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Divide and Conquer

Posted on Tue Aug 15th, 2023 @ 10:37pm by Captain Marc Kidd & Lieutenant Claire Fisher & Lt JG Adalyn O'Rourke Ph.D.
Edited on on Tue Aug 15th, 2023 @ 10:57pm

2,225 words; about a 11 minute read

Mission: The Sins of History
Location: Counselor's Office - Deck 9 - USS Artemis
Timeline: MD004 1530 hrs

Claire was making herself busy downloading the personnel files of the crew onto PaDDs so she could go through them with Lieutenant O’Rourke and determine who each of them should evaluate amongst the crew, as well as the list of Bajor’s most wanted. Claire went and ordered another coffee from the replicator, her third of the day, while she waited to formally meet O’Rourke.

Preparing for her meeting with the newly assigned Claire Fisher brought up a mix of emotions for Adalyn O'Rourke. Chief among them, she had to admit, was confusion. It wasn't that Starfleet had decided to bring someone in to work with her and to represent their department amongst the senior staff. Although Adalyn herself would have hoped to be granted such an opportunity, she respected these decisions were made above her paygrade and didn't necessarily reflect on her own worth or competence. Adalyn's sense of practicality and professionalism also meant she understood that no single person could handle the demands of an entire crew, especially the demands on a ship with a mission as unique and diverse as the Artemis, and in fact, collaboration could mean better solutions to challenges were reached more efficiently. Interpersonally, it could also mean having more support in a position that could be isolating as much as it was stressful.

No, what perplexed Adalyn was not the assignment of someone to work with her, but the assignment of this particular someone. Claire's personnel file painted a picture of an intelligent woman who had spent the bulk of her career thus far engaging in research and the analytical work of profiling rather than the provision of mental health care. Given the department's mandate to provide each service equally well, Adalyn anticipated anyone assigned to the department, particularly in a supervisory capacity, would have experience and training more closely matching her own. This was not the type of assignment she would want anyone to cut their clinical teeth on, and she couldn't help but wonder what challenges this could create for her in the future.

Still, Adalyn also knew personnel records didn't do anyone full justice, which is why she approached Lieutenant Fisher's door with a smile and a sense of eager anticipation. Adalyn enjoyed meeting new people, after all. She pressed the chime and politely waited to be allowed entry.

Claire took a sip of her coffee as she organized the PaDDs on her desk into various piles based on logical categories when she heard the chime to the door. “Come in.”

The doors opened obediently and Adalyn stepped inside, a pleasant smile gracing her features. Regardless of her mixed feelings, she was a team player and someone who would never be unkind, particularly to someone she had never met. For all she knew, Claire could've been just as conflicted about her assignment. "Hello, I'm Adalyn O'Rourke. It's a pleasure to meet you," she added, offering her hand for a firm handshake.

Claire had been made aware there was another counselor assigned to the ship and in truth was more than a bit grateful for that fact. Given the assignment and personnel, it was a lot just for one counselor to take on. Claire smile brightly at Adalyn as she shook her hand. “Claire Fisher, pleasure.” She said sincerely and went to over the woman a seat across from her desk before noticing the mess and piles of PaDDs. With a slight blush, Claire reached for them off the seat, moving them and several aside to have a clear view of each other. “Apologies for the mess. I’m afraid I’m still figuring out a system here.” She confessed with a slightly embarrassed laugh.

"I understand," Adalyn replied with a chuckle. "There's a lot to keep straight here, wearing dual hats as we do. That doesn't even factor in getting to know the entire crew's personnel files. If I can be of assistance, let me know."

Claire sighed heavily to calm her mind and give herself the second to keep from being frazzled. This is not how she wanted to present herself in a first meeting, but let the feeling pass. Instead she focused on Adalyn’s words and gave a genuine smile as she took her own seat. “I’d appreciate that. But before we get down to business, I’d like to address the elephant in the room if I may?”

"Of course," Adalyn replied, appreciating the forthrightness and also genuinely curious what particular elephant she would choose.

Claire considered her words before clasping her hands together and leaning her forearms on the desk, looking directly at the other counselor. “I realize I was a late addition to the crew. By all accounts you were set to be the department head. I want you to know I had no intention of taking that position from you. As far as I am concerned, we are a team. We need to work together.” She gestured at the piles of PaDD scattered about with her head. “Because to be honest, I’m going to need the help.” She joked with a smile. “And truth be told, I am a bit rusty when it comes to counseling. I have most of my career reading reports and behavioral analysis, not helping people process. I consider you an asset, not a competitor.”

O'Rourke took a moment to let the words sink in before she offered, "I appreciate you taking the time to say as much. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a bit perplexed as to why someone who is as you say, 'rusty' when it comes to counseling skills, would be given an assignment that not only requires competence in both areas, but the ability to move between both areas deftly and to act in a supervisory capacity. That said, we are both Starfleet officers who are expected to follow orders and to recognize we aren't always privy to the reasoning behind the decisions of those above us. It would be unprofessional and unfair of me to resent you for just doing what you were told, especially because any successful endeavor requires teamwork. I expect we can learn a lot from each other, and as long as you're not one of those people who will throw her weight around because she can, or make me do all of the work while you take all of the credit, I think we'll get along fine. I'm not afraid to speak my mind about anything, especially when it comes to where I believe I can be the most useful."

