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MD 3 - Improving the Skua (Backpost)

Posted on Fri Apr 29th, 2022 @ 9:31am by Lieutenant JG Hank Solomon & Senior Chief Petty Officer Alessia Oxford & Lieutenant Commander Trevor Andrews

Mission: Dark Star Trilogy - M1: Star Fall
Location: Shuttle Bay
Timeline: 0730

[06.30 hrs - Deck 2 - Lt. Solomon Personal Quarters]

The sound of the alarm clock filled the room. Alessia slowly woke up, opening one eye first and rolling on the other side of the bed. The alarm clock kept buzzing and, with a half-asleep voice, she ordered the computer to stop the alarm, but it didn’t.

She scratched her eyes and tried again, uselessly.

“It won’t work” a male voice said.

SCPO Oxford bumped both eyes open and sat on the bed automatically covering her body with a bedsheet at once and staring around looking for the source of the voice. Solomon was standing a few meters from here, laying his back on the gray bulkhead, arms crossed, fully suited in his uniform and with a grin on his face.

“Computer stop alarm” he finally said in a calm tone and the computer, recognizing his voice, immediately halted the buzzing of the alarm clock.

“Wait, what?” the young science technician questioned him while trying to make sense of all that “What are you doing in my quarters?”

Hank broke out in a loud laugh.

“Your quarters?” he kept laughing. “Look around, do you recognize anything of your quarters?”

Still half asleep she was about to reply when, glancing around, she noticed Hank’s ice axe hanging on the wall. She remembered him telling her he usually uses it during his high-altitude mountaineering excursions, a couple of carabiners were clipped nearby as well. She was not in her room at all. She was in Hank’s one.

“I…I….” she started in a stuttered voice while her thoughts started racing in her head. “Why am I here?” she finally asked.

“Drop that bedsheet” he started “you have your uniform on” finally said reassuring her while motioning towards a chair and sinking in it.

“Don’t you remember? You came here last night to talk about the USS Skua and the possible improvements for its science lab.” He shot a quick look to the data PADD over the desk “I was sitting here, you were sitting there on the edge of the bed”.

“We worked till late, then I offered to go catch some coffee for you” he laughs “to keep your brain running” he specifies “and when I came back from the mess hall, found you asleep”

“Oh gosh” she blushed a little sitting on the edge of the bed and massaging her head “I’m sorry” she started “Yeah, I felt my eyes heavier and heavier and…well, I didn’t mean to sleep, just to rest my eyes a little bit till you came back” she apologizes “but…” she sighted bringing both hands to her face trying to hide herself.

“No worries, I could have wake you up …. I think…. if I wanted to. You deserved a good night sleep after all the work you did” Hank said in a reassuring tone.

“And where did you…. I mean…” she glanced at the bed before turning her sight towards the lieutenant once again “where did you sleep?” she finally finds the courage to ask.

He stands and pats the chair in which he was sitting few seconds ago “this chair was comfortable enough” with a reassuring smile. Then, after a quick glance at the clock he said

“Well, you’d better hurry up if you want to shower and grab something to eat. Someone told me you are due to report to the shuttlebay in about forty minutes, I’m not sure how accommodating the Chief Science Officer is onboard this ship” he said with a grin and winking.

Alessia stood up and quickly fixed her hair on a ponytail then reached for her data PADD and motioned towards the door stopping for a second and turning towards the man.

“Lieutenant…” she breathed deeply “sir….” She shook her head desperate.
“Look, Hank, I’m really sorry it won’t happen again” she finally exhaled with a sheepish face.

“Alessia…” he motions towards her and put his hands over her shoulders “don’t be sorry, it’s all fine” he reassured her. “But don’t be late for that meeting, I am going to ask commander Andrews to join us there” he rebuked with half a smile “and you owe me a good night sleep” he joked.

The black-haired woman smiled at his joke and nodded to his superior “Yes sir, won’t be late” she concluded ordering the door open and sneaking out of the quarter walking at a fast pace down the corridor to get herself ready for the meeting.

As soon as she left Hank reached for his communicator and hailed the Chief Engineer to ask for his presence.

=^= Commander Andrews, this is lieutenant Solomon, sorry for bothering you. Could you kindly meet me and Senior Chief Oxford in the shuttle bay in about 40 minutes from now? =^=

[Location Bridge: USS Emimence NCC 90008]

LCDR Trevor A. Andrews is at his usual perinnial position, the Bridge Engineering Station, being that he can interface to the whole from there, as well as anywhere, of course. But for some reason he feels more "comfortable" on the Bridge.

