Chief Potential

Posted on Mon Jun 7th, 2021 @ 9:41pm by Julia Silva & Sindari t'Khev

Mission: The Skorlm
Location: XO's Office
Timeline: Before Departure

Being summoned to the XO's office was like being brought before the abbess. Usually it didn't spell anything good. Then again a lot of that depended on the XO and their particular personnel management style. There was the "I'm your friend" approach, the very popular, "I'm the bad cop to my captain's good cop" approach, the "I'm bucking for promotion," approach, and Sindari's least favorite the "I hate where they stationed me" approach. But which one was Silva?

Sindari approached the door, straightened her uniform, and pressed the chime. If she was a betting woman this was either one of the ensigns complaining about her ordering them about when she had no real authority over them or Lieutenant Vo had kept her promise to talk to the command staff about engineering's chain of command. Or it could be both, she thought with a smirk.

She had mostly managed to suppress it by the time the door slid open and she stepped inside Commander Silva's office. "Chief Petty Officer t'Khev reporting as ordered."

"Chief, thanks for coming. Grab a seat. Anything from the replicator." Julia asked.

"Water would be fine." She sat down, her eyes trailing over the desk and room, looking for hints of the Commander's interests and personality.

What she saw on the wall made her blood run cold. It was a beautiful landscape of a red world. A captured memory of a planet now dead. Mars, before the fires consumed it. Did it have a personal significance to the commander? And, if so, was she one of the people who blamed Romulans and the relief effort for the losses there. Sindari tried to play off her shock and left the set piece unremarked.

"Computer, ginger lemon tea hot, and water cold." Julia asked, handing the glass to the Chief a moment later before sitting behind her desk. "So Chief, I wanted to have a chat, first of all I want to thank you for the work you've been doing on behalf of myself and the Captain. Lieutenant Vo has ensured we know a lot of the work getting done to get us ready to depart is thanks to you and the team down there. We also know you've been stepping up a lot with us lacking a Chief or Assistant Chief down there, and Lieutenant Vo having to manage two departments."

"I'm just doing my job, Commander. That's what CPO's do, we pick up the slack and help things run more efficiently for you officer types." Sin sipped at her water but kept a hold of the glass instead of placing it back on the desk. "Lieutenant Vo deserves an equal share of that credit. Running Ops and Engineering while getting a recently refitted ship ready for departure is--to be blunt--damn impressive." Damn impressive? This is clearly an interview, try and act a little more dignified, she mentally scolded herself. She set her glass down on the desk and sat up a little straighter.

Julia nodded, "We appreciate all the work that is being done by many. That being said, we can't exactly deploy without a Chief Engineer. While the Reliant isn't the biggest ship we do still need our Departments properly staffed. While we can't make Starfleet assign us more personnel we can certainly use the people we have." She said pausing to take a sip of her tea. "I've ready your file, you've been in uniform as long as I have, had you gone through the academy you would likely have been Chief Engineer for several years by now. Do you think you're up to the challenge?"

"Of being Chief Engineer of a starship?" Sindari rephrased the question, buying herself several precious seconds to consider it. Her skills and experience, the engineering team as it currently stood, and the added responsibilities this would entail. "I think I am," she answered thoughtfully and then refocused on Silva. "There's going to be a lot to learn, but if you want me to manage that department, then I'll give it my all, Commander"

It wasn't exactly the level of confidence she'd hoped for in a Chief Engineer, granted she had also worked with many officers who had more confidence than ability. She didn't doubt the Chief's technical acumen but there was more to running a department than knowing your field. Julia nodded, "The final decision rests with the Captain, but I agree with Lieutenant Vo I think you would do well as our Chief. Where do you see career going?"

Sindari decided to take that as Where do you want your career to go? rather than in the literal sense. "I'd like to make Chief of the Boat on a starship or the equivalent at a station someday. I've found I like taking the younger officers and enlisted under my wing. Guiding them I guess you could say." Maybe it wasn't the most glamorous answer. Most likely came into that office saying they wanted to be a captain or a chief engineer or the one who broke the transwarp barrier. But saying any of that would have been a lie. Sure, she wanted to make Master Chief eventually, but there was no rush.

"I know in a way being Chief Engineer will mean guiding an entire department. Learning each officer's strengths and weaknesses, making decisions in a crisis, and being a leader in addition to one of the most technically capable people in the room," Sindari said thoughtfully. It was a heavy burden but one she intended to pick up with open eyes.

Silva nodded, "Would you ever want to teach at the academy?"

"Absolutely," Sindari replied without hesitation. "Warp Drive Mechanics, Romulan Relations, Transporter Philosophy. I could fill a syllabus." Not that she expected she'd ever have the opportunity. Then again a week ago she'd have said the same thing about being Chief Engineer. "When I'm ready for a break from exploration that is, Commander."

Julia smiled, "Very good, well Chief unless you have anything else for me, you're dismissed."

"Thank you, Commander." Chief t'Khev stood and had the courtesy to set the half consumed glass of water back into the replicator before leaving Julia's office.