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Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author.  The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise.  No copyright infringement is intended.



Author's Chapter Notes:
I have to admit I think I'll be going back and fixing this up. Thank you for any reviews you may have or comments.

Star Fleet Headquarters

Board Room


Admiral Kathryn Janeway was not looking forward to the task she had to do. The job now given to her as she moved down the corridor of Starfleet Headquarters and to a room all Starfleet personnel knew well. A room used very often but only visited once by most of Star Fleet personnel. Individuals only saw this room once and it was never a pleasant experience. Being before a board was something she had grown used to in her time in the Fleet and so felt pity on those about to sit before her. After all, they were only young men and women only hoping to achieve their dreams at the moment.

Entering the room she wanted to cringe a little remembering her first time in there. It was a rather intimidating setting. One entrance, the door she just stepped through, that immediately opened up to a raised panel where those who would preside sat. It held up to ten chairs but typically only five sat depending on who was assigned to be there and who wished to be there. Already today, her four counterparts where present and she joined them. Admirals Paris, Nechayev, Torvek, and Lornell were looking over the PADDs they had brought with them. She had already remembered each one the night before but had brought her PADDs just in case she would need it. Behind them hung the banner of the Federation, Star Fleet, and the Academy on three different poles all sitting in a holder so that the Federation banner was higher then the rest.

On the wall was painted the emblem of Starfleet, the very one they all wore upon their chest, and the words long ago spoken written above it 'Where no man has gone before'. The floor was the simple grey carpeting that it needed to be. No chairs, nothing but the lifted area the board sat. She remembered the day she entered this room over twenty years ago. Remembered it very well. The ten chairs were filled and then some. Fear had struck her at what was to come. Centered in the board, the five that were to judge her, was Admiral Owen Paris and she knew despite her dad's friendship with him she was not favored. Beside him was Ambassador Spock, which alone had sent her heart rate skyrocketing even more, and on the other side was Admiral Nechayev, who she since that day she had managed to get on her bad side. The last two members were two faces she never really got to know and still could barely remember their names to this day.

The wall behind them had frozen her as she saw right there everything she wanted represented on it. The chance to explore, the chance to learn, and discover. Yet sitting before it was a massive wall she had to climb over and she had an audience. Her father was present, she could sense him despite not being able to find him in the gathered group. She had refused to look for his comforting eyes terrified that they'd see it as a weakness and send her away before she could speak. Other admirals she recognized from parties, meetings, and days of spending in her fathers office sat at the table before her. Federation representatives were also present. She knew without a doubt it was simply because of her father and she was his first born. Forcing back the memories she let herself cross her legs below the table and swore she wouldn't be like Nechayev was to her. No matter what no one deserved that sort of treatment.

"Shall we begin with our first candidate," Torvek, the one leading this board this time, spoke. He was the only non-human present which wasn't exactly mandatory for the boards but seemed to always happen no matter what. Though, she had looked through his files when first promoted and noted he had human heritage back in Archer's time period. Forcing back a chuckle at how they all probably could trace themselves to having some sort of mixed heritage due to all the exploring she waited. Owen was beside her, which she was thankful for, and he lightly patted her arm knowing how much she had wanted to not do this. To be the one to have the final say in someone else's future. "We will begin with Miss. Kit Nimoy. She managed to receive the rarely given topic of candidates choice."

"Joy does this mean we get to hear someone brag about their accomplishments again," Nechayev spoke. Janeway knew only one candidate out of the thousands that applied received that topic. The group of admirals chuckled and she smiled remembering all the stories of the young hopefuls entering eager to boast about their accomplishments believing that would be the ticket with this topic. Remembering this girls profile and the fact she had aced the entrance exam, the preparatory exam, and now was given this topic she hoped she did well. The door was pulled opened by a security officer, not automatic as they wished to cause more anxiety and pressure on the young hopefuls, so the candidate could come in.