=^= Yes, Lt. Solomon, that will be no problem. It's time I gave someone-else from Engineering time on the Bridge, Lt. =^=

Pausing breifly to try to come across as "More-Human" in his verbal inerchanges with the Crew, especially the commmand crew. He then continued, =^= I will be more than happpy to meet, Senoir CPO Oxford and You in ...40 minutes, Be seeing You, Chow. =^=

He Caught himself before giving a time estimate precise to the fourth decimal place. He then commed Engineering Officer Lt. Marliss Tamzin Josephs, Acting Assistant CEO & Present Officer on Duty in Engineering, to send the Engineering Crew Person for Bridge Duty to the Bridge.

While he was doing his usual multi-tasking as he waited he actual looked at the readings on the Bridge Engineering Control Panel's Surface instead of straightly interfacing with it.

He also didn't Access the Personnel Roster to see who would be replacing him and beaming-them-up to the Bridge. It turned-out to be one of the Engineering Crew he had yet to physically meet, an Andorian Female named ENS, Jaromyra Kanan Caziyh. He of course knew who she was rank-wise-etc, but let her formally report-in.

He went through the The formal niceties of "Handing-off-the-Chair" plus, of course, formally checking-out leaving with Bridge Officer on duty. Then he actually walked to the Shuttle-bay...

[07.30 hrs - Deck 3 - Shuttle Bay]

The shuttle bay was busy as usual with engineers, technicians and mechanical workers busy in keeping the shuttles up to date and in functioning order.

A Type Eleven shuttle craft, painted in the standard Starfleet white, was resting in one of the landing-pad assigned to the USS Skua inside the hangar.

Hank walked into the hangar bay with his usual fast pace and a data PADD in his left hand. His well shaved face showed a rather well rested officer. Waving a good morning to the people he met at the entrance, he visually scanned the area looking for familiar faces.

SCPO Oxford was standing in front of the Skua and facing the open hatch of the shuttle while reading some notes on her tablet.

“There she is” he thought “at least she is not late, although toying around with her hair, as usual.” He gave away a shy smile watching her figure while closing in to her.

“Good morning, Chief” he greeted her

Alessia, immersed in her thoughts, startled at his greeting. She turned and assumed a formal position “Good morning, sir” she replied.

“At ease” he said, “I see you are well rested…slept well?” he teased her with a grin while laying his PADD on a nearby working bench and crossing his arms.

Ms. Oxford blushed a little, “Being honest, yes, better than usual actually” she said shrugging a little but exchanging a broad smile while waiting for commander Andrews to join them.

LCDR Tevor A. Andrews, got off the Shuttle Bay lift; after his novel for him at least tour of the ship and interacting with the Crew, he politely and cordiallly made his way accross the Shuttle Bay to Lt.jg, Solomon and SR,CPO. Oxford.
He collected a Female Human Engineering Officer on his way over and introduced her as Eng.Officer, Lt. jg. Máire Kraven Sanguina, Shuttle Chief Refit/Refurbishing Specialist, during the usual informally/formal protocol of Ship's Officers intoduction.

Lt.jg, Máire Kraven Sanguina got right down to business saying, in her usual hand grenade in a bowl of oatmeal bluntness: "So, you two want to fit a Mini-Sci-Lab in this thing." pausing for effect, "General or Specialized and let know NOW! If you got any New Bell-Whistle-and-Test-Tubes you want to put on this Heap. Also, unless you got any special place you want the sensor arrays normal and/or special.
I'll have the Gang put them so they'll hopefully still work if you have to crash land."

Then Staring straight at Hank and Alessia, "How soon do you two need it?" she finishes, with easy-goin'-humourous expression on her face; both hands on hips; her selfstyled hairprotecting head scarf cocked in working position, on what would otherwise be shoulder length reddish blonde hair; Chewing her for-ever-present, when she not eating, real-piece of Wrigley's Juicey Fruit Chewing-Gum. While she waits an answer.

After a few brief introductory exchanges, Hank just smiled at the lieutenant's direct way of handling the business letting Alessia do the talk and merely standing there as a liason and guarantor.

"Senior Chief" he said to Ms Oxford to let her answer all the questions and do the talk.

