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Status and Downtime [CD]

Posted on Tue Apr 14th, 2020 @ 9:16am by Captain Malcom Llwyedd & Commander Hansel (Hans) Friedrech

Mission: Interlude 4
Location: Captain's Ready Room
Timeline: 8 March, 2395 - 1830 hours


Commander Hansel Friedrich had been on the Firebird a couple of weeks now and he had finally got around to all of the departments. He had just completed his report on the disposition of the crew and his suggestions with a bravo roster for assignment. It would be the first report he had turned in as an XO on his crew and he went over it at least five times before he was ready to submit it. Standing in front of the Captain's Ready Room door PADD in hand he felt old pains return and his palms sweat. From what he had seen the Captain was approachable and easy going but he hadn't really had many dealings with him in an official capacity. Pressing the chime to enter with a sweaty thumb he waited for permission to enter.

Oh thank the gods Malcom thought. "Commander, I'm sorry but we're going to have to cut this short. I've got a critical matter that has just come up. I'm sure that we can discuss my attendance at the Advanced Command Course another time," Malcom said.

"Of course, sir," Commander Breev said. "I will be in touch with your yeoman and we will schedule a time to continue this conversation. Thank you for taking the time to speak with me."

"Of course," Malcom said and ended the transmission. "Enter!"

Hans left leg stiffened, "If it's a bad time Sir, I can return later," he said from the entryway.

"No, actually, this is a great time. Please have a seat," Malcom said. He hadn't had a lot of interaction with his new XO and mentally he chided himself. He needed to do a better job.

Hans walked over to the Chair in front of the Captain's desk stiffly and sat down. "I've met with all the department heads and put together my bravo roster and report on crew disposition. I thought I should deliver it personally and maybe make my suggestions in person." Hans placed the PADD in his hand on the Captain's desk in front of the Captain. Hans studied the man that was his Captain carefully.

Malcom picked up the PADD and scanned it. "It looks like a very thorough report, XO," he said and then set the PADD back down. "Why don't you give me a verbal report. What are your perceptions of the crew. Strengths? Weaknesses? Areas where we need to improve?" He much preferred a conversation over another PADD. Plus, it would be interesting to hear his XO's thoughts on the spot.

"Well Sir," Hans was thought for a second. "Most of the crew seems to work well together and be of good spirits. It is a very small ship with a small crew and they have formed real bonds it seems. I will say I have noted a few departments that are understaffed. Should the blade hit the grindstone I fear we'll see more than sparks." Hans paused and thought, "You've done a good job at getting a crew that balances itself out. Most of the gaps are taken care of by redundancy and the sheer character of our crew members."

"I would recommend some cross-training. Especially for the Security, Flight Control, and Operations departments, if something really happens out there and we lose any of the members of these departments we need to have crew ready to fill the spot. I guess that is the real problem with a small ship," Hans looked around the small room even after two weeks he was still adjusting to the space in the modules that made the interior of the Firebird. Everything seemed just a little tighter.

"I don't have a problem with that. Most of our officers are required to have a basic familiarity with other departments but a more in-depth training wouldn't hurt anyone," Malcom said and then considered his security department. "What about you? How are you settling in? Have you had much chance to socialize with the crew?"

Hans wasn't much for socializing, "To be honest Sir, outside of official business I haven't really had contact with the crew. I'm not sure they know what to think of me." Hans looked around the small office about 2/3rds the size of his last Captain's ready room, but it was still bigger than most spaces on the ship. Hans marveled at how no matter what room of the ship you were in, you could still get a sense of the module they used to carve the room out of. It was like walking from pod to pod connected by the magic of engineering.

Malcom's brow furrowed. "I see," He said and then paused before continuing. "Hans, I know that you're still getting settled in here and I appreciate your efficiency with the reports you've been working on. But I think it's important that you get to know the crew. I know that a lot of that will take time but they need to know you a little and to hear your voice. I don't need to tell you that when things get hairy, and they will, the crew needs to have trust in you as a commander."

Hans knew this was coming. It took a while before anyone really knew him on the Belmont and Hans knew that it couldn't be the same here. "You are right Sir," Hans said with a frown. His leg straightened and there was no way that he was getting any relief with a mild rubbing. "I just don't know the first thing about being social. Official business is easy. I give an order I expect it followed, but how do I break past the uniform?" Hans truly didn't know how to separate himself from the work. He had made Starfleet his life for so long.

