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Reporting to the Boss

Posted on Sun Jul 17th, 2022 @ 9:33pm by Lieutenant Ja'sol H'ros & Ensign Rachel Sinclair
Edited on on Tue Jul 19th, 2022 @ 2:30am

3,164 words; about a 16 minute read

Mission: Episode 13 - Crooked River
Location: Mess Hall - Deck 2 - USS Pioneer
Timeline: MD003 1000 hrs

For Ja'sol it had been a long day already, He found an empty table in the mess hall and set his tray down and opened up his PaDD to study over the notes for the briefing he would have to give the Captain. On his tray he had a grilled Mahi Mahi with seaweed salad, Sliced pickled ginger and some sweet bread. And of course his usual large mug of coffee. He had just started eating and rereading his report to make sure it was complete.

Walking into the mess hall, Rachel gave a sigh of relief as she’d finally found the right room. This was the third room she’d walked into expecting to see a mess hall and not a Lab or storage room. Making her way over toward the replicator, Rachel spotted someone who matched the description of her division CO. Figuring she might as well meet the man she was going to be working with for the foreseeable future, she grabbed a mug of Raktajino from the replicator and then gingerly walked over to him, “um, excuse me sir, May I join you?”

Ja'sol looked up from his PaDD and studied the young woman who stood before him before speaking. " You may Ensign, please sit down. Unless you haven't had lunch yet, Grab yourself a bite if you'd like to. I heard we were receiving supplies, did you transfer over with them? I assume you have your transfer orders Ensign.......? "

“Oh um, yes I do” Rachel said before putting her mug into the table and searching her pockets before pulling out a small hand PADD, “Ah here we go, these should be my orders”

Ja'sol read over the transfer orders and raised an eyebrow. " Ensign Rachel Sinclair, Graduated with honors from starfleet academy. First assignment from the academy, the USS Pioneer. " He looked up from the PaDD and studied her for several moments. " First off Ensign.... Rachel. You don't have to stand at attention, please sit down. " He gave her an amused grin. " Second. Your fresh out of the academy and come aboard a ship as the Assistant Chief Security Tactical Officer on your first assignment. Are you really that good? or is someone watching your career with interest? " He was curious about this new comer and wanted to know more. " I hope your trained in investigations as well, because those skills are going to be put to the test on this assignment. "

Quickly taking the offered seat, Rachel gave a shrug, “I couldn’t tell you sir. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting such a high position either but it was the first shipboard assignment they offered me so I jumped at it. Father was a little worried I might be taking on too much responsibility for my first assignment, but he didn’t try to stop me”

" Either way it's good to have you Rachel, Welcome to the Pioneer and it's crew. When it's just you and I together, please call me Ja'sol. When we're round others, Lieutenant H'ros or sir is fine. We're going to be working together for awhile, So let's maker the best of it. "

Ja'sol looked directly into Rachels eyes. " I'm going to give you a brief run down on our assignment that we're responding to. We've been requested by the Jutrai governor to assist on an investigation, Severed feet have been washing up the shoreline, Jutrai for the most part. The reason we were requested is that some of the feet were human and a few other federation species. The governor would like a joint investigation and resolve the matter quickly, However the Security General has made it rather clear that she views us as unwanted outsiders who are here to do nothing more then subjugate them like the Romulans did. Don't expect any assistance from her or her people beyond the bare minimum. " He looked at her for a moment before he spoke again. " Your first assignment is dropping you in the meat grinder, Are you ready for this? Your my second in command and I'm going to be depending on your assistance, Are you ready to work? " He asked.

After processing the information, Rachel gave a confident nod, “yes sir……I mean Ja’sol, I am ready to take on anything you have for me” she said, thinking back to her lectures at the academy, “um, so, should we contact their head of security or start an investigation without them as they don’t want us there anyway”

" I have been in touch with their head of security and she's the one who doesn't want us there. But our orders are to bring our "A" game and be diplomatic about the whole ordeal. We will work two federation personal for every one Jutrai to maintain safety for our people. So bring your best painted on smile and a bag full of patients, your going to need it. "

Taking a deep breath, Rachel nodded, “understood, I’ll try not to mess anything up. Everything will be done by the book”

Ja'sol leaned back in his chair and folded his arms. " I'm glad to hear you'll be doing things by the book Rachel, But right now I need you to show me some confidence. Yes you came out of the academy as an honors graduate, And yes you were appointed to be a assistant security chief on your first assignment out, but there's a reason for it. " He leaned forward. " As of this moment, your on the clock. You are the second in command of the security department, and note the key word there I used is COMMAND. "

