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Part of USS Mackenzie: Mission 5 – Answering the Call (ATC)

ATC 012 – The Linguistic Lawyer

USS Mackenzie
02.04.2401 @ 1430
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Presley listened to the sentence again, her hands scrolling through the data stream as her eyes stared at the linguistical analysis on screen.  Language felt like math to her sometimes, and balancing out the equations pushed her to learn more and understand more.  She was most comfortable in the communications department, decoding and encoding channels while exploring languages.  There was plenty to monitor in their new operating theatre, and her team was getting better at working through the various layers that echoed across the sectors.

The office door flew open, and she glanced and stood in surprise as Captain Harris entered, his eyes meeting hers.  “Captain Harris, sir.”

He an assuring smile and slid into the seat next to her station, “Have a seat, Atega.”  She did and turned to him, curious as to why he’d come down to her department to talk.  He answered, “I wanted to talk with you about how you and your department can help.”  She nodded as he gave the run down of what he and the new assistant chief of science had brainstormed.

He stopped, and Presley asked, “Who will command the Mackenzie while you’re gone, sir?”

Ambrose slipped out a wooden box and set it on the console, “That’s what I wanted to talk to you about, Atega.”  He gestured to her rank pip, “You’ve been an ensign for nearly four years.”

She blushed, “I…uh, you know my history on my previous ship.  I couldn’t seem to get where I needed to go, sir.”  The truth was she’d flubbed the tests and the interviews, and her former CO had tried to work with her…but she’d come up short each time.  She eyed the box.

Her current CO leaned back in his chair, “I took you on because you wanted the next step in the journey.  I wanted you because you filled an empty slot in my growing group of experts.  Since October, you’ve come a long way.  The senior staff has accepted you, and your station on the bridge has become a consistent source of insight and knowledge.”  He slipped the wooden box into his hand and opened it, revealing full lieutenant rank pips.

Atega’s eyes widened, and she gasped, “Sir…I…what?”

He leaned forward, the box still in hand, “You’ve proven yourself under my command, Atega.  Three years and change seems like a long for an ensign not to see a promotion.  Stand up, please.”  He stood and grasped the pips.  She nervously followed suit and shakily waited, her breathing uneven.  “I hereby promote you to full lieutenant with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto.”  He gently arranged the rank pips and stepped back, “Congratulations, Lieutenant Atega.” 

His hand extended, and she shook it, feeling her nerves jangling along with the motion.  “Thank you, sir.  I…I’m humbled.”

“Well, stay humble, Atega.  We’ve got a crew to save, and we’ll need your team’s expertise.  Model the way for them, Lieutenant.  You set the tone.”  As he departed, the door closed behind him, and Atega fell back to her chair, letting her shock fall out in a long sigh.  She brushed her fingers up against the new rank pips.

They felt like they belonged, just like her.