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Command Struggles

Posted on 03 Apr 2021 @ 12:07pm by Captain Harvey Geisler & Commander Terry Walsh

Mission: Extinction
Location: Ready Room
Timeline: Mission Day 1 at 1300

Commander Walsh exited the turbolift and tapped the two PADD's together that he was carrying. One was a copy of the full report regarding the away mission, to include the confrontations of personnel, he'd sent to Captain Geisler earlier that day. The second one included something he'd been working on.

He made his way quickly across the Bridge and activated the door chime for the Captain's Ready Room. Terry took a deep breath as he waited.

The doors parted almost immediately, revealing Harvey sitting at the side table with a bowl of potato soup. "Good afternoon, Commander," Harvey greeted, looking up from a padd filled with reports.

Terry walked in and waited for the doors to close. "Well, it's afternoon," he said. "Sorry to interrupt your meal, by the way, Captain."

The Captain shook his head, dismissing the apology. "It's no interruption at all." As he took in another spoonful of soup, he gestured to the chair across the table. "Help yourself to the replicator if you like."

"Thanks, but I'll probably grab something later." He walked over the chair and sat down. He grinned as he saw the stack of reports on the desk. "I hate to, but I'm about to add at least one more PADD to that stack."

"It's my curse in life it seems," Harvey admitted, stirring his soup. "Here's a padd, there's a padd... I'm like the Farmer MacDonald of padds. What's the occasion?"

He chuckled a little, having heard that nursery song when he was younger. "Old McGeisler had a ship...ah, well, anyway, the occasion. Recent events, Captain. I know from experience the strain that it can put on the crew, but this is the first time I've seen it from the other side. First time I've had to work through it with multiple departments."

"Captain Geisler had a ship?" Harvey couldn't help but chuckle. "Please, oh please, don't share that with Joey or Mila. The next thing I know, all the twins will ask me to say is E-I-E-I-O." He set down his spoon and gave his full attention to his executive officer. "I know what you're talking about though. The blessing of being an XO is that you don't have to focus on hundreds of people. You just have to focus on less than a dozen. You've got to let the department heads deal with their departments. All you can do is be there for them. I know it can be a hard road. I've been there a few times myself. Just wait until you're responsible for all of the decisions on board."

Terry chuckled. "I promise it won't leave these walls. As for only focusing on less than a dozen, that's still taking some getting used to. The squadron was whole lot bigger than that and without a deputy most of the time, I had a lot of focusing to do. But that makes sense, just being there for them if they need it." He paused a second as he considered the Captain's last comment. "Not sure how well I'd do being responsible for the whole ship and the involved decisions, though. That, I can wait for."

Harvey chuckled once more. "Believe me, I'm in no rush for you to start a captaincy, so I will join you in your waiting." He prepared another spoonful of soup before asking, "So, from your perspective, how are our departments aboard?"

"They seem to be doing well enough," Terry said. "I haven't heard too many complaints. Those that have come across me have been disgruntled staff types. People complaining about extra work, hard-ass bosses, that sort of thing."

The Captain nodded. "Well, we seem to keep running into tight spots. It always seems like the moment we let ourselves relax its when the crazy stuff happens." He thought for a moment. "Still, we should make some allowance for relaxation. Maybe we need to restrict everyone to a single shift for a while and encourage everyone to get some downtime. We could be out here in these sectors for a while."

Terry nodded. "That's not a bad idea. Downtime while on a mission and not actually on shore leave might be good for everyone. Kind of show them that we're willing to be flexible and do what's necessary for the their self-care. So either a single, slightly longer, shift or two shorter shifts with very small skeleton crews for the other two." He paused to think how that might work.

"The shift adjustment isn't a bad idea," Harvey remarked. "Why don't you work something up and get back to me once you get it." He set down his drink and looked across the room to Terry. "I have a feeling we're turning the corner on something. No more Consortium. No more Dolmoqour. No more malfunctioning holographic constructs. Just mysterious pirates."

"I can do that," said the bald-headed Executive Officer. "And I hope you're spot-on with your feeling. It'd be a nice change to just chase mysterious pirates around the quadrant for a while." He relaxed a little more in his chair. "How are you handling the current change of pace?"

Harvey chuckled. "I thought my level of paddwork was high when I was a researcher and a physician. It's incredible the amount of detail that's in these things. I swear I'm going to need a week or two just to adjust to the influx of information."

"Heh, I don't doubt it. About the amount of detail, I mean," said Terry. "You have what, four or five ships and their assignments and such?"

"Besides the Black Hawk?" the Captain asked. "Eleven. Most are heavy hitters, a couple rapid responders and some light escorts. All bark and bite sort of thing."

"Wow, quite a few more than I thought," said Terry. He paused for a moment, unsure of where the rest of the meeting and conversation would go. "I suppose that's really all I have to report."

Harvey nodded. "I'm sure we'll be talking more as the days go on, especially once I get on top of everything that's happening with this Task Group. I have a feeling I'm going to have to start leaning on you more and sooner than I thought."

Terry took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "I'll do my best to help out and support where I can. We have a good group of senior officers around here and that might free me up a little to help. Just let me know when and how."

"Will do, Commander," Harvey acknowledged. "Anything else to report?"

"No sir," answered Terry. He sat forward, ready to stand.

"Then I'll leave you to it," Harvey stated. "Let me know immediately if anything comes up."

"I will," said Terry. He stood up with a nod to the Captain and headed for the door. It had been a productive meeting for the relatively new Executive Officer. His biggest take-away had been to focus on only less than a dozen people. He had something else to do now, too. Work up a different schedule. Yeah, it had been productive.


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