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Breaking the Curse?

Posted on 19 Jun 2019 @ 8:19pm by Lieutenant JG Lina Sorensen & Captain Harvey Geisler

Mission: Truth and Justice
Location: Ready Room
Timeline: MD 1 || 1600 hours

The Captain frowned, tossing the padd down on the desk. This mission had taken a toll on the entire crew, but no department had suffered more than Engineering. Since leaving Deep Space Nine in November, the ship had lost three Chief Engineers. Following the events in the Time Warp Nebula, or the Geisler Nebula that the science team had started calling it, Harvey had laterally transferred Chief Griffin from the Fighter Squadron to allow his leadership skills to keep the department together. That sadly had run its course, and the squadron needed him back, leaving Harvey to wonder what he could do with the department.

His gut had first considered Lieutenant Kemm, but the Kelpian had started to crack under the pressure, and eliminated himself from the running. That left few other options, and of those options, there was only one real candidate.

Harvey sighed, and poured himself a glass of water from a pitcher that had been left on his desk. Then he tapped his combadge. "Lieutenant Sorensen to the Ready Room."

The young engineer was on her way back to her quarters. She had been working long to finish some work in connection with those discovered archive artifacts. She stopped in the middle of the corridor, tapped her combadge to acknowledge the order and turned round to head back to the turbolift. Hundreds of thoughts flashed through her mind why the Captain wanted to see her. During the short ride in the turbolift, she was nervously hopping from one foot to the other. It did not take her long before she eventually stood in front of the Captain.

“Lieutenant Sorensen reporting as ordered.“

Harvey took a moment to size up the woman. Aside from her personnel file, of which he was only remotely familiar, Harvey did not know much about this engineer other than the qualifications on her service record. After a moment, Harvey gestured for Lina to have a seat in front of the desk. "Tell me about yourself, Lieutenant."

"Yes, Sir," she replied. Her blue eyes were wondering over the floor as she thought about what to say, still not knowing where this would lead to.

"I have been working as an engineer here onboard the USS Black Hawk for some time now. My field of expertise is propulsion engineering. I have also been working on technical research and system diagnostics. Before I was transferred here this was the engineering department I had been assigned to."

Then Lina looked at the Captain directly hoping he would tell her what this was all about soon. Perhaps it had something to do with the equipment they had found?

"And I understand you've only been an Assistant Chief for a short while now," the Captain continued, leaning back in his chair. The back supports were rather rigid, and prevented him from going back too far. "How do you feel you've been performing?"

"Ah yes, sir, that's correct," the engineer added as she totally forgot to mention that. She had been promoted a few weeks ago - more out of necessity than merit according to her assessment.

"I did my very best, sir. Engineering has been hit hard, so I tried to help Chief Griffin as best I could. I personally took over beta shift and reorganised the duty shift roster so that we were able to work a bit more efficiently than before. I personally believe that team work is the key and the engineers made it very easy for me, sir."

Lina actually was not too sure if she had been performing well. Perhaps that was the reason why the Captain wanted to talk to her. But then again, why did Chief Griffin not talk to her right away? The young engineer had been surprised by the promotion to Assistant Chief and somehow she had seen this as provisional. Lina had actually never really thought of climbing up the career ladder so quickly. But her ambition had always been to do her job as well as she could. And that was what she had been doing since then - her best.

"The department has been hit hard indeed." Harvey took a sip of his water before setting the glass back on the table. "In fact, that's why I've called you here today. Chief Griffin's time in engineering was nothing more than a way to stop the hemorrhaging suffered from our time here in the zone. Completely temporary, and that time has ended all sooner than I wanted it to."

Lina nodded. So Engineering would need a new Chief again.

“I see,“ Lina started. “I will support anyone that you will put in charge.“ The thought of her being the one was completely out of her imagination.

"Good," Harvey declared, not adjusting the slightest in his chair. "I would like you think that you would certainly support yourself in your new role."

The young woman looked at the Captain thunderstruck, which did not happen too often. Normally, Lina had always some sort of joke or response, but she was indeed speechless now. She should be the new Chief Engineer? Was she able to do the job? Was she really good enough?

Hundreds of thoughts flashed through her mind. When she realized that she hadn't said anything, she cleared her throat and gave the Captain a shy smile.

"I ... am suprised," she started, "and really honoured."

"Normally, I'd just congratulate you," Harvey stated. "As you know, we're in anything but a normal situation. That means I'm going to be expecting a lot from you until we're done here in the Zone, whenever that is. The advantage is you already know the ship, and you know the crew. Therefore, I'm expecting you to not let us down."

Lina nodded. "I won't, Captain," she promised and she meant it. As always she would do everything she could to make that working - and just hoped that she was capable of giving enough to make it work. But still there was that question and as always it would not just stay inside her mind.

"Captain, if I may ask... why did you choose me?"

The Captain did not immediately reply. He hadn't been prepared to answer that question, and he knew saying something along the lines of her being all he's got did not seem like the best approach. "Out of the available candidates, you have the best knowledge of the ship and procedures, not to mention your own work ethic over the last few months. Lieutenant Kemm, our resident Kelpian, was my second choice. I appreciate his attention to detail and his level head, but he lacks the initiative to pick up and carry on during a crisis."

Lina listened to Geisler‘s explanation. Though she wasn‘t so sure about the knowledge of the ship as most other officers including Kemm had been on board longer than her, she was happy that the Captain seemed to have noticed the effort she had put in her work - as most others as well, she had to admit. And the engineer was sure that she would not have been on the list of candidates in a normal situation. But as the Commanding Officer had said. This was not a normal situation.

“Thank you, sir. As I said, I... erm... engineering won‘t let you down.“, Lina said showing her typical, optimistic smile.

The Captain nodded to the woman sitting in front of him. "For all our sakes, we are certainly counting on Engineering to keep us together until we're done here. I know you have a lot to do, so I won't keep you. Senior Chief Rasputin will be by daily to pick up the reports and such. If you need anything administrative wise, look to her. Otherwise, grab myself or Commander Teixeira at any opportunity."

"Yes, sir," she answered. "Thank you, sir." There were indeed many things she had to do and re-organise now.


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