Malcom stood up and walked over to his small replicator. " Two Scotches, Oban, two thousand six vintage. One ice cube," Malcom said. He waited for the glass tumblers to appear and then brought them over to his desk. He sat down, sliding one glass across to his XO.

"What's wrong with your leg?" Malcom asked. "I can tell you're having some trouble with it."

"A childhood football injury," Hans said taking the glass the Captain offered him. "The doctors claim it's more mental than anything and when it comes to it it's never failed me when it counted. To be honest, when my nerves get the better of me it's a reminder of a different life. It throbs with pain and gets stiff," Hans felt his leg relaxing whether it was talking about it or the whiskey, the stiffness was gone. "I've lived with it for over 30 years, it really isn't a problem Sir."

"During the war, I was the junior helmsman on the USS Iowa under Captain Ahanobi," Malcom said, taking a sip of his drink. "During most of our fights, I wasn't at the conn. I was at my secondary duty station as a team lead for damage control. More than anything, the things I had to deal with during those battles, molded me into the captain I am today. During one battle, I was with my team, trying to lock down a plasma leak but we were too slow. It ignited. Killed three of my team and burned my face badly. You can't tell now. The doctors fixed me up. But, sometimes, I feel it. So I guess we're similar in that way." Malcom took a longer drink, eyeing his XO.

Hans looked at the man across from him, "Malcom, I can see why I was sent here," he took a sip from his drink and for the first time since being on board the Firebird he felt comfortable. "I'm not getting any younger, and it will be hard to teach this old dog new tricks, but if anyone can teach me to open up it's you. I leave myself in your hands. Tell me where should I start to show this crew I care."

Malcom smiled. He enjoyed helping his officers become better. "Let me give you an example and you'll have to take it from there, ok? Captain Ahanobi was the best combat captain I've ever known. Always cool and calm under pressure. She always knew what to do. I've tried to live up to her example for my entire career. You might not guess it but young Malcom Llwyedd had a crisis of faith after the academy. I was a great pilot but I was horrible with everything else. I finished just below the middle of the pack. So when I got to the Iowa I was really intimidated. They were a tight crew and had been around the galaxy. I went in to see the captain a couple of weeks after I arrived. I told her I wasn't sure if the Iowa was the right place for me. She listened, nodded in all the right places and then told me to meet her in the holodeck in an hour," Malcom said. He laughed and took another drink, almost emptying the glass.

"So I follow orders and show up at the holodeck. I had no idea what was going on. I mean, I'm an ensign for heaven's sake. And I walk through the door and there's a crowd of people, all dressed in white jumpsuits, wearing these strange wings made of metal and fabric, the captain included. Must have been twelve or thirteen people. She walks up to me, holding a set of wings in one hand and a jumpsuit in the other, smiling like the sun. By the end of that day, I'd learn to kitefly and I loved it. Scared the hell out of me at first but the other crew had all done it before, Louis, K'grath, Melz, and they all helped me figure it out. That was when I became part of the crew. I never thought of leaving again," Malcom said.

"I think I'm to old to kitefly, but I get your point," Hans smiled and finished his whiskey in a quick swig. "I'll figure something out soon and get the crew to see me as more than a uniform. Have you ever played football?" Hans stood and shook his left leg out. "I may never play professionally, but I can still move on the field."

Malcom shook his head. "Not me. I ran track when I was younger. But I'm always up for new things. You should talk to Lieutenant Cunningham and his Marines. I bet they would love to play too," Malcom said, standing. He held out his hand. "You're going to be just fine, Hans. And if you have problems, come and talk with me."

"Sounds good Sir," Hans said returning to a more official posture. "Perhaps a little Starfleet v Marines on the football field, could bring some interesting team dynamics." Hans smiled, "I'll see if any of the crew is interested." Hans started towards the door and stopped to look at the younger man. "Thank you for talking to me today Sir. I was starting to wonder how I fit in on your little ship. To be honest I was starting to think it was a lost cause." Hans looked down at the floor of the ready room. "I'll make you a good XO yet Sir, you have my word."

"I know you will," Malcom said. "I'm counting on it. Dismissed."


Captain Malcom Llwyedd
Commanding Officer
USS Firebird NCC-88298

Commander Hansel Friedrech
Executive Officer
USS Firebird NCC-88298


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