Governor's Office -- New Career Prospects

Posted Jan. 26, 2023, 1:45 p.m. by Civilian Erin Hazen-Cooper (Director of Terraforming) (Joana Ribeiro)

Posted by Civilian Kenzo B’tren-Hyrushi (Governor) in Governor’s Office – New Career Prospects

Posted by Civilian Erin Hazen-Cooper (Director of Terraforming) in Governor’s Office – New Career Prospects

Posted by Civilian Kenzo B’tren-Hyrushi (Governor) in Governor’s Office – New Career Prospects
Posted by… suppressed (25) by the Post Ghost! 👻
Two weeks earlier

“How could he do that to me!?” Erin complained loudly as she pushed her luggage through the door of Molly and Cal’s house.

“Do what to you?” Molly asked, as she helped her sister inside.

“Take the job! The only reason he did it was to spite me! I’m sure! All he wants is to go gallivanting across the galaxy and do nothing else! He could have a successful music career and he’s wasting it all away!”

“Erin…” Molly sighed, pinching the bridge of her nose as the front door of the house closed behind her. “You can’t lock him up forever you know? Gavin is a human being. He has his own dreams and aspirations… and the man loves to pilot. You knew this when you guys started dating! So I don’t understand what is so surprising to you…”

“What do you know, Molly? Alex was never like this!”

“What?!” It was Molly’s turn to express her disbelief. “What do you mean!? Calvin is a fighter pilot! You of all people should know this!”

“But he would never leave his partner behind to go pilot a ship!”

“Erin… come here…” Molly sat down on the living room couch and motioned for her sister to do the same, who promptly followed. “You can’t take flight out of a pilot, Erin… just like you can’t take football out of a quarterback… or do you think William Justice would skip practice to be with his family?”

“That’s different. He’s the youngest quarterback to win a Super Bowl!” Erin smiled.

“Yes, I know, sis. You mention it every time a 49ers game is on. But how do you think he got there?”

“Because of me! Honestly, Kate should thank me. If it wasn’t for me, she wouldn’t have such a successful husband.”

Molly rolled her eyes and sighed. “You really think it was you dating him in college that made him the successful football player that he is today.”

“Yes! That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you, Molly! Gavin could be just as successful! If only he would dedicate himself to his music career and not go flying around like a lunatic on your uncle’s ship!”

“Our uncle, Erin.”

“Whatever! If he had died in that crash this wouldn’t have happened!”

“Excuse me!?” Molly’s voice rose before her face got dangerously close to her sister’s. “Young lady, I didn’t raise you to be a petulant child, and you’re not going to start when you are old enough to have one!” The oldest of the Holloway sisters fumed. Her right index finger square on Erin’s chest. “Here’s the thing, Erin. Gavin is a pilot, whether you like it or not. That’s who he is. That is who he was when you met him and nothing you do will change that.” Molly’s voice was almost a snarl now. “You have two options. You divorce him because of it, or you support him just like he supported you when you decided that Starfleet wasn’t for you and you wanted to be back on solid ground instead. I have seen the life being drained of that man because he loves you and he would follow you to the end of hell. It’s sad that you don’t understand that. It’s even more sad because I know that the Erin I knew three years ago would see it. You changed in the past few years, Erin. Fame got to your head. I love you, and I always will, but I will not stand idle and see you becoming so frivolous that you think everyone around you owes you something.” Molly stood up from the couch. “Now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to Sacred Heart and check on Uncle Luc. Make yourself at home, you know where the guest room is.” And with that, she left the house.

Erin sighed. How could she be so stubborn? For as long as she could remember, Molly had always been like this. So maybe she was right… some things could never be changed.

Getting up from the couch, she wheeled her and Gavin’s suitcases to the guest room. She laid down on the bed and stared at the ceiling, Molly’s words repeating in her mind. She scoffed softly. Her sister was never going to get anywhere in life with that attitude.

