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Personnel Problems

Posted on Fri Jan 12th, 2018 @ 8:07am by Commander Titus Livius Drusus PhD

Mission: A Day in the Life
Location: Chief Science Officer's Office

The XO’s message had been short, to the point and explosive in its implications for how Drusus’s department would operate. The message was a forwarded communique from Starfleet Personnel Department, which included orders transferring Lieutenant Zohlaosh from Starbase 332 to the USS Kevaar.

Drusus sat back in his chair and steepled his fingers under his chin as he considered what this meant for his team. Zohlaosh was the head of astrophysics, which was a small but important team within the science department. He was also a pain in the ass, but he did a reasonable job at keeping his team in check. The problem was there was no obvious choice to replace him.

The second-in-charge of the team had been on extended leave for a couple of months and, based on his last check-in, was unlikely to return to duty for some time. Zohlaosh, in his typically intractable style, had not named a member of his team to act as deputy in Lieutenant Mol’s absence, which meant there was no natural successor in place and ready to step into the position.

Drusus would have to come up with a solution and fast.

“Drusus to Zohlaosh,” he said, opening a channel to the crotchety Tellarite.

“Can this wait?” came the reply, which was not an uncommon way for him to respond to comms, regardless of who was calling.

The Magna Roman knew exactly how to handle him and immediately shot back, in his most authoritative tone of voice, “No. Report to my office immediately. Drusus out.” He smiled as the connection ended. Whatever else he was, Zohlaosh always followed orders. He just might miss the little dictator.

Precisely three minutes later - about the time it takes to get to Drusus’s office from the astrophysics labs - the chime on Drusus’s door chirped. “Come in, Zohlaosh.”

The door opened and the Tellarite in the blue shirt appeared, his hands clasped behind his back and his head tilted back so that he could look down his nose at his superior officer.

“You requested my presence, Commander,” he stated; it wasn’t a polite question.

Drusus held up the PADD to which he had downloaded Zohlaosh’s orders and the Tellarite took it. “You’re being transferred, Lieutenant,” he said. “The USS Kevaar is in need of a new chief science officer. Starfleet, in their wisdom, has seen fit to give the job to you.”

The Tellarite nodded and said, “Excellent. When do I transfer?”

“The Kevaar will be arriving next week,” Drusus replied, gesturing to the PADD. “It's all in there. Before you go, however, I want your view on who should take over as head of astrophysics. Any thoughts?”

Zohlaosh didn’t seem to take even the space of a breath to consider his response. “I don’t have any recommendation on that, Commander.”

Drusus nodded slowly, staring into the Tellarite’s deep eyes. “Are any of your staff capable of stepping up?”


"Would you care to take some time and give it some thought?"

"My opinion will not change with time, Commander."

The chief science officer did his best to not roll his eyes at the man’s uncongenial manner. Drusus didn’t know him very well, but knew enough to know that further inquiry would be pointless. So, he opted to end the interview. “Very well,” he said, straightening his chair and returning his attention to the desk terminal. “You’re dismissed, Lieutenant.”

Zohlaosh nodded, turned on his heel, and disappeared from Drusus’s life forever.

When the door hissed shut, Drusus sat back in his chair and sighed, his eyes lingering on the door. How was he ever going to replace that insufferable creature?

Commander Titus Livius Drusus PhD
Chief Science Officer


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