Duty and Family
Posted on Wednesday, 27 May 2020 - 4:57pm by Lieutenant T'Lanna Vali & Captain Barret Stillwater
Location: Ready Room
Timeline: After Family Matters
With Commander Stillwater having assumed his position as Captain of the Fontana T’Lanna decided to drop by his office and see how he was settling in. Approaching the ready room door she couldn’t help but feel odd, as not too long ago it would have been Victrix sitting inside. Pressing the chime she waited for an answer.
Commander Barret Stillwater was still adjusting to the transition. He had not yet been ready to get into a uniform again, but he did come to an agreement with Victrix. He'd take take command officially and would take the suite and Ready Room, but she would remain calling the shots until they reached the station.
Fortunately, he was a quick study with the newer technology. It was easier for him than it had been her. He gave approval for the doorway to open. "Come," he said to the visitor. "Ah Counselor Vali" he added when she walked in. He was a bit of a relic himself, a man of his times. Victrix had not really gone into depth that the woman was more than simply a counselor, she had been an asset in finding him.
T’Lanna smiled warmly. “Counsellor is only one of my duties Sir. I was assigned here as ships Psychologist but since then Ive taken on the role of Counsellor and I’m also heading up the Intelligence department until we get a full time Chief. All that and I’m also seven and a half weeks pregnant, I have asked for help from Doctor Rose and our EMH Emerick with my counselling workload.”
"I see," Stillwater replied yet another thing Victrix had not briefed him on yet. He was not sure how he felt about a pregnant officer, especially one with multiple duties aboard. He had nothing against the woman or that she was with child, but the thought of the demand it would have in the months ahead weighed on him. "I'll put Talarn in the Intelligence Department. He has extensive tactical training albeit his commission was stripped from him. I'll begin an immediate search for available Intelligence Officers in the Fleet's pool."
T’Lanna nodded. “I get the feeling that you don’t approve of having a pregnant woman onboard?” She gave Stillwater a curious look. “For what it’s worth I know that I won’t be able to keep my baby onboard. This pregnancy wasn’t planned, my baby’s father was killed though I have someone here onboard whom I love very much and has said he will support me. I plan to do my duties until such time as I can’t.”
Stillwater held his hand up and gestured it dismissively. "Your personal life, Lieutenant, is yours. I appreciate the full disclosure though" he replied. "It is not that I don't approve. You'll have to forgive me, I was in service during consistent and consecutive wartimes."
“There’s nothing to forgive Sir” T’Lanna smiled as she motioned for them to sit down. “I wasn’t expecting to be in this position myself, I can only imagine how it must feel for you to be returning to Starfleet. Commander Victrix told me that I’m one of very few ex-b’s in Starfleet, I knew there weren’t that many but I didn’t realise that most had been forced out.”
"A quiet weeding out of former Borg drones was in the aftermath of the synth attack. I'm sure you heard the more public responses, shutting down sentient Android development...hell shutting down anything remotely cybernetic. They damn well nearly took away the EMH program. Restrictions were placed and the current ones reprogrammed."
“Then let’s hope they don’t catch wind of our EMH Emerick” She smiled. “He’s starting to develop a personality matrix that even he isn’t aware of. I actually quite like him. I currently have Chief Eyelaya as my unofficial Borg engineering specialist, she has a love of all things synthetic and I was quite the curiosity to her. I trust her to care for any needs that I might have, although my implants are maintained internally by reprogrammed nanites.”
"If I had to wager a bet, I would say that your EMH has been altered and has had his programming tinkered with?" he asked curiously. "His program may still have the room to develop a personality, but the tactical subroutines from the Dominion War have likely been removed. The Emergency Command Hologram files blocked, and I suspect that your EMH has been implemented with the self-termination command codes."
“Self-termination command codes!” T’Lanna looked at Stillwater shocked. “Why would an EMH self-terminate?”
