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A Job Offer

Posted on Mon Jan 25, 2021 @ 4:28pm by Captain David Hawkins & Lieutenant Skot Ryder

Mission: Prelude - 00
Location: Captain's Ready Room, USS Arcadia
Timeline: Current
1736 words - 3.5 OF Standard Post Measure

The turbolift hummed as Skot replayed everything in head. He had been about to head back to his desk after grabbing a bite to eat at the lounge when the call from Captain Hawkins came. He had never met the Captain personally, something not uncommon on a ship this size, he would give his reports to his department head who would then turn them into the Captain. The turbolift stopped with Skot exiting soon after still trying to figure out why he had been called. Finally deciding that it was better to get things over with instead of dreading what could be happening hardened his resolve. Finally finding himself outside the door to the Captain's ready room, Skot took a deep breath before pressing the chime

The door swished open and the bark of a German Sheppard dog jumped up and started to bark as David sat on the couch looking over a Padd. He calmed the dog down and thanked him for the heads up of the new arrival before looking up just enough over the data device. "Lieutenant Ryder, talk about in a timely manor. Drink?"

"Sure." Skot smiled instantly at ease. He entered the room taking a quick scan, a habit he had formed back in his academy day, before finally setting his eyes on the Captain. "So what can I do for you Captain? I'm assuming this is not a social call."

"At the moment, no it is not a social call. Even though I typically try and meet with all my crew face to face at least once in a while to get to know my people," he explained as he sat the tablet on the couch and leaned forward. He grabbed a mug and a pot of coffee which was sitting on his table between the couch and a couple comfy chairs. He offered up the mug of steaming coffee to the officer. "Sit and enjoy, Lieutenant."

Skot took the mug and sat down. Taking a sip, he was surprised to find that the coffee tasted good for once. He had been drinking the stuff the replicator called coffee ever since he came on board yet found this particular cup very satisfying.

"So tell me, Lieutenant, why didn't you apply for the chief strategic operations positions which have been offered up to you?" the captain asked as he took a sip of his mug of coffee he grabbed and looked the man over to see how his body expression would respond to the questioning. He wasn't about to approve a reassignment without making sure he was going to be a good fit.

"Honestly sir?" He took a deep breath before continuing. He knew people wondered why he was a Lieutenant yet was not running the department. After all he had ran his department back on Deep Space 3 for a few years. "Most strategic ops positions are stationary, which is fine. I however wanted to get back out into the fleet and feel my talents would be better suited onboard a starship rather than being stuck on a starbase."

"So were you looking to get some bridge training?" the captain asked as he raised an eye brow as he looked him over for a short bit. "I saw that you have accomplished your bridge officer training, giving you the educational aspect of your requirement to be eligible to be in command of a bridge shift."

"I would apricate any additional training I could get." Skot paused to take a sip of his drink. The warm dark liquid, again amazing how well this tasted, was calming. "I'd like to have a command of my own one day sir, so any chance I get to train for that I would gladly take."

"And you believe you are more then capable of sitting in that command chair?" David raised as he looked over the man before him. "So prove it to me. How would you handle a combat mission?"

Skot smiled, combat missions were his specialty after all. "First I would have to learn everything I can about my enemy then I would start to plan the mission around that. May I?" Skot asked before he rose and made his way over to a display panel and inputting a few quick command sequence. The screen began to display a file of a known smuggler in the area. "You learn the history, motives, even how his or her mom treated a skinned knee. Then it is as simple as looking into the actions leading up to you being deployed to engage them." Fingers moving again in a blur the display changed over to a simulated tactical map of a sector. "Then you track them, find them, and engage them." The next part of the explanation was Skot's favorite due to it requiring the most in the moment thinking. "Once you've decided to engage them, use every bit of information that you have gathered in the time leading up to this moment and only force and engagement when you know you have every advantage. To quote Sun Tzu, 'Know your enemy and know yourself and you need not fear one hundred battle.' and 'A successful commander only seeks battle after the victory is already won.'"

Nodding to the show of extensive knowledge of his tactical skills, Captain Hawkins took a gulp of his drink before he finally spoke up. "That is great, for a tactical officer. That tells me you can easily be my Chief Tactical officer or Strategic Officer for a sector. But what about you as a ship's commanding officer? There is more then tactical know how. What about your ship and your crew? How would you lead your people?"

A thin smile formed on Skot's upper lip, "All part of knowing yourself sir. I've got a very different type of leadership style in that I tend to lead from the front, not asking anyone to do anything I'm not willing to do myself. Also, ability outranks rank in my opinion so having the right people in the right positions is what matters." Skot paused to let his words sink in for a moment. Taking a deep breath he continued, "Most leaders I have noticed tend to distance themselves from those under their command. I tend to believe that a closer connection to those in your command, having an open door policy per say, yields the best results from a crew."

"So you believe your way is the only true form of leadership that allows for the best results of crew?" he asked pondering as he watched the officer reading his body language.

"There is no perfect form of leadership sir. This is what I have found works best for me in particular." Skot returned the Captain's gaze, never changing his stance. "What makes a great leader is being able to listen to the recommendations of those around you before forming a decision. However, once that decision is made you have to stand by it."

Taking this in, David pondered for a moment before he waved for him to take a seat once again. He knew that this man was more than capable of a strategist and ready for the chance for a leader position. "In my opinion, you are willingness to take the required training shows that you want to be prepared but the desire to not apply for a department head shows me that you want leadership to chose you, and see you for who you are. The desire to not jump at a roll and just expect people to notice you is a respectable mind set, but not the best. Most of the time, if you are waiting to be noticed, most of the time, you will not be. But in your case..." He paused as he looked the man over before shrugging. "... You got noticed. But a word of advice, Lieutenant."

Skot was stunned. It took several seconds for him to process what the Captain had said. Finally shaking himself out of the daze he was in, "What is that sir?"

"As a former marine and now commanding officer, I have seen the good and bad of leadership. For you, I see some good qualities in you, but don't jump all in and expect it all to work out. Except that there are good and bad. Expect to struggle and achieve great things. But most of all, learn to follow while also lead. Keep your stance of leading at the front of the line, but allow for yourself and others to fail from time to time. For we all learn from those. And if you are able to except and admit failures, you grow to be a great leader, whatever leadership style you take."

"Of course sir. Sometimes we've got to let people learn from the fall."

"I'm going to approve your transfer and reassignment, if you are up for the challenge," David said as he sat his cup down, and leaned forward with the padd in his other hand to the officer before him. "The final step and test to your very own command, you have to learn to be an executive officer and learn from one of the best that I respect fully, under Commander Ajani Carter."

Now Skot was truly stunned. He thought he was going to become the new department head of Strategic Ops, not be offered an Executive Officer position. "Thank you sir, I won't let you down." A few minutes later Skot was once again walking down the corridors, but this time to his quarters so he could start packing. The realization was still setting in that all his work had finally paid off and now he was actually getting his chance.

"Commander Ziyal," David spoke up after tapping his ear piece which was the marine's choice of communicator and allow more privacy. He pet his canine, who had come up to him once called and got the attention he needed. "Once Lieutenant Ryder has transported over to the Ryder and our engineering team is back from the Eagle, have helm set course for our next destination."

After his executive officer had confirmed his order, he looked down at his four legged friend and sighed slightly. "The man thinks he has to worry about letting me down. Little does he know, I'm not the one he needs to worry about."


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