Friday, December 6, 2013

Finding inspiration

Finding inspiration isn't always as easy as it sounds. Actually, most of the time I find myself looking for inspiration and not finding any. It's not an easy concept to grasp. Sometimes I'm in an (what I like to call) inspired mood. For me, those usually last a few days and my stories take huge leaps forward. They seem to appear out of nowhere, I just wake up with a bunch of ideas on how a story should continue and I spend hours writing them down and perfecting them. After a while, it just stops as suddenly as it started. 

I never use my inspired mood to actually write pieces other than simple drafts. I mainly work on plots, certain scenes I want to add to the story and adding depth to my characters. Surprisingly enough I'm not a better writer when I get inspired. My grammar gets a little sloppy and I tend to get into too much detail. I always need to go back in later and eliminate half of the details I put in. 

But now for the hard part: what if inspiration seems to have taken a leave of absence? What if it just doesn't start flowing the way you like it to? There are tricks to get inspiration and for everyone there's another one that works. I mainly use three tricks to get on in my stories.

The first trick is research and reading. When I need inspiration I just start reading up on the subject. This week I've been working on the plot for the USS Falcon Christmas Special. To start I did the simplest thing I could think of, I googled on the term 'Christmas special'. That lead me to a bunch of Christmas special related wiki pages including a full listing of Christmas specials from running shows. While going through all the information I found I made a mind map to keep track of Christmas related ideas. Later on I'll use that to determine the main plot of the special. 

The second trick is using the characters of the story. Since the characters of the USS Falcon are pretty much done I can get inspiration by just examining how they would react to a particular situation or another character. It gives information on what plotlines could work. For example, I don't have a religious character in this story so it would make no sense to focus on the religious part of Christmas. 

The last trick is using cliches to your advantage. I've talked about this before and I can't talk about it enough: cliches are cliches because they work. So use them to your advantage. My mind map for the Christmas special is loaded with cliches. Not because I'm going to copy them into the story, but because they can help me set up a plot for this special. 

So that's my way of finding inspiration when I'm not in a flow. I'm curious, what do you guys do to get inspiration?

Friday, November 29, 2013

Overcoming a writersblock by writing a Holiday Special

Hello again. As you may have noticed it has been quiet on this blog again. It's not because I haven't written anything lately, but mainly because I'm stuck in chapter 5 of the first Star Trek Falcon episode. I'm okay with what I've written so far, but I'm not sure how to make the transition to the second part of the chapter. Later today I'm giving it another try, but if that doesn't work I'll consider dropping the second part.

Something that hasn't been helping is the fact that while watching the third season of Star Trek Enterprise I realized that some characters needed a little bit more work so they won't resemble certain characters of Enterprise too much. I have to say that it wasn't exactly the most encouraging moment when I realized that the story needed a little bit more work than I initially thought. Of course, since the first version it really has come a long way, but it wasn't quite there yet. I'm happy to report that I'm actually working on character profiles for all the main characters and I'm putting a lot of thought into their development throughout the series.

To get myself going again with the story I picked up a little side project for this month. Since Christmas is approaching I decided to write a Christmas Special involving the senior staff of the Falcon. Today I started brainstorming and I hope to have a plot and chapter planning for the special ready by the end of the weekend. Although you guys haven't met all the senior staff members just yet I decided to include them all into the special. Just consider it a sneak peek of what to expect of the dynamics between characters.

That's really all for now. I hope that you're as excited about the special as I am. Also, I'll try to update the Episode one again this week. I've been stuck for long enough.

For now, have a great weekend and I hope I'll see you again.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The art of finishing

It's been too long since I wrote here. Of course there are reasons why it took me so long to write, but basically it all boils down to this: I have a problem finishing what I start. It's a common problem among (fanfiction)writers. We get inspired, start typing away and end up with a writersblock that is just too scary to overcome. Just take a look around at and you'll know exactly what I mean. Half of the work is unfinished or 'temporary' on hold.

