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SD241911.?? || Joint Log || "The Irresistible Force & the Immovable Object"

Posted on 05 Nov 2019 @ 11:58pm by Lieutenant Talrian Bran & Captain Mallory Thorne

Mission: Tyr's Hand
Location: Briefing Room

=/\= Begin Log =/\=

Mallory waited, silently, until everyone else was out of the room.

Once they were and the door had shut, she rose to her feet and walked to the viewport. She stared out at the stars as they passed the ship by, and wondered which stars these were. They were still stars, maybe even the same place, but they weren't her stars.

"Lieutenant, I am curious as to why you seem to think you are better and smarter than everyone else on this ship," she began, her voice weary but there was an unmistakably hard edge to it.

Because I am, was his immediate thought, and with a Marine CO he might have said it. The dynamics were much different there, however, and crass bravado could be considered an endearing trait...if used with proper deference. But this wasn't the Marines. Instead, he checked his sigh. "I don't understand your question, Captain."

Mal turned back from the view-port to look levelly at the former Marine. She pursed her lips slightly, one brow arched. "I find that hard to believe, Lieutenant. What about my statement was unclear? Was it a lack of a full interrogative at the end? I thought the statement would be enough for one as straightforward and opinionated as yourself to understand what I was after."

Talrian clenched his jaw while he metaphorically bit his tongue. What could he say further? Obviously she'd chosen him to be the punching bag for everything, especially the way she was feeling. Not that he didn't understand it, hearing over a hundred had died despite their best efforts cut him to the core as well, but he didn't have the luxury of letting it color his actions.

Worse yet, was that because she was the Captain, his only real option was to have to take it from her. If he said something she didn't like, he'd be lucky to be confined to quarters. Instead, he tapped a few controls on his PaDD and waited until this dressing down was finished and he was released to, hopefully, resume his duties.

"Now you don't have anything to say?" she asked quietly. "I don't really have the time to sit here all day and neither do you." She folded her arms and leaned back against the wall. "I can't imagine you truly don't know what I'm talking about, Lieutenant."

"Do I have permission, and latitude, to speak freely, ma'am?" he asked, making sure it was clearly stated and asked. He didn't want there to be a mistake about what permissions he was given later.

"In this room, and at this moment, yes," Mal said simply.

Talrian sighed as he shook his head. "Then no, I don't understand why you are asking that question. Nor do I understand why you are so hostile toward me. I'd like to, but I don't. Is it because you did not choose me for this position?" Talrian shrugged. "That's easily fixed when we return home, I can write the transfer request if you'd like."

That...actually made the captain laugh.

Okay, sure, there was an edge of hysteria to it, but it was a laugh of some sort. She moved back to the chair she'd been sitting in and took her seat again, looking at him across the table. "Maybe you don't," she granted. "Fact is, I didn't choose any of my crew. Starfleet assigned them. I accept that fine.

"I think to say I'm hostile toward you is overstating. Aggravated, sure. Your behavior just in the staff briefing today has made a statement that you believe you know more than the rest of us. But I also have a few reports and statements regarding behavior during your rescue mission, and let's not forget your altercation with the late Lieutenant Malena before you even left. Hostile towards you? You've been pretty hostile toward many of this crew so far."

"Oh," Talrian said as he turned toward the table and looked at the far wall. "To be fair, the incident with Malena was...." he stopped for a moment. "Mutual." He didn't need to be reminded that she'd died, more heroically than he would have given her credit for and because of that he had to posthumously revise his opinion of her. Maybe if there was more time they could have actually liked each other. He swallowed hard but didn't turn back to face her as he spoke. "I don't know you, Captain. I don't know any of this," he said, indicating the ship. "In the Corps, officers get to know their COs and can anticipate them, what they'll do and how they want it done. That takes...time. I don't know you and so I have to ask questions to know what you want and how you want it. Until I have a better grasp of who and how you are. I don't want to presume and cause problems."

Because he asked questions. He shook his head. He swallowed again, his body tense. "What are you going to do about..." he trailed off, not sure how to finish it.

She looked at him for a long time, probably enough to make him even more uncomfortable. "Your behavior with me is less my concern than your behavior with the rest of the crew," she said quietly. "But I'm not going to do anything...yet. This past days have been unimaginable stress, and it's affecting you as much as all of us. But this is not the Corps. And we are not all stupid. You'll get to know me and I will you, but more than ever, this crew as a whole is going to need to stick together. And whether you like it or not, you are now a part of this crew. I don't want either of us to regret that, when all is said and done. We all have to learn to work together, which means some malleability on your part as well. Understand my expectations that far?"

"I don't think most of you are stupid," he muttered. "I" He turned to face the captain. "None of you would survive a week in the Corps, not the way you are and not without guidance. Not without help. Consider what this is like for me? Scientists and counselors walking along the same halls with you? In the same briefing as me? I come from a service that has to beg to have our own medics. We have a more "straightforward way of acting" but you guys are...not like that. I know I need to adjust but I need help trying to navigate all this. Isn't it sad that I was more comfortable getting blown out of the sky and shot at then working with your crew? Even allowing for what I see as lax discipline, it was..." he shook his head, not sure how to explain. "It's a fundamental culture shift and I'm expected to be able to adapt overnight? "

He looked at her, still clenched and tense. "Treatment like I've had, in the Corps, wouldn't have been tolerated. It would have been quashed immediately. I'm trying , Captain. But I'm also who I am as well, and that needs to be respected as well."

Mal inclined her head slightly. "Fair enough. Who you are will be respected more when others believe that you respect the same of them," she pointed out quietly. "Unfortunately, things didn't happen to give you much time to adapt. I acknowledge that. And perhaps we can learn from your experiences, if you realize that you can learn from ours." She tilted her head thoughtfully, letting out a weary sigh as she looked at the chronometer on the wall.

There wasn't much time until they reached the station... Dammit.

"You have my support," she said, then turned her head to look at him again, "and you'll have my help. Work with me, and I'll work with you. You're clearly dedicated and skilled. I respect that. And I have a feeling we'll need you, and those traits, in what we have to face now."

"About that, Captain," he said, leaning forward, "even if you don't want to accept when I say that the Temporal Prime Directive is pure bullshit and we can't change the timeline. I know, I know," he said holding up a hand to forestall her argument, "evidence currently suggests otherwise. Forget that argument. We have a crew that's been through hell and saw one in seven of them recently dead. Now this? They need to feel that this is under control and not a major problem. If the senior staff is panicking over 'changing the timeline' then the crew will panic and that could cause more lives. We need to..." he stopped and placed his flattened hands on the table. "I suggest we discuss it as a causal loop, that we're just in a loop and we'll just need to find entry point to return home. Keep it positive and keep morale up. Rather than have a scared crew waiting for the disaster that's going to kill them."

"I appreciate your suggestion, Lieutenant," Mal said sincerely, "and I will take it into consideration for the crew as a whole, although not for the senior staff. We need to know all of what we or may be dealing with so we can prepare for it, deal with it, and get the ship ready to get out of it when the situation presents itself." She sighed softly. "In the meantime, we all have work to do and I suggest you get back to it. Take away from this this much command wisdom: you get out of people and situations what you put into them." She nodded toward the door. "Now, let's get back to work."

"Yes, Captain," Talrian said, picking up his PaDD and exiting the room. He sighed, out of the frying pan and...into the counselor's office.


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