Ask Forgiveness Later
Mission 3: Old Enemies Never Die
Location: Deck 1 - Ready Room
Timeline: MD 05 - 0900 Hours
Statzia paused as the turbolift doors opened. Taking a deep breath, she placed her crutches forward and made her way down the ramp. She endeavored not to make eye contact with the officers on the Bridge. Not yet, at least. Once she was given an official duty schedule, she figured there'd be plenty of time to repeat the story of her absentee leg later.
Another pause at the door of the Captain's Ready Room. She gave her freshly-replicated uniform a tug, and rang the door chime.
Captain Barrett was consumed by the latest damage reports on his desktop computer screen, his body leaning onto his right elbow on the armrest as he subconsciously did when preoccupied sometimes. That's when the door chime sounded, breaking him out of the daze. "Come," he said as he grasped his coffee mug and took a partial sip of the cold hazelnut coffee before gently letting it slip back into the mug with a grimace.
Statzia took the couple of steps through the doorway, aware of how the click of the crutches seemed to echo in the silence. "Lieutenant Statzia Liski, reporting as requested, sir."
Barrett rose from his chair and gestured to one across the table. "Ah yes, welcome aboard, lieutenant. Please have a seat." He picked up his cold mug and walked it over to the replicator. "Would you care for something?"
"No thank you, sir." Statzia swung her way over to the chair, slid her arms out of the crutches, and seated herself. She leaned the pair of crutches against the front of his desk before settling into the chair with her hands in her lap.
The captain returned to his seat after obtaining a replacement of hot coffee, the sweet scent slowly wafting into the room. He took a sip before lowering it to his legs, his hands cupping the mug and feeling the warmth. "I was just going over the damage report from engineering. It looks like the Borg did a number on ship systems. I was curious if you had anything to add to the report, such as necessary methods used to stop them?"
"Sir?" Statzia seemed confused. "Are you referring to the Klingon that was beheading them with a bat'leth?"
"Is that what all the fuss was about? I heard mention of a few bulkheads being... explosively removed."
Statzia's brow furrowed. "When I checked in at my new office, I didn't see any explosive damage on any of the damage re--" She stopped. The counselor and the grenade. She refolded her hands in her lap, unsure of what to say. She took a breath. "I recommended it as a contingency measure should sickbay be overrun, sir."
Barrett let out a silent breath and gazed at her. "Did handing an explosive to the counselor honestly seem like the best course of action?"
Statzia didn't lift her gaze. "In my experience, captain, counselors are the smartest, most level-headed members of Starfleet. If there's anyone to trust in a life-or-death situation with an explosive, it's them." She paused. "Sir," she finished, finally looking up.
Barrett tapped his coffee mug softly with his index finger before bringing the hot mug to his lips again. "I appreciate the situation you both were in and the danger presented to you. However, such a high-yield explosive is not very effective to guard a room, per se. It's very likely that using a grenade would kill the user and others in the process."
In the back of her mind, Statzia could hear Commander Stepanova's admonitions. Inwardly, she sighed. She was coming aboard as Chief of Operations, wasn't she? Maybe it was best to be open and frank with her new captain, and to establish herself now.
"If I may be so bold as to state, sir..." She took a breath. "We are Starfleet officers, and expected to sacrifice for the safety of the rest of the crew. If preventing a group of Borg from assimilating my crew and taking hundreds more lives means blowing a hole in the hull and sacrificing a few of my fellow crew members, I would activate that grenade every single time." She sat up straight, looking the captain in the eye.
"I don't doubt your dedication to duty, Ms. Liski. I believe that you take your oath of service quite seriously, as I do. I simply suggest to keep all options on the table in a given situation." He raised his coffee mug. "Not all dangerous situations are a 'broken arrow'." He raised one eyebrow coyly and sipped the hot liquid before placing the mug back into his lap and ran his thumb along the upper edge of the glazed cup. "Just something to think about. In any case, I appreciate your quick thinking."
Statzia's lips parted, as if she were about to say something, but she caught herself. She closed her lips again, and took a deep breath. You've been disciplined, demoted, transferred, and already having a meeting about your behavior the first day back. Today is probably not the day. Instead, she gave a quick, silent nod.
"It's good to have you aboard, lieutenant." He nodded, signaling the end of the meeting and sipped his coffee before turning his attention back to his computer screen.
Captain Logan Barrett
Commanding Officer, USS Orion
Lieutenant JG Anastatzia Liski
Chief Operations Officer, USS Orion