One week earlier

The opportunity had presented itself the day after the argument through the form of one of the many messages that were sent over her department’s mailing list. Ninety percent of them were almost spam — people selling items, students looking for houses, idiotic political discussions, misplaced objects (no Frank, we haven’t seen your United Federation of Planets mug that somehow you managed to misplace and find six times last month!), and similar. The remaining ten percent were actually useful, just like the one that Erin had opened that morning.

It had been the second morning in a row that Gavin had left in silence, and despite what Erin might feel, it had made Molly’s words return to the front of her mind. She had found herself having trouble going back to sleep, and instead had reached for her PaDD and opened her messages. The first few had been the usual spam, but the fifth one was a heated discussion about an article that had just been published in one of the most well regarded Exobotany journals, about a study made on OED V’s soil samples. The discussion also mentioned that the Colony’s Director of Terraforming had stepped down recently, and that any progress on the planet’s terraforming would be more difficult on the account of the vacant position.

It was then that an idea crossed Erin’s mind. After all, if Gavin could do it, so could she. And if she was successful, it would guarantee that they would both be happy with the arrangement. Without delay, she sent out her application to the Governor’s Office, for the open position of Director of Terraforming.

After messaging a few of her contacts and getting acquainted with the Exobotany group at the University on OED, Erin spent the next week in a small corner of the labs experimenting. If she was successful, she hoped that her hard work would guarantee her the job. If not, maybe the fact that she had tried would make Gavin less mad at her, and maybe, who knows, he might just change his mind about the piloting gig.

Present time

The meeting request from the Governor’s Office had come during the previous week, and the meeting itself scheduled for the following one. The man surely was busy, but it came at no surprise to Erin that she had heard back on her application. After all, she was good at what she did, and it hadn’t hurt that she had asked T’Lat, her PhD advisor, to put in a good word for her. Even though the Vulcan hadn’t really seen the reasoning behind Erin’s request, she had seen the opportunity as a good one, for both Erin and the potential of further collaborations with the Federation Science Council.

As a member of the Holloway family, and sister to the current CEO of Holloway Heavy Industries, Erin was a recognizable face on the street. Something that she enjoyed and strove to maintain, much to Molly’s chagrin. In fact, she had used the public recognition in her own favor to both popularize certain scientific themes that otherwise laymen wouldn’t have the opportunity to understand, as well as creating her own line of botanical inspired perfumes that she modeled for in her free time. She was sad to report that the latter was more successful than the former by a wide margin, but she was happy to oblige and give the public what they wanted.

So when Molly had insisted she should take her personal driver to the center of town, Erin didn’t fight her on it. The poor guy stayed out in the garage keeping the car clean most of the time anyway, with her sister’s stubborn insistence on walking or using public transportation everywhere she went. And he was cute, so Erin took it as a win.

Once at the Government Building, it took her five minutes to check in at the front desk, go through security and up to the last floor of the building. She was left with five minutes to spare when she arrived at Governor’s Office’s door.

The desk outside the Governor’s office was manned by a human woman of obvious Asian ancestry. As Erin entered, the bright green eyes of the receptionist looked up and she smiled. “Mrs. Hazen-Cooper. Welcome. I am Dorma Fen. The Governor is finishing up a meeting, but will be with you shortly. Please have a seat.”

Having checked in at the reception desk, Erin waited to be called inside once the appointed time was up.

Erin Hazen-Cooper, PhD (ABD)

It was several minutes later when there was a chirp on Ms. Fen’s desk and she looked at Erin. “The Governor will see you now.” and the large double doors swung inward.

Erin stood up, realizing for the first time that she was actually nervous about the meeting. For as much experience as she had within the walls of academia, she had never met with a member of a government of any kind. For a brief moment, she wondered how Molly did it. She always made it seem to effortless and easy, as if it was the most normal thing in the world. The answer was that Molly was used to it, Erin wasn’t. Right now, all she had to do was put one foot in front of the other, and use the experience she had to her own advantage. It was with that in mind that she walked into the Governor’s Office.