Claire smiled sincerely at that. “I couldn’t agree more. But now, if you don’t mind, maybe we can divvy up these personnel files for evaluations.” She reached for a pile of PaDDs to push between them across the table. “If it’s all the same to you, I say we split them as evenly as possible.” She glanced at the first name in front of her. “Lieutenant Corwin, defense council. Mind if I take him while you take the JAG officer? I think it would be logical we divide the crew into opposing groups to make sure there is no biases. Have you take the medical, tactical, engineering chiefs while I took the XO, science and rest?”

O'Rourke nodded. "That sounds fair. Does that mean you would like me to do the Captain's evaluation?" Normally, that would be Claire's prerogative, but considering her suggestion to break up the work, she wanted to clarify her intention. "Also, I was thinking since it has been sometime you've served as a counselor, it might be helpful tp have a weekly case conference where we discuss the crew we are working with clinically to share perspectives and ideas?"

Claire smiled at the woman as she thought. Adalyn was clever and caught on quick. “You know, that’s an excellent idea. I already made quite the impression being late. If you want to brave bring the one to evaluate the captain, you have my full support.” She said with amusement in her tone, handing the woman the PaDD.

They had just been given their first case and it was a major one. Marc could not believe that as soon as they beamed up from Bajor he had transfer orders for Kelly Miller. There was no time to wait and after a quick look at service records and a chat with Lieutenant Commander Rachel Malbrooke a decision was made. All of that happened in ten minutes and now Marc found himself in front of the door to the Counseling office. He exhaled sharply through his nose and stepped in. Marc was glad that he found both of the officers that he needed to speak with in the office chatting. "Lieutenants I hope the afternoon is finding you well."

The sudden intrusion of a male voice startled Adalyn, who hadn't realized the inner office was unlocked. She supposed that wasn't necessarily required if Claire wasn't in session and she wanted to be accessible to the crew. Then again, considering their visitor, maybe all doors were programmed to open for him. "Hello, Captain," Adalyn greeted, her surprise evident. "We were just getting to know each other and to divvy up responsibilities."

Fisher stood when the captain entered the room, caught more than a little by surprise. "Indeed. Is everything alright, Sir?" She asked curiously. She had already spoken to the captain not that long ago about her assignment and found it odd he would seek either of them out so quickly.

"It seems that when we returned from Bajor Starfleet had orders for Lieutenant Commander Miller. Suffice to say she is no longer on the ship having left for her new assignment. That leaves us in a quandary, we have a case and no prosecutor. After conferring with the Sector JAG Officer, Commander Malbrooke and reviewing service records we have found that Lieutenant Fisher you have a law degree and are on the bar. That said you are being reassigned to the JAG division as our Prosecutor. That is of course if you want the assignment." Marc managed to modulate his voice so it sounded official. However, inside he knew that Fisher was all they had. He hoped she would accept, although he told Admiral Ford that he would not force her Marc would rather not have to go back to the drawing board as it were.

Claire gave a small smile to Adalyn. “It seems I’ve been drafted. Looks like I’m in your seat, Counselor.” She said with wry amusement.

"It seems you are, *Counselor,*" O'Rourke good naturedly replied with a smile of her own after several beats just trying to absorb the news, taking the time to refer to Claire by the perhaps old fashioned moniker given to attorneys. Of course, she felt more than a few mixed emotions - a sense of professional whiplash underlying all of them. She had to believe this was the fastest personnel switcharoo in Starfleet history. It almost made her wonder if the brass were a bunch of people who saw the rest of them as pieces on chess board to re-arrange for their own amusement. Claire was a lawyer as well as a shrink and profiler? That certainly escaped her notice and Adalyn wondered if that role would put Fisher any more at ease. "I expect we'll be working closely together anyway and I do look forward to it."

Marc could see that this was going to work out better than he had expected. "Great then I will leave you both to settle in to your new positions. Lieutenant O'Rourke I do not want to add to your plate. But, I am going to need a profile work up on Gul Vamcet. He was the former commander of the 35th Order and Administrator of the Porchet Forced Labor Camp during the Occupation. We are going to need to know how his head operates. See if you can have it done by tomorrow afternoon. Thank you both. Lieutenant Fisher I beleive a change in wardrobe is in order, you will look great in red." Marc smiled and turned to leave. He thought that was the first of many hurdles. It made him proud that his crew can simply take on new tasks if needed.

Claire watched the captain leave and turned to O’Rourke and grinned. “This doesn’t mean I’m going to outright abandon you. We are still a team, just across different departments.”

"Exactly," Adalyn confirmed, watching the Captain leave and taking a moment to absorb Kidd's orders. Things were certainly moving fast. "if there's anything I can do for you, even if it's just to provide an unofficial sounding board, don't be shy. It sounds like we're all facing a steep learning curve with this case and it'll be key to lean on each other."

A Joint Post By

Captain Marc Kidd
Commanding Officer, USS Artemis
Starfleet Criminal Investigations Unit

Lieutenant Claire Fisher
JAG Offier, USS Artemis
Starfleet Criminal Investigations Unit

Lieutenant Junior Grade Adalyn O'Rourke
Ship's Counselor/Profiler, USS Artemis
Starfleet Criminal Investigations Unit


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