Review of Engineering
Posted on Wed May 1st, 2019 @ 6:18am by Commodore Evelyn Mountbatten & Lieutenant Kara Hoffman & Lieutenant Commander Gallia Norris & Lieutenant Carter Smith & Petty Officer 1st Class Kaywin-Li Fray & Commander Garrett Lovejoy & Lieutenant William Holt & Crewman Samantha Justice
Episode 1: Hell is a four letter word
Location: Main engineering
Timeline: Md 2 17h00
It was late but before they retired for the evening, the Commodore and her aides had one more stop to make. They entered Engineering as planned at 17h00.
Evelyn moved in with purpose and looked around.
Kara was more than prepared. The engineering team was at it's finest, as always. She emerged from her office, her appearance pristine. Smiling, she moved towards the commodore and her aides. "Welcome to Engineering Commodore. Please if you have any questions, or wish to know anything do let me know." Even though Kara was nervous, she had her team with her which gave her confidence.
Kaylee was sitting to one side of the warp core marking a few calculations on a PADD with her exocomp floating nearby conducting some routine maintenance.
Lovejoy noticed the exocomp floating near Kaylee. "Petty Officer, just what is that?" He asked indicating the exocomp.
Without looking up from her work, Kaylee responded to the commander's question, “That is EX, my modified Exocomp.” she said, as she finished up the line of mathematics she was on. Locking the PADD, she looked up at the man before her. Her uniform wasn’t exactly clean, with more than a few grease stains on it. “He helps me maintain the ships systems by getting into smaller spaces than any of the crew can”
Lovejoy's voice was cold. "Is it common practice to address a superior officer without using sir or standing up?" He inquired even as scowled in disapproval at her uniform. He continued. "This exocomp is of your design? For your personal use?"
Kaylee’s eyes quickly snapped to his collar, than to his uniform and finally back to his face, “oh, no sir. I apologise I thought you were a member of the engineering staff” she said, stumbling to her feet, “as for EX, yes I built him. He is based on a design from Doctor Farallon. And I built him to assist me with whatever project I am assigned to”
"EX was a hell of a help to us on Cortic, sir, as was Fray." Gallia said as she walked in with Liorga, Sami, and Dorso in tow, for right now that was her team, though she knew it would expand or contract later; When we lose Sami... She thought, turning maudlin on the spot, but doing a good job of hiding it from everybody but Liorga.
Lovejoy turned his head as Gallia spoke. "Lieutenant, I didn't ask for your input and keep your personal opinion to yourself."
Liorga instantly saw the subtle change in Gallia's eyes, whispering in her ear, "Suck it up in a hurry, Scotty. That's like blood in the water to these people." She hated being so brusk with Gallia, but right now that kid needed to focus and Liorga intended to use every second of her three plus decades of experience to get her focused.
"Right." Gallia nodded, as usual the Chief had known precisely what she needed. Pushing thoughts of the impending loss of her friend aside, she focused on what she would probably be asked by the Commodore's aides, figuring the Commodore herself wouldn't even want to be bothered with speaking to her; whatever they asked, the READ team would be ready, though she was now anxious for the next time they could go planetside. She'd also decided Fray was going to be her next pick for the team, but she'd talk that over with her once all the snoops were gone.
Liorga could tell Gallia was giving real thought to gutting that bastard, and she would be right, he had no right to speak to her in that manner, or any other woman, but he felt he did. She'd heard all she'd needed to about him from the banquet, him and the other one, seemed they both got their jollies picking on females, but he didn't realize that Liorga was close enough to retirement that she no longer had to care about getting him butthurt, so when she went home later and sent an official complaint to Central Personnel Command about his misogynistic attitude, nobody except him would have to worry about it. Don't try me, Junior, she thought, I was doing this when you were still shitting yellow.
Lovejoy returned his attention to Kaylee. "So this exocomp is for your personal use and is not based on a Starfleet approved designed and not approved for use by Starfleet is that correct?"
“If you want to get technical, yes sir. Anyone can use EX when they need him. In fact he’s almost always active patrolling the Jefferies tubes of a night time” Kaylee responded, a little confused as to why he would have a problem with EX.