Alessia nodded to her superior and grinned at Lt. Sanguina.
"Is that a bubble gum, ma'am? I used to chew mint flavored ones but then had some stomach issues and had to quit them. Now I'm just coffee addicted" she explained before answering to her questions.

"So, as you know we were thinking of adding a small lab in the rear part of the shuttle" she starts while embarking into the Skua and letting the engineers in so they could have a look at the place.

"We were thinking at a basic exobiology lab with a few safety gigs." she points at the mid bulkheads while explaining "the rear part of the USS Skua can be sealed off through forcefields, but we need a way to forcefully vent the area if we get in contact with some hazardous lifeforms or substances that might create issues like biological risks . A small criostasis locker would be cool to have if we need to keep some samples for later analysis."

She stops and shoots a look over to lieutenant Solomon to see if she was doing good or if she needed to adjust her requests.

An acknowledgement nod of the Chief Science Officer reassured her and she continued.

"Anything else you think might be added, and it fits, go for it" she concluded with a broad smile before getting to the sensors' "Specs of the Skua cite class four type sensors. I..." she looks over to Hank correcting herself "...We think it would be more than enough for the use we should make of it. The Spacedock engineers already thoroughly refitted the entire shuttle and optimized and improved it" she reaches for her PaDD and handle it over to the engineers.
"I'm no engineer but I think they did a great job" she paused letting the two oversee the specs of the modded vessel.

"regarding the timings..." she brethed deeply " soon as you can?" she smiled to Ms. Sanguina while moving a wild lock of hair behind her right ear.

Hank decided to inteveane. In his experience asking an engineer a modification for "as soon as possible" often meant asking for troubles.

"Thankyou Chief" he started "Commander, lieutenant...I know that having a great quality job and having it in no time is often impossible. For sure we are not asking for that. Take your time and do your best, as you always do. I hope the USS Skua won't be needed in the very short term but even if we need it in a hurry, 99% of its systems are already adequate for its use. What me and Ms. Oxford were asking for is just an extra comfort" he concluded crossing his arms over his chest. "Luckily there's no immediate threat so we have time to plan and implement the lab leisurely."

LCDR, Andrews, turns and looks at Lt.jg, Máire Kraven Sanguina, saying, "It's Your Baby, Lt. Sanguina."

Lt.jg, Máire Kraven Sanguina, says facing Hank and Alessia, "First Ms. Oxford, It's Real not replicator Wrigley's Juicy Fruit. Secondly, a basic exobiology lab, with emergency venting shouldn't be too hard, or take too long."

Then She looks as if just thought of something. Then looks at the Specs again; then looks at LCDR Andrews. They both Wink at each other knowingly. Then She turns back to them.

"I can do you One Better than a Force Field...How about a Replicator Constructed Safety-Wall?" She says matter-of-factly.
"And if, you don't mind getting rid of 'the hazard' completely, and it's not gasseous. I can rig a internal sensor targeted "Beam-Out" device, that can work automatically, if you want."

Andrew looks as if he were trying to smile.

As Lt.jg, Máire Sanguina, looks at Hank & Alessia quizzically awaiting an answer.

Once heard the engineer idea Hank smiled accomplished "I knew we got the right people for the job" he commented winking at lieutenant Sanguina and commander Andrews at ones.

SCPO Oxford quickly watched puzzled over Hank wondering if commander Andrews could understand the winking to then go on and nod to Ms. Sanguina.

"Yes ma'am, the safety wall sounds like a good idea to me. Just check if it won't take too much space. It's already kinda crowded in there. This type eleven shuttlecraft had been pimped up quite a bit and, even if I'm no engineer, I think they did a great job" she smiled "Oh and the beam-out device seems a great idea. I didn't think of that at first but being able to get rid of nasty stuff in a quick way is always appreciated." she confirmed.

Lt.jg, Máire Sanguina says, to both Hank & Alessia, "The LCDR and I have been installig the Replicator Safety Walls in all the Eminence's Shuttles as a fail-safe device encase of Emergency Decompression situations." Winking at Alessia, she continues, "So, we have the size down to negligible space displacement."

"Hank, maybe you'd like one or more of the 'Beam-Out-Devices' in the Ship's Science Labs?" Andrews quizzically asks Hank .
"If, you like I could have someone install them when it is convient for you."

