Part of USS Asger: The Old Man

First Steps – Asger XO

USS Asger
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USS Asger

Deck 2 – Crew Quarters Room 1125

For anyone living on a Starbase or Starship, standard living quarters tend to look similar, thus the word ‘standard.’  It falls to the individual to decorate and give their accommodations its own unique look and feel. A sense of home of sorts. The place where a person sleeps and spends their down time.

As Ensign Edward Clark stood staring into his room, he shook his head and almost expected to see a rat run out of the room. “Lights.” Instead of the room slowly becoming illuminated, the lights flickered and then finally came on. At first Edward thought of contacting engineering but chose to wait. If anything, he guessed he’d have a long list for them before completing his inspection of the room. At first glance, he wanted to tear the carpet out.

The furniture was dark and overused. Edward wanted to drag everything that was not bolted down and shove it out an airlock. The idea of seeing tables, chairs and a bed floating caused him to smirk to himself. And while that idea intrigued him, he thought it would be better to take everything to the mass replicator in the docking bay and recycle them.

Before making doing anything, Edward figured it would be best to ask for permission.

“Computer locate Commander Williams”

After meeting both the Asger’s Captain and Doctor, Abby finally had some time to settle in to her new assignment. At first, her office looked like the rest of the ship: falling apart and disorganized. Her predecessor left most of their belongings, which Abby understood to mean their departure was both abrupt and unexpected. After over an hour of cleaning, she managed to move the clutter to one corner and had begun unpacking some of her personal items, including her two framed degrees and some mementos from Browder IV.

The ship’s computer informed Edward where the XO was located.  He made his way to her room and pressed the chime. Edward stood pensively waiting.  He wanted to make a good impression, but he knew little about Commander Williams, other than she was a well-respected scientist.  Other than his record, she may not know much of him.  And frankly his record did not portray him in the best of light, or at least that is what Edward believed.

Hearing the chime at her door, Abby lifted the box up from her desk and placed it on the floor. As she moved to take a seat, she kicked the box across the floor into the messy corner. “Come in,” she called out as she turned on her computer.

With a slight hiss the doors opened, and Edward bowed forward to peer into the room.

“Commander…Hello.” He gave sheepish wave and took one small step into the room.  “I hope I am not interrupting, but I wanted to report and also ask a few questions.” He stopped and looked at the condition of the room. “That is, if you have time.”

The Commander looked up from her desk and saw the man standing in her doorway. “Not at all, Lieutenant… Clark, is it?” She gestured towards the two small chairs sitting directly in front of her desk. “How can I help?” she asked, giving the man a reassuring smile.

Edward gave a small cough, “Actually its Ensign.” He almost flinched when he said it as the demotion still stung a bit.

Abby looked down at her computer to confirm the man’s rank, and it was indeed Ensign. Apparently she overlooked the fact that he was demoted after his court martial, and sat in awe of the fact that this is who Starfleet assigned as the Asger’s Chief Helmsman.

“Commander, I was wondering about our protocol our quarters.” He inhaled slowly to calm himself. “The furnishing in my quarters, well..umm.”  He was not quite sure how to describe them, but having been raised in rural Montana, he described it the best he could.  “Well.. frankly ma’am, the darn quarters looks like cattle stampeded through it.”

Edward went into detail about how all the fabric looked torn and infested with some form of flea, but he needed a tri-corder to properly identify it.  “I’d like to know if I can replace the furnishing in my quarters, with ones that will not require me to go through quarantine after sitting upon them.”

“I see,” Abby said as she pulled up a status screen on her computer terminal. “I’m afraid I can’t authorize you to replicate any new furniture right now. Our industrial replicators are being used by engineering, and even if we did have one available I can’t spare the extra power. Maybe the next time we’re at a starbase you’ll have the opportunity.” She gave the man a very frank look and leaned back in her chair. She was partially honest, the replicators were currently being used, but she also knew the man’s record and didn’t feel he deserved any special treatment. Everyone on the ship was forced to deal with similar circumstances. “But,” she continued. “I’m sure there are spare cleaning supplies in some of our storage lockers, you’re welcome to use anything you can find. So long as it isn’t already being used for official ship business.”

Edward gave a slight nod, “I understand…were all in the same boat.”  Being resolved to return and clean the room, he figured he may have to stop off at sickbay.  As he turned toward the door,  he stopped and turned back. He looked like a dog chasing his tail for a moment.

“Commander.” He stated abruptly, “We don’t know each other, and I know all you’ve got to go on is my record.” He shifted his weight from one foot to the other. “But I’ve been a darn good pilot.”  He emphasized in a calm, mater of fact voice.

He paced just a bit but reminded himself to be at ease.  “I admit a court martial looks none too flattering on anyone’s record.”  He paused and squared his shoulders. “But some of Starfleet’s best officers have faced them and bounced back.

Edward stood his ground and his voice softened, but was resolute. “And if you’re willing to give me a chance, I’ll prove it to ya.”

Abby nodded her head and looked up at the man. “I do understand that a record only tells one part of the story,” she began. “All I can say is that I look forward to working with you, and I hope you’re more than what your record shows.” She gave him a slight smile as he stood near her door.

“There is an old Chinese proverb.” Edward paused for a moment, attempting to recall it from an philosophy course.  “It goes like this, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”  In that moment, Edward was starting to feel like he was taking his first step toward a better understanding with the XO.