He let it sink in for a minute. " I've been at this for awhile, so I'll teach you what you'll need to know. Treat your people with respect, but don't let them walk all over you either. To be honest with you I am expecting you to mess up. Why? Because your not perfect.... And neither am I. " He said with a grin. " We can learn from our mistakes and become better at what we do, it's called growth , and trust me If I still have room to grow then so do you. "

His face took on a more serious tone. " If we're out on a mission and you make a mistake and everyone comes home at the end of the day, then we can discuss what you can do better the next time around. " Ja'sol looked down at his food on the table. " just as long as your not sitting in front of a monitor at the end of the day recording a message that starts with .... Dear Madam and Sir, We regret to inform you..." He looked back up at Rachel. " We're not only responsible for the safety of security, but for everyone on the away team and the entire ship as well. " Ja'sol finished up his meal and stood to drop the tray into the recycler. " That was your first lesson in security reality. I hope it didn't scare you to much. I'll show you where security is and your office is right across from mine. They're just big enough for a desk, a few chairs and a few shelves or cabinets if you want. Shall we go? "

Sitting a little rigid in her chair, Rachel’s face had become a little more pale which for her was quite the accomplishment. Right now even she was wondering why she was assigned to this post so soon after graduating. True her marks were quite good, graduating in the top 10% of her class, but she was now finding that nothing she’d learnt at the academy had truely prepared her for being thrown into the deep end. From what she was hearing, Rachel was being expected to take on a lead role on away missions and command her teams correctly. Snapping back out of her own head, Rachel stood up and turned to face Ja’sol, “um yea sure, sounds like a good place to start”

Ja'sol looked over at Rachel. " Looks like I've given you a lot to think about, I know that facial expression well. It's the same one I wore when my mentor gave me the same speech. " He chuckled softly. " Commander Markston took me under his wing and was determined not to let me fail and taught me to be the best officer I could be., now it's my turn to teach you. One day when your a Chief Security Tactical Officer and have more years under your belt it will be your turn to teach the new scared fresh face coming up in the ranks. The Academy teaches you the skills to do the job and gives you all the techniques to do the functions needed. But what they can't teach you is how you'll react to when your boarding a raiders ship to arrest the crew and free slaves, or helping out during a crisis or major evacuation. " He paused briefly. "This is your baptism by fire, But your not alone. You've got me and everyone else in security to help you along, so your not alone. "

Ja'sol spoke to her as they walked along and arrived at the turbo lift and stepped in. " Security. "

Looking a little distant, Rachel slowly formulated a question as her mind processed everything, “um, I know this sounds like a strange question, but have you come across many slaves?” She asked, the question coming from a deep dark part of her soul mixed with a wish that Starfleet had saved her sooner then they did.

Ja'sol gave Rachel a side glance as they walked. " In my career I would say about a dozen ships as of so far. If Starfleet Intelligence gets wind of something, They'll contact the nearest ship to take care of the contact. The reason for boarding we usually give is for a health and safety inspection. If they run we'll target the engines to prevent them from going to warp. As you know slavery in the federation is Illegal, but that doesn't mean that they're isn't those out there that won't try to turn a profit off of other people's misery." She was a little to quiet for his liking and knew something was bothering her. " What's bothering you Rachel? " He asked.

Taking a deep breath in, Rachel held it for a moment before slowly releasing it. She figured if she was going to be working with Ja’sol for a long time, she might as well try and trust him. Gathering her thoughts, Rachel looked to the man beside her, “it’s not in my file I don’t think, father did a good job keeping my past buried for my sake, but the reason I ask is that I was a slave to the Orion Syndicate when I was young”

Ja'sol stopped and froze in his tracks and stared at Rachel. " I am so sorry that something like that happened to you, Please forgive me if this is something to personal or painful for you to recall. It takes a long time to get over something like that. " His face grew thoughtful. " I have a suggestion that I'd like to propose to you, It is up to you if you'd like to accept it. I sign you up to receive alerts from Starfleet Intelligence on any updates on slaver activity or known shipments of slaves in our patrol sector, That way we can intercept and free the slaves if we can. Of course I'd have to notify the Captain when we receive an update. As I said the choice is yours. "

" Since you've revealed a personal fact about yourself to me, I shall do the same. I knew that something was wrong with you without even looking after I mentioned the pirates and slavers. Your emotions were churning like a storm surge on the sea, At least that's how it feels to me. What you told me was very personal to you, and I will not tell anyone else about that, that's for you to decide who you want to know. I'm an Eldoran, most of my people are Empaths, And it's a very handy talent to have in an investigation. I can tell if someone is being dishonest or is hiding something. I tend to keep this fact a secret, it makes others uncomfortable if the know you can sense things about them. I pick up on emotions not thoughts, But it's still very helpful. " He said with a smile. "So now we both know a secret about each other. "

Rachel looked a little confused for a moment, “um, I’m afraid that’s not really a secret sir. That would be like you telling me you’re Betazoid and a telepath” she said, trying to think back to her studies at the academy of Federation member worlds, “though I’ve never heard of your species before so maybe that’s the secret?”

