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Security Clearance Acquired

Posted on Tue Apr 13th, 2021 @ 8:48pm by Ensign Aenardha Sh'vastarth & Ensign T'Kemi

Mission: The Gauntlet
Location: Security Office
Timeline: After "Welcome to the Pandora"

Aenardha, fingering her PADD, saw that her security clearance had not yet been verified. Clearance was important for an Intelligence officer. ‘Cannot very well be intelligent without the clearance,’ she thought to herself. So, she made her way to the security office, utilizing public vision most of the way and lightly touching the corridor wall with an outstretched arm when there were no other personnel about.

Stepping into the security office, there was but one occupant, a Vulcan. Aenardha could sense a confidential mental tag because of what the Vulcan was reading, so she avoided telepathic vision. With no other vision to see through, Aenardha stood in an abyssal void it seemed and waited to be seen. She could tell the occupant was Vulcan however. Vulcans had a distinct mental pattern apart from about everyone else; very ordered and very logical. Aenardha had not yet gone over the crew manifest enough to know anything about this Vulcan security personnel, officer or enlisted, higher rank or lower, male or female.

T'Kemi was buried in paperwork at her desk, but nevertheless, she had been well trained. She glanced up at the new arrival, momentarily confused at the odd way the Andorian was standing, before realisation struck: this had to be Ensign Sh'vastarth, one of the recent transfers, an Aenar. The species' blindness was well known, although T'Kemi was surprised to see the intelligence officer without a visor or some similar visual aid. A personal choice? A cultural one? A limitation of medical technology? All possible, but then again, it was hardly T'Kemi's business.

Closing the classified file she had been working on, T'Kemi stood, moving to her visitor. "Welcome," she said pleasantly, gently taking the other woman's arm and guiding her to a chair. "I am Ensign T'Kemi, security. How may I help you?"

It was of course unneeded, but Aenardha allowed T’Kemi to help her to a chair. She already had several identifying points down; female, T’Kemi, Ensign. Aenardha would be able to drop all the ‘sirs’ and ‘ma’ams’ during this visit.

“Ensign Aenardha Sh’vastarth. Intelligence. I am newly arrived and need to see to my security clearance as well as further my in-processing.” Essentially, T’Kemi needed only to give Aenardha clearance and sign off that she dropped by Security. Aenardha had another topic to discuss once work was out of the way though.

"Yes, of course," T'Kemi replied, moving back to her desk. It took her longer than she would've preferred to find Aenardha's file, with a rather substantial amount of paperwork still getting done as everyone rapidly caught up. Commander Griffin's abrupt departure hadn't done any favours for those who had worked for him. "Ensign Aenardha Sh'vastarth. Intelligence. Level 6 security clearance, with additional clearance related to the USS Pandora's ongoing mission." With that, T'Kemi pulled a padd out of a drawer, typing quickly, before sliding it across the desk to Aenardha. "Sign there, please. Lieutenant Smith will need to sign off as well, of course."

“I am sure he is already waiting for this to show up in his task list,” Aenardha said as she took the PADD. Using T’Kemi’s vision, she knew approximately where she need to sign on the screen. After doing so, Aenardha pressed her thumb against the area next to her signature for further authorization. The computer immediately spoke up.

=^=”Please state user access authorization code.”=^=

“Sh’vastarth Lima Seven Theta Omega Five.”

=^=”Access authorization code and voice pattern recognized. Welcome to the Pandora Ensign Aenardha Sh’vastarth.”=^=

Finally becoming part of this crew was a dream come true, but she did not crack even the smallest of smiles once that was done. She put the PADD back onto the desk and slid it back to T’Kemi.

T'Kemi caught the padd smoothly, finishing up the authorisation on the computer with the practiced air of someone who'd done it plenty of times before. It was all very mundane for the Vulcan, so much so that it took her a moment before she realised that the intelligence officer wasn't getting up to leave.

"Is there anything else I can do for you?" T'Kemi asked, rather wanting to get back to work but simultaneously grateful for the distraction. She had been run ragged over the past month, having to forego most of her social diversions to manage the workload, and talking to someone who wasn't security was a welcome reprieve.

