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Room to Grow

Posted on Friday September 25th, 2020 @ 3:53pm by Lieutenant Ameld Zian & Commander Aria Winters

Mission: Death Be Not Proud
Location: Deck 10
Timeline: Day 20 at 1840

The Polaris class.

Without question, the third vessel she had now served upon in as many months was beyond impressive. Thirty six decks housing everything from an arboretum to the Bridge, engineering to a formidable medical department and everything in between. Designed for deep space exploration, Starfleet had spared no expense ensuring the ship had state of the art specifications and - judging by transfer orders still coming through - making sure they had the best crew aboard.

"Deck ten," the Executive Officer ordered as she entered the turbolift, the doors closing quietly behind her. As the journey began, she glanced down at the PaDD she carried, again skimming over the file for the man appointed as the ship's Security Chief. Lieutenant Ameld Zian.

A Bajoran, only recently transferred from the USS Waterloo a short time ahead of Commander Winter's own arrival. Following the staff briefing she had decided now was as good a time as ever to make a proper introduction and had been quietly impressed to learn he was currently on the weapon's range. Emerging from the turbolift she made her way to the training facilities at the security department's disposal, finding a few small groups running simulations, most with backs to her.

Being mindful to stay out of the way, she cleared her throat and called out, "Lieutenant Ameld?"

Zian was wearing a black, unisex set of clothing that he wore when on the range. He was sweating slightly, having just completed his run. If he was honest with himself, Zian knew he was a bit rusty. He heard his name and stepped back from the range, his head swivelling until it settled on the officer who called his name. The XO? He'd had only a brief encounter with Commander Winters but he knew from her security file that she was a well regarded officer. "Over here, sir," Zian said and started walking towards her.

"Sorry to disturb your training," Winters apologised as she moved to meet him half way, sidestepping two members of the security team practicing hand to hand combat. Both of them looked to be a combined age of twelve. "I wanted to come by and have a proper introduction. Is it a good time?"

Zian nodded. "I'm always available for you, sir. Would you like to talk here or should we go somewhere else? To be honest, I still haven't found out where everything is on this ship. It's larger than some starbases I've been on," Zian said with a smile. "Thirty-six decks? You could fit three of my old ships inside this one."

”I know the feeling,” Aria agreed. “Before the Ulysses, my last ship was a small science vessel. Everyone knew everyone and we practically lived in each other’s pockets. This is a very different beast. Why don’t we walk and talk, let you get used to the place while I find some hot chocolate...”

At that she started walking. “By the way, what’s your favourite movie?”

Zian was surprised by the question. He'd expected something more professional or technical and it took a moment for his brain to engage. "Favorite movie?" he asked. "I didn't watch a lot of vids growing up. We didn't have access to those kinds of things. But I have friends who have been involved with the Bajoran Cultural Development Initiative. They've started to make some great stuff. There's a great one called Into the Province. Might be a little weird if you're not Bajoran though." Ziad trailed off, not wanting to sound ridiculous to his new XO. The main hallway they'd exited into was wide enough for six people shoulder to shoulder. It made Ziad feel uncomfortable for some reason.

"I'll check it out," Aria promised. "I asked because on my last ship we started having movie nights. We only did the one before most of us transferred here but I'm hoping we can maybe have more. Unless they already do that, I need to find out. Do you miss Bajor?"

Zian nodded. "Every day. I miss the sound of the river by my house and the laughter when I spend time with my family. My father wasn't a big fan of me joining Starfleet in the beginning. He's mellowed a lot over the years though," Zian said with a smile. "I think he still gets confused about what ship I'm on though. I'm always getting forwarded messages from one of my previous posts. What about you? Where are you from?"

"Believe it or not, Vulcan," she replied before explaining, "my parents are both diplomats and were assigned to Vulcan. Its how they met and it became home after they got married. My father is human, from Earth originally. But my mother is El Aurian. I've lost track of all the places she has called home but she seems to have a special place in her heart for Vulcan."

"I've never been to Vulcan," Zian said. "I've always wanted to go. In fact, visiting new planets and cultures is one of the reasons I joined Starfleet in the first place. Bajor always felt so small to me, even with the traffic from DS9. So, where is the best place to get hot chocolate?"

"You should go," Aria advised him, "you should absolutely see the universe. Best place for hot chocolate is this cafe in Paris, unfortunately we cannot have Paris, we can have the mess hall. It isn't half bad."

As she continued to lead the way, she added, "how are you settling in? Any issues I need to be aware of?"

They reached the turbolift just as the XO asked the question. Zian waited until they'd gotten onto the lift and Commander Winters gave the destination before speaking. "I'm doing fine, I guess. Its always hard coming to a new ship, especially one where you don't know anyone. There's a bunch of crew who've been together for a while so I feel like an outsider, which I guess I am. But the security department seems like a good bunch. There's one or two changes I would like to make but I'm writing a report for you to read before I do anything. The inventory came back as it should, which means nobody has a secret phaser on the ship," Zian said with a grin. "Is there anyone in the department I should be watching out for?"

"There was nothing flagged by the previous XO," Aria told him, "which is about all I can tell you at this point. Many of us from the Ulysses just got aboard and are still finding our feet, just as you are. Don't worry though, I'm sure you will settle in just fine."

The turbolift stopped and the doors slid open. Zian could smell the food from the messhall, even though it was a ways down the hallway. "Thank you, sir. I'm trying to. I keep feeling like the rest of the crew will shun me if they know about my past," Zian said, looking at the XO. "I'm assuming you've read my personnel file?"

“Tried to assassinate the C&Cs cat, right?” Aria teased as they entered the mess. In a more somber tone she added, “beauty of a new ship, it’s a fresh start. I’ve read your file and you did nothing wrong. A court martial proved it. Anyone has an issue with you being on this ship, you send them to me. Day or night. Preferably night- I’m extra grouchy at night.”

Zian felt a weight lifting from his shoulders that he hadn't known he'd been carrying. "Thank you, commander. That really means a lot to me. I... I thought that I was in the perfect spot on the Waterloo. It was a hard life lesson to learn that sometimes what you want, isn't what you need," Zian said and smiled. "I'm hoping that this ship will turn out to be more than I expected. If everyone is as kind as you are, I'll be fine. But I'll make sure to schedule myself for the day shifts. I don't want to see you grouchy!"

"Well, hot chocolate is a guaranteed way to avoid that," she confided as they found a table.

Zian smiled as they sat down at the table. There were a considerable number of crew in the mess hall, he thought as he glanced around. "I think I will try the hot chocolate too," Zian said.

"Good choice. Now, tell me, what are your plans for security..."



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