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Day Two- A Command Interview- In An Onsen?!?

Posted on Tue Nov 29th, 2022 @ 5:14am by Commander Mashiro Munetani "Shiro" & Captain Akeno Misaki
Edited on on Tue Nov 29th, 2022 @ 7:05am

Mission: When on Risa...
Location: Pau'Aulani Resort- Indoor Hot Springs & Day Spa
Timeline: A Few Hours Before "Something's Afoot"

With a wary sigh, Mashiro gently sank up to her neck in warm, mineral-infused bathwater, the gentle heat encompassing her flaccid form already starting to work its magic and loosen up her aching muscles. She couldn't recall the last time she had treated herself to a dip in the hot springs, but the mere fact alone spoke volumes about just how busy she had been these past few years.

"Ah... now this is what I call a perk!" Hiromi proclaimed, her arms lazily splayed out along the coping. "God, I forgot how much I missed this..."

"We were at war, Hiromi," Mashiro pointed out. "It wasn't like there was a whole lot we could do about it."

"Too true," Hiromi muttered. "So, any progress with that Misaki girl yet? She mentioned anything about potentially referring you to a possible Command position?"

Mashiro shrugged. "Can't say I've seen her since last night," she admitted. "And even if I did, it's impossible for me to tell whether or not I'm making progress with her. I mean, I wouldn't exactly say that my volleyball skills should be used as a measure to determine whether I'm cut out for the command chair; if we used that as the basis for determining our Captains, our fleet would have been decimated long ago..."

"Yeah, you're volleyball skills are not very good... I mean, you got knocked out by the ball..." a familiar voice said from behind them.

"Welp, so much for peace and quiet..." Mashiro sighed.

Stepping through the steam emerged Akeno, she had her towel wrapped around her. She placed a single toe into the hot springs before she removed the towel and decended into the warm spring water.

She let out a sigh as her muscles relaxed from the warmth. "So did I hear you right in that you're still worrying about making Captain?" she asked playfully.

"Well, I mean... "worried" is a bit of a strong word," Mashiro began, suddenly realizing this might be a prime opportunity to convince this Misaki girl to refer to someone who might have the brass to appoint her to a command position... presuming she even had those sort of connections.

"I mean, I'm confident I have the experience; it's just that in a postwar Starfleet where opportunities are allegedly rife, I can't seem to find myself a decent command position around here..."

"You're more than qualified?" Akeno asked. "Go on, tell us why..." a smirk stretched across her face. "Seriously, sell yourself to me. Pretend I'm some big shot admiral who is handing out commands..."

"Well, my service record ought to speak for that," Mashiro explained. "Relatively infrequent vacations, spotless attendance... a few minor injuries here and there, but nothing directly inflicted by my own ineptitude."

"Infrequent vacations..." Akeno pondered. "So, does that mean you overwork yourself which could result in fatique which could result in lack of judgement?" she asked.

"I'd say..." Hiromi remarked with a chuckle.

"What? No!" Mashiro objected. "I'm doing my duty, not working myself into an early grave!"

"Everyone needs to relax at times you know" Akeno replied. "After all, you're Human not a Borg Drone"

"I am perfectly capable of asking for downtime, you know," Mashiro huffed. "It's not like Hiromi strong-armed me into this vacation, anyhow..."

"What she means to say is that she'll request shore leave when she feels she needs to take shore leave," Hiromi added.

"And don't put words in my mouth," Mashiro grumbled.

Akeno couldn't help but smirk. "So, you say you're qualified. Answer me this, what is your first and primary duty as Captain?"

"That's simple," Mashiro replied. "A Captain's foremost duty is the effective and safe operation of their ship and crew: both in upholding occupational standards in accordance with policy, and in addressing any and all external threats."

"She practically knows this by heart," Hiromi whispered.

"Hmm" Akeno pondered. "How about a hypothetical scenario..." she said. "Lets think..." she then snapped her fingers. "Ok Shiro-Chan. You're in command of a starship which is facing a complete meltdown of the plasma injectors in the main control conduits that control the reaction of the warp core." Akeno explained.

"Hiromi is the only one qualified to repair the conduits and the injectors, however the radiation is so intense she would only last three minutes, but it still needs to be repaired or else... BOOM!" Akeno used her hands to emphasize the 'boom'. "What do you do?"

