Location: Ready Room
Reza walked through the doors and took a seat at his desk. He then gestured to one of the chairs on the other side of the desk, inviting Quade to sit down.
"What's on your mind, lieutenant?"
Sally sat down, feeling a little uncomfortable in the captain's presence, but knowing that a department head had to get used to being in a little closer contact with leadership. She still sat on the edge of the chair.
"Sir, I don't want you to think I'm questioning your judgment. I'm still new to bridge command, and I need to understand why things happen the way that they do. I'm a scientist, Captain, and I have no interest in command, but," she smiled tentatively, "I do need to understand how it works. So I'd like to ... um, discuss what just happened out there on the bridge. If you are amenable to that."
Reza gave her a reassuring smile. "Of course. What kind of commander would I be if I didn't listen to my officers?"
Quade relaxed slightly, took a breath and said, "Okay, then. I don't know if the ship has a history with these Jennarri. I never heard of them, but there are probably lots of species I don't know anything about. We seemed to react so quickly. Have there been other interactions with them? Negative interactions? Because we hardly seemed to give diplomacy a chance."
She looked down at her hands, clasped tightly in her lap, and rushed on. "I mean, it's a scout ship. It couldn't really hurt us, right? So what was it doing wrong? It watched our exercises maybe, and was hiding from us. But, really," she glanced up at him, "isn't Starfleet pretty scary to a lot of other people? Wouldn't they want to get away from us as fast as they could? I'm just not sure why we basically kidnapped them with a tractor beam."
Reza nodded and leaned forward. "That's a valid concern, lieutenant. And if it were another species I may well have tried diplomacy. Unfortunately we have had too many hostile encounters with the Jenarri in the last few months along this frontier that we can no longer afford to give them the benefit of the doubt, especially when they're this far into Federation space. This is a very bold move on their part and we need to send a message back to their people that this kind of behaviour will not be tolerated. They have been attacking outpost after outpost, and as such standing orders are to take any Jenarri into custody."
"Really?" the science officer asked in surprise. "There's been nothing on this in the Federated News Network. Has that been an effort to keep people in the quadrant calm? I can see how hearing about such attacks could be unsettling if one is stuck on a planet nearby. Actually, this whole afternoon was a bit unsettling and I'm not stuck on a planet," she smiled shyly. "I appreciate your explanation, Captain. But what's the next step? Do we actually put them in the brig? I suppose the attacks could be carried out by larger ships after a scout ship like this pays a visit, but ...." her voice trailed off as she thought through the problems.
Shaking her head, she smiled at the captain again. "I'm glad I'm not sitting in your chair, Sir. Tactics were never my strong point, and I barely squeaked by in Diplomacy 101. But if it's science you want, I'm here for you every time."
"Still, I'm glad to have your input, lieutenant. Sometimes we need a check on our moralities. Just to ensure we're truly doing the right thing. As for what's going to happen to the crew of the scout ship, I've asked Mr. Sharpe to ascertain just what they were doing this far into Federation space. They'll be kept in the brig for now, and may well need to be transported back to the starbase and face charges in the JAG office."
"Thank you for explaining and being so patient, Captain Rashid," Sally Anne said. "As you know, this is my first posting as a Chief Science Officer, so it's also the first time I'll be spending much time on the bridge. I want to be an asset to Rutupiae, but there's a learning curve to climb before I can fully understand all that the senior officers handle as a matter of course. Asking questions is the only way I know to understand the actions carried out. Do you have any recommendations for things I should read? Are there older ship's logs that would be of benefit to me?"
"Well, to be fair, I'm just about as new to this ship as you are. I only came aboard a couple days ago. However, Commander Odegaard oversaw her refit, so it might behoove you to ask him about any logs and such for you to look over. But believe you me, I know you're more than capable of fitting this role."
Quade couldn't keep the pleased grin off her face. "Thank you, Captain. I'll check with the XO to see if he has any recommendations, as soon as all this settles out. I've probably taken up too much of your time already, but I promise, I'll do my best not to let you down." She stood and waited for his dismissal.
Reza stood as well and crossed to the door. "After you, ensign."