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Another Pair of Hands

Posted on Sat Jul 11th, 2020 @ 10:53am by Lieutenant Elijah Mitchell

Mission: Episode 04: "Tempest"
Location: Diplomatic Office | Deck 07
Timeline: Day 1 at 1844

Diplomatic reports, political reports, communiqués and press requests. Lieutenant Mitchell had spent the past nine hours sorting through them all and actioning the most urgent. The rest had been sorted and prioritised, explaining the piles of PADDs sitting in the single visitor chair that his small office, more like a closet with a desk squeezed into it, could accommodate.

Just beyond his office was the Diplomatic bullpen, where the rest of his staff worked. Right now, that consisted of Petty Officer 3rd Class Devin Hackett, the Diplomatic Yeoman. His request for additional staff hadn’t borne fruit yet but he’d only submitted it this morning and Starfleet didn’t work that fast, particularly for a billet that was seen as ‘low priority’.

The Yeoman’s voice interrupted Elijah’s thoughts. “Sir, there’s a Senior Chief Petty Officer Harper here to see you.

“Does he have an appointment?” Elijah asked, not expecting anyone. In fact, he was surprised to hear that the Petty Officer was still at work, Eli had told him to go home two hours ago.

Hackett’s voice quickly came back. “No sir, she doesn’t”. The Yeoman’s emphasis on the word she pointed out Elijah’s stupid mistake.

“Okay. Send her in.” He set the PADD he’d been working on down and stood to receive his guest.

The doors parted to admit a woman in her early forties, wearing the same red uniform he did but with the insignia of a Senior Chief Petty Officer. “Good evening, sir.” She greeted him with a silken voice, a warm smile and an outstretched hand. "Senior Chief Petty Officer Lyric Harper."

“Good evening, Senior Chief.” Eli gripped her hand firmly and gave it a shake. “I would offer you a seat but unfortunately it’s occupied by that small mountain of PADDs.” He pointed to the PADDs in question with a lopsided smile. “So, what can I do for you?”

She stood with her hands behind her back as she moved to a more comfortable stance. “I’m reporting for duty, sir. I received new orders an hour and a half ago; I’m your new Diplomatic Chief.”

“Oh.” The surprise was evident on Elijah’s face. “No-one informed me you were coming…uh…at least I don’t think they did.” He could feel the heat rising in his cheeks. “Um…well, welcome aboard. I’m glad to have another pair of hands.”

“Apparently your XO made a few well placed calls to the Bureau of Personnel.” Harper’s mood was difficult to read. The smile that she maintained gave nothing away. If she was upset to have been ripped away from her posting on the Starbase and assigned to the Vesta, she wasn’t showing it. “I’d like to get straight down to work, sir.” She told him. “Where would you like me to start.”

Eli pointed to the PADDs occupying the visitor chair. “Those are press requests and low-level communiqués. You can start by working through them, drafting replies where necessary.”

“Aye, sir.” She reached down and picked up the pile of PADDs. “Will there be anything else?”

Eli nodded. “Yeah, make sure Yeoman Hackett goes home. I tried to send him home a few hours ago but for some reason he’s still there.”

“Aye.” Without another word she turned and went to pick her desk in the bullpen and settle in to begin her work.

Once the door close, Elijah breathed a sigh of relief as he lowered himself onto his chair. Another pair of hands might have seemed like little help, but having a Diplomatic Chief in post, and one who was a Senior Chief with more experience in Starfleet than he had would be a huge boost to his work.


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