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Different Kind of Chief

Posted on 10/20/2019 @ 7:42pm by Lieutenant Commander Charles West & Captain Diana Reisz

Mission: Tiger, Tiger
Location: Sickbay

The bridge was unnaturally quiet and still in the wake of the attack. Manned almost entirely by junior officers, no one was really willing to raise their voice too high and draw attention to themselves. There was a hole- not just in the fact that the XO was absent from the bridge and that none of the senior staff were present- but in the mood of the room. It was shocked and deflated. There was loss and worry. This wasn't how a spaceship was supposed to operate- and to fix it, she needed to act fast.

"Desmond, call me when you get those results. I'll be back shortly." She called back over her shoulder as she headed for the turbolift. Diana was quiet all the way to sickbay where she threaded her way through the biobeds to where West was laying with his eyes closed.

"West?" she asked quietly. "Are you awake?"

"Couldn't tell you," He replied, "Are my eyes open right now?" He asked, with a chuckle. "Yeah, I'm up, Cap. What's up?" He said, sitting up on the biobed and opening his eyes.

Diana sat on the edge of his bed and folded her hands over her knee. "I know that you're down, but I need to put you on the spot for a few minutes. Are you up for it?"

"C'mon, boss lady, I just can't see right now. I'm not even sure why he's making me stay in here," He said with a chuckle. "I'm up for anything. What's going on?"

"After what happened, Melody has decided that she's not the right XO for this ship. She's packing at the moment instead of on the bridge. I'm taking the initiative for who took initiative in the first place and acted instead of simply reacting in the face of crisis. You held your own even after being blinded." Diana let a moment pass before continuing to let that sink in. "I want you for my XO."

Charlie blinked, a bit slack-jawed, then started laughing for a moment, before finally catching control of himself, "I'm sorry cap... Just struck me as funny that you're asking the blind guy to help lead the ship," He said, grinning a bit. "Are you sure? I don't have the same level of experience as some of the other folks aboard the ship," He admitted.

"You showed initiative and compassion. You showed grace under pressure. Even with the odds against you, you didn't fold. Those things don't get taught: you have them or you don't," explained Diana with a sigh. "Now lessons, we can catch you up on as we travel, but I want you. You're my first pick. And I'll fight for you if you say that you want the spot."

Charlie was quiet for a moment, clearing pondering the question hard before he finally spoke, "Yeah... okay, if you think I can do it, I'm in. Let's do this."

"Good. Good, um, you focus on feeling better and I'll bring you the formal stuff later once I figure out what hoops I have to jump through to make this happen quickly." Reisz put her hand on his arm and squeezed gently. "Thank you for this."

Charlie caught her arm back and gave it a little squeeze too, "Thank you, boss. I'll do my best to do you proud," He told her, earnestly.

"You already have," Diana told him as she stood. "Get better soon, Charlie."


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