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Posted on Wed Nov 25th, 2020 @ 8:05pm by Lieutenant Commander Peter Carter Jr

Mission: Cleaning Up
Location: 10 Forward

***. Back posting ***

They were 3 days into what was roughly a 3 week trip, and so far things weren't going badly.

Pete walked into the lounge and up to the bar. "Double bourbon with a touch of water. Please." The bartender returned a minute later with his drink. Pete noticed McDowell leaning against a bulkhead looking out one of the floor to ceiling windows. "Excuse me Mr. McDowell, I was wondering if I could chew your ear for a minute?"

Callum glanced up at the Chief Engineer. "Sure, have a seat." He motioned to the chair opposite. "What's on your mind?"

"Thanks." Pete set his glass on the table and pulled out a chair for himself. "Tina Quincannon, one of my Senior Chief's, well she mentioned that during the all out run the other day, she noticed the ship bounce a few times above warp 6. I was wondering if you noticed that yourself from the helm?" Pete asked as he took a swallow from his glass. "Yick, I don't care what anybody says, you can tell synthohol compared to the real thing. Sorry..."

The pilot smirked. He'd never particularly minded synthohol but he was most assuredly in the minority on that. "There were a couple of fluctuations in the warp field but nothing that exceeded safety limits." Callum replied. "The computer compensated for them."

Pete nodded. "Okay, just thought I'd ask. I've known a few pilots over the years who'd be driven insane by such things." He took another sip from his glass. "So what do you think of the ship so far?"

"She's a hell of a ship." Callum replied. "When I was at the Academy I was hoping for assignment to one of the new Galaxy-class starships. I wound up as shuttle pilot on an ageing Miranda-class ship. But still I held out hope that I'd be able to get behind the controls of one of these things." A smirk crept onto his lips. "It may have taken a decade but I finally managed it. How about you? How are you finding things in Engineering?"

Pete grinned. "I'm still finding my way around, but interesting for sure. Taylor's construction style is gonna take some getting used to." He took a swallow from his glass. "Before here I was a teaching assistant at the academy. That was a long 2 years, academic aide to the operations and engineering chair."

"That's a pretty big shift in gears." Callum commented before taking another sip of his drink. "From teaching assistant to Chief Engineer of a Galaxy-class starship."

"Tell me about it. The Commodore was getting ready to retire and she presented me with this." Pete said grinning slightly

McDowell smiled. "So how does it feel being back out in the fleet rather than cooped up in a classroom?"

"A lot less paperwork that's for sure." Pete said as he polished off the last of his drink. "To tell you the truth, I almost turned down the assignment. But as soon as I found out who the Commodores replacement was going to be, I couldn't pack my gear fast enough. When your new boss was going to be the one professor, who I'd swear enjoyed throwing you out of class once a week because you kept proving her wrong. I would have been up on charges inside of a month." A waitress picked up his empty glass. "I'm good thanks." He answered her look.

The senior pilot had jumped at the chance to get behind the controls of a Galaxy-class starship. It had been an ambition of his since before he graduated from the Academy. "Well I can understand not wanting to take another assignment when you're comfortable where you are but I guess circumstances conspired to force your hand." Callum drained the last of his own drink. His gaze moved out the window as the stars streaked past, the Ermiana continuing to charge through the desolate void towards her destination.

"That was the argument the Commodore gave me." Pete said following McDowell's eyes. "I don't know about you but there's something almost magical watching the blips of stars millions of light years away rolling past." They sat there staring into the depths of space for a few more moments until somebody bumped into him pulling out a chair. "Sorry."

"No it's my fault." The guy in civilian clothes said moving the chair to another table.

Pete looked at his watch. "I best be going. Shift change is coming up and I haven't met my night shift chief yet." He said getting up. "I'll see you around."

McDowell raised his glass as Carter left and quietly went back to watching the galaxy roll past.

*** This has been a joint posting by the following officers ***

Lt. C. McDowell
Chief Flight Officer

Lt. P Carter
Chief Engineer


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