say. As you may have heard, the Poseidon has quite a unique designation; as well as being an escort destroyer, we're also an Academy training vessel, so you'll be rubbing shoulder-to-shoulder with a lot of trainees and first-time enlistees. Was that what brought you to her?" Kana asked, placing her hands together on the table as she leaned forward, showing interest in what the young man had to say.
Jax had seen the sparkle in the woman's eyes and could tell she'd been considering something that excited her. Since she didn't bring it up he let it go, however and focused on what she was discussing.
"Actually, yes, and no. Yes in that it is certainly an incentive. It will give me a chance to shape, and influence people going through the same process I went to, and share with them any wisdom I may have gained going through it myself. No, because even without that I still would have been drawn to Poseidon. She is a Miranda-class ship, and I've always had a soft spot for those. They are an ageing class but very well built, and they present some unique challenges from an engineering standpoint. I really just couldn't pass that up," he said, the words coming out in a bit of a torrent.
Noticing that he was going on, at length, Jax stopped himself and looked up a bit bashfully. "Sorry, about that, I get a bit passionate when it comes to engineering topics," he said with a grin.
The Chief Counsellor and First Officer smiled, charmed by the young man's honesty. "The Miranda's are quite something. The Poseidon herself has quite a history; I only learnt once I had come aboard that she saw action in the Dominion War, and was present during the Battle of Betazed and Operation Return. I was a young girl at the time, and now I can't help but find it oddly charming that the ship that fought for me and my people in our hour of greatest need, I now come to serve her when she called..." There was a momentary pause as Kana considered the memories of those dark days, but her face was full of hope. Maybe it was the lack of sleep, but she seemed to have stumbled upon something that made the acquisition of the First Officer position more sweet than it had first tasted.
Snapping out of it very quickly, she carried on to enquire about Jax. "Don't apologise for being passionate about your work, it's a grand thing. I'm sure our Chief Engineering Officer would agree with your assessment about this ship presenting some unique challenges; she'll be happy to have you aboard. What was it about engineering that ignited your passion?"
Without skipping a single beat Jax replied, "The challenge. Ever since I was a small child I've loved the challenge of taking things apart and putting them back together again to see how they work, figure out why they've stopped working, and even, in some cases, understand the thought processes responsible for bringing them into being. It all fascinates me, and drive me to strive to be able to find novel solutions to problems, and implement them in the best ways I know how."
"What about yourself? What made you choose your career in Starfleet?" he asked.
While Jax wouldn't have been able to tell, the question did catch Kana off-guard. Having well-prepared herself to handle inquiries into her past, however, she gave a coy look and shrugged it off. "To tell you the truth, it wasn't something I really chose. One decision led to another and now here I am. I guess you could say that after what I experienced as a young girl in the Dominion War, I was driven towards doing what I could to help others. I became fascinated in the mind and how it worked, and that led me to getting noticed by a recruiter from Starfleet. I transferred from the University of Betazed to Starfleet Academy and the rest, as they say, is history."
Every word she told him was the truth, and the sentiments expressed very real. There was of course a lot more to the story - especially now that she found herself the second-in-command on the ship - but that would have to wait for another day. A day when Kana felt comfortable to share her own past. For now though she had shared as much as she was willing, and that was enough.
Picking up her PADD, the Chief Counsellor and First Officer scrolled down the list. "So, since you've just come aboard, I imagine you're wondering what's next. Your room allocation should've been arranged by the Quartermaster prior to your arrival and should be retrievable from the Yeoman's Office just down the corridor. Then you'll want to report yourself to your senior officer, Lieutenant Mo'Bri in Engineering on Deck Four. As you're an NCO I imagine you'll want to speak to the Chief of the Boat, Master Chief Payne, but I probably wouldn't want to bother him at this hour."
Grinning, she then passed him the PADD so he could review it himself. "Before you go on to do any of that though, is there anything else that I can do for you?" She asked courteously, skilfully covering for the fact that she had been winging most of this meeting so far.
"Honestly, I think that will do it," Jax said, standing up with a smile to accept the padd. "Thank you again for agreeing to see me, and I look forward to working alongside you here on the Poseidon. I'm not averse to learning new things and branching out, so if there's ever anything you need outside of my assigned role, and you think I could handle it, please let me know."
Kana stood with him and offered her hand for another shake as they stepped towards the door. "Thank you for joining us, I have no doubt you'll be a great addition to our crew. I'll also keep that offer in mind." As they strode towards the doors, she casually remarked, "I'm sure you'll fit right in. We've got a very friendly and outgoing crew."
Her phrase brought Jax up a little short, and he flashed back to the person he'd met the evening before. "You know, now that you say that everyone I've met has been friendly and outgoing. I met a guy yesterday evening on the station that was super friendly. He sat and ate with me for a bit. Had the most amazing blue eyes, and white hair..." he said, letting his voice trail off as he realized she couldn't possibly care about his ramblings.
The moment in question seemed innocent enough when Jax first began to mention it, but then as he continued to go on describing the individual and the encounter the Chief Counsellor couldn't help but feel she knew exactly who he was talking about. She was at first pleasantly surprised, and then felt her heart go soft, moist with the nectar of happiness. Lieutenant Canaan Serine was a workaholic, but it seems he had found the time to take a break, and in the process be kind to someone. Not too unsurprising, considering his polite demeanour, but it was important that he had taken that time to do it to begin with. But then Kana wondered, "Why not mention to him that you'd be on the same ship?"
Just as she was about to tell Jax, she stopped herself as she inhaled. It clicked. "Oh Canaan, you tease."
"Well," She said with a wry smile. "I hope we can live up to that kindness. Good night, Officer Morris. Welcome aboard the Poseidon."
"Thank you, ma'am, same to you!" Jax replied, and exited the room. It had been a good meeting and one that showed much promise for him moving forward on the ship. As he walked down the corridor, heading for the turbolift, he had a broad smile on his face and a certain pep in his step.