Cr.02.01 – With a full crew compliment on board plus a few extras, Whyte had his work cut out trying to keep track of who was who, where they were, what department and shift they worked and more importantly putting names to faces; it was something he expected in his new job role. What he hadn’t expected was his new commanding officer’s stand on protocol; although she expected everyone to do their jobs properly and follow conventional rules and regulations, there were some things that she did not. Some of the newer crew – himself included – wasn’t sure what to make of their Captain’s command style. Most of the old hands had just shrugged off his concerns, but Charles wasn’t sure he could and yet he also wasn’t sure who or where to turn in this matter.
“Charles?” spoke a voice he was getting to know all too well.
“Ma’am!” he acknowledged making to rise, but she waved him back down into his office seat, the place he’d absconded himself to straight after that mornings briefing meeting; she took the chair opposite him and just regarded him mildly with what he would come to know as her counselling face – as her friend Chakotay called her current expression. It was also one that both Daniel West and Calyssa Aelyn had been on the receiving end at times.
“Any problems?” she asked mildly, her tone hinting that perhaps she already knew something. “You just seemed a bit uncomfortable during the briefing this morning,” she added quietly.
Charles Izaak Whyte stayed silent, wondering whether to say he was fine – yet he knew he wasn’t and it was clear from her presence here in his office that she realised that too.
“I’m not sure….” pausing a moment, Alyxx said nothing. “I’m not sure I understand your mode of command,” he said in something of a rush; green eyes smiled.
“Most people don’t, Charles,” she admitted quietly.
“As I understand it, you are not into protocol and yet you expect us to follow rules and regulations; which are protocols. Am I making sense here?” he asked frowning puzzled.
“Yes, Charles you are and better than you realise,” she sighed softly. “When I was in your position, protocols could take back-seat as it were as far as I was concerned, but I’m realising as captain that might not be the best position to command from,” pausing to gauge his reaction. The cultured male just quietly watched and waited as if trying to absorb what she was saying. “Let me be frank here, Charles. Command is not an easy position for anyone and the ‘big’ chair is the hardest of all. I am as new at this as you are in your job role,” she admitted softly. “Protocols exist for a reason and should be adhered to – as my command instructor kept trying to drum into me at command classes, recently. I keep protocol where necessary, but I’m not a strict adherent of them as Starfleet would like their starship captains to be,” pausing again noting the male opposite her watching her intently. “The only advice I can give you at this stage is to command in your style not mine. I’m a scientist at heart and science often doesn’t play to Starfleet rules and regulations,” she told him gently getting to her feet. “And Charles my door is open any time. Or if you’d prefer manly advice, I know Chakotay is more than happy to offer a listening ear in that department.”
“Thank you, Captain,” his voice quiet as he contemplated her words.
“We’re all getting to know one another on this trip, Commander,” she acknowledged and left him to ponder how he was going to do things from now on. First he had the duty roster’s to sort out and departmental reports to deal with, looking at the piles of data PADD’s that littered his desk. His com-badge bleeped at him.
“Whyte,” he acknowledged opening the channel.
=/\=An XO’s job is never an easy one with all that paperwork. Pace yourself, Charles=/\=
“Thank you. I’ll call you, Captain.”
=/\=Acknowledged. Darkka out=/\=
The Kylata class A – light blue star pulsed on the main view screen, and along with its two companions orbited around their barycentre. Sensors had confirmed that the primary star was class A and the Tertiary star class K, the secondary star was proving trickier was it class A like its sister or class F that was the question they’d been sent to find. Alyxx listened as her staff worked around the bridge with Whyte giving orders and responding to the verbal reports, whilst she sat with a soft smile gracing her Trill features, taking in the telemetry readings on her own side console.
“Any sign of the sensor readings that were picked up by Rivendell’s long range probes?” she asked in the soft lull of orders, counter commands and reports.
“Negative, Captain,” noted Marks at the science console. “We’ve widened the search parameters – still nothing,” he added. She grinned to herself, knowing he’d anticipated her request, before she’d asked, but that was how they’d worked in the past, when she was head of sciences; pushing the envelope to cover all the bases and beyond. Her smile slipped as static filled the bridge view screen and all the consoles around them which was followed by a very high pitched screech, forcing some to cover their ears; Alyxx included, her sensitive hearing reacting to the violent intrusion.
“Captain?” questioned a male voice close to her left ear, his tone concerned. She opened her eyes – having not realised she’d closed them and Charles Whyte’s worried features came into view. “Your face went quite pale for a moment,” he told her softly; the screech having been replaced by an empty silence.
“The sound was rather disconcerting,” she admitted quietly, her tone conveying the true nature of its effects on her. The crew continued to work quietly around them.
“I do not think you were the only one affected,” Charles said, moving to stand more upright and give her a chance to gather herself together.
=/\=Bridge. This is Lt. Dyani here=/\=
“Go ahead, Lieutenant,” her tone wary.
“Professor Chakotay has collapsed here in the Aston Labs.”
“Can he be transported to Sickbay?” her worry increasing.
=/\=This is Hoon. Negative on transport, Captain. He appears to be in some kind of trance. Transport might very well disorientate him.=/\=
“Understood, Doctor. Keep him comfortable and keep me informed. Bridge out.”
“What next?” asked Whyte, looking at the pulsing three stars.
“What indeed!” she acknowledged still feeling a little unsettled by the screeching noise and even more so by the empty silence that now surrounded them; as if the area was waiting for something or someone! her expression puzzled.