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Ex Post Scientium

Posted on Thu Jun 3rd, 2021 @ 4:13pm by Captain Abigail Laurens & Lieutenant Alexis Aenera

Mission: Pathstone to History
Location: Captain's Ready Room

 

Summoned. She had been summoned and that was never a good thing, ever. After everything that had just happened, she didn't even know how to appear to the Captain. In her ready room.

No good could come from this.

Her uniform was as perfect as she could make it, looks were important, could make or break a situation, but she wore regulation shoes, not her normal heels. She didn't even acknowledge anyone on the bridge as she remained focused on her destination and hit the annunciator button, "Aenera here, as requested." She said softly, as if no one else could hear her.

Abigail stood at the windows, hands clasped behind her back, looking out at the Dalacari planet below. Even from space it appeared pristine. The sound of the annunciator and the voice that followed drew a steady breath, though the Commanding Officer made no attempt to move, simply offering a single word. "Enter."

Lexi walked in, precise steps, trying to be professional. She approached the desk and took a breath, "You wanted to see me, Captain?"

"Lieutenant Aenera," Abigail's voice was calm, no hint of anger or upset as she spoke. Turning, Abigail walked across the room, taking a seat at her desk, motioning that Alexis should take the chair opposite. Another small detail, easily overlooked, the lack of offering of refreshments, the use of the desk, an official encounter, not a friendly chat. "I trust you weren't pulled away from anything important?"

"No, ma'am." Alexis perched on the edge of the chair as she took the seat as requested, "We've got some simulations running that will take some time, so we're taking a break. I figure we have another hour or so before we intend to reconvene."

"Then let me get straight to the point," Abigail said softly. "Your behaviour today was nothing short of disappointing, and absolutely not what I would expect from any Starfleet officer, let alone a member of this crew."

Abigail paused for a moment, looking down at her hands resting on the desk and shook her head slightly before she looked back to Alexis again. "I assigned you a task that I wanted you to work on, as a team and to be perfectly frank, your assertion that you abandoned your team because they would 'get in your way' is nothing short of deplorable. You've not only disappointed me, but you've disappointed your crew mates. These are the same people that you would rely on if the tables were turned, the same people that you would want to have your back, yet you were the first one to throw them away because you didn't deem them good enough." She paused momentarily. "Give me one good reason I shouldn't remove you from active duty?"

"I didn-" Lexi started to object, but stopped herself. It wouldn't do any good. So she fell silent for a good handful of seconds, "I don't have one, Captain, aside from that I'm the one you need for this particular situation. I'm the expert in astrophyics and temporal anomalies that we're dealing with at the moment, assuming that it was some sort of anomaly that brought Ivaldi Three here. After that?" She shook her head, "No reason."

"No one is irreplaceable Lieutenant Aenera," Abigail cautioned softly. "You replaced three of your team mates without a second thought, without knowing what they might have been able to bring to the table, without any consideration for their experiences or their knowledge."

Splaying her fingers on the edge of the desk, Abigail spent a few moments studying the small gold ring she wore on her right hand. "For the duration of this investigation, the Science department will be headed by Lieutenant McLaren. You will assist, but that's it, you will assist, as Lieutenant McLaren sees fit. I'm sure your experience will be beneficial and I'm sure you believe you have all the answers, but unless you're capable of working as part of a team and including your peers I can't trust in you to make the right decisions for this ship and all of her crew. Do I make myself clear?"

Again, there was no anger, no rising of a voice, no vitriol, just that ever present edge of disappointment.

"Yes, ma'am." Alexis said softly, no fight in her. "Can I... Say something, ma'am?"

Abigail nodded slightly. "You may," she replied quietly.

The science officer exhaled completely, focusing her thoughts, before looking back up, "I never wanted to be the head of a department, ma'am. I've never wanted the day to day responsibilities of being the senior person in the department. I'm a researcher and a teacher, I enjoyed my time teaching at the Academy and I'm at my best buried in my lab, trying to figure out literally how the universe works." Her tone was defeated, but passionate, "I survived a temporal anomaly that killed most of the people on the ship, and ever since I've been trying to hunt it down so I can discover what happened and why. Don't let the new Lieutenant take over just for the time being to see if I can handle it again, give it to her. I don't want to be the 'leader', I'd rather be the one behind the scenes, contributing where she can. It's really stressful." She gave a weak smile. "I know it probably isn't what you were expecting to hear, but.. It's the truth."

"Thank you Lieutenant, I appreciate your candor," Abigail replied quietly. "You may leave, you can return to the science lab and offer assistance to Lieutenant McLaren."

"Thank you, Captain." Alexis drew smoothly to her feet and started towards the door, then looked back over her shoulder, "And Captain? Thank you for listening." And left.

Abigail watched as the science officer left her ready room. Her first instinct had been to correct Alexis, to tell her that the reduction in duties wasn't temporary, it wasn't pending her getting her ducks in a row, it was a decision being made for the best interests of the entire department and the ship. It would have been easy to dispel the theory that there was a chance that Alexis could have gone back to being Chief of Science, but what purpose would that serve, other than Abigail holding the upper hand in further diminishing the shine of an officer that was clearly passionate. No, it was better this way.

 

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