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Re-learning the Ropes

Posted on 20 Jun 2015 @ 6:40am by Commander C. Kos & Lieutenant Commander Terry Walsh

Mission: Repairs
Location: USS Black Hawk, Deck 12, Flight Deck
Timeline: MD -1

Terry’s belongings had been placed in his quarters but he really hadn’t spent much time with them. He chose rather to spend the “settle in” time between arriving and reporting in by checking out the support craft on the flight deck. Unpacking could wait.

He made his way around to the Mississippi, a Danube class runabout. It was an intense little craft, it and the other runabout. The former Marine fighter pilot was looking forward to getting behind the console of one of those...and not be in a simulator.

The Black Hawk's Executive Officer bustled through the corridor of deck 12. Mac had set herself a schedule for getting a department by department inspection done in just a couple of duty shifts. Her plan, however, had fallen apart when the bio-medical labs had to be quarantined after a newly-discovered microbe was found to have somehow escaped it's stasis. Dealing with that situation had cost her half a day. So it was that she was just now getting to inspect the flight deck, a full 25 hours later than originally planned.

Her pace slowed as she approached the doors onto the expansive flight deck. The doors parted and she walked into the cavernous room, which had several support craft occupying some of the deck space. In the distance, she could see the USS Tigris, her attached sensor pod identifying the craft as being configured for scientific purposes. Near the Tigris, were two other support vessels, both Type-18 shuttlepods. Closer to her position, but off to her left, Mac saw the Mississippi. Unlike her sister, the Tigris, the Mississippi sported the standard Danube-class configuration. It was then that she noticed an officer looking intently at the Mississippi.

"You flown one of these before Lieutenant," she inquired, having taken a quick glance at his insignia.

Terry looked over in the direction of the voice. The first thing he saw was the bright red hair, the second, the three bright gold pips. This must be the XO, he thought to himself. He took a couple of steps back from the runabout before responding.

“Mostly in a simulator. My actual hours logged are few. Well, few on one of these,” he said, nodding over to the support craft. “I can’t wait to get one of them out of the hangar, though.”

"You've logged a lot of flight hours, Lieutenant?" she asked him. She was already impressed by what appeared to be a well-maintained physique, although she found that duty uniforms managed to prevent verification of such things.

It was a question that Terry expected to get several times. He chuckled and replied, “Well Ma’am, I’m a former Marine fighter pilot. That’s where all of my logged hours come from. Some were training, but quite a few combat hours. Long story short, I resigned my commission in the Corp for two years and then came back. They were downsizing and didn’t have a place for me. So I moved over to the Fleet side of the house and learned the differences between fighters and support craft. First thing I learned was that runabouts and shuttles don’t maneuver quite like fighters.” He laughed as he remembered an instance in the Academy’s Flight School.

Mac smiled. The Lieutenant was charming as well as attractive. "I'll keep that in mind, on the off chance I find myself in a fighter," she replied. "What brings you to the hanger today, Lieutenant..." She hoped he would fill in the blank.

“Oh, just checking out what kind of shuttles are onboard. I read that the Black Hawk had been refitted and wanted to know if her shuttles and runabouts were updated or new.” He rolled his shoulders forward and pulled at the uniform top. “They’ve never made these things in my size...giant. Anyway, what brings you down here, Commander? If you don’t mind my asking, that is, Ma’am.”

He's pretty, but he's not the smartest, she thought, after the Lieutenant managed to not provide his name despite Mac's attempt to get it. "Ship-wide inspection. Part of the job. As Executive Officer." She hoped that the solidly built officer would be more compliant if she made her position clear. "Why are you milling about in the hanger, Mister....," her voice trailing off, again hoping that he would provide his name.

Terry realized that he hadn’t introduced himself or his position on the ship...and that his earlier guess was entirely correct. “Walsh, Lieutenant Walsh. My apologies, Commander.” He came to attention. “Chief Support Craft Pilot and Assistant Flight Control Officer reporting.”

Mac extended her hand. "Nice to meet you Mister Walsh. Commander Kos."

Terry shook hands with his Executive Officer. “Nice to meet you as well, Commander.” Whew, that was close, he thought.

She looked back at the Mississippi. "Shall we check her out on the inside?"

Terry grinned. “Yes, let’s,” he replied. Terry followed Commander Kos into the Mississppi.

Kos took the lead. She opened the hatch and stepped into the runabout. Once Walsh was onboard also, she motioned for him to take the pilot's seat. "Go ahead and run her through pre-flight."

Terry nodded. “Alright.” He sat down in the pilot’s seat and activated the runabout. Power hummed through the Mississippi as her warp core came online and the computer came to full operations. In just a few seconds, all the primary systems were online and Terry was running basic diagnostics on them. “Updated and refitted...nice.”

At that moment, a voice came over the runabout’s comm. “Flight Deck Operations to USS Mississippi. You have not been authorized to launch. Power down your systems immediately.”

"Flight Ops, this is Commander Kos. I'm on the Mississippi conducting an inspection."

"Sorry, sir," returned the voice from Flight Operations.

"Carry on Flight Ops. Mississippi out." Mackenzie looked at Walsh. "Nice to see that they are doing their job. Continue pre-flight."

Terry chuckled. “Yeah, they’re on top of things alright.” He did a quick survey of the shields and inertial dampeners...all good. He turned his attention to the diagnostic readout of the weapons systems...within parameters as well. The warp engine was running smoothly and none of the other diagnostics pinged anything bad in the systems. “All the systems are doing what they’re supposed to do, Commander.” He patted the top of a console. “She’s a fine runabout.”

"Glad you approve Lieutenant," Mac responded. She couldn't help but take a certain pride in the ship, and it's constituent parts/systems, when an outsider took notice. It was a trait common enough among Starfleet engineers that it was likely taught, subversively, at the Academy. Despite her current tenure in Command, she was still very much an engineer.

"Power her down," Kos requested of the attractive pilot. Harvey, her brain reminded her. What about Harvey?

“You’ve got it, Commander.” Terry powered down the Mississippi and stood. “After you.”

Both officers having exited the Mississippi, Mackenzie looked at her PADD, and the notification that she was long overdue in a meeting with the senior Operations staff. "I have to get going, but we should have lunch sometime."

Terry smiled that half-crooked grin he was famous for. Lunch with a pretty redhead, he thought, yeah, that would be shiny. “Lunch? Sure, but I should warn you, I’m a carnivore.” Then he added, “I have a feeling, though, that you’re going to be pretty busy for a while, doing XO stuff and all.”

Mac smiled. "We'll figure something out. Welcome to the Black Hawk, Mister Walsh."


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