(( Peters’ Quarters, USS Braveheart ))
Cadfael sat alone on his bed, wearing a pair of gold sweat pants with an SCE patch on them. He was staring at the same email for over an hour, and he had to blink in order to prevent himself from going cross-eyed. He’d considered returning to the gold collar eventually, but he didn’t expect it to be this soon. Honestly, the last time he had even done anything engineering related as a career move, he was stationed aboard 118 Ops and its accompanying support vessel, the USS Albion some 4 years ago.
As he read over the email, his eyes kept returning to a couple of words. “Lieutenant commander,” “chief engineer,” “Captain Oddas Aria,” and “USS Juneau.” How long ago was it since he last saw the Juneau? He did some quick mental math in his head.
Peters: oO Today is 239707.01. Last time I saw her...was six months ago… Oo
He suspected that he either she’d specifically asked for him, or that she had friends in high places who would ensure that these orders found him so he could return to duty aboard a ship he loved. He’d been a part of her maiden voyage, Project Capstone, eight months prior. Now, it seemed that he was returning to the Juneau to take over as her chief engineer. Last time he was aboard, he was in red. Now, it was a return back to gold, what he started out doing in the first place.
Peters: oO This is surreal. Last time I was chief engineer was aboard the Victory in 2392. Wow. Um...I’m honored. Oo
He blinked again and re-read the email one last time. He had a shuttle departing the Braveheart at 0600. He needed to get some sleep, and dinner, and pack. All of this he hadn’t done. Dinner would wait, packing could not. He stayed up until midnight, then replicated his new ½ pip and affixing it and his 2 full ones to his gold collar before falling asleep.
(( Shuttlebay 1, USS Juneau ))
When he arrived and disembarked from the shuttle, he didn’t want to know what time it was. He wanted to get settled into his quarters, then get something to snack on with a cup of coffee to share. He remembered fondly the days of old when he’d gotten his BC starter pack from their then-chief engineer, Geoff Teller. Fortunately, the deck layout hadn’t changed much in the intervening six months, so the coffee should still be on deck 15, his office was on deck 16, and the Clanhouse lounge should still be on deck 10. He reached up to his collar and felt that third bump along the collar: a half pip which wasn’t there before.
Peters: oO Lieutenant commander Cadfael Peters, chief engineer of the USS Juneau. It has a nice ring to it. Oo
He vaguely recalled the circumstances surrounding his previous tenure as a full chief while aboard the USS Victory all those years ago.
(( Flashback: SD 239201.09 -- Deck 10, Engineering, USS Victory ))
Nugra gripped the PADD in his left hand as he moved his way through the corridors of his ship. The Victory had been mostly cleaned up by crews working twenty-four hours and only the barest scent of the Strox lingered in the hallways. He was on his way to Engineering for the express purpose of seeing how the repairs were going.
The heavy double door hissed open and Nugra walked in to face the large warp reactor in the center. The small corridor between two panels opened up in to a circular path that surrounded the pulsing warp core. It was an amazing piece of technology.
Cadfael was on his back under a console, tinkering with the wiring as he swapped out a few power couplings. He heard the swoosh of the door and slowly got to his feet, straightening instantly when he saw that it was the captain. And stood at attention like a good little lackey.
Snapping out of his revelry, Nugra turned to see Ensign Peters looking at him expectantly.
Nugra: Mr. Peters. Greetings. Just came to see how the repairs were progressing.
Peters: Slowly, sir. Those shark things did a number on the systems. Due to the ship crashing onto the bridge it fried at least half the control circuits for the bridge. I need to replace the power couplings in nearly all the bridge consoles, especially the helm control and any command-based functions you run from your chair. And they were vicious beasts with teeth.
The Gorn listened to the engineer as he explained the extent of the damages and tried to remember exactly what each of the parts were. He only was a Chief Engineering for four months and it was in name only. He managed the engineers while they did all the major repairs.
Nugra: Good. Keep up the good work.
