Concerning Developments (Part V)
Posted on Saturday, 24 April 2021 - 6:03pm by Captain Barret Stillwater
Operation: Peace or P'Jem
Location: USS Standing Bear | Captain's Ready Room
Eyelaya stood outside the CO's office. She waited to speak to him by way of update and by way of a request for Adrianna. She couldn't be happier to strike two things off her list.
The Captain walked towards the door of his Ready Room, and greeted the woman, gesturing her inside. "Come on in, Chief, you're just the person I've been expecting," Stillwater said. He was stressed and it was evident, but he tried to keep good spirits about him.
He took a seat behind his desk and Eyelaya, across from him. "What's the good word."
"Really? You were expecting me? And you didn't run away? Most people run away."
Stillwater shook his head. "Well, today you are in charge of Engineering of a starship that has just been through a hell of a battle. I'm not going to run away from my engineer at times like these."
She grinned a little. "Don't you worry. Bella will be fine. I'm recalibrating her and have given her a patch job. Let's sit down and I'll tell you about it."
"Go ahead, Chief," Stillwater replied. "I want to hear about it. Tell me how everything is going."
She grinned. "Well. We took a horrible pounding. Communication are out and I've had to minimize the replicators so.... we’ll all be eating gruel for a while but I did get Bella up and running. She's purring like an aggravated cat but I can take care of that. No slip streaming warping or anything for a few days of course. We do have impulse!" She slid a PaDD over to him. "Now! I have repair crews doing some face lifts and patches and we did lose the shuttle but I estimate it will be a week before we can walk without throwing up." … Or was that her. She was feeling kind of nauseous.
"Good to know," Stillwater replied. "Keep working on your repairs, I know there's a lot of ships out there with us in as bad if not worse shape," he added.
There were some matters to address. "I'll be passing your report along to a Commodore Kwan. She's currently settling in aboard, but command of the Standing Bear will be hers for the time being. She's having a California class come tow us back to the nearest star base for the more extensive repairs."
"Wait what? Why is she in command?"
"Well, Chief," the Captain replied taking a deep breathe and exhaling. "Simply put, because she can be and so she is. The longer version is several different articles, paragraphs, sections, and subsections that could be used."
He did offer a bit. "The Commodore was ranking officer in the defense of P'Jem, albeit she arrived after the Standing Bear was, we out of that fight. Her starship, an Ambassador class was destroyed in the Andorian onslaught. Starfleet Command has given her temporary command of the Standing Bear to continue coordinating emergency response and relief efforts to P'Jem."
Stillwater presses on. "The Commodore has a strong diplomatic and socio-political background. The Federation has deemed the attack on P'Jem a galactic emergency. Book 19, Section 433, Paragraph 12 as well as Title 15 of Galactic Emergency Powers allows for a Flag Officer or even a high-ranking civilian official to assume command of a starship, space station, Star base under certain conditions."
"Yes, but the witch is having my Bella towed! You phaser her and I'll airlock her."
"She's a highly respected Starfleet flag Officer, Chief, not a witch. Trust me, we looked for a broomstick when she arrived." Stillwater did appreciate the woman's unique spirits. "I concur with her decision. It is not that we don't believe in your ability to repair the starship, but you know how bad the damage it, Chief. P'Jem was all but demolished. We can't be in our current condition just sitting out here nor strumming along at impulse. It makes us easy pickings for the Andorians or anyone. Hell, the Talarians could probably take us right now and they still use laser technology."
She sighed. "True....but what if the Vulcan bit her. I hear they do that." She grinned. "Can I get you a drink?" She pointed at the replicator.
"Nobody is biting the Commodore," replied Stillwater. "No, thank you. I'd rather limit replicator usage for the time being, reserve it for the children aboard. Now that apparently is a trend with some of the crew."
She sighed. "Okay, if you say so." She tilted her head. "Well maybe this is all good news. You'll have more time to help me with a project."
"Possibly," Stillwater replied. To say he was available was an overstatement. He was still looking over reports and conducting the administrative side of being Commanding Officer. "What is it?"
"Adrianna is getting married we need an officiant." She said. "Adri wanted you."
"Yes, and of course I will do so. It is a great honor for a Captain," he began. "However, to be blunt, Chief, I'm still working on figuring out if there's wedding bells in the future or empty torpedo casings being launched. We haven't heard from Petty Officer Baciami nor Crewman Eberhardt for a while."
He did not immediately go into the situation. "I am working on that currently."
