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Part of Eos Station: Mission 1: Rule 34 War is Good for Business

Getting the Rundown Pt. 2

Eos Station
August 2400
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Having lucked out upon his arrival to the mess hall, finding that there were rations available, since the replicators were once again not functioning correctly, Mike found himself in a bit more relieved, and even jovial mood than he would have been had he had to force down whatever monstrosity they’d been able to throw together from random atoms and molecules. He now found himself on track to make his third meeting of the day on this wild goose chase of speaking to the department heads, in their own domains, to get a full view of what he could best do to help them accomplish their goals to get Eos back up and running. 

Next up on his list was the ship’s Chief Counselor. He’d already met her, so this was a bit of an easier meeting, but he’d yet to meet with her on her turf, as the saying went, so he was intrigued to see how the meeting would unfold. With a bemused smile quirking up the corners of his lips he approached the door to her office and pressed the small button to announce himself. He was in no way surprised when nothing happened. 

With a sigh he reached up and tapped his combadge. “Hayes to el-Imam, the chime on your office door is not functional…”

“I am right behind you Commander” She was holding a few PADDS and had actually just arrived a few minutes later than he did “Hope I didn’t startle you” Arwa gave away a small grin on her face and walked into her office “Please do come in”

Mike was able to keep himself from jumping, though he did feel a spike in his pulse rate at the words of the counselor coming from directly behind him. He turned to her, and gave her a pursed lip look, and then cracked a smile. “You did, and you meant to the whole time,” he said, teasingly. “But it’s okay, I like jump scares. Are you having a good day?” he asked, as they passed into her office. 

“I would never” Arwa kept that grin to herself as she placed the PADD on the desk and heard the following question, “Well the station is on the edge of a mental breakdown, I am barely holding my agenda together with all the appointments. But I am doing good” Arwa gave a soft smile to him “Thought I do believe you didn’t come here to check in for your counsel session, or I missed that request”

Mike chuckled lightly. “No, you didn’t miss anything. I’m actually here to ask what, if anything, I can do to help you get everything in your department at least a bit more settled so you aren’t having to ‘barely’ hold your agenda together.” he replied, while looking around at the office they were standing in. “All I ask is that you make sure you give me a list, that way nothing gets forgotten, or falls through the cracks.”

“A list?” She leans onto her desk and looks at him with her arms now crossed over each other, “Well, I am understaffed for one. I require more people to handle all the sessions, get everyone on this station approved for their mental health status, and get access to the updated personnel system. This means that I found out that there is an irregular batch of personnel information that should be ….checked out” She had already one finger up, followed with the second finger, “The office looks more like a dump than an actual operating office. Outdated panels, furniture that is barely holding together, not functional doorbell and don’t get me started on the electric and replicator issues” 

She put up the third finger, “Equipment that we use is….missing, and we do use them for extreme cases of PTSD for example. I need them back, and I don’t really care how they come back” The fourth finger goes up. “The station morale is an all-time low, it ties in with my responsibility of having a functional office and additional personnel, but people are….afraid” She lowers her fingers. “Afraid to get a medical check from either doctor Longfellow or me because that might be the end of their career, as Eos station is seen as a final departure station. Do something about that growing fear. There is only so much I as a counselor can do” Arwa sighs and places her hand behind her back “If you can start there, then that would actually help me”

As she’d been speaking Mike had been taking notes on his padd, which he’d been carrying with him throughout the day. He stopped when he realized she’d finished speaking, and glanced up, stylus still poised over the screen. “Is that all?” he asked, eyebrows raised a bit in surprised. He’d honestly expected more of a list, but he’d take any small blessing that came his way. 

“For now, that is all” Arwa blinked a bit and wanted to have priority to that list first. 

Mike tapped the stylus on the padd to deactivate it and laid it in the notch on the top to keep it in place. “I’ll be compiling everything from all my meetings today into a report tonight, and giving it to the captain, and I’ll be getting started on the things that are absolute top priority. Expect regular status reports on everything you’ve asked me for. I want this little experiment to work, and it won’t unless we work together. 

