We Need to Work Together
S01E03 That Which Cannot Be Unseen
Location: Commander Samuels' Quarters
Lieutenant Caleb Garcia moved down the corridor at a measured, long-stride, pace. He had been summoned by Commander Samuels, and the other man was so vague that it left Caleb curious as to what the older man wanted. He knew their roles were different now, now they were CO and XO respectively, but Caleb was more than content with staying down in engineering while the two played command team. However, he knew that was not going to happen. He knew he would be required to be on the bridge more times than not. Now I wish I would have protested more at that meeting, he thought to himself as he rounded a corner and came face to face with the door to the Commander's quarters. He tugged at the hem of his uniform jacket, a uniform jacket that left little to the imagination and reached for the commpanel next to the light blue door.
Christopher yawned, stood up and stretched his arms high above his head, his fingertips just brushing against the ceiling. The meeting on K-7 was longer than he an anticipated, but the other issue was he left with my questions than answer. Then again, wasn't that how it always went? What was important was that he came away with his field promotion and his new orders. Of course, the field promotion was assumed by he and Fig when the two talked, and he already knew that Lieutenant Garcia was going to be his acting XO. He had mixed feelings about that, but it was simply the chain of command at work. Plus, he knew Garcia was more than capable of being the acting XO, even if the other man thought otherwise.
He also thought it would be good if the two talked, maybe even get to know each other a bit before they undertook this adventure together. So, he summoned the chief engineer and before he knew it he heard the chime go off. "Well isn't he just the prompt one," Christopher mumbled, he pulled his uniform jacket from the back of the chair and slipped it on as he walked to the door. He reached for the commpanel, pressed a button, and triggered the door. The pale blue door parted to reveal the tall engineer.
"Ah, Lieutenant, thank you for coming so quickly." Christopher stepped aside to allow Garcia to enter. "Please, come in."
Caleb dipped his head as he entered the Commander's quarters. His brown eyes swept the area, and though the quarters were clean, they certainly looked lived in. "Your quarters are far more spacious than my own," Caleb commented, as he turned slightly to face the shorter man.
"The privilege of being the second in command," Christopher replied, unsure why Garcia had to bring up that particular subject. When he had arrived on Musashi he had different quarters, and the bump in position came with a bump in quarters size. He could hardly be faulted for such things. "Can I get you anything to drink? Or perhaps a bite to eat maybe? I mean, you are a bean pole, you certainly look like you could use a good, hearty meal."
"I'm fine, thank you, sir," Galeb said and followed that up with a quick shake of his head. "I have dinner plans with Ensign Marquez a little bit later." He wasn't entirely sure why he just divulged that information, yet it slipped out. Commander Samuels, or no one else for that matter, needed to know his plans with the young Ensign. He knew Arturo was kind of a shy person, and he himself was a bit on the introverted side, so it was much easier to keep their plans to themselves.
Christopher crossed his arms over his broad chest, causing his biceps to bulge in the confines of the sleeves in the uniform jacket. A salt-and-pepper eyebrow lifted into a smooth arch. "Do you now?" There was a part of him that was protective of the young ensign, but beyond that Garcia didn't seem like Marquez's type -- or vice versa for that matter. Don't jump to conclusion you dope, he chided himself. He certainly wasn't one to meddle in the personal lives of the crew that served below him. He had hoped Fig felt the same way. He always believed that those who served Starfleet were allowed to have personal lives, and as long as said personal life didn't interfere with his or hers or their duties, he was okay with it. But... Marquez was so young, and Garcia was what, fifteen years older, perhaps? Don't be a hypocrite you idiot, he once again chided himself. "I promise not to keep you too long then," he said, moving toward his desk and motioning Garcia to do the same.
Caleb followed the Commander to the desk and stood there. It had been odd to see Samuels become sort of like this daddy bear toward Marquez. Even though Caleb had the height on Samuels, Samuels had the bulk on him. He wouldn't have been surprised if Samuels outweighed him even. The Executive Officer was formidable for sure, and he certainly would never want to cross the man in a dark alley. Long story short, Samuels unnerved him now. "It's okay, Commander. I understand that duty calls first and foremost, especially now that I am your acting XO," he said. "I assume that this has to do with your meeting on DS7?"
