Food for Thought Part II
Jeepers Creepers 2: Creepers In Flight
Location: Senior Officer's Lounge
Frowning Ithahr looked at the man, "you don't think the problem can be solved by additional resource allocation?" The Andorian regarded his food for a moment, stomach growling. "More scientists, more qualified personnel, may allow you to delegate more day-to-day activities and concentrate on your own projects and administering the Department."
Despite being exhausted and hungry, Maxx could clearly see Ithahr was also hungry by his facial expression so he nodded as he took a bite of his meal and savored the flavor before he chewed it and swallowed. This was to let Ithahr know he was fine eating and talking since their food would get cold if they kept talking.
Then Maxx spoke up to answer Ithahr, "Well that does sound nice on paper, but we both know its easy to sound good on paper rather than in person. Granted getting better personnel will help me speed up the transition, I will still have to deal with organizing the department and retraining the staff. So now that we are on the topic, what is your definition of additional resource allocation?"
"Well, additional scientists and administrative staff. If your department isn't able to respond to its workload, we can see about easing the burden. Science and exploration is at the core of our mission here on Depp Space Three," Ithahr explained calmly, regretting his lapse into management speak. He took a bite of his food appreciatively, savoring the taste while he waited for Maxx to think over his statement.
Maxx chewed his food as he thought about what Ithahr was offering. Then he sipped his drink and swallowed the food. Indeed the food was good, especially since he was starving and worn out.
He could feel his body recovering a bit from the caffeine and food in his stomach. Then he spoke up as he nodded, "Well I do welcome the offer, especially considering I have inherited the worst case scenario on day one. If you can find me some decent Starfleet scientists I would be relieved. It would help to have three Ensigns that can run a work shift team so I can actually get some sleep in my own bed for a change. My plan is to have four shifts at eight hours long with a one hour carry over for each shift to help with the transition. At this point I would even welcome medical personnel into my ranks if they can do the job."
Maxx then took another bite and looked a bit relieved as he was enjoying his food. He closed his eyes as he savored the flavors. It looked like he was sleeping for a moment before he opened up his eyes and sipped his coffee and looked at Ithahr to see his response.
"We can probably spare some Medical Officers for a short while - it may mean coordinating with the civilian Federation hospital, but it's possible," Ithahr replied as he thought over the possibilities. "At least until we can get the new officers transferred over. You can have a look at the personnel files of those eligible for transfer to the station to vet the new recruits. You also have discretion to recommend those personnel who aren't performing to standard for transfer too."
Maxx swallowed his food and sipped his coffee to clear his throat. He then made sure no food was stuck to his teeth before he spoke up, "That is reassuring. The main reason I hesitated to transfer anyone as of yet was mainly because I had no idea how long it would take to even have this conversation, much less getting replacement staff this far out. So since you made the effort to offer me your aid, I humbly accept it and hope for the best. Sadly this may take a while so I may a bit worse for the ware till this part is finished."
"It shouldn't take too long, Deep Space Three is becoming more of a priority now it's up and running," Ithahr pointed out, "they plucked me off the Frederick halfway through her mission patrolling the old Romulan border - DS3 was determined to be a more urgent case," Ithahr tucked into his protein-heavy meal with gusto, famished after hours at the desk.
Maxx raised an eyebrow at Ithahr as he heard this bit of news. He wondered if it was new information since he was told a much different story when he was recruited for his position. He was told he would be a Senior Science Officer on a cutting edge space station with an elite crew to command. He almost snorted at the tall tale he was fed to get his cooperation. He knew he was taken advantage of on his first day but even then there was a limit to a bad joke. Perhaps they assumed since he was a joined Trill his wisdom could solve all the problems. Either way he looked at it Ithahr was offering him a much better solution and he would be a fool to refuse it. he swallowed his food and sipped his coffee to clear his throat as he spoke up, "Well then I look forward to your support sir." Maxx continued to eat his food and drink his coffee as he hoped Ithahr was on the up and up with him.
"You can't command discontented crew, Lieutenant," replied Ithahr affably. "I would prefer that people come to see Deep Space Three as an opportunity to serve, and serve well, whatever their discipline. As we're soon to the the frontline in the effort to explore nearby space, I sincerely hope that you'll be contributing to a reputation for excellence." The Andorian shrugged, "we both need to cooperate for that to happen, is my feeling."
Lt. Maxx nodded as Lieutenant Commander Ithahr made a convincing argument. Then Maxx spoke up, "I agree, but sadly we don't always get a say in our situation. I am fortunate that you are offering support, but there are some cases where such support is unavailable or simply not offered. At such a time one's mettle is truly tested in the line of duty. I was taught to hope for the best and plan for the worst in order to reduce any unpleasant surprises." Maxx continued to eat his meal and sip his coffee. Then he spoke up again, "So is my department the only one you are concerned with or do you have other pressing issues?" Max looked at Lieutenant Commander Ithahr to see his response.
Ithahr looked at him carefully for a moment, before smiling, "I'm concerned about all our departments, Lieutenant. If one falls below spec, it has an inevitable knock-on effect on our other departments. And it's my job to be concerned that we're working at peak efficiency. We're literally the last station before people head out into the wilderness. Deep Space Three has to be at the top of its game - there's no telling what we'll find out here."
Maxx nodded as he swallowed his food and sipped his coffee to wash it down. Then he cleared his throat before he spoke up, "Sorry if that came out the wrong way. I am fully aware you are managing all the departments, however I was just curious if I was the only one in my current situation or if there were others you needed to assist. Granted it is non of my business either way, however I was concerned that your aid ..."
Lt. Maxx paused in mid sentence as he was hit by a flashback from his symbiont. A flood of information overloaded his mind and for a moment Maxx was paused in his conversation. At first he was not sure what he was seeing till he saw the answer he was looking for several hours ago to a very important task he was working on earlier.
"That my aid what, Lieutenant? Was insincere? Or based around a specific concern about your performance?" Ithahr shook his head and laughed. "Not at all. You can't judge a fighter fairly if he doesn't have his gloves, to badly mangle an old Andorian saying. You're not the only understaffed department. Not by a long shot. We're working on fixing them as well. There are some staff who have transferrable skills, but we'd prefer them to be working in their own departments full time."
Lt. Maxx snapped out of his thought and replied, "My apologies sir and I do appreciate the help. As we were talking I suddenly realized the solution to one of my concerns. I thank you for your time and appreciate you support." Maxx ate more of his meal and sipped his coffee to wash it down.
"You're entirely welcome," Ithahr replied with a smile as he turned his attention to his food. After a few minutes of plate clearing he looked up and smiled again, "unless there's anything else you wish to ask me, please feel free to make a run for it. I'm sure you're quite busy at the moment."
Lt. Maxx thanked Ithahr as they parted ways. He felt a huge weight off his shoulders now as he headed for the Science Department to solve the problem he figured out in his head.
Lieutenant-Commander Ithahr th'Shrannok
Deep Space Three
Lieutenant-JG Talerian Maxx
Deep Space Three