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Posted on Fri Jan 6th, 2012 @ 12:11am by Commander Sun Mei Xiang & Ensign Nazirin Skye

Mission: Intermission
Location: StratOps Suite

Skye sat nervously at his desk, tapping his fingers on the nearest paDDs. Captain Sun had said she'd be right down, about what, she hadn't said. Skye knew, though. He figured one of the pilots had gone to her about their little "altercation". He wasn't in the least bit remorseful, but a bit nervous.

"Ensign," Sun spoke as she slipped into the office. She hadn't really knocked or tried to warn him before the door hissed open and there she was, in a Field Jacket and even wearing a marine thigh holster, complete with a phaser. Her demeanor had become significantly more militant since dropping them all off, having quickly begun her move back into Command with clear signs of her marine heritage. "Lets talk about Strat Ops," She didn't let him talk before she continued, "What is the purpose of your position aboard the ship?"

Skye stood, stunned. He'd never been asked that by a commanding officer. "Well, ma'am, I act as an advisory officer to command. I gather information on any potential hostile race in our operational zones and inform you and the admiral in the best manner so that you can make informed decisions regarding our missions. I also formulate battle strategies that are best against the races we will encounter. All Strat Ops officers are also HIGHLY trained tacticians and intelligence officers, most chiefs having served in those capacities before, like me. Though, the core of my responsibility is to liaison between Starfleet Command and the Admiral and you and to coordinate ALL Starfleet assets in a sector or larger." Satisfied, Skye rose and offered the Captain his chair. He was now positive this was about the pilots.

"Sit down, ensign," Sun spoke, "But thank you for the offer," She added quickly, before continuing, "On the ship, however, you will provide a liaison between the various departments, a center point with which we can build joint operations around somewhat easier, an adviser to which I can discuss strategies, new plans of attack, and preparations for situations requiring a strategic eye." She paused, "So, knowing that I was a marine fighter pilot, you can expect that I heard about you possibly commanding pilots and marines to get things set up - and of course, there were complaints; but I'll get to that. Why did you take it upon yourself to shout orders? If I can so ask..." The last part was a politeness, she knew she was allowed to ask.

Skye sat back down. "When I boarded, I was asked to assist Ops with final launch preparations. I had finished my work early, or as much as I could get done on the first two days aboard. I went and Kozlov said PO3 Mitchum was having some trouble with the pilots complaining over their quarter arrangements, which were perfectly logical and organized, so I handled the situation. They were being belligerent, so I handled the situation."

"What exactly were their quarter arrangements?" She asked simply, "And define 'belligerent' and 'handled'."

Skye thought back, trying to recall the paDD. "Well, ma'am, the pilots were sorted by group and then by rank and they didn't like that. When I arrived, they were yelling at PO3 Mitchum. They refused to recognize his authority over that area and wanted to make changes to be closer to friends and farther from less liked colleagues, which would have completely thrown off the efficiency. I handled it by informing them that no changes would be made and that I especially would not recommend any changes concerning personal relationships, of which I cared nothing about in those circumstances." Skye thought to himself, "Yeah, that covered everything." He bent down to look for the paDD that contained the detailed the assignments, but he remembered he had left it with Mitchum.

Sun gave a nod, but seemed not terribly impressed by the explanation, "Now, I haven't had a chance to look over all of the arrangements for each of the department quarters... Where are the quarters located exactly? What is the ETA for pilots from Quarters to Launch? And does efficiency take into consideration morale?" She paused, and gave a light nod.

Skye felt cornered. Had he made a mistake? "The quarters are on Deck 10. Since they are on Deck 10 and so are their fighters, I would estimate under five minutes. I understand what you're saying, Captain, but I'm sure Ops was just taking into account rank and group, which I feel is more organized and efficient, not to mention it is standard procedure across the board for all ship carrying fighter crews. I saw no reason to recommend any changes, considering these people have to trust each other in battle with not only their lives, but the lives of every man, woman,and child aboard this ship. If they don't like each other and they're not forced to resolve any issues they have, I do not believe they can sufficiently do their jobs. Plus, they will spend most of their time drilling and doing whatever is assigned, so they'll really on be their to sleep or on their off time, at which point they can invite any friends into their quarters or to the pilot lounge."

Sun's face seemed less happy as soon as he quoted procedure to him, she shook her head and continued, "You're quoting 'standard procedure' to a fighter pilot. I instructed marine fighter pilots. There isn't a one of those officers who takes kindly to being ordered to something by a Petty Officer from Ops." She shook her head, "Even if Kozlov had given the word himself, they wouldn't be happy - but, how can you liaise between the departments if you alienate the pilots?" She gave a light sigh, "I understand where they are coming from, and I've been in command of pilots for a long time - you might try a little give and take."

