Star Trek Hunter
Episode 12: Prisoner in the Ice Castle
Scene 19: Annual Performance Evaluation
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12.19
Annual Performance Evaluation
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Justice Minerva Irons laid her head back and closed her eyes until the room had cleared. Without opening her eyes, she placed a small box on the table, pushed it with her fingertips to Commander David Pepper, who, in turn, placed a massive finger on it and slid it across the table to Lt. Commander Mlady.

"Lieutenant Dolphin," Mlady said, "we have completed your annual review. Because of the severe implications of your behavior over the past year, I am deferring to our Executive Officer."

"Admirals have gotten involved in this action, Kenny," said Pep. "And not just any admirals, the Chief of Star Fleet Operations and the Star Fleet Chief of Staff. Given that, I am deferring to Captain Irons."

Irons opened her eyes, looking even more weary. "Kenneth, given your behavior over the past year, Admiral El Fadil and Fleet Admiral Stewart have both made it clear that an adjustment in rank is not only in order, but required. I am not going to change the structure of this boat - you will continue in your role as director of flight operations. You will still answer to Lieutenant Commander Mlady and Second Lieutenant Gamor will still answer to you. I don't like placing an officer under the general supervision of an officer of the same rank, but given the circumstances, it cannot be avoided."

"To review: Within the first hour you joined this crew, you gave a direct order to a fellow first lieutenant, Lieutenant Allen Mitchell. He filed a grievance against you, and that grievance made it to Chief of Staff El Fadil. In the Battle for Pillo you brought the tactical unit out of warp manually directly between two battle cruisers that were less than 100 meters apart. I had the Daystrom Institute run the numbers and they told me that maneuver is statically impossible and you should never have attempted it."

"In your assignment to Subspace Radio Ivonovic, you disobeyed my orders to only give an interview, went rogue, behaved like a covert agent and in the process of providing shelter from the tribunal for a wanted suspect, you lied to Fleet Admiral Stewart and used my personal influence in ways that I am still recovering from. And then there are your actions over the past few days."

"During a firefight over Andoria, after playing chicken with an andorian cruiser and nearly squashing yourself and two other officers like a bug on their hull, you personally took command of the battlefield in the presence of four Star Fleet captains and eleven other superior officers. Captain Chekov, who is in command of this mission, was particularly incensed at your use of your own name - especially when you personally commandeered 40 andorian interceptors and threatened to cut off the squadron commander's antennae? And there's a rumor floating around that you horse-whipped a superior officer?"

Dolphin turned bright red.

"I cannot have a first lieutenant under my command doing these kinds of things, Kenneth," Irons said.

Lt. Cmdr. Mlady opened the box, removed a rank pip - platinum with a black center. She walked around the table to Lt. Dolphin. He felt her tugging at his collar. She stepped back.

"Some of the Star Fleet captains are starting to call you a 'Kirk'. That isn't a compliment when coming from superior officers." Irons sighed, took a breath. "But Admiral El Fadil and Fleet Admiral Stewart - who still doesn't like you by the way - agreed with me that having a Lieutenant Dolphin with your reputation is not optimal for my strategic needs… Lieutenant Commander…"

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Dolphin's hand shot to his collar, counted three pips. He could feel the third pip was the new one with a black dot in the center.

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Pep exploded with laughter. "Do you have any idea how hard it is to keep a straight face around here?"

Irons started laughing as well. "You scared a top of the line andorian battle cruiser out of the sky of its own homemoon…" she couldn't continue for laughing.

"I just wish I could see Captain Chekov's face when he learns you promoted him…" Mlady said.

"Tell me how to run my ship," Irons retorted, a little acerbically. "I was a starship captain 20 years before he was born. I bounced him on my knee… And he was a wet little crybaby…"

Pep, barely managing to speak while laughing: "I can't believe you horse-whipped Commander Red…"

Dolphin, still bright red, managed, "It was just one pop… It was Mlady's idea…"

Pep held on to the table to keep from falling out of his chair laughing.

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12 - Prisoner in the Ice Castle