When I was last here I promised you guys that the 'The last little bit' (Arrow) would be done by the start of the second season. As you may have noticed, that was last month and I haven't even uploaded a single chapter. To be quite honest, I haven't even written a paragraph for this story. The reason why is simple, I couldn't get into the flow of the first season. I totally lost touch with the characters and found it impossible to write anything that wasn't incredibly out of character. Apart from that I never really made a planning on what would be happening in the remaining 3 chapters (the last one I have a pretty good idea), so I had to go back and find things to write about. I can tell you, that's hard when you can't seem to get into the flow of the show anymore.

And there you have it, a writersblock. Combined with a demanding life (exams at school, coworkers who come down with something) this is fatal for any piece I write and no piece seems to be immune to it.

The next couple of months I want to focus on learning how to finish. Not just for writing fanfictions, but also for writing blogposts (I have at least 10 unfinished blogposts in my concepts folder) and original (short) stories I work on. I want to master the art of finishing.

So what to expect for the coming month? I'm sorry to say but I'm putting 'The last little bit' on hold again. I'll be working on the story planning and hope I'm getting back into the flow by watching the second season. I'm getting back to you when I can finish it.

Star Trek Falcon will be back shortly. I've been watching Star Trek Enterprise and I have a whole bunch of cool new idea's for new episodes. But first things first, next chapter of episode one will be a scene involving Captain Dolch and Lieutenant Wildt. I'll be going a little into the background of Danielle Dolch, Mick Dolch and Kevin Wildt. I think it'll be very interesting.

As for the blog posts, I really want to write about writersblocks, tips and tricks to finish a story and planning a story before you start writing. I have enough idea's really. If you have anything you'd like to see a post about, just let me know in the comments and I'll see what I can do.

That's it for now. Hope you'll stay tuned and I'll see you next time.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Dexter: Guardian Angel

Title: Guardian Angel
Rating: Fiction T
Chapter: 1 of 1 (one shot)
Summary: Dexter shouldn’t take Batista for a fool, because god knows, he isn’t. He’s just a hell of a friend.
Disclaimer: If Dexter had been mine, it would have ended differently.

Author Note: I know I should be working on my (overdue) Arrow fanfic, but since I watched the final episode of Dexter today I just couldn’t get this idea out of my head. I can’t say I’m a fan of the last season of Dexter, but I loved this scene. This is my take on what is on Batista’s mind when he is confronted with Saxon’s death. Enjoy and don’t forget to tell me what you think of it!

Guardian Angel

Batista couldn’t have been more surprised when he was called down to deal with an incident involving Saxon. Not only had the sorry excuse for a human being been stabbed to death with a pen, apparently Dexter Morgan was somehow involved. At first Batista had thought he had simply misunderstood and the officer at the scene had mentioned Dexter in some other context, but that feeling had faded fast when he found Dexter sitting in a corner of the interrogation room. He felt a knot form in his stomach, what had Dexter gotten himself into?

The footage of what had happened was shocking to say the least. It was almost like he wasn’t looking at Dexter, but at somebody completely different. Quinn stared blankly at the TV screen, his mouth curled into a deep frown. Although the officers on the scene had said it looked like self-defense that wasn’t exactly what the footage was showing. Of course, Saxon had launched at Dexter first, wounding him in the left shoulder. But what happened then looked more like a premeditated murder, like it had all been part of a plan. He moved fast and with a deadly precision, much like somebody who had a lot of experience in killing.

Dexter was still sitting in the corner of the room, leaning against both walls. Batista could be mistaken, but he didn’t seem particularly sorry about what had happened, nor did he seem to be in shock. He slowly let his head rest against the wall and let out a small sigh as he looked away from the screen.

