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

ATC 021 – What Remains

USS Mackenzie - Bridge Lounge
02.07.2401 @ 1200
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The transition of staff had been going on most of the day.  Catari had easily found her way around the ship most of the morning.  It had taken her some time to find the senior staff and bridge crew lounge, even if it was just off the bridge on deck 1.  Walking in, she was amazed – it was a good-sized mess hall.  An officer stood at the bar working through as PADD, glancing up when she entered.  “What can I get for you?”

“Just a ginger ale with lime.  I didn’t expect you to be open with all the shifting around.”

As he started the order, the man chuckled, “We’re always open, Ensign Catari.  There’s Rebecca and me up here and Tennessee down in the main crew mess with Paul and Georgina backing her up. There are about ten total food service crew on the Mackenzie.  I’m Jack Rockwell.”

She watched him continue working, “You know my name?”

Rockwell smiled, keeping his eyes on the drink he was crafting, “Up here, we’re required to – we memorize the senior staff and bridge crew.  Rank, names, drink preferences, dishes you like – you like to talk or be left alone…that kind of thing.”  He placed the drink down on the bar with a napkin underneath it, “Come, sit.  I’m sure some others will wander around.” Catari hesitantly sat down at the bar and sipped at her drink.  True to Rockwell’s prediction, a moment later, the door opened.

Gabriela Castillo was confused.  She had not expected her chief to request a transfer nor expected the next move of the new CO of the Mackenzie to promote her to his position.  It had been a whirlwind few days while she had struggled with the decision to remain on the Excelsior II class starship.  It was her first assignment, and she’d been arguing with herself over the choice to stay and go.  Prentice had already left the ship and headed off with nothing more than a ‘good luck.’  She had walked around the ship listlessly until she decided to find her way to the lounge down the hall from the bridge. Castillo entered and found two faces turning to face her.  

“Afternoon Ensign Castillo – what’ll ya have?”  The man at the bar motioned her over, and she plopped down next to another ensign.  She asked for a lemonade and let out a long sigh.

Catari leaned over, “Ensign Atari, new chief tactical/security.  You sound like I feel.”

Gabriela snorted, “It has been a confusing as hell couple of days.”  She accepted the glass, taking a long sip before continuing, “I’m in charge of the department now, and I’m still trying to figure out if I want to stay.”  Another sip, and she grumbled, “It just doesn’t feel…good, you know?”

Athena clinked her glass with her new friend, “You’re speaking my language.”  They lapsed into silence until the door opened again.

A man in a teal uniform stepped into the lounge area,  a PADD in hand as he glanced around the room, ignoring the three at the bar. He loped around the room slowly, tapping at the device while examining tables, chairs, and the walls. Catari turned to Rockwell with a curious glance.  He nodded toward the man, “That’s our new chief counselor, Lieutenant Mo Guowei.”  They all lapsed into rapt silence, watching him as he moved from table to table and eventually ending up walking back and forth in front of the bar, taking notes and frowning.

Catari gave up waiting, “Pardon me, lieutenant…what are you doing?”  She tried to make it sound as warm as she could.  He glanced up and seemed to see them all for the first time.  

“I’m examining areas on the ship for events, gatherings, and the like.  I understand my predecessor was big into events and things like that.”  He held up his PADD with a slight grimace, “I’m a planner.  Details are a big part of my life, so I tend to…really plan a lot.”

Rockwell held up a glass, “Places need planners, lieutenant.  What’ll ya have?”  He ordered a Shirley Temple and slid onto a bar stool, tapping at his PADD as he waited.

He turned to the others, “I was thinking of having some kind of a concert party with a BBQ theme.  Find a classic artist to create the ultimate festival-like thing.”  Castillo and Catari nodded, and Rockwell shrugged.  Guowei drained his drink and hopped off the stool, “Well, that’s great.  I appreciate your help.”  He walked off, muttering and tapping into his PADD as he left the lounge.

Both ensigns turned to each other and then to Rockwell, who chuckled, “It’s a new crew…there’s going to be a learning curve with everyone…starting today.  You both best figure out how to work with people if that offends you.  The Mackenzie’s still gotta work with who we got.”  Both women quietly sipped at their drinks.  They had been called out and were content to ice their egos at the bar.