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Meeting the 2nd Officer

Posted on 241909.28 @ 2:09pm by Commander Zachary DeVries & Lieutenant Commander Lina Ai'xen

Mission: Reconstruction and Refocus
Location: XO's Office - Deck 2
Timeline: SD241909.15

After having met with the CO Zach had headed directly to his new office on deck 2.

It was time to start meeting the senior staff. The first on his list was the ships 2nd Officer, He brought up her service record and briefly read through it.

He had never met a Stenellis before infact he knew very little about her speicies. But then his background was combat engineering in the marines prior to his injury and the marines exposure to other races beyond those they encountered was limited.

He tapped his comm badge "Commander Ai'xen" He paused hoping he has pronounced it right "Please report to the XO's Office"

The sound of her name being butchered by a Terran tongue was hardly music to Lina's sensitive ears - but it was something she could easily forgive and something that was just as equally easily corrected by gentle reminder of which vowel was hard and which consonant flowed. Luckily, her policy was that it cost absolutely nothing to be polite and friendly, but being a snot right off the bat could cost you a fortune in respect.

A quick delivery of orders to her assistants, and an expedited trip on a turbolift later, Lina found herself pressing the XO's office chime and stepping coolly through it the moment it hissed open, "Commander Lina Ai'Xen, as ordered." She addressed him, her lithe little frame coming to a tidy parade rest in front of his desk.

Zach placed the report he was reading down on the desk in front of him without looking up "Have a seat Commander" He said looking up and for a moment he sat open mouthed, quickly he recovered his composure and leaned back. "How are you settling in Commander?" he asked.

"As you wish, sir." She nodded in response, trying her damnedest to keep her head from tilting curiously to one side. The man's momentary, and admittedly fleeting, slack jaw had caught her by surprise and spurred her into thought. Terrans truly were odd creatures, their emotions and expressions still hadn't quite become second nature to the young Stenellis, and sometimes she truly wondered whether they ever would. Still, without pause, she took the offered seat, crossed her legs, and folded her hands in her lap.

"That's kind of you to ask," she began, "I have to say that I find the Enterprise to be fascinating." That was definitely one way to describe it, "My people explore space, sure, but yours seem to have made a career out of searching in every nook and cranny you can find. As a scientist I find it exhilarating." Was that the right word? It better be.

He smiled "We love venturing into the unknown its part of who we are" He replied, clearly he should have looked at her personnel file in a little more detail and not skimmed through, in particular he should have looked up her picture. He could most swear her eyes were almost glowing. "As i understand it your the only member of your race currently serving in Starfleet, That must be quite a adjustment."

"There's a couple others in the exchange program," Lina reciprocated the smile, "Si'a Dai'xun was the first officially, our Empress once served as an ambassador on this very ship." A single finger moved to tap on the armrest of her chair as if to drive the point of pride home, "I'm actually very honored to have been chosen to participate, more so to be accepted to serve on this ship as a member of your crew." Bright as she was, the little sea creature still couldn't quite grasp humanity or the way the Enterprise's charming XO seemed to be studying her. The mission, the entirety of it, would prove to be a bit of a roller coaster ride for her as she figured out her place within Starfleet's society. Si'a Dai'xun had married into the Federation when she'd chosen to wed an Andorian scientist - a reminder that learning from the myriad of species that made up members of the ship's crew was absolutely possible.

Zacch smiled "The Enterprise has quite a history only the best and the brightest get assigned here, the reason your here is because you deserve it" He reached for his coffee and took a sip slowly before placing it back on his desk "Sorry where are my manners, would you like something to drink" He asked

"I don't know how much was luck or how much was just good fortune, but..." She shrugged, "Here I am." His next question was particularly peculiar, though manners were manners, she supposed, "Would I offend if you I assumed that that's coffee?" Lina asked, gesturing to his mug, "I haven't tried it yet."

He smiled "No offense taken" He replied as he stood walked to the coffee machine in the corner with a fresh pot of coffee "I prefer fresh coffee not replicated" He said as he poured her a cup and placed it on the desk in front of her "So i take this with me on every assignment, its the first thing I get setup"

"It's that good, hey?" The Stenellis' eyes widened as she looked down into the dark depths of the piping hot beverage placed before her, "I've read that Terrans flavor it with all sorts of things, how do you prefer yours?" Blinking, she brought her attention back up towards his face, befuddlement and curiosity both vying for space over her own delicate facial features.

"I prefer mine plain no need for flavours" He paused and sipped his drink again as he sat back down in his chair "So back to business what the status of science department, do you have everything you need?"

