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Turn and Face the Strange

Posted on Thu Feb 18th, 2021 @ 4:27pm by Warrant Officer Gabriel Walker & Captain Indrala Xerix

Mission: Swarm
Location: Captain's Ready Room
Timeline: TBD

ON

Walker just entered his quarters, ensuring that his roommate was already out the door for his duty shift when his PaDD gave a soft beep alerting him to a new message. Frowning he glanced at it and saw that new orders just came in. He considered, briefly, waiting to read it until later. He just finished his duty shift after all and, well, it'd been some time since he stood watch all night. For the most part outside a sleeping person's quarters. Until he adjusted better, he'd have to try to get as much sleep as he could.

If it weren't for the Captain's early morning routine, he'd find the post extremely boring and unexciting. Not what he expected from the weeks of personal protection training he just completed. However, being the junior member of the PPO, he wasn't at all surprised to discover he got the late shifts.

He looked at the PaDD a few seconds longer than he should have, knowing he was going to check them. After all, why would there be new orders coming in? He'd only been here a few days. He let out a sigh and wondered how much he screwed up. Rumor was the Captain wasn't thrilled with having a bodyguard and, well, he tried to remain quiet and unobtrusive but obviously he's done something wrong.

The message was brief. Well, the content was long, but what it actually said was brief. He was to report to Captain Xerix ten minutes ago for a change in duty assignments.

He was already late. Figured. He put the PaDD under his arm and turned to exit the quarters and make his way to the Ready Room, still trying to determine what he'd done wrong and how bad this was going to be. Pretty bad, he figured, if he was going to be told off by the Captain herself.

"Warrant officer Gabriel Walker, reporting to Captain Xerix," he said, not even sure he pronounced her name correctly. He spoke to the Yeoman - she looked fresh and alert, not like she'd worked all night.

Standiford arched an immaculate brow at the warrant officer. “Sixteen minutes late. Would you like your belongings delivered to your next of kin, or blasted into space to follow you into the void?” She said with nary a hint of humor.

“Send him in” came the captain’s voice over the intercom. Maven nodded towards the door. “Bon voyage” she quipped.

Try as he might, he couldn't keep the sigh contained as he gave a quick shake of the head. He'd been sent off assignments before - often with a new reprimand or negative counseling note added to his jacket but at least all those other times he had an idea of what he'd done. He looked up and went into the room. He saw the captain, her distinctive white hair and dark eyes gave her a definite matrician beauty. Actually, he realized as he came to the center of the desk and stood, ready for whatever new reprimand he would be given, this would be the closest he's ever really been to her.

"Warrant Officer Gabriel Walker, reporting as ordered," he started to say 'sir', the breath was passing over his vocal cords when he realized she may be one of the officers that wanted 'ma'am', or 'sir' or some other honorific. Instead, he lamely finished with the safe, "Captain."

“Sir is fine, and correct. Have a seat, Mr. Walker. You’re on Gamma shift, aren’t you?” Indrala asked.

"Yes, Cap-", he stopped himself, both in the midst of sitting and speaking. "Yes, sir. The Gamma shift PPO." He finished sitting as he spoke, but ramrod, his leg bouncing slightly as the indication of the nervousness he felt at the moment. He continued to think what he might have done over the past few days that warranted him in trouble already.

“Chief Helias has accepted a posting elsewhere, so as of today, you are the primary protection officer. Going along with this is a promotion to Chief Warrant Officer. Congratulations.” The Captain explained.

Walker's brows knitted as he tried to adjust to the words he just heard. That...wasn't...the beginning of a reprimand. He started to speak and then stopped. It took a few moments before he remembered he was speaking with the captain and tried to school his face into a more neutral expression. "Yes, sir?" he said, thoughts still whirling around in his head. "This is...unexpected." He let out a breath that he wasn't aware he'd been holding. "What are your instructions?"

Indrala suppressed the urge to roll her eyes. “Like your predecessor, you answer to Starfleet Security, even with this promotion. I cannot give you orders that would conflict with your mandate, namely keeping me alive and well. However, I imagine your job will look very similar to the one you held mere moments ago, only with perhaps a bit more synthetic light. All I ask is that you don’t breathe down my neck.” She said, realizing she sounded a bit harsher than she had intended to.

He sensed that he had somehow irritated her through both his mental heritage and picking up on the tone of voice and set of her body. His leg continued to bounce as he took several moments. Knowing himself as well as he did, he was sure his own irritation and frustration with her shone brightly from his face. And, as he'd done his research, he knew she was Betazoid so even if he was able to school his expression to one of bland conformity, he was sure it wouldn't have mattered. She'd know that she upset him anyway. His instincts were to lay down the parameters of how he would operate and how he'd "heard" about her upset with the situation of a bodyguard. Her cutting dismissal of his attempts to be deferential. Even how the brief message that was delivered late and sparsely worded led him to believe she was already displeased with him and this summoning was about disciplinary action. No, he had no way of hiding any of that from someone that fully knew what it was to be fully Betazoid. Still, he'd been trying to work on being less directly blunt. Trying as the operative word.

"Thank you, Captain," he said, hoping that he was able to keep his tone from being sullen. "It will be my goal to try to appear as more of your attache or assistant unless there is more pressing need for me to be obvious protection. My orders do come from higher than you, but that does not mean I disrespect you or your wishes in carrying them out. To that end, what is on your schedule for the rest of the day?"

Several mugs of kaf spread throughout the day should help him survive this shift and then bed maybe an hour earlier than he normally would should help him begin catching up on the sleep he's going to miss today.

“My apologies. Chief Helias’ new position was rather a surprise. And there have been many pressures lately. As for my schedule, I’ll be attending the reception for the USS Nogura’s crew this evening. Otherwise just here and home.” Indrala explained.

"A reception?" he asked, wiping his face as he thought of the additional time that was going to require. He'd need more than kaf. And, to replicate a dress uniform. That was the worst part of this. "I'll set up a desk in the outer office and switch the trace from Chief Warrant to myself. Before that, is there anything you need?"

“That’s all, Chief. Dismissed.” Indrala said.

"Aye, Captain," Walker said as he stood to leave the room. He pulled his PaDD to begin making requisitions from Ops to set up his station in the outer office. Inwardly, however, he 'rejoiced' at how well this had started already.

OFF

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