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Small Talk

Posted on Tue Jun 7th, 2016 @ 8:09pm by Lieutenant JG Annie Wilson & Captain Claudia Ainscow

Mission: S1E1 - Booby Trap
Location: Deck 1; Captain's Ready Room
Timeline: Mission Day 1; time TBC

Having worked her way through her crew profiles Claudia was surprised to note that the Chief Conn Officer that Starfleet had assigned to the Vindex was a recently graduated Ensign who had been waiting for an assignment for a few months prior to joining the Vindex for its voyage to the Gamma Quadrant. So far Claudia had not managed to catch Ensign Wilson to introduce herself to the young conn officer - but now she had time on her hands - Claudia decided it was time to get the initial meeting out of the way.

"Computer - locate Ensign Wilson" Claudia requested.

A few moments later Claudia had her answer.

"Ensign Annie Wilson is on the main bridge" the computer informed.

Claudia vacated her seat and headed out of her office to the main bridge where the computer determined Annie was located. The double doors swished open as Claudia approached them before swishing closed behind her once she was clear of the doorway. Seeing Annie was sat at the helm Claudia approached her with a reassuring smile and a soft tone as not to startle the young officer.

"Hello Ensign. I'm Commander Ainscow - would you like to come for a cup of tea or coffee in my office?"

Startled by Claudia, Annie almost jumped out of her seat in shock before she nervously turned to face the woman who had addressed her. The tone of voice the Commander used was soft and gentle, but it was still enough to make Annie jump, especially as she wasn't expecting anybody to come up to her and startle her. After taking a few seconds to look at Claudia's body language and her reassuring and heart warming smile, Annie started to relax slightly and decided it would be a good idea to accept the olive branch from the, on Annie's initial impression of her, pleasant woman who was in charge of the ship she was on. A far cry from her home in Glasgow many, many light years behind her, but the ship certainly seemed to be well equipped with a lot of added extras for the crew's comfort.

"Er..h-hi..Commander. I' that, thank you." Annie replied, eager to get away from the bridge, fearing that the other people around her may see her moment of anxiety as a weakness, rather it being the shock of Claudia addressing her when she wasn't expecting it.

Claudia was sympathetic to Annie being nervous - and perhaps felt she should have announced her presence so she didn't make the poor young Ensign jump. She was happy that Annie had accepted her offer of a drink in her office - so she gestured towards her ready room and began to walk back towards it.

"This way Annie" Claudia said kindly.

Claudia entered her office and stood in a position so that she could watch Annie come in and the doors would stay open to permit the conn officer to enter.

Still a bit nervous, and feeling like she was being called to the head teacher's office, Annie left the flight control station and walked towards the open door where she could see a smiling Claudia waiting for her. Once the was over the threshold of Claudia's office, Annie looked around the room and felt her mouth drop open. A sofa and two chairs in front of her desk, how many people was Claudia expecting in her office?

"Help yourself to a seat wherever you feel comfortable. What can I get you to drink?" Claudia asked. She gestured to the sofa and also the chair in front of her desk.

Annie sat down in front of Claudia's desk, because she didn't want to be seen as antisocial as well as clearly nervous of her Commander.

"May I have a cup of coffee, please?" Annie requested, placing her hands in her lap and looking around the room, still feeling nervous about what Claudia wanted to talk to her about. Even though Claudia seemed to have positive body language towards her, Annie couldn't stop worrying about why she had been called into her Commander's office.

Claudia opted to go for the same as her conn officer. She had extra cream with hers however - and when they had replicated she carefully placed Annie's coffee in front of her before Claudia carried her own round to the other side of the desk and sat down carefully. She kept hold of the saucer and took a sip of it before lowering the cup and saucer onto the desk.

"It's alright Annie - you're not in trouble or anything" Claudia said reassuringly.

That was a relief for Annie to hear that was the case, although she thought to herself that if she was in trouble with her Commander, then Claudia probably wouldn't have exhibited the body language she had been.

"That's...good." Annie responded, now feeling a little bit more confident in talking to Claudia.

