Meeting the Captain
Location: Captain's Ready Room
Timeline: 2395, Stardate 72675.1
It had been only a few short hours since Melanie Dox boarded the U.S.S Hera and was greeted by her new First Officer, Lt. Commander Rita Paris, and the young and newly minted Lieutenant Junior Grade was preparing to meet with the Captain of the enormous, Nebula-Class Starship. She didn't take long to settle into her crew quarters, as her few bags had already been delivered to the room so she reviewed the information on the PaDD that Lt. Commander Paris had given her for orientation and made arrangements to meet with the Captain. Melanie stood in the turbolift that felt as if it were truly living up to the "turbo" part of its name and bringing her to her appointment at what seemed like warp speed.
The turbolift doors opened and Dox found herself looking straight across a short hall to the Captain's Ready room. To her left, was the hustle and bustle of the bridge itself. She felt as if her heart had skipped a beat at the sight of it, only imagining what it was to REALLY be on the bridge of a Starship after spending 6 years stuck on lonely Starbases piloting runabouts and shuttles. Immediately, she noticed that the Captain's chair was empty, meaning that the Captain must be in the ready room, waiting for her. In her hands, the Junior Grade Lieutenant still clutched the PaDD she was given by Lt. Commander Paris looking for all the world like a girl on her first day of school.
While her meeting with the First Officer ended well, it took an unusual and unexpectedly stressful path for the young officer to get there and she swallowed slightly not knowing what to expect. Taking a breath and slightly straightening the top of her uniform, she gently tapped on the control pad outside the Ready Room door, hearing the familiar chirp from within.
"Come in," Enalia called out, expecting this to be yet another new arrival. Bringing up the list of who she'd already seen on her terminal, she got ready to check off another transfer's first meeting with her and to make sure she could put a name to a face. As the door opened and revealed the shorter woman in red, she thought she did look familiar at least. "Lieutenant... Melanie Dox, right? Please, have a seat. Care for a drink? Cocoa? Tea? Ale? Water?"
"Thank you, Captain." Nox quickly took the open seat in front of her, crossing her arms and sitting up straight. "And no thank you, I'm fine."
"Suit yourself. You might need a drink by the time you're done in here though." Enalia reached out for a PaDD. "Orders?"
"Yes, Captain." Dox handed the PaDD she was given from the First Officer upon arriving
Glancing over the PaDD, Enalia had to click at it several times before she found the woman's orders so she could sign off on them. "Next time have them brought up before handing them to me." Handing the PaDD back, she clicked her desk terminal off. "So... You're our new flight controller. What's the biggest thing you've flown?"
"I grew up and learned to fly on an Anares-class freighter. Since joining Starfleet, mostly Runabouts and long range shuttle crafts." Nox replied.
Enalia stared at the young woman for a while before replying. "Well, I suppose you've got to graduate sometime. As soon as you're cleared, I want you on bridge duty. Get with Ensign Gonadie to train on the Hera's holographic manual controls. She's over three point three metric tonnes of mass but she can dance like a ship a tenth her size so before you fly her in combat you'll need some time in a sim."
Dox sat up just a little bit higher in her chair upon hearing the words "bridge duty" but she contained her excitement at the prospect. "Yes, Captain. Thank you for this opportunity."
"You're welcome for the opportunity. What you do with it is up to you. There are a lot of good pilots on this ship and you'll be tutored and watched by some of the best in the fleet. If you survive long enough you'll make something of yourself." Enalia decided to shift gears at that point. "So what are your goals? Got any hopes and dreams for while you're aboard?"
After her meeting with the First Officer, Dox knew better then to try and not answer honestly. "Making something of myself is... It's very important to me, Captain." She smiled ever so slightly. "Especially if that something can be a part of a bigger something."
"Vague, but honest. I like you." Enalia smiled a bit herself. "We're definitely part of something bigger. No one will ever know about it if we do our jobs right, but saving the galaxy is definitely on our job descriptions."
Saving the Galaxy was a statement Dox found more than a little vague itself, but also more than a little exciting. "Thank you again, Captain. I hope not to let you... or myself... Down."
"I'm sure you won't," Enalia replied. "Do you have any questions for me?"
The Captains comment that nobody would know about it if they did their jobs right partially answered one of the questions running around in the back of Dox's mind. Her Runabouts docked with the Hera at a private space station. Her transfer orders were unusually vague. The ship wasn't the same stark white she was used to. Dox's suspected that it wasn't the kind of question where a direct answer was possible, but she decided to ask it. "The Hera... Our missions... This is going to be different then the standard exploration of space, isn't it?"
"The last time we scanned something for exploration, it was to pretend like we were a normal ship while investigating another ship that was taken over by neural parasites." Enalia chuckled softly at the memory. "Yeah we don't explore. We go in and handle issues that other ships can't."
Taken aback slightly by both the gravity of the Captains words and the scope of the Hera's mission, Dox took a brief moment then spoke again. "Then I'm sure I'll have to work that much harder to help us be there when we need to be, Captain. Thank you."
"Thank you for being here. We need good pilots if we're to survive." Enalia nodded once more. "If there's nothing else, again, welcome aboard. Dismissed."
"Yes, Captain." Dox took the cue and exited the ready room and crossed back to the turbo lift. The doors hissed open as she glanced over to the bridge and to the helm.
And she smiled.