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Diane Doyle


In the office area of his quarters, Captain James T. Kirk of the U.S.S. Enterprise was seated at a table across from his chief security officer, Lieutenant Pavel A. Chekov. The topic of discussion: periodic performance review. Kirk had handed the younger officer the compuclipboard containing his efficiency ratings.

As soon as Chekov looked up from his reading, Kirk opened the discussion. "As you can see, I believe you are an excellent officer with great potential. But, as with everyone, there are areas in which you can improve. You need to delegate more. You shouldn’t have to detail all the day-to-day administrative tasks in Security. You have an able assistant security chief; assign some of these tasks to her. It looks as if you feel that no one else can meet your exacting standards."

Chekov leaned forward in his chair. "I’m a perfectionist. I can’t help it."

"You’ll never make the center seat, Pavel, unless you learn to delegate."

Chekov was dubious, shaking his head. "I don’t know how."

"Well, it’s time you learn." Kirk sipped from a cup of coffee. "Although you’re now Security Chief, you still can’t seem to let go of all the functions of your old position. Mister Spock reports that you’re still trying to program improvements to the ship’s navigation system. Now that’s definitely a job someone else should do."

"But who? It needs someone who knows both navigation and computers."

Kirk smiled. "Mister Chekov, that sounds like the perfect task to give to one of the new crewmembers. I would suggest Ensign Temnikova. She graduated from the Academy, with specialties in both computer science and navigation. Captain Decker sought her out to serve as aboard the Enterprise as a relief navigator, but she’s presently working in the navigation computer lab. In my opinion, she would be an ideal person for the job."

"Really, Kyptin?"

Kirk nodded. "I insist. I will schedule a briefing two days from now with the command staff. In the meantime, you’ll need to write out a description of what you want accomplished. It should contain enough detail so that she won’t need to interrupt you in the performance of your duties at Security."

Chekov’s facial expression betrayed his skepticism, but "Yes, Kyptin" was all he said.

"Now about this tendency to assign three security officers to accompany me on every landing party mission..."


The young security chief left the captain’s quarters and slowly returned to the office area of his quarters, muttering to himself. As he considered the task and Kirk’s further evaluation of his performance, he became more irritated.

Throughout the day, Chekov began writing out a detailed description of the desired navigation improvements on a compuclipboard. He found the task rather tedious, to say the least. He welcomed the interruption by the buzzer that indicated a visitor to his quarters. "Come in," he beckoned.

His friend, Lieutenant Patrick Shannon, a computer specialist, entered his quarters and stood near Chekov’s desk, facing him.

"How goes it, Pav?" his voice sounded bright and cheerful.


"Captain Kirk wants me to write out specifications for how to program the navigation upgrades that I want," Chekov complained.

"Captain Kirk wants you to write program specs?" Shannon’s reaction was slightly shocked.

"He didn’t say it in those words but…" Chekov paused before continuing, "You see, the captain thinks that I don’t delegate enough. He thinks programming improvements to the ship’s navigation system is something someone else should do, and I should write out a detailed description of what I want done."

Patrick finished, "So that a programmer can program it without talking to the analyst. Or at least that’s how they describe it in my specialty."

"That’s right."

"You know what, Pavel? You know as well as I do, programmers can’t program very well without working hand in hand with someone who knows the subject matter."

Chekov laughed a little before his mood soured again. "If I have to write out detailed specifications, I might as well program the damned thing myself."

"You have a point, Pavel."


Two days later, Captain Kirk and his senior officers were gathered in Briefing Room 3 along with Ensign Tatiana Temnikova. Until that moment, Chekov had not previously met the young officer. She was tall and slender, with dark brown hair, worn long. She was not unattractive but seemed somewhat nervous, probably because she was not used to being around the senior officers of the Enterprise.

Kirk opened the meeting. "Lieutenant Chekov has identified some improvements to our navigation software which he would like to have implemented. This will be a good opportunity for Ensign Temnikova here to use her knowledge of navigation and computers."

Chekov described his request, "When the Enterprise was refitted, the navigation computers were not upgraded with the Seminov algorithm for navigating through subspace. Over the last few months, Gennady Piotrovich Seminov of the Academy of Sciences developed a new method of navigation that uses an algorithm to help the computers determine the ever changing Cochrane index of a region of space rather than depend on previous readings. This will allow for more accuracy when plotting courses over great distances, as well as allow a starship to travel at higher warp factors."

Sulu gently elbowed Chekov, joking, "Of course you’d want an algorithm developed by a Russian."

Chekov retorted, "Russians are experts in starship navigation."

Further discussion of the requirements ensued, mainly between Kirk, Spock, Sulu, Chekov and Chief DiFaco. Temnikova nervously asked a few detailed questions which were easily answered. About fifteen minutes later, the meeting concluded with the captain’s orders that Chekov’s requested modifications be implemented as soon as possible.

As Chekov walked out of the briefing room with Sulu, the security chief turned to the helmsman."I’m not sure that Temnikova understands what I want. She seems so green!"

"Look who’s talking. You were pretty nervous when you were an ensign fresh out of the Academy."

"I guess I vwas," Chekov conceded the point. "But at least I knew vwhat I vwas doing!"

"Sure you did," Sulu said, his machine-gun chortle filling the corridor.


