As the starfield outside the viewport reverted back to inky blackness filled with tiny pinpricks of light, Mike picked up his duffel from the floor where he’d left it once packing it and began to make his way down to the docking ports a few decks below. He always traveled light, seeing as every ship he’d been on since leaving the Luxor had been progressively smaller, including his quarters. It made you really start to think about what you actually needed to keep and what could be let go.
A few minutes later, he walked through the docking port and onto Eos station; looking around at the careworn decks and bulkheads, he inexplicably smiled. Just like the Luxor this place smacked of nostalgia for the “glory days” of the Federation and Starfleet. It wasn’t as picture-perfect and pristine as a ship straight out of a fleet yard, and frankly, he liked it that way.
“Can I help you, sir?” a voice asked from around the vicinity of his right shoulder.
Looking over, he saw a female crewman dressed in ops gold with a cheery expression on her face, a big smile and all. He returned the smile and nodded, “Yes, actually, can you point me towards the ops center? I need to check in with the CO.”
“Absolutely, sir,” she said brightly and turned on her heel, sweeping her arm up to point. “Just head that-a-way, take that turbolift up to the command tower, and you will find it easily enough. I’d be willing to bet Captain Abernathy is up there. Do you want me to notify them you are on the way up?”
“No, that’s okay. I’m sure they are busy,” Mike replied. “Thank you for your help.”
It took him a few minutes to make his way across the broad space and take the turbolift up, but soon he was walking out into the command tower. From there, it wasn’t too difficult to find his way to the station’s operations center, and, just as the young crewman down below had said, he found the station’s commanding officer there. Stepping up to him, he cleared his throat.
“Captain Abernathy,” he said with a nod after he’d gotten the man’s attention.
Instinctively, Rob just stuck out his thumb, “Just give me the PADD,” he commented. In his short time here, he’s signed off on so many reports, requests, and requisitions he’d lost track of how many PADDs had just been handed to him. “What are we ordering this time?” something in him told him to turn. “Hmm, Commander,” he put his hand down, realizing he probably looked a bit stupid.
“My apologies,” Rob looked at the man, “it’s been an interesting few hours. What can I do for you?”
Mike smiled, trying to stifle a laugh. He could tell the poor man had gotten so used to the tedious routine of getting something like this all set up and running again that he was operating on autopilot in some respects.
“No apologies necessary, sir. Commander Michael Hayes reporting for duty as your new ex-oh,” he replied, offering the man his hand for a shake.
Robert straightened up a bit at the mention of the man’s role; he had to admit he was very pleased even if he was very surprised. “I gotta admit, last I spoke to Starfleet, my XO was at least a few weeks if not a month out. I wasn’t expecting one so quickly.” He returned the hand shake as he gave the Officer a look over.
“You don’t give me the Security vibe,” he paused, “Engineering, Operations, or Helm; what’s your background?”
“Helm, actually, sir,” he replied. “And I’m not sure why you weren’t updated as to my assignment or my impending arrival, but hopefully, it’s an opportune time. I’m ready to get my hands dirty, and this place seems right up my alley.”
Robert laughed, “given the state of things here, any time is an opportune time. We could use all the help we can get, trust me. I am not sure where to start but right now, I need someone to help spear heading repairs and getting our Engineering Department everything they need. Security has some troubles, but I think I got a handle on that for now.”
Robert looked over Ops as he spoke, “the Federation hasn’t maintained this station, so now that she’s back on their radar, they are attempting several upgrades all at once. Between that and our broken systems, Eos needs help. Our Engineer is good, but I am certain he needs help.”
Mike nodded; his lips pursed in thought. “I think I can help with that. I took some engineering courses back at the academy and there’ve been a few times I’ve had to lend a hand with engineering problems that were affecting helm systems. I’ll set up a meeting with the chief engineer and make sure they can get all the support and material they need. Anything else you need me to be focusing on?”
“That’s a long list, Commander,” Robert replied with a slight smile. “Right now, there is a lot, but I think getting security buttoned up is important, and I can help handle that,” he looked at the man, “remember part of good leadership isn’t doing all the work yours,” he was referring to the Commander’s lack of Engineering experience, “but lending a hand and being supportive wherever you can. Empowering the crew to exceed and excel beyond expectations.”
“Definitely, sir,” Mike replied. He’d learned that very quickly on his last posting, and it was a lesson he ever planned to forget. “I’ll go ahead and get started then. Just shoot me anything you need me to handle, or to get handled, and I’ll make sure it gets done.”
“Careful what you wish for Commander,” Robert nodded as the Officer left. Eos was going to be interesting but perhaps things were starting to look up. He smirked, “one could only dream,” he told himself as he returned to reading reports.