Chapter 2 - Promotion of Science (USS Tanjura)

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“Lieutenant Nailah, you are requested to join the Captain in her ready room at your earliest convenience,” said the computer

“Report to the Captain, aye” Naila replied, as she got up from her desk and grabbed her PADD and tricorder.”.

Njessa watched the light strike the turning pieces of space junk in the junkyard.  She was certain that what they needed was there.  It was just a matter of finding it, sorting the wheat from the chaff, as it were.

Nailah entered the bridge and headed to the Science station to check the latest sensor readings on the regional anomalies. She then headed to the door to the Captain’s Ready Room and sounded the chime.

“Enter,” Njessa said, turning to face the Caitian.  “Thank you for coming so quickly.”  She gestured to the computer.  “Starfleet has seen fit to use our limited communication for some important news.”

“They recently developed a substitute for dilithium crystals that function in this region,” Nailah teased, “and they will be delivered in twelve hours?”

Njessa shook her head.  “Unfortunately, not that.”  She stepped over to her desk and picked up a small but familiar box to any Starfleet officer.  “Something more personal, your promotion to full Lieutenant came through,”  She handed Nailah the box, “and with it, if you feel comfortable in the role, the Chief of Science position on the Tanjura.  Chthit had been acting as chief but has no wish to continue in that role, preferring to focus on astrophysics.  So, are you up to it?  It is a great opportunity but more responsibility.”

It took a moment for Njessa’s words to fully register.  When they did, she felt a bolt of warm excitement. “I don’t really know what to say.” Nailah always thought that she would lead a science department sometime during her career, but the idea never seemed…real. “Of course, I gladly accept…if you are sure I am the person you want in the seat.”

Njessa smiled.  “You are enthusiastic, energetic, and willing, I could hardly ask for more of a chief in any department.  Given the circumstances we find ourselves in, Science has been understandably overwhelmed.  I am hoping that you will be able to inspire them to embrace the challenges ahead and live up to the ideals of Starfleet.”

“A crewmate is only as good as the leader who enables them. I  will give it my all, Captain.” Nailah looked at the box again, still not convinced it was real. She looked at Njessa again. She noted the weight in her hands. You’ve been tasked with managing the most complex thing of all: people. “Did Starfleet say anything else?”

“That it had top people looking into the dilithium question,” she reached over and snagged a datapad.  “Their latest observations and questions should be on your computer but here is a copy if you wish,” Njessa offered the datapad to the new science chief.

“I remember what it was like being a new chief, though I was Operations, so if you have questions feel free to reach out to me or the XO,” Njessa said.  Before adding, with a smile, “Congratulations, Lieutenant Nailah.”

“Thank you, Captain.” Nailah gave a slight bow. She held up the PADD Njessa handed her. “I’ll meet with the teams on this right away.”

“Dismissed,” said Njessa with a nod, a faint smile gracing her face as she watched the new Chief of Science go.  Now, let me see if I can recapture some of that enthusiasm for myself.