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Part of USS Atlantia: Episode 0 – Reflections of the Past

Mentors

USS Triphane - Junior Officer's Lounge
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The room was empty save for the presence of a lone figure perched upon a chaise lounge nearest the window overlooking the vastness of space. The Trill, who only months ago had graduated Starfleet Academy, sat there after completing her night shift with her nose buried deep into a leather-bound replica of the works of William Shakespeare. Treylana had been fascinated with the playwright ever since she had learned about him while studying Earth literature.

She had recently finished Macbeth and since she had finished her shift and wanted to unwind before bed, she thought she would take the time to relax with some Hamlet. She was not more than a couple of pages in when the silence was broken by the voice of a Hispanic male.

“Mendoza to Ensign Hess. Please report to my office immediately.”

The voice was that of her commanding officer, Chief Flight Control Officer Lieutenant Commander Enrique Mendoza. The tone of his voice sounded urgent. This worried the young Ensign and seeing as though she was presently out of uniform. She reached for the comm panel on the table next to her, not only to reply to her superior but also to try and buy herself some time before having to confront the man.

“Excuse me Commander. I am not presently in uniform. Can this wait?” she said as she closed the book and stood up.

“Immediately!” replied the man on the other end.

The inflection in his last message solidified in her mind that she was in trouble. What could she have done? Whatever it was, she was about to find out.

A few minutes later Treylana stood before the door to her commanding officer’s office, hesitant to notify him of her presence but also worried that she would face further scrutiny for any delays in reporting. She raised her hand and pressed the door chime.

“Enter.” Came a voice from the other side of the door.

The doors slid open and as Treylana entered, she could see her superior actively scanning the multiple displays on his console. Though he had not been looking at her directly, he motioned for her to sit down. He wrapped up what he was doing and then addressed her.

“Ensign Hess…” he began “Treylana. You’ve been on the Triphane now for what, four months now?”

“Yes sir.” She replied nervously.

“I selected you for the Triphane because your Academy grades were above average. Still room for improvement, but more than qualifies you for this position. And yet, I look over your shift report for last night and wonder if my decision was the right one. Your report was incomplete, and your flight plan was inaccurate. This is the third time this month and I have spoken to you before about this. Is there a problem I should know about?”

Knowing now why her commanding officer called her there eased her suspicions, though it did not make her feel any better for being called out for underperforming. “No sir. No problems. Carelessness on my part. I promise it will not happen again.” She replied.

Mendoza looked at her perplexed. Procedure dictated that he should reprimand her, but he wanted to give the young Trill a chance to make it up to him. At the very least, perhaps she could use with some extra coaching. He pulled up a personnel list on his console and searched for a suitable candidate.

“I want you to report to Lieutenant Sullivan tonight at twenty-three hundred hours. She is one of my finest officers. You can learn a lot from her.”

“Yes sir.” Treylana replied.

“You are dismissed.”

Treylana rose from her seat and exited Mendoza’s office. Rather than going back to her book, she decided to go back to her quarters and get some sleep.

***

Treylana woke from her slumber far sooner than expected. She was unable to sleep after her conversation with Mendoza that morning. She did not like the idea of being stuck with someone else. She knew she could perform her duties, but maybe Mendoza was right. Maybe what she needed was someone she could look up to. Someone she could aspire to be. Not a coach, but more of a mentor.

She did not know of anyone currently aboard the Triphane that would meet the qualifications of a mentor, certainly not in her department anyway. What Treylana needed most was another Trill. Someone who might have shared similar life experiences. The real question was how many Trills there were in Starfleet, let alone ones close enough that she could reach out to.

“Computer. How many Trills are currently serving in Starfleet?”

“There are currently twenty-four thousand nine-hundred fifty-two Trills serving in Starfleet.” Replied the computer.

“How many of those are serving aboard starships?”

“There are nine-thousand eight-hundred sixty-three currently listed aboard active starships.”

“And how many of those are ranked equal to or above Lieutenant Commander?”

“Four-hundred and twelve.”

“How many are nearest to this sector of space?”

“Seven.”

“Computer. Pull up personnel files on those seven officers.”

“Working.”

The computer terminal lit up on her desk with a listing of the seven officers. Treylana glanced at the list and saw that three of them were in the sciences, one was in Tactical, one in Engineering and two had chosen the command route. She eliminated all but the two in command and of those there was one that caught her eye. A Captain by the name of Th’lora Vehl currently serving aboard the USS Hiawatha. Much of the Captain’s file was protected and Treylana only had level two clearance as an Ensign, but it was enough information that she was able to make up her mind that this was the woman she wanted to look up to.

“Computer. Open a channel to Captain Vehl aboard the Hiawatha.”

Moments later a slender woman in her early senior years with shoulder-length dark brown hair and matching brown eyes appeared on her screen. “Yes? What can I do for you…Ensign” the woman asked quizzically.

“Captain. You do not know me. I am aboard the Triphane. It seems as though I am not meeting the expectations of my commanding officer and he believes that I would benefit from some coaching.”

“That would seem like a reasonable decision, but what does that have to do with me? Are there no officers aboard the Triphane to help you with this?”

“Yes, ma’am there are. That is not why I am reaching out to you. I think what I really need instead is a mentor. I have read what I can of your personnel file. I too would like to sit in the big chair one day. However, first and foremost you are a Trill. You understand the things I have been through. Which is why I would like for you to be my mentor.”

“An interesting proposal. As a starship Captain, I may not have all the time necessary to provide what you need but I admire an officer that recognizes their faults and wishes to better themselves…”

Sensing the positivity in the Captain’s response Treylana chimed in excitedly “Thank you Captain. You will not regret this!”

“I have not agreed yet Ensign.” Captain Vehl retorted.

“I am sorry ma’am. Please continue.”

“I am not willing to mentor you over subspace communications. However, if you are willing to put in for a transfer to the Hiawatha and your commanding officer accepts it, I would be willing accept your request for mentorship.”

“Thank you, Captain. I will not disappoint you. I will draw up the papers immediately for transfer and get back to you as soon as possible.”

“Acknowledged. Vehl out.”

Treylana’s eyes lit up with enthusiasm and a new sense of hope. She enjoyed serving on the Triphane though clearly it was not the right fit for her and so she immediately began to draw up the transfer request to present to Mendoza that afternoon.