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Part of USS Achilles Archive: It Resides in the Purview of the Diplomats

Different than Expected

August 1st, 2347
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August 1st, 2347 1100 Hrs

 

He was sitting in the temporary quarters aboard the USS Adriatic as he awaited for the rendezvous that would happen with the USS Achilles. Cathmor sighed as he let a large hand run through the thick locks of his brown hair, his new home would be her engine room. The hum of the Adriatic was peaceful but his own thoughts were anything but, he finally put down the PADD the schematics that he had been tirelessly reviewing for the past several days blinked out. He almost knew everything that he had been able to get his hands on of the ship he would be posted to, a habit born of a thirst to learn. Pushing himself away from the pristine desk he looked himself over in the mirror, his uniform was perfect, the Star Fleet arrowhead pinned to his chest, the rank of ensign displayed proudly, and his black pants did not have a strand or fleck on them. He had wanted to look nothing if not perfectly presentable to his Chief of Engineering.

Cathmor was not left alone with his thoughts for very long though, he heard a chirp that informed him that someone outside of the ship was trying to contact him. Answering it by pressing the flashing button with a forefinger the image of a fresh Senior Cadet of Starfleet Academy appeared in front of him, the human females long black hair was tied up in a bun as she smiled at him. 

“Samantha” He let out his own smile show and felt his shoulders relax slightly at the sight of his old friend. 

“Hey, I don’t have much time” she paused her features slightly shimmering with her movements “Just ran out of class really quick and have to get back but wanted to get in touch with you before you officially took your first assignment” she used a long finger to brush some of her black hair out of her face “How are you feeling?” she finally asked. Her eyes watched as his body tensed up again, he could tell that she was trying to read his every body movement looking for anything that might show something he would not say.

“I’m…” he stopped to collect himself “I am nervous, but I will be fine” he smiled trying not to think about the fact that he still wished that his father had lived long enough to have this call with him instead of one of his friends, life is unfair but it is what it is. His green eyes met her blue ones and he put up his most charismatic smile “I am also very excited, ready to get back into an engine room it’s been too long.”

This comment caused the woman to laugh “there is the gear head I am used to seeing, look though” she suddenly turned serious “You will do great, I am proud of you and your dad would have been too. I know his death still bothers you but he would be so proud of what you’ve accomplished.” Cathmor felt his heart plummet to his stomach at the mention of his father who had died a year prior to his graduation from the Academy. “The USS Achilles is an amazing ship and you will do her proud I know but I have to get back to class keep in touch though.” 

With those last words she gave him a smile and wave before her image shimmered away.

“Always do.” he whispered to the now empty space before him. It did not take long before he was back to pacing the floor of the room, his black boots thudding softly against the flooring as he thought about what his father Leo would have told him today. Honestly probably much the same as Samantha had, that he was proud of him for his hard work and his assignment. He would be the Assistant Chief Engineering Officer aboard an Ambassador-Class star ship, something anyone fresh out of the Academy would be proud of. Sitting on the bed he started to go over reporting to the Achilles, what he would say to his new Lieutenant once he was able to report in. Cathmor was so lost in his own thoughts that when the door alarm for the room went off he almost jumped out of his own skin. “Open” he called out.

The automatic doors opened with the typical swooshing sound of space ships mechanics. In walked a smiling Commander, she was the XO of the Adriatic “Ma’am” came out of his mouth with the ease born of years of well-groomed training. 

“Ensign Langston” she said with a warm and easy natured smile “It’s time for you to start heading to the transporter room we are less than fifteen minutes from our rendezvous location.”   

“Thank you ma’am.” Cathmor said turning and grabbing his PADD and his Starfleet issued duffel bag that had the few personal items and uniforms that he was bringing with him. Anything else he may need he could acquire on bored. The Commander had not stayed to escort him to the transporter room, in fact he was surprised that she had even come to tell him that they were close to the rendezvous location at all, having expected to be hailed there via the ships coms officer. He did not spend time worrying too much about the oddity though as he was walking through the ship trying to remember the way he needed to go to get to the transporter room. It was not long before he arrived there though priding himself in only having to ask for directions once. Having never before been on a Miranda class he was not at all familiar with their layout though her engine capabilities on the other hand were quite well known to him. Growing up there had not been many technical publications he had not devoured about ships and the Miranda class ships where far from classified in nature when it came to a curious son of the Chief of Engineering. The doors to the transport room opened for him inside the Able Crewman that was at the controls gave him a nod before saying “About five minute’s sir and we should have conformation to beam you over to the Achilles.” 

