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Written in the Stars

Posted on Fri May 5th, 2023 @ 4:53pm by Commander Mashiro Munetani "Shiro" & Captain Akeno Misaki & Lieutenant Rania Bhatti
Edited on on Sun May 7th, 2023 @ 4:53am

Mission: Cracks in the mirror
Location: USS Wayferer | Briefing Room

Standing in the Breifing Room of the USS Wayfarer was Counsellor Rania Bhatti, situated nearest to the replicator unit as her hand caressed around a warm soothing mug that made her close her eyes and nearly lull her into a tranquil nap were it not for the aroma of the spiced tea keeping her awake.

It had been a long past few nights but truth be told, she always found herself more drawn to a nocturnal way of operating aboard a starship than that which she had been doing. Her duty shifts had her awake during "the day" as far as the ship's chronometer went, often meeting with patients and from time to time offering support or advice to the Captain.

A while back aboard her orevious posting, USS Lamarck, Rania did not see patients nor was she awake when the majority of the crew was. She had performed her duties while most of the Lamarack's crew were well fast asleep, permitting her to get awfully familiar with the night watch.

She sipped the tea with enjoyment as she waited patiently. Rania had requested to meet with the Captain and First Officer at their earliest convenience. On the table lay her PADD which she had qued up information to go over with her superior officer and Commanding Officer.

Akeno entered a few minutes later, with the ship now underway, she could focus her attention on the counsellors request. "Good morning Counsellor. You look a little tired, still recovering from shoreleave?"

"Oh yes," quipped Rania with a smirk. "The news of you getting some and me up to my neck in personnel evaluations has kept me up" teased the Counsellor. "Truth be told, I'm actually still adjusting to the Wayfarer. I was always up all night as a student constructing papers and putting the finishing touches on presentation that I got into the habit of being a night owl."

Akeno blushed slightly at the first part of her response. "Well, we've all done the night shift before. I know how it feels to have to change your sleeping pattern," she replied. "When Shiro-Chan gets here, we can sort all this out."

Rania nodded in agreement. "I actually prefer the night shift, quieter, less people, and I feel more myself" stated the Counsellor. "I have taken the liberty to compile some information and assessments that I'd like to go over with the both of you."

The doors behind them snapped open, and the brunette Rania recognized from the bridge calmly strode in, her posture upright and her arms tucked firmly behind her back- a stark contrast to Akeno and her more relaxed body language.

"Lieutenant Bhatti, I presume?" she began, carefully sizing up the Lieutenant standing before her.

"Counsellor," replied Rania though she had been accurate in rank. "If you'd be so kind to entertain that request. I prefer Counsellor. It feels less like I'm expected to whip out a phaser and take down a burly Klingon" she explained.

"I will be sure to make note of that," the XO nodded in the affirmative.

Though she did wear a Starfleet at all times that she was on duty, Rania did have a preference of her medical professional title over the rank she'd been commissioned. "Commander," Rania said with a nod, already taking mental notes on the woman's posture and body language.

"Nevertheless, your presumption is accurate" added Rania. "I wanted to go over some things with the both of you. Some of it is focused on personnel matters."

Akeno motioned for Mashiro to sit as she also slid into one of the seats. "So, where do you want to start?"

Rania stood behind a seat and looked at the First Officer as Rania sat her mug down on the table, waiting for the First Officer to be seated first before glancing over at the Captain. "Risa" said Rania. "I thought shoreleave went relatively smoothly. In fact, I am already seeing an increase in crew morale from having had it. I suspect overall performance will be up in due time."

"Risa was a fun time for us all I think. Especially after what we went through prior, especially the disaster which was my first mission in command," Akeno said with a slight sigh.

"So I heard," Mashiro remarked. "The ship's logs show that Lieutenant Colonel Perkins snapped and attempted a mutiny, but the official incident report doesn't go into much detail regarding his motive."

"What's a little mutiny to keep things exciting" Rania said looking at the First Officer. "I can't speak for Lieutenant Colonel Perkins' motives nor his actions, but mutiny aside the crew seem fairly well rested. I think keeping up on routine shoreleave may do them some good."

Counsellor Bhatti did finally take a seat and reached for the PaDD. "One area of concern that I do have is that this is an Intrepid Class starship. Scientific light explorer and yet we can't seem to keep a Chief Science Officer around."

Letting out a sigh Akeno nodded. "Yeah, I have requested one. However it seems that Starfleet is a little low on Science Officers since the war. They weren't a priority recruit, so many of them have been assigned to either larger ships or designated science vessels. We're pretty low down on the pecking order it seems..."

