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Obsidian Guard

Posted on Friday, 20 May 2022 - 8:46pm by Captain Pippa Whitley & Lieutenant T'Lanna Vali

Mission: Operation: My Unfair Lady
Location: Beta Antares Shipyards | Conference Room

Captain Whitley walked side by side with Lieutenant Vali across the promenade of the Shipyards en route to a conference room where the two were scheduled to meet with Vice Admiral Cardoso of Starfleet Intelligence. The two officers were to be given a full briefing on the Cardassian matter.

T'Lanna had found herself inserted as Acting First Officer for the time being, but Pippa had full faith in the woman. "Don't worry, Lieutenant, I am walking into this about as blindly as you are. I have seen the FNS and FNN news coverage regarding the escalation of violence and unrest, but I suppose we are about to learn the finer details from Admiral Cardoso."

T’Lanna nodded. “I guess this whole situation has been made all the stranger by the fact that I’m acting First Officer. When I took the position of Foreign Area Officer alongside my Psychology duties I wasn’t expecting to be thrust into Command so soon.”

"That is the thing about being put on a command track," Pippa replied. The Captain smiled. "It tends to be sprung and thrust upon us. You have been doing a fine job. If anything, it is on the job training."

“You are most definitely right!” T’Lanna smiled warmly. “To be honest before my father’s ... untimely death, I wasn’t worried about what it was to be Vulcan. Soral has been a mentor to me in teaching me about my heritage, this is the least I can do to repay him for what he’s done for me. I only became the FAO because my father requested that I take his place. I’m not a trained Ambassador like he was but I will do my upmost to do his memory proud.”

Pippa scoffed a bit. "You may not have the formal training or education that an Ambassador tends to have, but positions like that tend to be politically appointed and often strategically placed. What you don't know already, T'Lanna, you will learn in time. Use your background in psychology as a crutch. It will serve you well when trying to understand the motives of individuals and cultures."

T’Lanna nodded. “To be honest I hadn’t thought about it that way, I’ve spent more time concentrating on everything else rather than the Psychology side of things.”

"Whatever makes you comfortable, Lieutenant," replied Pippa. "Currently, my primary focus is having you settled in as my First Officer for the time being. That chemistry and dynamic often comes with time, but I know that we will find our groove."

T’Lanna smiled and nodded. “By the time I get used to being First Officer Soral will be back to take his position.”

"Well," Pippa began with a small smile. "That may take a bit of time. Soral has gone through an awful lot physically, and I am sure you know better than anyone else aboard, the psychological toll it has undoubtedly taken on him. Both he and Kingsley may be away for sometime. For now, we will just proceed forward and await their return to their respective seats."

“Of course Captain” T’Lanna nodded. “I’m sorry, I must sound pretty ungrateful. I was just getting used to my role as F.A.O. it’s just... quite an adjustment. I am very grateful for this opportunity, and I will do you proud.”

"Consider it a temporary extension of your F.A.O. role. Though we may be away from the area around Vulcan, you were put into that role to gain experience and learn more that would be suitable for future Command opportunities...this just means those opportunities arrived a lot earlier than anyone anticipated," continued Pippa.

The Captain grinned. "It happens to the best and brightest, Grace under pressure and a baptism by fire. As much as Starfleet Command likes to tout the Academy and programs for aspiring command track officers, a lot of the greats were given their first true tastes of command under rough circumstances."

T’Lanna nodded. “Well I’m no James T Kirk that’s for sure!” She offered a warm smile. “I think I’m going to have to brush up on my knowledge of the Cardassians before we get there.”

"You aren't the only one," Pippa confessed. "I'll be studying while we are en route to Cardassian space. It has been a while since I've had direct dealings with Cardassians."

“Perhaps we can study together?” T’Lanna smiled. “To be honest I’m finding being alone distracting of late. I just end up drifting into thoughts of my father and everything else that’s happened lately.”

The Captain nodded in agreement to the proposal. "It would be best anyways. If we brush up on all of this together, we will be on the same page and be able to present a more united front."

“Exactly” T’Lanna smiled warmly. “It’ll also give us chance to get to know each other better. I do have my son to think of as well though, he gets very grumpy if I’m not there on time to feed him!”

"I do not mind," Pippa replied. "Mine is grown, but I still remember the days of trying to balance being a parent and being an officer. We can multi-task together, catch up on our Cardassian studies, get to know one another, and bond over your son. No better childcare than a Captain."

“Really? You’d do that?” T’Lanna smiled the biggest smile yet. “To be honest I’ve been trying to juggle my duties and Jayce, it’s proving tricky to say the least.”

Pippa nodded "Of course, T'Lanna. It has been a while since I've held a little one, but those instincts kick in. I generally like children, and I think our new starship will be more suitable for them. I've already begun work on putting everything in place for childcare and education aboard, there will need to be some time until all of that is ready, and the search for teachers will commence. Would you care to be put in charge of reviewing those personnel files?"

T’Lanna nodded. “I would like that Captain, thank you.” She smiled warmly. “There was a time when I was facing having to be parted from Jayce before Barrett Stillwater made plans for an area aboard ship for children. I was considering resigning my commission so I could stay with Jayce, now it’s like a dream come true! I know there are dangers we’ll have to face but I can’t be parted from my son. I’ll review those files and let you know which candidates are shortlisted.”

"I was a single parent during my time with Starfleet," replied Captain Whitley. "Sometimes, I would get to have my child with me and at other points, separation was forced given my assignment. I much preferred having my child near even if the circumstances were not ideal."

T’Lanna nodded. “Exactly. I can’t thank you enough for everything you’re doing Captain.”

Pippa nodded. "You are welcome, T'Lanna, and I'm grateful to have you as my Acting First Officer until Soral and Kingsley return to duty. We should get about our day and duties if we are to be ready for our launch."

T’Lanna nodded again. “Of course Captain, I’ve got a stack of reports to follow up on.”

Captain Whitley saw T'Lanna out, the two had just bonded perhaps more in the past several minutes than they had since Pippa took command. The two would be working closely now and for the foreseeable future.


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