Capt. Shayne: For The Machine Is Immortal

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Jan 24, 2022, 7:39:56 PMJan 24

((Deck 1, Captain’s Ready Room, USS Arrow)) 

Dewitt: Some of my fellow students had already chosen the ship class

they are going to command. I am not one of them, ... yet. ::He smiled::

But if half of those drunk cadets keep their word, I surely will get a

shot at being a first officer some day.

Shayne tried to not look too sickened at the unpleasantness of those words, for the sake of the positives. Every officer deserved a shot at proving themselves, earning higher status and rank, and serving their fellows. But not every cadet, in Shayne’s estimation, deserved to be at the Academy. That was an unfortunate fact of life there- it might have been a stricter regime, but that was because it had to be. Plenty of students dropped out in their first and second years, unwilling or unable to conform to Starfleet’s standards of excellence. Though alcohol was a strictly limited substance, it still made its appearance in dorms and in unfortunate quantities. Perhaps the standards of the Academies were flagging. 

Dewitt: When did you know that it was your call to command?

The question was direct- the sort that spoke much of its asker. Unfortunately for Dewitt, he’d asked the wrong man. 

Shayne: When there was a need for leadership and I had the most metal on my collar. 

He paused. 

Shayne: We found the Arrow, abandoned and adrift. Her innards were being looted, so we were instructed to take her back to base for a refit. It was never meant as a prolonged stint, but by the time we got the old girl in working order, the Sheliak had begun their advance into the Alpha Isles. We were sent to protect Federation interests in the region, and that’s where we have been for the last eighteen months, give or take a time anomaly. You’ll find that Starfleet answers the call of need- and if you can accommodate that moment, that pivot, you’ll get what you seek. 

Dewitt: I see, let's see when my pivot comes. ::Smiling a little again::

But for now, my goal is to be good at my job and be considered a

department head one day. I also always envied people who wrote

engineering papers or designed ships. I hope that there will be a point

in my career where I can get into designing new machinery. While I think

that is the core of engineering for most engineers, it is also what I

have the most potential to grow on.

He sat back and interlaced his fingers, inspecting Dewitt openly. 

Shayne: You know, most ensigns come out of the Academy with a strong sense of ambition, but few have such an awareness of where they are, what their priorities are. I will say that there is no favoritism aboard this crew- you’ll earn your lavishings and lumps like the rest of ‘em. But I see a great deal of potential in you, Ensign. 

Dewitt: Response 

Shayne paused again, thinking. Reflecting. 

Shayne: You say you’d like to create new machinery? Tinker and such… 

Dewitt: Response 

In recent days and weeks, Shayne had become more familiar with learned helplessness- the feeling that he was bound by the limitations of his office, and his position, and that helping others was strictly a matter of keeping them out of danger, or giving the most basic of nudges in the right direction. This time, though… this time there was a way. 

Shayne: What would you say if we converted a small compartment into a foundry of sorts? For the engineering department. Somewhere to repair and create custom appliances? 

Dewitt: Response 

As the ensign spoke, the idea began to form more fully in his mind. 

Shayne: Arrow’s an old ship, and not getting younger. We’re branching no less than three eras of technological innovation, and if this ship weren’t Starfleet, there’s no way they’d get along as well as they do. Nevertheless, she’s less and less the ship she came off the line as, and more her own being. Her own story. She has her quirks and weaknesses and strengths, and to use them, we need to have engineers with the tools to bring her best out. Yourself and Mr. Nakada, I’m confident, are the right people to make use of such facilities. What do you think? 

Old Earth exploratory vessels, especially before the advent of replicators, carried such facilities- and in the modern age of the Alpha Isles, where the next resource station might not have what they needed, the capacity to stay self sufficient (beyond the relatively simple capabilities of a replicator) sounded more and more enticing. 

Dewitt: Response 


Captain Randal Shayne
Commanding Officer

USS Arrow
NCC 69829

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