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Picking up the Slack

Posted on Tue Jun 4th, 2019 @ 6:03am by Lieutenant JG Isabelle Veran PhD & Captain Sun Mei Xiang

Mission: Between the Pages
Location: USS Shanghai
Timeline: Shanghai Prime Timeline, 2391

[USS Shanghai, Corridors]

"Lieutenant," Sun spoke as she walked down the corridor. She hadn't had a chance to meet all of the crew, but it was impossible to miss the Trill-Betazed hybrid as she moved down the hallway. She should have felt more guilty as she did just stop in the middle of the corridor to meet a new crew member. But she needed to take a minute to speak to the counselor. After all, they had a surprisingly hefty department given their mission, "Do you have a moment I could borrow? We haven't officially met if I'm not mistaken? Apologies, preparing for a mission has had me busy." She adjusted quickly, to give a polite bow. "If not now, I'm happy to set up a more official time. I know this is... unorthodox."

Isabelle hadn’t been expecting to bump into her CO in the corridor but she smiled politely as she greeted her. “I don’t have anything planned for now Captain so I’m all yours!” She grinned.

"Good," Mei said with a quick nod on down the corridor before she began walking again. "I wanted to talk to you personally for a few reasons. I liked handling things as an XO - that line between the Captain and the Officers. So, I like being one on one with my officers. That's probably the most important. And you have a solid record and background, not to mention the symbiont story," She glanced over to the officer for a minute, "But first, have you ever served under an officer who came up a different path - like Descharmes?"

“I met and worked with a few when I was doing my training whilst at the Academy, but apart from that I’ve only ever worked with Starfleet trained Officers.” She looked at Mei curiously. “Any particular reason for asking?”

"Experience. I was a marine first, and then came over to the Fleet. I've worked with officers who started as enlisted and worked into their commissions. I've seen a lot of officers struggle to kind of come to terms with that. Bluntly, I guess, you have a Ph.D. A lot of formal training. Sometimes it can be hard to get to grips with an officer that came up that way." She shook her head. "Just wanted to know. If it does ever cause you trouble, let me know." She switched topics quickly, "In addition, I'd like to hear more about your situation. We have a lot of Trill working with us, and, well, I'm not too familiar with the symbiots, to be honest."

“My situation is....stable.” She smiled. I’m still getting used to being joined. I had no choice it was that or let the Veran symbiont die. I wasn’t willing to allow that when I could do something about it. They weren’t sure either of us would survive or if I’d stay sane! It was....touch and go for both of us for a while but we eventually blended. I still find myself getting mixed up with my previous two hosts, the first was a female and the second was male so it’s kind of strange!”

"I can't imagine. As close as I could get is, well, I was a bit of a tomboy as a kid, I guess?" She said with a smirk and a shrug, "But I'm glad you're both doing well. The insight to history that must give is... well, astonishing." Mei added with a little excited shake. "I'd love that kind of insight. But." She adjusted, "Tell me a bit about your career thusfar. I've read the reports and all, but, just like to hear how crew members describe what they've done thus far."

"Well this is my third assignment since I graduated the Academy. My first was aboard the USS Kirk, it was during my time there that I volunteered to be host to the Veran symbiont. There were a couple of other Trill aboard but one was already joined and the other had already been refused for joining on medical grounds, they had no one else so it was me or let Veran die. I only had a year aboard the Kirk and most of that was pretty stressful due to getting used to being joined. I transferred to the USS Saratoga afterwards where I spent two years as a Counsellor and Operations officer."

"Operations officer?" Mei said quickly at that note, "You don't happen to be bridge trained, do you? I can always use more bridge officers I feel like... especially with the crew compliment they're assigning us with." She gave a slight shrug. "A lot of our crew is very green, so someone with experience - especially with a couple of extra lifetimes is something I can't pass up. But..." She shrugged, "That would be an option, if you would like. Of course."

“I, myself...have some bridge experience” Isabelle smiled. “My previous hosts had plenty more but that wouldn’t really count in current circumstances!” She grinned. “I’d be happy to help out if I can.”

"Good. I'll keep you in mind." She paused for a moment. "I'll leave that up to you. I know bridge work and counseling is not exactly a fit. But..." She trailed off and shrugged, "Sorry, shouldn't talk all work. Is there anything I should know about you? Family? Hobbies? That kind of thing? I find it helps to know a little more about officers to adjust, well, command styles." She held up a hand, "You don't have to answer, of course, if you'd rather not."

"I have plenty of hobbies!" Isabelle smiled. "I love to read, but I prefer real books to PADDs it just has a completely different feel to it, I also enjoy time in the Holodeck, and movie nights complete with popcorn!" She grinned. "As for my family, both my parents are Starfleet Officers. My father is an Admiral and my mother is ships Counsellor aboard the same ship."

"Ah, well. I should ask you for advice on that, because I'm from Earth, and have no right raising a teenager on a starship," Sun sighed and shook her head a bit. "I'm glad to hear you read. I'd offer to loan you some of my books, but most are in Mandarin or Yue... and I don't remember seeing either on your profile." She gave a quick shrug. "We watch a lot of old video dramas and movies," She said, holding up a finger for a moment, "To be clear, by we, I mean my daughter inherited a love of old earth media from Lyn, so the two of them have quite the collection. I just enjoy being in the same room as them." She shrugged, "I like the media fine, just... usually working on something while we watch." Sun dusted herself off a bit. "Good to know we have some things in common though. I should let you back to your work. But, I also want to let you know I have an open door policy. If you can find me, I always have a minute for a crew member, whatever you need. Anything else I should know before I'm off?"

"Just one thing.." Isabelle smiled. "There's nothing wrong with raising a child on a starship. It's part of the Starfleet life and sometimes it can't be avoided. Don't blame yourself okay? Apart from that there's nothing else, if I think of anything I'll come and find you."

"Good, just ask the computer. It always knows where I am," Sun spoke giving a little nod. "I look forward to working with you, Lieutenant." Sun gave a bit of a bow but then paused, "Oh - and keep an eye on Descharmes for me. She's been a good friend, but I might be relying on her more than I should. Let me know if you see any problems pop up."

"I will don't worry" Isabelle smiled. "If there's anything to worry about I'll be in touch." With that she smiled politely and got back to work.

[OFF]

 

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