Part of USS Edinburgh: Mission 1 – What Burns in the Darkness and Bravo Fleet: Sundered Wings

Change Is Gonna Do You Good

Starbase Bravo
May 14, 2400
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Starbase Bravo – Docking Bay – 0700

“This ship took a pounding.”  Okada walked around the USS Erigone inspecting the damage wrought upon the girl.  

The supervising master chief walked along beside her, a PADD in his hand.  “Walk me through your process for repair and refit, Lieutenant Katsumi.”

She walked around the Raven class ship once more, picking up a tricorder which she took with her on the third trip around the workhorse starship.  She started talking as she rounded home, “We’d need to examine the warp core – the previous commander reported repeated breakdowns in their attempts to get home.  The various power problems, EPS conduit concerns, assorted shield repairs, and more – that’s all gonna depend on the warp core being stable and consistent.  You gotta get the heart to pump regularly on the old girl before you can hope for her to stand on her own two legs.”

Master Chief Christopher Grace gave a nod of appreciation, “Good start, lieutenant.  High marks for process, and marks for metaphor use.”

Okada smiled widely, “Engineering’s all about framing what you’re doing, Master Chief.”  She looked over the ragged ship once more, “When can I get dirty?”  

Grace tossed her a bag of engineering equipment, “Get to it, lieutenant.”

Starbase Bravo – Docking Bay – USS Erigone – 0830

“Come on girl.”  She kicked the EPS conduit forcefully and it flickered before snapping online.  “You’re gonna have to do better than this for someone to want to take you back out there.  They gotta have confidence in you.”  She scanned the conduit and pronounced it complete.  She moved on to the shield generator system, tracing the problem to a Jefferies tube just outside of main engineering.  It took her a moment to get the door open and slide up in, but she was soon checking conduits and relays.  The airflow issues still weren’t resolved so she’d resorted to changing into shorts and a t-shirt.  She’d isolated the power fluctuations when she heard a voice down below.

“Lieutenant Katsumi, I have someone here to see you?”

She growled, “A little busy here! Is it the quartermaster with my fan replacements?  I swear to God I’m going to strangle the bastard.”  As she griped, she inched back down the tube and unfolded her petite frame, and stood up, facing a dock officer and a…commander in full uniform. “Oh…God.”

Harris smiled and dismissed the dock officer with a nod, “Between you and me, I’ve got my issues with the quartermaster too.  I’ve got plenty of words for him.”  He extended his hand, “Commander Ambrose Harris.”  He looked up the Erigone, “You’ve been working on my former command, I see.  She’s pretty tore up.”

Katsumi followed his gaze and then snapped back to him, “You were on board for this?  Damnity damn.”  She questioned, “You’re not here to reminisce about your command, are you?  That’d be a little weird, sir.”

“No, lieutenant.  I’m here because I need a Chief Engineering Officer.  Had two other interviews today…and I’m coming up empty.  You’re my last interview for the day.”

Her eyes went wide, “Me?  Who put me up for the position?”

A shrug, “Master Chief Grace.  He said he’s kinda getting tired of you staying on this station.”

She shook her head in disbelief, “That…well, you know.  I’m plenty happy here.”  As she said it, she realized she didn’t quite believe it.  She watched Harris catch her eye as she sighed in recognition.  “OK…so maybe I’ve been needing a change.”

Ambrose pulled out his PADD, “You’ve consistently excelled at your knowledge checks.  You’ve got a file full of recommendations from everyone you’ve served with about the work you do and how effective you are it.”  He paused, “They talk about how you’re one of the best team players in the business, lieutenant.  You get along with damn near everyone…and I mean everyone.  Including the two others I interviewed.”

She chuckled, “I’m going to guess…Jones….,” Harris gave a smile and nodded, “…and Pastero?”  Again, he nodded.

Harris explained, “They’re acceptable engineering officers…but you’re the exception.  You’ve got something they don’t.  Something I need onboard my ship.  Someone willing to be a part of a team from start to finish.”

Katsumi met his eyes, “You offering me a job, Commander Harris?”

He put out his hand, “Lieutenant Okada Katsumi, I am extending an offer for Chief Engineering and Operations Officer onboard the USS Edinburgh.”

She eyed him and his extended hand for a moment before grasping it in her own, “I accept your offer, Commander Harris.”

“Good.  I’ll start the transfer paperwork.  Be ready to transport aboard for start-up operations around 1100 hours.  Welcome aboard.”  He turned and was off down the decks, leaving the newly promoted Chief Engineer to take one last look around her home.  Change was good, she kept telling herself, even if she felt like she was going to throw up.  No, she actually was going to throw up and made a beeline for the bathroom.