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Part of USS Denver: Mission 2: Valhalla


Engineering, and Captain's Ready Room
February 26, 2374 13:00
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Crewman Aoife Mckenzie stared at the screen before her as she ran a diagnostic on the shield emitters.   The Denver had taken a ridiculous amount of damage at the Battle of Tyra, and in the aftermath that they were doing a refit on the ship. The yard engineers were busy putting deck five back together, but there were many other things to take care of first. It was a seemingly endless list of work.

Cheon sat next to Lovecroft as he looked at the promotion request that the man had given him. He nodded with the assessment of the crewman that Burkely had given and handed it over to Rebecca.

“I think we need to call her in,” he said as he looked between them.

“Yes,  call her in,” Rebecca agreed as she refilled her coffee cup from the thermos pot on the desk.

Cheon reached up and tapped his ComBadge, “Crewman McKenzie report to the Conference Room immediately,” he stated before closing the connection.

Burkely looked at Cheon, “That almost sounded like she’s being reprimanded,” he said as he sat back against the cool feeling of the black chair he was in.

Cheon grinned, “I like to keep my crew on their toes, sometimes, Commander Lovecroft.”

“On my way, sir,” Aoife replied over the comm.  

She arrived in the observation lounge a moment later and stood before the “brass” at full attention. “Crewman Aoife Mckenzie, reporting as ordered.”

Cheon looked at Aoife for a moment as she stood there at full attention.

“At ease, crewman,” he ordered as he reached down for a PADD. He glanced at Rebecca, and mischief could be seen behind the slight shimmer in his eyes.

Rebecca simply nodded in encouragement. 

“Crewman, do you know why you have been called into the conference room?” Cheon asked as he looked up from the PADD after scrolling through the day’s upcoming night shift; now to Mckenzie, it would have appeared that he was looking at her service record.

  Burkely looked over at Cheon and then at Rebecca. A confused look was plastered on his face as he looked at his superiors.

“No sir,” Aoife replied.

“It has come to my attention that you refused the direct order of a superior,” he stated as he laid the PADD down on the table; its screen was blacked out. He then produced the three chevron insignia of a first-class petty officer and laid them next to the PADD. Cheon stood up and looked at Lovecroft, with a smile on his mouth and walked over to Aoife.

“Well, what do you have to say for yourself, crewman?” Cheon asked as he came in front of her and then leaned against the table with his arms crossed over the front of his chest; waiting for her response.

“Sir, I did not feel that I was qualified for the position,  and I do not believe it’s illegal to refuse a promotion.”

“You were at the Academy when the war broke out?” Rebecca asked suddenly. 

“Yes ma’am.  I had completed my finals of my first semester and took a sabbatical to enlist.”

Cheon looked at Rebecca and cocked his head slightly. “So in other words crewman Mckenzie, you wanted to fast track into the engineering department via first-hand experience, or were you looking for something else?” As he spoke he clenched the single silver pip in his hand and motioned with his eyes as he continued to look at Rebecca.

Burkely continued to remain silent; having finally figured out that this was both a test and a game for Cheon. Something that he agreed with and would have done the same, though a tad bit nicer, then again with war at their doorsteps he could see the reasoning for needing to know the crewman’s meddle.

“No sir,” Aoife said with a thinly veiled offense.  “The Quadrant was at war.  I had and have a duty to not sit safe and sound at the Academy while people are dying. Duty calls me to fight for our families.  Fight for our freedoms.  Fight for our way of life.”

“Good answer, crewman,” he stated as he turned and looked at directly that the woman that stood before the three of them. He then turned his attention toward Burkley. “Commander I think it best if you give her this,” he said as he opened out his hand to the Commander. 

Lovecroft stood up and reached out for the silver pip that Cheon had resting in the center of his hand. Turning he looked at Mckenzie. “At attention crewman Mckenzie,” he ordered.

Aoife’s eyes widened in surprise but snapped to attention as she was ordered. 

Burkely stood in front of Aoife as he detached her current rank from her blouse and replaced it with a silver pip. As he did this he spoke to her in a lowered voice, “Ensign McKenzie if someone gives her a compliment or says something toward your skills, don’t doubt their words,” he then raised his voice. “Welcome to the fold Ensign McKenzie, I am also assigning you to the position of Assistant Chief Engineer.”

“Yes sir. Thank you, sir.”

Lovecroft turned to look at Cheon and Rebecca and gave them a nod.

“Mister Lovecroft and Ms. Mckenzie you are dismissed,” Rebecca ordered.   She waited for the engineers to exit the office before entering commands into her computer terminal and spinning it to face Cheon.  “We have new orders.  We’re going to be assigned to a newly formed task force.   The 13th Fleet took a shellacking at Torvan last week and Starfleet is folding them into the 7th Fleet along with pulling ships from the 1st, 3rd, and 4th Fleets to rebuild our forces.  We will be part of Task Force 91 based out of the Betazed colony Forkin VII.  We will be shipping out tomorrow.”

Cheon put his hand on Rebecca’s forearm and said, “Becky,” he had never used her shorthand name before since he had never had to truly catch her attention, “you and I know that Task Forces’ mission is deep in behind the front lines. I must warn you to keep your eyes and ears peeled.”

No one called her “Becky”, and suppressed the urge to frown. She had gone by Becca all her life, but she chose to let the comment pass  “It’s war Chron, and whether we are the tip of the spear or butt of the shaft there’s no safe harbor  when it comes to the Dominion. Captain Nicholas Ryder aboard the Tigris will lead the Task Force.  See to it that the last of the refit is complete today. We’ll be getting a shipment of new quantum torpedoes tomorrow morning.  See to it Ms. Chapman supervises the transfer. Plan on an 1100 hour departure.”