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Nobody Likes a Kiss-Ass

Posted on Wed Dec 18th, 2019 @ 3:42am by Lieutenant Commander Talina Sarafian & Lieutenant Nathan Klein & Petty Officer First Class Sparrow Kells & Chief Petty Officer Spencer Malone & Civilian Alexander Stamen
Edited on on Fri Jun 12th, 2020 @ 10:36pm

Mission: Mission 1 - "Pound of Flesh"
Location: Unmentionables Bullpen | Admin Hub - Station 314
Timeline: MD 3

The USS Holliday docked in the restricted shuttlebay that was reserved only for Union traffic. It had been a long time since she had piloted such a long trip, so Talina had an extra pep in her step as she disembarked. The ECV-314-13 registry was on her list of shuttles dedicated solely for her unit's use. It only felt appropriate for Talina to be the one to deliver it back home.

Opting to bypass the civilian promenades completely, Talina took the service lift directly to the central hub and admin center where her office and unit awaited. In but a moment, the lift doors parted and revealed a bustling office. Multiple walkways surrounded an open layout, featuring several offices, one of which would be hers. Down in the lower area in the middle of it all were multiple clusters of desks, grouped four to eight a piece. Several officials performed work in the area, and her team, while imposing as the UCID Unit, was one among a dozen bureaucratic units that greased the gears of the Union machine.

At least the signs were easy to follow. The UCID 314 designation was clearly illuminated over the central desk cluster, and hanging from it in a hand-scrawled decoupage sign proudly displaying the words THE UNMENTIONABLES.

Talina made a note to learn who was responsible for that, and then made her approach.

"Lieutenant Commander Talina Sarafian, assuming command of UCID Unit 314. Where is... Lieutenant Klein?"

Spencer stood from behind the desk he was sitting at currently. "Chief Petty Officer Malone here, Sir. Welcome aboard. We're glad to have you," he lied. He was still a little upset about the sudden departure of their last commanding officer. Not that he didn't want to embrace the new one, but he had to admit, to himself at least, that he was salty. He would save his opinions of their new boss for later though.

"As you were, Chief." Talina pressed her lips together into a pursed expression that would suffice for a smile in polite professional company. She looked around at the cluster of desks. "I assume most of the unit is out on assignments."

"Personal leave is more like it," said a squirrely little man with too much mousse in his hair. "Adjutant Stamen," he said, extending a hand to Talina. "Administrative assistant to Admiral Böll Holder, sector commander and commanding officer of Station 314. You must be Lieutenant Commander Sarafian."

Talina shook the man's greasy little hand and resisted the compulsion to wipe her palm clean on the side of her slacks. "Adjutant Stamen," she said coolly. "Does the admiral have any concerns?"

"Not at this time," Stamen said cautiously. "He just asked me to express his warm welcome."

Through a proxy, Talina thought to her herself, as if he was too busy to greet me personally. She noted to look into the admiral more closely when time permitted.

"Thank you," she said at length. When Stamen made no further comment or gesture, she pointedly added, "You are free to go, Mister Stamen." Talina watched the little eel slither away for a moment while the rest of her unit made approach. Hopefully they understood the sort of outfit she planned to run.

Spencer watched the adjutant walk away as well, the expression on his face showing his distaste for the little man as well. He relaxed his stance, but he didn't sit down again. "They didn't tell us much. Did you have to travel a long way to come here?" he asked.

"All the way from Earth," Talina said. "And Station 794 before that. Suffice it to say that I'm ready to get my hands dirty."

Spencer crossed his arms over his chest and offered a little smile, or what could pass for a smile. It was more of a smirk. "I'm rather new too, to be honest. About six months. Also from Earth. New York to be exact. To be honest, it hasn't been much different than planet-side." He chuckled.

"Didn't ask for your life story," Talina muttered under her breath. Taking a sigh to clear the glaze away from her eyes, she asked, "Is there anybody else from the unit on duty?"

Spencer pointed to one of the offices. "Lieutenant Klein is in there..."

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Klein was in his office at his desk hard at work. The office was clad with various awards, certificates, diplomas, and the like. He didn't seem to have any pictures of family or friends around. The desk was tidy almost too tidy. He had a giant mug of coffee which was still steaming and full to the brim sitting to the left of his computer console that he barely looked up from.

