Posted by Lieutenant Commander Zef Rollo (Counselor) in Councelor’s Office _ Vorraye’s returning eval
Posted by Civilian Vorraye Anders (Diplomatic Attache) in Councelor’s Office _ Vorraye’s returning eval
It had been months, but coming back still felt the closest to ‘coming home’ that the young diplomat had felt in a while.
Raye headed for the Counselor as a matter of rote. She didn’t need it, far as she was concerned. But it was protocol. Be found competent before seeing the Captain. She would see him next but wasn’t prepared for the tongue lashing she would get if she skipped this check in step.
Her dark blue leggings tucked into light tan boots complimented the matching dark blue, with light blue overlay, top she had on. Her hair was pulled back and hanging down her back. There wasn’t a regulation for her when not in a uniform. And she only wore the uniform when solidarity needed to be shown. With this being a personal visit, she didn’t see the need.
Her hand rose and activated the chime. She hoped the Captain was doing well. When she left, she had a propensity for forgetting things… like eating… when he was busy. She wondered if her warnings before leaving had taken hold, or he would still be in his office, working, unaware he hadn’t eaten since breakfast.
A smile lit her face as she thought of it while waiting for permission to enter.
The outer office door usually opened automatically when approached, but Dave heard the chime instead. He had been pacing the floor trying to figure out the best way to ask out one of his fellow officers, so simply reversed his direction and walked to the doors to activate them from the inside. When they opened, he saw a woman standing there in civilian clothing. “Good afternoon. I am Yeoman Dave Brooks. May I be of assistance?”
—The Welcoming Committee :)
Raye smiled and nodded. “Afternoon… I’m Vorraye Anders…” she paused as if that was all she needed to say, then added, “I’m the Diplomatic Attache assigned to the ship to assist with First Contacts. I’ve been away and was told I had to come see the Counselor before I was allowed to see the Captain. Apparently, there is a question of my stability?” She made the words sound like a joke. Surely she wouldn’t have been sent back to the ship if that was the case.
((didn’t catch the yeoman id lol… corrected for that))
Dave had been eyeing the malfunctioning doors but nodded. “I’ll have to get engineering on that.” He then gave Anders his full attention. “Yes, funny how Star Fleet likes to keep track of those things.” The diplomat gave off an easy air and he found himself breaking out one of his best smiles for her. “Come in, please and I’ll let Cmdr Rollo know you’re here.” He was walking backwards toward the inner office, keeping Anders in view. “Can I get you anything? Coffee, tea…?”
Glancing back at the door, she nodded. “Probably a good idea…” The smile on her face was kind and supportive.
Raye smiled. “No, thank you… I’ll be fine.” She turned to the window and wandered over to stare out. It was comforting, to stand close enough to the darkness that even the window frames were blocked out. It was as if, if only for a split second before reality snapped you back, that all there was was space.
A moment later, Dave returned, the smile still present. “Cmdr Rollo will see you now.” He stood in the doorway of the inner office, keeping it from closing in order to let the diplomat pass.
When Raye entered the office, she would see the pale counselor seated at the end of a blush colored couch, with a few PaDDs on the cushion next to her and a steaming cup of tea on the low table in front of her. She rose to greet the newcomer. “I understand you are our new diplomatic officer. I’m Zef Rollo. Please, have a seat.”
“Thank you,” Raye nodded to Dave as she passed him.
Moving into the room, she nodded to Rollo. “Actually, returning Diplomat. Call me Raye.” She moved to the offered seat and waited for Zef to sit first. “So, welcome aboard.” She laughed slightly, crossing her legs and leaning back casually. “I was called away to do an assignment. I am stationed on the Manhattan for the next couple years as First Contact Specialist. Pleasure to meet you.” Her smile was genuine as she glanced around the room trying to get a feel for the woman.
“Oh, returning… How long were you away?”
Rollo leaned an elbow on the arm of the couch an unconsciously mimicked Raye as she crossed her own legs to get more comfortable. She scooted the PaDDs to the side and focused on the woman opposite her. “Thank you for the welcome. I have actually found everyone on the Manhattan to be quite gracious—at least, so far.”
“What kind of assignment were you on?”
Raye watched her as intently as she was being watched. This was someone Raye would be working closely with if things went sideways or First Contact did happen. It was the Counselor who would look out for the ship while Raye looked out for the Captain and the Fleet’s interests.
“Just a couple months. Or just shy of that. And no big deal. Just had to drop someone off somewhere and make introductions.” She said then nodded with a bit of a brighter smile. “I am glad everyone’s good to you here. It’s a credit to you that they are. Trust me,” she laughed. “If you had a bad rep on your last station, or were off in your methods, such things would have preceded you here. So feel secure in knowing no one hates your past.” She glanced around the room.
Well, very few know about my bad rep. The counselor thought in response to the comment. Best to keep it that way.
