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Matters of Engineering

Posted on 24 Apr 2017 @ 2:57am by Lieutenant JG Michael Griffin & Vice Admiral Zachary O'Connell

Mission: Shore Leave
Location: Deep Space 11
Timeline: August 31, 2388

With matters with the XO settled, Zachary turned his attention to the remaining PADDs in front of him to complete a makeshift senior staff for Geisler's new command. The Admiral knew Harvey well, and he would be certain that he'd catch some flak for assembling the man's new Senior Staff without him. However, he'd rather deal with the Captain's attitude than catching flak of his own from Admiral Archer. The two had just entered a working relationship and Zachary needed to make an appropriate first impression.

He sorted the PADDs to only have three dossiers to review. Lieutenant Marion, the center PADD, had already taken an assignment with the USS Arizona. Zachary knew of Captain Cowell's reputation, and of his relationship with the young lieutenant. He was better letting her disappear into the sunset with the old curmudgeon than trying to convince her to return to Geisler's command.

Before him now where the profiles for Lieutenant Peters and Lieutenant Griffin. Both had been capable officers aboard the Black Hawk and were familiar with Geisler's command style. He could see notes from Lieutenant Marion in both logs, commending the officers for their performance on duty.

But it was something that Harvey had written himself in Griffin's file regarding the man's performance during the ship's final battle. Lieutenant Marion had left Engineering to deal with a crisis while Griffin held the engine room together until the call to abandon ship came.

In that moment, Zachary's decision was made. Tapping his badge, he called out, “O’Connell to Tanika. Locate Lieutenant Griffin and have him report to my office immediately.”

Michael had taken some time off to relax a little but this had quickly turned in a different kind of assignment as he witnessed the destruction caused by the Consortium on New Bajor. Feeling guilty about taking time off while the colony was in shambles, he decided to help with reconstruction efforts. As such when Tanika had traced him down he would be working on the power supply of a nearby settlement. A bit grumpy about being summoned at first, this quickly changed when it became clear that the order came from someone well above their pay grades. Michael put down his work and made his way to Deep Space 11 where he would continue to the office of Admiral O'Connell. After making sure his uniform was as proper as possible, he rang the chime.

Zachary had been standing and shuffling the PADDs around on his desk, working deeper with other personnel files, when the chime sounded. "Come in," he ordered, not bothering to look up immediately. When he finally did, just a couple seconds after the doors slid apart, he looked up to see the officer he'd summoned. Lieutenant Griffin looked like he'd seen better days, well, at least his uniform did. Zachary figured that the engineer lost most of his belongings with the Black Hawk, but he would have hoped that he would have picked up a new uniform by now. But, perhaps the outfit was well-worn for different reasons. "Keeping busy, I assume, Lieutenant? Can I get you something to drink?"

As Michael stepped in he saluted the Admiral "My apologies sir, I was helping a nearby settlement and when summoned came here immediately without changing uniforms first" He replied after which he relaxed again a bit. "A glass of water would be great, sir."

The Admiral replicated a glass of water for the young engineer, as well as a cup of tea for himself. During his wife's pregnancy, the very smell of coffee made her vomit each and every time, even when they'd kissed hours after he drank a cup. He'd gotten extremely used to tea as a substitute, but still hadn't picked it back up even though his son was born a couple months ago.

Returning to the desk, Zachary handed Michael the glass and gestured for him to have a seat. "It's hard not to want to help after what the Consortium did. The damage to the planet alone is going to take a few years to recover from."

Michael took the glass and sat down in a chair. "Yes, I couldn't stand seeing things as they were while enjoying a shore leave. What the Consortium has done is unforgivable" He replied.

"I'll say," Zachary said in a low tone, having seen on more than one occasion the perversions created by the Consortium. He sipped the tea as he sat behind the desk and studied the young man's face. "You seem a bit familiar," he remarked.