Batista looked back just in time to see how Dexter calmly pressed the alarm button after observing the scene for a few moments. There was something eerie about the way he pressed that button. Batista paused the tape and put the remote back on the table. He took a moment to order his thoughts before speaking. “Dexter…” He looked at the man he had called a friend for so many years, and then looked back at the paused image on the screen. “Help me out here. What, what were you doing with Saxon?” He tried to look Dexter in the eye, but Dexter avoided his gaze.

 “I went in to do a GSR test.” He stated in a matter of fact tone, like he was pointing out the obvious. To Batista it was anything but the obvious. 

“But you don’t even work here anymore, how are we gonna explain this?” He made a helpless gesture at the TV screen. He understood Dexter, why he had done what he had done. Like hell, he would have liked to do it himself after what the bastard had done to Deb, but how was he ever going to explain a former employee walking in to do a test that hadn’t even been ordered yet and then ending up stabbing the suspect to death with a pen? Even if Dexter wouldn’t have had a motive this would have been suspicious at best.

“I’m officially here until the end of the week.” Dexter looked at Batista from the corner of his eyes.

Batista couldn’t believe what he was hearing. There was no doubt left in his mind that Dexter had murdered Saxon, and that he had planned the whole thing. He had counted on Batista to deal with the incident and letting him off the hook. Batista threw Dexter an annoyed look. Did he even realize what kind of moral dilemma he was facing right now? Why did he have to go and take matters in his own hands while Saxon was going to get a well deserved death penalty anyway? It seemed so pointless.

Not that it mattered anymore. Turning back time so that he could smack some sense into Dexter wasn’t exactly an option, so he had to go with second best: Covering up what had happened in that cell and hope it would never see the light of day. “Okay. But why would you personally do this test? After what he did to Deb.”

“It’s exactly because of what he did to Deb that I went in there. I wanted to make sure everything was handled perfectly, by the book. No mistakes.” He looked at Batista from the corner of his eye, as if he was checking to see whether Batista was going along with his story. “And I wanted to look him in the eye.” He added after a pause as his eyes narrowed.

Batista could feel a chill going down his spine. This was a side of his friend he had never seen before, but somehow it felt like it had always been there, hiding in the dark. He threw Quinn a questioning look, before he was going to do this, he needed to know whether Quinn was going along with this.

Quinn had been quiet during the whole thing, he never said a word. Batista knew Quinn and Dexter didn’t exactly classify as friends. After all, it wouldn’t be the first time Quinn questioned Dexter’s actions. Quinn briefly glanced back before going back to staring at the screen. He didn’t seem interested in punishing Saxon’s murderer for his actions, not after what the man had done to Deb.

He glanced briefly at Dexter before focusing on the still image of Saxon bleeding to death while Dexter watched. Finally he nodded. “Okay, I get that.”

Quinn shrugged slightly as he looked from Batista to Dexter. “It’s obviously self defense.” He finally spoke. Dexter eyed him suspiciously. Quinn just nodded at him.

“Yeah…” He added in a low voice. “We got everything we need.” He knew he made the right call, Dexter deserved better than going down for murdering a serial killer. He looked back at the screen.

“I’m glad he’s dead. I wish I could have done it myself.” Quinn spoke up, Batista nodded in agreement as he clenched his jaw. The world was a much better place without Saxon.

He got up before turning to Dexter again. “You should go Dex, I know you have a lot to deal with.” Like getting out of the country, in case somebody not as understanding would lay eyes on this tape. Cautiously Dexter got to his feet, like he didn’t quite believe they’d let him walk.

“Yes.” He straightened his back and quickly walked across the room. His shoulder didn’t seem to bother him that much as he opened the door to leave.

“Hey…” Batista stopped Dexter in the doorway. Dexter turned around with a questioning look on his face. Casually he slipped his hand in the pocket of his pants as he held the door open. There he was again, the Dexter Batista knew, like nothing had happened. He let out a sigh before continuing. “I’m praying for her.” He simply said. Dexter looked at him with a face that looked like a mix of sadness and regret. He let out a sigh. Batista wasn’t sure what to think of it. Without saying another word he nodded and turned around.

