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Part of USS Valhalla: Mission 2: Ragnarök and Bravo Fleet: The Lost Fleet

(9) Putting the Pieces Back Together

USS Valhalla
MD 10
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The time is now 05:00,” the computer announced loudly as the lights illuminated the bedroom.

Ensign Sara Taylor groaned and rolled over in bed pulling the covers over her head. It felt like her head had just hit the pillow, not to mention every joint and muscle ached in her body.

The computer incessantly beeped again, “The time is now 05:01.”

A single blue eye appeared between covers and a wild mess of straight light-brown hair.

The time is now 05:02.”

“Fine!” She exclaimed tossing off the covers in defeat.  “You win. Disable alarm.” Clawing hair out of her face she pawed around on the cluttered floor until she found an old Guns N’ Roses band tee shirt and pulled it on over her naked torso.

Yawning she padded to the replicator. With her head propped against the frame and eyes closed she spoke,  “Tea, Earl Grey, black, no sugar.”

The computer beeped in response and the cup of tea appeared on the pad. Cradling the cup absorbing its comforting warmth she made her way to the small dining table and dropped into a chair that was already haphazardly pulled away from the table.  

After finishing the tea she made her way into the bathroom and started the shower.  Catching a glance of herself in the mirror she frowned.  The some of the old flaws she hated were still there.  A chin that was too square. Hips that were too narrow. A little too tall with all the downsides that came with that.  Sighing she put that all to the back of her mind and stepped into the shower to let the water flow over her and wash the previous day’s makeup and stink down the drain. With a plasma razor she shaved quickly.

 

Later…

“Computer time.”

“The time is 06:45,” The computer dutifully responded.

Sara sighed and took one last look at her makeup in the mirror, adjusted her uniform that never seemed to fit quite right and walked out the door of her quarters. With a travel sized tumbler of tea she sipped on it as she walked. As she passed crewmembers she nodded politely and smiled inwardly with every “ma’am” greeting she received.

Lieutenant Marcus Washington and the rest of the engineering crew of the USS Valhalla were already in engineering standing around the “pool table” when she arrived. “Nice of you to join us Ensign,” Washington announced when she walked in.

“Sorry sir,” she said sheepishly.  Had it taken longer to walk here than I thought? She asked herself. No, it was no more than ten minutes from her quarters to engineering.

Marcus smiled, “We’ll skip the court martial this time.  Especially since it’s not 07:00 yet.  Okay, listen up people. Now that the repairs to the Valhalla are complete we’re going to help the Andromeda.  They are in much worse shape. Commander Choi just got main power restored last night at 23:00. I know you all put in eighteen hours yesterday, but we got another long one today. Chief Gibson your team will be in charge of industrial fabrication of external hull parts.  Set up an assembly line in the shuttle bay.  Weld those hull parts as big as the workbees can get them out the door.  Ensign Collins, your team is to cut out the damaged sections of the hull and fit in the replacement parts. And before you say it, yes that means a space walk.  Sorry Lance, but you are the low man on the totem pole.”

Ensign Gibson frowned and looked around for sympathy, but got none from the assembled engineers. Resigned to his fate he simply shrugged. Fresh out of the Academy he knew there would be plenty of scut work. He had just hoped it wouldn’t have been so soon.  But, someone had to do the undesirable work, he just needed to put in his time, and eventually he would be the one handing those assignments out.

“Sara is your workbee certificates up to date?” Marcus asked.

“They are sir,” Sara said with a nod.  

“Good, you and Crewman Olsen will be in charge of moving the finished hull pieces from the shuttle bay to the Andromeda for Ensign Collins to install. We need to work quickly, but also in a safe manner. I trust you can handle that?”

“I can sir.” She gave Lance a sympathetic shrug.

“Good.  The rest of us will beam over to the Andromeda and will integrate with Commander Choi’s crew.  Remember he is the senior officer over there, not me.  So you will report to him with any issues.  Consider yourselves on temporary assignment. Any questions?”

There were shrugs and the shaking of heads from the assembled officers and NCOs as they glanced around at the others.

“Good,” Marcus said simply. “We best get at it. We’re burning daylight.”

Comments

  • Great way to introduce a young Ensign into the fold. She is being thrown under the bus by Marcus already haha. It is good to see how realistic the post is about the damage on both ships and the condition to the Andromeda was more severe then I had presumed. Nice niche to throw in the work bees and the production line. Great work overall!

    May 31, 2023
  • The opening scene of this story is just...damn good. I love her attitude, I love the description, and I love how she fights the alarm - you describe her interaction with it so well - "A single blue eye appeared between covers and a wild mess of straight light-brown hair." We know this young woman a lot better with how that introduction was phrased. Her arrival is also her fear - showing up late. She's got her work cut out for her, and I'm really interested to see you explore her journey as this mission continues!

    June 1, 2023