"So it would seem," Rania said. She tapped away on the PaDD. She looked at both superiors. "Ma'am, our science department as it stands lacks leadership and structure. Commander, you in particular strike ne as someone who values orderliness. Aside from not having a Chief Science Officer, the few Science officers we do have aboard are junior officers, some of them are very green. I've gone through our whole manifest and found someone with experience as a science officer who could fit our needs until Starfleet can supply us with an appropriate Chief Science Officer."

"Who do you have in mind?" Akeno asked curiously.

Rania pulled up the personnel file on the PaDD and pushed it towards the Captain and her First Officer. "Lieutenant Rania Bhatti. Majored in Biology and minored in Sociology, served aboard the USS Lamarck as a science officer focusing on Xenobiology."

She stated all of it proudly. "I know. I'm the Ship's Counsellor, but you've had me man the science station once in a while in a pinch, and frankly, you've overlooked what I have to offer, Captain. Respectfully, there's less than two hundred crew aboard this ship even when we are fully crewed which we are not. I can do this."

Akeno looked at the XO. "Well, what do you think? You're in charge of crew assignments..."

"Well, a preliminary analysis of your file does appear to indicate that you possess the necessary qualifications," Mashiro agreed, setting the PADD down on the table. "But my question is, do you think you would be able to manage both Science and Counseling? Running two departments simultaneously isn't for everyone, and I know of at least one case where a fellow officer took on the added workload of managing a second department, and he retired less than a year later."

"With all due respect," Rania said with a calm tone. "The both of you are younger than I am and you each in your own duties and capacities have far more to handle than running two departments. Commander, you have all department heads underneath you and personnel matters to juggle whilst being the Captain's closest advisor. Captain, I don't even want to begin painting a picture of what you shoulder."

Rania took another sip of her tea. "With a junior counselor or two under me to take on the easy patients, I can reserve my time to prioritize critical cases, and frankly unless this whole ship decides to have a mental break down, my time has mostly been spent reading reports. So, yes I do believe I can manage this. All that I ask is that you be willing to work with me on a good duty rotation where I can get some rest during the day."

Akeno looked at Mashiro, she didn't have anything to add. This was a decision that the executive officer should make. She was confident that the Counsellor could run two departments, this also gave her the opportunity to evaluate Mashiros decision making process.

"If you're confident enough in your abilities, Lieutenant, then I see no further reason to object," Mashiro nodded. "I'll see about furnishing some junior counselors to help lighten your workload, so that you can prioritize some of your duties."

"That sounds reasonable," replied Rania. "I am sure you'll be able to find some eager young junior counselors and assistant counselors looking to get more patients."

"I have at least one potential candidate for consideration," Mashiro remarked. "Admiral Sutok had briefly considered her for a counseling position aboard Starbase 12 before passing her up for someone else."

"Ok, well that's resolved. What's next?" Akeno asked.

Rania smiled. "The crew seem to have taken to the name Mittens for our resident feline. Unfortunately, some have taken it upon themselves to leave out milk and treats during the night. I'd ask that the crew try to avoid doing that. 'Mittens' needs to keep her figure."

"I will be sure to post a shipwide bulletin regarding the dietary regimens of our... pet," Mashiro nodded, though she evidently didn't appear one too enthusiastic at the prospect of keeping Mittens around.

"Yes," the Counsellor replied and smiled at Mashiro. "She had become somewhat of a morale officer for the crew or at the very least a mascot, but she can be temperamental. I'll do my best to ensure she doesn't cause issues" added Rania.

Akeno nodded in response. "Well, the first time I encountered Mittens she was happily knocking things off my ready room desk. Maybe there are areas of the ship that we shouldn't allow her to be. For her own safety" Akeno smiled.

Rania felt at peace with how things had gone. It seemed as though the First Officer though a bit uptight couldn't argue with facts and well laid out logic, an Intrepid class explorer had a need for a Chief Science Officer right now, at least it was something Rania could do for the time being. "Ladies, that is all I have for now. I otherwise feel this crew and ship are running smoothly at least from my vantage point."

"The pleasure's been ours, Lieutenant," Mashiro nodded in kind. "We appreciate you bringing these issues to our attention."

The Counsellor nodded. "I'm just looking out for the crew, and offering my suggestions. It is the least I can do."

"Thankyou Counsellor" Akeno also added. "I value everyones opinion on this ship, I want our family to be able to feel comfortable wih each other" she added giving the counsellor a smile. "If there's nothing else, we need to get back to our bridge duties"

Posting by

Captain Akeno Misaki
Commanding Officer

Commander Mashiro Munetani
Executive Officer

Lieutenant Rania Bhatti
Chief Counsellor


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