The room beyond was spacious and white. Walls of glass from the left of the doorway gave an uninterrupted view of the city as they wrapped all the way around the far corner of the room and then continued on out of sight behind a three-quarters-high wall that extended from the far right corner of the room about three-quarters the length of the room. Set into the wall was a fireplace, in front of which was a large seating area with a low table surrounded by couches and chairs. In the far left corner of the glass walled room was a desk on a raised section of floor. Set at an angle with two chairs before it, the lone occupant of the room seated behind the desk stood up as Erin entered.

Erin walked in wide eyed at the sweeping view from the windows, stopping just inside the door for a moment to take in the space. She didn’t notice the man behind the desk immediately, smiling politely at him when her gaze left the windows.

The figure appeared human… save for the eyes. Terran Asian features surrounded black eyes, like wet obsidian. Long, jet black hair flowed perfectly straight down the back of the figure halfway to their waist as he stood up. Dressed in a dark red silk suit with a deep blue paisley shirt under a vest that matched the suit, the figure stood and smiled. “Mrs. Hazen-Cooper… a pleasure. I am Kenzo B’tren-Hyrushi, Governor of the colony. Please be seated.” and he indicated a chair in front of the desk.

Hyrushi, Gov.

Much like Molly Holloway, Erin Hazen-Cooper shared what seemed to be the trademark red hair of her side of the family. A trait her uncle didn’t share. Contrarily to her sister, however, her hair was down falling perfectly around her shoulders. Other than her hair, the similarities between the Holloway sisters were quite obvious, with the one noticeable exception being their different eye shape and color. She wore an elegant gray, knee length belted dress, and a pair of formal black high heels.

“Mr. Hyrushi, the pleasure is mine.” Erin said, sitting on the designated chair. Now here’s a man who knows how to dress! Cooper thought. Wait… Is he Betazoid? Molls never mentioned he’s Betazoid…! The moment the thoughts crossed her mind, Erin’s eyes widened, trying to think about something else, afraid someone as important as Hyrushi might pick up on them. With a nervous smile, Erin continued in a very respectful tone. “Thank you for taking the time to meet with me.”

Erin Hazen-Cooper, PhD (ABD)

Hyrushi nodded once and said “You are most welcome.” and he tapped a few inputs into the interface in his desk and said “How is your uncle doing, if I may ask?” as he did so. “I am kept abreast of General Harris’s recovery, but I try not to intrude upon private citizens.”

Hyrushi, Governor

“Oh… I’m told he’s recovering well.” Erin replied. The truth was she had been in to visit Lucas once, and she had only done it because Molly had forced her to. She understood how much the man meant to her sister, but the difference between them was that Molly remembered him. Erin didn’t. To her, Lucas Holloway was nothing more than a faded memory from her very distant past. To Molly, he had been the father that their own real father had failed to be. Erin had been four years old when Robert Hazen had taken them in. Molly had been ten. Their age difference had made their experiences vastly different. As far as Erin was concerned, Lucas Holloway had showed up into her life and tried to buy her affection. She wasn’t taking the bait.

Expectantly, Erin held on to the PaDD and the small bag she had brought in with her. She opened her mouth to speak but closed it almost immediately, deciding it was best to remain in silence for the time being. She wasn’t sure what the etiquette was when it came to politicians, and she didn’t want to change the subject and potentially ruin her chances at the job she was there to discuss. She just hoped she wouldn’t have to talk more about her uncle either.

Erin Hazen-Cooper, PhD (ABD)

Hyrushi’s dark eyes lifted up and seemed to bore into the young woman on the opposite side of his desk. “Speak your mind. Part of the job you are applying for is talking to me and the department and the people of the colony. Open communication is key to achieving our goals. And we do not have the time nor the luxury of censoring what we are thinking when speaking with 9ne another. If that is an issue for you, I will thank you now for your time and we can finish this interview early.” His voice was calm, measured, professional… and very firm.