Andrews pauses suddenly, nods his head from side to side slightly.
Continuing with, "Our, ENS Kristan Raythmore, from transporters could very easily make an all in one Emergency Safety Device. That can do Automatic 'Hazard' Beam-Out and/or Beam-On 'Custom' Safety-Enclosures. You'll be able do the one in your Shuttle and Ship's Lab at your disgression. If, the situation calls for it."
Andrews,abruptly stops talking; then looks at Hank, in a slightly embarrassed manner. He immeiately recovers his compsure with a 'smile'.
Andrews, also, hopes what he just said made sense, because it had just come to him literally. He didn't even take time to conversationally phrase It.

"Yes, it would definitely be a good idea" the male answered to the Chief Engineer. "There are currently no major activities ongoing in the Eminence's lab. We can work on it whenever you guys have time" he concurs.  Hank listened carefully to Andrew’s idea to scratch his head right after
“You mean getting the transporter room to automatically execute a beam out in case of Hazard Alarms going off?” he is visibly interdict on that idea. “I don’t know, Trevor” he starts “maybe sometimes the science technician might have the situation under control even if a hazardous substance leak temporarily. In that case would be enough to secure the area and forcefully vent it. I think a manual ejection…either local or remote…would fit best.” He concludes waiting for the commander’s reaction.

Diverting from the business talks she then addressed Máire in a low informal tone "Where do you get those real Wringley? Sometimes I would love to chew some but replicated stuff doesn't taste the same. When we'll be back at Spacedock I'll need to stock on some."

Máire whispers back Alessia, "I can get it at almost any port of Call, given enough heads-up." Chuckling, quitely she adds, "Believe It or not the LCDR likes a chew, now and then, too. But feels it's not right for him to do it on duty. A very, very old friend of his arranges It."
"What kind you like?"Máire, asks on the QT.
She wonders if she mention Real Alcohol, and not the cheap stuff; etc..
Andrews old Friend is also a Friend of Retired Rear Admiral, James Niles McCulloch, who is still very UFP/Starfleet Connected. James, is also a very close Friend of Andrews.

“Does he?” she asks with an incredulous face. “I didn’t think the commander would enjoy such a …human...habit.” she commented keeping the tone low so that only Máire could hear her. 

“Oh, I’m really mostly into coffee. You know, the real toasted coffee beans that you can grind and get real coffee out of them” she closes her eyes as if she was sipping a cup right there “not the replicated stuff we have on board. I mean, it’s good but it’s not the same” she shrugs “I used to chew mint flavored gums and I might get back at it if I find the right supplier.”
She quickly glances over the two senior officers “When we put in at Spacedock Hank usually comes back onboard with a few bottles of Grappa and Whiskey, he likes to have a sip from time to time when off duty, and he gets me the finest coffee I’ve ever tasted. I don’t know how or where he gets it he always told me not to ask. Might ask him for some chew as well…or I might rely on you for that” she eyes the female Lt.

Lt.jg Máire Sanguina, hearing that all Alessia needs is a "Chewing-Gum" connection was a little releaved.

" Is that Spearmint and/or Doublemint you'll be needing?" Máire asked Alessia speaking as quietly as possible. Knowing full well that Andrews could easily be listening in if he wanted to. "Andy's been around corporeal humidoids for getting close to 90yrs more or less ... you'd be surprised at the habits he's picked-up trying to fit-in."
Thinking, 'He wouldn't mind if I said anything about it, If he was listening in."
Continued, "It's not like he wants to be Human or anything like that...Heck He's actually happy being a Droid...It's just that he feels even after all this time that there are still "peoples". That still even if IT's subconsciously, still think of Him as a "Super-Talking-Toaster"...I sure as heck don't."

Máire Sighed looking at Andrew and Hank talking, "Well before Hank breaks this-up, ( Vocallly hinting Andrews wouldn't. ) Double and/or Spearmint?" she asked Alessia.

Alessia nodded at her explanation on Cmdr Andrews' habits then she answered "both" winking to the lieutenant joining again the group outside the shuttle before the two senior officers could grasp there was something going on there.

"Ok, so let us know when the Skua will be finished" Hank said smiling to Cmdr. Andrews notcing the two women finished talking. "If there's anything else, you can contact either me or SCPO Oxford" he concluded to both the engineers before saluting and leaving the shuttle bay headed for the Science Offices followed closely by Ms. Oxford.


Lt. Cmdr. Trevor Andrews
Chief Engingeering Officer

Lt. JG Hank Solomon
Chief Science Officer

SCPO Alessia Oxford
Science Technician


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