RAdm. Mike Fischer
SGC Commanding Officer
Ensign Anna Chambers
Mike looked at the various forms that had piled up on his desk, letting out a sigh. It seemed that even though they were downsizing, there was even more personnel coming in. Most of these were for the ships, which they were expanding personnel for, but occasionally there would be someone who was staying here at Stargate Command and being part of the teams. And he noticed that there was a new one, an engineer from the Navy. He had to give a smile, it would be nice to see another naval person around here.
He took a quick look at her file, noting that she had been to MIT and received her masters in mechanical engineering, then had joined the SEABEES, having been heavily recruited by the Navy. That would explain why the Pentagon decided to send her this way, if she was that recruited while in college, she must be good at what she does. He saw on the file that she had just arrived not that long ago to Cheyenne Mountain. Reaching over, he pushed a button to talk to one of the reception people. “This is Admiral Fisher,” he said into the comm.
“Yes sir, Airman Holladay here,” came the response on the other end.
“Could you find Ensign Chambers and have her report to my office,” Mike said, figuring she would probably be getting her in briefing by the intake officer. Those are boring, so he figured he would save her and quickly get to know the new officer.
“Yes sir, she’s with Major Jamison at the moment, shall I interrupt?”
“Yes, and tell the Major it’s on my authority,” he said, smiling to himself. That would get the Major riled up.
“Yes Admiral, she’ll be there momentarily.”
Mike sat back and waited, reviewing some more paperwork during the interim.
The induction was… an induction. She had sat through many in her life, some in college and others on operations she had been on. Although not as many as those around her, Anna could tell they were all thinking the same thing. Every induction was the same and, she supposed, for good reason. That didn’t help the boredom of those around her.
“Chambers,” Major Jamison’s voice almost caught her out as she leaned forward in her chair.
“Sir?” She replied quickly, her brow furrowed slightly.
“Report to the Admiral’s office immediately!”
“Aye sir,” Anna jumped up and turned on the heel of her right foot before walking at a pace out of the room. She paused for a moment outside the room, she was being summoned already. Had her papers not passed muster? She knew she had security clearance or she wouldn’t have even been let on base. Anna walked from the briefing room and along the corridor, her boots slapping against the concrete floor was the only sound she could hear as she turned a final corner to the base commanders door. She knew little about him and her short time on base hadn’t offered her a chance to do her own recon. She took a deep breath in, pulled down on her uniform nervously and knocked three times at the door.
“Sir, Ensign Anna Chambers, reporting as ordered.”
Mike stood up, and smiled to her. “Ensign, please, have a seat,” he said, motioning to the chair in front of his desk. When she walked to in front of the chair, he sat down in his chair. “I was going through your file, and thought I would rescue you from the in processing speech,” he told her. “Not to mention I wanted to know how in the heck someone with your degree managed to wind up in the SEABEEs. I’m quite surprised, usually people with your abilities go Air Force,” he said to her. “Usually nuclear people come to the Navy, for obvious reasons,” he said with a chuckle.
“Thank you, sir,” Anna said as she stepped inward and took the seat that was offered. She sat her back straight and put her left hand on top her her right. Her left thumb gently rubbed the inner skin of her right thumb as a form of comfort. “Well sir, quite honestly,” She took a breath. “I come from a long history of men in the Navy. Although my Dad was a police officer in his younger days the men before him were all Navy.” She paused, offering a slight, slanted smile. “I grew up on stories of the great battleships fighting for the freedom of the free world. I love mechanical engineering but, even more than that, I grew up with a love for the water and when the Navy came knocking I couldn’t turn them down.” She paused, leaned forward ever so slightly. “Besides, I think my invite to Christmas dinner would have been rescinded if I had gone Air Force, sir.”
Mike had to laugh a little at the last comment. He could appreciate that. “I understand how that can work, I have heard that many times from all branches,” he said to her. “Police officer in...Boston, if I recall where your hometown is,” he said, thinking for a moment. “Visited a few times, not for very long though. Where have you been stationed? I have not gotten that far in your file yet, plus I like to hear from the people themselves. Printed words are impersonal.”
“I’ve been around a little,” Anna said, pausing to suck in a small breath. “I was originally stationed at Port Hueneme after A-School, I then did a tour in Kandahar.” Anna’s eyes shot down to her hands for a fraction of a second. Her breath faltered before she pushed forward. “And before I got sent here I had come back stateside to Little Creek. I had every intention of getting my underwater construction sorted to stretch myself before I got the news I was required here.” She smiled slightly. She hated talking the past. The past was painful and often left where is started.
Mike saw the change in her emotions briefly when she mentioned Kandahar. He knew that look, both from personal experience and seeing it on more than a few others. “Well, here will be more interesting, what have you been told so far?” he asked, wanting to know her knowledge level of their operations. He folded his hands on his desk and waited, as everything she said now would dictate what he had to tell her to prepare for.
The question wasn’t an easy one. An operation as large as Stargate Command was far reaching and yet, largely, remained one of the best kept secrets. “When I was brought in for briefing and security clearance we were told of the Stargate, sir.” She paused, her head cocked a little as she considered what she actually knew beyond that herself. “We saw the gate open once before we were ushered away. Other than that very little about operational protocol or anything. I also wasn’t told if there was a larger Engineering department I’d be joining either,” She trailed off slightly, she had signed up to this detail voluntarily without truly considering what she would be doing. While she had done some work overseas she hadn’t considered what use a command of this size would have for her.