Batista watched him leave the station. There was no doubt in his mind he had done the right thing letting Dexter get away with murder. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Star Trek Falcon Episode 101.4 - Spread your wings

Title: Star Trek Falcon – Episode one: Spread your wings
Rating: Fiction K+
Chapter: 4 of 10
Captain Danielle Dolch has just received her first command, the newly upgraded USS Falcon. While the last few updates and tests are being conducted she and her crew arrive at the space doc for their mission of exploration near the Neutral zone.
Disclaimer: The Star Trek universe belongs to paramount pictures, I’m just borrowing it and using it as a playground.

Author Note:
This chapter was originally the second chapter of this episode, but I just felt like there would be more interesting to go with Emma and Mick first for two chapters to establish the relationship between them a little more before the story goes on. Also, this is a really fast update after the last chapter because part of this chapter has been written earlier. I would like to make it a habit to update so fast, but I’m afraid I won’t be able to write that fast in the future. Besides, my neglected Arrow fanfiction really needs some attention.

Anyway, as always I welcome any comments, tips or ideas for later chapters. Enjoy this next chapter.

Chapter 4 – What to expect

The halls of the USS Falcon were deserted as Danielle made her way to the bridge. Somehow she could appreciate the quiet and peaceful atmosphere of a ship during the period of docking and preparing for a new mission.

The USS Falcon was an older ship in the fleet, but during the last couple of months it had been upgraded to meet the requirements for its upcoming mission near the neutral zone. Although nobody expected trouble with the Romulans some admiral higher up had ruled that it wouldn’t hurt to fit the Falcon with a brand new weapons array and state of the art sensor equipment, just in case. When Danielle had learned that the Admiral in question had been the former captain of the USS Falcon, she couldn’t help but to smile. She would have done the same thing.

As she continued down the hall her train of thought was interrupted by agitated voices coming from the hallway leading to the Armory. Danielle hesitated, the Bridge was the other way. If there was something going on in the Armory that she ought to know about she trusted her staff to contact her. After all, she had selected them with great care. On the other hand, the bridge would manage without her and a slight detour couldn’t hurt. Curiosity got the better of her and she changed direction towards the Armory.

In the Armory she found her Chief Tactical Officer and Armory Officer arguing loudly. “I could be mistaken off course, but I believe I was assigned as Chief Tactical Officer aboard this vessel. You might as well leave tactical decisions to me, Caranore.”

“I would leave tactical decisions to you Marchant, if you were making tactical decisions that wouldn’t potentially threaten the ship.”

“Oh nonsense!” Marchant screeched in her high pitched voice and British accent.

Caranore grinned at her. “Is it now? It’s like the torpedoes all over again. I don’t need to remind you who turned out to be right, right?” Caranore paused for a moment as Marchant gave him an annoyed look. “Who made you Chief Tactical Officer anyway?” He asked.

Danielle cleared her throat, if this wasn’t her cue she didn’t know what was. “That, Lieutenant, would be me.” Marchant almost jumped to attention while Caranore swirled around. He opened his mouth to say something but Danielle put up a hand to silence him. “Lieutenant, I’d like you to take a moment to reconsider the remark you’re about to make and keep in mind that I am the Captain of this vessel.”

Caranore closed his mouth, caught off guard he blinked. “How did you know?” Danielle smiled at her Armory Officer.

“What can I say? I have a brother like you.” She looked at her two senior officers. “Now, what seems to be the problem?”

“We have a disagreement over where the phasers should be stored.” Marchant gave Caranore an angry glare, but he seemed unimpressed.

Danielle looked from one to the other, they had to be kidding. “Don’t we have protocols for that sort of thing?” She asked.

“Yes, we do.” Caranore answered in a dry tone. “Protocol states phasers should be stored in the Armory and distributed as needed when needed.” He smirked at Marchant. “And seeing we’re currently safely docked I’d say we don’t need phasers distributed all over the ship.” He paused. “Just imagine what trigger happy Tactical officers might cook up while being bored.” He added in a low voice.

