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Roshanara Rahman

LtCmdr Lael Rosek & Lt German Galven: Proper Protocol

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I wanted to give a shoutout to @Lael Rosek and @German Galven for a wonderful scene they wrote together. I particularly liked how this scene shows the growth of Rosek's character, who as she notes when talking to Galven, was once in his position of being told that a line had been crossed (you can read *that* scene "Tempestuous Trio" here: Parts One , Two , and Three). It's great to see this kind of character development in our fleet. Furthermore, this scene was constructed through the regular tag system back-and-forth rather than a joint post and is a great demonstration of how substantial and intimate scenes like this can be constructed in the typical tagging system and not just left for JPs. Well-done, both of you!

(OOC: The completed scene below is constructed from several sims.)

 

((Bridge, USS Montreal))
{{Time Index: A half hour after landing}}

Rosek: Can we disable them without destroying them, Commander?

::She prayed the answer was yes. She really didn’t want the blood of 200 otherwise innocent people on her hands. She was already barely able to live with the blood that seemed to permanently stain her hands from the lives she’d been forced to take during her career just to survive.::

Tel-ar: I can disable both warp drives on your command. Estimated 3.47 minutes before they reach long range

Rosek: ::pauses:: Can we do it without destroying the vessels?

Tel-ar: There is always a chance, :: Tal did some quick calculations and simulations on the computer before he finished speaking. :: There is a 38.362% chance that the freighter might suffer more damage than expected and 13.275% chance of the smaller vessel suffering more damage than expected.

::A quiet sigh of relief passed her lips. There was a chance, no matter how small, that despite their best intentions, they’d end up doing more harm than they intended. If she managed to get to the end of this day without having to take a single life, it would be a good day. She had no desire for it to become a habit nor did she want it to become a running theme. She’d signed up to save lives, not take them.::

Ch'Dargon: Those percentages are high, these ships were not designed very well. The freighters in my home system could take much more. :: He bragged a bit unintentionally.::

Tel-ar: A number of the freighters more vulnerable systems such as life support and the impulse engines are in very close proximity to their warp engines. There is only a small margin for error.

Hamasaki: We can have the shuttles perform a rescue if necessary, although, with quarantine protocols in effect, it'd just be beaming them to a hospital directly from the freighter or our makeshift sickbay.

Dante: We can take that action in no time Commander.

Hamasaki: We should have our patrol in range to cover most of the possible launch vectors within 4 minutes. ::beat:: They'll be just too slow to directly engage with the current ships attempting to break the quarantine.

::Lael took only a moment to take in all of the information being presented to her before turning to Tel-ar with a curt nod. It wasn’t an easy decision by any means and was one of the most difficult ones she’d had to make since becoming first officer. With Mei on the surface talking with the Klingon delegation, this choice was on her.::

Rosek: Do everything you can to minimize the damage, Commander, but if it comes to it-- ::turns back to face the viewscreen:: To quote the Vulcans, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few”.

Rosek: Damage to the ships?

Hamasaki: I'm reading some damage to their communications and life-support systems.

Rosek: ::to Hamasaki:: Get our shuttles out there to recover the ships’ occupants. All of our personnel must maintain quarantine. Advise them they’ll need EVA suits.

Hamasaki: Aye. They're already nearing the freighter.

Rosek: ::presses her thumb to the button on the armchair:: =/\=Rosek to Skyfire.=/\=

Skyfire: =/\=Go ahead, commander. =/\=

Rosek: =/\=I know you have your hands full down there, but we have two vessels full of passengers that tried to breach quarantine and they might need medical assistance. Prep a couple of your medics with the necessary supplies to treat the passengers.=/\=

Skyfire: =/\=On it. I’ll pull a personnel hat trick and find the people.=/\=

Rosek: =/\=Understood. Rosek out.=/\=

::She sat in silence for a long moment, contemplating what had just happened and the call that she’d just made. A grimace twisted her features and she had to remind herself that she was here because Mei trusted her judgement and had faith that she could handle situations like this. She’d never felt the burden of command so heavily as she did in that moment. Her choice could just as easily have resulted in 200 deaths. It wasn’t something she’d chosen lightly, but that didn’t change the risk she’d taken.::

::Meanwhile, Dr. German Galven had stopped by Sickbay to see how everything was going and overheard some of the conversation between Lael and Chythar over the CMO’s commbadge. He wasn’t too sure that what they had done was the right thing. And of all people, Lael made that decision to stop the ships, but at what cost? He quickly got the bridge and arrived as the conversation between the officers was dwindling down.::

Tel-ar: Thrusters off line… :: short pause. :: last passengers beamed off. It will crash about 5 miles away from the city.  

