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Lt Dueld taJoot & Cpt Diego Herrera - "Tacking Into the Wind&#


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((USS Vigilant, Deck 1: Captain's Ready Room))

::Deep Space 6 stared at Diego through the window of the captain's ready room. By now, members of the crew would already be filtering onto the promenade to take advantage of the many shops, bars and restaurants that it had to offer. For now, however, he was busy taking advantage of the stack of PADDs that his desk had to offer. Reports had filtered in from various departments relating the actions of the most senior members of his crew, chronicling their achievements and logging their successes. Having spent a good deal of time in sickbay dealing with Resistas, Diego had been somewhat out of the loop and, as he read up, he found himself suitably impressed with one of the team leaders. Enough so that he had summoned him to his ready room.::

((taJoot's quarters))

::Dueld was sitting in his quarters, reviewing zoological files on ... red pandas. Seriously. Red pandas. Like, what? The ship had been constructed on Zakdorn, and flown into space-- it was the Ship That Stayed Out In The Cold. It hadn't even gotten within orbit of a temperate forest. How did the Vigilant end up harbouring an arboreal terran omnivore? And what would they have to do to keep it from licking all its fur off in despair? The only vertical spaces higher than 3m were the shuttlebay and the warp core. What kind of sick friends did Eerie have, sending the poor thing out here?::

::And then the captain called him. As Dueld scrambled to find an unwrinkled uniform, he just gave up on shore leave altogether.::

((Captain's Ready Room))

::When the door chimed, Diego travelled towards the replicator as he answered.::

Herrera: Come in!

::The door slid back and Dueld taJoot entered the room as ordered.::

taJoot: You wanted to see me, sir?.

Herrera: Right on time, Dueld. Can I get you a drink?

taJoot: Uh, sure, uh... lemonade? taJoot Formula Two, please.

::Diego turned his attention towards the replicator for just a moment.::

Herrera: Computer, gimme a raktajino and a lemonade, taJoot Formula Two.

::The drinks were ready almost before he'd finished ordering them. Setting them down on the table in front of the long sofa, he offered the engineer a seat.::

Herrera: Make yourself comfortable for a sec. ::He grabbed one of the PADDs from his desk.::

taJoot: ::lowering himself to the edge of the seat gingerly and picking up his drink, just to have something to clutch:: Yessir.

::Returning to the lower area of the CRR, Diego took a seat himself, perching on the edge of the table.::

Herrera: I have to say, I appreciated the information you sent my way while we were dealing with the Zalkonians. I don't know what we would have done without it.

taJoot: ::blinking:: oO So far, not in trouble? Unless this is, like, poisoned. Oo Uh, well, just doing what you asked, sir, really. And we had it pretty easy in Lab Two, I hear, no ruptured EVA suits or infections or spies.

Herrera: Well, I gave you a job to do, threw you in the deep end, and you floated. You did better than that actually. Assembled a team. Directed them to find what you thought was relevant information. Collected more intel on the Zalkonians than we've ever had.

taJoot: Uh, thank you, sir, but maybe you're giving me credit for being the first engineer to stumble across a pile of unprotected Zalkonian data? And I couldn't have processed even the tiny chunk we got through without the supreme technical expertise of Malik and T'Rella.

::Diego nodded; he had no intention of discrediting the other members of Dueld's team.::

Herrera: That's true, but they were acting under your orders and your direct command. ::He lifted up the PADD.:: It says so right here. I'm looking at clear evidence of leadership skills.

taJoot: ::closing jaw slightly agape:: ... If you say so, sir.

::Diego slid further back on the table to secure his perch a little and took a drink of his raktajino. Dueld was supremely capable but exceptionally nervous. He didn't know enough Catullans to know whether that was some kind of racial psychological trait, but he imagined it wasn't. He was looking at a good, healthy dose of nerves from a relatively new assignment that had augmented a naturally nervous personality. That was his assessment from what he had seen so far, at least. If that meant that what he had planned would be met by incredulity or panic then he would deal with it appropriately.::

Herrera: ::Smiling:: I think you're a great officer, and I need great officers to run my departments. If I could have two chief engineers I would, but I'm sure you'll agree that's not really practical.

taJoot: Yeah, no, you can't tune a dilithium chamber two ways at once.

Herrera: Actually, I could really use a Chief of Operations. There's a lot of crossover with engineering, so you'd still be working closely with Kael Thomas. I think you'd handle to administrative side of it really well because you obviously have a good eye for details. And the position would come with a promotion to full Lieutenant. Can I count on you?

::He knew he could, of course, but wanted to give the Catullan a chance to air any concerns he might have before just slapping an extra full pip on him, hanging an Ops sign round his neck and then turfing him back out onto the bridge.::

taJoot: ::jaw gaping for real this time:: But... you... I... aren't there, like, any ops personnel with actual seniority, or, like, experience?
I've only met Block, but... seriously, didn't Fleet send you out here with anybody to wrangle the data?

