One for My Baby, and One More For the Road
On the Horizon
Location: Chief Engineer's Office, Main Engineering, Deck 19
Tags: introductions, main engineering
Like most large starships of the line, Yorktown had a massive main engineering section which was a constant hub of activity. Taking up over half a deck, main engineering was designed with Starfleet precision and uniformity. At its heart stood the dilithium matrix, primary warp core control panel, the benamite recrystallization matrix fitted for Slipstream travel, and primary Slipstream output control tied to the Main deflector. Consoles wrapped around the tall spires of energy and computational matrices, and the rest of main engineering bloomed from there. Three levels of balconies with access to Jefferies Tubes and secondary consoles edged around main engineering, while various spaces were allocated to different teams. At the starboard end, the majority of propulsion and energy specialists shared a section, while the port-side was reserved for the damage control and diagnostics teams. A small door led to the Chief Engineer's office, a small nook located just beside the damage control section and primary engineering research station. The rest of Deck 19 was taken up with deflector and secondary computer core areas, and a scattering of engineering and operations related labs which were forever occupied by their respective research teams.
The Chief's office, as the personnel referred to it, was small by senior officer standards. Nine cubic metres exactly, it held a small desk and computer terminal with a single chair only for the occupant. It also had small tritanium cabinet in the other corner which held ship's specifications and other sensitive materials. Lastly, a plaque left by Starfleet Corps of Engineers personnel who had installed the warp and slipstream drives hung behind the desk, framing the head of the Chief Engineer that sat at the desk. An austere office for a senior officer that should spend as little time behind a desk as possible.
Marian Downe, the veteran Chief of the Yorktown sat at the desk now, with two officers and a Chief Petty Officer standing before him relaxed but standing at ease. His sharp blue eyes were locked with those of a middle aged Tellarite lieutenant from the operations division, who was giving a report on their recent tasks.
"We completed the diagnostic on the benamite recrystallization matrix and the deflector relay grid, as ordered. The recrystallization has functioned surprisingly well under extended slipstream travel. However, Chief Kamar," the Tellarite gestured to the Efrosian chief standing to his right, "Was the first to find the discrepancy in the relay grid's power distribution. We tracked the fluctuation to two sources, one physical and one software related. The physical repair was conducted by Ensign's Lowe and Farel, while the diagnostic-software repairs were conducted by Chief Kamar, Lieutenant Solomon and myself." The Tellarite gestured to the other human Lieutenant standing to his other side, opposite Kamar.
Marian nodded and sat back in his chair, clearly pleased with the report. "Good work, Lieutenant Bral. Results?"
"Systems are operating at peak efficiency. We are moving onto our next tasks."
"Sure I can't convince you to move to engineering?"
Bral shook his head. "It's nice down here, but Kamar can attest: once you're an enlisted grunt, you like to stick your hands in a few pots."
Marian shrugged gently. He had expected that response. It had been the same for the last three years.
"Excellent work, everyone. Chief Kamar, you're dismissed." Kamar turned and left the room. "Lieutenant Solomon, I want you to report in to the Damage Control section."
"Aye sir, drills are coming up. I'll run them through their paces."
"Good. Dismissed, then." Marian paused and looked at Bral with a thoughtful expression, trying to discern why he was still there. "Bral."
"You're free to report back to the Operations. Though as I've said, you're welcome down here any time you like."
Bral grinned. "Who says I want to be down here? Stuck in the bowels of the ship. There's more to do than sit here staring at the warp core or tapping that PADD like you're actually doing something."
Marian's mouth quirked in something resembling a small smile, but it was gone before it could develop further.
"Anything further, Lieutenant Bral?"
The Tellarite shook his head. "Not with you, pink-skin. I'm headed up start the lateral sensor array enhancement project. The powers that be had set that back a few weeks to prioritize power and personnel for stellar cartography during the voyage to the Delta. But considering we're nearly there, I've gotten my team back so we can begin installing the new systems."
"Good luck with the project. Let me know if you need any extra personnel."
Bral turned on his heel with practiced precision and left the modest office, leaving Marian to his thoughts for a brief moment. Marian considered the Tellarite long after he disappeared out of sight of the office toward the exit of main engineering, undoubtedly headed for the turbolift. He and the Tellarite had served together since being posted to the ship in 2386, and in that time the relationship that had developed between them was unique. Marian had few friends, and certainly none yet on Yorktown, and yet the closest thing he had to it was the squat operations officer. He was a good man, experienced, and easy to be around once you learned how to interact comfortably with his species. A friend? That's new for you, Marian.
Standing, Marian promptly left his office and began speaking with his staff, checking in on their work progress. He moved from workstation to workstation, pausing briefly to speak with team leaders and enlisted personnel alike. He said little, nodding occasionally, looking intent, and remaining pleased with what he heard. As Chief Engineer's go, he was an ideal balance for this crew: hand's on, but not overbearing. Marian was known to get his hands dirty and spend days, if not weeks on the ground working on assignments, making up for the lack of time spent in the office in the evenings pouring over personnel assignments, resource requests, lab requests, and large swathes of crucial ship's data.
In the middle of speaking with Chief Kamar again in the propulsion section of engineering, a gentle tap on his shoulder made Marian turn to face a young junior officer. Judging by the command red and the Ensign's pips, he judged it to be a yeoman or senior officer's aide.
"Win, sir. I was sent from the bridge. There's a staff meeting in half an hour."
Marian's eyebrows rose, but the rest of his expression remained neutral. "A simple communication would have sufficed, no?"
"Absolutely, sir. But half of us are new to the ship. This is the senior staff's way of making sure we learn the ship fast, and in case internal communications are down, we can get around and pass messages."
"I see. Do you need to take a message back to anyone from me?"
Ensign Win shook their head.
"Well Ensign, thank you for your message. Dismissed."
Win nodded and turned to exit Main Engineering without a backward glance.
"You've been saying that a lot today," Chief Kamar commented with a wry grin. "Dismissing left and right today, sir."
"Didn't I dismiss you back to work, Chief?" Marian responded coolly, though his eyes held a glint of mirth.
Chief Kamar straightened and gave a heavily exaggerated salute to his superior officer. "Aye, aye, sir!" Turning, he looked at the team of junior enlisted personnel he had been speaking to before with sharp eyes. "You heard the man! If I'm dismissed, that means it's time to get to work. Carver, Relell, you get to work..."
Marian made his way for the exit, mentally preparing his remarks for the staff meeting ahead.