“You may know that the Aenar are not well known for strength and endurance. We are primarily known for our telepathy.” Aenardha shrugged as she continued. “The Academy had to create a new standard for the Aenar just for the Physical Training Test. Others who outperformed me still failed while I passed. You can guess that did not win me many friends. Are there any regular exercise programs, Vulcan martial arts, Klingon hand-to-hand, running, weight-lifting, anything I could join in on to better strength and endurance?”

T'Kemi considered Aenardha curiously. "Yes, there are many options. The ship has a gym as well as several holodecks. Also, there is an unarmed combat class three times a week, taught by a rotation of security officers, open to all. However, your unique physiology presents additional challenge." T'Kemi paused, thinking. "You are welcome to train with me, if you wish. I do much work to improve my strength and endurance. I can assist you with your own training, particularly self-defence. You are welcome to look through my eyes to do so."

Aenardha gave a nod. “I would like that. I tried the holodeck at the Academy, but I was still alone. Cannot see through holographic eyes.” And the groups she tried to work out with never showed the patience or the will to do what they considered to be less to help her.

Aenardha did finally fall into a group and found some friends, but it was not for working out.

“Having someone to help bring me up to speed would be a great help. Thank you. I will compare our schedules to find a good time.”

"That is agreeable," T'Kemi said. "I am still relatively inexperienced with unarmed combat. Training another would be most welcome for me, personally and professionally. The man who trained me was very severe, a harsh taskmasker, but he seemed to find the process almost as rewarding as I did."

Aenardha nodded her understanding and acceptance. She certainly did not want a severe and harsh taskmaster, but someone to help her get to that point if not to a degree deemed passable by the average individual in Starfleet.

“I look forward to our sessions then. I understand Lieutenant Commander Griffin is the security chief for the Pandora. I will certainly peruse what train sessions he may have as well. Upon his return that is.”

T'Kemi hesitated. "We do not know when or even if Commmander Griffin and Lieutenant Brennan will return to the ship. The death of their daughter was very traumatic, and we have heard nothing from them since their departure several weeks ago." 'Departure' was a strong word, given that they had stolen a shuttle without authorisation, but T'Kemi felt no need to be so specific.

Aenardha felt a sinking feeling as T’Kemi spoke about the death of the Lieutenant Commander’s daughter. She had to remind herself that she was not a counselor, though she had taken courses and passed. She technically did have certification as a counselor but her commission was in Intelligence.

"This is a very challenging assignment,”T’Kemi continued. “It was my first posting after graduation as well, although at the time, I did not know how perilous and taxing this mission would be. Why did you choose it?"

Aenardha searched briefly for an answer. Telling her that this assignment was forced upon her would only lead to more questions. Questions Aenardha did not wish to answer. “I was perusing a list of assignments and the Pandora just called out to me. I felt helping to bring a far off ship home would be better suited for my skills and abilities than, say, studying gaseous anomalies and patrolling the Neutral Zone. Vulcans know better than most that the Aenar are vehement pacifists. Every once in a while, though, we get an intrepid individual.”

"Pacifism does not necessitate passivity," T'Kemi said. "On the contrary, I have found that many true pacifists possess great courage and strength. I do not subscribe to such beliefs, but I have every respect for those who do." She stood, moving around the desk. "If you need anything from Security, you are most welcome to contact me directly. I shall contact you soon to organise a training schedule that suits both our work shifts."

Aenardha stood in kind. “I thank you. I hope to be in the Intelligence office as early as tomorrow. I know our offices work closely. If you need anything I shall avail myself.” With her PADD in hand, Aenardha gave a nod and started to leave.

"I hope you have an agreeable day," T'Kemi said pleasantly, returning to her work as Aenardha left. However, as monotonous as the work was, as heavy as the workload might be, it was made considerably more tolerable by the thought of the Aenar intelligence officer. T'Kemi would never use the word 'fun' to describe the prospect of working alongside the woman, but she instead settled on the word...'engaging'.


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