The office door opened and in came Talina. It was an unusual aesthetic to put two desks in one office, but Talina figured the fewer barriers between herself and her team, the better. She'd rather avoid the bullpen when possible, so this would be an acceptable compromise.

"Lieutenant Klein, I presume." Talina strolled over to the vacant desk that would be hers and made a show of turning about on her heel before leaning against the edge of her desk. The tablet she'd brought from Union Central was clutched tightly against her chest. "I'm your new unit chief."

Klein looked up at her, personally he hated the design flaw which left empty space in the building which could easily be a second office. He looked back at his computer for a moment finishing his last sentence in a report, saving his progress, and locking his computer.

He rose to his feet and held out his hand to the woman to shake, "Nathan. Nice to meet you, ma'am."

Talina stepped forward and took Nathan's hand in hers. "A pleasure," she said evenly. "Why don't you introduce me to the rest of the unit, or at least whoever else is on duty."

"Uh sure," Klein said.

The two left the command office on the upper deck which wrapped around the bull pen and made their way back down to the Unmentionables' cluster of desks. Having already met Chief Spencer, Talina nodded at the man and awaited for Klein to do his duty.

Spencer nodded and didn't get up this time. He had sat down again to sort though the files he was currently carrying around with him. He did, however, set the current file he was looking at down on the desk and lean back in his chair, arms crossed over his chest, to watch their new commander and the lieutenant.

Headphones on, expression pensive and gaze fixated on the tablet's screen before her, Sparrow appeared utterly oblivious to anyone else in the room. As she walked in from the restrooms, she neither reacted to nor seemed aware of the other members of the team around her, new or old. She stopped, halfway between the outer door and the desks as a frown slowly deepened on her brow.

"Attention Unit 314," Talina said. "I know how it is to get a new boss in a tight-knit unit. The air of mystery, the anxiety and uncertainty of what to expect, and any number of other distractions. Allow me to clear them all up now. Do your job, and you'll be recognized. Neglect your duty, and that will be recognized. I don't know the way things were done before, but hear me now when I say we're going to do things by book so long as the book applies. We're going to be creative without cutting corners. We're going to be relentless without going vigilante. We're going to be the best damn unit the Union Criminal Investigative Division has ever seen."

She paused for effect and looked around at the nearby faces, not all of whom were actually part of the unit huddle. "Any questions?"

During that little speech, Sparrow had padded slowly up to the nearest desk, placed her tablet down upon its surface and, as the question was asked, removed her headphones to regard Talina.

"Who are you?" She asked, her tone polite but direct.

The question struck Talina sideways, as she considered the answer to be rather self-evident. "I'm your Unit Chief. That's who the fuck I am."

Despite the words used, Sparrow didn't flinch as she responded. "Apologies, Chief. Mine was a valid question though, was it not?"

"Considering that I had previously introduced myself and had just outlined the unit milieu, I would say, no, in fact, it was not a valid question." Talina kept her tone low and icy. "I expect greater attention to detail from you in the future, Petty Officer...?"

Sparrow considered the validity of her argument versus that of her now obvious superior in a moment of silence. Then she weighed up the time it would take to successfully win this verbal battle and brought into play the obvious difference in their ranks. It wasn't a useful or necessary use of her time, so she dropped the matter as swiftly as she had instigated the unanticipated conflict.

"Sparrow Kells," said Sparrow, her own tone blissfully and intentionally neutral, accent lilting about her first name then colouring the words to follow. The sentence was devoid of sarcasm, but proudly stated. "I can assure you, I always pay great attention to detail, Chief."

"Don't tell me," Talina said. "Show me. A display that I look forward to seeing."

Looking around at the small number, Talina shrugged. "I was hoping for more people on duty, but I don't want to wait. A case turned up while I was reviewing the station defense reports. Do we have a briefing area at our disposal?"

Spencer stood, in preparation to go to a briefing room, his face doing something that suggested he might not be amused, lips tightly pursed and eyes narrowed. He pointed again, much like he had pointed to Klein's office, except a different door. "That one's usually the one we use."

"Good enough," Talina said. "Everybody form up. We've got a unit briefing in five."


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