As he moved to leave the room he stopped and glanced back. “Thank you for mentioning that people are afraid,” he added. “I hadn’t been able to meet enough of them to realize that, but it’s troubling. Postings like this often have that fear attached, and I’m going to do my best to make sure we dispel that fear.”

Outside, in the corridor he took a deep breath and let it out. He knew deep down that she was correct. There was a lot of work to do regarding the mental health of the crew here on Eos, and it was his responsibility to see that it was given top priority by the people who could actually do something about it. Shaking his head a bit he headed off to find the stations chief engineer. His last meeting of the day. 

Half an hour later he finally managed to find the man, and approached, his face kept carefully neutral. He knew appearing too chipper and friendly could be seen as obnoxious to someone who was under as much strain as the stations chief engineer was under. 

“Lieutenant Commander Krajj?” he said, as he stepped close enough to speak. He knew it was him, but still, out of politeness he let the end of his sentence tilt up a bit to indicate that it was a question. After all, the two had never actually met before. 

Granth was on his knees, his head stuck inside a panel, rewiring the circuitry. He was not anticipating an unknown voice to address him. He startled and jumped, slamming the back of his head on the inside of the panel. He uttered a few expletives and crawled out, pressing a hand to the back of his head as he blinked the stars out of his vision. He should probably go see Longfellow after shift. That was the third knock to the head today. He sat back on his heels and looked up, “What broke this time?”

Mike gave the chief engineer a concerned look. “Well, from the sound of that I’d be willing to guess maybe part of your skull…” he said, holding out a hand to help the man to his feet. “Are you alright?” he asked. Wanting to make sure before he got started on the reason for his visit. 

Granth grimaced and took the man’s hand, using his help to stand up. “I’ll be fine. Not the first, surely not the last.” He gave an awkward smile of embarrassment. He asked, “Did you need help with something?”

“Actually,” Mike said, after released the man’s hand, “I was coming to ask you what I can do for you. I’m the stations new executive officer, and I know that getting this place back to peak performance is going to be a whole lot of work, and stress on your part. Anything I can do to make it easier, or facilitate the process?”

Granth lifted his brows and sighed deeply, “Uh, well.” He paused, “I need like… everything; staff, supplies, more staff more time, more energy, a good few strong drinks. Oh, and staff.” He grimaced and then gave a tired smile.

Mike returned the smile. “How about this, you get me a sort of list of things, in order of most importance, which means I expect staff to be at the top of that list, and I will work on getting it fulfilled. You can’t get this station up and running on a skeleton crew, hopes, and dreams. I’ll do everything I can to get you what you need, and get it fast,” he said, his voice serious, and his expression one of earnest understanding. 

And, if you are still in need of that drink by the end of your shift, let me know. I haven’t had a chance to get around to the bar I’ve been hearing about, and what better way to get acquainted with a chief engineer than over a couple of drinks, and some good-natured complaining, off the record?” he added, with a chuckle, his expression softening.

Granth listened and nodded, “I can do that, sure thing. I’ll get that list to you as soon as possible. I’m working with blood, sweat and tears right now, not hopes and dreams.” He gave a wry smile. He smiled genuinely at the offer for drinks, “And that sounds really nice. I’ll let you know when I’m done here, how about that?”

Mike nodded, “That sounds like a solid plan. I’ll be in my office if you need me for anything, and you can just send that report on through whenever you get it done.”

Granth offered a tired smile and a nod, “I’ll try to get it to you as soon as possible. Don’t hesitate to nag me, I’m a bit absent minded the last few days. I’ll see you then, yeah?” He heaved a sigh as his commbadge chirped and someone called him away to see to something. He gave an apologetic smile, “Sorry, gotta dash.” He grabbed his tools and hastily ran off.

Mike watched the obviously exhausted chief engineer lumber off towards the next train wreck of a situation on the station with a sad look on his face. He knew he’d only just arrive, and that it was going to take time to get things running as they should. He knew that there wasn’t anything he could do to fix the fact that most the officers had been running on fumes well before he got here. Still, though, he felt like there had to be more that he could do. 

With a shake of his head, tapping his padd on the palm of his hand, he turned and left, heading back to his office to start going over the lists he’d already received so far so he could report them to the captain.