3 December 2014
Noah Scott's voice came over the Stellvia Ops loudspeaker. "Jake. My office. Now."
Jake Hansen, Chief of Operations for station Stellvia, started for the door to the president's office. He was stopped by the station's Chief of Aerospace Traffic Control. "Is everything okay, Jake?"
"Why would anything not be okay, Miyuri?"
"I've been working here for over a year, and that's the first time I've ever heard President Scott use anyone's name during business hours. He always calls you 'duty officer'."
Jake frowned. "Yeah. Even when the Girls showed up, Noah called me that, not 'Jake'. Keep your fingers crossed?"
She smiled at him. "Of course."
"Thanks." Jake turned back to the office door, which was already open. "Oh, dear."
"Whenever you're ready, Mister Hansen," Noah's slightly-impatient voice came through the doorway.
"Sorry to keep you waiting, sir," Jake said as he stopped in front of Noah's desk.
"Sit down, please." The office door closed on its own.
There were only two full-sized chairs in Noah Scott's office. Noah was using one of them. Jake had never known anyone other than the former and current Vice-Presidents of Stellvia Corporation to use the other one... but he had just been invited to be seated. He discovered that it wasn't a very comfortable chair.
It must have shown on his face. "Yeah, it's not the best chair in the world, but Yoriko loved it. I'm going to have to take it with me."
Jake's eyebrows rose in surprise. "Where are you going, Noah? And why?"
"I'm just going to take over the storage level immediately below the Hotel Stellvia. A corporate state needs a much larger head office than a simple corporation does."
Jake nodded. "That makes sense, but it'll make running the station a bit harder."
"You won't be right here to respond to any emergencies."
"That's exactly why I'm moving my office, Jake. I don't have the time to respond to station emergencies any more."
"You're giving up running the station? But this is your baby."
Noah smiled. "This used to be my baby, and Sora and the other 'angels' used to be my little girls. But now Helen is both my baby and my little girl, and I have to be there for her at least some of the time. Jake, the important parts of my life Up here are Leda, Helen, my 'angels', and my company. My 'angels' have all grown up..." He paused for a brief moment, then sighed. "...except for Kohran and Yuu, and I've learned to stop meddling in their lives. That leaves my business and my family at the forefront of my life, and I refuse to neglect my family. Since I can't run both Stellvia and the expanded StellviaCorp if I'm going to have any time with my family, I have to give up something. And I can't step down from StellviaCorp so soon after declaring independence - it would ruin the company."
"So who's going to be in charge of the station? You hired some good people to run the Artemis and Nikaido Foundations, but I know you too well to think you'll hire an outsider to run Stellvia."
"Well, when we turned Ring Four into Odyssey, I put Patty in charge of it, and that turned out well for both Patty and StellviaCorp. I want to draw on the Ops staff again. Do you think Miyuri's ready to be put in charge of Stellvia?"
Jake winced. "With all due respect, I don't think Miyuri will be ready to take charge of anything larger than a telescope for the foreseeable future."
"Yet she's in charge of ATC at the station right in the middle of the busiest cluster of stations in space."
"Point taken. I suppose you could give her the job, but there may be a few people who would get upset that she was promoted over their heads."
"Are you suggesting I promote people by seniority instead of by merit, Jake?"
Acutely aware that he was the most senior employee of StellviaCorp behind Kohran and Yayoi, Jake immediately replied, "No, sir. That would lead to ruin for the company as a whole."
"Good. I've been looking through the personnel files, and in my opinion there are only two people who are better qualified to run Stellvia than Miyuri is."
"Then you should offer the job to one of them first."
"You're right. Unfortunately, one of those two people is me."
"And you're leaving the job. Who is the other person?"
"No. No way."
"Jake Hansen, I am offering you the position of Commander of Station Stellvia. It is a hard job with long hours, and you won't make very many friends while you're working in this office. And you won't get a pay raise. Do you want the job?"
"Can I get back to you, sir?"
"Let me know by the end of the day." Noah pushed a button on his desk, and his office door opened. Jake took the hint.
7 December 2014
Jake Hansen's voice came over the Stellvia Ops loudspeaker. "Miyuri, would you come to my office, please?"