Peters: Aye aye, sir. Just another day in the life. :: Pause. He realized they lacked a chief engineer. And this wasn’t the time to mention it, as he was fairly sure he didn’t see Stevens’ name on the manifest anymore. ::
Nugra: One other thing, I noted in the reports of a few people that you repaired a Sunak vessel power conduit. I’m quite impressed. The Sunak engineer Govin made sure to transmit an acknowledgement of your assistance before we left the nebula.
Peters: Did he? Well, hope he liked the tool kit I left him. :: His tools. That was what was missing. And he only just now came to the realization he had the Sunak’s tools and was borrowing one of the Terran based sets from the CE’s office. :: Their tools are really quite ingenious, you know. :: Beat. :: Thank you, sir.
Nugra: Not a problem, Ensign.
Peters: oO Shut up, man. He doesn’t want to hear about it. Oo
Nugra was not well versed in the facial expressions of the humans or any humanoids for that matter. They could make so many different expressions, but he had a sense that Peters was somewhat uncomfortable. The Gorn chuckled inward about that. New members always seemed to be jumpy.
Nugra: Have you ever thought of taking a more active role in engineering, leadership wise?
He was halfway sure this comprised of more than just a social call, though his hearing was still a bit infringed from the lingering effects of the surgery. He slowly relaxed his posture and leaned back against a nearby console, blinking away a bit of dizziness caused by the balance loss.
Peters: Well, eventually yes. That’s my goal. If you’d rather someone with more experience I would understand and not be offended.
Nugra: oO My, you are quite perceptive, Mr. Peters. Oo I think you have had enough experience so far, Mr. Peters. Have you ever thought of holding the Chief Engineer’s position on a starship before?
His hearing was recently repaired, but he thought he hadn’t heard correctly. It wasn’t uncommon for people with hearing difficulties to occasionally mishear. And this was one of those times where he thought he had misheard.
Peters: As I stated before, sir. Eventually. Did you have someone in mind?
Nugra: Well then, good luck with it.
Again, he blinked. This was either a joke and he’d missed the punchline, the captain was pulling his leg, or he’d heard wrong. And once again, the man arched a quizzical eyebrow.
Nugra saw the perplexed look on his face, almost as if he was unsure what was said.
Peters: Is there a punchline?
Nugra: No, Mr. Peters. You're the Chief Engineering Officer as of ten seconds ago. Congratulations and I expect to see a detailed report on my desk in two hours.
It didn’t sink in. For about eight long seconds, he stood dumbfounded. Then he realized he was hearing everything correctly and swallowed.
Peters: Aye, sir. Two hours.
Nugra: :: Chuckling :: You’re right, Mr. Peters. Make that an hour and a half.
Nugra seemed to be taking his leave. And Cadfael got back to work, realizing this tool kit he was borrowing was now his, and he had two hours to compose a detailed report before he had to report back to the captain.
Peters: Talk about strange sense of humor. Fate does indeed have one. :: He swallowed hard and picked up a PADD and started to catalogue his progress in the repairs. ::
(( End Flashback ))
(( Shuttlebay 1, USS Juneau ))
(( Time Index: Present ))
He smiled softly at his welcoming committee and held up his hand in the Vulcan salute since he did recall that not all species were fans of hand shakes.
Peters: Live long and prosper. Lieutenant commander Cadfael Peters, new chief engineer.
Peters: Nah, it’s alright. I know the way. Thanks, though. Be seeing you.
(( Main Engineering, USS Juneau ))
He made his way into engineering with his bag slung over one shoulder. He glanced about once again to get his bearings, as it had been a while since he last stood in this compartment. For some reason, the gold collar felt slightly different than the red, but he had to look at it from the eyes of a chief engineer now. He set his bag down next to his feet for the moment and his eyes caught sight of one of the gold-collared ensigns.
Peters: Pardon me, ensign. I'm lieutenant commander Cadfael Peters, the new chief engineer.
Peters: Pleasure to meet you, ensign Wyss. Could you fill me in on our status?
Lieutenant Commander Cadfael Peters
USS Juneau NX-99801
Featuring flashback content provided by
Commander Nugra, Commanding Officer