STF

First Day on the Job

Posted Nov. 22, 2020, 1:23 p.m. by Captain Molly Holloway (Commanding Officer) (Joana Ribeiro)

Posted by Lieutenant Commander Renveer (Executive Officer) in First Day on the Job

Posted by Lieutenant Commander Renveer (Executive Officer) in First Day on the Job

Posted by Captain Molly Holloway (Commanding Officer) in First Day on the Job
Posted by… suppressed (14) by the Post Ghost! 👻
(snip)
Renveer had to admit (to himself) that he had shared some of Molly’s suspicions. He had never considered an executive officer position before this one had been offered, so he hadn’t told anyone to consider him or that he wanted his hat thrown in the ring for such promotions. Renveer knew that he was a loyal, steady officer who tended to play by Starfleet’s rulebook on most everything, and considering Molly’s background in Intelligence and her previous assignment as a captain, he wouldn’t be entirely surprised if Starfleet had chosen him to help manage Molly in some way. But Molly and Renveer had developed such a good relationship over the past months that whatever Starfleet’s intentions, Renveer himself really did think that they would be a great team, and that they complimented each other well.

He didn’t say any of this out loud, and perhaps with Molly’s training she could tell that Renveer was holding something back. But Renveer gave a reassuring smile at her question. “I’m still a trained and licensed counselor, so I don’t see why it would be a problem to continue to meet in that capacity as well. There might be some…” he paused to consider his wording, “overlap of our professional relationships, but I don’t anticipate that being a problem. And if it becomes one, we can reevaluate at a later date.” the counselor shrugged light-heartedly. “Besides, now I get to be your personal advisor and confidant on a daily basis, rather than weekly.”

Molly couldn’t fully hide the smile that formed on her lips. It wasn’t too obvious, but it was there. It was something that had been on her mind ever since she had found that Renveer had been assigned as the Dresden’s new First Officer, and knowing that he could still counsel her brought Holloway an immense sense of relief.

Renveer’s grin turned nervous. “I’ll admit that I’m a little less prepared on the logistical side of things for this position, so I’d appreciate any guidance and patience you can give me as I get settled into the new role. I’ll need your support too, which will be a little different, but refreshing for me as well.” There was something behind those words, an innate relief in being able to say them. Renveer was usually the one who supported others, and he had often found himself needing to look outside of the ship for more personal relationships where he could vent about the stresses of his job, for example.

Holloway nodded in understanding. She knew what it was like to step into Command for the first time and how confusing and overwhelming it could be. “Of course. Anything you need. And don’t worry about the logistical side of things. You’ll get the hang of it, and until you do we’ll walk through it one step at a time. I still remember my first Executive Officer placement, and how overwhelming it was at times. I’ll hope I can mitigate that.” Her gaze was warm and her willingness to help genuine.

“But how about you, Captain?” He leaned back slightly, watching Molly as he tried to ask the next question nonchalantly. “How are you feeling about being in command again?”

(Lt. Cmdr. Renveer, XO)

Shrugging, Molly took a moment to think about what she wanted to say. “To be honest, I missed it.” She finally said. “At least in my old Command I was very much involved in the well being of my crew… people would come to me and I felt comfortable to go to them… it truly felt like a family.” She smiled. “Intelligence took that away… it’s easy for me to distance myself from people and…” Holloway shrugged again. “… my work with Intel just made it easier to do so. It was a convenient excuse, if you will. People tend to move out of the way when they see a black uniform, and it’s easy to not to chase them either, if what I’m saying makes sense.” Molly found herself confused by her own words, trying to put out in the universe feelings that she had felt for a long time, but Intelligence had also given her a cushion to land on when no one else seemed to do it. That’s why, even though she had her own ship and had been moved back to the ‘regular side’ of Starfleet, she was still very much involved with them.

