Mission Day 61
It was the morning after the night before when Lieutenant Adelinde Gantzmann stepped out of the turbolift onto the bridge. She was later then her normal for change of shift, but still earlier then others as she walked around the bridge to meet the ship’s XO who looked like he was ready for his day to be over.
While some sympathy was there, she was well aware of who designed the rosters aboard ship, including the rotation of command officers on a regular basis to work with the different shifts aboard ship. She didn’t complain to much, she had the morning shift for the next two weeks, which had lined up rather beautifully all things considered over the last twelve hours.
“Ah, Lieutenant, morning,” Commander MacIntyre said as he spotted her and stood from the center seat, dropping the padd he had in hand in the chair behind him. “You wouldn’t mind taking over early would you?”
“No sir,” she replied, head tilting slight to the side in a non-verbal question.
“Excellent. Minor emergency on deck six I need to handle.”
“Anything you need some help with sir?”
“No no Lieutenant, nothing like that. Forget I said anything, that’s an order.” And with that he made his way for the lift she’d just vacated. “Lieutenant, you have the conn.”
“I have the conn,” she replied in habit as she collected the padd from the seat before sitting herself down. It was filled with shift reports filed by the crew and automated status reports compiled by the ship’s computer. A quick glance and nothing jumped out at her.
Nothing should, as the Atlantis was still days away from her next destination.
Over the next ten minutes more and more people arrived on the bridge, spoke with their colleagues and then relieved them of duty. The shift change was completed on time and Adelinde found herself in the quiet of a well-functioning bridge.
An hour later the turbolift swished open and in the quiet Adelinde found herself looking without conscious thought at the source of the sound, as did a few others not focusing on their work. Standing at tactical with one of her junior officers, she’d been highlighting the finer points and balancing act that was manual versus automatic targeting, but the conversation, all the conversations really, stopped as the ship’s captain steeped out.
“As you were people,” Captain Theodoras said, not even looking up from the padd she was reading and navigating expertly to towards her ready room. “Lieutenant Gantzmann, when you’re free, can you come and see me please?” she asked just in time for the doors to the ready room to swish open.
“Finish this later ma’am?” Lieutenant JG Kurtwell asked, looking sorry for his boss. When you’re free was commonly understood as a polite form of Now, at least as understood by junior officers.
“No, no, Mr Kurtwell. We’ll finish this before I head in.”
True to her word, Adelinde hadn’t left the Lieutenant until she had finished her lesson for the young man. His initial answers had been on point and Academy rote, but she had been more working to pry a more nuanced response from him. While proficient and nothing she could fault with his performance, he had the makings of a mediocre tactical officer unfortunately. As a security officer though he held more promise and she would have to speak with Ch’tkk’va about his abilities there.
It had only taken her twenty minutes before she tapped the call button on the door and stepped in upon receiving the perfunctory response from the room’s sole occupant.
“You know Lieutenant, you’re in a rather small club as far as I’m concerned. Not many people actually take me at my word when I say ‘when you’re free,” Thoedoras said, reaching forward to deactivate the screen on her computer. “Sit down please.”
“Ma’am, if this is about…last night…” Adelinde started as she stepped forward, but pointedly didn’t sit down just yet, instead resting a hand on the back of the chair.
She saw the Captain’s cheeks flush, just slightly, the smile form on her lips and then professional decorum get the smile at least under control. So, that’s telling.
“That Lieutenant I think we can discuss when we’re both off duty, yes?” the Captain asked, then indicated the seat once more. “No, this I assure you is a professional matter. I’ve been reviewing your department figures I wanted to get your opinion on a couple of your junior officers and perhaps enrolling them in some distance courses while we’re out here in the DQ.”
“Who do you have in mind?” she asked, satisfied that this was going to be professional and took the seat she’d been offered finally.
Mission Day 61
“Mind if I join you?” The question asked of her was innocent enough and Adelinde looked up from her reading to see her Captain standing there.
Four Forward was the largest social space on the ship, but with the current roster tended to be a little quieter at this hour. By unspoken contract, if one was here, then one wanted to be social after all. If one had wanted privacy or to be left alone, the sanctity of one’s quarters made a decent retreat.
“Actually, I’d insist if I could,” Adelinde replied as she set the padd down. “I apologise for leaving so quickly this morning.”
“You had to be on duty, I know. I helped make those rosters after all,” Tikva said. “I…was hoping we could talk. Uh, strictly off duty.”
Ah, so that’s the difference between professional and non-professional Tikva Theodoras, Adelinde thought to herself, noticing the slight changes in posture, facial expressions and that something special in Tikva’s eyes.
She nodded, reached up and removed her commbadge, setting it down on the table before her. The ritual was mirrored by Tikva as she sat down opposite her and she could see the nervous energy in the ever so slightly older woman. By a couple of years at most, she chided herself.
“I’m not going to deny that we had fun, in fact…just…wow,” Tikva said, keeping her voice to a conspiratorially low level so that the one other couple on the far side of Four Forward wouldn’t hear them. “But it’s not exactly professional, having a relationship with a subordinate.”
“Or making the boss scream,” Adelinde threw out with a cheeky grin upon her lips, growing in mirth as she saw Tikva’s face shift a few shades closer to the shoulders of her uniform. “And while I agree with you…Tikva,” stumbling over the name instead of a habit of ma’am, “there is plenty of precedent for such dalliances.”
“Dalliance? Is that what happened?”
“Well, I’m not adverse to exploring this if you’re willing. Though, as a responsible officer, I feel we should rightly inform Commander MacIntyre and Doctor Terax. As well as Counselor Hu, yes?”
“Oh damn,” Tikva said as she buried her face in her palms. “I forgot about Counselor Hu.”
Reaching over, Adelinde took both of Tikva’s wrists in her hands and gently pulled them away so she could look the other woman in the face. “Tomorrow problem. Would you perhaps be interested in joining me for a night time walk along the Danube?”
“Yah….” Tikva answered slowly, then nodding in self agreement with the spoken answer. “Yah, that would be nice Adelinde.”