Hyrushi, Governor

Erin’s eyes widened for the second time in past few minutes, this time more apparently. “Oh… uh… no… not at all a problem!” She hurried in saying. “I… I appreciate it actually. It makes progress easier.” She smiled nervously as she straightened herself up in her seat. “I uh… I was just hoping to go straight to the matter at hand.” Cooper said. “I understand that my uncle holds a very important position in the Colony but I try to steer clear of all matters involving him and the company.” She allowed herself to take a breath before continuing, now with a little more conviction. “I got to where I am today by putting in my own personal hard work independent of the family’s business. So if what got me to this meeting today are my ties to the Holloway name, I would prefer to end the meeting early as well.” Her smile grew more confident. “If not, I would like to discuss with you what OED’s needs are as far as terraforming goes, what would be expected of me if I were to get this job, and I would like to show you how I believe it can be accomplished.”

Erin Hazen-Cooper, PhD (ABD)

Hyrushi nodded once and said “Very well. As the job description said, we need someone to head all the terraforming and reclamation efforts on the planet as a whole. Now, as I am sure you are aware… normally the process to even begin the transformation of a planet this size would take decades due to technological, logistics, and material limitations. Not to mention the need to have a biodiverse ecological system reach a point of self-sustainability and survivability. We do not have that kind of time. Therefore, I have established that kind of time. The people here on Oed have languished under a dome and in a barren wasteland for far too long. I would like to see plant life spreading across the surface within the next two to three years… and animal life within five.” Hyrushi spoke as if this was a simple conversation… but it was far from it. The science to accomplish the task in the timeframe he was suggesting not only didn’t exist; it hadn’t even been hypothesized. The complexity of creating a planetary biome paled exponentially in comparison with the very abstract kind of scientific experimentation and testing he was proposing. But nothing in his demeanor suggested he was anything other than very serious.

Hyrushi, Governor

Well, it seemed like the man knew how to dress, but he clearly knew nothing about what he was talking about. Erin listened attentively as he spoke. Nothing in her demeanor told him that she was not taking him seriously. Quite the contrary, in fact. The only hint at doubt was the quizzical eyebrow that rose in Erin’s face as the Governor went on, rendering her expression incredibly similar to that of her sister in the few business meetings she had attended.

Erin let the silence hang for a moment as she gave Hyrushi’s words some thought, before she finally started. “With all due respect, Governor Hyrushi… you requested me to speak my mind a few minutes ago, so I hope you don’t mind if I do so. What you’re asking is impossible to achieve. And please, before you cut this meeting short because I didn’t give you the magical solution you want to hear, I should tell you that, if you let me go because I don’t agree with your time frame, you will spend the next two to three years looking for someone that can do it instead of having plants growing around the city. And I can tell you with all certainty that after those two to three years, not only will you still have barren wastelands outside, as you’ll still have a job vacancy to fill.” Her tone was calm but assertive, with the confidence of someone who firmly believed in what they were saying. It was not rude, or disrespectful, but rather expository.

“Then tell me why I am wrong.” Hyruahi said flatly.

“Let me start by telling you, Governor Hyrushi, there are many reasons as to why terraforming takes decades… cell multiplication, nutrient absorption rates, chemical production, to name a few. In other words, physics and chemistry. What you are asking me to do is to develop and apply methods that have not yet been discovered in under two years. Scientific progress doesn’t move at that rate, even if you could throw copious amounts of money at them. If you work closely with my uncle you should know the rate at which they create new concepts for starship parts and weapons.” For a moment she broached the one topic she didn’t want to discuss. “And we are speaking solely of man made machines. You are asking me to bend the laws of nature.” Erin shook her head. “There’s some things that can’t be accelerated, unfortunately. Not to mention, there is no telling what the consequences of such a boost in natural development could lead to. Cancer, plant diseases, animal malformations, unexpected mutations… do you really want to take the risk at having lush vegetation growing in two years only to have it decayed in five? How could that sustain the animal ecosystems that could be introduced?” Erin shook her head once again. “I am sorry, but I don’t think anyone can do the job in the timeline you want.”

