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Without A Doubt

Posted on Fri Nov 18th, 2016 @ 1:50pm by Captain Avin Singh & Commander Jesse Temple

Mission: 863
Location: Captain's Ready Room
Timeline: Morning following "Loud Hisses and Near Misses"

As another sunless morning broke on the Star of India, Jesse was relieved from command of the Bridge by the next shift team. He gave a respectful nod as he relinquished the big chair to the replacement crew before exiting. Armed with a report freshly typed into his PaDD, the Marine made his way straight to the Captain's room, ready to divulge on their early morning adventure.

Jesse stood up straight as he pressed the Captain's door chime and waited.

A little tango with the Gorn aside, there had not been too much going on. However, Avin Singh still had to file his own report broadly to the Federation, and a more in depth and detailed report to the Federation's Secretary of Transportation and to the office of the Secretary of Starfleet which would end up in the hands of the Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense, and circulate around to people way above Avin's pay grade. All of this because of the aggressive actions taken by one Gorn vessel.

First, However, he needed his Executive Officer's report. The door chime rang and Avin stood. "Come in Ex" replied Avin as the doors parted ways and the Captain had a look at the somewhat restless face of his Executive Officer. "Have a seat Ex, but get yourself some tea or coffee if you'd like before we go over the little Gorn incident" said Avin shaking his head.

Jesse rustled himself up a strong coffee, decided to forgo the milk, and took a seat. "Thank you for seeing me, Captain. I'm certainly glad to have this."

He took a long sip of the hot, dark liquid caffeine and sighed happily, "I'm sure you're already across our skirmish with the Gorn last night but I wanted to review the incident with you. Mostly to make sure I did everything I should have. I'm still little unclear on the terms of engagement on a merchant vessel. I hope I didn't overstep our responsibility."

Avin shook his head "No, no not at all. You protected the starship and our cargo, Jesse. From everything I have read and heard, you acted professionally and exactly how you should have out there on the Bridge. You fired warning shots, Ex, and that is exactly as you should have done. Fire warning shots do everything you can to avoid having to use 'the big guns' as it were. We are not an entirely defenseless little old ship and some of our crew have Starfleet training, yourself included. When push comes to shove...if we need to fire upon a vessel, then we will fire upon said vessel."

Jesse gave a restrained frown before handing over the PADD. "Here's a list of actions I took that I believe were outside regulation, Captain. Engaging in evasive manoeuvres practice without prior notification to crew, section c-nineteen-point-twenty two. Initiating an intercept course with unknown or enemy vessel without prior attempting to communicate with said vessel; section A-three-point-two. Failing to assist a disabled vessel, section A-twelve. As commander of the Bridge, I alone bare responsibility for any possible breaches."

Avin took the PaDD and had a brief look through. It was well constructed and ordered, reading like the report one would expect from a career executive officer aboard a Federation starship. "Ex, we are out here on our own. The closet Federation starship to us was the USS Kingfisher, she was several hours away at her best speed. Sometimes, we have to go outside regulations and act without limitations" said the Captain.

The Marine relaxed somewhat but still had a point to make, "Sir, you're a scientist, correct? You know as well as any that even if an experiment fails, you still document and acknowledge that failure, in the hopes that you don't make the same mistake again. Well likewise in the Corps, you don't get a pat on the back at the end of a hard day. You get told in no uncertain terms what you need to improve. And you train to improve yourself the next day and the next." Jesse grimaced, running a hand through his hair, "Am I making a lick of sense at all, sir?"

"Yes, I am a scientist or at least was" he said in a simple reply. "And I do understand what you are getting at, Jesse. We will have to improvise with this starship at times. Even at a full crew compliment, we won't have that many souls aboard and only a handful of actual officers, not that many aboard with prior service in Starfleet like the two of us. We all will learn to improve after each mission we take on and encounter we may have."

Jesse nodded, "Yes, sir, I agree. I guess I'm just asking that you don't go easy on me. I want to learn how to improvise but I don't want to lose my discipline either. It's important to me." He gave a nervous laugh, "So you can expect more reports like this."

Avin nodded. "I have as much to learn as you do out here, Ex. This whole experience is rather new" confessed the Commanding Officer.

Temple smiled again and took a drink of coffee, "So any idea what Cesstus Three is, and why the Gorn are so gosh darn keen on keeping us away?"