“Before you arrived on board, I got into a particularly heavy argument with Colonel Harris, and one of our Security officers, Ensign Osten, came to my door to make sure I was okay. We ended up having a lengthy conversation in the lounge, and it made me realize how much I really missed being involved with the crew.” Molly chuckled. “Little did I know that I would be back in the center chair at the time.”

Renveer nodded in approval, and internally considered how good this change might be for Molly. A lot of the things they had talked about in the past had related to intelligence, so if she could start to feel less like an agent and more like an officer again… maybe that would be healthy for her.

Pausing she looked back to Renveer, a more serious expression on her face. “In line with what you said before, there’s something I feel I should stress out harder… no matter your rank or position on this ship, Executive Officer or not, you are a member of this crew, so… I will tell you the same thing I would tell anyone else – if you need anything, work related or not, night or day, I’m always here to listen and help. This was true in the past, even if I may not have seemed very approachable, but it is true now more than ever.” Molly’s eyes met Renveer’s to make the point that she was serious. “I dated a counselor once.” Dated was an understatement… they had been engaged after all. “He used to worry about everyone else, and never enough about himself. It comes with the job, I guess.” A hint of sadness was present behind her gaze but it quickly faded away. “You know what they say… you need to help yourself in order to help others. And I really want to know that no matter what, my door is always open.”

Holloway, CO

Renveer sighed through a smile, breaking the eye contact. “Yes well… I think that is a very common trait among professionals in my field. And of course, fighting against that impulse is easier said than done.” He breathed out deeply from his nose and recentered himself on the couch. “But like you, I think the transition, the change of pace from counselor to executive officer, will be good for me as well. I too needed to have an extra layer of barriers in my relationships with others as a counselor, to guard against compassion fatigue and over-investing. Now…” he smiled with a hint of relief. “I get to care for the needs of the crew as a person, rather than a counselor. And hopefully, that will leave more room for me to take care of myself as a person as well.”

The trill man extended a hand toward Molly, acknowledging her point. “All that is to say, thank you for your reassurances that I am supported in this role. And of course the same goes for you. I have no doubt that we will both be invaluable resources for the other as we tackle whatever it is that Starfleet throws at us.”

(Lt. Cmdr. Renveer, XO)

Molly smiled. Possibly the most joyful smile Renveer had seen on her lips the few months they had known each other. It lit up her face in an unusual way, almost childlike in nature. “Thank you. And yeah, I think we will make a good team, even if an unexpected one.” Holloway chuckled lightly.

There was a moment of silence as his words returned to Molly’s mind. And hopefully, that will leave more room for me to take care of myself as a person as well. The sentence made a few laps in her brain before Holloway looked back at Renveer. “I realize something… and… well… I hope you don’t take this the wrong way…” There was clear hesitation in her tone. “But… I guess I’ve been so used to perceiving you solely as the ship’s counselor for so long, that I don’t think we have ever met under more informal circumstances.” Molly paused again, shaking her head slightly in frustration. “I guess what I am trying to say is, if we are going to work together closely, it would be nice to know Renveer, the person, and not just Renveer, the Counselor. I’m sorry… I really hope this makes sense…” Molly felt that the more she tried to say something, the worst it sounded like. “You have had a few months of listening to me describe who I am in detail, and access to all my past counseling records. I’m sure you know me better than I know myself at this point.” Holloway chuckled. “But I know nothing about my new First Officer with the exception of his official file and that he likes art, from what you mentioned a while ago.” She gave Renveer a warm smile. “What do you like doing on your free time?”

Holloway, CO

Renveer nodded graciously in understanding. “Completely understandable,” he said reassuringly. “And I’ll gladly fill you in.” He paused, then laughed. “See usually, I’m the one asking others about themselves. These questions are never easy to answer, especially since I haven’t had much practice.”

Molly chuckled softly, before giving Renveer a warm encouraging smile.