Hyrushi inclined his head slightly, as if to agree, but there was aomething… extra… in his demeanor. Almost as if he was suppressing a smile or laugh.

“Now…” Cooper fumbled with the paper bag that she had brought with her, from which she produced a small round glass terrarium. It was quite delicate, at about twenty centimeters in diameter. The plants inside were beautifully laid out and seemed to breathe with life. “… that is not to say that the task is impossible. The timeline? Yes. It will have to be reviewed, but we don’t have to just seed the ground and wait for the grass to grow.” She smiled softly at her pun. “Terrariums are a hobby of mine.” Erin said with a grin. “I enjoy the peacefulness of arranging them, and the challenge of balancing them to be self sustainable.” She looked proudly at her creation. “I spent the past two weeks creating this one. It is composed solely of soil samples from OED’s wasteland… on this side there’s two samples of native plants of the planet. I uh… spoke with some people at the university and even though they told me there was not a lot they could lend me for an amateur project, given the scarcity of these plants at the moment, they were kind enough to give me those two to work with.” One was a small lavender like plant, and the other a beautiful yellow flower. “On this side…” Erin turned the terrarium around. “There’s a small fern and a specific type of moss. Both from Earth… they are some of the most common plants when it comes to terraforming, so I thought I’d give those a try first, and they seem to hold up quite well!” Cooper smiled. ”This is a very small sample of what can be done. I added a few bugs too to help, so it should be self sustainable, but if I am being completely honest, I didn’t really have the time to study much about OED’s fauna or what species would be best to introduce.”

Erin Hazen-Cooper, PhD (ABD)

Hyrushi leaned forward and studied the terrarium intently for a long few moments and then he looked up at Erin. “You did this in two weeks? And utilized samples of native plants, supported by other xenobiological species? Very nice.” He leaned back and looked at Erin again. “You say that the things we are asking are ‘impossible’. Define that. Because there was a time when scientists said that moving matter from one point to another without crossing the space between was an impossibility, yet we use transporters every day. We travel faster than the speed of light at will… that was seen as impossible a few hundred years ago. We do the impossible every day. So tell me why this is any different… except for scale?”

Hyrushi, Governor

Erin wouldn’t want to admit it, but she was blindsided by the question. The man had a point, but still, her gut told her that it wasn’t that simple. She let the silence hung in the room for a moment, as she allowed herself a few seconds to think.

“You’re forgetting two important things.” Erin started. “Scientists were already experimenting with the concepts of particle transport centuries before the transporters we know today were made possible. And quantum teleportation before that… The same goes for faster than light travel. They were both deemed possible according to the laws of physics that rule our universe, even if we only discovered the ones that would make teleportation possible much later.” Erin paused before continuing. “What you’re asking me to do is to bend the laws of physics. To accelerate the natural process of growth.”

“But let’s assume that hypothetically, it is possible to do so without repercussions. Much like today’s dermal regenerators.” She smiled. “I should have known better, you know. In the scientific field we should never say something is impossible exactly for the reasons you presented. So, let’s assume that you are right, and it is possible to develop a process to accelerate the process of terraforming. You’re still asking me to accelerate the scientific process. It is impossible to have lush forests in the outskirts of the colony in two years, because even if it could be possible for the plant growth process to be accelerated, we still need to design it.” Erin cleared her throat. “You’re right, we used to think that transporters and faster than light travel were impossible. But how long were they studied for before the first warp drive was made? Or the first teleported was safe for human testing? The same applies here.”

“Maybe it is possible to speed the pace of the process, but not the pace of science. The pace of discovery. Sure teleportation might not be an impossibility as we though. But how long did it take for us to get it right? Maybe it will be possible to terraform in two years in the future. But we haven’t even started to think about the problem… we will likely take more than two years to solve it.”

