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A Little Talk

Posted on Apr 02, 2021 @ 6:13am by Lieutenant Eve Dalziel
Edited on on Apr 02, 2021 @ 6:14am

Mission: Black Sun Rising

“A Little Talk”

(Continued from “Preparations”)


Location: USS PHOENIX, just arrived in the Idium system
Scene: Dalziel’s Office
Stardate: [2.21]0328.1503

Eve studied the countenance of Lynette Ryan. There was a smidge of apprehension, sure. Dalziel had grown to expect that when anyone had an appointment with the ship’s Counselor. But despite her unprofessional action against Malin-Argo, Lynette was keeping herself and her emotions buttoned down at the moment.

“Would you like anything?” Eve offered, gesturing to the tea she was still working on.

“Not right now,” Lynette said after a short pause, and found her way to one of the chairs flanking Eve’s desk.

The Counselor followed suit and sat down. The two women faced each other. “Do you know why you’re here?” It was a simple but somewhat loaded beginning.

“It might be more to the point to answer the question ‘How did I get here?’” Lynette offered, the look on her face still at odds with what happened.

**How did any of us get here?** Eve thought, the unanswered promotion offer still lingering in her mind despite her best attempts to push it away.

Ensign Ryan plowed ahead, not knowing the reason for Eve’s silence. “I punched a Senior Officer. I am to give him an apology.”

The older woman tried to keep her mind on the topic at hand. “We both know it’s not as simple as that.”

The tomboyish woman raked her right hand through her brown hair. “It had been a long time coming. And I’m not going to lie. It was immensely satisfying.”

“Do you think what happened helped the situation?”

The junior officer looked bemused. “I doubt it helped Mister know-it-all, but it helped *me*. I stood up for myself.”

“It was against regulations,” Eve blurted out.

The junior officer sighed. “Clearly.”

“You still want to be in Starfleet, don’t you?”

“I’m *here*, aren’t I?” Lynette asked plaintively.

Eve nodded. “Yes you are, I’m giving you credit for that. However, I’m looking at a career. Not just now. You’re not going to be able to punch people whenever you feel wronged and keep one.”

The Engineer tried to defend herself even though it wasn’t necessary. “He was not using his personnel to their fullest potential. I could have done so much more if he had only *let* me.”

“While I disagree with certain elements of his leadership style, I think it would be wrong to assume you’re not going to serve with others that come from similar backgrounds. Let’s face it, even the Captain has to answer to someone.” It may have been said to get Lynette to realize the military hierarchy that she was a part of, but Eve took her own words and felt a pang of guilt towards Kane. Their last conversation hadn’t been fair to him.

“My work speaks for itself, it’s above critique.”

“It’s not your work we’re talking about. It’s your attitude.” Eve felt like her explanations were lacking, so she continued. “Command training has a test they often use to prove the readiness of their officers. It doesn’t involve how well you do your job or what skills you possess.”

“Like the Kobayashi Maru?” Lynette asked. Everyone knew about the famous no-win scenario.

“Not exactly. They put you into a situation where the only solution is you ordering a valued crew member to their death in order to save the rest of the lives aboard. If you are able to come to terms with that, you pass.”

“So you’re saying Malin-Argo has just the type of ruthlessness for Command?” Lynette said with a mischievous look on her face.

Eve smiled. “No, I’m saying our humanity, for lack of a better word, is what distinguishes us as much, if not more, as the jobs that we do. That’s what’s going to get your foot in the door. Get you noticed.”

“How many times do I have to turn the other cheek?”

Eve looked down into her empty teacup. The lavender hadn’t been strong enough. “Pretty much infinity.”

“I don’t want to hear that.”

Eve rubbed her forehead. “And I don’t want to say it. But the more ways you strengthen yourself and know your worth, you won’t need Commanders with questionable people skills to validate what you bring to the table. You’re looking to someone to give you something you shouldn’t need from them.”

“Shouldn’t a good leader be able to inspire and encourage his team?” Lynette challenged.

“That will be a discussion between me and Malin-Argo. But we can only change ourselves, not him. We can't change our situation, only how we deal with it.”

“And boxing isn’t the proper way to deal with these things,” Lynette offered reluctantly.

“You’re right, but on the other hand it would be easier to apologize without being ordered to do so.” The Counselor empathized with her guest.

Lynette shrugged, knowing this couldn’t be changed. “Is that what next week’s assignment is? A first draft of my amends?”

“No. I don’t like the idea of homework. At next week's *appointment*, I want you to think of another time when you felt your work was not appreciated and what you did about it. Did it have any bearing on what happened in Engineering? Malin-Argo cannot be the first person to have challenged you in this way.”

As if on cue, Captain Smooshy trotted in and plopped down on the chair next to Ensign Ryan, within perfect petting distance of her. His eyes looked bright and he sort of looked like he was simultaneously grinning and begging for attention.

“I could have used you earlier,” Eve chided Smooshy.

“I thought this was going to be all about apologizing and what I did wrong. This hasn’t been as bad as I thought.” Lynette smiled again and scratched behind the ears of the adorable pug, hoping that Mackie wouldn’t hold a grudge.

Eve shook her head. “This is about giving you the tools of emotional intelligence to prevent you from having to formally apologize again… by being a stronger person. Look at it this way, we should all aspire to be the kind of person our pets think we are.”


NRPG: I don’t like taking breaks from writing that are this long. It makes it too hard to start up again.

Phillip: I sincerely hope that I did Lynette justice.

Susan Ledbetter
Lieutenant Eve Dalziel


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