Part of Endeavour: Through The Thick & Thin

Reset, Return, Resume

Starbase One, Swimming Pool
About a week ago
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And another repost, this one gets Minna back to Endeavor again in the present and with a newly functional (for the most part) knee.  I originally posted it a few months ago, but then things went dark so just assume this was about a week ago.

 

“I take it the operation was a success?” Commodore Paulsen asked Dr. Klein, the surgeon who had performed the synthetic nerve graft and internal composite bracing to MCPO Chang’s left knee.

“Range of motion will not improve, but she will eventually regain full strength and stability” Klein replied.

“How long until she can return to starship duty?”

“I was planning to clear her later today. If her knee continues to improve, she might even be eligible to return to the MACOs.”

“The MACOs are fine as they are, I need an experienced chief of the boat back on Endeavor” Paulsen said before placing her own towel down on the rack, nodding to the doctor and then jumping into the pool. Once in the water, she took up a launch position at the wall and waited for the veteran NCO to reach the wall.

Minna came to the wall and saw the commodore in the next lane over and came to a stop. She knew the other woman to be an excellent swimmer and expected that if all else was equal, that Paulsen would be faster due to her longer strokes alone. Other than size, most things did appear equal on the surface as the two women were both roughly the same age, and both had clearly maintained an extremely high level of physical fitness, though Minna had more than a few very serious injuries over the years and was barely a week post-op.

“One lap?” Paulsen asked, with Minna hearing the challenge in her voice.

“Ten?” Minna countered, knowing that she had little chance over a short distance, but could possibly make it up with distance.

Paulsen regarded the former MACO for a moment, then nodded. “Doctor, would call start?”

“Ready, set, GO!” Dr. Klein shouted out and the two women launched themselves from the wall and swam at roughly similar paces, with Paulsen pulling slightly ahead. On the third lap the swimmers were both maintaining a steady pace and excellent form, with Paulsen ahead by roughly 3 meters. At six laps the lead had grown to roughly 5 meters and by the end of the eighth lap Paulsen was a full six meters ahead. It was then, with two laps totalling 200 meters remaining that Minna switched gears.

She’d long been an endurance athlete, be it gymnastics as a young girl or martial arts training, yoga and distance distance running as a police officer and later a MACO, it was only until her injuries on the Xindi weapon that she had maintained highly age-competitive skills in all of those sports. Following her injuries in 2154 and roughly midway through her treatment at Walter Reid, Minna switched to swimming as her primary sport as it had similar aerobic benefits, but put far less strain on her knee. Two years of her usual borderline maniacal levels of training later and she was an exceptionally strong swimmer, at least in distance.

As the swimmers rounded the final turn midway through their ninth lap they were barely one meter apart, with Nami’s launch on the turn putting her head even with Paulsen’s thighs. Both swimmers were digging deep into their final reserves and this was where Minna had always excelled. She gave it every ounce of strength she had left, and gradually pulled closer and closer. As it was, Paulsen’s hand touched the wall roughly one half second before Minna’s, with the two swimmers’ heads exactly even, but Paulsen’s longer arm making the difference for the win.

“I – hope – you – didn’t – hold – back – on account – of my – rank” Paulsen said, struggling to get her words out between desperately needed breaths.

“No” Minna replied, “no – honor – in – that” Minna added, also gasping for air.

The two women just took a few moments to regain their breath and composure before climbing out of the pool where the differences between 5’9″ and 5’3″ were far more obvious than they were in the water. There was also the extensive scarring at Minna’s knee and thigh and along the left side of her face, normally hidden by her long hair but clearly visible with said hair tucked in a bathing cap.

“I want to send you back to Endeavor, Command Master Chief. Your skills are needed more on the front lines than back here at a Starbase.”

Minna just nodded. Returning to space had always been her plan, and when she arrived at Starbase One last year to start all of the many required tests for the experimental surgery she’d made no secret of that to the commodore. “Thank you Commodore, while it’s been pleasure serving with you, I belong out there.”

*** Fast Forward One Week, Approaching USS Endeavor, three days Ago current mission ***

“USS Endeavor this is Transport Mustang, I have a transfer for you.”

“Who’ve you got Mustang?” LT Leclerk asked.

“A familiar face. Master Chief MinnaChang.”

“We’re ready to receive her Mustang”.