Welcoming the Neighbors
Mission 0 - Leaving the Blue Marble
Location: Deck 1 - Conference Room
Timeline: Day 6 - 0800 Hours
Logan sat at the head of the long conference table with Missy sitting to his right. He was till getting used to sitting in the position that mattered most on the ship. It was certainly something that brought weight to any situation. He intertwined his fingers and placed his hands in his lap as he offered her a bemused look. "Who would've thought that we'd be in a position to have Romulan exchange officers on a Federation ship? Times certainly change, and for the better, no less. Wouldn't you agree, Number One?"
Amused that he still called her that when they were alone in a room, Nokomis glanced up at him. "It is. But it's just like any other enemy that became an ally. The enemy of my enemy is my friend," she whispered quietly. "Should be a great learning experience for both of us." She reached over and squeezed his hand briefly, offering what little support she could.
Outside the conference room door, Vriha willed herself not to glance over a shoulder at the armed escort that wasn't there. For reasons she could not quite explain, out of all that was strange and unsettling about this assignment, not being carefully watched and restricted was what played on her nerves. She wondered if it was akin to the phenomenon of people sensing a ghost limb after an amputation. However, it wouldn't do to let the feeling show, so she straightened her uniform tunic and looked across at Eilaea, giving a fractional tip of head to signal that she was ready.
Eilaea's expression showed on first glance just as little as Vriha's, if not less--though this itself was an indication, honestly; specifically that she was falling back on training and reflexes rather than allow any potentially disadvantageous emotions to gain hold of her. Neither of them had had overall much direct interaction with Federation personnel or populations during their brief time on Earth, and what of it they had was carefully, professionally scripted; she had attended a variety of official events and local soirees; but lacked even the reasonably short time after the Hobus incident Vriha had engaged in direct exposure and candid encounters with them in assisting Federation relief teams. She had been rather occupied with other issues at the time. Still, she gave a dip of her own head in return, and stepped forward, the doors to the room parting to admit them both, then closing behind them as she snapped to attention and brought her arm to her chest in a salute she had spent a good deal of the trip to the ship debating, but finally settled on as the only acceptable action greeting a new commanding officer, even one of a different Empire.
Vriha followed suit, giving the same Romulan salute but from a half step behind Eilaea as appropriate to their relative ranks. She hoped the Starfleet officers would understand it as a gesture of appropriate respect rather than a challenge of sorts since it occurred to her that it might also be seen (as it perhaps was to a degree) as an expression of the fact that while they may be serving on a Federation ship, their loyalty was to the Empire.
Logan rose from his chair as the doors opened to show the two Romulan officers walk into the room with stoic professionalism. He waited until they had given their salutes before addressing them. He had read a basic overview of Romulan courtesy and military procedures beforehand so he knew what to expect upon their arrival. He recognized the significance in the way they entered the room by rank and status. Despite the reserved nature of Romulan culture, he offered a curt smile and nodded in greeting. "Jolan'tru. Welcome aboard the Orion. I'm Lieutenant Commander Logan Barrett and this is my first officer, Lieutenant Commander Diza."
Nokomis waited for Logan to introduce himself first, then she offered what she hoped wasn't too friendly of a smile. "Welcome," she said in greeting, nodding her head slightly. "To the Orion."
“Thank you.” Eilaea replied, with the graceful little head-bow of sorts to first Barrett and then Diza. “I am Lieutenant Eilaea t’Keirianh, this is Sublieutenant Vriha t’Ehhleih.” If the alien words and rank translations felt odd on her tongue it was not too overly much so, thankfully; languages had been a gift and study of hers, though she was still less practiced with spoken forms versus written ones.
"We are pleased to meet you," Vriha added, being somewhat more familiar with human and Federation social conventions albeit primarily from the standpoint of interacting with their technical and scientific community as was perhaps evident from follow up. "And we look forward to this opportunity for collaboration."
Logan gestured to the seats with his hand. "Please, have a seat." He sat quickly in the hope that if they needed to wait for him as commanding officer in their custom, that this would solve that. "I know that it must be difficult to be assigned to a Federation starship. I would probably feel the same in a reverse situation. Are there any special accommodations that either of you require before we depart Earth?"
The two Romulan officers shared a barely perceptible side-eyed glance with one another: It was a bit of a loaded question in responding to; Eilaea thought quickly but carefully before she spoke; the wrong statement here could give an impression of weakness, after all...but simply dismissing the query out of hand too brusquely would potentially appear disrespectful.
“May we inquire as to where our quarters will be located, sir?” Eilaea finally settled on; it was not so much a request for an unusual accommodation as a necessary inquiry into a typical one; but would also hopefully give her the opportunity to discover if they intended them to room with other ships officers—if so THAT might be something she would have to request a change to, indeed; either they would live together, or alone; anything else represented in her mind an unacceptable risk.
"I have assigned you quarters on deck fourteen." Nokomis answered her, briefly glancing at Logan. "If there's a problem I'm sure we can find you someplace else . . . " She opened up the document on her PADD that held assigned and unassigned crew quarters waiting for one of them to reply.
It was not the response Vriha had expected and she glanced at Eilaea, wondering if she should try to help redirect question.
“Any deck will be fine.” said Eilaea, reminding herself that many Federation species to her limited experience were rather more...blunt...and perhaps required such in return. “Our primary concern would be who we are assigned to bunk with.”
"I had thought perhaps the two of you might like to room together, given that you are the only Romulans on board and it might take you a while to adjust to our shifts and customary way of doing things." Nokomis paused, mid finger over the PADD then glanced up at them with a small smile on her face.
"That will work well, yes." Eilaea replied, tentatively returning the small smile. Quite honestly it was her preferred arrangement at the moment, even above a private space; and she was reasonably sure Vriha felt the same: As much as they did not show it, both were uncertain aboard a foreign vessel filled with alien personnel; it would be best to have one another to watch their backs.
"Yes," Vriha nodded politely, showing perhaps a bit more relief than her older and more experienced companion. "Your understanding is appreciated."
Logan nodded in appreciation for their uncomfortable circumstances. He wondered if he would have been given the same empathy aboard a Romulan warbird. "Very well, then. I look forward to working with both of you. Commander Diza will oversee your living quarters and getting you settled in with your respective departments. Dismissed," he said with a warm smile.
"Yes, Commander." Eilaea stood, snapped off a second textbook-perfect Romulan salute, and as with their entry, made the first motions between the two women to begin to make their way out of the conference room.
Vriha stood as well, giving a short fist to chest salute. "Yes, sir. Thank you."
Nokomis waited until both women were out of the room before turning to Logan and saying, "This is going to be interesting."
Lieutenant Commander Logan Barrett
Commanding Officer, USS Orion
Lieutenant Commander Nokomis Diza
Executive Officer, USS Orion
Lieutenant Eilaea t'Keirianh
Operations Officer, USS Orion
Sublieutenant Vriha t'Ehhelih
Science Officer, USS Orion