New Girl in Town
Episode 1: A Lesson in Humility
Location: Main Engineering
Larson boarded the ship while it was docked. After passing through security, she made her way to her quarters.
She decided to leave unpacking for after her duty shift. The computer had replicated a duty uniform for her. She put it on. It was clean and crisp.
Her tool kit hung from her waist.
She took a deep breath and left her quarters, headed to the nearest turbo-lift and told the computer, "Main engineering." as the doors closed.
She walked into ME and asked on of the officers where the chief was.
She walked over to him, standing at one of the consoles.
"That'd be me." Connor replied, not looking up from his console as he input more data "What can I do for you... What was your name?"
"Chief Warrant Officer Abigail Larson, your new engineer, sir. Just transferred aboard today, sir."
"It's Connor." He corrected, finally turning around with a smile "Nice to meet you, Abigail. Or do you prefer Abby?"
"Nice to meet you too. Abby is fine, sir....Connor." She wasn't sure if she should be addressing a senior officer, not to mention her department head by his first name.
"Relax, Abby. You'll pull a muscle." He laughed "So, where's you come from?"
"I was born on a freighter in deep space, so I'm a boomer."
"Must feel weird being on something the size of Constitution class after growing up on one of those?" Connor questioned.
"It sure is big...got lost a couple of times already." She replied. "So, what are my duties, Connor?"
"That is a great question which I do not know the answer to." He admitted "It's my first time as Chief Engineer. To be honest, I'm mostly here to make sure the ship's ready for refit when it's her turn. So... Help make sure the ship doesn't break and that she can pass her check up when the time comes?"
"Refit? I was under the impression that the ship wasn't that old." Abbey looked at the main control board.
"With the long term exploration missions some of the Constitution took on, we found some issues with the design." Connor noted "To be blunt, she's too fragile."
She thought about the problem. "I'm surprised that the builder's let the ship go out like this. Anything we can do about structural integrity to shore things up?"
"Not fight a swarm of locust ships?" Connor quipped with a smirk "There aren't any issues that make her unfit for purpose. She could just be more fit."
"Then maybe we should get started getting the ship more fit, sir?" Abbey looked at Connor.
"I like you." Connor grinned as he moved over, pointing to the display "I've been running some tests on the ship. For what it's worth, she's in good shape. Better than Intrepid or Constitution. Not that I'll tell the Captain that. First law of Engineering; don't let them know you're not working magic on the ship."
"And the second law is to always say that it'll take you more time to finish a project...even if you don't need the extra time." Abbey looked at the display. "So you're saying that the ship is as good as it can be?"
"She's not the Enterprise." Connor noted "The best analogy I can give of the refit program is when they launched the NX-02 versus the NX-01. Taking what's been learned from the various ships that have been in service and developing in those directions."
"Sir....uh Connor. No ship is ever as good as it CAN be. There are always upgrades to shields, weapons and engines, just sometimes one has to...go around the system as it where." Abbey replied.
"There's always a bigger fish." Connor quipped "You're right, of course. Perfection isn't our job. Imitating it is."
"Didn't you say that we should impress the captain? Give her something before she asks?" Abbey looked at him.
"The trick is working out what she wants before she does." Connor remarked "We keep things running smoothly, she keeps thinking she doesn't want anything, then we deliver something she didn't realise she wanted, we come out looking like total bad asses. Like I say, not perfection, but a good imitation of it. Or maybe I've been in shipyards too long and have incredibly warped core values, pun very much intended."
"Any chance we can come up with something to impress the captain? We become "miracle workers" might go a long way towards promotions. Can we get more speed out of the engines?" Abbey responded.
"Theoretically." Connor replied, looking back to the console and inputting a few pieces of data "The core itself is no different from this iteration of the Constitution class to the newer one. The change comes from the way the injectors function, allowing a superior matter anti matter reaction, thus enabling a higher warp yield, or rather, a higher time at maximum yield. A few modifications and we can probably do it, though it won't exactly be to spec."
Abbey looked at him. "So we would have to build new injectors. As far as being to specs......how much trouble could we get in if we don't stick to specs?"
"Well, that's up to the Chief Engineer." He said, flashing a wicked grin "Oh wait..."
She looked at the grin. "You have something in mind, chief?"
"We're going to need pepperoni pizza and a lot of soda." He quipped "We're in hardware mode."
"I'll go to the mess and start stocking up, chief." Abbey smiled and left engineering.
"It's Connor..." He muttered to himself as he began to bring up specs on the terminal
Lieutenant Jg Connor Burton
Chief Warrant Officer Abigail Larson