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A Degree Of Understanding

Posted on Sat Dec 17th, 2016 @ 12:59am by Captain Claudia Ainscow & Lieutenant Elsa Johansson

Mission: S1E2 - Unity
Location: Captain Ainscow's ready room
Timeline: Mission Day 13; 10:00

Claudia had just finalised the demotion of Saalkan for going against the rules and creating a cloaking device without speaking to herself about it first. She'd calmed down over the matter but Claudia felt that the Science Officer needed to learn to respect the Chain of Command and not do as he pleased when he wanted to. He may have acted in the ship's best interest but Claudia was not going to fit a cloak to the Vindex and limit its top speed or risk being reprimanded by her superiors so soon after she was promoted to Captain.

Deciding to speak to Elsa about it she called the Science Officer up to her ready room to go over it in more detail before submitting the file into the ship's log and her superiors.

=/\="Ainscow to Johansson. Please meet me in my ready room as soon as possible"=/\= Claudia said.

=/\= "On my way, Captain" =/\= Elsa responded. Elsa had already been on her way to the bridge, primarily to discuss a matter with the Science Officer currently on the bridge, but also in the hope of discussing the matter of Lieutenant Saalkan With Captain Ainscow. It appeared circumstances had conspired to make that conversation happen.

Exiting the turbolift, Elsa gave a nod of acknowledgement to the bridge officers as she headed to the ready room, signaling her presence.

Claudia looked up from her PADD when she heard the chime echo around her ready room and stood up ready to welcome who she assumed was Elsa.

"Come in" Claudia said.

"Captain," Elsa began as she stepped into the ready room, assuming an "at ease" position. "What can I do for you, ma'am?"

Claudia looked up at the Scandinavian and gestured for her to sit down before doing so herself. Demotions weren't something she wanted to be doing but in this situation Claudia felt that she didn't really have much choice. If Saalkan redeemed himself then Claudia fully intended to reinstate his rank.

"As you're probably aware by now one of your officers has been demoted for disobeying the chain of command of this starship. Ensign Saalkan's access to the computer has been limited to information that is necessary for his position only and nothing else unless he receives permission from me and me only. On the contrary whilst his work is admirable to say the least and there is no doubt Mr Saalkan is a very talented scientist - but it doesn't excuse ignoring the chain of command" Claudia said.

"No ma'am, it doesn't," Elsa answered as she took a seat. The Chief Science Officer paused for a moment before asking, "Permission to speak freely, ma'am?"

Claudia nodded. "Be my guest"

Elsa paused a moment before beginning. "Science isn't like the rest of the ship. I don't mean that statement in a negative fashion. But the members of my department have different priorities than the rest of the crew, Their research is everything. Myself, I like to think I would discharge my duties as faithfully as I could regardless of my rank, but if you busted me back to Ensign, you would definitely get my attention. Petty Officer Laena, as long as you left her in stellar cartography, she wouldn't care if she was Petty Officer Third Class or Commander. Mr. Saalkan, like it as not, is unconcerned with his rank. I understand the necessity of your decision, Captain, but Mr. Saalkan will see it as a vindication of his self-estimation.

"He needs to learn the chain of command is there for a reason and that building a cloak without my permission doesn't look good to outsiders. Had he asked me first I would probably have refused permission to construct the device but he would have been free to research it and develop simulations. There are rules in place for a reason and whilst his innovation was a very good one we need to get to Starbase Unity before The Consortium do - and using a cloak limits our top speed and it wouldn't look very good to The Dominion who have allowed us to cross their territory. I don't care about my rank either but it isn't the first time he's been demoted so I find it worrying that Saalkan has not learned his lesson from the last time" Claudia replied.

"Ma'am, I think one of your philosophers, John Stuart Mill, put it best when he said 'you're preaching to the choir,'" Elsa said with a crooked smile. "Personally, I don't envy you your responsibility in this situation. That being said, Mr. Saalkan is my responsibility. Since I'm having to 'ration out' supplies to my department anyway, I'd like to charge of his...rehabilitation. I'm suggesting making me his gateway for his access authorization beyond the minimal required for his official duties."

Claudia pondered over Elsa's suggestion. She seemed trustworthy but she wasn't so sure whether to trust Saalkan with the database by himself even if Elsa was his gateway to using it. Then she came up with an idea that might work.

Claudia nodded. "I'll restore limited access - however you have to be present if he's to access the database because I'll make sure the computer only recognises your voice for his access codes. If that isn't an agreeable solution then I'm afraid that's all I'm prepared to offer him until he can prove he can be trusted to respect the chain of command"

"The suffering of the present hour is enough for it," Elsa answered. "I believe your suggestion of me providing oversight will be the preferred solution for all parties involved. And I will use this opportunity to continue discuss with Mr. Saalkan the logical necessity of a hierarchical structure in Starfleet."

Claudia replied. "Good idea. If you can get that message through to him then I'd appreciate it - the last thing we need is to lose any more crew. We'll have a review of the situation in seven days - I'll have Petty Officer Fuentes schedule an appointment. If he gives you any problems either call me, Commander ben-Avram or get security to take him to the brig"

"Of course, Captain," Elsa responded, "But I don't believe there will be a problem. As you've noted yourself, Mr. Salkaan is a brilliant scientist and an exceptional researcher. A reasoned dialogue will resolve the situation. Besides," Elsa chuckled, "It won't be the most uncomfortable conversation I'm having in my department, not by any measure."

Claudia smiled. She was pleased there was a degree of understanding and that things would hopefully be able to take a more positive turn and that it would be the last time Claudia had to throw the book at Saalkan and anyone else for that matter.

"I'm glad. While I have you here is there anything I can help you with? Or can I get you a cup of tea?" Claudia replied.

"No, ma'am, I believe I have everything covered," Elsa said, coming to her feet. "If there's nothing else, ma'am, I'll get back to work."

"No problem. Thank you for coming and understanding where I'm coming from - I'll have those codes ready for Saalkan later today. If they aren't ready by 16:00 let me know and I'll chase them up for you. If you think of anything else come and find me" Claudia replied.

"Yes, ma'am," Elsa said with a nod as she made her leave. Maybe I should try for a posting in the Diplomacy Corps next, she thought wryly, as she nodded at the bridge officers before entering the turbolift.


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