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I Want to Be a Lion Tamer

“I Want to Be a Lion Tamer”

Joint Log by Captain Chirakis and Commander Coleridge



The captain stood staring at the door to her office as it closed behind Lt. Kenyon. She remained there a moment, as though contemplating her next move.


“Where do we go from here?” she asked rhetorically as she turned to face the commander.  “Here we are—an engineer and an assassin—in command of a starbase that is essentially on the edge of nowhere, and we are preparing to decide the future of a young man.  We are not trained for this, Commander. At least I am not.” She gestured slightly. “Give me an SI-5 team and an objective, and I know exactly what to do.”  Her fist gave the desktop a good shake.  “Give me a young man who has made a mistake, and….?” A sardonic grin accompanied a slight head shake as she settled into her chair and flicked open her slate.


“The irony of it all? If he had not asked for an investigation we would not have scrutinized Nei'rrh's flight recording, and we would not have known that he left his post. So, Commander, where do we go from here?”


She turned her slate in his direction. “We have the rules. The regulations. Everything needed for the process, step by step.  But there is no decision. That, unfortunately, is left to us.”


Scott listened carefully. This wasn’t a side of Chirakis he was used to seeing. He was accustomed to the cool, unflappable, slightly-scary-in-that-knows-how-to-kill-you-with-her-thumb-kind-of-way captain. Usually he was the one talking about not being trained for this. As you moved further up the chain of command, he was learning, the burdens didn’t get any easier—and you just got to share in more of them.


“We need to consider all the facts,” Scott said, “not just what happened on the Nei’rrh. Kenyon’s performance so far on the station has been exemplary. He shows both initiative and the ability to follow directions. This was his first away mission, and it was a stressful one.”


“Indeed it was stressful, Commander. He is also a Junior Lieutenant, newly aboard Aegis and newly promoted.  He was sent aboard an unusual shuttle craft to which he was not accustomed—in fact, most are not. He was not familiar with this area of space, he was sent on a mission that should not have been search and rescue, but turned out to be.  I could go on for several hours, I suppose, but believe that is sufficient for now. I get your point, Commander.”


“It’s safe to say that we agree a court martial is an extreme measure, all things considered, yes?”


“Yes,” she responded, drumming her fingers on the desk, as if in thought. “The other measures available to us are also somewhat extreme, unless we make them less extreme.  What are the options?”


Scott listed them off on his fingers. “Demote him to ensign. Restrict him to his quarters for up to 30 days. Limit his access to areas of the station. Formal reprimand.” He added, “I don’t think we need to make an example of him, per se. This was a mistake, not deliberate insubordination.”


“Agreed.”  She nodded.  “It should be done privately and should not be divulged to others, not even his commanding officer—unless it is deemed necessary in the future. Throwing oil on the fire exacerbates the problem rather than quelling it.”


“Good point,” Scott said. “His relationship with Nijil is already somewhat strained. By the way, when I was interviewing Mr. tr’Korjata I did mention that some more … sensitivity … towards how his sense of humour might be construed would be prudent in the future. So,” he leaned forward. “A reprimand and some advice?”


“Agreed.  Only that, and in private.  As far as anyone else is concerned, the investigation is closed, and nothing more.”


Trust in an intelligence operative to find a way to organize an off-book form of punishment, Scott mused. “Well, that wasn’t so hard, now was it? Maybe we’re better at this than we thought.”


It took a second or two before she responded thoughtfully,  “Commander, anything that would affect the future of our personnel is a hard choice. Every step we take affects them in some way.  Every word we speak affects them somehow. We are in charge of their safety and security, in every way. That we must never forget.”


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