Previous Next

Hang Loose

Posted on 04 Dec 2023 @ 18:15 by Lieutenant Commander Heather Kowal & Lieutenant Daxton Tolland

1,302 words; about a 7 minute read

Mission: The Leo
Location: CO's Quarters
Timeline: 02 MAR 2393, 11:00

When Dax first saw the Leo, it was love at first sight. He wouldn't exactly admit that his previous assignment, the Ganymede, was too much ship for him. But, as often times goes with women, less can be more. The Aquarius class looked like it would be a lot more fun than the Luna, at least in the Engineering department.

He just had to wait for the CO to allow him onboard. What kind would she be? Uptight? Heroic? Dax had known all kinds. The best CO was the one who left well enough alone and trusted their people to do their jobs with minimal oversight. If he played his cards right, Dax could get the benefit of serving on a ship of the line without having to repair a warp core breach or a dozen blown bridge consoles every other week. His service jacket could use the boost, unimpressive as it was.

"Doo-do-doo-doo-do-do-do-dooooo!" he sang to himself while he waited at drydock.

It took a while but eventually, the station's security team reached out to the security watch about someone just standing around near the ship's entrance seemingly with no purpose. It was much easier after all for them to ask the ship's security team to check it out than to redirect their own people.

The two on watch did a quick game of rocks paper scissor shoot and the loser finally walked from the podium at the airlock and down the corridor and around a corner to find the man standing there. He wasn't really sure what was suspicious about this guy standing there he was clearly a Starfleet Lieutenant but why was he there? And why was he just humming to himself?

"Excuse me, sir, can I help you with something?" the Petty Officer asked.

"Chyeah, I'm waiting for the captain of this boat." Dax flashed a grin. "You can help me by findin' out where she is. If she's in the head or whatever, I can wait."

"Well, sir, it might help if you went aboard. We were told to direct anyone wishing to report in to go to her quarters," the petty officer said, still confused by this interaction. "You'll make base security feel better too. They were the ones who told me you were out there. Are you joining the crew?"

Dax grinned wider, making his eyes narrow. "That's the plan, gancho. I'm the engineer. Guess I'll take a gander on inside." He raised a mock salute and said, "As you were," before stepping aboard.

No red carpet. No honor guard. No security detail. Not even a first officer. Dax handed his carry bag to the first goldshirt noncom he saw and said, "Chief Engineer's quarters," without even making eye contact. He was too busy taking in the sights of what was shaping up to be the perfect assignment.

The grin on Dax's face carried him to the turbolift and all the way to the CO's quarters. Naturally the ship's computer guided him, so he more or less went straight there. A few times he stopped to smell the roses and assess the bulkheads. All the maintenance panels looked clean and polished which was standard fare for drydock. Dents and blemishes would begin to abound and he'd be accountable for them all. Such was life. Dax didn't let the thought get him down.

Not when he finally made it on Easy Street.

When he reached Heather's quarters, he gave the chime a firm press and waited right up against the door as if it would open any second.

"Enter," Heather called from the chair at her desk against the bulkhead. Normally, she'd have looked up from what she was doing, but it took her a moment to take her eyes and mind away from the message she was reading from Task Force Command. After a moment her eyes glanced to the side as she seemed to remember inviting someone in and then when she caught sight of someone she didn't recognize, she clicked to close the screen and turned to face him in the swivel chair.

"Good morning," she said.

"In every way," Dax replied with his sunniest smile. "Good to meet you, ma'am." Noting her commander level pips, and a lieutenant commander at that, Dax could only get happier. If this was the captain, then he had landed the perfect gig indeed. "Name's Daxton Tolland, friends call me Dax, but I'll answer to just about anything friendly."

"Heather Kowal," she said, not sure of the read she was getting off this guy. He seemed polite enough but there was something in the background that was hitting off her radar.

"Have a seat, Mr. Tolland," she said, motioning toward the guest chair. "How familiar with the Aquarius are you?" she asked.

"She's an escort class, which is Starfleet's coy way of saying gunship," Dax replied, his easy grin still shining. "With just four decks, she has almost twice the armament of ships four times her size. Top warp speed is factor 9, but can eke out 9.5 at full burn for half a day before the core goes belly up, which means she can get redeployed pronto and in a hurry. She's made for patrols and dogfights in a time of peace, so that means her missions stretch her lab capabilities to the max in order to keep from getting mothballed. Without the resources for long-term surveys, though, she's more likely to clean up messes than make them. All in all, a beautiful class. You should proud, ma'am."

"I am," Heather said simply. "Tell me about concerns you have about the ship or your assignment. I know that you've not seen it yet, but you apparently studied a little and you know about your personal matters. Is there anything I need to work to head off now?"

Dax sensed a loaded question. Maybe not a test exactly but he felt that Heather was searching for something other than a direct answer. "I don't have any engineering worries. Whether we're chasing space dust along the Federation border or scanning a nebula that won't do anything interesting for another million years, it's all about regulating power levels down in the engine room. My aim is to keep the chop to nil for easy riding."

"There's an issue with one of the EPS Lines that may cause our silent running capabilities difficulty; Senior Chief McManus brought it up to me when I first got aboard," Heather explained. "Something for you to look at when you get settled in."

"Figures. Probably came up on the shakedown run and then the drydock techs don't want to redo what they shoulda' done right in the first place." He stifled a sigh and shook his head. "Don't you worry your pretty little head, Captain. We'll right the ship before we hit the first light-year."

Heather wasn't sure how to respond to the comment about her pretty little head but decided to let it ride for now. She nodded at the man reflecting and making her first impression. She wasn't sure that she had one or at the moment at least she might have even just been indifferent.

"Well, Lieutenant, I can't think of anything else. You'll find your quarters assignment in the computer and I can activate your codes now," she said, turning to her computer and starting to work on doing just that.

"Wicked." Dax threw up a Shaka hand sign and favored Heather with a grin. "I'll give this pig a gander and let you know if anything hangs loose. Catch you on the flip side."

There were no words as Heather watched the engineer depart, this was going to be an interesting officer to deal with.


Previous Next

RSS Feed RSS Feed