The main bridge of the Galileo was a ball of energy as the crew moved from terminal to terminal, attempting to accomplish their only goal; get the ship operational. In the middle of the bridge was the Galileo’s newly appointed Executive Officer, Samuel Malik. Malik had been pacing back and forth for the better part of an hour now. He hadn’t noticed the path he was creating on the floor as he continued to move back and forth. His version of “supervising” the work was just a fancy way of saying he was babysitting everyone. He glanced down at his padd and then back to the terminal in front of him. “The Galileo had to be perfect,” he muttered to no one in particular. Getting an Executive Officer spot was a dream come true and one that he had almost given up on; till Captain Naris. It was odd that the two hadn’t met yet, but that would come.
“So, when will we meet this famous Captain we keep hearing about?” a rather annoyed voice came from under the terminal.
Commander Malik sighed as he rolled his eyes, “I am sure you will be the first to know when Captain Naris gets here.”
“Just seems odd if you ask me,” the Flight Control Officer continued. “Sudden transfers, emergency orders, and still no Captain. It sounds like Starfleet…”
“Sounds like Starfleet what?” a feminine voice came from the back of the bridge.
“Captain on the bridge,” a rather surprised Security Officer announced suddenly as if caught off guard.
“You think?” Malik sighed as he approached their newest arrival, “Captain Naris,” the Executive Officer extended a hand, “Commander Samuel Malik, Ma’am. It’s a pleasure to meet you finally.”
Vidre Naris smirked as she shook the man’s hand, “the pleasure is all mine; walk with me for a minute, Commander,” the Captian stepped back into the lift. “Deck 3,” she called out. “Our Chief of Engineering is set to arrive soon and well.. let’s give him a proper welcome,” Naris spoke, but her eyes told so much. Something behind those eyes spoke volumes more than a simple welcome.
Malik looked at this Captain, “Forgive me for being forward, Ma’am, but is there something else I need to know about,” he looked at the woman.
“Starfleet didn’t give us many options for an Engineer. Most of the list didn’t have the experience to engineer a way out of a paper bag. Considering our first mission, I need experience. I needed Bates,” she paused, turning to the ship’s XO. “I am just not certain Bates will need us. Or me.”
“You have a past with this Bates?”
“You could say that, Commander, you could say that,” Naris exited the lift with Malik behind her. As the two entered the transporter room, the Captain looked to the Chief, “energize.” In front of the two materialized an older human male. Naris hadn’t seen Eli in almost ten years, but it looked exactly as she remembered. Perhaps he was a bit older, with a bit more grey hair, but he was still Eli.
Eli had been suddenly pulled from his liaison position for the Starfleet Corps of Engineers. He had reluctantly agreed to join a ship again, but when he heard the CO, he was even more reserved about the idea. Eli had made his way through the station heading for the transporter. He saw many people looking in his direction with wide eyes,
It wasn’t often you saw a Captain of Engineering, and Bates was one of the few. He had been many places during his tenure in Starfleet. He was currently drinking a cup of coffee with a disgruntled look on his face. The orders had said to be ready by 15:00, yet this morning they were revised for 08:00. He got to the transporter and nodded to the officer. As he materialized, he saw two men standing there waiting for him.
He stood straight with his language beside him and the cup of coffee in the other hand. “Captain Bates, reporting as ordered.” He mumbled as he sipped his coffee. He made no eye contact with Naris because this was awkward, and he wasn’t sure how to react.
Samuel stepped forward, “Welcome to the Galileo, Captain Bates,” he extended a hand, “Samuel Malik,” he skipped the rank, “Executive Officer, we are very grateful for your..”
Naris stepped forward, “It’s good to see you again, Eli,” she nodded. She really didn’t know what to say; it had been ten years. Trills had a hard rule that you don’t associate with former people, but this situation was greater than Trill regulations or laws. “We will need expertise on this one, and you were the only one with the experience we need.”
Eli looked at Naris for the first time. “Ten years…feels like an eternity,” he mumbled. He still felt uneasy, but he knew when he was needed, and this had to be one of those situations. “Well, do you mind telling me what was so important to take me away from the SCE?”
The doors opened from the back of the room as a teenager entered, padd in hand, and looked rather bored. “Mom, are you serious here,” the girl didn’t bother to look up or notice that her mother wasn’t alone. “This is a serious downgrade from the Everett…” the last word trailed off as she spoke. Grace Naris blushed as she looked at the two other men.
“Gentleman, my daughter, Grace,” Naris replied. She looked to Eli, realizing that things just got more awkward. She remembered their talks of kids and a future, something that they were never able to accomplish. “She’s not happy about our assignment here,” Naris blew off the fact that they really didn’t have a choice.
Eli looked at the girl and looked back at Naris. Though Vidre was not Ladra Eli still felt a strange connection to her. He wasn’t sure what to do. He smiled “Well this isn’t the nicest ship I have been on, but she’s a classic.” He said as he took another sip of coffee.
Grace rolled her eyes, “classic is just a fancy way of saying old, really old.”
“Out,” Naris pointed to the door, “I will see you later.” She turned her daughter around playfully swatting her butt. “She’s ten going on thirty,” Naris smiled, “My apologies, but it’s just me and her against the universe and she had a bit more freedom on our last assignment.” She gestured to the door, “We all have a lot to do and very little time to get it done in. Our first task is to see that this ship is out of refit and operational. Starfleet wants us ready for service in 72 hours.” She rolled her eyes, just like her daughter. “We’re going to be very busy.”
“Most of the crew should be arriving within the next 24 hours,” Naris looked to the Executive Officer, “get them assigned and going. Eli,” she paused, “Captain Bates, you’re job is pretty straightforward. Get the Galileo operational.”
Eli grunted “I am sure this bucket of bolts will cooperate with some caressing of her nacelles.” He said not paying attention to the present company. He sipped his coffee and rolled his eyes “Never could make things easy on me could you Naris? All because I am a Lord you have to punish me.”
Samuel gave the man a strange, puzzled look but blew it off as the Captain didn’t seem to worried. “Captain Bates,” he nodded, “Pleasure to meet you.” He then turned to the Commanding Officer, “Ma’am, with your permission I’ll get started.”
Naris nodded as the XO turned to leave. “I’m sorry Eli, if there was another way I would have but…” her voice trailed off. “Welcome to the Galileo,” she turned without a further word and headed out the door.
Once the doors closed behind her she leaned up against the corridor wall, “This is going to be harder then I thought.” She took a deep breath as she tried to calm herself before heading to the near lift.
Eli looked down and shook his head. He still had feeling, which was not what he thought would have been the case. It had been years and Eli wasn’t a spring chicken, as the old saying went. He sipped his coffee as he contemplated running after Naris, but he knew that would be a good idea. He shrugged it off and made his way through the ship before coming to the turbolift making his way to engineering.
He walked in and looked around seeing the crew working, but stopped as they saw him enter the room. He rolled his eyes slightly and kept walking looking around and observing the ship. The Steamrunner was a great ship and he was happy to be on something not quite so modern, though he was getting used to it as much as it soured his thinking.
He still couldn’t stop thinking of Naris, but what was he to do? He sighed again and picked up a PADD looking at the status of Engineering.