Posted by Captain John Tiberius Glen (Captain) in Arrival
It was only 18 hours ago that Tinga had come form a small colony where she had been hunting with her family group. It was a planned and much needed shore leave from Starbase 214. When she boarded the freighter, USS Hobart, to return to her duties she had been greeted by the Captain who informed her that other arrangements had been made for her. After reading her new orders Tinga was excited for the change. She knew Lieutenant Davis in passing and had envied her the position on the Merrimack. Now she would be taking her place.
As the freighter docked with the Merrimack and the airlocks cleared, the hatch on the Merrimack side opened. The dorr was guarded by a security officer, as was protocol, but there was an addition. Standing in the doorway was a human male of massive height and build with ebony skin. A deep voice that sounded like it came forth from a deep cavern said “Lieutenant Tinga. Lieutenant Nkosenye, Security Chief. Welcome to the Merrimack. I will take you to the Captain.” His words had an odd accent to them. Without waiting to see if she was following, turned around and began walking down the passageway, gesturing to the guard to close up the hatch.
Tinga quite liked the man’s accent. It reminded her a bit of something she’d heard before.
“Thank you.” she said and followed.
As she walked, Tinga remembered the weight at either side and wondered why the Security Chief hadn’t said anything.
“Lieutenant, do you think my new Captain will mind meeting me as I am or should I take my Ushaan-Tor off?” she asked with concern. Her left antenna was twitching with anticipation as she awaited his response.
Without looking back, Nkosenye replied “It is part of your normal uniform, from what I know of most of your race. I do not mind you carrying them for your check-in. It will be up to the Captain as to whether or not they remain as part of your normal duty wear, or if you have to check them into the armory.” and he paused for a moment and added “I would be sure to ask specifically about it, if you feel strongly about carrying them. The Captain is a reasonable man. But he does hold specific beliefs as to how things are done in some circumstances.” at which point they arrived at the turbolift. Stepping inside, the big Zulu said “Bridge.”
Tinga stepped in and nodded to Nkosenye.
“Yes, I’ll be certain to do that, thank you. Most Captains do have their way don’t they?” she said in an attempt to make friendly conversation.
Nkosenye kept his eyes straight ahead and said “Indeed.” It took only a few moments for the lift to come to a stop and the doors to open. Nkosenye gestured for Tinga to step out first, and then followed. He went to the Ready Room door and pressed the chime.
“Come!” Called Captain Glen from inside his Ready Room.
Tinga had sensed that the COS might be friendly under that ebony exterior and decided to leave it alone for the moment. It was easy for her to tell people were wondering how she would ever fill Bre’s shoes. ‘Well, it was easy.’ she thought, ‘Bre’s feet were awfully small weren’t they?’ A joke she would probably not repeat out loud.
Stepping into the ready room she made her way towards Captain Glen, bowed slightly, and saluted crisply, the military training was always in the back of Tinga’s mind.
“Lietuenant Tinga reporting for duty sir.”
Glen could immediately see why in Andorian society, and in their military, females enjoyed an equal position, and were as capable as males. Earth could certainly learn something from the Andorians. Tinga seemed like a very determined individual, and Andorian’s endurance more than made up for the limitations of their high metabolism.
“Welcome aboard the USS Merrimack, or the Merri as we affectionately refer to her,” Glen told her.
“Thank you Captain and I’m pleased to be here although, I admit, the posting took me quite by surprise.” Tinga said relaxing a bit.
“Really?!” Glen asked, “Why would you say that? We believe you are exactly what we need.”
The tips of Tinga’s antennae twitched forward, a sign of slight embarrassment.
“Sometimed things out of the blue do that to a person, even me. Although I will try not to make a habit of it from now on. So tell me, what do you need form me? I mean to say, what kind of comms officer are you looking for?”
Tinga was not happy with that exchange. She could speak much more clearly and concisely than that, perhaps it was time to start.
“Well, Bre Davis gave you a recommendation which kind of sold it to us, but ‘What kind of comms officer are we looking for?’ That’s hard to put succinctly into words. We need someone who is good at their job, obviously, so someone who speaks many languages, and speaks them fluently, including knowledge of accents and grammar. However, academic achievement isn’t everything. You will be an officer on a starship, working on the edges of known space. That requires you to handle yourself in difficult and often dangerous situations, to expect the unexpected, and to think quickly on your feet. We come across new life and new civilisations, go where Starfleet hasn’t gone before, and discover strange new worlds. The missions would end fairly quickly if we couldn’t find a way to communicate with the new species that we find. That’s what we are looking for, the ability to be adaptable, to think laterally and to solve impossible problems. Anyone who thinks this is a cushy job, sitting down all day with a huge earphone stuck in one ear, needs to think again.”
Tinga liked that answer. She smiled and frowned in turn.
“So basically the opposite of what I’ve been doing before. I was bored as hell and Bre knew it. My Andorian military training was going to waste there. Languages are amazing and I’m a quick study but I like to be a little more well rounded. You say we face dangerous situations, I can appreciate that and I will do my best to perform every duty here. I do have a question though… Will I be able to wear my Ushaan-Tors as a part of my daily uniform or should I leave them in the armory?” she asked.
“They are ceremonial? And sheathed?” Glen asked. “I think we allow Sikhs to have Kirpans, so an ‘ice scraper’ doesn’t sound quite that dangerous. What did the CSO say about it when you came aboard?”
Tinga’s antennae twitched. If they were anywhere but the ready room of the Captain’s star ship calling them ice scrapers would have been offensive.
“They are sheathed and practical. I don’t have much call for ceremonial weaponry but they are the only remembrances I have of my family group at the moment. The COS suggested I discuss the matter with you and I don’t recall him offering an opinion on the subject.” she explained.
“So, the COS deferred to me, did he? Interesting?” Glen mused, “…If it sheathed then I don’t have a problem. As it is obviously important to you, then how can I say no?”
“I’m sure you have many other things to do to get settled in, so I won’t keep you. Unless you have any other questions?” Glen asked.
Tinga rose and thought for a few seconds.
“No further questions and yes, I suppose I should get to sickbay.” she said stepping towards the door.
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