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Meeting the XO

Posted on Fri Aug 30th, 2019 @ 5:24pm by Lieutenant Christine Descharmes & Lieutenant Commander Dastan Alexander Ph.D

Mission: Between the Pages
Location: Seppala
Timeline: Backpost, before Into The Depths

ON:

Christine stood, hands in pockets outside the new First Officer's temporary office door. Captain Sun wanted the crew to meet them but the blonde admitted she'd been lax in that regard and slightly distracted since coming on board Seppala a few hours earlier. With the panicked colonists having to flee their homes planet-side, she had been stretched a bit thin. With a sigh, she reached out and pressed the chime.

Dastan sat at his temporary desk. It was smaller than he thought it would be. It was almost like he had been put in the janitor’s closet. He was reading the stack of reports from the evacuation and the technical specifications of the orb that was captured. The door chime sounded and without hesitation to order whoever was on the other to, “enter.”

"Hello, Commander," Christine said and paused just inside the door. She glanced around, maybe she had been expecting something bigger. She supposed it didn't matter much if it was only temporary. "A bit small, isn't it?" she asked as she shoved her hands in the pockets of her skirt and gave him one of her easy grins.

Dastan looked up at the officer that had just entered. He smiled, "yes, it is. Hopefully, it will be bigger on the Shanghai." He noticed the blue collar, "Nice to meet you, Lieutenant," he said as he extended his hand.

She returned his smile, took his hand and shook it firmly before inviting herself to take a seat across from him. "Please just call me Christine," she said after a few minutes of silence. She crossed her legs. "Lieutenant is so..formal." The blonde counselor only met him planet-side and only briefly, not long enough to get a good read on him. She didn't know his command style and she didn't know if he would allow first name basis.

Dastan leaned back in his chair watching the counselor. He laughed at her informality, "You can call me Dastan. Mei says we're all family on this ship so a first name basis will be just fine. What bring you here?"

Christine gave him another smile. "I have a few minutes to spare," she answered. "Thought I'd just stop by. I'm also killing two birds with one stone." She tilted her head slightly to one side, an amused expression on her face. "Mei asked us to meet with you individually. But I'm doing my job as well. As you might have guessed eventually."

He smiled. "So you're doing a psychiatric evaluation on me?"

She tilted her head slightly to one side. "You can say that, I guess. There's a certain stigma about a psychologist's office. It puts people on edge, I think. I always go where people are most comfortable. And sometimes that is their own space. It depends on what's being talked about as well, I suppose. Some need assurance that whatever they need to talk about is going to stay within four walls. A place where their secrets are going to be safe, and separate from other aspects of their lives. In that case, it would be my office." Christine smiled and shook her head. "And so, Commander, what would you like to know about me? And what should I know about you?"

He gave a quick flutter of his eyes at the counselor. He was not one for small talk or psychiatrist. “I guess we could start off with a simple statement. Tell me about yourself.”

She tilted her head and gave him a smile. "Huh. Not used to someone asking about me," Christine said with a laugh and a shake of her head. "I grew up on Earth. Parents didn't approve of me joining Starfleet, considering how traditional they are. Eventually they came around but I enlisted first, failed basic training but instead of going home only for them to tell me they told me so, I joined the USS Andoria as a morale officer. After a year or so it was decommissioned and a year after that, for some reason or another they gave me a commission and sent me to the first Shanghai all the while I'm doing a psychology degree by correspondence through the University of Andoria." She took a breath, chuckling. "Yeah, that's pretty much it. What about you?"

“I grew up pretty much everywhere. Earth, Vulcan, Betazed, and a few Klingon planets. Mom was in Doctors Without Borders. Youngest of three brothers. All joined Starfleet just like our father, all three in different branches though,” Dastan said.

She nodded. "I sometimes wondered what it would be like to have my immediate family in Starfleet. I only found out not that long ago that my great grandmother was in Starfleet, back in the late 22nd century," she said, crossing her legs and relaxing her posture somewhat. She gave a small smile, "Don't know what happened there though. No one spoke of it for nearly a hundred years and grand-papa never mentioned it. Although, now that I think about it, he mentioned once or twice how much he hated it. I guess that carried on as it would be another three generations before someone joined. Granted, my sister is a second year cadet right now and had an easier time convincing our mother it was alright. She wants to be a doctor."

"So, you've been around by the sounds of it," Christine said, changing the subject, "What's your favorite place that you've been to, the one that sticks out in your mind?"

"Betazed was beautiful before the Dominion War. The Dominion didn't care about the beauty and history of the planet. All they left was a pile of ruble, but they've started to rebuild," Dastan looked up at the Counselor. "You have a favorite place?"

“Home,” Christine said with a smile, “By home I mean the winery I grew up in. Not Earth. There’s something about not being able to set foot there until a couple of years have passed, seeing as my past self is moping around.” She shrugged. “I guess it will be worthwhile. A few people have told me about Betazed. Maybe one day I’ll visit. I actually haven’t been to much places. Not as well traveled as some, or as you I guess.”

Dastan shrugged. "Part of me wishes we stayed in one place. I really never had the opportunity to make long lasting friends which is something I regret."

"I guess I never thought of it from that angle," she mused. "I wonder if this is like the proverbial Earth saying the grass is always greener on the other side? But it is all in our viewpoint of the situation I suppose. We'd never be happy if we wanted what we can't have." Christine uncrossed her legs, stretching them out a bit and recrossed them. "I made friends for sure. The hardest was losing them. A sad truth of this kind of life that my parents probably wanted to protect me from." She said the words easily enough, but they were paired with just a hint of anger. She then switched the topic yet again. "Tell me more about your family."

“Big, family,” he started. “I’m the youngest of 4 children, 3 boys and 1 girl. My father is in Starfleet now a Rear Admiral. Mother is a medical doctor and now ambassador. All 4 children joined Starfleet with science or medical backgrounds.”

"Hmm," Christine replied. "I myself came from a family of 3." There was a pause. "How do you feel about coming out here? By choice?"

"It's the same as any assignment. That's why we all joined Starfleet to explore the unknown, and the Shanghai is far into the unknown," the commander remarked.

She smirked. "I have to ask that question. It gives me a good feel about attitude," Christine said. "To me, the Shanghai is home. I've never been assigned anywhere else. So naturally, where she goes I go. And to be honest. I never joined Starfleet to explore the unknown, so I don't know what that's like. I joined because I was looking for someone and well-" she shrugged and gave him another smile, "-I found him."

There was a pause. The blonde woman let out a sigh."I guess my taste for the unknown came a long time after that. Anyway, Commander." Christine stood from her chair and gave him a slight nod. "I should get back to my rounds. Thanks for meeting me with me."

Dastan stood. "No problem, Counselor," he said as he extended his hand.

She took the offered hand. "Look forward to working with you some more," she said with a smile and a nod of her head.

:OFF

Lieutenant Commander Dastan Alexander, PhD.
Executive Officer, USS Shanghai

Lieutenant Christine Descharmes
Chief Counselor, USS Shanghai

 

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