Claudia smiled. She was glad that she had managed to settle Annie's nerves a little so they could talk about her assignment to the Vindex. Claudia was once the new Ensign on the ship - but she certainly hadn't been thrown in at the deep end as a department head. If it was what Annie wanted to do then Claudia wanted to help her every step of the way.

"How are you finding it here Annie? Are you settling in and finding your way around the ship alright?" Claudia asked.

"I...I think so. Thank you, for the coffee." Annie replied, raising her mug of coffee to her lips before tipping it gently. It tasted nice enough, but it wasn't as nice as the coffee she had at home. Home, somewhere she missed right now, but that was a consequence of following her dream. She thought she would be placed on a ship closer to Earth to start with, not on the other side of the Galaxy. One positive, Annie thought, was that her Commander seemed nice. She hadn't met any of the other Department Heads properly yet, but she had an idea who was in charge of what on the Vindex, or at least she thought she did.

Claudia smiled and nodded. She had read Annie's service record - which was unsurprisingly very short and she had been waiting a while to be assigned to a starship. Now on to business - Claudia wanted to make sure Annie was happy to remain as Department Head full time or she wanted to get some experience first and act as the assistant conn officer.

"I'm glad you're settling in alright. I know most officers don't get assigned as a Department Head on a ship this large for their first assignment. My first job was an Operations Officer on a ship just like this one - I wasn't a Department Head until I was 30 years old. As long as you're comfortable with your position then I'm happy too. We're all here to support you" Claudia replied.

Annie didn't think Claudia looked thirty years old, but she knew that a lot of Commanders were at least in their mid thirties so Claudia had to be telling the truth about being thirty when she first had a Head of Department position. Deciding to accept the offer of remaining as the Chief Flight Control Officer that Claudia had given her, Annie nodded confidently. If she was confident of one thing she could do, it was fly a star ship.

"I feel I can do it, thank you for your support, helps. Do you know when we'll be going on our first mission, Commander?" Annie asked, thinking that once she was out in space for real, her confidence would build.

Claudia shook her head.

"I'm afraid not Ensign - but I'm going to speak to my superiors later today and see what they have planned for us and call a staff meeting once I know what our orders are. I don't think it'll be more than a couple of days before we launch though - I would like to say it'll be nice and easy but I'm not going to make any promises"

Annie was happy it wasn't going to be too long before the ship left the star base, although she was nervous she thought that her confidence would grow much faster out in space. She felt a lot more relaxed in Claudia's presence that she did earlier, and she felt her muscles relax from their tense state.

"I can't wait." Annie replied, managing to give Claudia a smile.

Claudia was pleased to hear Annie's enthusiasm for whatever their imminent first assignment was. Claudia turned her console on and looked back at Annie to conclude their conversation which had been largely productive - even with the Ensign's initial nervousness which was extremely obvious but equally understandable.

"I'm glad to hear it Annie. When you've finished your coffee you're free to go back to your duties - but if you want a chat at any time just come and find me. My door is always open to you as it is to everybody else on this ship" Claudia replied with her warm smile.

Annie smiled, pleased she'd managed to turn her initial nervousness into some display of confidence, even though she still had a long way to go before she felt truly settled in on the Vindex. Hearing that she was able to leave after finishing her drink, Annie decided she didn't want to use up any more of Claudia's time, so she consumed the rest of her coffee as quickly as possible. She then stood up and prepared to leave.

"Thank you, Commander." Annie said.

"Enjoy the rest of your day. I'll be here most of the time if you need to come and ask me anything - or if I'm not in here just ask the computer where I am" Claudia replied.

Annie left Claudia's office and went back to her station on the ship's bridge. The meeting was nothing like what she was expecting it to be, but Annie realised afterwards that she hadn't done anything wrong, so she shouldn't have worried about it in the first place.

Claudia watched Annie leave her office impressed by her enthusiasm for wanting to gain experience - also by Annie's confidence in wanting to have a go as the Chief Conn Officer rather than stepping aside and asking Claudia to find somebody with more experience. Now Claudia had met her First Officer and Chief Conn Officer it was now on to meeting her Chief of Security.


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