“There’s no real departments, per say, but there are a few other combat engineers around. You’ll be going off world to explore new planets and investigate them. Find new technology that we may be able to use, and hopefully make a few new friends along the way. It’s not always green grass and rose gardens, though. You will get into problematic situations, you will see combat, those are the facts. We’re made up of specialist teams, so you may go out on a recon one day, and be with a different team the next day to help repair an allied worlds’ technology that we have given them,” Mike explained, trying to run through the list in his head. He hoped he covered most of it, but there would be things that you can never account for. “And above all, you have to be able to think quickly and come up with solutions to problems with the team you’re assigned to,” he added.
“Roger that, sir,” Anna said with a swift, small nod. She had seen some combat though it would have been a fair assessment that her skill wasn’t exactly o par with where she assumed the rest of the base would be. She had been largely non-combative in previous roles though, in the thick of it she knew what she had to do. Supporting teams in different scenarios was the backbone of her entire career, adjusting to different terrains and challenges were what her unit prided themselves on. She sure wasn’t going to be the first to step into the Stargate Program and let that name down. “I learn on my feet sir,” She smiled. “And I’m guessing I’ve definitely got all the challenge I can handle here!” Anna let out a nervous, tiny laugh that she tried to stifle awkwardly, reminding herself immediately she was still sat across from an Admiral.
“Oh, you most definitely will,” Mike said with a chuckle, seeing her relax a little before coming back to attention. “Also, my motto is to relax.. You need to have fun while doing this job, or else it will drive you crazy. I’m fairly informal, and won’t require snappy salutes and pristine boots. That does not get the job we do around here done. Give results, and that will earn my praise,” he said to her with a genuine smile. I haven't’ forgotten my roots, Ensign, so don’t worry,” Mike added. “Do you have any questions for me?” he asked, leaning back in his chair a little.
“Aye sir,” She said, she could feel her body release a slight note of tension as her back softened and she molded more the the chair. “I’ll promise I’ll try.” She thought about his question for a second, sitting across from an Admiral wasn’t something she had the opportunity to do much in her career so the thought of actually engaging them was a foreign concept. “If I may, sir,” She paused for a second. “How does an Admiral get charged with the Stargate Program? Probably the furthest posting from a fleet or water in the entire Navy. I’m sure there’s a story and, please, apologies if I’ve overstepped, sir, but I’d love to hear it.”
“Of course, it is a weird thing isn’t it, since it’s mostly run by the Air Force,” he said to her, smiling. It had been a bit convoluted the way he got to be the person in charge here. “I was part of the SEALs for a good chunk of my career, covering the mid east. Rose up through the ranks, to being the XO of one of the teams. Was recruited by someone high up in the admiralty to join a secret program that needed good leaders, and ended up here leading SG-10,” he said, taking a moment to let that sink in. “Spent many many years going off world, until they saw fit to promote me first to Captain, then to Admiral, and stick me in charge of this rag tag band. Apparently they thought I could protect the Earth..and well, so far so good,” he said with a broad smile. “It was mostly due to me knowing the threats, that’s why they moved me to the big chair,” Mike told her. It seemed like 20 years he had been here, when it reality, it was only about 7 or 8 years.
Anna felt comforted. She didn’t know why but perhaps the thought of someone with so much experience dealing with a threat - as yet unknown to her - brought her some solace. “Always good to know the guys giving the orders know what they’re talking about, sir.” She said, knowing she was probably pushing her boundaries as a junior officer a little. She had been put at ease with the Admiral’s candid nature and her guard had begun to fall. “But I guess I won’t truly know what waits for me on the other side of these walls until I actually go?” She asked, almost rhetorically. The military life couldn’t ever be explained fully because of the nature of it but this was something different all together. How could some sentences in a small office ever encompass what she may face out in the galaxy that awaited.
“You have that right. Your first trip through the gate will blow your mind,” Mike said. You could never describe the experience having your consciousness swept across the galaxy, and getting near the point where you think your mind and soul will become separated, only to be spit out the other end, fully intact, on a whole different planet. “That’s all I had for you, Ensign, and don’t worry about Major Jamison, he may give you a hard time later, but that’s only because he gets miffed when I interrupt his briefings,” he explained, a mischievous smile crossing his face briefly. “And it’s so damned entertaining hearing him sputter.”
“Aye sir,” Anna stood as she spoke and turned to replace the chair quickly. “And thank you sir, you’ve put my mind at ease,” She smiled her most natural smile since she had walked in. “At least I take that first step onto another world. I’m sure I’ll have a whole new set of questions for you then.”
“I’m sure you will,” he said with a smile, standing up as she did. “Dismissed, and welcome to the Stargate Program,” Mike said to her. “You won’t be disappointed.”
“Thank you, sir,” Anna turned and stepped away almost hesitantly as she considered her salute before stopping herself and walking out the room. She looked left, then right, completely losing her bearings as she shut the door behind her.