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Posted on Mon Mar 27th, 2017 @ 1:50am by Lieutenant Jackson Smith & Ensign T'Sai
Edited on on Mon Mar 27th, 2017 @ 1:52am

Mission: Mission 0: Coming Home to Roost
Location: Mess Hall
Timeline: 14 February, 2394 - 1200 Hours

Jackson finished up his check on the secondary flight system. He looked at the time, Crap, its 1200. I told my assistant I would meet her for lunch at noon. Hopefully she thinks this is a casual lunch. As he thought that, he knew there wasn't much chance of that, she was Vulcan after all. Jackson made his way as quickly as he could to the mess hall.

Given that the ship had been underway for a few days now, the fact that T'sai had not met her immediate superior was strange to say the least. His rather sudden, and to her mind, irrational decision to have lunch was only evidence of his lack of control over his department. To some this would have been reason to dislike her fellow officer, but for T'sai it was merely a fact, and one that required a little extra work on her part.

The fact that she had now been sitting in the galley for seven minutes, having arrived five minutes early, as was logical, was mere conformation of her previous assumptions. She glanced at the chronograph on the wall and decided to order her lunch now. Walking to the replicator she ordered Plomeek Soup. Although a traditional breakfast item for most Vulcans T'sai's order advised that it be consumed for two meals a day, and her plans for dinner were already in place.

Jackson scanned the mess hall. Ensign T'sai was easy to spot. She was taller than most females and her hair cut was sharp and her uniform was crisp. Vulcans, why Vulcans Jackson thought. He noticed she had seen him. He could feel her eyes judging him. His slightly rumpled uniform, his hand unconsciously went to his cheek to feel the slight scruff. Jackson nodded to her and went over to the replicator. He ordered a double quarter cheeseburger with bacon and fries and a nice crisp soda. He carried the tray over to her.

"Ensign, I am glad that we have found some time to chat." He nodded at her as he sat down.

T'Sai returned the nod. Taking another spoonful of soup she waited. After a moment in silence she realized that perhaps this was her turn to say something. Human conversational habits were still a little foreign to her.

"It is good to actually meet. Given our functional proximity."

Jackson dipped a fry into some ketchup and took a bite. He chewed it as he looked at the ensign. Jackson knew how to fly, but running a department was an entirely different matter. How does one relate to a Vulcan, he thought. Jackson was just about to ask about family life, or hobbies, but he decided on a different approach. "You graduated from the academy in '92. What was your best class, what would you say you excel at?"

T'Sai, having a slightly different outlook than your typical Vulcan, was at least partially prepared for what humans called "small talk".

"I would say that the classes in which I excelled were those related to my field of study. Although I found 'Comparative Philosophies' to be a particularly stimulating class. What classes did you excel at Sir?"

Jackson tilted his head slightly and gave a half smile, "Interesting, I initially thought about small talk, but figured you would prefer delving right into discussions about work. But instead of mentioning a flight class, you mentioned a philosophy class. Now, either you are being kind and deferring to me to discuss small talk, or you wouldn't mind discussing philosophy, which is it ensign?" Jackson looked quizzically at T'Sai.

T'Sai raised an eyebrow. She was aware that she was not a typical Vulcan in this respect, but most humans did not feel the need to reiterate her statements back to her. She wondered for a moment if she should explain her unique situation. At least enough to explain my situation.

"I belong to a monastery on Vulcan that takes a different outlook on logic and interaction. My sect believes that knowledge, even knowledge that some would consider worthless, has a reason and a logic behind it. My mentor studies Andorian art. My studies are primarily in Flight Science. So, if you would like to refer to this conversation as small talk, I can engage in small talk."

Jackson studied the Vulcan before him, she was definitely different. "I am very interested to know more about this monastery and your studies there," I need to ask Luka about this, he thought. "For now though, let's focus on Flight Science. Neither one of us has had any experience on a different ship, so I only have your experience at the academy to go by. I can read your transcripts and know how you did in each class. I want to know which one you think you excelled at. For example, while I did well in most of the classes dealing with Flight Science, I feel I excelled at Space Combat 483 - Frigate versus Battleship or as the class was also known as David versus Goliath. Which flight class did you excel at?

T'Sai took another sip of her soup and thought back to her classes. Although she was familiar with the class in question. She had not had the same luck with it. Warp Navigation had posed a particular problem for her, but she had overcome.

"I suppose the class in which I excelled was Flight Science 410, Ship to Ship Combat. Admittedly an introduction to combat that was later expanded upon, the details of that class were readily grasped, and mastered, not without a level of difficulty, but mastered in the end."

"Good, I am glad to hear that. I hope that we don't have to use our skills, but from the encounter with that unknown ship...well I suspect we will have to." He frowned as he contemplated that ship. "I would like you to review the maneuvers of the ship and give me a report on possible weaknesses or how we can deal with it. Any immediate thoughts?" Jackson picked up his hamburger and took a bite. He enjoyed the crisp bacon and juiciness of the burger.

She thought about it for a minute. She had not yet reviewed the logs from any of the flights. All she had to go on was the overheard reports from other crew members.

"At this point I do not have enough information to make any informed comments at this time, but I will certainly look over the reports on my next duty shift. If you wish to have another one of these discussions in the future, I will be able to offer a more thorough evaluation of our department's performance."

"Good response. We can discuss that further at another time. I want solutions before we head back into the gamma quadrant, though." Jackson hoped that sounded official. He continued before T'sai, "Do you mind telling me about the monastery you went to? It sounds very interesting."

This was a part of her interactions with other cultures that was easiest. She might have even called it exciting, but that wasn't quite the right word. Stimulating, might have been better.

"Certainly. My order is one that believes that the teachings of Surak have been diluted in some ways, and misunderstood in others. Logic is still the foundation of our beliefs, but rather than saying something is illogical we search for the logic in all actions. We believe that this better reflects the basic tenant of all Vulcan thought, Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations. Logic is not bound by our limited notions of it, Logic is Infinite."

She said the last words with a certain reverence. For most Vulcans the IDIC was as close to the human Shema, or Our Father, as they would ever have. For those in her order it was the latter, or more precisely the combination of former and latter.

They spent a few more minute discussing some of the finer points of Vulcan philosophy, and T'Sai had the distinct impression that working with Jackson would be an interesting experience.


Ensign Jackson Smith
Chief Flight Control Officer
USS Firebird NCC-88298

Ensign T'Sai
Assistant Chief Flight Control Officer
USS Firebird NCC-88298


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Comments (1)

By Lieutenant JG Murril Na on Tue Jul 24th, 2018 @ 11:46pm

I'm not sure who writes as the NPC of T'Sai, but both characters were written in a way that made me step back and appreciate what I was reading.

ex. Jackson wisely asked her to review and come up with any vulnerabilities, and for a person of her personality, that's straight out of the management chapter of Myers-Briggs style personality books.

Speaking of Vulcans, T'Sai's dialogue and train-of-thought was well-crafted and believable, IMO. It's one thing to write dialogue as if you're an emotionless computer; it's another thing to write dialogue as if you're a living, breathing person with (hidden) emotions underneath all that logic. T'Sai does come off as Vulcan, and that's not an easy task for us as RL human writers to do. I couldn't have done as subtle of a job as what the writer for T'Sai did in this scene.