Stillwater nodded. Yes, I see they have been very transparent with that he thought to himself. "Self" is a rather loose term. "They do the work themselves in essentially destroying all their files and all the subroutines. In the end the program becomes a shell of what it once was. They have no choice in the matter. The code is something a Commanding Officer has which if supplied to the EMH will cause the EMH to begin self-termination."
“How do I check if Emerick has these files?” T’Lanna looked at Stillwater determined to do something. “Better still how do we remove them? I’m not losing our Emerick.”
"Oh I can almost assure you that he has the files, Lieutenant" Stillwater said. "I expect Lieutenant Commander Victrix will be supplying me with the codes for his self-termination. As Commanding Officer she undoubtedly has had them. They were implementing the policy in my last years of service. I assure you, I have no intention on ever having to use them, and the EMH will be treated no differently than before the synthetic attack. Unlike some in Admiralty, I do not fear our creations."
T’Lanna nodded and smiled. “Of course Sir. I know enough about you to know that you have respect for synths and those of us that are cybernetically enhanced. I’m sorry if I went a little overboard there, my emotions are firmly out of whack thanks to the pregnancy hormones! Actually I’m happy and relieved that you’ve decided to take Command. I have nothing against Commander Victrix, in-fact I’m going to miss her when she leaves, but who knows who we would have had in Command otherwise.
Stillwater nodded in agreement with that lingering thought. "These days? It is no telling who or what the hell Starfleet would let roll in here and take command of this starship. Could have very well been some icy and bitter female Andorian in her later thirties full of ambition and lacking in every other crucial area" he commented. "Victrix was the Commanding Officer needed for this mission, but this starship needs someone rooted with leadership and experience."
“Hence Starfleet wanting you onboard Sir” T’Lanna smiled warmly. “You have a good crew here, Commander Soral is a dedicated Officer and a-typical Vulcan, he’s been mentoring me in my meditation technique. The rest of the senior staff are all amazing, as you’ll find out for yourself.”
"Aspects of Starfleet at least" he replied, but said nothing more of it. "Yes, I have had a meeting with Soral and with Victrix. I can see what you mean by atypical with him. I am interested in meeting the rest albeit several vacancies I seem to need to fill."
“Well hopefully we’ll have some crew replacements waiting.” T’Lanna smiled warmly. “As per Starfleet regulations I’ll have to ask you to attend a psych evaluation but that can wait for now.”
"Something's never change" Stillwater replied. He did not tip toe around the woman's soft request. "I will of course submit to a psych eval and a full physical. We didn't get either on Prairie, but I did travel out once or twice for a physician."
T’Lanna nodded understandingly. “I used to hate doctors and visits to Sickbay after all the faff going backwards and forwards having my implants removed, psych evaluations, and counsellor’s appointments. I’m glad to say that those doctors I’ve served with so far have been exemplary, Ryan ... Doctor Rose is a friend as well as physician I’m glad to say.”
"I will take your word for it" he replied with a nod. "I will have to see him at some point anyways. So, why hold off the inevitable?"
T’Lanna nodded in agreement. “Sir ... I need to ask your permission to take some of my leave?” She paused. “My father is here on the station and his ship will be arriving soon. I need to go to Vulcan with him for my mother’s funeral. I only intend on being away for a couple of days plus travel time to and from Vulcan.” She gave him an apologetic look. “I’m sorry it’s short notice.”
"Life is never something that can be planned out nor accounted for. Any attempt to do so is often met with change, often sudden and unanticipated" replied Stillwater. "Take as much leave as you need. I will try to keep you apprised of the ship's whereabouts regularly."
“Thank you Sir” T’Lanna nodded. “In that case I’ll go and get ready. I’ll contact the ship when I’m ready to return.”
"Proceed" he said with a nod. "I'm sorry about your mother's passing, Lieutenant."
“Thank you Sir” T’Lanna nodded and with that she headed on her way.
The man said nothing more just a subtle bring of approval.