“See you are settling in ok. If there is too much pomp and circumstance up front, lemme know. I can put in a word about a less formal feel to this place.” She wasn’t one to make female friends easily, but she had the feeling Rollo could be someone… in time. But she wasn’t interested in doing that today. Right now she just wanted to get cleared and get out of here. She wasn’t one to be pried into, regardless how nicely it was done. She wasn’t aware the edge of her lip had slipped between her teeth in anxiousness to get out of there.
So, a woman who had only been on the ship for a couple of months before being whisked away, was able to influence the crew by dropping a word here or there? How did she make that work and who did she have an ‘in’ with? Cochrane? That thought was unwelcome in Zef’s mind.
“I’ve settled in fine. Dave and I work well together and are having no issues, so thanks for the offer but there’s no need for you to…do whatever it is you were implying.” The counselor picked up one of the PaDDs and brought up the crew roster. Scanning quickly, she saw the name Vorraye Anders and tapped it for information on the woman. “So I see that you are a civilian. How did you wind up on a Star Fleet ship?”
Raye laughed slightly. “I was teasing, Counselor. Be at ease. I don’t have the kind of pull to make the ship dance at my whim. Though I am sure if you went to the Captain on your own and asked for a bit of change, I doubt he would deny you. He’s a reasonable man.”
“Hmmm, there’s no mention in your file about you having telepathic abilities, Ms Anders. Did they leave something out that I should be aware of or are you just assuming your words upset me in some way?” Her voice was well modulated, like always during a session, so there hadn’t been any reason for the new diplomatic officer to feel any angst from Rollo.
As the woman asked about her reason for being there, she shrugged. “I specialize in First Contacts. So I asked for the ship the furthest into deep space. And at the time, that was the Manhattan. Makes more sense to be on the lead ship in such situations. Don’t you think?” She rested her head on her fist on the edge of the seat and watched Rollo. The padd in the woman’s hand made her nervous. But since she was oft taken to making notes, she couldn’t begrudge Counselor doing the same. “Most Ambassadors are civilians. It helps to keep the politics balanced and not always on the Fleet side and from foothold point of view. Sometimes interests of science and trade need to be considered before positioning and weapons or defenses offered. Don’t you agree?” She had turned on her diplomat voice and her smile was almost too perfect. It was almost like, unconsciously, she had turned it around on the Counselor and was trying to suss her out. And the way it happened, it might appear that she wasn’t even aware she had done it.
Having a ‘professional’ voice of her own, Zef heard the difference the moment Anders slipped into hers. The easy smile on her face didn’t slip, but she did wonder why she was being ‘handled’ by the civilian instead of being given the honesty her job needed in order to know how to help others. That answer came on the heels of the thought. Anders didn’t want to be open with her. Interesting…
“Whether I agree or not isn’t important as we are discussing you. From what you’ve said, I take it you don’t mind deep space assignments. Does that mean you have no serious familial or personal ties anywhere else?”
She shook her head and straightened up, hands once more poised in her lap. “I was merely stating I didn’t want you thinking I had the ability to curry grand favors from anyone, is all. Merely jesting.”
Zef nodded, accepting the explanation, but didn’t speak.
When Rollo said it wasn’t her view that was important, Raye took a breath. “You are right. I guess in all honesty most of us don’t have to agree or disagree with what comes of our missions and orders. We merely do them. And no, I don’t mind deep space assignments.” The question of personal or family ties made her think of Cochrane for a moment. But they hadn’t even seen each other since her return so her words were at least sincere when they came out. “No, no family or personal ties at this moment.”
As the words came out, something in her eyes dropped a moment, despite the smile remained. It had just occured to her that she didn’t have anyone. She buried it fast and her gaze came back to the Counselor once more. “And you… family or personal ties?” She was genuinely curious and it showed in her words this time.
A little tit for tat in personal conversations was totally acceptable and even expected in her line of work, so Rollo answered. “I have people on my home world, ones I consider ‘family’, but I don’t have a partner or mate. As far as the Manhattan goes, I’m new here so I haven’t had the time to acquire personal ties yet, but it will happen.” There was confidence in her voice when she spoke the words. She’d never had trouble making friends in the past. It was keeping them once they found out about her yearly ritual back on Baj that caused problems.
“How many first contact experiences do you have? I ask because Star Fleet must think highly of your abilities if they made it your assignment here.” Zef loved meeting new species, especially if they were very different from the ones she spent a lot of time with.
“It’s good to have family, regardless where and regardless if blood or not. A star ship becomes your family after a while. You’ll find the big brother you wrestle with who teases you when you blush at someone’s hello. You’ll find the big sister and little sister you hang out with and talk about that ‘hello’ and how you were teased. You will find the mentor who leads you and gives you advice when you are second guessing yourself. And you will find yourself becoming those things to others.” When asked about first contact, she smiled. “I’ve been part of three others. Two are actively in talks with Star Fleet about joining the Federation. The other was content to be on more or less friendly terms but desired to remain apart from our great Federation.” She laughed slightly.
“I’m not sure how highly they think of me. But I’m glad they did trust me enough to allow me this privilege.” She nodded in appreciation at the complement.
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