"Oh, right." Lina nodded and folded her hands around the warm mug, taking delight in the sensation of heat it afforded her, "It seems that I have everything I could possibly want, let alone need." She answered, taking a small sip of her coffee. Her nose immediately wrinkled as the bitter fluid crossed her tongue, but she managed to swallow it on grounds of propriety and propriety alone, "Starfleet has been very generous." Her last words were strained as she fought the urge to cough, "Coffee..." She breathed, "It's very... Strong. Maybe an acquired taste?" The thought of offending the man ran wild through her head. It was the last thing she wanted to do seeing as it would likely lead to dishonoring her position and her people and, dear Gods, the Empress herself.

He smiled and nodded "Yes it is an acquired taste" He stood and walked over to the replicator and tapped the control and some milk and sugar appeared a moment later "Some find a little milk and sugar helps with the taste if you prefer" He placed the sugar and milk on the desk "Simply add a dash of milk and then sweeten it to taste"

Of all the things he could have said and done, he chose to try and make the situation more... Palatable. "I'll give it a turn." what else could she have said? No? Not really. No was a foolish and cowardly way out of a cultural experience that had been given to her... Like a rare gift. "Anyway," She continued, adding a bit of milk and a couple spoonfuls of sugar to the liquid and stirred it carefully before bringing it, albeit hesitantly, to her lips, "The labs are well equipped and it looks like you lot have star charts for days." This time, when she took a sip her eyes closed and she all but melted into her seat. The bitterness had been tamed by the richness of the milk and the bite tapered by the sweetness of the sugar. It was heaven in a cup, "Much much better." Opening her eyes she lifted the mug towards him as a gesture of gratitude. The situation had been saved by his expertise when it came to coffee. "But yes... Star charts for days. I'm impressed."

Zach smiled warmly pleased that she liked the coffee a little better "Well you have access to all our starcharts and the full federation database, you'll find over 300 years of data from our continued exploration as well as all the cultural records of thousands of species we have encountered over the years" Looking at her for a moment he had to admit she had a unique attraction to her, he wasn't sure if it was something to do with her race but her eyes definitely seemed to glow a little and the more he noticed it the more intriguing he found it "Is there anything I can do to help you adjust to life on the Enterprise?"

"I'll be sure to add to it where I can regarding the history of the Ascendancy. It's our goal to be as transparent with you as possible." Lina set her mug back on the desk, happy as a lark that she'd managed to pass stage one. Granted, next came the almighty Commanding Officer and if Commodore Rochelle Ivanova was any indication of what to expect from one of Starfleet's illustrious Captains, he would be one to tread lightly with. The XO's voice once again tugged her back to the here and now, however. "Actually, there might be." She answered, more than ever convinced that the Terran man was studying her. It wasn't a dangerous feeling, his gaze far from predatory, but strange none-the-less. It wasn't unlike how any number of geologically inclined Ma'raydio caste members would appraise a particularly rare gemstone. She doubted, though, that she was anywhere near as fascinating. Then again... If he'd never seen a Stenellis before... Lina cleared her throat gently, realizing that she'd been giving him the same treatment; the watched studying the watcher, "Your holodecks... How realistic are the programs and settings? I was wondering if I could use them to simulate home." For many reasons. It was all too easy to miss Apsha and the sea.

Zach nodded in understanding "I can help you set up a program, I'm sure we have sensor data on your planet which can be used to generate the program and we can adjust it as needed" Sipping his coffee again and leaning back slightly in his chair "My door is always open as well, I know what it can be like being new in an unfamiliar place, missing home. So, if you ever want to talk, you're more than welcome."

"I'd be eternally thankful if you would." This time the little Stenellis flashed him a high beam smile. The thought of having a home away from home was pleasant enough, but a replica of Apsha was downright divine. "I'll definitely keep that in mind, Commander, it's a much appreciated offer."

Zach smiled warmly "Its my Pleasure, and please when we are not around others call me Zach I see no need for the first officer and second officer to be on such formal terms all the time"

"Alright then. When we're not in professional and otherwise stressful situations, we can just be Lina and Zach." The fact that it sounded like the title of an old Terran sitcom not withstanding, there was a certain ease and comfort that came with the informality of first names. It was proof of acceptance, maybe even respect, and while she normally would choose propriety over familiarity... It just seemed to work beyond even a 'when in Rome' scenario. His smile was mirrored by one of her own and she slowly found her feet out of sheer need to be polite and free him from their conversation, "Anyway, you're a busy man so I probably shouldn't keep you from your work any longer."

Zach nodded and smiled raising to his feet and offering her his hand "Of course, its a pleasure to meet you Lina I hope to maybe catch you in the lounge later if your not busy?"

"Pretty sure it can be arranged." The Stenellis replied, slipping her hand into his and giving it a shake, "Enjoy the rest of your day."


Commander Zachary DeVries
Uss Enterprise


Lt. Commander Lina Ai'Xen
Chief Science Officer
USS Enterprise


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