NCC - 86105
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A New Opportunity

Posted on Wed Nov 21st, 2012 @ 11:10pm by Captain Benjamin Byrne & Lieutenant JG Ethan Kessel

Mission: Klingons on the Starboard Bow
Location: USS Endeavour - Captain's Ready Room

Benjamin tilted his chair back and rubbed his chin as he contemplated the latest personnel report and the advice that he had sought, both from his new first officer. Though Ensign Amkreth had been doing a sterling job in keeping Engineering running since Commander th'Ralik's departure to head up the new team on DS19, Starfleet's only contributions to the vacant role of chief engineer thus far had been only temporary crew members; more than familiar enough with the standard Sovereign-class specifications, but essentially faceless names, who only served as administrators for the department until they were moved on again to another posting. Amkreth certainly knew the ships engines and was at least familiar with most of the engineering crew, but he wasn't the type of person who could run the department long-term; he had formed no bonds that Byrne or Gaius could see with the other engineering staff, and he seemed to have been content to simply carry out his assigned duties and then keep to himself.

Finally, Byrne came to the decision that he had been building towards since he learnt that Starfleet wouldn't be able to send him a more experienced chief engineer whilst they were in orbit of Cestus, and the decision that he had asked his first officer's opinion on. Tapping the control on his desk to activate the intra-ship comm, he placed his PADD back on his desk and swung his chair around to face forward. "Lieutenant Kessel, please report to my ready room."

Kessel had, as ever, his buried in a panel when he received the communication.

"Now to fix that Blasted Maple Syrup!" he had decided to himself, upon coming off shift. His presence was rarely required on the Bridge, the main engineering readouts being in primary engineering, and he had taken the opportunity to repair what had escalated from a small bug in the electrical systems, to being a major inconvenience.
He had just begun the really intense repairs, when the communication from the Captain caught him of guard. In fact, hearing the voice of the captain with his head in the enclosed space surprised him so much, that he jerked his head upwards. The resounding crash echoed around the corridors. Disentangling himself he exited the panel and tapped his com-badge.

"Lieutenant Kessel here Captain. On my way up now." Then he sighed, wondering what the Captain wanted. He envisioned the Ready room filled with Maple Syrup. Oh God. Please no.
"Computer, freeze all attempts by Starship personal to replicate Maple Syrup. Whether its on pancakes or not." he paused. "Computer, reset default settings. If any personal attempts to Order Maple syrup after being forewarned, please add a five hundred percent increase to Sodium Chloride levels in the foods they order. Including the Deserts." That should stop irritable crew members from stubbornly refusing to take engineering advice. Honestly.
The elusive fix to the "Mystical Maple Syrup Error" remained a mystery. Any attempt to replicate maple syrup, from any ship replicator, for unknown reasons, removed the scale filters from said replicator. The resulting Tidal wave of burning hot maple syrup had already caused minor burns on three Crewmen. After being forewarned, having assumed that somehow regular dietary bans did not apply to them .

A few moments later, he was well on his way to the captain's ready room, and exited the lift. He slowed his pace. Much better to arrive some minutes late, and triumphantly in command, then to arrive on time feeling flustered.
He arrived at the Ready room, and tapped his com-badge.

"Kessel here Sir. You wanted to see me?"

"Yes Lieutenant, please come in," came the Captain's voice over the comm channel.

As the engineer entered the room, Byrne stood and moved towards the replicator. "Please, have a seat," he said, indicating one of the two chairs in front of his desk. "Can I get you anything?" he asked, pointing to the replicator. Ethan nodded his thanks.

"Anything that doesn't have Syrup on it!" he joked. "Tea please. Milk no sugar." The replicator produced the drinks and Kessel accepted the drink gratefully. He sat down at the indicated seat.

"Mmm..." he said, as the warm drink filled him. He had been in desperate need of a cup of tea all day. "Thank you for the tea. To what do I owe the pleasure?" he asked. Then his eyes flicked back to the replicator. "It's not about the Maple Syrup again is it?"

"No," Benjamin chuckled, sitting down with his steaming cup of coffee. "Though I have been meaning to ask how close you are to fixing that?"

Kessel groaned. "I think the glitch must be in the hardware parts themselves, or in the latest patch for the replication codes... I have gone over everything a hundred times, and haven't found the problem yet. I will though... Eventualy. Hopefully when I don't have the Gorn or the Klingon's breathing down my neck..."

"Keep at it," Byrne said, nodding before he turned the conversation towards its intended point. "The reason I asked you here Lieutenant is to give you an offer. As you know, since Commander th'Ralik's departure, the engineering department has lacked much of the stability it needs to run effectively. I'd like you to provide that stability, and act as our new chief engineer."

Kessel blinked. "Me?" he asked. "Chief Engineer? Sir, I am honoured, but surely there are more experienced officers better suited to the task? Why me?"

"True, you're not the most experienced officer in Starfleet," Byrne responded. "But your file lists you as more than qualified to run an engine room, and you know the ship and you know the crew. Frankly, I'd much rather someone with those two attributes running main engineering than a senior officer too distant from either to make the team work at its best."

Kessel thought for a moment. "In that case Captain... Thank you. I accept the offer gratefully. You won't be disappointed, I assure you."

"I'm sure I won't," Benjamin replied with a smile, standing up to shake the man's hand. "Congratulations, Lieutenant. Petty Officer Blaise will set you up with anything you need for your new office."

Ethen stood up, a myriad of emotions running through him. A childlike Excitement, apprihention, elation and anxiety. It was all very new. Instead, he stood up, and gripped Byrne's hand firmly in his own.

"Thank you very much Captain. For the position, and your confidence in me."

"I trust it is well placed," Benjamin responded. "Now... I think you have a replicator problem to sort out."

Captain Benjamin J. Byrne
Commanding Officer


Lieutenant JG Ethan Kessel
Chief Engineer
USS Endeavour


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