Captain's Quarters - Meeting the CO

Posted Sept. 30, 2022, 1:29 p.m. by Lieutenant Commander Stephen Stous (XO) (Gavin Burkhardt)

Posted by Captain Johann Dvorak (CO) in Captain’s Quarters - Meeting the CO

Posted by Lieutenant Commander Stephen Stous (XO) in Captain’s Quarters - Meeting the CO

Posted by Captain Johann Dvorak (CO) in Captain’s Quarters - Meeting the CO
Posted by… suppressed (1) by the Post Ghost! 👻


“Correct, sir. Engineering department, specializing in data analysis. I generally worked interdepartmentally wherever and whenever I was needed.” He shifted in his seat, still feeling rather uncomfortable.

The simple fact of the matter was that that Stephen and Johann were now the two superior officers of the Europa, as Stephen himself was well aware. He was also well aware that there service records were in no way correlated. What he was not aware of was how Dvorak viewed that difference - the man’s thoughts had so far been remarkably well-kept, a fact Stephen attributed in part to his inability to read the man’s eyes.

~ Stephen Stous - XO

“I did kind of the same thing, actually,” Johann said fairly casually. “I started out in Science, specifically in quantum mechanics, before falling into Operations Management. That’s when I started to do a lot of interdepartmental stuff. From the Bridge, anyway. That’s how I ended up on the Command track. You know, eventually. If you ignore a few dotted lines to get there.”

Maybe that’ll get him to relax a bit… he thought. Though he just left that statement hanging out there, without actually intending to.

– Johann Dvorak, CO

The Captain wanted Stephen to feel comfortable, that much was clear to Stous. His efforts worked to an extent, as Stephen’s shoulders visibly relaxed. “Thankfully those dotted lines aren’t something the Admiralty chooses to ignore.” He offered a somewhat-hesitant smile.

He contemplated adding something about Johann’s scientific beginnings, but his lips were left to close as he thought it best to wait on a response first.

~ Stephen Stous - XO

“No, they aren’t,” he said smiling back. “Though what the Admiralty chooses to pay attention to and ignore is strange and bewildering, even to me.”

Half a second later, he realized that comment could be taken the wrong way. “Not with regard to you… but… you know… in other areas. I think that’ll be more obvious as we work together; the typical goal I have for any new XO is to get them to be able to function as a CO if that’s the next step they want to take. Part of that will likely involve my somewhat unfiltered assessments of various forms of higher authority. Not to undermine them, but to make sure you have perspective on how they think.”

“I tend to be pretty open in private but a bit more reserved in public,” he tacked on at the end.

– Johann Dvorak, CO

Johann’s accidental double entendre went completely over Stephen’s head until he clarified his meaning, which ironically made him even more concerned by the fact that the Captain felt the need to do so. This concern quickly dissipated as Dvorak continued, as it was replaced by the anxiety-inducing thought of being in command of a ship. As with all the trials he expected to face as an XO, Stephen had no doubt he could do it, he was simply unsure if he wanted to do it and, moreover, why he in particular would be selected for the job.

Nonetheless, it was encouraging to hear that Dvorak did not mince words about the higher-ups - a remarkably admirable quality, in Stous’s view. “The life of a senior officer, I suppose. Needing to be careful of the weight your words carry. I’m glad to have the privilege of your more open side.”

He paused, again wanting to say something more, and again unsure. This time, though, he took a breath, forcing himself to speak. “Sir, I… your plan of attack for new officers like myself is remarkable and I look forward to it. But… I hope you’ll excuse the question, but what do you expect from me throughout that? How much is training, and how much is actually commanding the ship?”

~ Stephen Stous - XO

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