Meeting the Boss
Episode 4.5 - Shore Leave
Location: Captain's Ready Room, USS Arcadia
Timeline: MD 01 / 1345 hours (local)
Chuck stepped onto the massive bridge of the Arcadia, and took a moment to take it all in. Every part of the ship was huge. It was as if Starfleet had slapped a pair of warp nacelles onto a small starbase and let it fly around the cosmos. And here he had thought that the Prometheus class starship, USS Nimitz had been big. Arcadia dwarfed her twice over.
Finally, Finley snapped out of his daydream and started over towards the door that led to the Captain's Ready Room. When he reached it, he reached up and pressed the door chime.
"Come in," said Oliver, without looking up from the holographic screen and the myriad of paperwork he had to read and approve. He didn't mind paperwork, he just wished he had used a larger bowl for his fresh tulaberries. At this rate he would finish the whole thing in the next five minutes or so.
Upon hearing the command to enter, the computer opened the doors, allowing Finley to enter. After stepping inside the office, Chuck moved smartly to a spot two steps in front of, and centered on, Oliver's desk. "Good afternoon, Captain. Master Chief Petty Officer Chuck Finley, reporting for duty as your new Chief of the Boat, Sir. Here are my orders, Sir." He handed over an isolenear chip over to Lee, and then returned to the position of attention.
"Welcome aboard, Chief Finley. Please take a seat." said Oliver as he took the isolinear chip from the other man. With a touch of the holographic display, he opened up a different interface. A slight tap of the chip on the newly opened window was all it took to resolve the required paperwork and finalize the chief's arrival.
Setting the chip aside, Oliver gestured at the ceramic bowl on his desk.
"Well, now that's out of the way, tulaberries?"
After Chuck sat, he leaned forward and picked a few tulaberries out of the offered bowl. "Thank you, Sir." He then sat back and popped the first berry in his mouth, savoring the sweet juice as he bit into it.
Oliver plucked some berries from the bowel for himself.
"I was reading your personnel file earlier, Chief. Your service during the war was more than impressive. Surviving a Dominion POW camp was no small feat in itself, but attempting to escape it, twice no less, was something else entirely. It was people like you who won us the war and brought us peace, and I'm honored to have you as my COB."
Chuck tilted his head forward humbly. "Thank you, Sir, but, I just doing what I was trained to do. As you know, when captured, we are required and expected to not only look after those junior to us, but we must also do everything in our power to frustrate our captors. Truthfully, at the end there, I fully expected to be killed. I am here now for the simple reason that the war ended as abruptly as it did." He paused and popped another berry into his mouth.
After swallowing, he continued. "And thank you for the warm welcome, Sir. It's my honor to serve, not only on a ship as important as the Arcadia, but with a skipper as honorable and respected as you are."
Oliver chuckled slightly. "You are too kind, Chief. I'm just playing my part maintaining the peace that you sacrificed so much to help achieve."
Glancing around him, he continued. "The Arcadia is magnificent, isn't she? The ready room alone is the size of my living quarters on the Bunker Hill, and size aside, she's also top of the line, the best Starfleet has to offer, its crown jewel."
Then he turned his attention back to the man sitting on the other side of his desk.
"But even more so than the technology that went into the construction of the ship, it's her crew who will make her shine bright like the torch bearer that she's meant to be, a torch bearer who always embodies and reflects the best, not just of Starfleet, but also of the Federation, wherever she goes, and it's especially important now since in a few weeks time we will go where no one has ever gone before, where both friends and foes, wonders and perils, await, and I will need the entire crew, from myself down, to be at our best. I'm counting on you, Chief, to be my eyes and ears among the enlisted and, equally important, to be their voice and their advocate."
Chuck contemplated Oliver's words for a few beats. Then, nodding, he responded. "You, and our crew, will get my best efforts." He then paused briefly, before asking, "Permission to speak freely, Sir?"
Chuck nodded, then continued. "While I will give you my best, all I ask in return, Sir, is that you always talk straight with me. While I do realize that there are certain things that, as I am not a fellow starship captain, I am not privy to, I also know that, to do my job to the fullest, I need to be as much in the know as possible, Sir."
Oliver nodded. "You have my word, Mr. Finley." He paused briefly to help himself to more tulaberries. "And if there's anything you need, my doors are always open."
Chuck nodded in reply. Then, after a few beats of silence, he asked, "Is there anything else that You wish me to know, Sir?"
"As a matter of fact, yes. As you know, it's the Armed Services Family Appreciation Month. Commander Elbrun has been working on an event schedule for the celebration. I know you just came aboard, but I'd like you to work with the Commander and make sure that no one is left out. After all, the celebration is for everyone, officers and enlisted alike."
Chuck nodded as he listened. "Understood, Sir. I will contact the Commander after we are done her, Sir." He sat for a moment, thinking about what the Captain had just told him
"Thank you, Chief. Again, welcome aboard. If there's nothing else, you are dismissed."
Chuck quickly got to his feet and, after coming to attention, tipped his head respectfully towards Oliver. "Thank you for allowing me to join your crew, Sir." He then turned smartly and made his way out of the readyroom, already thinking about his next destination.
Captain Oliver A. Lee
USS Arcadia NCC-89015
Master Chief Petty Officer Chuck Finley
Chief of the Boat
USS Arcadia NCC-89015