USS Valkyrie
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Feedback Loops

Posted on Tue Jun 20th, 2017 @ 4:44pm by Commander Charles Kincaid
Edited on on Wed Jun 21st, 2017 @ 4:11pm

Mission: Deep Space 12
Location: Engineering, USS Valkyrie
Timeline: MD -- 1028hrs

The Valkyrie's first mission had felt like a baptism of fire. They had been thrown in the deep end, given a difficult mission despite being undermanned and barely prepared because there had been literally no-one else to take the job. But the crew had stepped up, none more so than the chief engineer who had arrived even later than the rest of the crew.

Charlie had decided that, now thing had calmed down, he should pay a visit to Lieutenant Dahel'el, and find out how the Cardassian was settling in as well as expressing his gratitude. As the double doors slid open to main engineering, he wondered if one ever really got used to the sight of the warp core. They really were a marvel of technology, and even if you didn't understand the science, they were always an astonishing thing to behold, like some glowing, pulsing altar to some unknowable religion.

The commanding officer caught the eye of one of the engineers as he stepped into the room. "Is Lieutenant Dahe'el around?"

Carson turned to look at the Captain and moved to a modified position of attention. "Aye sir, he's in his office catching a nap. I don't think the man has been back in his bunk since we returned to the ship, although I did make him go and clean up. He was here all night last night supervising the overhaul on the warp intake manifolds." The Petty Officer himself was rather refreshed, having been told to go take at least sixteen hours off by the Cardassian when they'd returned. Coming back in that morning, Carson knew that Alket hadn't been happy to see the state of affairs his engineering department was in upon his return to the ship.

"All right, thank you." Charlie replied. He patted the engineer on the shoulder as he walked past towards the office. He was concerned to hear that Alket had worked through the night, he had specifically told the away team to get some rest when they returned to the ship. They'd certainly earned it. He didn't much like the idea of waking the Cardassian from what sleep he was getting, but a power nap in the office wasn't proper rest and he didn't want his chief engineer burning out after one mission. He arrived at the door and tapped the chime.

As the chime sounded, Alket rolled over and wondered what time it was. He'd replicated a simple cot to lay down on, removing his jacket and shoes to sleep. Additionally the heat in his office had been turned so high it was like a sauna giving the man maximum comfort to rest. Glancing at the chronometer it had been over four hours since he'd passed out. Likely it was Carson waking him, although Alket had told him to wake him up after only and hour and a half. They'd have to have a discussion about that...

Slipping his shoes back on followed by his jacket a moment later, Alket raised back up the ambient level of light in the room and ran his hands through his hair to try and fix it quickly. Approaching the door he noticed the figure outside definitely wasn't Carson. Opening the door he was surprised to see the Captain, a blast of hot air escaping out of the room past him. "Captain. What can I do for you?" He wondered how much trouble he was in, at least only if the other man knew what he'd been up to.

"Take a seat for a start lieutenant." Charlie replied, indicating towards the chief engineer's desk. He took note of the cot and the general condition of the room. He was a little concerned. "I came down to thank you for your efforts with the drones. What you and the rest of the away team achieved was nothing short of incredible and you deserve full recognition for that. You also need some down time, which I know I made clear."

"Of course sir, and thank you. I was wanting to ensure this overhaul was completed without incident, and then I will be off until we are recalled to leave once more." He moved as his captain had directed and took a seat behind his desk. "I've worked out a rotation so that my shift leads get maximum time off as well, Carson being the one with the next most time off after myself. Unfortunately upon my return it was apparent that some of my junior leaders were in need of some...additional guidance. A situation that will soon be remedied with remedial training."

"All right." Charlie said. "I appreciate the commitment to making sure your team are as good as possible. Just don't ride them too hard too early. Nobody was expecting to get a mission like that so soon. Everyone is still settling in, finding their place. A team needs some time to get before they start to work the way we want them to." Charlie was speaking from experience, he had seen departments fall apart after they got off on the wrong foot. "We're going to have significant downtime back at Deep Space 12, long enough to get a bit of training and team building done."