Erin Hazen-Cooper, PhD (ABD)

Hyrushi listened to her words and felt her eagerness and sincerity in them. When she had finished, he thought for a moment and then said “I am a layman in terms of terraforming… but I have an extensive background in civil engineering and planning. I am not unfamiliar with the laws of physics or the natural world. I am also a student of current technological development and scientific study. And since taking this particular position, I have tried to stay current on developments within the realm of terraforming sciences. Tell me, Mrs. Hazen-Cooper… how familiar are you with the current trends and developments within terraforming research and development?”

Hyrushi, Governor

“I’d like to think I’m quite current in the subject, even though I am not studying terraforming specifically.” Erin started with no hesitation. “My area of expertise lies in botany and exobotany, which means that I had to stay current on the latest techniques of flora development. This includes many of the ones used in the current terraforming processes, from the most commonly used ones to the state-of-the-art. However…” For the first time she hesitated. “… I am afraid my knowledge on the same processes regarding the introduction and maintenance of wildlife are not quite as current. That of course, doesn’t mean I can’t fill that hole.” Cooper added quickly. “And well… I am not an expert in civil engineering or planning… but I think that’s where our partnership can be the most fruitful.” She smiled. “After all, it wouldn’t be interesting if we all knew the same things.”

Erin Hazen-Cooper, PhD (ABD)

Hyrushi inclined his head slightly and said “Indeed. So where does your level of knowledge in the area of conservation of natural resources fall? And please note, I am not trying to disqualify you. I am simply seeing where the candidates stack up against each other.”

Hyrushi, Governor

“Well…” Erin started, before pointing to the terrarium she had brought. “I would like to think that I am quite well versed in both the theory and practice of balacing ecosystems.” She smiled. “I understand that this is just a small sample, but I have been making closed terrariums for a long time now.” Just ask Molly… She thought with an inner chuckle. “I know it might seem nothing but a hobby but it came as a direct result of my studies and my work with the Federation Science Council. My interests have always lied in understanding how different species of plants are able to exist in certain environments, how the environment around them provides what they need, as well as how do they contribute to the overall ecosystem. In fact, my PhD dissertation is on the specific mechanism used by a type of rose…” She thought for a moment. “For lack of a better word… that manages to bloom in the depths of the mines of the planet Beta Prime. Me and T’Lat… uh… my advisor… think we can adapt a part of its sustainability methods to help with the survival of other species in environments that would otherwise be inhospitable to them.” Erin paused again as she realized she was going off in a different direction. “I’m sorry… I digress… I have never studied in detail the same aspects in wildlife animals, but I know enough to make the leap if I am required to do so. Still, I believe this is a team effort, and the Director of Terraforming is simply the person heading said effort, not the only one.” Erin took a breath before continuing. “Still, the challenge of making sure that an ecosystem is self-sustaining in a closed environment is the same, no matter the scale. In this case…” She motioned to the terrarium again. “… the environment is a glass dome. In OEDs case… a planet.”

“There is also the matter of how to make sure the Colony lives in symbiosis with its environment. There is a lot of research done on the impact that large population centers have on its surroundings as well as how to reduce it… I am somewhat familiar with some of the published theory and results, but I would be lying if I said I was a specialist. Still, it’s not something I can’t understand with some time.”

Erin Hazen-Cooper, PhD (ABD)

Hyrushi was quiet for a moment, obsidian eyes looking at her with no king of expression. When he finally spoke, it was to ask a question. “Why do you want this job? And why do you want to do this job here, on Oed?”

Hyrushi, Gov.