Marchant rolled her eyes. “You left out the part of the protocol where the Chief Tactical Officer, a.k.a. me, gets to decide what ‘distributed as needed when needed’ means.”

Danielle suddenly had the feeling she was a kindergarten teacher trying to resolve a fight between two five-year-olds instead of a starship captain. She gave her officers a skeptic look. “Seriously? Is this what I can expect of the two of you for the rest of the mission? Don’t you have anything better to do than argue over when, how or where the phasers should or should not be stored?” Marchant looked at the tips of her shoes while Caranore just kept staring straight ahead, neither of them seemed interested in looking their captain in the eye. “That’s what I though.” Danielle concluded. “Carry on.” She nodded her head and turned to leave the Armory.

As the doors of the armory slit shut behind her she could hear the discussion between her two officers continue in lowered voices. Although she knew she shouldn’t she couldn’t help but to smile. One was even more stubborn than the other but she was quite sure they were evenly matched and eventually they’d settle on what would be the best for the ship. Might take a while, but they would get there.

Without further incident she reached the turbo lifts. As she entered she heard footsteps quickening as they approached. “Hold it for me, would you?” Danielle turned around to find Ensign Spinn running towards her. He was a short, slightly chubby guy who looked in no way like the pilot he was. Danielle patiently waited for him to make it to the lift before ordering it to the bridge of the Falcon. Spinn caught his breath. “Thanks” He managed between breaths.

“No problem.” Danielle looked at her most talented helmsman in a slightly amused manner. “Just out of curiosity, when was the last time you worked out?” She asked. The lifts halted on the first deck and Spinn pulled his uniform in place before the doors opened.

“I walked here, didn’t I?” He stepped out onto the bridge and headed towards the helm.

The bridge of the USS Falcon was unlike any other bridge in Starfleet. Due to the recent upgrades it had this beautiful mix of old design and state of the art equipment. Most stations had been upgraded, but others seemed to be left untouched. In the center was only one captain’s chair, which was currently occupied by her first officer.

Edward Hays was a tall, slender man with brown hair and dark blue eyes. Rumor had it he had Vulcan blood somewhere down the line, but nobody had ever dared to ask. He got to his feet as soon as he noticed Danielle had arrived on the bridge. “Captain, what a pleasant surprise, I thought you were off duty. What can I do for you?” He greeted her.

“Nothing in particular Commander, I thought I’d check on how things are up here before calling it a day.”  She paused and looked around. “Did anything happen today I ought to know about?”

Hays shook his head. “No, I’m afraid it has been an uneventful day.” He took a glance at the viewing screen. “Unsurprising seeing we are still docked.” He added in a matter-of-fact tone.

Danielle followed his gaze. The screen was currently showing the docking port bursting with activity. She nodded slowly, even she had to admit she was ready for some action. A wish she was afraid she’d come to regret. “Well, by tomorrow that screen is going to show us nothing more than stars flashing by. Let’s just be patient and enjoy the peace and quiet for now.” She smiled as Hays raised an eyebrow at her. “Before you know it you’ll find yourself longing back for it.”

“Somehow Captain, I doubt that.” He replied. He had a skeptic look on his face that didn’t escape Danielle. “It’s only a mission of exploration.”

“I know Commander, but you never really know.” She took a quick glance at the rest of the bridge. Everything seemed to be in order. Not that she had expected anything else, but still. “Well, you seem to have anything under control here. If anything comes up, don’t hesitate to call.”

“Will do Captain. Goodnight.”

“Goodnight Commander.”

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Beta Hero's pick for this TV season

It's September and the new TV season is about to start. After a summer of (re)watching previous seasons of my favorite shows finally the fresh seasons and even fresh shows are about to air. I think this year is very promising. Anyway, here is what I'll be watching this season. (in order of air date)

How I met your mother (September 23rd)
How I met your mother is starting its 9th season this fall. I got in a little late on this show, I started watching the first season last year. Now I'm up to date and looking forward to the new season. I starting to hope Ted will never meet their mother and the show goes on forever. 