Kara approached in a calm manner. "I don't really see the problem Mr Lovejoy. Without invention and technical innovation, the ships and technology we use everyday, wouldn't exist, would they. Lighten up." She stated.
Lovejoy turned a withering glare on Kara, "It is Commander Lovejoy, LIEUTENANT and as for lightening up. You have a member of your engineering staff using a nonsanctioned exocomp of an unapproved design. What if someone hacked into this exocomp and programmed it to cause damage? The harm it could cause would be incalculable perhaps fatal." A tight smile came to his face, " In which case at your trial for gross negligence,you can explain... Lighten up." He added humorlessly.
A wide smile crossed Kara's face. "So sorry, MR lovejoy." She tightened her features, and looked him dead in the eyes. "I will warn you only once. I don't acknowledge you, or your rank. I don't acknowledge your opinions WHATSOEVER. I suggest you keep your trap, SHUT." She spoke slow and a seething anger. "Threaten me, or any of my team again and I will absolutely and quite happily go through an official court martial..." She took a long breath, her tone low and dark, clenching her fists, and stepping closer, clenching her teeth. "AFTER I've sent you to our good Doctor with a few broken bones. Do not talk to me and stay the hell away from me. Because I cannot put up with your bullshit much longer. One more word from you and You WILL be visiting the medical bay. Do I make myself clear?" Kara had hit breaking point. Her usual olive cheeks, were now red with frustration and anger.
She no longer cared what the commodore or her pissy aides wanted. She wanted them all gone so she didn't have to deal with this stress any longer. Her anger felt very similar to the anger she felt during her argument with Estelle. She considered everyone on-board the Elysium her family and she would protect them like a lioness, no matter who they were or what rank they held. She prepared herself. If Lovejoy said or muttered anything, she was prepared to launch her fist straight into his nose and all hell to the consequences.
If Kara expected her warning to affect Lovejoy, she was surely disappointed as he smiled at her. Not a warm, friendly smile no this was a smile of a predator getting ready to devour it's prey. "Thank you Lieutenant. I have both the information I need and for showing me which buttons to push to get you to react. It has been most informative. I can assure you, you will hear from us again."
With a large sigh, Kara shook her head and walked away. "You're not worth it. Just stay out of my way. If you need something see my assistant." Kara retreated into her Engineering office quickly, locking the door. Collapsing onto the floor, she sighed and held her knees up to her chest; taking a few deep breaths. ~How long do they have to be here, I don't think I can take this stress much longer..~
“And if I may defend myself Commander, I would like to see someone hack into EX. I have been updating his internal programming with the latest Starfleet security protocols from the Corp of Engineers. And quite frankly he is probably smarter than that EMH program Starfleet tried to install throughout the fleet”
Lovejoy swiveled his head to look at Kaylee, "Yes, that has yet to be determined Petty Officer and I'm reminded of an old Chinese saying, Be careful what you wish for, you may get it."
Gallia had had more than enough of this son of a bitch, but she wasn't going to show anything. She watched him berating Kaylee over EX and had to fight laughter lest Kaylee think she was laughing at her. The actual butt of the joke was this Lovejoy, the oaf had just told her exactly what his next move was, and she knew what to throw in his way; Time ta talk to ma girl in ops, she thought, plan a nasty surprise fa 'im. She resolved to get with Kaylee as soon as this abuse session was over, then it was just a quick trip to Anje's to set the trap.
At that moment, Carter walked into main engineering. He'd been overhauling a relay junction and his uniform wasn't the cleanest around. When he saw the commodore, he came to attention.
After simmering down, Kara emerged from her office perhaps five minutes later. Politely stepping to commander Lovejoy, she signalled for his attention discreetly. "Commander Lovejoy, may I have a...private word with you in my office?". She awaited his response.
He eyed her coolly. His face a mask, "As you wish Lieutenant." He answered, gesturing for her to lead the way.
Evelyn looked on in cold silence.
Waiting until Commander Lovejoy was out of sight, Kaylee made a b-line for the closest access hatch to the jefferies tubes and disappeared into the ship’s superstructure
Kara lead the way into the Chief Engineer's office. waiting until Commander Lovejoy had entered. "Computer, seal Door Beta six, Authorisation code Hoffman Zeta twelve Nine." The computer responded after a few moments confirming the door's locked state. Kara Sighed lightly, and gestured for commander Lovejoy to sit, as she did also. Frowning she took a few breaths before speaking. "Commander, perhaps I may have been out of line. In fact I was most definitely out of line. I apologise for my outburst."
