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With the Prophets Guidance

Posted on Fri Feb 15th, 2019 @ 5:07pm by Captain James McCullen & Lieutenant Zemta Kriv

Mission: Reactivation
Location: Captain's Quarters, USS Sentinel
Timeline: MD3, 1920 Hrs

James McCullen flopped into his chair and let his head roll back against the headrest, after a day of hard work he was feeling every second of his 59 years of existence. It had been a day of preparation and manual labor, getting the USS Sentinel ready for her new turbolift cars, to be installed the next day, and more importantly, her new bridge module. He was looking forward to that the most, to having a functioning bridge again, and, to having a ready room so that he didn't have to work out of his quarters.

But for now, here he was. His private sanctuary wasn't private at all, with an almost constant stream of people coming in and out with requests, reports, suggestions, complains and updates, his quarters were more like a public transit station than a sanctuary and he just had to accept it. "Computer," he began, intending to request some music to calm his jangled brain when he was interrupted by the sound of the door chime.

He glared at the door accusingly, wishing for a moment that whoever was behind it would go the hell somewhere else, and then shaking his head. The duty of command never ended and he composed himself, sitting up straight and picking up a PaDD before calling, "enter."

Kriv entered the room, and the first thing that would be noticed would be the implant in his left eye. The doctors had done their best to match the same green, but his left eye looked more of a teal color, thanks to the blue sensors within the iris. He didn't seem to be effected by it much, as he spoke with the confidence of an experienced officer. "Lieutenant Zemta Kriv reporting for duty, sir."

McCullen set the PaDD down, catching a glimpse of a report about the preparedness for the new bridge module and making a mental note to read it in full later. He took a look at the new officer, remembering from his busy brain that this was the new Chief of Flight Operations, a Bajoran with several years of experience. "Welcome to the Sentinel, Lieutenant Zemta." He said warmly, before picking himself up out of the chair, "take a seat, would you like something to drink?"

Kriv nodded as he took a seat, "coffee, two sugars." He said. Normally he wouldn't be drinking coffee, but he'd gotten 4 hours of sleep over the last few days, and he needed it.

McCullen didn't comment, he'd never come across a Bajoran who drank coffee before, but theirs was a multicultural fleet in every sense of the term and he supposed there was nothing particularly strange about it. "Computer, two coffees, one black no sugar, one black with two sugars." He ordered, waiting a moment for the beverages to replicate before turning back to the desk, drinks in hand.

He sat one of them down in front of the lieutenant, hoping he'd gotten the right cup and not the sweet one, before setting his own cup down and lowering himself into his chair. "I'm Comm... Captain James McCullen," the new rank was hard to get used to, "and I'm glad you're here. We'll hopefully be departing in three or four days, after the refit is complete, and I need a good helm officer. Why don't you tell me about yourself, Lieutenant?" He asked, hoping to hear something that wasn't in the dry, factual personnel file Starfleet had given him.

"I'll be the best damn helm officer you'll ever have." Kriv said with a smirk, "I've got engineering experience up the wazoo, but I changed departments because I like my existing eye where it is." He chuckled to himself slightly, "Engineering accident aboard the Vulcan. Are you aware of the pain that results from taking hot plasma to the eye?"

"Thankfully, no I'm not," McCullen replied, he appreciated the confidence that Zemta showed, something he'd expect out of a seasoned officer, but wondered if there was a little bit of arrogance there, too. That was something he'd have to keep an eye on. "What made you choose flight operations, specifically?"

"Safest job I could think of." Kriv said, "Everything else put me either in harms way or gives the possibility of more plasma to the eye. It's my job now to keep us out of the way of enemy weapons in combat."

The captain held back the impulse to frown, he was getting the impression that his new helm officer was a little bit risk-averse. That wasn't generally a bad thing, he didn't want foolhardy risk-takers on his bridge, but an officer that was hesitant to take necessary risks could be a problem. "You could have taken a desk job, or gotten a position planet-side, or in a shipyard." He commented, wanting to understand the man's motivation, "just being on a starship has its own level of risk, as you know first-hand."

Kriv smiled, getting a glint in his eye. "I'd never have it any other way." He said, "I just did this to protect my eye, the prophets told me I needed to do something about it."

Not that risk-averse, then. McCullen noted the religious motivation, that wasn't unexpected in a Bajoran officer. He'd worked with quite a few over the years and his prospective son-in-law was Bajoran, he'd visited the planet several times and gotten a general understanding of how deep the religion was embedded into the Bajoran psyche. He noted the earring, typical of Bajoran culture and made a mental note to inform Commander Bast that it was to be allowed.

"Well," the captain said, smiling slightly, "I'm glad the prophets have guided you to the Sentinel. We're getting a new bridge module installed tomorrow, after which it will be your job to calibrate the helm, navigational systems and RCS thrusters to get us ready to go, together with the chief engineer, Lieutenant Hunter, and Lieutenant Ross, our operations chief."

Kriv held back a comment about how he could probably do it all himself, and nodded. "Yes sir. Shouldn't be too hard, as long as she doesn't rebel against me."

"With a new bridge module and more than half of the primary and secondary systems on the ship being refitted, repaired or replaced there's going to be some teething problems, for sure." McCullen replied, "but between the three of you and the dock engineering teams, I'm sure it'll be manageable." He took a sip of his coffee and was gratified to find he had indeed gotten the sugar-free cup, "I'm afraid your quarters are probably a barren empty shell, at this point. The engineering teams haven't gotten round to fitting out crew quarters yet, so you might want to consider staying on the station for the next couple of days."

"Might be a good idea at this point. I do need to avoid the temple though...they like to see omens in my pagh, and so every single one of them like to grab my ear." Kriv said, with an eye roll.

McCullen shook his head with a wry grin, he knew that experience all too well. "My son's partner's mother insists on nearly twisting my ear off every time I visit Bajor. I think she does it out of spite, she loves my son but thinks I am the Amojan incarnate."

Kriv chuckled, "one of the ones at the temple in Hathon keeps trying to get the Kai to do the Bajoran version of an exorcism on me, he swears I'm a pah wraith or something. The Kai just laughed when I smacked him and told me not to smack him again."

"I've not been to Bajor enough to have met the Kai, only twice over the past five years or so, both times at the invitation of my son. He has a small plot of land in Musilla province and he's planning on building a house there."

"I only got to meet the Kai because I happened to be at the temple when she showed up." Kriv said, "and Musilla is a nice place. I've only been there once on a work project."

"Well, Lieutenant." McCullen prompted, "I'd like you to meet with Lieutenant Commander Bast, our XO, as soon as possible and report to Doctor Makarova for your medical before the end of tomorrow. Further to that, after the new bridge module is installed, you have your assignment. Once again, welcome aboard the USS Sentinel."

"Consider it done, sir. And I'm glad to be here." Kriv said, standing up, saluting.

McCullen returned the salute loosely before rising to his feet. "Thank you, Mr. Zemta," he offered before extending his hand in offer of a handshake, as was his custom.

Kriv shook hands, nodding.

McCullen watched the officer leave, feeling hopeful that he had secured a reliable and steadfast officer for his helm, a good addition to his bridge crew.


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