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Putting the Engineer in Leadership

Posted on Fri Jan 6th, 2017 @ 6:46pm by Commodore Graham Cantos & Lieutenant Commander Shinji Kita

Mission: Episode 0: The Prologue
Location: Captain's Ready Room
Timeline: November 15 2392, 1630 Hours; MD1

Before arriving aboard the Devonshire, Shinji Kita obtained downloaded specifications for the Insignia-class vessel, down to the last jeffries tube within the modules. Fortune smiled upon him when he was made aware of the appointment given to him, so that he could report in officially to the ship.

He tore himself from his initial inspections of the ship in order to make it on time, pausing every other step to ensure the proper calibrations had been made before he appeared as the Chief of Engineering. Reporting in with good news was worlds better than simply reporting in.

At the door to the Captain's Ready Room, Shinji pressed the buzzer, eyes fixed on the PaDD of calibrations in his hands.

"Enter." Graham called to whoever was waiting outside his door. It had been a rather regular occurrence this afternoon.

And enter the engineer did, nodding his head in greeting to the El Aurian captain as the door opened. "I saw that there was a scheduled appointment for me to report in. A novel idea, Sir."

"Standard procedure Commander." Graham observed as the younger, who on this ship wasn't?!, man entered. "Have a seat. No doubt you've been giving the ship a thorough going over."

The (relatively) youthful engineer gave a skeptical smile. "You're the first who's scheduled such an appointment, Sir." As he sat down, he continued, "Most make the assumption that because it is standard procedure, we will perform such a task in a swift fashion-which isn't to say it would not happen without the appointment, but the assurance of it is the point that is most novel. Unfortunately, my examination of the Devonshire has been delayed, not because of this appointment, but because the shuttle I had meant to take was late. Stars knows why. I'll be beginning my checks immediately after we're finished, of course."

"You can double check me of course, but I found no errors in the module connection system. The connections and calibrations were well within specs this morning when I was crawling through the Jeffries tubes and prowling the ship." Cantos offered with an amused smile.

"While I would not believe you to be the type to gloss over such details," Shinji began, "I'd like to check for myself. Knowing that someone else has checked even some of the systems is a relief, but I'd like to make sure I'm familiar with them."

"Honestly Commander, if you did take me at my word, I'd have to have doubts about your abilities as Chief Engineer." Graham said with a small smile. "Also, you'll be serving as Second Officer while you're posted here."

Shinji's brow rose at the statement. When he had taken the transfer orders, he was not aware of the latter portion of his assignment. Instead of doubting his hearing, he gave a gracious nod, adding a humble smile to the end. "I believe this will be my first time performing Second Officer duties, but I will do my best not to let you down."

"I'd be surprised if you did Commander." Graham smiled in mild amusement. "If you couldn't handle the extra duties entailed you wouldn't have been sent to me. Chief Engineer is a big step under any circumstances, but Chief Engineer on a flagship? That's a whole other game to play. The second officer position is merely a nod to your professionalism and abilities."

"Ah." Shinji did not mishear the Captain. The compliment was taken with a firm nod, as confirmation to both himself and to the Captain, that he would be more than capable of taking the responsibilities. "Believe me when I say that I find the engineering easier to accomplish."

"It usually is, systems and components don't have their own opinions or thoughts on how things should be done. People are vastly more complex to deal with." Graham agreed drily.

"I've run into my fair share of problematic engineers in my career," Shinji added. "I should be prepared, should I find myself in a situation where my limited 'people skills' are necessary. Which, with yourself and Commander Leah aboard, may be more sparse than I expect."

"Don't get too ahead of yourself Commander." Graham cautioned with a small smile. "I also have Task Force business to address at times. There may be occasions where I'm away for extended periods."

"I may simply hold out hope for such times to be few and far between," responded the engineer with a tiny grin; the gesture that he was joking. He was up to the challenge, no matter how often he would have to exert 'leadership abilities.' "But perhaps I should allow you to get back to your own duties? I can't be the only senior staff officer you've scheduled."

Graham chuckled and nodded. "I was about to say something similar to you Commander. I'll see you at the dinner in a little bit."

"And I you, Sir." Shinji replied, before standing, nodding his head, and turning to leave. It was an event he had in the back of his mind, this dinner, but it was also one he would likely forget. As he left the office, he made motions on his PaDD to set himself an alarm. Missing a social event would not be how he desired to start his career.

As the new Chief Engineer left, Graham picked up his Padd and returned to looking at his reports.


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