Double Trouble

It was approaching shift change, Lieutenant Commander Mallatratt was sat in the Chief Engineer’s office with some freshly replicated coffee. The door was always open as Mallatratt did not like to be shut off from Main Engineering, also this gave off a clear signal that his team could approach him at any time, Mallatratt had learned that in Starship Engineering no problem was trivial, he liked to keep his finger on the pulse.

So this would have been a day like any other; maintenance, diagnostics etc. But to everyone’s surprise in walked Commodore Adams, no inspection was scheduled, and everyone busied themselves, conscious of his presence. Mallatratt poked his head out of the office doorway.

“Good morning Sir, can I interest you in some fresh coffee?”

“Delighted!”

Came the reply from the Commodore, who entered the small office and helped himself to a cup, both men smiled and sat down, they had served together in the past, and now away from prying eyes both men relaxed a little.

“It’s good to see you again Dan, I have to admit that when I heard you would be assuming command I was a little surprised, I’ve only been here a few weeks myself!”

The Commodore smiled and placed his cup on the desk in front of him, before speaking.

“Richard, this is just a flying visit, so much to do I am sure you understand?”

Mallatratt nodded.

“Starfleet has a tough assignment ahead for us, that’s why I am here, and I need people I can count on… How would you feel about wearing two hats?”

“What are you suggesting Dan?”

Mallatratt was a little puzzled to say the least, but the Commodore smiled and continued.

“You are doing a good job here in Engineering, all systems are at peak efficiency… But I also need you to double up as XO.”

“First Officer? Something I hadn’t considered when I came aboard!”

“Precisely why you are right for the job I believe. We have a newly refurbished Engineering console on the Bridge, and you can still spend some of your time down here of course, doing what you love, but I need an XO with a proven track record, someone adaptable, with experience, what do you say?”

“I say yes Sir! Thanks for the opportunity!”

Mallatratt and the Commodore stood and shook hands on the matter.

“One more thing before I go.”

Commodore Adams handed the Engineer a single gold pip.

“You need three of these now, have a good day Commander, see you later in the Crew Lounge.”

The new C/O of the USS Stargazer departed, and the new First Officer sat down with his Coffee. Wondering what the future would hold. Crewman Oliver stuck his head through the open doorway.

“Everything alright Sir?”

Mallatratt looked up.

“Oh, yes Graeme, all ship shape and Bristol fashion, couldn’t be better in fact!”

The Crewman smiled, amused but none the wiser, he went back to his work. Commander Mallatratt, cast his eyes upon the small scale model of the first Constitution-class USS Enterprise which sat on his desk, and the gold pip in his hand.

“Thrusters on full!”

He said to himself.