The Elusive Miss Adler
Location: USS Exeter, Deck Three, Lieutenant Commander Paris' Office
Time had been bought, corners and shortcuts had been employed and Lieutenant Commander Rita Paris had begun to believe that the Exeter might just ride out her entire refit here in the Castor shipyards without being rushed back out to space. She hadn’t had to cancel leaves, she hadn’t had to rush engineering and for the most part, the usual weirdness of her day to day stress seemed to be ticking along just fine. The career gal was working, she was busy which kept her reasonably happy tackling new challenges all day, and she was remaining focused on getting things done instead of missing her boyfriend or worrying about the captain’s cryptic warning.
Some of the senior staff were due to report back today, so she was already sending out messages to bring them into the loop with summaries of what was happening as well as arranging meetings with them to coordinate new incoming personnel, outgoing personnel, duty rosters and system upgrades and all of the myriad little tasks that subdelegated to the department heads that the second officer would need data for in order to present a comprehensive report to the captain.
Thus Lieutenant Marie Adler’s inbox was already starting to fill before she was even back aboard.
The mental shift change from shore leave to duty was not accomplished smoothly for Marie Adler. Excessive drinking, and binge eating had no place in the duty life of a Department Head. Marie had the misfortune of discovering this while staring bleary eyed and hungover into her desk terminal. It took the whole of three seconds to make her wish she was back on leave.
She quickly scanned through her ExNet messages for anything that pertained to her department, changes to the communication system, or the occasional personal message. This constituted a scant 14 messages of the hundred in her inbox. With the hint of a smirk on her face, she deleted or archived the others.
“Professionalism.” Marie muttered.
The remaining paperwork was, while aggravating, easy enough to sort out. The entirety of the activity reports concerning the upgrades to the communication system, as well as any supply manifests had already been prepared by the Assistant Communications Chief, Lieutenant Miller, while Marie had been on leave. All they needed were her signature, and to be delivered to Commander Paris. There was also the matter of third shift getting their time on Risa. Nothing particularly out of the ordinary.
Glancing at her terminal, Marie made a rough estimate. If she allowed herself a handicap for her throbbing hangover, it would take her an hour to seriously review her department reports, sign them, and deliver them to Paris in person. Fifty five minutes later, Marie was standing with an arm full of Dataslates outside of the Second Officer’s office.
The door opened automatically, as they were wont to do unless otherwise instructed, and the conference room on deck three that Paris had appropriated to use as an office was available to Adler. Shelves on the walls held models of older spacecraft, actual bound paper books, knicknaks and souvenirs of a dozen worlds including the famed ‘dancing hula girl’ bobble toy that had long ago been appropriated by the Risan tourism board from the Hawaiian islands as one of their staple offerings. On the conference table Paris used for a desk were stacks of flimsies, scattered PDDs as well as star charts and curiously a number of ancient sailing navigational tools whose names escaped the comms chief at the moment. As she took all of this in, Paris was on a call apparently but waved her in. Adler strode in then unceremoniously dropped herself into one of the chairs on the other side of the desk.
“Yes I am aware of the rarity. No, I don’t know what it’s like dealing with Aldeberaan customs. No... look mister, your problems are your problems and you don’t want me to become another one of them. Get that shipment here within seventy-two hours- yes, I am aware of the distance and travel time between planets, and you really should have considered that before you took on a Starfleet contract that you planned to renege upon due to lack of delivery. Because if that parcel isn’t on my desk in three day’s time that’s exactly what the report I have already written and am prepared to send to Starfleet Command with the press of one button will say, then your contract won’t exist anymore and you’ll have all the time in the world for your sick moogie. Uh huh. Heartless, yup, that’s me. Get it done, no excuses and fulfil your contract or feel the wrath of Starfleet Legal. Well, that’s nice... you kiss your moogie with that mouth?”
Snapping the communicator closed Lieutenant Commander Paris looked over at Adler, eyes scanning her over critically.
Adler was sound asleep in the chair.
Tapping at one of the PDDs on her desk, Paris summoned security to haul the unconscious officer to Sickbay to have her blood alcohol level tested before she was tossed in the brig for being drunk on duty, dereliction of duty, malingering and whatever other charges the second officer could think of before the captain arrived to deal with his communications chief.
Security carried the unconscious lieutenant away as Lieutenant Commander Paris continued working, moving around the various reports and documents and requisitions that kept the Exeter running. Grabbing a different tablet from her desk in the organizational chaos that only she understood, Paris sent a report to Captain Stuart with a note attached:
Apparently Adler’s shore leave has been insufficient, so perhaps more time with no duties would serve her well. ~LTCDR Paris