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.
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.