 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (September 24th)
This is a brand new show that's airing this year. I have to say, it looks really promising. I've seen a short introduction scene and the trailer and I'm really thrilled. This also looks like a good show to write fanfiction for, so I keep my fingers crossed. 
                             Big Bang Theory (September 26th) 
The Big Bang Theory is starting its 7th season. There are two kinds of people who watch this show: the first kind is normal people who laugh at the characters and the weird things they do. the second kind are the nerds who actually get the jokes. I'm afraid I'm of the second kind. 

Arrow (October 9th)
Arrow is on for another season. It won't surprise you that I'm going to watch this show again this season. I loved the first season (aired last year) and especially the pace and feel of the show.

Almost human (November 4th)
Another new show that I'm really excited about. It combines two of my favorite kinds of shows: police/detective and scifi. Although I'm a little concerned about the show becoming a cliche I'm really looking forward to it. If you're interested, you can watch the trailer here

Community (air date to be announced)
Yes, I'm very excited about the fifth season of Community. I am worried though that it's not going to live up to my expectations. On the bright side, the original writer is rejoining the team so fingers crossed!


Another show I watched over the summer is the 8th season of Dexter. Since the show has been going down hill for a few seasons I wasn't expecting much of it but it's turning interesting now that there's only 2 episodes left. So there's a honerable mention for Dexter.

So that's what is on my watch list this year. I'm curious to see what you'll be watching this season. Let me know in the comments!

~ Chell <3

Friday, September 13, 2013

Star Trek Falcon Episode 101.3 - Spread your wings

Title: Star Trek Falcon – Episode one: Spread your wings
Chapter: 3 of 10
Rating: Fiction K+
Captain Danielle Dolch has just received her first command, the newly upgraded USS Falcon. While the last few updates and tests are being conducted she and her crew arrive at the space doc for their mission of exploration near the Neutral zone.

Disclaimer: The Star Trek universe belongs to paramount pictures; I’m just borrowing it and using it as a playground.

Author Note:
This chapter took me a while to write. I kept getting stuck with the interaction between characters. It just wasn't quite what I had in mind, but I'm happy with what I got down. There was also some delay because halfway through this chapter I realized I hadn't really thought about the ships layout just yet. Over all I'm quite happy with this chapter. I hope you enjoy. As always: feedback, corrections (in spelling/grammar or consistency of the story) and any other thoughts on this chapter are more than welcome. Thank you for reading and don't forget to leave me a comment! 

Chapter three – Hello there stranger

Unlike the rest of the ship the Engineering deck was already buzzing with life. The last 4 weeks Mick had spend most of his time on the Falcon supervising the upgrades carried out by the engineers from space dock. Although his presence on the ship wasn’t required yet, and often thought of as a little nosy, Mick rather spend his time getting familiar with the ships systems than going down to earth to visit home. Technically he was allowed to go on shore leave between his assignments but other than the 4 days he spend with his parents and sisters he hadn’t taken any days off. Earth simply had nothing to offer for him.

“Hey Mick, got a minute?”

Mick closed the panel he had been working on and looked up at his second in command. “What is it Kevin?”

Kevin folded his hands behind his back. It reminded Mick of the time he taught at the academy. Thank god those days were behind them now, if anything it had only damaged their friendship. “I was just wondering if you were on a schedule with the upgrades and diagnostics and if so, where I could find a copy of that schedule.”

“Right, schedule.” Mick hated to admit he didn’t have one. Or at least, he hadn’t the taken the time to formally write it down. So far it hadn’t been a problem. The engineering crew of the Falcon was still on leave for the most part and formally speaking he didn’t have anything to do with the crew from space dock. So the schedule hadn’t been needed, until now. “You can request a schedule for the upgrades from Lieutenant Commander Lauer. He’s responsible for the upgrades to the ship.” Mick paused. “Don’t forget to check your authorization code though. Apparently everything concerning upgrades to the Falcon is classified.” Kevin threw him a questioning look. Mick shook his head. “Don’t ask.”

