Readiness and Renewal

It seemed a time of renewal on the USS Stargazer, with Commodore Adams making timely promotions and welcome changes in almost every department on board. And now, before embarking on a major mission of exploration at the edge of Beta Quadrant the ship and her crew were currently at Starbase 24 undergoing some computer upgrades and minor repairs.

In the Officers Lounge sat the ship’s new First and Second Officers. Commander Richard Cornelius Mallatratt and Lieutenant Joshua Dadd. Over coffee the two newly assigned officers had discovered a shared love of archaic musical forms among other things, it was safe to say that the two men doubted they would have any trouble working together. And so it was down to business…

“I’ve been reviewing the Crew Manifest.” Began the X/O. “And made some recommendations to the skipper for some further promotions, I will be needing a new deputy down in Engineering if I’m to make my dual role work.”

“Understandable.” Responded Joshua. “The Commodore must believe you can make it work though.”

Richard smiled as he replied.

“The Commodore knows he could never get me away from my Engine Room otherwise! I like spending time on the Bridge, don’t get me wrong, it’s where the action is after all! However… I will be a lot happier knowing I have a capable deputy below decks!”

Joshua nodded in agreement before looking down at his PADD.

“I may need to make a few similar reassignments myself, although my priorities at the moment involve personal weapons training and security drills, that is where I will concentrate my efforts today.”

“Very good!” declared the Commander. “If I don’t see you later I will catch up with you at the Department Heads meeting tomorrow.”

“Yes Sir.” Said Joshua formally, to conclude the impromptu meeting, the two men stood and headed towards the door together. They parted ways in the corridor as Richard headed for the nearest turbo-lift. When he arrived the doors swished open to reveal the presence of Commodore Adams.

“Hello Sir.” Said Richard as he entered the lift. “Engineering?”

“Phaser Range.” Replied the C/O, tapping his pocket, Richard knew that this meant the Commodore was carrying his favourite Cricket Phaser. As the lift began to move Adams spoke again.

“Glad I bumped into you actually Richard, the recommendation you sent me for a new deputy, I whole-heartedly agree, make it so!”

The X/O smiled as he left the turbo-lift with a nod towards the Commodore. This was one of his favourite duties as First Officer, he tried to remain poker faced as he entered Main Engineering…

“Ensign Oliver, in my office at once!” He exclaimed and made straight for the office. Oliver followed in haste, looking a little worried but with no idea why.

“At ease Ensign, congratulations on your results at Officer training school, it pleases me when a Non-Com does so well… You are an Officer now Oliver.”

“Yes Sir.” Replied the Ensign.

“I’ve been studying your record, rather long isn’t it? Taken you some time to get round to that Academy course don’t you think? The Commander resisted the urge to smile.

“Starfleet has been my life Sir.” Began the Ensign. “I have never sought out rank or privilege, just wanted to do my job, until now I didn’t think the time was right to make a change, just wanted to do a proper job Sir.”

The X/O relaxed a little.

“So the service was it’s own reward eh? Never sought out promotion before, but now the ship is on the brink of a new five-year mission in deep space you believed the time was right to prove that you are not only a capable engineer but Officer material?”

“Exactly that Sir.” Said Oliver making eye contact with Mallatratt for the first time since entering the office, he was surprised to see the Commander smiling.

“That is precisely the answer I was looking for, and it is exactly why you are now Deputy Chief Engineer of the USS Stargazer!”

Ensign Oliver was clearly surprised by this news.

“Thank you Sir! When Sir?”

“Effective immediately Graeme, and when we are in this office or the Officers Lounge, please call me Richard.”

“I’ve not even had a chance to visit the Officers Lounge yet Sir… I mean Richard…”

“Well you better be there at the end of your shift, there’s a bottle of Synth-Ale with your name on it! Now… watch my engines for me, I’ll be on the Bridge!”

The two men shook hands and the X/O departed. Ensign Oliver returned to his console by the Warp-Reactor and exhaled as he sat down.

“Be the best.” He whispered to himself with a smile.