“Did Admiral T’Vrell finally convince you to take leave?” Lieutenant Commander T’Ren, the new Executive Officer of Roosevelt Station, stood at the door of her quarters. “Before I was dispatched to join you here, she contacted me. ‘Make sure she eats, sleeps, and takes a day off on occasion’ were her parting words.”
Eden shook her head. “She didn’t let me. Told me that given the importance of the stability of Betazoid government to the security of the Federation, and that she didn’t expect me to find my visit to my family’s home relaxing in the slightest, I’m still under orders to take actual leave before the end of the year.” Eden sighed. “Which is coming up soon. Is there a report on when the caretaker CO is arriving?”
“Captain Tatsu will be here in two days,” T’Ren said. “You know her, do you not?”
Eden nodded. “Worked with her in Intelligence… we were Admiral Pinna’s left and right hand on the frontier. We didn’t see each other in person much, given how little time we spent at Headquarters, but I got to know her well regardless. She’s one of the most capable officers I know… decisive, insightful, utterly without fear but not prone to unnecessarily risking the lives of others. Erika is a good friend.”
“What should I know about her command style?” T’Ren watched as Eden packed a few of her books.
“I honestly don’t know… neither of us was at that point in our careers when we worked together.” Eden sighed as she took a long, formal shawl from her footlocker. “This will have to come…” She put it into the travel bag. “But there is something to know about who she is. Erika Tatsu looks human, and her genetic makeup is primarily human. But she was born to the Borg Collective… cloned by them for reasons no one but her and the Collective really understands. She doesn’t consider herself human – she considers herself Borg, even if she hates the Collective with a passion I’ve only seen matched in Romulans. She is also much more… all business… than I am.”
“Your professionalism has never been in doubt, Commander,” T’Ren said. “But you imply that hers may be excessive?”
“There are captains with more and less relaxed command styles,” Eden said. “My father had a fairly relaxed style, while my nature is more uptight. But I learned the value of loosening my grip during my time serving with Captain Surval and Admiral T’Vrell. Erika never quite took to that, at least in the time that I knew her.”
“It is interesting to me that the captains you learned to relax from were both Vulcan,” T’Ren said.
“Captain Surval was… brilliant,” Eden murmured. “He considered it his primary duty to nurture new generations of Starfleet captains, to help them develop into the best officers they could be. Part of that was acknowledging who they were when they came to him, which required allowing them to show it. My parents, Admiral Jenner, Admiral Reese, Admiral T’Vrell, Captain Reese… all of them were his students, his proteges. So was I, in an indirect way. We’re all better officers for it. As for Admiral T’Vrell… she’s a Restorationist. So most expectations of Vulcans don’t really apply to her.”
“I have read some of her writing. Her grasp of Surakian heretical literature is fascinating, as are her commentaries on recent historical studies. I may not agree with her philosophy, but it has been a valuable course of study for me.”
“She’d be honored to hear you say that,” Eden said, rising to her feet. “Kron’s on his way. We’ll meet him in the corridor, then the two of you can see me off.” She lifted her travel bag onto her shoulder, falling into step alongside the far taller woman.