USS VINDEX - NCC-2474-A
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Running Into The XO - Literally

Posted on Fri Nov 18th, 2016 @ 6:29pm by Petty Officer 3rd Class Rebecca Ainscow & Commander Akiva ben-Avram

Mission: S1E2 - Unity
Location: Mess Hall
Timeline: Mission Day 8; 10:30

Rebecca had decided to take a break from her work and go and find something to drink before moving onto the next few people she had to visit. She was miles away whilst looking down at the PADD she was using to record the requests - so as she turned the corner she didn't pay attention to who was coming and she found herself walk into someone and then fall down onto the floor. When she looked up to see who she'd walked into she was embarrassed to see it was none other than the ship's Executive Officer and she couldn't apologise quick enough.

"I'm really sorry Commander" Becky said.

Akiva rocked back on his heels to catch his balance. "It's quite all right," he said, pausing to look at the rank displayed on her collar, "Miss?"

"Fuentes...Rebecca Fuentes. I'm the Captain's Yeoman" Rebecca replied nervously.

Rebecca slowly stood up and even at full height she was five inches shorter than the man she'd just bumped into. It wasn't the first time she'd managed to walk into somebody when reading a PADD but this was certainly the most embarrassing time she'd managed to do it.

"A pleasure to meet you," Akiva lied, politely. First encounters were generally awkward. "Did you have some matter to attend with me, or did you just lose your way?"

Rebecca was unsure of what to do or say - she knew where she was going but now Akiva was there she wondered whether she should invite him to have a hot beverage as an apology for walking into him in the corridor.

"I was about to go and get myself a cup of tea...do you want to join me?" Rebecca asked.

Akiva blinked repeatedly. He had just come from a rather stressful encounter with some personnel. Maybe some neutral social time was in order before he jumped to his next appointment. He could always say he was talking shop with Rebecca if it came to that.
"Actually, I could go for a cup of black cardamom at the moment." He extended his hand down the corridor. "Lead the way."

Becky smiled and headed towards the mess hall. She was rather grateful that Akiva hadn't given her a dressing down for not paying attention and had accepted her invitation of a hot drink. She'd already had two cups of tea since she'd started compiling wish lists for each department but Rebecca wanted another one already.

"This ship is huge. I've already got lost on my way here twice" Rebecca commented.

"It seems you've learned your way by now," Akiva said as they paused for the mess hall doors to open. He kept pace with her as they made their way to the nearest replicator. "Have you served as a yeoman before?"

Once the doors opened Rebecca walked in and headed over to the replicator.

Rebecca replied. "No Commander. This is my first assignment - I came out of the Academy about a month ago and I was sent here - I was supposed to be on another ship but that fell to The Consortium so I was sent to the Vindex instead. How about you? Is this your first time as an Executive Officer?"

"Yes." He turned to the replicator and said, "Black Cardamom tea, hot." When the cup materialized, he grasped it and continued while waiting for Rebecca. "I've always been an Operations officer. Machines and computer systems have always just...spoken to me. Honestly, I find myself more familiar among them than I do people sometimes. Being a first officer, I've found, is not much different from being an ops chief; I've just traded one subsystem of the ship for another, as it were."

"Tea. Hot" Rebecca said.

The tea replicated in front of her and she collected it before leading them over to the closest table.

"I thought about going into Operations myself but I found that I enjoyed dealing with people and I wanted to get out here a bit sooner - being a Yeoman instead seemed like a good compromise. On saying that the Captain was quite surprised to see me as the message of my assignment seemingly got lost in the mail. I guess with what's going on that can happen a lot..."

"We've hit several bumps in the road, I admit," Akiva replied, taking a seat. "A lot of turnover among the crew. The Vindex never faced a mutiny, but sometimes I wonder if we narrowly averted one without knowing it." He sipped from his tea, fixing Rebecca with a circumspect stare over the rim of his cup.

Becky could understand why some people may have decided it wasn't for them and moved on or looked to get back to the Alpha Quadrant at the first opportunity. The reality of the situation made her wonder if being so eager to get out here was such a good idea. After sipping her tea she replied.

"I suppose it can only make us stronger as a unit even though the Captain warned me to be careful with who I trust. I get that we're not always going to be friends with everyone we meet but...something about fighting an enemy who wear the same uniform...it just doesn't feel real" Rebecca replied.

"It is indeed difficult to know friend from foe under the circumstances," Akiva said pensively. "It's a no-win situation for everyone. I'm glad the captain and I can count on you." His tone suggested it might have been just as much of a question as it was a statement.

Becky took another sip of her tea before looking sincerely at the Executive Officer. This was a time for sincerity and she needed to convince Akiva - as well as Claudia - that she was indeed on their side.

Rebecca nodded. "You can both count on me Commander. I'm not one of them and I never will be"

"Very good." Akiva kept his tone even and polite. He sipped his tea again, then tapped the empty cup on the table. "Have you 'run' into any other senior officers yet?"

Rebecca lifted the PADD she was using for her assignment up for a few seconds before placing it back down again and responding. So far it seemed that the Vindex's Executive Officer was a nice person and certainly more forgiving than other officers would have been if she walked into them instead of him.

"I've met the Chief of Science and the Doctor but nobody else yet. I thought I'd take a break until I literally ran into you" Rebecca replied.

That earned a wry smile. "Most people have to make an appointment these days," he said. "What's your assessment of the crew so far? You will be the go-between for them and the captain, after all."

Becky responded. "I thought so too - but as as the Captain asked me to go to see them I did - or maybe she just wanted some space to herself and got me out the way. So far I like the people I've met - but I've got one or two more to go to before I drop this back to the Captain. I've got a pile of her reports to sort through later as well...it's something to do I suppose"

"I know Captain Ainscow doesn't like her paperwork very much," Akiva said. "Help wittle away at that daily chore and you'll stay in her good graces." He looked down at his empty cup. "Well, it looks like it's about that time. It was... nice... running into you, Rebecca. If you ever need anything, just ask. No appointment needed."

Rebecca smiled. "Well I appreciate the heads up - I'll keep on top of that for the Captain and hopefully it'll make things a little bit easier for her - I can't imagine how hard it is to command a starship in any circumstance. It was nice to meet you too Commander - I appreciate it. The same goes to you. I'm here to help"

"Until next time," Akiva said with a nod as he excused himself.

Rebecca smiled and watched Akiva leave the Mess Hall. She decided it was probably time she finished her beverage and got on with her tasks herself - so after finishing her still warm cup of tea Becky collected her PADD and headed off to Main Engineering.

 

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