He eyed her coldly, only sitting when she did and when he did, it was in a ramrod straight position. He listened to her apology and was silent for several seconds and when he did speak his tone was as cold as his look. "You resent us. You resent our questions and our being here. You resent us doing our jobs. It radiates out of your pores. You want respect but you refuse to give it." He held up a hand to silence any outburst. "You can protest and say you don't but your actions tell a different story." He leaned forward and peered into her eyes. "When I say you, I mean this entire crew. This isn't personal. It's official business." He paused and continued, "As for your apology, if it eases your mind to give it, so be it. You are correct. You were out of line Lieutenant."
kara nodded. "I absolutely agree. You see, this crew...we've been through so much together. Frankly, i think half or more of the crew worries that the commodore, may split us apart. from our friends, our comrades and our loved ones. That is why I think I have been so worried. Your right, we do resent your being here, but it does no longer have to be that way. Sir, if I may say...." Kara took a long, deep pause, her eyes shifted downwards, realising what she had done. "You'll have an ally in me. I can TRY and rouse the crew to be more co-operative. I..." She took another pause. "I believe, the crew is worried, myself included, because we don't understand your visit. We mostly believe it, to be an inquisition upon our Captain or Commander, who we all owe our lives to. I'm sure you can understand that feeling..." She sighed and awaited his response.
Lovejoy listened as Kara made her plea. When she finished he spoke in the same flat, emotionless tone. "The Commodore will do whatever she feels is necessary. Worrying is counter productive and leads to this crew not performing at their best. I suggest you tell your engineers that." He paused, his tone softening a fraction. "There is no inquisition of either Captain Lalor or Commander Taylor that I know about. This is a official visit to look into to workings of the Elysium crew from the command team on down and will take as long as it needs to complete."
kara stood and walked to the replicator. "Computer, one scotch whisky." The replicator produced a glass with a dark brown liquid. Kara took it, and downed it in one go. "Fine then. However commander..." She gestured to the replicator, if he required refreshment and smiled.
Lovejoy watched in silence as Kara walked to the replicator and got herself a scotch whisky. His eyebrows raised slightly but he stayed silent. He shook his head, "Thank you no. Perhaps later." He added.
"The amount of stress y'know has caused me a great amount of unease. I..." She paused. "Try, if at all possible, to go a little easier on my team. They are well experienced, and they know Starfleet mandate. Perhaps you could be a touch lighter with them. I do't run my engineering department as a dictatorship, more of a democracy. If the team thinks something works, then that is how things work. That is how I run my department. Now also watch out for any um..." She paused again. "Um well, there may be something going on with them. They'll most likely try and prank you...." She smiled wide. "It's all in good fun, it's part of our camaraderie. So if anything odd happens just, go with it. it means they like yah'. I hope. Report it to me, if necessary and i'll get it sorted, alright?"
Lovejoy's tone changed, softened became human. "Stress? Just do your job. Have your team do their jobs and it will take care of the stress. We're not monsters despite what some of you think." His posture relaxed slightly as well, "A democracy is a luxury. Sometimes you need to be a dictator to get a job done or do something unpopular. " He countered. His eyes widened as Kara mentioned a prank. "A prank?" He questioned. "I see. Thank you for the warning. I will remember that. Oh." He continued, "I suggest you not prank the Commodore. It would not end well for those involved. Just a warning."
Kara laughed loudly. "To be honest sir, I doubt anyone would be brave enough to do so beside myself." She smiled. "Your not that bad eh.... you put on a..." She paused. "You put on a rock hard outer shell but in reality, you don't want trouble either. I see that. Your alright commander, sir." She exaggerated the "sir". "Look, If you feel it necessary to put me on report for my burnout, do so. I hope you won't, but i was rude and again I apologise. Perhaps..." Kara paused for a moment, looking him up and down. "Perhaps you'd be willing to let go a little and relax. Join me for a relaxing evening on ds9? I have a plan to go and see a particularly good theatre group that have travelled all the way from the Beta quadrant. Maybe you'd join me for that?"
