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Part of USS Mackenzie: Mission 1 – Back to Work

The First Look

Starbase Bravo
10.16.2400 @ 0900
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“She’s a real beauty, sir.” Okada stood looking out the windows into the bay as the Excelsior II class USS Mackenzie glided into view as it headed to dock.  She glanced at him, “You’ve been quiet since you picked me up from my quarters.”

Harris kept his eyes forward but sighed in answer to her question.  Mackenzie was a big get, and he’d been alternating questioning and celebrating the promotion and assignment in his head since he’d walked out of the meeting earlier.  They had done incredible things as a crew, and there was truth in needing something bigger and heavier to do the work they would be called to do.  There was considerable work ahead of them. They were going from an overall crew of 200 to 500.  There was a lot of work that would need to be done.

The XO pressed up against the glass, “I will miss the Eddie.  You always miss your first engine room the most.  Least what they told us in the academy.”  She turned to her CO, “What about you, sir?”

Ambrose smiled at the memory of the USS Garrison.  “Seven years. From engineering officer to Chief.  USS Garrison.  Old bucket of a Miranda class, but she had guts and glory that flowed through her.  We worked on her all those seven years to keep her flying and fighting.  I keep photos of that crew on the wall in my ready room.  Lot of memories on that ship.  Learned how to be an engineer in those cramped corridors.”  He thought for a moment, “There are days I miss that old ship feel and smell, you know?  The way things were wired – the old pieces and parts that hadn’t been scraped out.”  He slipped out a wooden box, “Almost forgot, Chief.”  He turned to her and opened the box, revealing a third-rank pip.

Okada squealed and put her hands over her mouth, “Sorry.”  She glanced at the gold and back to her CO, “I’ve been fighting promotions most of my career…this time, I don’t feel that urge to refuse or make excuses.”  Harris slipped the rank pip into place and pinned it.

“You’ve earned it, Commander Katsumi.  You’ve made engineering a place people want to work…and inspired a creative and quirky group of engineers to commit to the tasks at hand fully.  That takes work and talent…both of which you excel at in many ways.”

She blushed and shook his hand that he had extended, “Thank you, sir.”  She turned back to stare at Mackenzie. “I think we’re going to get along just fine.”

Harris reminded her that she was expected onboard at 1100 for the task of handling transfer on and off the ship – some of the crew had been reassigned, some had applied, and others had decided to stay.  The entire former command crew had been required to report to the personnel office, leaving a great many questions as to what had happened to bring about the Edinburgh’s crew being assigned in bulk.

As she left, Harris resumed his staring contest with Mackenzie.  Okada was right.  She was a real beauty.