::It sounded like the concerns were pretty sizeable.::

Herrera: ::Calmly:: I really think it's something you could pick up. Your engineering experience qualifies you for the position. You don't think you're ready?

taJoot: I'm just saying that if I had been handling the scheduling and the filing and the agendas and the cleaning, erseyntin the
cleaning, for a few years and then some three-year-old got promoted over me, I would be volcanic, I mean, I know you're not dumb enough to do that, but, just... ::running out of steam:: wow.

::Diego broke out into a laugh, partly because he hadn't even considered the 'erseyntin cleaning' and partly at the image of a three year-old Ops officer. The closest thing he could imagine was Fleet Captain Turner's daughter wearing a starfleet uniform and bossing people around.::

Herrera: No-one's going to resent you, or go volcanic. We're all professionals.

taJoot: Yeah, yeah, laugh it up, but you know how weird this looks from my end, right? Like, I barely speak one language, I only got out of the Academy four months ago and I'm not in engineering because all the seats in diplomacy were taken, you know what I'm saying? Someone is going to ask you why you put a wrenchnoob in charge of ops.

Herrera: ::Regaining his composure:: So I'll tell them that I put the most skilled officer I had into the position and that I have every confidence that they'll excel in it.

taJoot: ... I guess. I ... wow. ::looking down at the lemonade he has yet to sip, like he's not sure how it got there, then suddenly back up at Herrera:: Holy cow, helm falls under ops. I can't fly the ship! I mean, I can fly the ship, but I can't do what Fox does. ::eyes narrowing:: Actually, I'm not sure who we have who can. Can you do what Fox does?

::It looked like Dueld still needed some convincing.::

Herrera: Well, I could give it a brave try. I did basic piloting, so, I mean, I could fly the ship forwards and engage the warp engines, maybe even throw out some evasive manoeuvres if the computer was feeling generous enough to help. Other than that, no..., I'd just have to say "I'm a doctor, not an aerial stuntman." In your case you'd just have to organise people to sit in the chair.

taJoot: I guess it's no different than you commanding Thomas, I suppose-- assuming that you yourself can't redesign a warp core. ::nodding::... okay. This is just so...I mean, I am related to my sister and my mother, who are both really pushy and take charge, don't even ask, I just... it was always easier to just do things myself, you know, than to get other people to do them? ::face blanks out :: Wow. Wow. Suddenly it is like my sister is right here, and she has her "Okay, I ran out of time for this five minutes ago, yes or no?" face on. ::taking a breath:: Okay, sir, I guess I'm in. If she can herd cats, so can I. It ... can't be harder than hacking a Klingon ship... can it?

Herrera: No, compared to that I'd say it's gonna be a walk in the park.

taJoot: ::frowning again:: Sir, what about the virus that's chasing me? If it eats anything with my name in it, and suddenly my name is all over the ship's file systems... what if it evolves, and defeats the data echo system we have going? Whoever built it is going to upgrade it eventually, right? Suddenly there'd be gaps everywhere in the ship's operating systems.

::Brow furrowing, Diego thought on that problem for a moment. He'd received notification of that particular problem from Lieutenant Zehn in and amongst the other reports that had been filed, and he'd picked it up relatively quickly due to the urgent flag that showed up next to its title. There was little action that he could take other than grant his Chief of Intelligence all possible latitude to investigate it. There had to be some way around it, though.::

Herrera: I think short term we could probably create you temporary access with a different set of codes? Hopefully we'll get some answers about who's responsible for this quickly enough to do something about it.

taJoot: Hmm. I guess we have time to try to think of what we'll do next, or... whoever Zehn knows has time to think of what they'll do next, I mean. ::blowing out a breath:: I'm really glad that you think I'm doing a good job, sir, and I'll do my best. I can handle the systems stuff, but I will need advice on dealing with people. I can think of at least two people in Engineering that I have been glad Thomas had to deal with, not me.

Herrera: ::Smiling:: Any advice you need on that, feel free to ask. You seemed to do well enough with your last team and if it makes you feel any better, I've not heard the crew talking trash about you in the corridors, which has to be a good sign.

::Dueld snickered.::

taJoot: True, but you're the captain, right? You'd have to lurk to get the real dirt.

::Diego raised an eyebrow and replied with the wickedest of all possiblegrins.::

Herrera: Who says I don't?

taJoot: Cue ominous chord, okay, I got it. ::shaking head with a smile::

::So, official business seemed to be taken care of. There was still the matter of taJoot's nerves to address, though. If it really was a part of his personality then it was something that was unlikely to ever disappear in a puff of smoke, but there were certainly ways to make him feel a little more comfortable in his working environment. Making him feel like the Vigilant was home and that he was part of the family was one of them.::

Herrera: On a less threatening note... do you have any plans for shore leave?

taJoot: Uh, some, not superbooked. I have to take the official hardcopy of the Zalkonian data over to the station in a couple of days, it's a big deal, apparently, there's a marine escort-- Brown, I think it is?-- and a schedule and checkpoints and everything. And Lt. Cmdr. Reinard and I are hoping to get in some time at the Nebula.

