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Side By Side

Posted on Mon Jan 15th, 2024 @ 6:34pm by Lieutenant JG Max Gill & Lieutenant JG Jane Sinclair

1,854 words; about a 9 minute read

Mission: Operation Tokyo Return
Location: Mess Hall
Timeline: Mission Day 2 or 3


It was noon, a full day before they would reach the point where the Myogi would need to drop out of warp around the subspace tear.

Jane Sinclair had a new colleague. A new officer in gold has taken the senior Operations Officer position. He seemed like a good guy but they hadn’t had time to talk much since he came aboard. So today they agreed to eat together at lunch break.

Sitting down at the table in the mess hall with a tray from the replicator containing a pasta dish, garlic bread, and sparkling water, she smiled at the person who on the bridge now sat and worked next to her. “So where are you from Max?” she started.

Max had agreed to the meeting because Jane had contacted him and believed that to work efficiently together, they would need to get to know one another professionally. The reasoning was sound and the ships Chief Operations Officer arrived at the mess hall at the expected time. He was already eating a plate of spaghetti when Jane sat down, sipping a tea as she spoke her question. He swallowed before he answered.

"Boise City, Oklahoma," replied Max, eyeing the Chief Flight Control Officer. He had to admit Jane was appealing. He quickly took a bite and swallowed before speaking again. "Was a farm boy that grew up in a community co-op that existed since World War 3. It's a strong, tight-nit group that has produced some good Starfleet personnel and I was among the lot. Family supported my decision fully and I got assigned to the Poseidon out of the Academy for my Cadet Cruise. Made Ensign, then Lt Jg, now I'm here."

He realized he had dumped his whole life story suddenly. He blinked, took another bite, took a drink, then swallowed as he cleared his throat. He dabbed his lips with a napkin, sitting up and looking at Jane with a twinkle in his eye and a half-cocked smile.

"What about you?" he asked. "Lady like you has to have some mystery better than a farm-boy like myself."

“No mystery here,” Jane said with a giggle. “Quite the reverse, since I was a public figure for a while.” She decided to give similar details as Max. “I’m from just outside Cochrane, on Proxima Centauri II. Mum was a mechanic at the Starfleet maintenance yards. Taught me how to fly and how to build and maintain my own small craft. I got into shuttle racing as a young teen. Made Interstellar-One for a few years, working at the Proxima yards in the off season. Stopped racing when I went to the Academy, but I’m actually still on Proxima-Renault’s backup roster.” She sipped her sparkling water. “Served on the Shanghai for a couple of years, including fighting in Gatecrasher. Then did some Project Full Circle work on the Dionysus. Joined the Myogi right before we launched under Captain Takahashi.”

"Oh, Gatecrasher, that was a fun historical happening," Max said, groaning as if history itself kept repeating. He sipped and ate some more, giving another nod after dabbing his cheek with a napkin. "Yeah, apparently the Federation experienced a coup not too long ago but Commodore Paladin and Captain Johnson from the Poseidon neglected to tell anyone. I came on board the Myogi and was floored with that information. But I did, actually hear about Gatecrasher. Made headlines about being some neo-Klingon pro-war terror group that almost made headway. And you fought in that? Amazing."

Max smiled, admiring her for a second more. She was a bit shorter than he, but not by much. He couldn't rightly tell since they sat but they sit maybe an inch or two off. She did have pretty hair though.

"So, you settle down any?" Max asked, giving a gentle probe into the conversation for his own curiosity.

It took Jane a moment to parse the question, but when she did she smiled. “I have a long term partner, yeah. Her name is Alisha. She was our Chief Intelligence Officer but took a leave of absence recently.” She withdrew a mini-PADD from her pocket and pulled up a photo of the two of them. “She and I both fought in the coup attempt. It was rough down there, Max, be glad you missed it.” She pulled some of the fettuccine she replicate on her fork. “How about you though? Is there someone waiting for you back home?”

Outwardly Max displayed sincerity, appreciation for what Jane said, acknowledgement of her status as having a partner. Inwardly he chided himself for being a silly schoolboy and being flustered over a girl. He buried the feelings and let them die as he resumed the conversation from a more professional standpoint. He nodded to her remark about the dangers involved during the coup attempt, eating a bite and swallowing it with a drink.

