DISCLAIMER: The Star Trek characters are the property of Paramount Studios, Inc. The story contents are the creation and property of T'Kuht and is copyright (c) 2002 by T'Kuht. Rated PG-13.
Open Door Policy: Command Decisions
Yeoman Janice Rand noted the last of the orders on the data padd. Commander Spock's recitations were always orderly and succinct. "I expect a copy of the reports at my station," he began.
"Before the end of my duty log for the day. I will have that for you, never fear," she replied a little tersely.
Spock noted the tone. "Yeoman, I have noted that your attitude regarding your duties has been lax of late. Can you explain this?"
Janice sighed. She had been a little short tempered or just plain surly lately. She also was out of sorts. She'd been trying to work up the courage to speak to the Captain since the fiasco on 'Miri's' planet. Commander Spock was not only her superior officer, but he had proven himself one whom she could trust in touchy situations.
"I don't know if I can. Permission to speak freely sir?" she asked formally.
Spock nodded and leaned back in his desk chair. He rarely needed a 'secretary' to assist him with his reports, but he did feel that it was necessary to use the service provided at least once a week in order to keep tabs on how well the yeoman assigned to the command staff was doing. Rand was perhaps the best secretarial assistant he'd had. She was also a little feistier than some of the others. She at least had a voice and would speak if she had something to say, which she usually did.
Janice set the padd down on the desk and frowned. "Sir, this has nothing to do with you or the ship, but I feel I should be transferred."
Spock considered her statement a moment as well as the events that might have led up to it. "Does this concern the Captain?"
"Yes," she answered quickly then changed her mind. "No ... maybe, probably."
"This is not a multiple choice question, Ms. Rand. Is Captain Kirk part of the reason that you wish a transfer?"
"He is but not the reason that you think," she answered cryptically.
"You feel that your outburst while we were on Miri's planet has somehow tainted your relationship with him," Spock surmised and received a rather shocked look from her.
"I ... I thought no one knew. The Captain said he wouldn't mention it."
"You forget," Spock said and tapped the ear tips. "I do not mean to eavesdrop as you humans call it, but there are times when I cannot help what I hear. I heard your confession to him. Is this causing difficulties for your working relationship?"
"It does, but more than that, I can't seem to look him in the eye. Before I could say anything to him, confide in him, but now ... I think it would be best if I left," she repeated with a nod.
"Have you spoken of this to anyone else before now?"
"Only Chris and Nyota. Lts. Chapel and Uhura," she corrected.
"I did know who you were referring to. And what was their reaction?" the Vulcan asked. Perhaps if he could find out what the human women's reaction was, he could better answer her questions.
"Uhura doesn't want me to go, but Chris says I have to do what I have to do. There is something else, but I don't know how to put it really," the yeoman began.
"I don't like being a secretary. I thought I would. I joined Star Fleet to get a career and a job and experience. I've always done well in the office management courses when I've taken them and in organizational duties so it was only natural that I become a yeoman. But, I'm beginning to think it's rather boring," she confessed a little embarrassed. Surely Spock would think she was being flighty.
"I have noticed your lack of enthusiasm regarding your work lately. I had originally attributed that to the incidents with both Charlie Evans and the Captain's double. However, now you reveal that you have been unhappy in your post for some time. What do you think you would like to do?" he asked. He knew it sounded human. On Vulcan he had no choice when it came to his life. If he had followed his father he would be doing precisely the same thing his father had done at his age. So, he had broken those ties, destroyed that bridge years ago to do what he wished to do. He had not regretted his decision.
She looked at him with cool greenish blue eyes. The long lashes batted at him a second as she pondered the statement she was going to make. "I'd like to go back to the Academy. I want to become an officer."
"A commendable course, but one that I would not recommend to everyone. Have you considered that you would be starting your officer's training at an age when most are already finished and commissioned at their posts?"
"Yes. But, and you'll say this is silly, but back when we were in trouble at PSI 2000, the Captain had me take over the helm. I sat there with the entire power of the ship at my disposal and wished I knew how to operate the controls. Sulu has let me do a little over the shoulder learning over the years, as has Uhura with her communications board. They know what they are doing and where they are going in their careers. I'm stuck as a yeoman who is going to be a secretary. What else is there in Star Fleet?"
"There are posts in more middle management positions on Starbases and at Headquarters, but there have never been any Captains who began their career as a yeoman. Nor are there any Admirals or even Commanders, if my information on the latest statistics is correct," Spock agreed. She was just searching for a way to make certain her life would always be full of purpose. She wanted to contribute more skills than shorthand and transcriptions.
"Then you agree that I can't really go any higher up in the chain than where I am now?" she asked.
"I agree with that statement. If you were to go back to the Academy for the officer's training, what area of study would you pursue?"
"Well, I'm already nearly qualified as a communications expert. I don't have any of the hands-on mechanical or practical experience so that would be logical. But, I have considered something more in the engineering department, transporter chief or perhaps cargo chief. What expertise I have I can transfer over to those departments."
"Transporter chiefs are not necessarily required to go through officer's training. However, you have a valid point about the transferal of skills. If you wish a transfer back to the Academy, I will recommend you for it. You will also need the captain's signature, however," he reminded.
Janice's expression deflated immediately. "Do you think he'll do it? I don't."
"Jim Kirk is an honest man. He may regret losing a yeoman, but he does see potential in people. He has mentioned to me that you seemed to be a little ... his term ... underused in the position you were given."
"Really? I never would have guessed. So, you'll start the transfer proceedings?" she asked hopefully. Now the butterflies really started flying in her stomach. Before the idea had been a fanciful one. Now they were at least halfway through the process.
"Yes. But you will have to ask the Captain. If you present your case to him as you did to me, I do not believe you will have any difficulties," Spock decided.
"All right. I have to go work on some reports that he needs before we get to Planet Q anyway. Thank you for your help," she added and realized that it might be one of the last opportunities she had to see him. If her transfer went through quickly, she could be off the ship in a matter of days. Standing to leave, she flashed him a grateful smile and extended her hand. "I know that Vulcans don't shake, Mr. Spock, but I'd like at least extend the courtesy."
Spock took the human hand without hesitation. "There are times when Vulcan preferences can be put aside."
"Right," she said and withdrew her hand. With a wink she turned on her heel and left the first officer's quarters in a much better mood than when she'd arrived.