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Nathan Baker

Round 6 Captain Tallis Rhul & Lt.Cdr. Arden Cain - Filling the job not the

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((USS Mercury, Deck 25: Holodeck 3))

::Shore leave had proved to be quite relaxing. Besides his after action report he hadn't done any work whatsoever but for Arden there was only one other indulgence that he craved before the Mercury's next adventure. Taking a trip down to Holodeck three and praying not to be interrupted this time Arden started another one of his rock climbing simulations.::

::As the holodeck doors opened Arden found himself standing five meters from the rock wall he would be climbing. All around him was a lush tropical jungle, the sun was shining with a light breeze. All in all it was a prefect environment which would look even better from the top.::

:: A meter away sat a crate in which Arden found all the supplies he would need for this climb. Rolling up his sleeves and buckling his harness in place he gathered the other provisions testing the functionality of each. Even though this was a holodeck and his gear was fabricated fault free Arden checked anyway just as he had been taught. The motto of never make assumptions etched into his mind. Somehow that motto seemed all the more relevant since joining Star Fleet particularly with his chosen career path.::

:: By the time Arden reached the second of the three segments in the wall he almost wished he paid closer attention to the weather settings prior to starting. Having climbed above the canopy the breeze was still gentle but he could feel the heat more. A sweat coated Arden continued onward anyway. As he poked his head over the pinnacle of the wall onto a large open plateau. Usually Arden felt relieved at having completed the exercise but this time he was shocked to see Captain Tallis standing a couple meters away. Shaking it off and remembering that he was hanging by a rope a good two hundred meters off the ground, he swung his right leg up onto the plateau to allow him to quickly haul his body off the cliff face. Taking a couple steps away from the cliff he disconnected his safety ropes and approached the Captain, still confused despite Captain Tallis's expression of enjoyment.::

::Tallis hadn't been able to make a trip down into the sensor module section of the ship for quite some time, and was pleased to have the opportunity. He was even more pleased to have the opportunity to do what he was about to do. A few stealthily deployed clearance codes allowed him access to the otherwise closed off holodeck in which Arden was running his climbing program. A few more codes allowed him to easily access the part of the program that needed to be accessed. He knew it would not be long before Cain made it to his location. Until then, he took the time to enjoy the heat and the jungle scenery. It was a far cry from the confines of sickbay.::

::So it was that when the Science chief made it to the top of the rock face, his captain was waiting for him with a flask and a light lunch of subs filled with a selection of fillings. For a moment, Tallis was sure that Cain would fall back down the cliff in shock, and was glad that the safety protocols were active. Fortunately, the worst did not come to the worst, and Arden hauled himself up onto solid ground.::

::Taking the flask offered to him Arden drunk deeply. Afterward he wiped the sweat from his face before addressing the Captain.::

Cain: Captain are you a....

Tallis: ::Laughing:: No, I'm real. And to answer your next question, this is the first time I've ever gatecrashed someone's holodeck time. In my defence, I wouldn't have done it if I didn't have something important to talk to you about.

::A formal air quickly descended on the proceedings, which Tallis hadn't quite been aiming for, but couldn't really be helped. As much as he tried, there really weren't very many ways to keep something like this casual.::

Cain: Yes Sir I'm afraid you'll have to forgive my appearance. What did you want to talk about Sir?

Tallis: Well, to be honest, I'm thinking of appointing a new Chief of Science...

::To say that Arden didn't understand would have been an understatement. Arden knew the Captain well enough that he wasn't joking, definitely not having gatecrashed on his holodeck time. To his knowledge he had been doing a great job as the CSO and couldn't think of a reason to be replaced. Deciding the best thing to do would be to remain calm he asked the next logical question.::

Cain: May I ask why you are replacing me, Sir? I think I have done a pretty decent job thus far. Will I still be in the science department?

::The Bajoran smiled through Cain's inevitable concerns as he ploughed ahead, deliberately being vague, and knowing that Cain was about to get the shock of his life. In short, he was enjoying every minute.::

Tallis: Well in fairness, Arden, I don't think you'll have much time to spend there.

Cain: I don't understand Sir.

::They had reached the point where Tallis's fun had to come to an end, and an offer needed to be made.::

Tallis: Commander Parker is moving into a more specialist role that should give us the edge we need out here in the Menthar Corridor. That means I need someone who's reliable, competent, respected by the crew, and a [...]ed good officer all round to step into the role of first officer. That would be you, if you're willing to accept a promotion?

:: Now it become crystal clear why the Captain wanted to move Arden. Arden honestly felt idiotic. Not because he had expected the promotion but rather that he underestimated how much the Captain thought of him.::

Cain: I am honored Sir and I'm willing. I certainly have some big shoes to fill but I will do my best Captain.

::Rhul beamed as his wind-up unraveled into a realization of what was really going on. Arden was humble as ever, but that was one of the qualities that a great command candidate needed; it helped to keep in touch with the lowerdecksmen.::

Tallis: Your best will be more than good enough, Arden. Although come to think of it, Parker's feet are pretty big... ::he chuckled.::

Cain: I doubt that there are many who could actually fill his shoes. ::smiling:: Did you have any thoughts about the next chief of science Sir?

Tallis: I think that Ba'Eli would make a good choice, given her enthusiasm for her change in departments.

::Arden had gone from shock and confusion to pride and excitement in the space of a few moments. The new position came with a lot of responsibility but that wasn't anything new. Even if Arden took a while adapting this time he knew he had support if he needed it. ::

Cain: Thank you again Captain this definitely means alot to me.

Tallis: You're more than welcome. I think you'll find yourself getting used to a red collar quicker than you might expect. You seem to have a knack for command. For now, though, help yourself to a sandwich. ::He glanced to the rock face towering behind him.:: I have a feeling you'll need it if you're going to make it to the summit...

TBC

A JP by

Captain Tallis Rhul

Commanding Officer

USS Mercury

NCC-99812

and

Lieutenant Commander Arden Cain

First Officer

USS Mercury

NCC-99812

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