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Reviewing The Review - Part 2

Posted on Sat May 16th, 2020 @ 10:49pm by Captain Abigail Laurens & Lieutenant Bianca Lee

Mission: Around The World in 8 Days
Location: Captain's Ready Room

 

Abigail leaned back in her seat, legs crossed neatly beneath the desk, elbows resting on the arm rests, her fingers steepled in front of her chest as she watched the doors to her ready room part. Lieutenant Commander T'Vek had been dismissed and was advised to send Lieutenant Lee in on his way out. Now, the Commanding Officer was waiting, two fingers tapping together lightly as she counted the moments that passed, her face completely devoid of any readable emotion or expression.

Bianca returned to the interior of the ready room, back still ramrod stuff as she marched soldier-like back to the front of the Captain’s desk. The look T’Vek had given her showed nothing, absolutely nothing of what could possibly be coming. He wasn’t on her Christmas card list as it was for that truck he’d pulled, but now she considered finding a lump of coal to wrap up for him. She came to a stop and stood straight, eyes fixed at a spot three inches above where her eyes would have normally met the walls, not that it was all that far up it.

"Sit," Abigail ordered quietly, still remaining stoic in her demeanor.

Once again Bianca perched herself on the front edge of the chair in front of the desk, mentally cringing. This was definitely not going to be good. Commanding Officers tended to get quiet right before the shit well and truly hit the fan.

"First of all, Lieutenant, would you mind telling me what you were doing on the Bridge?" Abigail asked quietly. "I don't recall clearing you to take command of the ship at any point, nor do I have you on bridge duty."

“Ma’am, no ma’am.” Bianca’s honeyed voice was tighter than normal, a clear sign of stress, “Your orders as of our last encounter were that Ah wasn’t cleared for duty until after Ah had gone through my medical check with Commander Morgan, ma’am.” Bianca swallowed hard, “After obtaining his clearance to report for duty, Ah took the initiative as the senior bridge qualified officer on board and inserted myself into the duty rotation to both familiarize myself with the ship’s routine as well as to give the other duty officers the opportunity to get some R and R while we were at Earth and keep up with their other duties, ma’am.” The last word was far quieter.

"In the future, Lieutenant, it will serve you well to learn your place. I have neither the time nor the patience to cater to the arrogant whims of an officer who places my ship and my crew at risk, do I make myself perfectly clear on that point?" Abigail asked, her voice quite cool as she spoke.

Anger bubbled up inside of Bianca but she made herself repress any sign of it. It hadn’t been arrogance that had guided her decision to take over bridge watches. She inhaled deeply and spoke as calmly as she could, her voice muted, “Ah understand, ma’am.” She wanted, almost needed to explain what she had been thinking, but one thing she had learned over the years was that an angry CO was more inclined to think she was making excuses. Ah was just tryin’ to do my duty and learn more about the ship, Ah now that even if the Captain doesn’t. She reminded herself even as her eyes slid off the Captain’s face.

"Good. Now, moving on. At exactly what point did you decide it was a good idea to curse at a senior officer?" Abigail asked quietly. "Of all the things you could have said, what the hell was going through your head that you thought that that was even remotely acceptable?"

This time Bianca couldn’t repress a cringe, “No excuse ma’am. Ah’ll admit that Ah had just had my life flash before my eyes due to an explosive device having been detected on the Bridge and two others having had exploded elsewhere. Given that it was placed in the command chair where Ah had just been sittin’ and turned out to be a training device, Ah said things that Ah shouldn’t have, ma’am, no excuse for it.” She repeated.

"I'm glad you realise that," Abigail said quietly. "That alone is grounds for formal reprimand, if I were to choose to follow that path." She paused for a moment and took a deep breath. "Lieutenant, I appreciate your determination to do your job well and to prove your abilities, but you need to understand that there is a time, a place, and a chain of command. You completely disregarded that in its entirety. Do you realise the consequences this could have on your career?"

It could kill it. Bianca thought to herself, “Ah do apologize, ma’am, but Ah wasn’t aware that Ah did disregard the chain of command.” She unconsciously reached up and rubbed her forehead, hurriedly jerking her hand away as she realized what she was doing, “Yes, ma’am, Ah understand that this could be bad for my career, but did Ah really screw up so bad? Unless Ah’m mistaken, Ah’m roughly seventh or so in the chain of command once Ah was accepted for duty? Ah thought, with the rest of the officers above me off the ship, that made me the Senior Officer on the ship.” She shook her heady sharply, “Ah’m not tryin’ to make an excuse ma’am, Ah’m tryin’ to understand.”

"Except you weren't actively assigned to a bridge duty," Abigail replied. "You are eager, you are passionate, you want to do good things. You were complacent in how you went about it and you absolutely stepped out of line."

The Commanding Officer paused for a long moment, rubbing her temples. "I am not recording this on your record," she said quietly. "However, from here on out, you will not be taking any bridge duties unless directly overseen by Lieutenant Commander T'Vek or Lieutenant Alani. You will be undergoing regular training with both officers to improve your existing skillset, and you will be reporting back to me weekly on your progress. Understood?"

“Yes ma’am, understood.” Bianca felt like she’d just taken a punch to the gut. She’d been through the overseen watches on the Monterrosa under Commander Farzenah and even had two (routine) watches on the primary shift under Captain Demesne himself, with a large number of third watches on her own. Yes, the Monterrosa was smaller than the Akira-class Astraea, but it was still- She squashed the thoughts under a will made of iron, or at least firm leather; This wasn’t the Monterrosa, this wasn’t Captain Demesne; Life wasn’t fair and above all she was a Lee. A Lee did her duty, no matter how tough it was. “I won’t disappoint you, ma’am.” Maybe a fraction of a second of hesitation between the two.

"Do you have anything else to say Lieutenant Lee?" Abigail asked quietly.

Honesty. That was one of the biggest things that Bianca stood for and she wouldn't hold back on that, "Ma'am?" She paused for a moment and sighed, wondering how to put it into words. Honesty. "It isn't all that important, ma'am, and Ah'm afraid it would sound like whining. Ah don't intend to do that, ma'am."

"Very well, thank you Lieutenant" Abigail replied quietly. "My door is always open if you change your mind. If there's nothing else, you're dismissed."

"Thank you, ma'am." Bianca stood in one quick motion back to attention, then left quickly.

 

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