The New Guy
Shore Leave: Business As Usual
Location: Deck 6, Astrometrics lab, Science Labs
Sometimes, on the days where his word was winding him up a tad more than usual Alexander would eat his lunch at his station in the astrometrics lab. Sometimes things could get a bit much for the Lieutenant and it was best he took some time to relax. So far, the only people who phased him the least were the rest of the scientists. He figured the time they'd spent together had helped them all learn to occupy the same space in comfort. That's why, on days like these, he didn't mind when Lafayette hung back too.
Sometimes, he'd even muster up a conversation, "you heard about the new archaeologist? Recently transferred in from the academy" he said without turning away from his station. He'd had enough of pretending he was working on the data he'd been analyzing.
Claire had gotten used to working in silence with Alexander. It was oddly calming, rather than the hustle the rest of the ship was like. So when he spoke, it took a moment for her brain to process a response. "Hmm? Oh, yeah the new guy! I heard he set up down in what used to be Archeology lab. I think he assumed he'd be off on his own. How are you feeling about a new person hanging around?"
Alexander had a pause of his own whilst he considered the question, "I don't really mind," he answered honestly, "I've not really seen much of him yet, but he seems chill" he paused to take a bite of the slice of Hawaiian pizza slice he'd been eating for lunch, "you reckon we should introduce ourselves?" he asked after thinking on it.
"Probably," Claire said, nodding her head and sending her freshly curled hair bouncing. She turned to him as she absently patted her pad against the palm of her hand. "He hasn't really come by the main science offices yet. I don't want him to feel like he works completely alone."
Alexander turned to face Claire, "We could pop down now? There's still a good 20 mins till we have to get back to work. I kinda' want to see what he does down there" archaeology had never really been of interest to Alex, a lot of his work dealt how the universe operated over how the organisms within it developed.
“Sure, why not! We could also remind him he’s got access to the other labs too,” Claire said, putting her pad down. “You wanna head down now?”
"Why not?" Alexander agreed.
It didn't take long for the pair to reach the small lab assigned to Ethan given that all the ships science labs shared the same corridor. Outside the door Alexander had called the doorbell, cautious not to disturb Ethan should he have been working.
"Come in please." Ethan had been sitting at one of the consoles, running tests on the programs he downloaded into the labs computer, the programs that command had approved. He looked up when the doors opened.
"Hey there," Claire replied in greeting as the pair entered the room. She looked around, appraising the small lab. Definitely one of the smallest on Defiant. If Ethan had been keeping to himself in here, he could drive himself crazy. If he didn't know already, they'd have to let him know he wasn't confined to just this office. "Just wanted to swing by and say hello. We'd heard you'd come aboard, but you hadn't been by to say hello yet."
Ethan stood up and looked at the pair. "Thank you for dropping by. Sorry about the mess. But it appears that this room was used mostly as storage, so I've been trying to move stuff out of the way, while downloading some programs. Sorry I don't have anything in the way of refreshments to offer you. And by the way, I'm Ensign Ethan Edwards."
“Ensign Claire Lafayette. And this is Lieutenant Alexander McConnell,” Claire said as she introduced the two. “And yes this room has been used as storage for a while. It really only houses a few of the older scanners. The more advanced equipment is in the other labs.” She paused for a second. “You know you’re not confined to this lab, right? You have access to the whole lab suite.”
“You do, even the specialised labs have auxiliary stations if you feel like a bit of company” Alexander follow up.
Ethan nodded. "I kind of figured that out when I first saw the equipment here. Seems my specialty isn't really needed that much on ships like this. Actually, I was very surprised when my assignment request for here was approved." He looked at them, "An archaeologists job is usually a lonely one."
Claire gave him a slightly confused look and shook her head. "No, I think you misunderstood. Your position gives you access to the big labs..." She paused for a second letting it sink in before continuing. "We're on an exploration ship. Your position holds an awful lot of clout here. The archeology portion might not come up too often, since we need to find ruins for it to be relevant. But that Anthropologist thing is kind of a core function of the ship."
Ethan looked at her. "Thank you for saying that. I was starting to get worried that I would spend most of the trip stuck in here with little to do."
With little to do? She was beginning to wonder if he was kidding or simply very unaware of what he was supposed to do. Claire raised an eyebrow at that comment. “You have done this job before...right?”
"Of course I have, Lieutenant,” Ethan said. “Well...not in Starfleet, but I worked digs with the Daystrom Institute."
“No, I know about the archeology part. I meant the anthropology. The study or cultures and all that,” Claire replied, giving him an amused smile. “That part will probably keep you pretty busy.”
"For me, there almost interchangeable. Times when you need both and times when you need only one." He thought about what he just said. "That didn't make sense, did it?" He smiled. "Anyway, I'm ready to work, only thing I need..is to learn how to use a phaser....terrible at that."
Claire laughed as she shook her head. “Unfortunately, I’m not going to be much help on that one. But I’m sure Commander Bishop will get you scheduled for one.”
"So am I," Alexander said frowning, "The sessions aren't too bad though, Mostly range work given we're on a ship. Don't worry too much, we never leave the ship without a security escort and they're very good at keeping us safe" He added thoughtfully, remembering his time with Amelia on their last mission.
Ethan shrugged. "I guess I want to just make sure the correct way to handle a phaser...otherwise I may vaporize my own foot." He smiled at them.
"Yes, a vaporized foot would make things a little more complicated," Claire replied with a laugh. "Anyway, how about we show you around the labs?"
Ethan stood up. "Yes please, I would like that."
Alexander, pleased at the pairs success, was as close to beaming as he ever would be, a small smile. “Brilliant, it shouldn’t take us too long” he added before turning and opening the door waiting for the other two to follow. The tour would be the best part for him. He enjoyed discussing the Defiant’s amazing systems.
Claire put on her best tour guide voice, as she led them down the corridor. “So off to your left, you’ll see the lovely chemistry labs, home to many an experiment that I don’t care about...” Their voices slowly faded into the distance as the three gave a colorful tour of the many many labs the ship had to offer.