The Commanding Officer sighed. "Cestus III is a planet that in the 23rd century had a human colony on it. It was wiped out, leaving only one survivor. The planet was demolished by the Gorn. Your History classes at the Academy no doubt made mention of Cestus III incident and Captain James T. Kirk's involvement. The colony was rebuilt decades later and today is home to thriving life, the planet jointly colonized by the Federation and the Gorn Hegemony. As to why the Gorn are preventing us from arriving at the planet on schedule....that's a mystery."

Jesse scratched his beard, "I didn't pay much attention to the history lessons. The strategic and planning side of key wars, yeah, but not the uh..." Don't say boring, don't say boring. "...intricate historical events."

The Marine settled his empty cup on the table once more and gave a heavy shrug, "Suppose we'll find out soon enough what those Gorn are getting so snarky about."

"So long as we don't get delayed any further, we will be arriving at the planet in a few hours" replied Avin.

"Oh, I had an idea also, Captain," Jesse suddenly remembered, "Thought it would be swell if we could have a regular off-duty get together with the senior officers. Just kick back and relax somewhere, get to know each other. What do you think?"

The Captain nodded. "It sounds like a good opportunity for some crew bonding. Though, I'd recommend extending the invite to the whole crew. 'Officers' can be a very limiting bunch on the Star of India, and I do not know how large this crew will get, or if we ever will have a completely filled crew compliment" added Avin.

"Sounds reasonable," Temple replied, stifling back a yawn. "Might make for a defacto celebration of our first haul too. Nothing too raucous, I promise."

"By all means" replied Avin. "It might always be worth a celebration that we make it to and from somewhere in one piece" added the Captain.

The coffee had been smooth and enjoyable but unfortunately ineffective against the Marine's creeping fatigue. He'd been awake for a very long time, and it probably showed as dark rings under his eyes. He couldn't hold the yawn back any longer.

"Excuse me, sir," Jesse smiled, covering his mouth, "Been a long shift."

Avin looked at his Executive Officer, smiled and nodded. "And an active one for you. That's for sure. Ex, go get yourself some sleep. I just want to give you a heads up, after this load of cargo is dropped off...I'll likely be cutting ties with our present helmsmen and Safety Officer"

Jesse scratched his beard again as he considered the Captain's words. He'd certainly had some interesting run-ins with Mr Jax during his brief time here, so he could understand why Singh would consider dropping him off at the nearest port that would take him. Hell, he thought, Lucian would probably be happy about that too.

"Well to tell the truth I'm not surprised to see Lucian go," Jesse finally spoke, "Don't know about you but I had hoped there would be some redemptive opportunities for the guy. With a tight leash, no doubt. But he didn't seem overly dedicated."

Avin scoffed a bit unprofessional in behavior, but when it came to Lucian, Avin had very little control over expressing himself. "There are more redemptive qualities Molluscs than there are in that man" said the Captain, shaking his head. "He had no dedication to his duties no respect nor loyalty to the crew. He cares for himself and only himself. The only reason he was willing to get us to Cestus III was because I paid him handsomely, and he'd expect to be paid mission to mission. I cannot allow that to continue. I need someone more dedicated and loyal to the Star of India" explained Captain Singh.

It was Mr Raza's departure that surprised the Marine, though. While he could be excitable and forthright in his own way, the Safety Officer had some good ideas and without a doubt, he thought the young Saurian would be here for a while. Still, Jesse chose not to question the Captain's reasoning.

Instead, Jesse asked, "Will we still develop a program for our civilian or non-Federation trained crew to learn defense and weapon skills?"

Avin nodded "We will always have a smaller crew, possibly always skeletal aboard. It is essential that all personnel aboard civilian or otherwise have at least basic weapons training in order to defend the starship if need be. Things could get dicey in months to come, Commander. There may be times when we might have to yank Anne out of the kitchen and have her take the helm."

"Well, our Miss Chouvie is full of surprises," Jesse remarked, "Is there anything she can't do? Anyway, I'll be happy to lend my services to the Ops or Security teams should they need help training crew."

"Shape shift" replied that Captain. "Unless she's hiding that ability. That's all I know she cannot do" he added.

Another yawn escape the Marine's mouth and he could only apologise once more. "Think I'll have to hit the hay, Captain. Before I fall asleep in the corridor."

Avin nodded "That would not bode well for our public falling asleep in the corridor" replied Captain Singh.

Standing, Jesse gave the man a fatigued smile, "I appreciate you seeing me, and speaking so frankly. I hope we can continue this tradition."

"Stay aboard long enough and you can count on it, Commander" said Avin. "Goodnight, Ex" added Avin as he watched his Executive Officer depart.


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