Cancel your plans
OFF This is not a challenge post....
ON The warp core rhythmically pulsed in the background as Aji climbed up on the engineering control station and turned to start the department meeting.
"Initially, I want to inform you all that I have spoken to the Captain, and she sends her compliments for our excellent performance on the shakedown cruise. " She patted the angled screen she stood in front of, "Endeavor is a fine ship, and she will pull us through whatever we face. And we as her caretakers will get her through whatever the she faces. And we are about to face something wicked."
The Core pulsed just as she pressed a button on her remote, on cue a large projection of the Nebula filled the screens behind her. The dramatic moment emphasized the wonder and fear the sight of a nebula created in the minds of every crewman. No one cleared first year engineering school without hearing stories of what a nebula could do to a starship. Loss of sensors, shields and sometimes engines were regular stories passed among engineers. There were even stories of ships going into a nebula never to be seen again, or worse turning up as a ghost ship a generation later.
"In 28 hours we will begin systematic mapping of this nebula."
A crewman held up his hand, "Ma'am, you can't map a nebula."
Aji nodded to her co-worker. "Correct, everything in the text books say we will be deaf, blind and powerless. We have the honor of writing a new chapter for those same texts. In 28 hours, we will have to achieve the impossible. Alpha Crew, I need you insulating core systems to keep us flying while every power in the universe tries to tear us apart. Beta Crew you are to improve the sensors. We gotta learn to see in the dark. Commander Khinsharri suggested tetrion bursts illuminating the interior to let us see what sensors can't. That is a perilous action in that we could effectively blow ourselves and most of this sector up. That is not an option. I want a safe way to detect objects and phenomenon in this cosmic soup. "
Her tiny ears could hear the exasperated signs of her staff. A whisker twitched as she gave the gravity of their task a moment to sink in. "I know we are a new crew, many of you straight out of the academy. On my homeworld, a woman of my age would have had a dozen kits by now. I chose Starfleet instead of family.
I've bounced all over the quadrant for the last decade, overseeing upgrades but never really having anywhere to call home. Endeavor is not just another job for me, this is my first long term assignment. This is my home and you are my family.
I will expect nothing from you that I will not do myself. We need to be on top of our game, both during the next 24 hours, but as we stand toe to toe with that Nebula and see who blinks first. Together we must bring out the best in each other. And together we will achieve the impossible and be the subject of Starfleet lesson plans for years to come. In advance, thank you for your efforts, your tears and the distinct lack of sleep we are all facing.
So cancel your plans and lets get to work, we are going to do the impossible. Dismissed."
Crewmembers began to break into work groups and head to their work stations. Terry, Aji's assistant came up with her everpresent PADD. She leaned over to the tiny Tamian on the computer counsel. "Commander, I've got the work shifts separated to keep us at maximum productivity over the next several days. Basic 14 hour shifts. We are going to have some tired people in a couple days."
Aji's whiskers tweaked and she let out a low staccato of chirps. "Its the way things are going to be. Requisition stimulants from sickbay, and have the counselors on ready and have ten forward pull out the good stuff as we get into this. We need everyone at their best, even if it kills us." Her whiskers drooped as the scope of their task came into focus for her.
Lt. Commander Aji D'moonh
Chief Engineering Officer