NCC - 86105
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Seeking Advice

Posted on Fri Aug 2nd, 2013 @ 1:01pm by Captain Benjamin Byrne & Lieutenant Horatio Hawke

Mission: Remnant Part 1
Location: Captain's Ready Room

Horatio hesitated before pressing the call button. Was this the right thing to do? Of course it was!

Or was it?

He internally berated himself for his indecisiveness; it was out of character for him. He usually exuded confidence, but here he was second-guessing himself over and over again. It was driving him insane and he needed to consult with somebody he respected.

Who better than the man in the big chair?

But this was the kind of thing that he should already know how to deal with. He was a Department Head for crying out loud! He should already know how to deal subordinates who were at each other's throats. Shouldn't he? He'd never encountered this kind of problem before; he'd been lucky, perhaps?

The bad blood between sh'Leksa and Reilly was continuing to boil. After they almost came to blows in the lounge, Horatio had found them bickering about handover procedures during a shift change. That had been particularly problematic because it was in front of the entire bridge crew! Horatio was mortified! If he couldn't manage the smallest department in the ship, how could he hope to command an entire starship one day?

He needed guidance. He needed to run the risk of being seen to be weak in the eyes of a superior officer or risk a dysfunctional department.

Horatio pressed the call button.

Benjamin opened his eyes and looked around him. Sitting on the couch in his ready room, he wasn't certain if he had fallen asleep there, or if he had only just sat down. Standing, he brushed his uniform down to smooth out any creases which may have gathered in the material and looked towards the door and the sound of the chime announcing he had a visitor. "Come in," he called, once he was satisfied with his appearance.

The door slid open and Horatio stepped in, his hands clasped behind his back. "Captain," he said, when he saw the captain. "I hope I haven't caught you at a bad time?"

"No, not at all," Benjamin answered, moving around his desk to collect the half-drunk coffee cup sat on it. His sip was very tentative, but he was pleased to note that it still had the hint of being lukewarm, and so if he had fallen asleep, it hadn't been for long. "What can I do for you Lieutenant?"

Horatio hesitated, but just for a moment. He was here now, there was no turning back. "Captain, I was hoping to ask you for some advice."

Ben held out his hand and indicated towards one of the chairs set in front of his desk, indicating that the man should take one with a brief nod.

The pilot sat down and leaned forward, his elbows on his knees as he spoke. "Sir, as I'm sure you're aware, I'm on a track for command. I've made no secret of the fact that someday, when I'm ready, I want to command a ship of my own. And I think my service to this point has been good enough to keep that ambition alive.

"But, I've had it pretty easy, I think," Horatio continued. "I've led people in combat and in dozens of dangerous missions in my time. I've even lost people under my command." He paused a moment, a memory flashing to the front of his thoughts. Her glazed eyes staring, unseeing ...

He sat up straight in the chair as he continued. "I've got a problem with two officers under my command, sir," he said. "There is growing animosity between the two of them and I'm afraid things may soon move beyond a point of no return. I know that it is up to me, as their department head, to handle the situation and I will. I'm ... I'm just not sure how to handle it, sir."

"Are there any significant cultural differences between the two?" the captain asked, preparing to give the situation some thought. Before he could offer any kind of advice, or even ask about the specific incidents, he needed the context that went with it. With a multi-species organisation such as Starfleet, a large part of conflicts bore roots in cultural differences.

Horatio considered that for a moment. He wanted to try and keep their identities out of this, but as soon as he mentioned one of their species he would give the game away. Besides, the captain had probably heard about the incident on the bridge along with the rest of the ship's company. He decided to lay it all out.

"There are," he said. "We're dealing with an Andorian and a human. But I think it's more attitudinal than cultural. They're practically polar opposites - sh'Leksa is stubborn and officious, while Reilly is laid back almost to the point of ill-discipline. She views him as being inept - and isn't afraid to tell him - and he thinks she's unreasonably targeting him."

"Is there any particular task or characteristic that Reilly has or does better than sh'Leska?" the captain asked, remembering the report he had heard about an incident involving these two individuals, though he hadn't read too far into it, trusting that it wouldn't require his direct intervention, and privately pleased to see that the man responsible for them had been big enough to admit he needed advice in a situation he wasn't entirely comfortable with. "And is there anything that sh'Leska does - any hobby or activity - where she relaxes, and doesn't seem to officious?"

Horatio shook his head; he honestly didn't have a clue. He had no idea what sh'Leksa did to relax, or even if she took time off. Somehow, his deputy didn't strike him as the kind of person to enjoy herself. And Reilly, well, he didn't really know him that well either. Maybe there was something in that?

"I'm sorry, sir," he said. "I don't really know. Reilly gets on with his crewmates a lot easier than sh'Leksa, but she's a better pilot. I'm afraid I don't know her well enough to know what she does to relax."

"Perhaps it might be worth finding out," the captain said, in part to give him time to consider another tactic to deal with the two. "It's always worth spending a bit of time to get to know your subordinates on a more personal level. Quite often you'll find the causes to a number of inter-personal problems there." He lifted his hand to rest his chin on it and lean forward as he considered what to suggest next.

"It may be worth assigning the two of them to a task where they have no choice but to rely upon each other and work together. Refuse to allow them to have an escape from the task until they have completed it to your satisfaction. They probably won't like it, and it probably won't help them like each other more, but it may force them to appreciate each other more on a professional level - or at least begin to."

Horatio considered that for a moment, turning it over in his head and searching for some way to get them relying on each other. Then it hit him. He smiled and looked back at the captain. "I think I have just the thing!" He stood up suddenly, eager to put his plan into action. "Thank you, Captain. I appreciate your help."

"Any time, Lieutenant," the captain replied; and meaning it. As well as the obvious duties of running the ship, working to develop and mentor the officers serving under him was a part of his job description as well, and one that he took a healthy sense of pride in.

Horatio nodded, then turned and made for the door. Before leaving he hesitated a moment and thought about broaching another subject. No, he thought, one thing at a time; that can wait. He left the Ready Room and made for the main shuttlebay.

Captain Benjamin J. Byrne
Commanding Officer


Lieutenant Horatio Hawke
Chief Helmsman
USS Endeavour


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