Rosek: :: leans back in the chair :: They were the first...but I doubt they’ll be the last. Stay on your toes.

Hamasaki: Ma'am, the shuttles are already in orbit and moving to intercept. They'll need to standby for beam out. There's only one left if we need to scramble it for another emergency.

Galven: I’m confused. Why are we shooting at ships?

::He was indeed confused and was oblivious to how Lael wasn’t too happy about his sudden appearance on the Bridge. He did, however, notice that everyone was looking at him with curiosity as to why he was there asking that. He then walked around to where Lael was and saw that her eyes were closed, but for a moment.:: 

::German’s sudden appearance had her fighting not to jump. It was a perfectly reasonable question, but something about the way he asked it made her tense. Her hands wrapped around the arms of the chair she currently occupied and she had to force herself to be conscious of how tight her grip was so she didn’t damage Mei’s chair. She could easily have left indents from the tips of her fingers, possibly even mangled the arms. Closing her eyes for a long moment, she drew in and then released a steadying breath. She owed him no explanation and didn’t offer one beyond a simple statement of fact.::

Rosek: Vessels containing 200 potentially infected people tried to break quarantine.

Galven: My apologies, but isn’t there a better way to handle that kind of situation?

::Lael rose from the chair, turning to face German as she drew herself up to her full height, her bright blue eyes piercing his. Logically, she knew German hadn’t intended to challenge her...only her decision. But the poorly-chosen moment for his frankness had placed her in a difficult position. To maintain her authority with the rest of the crew, she’d need to call him on it.::

::When Lael rose from her seat, her gaze met his. The way she was looking at him should have caused him to stop talking, but then the Andorian spoke which threw him off and he turned his head to look over at tactical station.::

Tel-ar: They were given a direct order to land and more than enough time to comply with that order, Chief.

Galven: We could try communicating with them? If they don’t comply, then trap them in a stasis field? 

Hamasaki: Projecting a stasis field over kilometers through atmospheric attenuation is .. rather risky. In addition, they knew that under Federation Code 335 § 89.922 once a planetary quarantine is declared, all merchants are to stay in orbit until cleared by planetary authorities. That said…

::Wisely, the young ensign allowed her sentence to trail off without finishing it. The last thing Lael needed was two officers openly questioning her judgement. It set a bad precedent. Regardless of whether she was right or not, protocol demanded that she be awarded the respect of dissenters voicing their thoughts to her privately so they didn’t stir up a mutiny. Though she doubted one incident would lead to that, allowing it to happen again and again very well could.:

Rosek: ::without breaking German’s gaze:: Thank you, Ensign Hamasaki. Keep an eye out for any other ships that are looking to break quarantine.

::It was then that German realized he made a mistake in questioning Lael and everyone esle on the bridge when the ensign helmswoman stopped talking and how Lael had never took her eyes off of his gaze. He had seen her like this before, but it was during the time when they were on the decaying planet and they were fighting the pirates. This time, he was on the receiving end of her daggers. He shifted nervously.::

Tel-ar: The city has dispatched a security detail to deal with the exploratory vessel and its occupants. They have informed me that they will keep us informed, in case there are any further problems.

Hamasaki: The shuttles are reporting that approximately 50 people need attention from the freighter, and they've got a complaint from the freighter captain, but are returning it to orbit for orbital facilities to handle the rest. They're standing by to beam up medical personnel and begin SAR.

Rosek: ::nods:: Noted. ::turns to Tel-ar:: Commander Tel-ar, you have the bridge. Comm me immediately if more ships try to break quarantine. ::to German:: May I see you in the ready room?

::It wasn't a request and she hoped German would pick up on that. As much as she was dreading this conversation, they needed to have it. He had to understand the magnitude of what he’d almost done.::

Tel-ar: As you wish.

::The Denobulan hesitated before he spoke. He knew now he had broken a rule. Now being alone in a room with a woman scorned wasn’t what he had planned on doing, but he complied.::

Galven: Yes, ma’am.