He paused for a moment, before moving back to their recent mission. "The scientist in me wishes I could have seen inside that alien ship. The reports probably don't do it justice. Do you think we managed to get some useful data, enough to reverse engineer some of the tech?"

He noted the captains comments about the engineering department and focused on their previous dilemma "Well sir I think the biggest question is going to be how long it's going to take them to translate their language, and figure out the filing system. I have no doubt that we managed to copy more than eighty percent of their database and get full holographic renderings of their engineering but I wouldn't expect anything of substance for at least a couple of years. Star Fleet Engineering headquarters has some very talented folks but they'd have to have all their resources focused on this data alone and from what I've been told for the time being that's unlikely. I will however keep an interlink with them and do what I can here as far as systems research in my spare time. My specialty is on power systems in general so I'll mainly be looking at their backup power systems and warp core, even with a limited translation database."

"I'd love to see something positive come out of this." Charlie said. "A lot of people are going to lose their homes, not to mention what happened to the Cornerstone and her crew. It'll never make up for that, but maybe we could see some good somewhere down the line." He allowed himself a hopeful smile. "What was your perspective on the way the mission went? Particularly how Lieutenant Blackwater did in command?"

"Well sir I think she did the best she could, based on the situation and her experience thus far. However I do feel that someone with more command experience was needed. Particularly the XO or your self should've been there, especially given the circumstances. Frankly if we hadn't stopped the drones, it's not like you would've survived anyways so the regulation protecting the captain to keep him or her alive would've easily been waived and I feel our team would've benefited greatly from your direction, directly." It was a rare moment when the Cardassian spoke so bluntly but this was one of them. It wasn't intended to be a passing judgement on what happened, considering in the end everyone had survived and here he was, in his office acting almost as if the last number of days had merely been a dream. But he also knew an inexperienced leader when he saw one and recognized when someone was in way over their head, and Blackwater had been that person.

Charlie raised an eyebrow. "You seem to have misunderstood the situation we had back here Lieutenant. The Valkyrie was on it's way out of the system when you stopped the drones. The evacuation had worked as well as it could have and we would have survived. I had to play the numbers on this one And, if nothing else, we would have got the children out as well as some of the other colonists. The team I sent out was the team that I believed had the greatest chance of success." He didn't have to share his reasoning for that decision, and he wasn't about to discuss his lack of trust for the XO's decision making with the engineer. "Rest assured, I will take those points into consideration though. This is a new crew and we need to work out the dynamics. This mission has gone a long way to doing that."

Alket considered the captain's words for a moment, and felt he was the one that had misunderstood. While Alket had known the ship was on it's way out of the system, he still felt it was more likely that the drones still would've gone after the Valkyrie as a matter of course.

The Captain wasn't on the drone ship to see the challenges in direction and leadership, likely he took what Blackwater had reported to him at face value. He completely disagreed with Charles and considering he'd been the one solicited for his opinion of the situation, from his perspective and had now been told he was misunderstanding things. However being considered an outsider was nothing new to Alket, and very few had chosen to actually listen to what he had to say.

The Cardassian decided at this point he'd no longer give any real opinion either way, for the time being. "Is there anything else I can help you with Captain? If it's ok I'd like to see how my folks are doing and get this overhaul completed so I can clean up my office and get off of the ship. With your permission of course." It was all going to be 'by the book' for now. He'd keep his head down and complete this assignment until he was transferred once more.

"I won't keep you any longer lieutenant." Charlie said with a smile. "Just don't work your people too hard, make sure everyone makes the most of their shore leave, they've earned it. That includes you." He stepped out of the door, still smiling for the engineering team. There were more potential issues to think about now though and he still didn't have a solution to the Blackwater dilemma. He knew he had to avoid being drawn too far into that particular project though, the rest of his staff needed his attention too.

Alket waited until the CO had made his way out before standing and stretching in place. It was time to get this overhaul wrapped up and place himself on leave the rest of the time. He'd earned it.



 

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