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Relating and Repairing

Posted on 01 Oct 2016 @ 1:31am by Lieutenant Elizabeth Marion
Edited on on 01 Oct 2016 @ 1:32am

Mission: Click Three Times
Location: Relay Junction 17A
Timeline: MD 8 || 1445 hours

Working in such close quarters generally bred one of two conditions. The first being abject silence born when no one on a work detail cared to speak for fear they would happen on an uncomfortable subject and gain some unfavorable reputation. The second condition was one of boisterous conversation and a sense of comradery that possessed no boundaries. In the case of the small working party that had been mired in blast residue and torn out bulkheads, both conditions had run their course in sequential order. By the time the small team had reached the trailing end of their work for the shift, they were securely entrenched in conversation.

“… and that’s how I ended up spending half my recruit training confined to quarters,” Petty Officer Lenard Shores chuckled as he finished his rather compelling tale of his dealings with the training leadership at the Recruit Depot.

“And they let you stay in?” Crewman Jack Rutherford gawked in amazement.

“It was different back in the war,” Lieutenant Elizabeth Marion spoke up, “As long as you didn’t kill yourself or someone else while you were in training, they pretty much overlooked anything just to get people shipped to the Fleet.”

“Well, what about you, Lieutenant?” Crewman Herbert Lambey inquired, “Surely you have some stories from your training days. Or do officers act better than the rest of us?”

“Oh, I have stories,” Liz chuckled softly, “Because I joined Starfleet on the same side of the line you all did. It wasn’t that long ago I was a Crewman Recruit standing in front of the barrack at Great Lakes, wishing I hadn’t signed that contract.”

Petty Officer Winston Green practically fell against the bulkhead behind him upon hearing Marion’s confession, “You’re a mustang?”

“I am,” Liz nodded, “Clawed my way up to First Class before I got told I was going to take the LDO course.”

“Wait… you were told to become an officer?” Lambey asked with a great deal of skepticism.

Again Lt. Marion nodded, “That’s right. My Old Man came storming into the Transporter room when we were serving on the Monitor together and said ‘Kid, you’re wasting your life pulling isolinear chips out of these blasted things. Write me an LDO package and have it on my desk by tomorrow.’ And given how serious my father can be when he gets into a mood, I did it. I never thought he’d actually do it though.”

“What, you the daughter of some Admiral?” Crewman Rutherford interjected.

Liz shrugged, “I never met my real father, so who knows whether or not he was ever in Starfleet. The man I call my father is my adopted one, and he wasn’t an Admiral at the time. He was just the Captain of the Monitor at that point.”

A short pause in the conversation filled the small relay junction as the group continued the arduous task of putting the power distribution system back in order. They had managed to pull everything that had been destroyed in the two overloads that had plagued the section, and were well into getting them replaced with new lines. The lull in conversation was companionable enough, but the question that had been left hanging in the air didn’t say that way for very long.

“So your adopted father was you CO?” Shores asked, breaking the silence.

Marion nodded but didn’t say anything as she welded a piece of coupling into place. When the Petty Officer realized that she was performing a task that required a good deal of focus, he returned to his own task of replacing fused isolinear control rods to give her a chance to finish.

“I met him, oddly enough, on my first ship out of training. He was one of those officers recalled from retirement during the Dominion War. He’d been a doctor his entire career so they put him on the Nobel thinking he would be able to run it like a hospital administrator would any ground based facility. Unfortunately, Dad had a nasty habit of trying to run sickbay and not the ship,” Liz related the story to her team with a nostalgic grin.

“Yeah, but when did he adopt you?” Green prodded.

Marion sank back onto her posterior and gave it some thought before explaining, “I was in the transporter room, can’t remember which one. We were in orbit over… Betazed after the Liberation I believe when I beamed him and part of a medical away team back to the ship. Dad isn’t overly fond of transporters, but he isn’t like some people his age that just refuse to use them.”

“What do you mean, people his age?” Rutherford asked in a perplexed manner.

“Well, my father is an El-Aurian, so he’s almost 610 years old. He was around before transporter technology was even a dream in humanity’s mind,” Liz answered.

“Oh,” Rutherford muttered, “That would make sense then…”

“Doesn’t it though?” Lt. Marion smirked at the man before continuing, “So anyway, here I am, a nineteen-year-old crewman, being called upon to bring my Captain and some injured aboard. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of my father, Nathan Cowell, but he’s pretty imposing when you first meet him. And abrupt… he just barks out orders sometimes and you can feel your chest tighten up with fear that if you don’t do what he’s asking you to that second he’s liable to knock you out.”

“You mean Admiral Cowell? Didn’t he used to command the Fourth Fleet?” Petty Officer Green asked.

“Same guy,” Liz nodded.

All four of the crewmen looked at one another in amazement before looking back at Lt. Marion. As much as she was used to it, the stares people gave her were still more than a little disconcerting. Liz let out a sigh and replaced a freshly replicated deck grate over the section of conduit she’d just finished repairing while the men continued to gawk.

“Well?” Crewmen Lambey uttered, hoping to goad the Lieutenant into continuing her story.

“Well what?” the woman countered, “You can listen while you finish.”

The four men must have all come to the collective realization that they had all stopped everything just and stare at her and quickly set about making up for lost time. Marion let them languish in silence for a while before she finally continued her story.

“So yeah, I beamed dad on board and he just stares at me for the longest time. Doesn’t say anything, doesn’t move, just stares me down. I was about to run scared, I won’t even lie. Then he said to me, ‘You’re the first person to beam me up that I didn’t want to punch in the head for making it a bumpy ride.’ I nearly collapsed in relief when he said it. And then he just walked off. I thought that would be the last time we spoke, but soon he’s down in my transporter room every other day it seemed like, complaining. You heard that part when the doctor came through here,” Liz finished her story.

“Why did you have to get hunted down by the doc?” Shores asked as he replaced his own deck grate.

“Short answer? She isn’t my father. I just don’t care for any doctor that isn’t him. I don’t really do it on purpose, but I just have issues trusting someone that doesn’t have at least five hundred years of medical experience behind them after being around Dad for so long. He can just look at you and tell you what’s wrong it seems like. Never met another doctor that had that kind of skill,” Liz admitted.

“If it had been one of us,” Green chuckled, “We’d have been given extra duty for skipping out on a physical.”

“One of the few privileges of being a Lieutenant, I’ve got enough collateral duties to be excused from a missed appointment…” Liz smirked.

“Lucky,” the four men grumbled in unison.

“Hey, I’ll gladly let any one of you take on all my extra duties if you think I’m so luck.”

Every head on every shoulder of every man in the junction shook furiously in the negative. Marion couldn’t help but laugh at them all as they reconsidered their position almost instantly. Liz waved them off to finish their assignments so that they could finish before the shift was officially over.


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