Taking a deep calming breath and smiling “Thanks” he responded. The minutes ticked by slowly as the crew continued to work around him everyone seeming at home in their spot and with their crew members. He found himself hoping that he would be able to find his own spot and get along with his crew just as smoothly. Not that he had ever had any issues making friends, in fact it had always come to him as naturally as breathing. Now though he found himself looking at going to a new ship, with no safety net, being just moments from meeting people that he would be serving with and beside for the foreseeable future. The thought was both at once terrifying and exhilarating on one hand he did not want to make a fool of himself or somehow mess something up. On the other hand this was the fruition of everything that he had ever worked hard for.

As Cathmor continued to hang onto that one nugget of information, the fact that his whole life had been spent achieving this one dream, the feeling of the uniform on his body felt less restrictive and more liberating as he had always hoped that it would. He could feel his heart rate slowing back down to acceptable ranges.

“Sir, we are dropping in next to the Achilles they are ready for you if you will just step up onto the pad”   

Nodding he took confident steps up onto the transporter pad, standing in one of the designated areas he stood tall, his full six foot frame on display as he readied himself. “Energize” before the word fully left his lips he could feel himself being transported away to his new life.

 

In mere moments the view changed from an older, and slightly cramped, Miranda class transport room to the new, spacious, and occupied Achilles transporter room. As he took in the room he saw an Andorian female in engineering colors with the rank of lieutenant was visible on her uniform. His hand gripped his bag a little tighter until she smiled at him.

 “Ensign, I am Lieutenant Endrik the interim Chief of Engineering until such a time as a permeant billeting can be arranged.” After introducing herself she did not wait for him to say anything but turned and walked away in such a manner that Cathmor felt it implied to follow.

“Chief what do you mean interim has no permanent Chief been assigned yet?”

“Well you see Langston I was part of the shakedown run, I helped build the engine room and many of the sub systems of this ship. That being so I was put here during the shakedown since I knew the most of how the Achilles works. Now that she has been cleared for duty though I will be needed back at the shipyard.” She paused just long enough to see him nod at the logic of this move by Starfleet command before continuing towards the lift. “That makes my one goal while I am here to make sure you understand everything on this ship so that you can be as helpful and valuable to your new Chief as possible when he or she finally arrives.”

He had of coursed hoped that he would be meeting and working with the same Chief for a few years to come but the opportunity to learn from the woman that literally built the core of the internals of the ship. No matter how brief this mentorship might be it would most certainly be invaluable for his career and learning.

“Of course.” he finally said “I want nothing more than to learn everything that I can.” he started to list off the things that he already had learned about the ship. Cathmor definitely detected a hint of a smile of Lieutenant Endrik’s face before she spoke.

“No one likes a show off ensign.” she paused just long enough for his heart to drop in his chest a little but she saved him before he could start sputtering that he was not trying to. “Though I am glad to see that you have done some research it will make this process much easier on the both of us.” 

The rest of the trip was mostly in silence before they stopped above a numbered room. “This will be your quarters, take the day to familiarize yourself with the ship if you need anything reach out to me or anyone else in engineering. We take care of our own but anyone else is more than helpful as well.” She laughed good naturedly as she left him to let himself in.

He put his palm out onto the screen, his biometrics had apparently already been loaded into the computers main databanks. The doors slid open letting him into a cozy room that had two beds in it, two neat white work stations, and personal space as well. There was no one else in the room though he could tell that someone else did live there. Another engineer perhaps, he tossed his bag onto the bed watching it sink onto the mattress. The name of the ship was printed onto the sheets and pillowcase. 

Laying his hand on the bed he let it glide across the fabric doing his best to commit this whole moment to his memory. He had made it, granted it may have been a path different than he had expected, but he had still made it to where he needed to be.

Comments

  • The idea of introducing the character under the shadow of losing his father presents a great tension —a dichotomy— of loss mixed with new opportunities, practically a new life in Starfleet. It’s such a compelling idea, and I expect it will present you with intriguing story opportunities as the RPG continues to show the reader how this is effecting Cathmor. I also appreciated the dark mirror of seeing Cathmor’s excitement reflected through the nostalgic eyes of his friendship with Samantha, and then reflected through the unimpressed eyes of Endrik. That line about "show offs" made me laugh, I'll admit. It's a great idea to include the old friend, as it shows the reader Cathmor had a life before Achilles; he didn't just materialize out of thin air on the transporter pad. I'm looking forward to reading more and to writing with you!

    March 30, 2022