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Bridging The Gap
Episode 11 - Family Matters
Stardate 73834.3
MD005 0900 hrs

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The Promotion of a Master

Posted on Thu Nov 15th, 2018 @ 10:02am by Captain Tyler Malbrooke & Staff Warrant Officer Jennifer Masters - Calhoun
Edited on on Thu Nov 15th, 2018 @ 10:03am

Mission: Episode 5 - It Would Be Their Pleasure
Location: Captain's ready room
Timeline: MD003 1315 hrs



Jenn was walking trough the hallways. She had been summoned to the Captain's ready room. She wasn't sure why she was summoned to his ready room. And ever since she arrived on the Pioneer, she never been up to the Captain.

She looked to the the bulkheads passing as she remembered the day she came on board.

***May 2394 Empok Nor***

Jenn was standing in the middle of the Promenade of Empok Nor. She had just arrived via transport here. She looked down on herself. The starfleet uniform they issued for her felt strange on her. She touched the Petty officer rank pips. Petty Officer first class.

Never in her wildest dreams would she had thought she would be back in starfleet. She never made it out of the academy, but here she was. Starfleet needed her.

She walked past the shops towards the outer docking rings. She would be boarding the ship. An intrepid class star ship. With an awesome Intelligence lab.

And that was the first place she went. As she walked on to the SCIF she looked around. There were not many people there. Calhoun and Beckett just turned to her a moment before they continued what they were doing. She walked to the Chief's office. She waited a moment before pressing the door chime, as she just admired all the computers.

***Present***

Jenn had arrived at the bridge. She walked immediately to the ready room. She looked around the bridge. It was quiet on the bridge. The tactical officer nodded to her. She took a deep breath and then pushed the chime.

Tyler had spent the last two days doing two things. The first was attending debriefings over the comms with command. The second was cleaning house, some members of the crew did not make it back. While Tyler was upset about the missing members of his crew, he had to keep the ship going. To that end new people transferred in and some people needed promotions.

One of the missing people that hit Tyler the hardest was Warrant Officer Thal. Typically what Tyler was about to do would be filled with joy and congratulations. However, had this moment Tyler did not feel like being happy. He had sent for Jennifer Masters and she would be there shortly. Just as Tyler's thoughts turned to their darkest point the door chime went off.

"Come on in..." He took a big gulp of his coffee.

Jenn walked in to the office. She looked around the office. And then she saw the captain. She put her hands behind her back. "Captain, you wanted to see me." She said calm looking him up and down. She was wondering which captain she liked more. The one drinking in a holodeck bar or the one here in his office drinking coffee.

"Yes Masters, there is a few things that we have to discuss. The first is I have some bad news. Warrant Officer Joran Thal did not make it back. We do not know what happened, and the DTI is working on finding him and rescuing him. However, life on the Pioneer must go on. That leaves an opening in your department. I wanted to ask you hypothetically speaking how do you feel about giving orders? More specifically if you had to give an order that would lead to someone's death." Tyler knew that she was the right person for the job but he wanted to make sure. So an interview of sorts would have to be held.

Jenn was stomped when she gave him that news. But she couldn't think about that long. He had asked her a question, and she had to think a moment on the answer. On the one hand she would be in full control of the SCIF. And on the other hand she was wondering if she was ready for it. She then cleared her throat and said, "Captain, a person in my field understands what it takes. Sometimes sacrifices must be made for the greater good. That's how I feel about it. It won't leave me cold of course if I have to give the order to a valued colleague or officer. At times it maybe hard..." She swallowed as she remembered the other Pioneer. As she watched it destroyed. She took a deep breath. "But those are the burdens of command." She then softly whispered. "Sir."

It was the whisper that caught him, and brought him back. Tyler had not thought about what could have happened to Masters in the other timeline. That stacked with the loss of Thal and her being asked to replace him, might just be too much for the woman. He leaned forward in his chair as he spoke. "Jennifer, do you want to talk about what happened, what you saw?"

She sat down across from him. "Captain, they were real. The life that my counterpart had was real. She had a family, a career." She paused a moment. "That crew...it was like a family. Their captain...the doctor, they had this ship chef, I mean he didn't just cook..." She put her face in her hands. "Before we left, Lieutenant Larim and I, before we left they were attacked by the Borg. They.." She sighed. "They had this new way of assimilation. We are here, because the entire crew sacrificed their lives to..." She got up again. "It haunts me every day, those people, their faces. The Borg. Even though that was a different Pioneer, the crew, the captain. Events were the same as here. They faced the new maquis and everything. So I can't stop thinking, what if the Borg are back? What if what happened there, happens here?"