She gave a nod. "I understand, I'm just glad you agreed." She paused. "That said I've taken the liberty of creating a few...fail safes with respect to what happened just a while ago with the counselor."
"Run them by Lieutenant Zilth. I am sure he will sign off on them."
"Well, they kind of depend on you sir and your pain tolerance."
"What the hell did you do?"
"The counselor was almost able to take the ship. If Commander Soral was not there I would have lost control of my body. It was like a wave..." She shook her head. "I got to thinking I have been working on something, a device that would allow ship control to instantly lock to you if a situation like that arose again."
"That sounds fine, though my patience is a bit thin right now, Chief. So, you had better get to the pain part." Stillwater looked at the woman. "I appreciate you wanting to keep the ship secure."
"A device that you would wear in time of battle like a neural inhibitor but it would attune the ship to your brain pattern. It would attach to the neck in times of battle and be coded for the XO and Second XO if something happens to you. It would ensure that only you could control the engines if someone tried to take the ship."
Stillwater had to give her a passing mark for unorthodox creativity. "Send what research and such that you have to Zilth, Soral, Rose, and myself."
"Okay! Now we're cooking!" She grinned. "Um...would you be mad if I got some water? Since my run in with the counselor I've been... drinking a lot of water."
"Mad, no" he replied. "Replicate some, but when you had back down below decks, grab some from one of the cargo bays. It's standard that we have an ample supply of it for situations like this."
She stood "Thanks." She headed to the replicator. A wave of dizziness caught her. She swayed her feet seeming unable to hold her up.
"Careful, Chief. You may want to stop by Sickbay if that keeps up. Though forewarning, the medical staff are on P'Jem except for the EMH."
Stillwater thought for a moment. She had better not be pregnant. I'll have to start transferring these people out.
She groaned. "I'll wait until the doctors are back." She sighed. "ON second thought I'll just slink back to Engineering."
"Or perhaps I should have you go to Sickbay," countered Stillwater. "It has not gone unnoticed that you have a tendency to avoid our Emergency Medical Hologram these days, after having been vocal about the limitations placed on it," Barret added sharply. "In fact, Lieutenant Commander Victrix when she was acting Captain noted you had a strange obsession with technological lifeforms, especially photonic, and a closeness with the EMH. I agreed with that initially, but as of the past few months, that has not seemed to be the case."
"It's just a program, Captain. A nasty one but a program. I'll wait for a human doctor."
"Interesting choice of words," Stillwater replied. "Sometimes, it takes time to get used to people...programs...what have you. I am sure some people do not particularly care for me."
She looked at him. "Why the hell not. You're just a big teddy bear!"
"Various reasons," he replied. "Now the Commodore may be in command, but I have my own pull. I'm ordering you to Sickbay to see the EMH. I need you 100% and frankly, you don't look it."
"I have a few major things to check on. How about I check on those and then I can go to sickbay in the morning?"
"Doesn't matter to me, our medical personnel will likely be gone for a while. Today, tomorrow, doesn't make a difference."
"Alright. I'll go." She held out her hand. "Shake on it?"
"Captains don't shake" replied Stillwater. "Dismissed, Chief."
She smiled. "Oh well too bad. You're not captain for the moment. Just admin." She gave him a hug. "Just say the word and the commodore will have sauce for shower water."
"Four pips still adorn the uniform, I may not presently be in command of this starship, Captain by title, but I am by rank. I would not trifle with that particular commodore. She has a reputation."
"Oh, come on. A hug didn't make you feel better?" She sighed. "Captain you need a vacation,"
"What I need is a long one, a return to retirement with my husband, back on Prairie, and left alone until I die a ripe old age on my ranch."
She smiled. "Well, I can't give you that but I can do something for you. I've actually been working on it for Talarn...maybe I'll give it to you to hold onto."
"Sure," Stillwater replied. Again, she managed to gain his attention.
She handed him a small chip smiling. "This is a holodeck program. Tal spoke of your home and Prairie and … of course Soral managed to get some holo vids cause you know he's a sneaky Vulcan. I created a program for when you two missed home so that you can go there and rest a bit and just be together."
It was a thoughtful gesture, but Barret was uncertain if it was smart to share it with his husband. Any reminder of Prairie was a reminder they weren't there. Tal was ready to return before they even got aboard. "Thank you," Stillwater replied.
"He always seemed so sad when he talked about it so I figure I'd make him something for when he got homesick until you two can get back there."
"I'll save for a special occasion," Barret replied. "When it gets bad and he's really down."
She smiled. "Okay then. Well thanks for your help Cappy."
"Thanks for the updates, Chief."