Obsidian Command
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Seeing the Shrink

Posted on 26 Sep 2018 @ 3:50am by Lieutenant Commander Jonathan Russell & Commander Amaya Lance

Mission: Character Development
Location: CCO's Office - Obsidian Command
Timeline: After 'The Admiral's Daughter'

The last few days had been a bit of a challenge. Seeing how the Onyx Hotel incident had gone down, having to read and then summarise and submit reports for Starfleet Command had left a strange taste in the mouth for Amaya. On the one hand, their people had been recovered intact - mostly. Their suspect was still at-large, but the team sent in to resolve the situation had been successful. It just pained her a little that once again they'd gone in with force. Diplomacy had almost not been an option.

There was a very hint of hesitation, therefore, when she actually checked herself in for a conversation with the new Chief Counselor. Not that she was overdue for a psych eval, or felt like she was about to lose control or something. It was a combination of needing to introduce herself to a new senior officer as well as seeking a sounding board for her thoughts.

She paged the door and entered a couple of moments later, catching the attention of the much older gentleman sat at his desk.

"Lieutenant Commander Russell?" She approached. "Commander Lance. How are you settling in?"

"Ah, Commander Lance, good to meet you." The Counselor replied with a warm smile, holding out his hand in greeting. He didn't tend to have too many things in his office, but he was in the process of arranging those few things. He was fortunate enough to have a large window, so he didn't need to worry about filling the walls or a y kind of mood lighting. He'd stuck to his old standard of a couple of cacti, some pictures of nebulae that he liked and an interactive screen. "I think I'm settling in pretty well so far, just about all set here, although it sounds like I just missed out on some excitement."

"Oh, don't worry. I'm sure there will be more excitement before long. This place seems to attract it," she smiled, feeling a little more at-ease with his friendly response. "I hope that's not a problem? Some crew members find it difficult; I know that our previous chief medical officer particularly found it a challenge to keep up with the chaos."

"I'm old enough now to have done quiet assignments and chaotic ones." He gestured to the sofa and took a seat in his armchair, this didn't feel like a desk kind of meeting. "In my job the quiet positions are necessarily easier, I just spent two years on a scientific survey ship, a d that kinda isolated singular focus can breed a certain kind of stress. Although I'm sure this station will have its own challenges."

She took a seat, wondering how quickly these conversations turned into psych evaluations. "Indeed. Some of our recent activities have been particularly stressful. I have to admit, I'm fortunate to have a strong team around me, hopefully you can add to that."

"That's why I'm here Commander." Jon replied, holding his arms open with a smile. There were numerous hints being dropped by various crew members that all was not particularly well on the station and he suspected that all would start to become clear soon enough. "Is there any particular area that you're particularly keen for me to get stuck into first?"

I literally have no idea where you'd start was the first thought to run through her head. She smiled slightly. "I've been thinking that myself. With everything going-on lately...I started reading some old texts and learning from some famous historic commanders and leaders." She leaned forward.

"Have you heard of the mirror-window concept? Put simply it works a little like this: as a CO I should be looking through a window at my crew when they succeed, but using it as a mirror when they fail. And since from my perspective we have seen a few failures...I have been considering my own standing lately." She gave a little shrug. "Self-doubt and insecurity probably aren't very high on the list of attributes of those famous leaders."

"I've been in the fleet a while now Commander, and I've known a lot of commanding officers, a few of them before they got the job." Jon began. "I can tell you this, none of the good ones are immune to self doubt. If you don't question yourself there's no chance of you learning or growing as a person or an officer."

"Self reflection is a good thing, and if you feel like you're gaining from reading about historical leaders, keep it up. Just be aware that they're probably idealised versions of those particular individuals." Jon gave a half smile. "Mind me asking what it is you're feeling insecure about?"

Amaya clasped her hands together, fidgeting to delay her answer. "Recently, there was an incident on the surface of Loki III. I had to make a call to send in a marine force to assault a compound and rescue some people there. The marine team leader is...well, he and I have been seeing one another for quite some time, and the idea of sending him into battle was disconcerting." She paused. "All through my career before arriving here, I've barely been involved in fighting and combat. Having to make these decisions now, particularly when I've grown to care so much for my team...I find myself out of my comfort zone."

"It doesn't get any easier." He wasn't the type to offer platitudes, especially when it came to a commanding officer. Honesty was often the best policy. "Being in a relationship with someone makes it exponentially more difficult though." He ran a hand through his beard briefly, thinking of previous examples. "A few years back I was on the Indomitable, the XO, who was married at the time, got into a relationship with the chief engineer. She left her husband for him and things got messy for a while.

"The engineer ended up being transferred and they're both Captains now, still together. It wasn't like they were unprofessional, but these assignments have a way of making anything like that into a big deal." He continued. "You can make your relationship work, just be prepared for scrutiny. What I can't tell you is whether that'll be harder than sending people into dangerous situations, because that'll happen again too."

"I know." Amaya sighed a little. "The relationship isn't the question in my mind. I think it's that worry that people will start to scrutinize, as you said. I'm so very fortunate to have Commander Malone's experience to draw-upon...it just struck me that I might be put in a situation where I don't have that, and I then have to make some difficult decisions on my own. I feel like I should be ready for that, yet...I suppose I won't know until it happens."

"You're not gonna avoid scrutiny Commander." Jon said with a grin. "Whatever you do, people will watch and question it. Worst part is, you'll make mistakes no matter how careful you are. Own them, and learn from them."

She smiled, acknowledging his point. She was in the most visible position on the most visible starbase in Obsidian Fleet. "Good point," she noted. "I suppose you're right; I know I've made mistakes, and I have grown in the time since I arrived here. And they've not seen fit to remove me from post just yet, so I guess I'm doing something right!"

Jon laughed. "I've been around enough commanding officers to have an idea of what makes a good one." He said. "You've gotta be able to critique yourself fairly, but don't be too harsh. The fact that you're still in this post is a damn good start."

"You know what, doc? I think you're going to do pretty well around here. And I think I'll be speaking to you more often," Amaya smiled. "I can't remember the last time my chief counselor made me actually feel like I'm doing a resonable job..."

Jon leaned forward a little. "I'll be sure to tell you if you're not doing a good job Commander. You'll only ever get honesty from me."

"That's all I ask for, doc," she grinned, taking the moment to stand. "Good talk. You should meet with the rest of the senior staff individually, get to know them. Show them you don't bite."

"Will do Commander." He replied, standing as well. "Let me know if there's anything else you need."

"Excellent. Again, welcome to the station," she nodded, before making her way to the door.


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