Part of USS Venture: Episode 1: On the Frontier’s Edge and USS Venture: Season 1: Into the Frontier

From One to Another

USS Scarborough
Stardate 24008.5, 1530 Hours
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“I’m a little jealous of you, Lieutenant Edwards.”  The Chief Engineer of the Scarborough was working at a console in main engineering.  “Don’t get me wrong; I love the California class.  They’re quirky.”  He glanced up at the warp core, “But there’s something about the Sovereign class.”

Ebenezer stood beside the Lieutenant Commander, a PADD in his hand.  He’d been notified that his application for Chief Engineer aboard the USS Venture had been approved, and the California had been his transportation across the sectors to where they were now – closing in on the rendezvous point.  He had been surprised at the approval of his application. He had been enjoying his five years on the Polas and had made chief within the last year.  The truth was that his former chief had retired, and he was the easiest solution for the captain. The Polas had been a Reliant class and an improvement over his first assignment, an aging Miranda class.  He stared at the thrumming core, “Her class carried the name Enterprise.  I often dreamed of serving onboard a ship related to the Enterprise.”

The CEO gave him a side look, “Be careful with those dreams, Lieutenant.  Sometimes dreams can lead us to our greatest disappointment.”

Edwards nearly asked him if he’d had personal experience with such a feeling but held his words in his throat.  He had learned that his approach in both word and action often led to awkward silence or embarrassed faces.  He’d resolved to work on this – the USS Venture was a big ship with a big job.  He’d have to find a way to be tall enough to tackle the responsibility.

Soon, the transporter room of the USS Venture was before him, and his bag was slung over his shoulder.  The officer at the console looked up as Ebenezer ambled up, “Lieutenant Edwards.  Permission to come aboard.”

The man glanced at the console as his fingers tapped to the roster, “Ebenezer Edwards, Chief Engineer.  You’ve been assigned quarters, and you’ve been granted access to the LCARS system.”  Another tap on the console, “Captain requested to meet with you on your arrival.  He’s in his ready room on the bridge.”  Edwards gave a nod and headed out the door.  His eyes went wide in the corridors as he walked.  Starship design had come a long way from the days of the Constitution class.  Corridors were wider, the lines smoother – colors were more coordinated and smooth from deck to deck.  He’d studied the transition from the Galaxy Class to the Sovereign – it had been a bonanza for new ideas and new looks.  He was a sucker for the former – the way the saucer and secondary section looked was something you never forgot when you saw it up close.  He’d been fortunate to see one in the wild, and his jaw had never really closed from the awe it inspired.

The Sovereign was a similar experience.  The look of her was sleek, almost sexy.  She looked as if she was ready to either flash her eyes at you or go into kickboxing mode on your head.  They’d slimmed the ship design into a thinner but longer concept with more teeth and force to fight in the streets if needed.   Ebenezer was a detail man, and he adored the challenge of creating a ship that deferred to both architecture and the demands of a Starfleet vessel.

He had walked into the turbolift and ended up on the bridge, where he once more just stared.  The bridge design of the Sovereign class had become the new standard.  Much like the refit Enterprise of old, the placement of stations, the shape of the space, and where everyone sat or stood – it had become the way much of the fleet looked like.  He’d been studying new designs that had come around in the five or so years – his brain had been alight with studying how to finesse it further all – he’d found a semblance of joy in the research and development of it all.

Edwards gathered himself and approached the door to the ready room. Time to meet his new commanding officer. He tapped the door chime.

Seconds was all it took for a voice from within to beckon upon the sounding of the door chime. “ENTER!” it called.

He stepped in and stood at attention.  “Lieutenant Ebenezer Edwards reporting as requested, sir.” 

Sitting behind the desk, Thaddeus was swamped by data PADDs filled with crew transfer orders, supply requisitions and updates regarding the mysterious ‘blood dilithium’ that every ship in the fleet seemed to be dealing with except Venture. “Yes?” the man asked of the person crossing the threshold to his office, without even giving him the chance to enter the room properly.

Edwards didn’t immediately respond.  Had the man not heard him the first time?  He rubbed his fingers together at his side as a way to express the nervous energy that was now rattling around in his mind.  He tried again, “Lieutenant Ebenezer Edwards reporting as requested, sir.  I’ve been assigned as your Chief Engineer.”

Eventually, Thaddeus let out a wry smile and shook his head as he rose to his feet and proffered his hand. “Sorry, Lieutenant. Long day. Welcome to Venture,” his eyes widened slightly at the realization of the foolish error he had just made himself, hoping the newcomer would forgive him as he gestured to the seat opposite him with his free hand.

Ebenezer shrugged an indifferent shrug as he shook his new CO’s hand, “It’s agreeable to be here, sir.  Thank you.”  He took the offered seat and glanced around the room.  He was tempted to compliment the room, but he knew if he did, he would probably ramble on about the Sovereign class and how he’d been waiting for this day most of his life and that bridge is gorgeous and….he had to shove that line of thought into a locked closet in his mind.  He was sitting across the table from his captain – a man who had earned those four rank pips.  He was still just a lieutenant.  He needed to act less like a starry-eyed cadet and more like a serious-minded officer.  This was going to be very hard.

“So…” Thaddeus watched as the engineer took his seat across from him, and only when the man looked comfortable did he ask his question. “Ebenezer. That’s an unusual name, even in this day and age. What’s the story there?”

Edwards chuckled dryly, “My parents named me after a great great great grandfather who was named after…well, you know how it goes.  Families sometimes pick names for their children that make life difficult in the early years.”  He sighed, “It’s a proud name with a proud history.”

“And I am certain you will add to that proud history by the time your posting aboard ship is complete,” the Captain smiled at the man. He then began rummaging in the pile on his desk for a data PADD, which toppled a few others when he finally produced it. “This is a complete update on all ship’s systems,” he advised the engineer.

Ebenezer scanned through the list, “I will get to work on this immediately.”  He stood and then realized he hadn’t been dismissed.  He sat down again, haltingly, “Unless there was more that you needed, Captain.”

“Honestly?” Thaddeus let out a sigh that adequately signaled the resigned feeling he felt. “I just want a ship that works and a steady crew right now. If you can take care of the former, I’ll take care of the latter,” the Captain smiled.

Edwards smiled broadly, “She’ll work, sir.  Even if I have to get out and push.”  He stood again, “I’ll get on it right away, Captain.”  He accepted the nod from his CO and was out the door, headed for engineering.