"Ah my façade is broken." The tiniest of smiles graced his features. "I don't think putting you on report is necessary Lieutenant. We'll chalk it up to the heat of the moment." He grew silent. "An interesting offer. I will consider it. However I don't know what the Commodore has planned. But... just to be safe, "What time is the performance?"
kara smiled "7.30pm Tomrrow evening. It would be alot of fun. The Litho'no Theatre group are speculator. C'mon, whaddya say, you'll have a blast!"
"7:30 tomorrow evening." He repeated, "No promises but I will endeavor to be there. it sounds..... entertaining." Lovejoy replied a hint of actual emotion in his voice.
"Most excellent!" Kara exclaimed. She paused for a moment. "Look commander, I endeavour, to be more hospitable, alright?" She smiled. "Let's work together and make this inspection as easy as possible." She spoke again this time, to the computer. "Computer, unlock door Beta Six, authorisation code Hoffman Zeta Twelve Nine." The computer responded, to confirm the door out of the C.E.O's office was unlocked. "I do so hope you can attend..." She said finally.
He stood and silently appraised her, "I will do my best to make this inspection as stress free as possible." He turned to leave, stopped and looked back at her, "If nothing else thank you for your invitation it is most appreciated."
Kara moved to extend her hand in a friendly handshake. "Of course, sir. Let's get through this, together. " Kara was honest and upfront, she could only hope that the commander was as also well meaning. She had made the mistake before of trusting people, who were not as well intentioned, but somehow this commander Lovejoy, he seemed alright.
Lovejoy looked at Kara and then at her extended hand, Without thinking his hand came out and grasped hers in a friendly handshake. "Agreed. Together."
Kara smiled wide as he took her hand. "Well, sir. I have to direct my team. We have work to do. Feel free to stick around and inspect if you feel it's necessary. However, engineering most days, it's just usual maintenance. Regarding the Exocomp unit just so you know...." Kara turned to her desk, grabbed a PADD and handed it to the commander forcefully but with good intention. "There's Starfleet's official recommendation that it is suitable for use." She smiled wide and laughed "ReLax, my team and I, we know the rules."
He took the PaDD and glanced at it, "I will look it over later. However Thank you. I'm glad to know you and your department know the rules."
"Of course. the Captain and Commander Taylor have their faith in me to lead this department. I promised the Captain and the Commander, i'd do the very best I could to lead the engineering team. The best, my all, is what they receive. I won't give any less than my best."
"That's all anyone asks and expects. Continue as you are and everything should be fine." He offered.
Kara nodded, and headed back out into main engineering. "Alright Commodore, Lt. Commander Albright and Commander Lovejoy. With that all out of the way. How about I give you a proper tour of our fine engineering department." Kara suggested. "Plus I have an extra special project in the works, I think you'll all find to be most interesting." She added, her tone calm and reasoned.
Kara looked around for a moment. "Lieutenant Smith, can you please take over the level two diagnostic of the warp core for me, while I give our guests the tour around. Gallia don't forget, I need that requisition list for your r.e.a.d team by the end of the day also."
Carter went to work on one of the consoles. There was a repair request for this console.
Ah, shit, where'd that list go? Gallia thought, panicking internally though totally serene on the outside, "Of course, Lieutenant Hoffman." She answered, militarily proper here in engineering; she'd had to learn to compartmentalize the job from home, she was engaged to Kara, not to Lt. Hoffman.
Liorga put the PADD with the requisitions in Gallia's left hand, a slight poke in the ribs letting her know that she needed to present it then for maximum effect.
"And here it is, Sir." Gallia stated, handing Kara the PADD; she'd received and understood Liorga's message.
Kara took the Padd and nodded. "Excellent. I'm impressed by the quick work. Keep it up, I'll ensure these requisitions are taken care of by the end of the day." Kara was always so impressed with the clockwork efficiency of her team.
Commodore Mountbatten looked at Commander Lovejoy. "All sorted?" she asked coolly.
Lovejoy gave a curt nod and a crisp "Yes Commodore, all sorted out."
Kara looked to the Commodore. "Now then, with all that out of the way, let's begin the tour!" Kara was enthusiastic. Ready to show off her team and the Engineering department she was so proud of.