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Part of USS Amundsen: The Little Things You Do Together and Bravo Fleet: The Lost Fleet

Getting Ready

USS Amundsen - Engineering
March, 2401
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Lieutenant (J.G) Anderson glanced over the orders on the PADD for the third time, not quite sure if he was reading them correctly. CPO Westland had delivered them herself stating they were direct orders from the Captain and included a list of systems that were to take priority. He made his way over Lieutenant Commander Broheth, who was currently on the floor with his entire torso under the console that controlled the port warp intermix valve.

“Excuse me Commander but I have direct orders from Captain Myers for you.”

The Bolian man scooted out from under the console. “Orders? How curious, I was unaware she was on the ship.”

Anderson handed the man the PADD. “You’d best read them yourself sir.”

Broheth extended a blue hand and quickly tapped though the contents of the PADD. “Well, this certainly seems odd. We certainly aren’t ready to fly out of space dock quite yet. The new computer core hasn’t been stress tested yet. The phaser arrays haven’t even been powered up in weeks. I haven’t even completed the inventory of engineering supplies. I also don’t know if the warp core is ready for the stress of high warp.” He continued to scroll though, stopping at the very bottom. His eyes narrowed for a moment as he felt a touch of frustration rise in his chest before it subsided.

He looked up at Anderson and gave the man an affable smile, placing his hand on his shoulder. “I’m sure there is a good reason for this so we’ll do what we always do: work our magic and make it seem like we pulled off a miracle to the redshirts.”

He turned to face the officers behind him. “T’Nek, begin warp core ignition procedures. Valstom, prime the deuterium pumps and make sure the tanks are topped off. The fleet yard said they did hat last week but I want eyes on it to sure. Lisert, give the plasma grid one more stress test and make sure the line on EPS junction Baker Nine got repaired. Volemty, transfer the quantum torpedoes from storage to torpedo control.” He turned back to Anderson. “Make sure the antimatter interlocks don’t fluctuate as we power up the core; it’s a new model and the simulations showed they were under stress when the core was between 56 and 77 percent of full power.”

Anderson gave a nod as the other offices replied ‘Aye’ in unison.

“I’ll be back in 20 minutes after I have a chat with the Captain; that should be enough time to get the core primed.” With a final nod in Anderson’s direction he left the engineering bay. 

Despite the late hour the lights in the corridor had been brought to full strength and more and more yellow shirted officers were exiting the lift as recalled officers arrived. He couldn’t fathom why the ship was being prepped for emergency departure but that wasn’t really something he needed to concern himself with. For 7 years he’d been working at the fleet yards retrofitting ships and helping complete final outfitting of new ships. Ever since he was a teenage in technical school on Bolarius he’d been waist deep in some sort of technology, eagerly pulling apart anything he could without getting into trouble. His mother worked on the public relations team of the Federation Colonial Settlement Service and his dad was a magistrate back on Bolarius so he wasn’t exactly sure how he ended up with the engineer gene but here he was. He wasn’t particularly enamored with the Federation or Starfleet, to much drama, to much pomp and to many regulations, but he didn’t exactly dislike them. They gave him an education and let him tinker around with state of the art starships after all; a far better fate then being stuck in some spaceport fixing up old Miranda Class cargo haulers. He always had an agreement with the personnel team at the fleet yards: he’d give them his best work as long as they didn’t stick him on some starship going out on assignment. So far the agreement had worked pretty well: he did his job so well that they never had any reason to move him. He knew that it wasn’t really a true ‘agreement’; he could be moved at any time but once that happened it was pretty well know he’d turn in him commbadge and find private work. 

The lift doors opened with a swish and the Bolian stepped onto the bridge. He was particular proud of how the bridge refit turned out. eyeing the finished product as he exited the lift. They had been able to seamlessly integrate the newest version of LCARS despite the ship having consoles from the 2380’s. Sure they had to add a few clear panels here and there and add a few banks of bio-neural gel packs but it worked and was a thing of beauty; the response time from input to processing had increased by nearly 11 seconds. The Rhode Islands already had pretty hefty computer cores so that made the process that much easier. 

It took only seconds for him to spot CPO Westland as she stood near the command chair, attempting to organize the slight chaos that was the bridge right now.

“No. Captain Meyers was clear, we launch at midnight as ready as we can be. Weapons and engineering supplies take priority. My understanding is we’ll be back at Starbase 72 in a week if all goes well.”

The science officer she was speaking to puffed up her shoulders a bit, a look of agitation on her face. “This vessel is equipped to handle over a dozen separate level II science experiments at one time. Just because the Captain has to race off somewhere in the middle of the night doesn’t mean I can just leave everything behind. It will take 6 hours alone to ready the specimens for transfer from the surface and I will not leave without them.”