Tyler looked at the woman sympathetically with a tinge of sadness in his eyes. Watching people get assimilated was hard no matter what timeline you were in. "You know we have something that they did not have. We have a warning and time to be ready. The Borg are gone, at least in this timeline. However, thanks to you and Myles should they somehow come back we will be ready. I suggest that you go see Counselor Zano, I am confident that she can help you get through this. For when you are through it you will emerge stronger for the experience." He paused and looked at her thoughtfully for the moment.

"Since we are on the subject. I did have a conversation with Lieutenant Myles and he told me that your performance while lost in time was exemplary. Something you may not know is that as a Starship Captain I need and want leaders working for me. People who if I am not around will take the reins and do what is right or what needs to be done. It seems to me that you are one of these kinds of people." As he spoke Tyler reached into his desk and pulled out a little oak box. He hid the box from Jennifer's view, for he knew a little black pip laid nestled inside the box. The question is... Is she ready? he thought.

Jenn turned around. She looked around the room. As her thoughts trailed off again.

***1 year ago***

She stood in the same room staring at Commander Bers. Larim did most of the talking as he presented the plan he and Jenn had come up earlier. She put her hands behind her back and just waited to be over.

She hardly heard the voice of the commander. Even though she was Petty Officer first class Jennifer Masters, he addressed her as Lieutenant Jennifer Masters. Her counter part was a department head there. Operations chief. And she proved to herself she could do that too. And was nice to be valued.

***Present***
As Jenn was remembering that moment she sighed a little. She had no idea in that moment that would be the last time she would talk to him. She remembered him being assimilated on the bridge before Larim closed the lift doors.

She smiled. "Captain, I came back under the guise of helping starfleet. I sworn an oath. I didn't expect I would be stepping up the plate at all. I wasn't even sure if I wanted to stay. But something has changed. I feel closer to the ship and some of it's crew. I don't think I would ever want to go back."

Tyler laughed and slid the wooden box across his desk. "Well stepping up is what you are going to have to do if you want to bear the weight of what's in that box and responsibility that comes with it. The rank and the SCIF are yours if you want them. But there is one condition. Over the next few months you will be taking some courses consider it a crash course in officer training."

Jenn picked up the box and opened it and looked to the pip. She sighed and then laughed a little. "I get why Calhoun wouldn't want the position. But why did Beckett pass up knowing I would be next in line? Or haven't you asked him?" She kept smirking as she continued to say, "I would accept, even if it was only so I could see that look on that face. But I do understand the responsibility that comes with this, sir, I really do. I accept."

"Fact is while I love Billy he is too old and set in his ways. Plus I rather think he hates officers. Beckett is an overgrown numbers cruncher. He has the knowledge to command but not the tact or anything else for that matter. So here we are. It is my honor to grant you the field promotion to the rank of Warrant Officer, with all the rights and privileges therein. This promotion will be made permanent once you take and pass OCS, Officer Candidate School. The belly is yours Jennifer, and I am not going to sugar coat it that place is exactly like a stomach. Always roiling, if you don't stay ahead of the game you will get digested." Tyler gave her a knowing smile "But with an old salt like Calhoun at your side how can you go wrong." He watched as she affixed the single black pip to her collar.

Jenn looked to the pip on her collar. "Yes, sir," as she looked up to Tyler again. The thought of Billy went trough her head. This promotion would change the natural order of things. Billy used to stick it to the man, now he had to stick to the woman. Or could she expect him to be by her side for this one? She smiled at the thought. "I can't go wrong with Calhoun. I am sure he will also keep me on my toes for this one."

Tyler sized his new Intelligence Chief up one last time. "Jenn I know you will do great things." An almost paternal feeling came over the Captain as he looked at the young woman before him. They grow up fast... he thought. His demeanor shifted back into a more official capacity. "Congratulations Warrant Officer, I think you have a department to run. Dismissed."

Jenn nodded and then turned around and walked out of the office. She stood outside a moment and watched the door close behind her over her should. She turned over to the bridge. She sighed. She remembered when she was handed her enlisted rank.

***May 2394 USS Pioneer, SCIF***

She stood outside the Chief Intell's office again. She reached her hand up to her collar as she looked over her colleagues. And then the room. Computer screens everywhere she looked. She smiled as she went to her seat in the room.

***Present***

Who would've thought she would be running that place today. She walked around the tactical console into the turbolift, sighing. "SCIF!" She called as the door closed.


A Joint Post By

Captain Tyler Malbrooke
Commanding Officer, USS Pioneer


Warrant Officer Jennifer Masters
Chief Intelligence Officer, USS Pioneer

 

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