It was actually pretty rare to see Tikva in Engineering aboard her own ship, though the size of the vessel meant she should realistically visit more often. It was just circumstances rarely conspired to date to bring her down here. Normally her engineers came to her with problems first, versus her going looking for them. But today was a different story.
There were plenty of people around from Engineering and Operations around, all with tasks and duties to perform, stopping by Engineering as they went about their tasks. But the most important people she wanted to speak with were all here at the centre of things, standing around the system display table, colloquially known as the pool table for some reason that was no doubt a deeply held engineering secret passed along in shadowy cabal meetings.
Velan, Maxwell, Rrr and Michaels were all present, with the seniors on one side looking exhausted, which was a feat for Rrr, and the juniors on the other side, looking rested but wary of the task ahead of them. And then came Tikva through the crowd, stepping up to the end of the table. “Morning all,” she injected in a conversation that she was clearly interrupting.
“Captain,” Velan spoke, his tone suspicious. “Don’t often see you in Engineering.”
“Though I’d come down for the morning briefing instead so that you two,” she pointed with her only hand at Velan and Rrr, “can get off duty straight away and not come and see me.”
“Well, I won’t object to that,” Rrr rumbled.
“Thought you wouldn’t. So, how’s my ship?” she asked, casting her gaze down to the table.
“Well since we’ve got everyone back aboard ship now, we’re doing pretty well. We’re still undertaking anti-radiation measures,” Velan pointed at orange sections of the ship display, “but we should have all affected sections clear by midday tomorrow. Maxwell,” he said with a flourish of his hand.
“Right, we blew a few power transfer conduits running the deflector as we did, but nothing critical. We’re still good for high warp travel. I’ve got two teams in EV suits already replacing them and we should have everything sorted by end of alpha shift. That said we’ll want to replace stores before we head back out to the delta quadrant. Assuming we are?”
She looked up at Maxwell with a smile. “Without a doubt Gérard. And we’ll get spares. After all, I need to stop and get a new arm so while that’s happening, I have faith in Rrr here getting supplies via the quartermaster or whatever nefarious means he deems acceptable.”
Velan’s smirk beamed through his exhaustion. “We finally going pirate?”
“Ha!” she exclaimed. “No, no, no. It’s just classic enmity with the quartermaster’s office is all. Get the list of spares you want before we make for Barzan. We’ve been treated alright by Supply so fingers crossed we get everything we want and we can make transit without any issues.”
“Speaking of ma’am,” Michaels spoke up. Samantha Michaels was Rrr’s nominal assistant, though not officially on the books currently as such. Where he was large and bulky, she was slight and even shorter than Tikva herself. “When are we getting underway for Barzan?”
By like half a centimetre. She’ll grow, I bet you.
Take her out at the knees!
Seriously, the height thing still? We need to talk to Hu about that.
We’re concerned about height but Adelinde is way taller than we are.
Yeah…isn’t she just? Sigh…
A shake of her head and she looked at Michaels for a moment, blinked, recalled the question and engaged her brain. “Oh, that was another reason for coming down. Are we all good to jump to high warp and sit there for a week and a bit?” Her gaze switched between her two engineers.
Velan shrugged his shoulders and looked at Maxwell. “Your call, I’m hitting the sack shortly.”
“Yeah, we’re good Captain. We’ve committed to giving a touch of assistance planetside later this morning, but it’s more consultation work for a few hours. After that, we’re good to break orbit and get out of here.” Maxwell then looked to Michaels. “Oh, we also need to help with a telemetry issue with one of the SNARC satellites.”
“Being sorted right now actually. Taru took a team out with the Acheron to see what’s up,” Michaels answered.
“Right, well I’m satisfied,” Tikva said, moving to clasp her hands together and stopping, looking at her open, lonely palm, then looked up. “You all saw nothing.”
“Saw what?” asked Velan.
“Exactly.” She glared at him and his smiling face for a moment, then cracked a smile herself. “Michaels, let me know when your team gets back. Maxwell, tell me your team is done as well. We’ll do a final headcount and then we’ll get out of here.”
After a series of ‘aye ma’am’ she turned and was walking away when she could just hear the stroking of a beard in thought, though on reflection maybe she was just backfilling that in before the philosophical question wafted through the air to her ears. “What is the sound of one hand clapping?”
We’ll kill him later. Painfully.
I’m just surprised he waited that long to say it really.
Her next stop on a morning tour of the ship saw her to sickbay. Part destination on the morning briefing tour, part she needed to report in any way. “Morning Doctor Terax,” she announced as she stepped in, looking for her chief medical officer.
Emerging from his office, the Edosian had his world-weary look about him as usual. “Captain. I just submitted scans to medical at Guardian Station. They should have a replacement ready for fitment by the time we arrive.”
“Now that’s good news!” She was expecting to have to get there, have scans done, then consult on new designs, waiting for ages, but no, the process was starting now. “Thank you very much, Doctor. Though, I’ve actually come about two other things.”
“Take a seat,” he waved at a biobed, collected at tricorder and was already waving it in her direction by the time he attended to her. “What’s the matter.”
“Phantom pain,” she admitted with a wave of her stump. “When the prosthetic was there, I had sensory input so didn’t feel anything, but right now there’s this…burning sensation in my fingers. And my elbow is being crushed.”
“Scale of one to ten,” Terax stated, not needing the follow-up question.
“Three or four.”
The hrumpf noise that issued was the standard-issue disappointed doctor sound, seemingly universal to sentient life in Tikva’s experience. “When did it start?”
“About two in the afternoon.” She paused, looked at him sheepishly. “Two days ago.”
“Captains and other doctors,” Terax muttered to himself before closing the tricorder and heading for the hypospray station. Ordering a cocktail up he returned and with minimal fuss injected it into her left shoulder. “See me again tomorrow for another dose. If pain returns beforehand, report to me immediately. I’m warning you now, I may relieve of duty until you get a new arm.”
She opened her mouth to protest, then stopped herself and nodded in acceptance. “I’ll brief Mac then just in case.”
“But since we’re going to be in transit soon enough, I doubt it’ll be a major issue.” He stepped back to let her hop off the biobed. “Now, what was the second issue?”
“Oh, yes. I wanted to talk to you about the bridge officer’s exam. You’re one of two lieutenant commanders aboard ship and I want,” she stopped when both of his empty palms.
“I’m not interested.” His rejection was flat but firm. “I’m a doctor, not a starship commander. I have no intention for command outside of sickbay.”
“Terax,” she pleaded, stopping when he shook his head in the negative.
“I would suggest you promote someone and force them to take the exam if you need someone for the job.”
She nodded, the emotions she was tasting off him clouded somewhat by his alien physiology and maybe the painkillers in her system confirming for her that right now she wasn’t going to be winning this argument.
And so went the rest of her morning, taking the opportunity to take extended visits to departments, seeing what individual parts of her ship were up to as the need for her on the bridge was minimal right now. No doubt T’Val was ‘doing an adequate job’ just being present should a command decision be needed.
By the time she did make it to the bridge, aside from her flying visit first thing to relieve Lieutenant Ch’tkk’va, she was greeted by Michaels with a padd full of updates. “All crew and shuttles accounted for. No visitors left aboard ship ma’am. No further orders from Starfleet Command to attend to other disasters in the area either. Looks like the storms in this area are clearing up.”
“Good news abounds then.” She settled into her seat, slipping the padd beside her to read in a moment. “Lieutenant T’Val, set a course for Barzan, maximum warp.” She waited, then shrugged with a smirk. “Páme!”