"Computer. Service Record of Yeomann Diana Collin."
After a moment or two, the file came on the screen:
Collin, Diana Lynn
Place of Origin: London, England, Earth
Academy: Vulcan Science Academy
Vulcan School of Thought
"What?" McCurry mused, "my Yeoman is a graduate of the Vulcan School of Thought? I don't understand. Computer."
"Academic Transcript for Diana Collin from the Vulcan Science Academy and the Vulcan School of Thought."
The entries headed by Vulcan Science Academy were what you'd expect from a Star Fleet affliated Academy. Sciences, history, languages, etc. The second set of data was a lot more interesting. The courses which appeared on the screen seemed to be concentrated in the area of personal mind discipline with a few general courses in mental abilities. McCurry didn't know what any of the classes were about, but she gathered from the titles and the number listed that it wasn't a mere curiosity in the subject which led her Yeoman to Vulcan.

Diana Collin arrived at McCurry's cabin about 15 minutes before the scheduled meeting.
"Yes?" McCurry was curious about her assistant's attention.
"Lieutenant Commander," Diana began, "I thought you'd like to know more about your crew before your meeting."
"That was thoughtful, Yeoman," McCurry answered, "But there is no need."
"You should at least know what you're up against. I wasn't commander Scott's aide before this. I worked in personnel. I'm a fairly good judge of personality."
"I'd say," McCurry said.
"I beg your pardon, ma'am?"
"I was curious about you. I took a look at your service record," McCurry said, "What did you study?"
Yeoman Collin did not get nervous at the question, "I studied how to cope with other beings."
"I don't follow you."
"I am telepathic. I went to Vulcan for discipline, and for my own peace of mind."
"You read minds?"
"That is an oversimplification, sir. Mind reading is only the surface ability. I learned to block out people's everyday thoughts, among other controls I'd rather not get into."
"Did it come in handy as a personell director?"
"I don't blatantly invade other people's privacy, sir," Diana was offended, "besides, reading people's individual thoughts is a discipline in itself. A telepath's raw abilities are much more general, concepts and attitudes."
"I didn't mean to offend you, Yeoman," McCurry apologized, "I was just trying to understand."
"It's alright, sir," Diana said softly, "shall we begin?"
"Alright. What do I need to know?"
"The crew is loyal to Scotty. They are used to his mannerisms and conduct. They are proud of this ship and the work they do."
"I am aware of that, Yeoman."
"Yes, ma'am. Lieutenant Nicolas Bates wanted to be the Chief of Engineering, and as acting chief, he was well received. But Star Fleet opted for a more experienced officer. And with your qualifications and record, you are more qualified than he."
"What do you know about my service record, yeoman," McCurry said defensively.
"Everything, ma'am," she said eargly, "you have an impressive one."
"Thank you, Diana," she smiled, "anything else I should know about my crew?"
"Most of the rest will be loyal to you once they get to know you and get used to you. Thereis one, second mate Lieutenant Alexander Grey. He has strange ideas about women. He'll not take to having one outrank him directly. He will make your job and your life as difficult as he possibly can."
"Then he'll find out how difficult I can make his life."
"Don't underestimate him."
"We are not Klingons or Romulans, are we?"
"Right," Diana said, expecting an explaination.
"Subterfuge is not a way of life. He cannot cross a superior officer without endangering his career."

"Lieutenant Grey, where are you going?" Nicholas Bates addressed his fellow engineer.
"I do not intend to go to this little meeting," Grey replied, "what could the lady say that we don't already know?"
"Grey, as a member of this engineering staff, you are required to be at any meeting called by the Chief. This is why she is the Chief."
"So why aren't you the Chief? You were doing so well," Grey's tone was nasty.
"That's enough! If you don't show up, consider yourself on report."
Grey left engineering with no intention to return for the meeting.

Chapter Two