" I'm the first of my species to join starfleet. I don't go out of my way to tell anyone I'm an empath. " Said Ja'sol. " And until people start learning about the Eldoran people, it will remain my secret. It is a useful tool in investigative work and a tool that others aren't aware of can be an advantage."

Ja'sol let out a breath. " Rachel I know it took some courage for you to tell me something so personal, So out of respect I told you something that others don't know about me. If you want to inform others then that is up to you. But I promise you that they won't hear it from me. "

“I would appreciate that sir. I guess one of the reasons I don’t tell people about my past is I don’t want them to treat me differently because of it” Rachel said before looking up at him, “I just want to be treated like everyone else”

Ja'sol stopped and turned towards Rachel. " You survived your past and it has made you stronger, And the only treatment you'll get from me is treating you like any other member of security, and expect you to preform your duties as the assist security chief of this department, does that sound good enough to you? " He asked her. " I hope so, because I can't judge you on your past. You came highly recommended and you really impressed some people back in the academy to put you in this position. As far as I'm concerned you've earned this so far, so let's see what you can do. "

They continued their walk towards the security office. " Oh. By the way, we're going to having a pot luck in the department this week. Everyone is bringing a dish with enough for about twenty people to try. You are of course welcome since your part of the team. If you want to bring something , it could be a specialty dish from your home world, something from your culture or just a little something you enjoy making. Heck , we've got a female gorn officer who is bringing a Cajun dish. I forget what she called it but it started with a J. This will be a good way for you to get to know the others in our department. "

Rachel nodded, “Jambalaya probably, I’ve heard of it before” she said, acting a little more like an intelligence officer then someone from security, “it’s a typical Cajun dish that can be hard to master. I’ll have to give it some thought, but I’ll be there. May I assume the get together will be in the security office?”

" Yes it will be held in the briefing room right after beta shift clears from briefing. " Stated Ja'sol. " So if you need to runn to your quarters to grab the dish or anything else that you'll need. And Yes I believe you got that cajun dishes name correct. Jambalaya!! That was it!. " He looked at Rachel. " You know it seems that everyone in my department has either heard of or have eaten Cajun food before , Everyone except for me that is. But i am looking forward to trying it. "

Rachel shook her head, “I haven’t tried it before, but I have heard of it. My father wasn’t a fan of overly spicy foods though he did try and introduce me to some of them, not always with great success” she said, thinking about the strange weekly ‘test tasting’ meals her father would come up with. “I’m afraid I don’t really know a great deal about Orion or Romulan food”

" I know more about Orion food then I do Cajun food. I had a friend of mine, she was in the academy with me and she enjoyed cooking. Orion foods have a lot of seasonings, mostly mild and is rather flavorful. If your worried about cooking the dish yourself you don't have to. You can cook it if you want or just replicate it from an extensive list of recipes. You can even program some of your own in if you'd like. "

"I think I might just replicate something appropriate. I don't think it would look good for my first assignment to turn up to a gathering without something to offer" Rachel said, thinking what she could bring that would feed multiple people.

" Well I like to eat so I learned to cook from my mother, and that turned out to be a decent talent to learn. But since I don't have the fresh fish and some of the other ingredients I'm just going to replicate it myself. I have however entered several dozen Eldoran dishes and recipes into the food replicator, once they're in there anyone can use them. There's all sorts of cultures recipes to go through, give it a try. "

Rachel nodded, “I will, thank you sir. If I may, are there any other officers that I will be in charge of that I could learn from?”

" Well everyone with the exception of me is an ensign rank or lower. " Stated Ja'sol. " But there are plenty of personal in our department that are worth learning from. We even have a female gorn who I am very interested in learning about they're culture from." He stopped in front of a door. " We have arrived at your new home and place of work. Welcome to the security office. "

taking a deep breath, Rachel turned to face the door, "well, here goes nothing. what's that saying, 'one small step' or something"

Ja'sol laughed. " No time like the present. " He said as the door opened for them to step in together.

A Joint Post By

Lieutenant Junior Grade Ja'sol H'ros
Chief Security/Tactical Officer, USS Pioneer

Ensign Rachel Sinclair
Assistant Chief Security/Tactical Officer, USS Pioneer


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