Along with his usual duties of as Chief Security Officer, Pavel Chekov also took time to draft requirements about the second phase of his navigation system improvements. He assumed that Temnikova, given the fact that she needed to learn the ship’s computer system, would not be done for at least a week, figuring that it would normally have taken him three days. He was seated at his desk in the office area of his quarters, catching up on paperwork, when he heard the chime of the intercom and clicked a button. "Chekov here."

Appearing on the wallscreen was the smiling image of Ensign Temnikova. "Lieutenant Chekov, I’m nearly done with Seminov’s Algorithm. I have a few questions on how you want me to integrate my software with the ship’s computer system."

Chekov was taken aback. Unbelievable! Surely she’s not completed the assignment this quickly! he thought. After getting over the shock, he suggested, "Why don’t you come to my quarters? I’m off-duty right now, and we can discuss the matter."

"Sounds good."

A few minutes later, Temnikova arrived at Chekov’s office, data chit in hand. "Come in," the security chief beckoned and gestured toward the sofa underneath the wallscreen. As soon as she sat down, Chekov smiled at her. "So what do you have to show me, Tatiana?"

"I am ready to implement Seminov’s Algorithm into the navigation computer. At the moment, I have some question as to how we integrate this with the ship’s computer."

Rather than question her on how she could possibly be finished with the assignment, Chekov indicated the slot on his work station for loading external media. "Let’s take a look at vwhat you’ve got so far."

"Yes, Lieutenant Chekov." The young woman placed the data chit into the designated slot.

"You don’t need to address me as Lieutenant. You may call me Pavel," Chekov smiled as he began reviewing her work.

"Just Pavel? And not Pavel Andreievich?"

Chekov nodded absentmindedly, his concentration on her programming. "Just Pavel."

"Thank you, uh, Pavel." She crossed her legs nervously as he intently stared into his personal monitor. "I must admit no one has called me Tatiana Ivanovna since my family moved from Kemerovo to San Jose when I was a teenager."

Chekov chuckled. "The North Americans are less formal people than the Russians."

"Da!" She grinned. "Настолько Поистине."

"You haven’t totally forgotten your Russian," Chekov quipped, "although you barely have an accent."

"Most people are amazed when I tell them I was born in Russia since I have no accent. Some say I speak with a lilt but no obvious accent, or that I talk like a Californian to some degree."

Without a reply, Chekov paid rapt attention to Temnikova’s program which incorporated the Seminov Algorithm. He closely examined its various capabilities and had the computer demonstrate its response to events as they occurred. Half an hour later, Chekov smiled widely. "That’s very good, Tatiana!"

"Thank you, Pavel." She was grateful. Then her tone of voice changed, "But now I need to know how to integrate this with the rest of the ship’s navigation systems. Ideally, the ship should come to a complete halt, the new program would then be loaded, the computer rebooted, and voila, the Seminov Algorithm will be installed."

"You’re right." agreed Chekov. "I’ll need to show you some examples on how similar software was integrated here." The young security chief looked intently at the computer monitor, scanning for relevant information. When his search finished, he turned to Temnikova and directed her attention to the monitor. "And here is an example…" He explained that example to her.

When he had finished, Temnikova promised, "I should have the program ready to implement tomorrow."


"Certainly, sir. I’m going to head to Auxiliary Control and test the program on the backup navigation computer."

"You’ll be working hand in hand with Lieutenant Shannon. Once you’re successful, we can demonstrate it for Commander Spock and Chief DiFalco. Your work is very impressive!" Chekov beamed at her.

"Thank you so much. I’m glad you like it."

"So am I!" he agreed.

They took a turbolift to Auxiliary Control where they met with Lieutenant Shannon. Chekov performed the introductions. "Pat Shannon, Tatiana Temnikova. She has just finished work on Seminov’s Algorithm, and we’d like to test it out with the ship’s backup navigation system."

"Pleased to meet you, Tatiana. Pavel here is an old friend of mine. We met at the Academy and were fortunate to get assigned to the same ship." After more pleasantries, Shannon escorted Chekov and Temnikova to the three-paneled navigation station. Once his two visitors were settled, Shannon inserted the data chit into the external data slot and loaded Temnikova’s new software.

Initially, Temnikova demonstrated the operation of each of the basic functions. After that, Chekov performed more extensive testing. When he was done, he gushed, "This is very impressive! I’m sure the captain and Mister Spock are going to be very pleased."


A day passed. Seminov’s Algorithm was now in operation as part of the navigation system for the U.S.S. Enterprise. Chekov was having lunch in the ship’s commissary with both Sulu and Shannon. With a sly grin, Sulu needled the security chief. "So, what do you now think of Ensign Temnikova?"

"She implemented Seminov’s Algorithm in much less time than I expected," Chekov admitted.

"That’s great! Especially considering that you weren’t exactly confident about her capabilities, initially," Shannon said.

"Be honest, Pavel. She implemented that system in much less time than you could have," Sulu teased.

"I vwould not go so far as to say that. But I vwill admit that if I ever had a doubt about delegating authority, I vwon’t any more."

"Sure, comrade, sure." Shannon leaned forward in his chair, inching closer to them both. "We all know that you hate to let go of your old tasks."

"No kidding!" cracked Sulu.

Chekov’s voice became serious. "And not only have I found a good programmer but a new friend."

The doors to the recreation room parted, and Temnikova drifted in. Chekov quickly made his way to her side, and the couple went to one of the privacy booths, a chess set in her hands.

Both Sulu and Shannon stared at him in envy. "How does he do it?" asked the helmsman.

"I don’t know, but one of these days, maybe, he’ll slip up and tell us."

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