"Mount up" #3 - #4 "Engineering here !"

<Starbase 137, 20.30 hours>


Lt. "Kitty" Black rose to her feet when the shuttlecraft was finished docking. She lifted the overnight bag over her shoulder - that was easy. She lifted her cello case with her other arm. That was harder. Kitty had made only a few transfers, from home to the Academy, from there to a starship, from that posting to this new one, but she'd already learned a couple of important lessons. Always pack an overnight bag in case your things have not arrived yet, and never trust a fragile, prized possession to the luggage transport. Even in this enlighted time, accidents could happen. The cello would be just as wrecked if the accident had happened to the shuttlecraft instead of the transport, but at least she'd be there, and somehow that mattered to her.

Kitty was an attractive Asian girl in her mid-twenties. Her black hair was pinned neatly in a braid, wrapped around her head once. She was wearing a brown shirt and leggings, with a green wraparound jumper dress over it. A small dolphin-shaped charm hung from a simple metal chain around her neck. By clothing and demeanor, she seemed to be trying to make herself seem as "normal" as she could. The cello case did not help.

The case looked similar to a guitar case, only larger. It was nearly her height and just about her width, black and stiff with a slightly scaly pattern on the outside. It almost looked more important than she did, giving one the momentary urge to address one's comments to it instead of her. Kitty's slight smile suggested that she understood the irony of trying to not look nervous, but was giving it a go anyways.

She was met by a taller, older, more experienced officer, who was in uniform. Auburn hair, and a red uniform with the rank pips of a Lieutenant on her collar. She would return Kathleen's salute, when given, halfheartedly, and give a nod in greet, offering a hand. "Lieutenant Kristiana Petrova, and you must be Lieutenant Junior Grade Black. Welcome. This way, please."

The older officer would offer to take Kathleen's bag and carry it for her, letting Kathleen lug the heavier, larger Cello case. "I was not aware you'd bring a - what's that - a cello ? with you. I would've organised a trolly, had I known." Her voice was half annoyed, but then, that was just her voice.

As they passed a viewport, Lieutenant Petrova halted and motioned outside, to a medium sized, somewhat aging starship moored just outside. "The USS Pegasus .. Your new ship. This is your first post as Chief Engineer ? Well, there's plenty to maintain onboard this old boat. You'll have a field-day, I'm sure."

"Yes, this is a cello. Do you play an instrument?" Kitty paused and blushed, sure she'd just said something wrong. Been too friendly, or too random, or something. "Oh, it's alright," - the half-annoyed tone of voice appearing to go right over her head - "I can carry it. I don't mind."

Kitty gazed out of the viewport in interest and awe. She had the thought 'My very first engine room all my own!' written all over her features. Then she tried to match this older officer's more 'professional' demeanor. "Yes, it will be a privilege."

"No. I don't play any instrument. Atleast, not one that is supposed to make sound." A soft chuckle heard from Petrova. "Though I make it a point to know how to use any weapon I might come across, be it ancient swords, Batt'leth's, disruptors, phaser rifles, concussion grenades or what have you."

"well, alright .. I'll show you to your quarters. You're lucky you just got promoted to LT JG. Had you still been an ensign you would've shared quarters with one other, but as things are, you get quarters all to yourself."

She would lead the junior officer into a corridor, and towards an airlock. "First I'll show you to your quarters, then to main engineering. I don't have the time for a full tour I'm afraid. I've got just about everything lined up to do, twenty minutes ago, so if we could hurry this up a bit .. "

"Oh! Yes, of course." Kitty left the viewport and followed Lt Petrova meekly. The meekness, though, could not last long under the force of her curiousity. "You know how to use swords? I saw a swordfighting demonstration once, in highschool. They moved so quickly, jumping about almost as if they were dancing... I thought it looked fascinating enough to try, but I am no good with anything like that. It must be fascinating to actually know how to do it. And real batt'leth's? From all I've heard, that isn't easy to learn."

She looked around the corridor they were traveling down, then at the airlock, as if anywhere she looked she found something to pique her interest. "I'm glad... about the quarters," she said. "It is nice to have other people to talk to after duty, but I missed my cello."

"No. I'm not That good," Petrova answered. "Though I can use them in a pinch. But I prefer to not let my enemies get close enough for swords, anyways. I've got a few of them - replica's mostly, but my Batt'leth is original. I got it from a klingon warrior after promising to tell his family how he died bravely in battle. Which he did.

"They're not easy not easy to learn, no, but no good weapon is, and any weapon has it's advantages and disadvantages depending on the situation. Yeah I've got a background in security. Can you tell ?" She spoke, amusement evident in her voice.

"Ah, here we are." She taps in a code, on a door console, after which the doors slide open for Kathleen. "They're not much, but they're yours. Just toss your stuff in here for now, you can unpack them later." She'd find that her other stuff had already arrived and been put in her quarters.

