CO Lieutenant Commander Sara Sumner

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CO Lieutenant Commander Sara Sumner

Postby C. J. Short » Sat Feb 22, 2014 6:14 pm

SD 11402.22 (with CSO Lt. JG Sutak)

"I apologize for my outburst, Lieutenant, but generally, you do not have the authority to countermand a superior officer's orders. Understood?" Sara asked.

"Pardon me, Lieutenant Commander, but your orders were in direct conflict with the Captain's orders. I belaid your order to maintain a proper flow of directives to the crew." replied Sutak.

"We had conflicting orders. I understand why you did what you did, but that was the Captain's call to make, not yours."

"The Captain was otherwise engaged. I did my duty, Lieutenant Commander."

Sara didn't like stereotypes when it came to anyone, but this particular Vulcan was fitting several. She had a lot of instant, nasty responses that flew through her head, and it took her a moment to quell them all, as well as the questions she had about herself as a result of them; they'd have to wait. This issue of authority needed to be settled now.

"Your duty is to follow the chain of command. I understand that your orders were contradictory, and you were well within your rights to say something to myself or the Captain about it. You do not go over our heads and deliver your own orders," she explained, as patiently as she could.

The Vulcan spun around in the chair at his station. He placed his hands on his knees and leaned forward to his superior officer.

"Lieutenant Commander," he began, as always with her, "the Captain had ordered the Saturn not to intervene. Your order contradicted his. If I had not belayed your order to the Saturn, she would have put herself in tractor range of the Minotaur, and thusly, been in the blast radius when the Minotaur's warp core breached."

The Vulcan almost looked solemn - though his emotionless face seemed to be pondering something.

"I did not intend to break the chain of command, but rather to preserve it. Tell me, Lieutenant Commander, when I file my report on the Minotaur's arrival, should I note that you were ignoring the Captain's orders, or that you did not hear them? I am unaware as to whether your decision to endanger the crew of the Saturn was based on incompetence or ill judgement."

Sutak raised his eyebrow slowly, giving Sara a curious look.

The eruption of outrage that Sara felt manifested itself in a slow widening of her eyes. It took everything she had to keep herself under control; to not berate him, or strike him. At the same time, she tried to recall the situation. She had no memory of the Captain explicitly cancelling his order to her, but given the chaos, and her intention to engage in triage in sickbay, it was entirely possible she had missed it.

Part of her wanted to explain that to him, but she worried about looking weak both to Sutak and to Calverian, who undoubtedly was overhearing all this. Slowly, Sara moved around the science console, staring directly at Sutak.

"I don't care what you put in your report, Lieutenant. I would have belayed the order myself had someone simply said something. I will not deny that I made a mistake, given the chaos of the situation." She closed her eyes and took a deep breath.

"All I'm asking is that, in the future, you speak up first, before giving out orders you are not authorized to give, and before you simply assume I am an idiot."

Sutak tilted his head in thought, as he swiveled his chair to match the XO pacing to the other side of his console.

"I do not assume you are an 'idiot', Lieutenant Commander." He paused. "My decision to countermand your order immediately was an attempt to ensure the safety of the Saturn crew, as well as our own." He looked up at her from his console, he was unsure if he should remain seated or stand.

Sutak was a head taller than Sara Sumner, and it occurred to him that standing would likely further diminish her feelings in the situation. He remained seated.

"If your intent is to shame me into admitting something of which I am not guilty, you will not succeed. Humans often refer to situations in the past, and how they would react to them. If I were to repeat the situation we were just engaged in, I would act in the same manner. I would hope, as much as a Vulcan might" he tilts his head forward, acknowledging his statement of 'hope' - "-that if the situation were reversed, and I gave an order which endangered the lives of others, that you would act immediately to prevent them any harm."

He pulled at sleeve, as it had folded in an odd manner and was causing him discomfort. "Furthermore, Lieutenant Commander," he enunciated her rank very clearly, "May I remind you that you ordered 80 men and women aboard the Saturn to their death moments ago, and I prevented you from doing so." He paused again looking to his console a moment. "I respect the rank, and the Officer." he looked up to his XO. "And will always prevent them from doing themselves or others harm, as is a Starfleet Officer's Duty."

He maintained eye contact, seated there, below the First Officer.

"I know this isn't your strong suit, Lieutenant, but try and put yourself in my shoes. At the time, my orders, as I understood them, were to instruct the Saturn to tow away the Minotaur so that it wouldn't endanger the station. Given the situation, with the initial attempts to tractor the wreckage not working, I followed through with that order. If I have to choose between losing the Saturn, or losing both it and the station, then that choice is clear." She stepped back, wanting this to be less confrontational than it had become, her unease with the whole situation increasing, questions about her own ability starting to slip into her mind.

"I'm glad a better option came up, and I'm glad the Saturn was spared, but there was a better way to go about it than compromising my authority as Executive Officer. If it's true that I was in violation of the Captain's orders, it is his job to countermand me, not yours." She frowned, tired of this discussion, and knowing she wasn't going to get anywhere with Sutak, at least not with words.

