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Hello, Is It Me You're Working For?

Posted on 17 Mar 2019 @ 10:18pm by Lieutenant Gabriel Walker & Ensign Elliott Weaver

Mission: Prologue
Location: Security Offices

[Lounge - Deep Space 13]

"Who'd you piss off?"

The question from his lunch companion caught Ensign Elliott Weaver, fresh into the second posting of his career, completely off guard.

He screwed his face up, unintentionally doing a favorable impression of a mentally substandard cow. "What do you mean?"

"The Miller? The M&M? The thing's the size of a shoebox." Elliott's lunch companion snorted. Also an Ensign, also in security, this man carried the air of one who thought far too highly of himself, knew it, and didn't care one bit. "They're gonna have to zip that thing up around you. Not that that matters, since you won't end up doing anything anyway. Ship's too tiny to get into any trouble."

"Gonna zip you up." Elliott muttered into his drink. Finishing the last bit, he slapped an open palm lightly on the table in much the same way an Alaskan grizzly bear lightly slaps... well, anything. "It's been fun, Jakar. See you next time we make port."

[USS Mark Miller - Turbolift]

"Deck four." Elliott ordered.

Not a moment before the doors began to hiss shit, a slender figure slipped through. About as big around as Elliott's thigh, she had a mane of blonde hair and blue eyes that twinkled with just a hint of mischief.

"Deck seven," the two-pip said.

Elliott swayed forward and back on the balls of his feet for a moment, biting the bottom of his lip.

"Ensign Weaver," he offered. "I'm new here, assigned to the security department."

The Lieutenant gave Elliott a sideways glance, not turning fully. "Lieutenant Jurgen. Chief Engineer."

It wasn't an unfriendly response, definitely not standoffish. In fact, it was very nearly warm - just... not terribly verbose.

"I'm really excited." Elliott continued, completely unclear whether he was drowning or treading water in this conversation. "The Miller seems like a great ship. This is my second posting ever. They say that's where you really start to build your career."

"Yes," Lieutenant Jurgen mused. She seemed as though she wanted to say something else, but nothing but a pregnant period of silence followed.

Elliott rubbed one massive paw over the opposite forearm idly, staring up at the corner of the turbolift for no reason in particular. "Cool... cool cool cool. Cool."

"Deck four," the computer announced proudly.

"Well that's me," Elliott rambled, squeezing his linebacker shoulders around the lithe Chief Engineer to get to the front of the car. "I'll, uh... see you around, sir."

"Yes," the Lieutenant agreed evenly, the detached statement at complete odds with the warmth and life in her eyes. Elliott could have sworn he saw the smallest twitch at the corners of her mouth, but decided to chalk that up to nerves.

No Lieutenant intentionally smiled at an Ensign who still had shine on his pips.

[USS Mark Miller - Security Offices]

Phenomenal work, Elliott, he mused to himself as he entered the Mark Miller's small security complex. Already making friends. No smart statements. No witty repartee. Just the word 'cool' repeated five times. That'll get you noticed by the senior staff, Ensign. That'll help your career, Ensign. Ensign.

"... Ensign." This time the word came more forcefully. Elliott's vision, which he hadn't realized he'd lost, came sweeping back, resolving into the fireplug form of a Senior Chief Petty Officer standing in front of him. "Everything alright, Ensign?"  The last was said disinterestedly, the tones of one used to dealing with butterpats.

Elliott blinked once. Twice. Three times, and then his mouth finally caught back up. "Er, yes-" he checked the older man's collar, a bit too obviously, "- Senior Chief. Sorry about that. Ensign Elliott Weaver. I'm here to report."

"Report what?" Sarkasian asked, affecting a deliberately obtuse manner but in a way that couldn't be justified as 'insubordinate'.  Judging from...everything...this one hasn't been out of the Academy long.  Probably has a head still ringing with words like "duty" and "honor" and the crap that he was somehow able to lead and command.  Ones like this made him want to carry around towels.  Small ones.  Just the right size for the wet behind the ears.

Elliott blinked several more times in rapid succession. The brief, suicidal notion of reminding the Chief of his status vis-à-vis Elliott's entered his head before better sense slapped it out of the air. Senior Chiefs didn't become Senior Chiefs without knowing how to skate around just about anything. Of that much, at least, Elliott was very sure.

"Report for... duty," he replied guardedly.

"Not to me, you're not. You'll need to see the boss." Sarkasian pursed his lips and raised his eyebrows. "One moment, Ensign, it'll be my pleasure to 'announce' you."

