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Meet the Mustang

Posted on Tue Jan 26th, 2021 @ 9:26pm by Commander John Collins & Lieutenant Obadiah Harper

Mission: On the Verge
Location: Deck 9, USS Solaria: Red Sky Tavern (Recreation Deck)
Timeline: Actually Md 4 @ 1300 during "The Trumpets Sound"

As 1300 approached, Collins could feel the sluggishness coming on. It acted sort of like a yellow light in the day to day, telling him "Now would be a good time to eat something, you stubborn Irish idiot".

With that in mind, he proceeded to the Red Sky tavern on Deck 9; the Solaria's onboard bar/lounge/rec deck/all-hands-mess-hall. Fitting for a place with a nautical theme derived from a sailors' rhyme so old the Roman Empire had known it as old, they'd learned to cook fish and seafood generally really well, and today they were testing out a fried haddock entree they'd come up with.

The first half had been Harper's usual ritual. He would check the counts, review orders and after he had a good idea of the counts, what was surplus and what they might need more of. Plus, he got a feel for his crew: how the information was presented, and how the counts were made showed if a crew was lazy, hard working, or just had a mix of both, and how much slack to give them. He preferred loose reins, but if he needed to he could jerk them into line.

This bar, it was actually nice, if Samuel ever came through he would take him there. Right now lunch, then he would check in, when he had more to discuss and information to present. At the bar he ordered coffee; when you're working even synthehol he wouldn't touch because that was for after work. So with the coffee he got a bowl of chili, best way to test a new place and some bread. Then he looked for a table. Apparently it was a popular place.

That was when Collins walked over, carrying his tray with fish and chips, spotting a table off in a corner next to a window. True to form, when he sat at the table, he sat with his back to the nearest wall, looking out over the tavern. Spotting the older guy in coveralls and ballcap, he waved him over.

Seeing the universal signal for come over Harper took advantage and set down his tray, "Much obliged, just got on board this morning, still learning the lay of the land."

"No problem, Lieutenant. Type 6 coveralls, don't normally see those needed by officers," Collins noted. "Or much at all, usually. So that plus the fact I know who the other officers of your rank are aboard, outside of medical and counseling, suggests to me you're new here, you're a mustang, and you probably shoulda reported to me a few hours ago so I could at least endorse your orders and get the computers to recognize your access codes," he deduced with a shrug. "Eh, transmit your orders from your PADD to my PADD using the encrypted link and I'll do that now so far as the endorsement and computer goes; we'll save the formal chat for later though."

"Considering I started my review at 5;45 am. I wasn't goign to wake anyone to report in. But I do have an appointment set with the XO after lunch. He slid the padd, First slot available by the way."

Collins grinned. "Funny, you're talking to him and the yeoman on duty never told me I had anything schedul -" at which point his PADD beeped, causing Collins to laugh-sigh.

"Let me guess, schedule just updated." He made a note on his padd, "I'll have some of the tech kids look at the latency."

"Latency in optical fiber with bioneural gelpacks?" Collins blinked. "I suppose theoretically it shouldn't surprise me, but it kinda does?"

"Stranger things have happened. Hell, I saw it once on the Brusilov, there was a ghost program in the mix somehow someone installed some damn fool thing that caused latency, I can have that sorted out." He nodded,"wasn't a security issue just unauthorized efficency program." He paused, "I'm also the new Chief Ops for this vessel."

"Ah, so you're the one your detailer sent me a note about." Collins grinned. "He likes you, fortunately. As to the lag. Hm, I have Engineering doing code review on an expert system my brother the software dev coded for me as a promotion gift, an automated correspondence handler that should take some of the really routine stuff off the yeoman's desk at first, maybe more later, but that code isn't near production systems yet, so shouldn't impact this. Currently chief eng is doing a line by line review of the source code when she gets a chance; you're welcome to join in, if you have the skills for it, but it's sorta off-books until we get it past said code review."

"I'm not exactly the expert on code, but there's a JG in my department that is, I'll send him." There was a pause, "I'll send his file to you. He'll like it, a bunch of smart folks, he's one of those not quite cut out for shipboard duty but he needs to check the box, this is the best use of his skills."

Collins nodded thoughtfully until that last line. "How do you mean 'not cut out for shipboard duty'? There's a wide spectrum there, and certain points on the spectrum I don't want touching source code that will handle command correspondence."

"Nothing like you're thinking. He just is very high strung, he does better on a routine then dealing with sudden changes. I've worked with this before, but something like code review would be right up his alley," Harper clarified.

"Okay. Sounds like the classic 'Code Monkey likes Fritos' coder. I can work with that: Emphasize to him this code review is off-books for the moment; Technically I should be going through Materiel Procurement at Starfleet Command and doing tenders and so on, but when your brother is a software developer and he wants to show off his talents in his gift once he hears you'll become XO of a starship, it's churlish to put him through bureaucratic mazes. That said, once it passes code review here and we put it on isolated beta testing cores, then I will bring it on-books with Starfleet and we'll be managing it as a local project, with him or, more likely, someone in your department with their project management certification, as test director." Collins said. "If he does well at this, which will in part be decided by my brother, since he offered to coordinate things when he isn't working, I'll keep an eye on him over his tour and try to put in a good word with the software guys at Intel's R&D directorate, at least." The extension of bureaucratic influence and the spotting of talent was one of the mostly-unremarked facets of the XO's job, after all.

"I'll let him know, I'll also shoot his packet over, all in all Academy folks said he was a genius, just poor marks in military sciences." He paused, "Aside from that, I'll start an inventory of supplies for the mission and see what we may need more of, it'll be on your desk in an hour after lunch. At the latest."

"Eh, don't worry about it too much, we don't leave for a bit," Collins replied. "Don't even technically have our orders, just persistent rumors of orders. Have your lunch, relax, then worry about the inventories. Which actually brings up a question. I know, because logistics was part of my cover in a previous life, virtually all civilian logistics operations use automated inventorying and supply tracking systems - meanwhile, Starfleet does manual inventories on even the most routine items. Is there a reason for that beyond paranoia?"

"Sometimes you can find missing supplies that the tracking system can miss, best check on the computer is a sent of the mark 1 eyeball."

That got a nod. "Makes sense."

With that the conversation wandered off.


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