Skye stood, resilient. "You're right, Captain. Maybe I was a little harsh ma'am, and I know see that I could have been a little more open to hearing their parts of the story. But, ma'am, if they had an issue, they probably should have taken it to Kozlov and not yelled at the petty officer. That was my reason for taking the approach that I did in the situation: Mitchum was there and they were interfering with his work. Would you like a beverage, ma'am?"

"No thank you," Mei said calmly, before continuing. She asked somewhat coldly, a question that many would be offended with, but that was all part of her job, "And where did your authority come from to handle the situation?"

Skye was not offended. He'd been questioned his entire career, this was just one of the things you had to get through when you made an unpopular decision. "Ma'am, I was asked by the Chief of Ops to handle the situation. As for the pilots, I was an officer and a department head who saw five senior pilots yelling and jumping down the throat of a petty officer, so I handled the situation. As for the marines, they volunteered themselves to be there, and command of that area was shifted to me when Kozlov asked me to handle it and I accepted, so they placed themselves under my command. They could have left and the pilots could have and should have took their issues either to their commanding officer or to Kozlov, but instead, they messed up and yelled at the petty officer because he was an enlisted man and the only one around who they could yell at. I apologize if I over stepped my boundaries, but that is what I saw as necessary. If that was a fault of mine, I do apologize and will take whatever action you view as necessary for me to sufficiently perform my role aboard this ship, Captain."

"Good to hear. I'm glad you aren't afraid to piss off some fellow officers - it shows that you might be able to make it as a Senior Officer. Should the pilots have been jumping down a Petty Officer's throat? Of course not. The marines willfully volunteered, no doubt because of a lack of things to do on board. You admit that you were resolving a situation - and in truth, you seem unsure that you were right, but stuck to your guns... good enough. Situation resolved. But you should recognize that your jurisdiction lies only with enlisted and warrant officers - and those ensigns in your own department. You are a member of the Senior Staff, but you are still a Junior Officer. A Senior Pilot with the rank of Lieutenant does still outrank you, and if he or she files a complaint, I am obligated to hear them out."

She paused, and adjusted her jacket, letting a hand rest on her hip as she finished, "That being said, I've taken the liberty of reducing their quarters to hotbunks, until a time I see that the new recruits have earned officer quarters. Be assured that none - I repeat none - of my previous squadron or Commander Lylyl'Llytheraias' were involved. It seems to be new guys," Most of the Shanghai's old pilots who hadn't been killed or injured had been transferred to various wings throughout the fleet. "Long story short, you did well, but be careful. I want to be able to use you in briefings without having to yell at pilots."

Skye let out a subtle sigh of relief. "I know, Captain, am I apologize to you for putting you in that position. I should not have over stepped my jurisdiction, but it was illogical, what they were doing, and I was able to help, so I did. I'll be more careful next time, I've never quite mastered tact. I hope to be of great use to you and the other departments, Captain, as well as a good liaison between the departments. I understand you are obligated to hear them out if they raise a complaint, I am prepared. I hope I haven't put you or Commander Lylyl'Lytheraias off, because I hope to develop a great working relationship with the both of you. As StratOps officer, I hope to be of good use to everyone aboard, not just the Senior Staff, but all crew members." Skye stood again, outstretching his hand to the Captain. He was glad to know he hadn't made another enemy, he had plenty of those and didn't need on aboard.

"Remember, logic is not the be all for surviving out here. Some of us run on passion, on instinct - for those of us like that were trained to use that often fall back on those baser instincts. Just like you haven't mastered tact, some of us struggle with logic still. I often find myself eschewing logic for passion. It gets me in trouble," She sighed and stretched lightly, before shaking his hand, "But, you did well, keep it up - don't disappoint me. And I'll let you back to your work. Unless there's something else."

Skye again sighed in relief. "Thank you Captain, I will be sure not to disappoint you. There is one more thing. I hope I'm not out of line here, but when I boarded, you invited me to run some simulations. I know you're probably swamped, but I have free time whenever you would like?"

"Once the shakedown is underway, and going smoothly, I will take you up on that. Don't think I've forgotten. But, it may be a while. I have stacks of paperwork, and all sorts of tiny little disciplinary fires to put out." She shrugged, "But, I'll get free time eventually, then we'll hit a simulation. Business has to break soon enough."

Skye gave the captain a impish grin. "No problem, Captain. I can only imagine the stress you're under and the amount of work you have to do. I don't mean to sound pushy, just thought I'd bring it up. Thanks for not forgetting. I don't mean to keep you ma'am. If its okay with you, I'll get back to work. I should finish this report for our tactical and intelligence departments." Skye stood still and formal, waiting for the captain's okay.

"Good, that will be all ensign." Sun spoke with a light nod, and then a swift bow, before turning to leave.


Captain Sun Mei Xiang
Executive Officer
USS Shanghai-A


Ensign Nazirin Richard Skye
Chief Strategic Operations Officer
USS Shanghai-A


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