Walking into the room was a young women, perhaps seventeen years of age, that oozed attitude. Her hair was a mixture of red, blond, and brown that look rather remarkable and was pulled up onto her head in a French twist bun that Janeway herself used to do. Very light make-up adorned her pale ivory skin and she stood exactly half way between the door and the table with her hands at her side a PADD in one and the other flat against her leg. She didn't speak but simply waited for them to examine her as this was the first time they would get to see her in person, all other testing was done through civilian locations with Federation appointed officials. This was the first time she would appear before Star Fleet personnel. Janeway wanted to smirk at what she had chosen to appear in, a pair of black slacks and boots with a silk blouse tucked in and a black jacket covering it. The blouse was a jade green color that seemed to make her blue eyes jump out of her face and her pale skin more obvious. She herself had shown up were a similar style suit, something she had found in the 21st century clothing databanks if she recalled. A formal interview attire. Fitting she thought and instantly her liking of this girl was rising.

"Name." Nechayev spoke and no one questioned her taking over for this one. Clearly they knew that the combined attitude this girl seemed to naturally ooze and the fact she had the choice essay dropped her into the Fleet Admirals lap.

"Candidate Nimoy, Kit. Reporting as ordered." Not how they were supposed to respond, which they were told to simply give first and last name when asked. Something Janeway herself had done and instantly landed in the bad graces of the same admiral questioning this girl. Blue eyes stayed on target looking not at any specific admiral but on the panel itself and Janeway pulled up the girls profile curious. How was it this girl, one she recalled having never gone to a star fleet preparatory school, was able to not quiver before them. Able to maintain such bearing and determination. And respond to a question in a way that clearly stated sarcasm.

"Planet of origin," Nechayev spoke despite them all having the answer. Janeway had just reached that point on her PADD having been scrolling through the girls basic information, physical description mainly.

"Panora." Her response stunned them all as it did not match what was proved to them. Nechayev was apparently to stunned to respond as she was reaching for her PADD now and double checking. Noticing out that the others were doing the same, Janeway lowered hers and interlaced her fingers on her lap. Leaning back she locked her eyes on the girl and spoke before any of the others did.

"Records state you were born and raised on Marva IV. That your parents were killed while fighting in the Maquis. I assume you mean to tell us that the Cardassian government and the Federation government along with those two planets own records all have it wrong?" Feeling four pairs of eyes on her at how calmly she stated what she said she simply watched the girl struggle now. Struggle to figure out what to say. Struggle to speak to not react in a way that would seem weak. Finally, blue eyes turn to meet her own blue eyes and she saw in them the truth. That the files were wrong. That this girl didn't grow up in a Maquis environment but that of a Cardassian environment, most likely a prison. Most likely was only released after the Dominion war. "When?"

"I was born in 2362," She spoke voice crisp and sharp eyes never leaving the blue eyes she had locked onto. The other four Admirals listened unsure what had just happened but knowing their counterpart had figured something out they hadn't. "My mother and father had gone to Panora to assist the Cardassian's. They were from Marva IV, Admiral," The way she said the rank was more mocking then anything. It reminded Janeway of Chakotay when she first meet him and she surprised a smile. "My mother was pregnant at the time but was the best in her field. You see, at that time my father and mother believed in peace before the Federation did. My mother was working on curing one of the Cardassian's when she went into labor. I was born on that planet."

"The mistake is understandable. Your parents dwelled from Marva IV its no wonder all would mark you as being from the same." She stopped her before she could continue. She'd get the story later when it wouldn't affect the proceedings. They had enough. "Your topic."

"I was assigned the chance to pick my own topic, Admirals," At that she looked at them all but went back to looking at Janeway. It was clear now who had the floor out of the Admirals. Nechayev had been successfully stunted by the girl whereas Janeway had continued with the questions. The girl was thus going to challenge her instead. That was what this was. A challenge. Can the candidate with stand the challenge of five admirals or would they break under the pressure. Too many broke at seeing admirals before them and not just appointed officials. They'd shake and stumble over their words. Some of those made it in like Reg Barcley simply because they had a deep seated knowledge that Star Fleet needed. Others they had to weed out. "May I proceed with my topic."

"Permission granted." Janeway spoke seeing out of the corner of her eye Nechayev about to speak. More then likely demand to know the choice or more on the girls history. She wasn't about to have that happen. How ever this proceeding went she was going to track this girl down and find out more about her.

"I apologize but it is rather short compared to what you are used to most likely on a topic of choice. But it was rather … unique and the best way to present what I wish to present. I wish to speak to you about the topic of Captains and the basis of leadership." All five Admirals looked at each other the four who sat on prior boards were shocked where as Janeway was rather interested and turned back nodding to the girl to continue. She though didn't seem fazed and simply took the PADD she had and held it up to the Admirals. Understanding what she wanted Janeway offered her hand and the girl moved forward depositing it into her hands. "That is my background research on the Captains I choose to use for this particular project. Included is the longer version of what I am going to present if you so wish to peruse it."