"You already have a reprimand for insubordination in your file, Lieutenant. I'm hoping this won't become a pattern," she said, before moving away, not interested in any response he might have. Sutak spoke as Sara walked away.

"I will make no attempt to further compromise the authority of the First Officer, even should she find herself in the turbolift, abandoning-" he stopped, "pardon me, 'exiting' Operations. Lieutenant Commander."

The Vulcan turned back to his station. It was unlike a Vulcan to be passive aggressive, however he had long ago learned that in communication with Humans, it was often necessary to adopt their relationship patterns to make a point. He concentrated on his console.
Last edited by C. J. Short on Sun Feb 23, 2014 11:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: XO Lieutenant Commander Sara Sumner

Postby James Greenman » Sat Feb 22, 2014 6:18 pm

Ooof! That was deliciously feisty, i'm going to enjoy seeing how this all plays out over the coming missions.

Nicely done, both of you. Excellent log!
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Re: XO Lieutenant Commander Sara Sumner

Postby C. J. Short » Sat Feb 22, 2014 6:19 pm

There were a lot of fun 'oh no he di'nt' moments :D
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Re: XO Lieutenant Commander Sara Sumner

Postby Riccardo Fabris » Sat Feb 22, 2014 6:26 pm

I'm liking this relationship a whole lot. Extremely good work, the both of you. I really can't wait how further interactions between the two of you will progress!

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Re: XO Lieutenant Commander Sara Sumner

Postby Jack Lucas » Sat Feb 22, 2014 6:28 pm

It was a ton of fun to write. Sutak and Sumner are going to be excellent foils for one another.
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Re: XO Lieutenant Commander Sara Sumner

Postby Riccardo Fabris » Sat Feb 22, 2014 6:43 pm

There's a lot of interesting interactions at the moment: the difference in general demeanour between Amimim and Sutak, the power struggle between Sutak and Lt Cmdr Sumner, it's really good stuff.

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Re: XO Lieutenant Commander Sara Sumner

Postby C. J. Short » Fri Mar 07, 2014 10:30 pm

11403.01

Thalev and Sara's conversation had been cut short by a priority message from Starfleet, and now she found herself back in OPS, largely empty now, save for a few ensigns, and Cadet Calverian at her post. She found herself relieved that Lieutenant Sutak had gone. Needless to say, her emotions towards him were complicated at that moment.

She was incensed that he would call her incompetent. She was sure that Thalev hadn't cancelled that order, but she knew she'd still made a mistake in hesitating to carry it out. She was willing to admit that much, but to be so thoroughly discounted and judged by Sutak was unnerving, especially as she thought back to his personnel profile.

Sutak was a man who had spent the vast majority of his life on Vulcan. Despite being nearly twice her age, he'd seen a fraction of the things she had. He hadn't been there in the aftermath of the destruction of Romulus. He hadn't been caught in the midst of a brewing civil war, or flown a tiny Kaneda through the superstructure of a D'Deridex warbird as it was blowing apart.

No. He'd spent his life cataloging dusty old relics and researching transporter technology. As far as she knew, he'd never had to stare oblivion in the face and still function as a Starfleet officer. Sara wasn't incompetent. She'd made a mistake, sure, but she wasn't the one assuming absolute infallibility despite a general lack of experience.

She sat at the command table and sighed softly, slowly rubbing her eyes. All of this was moot, really. Sutak could file all the reports he wanted. Nothing Sara could say would change his mind about her. All she could do was demonstrate her confidence in the coming weeks and months. If he continued to be a giant pain in the ass, that was on him, not her.
Last edited by C. J. Short on Sat Mar 08, 2014 8:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
"As long as I have a want, I have a reason for living. Satisfaction is death." - George Bernard Shaw, Overruled

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Re: XO Lieutenant Commander Sara Sumner

Postby Jack Lucas » Sat Mar 08, 2014 2:36 am

Awesome log, and Sumner and Sutaks embroiled relationship continues to be my favorite part of the Rho.
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Re: XO Lieutenant Commander Sara Sumner

Postby James Greenman » Sat Mar 08, 2014 3:01 am

Jack Lucas wrote:Awesome log, and Sumner and Sutaks embroiled relationship continues to be my favorite part of the Rho.


I second all of this. Awesome log and I can't wait to see how Sutak and Sara develop over the coming months.
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Re: XO Lieutenant Commander Sara Sumner

Postby C. J. Short » Sat Mar 15, 2014 1:34 pm

SD 11403.08

Sara had to fight hard to keep the slight smirk off her face, even amidst all the tension. As unprofessional as it was, she took a certain satisfaction in Sutak's momentary loss of composure; not because it made him look bad, but because it reinforced her notion that, despite his longer life, she still had more experience than he did, especially when it came to life or death situations.

As she looked around OPS, she realized that was true of the rest, as well. They were all new, and likely all just as scared as Sutak had been. So, Sara put on a warm, reassuring smile, moving calmly about the room to make sure everyone could see it.

"Don't worry," she said. "Mr. Jensen's got this."
"As long as I have a want, I have a reason for living. Satisfaction is death." - George Bernard Shaw, Overruled

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