Westland gripped the edges of her PADD tighter. Broheth wasn’t sure the casing would hold against that much force for much longer; the new PADDs certainly were not as robust as the 2380’s line. 

“Look here Lieutenant, I am not having this discussion any further. We are preparing for emergency departure and I have dozens of other priorities that rank much higher on the list than you. You will be on this ship as ordered even if your experiments can’t be brought up from the planet in time. If you have a problem with that go wake up some random Admiral and whine about it.” Alana raised her hands, PADD included, and waved them around a bit for emphasis. “Or hell, go wake up Admiral Janeway herself for all I care, just let me do my job.”

The science officer seemed to be preparing a rebuttal but Alana tuned on her heels and walked away. Broheth knew this was not the ideal time but as the petty officer had been making clear, they were in a time crush. “Excuse me, Petty Officer Westland?”

Alana stopped and turned to face the Bolian, a not so sincere but serviceable smile on her face. “What can I do for you Lieutenant Commander?”

“I was wondering if I make speak to the captain for just a moment. I know you are quite busy and I don’t want to take up much time. I know the captain is busy as well so I promise to be quick.” He tried to give her a calm, relaxed, smile.

Alana’s face softened a bit. “Yes, we certainly are trying to handle quite a bit. The captain is speaking with Commander Conklin right now but I’ll see if she can spare a minute.”

He nodded. “Thank you Chief Petty Officer. I do appreciate it.”

She turned away to contact the captain and as she did so he turned to the console next to him, running a blue finger along the edge. He made a mental note that the casing on the console seemed to slope downward just a tad; he’d have to put it in the log so whomever was around when the ship came back would attend to it.

“She’ll be out in just a moment.”

He nodded and turned towards the ready room door. It only took a few moment for the short figure of Clara Myers to emerge, a rather warm smile on her face.

“Good evening Lieutenant Commander. How goes the departure procedures down in engineering?” she said, leaning against a console as CPO Westland walked by, handing her a stack of three PADDs. 

“It goes well, ma’am. Core power up has begun, the deuterium tanks were filled last week so we are good there and the ship will meet the minimums for departure by midnight.”

Clara nodded. “Very good Commander.” She paused, more than a little confused as to why he was on the bridge. “Was there something else?”

“Yes ma’am, the matter of my assignment. Is seems there are orders that I am to assume the Chief Engineer position?” He held his hands behind his back, nervous energy causing them to twitch slightly.

Cara nodded yet again. “Yes, those are the orders. That position was one of the few in the senior staff that had not been filled. You were a natural choice, considering the circumstances.”

“I see. Captain, I haven’t served on a starships since my first cruise as an Ensign. My place is here at the fleet yards.”

Clara paused for a moment, the gears turning in her head. “You oversaw the ships refit so far, have you not?”

Borheth sighed. “Yes ma’am, but…..”

Clara raised her hand, cutting him off. “Then you are a natural fit. I can think of no-one better to handle the issues that may arise from our expedited departure.”

“Ma’am, I’ll be frank. I have no interest in serving on a ship. My interest lies in what I do here. Starfleet and I have always had a relationship of they keep me where I want to be, which is right here, and I opt to serve them. If that relationship no longer exists then I see little reason to serve.”

Concern and a small bit of frustration crossed her face. “I see. I suppose I shall save the ‘you are meant to serve in times of need’ motivational speech I usually break out and instead offer you a deal.”

He arched an eyebrow. “I’m listening.”

“This assignment will be Acting Chief Engineer. We face an emergency situation and I don’t have the time to find someone who can get up to speed before we are underway. Grant me this favor of serving as Chief Engineer for the duration of our mission, which should be short, and I will make sure you are assigned back to the dock yards.”

He considered the offer for a moment. She did have a point that finding someone of his level of experience in a few short hours and then getting them up to speed would be challenge. If she was telling the truth he’d be back here in a few weeks and have something on his record he could point to and say ‘I did my duty, leave me be.’ if Starfleet ever wanted to move him again. He stuck out a blue hand. “You have your self a deal, ma’am.”

A wide grin crossed her face and she shook his hand. “Excellent! Now, head back down to engineering and do what you can to make sure my ships does not fall apart the moment we jump to warp for the first time.”

“Aye aye, ma’am.”

Comments

  • I love the constant motion that we, as the reader, experience here - something is always happening as we move from place to place and person to person. There is also a sense of how this ship operates and the various levels and variables that are a part of this ship. I love the "It'll probably be a short assignment" thing, Looking forward to what comes next!!!

    May 16, 2023