Kevin raised an eyebrow but didn’t ask about what happened. Mick was thankful he didn’t, it was a long story and he figured the less people knew the better. “So how about the schedule for the diagnostics?” Kevin inquired.

“I’ll get that to you as soon as I wrote it down.” Mick ignored the look Kevin was giving him, he knew he’d disapprove but he didn’t particularly care. “Anything else Lieutenant?” He picked up the data pad he left next to the control panel to see what was next on his to do list.

“Yeah, there’s a pretty lady waiting for you in your office.”

Mick looked up from his pad. He wasn’t sure if he had heard Kevin correctly. “There’s a pretty lady waiting for me in my office?” Mick repeated what he thought he had heard. He couldn’t think of anybody wanting to visit him right now, let alone a woman who could be described as a pretty lady. Unless of course Kevin was just being funny and was referring to Dani, although Mick really couldn’t think of a reason why she’d come down to see him. As far as he knew, he hadn’t done anything that could get him into trouble the last couple of days. Of course, experience told him he didn’t always see trouble coming.

“Yeah, I didn’t really get it either.” Kevin grinned at his own joke. “But all joking aside, she asked if you had time to see her.”

Mick nodded. Although he had enough to do until the upgrades would be finished in a few hours he was pretty sure he could take a few minutes to talk to whoever came to see him. “Did you catch a name?”

Kevin shrugged. “I think it was Zinn or something like that.”

“Zinck maybe? Emma Zinck?”

Kevin thought for a moment and then he nodded slowly. “Yeah, Zinck, I think that was it.” Mick smiled, he was really looking forward to see Emma again. It really had been too long since they spoke. “So who’s she?”

Mick looked at Kevin. “Emma is a friend of mine. She’s been assigned as Science Officer. We haven’t seen each other in a while.”

Kevin grinned at him. “Well you friend is very pretty.” Mick didn’t miss the emphasis Kevin put on the word friend. It was kind of annoying how everybody seemed to think there was something going on between them. Emma really was just a friend. Of course, when they had just met Mick had hoped it could be something more, but since nothing happened he had settled for being friends.

“Well Kev, I’ve got a friend who is waiting for me in my office so if you’ll excuse me.” Mick couldn’t resist stressing the word friend as well as he waited for Kevin to move out of his way. Kevin stepped aside with an amused grin on his face.

“You two have fun!” He called after his commanding officer as he walked away.

“Shut up Kev!” Mick called over his shoulder as he climbed the stairs to the upper deck of Engineering.

Engineering was divided over decks D and E. Mick’s office was located on the upper deck of the engineering department, near the turbo lifts with a great view of the lower Engineering deck. Mick hadn’t used his office all that much yet but he figured that once he had reports to write, read and sign he’d be thankful for a quiet place to work. He didn’t usually admit to it but he was horribly easy to distract, especially from mind dulling activities such as writing, reading or signing reports. Mick considered himself a hands on engineer, with no ambitious whatsoever to move any further up the chain of command.

He found Emma already waiting inside his office. Her face lit up as he closed the door behind him. He simply smiled back. “Hello there stranger!” She greeted him before giving him a hug.

“Has it been that long?”

“Yes! I was so excited when I found out you were assigned to the USS Falcon too!” She beamed at him. Mick instantly remembered why he liked her so much, she was the most cheery and happy person he had ever come across. It was really quite a contrast with his gloomy and sarcastic personality, but it worked and he didn’t complain.

“Yeah, it was a great surprise.” That really was a lie. He basically bullied his sister into giving Emma the job, but that was something she didn’t really need to know. “And now look at you, the Science Officer. Congratulations.”

“I know! Can you believe it?”