"No, none of that here besides my parents," Max chuckled, making sure to avoid eye contact. "Had a fling with a Gorn gal named Eradaar on the Poseidon briefly, but it was moreso a polyamorous than anything. Really didn't fiddle that much, but she was nice, and eventually she and I parted ways as we got promoted off the ship. I hear she's with the other Gorn fellow who was on the ship, doing pretty well last I checked. We still talk time to time, Eradaar and I, but more or less it's memories from our times in the lower decks."

“It’s good to have those memories,” Jane said. “I’ve had flings over the years.” She couldn’t help but grin. “The phrases ‘I’m a pilot’ and ‘I’m a racer’ are right up there with ‘I’m in a band’. But there’s nothing like finding someone special. I miss Alisha. But we’re on subspace most days.”

"It's called a fling because sometimes it flings ya forward," Max said, smiling. He took a few more bites in silence before speaking again.

"Anyway, so, Chief Flight Control Officer right? Helmsman? We'll be working side by side, right?"

“Side by side,” Jane agreed. “Don’t worry, I’ll be sure to shower after my morning workouts so I won’t smell bad.”

Max nearly snorted out his drink with laughter. He caught himself in time, managing to calm, and finished it off with a few chuckles as he finished his plate. He swallowed with a hearty drink, this time not losing it. He shook his head.

"Alright then," Max said, still a bit flustered from almost losing it. "That was actually funny."

“I do my best.” Jane grinned as she continued working on her pasta, which she would need to work off later but also brought back pleasant memories, so it would be well worth the couple of extra hours of gym time. “In all honesty I do try to keep fit. In part because of this,” she gestured to the high carb lunch, “and to keep muscle mass. Our first CMO here tried to give me a muscle tone building treatment to address my low-g heritage but I ended up allergic to it, so it’s lots of strength training for me.”

"Strength training isn't that bad of a thing, especially when you consider it's what keeps most of us going," Max said as he briefly flexed his arm. "That's pretty awesome though, sorry about the allergies. I've met the Doc and he seems an alright sort. Straight to the point. Gave a discreet checkup."

“Oh yeah, Doctor Delling is great,” Jane agreed. “Helped me get right back on my feet after my allergic reaction. I don’t think I’ve met anyone I properly dislike. You found your way to a good ship, Max. Captain Takahashi is a bit stricter than I’d like but overall it’s a good place to be. And hey, we just beat the crew of the Haruna in a contest involving CAR racing, of all things. Where else do you get to do that?”

"Did I hear that right? Car racing? You meant he old twenty-first century automobiles?" Max went wide-eyed briefly, then laughed. "Oh that's a hoot! My dad would get a kick out of that. And yeah, I appreciate it, I think I did too. Starfleet has been real kind to me. I expect the Myogi to be no different."

“There are actually recordings of a bunch of our races,” Jane told him. “It was all on the holodeck on Spacedock. Actually mine was broadcast on a Sports Service sub channel. It might still be available on-demand. The person I was competing against was an old rival from my shuttle racing days. She put up a good fight, but I got her in the end.” She finished her final bites of food. “That was a good day.”

"Sounds like it," Max agreed with a nod. He was already starting to like Jane. He casually stood up to briefly return his tray and drink, then refill it as he returned to his seat. "Anyway," he said as he took a sip, "I know my job in Ops is to give you the best information available to do your job. What information do you need primarily?"

“Accurate navigational data,” Jane answered without hesitation. “I can’t dodge a comet if I don’t know it’s there, so keep the maps up to date and the feed to my console clear. Next most important is good power distro to the sublight engines, both RCS and impulse. If my keystrokes don’t burn the right engine at the right time then we don’t move, and we crash into the aforementioned comet.” She finished her sparkling water. “What can I do at helm to make your job easiest? Just alert you to my needs as early as possible, or something else?”

"I can probably write a subroutine that will automatically relay the information to your console as necessary, but the majority of the navigational data I can definitely relay when necessary verbally," Max said. "As far as what you can do? Just alert me to discrepancies as soon as possible. I can't accurately balance the power if no one tells me the problems. I handle the rest also, like minor repairs to conduits and other sectors, or my department is supposed to. Generally, though, from my experience so long as you inform me of what you need, I can do it."

"Sounds like a plan to me," Jane said. She gathered her dishes and quickly brought them back to the replicator for recycling. "Looks like it's time to get back to the bridge. Shall we?"

Max nodded, following her lead as she led the way back to the bridge. He had a happy smile on his face. It had indeed been a very pleasant introduction between the two.



Lieutenant jg Jane Sinclair
Chief Flight Control Officer, USS Myogi


Lieutenant JG Max Gill
Chief Operations Officer
USS Myogi


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