River of Forgetfulness #20 - "Back to the Grind"

OOC: SHOCK HORROR! Do not adjust your television sets - do not automatically change your post counts. This is, of all things, a single post from me. Excluding the two posts as my AU character, this is the first single post since I first posted my arrival onboard! That's nuts, that is!


[Strategic Operations Department, SB47]

Hannah O'Driscoll strode into the StratOps Offices, what her people had to come to refer to as 'The Hub'. When the base you're on is in the Romulan Neutral Zone a third of the year, there's a fair bit of Strategic Operating to do, and the size and complexity of the Hub reflected this. A two-storey structure, the main entrance opened onto a balcony which surrounded 'The Pit' - a sunken area that contained a large planning table, complete with 3D holo-projector, that at the moment was projecting a gigantic image of the Chief Strat Ops Officer, one Lieutenant Hannah O'Driscoll. Above holo-O'Driscoll's head, the words "Welcome Back, Boss" floated.

Hannah smiled. "Cute boys, cute." She walked into the Hub proper, past the banks of blinking terminals. "What's the betting that ten minutes ago that image was wearing a bikini rather than a Starfleet Uniform?" There were a lot of laughs, but a few more embarrassed looks. Over the short time before what would inevitably become known as the 'Fancy Dress Incident', Hannah and her predominantly male staff had become pretty close. She was a rarity - Strategic Operations was traditionally a male-dominated branch of the service, and female chiefs were few and far between. There were but three women in her department - CPO Anna Owens, an analyst and impossibly geeky woman who Hannah got on with like a house on fire; Ensign Mulraine, an expert in, of all things, fighter maneuveres, who Hannah didn't know so well; and Lieutenant Junior Grade Susan Almond; a very beautiful young woman who seriously resented the new boss for "stealing" her men. The fact that Hannah was presently engaged in a rather serious long-term relationship didn't seem to register on Almond...or if it did, it didn't mean much.

"Alright, that's enough guys - back to work." She smiled, and they complied. She waited a moment, then... "You wanna get rid of the pin-up?" The hologram vanished, to be replaced by the more usual Galactic Map. Hannah walked over to her 2iC. "Alright Fitz?"

"Hey boss." The craggy, much older Lieutenant JG, who had come to look upon Hannah as something of a daughter, and who she had begun to look upon as a father-figure (though nothing of them would ever *think* of admitting it to the other, of course) looked up at her, and grinned. "Glad to have you back."

"Glad to be back, Lieutenant Fitzgerald." Hannah said, a little more seriously. "How's your wife doing?"

"Still in the sickbay, but getting better - I'll tell her you asked, Ma'am." The Lieutenant smiled warmly. "Speaking of sickbay, they asked that you report in for a check-up before resuming your duties."

Hannah nodded. "They want to make sure I'm still me?"

"Something like that, Boss."

"I guess I'd probably better get on with that then, Fitz."

"Aye, Ma'am. We'll try and still be in one piece when you get back."

"That'd be nice, Lieutenant." Hannah said, as she headed back out the door.


Lieutenant Hannah O'Driscoll Chief Strategic Operations Officer Starbase Ronin