“As a matter of fact I can, you’re very talented. I still don’t get why you didn’t get an assignment on a starship before.”

“Flattery will get you anywhere, Commander.” She gently touched the stripes on his uniform. Mick had received his promotion with his new assignment as Chief Engineer. He wasn’t quite sure what to think of it. The next promotion would force him out of Engineering and onto the Bridge, which was his least favorite part of the ship. He liked his new paycheck though and for now, Engineering was his personal playground. “We have a lot of catching up to do.”

Mick nodded in agreement. “How about we have dinner together after I get off?”

She smiled. “I’d like that. What time do you get off?”

“Somewhere around six. I can pick you up around 6:30.”

“That will be a huge detour to the mess hall. I propose we meet here, or at your quarters, or errr, the mess hall. Wherever is convenient for you.” She looked away as brushed her hair out of her face. Mick looked at her in amusement.

“Convenient would be my quarters. It’s basically around the corner from here.”

“Oh, that is convenient! Is it a coincidence?”

“Actually, it is.” Emma threw him a look. “What? It really was. I didn’t even fill in any requests. I figured that after my last assigned quarters, I could get used to anything.” On the Unicorn his quarters had been the worst ever. It was almost like it was far away from everything else on the ship. It had taken Mick months to get used to the time it took to get to Engineering.

Emma smiled at him. “Well, glad to hear you have better quarters this time.”

There was a loud and fast knock on the door. Before Mick could even look up the door slid open. “Commander Dolch, Lieutenant Wildt told me you’d be in here and...” The blue eyed whirlwind who just entered the office stopped dead in his tracks when he saw Emma. There was an awkward silence. “Am I interrupting something?” He finally asked, looking from Mick to Emma and back as he lowered the pad he was holding. “I could come in later if this isn’t a good time.”  

Mick did his best not to laugh. In the doorway was Paul Duval, one of the engineers he had requested for the Falcon. He was a young and brilliant engineer, but he really was a hand full most of the time. “No, Emma was about to leave, right Emma?”

She threw him a quick look and then smiled. “Yes, I was. I’ll see you tonight.” Paul quickly stepped aside so she could leave the office. In the door opening she turned around. “What were your quarters again?”

“Oh right, D226.” He smiled at her. “See you tonight.”

She flashed a quick smile over her shoulder as she headed down the hall towards the crew quarters. Paul cleared his throat. “Do you want me to come back later Sir?”

Mick turned his attention back to the engineer. “No, that’s fine. What is it?”

“I was wondering if you could use a hand for the rest of the shift. I just arrived today, I even think I was on the same shuttle as she was.” Paul seemed to think for a moment before continuing. “Anyway, I don’t feel like doing nothing the rest of the day so I came here. Lieutenant Wildt said you were in your office, he didn’t mention you had company though.”

Of course Kevin didn’t. “Well, Paul. Next time you go through the trouble of knocking, you might as well wait for an answer.”

Paul threw Mick a sheepish look. “Yeah, that makes sense.” He played with the pad he was holding for a moment.

“I’d appreciate that. Now, something for you to do.” Mick trailed off as he carefully considered his options. He had some routine performance checks that needed to be done, but it probably wasn’t a good idea to give Paul a routine task. Paul was easily distracted from anything that wasn’t challenging enough and Mick didn’t feel like double checking everything. “You know what, go see if Lieutenant Lauer can use your help with the upgrades. He’s down stairs with his crew. I can handle the rest with Lieutenant Wildt.” Paul seemed to be a little disappointed. “Thanks anyway Paul, I appreciate you coming to help.”

Paul just nodded and without saying another word he took off again, almost slamming into the door when it wouldn’t open fast enough. Mick shook his head as he watched Paul bounce down the stairs to the lower engineering deck.

The door slid close again and Mick sat down at his desk. He took a fast look at his pad. “Right, schedules.” He mumbled to himself as he got ready to start his first paperwork for this mission.