"Security... Yes, I can tell," Kitty replied in mild amusement. She looked around at her quarters, then stepped in and put down her cello case near her bed. "These will be the first quarters outside of my grandparents' house that I didn't have to share. I think they look fine." She seemed to be relieved to not have to carry that cello case any further. She stretched out her shoulders a little before looking around. "They actually got my stuff here on time, too. I think that's a good omen. Alright, I'm ready.

"...How did he die bravely? The Klingon warrior?" she asked curiously, but tentatively. She looked as though she was really hoping she wasn't asking the wrong thing at the wrong time.

"Several years ago .. He was stationed onboard the same ship as me. I was a Lieutenant Junior Grade, like you are .. He was my direct commanding officer, chief of security. Our ship came under attack and was boarded. We fought off the boarders but he was wounded, and we lacked the medical facilities to heal him."

"Anyways, I promised him I'd tell his family how bravely he fought and that he died a Warrior's death, and he gave me his Batt'leth as token of brotherhood and of thanks. So .. yeah .. It means a lot to me, that klingon sword." She told the tale with a somewhat quiet voice, remembering the events clearly. "Anyways .. that's all in the past. This way." As she changed the subject and started to walk towards engineering

"That's... impressive." Kitty left her new quarters, falling unconsciously into step with the senior officer. "The past is pretty important. It leaves its mark." She took a moment to think through the story again.

"So you've been in combat, on previous ships? What is it like? I've never actually been in combat. I mean, of course I had the training, in the Academy, the required training, and yeah, the ship itself saw some skirmishes, but we were never actually boarded. You just held your post, kept the engines together, and hoped that your console didn't short-circuit."

She fell silent, frowning slightly, and then started to correct herself. "I-I did get the training... and... I was pretty good at it... well, I passed..."

Kristiana chuckled. "Some are better at it than others. I've always grown up around weapons and some threat or another so you could say it's in my blood. That's why I went into security to begin with. Deck 8." As they stepped into the turbolift. The doors slid closed and the lift zoomed into action, halting again several decks lower, where the doors once again slid open, and Kristiana stepped out, motioning Kathleen into a corridor. "This way."

"Deck 8," Kitty repeated quietly to herself, as if to remember it. She listened to Kristiana and gave her words some thought before speaking again, walking into the corridor. "I suppose you could say that I've got the sea in my blood, for all the good that does me here. Why did you grow up among threats and weapons? Were you living on an outer colony?" she asked naively. She seemed to find no topic uninteresting... or private. "I grew up on Earth, so I was pretty safe," she added, again naively. "I mean, it wasn't completely safe, the sea never is." She thought for a moment, then added wryly, "Weapons don't do much good against it, either."

She still found plenty to look at as they walked. She seemed to think that this ship was absolutely marvelous. Either that, or she was just very excited about being a Chief Engineer.

Kristiana would listen to the junior officer with increasing amusement. Eventually she'd even laugh, as she lingered outside a large set of doors. "Oh I grew up on earth. A village called Vengerovka, in russia. The threats I had, growing up there, were wild animals threating my family's farm's livestock."

"So .. My father gave me a hunting rifle when I was seven, taught me to hunt. That's where my interest in weapons came from." She'd finally open the large doors and step into main engineering.

"Well, here we are. This is your post. This is your main console .. Backup consoles over there .. And there she is - your warp core. Must be a special feeling, seeing her like that, hm ?"

"Oh, wild animals." This threat Kitty understood, apparently. "Sometimes we'd encounter a dangerous animal, but we could never shoot them or hunt them. That would be... well, it would be illegal."

Then she got to look at her own engineering room for the very first time. She looked up and around, taking in the entire sight slowly, eyes wide. "Wow," she said softly. One voicing of the word didn't seem to do, so she made a repetition. "Wow." Her next words, however, belied the awe and wonder that her face expressed. "It's smaller than I thought it would be."

Another amused laugh from Kristiana. She was beginning to like this new chief engineer of hers. "Well, the whole ship, if you haven't noticed, isn't that big. It's about half the length of a Galaxy, and just one seventh her mass, if I've got my numbers correct. She's an older girl, too. But fast and agile."

"Anyways, I've got my own work to get back to. Take a look around if you want. Your clearance has already been activated. And next time we speak I want to see you in uniform. Alright ?"

"Yeah." Kitty was momentarily distracted by the sight of her engine room. Then she blinked and saluted, suddenly feeling quite caught off-guard. "Yessir. I'm sorry, I thought since I was just coming in... and my cello... and my uniforms are in my luggage... and... I.. Yessir."

She blushed, looking as if she felt quite awkward all of a sudden. But then she smiled a little, her attention diverted again. "The engines could use a tuning. Their pitch is a whole half-tone lower than I'd expect of engines their size. How much time do we have before we depart?" And just like that, she was Chief Engineer... for the very first time.

"A day or two. We're still waiting for half our crew to arrive." Kristiana nodded. "Carry on, Lieutenant." And with that she'd turn around and lumber out of engineering, pulling a small PADD out of a pocket and pulling up all kinds of schematics and schedules on it.


Posty goodness by:

Lt JG Kathleen Black Chief Engineer, USS Pegasus


Lt Kristiana Petrova Executive Officer, USS Pegasus