"Very well, proceed." Placing it beside her other PADD she didn't notice the confused looks the others were giving her. Owen was watching her amazed at how she was handling this particular girl. She had gone from not wanting to do this to handling it with ease, grace, and well everything else she used to handle everything. At the same time they never once took anything a candidate offered yet she had. They'd have to ask about that later.

"In order to best limit the topic I decided to pick the top Captains within Star Fleet. As a result, I discovered that three of the top Captains our currently active and two are from history. I choose those five. After reviewing each of them to the best of my capability as they each have classified information about them I was able to determine that leadership is unique to an individual. Though, I do have my favorite of the five. There are four types of leaders I have discovered from my research. You have the explorer, the warrior, the diplomat, and the philosopher. I will start with the earliest Captain, Captain Jonathan Archer."

Smiles had to be smothered as they all knew that one was coming and they knew the next would be one from Kirk's generation, most likely Kirk himself. They all listened though curious now at what she was going to say about Archer, after all they had heard about the things he had done and wondered what this girl had to say. Once more she glanced around at them all ensuring each were listening before looking back at Janeway. "Captain Archer is what you would call the explorer. His primary focus was to discover and explore. To aptly put it, to go where no man had gone before. Personnel logs from his crew even talk about how he spoke of exploration and how they were the first to see things that human kind had not. He urged his crew forward to experiment with technology for the ship. Thus, the red alert system we have today. We can attribute a lot of our Star Fleet and Federation ideals to Captain Archers deep need for exploration. His leadership and passion around exploration lead each of us to discover new things."

"Let me guess moving onto Kirk?" Nechayev spoke up when she let them all take a moment.

"You would be correct, Admiral, Captain James T. Kirk, though making it to the rank of Admiral … twice … is most famous for being Captain of the Enterprise and seems to only be remembered as Captain. When looking into him, I discovered him to be more of a warrior when it came to his leadership style. No, I am not saying he jumped into fights eagerly but due to the age he was in he seemed to know what was needed. He urged his crew to keep going. To never give up. To fight for what was needed. As an Admiral he continued that fight leading to his own demotion to Captain. The warrior leadership he had, in my own opinion, is what has lead Star Fleet to more strict protocols regarding the Prime Directive, Temporal Prime Directive, and other regulations that in his time were not so easily or strictly monitor. Or perhaps not yet created. His actions in his time frame lead to Star Fleet having a better understanding of what space exploration would require. At the same time it also lead to greater peace."

"Let her speak," Paris spoke glancing to Nechayev who was about to say something. If it was in protest to what the girl just said or to skip to the next captain they wouldn't know because he motioned for her to continue while making notes on his made.

"Next, we have Captain Jean-Luc Picard. As the commanding officer of Star Fleets primary vessel it is rather important to be skilled in a variety of areas. Captain Picard, in his time aboard the Enterprise, has proven time and time again his command prowess lies best with Diplomacy. Logs from a variety of missions, including times against the Borg, Dominion, and our own allies has shown his ability to lead his crew. Diplomacy is a rare gift and yet Captain Picard is able to skirt many issues by the simple art of it. You could say his most famous use of diplomatic skills is in the presence of the infamous Q."

"Admiral," Paris warned Janeway silently the moment her hand twitched. Only he and Nechayev were privy to her time in the Delta quadrant within the room. Q was one of the ones covered up, especially as Star Fleet didn't want it known that an all powerful being had attempted to mate with a Captain stranded in the Delta quadrant. Nor that said Captain had to babysit said Q's son not that long later. Janeway looked to her fathers old friend and offered a smile both knowing how idiotic the whole thing sounded.