The executive officer blinked a couple times before starting with an uncertain tone to his voice. “Well let’s see… my free time? I guess, yes, I do enjoy art. I collect it in fact, original art from the planets that I’ve visited. The friendly, non-prime directive ones, of course. On a completely different note, my main exercise of choice is boxing. Although I’ve never sparred with a person… I suppose I like the workout aspect, but I don’t think I’d want to hurt someone in the process, much less do I want to get routinely punched myself.” He paused and glanced at Molly. “Oh! I just brought a new pet aboard, an earth dog named Wilson. So I’ve been spending a bit of time training him and taking him on walks and whatnot.” Renveer nodded to himself, apparently content for now with his report.

(Lt. Cmdr. Renveer, XO)

The amused surprise was evident in Molly’s face. It was a small peek into the unknown side of an officer she had gotten used to knowing in a much more formal setting. And she found it endearing.

“A dog, huh? You’ll have to introduce us sometime!” Holloway’s tone was lighthearted. “That makes three dogs on the ship already. I never really had any pets… with the exception of my sister’s pet bunny…” Molly shook her head at the thought. “… it was a weird phase… but I find that dogs can be good company most of the time.” She smiled. “Now… I must say I did not expect boxing to be on your list of favorite activities. I was going to tell you that if you ever wanted a sparring companion, you could count me in, but I am afraid it might not be the most pleasant experience for you.” Holloway’s smile turned apologetic. She admired Renveer’s pacifist streak and sometimes she wished she could be the same way. But unfortunately, she had been made to behave differently.

Renveer chuckled and rubbed the back of his neck bashfully. “I hate to disappoint, but I don’t think I’d put up much of a fight. And in my counseling, I draw the line at allowing myself to be a literal punching bag.” A joke, and one that once again betrayed his continuous adjustment to his new role.

Molly laughed joyfully. She wondered how many people had Renveer helped with his counseling, that if given the chance wouldn’t have let off their anger on the good Counselor. Holloway hoped she wasn’t one of them. There was a smile on her lips before she spoke again.

There was a pause, as Molly seemed to decide whether to say what she had in mind. “I find that perusing alien markets can tell us a lot about their culture. I used to collect old books I found wherever we went…” A somber expression settled on her features. “I stopped doing it once I was given the Turing… but I still have the books somewhere. Probably stuffed under all the stuff my sister sends me. Maybe I should try to find them…” Her expression lightened up a little. “Why art? I could never find a purpose to it… sure it’s nice to look at… but what made you collect it?”

Holloway, CO

Renveer nodded in understanding. “I can imagine there’s a lot you can learn about the psyche of an entire people based on which stories they have passed down through their history. There’s a tale from Trill about a ghost who possesses a new member of one family for generations, and guides the bloodline toward power as a sort of watchful guardian… I’ll have to see if I can find you a copy. Assuming you don’t have it already.”

“I would love that! Even if I could just borrow it.” Something not many knew about Molly, was that she was an avid reader. She had dropped the habit when she had joined Intel, but before that she could often be found in the arboretum, if the ship she was stationed in had one, or in any nature simulation in the holodeck, sat by a tree, lost in the pages of a book. “I’m not so much interested in their psyche, but rather in just learning the differences or similarities of the many different cultures out there. I find it fascinating. I’ve never been to Trill though, even after all these years in Starfleet. Maybe one day…”

The executive officer looked up at the lily painting on Molly’s wall. “It is nice to look at. I collect art that is one of a kind. Hand-painted, made by a local artist and never to be reproduced. Not a print, but real paint or sketch-work.” He realized that he might be implying that he was judging Molly’s selection, which he was not trying to do. “For me, that type of art has something more. It has a soul. A piece of the artist inside them. The art is a snapshot of emotion and effort and passion. It’s an outlet for connection with another being. A shared experience. An opportunity to appreciate the unique beauty and perspective that another person brings into the galaxy.” Renveer grinned lopsidedly. “I know that’s all very abstract. But I am drawn to abstract artwork, after all.”