Mashiro appeared to ponder the question long and hard.

"If there's not enough time for Hiromi to don protective gear or get the crew to the escape pods in a timely fashion, it would be my utmost obligation as the ship's captain to preserve the lives of my crew." she eventually answered. "Therefore, I would take it upon myself to conduct those repairs, even at risk to my own health."

Hiromi grinned. "I think you misread the question, Shiro; she specifically stated that I'm the only one qualified to be running those repairs."

Mashiro blinked. "Well, what am I supposed to do? Send you to your death?!"

"That's exactly what you're supposed to do" Akeno answered. "Your primary duty is to the ship, not your friends. We wear the uniform, we know the risks and we know what we signed up for" she added.

Mashiro sat there in dumbfounded silence. "Wha... but that... I couldn't..."

"Mashiro," Hiromi explained, resting a hand on Mashiro's shoulder. "What she's trying to get at is that a captain is oftentimes faced with making tough decisions; and in some situations, trying to save everyone is physically impossible. It's the exact same principle they hammer into you with the Kobyashi Maru program; in spite of your gut instinct to save everyone, you have to make the decision to save the most people you can."

Mashiro's expression turned to one of disappointment. "I hadn't even thought about that... God, I'm such an idiot..."

Akeno smiled. "Having to order someone to their death to save the ship or what you have to do as a command officer at times" she explained. She relaxed back in the Onsen. "So, what else do you think qualifies you?" She asked.

"If I might offer an unbiased perspective," Hiromi butted in before Mashiro had the chance to speak. "In the five-or-so years I've been working at Starbase 12, Commander Munetani is, hands down, the most dedicated XO I've had the pleasure of serving under. Sure, she can have a bug up her ass sometimes, but she's the kind of officer who'll take the fall for her charges, whether it be taking on extra work or sweeping minor disciplinary incidents under the rug."

"I'm... not sure whether to be flattered by your commentary," Mashiro remarked.

"What? You didn't think I lived to tease you?" Hiromi snickered.

Akeno smiled fondly at both of the women. In its own way, them not knowing that she was their new Commanding Officer made this easier. She couldn't help but feel like she was being far too sneaky, but this did give her a rare opportunity to talk to her new XO without even the slightest bias of rank or position.

"So dedication to the job too..." Akeno pondered. "May I ask though, what makes you want to move on from being the XO of Starbase 12?"

"At the moment, there's simply no chance for me to move up the ladder while I'm posted there," Mashiro shrugged. "While I hold a great deal of respect for Admiral Sutok, he doesn't seem like the kind of Vulcan who'll be giving up his command anytime soon; and even if he does, I think he's eyeballing someone else for the position."

"I see" Akeno smiled. "So, what ship would you like to command? There's a fair few docked at the starbase isn't there? I hear that the USS Wayfarer is in need of command officers?"

Hiromi elbowed Mashiro from underneath the water. "Now's your chance, Shiro," she whispered, flashing her a smile and a wink.

Mashiro sucked in her breath. "Well, I suppose I'll take any opportunity that comes my way, just so long as I have some prospect of moving up, rather than just sideways."

"Well, being the XO of a ship would be a good start would it not?" Akeno asked. "Afterall, Starships go more places and see more things than most Starbases." she paused for a few moments. "Back to that starship again though... the Wayfarer. Why not put in a request as the ships XO? After all, I know the ships captain pretty well. I could put in a good word for you?"

Mashiro's eyes widened. "You'd do that?" she asked. "I mean, not to guilt you into anything you don't want to do, of course, it's just that-!"

"Of course that means serving with me. I do serve on the Wayfarer myself you know" Akeno added with a wink.

"Well I mean... you can have a lack of boundaries at times, but... I suppose I'd be willing to help you work on that, if you'd like..." Mashiro sighed.

"Great!" Akeno said with a large grin. "Consider that good word 'put in' for you. I'm sure that the Captain of the Wayfarer will like you and let you come aboard." She relaxed down into the warm water until her shoulders disappeared. "This feels so nice... I could stay here all day..."

Posting by (in order of appearance)

Commander Mashiro Munetani
Executive Officer, Starbase 12

Lieutenant Hiromi Kuroki
Assistant Chief Engineer, Starbase 12

Captain Akeno Misaki
Commanding Officer, USS Wayfarer (NCC-72113)


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