::Without looking to see if he followed, she crossed the bridge in a few long strides, the irritation clear in her posture, her hands tucked behind her back as she entered the ready room for what she was convinced would be one of the most awkward conversations of her career.::

: :He followed her close behind and noticed by the way she was walking that the Al-Leyan wasn’t too happy about what German just said. His posture was a little sunk in as he approached the door, then glanced back at everyone on the bridge, then turned.::

 

((Ready Room, USS Montreal))

::The moment the doors closed behind them, she turned to him, her lips a thin line. Despite her best attempts, she was certain her features couldn’t appropriately convey the hardness she was trying for because this was German. She couldn’t look at him with the severity she knew the situation warranted. She didn’t need a mirror to know that her eyes were giving her away with the softness in them.::

: :Once his inside, German stood still with his posture straightened and his hands clasped together behind him. He knew he was about to be dressed down for his behavior just a few seconds ago by the way Lael’s lips formed a straight line. He looked straight on past her once she began to speak.::

Rosek: Remind me, Lieutenant. What’s the proper protocol to follow if you disagree with a choice your commanding officer has made in a given situation?

Galven: Not say anything until a moment presents itself to talk with them privately.

Rosek: ::arches an eyebrow:: So you’re aware of the protocol, but you chose to ignore it despite the potential consequences.

: :He was aware of it, but at the time he was so bewildered that he forgot about the protocol. He had broken that trust between ranking officials. He was straining himself to glance at her, but wanted to remain as professional as ever for her.::

Galven: ::voice quivering:: I’m sorry, but::beat::I was confused and--  

Rosek: ::scowls:: You arrived on the bridge after the fact with no knowledge of the details and decided I’d made the wrong call.

::She was right. He didn't know what to say after she told him that. What German did was incredibly stupid and he knew it.::

::She took a couple of steps forward, a dangerous glint in her eye as she stopped an arm’s length away from him.::

::As she stepped closer to him, his gaze met hers and saw how upset she was with him.::

::If looks could kill.::

Rosek: If you’re going to serve under my command, I need to know that you’ll follow the orders I give you regardless of whether you agree with them. What you did out there demonstrated an astonishing lack of trust in my ability to make decisions that are in the best interests of all parties involved.

Galven: ::lips quivering:: Commander, I have never not trusted your ability to lead and I have a feeling that was a difficult decision to make, but at the time I was confused as to what was happening. I was stupid.

::It took everything she had not to drop her mask as she saw how upset he was. His reaction was flaring her temper and she had to get it under control. The way he was acting felt manipulative even if logically she knew that wasn’t his intention. She knew from past experience that German was his own worst critic and was probably more upset with himself than she was with him.::

::In truth, she wasn’t upset. Just disappointed. She had to force herself to remember a time when she’d stood in front of Rahman feeling the exact same way German did right now. She’d prayed at the time for the deck to open up and swallow her whole, so ashamed of her outburst that she’d seriously had to fight tears. Against her will, her expression softened slightly.::

::Lael didn’t say anything which made the situation a little more awkward and made German wonder what she was thinking. He wanted to know more about her reasoning behind her motives back on the bridge. Granted, she didn’t have to tell him, but the Denobulan’s curiosity got the better of him.::

Galven: Permission to speak freely, Commander?

Rosek: ::murmurs:: Go ahead, Lieutenant.

Galven: We are going to have enough on our hands treating to sick, but now there's going to injured people on board. How will they trust us knowing we were the ones that hurt them?

::She had to clench her fists to keep her temper in check at the reminder of the similar statement he’d made on the bridge moments before. He was right. She should have at least tried to give the ships a warning. Everything had happened so quickly and her primary focus had been on ensuring whatever illness those people were potentially infected with didn’t leave the planet.::

::She’d shut off her emotions and, clearly with them, her empathy. She was thankful it hadn’t ended in disaster. It was a burden she’d carry for a long time...until she could forgive herself. If she ever did.::

 

::The way the Al-Leyan responded by clenching her fists made German move back a little. He wanted to brace himself for a storm.::

Rosek: Be that as it may, Lieutenant...the bridge is not the proper forum to express your concerns when you come strolling in after the fact having not been present for what led up to the course of action.

::She didn’t exactly answer the question, but German reminded himself that it wasn’t his place to question her. He didn’t want another incident like the both of them had down in the mines during the Havley’s Hope mission.::

Galven: I understand that. I'm incredibly sorry for breaking your trust and that's the God's honest truth. I'll accept any punishment you have for me. ::pauses:: And I hope you can forgive me.

Rosek: ::rolls her eyes:: Enough with the groveling. ::huffs:: If you truly believe what you’re saying, stand by it.

