Baptism by Fire
Location: Captains Office
It wasn't long before Amanda made it to her quarters and freshened up, changed her uniform and headed toward the bridge. Listening intently to the sounds the ship made as she went, trying to identify the different systems as she went. The turbo lifts made a curious sound. Different from the sound of the turbo lift on ships they had conducted training on. And so did the engines and computer system. Which was basically the same on all the ships she had trained on. But this one was hers. And she would learn all of its little idiosyncratic noises.
As she entered to turbo lift, she called out. "Bridge." And the door closed and the lift began to move. A few moments later, the doors swooshed open at the rear of the bridge. There were few people present, but there was someone at ops, and an officer she did not know, manning the center chair. So she approached them. "Sir, I'm Ensign Amanda Sexton, your Operations Chief. Can you tell me if the Captain is in his ready room?" She asked
"Yes, I think he is. Let me see if he is too busy or if he can see you now." Said the officer and tapped a button on the chair. He inquired as to if he was busy as the ops chief wanted to report in for duty.
Captain Desmond was in his office on deck four intently reviewing the records of Amanda Sexton, a recent Academy graduate. He remembered her in some of his courses at the Academy, and was surprised to see that she had just been commissioned as an Ensign, especially considering that many students below her in her class rank had been promoted to Lieutenant JG or Lieutenant. He had already spoken to the Starfleet Commander and had been granted some latitude to rectify the situation. The chime on his desk went off, he leaned forward and pressed it.
"Captain Desmond here," he said in to it.
"Captain Desmond, this is Lieutenant Foster, an Ensign Sexton is here to report in."
"Excellent," Desmond said, "send her down to my office on deck 4."
Amanda was standing right next to him when the Captain responded. She acknowledged his response and headed for deck four. Upon arrival, she found the office and rang the bell.
Desmond didn't look up from his paper work, "Come in."
Amanda entered and came to the position of attention. ""Sir, Ensign Sexton Reporting for duty." She announced clearly and proud.
Captain Desmond looked up, "I'm sorry, there seems to be a mistake. I don't seem to have a record of an Ensign Sexton that is reporting for duty," he wasn't going to let the Ensign be perplexed or sweat it out and he continued, "that being said, I do have record of a Lieutenant Commander Sexton who is supposed to report for duty as Chief of Operations. I'm sorry that some paperwork at the Academy got messed up, I have spoken to the Starfleet Commander about this and he's given me authorization to rectify it by giving you a promotion to Lieutenant Commander."
To say she was shocked is an understatement. “Excuse me sir. Did you say Lt Cmdr. ?” She asked completely taken aback.
He nodded, "I did. Also, I just got word that the man slated to be our Executive Officer has actually accepted his own Captaincy...which leaves me short an XO...based on your exemplary performance at the Academy, I'd like to offer you the position on a trial basis."
Now she was even more shocked than before. Could you repeat that please?” She asked. Cause she thought she heard him say something and be an executive officer. And if this was a dream, she did not want to wake up.
"I'd like for you to be the Executive Officer...we'll do it on a trial basis for now until I can get some more leverage at Starfleet Headquarters. I think that this will be a good fit for you and for the ship. We're a primarily green crew. I'm gonna need some of the brightest minds that Starfleet has to offer, and looking over your record, I would say that you are indeed one of the brightest minds that Starfleet has to offer. So what do you say, do you want to try your hand at being an Executive Officer?"
When she managed to close her mouth. She gathered herself and remembered the Star Fleet briefing on Burden of Command. Every cadet in Star Fleet wanted some day to be the Captain of their own ship. And here she was. Fresh out of the Academy and not only a department head. But fast tracked to Acting Lt Cmdr and acting XO of a Constitution Class Star Ship.
“Well I must admit sir. This is all things I wanted to happen at some point. But I had no idea.” And she trailed off into thought again. “Yes.” Shaking her head to the affirmative. “Sir I except and I’ll do the best I can. “ she said with pride.
Captain Desmond nodded, "That's really what I wanted to hear Commander. I'll make the announcement to the crew shortly. Your quarters will be on deck 2. Your office will be on deck 3. What questions do you have for me Commander Sexton?"
She thought for a second. “What time will we be meeting for our daily meeting?” She asked
"We'll meet 15 minutes before the 0800 shift change and again before the shift change at 2000. I want you to lead the shift from 1600 hours to midnight. There's a lot of learning opportunities out there for your, and it gives you a bit of a look in to the junior officers and crew, we'll be evaluating a lot of them for promotions over the next six months or so."
She made a mental note and then shifted into ops mode. “My report on ship operations is ready if you’re ready to receive it sir. “ Said Sexton glad she had performed all the needed checks before hand.
Captain Desmond nodded, "Of course, I'll take your report Commander."
“Communications, Transporter Operations and Computer Core updates have all been accomplished and we are operating at one hundred percent. Power systems and plasma coolants are being re integrated as we speak for peak proficiency. I believe they should be done by the time we’re done here. And yes I know that’s an engineering function. But I had them run the diagnostic because I thought I heard something off. I hope you don’t mind Captain.” And she awaited his answer.
Desmond nodded, "Alright Commander, I thank you for everything you've shared with me, you're dismissed."
"Aye aye Captain. And thank you again." With that the XO left the Captains office, smiling so big that she was hurting her face. It was time to get back to reality. A lot had been dropped on her just now. And she would have to see it through.
Lt Cmdr Amanda Sexton
Chief of Operations / XO
Captain Matthew Desmond