“It’s simple, really…” Erin’s expression turned slightly less cheerful. “If you look at my resume, you’ll see that I am a specialist in Exobotany that doesn’t exactly thrive in space, as you’ll notice by my short Starfleet career. You know… it was short for a reason.” She chuckled. “Which means that my best opportunities for research lie in either unknown planets or those already known, but with environments that are less researched, or not as favorable to most common species in the Federation. This, combined with the fact that my passion is that of creating closed living, breathing environments puts the subject of terraforming right at the top of my list of perfect jobs. And well… why here in OED? As you know, my family is here – my sister and my uncle both work for Holloway Heavy Industries, and my husband was just offered a position in the company as well…” Her tone turned slightly bitter and Hyrushi would be able to sense some discomfort at the thought. It was clear that she had some reservations about moving to OED, but her words and reasons were genuine. Yet, her lips quickly opened once more in a smile. “If you’d have asked me a few years ago if I would see myself moving to OED, I’d have said no. But things change, and I think that given my current place in life, this is the place that makes the most sense for me to be in.” Erin wondered if the governor had expected to hear her rave about how incredibly fascinating OED’s native flora and fauna were, but in all honesty, Cooper found any kind of different species of organisms fascinating, no matter where they were from. Her reasoning for being interested in OED specifically was the honest truth.

Erin Hazen-Cooper, PhD (ABD)

“Given your current place in life… I see. You are younger than most of the other candidates. Do you think that us an asset or a hindrance? Do you feel that the work, which as you have said most adamantly, will take decades to accomplish. Do you think you will grow bored? Decide this isn’t for you and leave for a more… exciting project to helm?” Hurushi asked.

Hyrushi, Governor

Erin wanted to laugh but she didn’t, deciding that it wasn’t the most appropriate thing to do. However, there was still a hint of amusement in her tone when she spoke. “With all due respect, Sir. I’m a researcher. Finding other exciting projects while working on a particular one is part of the job, but I would never accomplish anything if I swapped every time that happened. Part of the thrill of research comes with seeing things through. Besides, what is more exciting than seeing the results of your own work no matter how long it takes? Do you really think that any researcher worth their salt would just hand in their work for someone else to finish? Our projects are like our own children. You don’t pass them along to other people when another one comes along.”

Erin kept the jovial demeanor. “Age is only as important as you let it be. Generally speaking, younger people tend to take more risks and be willing to try newer ideas. Older people tend to have their own way of doing things, playing it safer, but bringing more wisdom and experience to the table. Wisdom and experience that they learnt by taking risks when they were younger. Both have its pros and cons, but in the end it will come down to the type of person that you, Governor Hyrushi, would prefer to have leading this project — someone who is willing to think outside of the box, with the potential to explore new avenues of thought that might just give you the faster progress that you search for, with the caveat that new ideas always come with a higher risk of failure but also a spectacular way of succeeding… or someone reliable but set in their own ways that will be less likely to change their perspective on the problem at hand and use the same old and proven methods. Personally, I would love to build my own wisdom and set my own ways with this project.”

Erin Hazen-Cooper, PhD (ABD)

Hyrushi could feel the amusement in her, and inside he smiled. He watched her speak, felt her confidence and desire to succeed. When she finished speaking he cocked his head to the side slightly and asked, quite flatly, “Mrs. Hazen-Cooper… if I didn’t want someone who is willing to think outside of the box, with the potential to explore new avenues of thought that might just give Oed the faster progress that we search for… do you believe you be here speaking with me about this?”

Hyrushi, Governor

Erin smiled. “I’d say that I wouldn’t be, but I am not familiar with the selection process. It could be that I am here simply because every applicant gets a chance to make a case for themselves.” She shrugged, momentarily speechless. She wasn’t too sure where to continue from there. Or rather… there were a few things that she’d like to ask, the first being whether his question meant that she had gotten the job. However, that wouldn’t be very appropriate to do in a job interview. Instead, she resigned herself to looking expectantly at Hyrushi, trying to make sure that her smile didn’t make her look like an idiot.

Erin Hazen-Cooper, PhD (ABD)

bump :)

“I don’t believe that even my assistant Ms. Fen could have scheduled enough time for all the applicants to make a case for themselves.” Hyr7shi said with a slight smile. “By the time I would get done, we wouldn’t need terraforming. The planet would have recovered all on its own.” He paused for a moment and looked at her before saying “What questions do you have for me?”