[Security Chief's Office]

"You have a meeting," Senior Chief Petty Officer Sarkasian said, poking his head into the office.  It was merely that and nothing more.  Which Gabe found irritating.  Which he knew Sarkasian knew.  Which, he suspected, was why the Senior Chief did it that way.

"Send whoever it is in," he muttered knowing that Sarkasian was already out of earshot and that he was sending in whoever it was.  Which was a curiosity in itself.  If couldn't be the captain or executive officer, he doubted either would stand on the formality of being announced and he doubted either would come to his office rather than summon him to theirs.

Curiosity getting the better of him, he set down his PaDD, hit the control to scramble the video feeds on the walls and then waited for whoever it was to enter.

For a moment, the light shining through the open office door disappeared behind the shadow of... something. A moon? No, this was no moon. As the object marched closer, it revealed a hulking form wearing the shiniest ensigns pip ever seen.

The young man snapped smartly to attention, his body clenched tighter than someone desperately overdue for a bathroom visit.

"Ensign Elliott Weaver reporting for duty, sir," the mountain exclaimed. 

Gabe leaned back in his chair, arms folded as he regarded this...Ensign.  That was the best word he could come up with for it at he moment.  Ensign.  It was just so...ensign.  A bootie ensign at that.  Letting out a sigh he leaned forward and picked up his PaDD and slowly brought up the personnel file, taking his time to read it.  If this ensigny Ensign wanted to play the ensign game, he'd best learn quickly that it comes with ensigny prizes as Gabe left him standing, holding the salute, while he did all this.  "Ensign Elliot Weaver," Gabe muttered as he set the PaDD down, making sure it was perfectly adjusted.  "I presume by your jacket that you actually graduated the Academy?"

That's a rhetorical question, Elliott's mind reported - a moment too late to stop his mouth from exclaiming, "Class of '93, sir."

The unpleasant feeling of a trap was settling down around him like a wet blanket, and his crisp salute still hung idiotically in the air before his head.

"I do not ask rhetorical questions, Ensign," Gabe said as he leaned back once more.  "They are a waste of time.  Since you graduated the Academy, meaning you have learned at least a modicum of proficiency in the basic customs and courtesies of Starfleet, you will know that one does not render a salute when inside and when not under arms.  Are you currently armed, Ensign?"

The question - and the dawning realization that his new boss could either read minds or was exceptionally good at deduction - rapped Elliott smartly across the face. He considered the offending hand, still hanging mid-air in front of his face, and realized he had zero recollection of commanding it to be there.

"I am not currently armed, Lieutenant," came the cautious reply. In these very uncertain waters, he didn't trust himself to say more than that.

"And yet, Ensign, you are still saluting," Gabe said, keeping his face completely neutral despite that he was actually enjoying this.  Yep, it was more fun on the other side of it.

Cautiously, the Ensign lowered his hand, letting it fall to an 'attention' position at his side. He picked a spot on the wall behind the Lieutenant's head and fixed his gaze, making a positively heroic effort to keep an even face. This was going well - in much the same way accidentally dropping a spatial charge into a matter/anti-matter reactor goes well.

"And now you're standing at attention," Gabe said, shaking his head.  He picked up the PaDD and motioned to the chairs with it.  "Have a seat.  And no, that does not mean you try to pick it up and mention how it really doesn't go with the decor of your quarters but orders are orders."

Relax, Elliott ordered himself. If he was going to take your face off, he'd have done it by now. Plus, he just made a joke... I think. He settled into the proffered seat, allowing himself to lean back ever so slightly.

Gabe waited until the shorter man was sitting before he continued.  "We are a smaller department on this designated science and research vessel.  There will be the two officers, you and me and the remainder of the department will consist of enlisted, most likely senior noncoms.  That will make bridge qualifications essential for them, but Starfleet has run into this problem in the past so I'm hoping they send people who are able to pass those qualifications are already qualified.  You'll be primarily beta shift and we should be able to swing running the ship with a five twelve schedule with recall to duty as necessary depending on mission status.  I see from your jacket that you think you are funny."

"Well, I've been known to turn a joke or two," Elliott mused. "Physical comedy isn't really my bit though. My general appearance handles most of that for me already."

Gabe stared at the ensign for several long moments.  "Was that you being 'funny'?"

"Evidently not, sir."

Gabe merely let out a breath.  "You will be working Beta shift with oncall duty for Gamma shift.  You will also be responsible for dealing with the personnel.  I am...not...not a "people person"."  Gabe stated.  He tossed a PaDD to Weaver.  "Familiarize yourself with the department personnel.  Do not antagonize Senior Chief Sarkasian, I do not want to listen to the whining."


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