Herrera: I'm pretty much free at this point. How would you feel about meeting up and doing something on the holodeck?

taJoot: ::blinking:: Uh, sure, that'd be great.

::These days, whenever Diego stepped through a set of holodeck doors, he ended up on a Parrises Squares court. He fancied a change.::

Herrera: Something active? I'd like you to choose though. Maybe something that you might find yourself doing back on Catulla?

taJoot: Uh, mostly I windsurf, sir. Do you-- I mean, I don't actually know what you do in your free time. Is that interesting to you?

::Despite having grown up in a town next to a bay, windsurfing was one sport that Diego had actually never found his way around to. He'd seen people doing it and it always looked like fun... and a challenge. To his mind, that was the perfect combination.::

Herrera: You bet, although you'd have to teach me how to do it. I'm more of a Parrises Squares guy usually but I'm definitely up for trying something new. I guess windsurfing is another of your CVable skills?

taJoot: Well, sailing, surfing, anything you can do with sand or sails or water, for a lot of Catulla that's what you get, you know? But I don't know if I'd say it was, like, an employable skill, except maybe if you were going to teach it on Risa or something.

Herrera: ::Shrugging:: Hey, well maybe teaching it to your captain qualifies? It sounds like it should be a blast. Where's your usual setting?

taJoot: Well, I normally play the Big Skenemmo surf series, they sim all the big surfing locations. But this time, see, I heard about this cool resort sim, Rubica. It's kind of an all-islands-to-all-people kind of thing? It's got a lot of different open air pavilions, there's a casino lounge and a spa and a sunbathing deck and a tea house, and a couple of different docks on differing water conditions for different activities. It's a mountain peak, so there's hiking and cliff diving and hang-gliding and stuff too. Since it's so multipurpose I don't know if the surf programming will be as good. But the variety might make it worth it. Skenemmo gave it four out of five on his blog, anyway.

::It sounded as though that particular program had been designed with more than just sporting activities in mind. Diego found himself looking forward to testing it out already.::

Herrera: Sounds ideal...

taJoot: The real appeal is the easter eggs, apparently-- that's a Terran thing, right? Easter eggs? Like, every so often, at random, the island changes its layout a little. One day there'll be a grotto with hot springs, the next there could be an aviary or a bonsai garden.

::Having been brought up by a vaguely religious immediate family, he had heard of Easter Eggs. He remembered having bought back into that ancient tradition with some of his friends in school all those years ago, but he hadn't heard that term used to describe holoprogramming before.::

Herrera: They call those Easter Eggs? I honestly didn't know that. So it constantly changes its layout to stop people from getting bored?

taJoot: Well, the big features stay, I think-- like, the billiards tables and the lounge chairs and the docks are always there, you know. But little things come and go, different hiking trails, little hidden mountain valleys, keeping it fresh. I'm probably just going to stroll around quickly and then head for the waves, though; I need to be on the water and the island could take weeks to explore.

Herrera: I'm up for skipping straight to the waves. The island does sound interesting, though. Maybe I'll stick around afterwards to scope out the other facilities?

taJoot: Well, then, sure, company would be nice. If you have a wetsuit or water shoes, bring them. My holodeck slot is tomorrow, kind of late, 2200h, is that okay?

::Diego figured that he would either be at some bar on DS6 by 2200 or sat in his quarters reading reports by that time; late night windsurfing sounded more tempting than either.::

Herrera: 2200 is fine. I'll check the replicator patterns and make sure I'm kitted out. Talking of which...

::He stepped over to the desk and picked up a smaller version of the rosewood box he had taken to the last promotions ceremony.::

Herrera: You'll be needing this. Oh, and you get to keep the box too. No expense spared.

::Still firmly in informal mode, he tossed the box over to him from the desk.::

::With his free hand, Dueld caught the box, a grave look on his face. (Okay, if it hadn't been for all those tools Stoltzy had thrown at him on the Joyous Hope, he probably wouldn't have been able to catch it, it wasn't like he was using his holodeck time for jekker practice,
but hey, silver lining there.)
Tauscherstin. He was still stuck with the mustard uniforms. Well, too much good fortune attracted the envy of the spirits, right? Or entropy, or.. whatever.::

taJoot: Thank you, sir.

Herrera: ::Nodding:: No problem, you earned it.

taJoot: I'll see you outside Holodeck 1, tomorrow night?

Herrera: Sure. You are qualified as a lifeguard... right?

taJoot: Absolutely-- I can call Sickbay in under 5 seconds.

::Diego laughed at the idea of lifeguarding by proxy.::

Herrera: Then I'll leave my oxygen cylinders in my quarters. See you tomorrow night.

::taJoot nodded, and took his leave, glancing down at the box he carried.::


Captain Diego Herrera

Commanding Officer

USS Vigilant



Lt. Dueld taJoot,

Chief of Operations,

USS Vigilant


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