Against the Wall
Location: Tahoe, Earth
Timeline: -6 Weeks
"You need to start assembling crew."
Ken tried not to dwell on what was said in his last conversation with Captain Aday. Arguments that he already had a crew fell on deaf ears. Aday was adamant that his former team were not assigned to the Labe. Lettner was promoted to teamleader, they filled the last spot and were already out doing what they kept doing.
But, even with that, Aday was correct. Three others wouldn't crew a nova class vessel. He had to find more than just fugitive recovery teams. He had to find security personnel, operations, engineers, medical. Fortunately, he wasn't as concerned with the court personnel, that the Federation would take care of and assign to his ship.
Not a prospect he liked, because he may get people who didn't understand they were under his authority as captain of the ship.
"Thank you," Ken said as the chocolate shake was put down on the table before him. He looked out over the trees and sapphire blue of the lake beyond the decking. The rich smells of the kitchen wafted out as the server went back inside. They mingled with the clean smells of the tall pines, the rich alpine earth they grew from and the lake before them.
If he had to do interviews for crew, he might as well do it in someplace that he loved. Hopefully that would bring him a bit of luck.
"Reynolds," Ken muttered again, looking at his chrono. Next was Reynolds, considered for security. "Interesting record," Ken muttered to himself.
Victor walked in the small restaurant overlooking the lake and sighed, he could stay here forever. But duty called and he had to meet with his hopefully new Captain. He spotted the man sitting at a table secluded from everyone else."Lieutenant Commander Lawe?" he asked as he walked up.
"Lieutenant Reynolds," Ken said as he stood to receive the officer. "Yes, I'm afraid that's me. Still taking some used to the new pip though. Please, have a seat. Order whatever you'd like, the tab is being picked up by Command so..." Ken smiled as he shrugged.
"In that case, ma'am." he said gesturing to the waitress who immediately walked over. "What can I get started for you?"
"Get me the biggest juiciest double meat cheeseburger with bacon you can make, I want crispy seasoned fries and a large sweet tea minimal ice, also a large strawberry milk shake on the side."
She smiled. "Got it." then walked away
"Can never get home cooked food like this on ships anymore, so I'm definitely taking advantage." Victor said with a smile.
"So, this is the part where we get right down to it and you explain why in the hell I should consider you considering your record?"
"Well the record speaks for itself, Commander." Victor replied.
"No, it really doesn't, Reynolds, otherwise I wouldn't have to ask about it and you wouldn't be sitting there. Now, you've never been kicked off or removed from an assignment, but you've stagnated in rank for some time, which tells me that there's more to these less than stellar personnel reviews."
Ken stirred the chocolate shake, waiting for it to be a little less thick before he started on it. "Look, Lieutenant, I've grown up Betazoid and we don't play a lot of bullshit games. We're upfront, blunt and honest. Let's try playing it by Betazoid rules now, shall we?"
"I am a betazoid so that works for me. I don't play around and I've told a few superiors what I thought of their orders once or twice. That doesn't bide well with them especially when evaluations are around the proverbial corner. I'm usually overlooked for promotions because they're afraid of what I'll accomplish with more power."
"Well, that's better, and slightly more egotistical," Ken said. "I prefer honesty in all things. I understand pissing off command, I was supposed to have key crew positions filled weeks ago, but I'm trying to hold out to get my way. Give me an example of orders you questioned."
"We were ambushed on a planet misson when I was on the Iwo Jima, Orion Pirates. We had captured one of their leaders and they wanted him back. We escaped to a cave and held our position. After a while the shooting stopped and he wanted to send some of our men out to investigate. I told him they were trying to ambush us again but he didn't believe me. He tried ordering one of my men to go out there on a suicide mission and I told him to belay that. The XO got in my face and I punched him out cold. When our rescue came they found 6 orions waiting for us and captured them. the XO put me on report but nothing really came of it, but my evaluation from him was less than stellar."
"I see," Ken said. "And you haven't learned your lesson from that? I give you orders you don't agree with, you're going to question me?"
"Only if its going to get people killed needlessly." Victor responded. His food arriving.
"I see. And when I decide that I'm going to take the lead on a fugitive recovery, or an extraction. Or lead a contraband search?" Ken asked.
"That's your call , but I will make sure you're safe as well even if that means disobeying your orders." Victor then took a massive bite of his juicy dripping hamburger.
"Truly disgusting," Ken quipped but then cleared his throat. "What's your experience been with prisoners? Both short term and long term."
"Keep em behind a forcefield give em three meals a day and don't turn your back on em for anything."
Ken sighed on hearing that. He guessed he shouldn't be surprised. The normal, everyday security officer didn't deal with detainees, which meant they weren't up on the Federation's requirements regarding the treatment of prisoners. No matter how much Ken might agree with the man's statement.
"Okay, tell me why you're the candidate for this position?" Ken asked.
"You need someone who's good at what they do, that's me. I can take it as well as I can dish it. I don't take anyone's BS and I'm pretty handy in a fight." Victor sipped his milkshake, "Most of all, I'm loyal."
Ken sat back, contemplating. Finally he sat up again, operating his PADD. "There is a planned walkthrough of the ship tomorrow at 0800 to check on the progress of the refit. Bay three. I hope that won't be a problem for you?"
"I'll be there 0745." Victor said with a smile.
"That's good to know, I'll be there about 0815-0830-ish," Lawe said with a smile. He approved the transfer and, despite his wanting his own team, did have a small giddy thrill at approving his first department head. "In the meantime, there's some security crew that has already been assigned to the ship, go over their records and make sure they're satisfactory, then continue staffing your department."
Ken started to sip from his shake. "Oh, did I mention that Tactical will be a separate department, but the Detention Deck will fall under security?"
"You didn't but that's OK, mixes things up a bit." Victor said returning the smile before he took another bite out of his juicy burger.
"Well, alright then, I'll see you tomorrow around oh-eight-hundred. Ish," Ken said as he gathered his PADD and shake. "Unfortunately, I have a few more crew prospects to speak with today. Welcome aboard, Lieutenant. It should be interesting. Presuming the ship budget can sustain your appetite."
Victor stood up so as not to be rude,"Oh I only eat like this on other peoples dime, I promise not to run the ships bio matter reserve into the ground."
"I'm not too worried about it, Lieutenant," Ken said, wondering why the man stood up. "I'm sure the Delta Quadrant has plenty of free hydrogen roaming around from all this big, bright stars." Then, suddenly it hit him why Reynolds stood. He held back the sigh. Something else he would have to get used to, for awhile at least, was formality of the military system. He missed his team more and more these days.
But, hopefully, he'd be able to recreate that bond with his new crew. All of his new crew. "As you were," he said as he turned to head to his next meeting.
"With pleasure sir." Victor said with a smile as he returned to devouring his meal with extreme prejudice.