I cringed as the grating sound of his voice echoed around my pod. Before it had even begun to die down I hollered back through his headset, "I know! I am connected to the ship with my brain after all! Now shut-up and get back to work! All I need to do is kill just one more of these megathrons and.....there! He's down, see now the booster will be able to keep up with the incoming blasts."
That was the conversation I was forced to have during a stressful moment of an unusually difficult mission. The rest of the job went off without a hitch, but in those moments I had made up my mind that some changes were in order.
As soon as I received my payment from the agent, I had my pod moved to the debarkation zone. Within minutes I was walking up the gangway of my ship, I was so furious I didn't even bother to rinse off. I walked straight to the crew chief's quarters and slammed open his door. I walked in on him during a conversation with one of the other officers.
"...it's like he doesn't even know what he's doing...Sir!" the crew chief finished with a salute.
The other officer turned pale when he saw me standing there. "OUT!" I roared while glaring at him. He shuffled out very quickly.
When the door had closed, "What is the meaning of this?! Having disrespectful discussions about me while aboard my own ship?" He opened his mouth to speak, "No! Don't answer, I'm not finished!" He closed his mouth again and continued to stand at attention, "This is the ninth time we are having this conversation. How many times do I have to tell you, I am the pilot for a reason, it's my job to fly the ship and to get her crew home safely. You, on the other hand are the crew chief, your job is to make sure the crew is working to their full potential, no matter what you think is happening on the outside of the ship. For your information, I didn't have a choice but to finish it the way I did, I had 2 frigates scrambling me, but between all the other alarms that were going off and your incessant whining I guess you didn't hear that one. And who knows, if you had been doing your job, we might never have taken armor damage to begin with. So shut it and let me fly my ship. Or you know what? I have a better idea, since you can't seem to remember having this conversation less than 2 hours after the last time we had it, you're fired." I pulled out a data pad and begun transferring funds, "Here is your pay for this month and here is enough 'severance' to charter a coach flight, on the cheapest Interbus I can find, back to The Forge. Now get off my ship!"
To his credit he didn't say a word of protest, he just walked out, trying to look as dignified as he could.
I walked over to the nearest wall mounted comm unit and made a ship-wide announcement, "Attention crew, this is the captain speaking, I have just fired the crew chief for incompetence, and I want everyone on the dock in front of the ship in 30 minutes."
I walked briskly back to the debarkation zone to rinse off the pod goo that was beginning to dry my hair into spikes.
"Was that your crew chief I just saw walking out of here looking like a whipped pup?" asked the debarkation assistant when I arrived back at the showers.
"Yes, it was."
"If you don't mind me asking, what did he do?"
"Worried too much about his wallet, and not enough about what he was supposed to be doing. Typical Caldari."
"Ah, I see."
Thirty minutes later...
I paced in front of my crew, which was standing at attention in a sharp line. In a stern, but much calmer voice than before I said, "We've only been working together for a short time, but in that time I have come to realize that many of you don't belong on a Minmatar ship."
I paused for a moment and lifted a datapad and started entering commands. When I did, one of the enlisted men spoke up.
"But sir, a Raven is a Caldari battleship, the reason you hired us is because we're Caldari and have more experience with this class of..." He trailed off as he caught my withering glare.
I looked down at the data pad, "Well, Mr. Loyalar, I am Minmatar and it's my ship, that makes it a Minmatar ship, because it's run like one. Now the next person to open their mouth unless asked to speak will be escorted to the stations brig. Now, I've been looking over your files this past week and I've decided that most you need to be let go."
For the next 45 minutes I called off the names of the crew members I had selected to let go. I gave each of them the same severance package I gave the chief, only with a enough for a middle class shuttle instead of the cheapest one around. When I finished there was only about one fourth of the crew left. I addressed them in a lighter tone.
"At ease!" They all shifted into the more comfortable position in unison, "Those of you that remain, I have chosen for your hard work and acceptable attitude. I am not a man to bear grudges based on someone's race, but I do know that stereotypes exist for a reason. That being said, I selected you not because you don't fit the stereotype assigned to your race, I chose you because you fit the qualities I am looking for in crewmen. I will be hiring more people to fill out the roster, but all of you will be the officers and I'm trusting you to train the new recruits in the function of this vessel as soon as possible. Chorly, you stay here, the rest of you, dismissed."
After everyone had filed out of the hanger only a man in his mid-thirties remained.
"I saw in your record that you used to be the crew chief aboard a Caracal. How would you like the job aboard this ship."
"I don't know sir, this is a much bigger ship."
"I think you can handle it, it's not really that much different, it still shoots exclusively missiles and uses shields for defense, only bigger." I replied with a smile.
"I'll do my best sir."
"That's all I ask. You are dismissed."
He walked out of the hanger and I climbed the gangway to take a much needed rest.