Chapter 3 - Science department? What Science department?

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<XO Office>>
Lt. Cmdr. Merin Mez sat at her desk, splitting her attention between two different topics.; science and command. Changing duties and mission to exploration brought on changes in structure and priorities. None of this was major and most of it just time consuming administrative work. The other much more palpable was the science department. Or maybe it was the lack of the department that made it part of her job. With only enlisted in the department, she would be required to take the role of chief science officer in addition to her other duties. It wasn’t that she was complaining, it allowed her to indulge her desire to play with all the toys on the most advanced starship.
With the chime at her door, she rose and watched the other person enter her office. Master Chief Petty Officer Robert Little Bear was a giant, standing in a 6’10, with greying long hair and tan skin that identified him as a Native American in Earth’s racial categories. It had taken her some time to understand that he was considered little due to the fact that bears were much larger than he.
He sat down and gave a warm smile. “It’s good to see you again Commander. I hope that my points have not caused much consternation with you.”
Merin returned the smile, “I’m not surprised given our situation. Diplomacy is not a science officer’s field of expertise unless it is sociology and psychology.”
“Very true. In wisdom, let us send those who speak more than those who read,” Little Bear replied.
Merin suppressed a laugh. “And I wish I could have joined them,” she said quietly before speaking up and tapping on to her screen on her desk. “I’ve pulled a few members out other departments to give you the number of crewmen you will need for the regular operations.”
Little Bear looked down at his PaDD and took some time to review. “A decent selection of crewmembers though it is only the bare minimum. I also note that there are no officers still.”
Merin sighed, “I wish I could provide more. Sadly, when command was assigning officers, it offered up few cross trained personnel that I can move around. Granted, they are very talented, but we need to begin their cross training.”
Little Bear cocked his head to one side, “An oversight on their part? Or were there reasons given?”
“There were complications due to the battle and investigation of the Foundation that put highly qualified but less seasoned crew,” Merin replied. “Given that it’s a stellar cartography, I will assume the science officer post. Should we need a specialist, there are a few in medical, engineering or operations who can fill in in a pinch.”
Given his seniority, Merin was not surprised that Little Bear did not show any sign of disapproval or other emotion to the bad news. “I’ll make the adjustments needed. When will you be joining us to get to know the equipment?”
That was the hardest question. Now, is what she wanted to say but she knew that was not an option, “I’ll spend what time I can after my shift in there.”
He nodded and stood, “Then if you will excuse me, I have work to do.”
Lt. Cmdr. Merin Mez