::The statement had come out more than a tad harsher than she’d intended it to, but it irritated her to no end when people asked forgiveness even if they’d made a mistake. To her, it had always been a sign of weakness...though she knew that wasn’t true of everyone. She rarely, if ever, apologized when receiving criticism or advice from her superiors. She simply acknowledged that it had been given to her and confirmed her understanding with a simple “yes, sir” or “yes, ma’am”.::

::It was how she’d survived the Academy with them constantly drilling down on the cadets those first few months to make the weak ones quit. But she’d been damned and determined not to be one of the ones who was weeded out.::

Galven: ::straightens his posture:: Yes, ma’am.

Rosek: ::meets his gaze:: I once stood where you are, Lieutenant. I made a mistake and questioned my direct superior, Luna Walker, in front of the entire senior staff AND the Antor II governor. When Captain Rahman called me and Commander Walker into her ready room, I silently prayed that a gaping hole would form in the deck and that I’d fall through. But I stood my ground. The only apology I offered was where and in front of whom I had made the remarks. I didn’t ask for forgiveness because I knew my commitment to never make that mistake again was enough.

::She was trying to give him advice...to toughen him up for the climb up the ladder. Apologies didn’t fix the mistake, action did. No matter how sincere his apology, if he couldn’t back it up with action, it wouldn’t matter. It was something she’d learned the hard way at the Academy and in certain situations out here. ::

::He felt somewhat better that she had been in his shoes before, but he knew not to do it ever again. The situation was more of a one time experience. And he fully was capable of putting it locked away in his memory bank. If Captain Rahman was there, she’d be very disappointed in him. Also the Caitian commander. Which made him wonder how they were doing and if there was any progress.::

Galven: I’m not going to make the mistake again as well.

Rosek: ::expression softens slightly:: Have you ever heard of Anne Frank, Lieutenant?

: :Thinking back to his Academy days, he had never heard of the woman’s name. He tried to remember if there was any mention of her in his history classes.:: 

Galven: ::shakes his head:: The name doesn’t ring a bell, no.

::She didn’t figure he would have. The young woman’s story was an inspiration to Terrans even today. She’d first read The Diary of Anne Frank in high school. English had been her least favorite subject, but something about the story had touched her heart and had stayed with her ever since.::

Rosek: ::gaze drops from his for a moment before returning to it:: She was a young Jewish girl who became a victim of a fascist group who believed that Aryans were the master race and anyone who didn’t fit that mold was rounded up and slaughtered.

Galven: That’s horrible…

Rosek: She died at 16. But before she did, she said this: “What is done cannot be undone, but at least one can keep it from happening again.” ::lays a hand on his shoulder and squeezes:: We all make mistakes, Lieutenant. What makes us stronger is doing everything in our power not to repeat those mistakes.

: :That was lesson to be learned and also keep very well in his mind. Lael was giving him his confidence back by telling him about the girl and her situation. The disgusting depravity of people and how they were ignorant of other races. Historical mistakes of people surely needed to be remembered and not have it repeated. He shook his head and frowned at such a life for a teenager. Most likely scared and wondering what was to be next. Then dying in the hands of the disgusting level of what a group would do to gain power.::

Galven: Lesson learned, ma’am. You can count on me to do better.

::She opened her mouth to reply, but was cut off by the chirp of her commbadge. She’d been so wrapped up in the situation with German that she’d almost forgotten she was expecting an update on the set-up of the quarantine zone. She tapped her commbadge, Solok’s voice coming through.::

Solok: =/\= Solok to Doctor Skyfire and Commander Rosek. =/\=

Skyfire: =/\= Skyfire here, doctor. =/\=

Rosek: ::murmurs:: I should get back to the bridge and you're needed down below.

Galven: Yes ma’am. ::turns to the door, then glances back at Lael:: Thank you.

::Lael opened her mouth to speak, but as the doors closed she was hit with the most disorienting sensation followed by a flash of an image so brief that she couldn’t make it out. She gasped, gripping the edge of Mei’s desk to remain standing. Her footing was still shaky at best as she rose to her full height, straightening her uniform.::

Rosek: =/\=Rosek here. Go ahead, Doctors.=/\=

---

Lieutenant Commander Lael Rosek
Executive Officer
USS Montreal
I238110RH0

&

Lieutenant German Galven
Chief Science Officer
USS Montreal
V239507GG0

 

Edited by Roshanara Rahman
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