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New face, in a new place

Posted on 22 Nov 2022 @ 6:32pm by Lieutenant T’Mari Rael & Captain Harvey Geisler

1,296 words; about a 6 minute read

Mission: Regrouping
Location: USS Black Hawk-B Captain’s Ready Room
Timeline: MD 1

As the familiar feel of the transporter effect dissipated T’Mari stepped down off the transporter PADD.

“Thank you Chief” she smiled warmly at the Transporter Chief before heading straight for the bridge of the Akira class. This was the first Akira class she’d ever served aboard, it was certainly going to be interesting, that and this was her first assignment as Chief Counsellor as well. In her hand she carried a PADD containing her transfer orders, which she aimed to present to her new Captain, Harvey Geisler.

As she arrived outside the Ready Room T’Mari straightened her uniform before pressing the door chime. She stood ready to be either be greeted, or called to enter.

Inside the ready room, Harvey stood next to the replicator, tapping a few of the controls in order to refine his preferred coffee recipe. At the sound of the chime, he called out, "Enter," while still trying to make the adjustments. As the door opened, he muttered, "I hate breaking in new replicators."

T’Mari walked in smiling as she recognised the man trying to set the replicator. “Hello again Captain. Anything I can help with?”

Familiarity didn't register with Harvey, at least not immediately, as he was too focused on the task at hand. He did, however, hear the new arrival's introduction. "It's these replicator updates. Sometimes engineers get too focused on efficiency that they don't realize what it actually does to the flavor."

“That’s very true, but then there's no substitute for the real thing.” T’Mari smiled. “Unfortunately out here we all have to put up with replicated likeness of both drink, and food.”

The Captain chuckled as the replicator produced a fresh cup of coffee. He took a sip and winced, determining that the flavor still bore a twinge of metal. Now was not the time to continue tweaking the system, especially since he had a guest. "This is why I keep some real coffee around, but purposely ration it out. Doesn't stop me from a replicated cup now and then though."

He finally turned to head over to his desk. By doing so, he was able to see his visitor for the first time. A wave of familiarity rushed over him, but he could not immediately place it. "I'm sorry, Lieutenant... have we met before? I feel like we have."

T’Mari smiled. “Actually we have, T’Mari Rael, we met at a conference on Betazed while I was at the university there. Prior to my Academy years so it’s been a while.”

A spark ignited the appropriate recognition in Harvey's mind. He had attended several conferences at Betazed while he had been assigned to Starbase 211 after the war. "Of course!" he exclaimed, offering a confirming nod. "Given the events of the last few years, Betazed really feels like a lifetime ago."

“I bet!” T’Mari smiled and nodded. “Well we’ll have plenty of time for discussion, I’m now assigned here as your Chief Counsellor.” She handed over her transfer orders.

Harvey accepted the padd and gave it a brief look. All of the correct information was there, so he affixed his thumbprint to complete the process. The padd instantly entered her new assignment in the ship's manifest, log, and sent a copy for Harvey's and Command's records.

"If I recall," Harvey stated, waving to one of the seats in front of the desk as an indication for her to sit, "you weren't in Starfleet during that conference. What made you want to leave the civilian sector?"

“To be honest Starfleet was always on my mind, the chance to get out amongst the stars.” T’Mari smiled warmly. “I always loved staring up at the stars when I was young, it looked so magical. It’s not let me down.”

The Captain laughed as he sat down behind the desk. “You’ll have to forgive me, Counselor. It’s not every day I see someone with pointed ears smile and show emotion. I take it you’re a hybrid?”

T’Mari nodded. “I most certainly am. I’m half Betazoid. I decided not to purge my emotions, much to my father’s annoyance. Not that he calls it being annoyed.”

"I've seen Vulcan annoyance first hand," remarked Harvey. "In my case, it also involved two Tellarites. Frankly, in situations like that, one has to wonder how the Federation even got founded."

He then waved a hand, adding to the mental push to slide that aside aside. "Moving away from that, I'm glad you're on the Black Hawk. This is a brand new ship, and most of its crew hasn't served together before. Fifty-nine crew members have come over from the previous Black Hawk, and I've been promised that we'll be launching understaffed. The missing workload will have to be spread out, and I'm sure that will cause frustrations amongst the crew."

“I would imagine so, plus being understaffed will lead to low crew morale. Added pressure that people don’t really need.” T’Mari sighed. “Surely Starfleet has people they can supply you with to fill those gaps? It seems ridiculous them sending us out that way.”

"It seems that way, unfortunately." Harvey placed one hand on the desk and tapped his index finger twice. "Even though the Mars attack was five years ago, Starfleet continues to pull further and further back inside its borders. Command doesn't see the Gamma Quadrant as a priority, even though no one wants to see the Dominion rear its head again. And, since the Dominion's been quiet the last fifteen years, Starfleet has started to pull back on its resources, focusing on New Bajor only. The rest of us are left to scrounge a little bit, and that does lead to a lot of frustration between the ranks."

T’Mari nodded. “I guess we’ll just have to manage as best as we can for now. I’ll do what I can to help diffuse tensions amongst the crew.”

"And another thing," Harvey stated with a raised finger. "One thing you'll learn quickly out here in the Gamma Quadrant is that we're rarely near a friendly port of call. Not to mention, Starfleet has very few outposts and bases out here. You might not always have someone to fall back on, or resources readily available. Are you good with improvising?"

“I pride myself on improvising when needs be!” T’Mari smiled warmly. “I’m not your a-typical stay in the background therapist, I like to get involved where I can.”

Harvey smiled. "Exactly what I like to hear, Counselor. Now, do you have any questions for me at this juncture? Currently, counseling is an arm of the medical department, but there is not a Chief Medical Officer assigned at this time. The two of you would work closely together, and I would appreciate the occasional advice in difficult situations on the bridge."

“Of course Captain” T’Mari nodded. “I’ll do my upmost to provide you with sound advice. As I said I’m here as much for you as I am for the crew.”

"That I appreciate more than anything." Harvey kept the smile and continued, "I think that covers just about everything I need to for now. Do you have any questions for me at this juncture?"

“Erm...not that I can think of right now Sir” T’Mari smiled warmly. “I’ll let you know if I think of anything.”

“If you ever do, I’m just a badge tap away.” Harvey rose from the desk and extended a hand. “Welcome aboard, T’Mari. I hope you’ll enjoy your time on the Black Hawk.”

T’Mari stood and accepted the handshake. “Thank you Sir, thank you very much.”



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