Michael could guess why he seemed familiar, and to avoid creating the wrong impression by referring directly to his mother, he would opt to mention the family member under the Admiral in the Chain of Command. "You may have met my sister, sir. She commands the Scorpio"

"Ah," Zachary said, before sipping the tea and setting the mug on the desk in front of him. Zachary had the pleasure of meeting the Scorpio's former commander once. But that was yet another sour taste the Consortium left behind, taking down one of the Task Force's revered flagships. "Indeed I have. She probably doesn't have an engineering background, does she?"

"No she doesn't" Michael acknowledged. "My family was always more into the Intelligence side of things, I think I shocked them when I announced I was was pursuing Engineering at the Academy instead" He added with a small grin.

"I can see how that would be a shock," Zachary replied. "My only family is an aunt and uncle who owned a farm in the middle of Kansas. They wanted me to keep up the family farm, but they learned all too quick my mind was in the stars. So, I pursued a career in Engineering. In a way, I envy you, Lieutenant. Not high up enough on the chain to be bound by it, and still low enough to lend a hand where it's needed."

"The office definitely is a perk though" Michael responded jokingly to lighten the mood a bit. "Though I must say it is nice to have someone in a leadership role without Security or Intelligence as a background"

Zachary smiled, wondering if the engineer was referring to the flag officer before him, or Captain Geisler whose background was in medical. "It gives us a unique perspective for sure," he admitted. "What do you think about having an office of your own?"

Michael looked up at the Admiral, he had an idea where this conversation was going but he didn't want to jump to any conclusions. "I'd probably spend most of my time outside of it, but I wouldn't mind sir" He replied.

"Just as any engineer should," Zach said with a smile. "Too be honest, I rarely used my own office until Starfleet convinced me to trade engineering gold for command red." Just the memory of being promoted to the Delphinus' XO position was enough to force a soft sigh from his lungs. He very much missed his engine room, but command seemed to suit him far more lately.

"Let me get to the point, Lieutenant. I don't have to rehash what's happened in the Gamma Quadrant. The bottom line is, we've got to restaff and rebuild as quickly as possible. The Fourth Fleet doesn't have a lot available to send our way, but we've been guaranteed quite a few right out of drydock. I intend to put Harvey Geisler in command of one of those, and he needs a Chief Engineer."

Michael was both ecstatic to hear the offer but wary at the same time. "Before I accept Admiral I do need to make sure my mother has had nothing to do with it. I do not want to take the spot of anyone who might be more deserving of the role"

Zachary raised an eyebrow. "Your mother?" he asked. The Admiral hadn't reviewed the man's family connections, and had only realized that Michael was a sibling to the commander of the Scorpio during this very meeting. Zachary took a heartbeat to consider whether or not he should know the woman's identity before ultimately deciding that since the words were already out there, he may as well continue. "And just who might that be?"

Michael couldn't help but feel he had overspoken, if the Admiral truly didn't know of his parent that meant revealing it could in itself cause problems. "My apologies, sir. I assumed you knew, my mother is Admiral Archer and she has tried to push my career in the past so I wanted to make sure that wasn't the case here"

Zach nodded, committing the familial connection to memory for future reference. "In your instance, family and influence had nothing to do with it. Lieutenant Marion has accepted assignment with the Arizona and is insisting on moving on. As the second in command on the former ship, you are the likely candidate. But only if you want it, of course."

Michael nodded. "In that case it would be my absolute honour to accept the assignment. Captain Geisler has proven a capable commander before and it would be a privilege to serve under his command again"

"Excellent," Zachary said. He reached over to his isolinear rack and withdrew a chip. "It won't be official until this afternoon, but seeing what I have to go through to get you assigned, I shouldn't be worried. This contains all of the relevant information of your new ship. She's still at Utopia Planetia, and I'd recommend you get aboard as soon as possible to oversee the final details. That, of course, is an engineer talking to an engineer, not an Admiral to a Lieutenant."

Michael stood up and saluted the Admiral once more. "Thank you very much, sir. I will definitely make sure that they put everything in the right place" He said, barely able to contain his excitement.

"I'm sure you will," Zachary said, returning the salute. "Dismissed, Lieutenant."

Michael nodded before walking out the door, he'd probably finish his work at the settlement first but afterwards proceed to the designated facility posthaste.

 

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