"Yes and no," Christopher replied. "There will be a briefing with the senior staff before we embark so I can go over our assignment in more detail." He slipped off his uniform jacket, draped it over the back of the chair once again. Following that, he slid into the chair and took on a relaxed posture. He felt relaxed, for sure, especially considering what they were about to undertake. He was grateful they weren't going to be dealing with Klingons for a bit, he was also grateful for starship air purifiers. "Please have a seat, Lieutenant," he said, indicated the chair across from him. Once the lieutenant was seated, he began, "I actually called you to spend a few minutes with you off the record..."
"I won't sleep with you, that's out of the question..." Caleb quipped. He then smiled in jest, hoping the joke would be laughed at and not frowned upon.
A hearty belly laugh had escaped the acting CO. "If it only takes a few minutes then you are doing it wrong," Christopher said, a bit of a smirk formed on his lips. He followed that up with a waggle of his eyebrows. After the laughter had simmered, the smirk settled into a small smile. "Well, that's good to know, but no, I called you here because you and I are going to be working together closely. I will be relying on your counsel if things get rough. I know you are not fond of me, but I would hope you could put personal feelings aside to get our assignment done." Christopher felt like he was experiencing a bit of dejavu. Didn't I have this same conversation with Fig a few months back?. He almost groaned at the thought of knowing that he had.
Caleb wasn't sure if he should feel offended or relieved that Commander Samuels recognized that there lacked a fondness for the XO. Though, he wouldn't have exactly labeled it as such, he didn't really know Samuels that well to really form an opinion. But rumor had gotten around about the man, not only on the Musashi but when the starship was docked at the Tellarite repair station. However, nothing about Commander Samuels had proven the man couldn't command. There were things about Captain Figueroa that bothered him, but he still gave her the best he could and stepped up when she needed him too. "You do not need to worry, Commander. I am a professional, and though I was surprised to find myself as your acting XO, I will do my best in this situation."
Christopher nodded. He had been relieved to hear those words from the chief engineer, even though there was no doubt in his mind that Garcia wouldn't do his job. But their dynamic now was going to change, and that is why he felt like they needed this talk. "I'm glad to hear that, Lieutenant," he said. He reached for a PaDD and slid it toward the engineer. "That is our orders, it's a pretty standard mission - which means a break from the Klingons," he crossed his fingers, "at least I hope."
Looking down at the padd, Caleb found himself nodding. "I have certainly had enough of the Klingons," he said, looking up to meet the gaze of the acting Captain. "I think some exploration and charting stars is exactly what this crew needs after the last couple of missions."
"Indeed," Christopher replied simply. "I've certainly had my fill of the Klingons myself, and I am happy to get back to our mandate." As a scientist, he was happy to get back to exploring, and he was happy that he would get to be in the center seat while doing it. Though, he already knew it would be hard to watch his deputy department head do all the science work. "I'll be holding the staff briefing at oh-eight-hundred hours to go over the mission."
Caleb had taken a mental note concerning that bit of information. After his dinner with Arturo, he would read over the information he was given and be fresh and ready for the upcoming staff briefing.
"Did you have any questions?" Christopher asked.
Caleb shook his head, and said, "Nope. I might have one or two questions after I read this over," he took a hold of the padd and held it up, "but I'll bring those to the meeting if I were to have them."
"Fair enough," Christopher responded, after a few more minutes of chit-chat, he fiinally stood and waited for the taller engineer to do the same. He extended a hand, "I look forward to working with you in this capacity, Lieutenant." It was the truth, he did look forward to working with the lieutenant in their new roles, but time would also tell to see how well they actually worked together. This mission would be defining for both of them, and he hoped it would work out.
Caleb took a hold of the Commander's hand and once again had been surprised by the strength behind it. "I do as well," Caleb said, though he only said it because it felt like the right thing to say. He was stepping into new territory with a man that he didn't fully like, but his personal feelings couldn't count in this. He had to remember to have an open mind to all of this, after all, the Captain was placing a huge amount of trust in him. After there was nothing more to say on the matter, he moved to the door.
Christopher moved to the door with Garica and bid the man farewell. It was a quick meeting, but he felt immense relief after. He was glad that the engineer felt like he did, and that this next mission would be a good one for the crew. It certainly was a start, and it was something he hoped to run with. He knew it would be an adjustment for the crew to have him in command, but he knew they would get used to it. He made his way back to his desk and slid back into the chair he had been occupying. He had a briefing to plan.