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Reporting for Duty

Posted on 06 Sep 2016 @ 7:17pm by Commander Kenneth Lawe

Mission: Drydock

It was impossible to tell whether or not Ensign Bronwyn P'ril was smiling unless one knew her, but most assumed that, due to her pointy ears- she was not. Had one asked P'ril, she would have answered that she did not know, either. But, as she walked through the hallways of the Molon Labe, she was decidedly happy.

Or, at least, she wasn't unhappy.

She had just come aboard, dropped her duffel in her quarters, and was now on her way to the CO's office to report for duty. To take any more time would make her late and P'ril was never late. Well, there had been that one time, but it was because her transport shuttle had had technical difficulties and they would not accept her help.

Finally finding the CO's office- which is where the computer had said she would find him, she pressed her thumb to the chime and waited patiently.

"Enter," Ken said, already aware of the impatience of the person behind the door. His first impression, with them just walking up, was the strange 'accent' to their thoughts, which gave him pause. To him it denoted a 'hybrid', not unlike himself. Though the patterns were mostly Vulcan they had a distinctively not Vulcan 'flair' to them. It was confusing and intriguing at the same time.

P'ril entered the office, the almost smile still on her face. "Good morning, sir," she said, handing over the PaDD containing her orders. "Ensign Bronwyn P'ril, Chief Engineer reporting for duty as ordered." Her voice, while even and calm, held definite notes of cheerfulness and excitement, though only the most observant would notice.

"Ah, yes," Ken said setting the PADD aside as if it didn't matter. In truth, it really didn't. "I'm sensing something...off about you. Vulcan but not Vulcan, if that makes sense?"

P'ril gave half a smile for half a moment. "My father is human," she replied. "And my mother, being an anthropologist, believed that my brother and I should be both human and Vulcan. If that makes any sense," she added with another half smile.

"Well, as a hybrid myself, it makes perfect sense," Ken said as he indicated the chair across from the desk. "Tell me about your previous assignments?"

P'ril took the seat primly, like any Vulcan, and yet, unlike any Vulcan. It was just her way. "I had the opportunity to assist the chief engineer of Jupiter station in further instruction of cadets," she answered, little emotion in her voice. "It was, by far, the most rewarding experience of all of them. I went from there to the Impala, an Akira class. It is a fine ship and I enjoyed my time there."

"This assignment would be fairly different from all those, for one the power drain required by the brig deck alone can be challenge," Ken said. "Plus, we'll be in the Delta Quadrant and isolated for weeks at a time. Would that be a problem?"

"Not at all," answered P'ril. "I look forward to the challenges presented by this ship." Leave it to a Vulcan to understate everything.

"Then tell me why you're putting in for this assignment? If you went through the Kohlinar, I'd understand. But as you have not, I must consider your entire application prior to accepting any senior staff."

P'ril wrinkled her brow. She did not see how the Kohlinar would make anything different. Nor could she work out why she should go through it. "I am half human, sir," she pointed out. "It is unlikely that I shall ever go through the Kohlinar, nor would it change my mind should I do it."

"And as you are half human, there are attachments to family, friends and a life here in the Alpha Quadrant. You'd be giving all that up on an extended assignment in the Delta. It'd be much more difficult to jaunt home on leave," Ken pointed out. "As an emotional creature myself, I'm well aware of the loss this would have on a member of the crew, much less a senior staff member."

P'ril blinked and gave him the merest hint of a grin for half a moment. "I am close to my family, this is true," she said. "But we are not attached at the hip, so to speak. I can be without them for a time with no ill effect on any of us."

"Well, okay then," Ken answered. "I understand that you've already obtained your quarters assignment. The ship is still, technically, under the jurisdiction of the shipyard engineering team. But I'm sure you're eager to get in there and start fiddling with Engineering to make it more to your liking?"

This time, her half grin was much more pronounced. "Would I be an engineer if I did not?" she replied in a very human fashion.

"Alright then," Ken said as he handed back the PADD, "you can officially start tomorrow. There are some rules, however: One, I will not have to break up fights between dock crews and ship engineering crews! Two, I will not have to report to the brig or any other holding station to secure the release of my chief engineer because of some pissing contest with the dock crews and staff and Three, should either of the first two rules be necessarily broken, I expect the honor of the Labe to be upheld in grand victorious fashion. We clear?" He kept his countenance stern but couldn't resist the inward smile.

Though his expression was serious she could tell he was half teasing. Oh, sure, he'd be angry if she actually started a fight, but it was clear that he didn't really believe that she would. In fact, he probably didn't believe that any Vulcan would, hybrid or not. However, she could not resist playing as straight faced as he was. "Very clear, sir," she said, face stoney serious. "I will not interfere with the station's engineering crews. Too much," she added, still all serious.

"Good to hear," Ken said, glancing at the terminal sitting on the desk and sighing. More and more complications were always coming through. "You'll be notified of the first staff briefing."

"Understood, sir," answered P'ril. "If there is nothing else, I will get settled."

"Actually, one more thing," Ken said as he leaned back in his chair. "I understand that engineers are of the belief that they sometimes have to ... coddle ... their captains and exaggerate or overstate their needs. I prefer honesty. If you're asked for something and tell me it'll be two hours, that's what I'm going to work with with what else we need to get done. And, in that vein, I also prefer honesty when I'm asking for too much or the impossible? I trust you'll do your very best to work things out as asked, or to get the asked for result so I won't be expecting you to perform miracles when it's not possible. Can we agree to that?"

"Being part Vulcan, I prefer honesty as well, sir," she replied, that vague hint of a smile back on her lips. "It simplifies things. I believe we shall get on just fine."

"Yes, until I expect you to be a miracle worker," Ken said with a chuckle. "Go get settled in, Ensign. I'll see you again at our first staff meeting to say 'oh look, we're in dry dock!'"

She gave him half a smile for half a moment. "I am certain that some of us will have forgotten," she said, standing. "It was a pleasure meeting you, sir," she added before turning and heading out the door.

Ken chuckled as he watched her go. He always found engineers strangely odd and this one was no different. She should bring an interesting aesthetic to the crew. He glanced at his terminal, wondering if there were any other appointments he'd forgotten or if he could sneak away to the gym and take out paperwork frustration on a heavy bag?

 

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