(Lt. Cmdr. Renveer, XO)

There was the slight raise of an eyebrow in Molly’s face at Renveer’s words, before looking up at the painting she had recently hung on the wall. Was her new First Officer one of those art snobs she had so many times met in San Francisco? She hated snobs, even if she too was one in many other subjects. But it was different if the snob was her, right?

The painting Molly had chosen was a scaled reproduction of one of the many paintings Claude Monet had painted featuring waterlilies (OOC: this painting would be the one). “Well, if I had the original painting on this wall, not only would be a little too big, as I would probably either be rich or on the run.” She chuckled slightly before her expression became a more serious one. “Although I would argue that print or not, any art piece is still very much a snapshot of the artist’s emotion, effort, and passion, as you put it. Or are holopictures, or even the old photographs, less of an emotional or passionate medium because there are no paint strokes in them?”

Holloway looked at the painting again, pondering, before turning back to Renveer with a soft chuckle. “Granted, your point of view is probably not the best as it’s hung right over where you’re sitting, but that’s also not actually a print, Commander. Well… not in the usual sense of the word, I guess… Dad got me the replicator pattern of the painting many years ago during one of our visits to the Fine Arts Museum in San Francisco. You can buy them at the gift shop. Of course, it’s smaller, so that it can’t pass for the real painting, but I can assure you it’s just as detailed.” She gave Renveer a warm smile, trying to tell him that she was not in any way upset by his words, but rather amused. “I never found a purpose for it, and thought I could put it to good use.” Holloway paused again, as her gaze moved to the painting once more. “It might not be a one of a kind in the galaxy, but the original certainly is. It brings me peace, and it reminds me of home, of San Francisco, and of simpler days. So it very much still is a shared experience, even though the artist died many centuries ago. But that doesn’t make it less of an opportunity for us to appreciate the beauty and unique perspective someone else brings into the galaxy. In fact, if it wasn’t for the ability to reproduce it, we would not be able to be here and admire its beauty.” Her smiled crooked slightly into a smirk. “If you didn’t have the chance to visit it while you were at the Academy, remind me to take you to the Fine Arts Museum, next time we’re in town. Maybe I can change your opinion.” She said in a playful tone.

Holloway, CO

OOC: So sorry this slipped off my radar for so long… been a wild few weeks

Renveer snickered and held up his hands in mock surrender. “Alright alright, you got me. I can respect the replicator pattern, and if you find it meaningful that is truly all that matters in my book. A difference of preference in style is certainly no reason to discredit one form of art in favor of another. And I would love to see the Fine Arts Museum… I suppose we could use a holodeck, but then again that would go against what I just said about the value of originals.” His smile widened.

“Well…” Molly pondered for a moment before continuing. “What if the only option you have to witness certain works of art up close, is to appreciate replicas? Does the fact that it wasn’t the actual hand of the artist that conceived them, take away from their beauty or their message? Maybe we should take a trip to the holodeck.” Her face lit up with a grin.

“Now that I think about it more… maybe what I like so much about the art I’ve collected is the fact that I don’t really think of the artist as an artist… just as another person who expressed themselves through art. I don’t think anyone has to be an artist to create works that I would enjoy…” The executive officer paused. “In fact, I’ve considered asking important people in my life to make art that I could keep, to symbolize them or their perspective. I bet you would create a very interesting artwork, given the chance.” Renveer’s eyebrow raised slightly, half-teasing and half-serious.

(Lt. Cmdr. Renveer, XO)

Molly laughed. “Me!?” She said, as she pointed to herself. “Not a chance! I wouldn’t know what to do…! I mean… the last time I held any kind of art supply was…” Holloway tried to remember but she simply couldn’t. She had never thought about art as something for her. She read… that was it. Reading was her passion, but she didn’t even think about writing, let alone doing anything else creative. She was a more physical person, not so much one to stop and think about an art project. Or any project for that matter.

