Episode 1: Hell is a four letter word
Location: Captain's ready room/Bridge
Timeline: MD1 - After arrival at DS9
Phoenix hated the message she had received. They had taken her CHENG and sent him to Starfleet Academy as a teacher. Now she had to break in a new CEO after two years of having Matias. She sent for Gary and the Assistant chief Engineer, Kara Hoffman.
Kara exited the Turbolift and approached the Captain's Ready room. ~I don't get to come up to the bridge that often, I hope everything is alright~ She approached the doors to the Captain's ready room and Pressed the chime, quickly retying her ponytail and brushing her uniform of any creases.
"Come!" Phoenix called out.
Gary arrived a few moments later. He had been on the bridge, while Phoenix had gone to her Ready Room to receive a message from Command. As he entered he saw Phoenix seated behind here desk and Kara already there. "Captain, Lieutenant Hoffman." He said in greeting as he sat in one of the chairs in front of the desk.
Kara entered as the commander did also, sitting down beside him. "Captain, commander" She said formally, glancing to the commander, she pursed her lips a little and gently clasped her hands on her lap. "What can this engineer do for you today?"
Phoenix took a breath. "Lieutenant, I have news for you. Commander Grronkill has been transferred effective immediately to Starfleet Academy. This means, that you are hereby promoted to full Lieutenant, and assigned as chief engineer."
Kara sighed and frowned. "That is sad news Captain. My mentor taught me what needs to be done if he left, I understand. Thank you for trusting me to take over for him, I'll do my best as always. I know the crew will feel upset and i'm sure this has come as quite a shock for everyone. I won't let Matias, or the crew down."
"Kara." Gary said softly. "Just do your best. Don't think on what Matias would do. Do what Kara Hoffman would do and you'll be fine."
"Got it." Kara nodded, looking to both her Captain and her commander. ~I guess this is a new chapter, for us all.~
Phoenix stood and held out the small black box. "Your new pip Lieutenant. I have every confidence in your ability."
Gary rose from his chair as well. "As do I Kara. Congratulations."
Kara smiled and stood also, accepting the new pip, and quickly attaching it to her collar. "Thank you captain, commander. I appreciate your confidence in me. I swear, I will not let you down." Kara was proud, but also saddened. She had wanted to be chief Engineer as long as she could remember, however under such difficult circumstances would provide quite the challenge for her and her new team to overcome. "The first thing I suppose i should ask is, how come Gallia isn't my assistant? I had hoped that...maybe I mean I know that star fleet restrictions about family but...she's one of the best engineers on my team. So why was a new assistant chief involved without me being informed. Then again I guess I wasn't chief Engineer at the time but still... Captain I would like to know. I am the chief now, so I would like to ask why I wasn't informed, and who the heck is this new assistant anyway...he hasn't even introduced himself yet..."
Phoenix frowned. "I.." she sighed and turned to her desk. "We have a new crew member..." she muttered as she hunted through the PADDS. "Oh... My apologies Lieutenant. I had not got to that yet." She held out the information.
Kara took the PADD, reading through the information listed. "What the..." Kara Exclaimed passionately. "Alright, I can see why he was chosen, his skills are...Impressive to say the least. He's more skilled than I was when I joined all those months ago" Kara shook her head a little. "Captain, I'll give him three chances. I operate a three chance concept. After three chances, if this engineer doesn't fit my expectations, do you agree to allow me to choose my own assistant chief? I know this is almost insubordinate however this is my way of working... Regardless for command protocol. If you want to and I know you can you can send me back to Earth easily if you don't agree with any of the decisions I make." She sighed and gripped her hands tightly together, worried that she had perhaps crossed the line.
Phoenix nodded and sat back down, waving for Kara to do the same. "It seems reasonable Lieutenant. I understand your concerns. When I was chief of Operations on this ship, I had the same policy."
Stunned, Kara gazed wide eyed to Phoenix. ~To think, Not long ago I was just a newbie with potential..~ She bowed her head in gratitude. "Thank you Captain! I appreciate that. You didn't have to agree, but you did. I and my team will thank you. I promise however, I will not bring my personal feelings into this, Gallia may be my wife soon but that doesn't mean that I'll choose her. After-all, I am well aware as to Starfleet mandate regarding family. However, I will give Lieutenant Smith the opportunity to prove himself. I will record his performance, as Matias did to me. Don't tell me he didn't, I know he did. All chief Engineer's record performance, even from the lowest ranking nco's to the highest level engineers. This ship need's the best, I'll ensure she gets just that!"
Phoenix smiled at that. "I believe you will do just that."
"Absolutely. Thank you again, for having faith in me. As i said before, I will not let The Elysium or my family down. That includes you too captain, your my family, you have been since I arrived, same as every other crew member on board." She glanced towards her commander. "Including you sir. You too are part of my own family. I don't know where I would be without you and the Captain's confidence in me."
"Thank you Kara." Gary replied sincerely, touched by the younger woman's sincerity. "You earned our confidence."
Phoenix nodded. "We will let you get back to your job Lieutenant. Dismissed."
Kara stood and saluted. "Thank you Ma'am, Commander. I won't let you down." She bowed, turned on her heel and left the ready room. Both feeling empowered, but also saddened simultaneously.