"The next Captain I will go to is the philosopher. I am going out of order now as we enter our own timeline but it is better this way. This particular individual is Captain Sisko," Janeway smiled knowing exactly how correct the girl was. Sisko was more of a philosopher then even Picard and that man she thought was the most philosophical Star Fleet captain she'd ever meet. "Initially taking charge of Deep Space Nine as a Commander he instantly became a part of the Bajoran religion as their Embassary," soft murmurs filled the room. Janeway glanced to Owen and noticed he along with her was trying not to snicker. At least not all of Star Fleet was against the whole Embassary thing. "At the same time, one only needs to review his own logs to see how philosophical he is in regards to things. This style of leadership tends to be based more off of instinct and emotions and draws forth connection with those around. Therefore, the fact that he runs a space station where religion is highly favored it makes sense that this style of leadership would preside above the rest. Yes, all styles of leadership are present within an individual its just a matter of which is the strongest."

"A unique quality in leadership is the ability to balance all the leadership styles." Eyes traveling the table, settling on each Admiral for a certain period of time she waited judging them before continuing. Finally, she let her eyes go to the center judge and continue to gradually move not settling on any one. Janeway watched curious as to if she would continue or if she would just remain silent now. The hand against her leg twitched, her perfect posture straightened more, her tongue darted out to lick her lips. Every individual on the board knew the signs well but was unsure of what emotions were causing it. What was suddenly halting the girl in her process. "The final Captain in my selection displayed such ability. The ability to be diplomatic when necessary, the warrior spirit, the explorer, and even the philosopher. All evenly displayed none more dominant then the other. This particular individual was often described by their crew as … selfless beyond imagination."

"Miss. Nimoy," Torvek spoke as she once more became quiet. "Are you having problems finishing your presentation or is that all of it?"

"I apologize, sir," She responded slowly and then lowered her head a little to collect herself. "I find it difficult to …" They all watched her struggle to figure something out. If she should say it or how to say it they couldn't know. "Well, to say what I wished to in present company."

"Present company?" Owen Paris spoke. "Why would we be a problem to your summation of the final Captain?"

"I apologize, sir, I did not mean all of you. I simply meant the presence of Admiral Janeway," She had a slight hint of red to her cheeks and neck now but she refused to back down as she meet Admiral Paris eye for eye. The man looked shocked but soon a smile spread on his face as realization dawned on him. A slight nod told her to continue and she kept her eyes on the man and forced herself to do so. Janeway looked at him and then to the girl unsure why she would be uncomfortable now with her present. "The Captain I last choose to research was Captain Janeway, I choose this individual for two reasons. One was the fame recently associated with them and two for the simple fact that they have the highest records in Star Fleet history. In seven years, Captain Janeway made multiple first contacts, discovered multiple new worlds and stellar phenomenon, and made many other accomplishments very few Captains ever get to achieve. At the same time Captain Janeway was able to maintain the morale, discipline, and efficiency of a Star Fleet crew while integrating a Maquis crew on board the USS Voyage despite being thousands of light years away from home. These accomplishments told me that a great deal of leadership had to be applied and upon further research into her career and her time on Voyager I was able to see how this happened. Once just an explorer she grew into something more. A warrior and even a philosopher at times, though not that much at first. Once in the Delta Quadrant a true diplomat was discovered. The equal blending of the four styles lead to her ability to lead that crew and unite them. Captain Kirk would not so have readily accepted the Maquis into his crew nor would have Captain Archer though he would have given them a chance. Captain Picard would have tried to negotiate perhaps offer positions but definitely not senior officer positions like she supplied. As for Captain Sisko, he would have more then likely had each go through training before allow any to be apart of the crew.

Yet, Admiral Janeway did none of that. She took an explorers risk, a warriors challenge, a diplomats offer, and the philosophers belief. Those acts alone is what brought together a crew more famous then any other today." At that she fell silent and waited for her dismissal. It came and she did a perfect about face and left the room her boots barely making a noise on the carpet. As the door shut no one spoke, moved, or dare breathe while they waited. The first to move was Janeway reaching forward for her PADD marking beside the name her opinion of the girl and if she choose to accept her. At that the others did the same and the next individual was called. When it was all over they would discuss the individuals and letters would be sent out. PADDs were offered by each candidate that entered, not all were taken, some were. Nechayev even began to take some that were offered to her. By the time all applicants that day were listened to Janeway had up to fifty PADDs before her, Paris up to twenty, Torvek up to ten, Lornell had ten as well, and Nechayev had twenty or more.

Chapter End Notes:
It has been awhile since I wrote this and I apologize for any mistakes. I will eventually get around to reading it through and tweaking or adjusting it if I so desire. That won't be till after all my other stories are done and I have a lot of those. Thank you for any reviews or comments.
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