Hyrushi, Gov.

Erin laughed. “I wasn’t aware of the amount of applicants for the position, although I shouldn’t be surprised.” She smiled. “It is quite the fascinating job after all…!”

Pausing for a moment to ponder what the best way for her to phrase her thoughts, Cooper finally spoke. “Well… If I am being honest, the most pressing question I currently have is… what happens next? As I said, I am not very familiar with the interview process. Is there more information that I need to provide? More interviews? Perhaps some knowledge testing ones?” During her research career Erin had seen a lot, but she hadn’t experienced that much first hand. She also knew that every place had its way of doing things, and a government position might not entail as much as an academic one did as far as recruitment went, or it could require more. Not to mention… she really wanted a to find any hint that would tell her how successful her arguments had been.

Erin Hazen-Cooper, PhD (ABD)

Hyrushi paused for a long moment in silence before he said “Well, if I am to be honest as well, I will tell you that I honestly do not know. As I said, my knowledge of terraforming is limited… which is why we hired you.” He paused for a moment to let his words sink in.

Erin nodded with the same smile in her face as before, the words clearly not registering with her immediately. She looked expectantly at Hyrushi for him to continue, only for the true meaning of what he had meant to hit her already too late.

“I would suggest that you review your department organizational chart. It has many spaces that need names in them. Additionally, I have hired someone to assist you as things move along. A Conservation Director. Human, but with a very… interesting… background. He will be arriving in a few days, I believe.”

Hyrushi, Governor

Cooper’s eyes widened, and suddenly, the naturally talkative woman seemed to have been replaced by someone who was not able to form coherent speech. “Uh… Yes… I’m… Wait…” It took a moment before she finally stopped stumbling in her words, a grin lighting up her face. “Yes, of course! I’ll be happy to meet him! And yes, I’ll make sure to look over the department chart and I’ll send it back to you with my recommendations as soon as possible.” Her mind was spinning, skipping from thought to thought of what she needed to get done, until something made her stop for a moment, her cheerful expression dissipating. “Oh… I uh… I’ll be defending my doctoral dissertation in a few weeks, which means I’ll have to be absent during that time… I hope that will not be an issue?”

Erin Hazen-Cooper, PhD (ABD)

“It will be, yes.” Hyrushi said. “Which is why I have contacted the President of the University personally and asked that you be allowed to give your defense remotely, to which they agreed when I described your pending position and the level of attention it will draw to the institution. You will, however, be expected to speak at next year’s commencement address. Provided you pass your defense, of course.” His head tilted to the side and he said “Is that acceptable to you?”

Hyrushi, Governor

Hyrushi’s response was met with silence. Erin’s eyes were wide and her brain seemed to still be processing the implications of what he had just told her. This was their first meeting, and yet he hadn’t made any call during it, which meant that he had made arrangements in the time between her submitting her job application and their present meeting. Did that mean that she was supposed to be getting the job all along? How? She was sure neither Molly or her uncle Lucas had intervened… well, Molly would never make things easier for her, and the way the Governor had spoke about her ties with her family’s business in the beginning of the meeting made her quite sure that he wasn’t someone who would take favors. As an empath, Hyrushi would be able to feel the mix of confusion and joy in her spirits.

After a few long seconds where Cooper seemed to be frozen in place, Erin finally spoke as a grin wider than before lit up her face. “Yes!” The happiness in her tone was evident. “And don’t worry, I’ll pass my defense, that’s not even a question.” She chuckled. It was not so much that she was full of herself, but rather that, it was a widely known fact within the academic setting, that if someone’s advisor proposed them to take their defense, it was because they were sure they would make it through. It didn’t bode well for a researcher to send in a student unprepared. “I… I’m sorry, Sir… I don’t know what else to say other than… thank you for the opportunity.” Her smile turned warmer. “Genuinely. I will not let you or the Colony down.”

Erin Hazen-Cooper, PhD (ABD)

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