Things Left Undone
En Route to Utopia Planitia
“Mom, you didn’t have to come with me.” Marion said with a twinge of annoyance.
“Nonsense, my daughter got her first senior staff posting and I’m not going to take a look at the ship she’s serving on? You don’t know me too well.” Vivian Andrews said, causing Marion to roll her eyes in embarrassment as she noticed that other people on the transport were staring in their direction, some of them Starfleet officers, which meant they could be crewmates.
“Mom, I know you’ve toured a Luna-Class starship before, the Endalla will be no different.” Marion pointed out.
“Sure it will, the Endalla is one of the first Luna-class starships to be launched after the whole Borg mess. That and I’d like the chance to see Captain Reynolds again, it’s been too long.”
“Attention passengers, we’ll be arriving at Utopia Planitia shortly, please make sure you take all your carryon luggage with you.” Announced the pilot over transports inter-com.
“Look, there she is!” Vivian said pointing out the view port.
Still residing inside the shipyards dry dock, the Endalla floated silently in space. She had a Saucer reminiscent of the Sovereign-Class. Above the saucers aft attached to two support pylons resided the ships interchangeable mission module. Fanning out from the drive section towards the aft were two pylons each sporting their own warp nacelle.
“Mmm-Mmm. She is a beaut.” Vivian noted.
“Yeah, and in two days, I get to fly her.” Marion said, with the widest smile her mother had seen on her in years.
* * *
“Make sure my luggage gets transported to my quarters.” Marion told the ships quartermaster.
“What about that?” He said, motioning to what resembled a box covered by a cloth.
“Oh, him? I’ll be taking Bruno there myself.” She said; matter-of-factly, getting a puzzled stare from the man.
“Vivian!” someone yelled out, and Marion turned to see her mother hugging another woman with Captain Reynolds standing next her with a young boy sitting on his shoulders.
“It’s been too long Lindsey. And you, Jon, still looking good. See, I told you that you had a catch here, didn’t I Lin.”
“Something she reminds me of on a daily basis.” Jon said dryly, taking the young boy off his shoulders.
“This isn’t Andrew is it?” Vivian said, getting down to the boys level. “The Andrew I knew was what, five? Six?” she continued, teasingly.
“I’m Eight now.” Andrew said, proudly mimicking the same stance as his father.
“Who’s this?” Lindsey asked, looking in Marion’s direction. Then it dawned on her. “You can’t be little Marion from the pictures Viv’s shown me.” Lindsey said.
“This is Lieutenant Marion Andrews, the Endalla’s Chief of Flight Operations.” Jon said introducing her. “Lieutenant, this is my wife Lindsey, and my son Andrew.”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you both.” Marion said, shaking her hand.
“What’s in the box?” Andrew asked, pointing at what was under Marion's arm.
“Bruno? Oh, you don’t want to see him. He eats little boys. Very scary.” Marion said, smiling wryly. Then she got down to his level and pulled the cloth off of the cage, revealing a small hamster with black and white fur sleeping in a corner.
“He’s not scary, he’s just sleeping.” Andrew said laughing.
“Captain, moment of your time.” An officer said, walking up to Captain Reynolds.
“Sure, what is it?” Jon said.
“Commander Sugimoto is telling me that the main helm is continuing to go out of sync with the navigational computer. She said you’d like to know right away.” Commander James Scott reported.
“That again? I hope this doesn’t post pone our launch.” Jon said, obviously annoyed. He then turned to his wife. “Hon, I got to go see to this.”
“Captain, if I may, she’s our new Conn officer… Miss Andrews, correct?” James said, getting a nod from Marion. “You look like you’re catching up with a friend. The Lieutenant and I can take care of this.”
“Very well.” Jon said, and then paused. “Where are my manners? Miss Andrews, this is Commander Scott, ship’s XO.”
“Mom, can you make sure Bruno gets to my quarters?”
“Sure Cally.” Vivian said, taking the cage from her.
“Cally?” James asked, sounding confused.
“Short for my middle name, Callista. It’s my mom’s nickname for me.” Marion explained, her face turning slightly red from embarrassment.
“Alright then, if you’ll follow me, Lieutenant.” After a short walk there were inside a turbolift.
“Bridge.” James ordered. “So, you’re a pilot.” James said breaking the silence he knew would turn awkward.
“Yes…” Marion said, not knowing where this conversation was headed.
“You a good one?” James asked.
“I’d like to think so.” Marion answered. “You a pilot?” She asked after a short pause.
“Damn good one. How’d you guess?”
“You’re James Scott; you were awarded the Medal of Honor at the second battle of Chin’toka. Pretty much every Starfleet pilot knows who you are. You’re techniques are required learning at the academy now, my class was one of the first to be taught.” She told him.
He just looked at her, seeming mildly amused with himself. “You’ll do.” James finally said just as the doors opened up onto the bridge.
“Ah, Commander,” A small, but fit Japanese woman said, noticing James walking out of the turbolift. “Oh, you must be Marion!” she said wearing the smile of someone who wants something. “Been wanting to pick your brain when I saw that you replaced Lydia’s spot.”
“What would a chief engineer talk with a pilot about?” James asked, puzzled somewhat.
“And you call yourself an XO! Don’t tell me you haven’t read her personnel file? Aside from being a pilot, she’s a computer systems specialist.”
“I’m not that smart…” Marion said sheepishly.
“You turned down a scholarship at the Daystrom Institute, sweetie, you’re as smart as they come. Don’t cut yourself short. Anyways, I’m Akira Sugimoto, Chief Engineer and Second Officer.” She finally said, shaking Marion’s hand.
“Commander Scott said you were having a latency issue with the main Conn and the nav-com?” Marion said, not skipping a beat.
“Really odd one too, checked everything I could think of, fiber lines are fine, diagnostics on both systems read nominal. I’m about to rip my hair out over this.” Akira said, rubbing her temples with her hands.
“Have you checked the Gel-Pack in the Conn?” Marion asked flatly. Then Akira’s eyes widened with realization.
“It couldn’t be.” Akira said getting down underneath the console.
“Worth checking.” Marion said kneeling down and handing Akira a spanner.
“What’s worth checking?” James asked.
“It’s a rare manufacturer’s defect. One in a hundred thousand Bio-Nural Gel-packs fail prematurely. Quality testing doesn’t weed them out, and it only comes to light when put through extended use.” Marion explained.
“Yep, you were right. Look here,” Akira said pulling herself out and on to her feet. “It’s already turning grey. Hey, Brett! Go get a gel pack from the stores and get it installed in the Conn ASAP.”
Marion looked around the bridge, taking in her surroundings, then wondered what was in store for her.