The seconds went by before Molly realized that her mind steered her through pathways and memories long gone. “I’m sorry…” She said shaking her head. “I seem to have spaced out for a second.” She gave Renveer an apologetic smile. “I don’t really remember the last time I did anything artistic… maybe middle school?” Her expression showed a hint of embarrassment. “What about you, Counselor?” The name came out of habit rather than anything else. “Can you paint?”

Holloway, CO

Renveer smiled like he had been caught. “Well.... no. I prefer to observe. But I suppose all things considered, if given the proper supplies and motivation, I could be convinced to try my hand. I wonder if any of the crew might be interested in teaching a painting class…” He paused to think of if he knew anyone in specific. “I’ve had similar conversations to this one with plenty of officers and it doesn’t seem like painting is a popular hobby on the Dresden. Although it could be!” Renveer chuckled. “In any case, I afford a lot of sentimental value to objects in general, not just paintings. Gifts of personal importance are very special to me. So don’t be surprised if I pick you up something from our next stop.”

(Lt. Cmdr. Renveer, XO)

“Oh…” The surprise in Molly’s face was apparent. “You… You absolutely don’t have to.” Her cheeks turned a slight shade of pink. It was… weird… to see the usually stoic redhead seemingly embarrassed by such a simple statement. And yet, Renveer would know that Holloway didn’t see herself in the best of light, and as such didn’t think she was deserving of such actions. “Don’t spend your hard earned credits on me. There’s better people to spend them on.” She chuckled nervously.

Molly fell silent for a moment. “You know… it’s been a while since I’ve been to the Fine Arts Museum back home… it used to be one of my favorite places to visit. Unfortunately, with my sister’s wedding and everything else going on while we were on Earth, I didn’t manage to go.” She smiled at Renveer before she continued. “If I find a simulation of it on the holodeck, and I’m sure there’s one somewhere, would you care to join me? I know it wouldn’t be the same as the real visit, but it’s as close as we’ll get at the moment I’m afraid.” Holloway paused again, clearly pondering whether or not she should say what was on her mind. “And to make up for the fact that you wouldn’t be seeing the originals, I’ll even join you for a painting lesson if you find someone in the crew that is willing to teach it. Although I should warn you, I won’t be the best of students, but hopefully I won’t make a fool of myself.” She chuckled. “What do you think?”

Holloway, CO

Renveer smiled genuinely, a warm expression that had an aura of gratitude about it. “I’d love to join you. And that sounds like a great compromise to me. I’ll ask around and see who might have some experience. If nothing else, something tells me that Stores would love any opportunity to purposefully make a mess in front of the crew, so he’d probably volunteer to lead it if we get desperate.” He snickered lightly at his joke.

The executive officer sighed through his nose in thought after a second, like he was going to say something else. But then he just sat for a moment and looked up at the painting, then around at the room. He raised his drink as his gaze came back to Molly. “To a new normal, Captain.”

(Lt. Cmdr. Renveer, XO)

Molly chuckled softly at Renveer’s suggestion. “Well, for as much as I appreciate Mr. Reed’s work, I really hope we don’t get to that point.” There was a glint of amusement in her eye that was not too common when it came to Holloway.

Mimicking her new Executive Officer’s gesture, Molly nodded. “To a new normal, Commander.” Even though she was usually averse to change, Molly felt at peace. For the first time she felt like she had a true shot at being the Commanding Officer the Dresden’s crew deserved. And more importantly, that she had the support structure to do it.

Holloway allowed the silence to fall between them for a moment, as she appeared deep in thought. “I’m glad you accepted the position.” She finally said. “I know it’s going to be a rough adjustment. You have been a great support to Dresden’s crew ever since you arrived and for that I am extremely grateful. But even though I know the crew will look up to you on this new post, I hope you don’t regret taking this job. Is there anything I can do to help you settle in and to make the transition easier?”

Holloway, CO


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