Main Engineering, Deck 9, U.S.S. Juno
San Francisco Fleet Yards, Earth
Stardate: 34999.3 (December 31st, 2357)
It was just after eighteen hundred hours and the engine room was empty. Gemma Alden stood, quietly surveying the master systems display, checking off all that had been accomplished that day. With their launch date fast approaching, they were making excellent progress, already a full three days ahead of schedule her crews work today had put them another full day in advance of where they needed to be.
At the start of the week, she’d promised herself that she would have the full warp assembly systems check completed before the beginning of the new year, so that had been the task she had set her people. A full, level one diagnostic on every component of the warp drive, from the fuel tanks, to the injectors, the warp core itself, the dilithium chamber, the power transfer conduits all the way out to the four nacelles, finally ending with the subspace field coils. It was a big job, but her crew had pulled out all the stops and gotten it done in record time. To show them her appreciation of all their hard work, she had given them the rest of the night and the following day off so as to fully enjoy the festivities. She had every intention of following her own order, but had to finish up a few last bits of paper work and have the system status reports ready for when Captain Rhyth returned.
As she checked off each item on her list, adding notation where needed as well as commending the work of a few exceptional officers and specialists, she couldn’t help but admire the design of the Juno
. She had served aboard the Cheyenne-Class ship since she had launched, spent two years as Senior Diagnostics Officer and another two as Assistant Chief Engineering Officer. She had learned a great deal from her predecessor, Lieutenant Commander Adren Rhai, a man who had made his way up from an enlistee over an impressive fifty year career, a man she respected and admired. Since the refit began, when Rhai retired and recommended her as his replacement, it had dawned on her that in all her time as his deputy he’d been training up her to take over from him. The old Napean was wily; giving her more and more of the administrative work to handle, putting her in charge of several important projects and away missions, having her sit in on a few senior staff meetings, all so that she could get used to what was involved in the position.
She was just lucky that the ship’s new CO had taken a chance on her and heeded Rhai’s recommendation, as Alden suspected there weren’t many Captain’s who’d take such a chance on a new Chief Engineer for such a mission. But in the brief time she’d worked with Rhyth, Alden had come to find her to be a hard-working but fair woman, wanting solid results but not micromanaging the department to get them, leaving Alden to decide how best to achieve them. Which she’d only been able to do by getting to handpick several of her important posts, giving her a team she was proud to call hers. Of course, just because she’d managed to gather together a solid team, didn’t mean she was going to take it easy on them, she mused with a faint smile.
Shaking her head, she focused on the display once again and her datapad. She was expected to be in Boston by 1900 hours at the latest, as even by then her Gram’s New Year party would already be in full swing and building up to the bells. It was one of the rare occasions that as many Alden’s as possible got together, but with almost every one of her aunts, uncles, and cousins in Starfleet service it was difficult—her own parents would be able to make it this year, her father was on Jeballi IV helping with an outbreak of Parson’s Blood Fever, whilst her mother was busy commanding Deep Space One. Of course, she had more than enough relations to make a big fuss over her latest promotion and mission—many of whom would be a little bit envious of her for getting such a choice posting.
Pushing all thoughts of the night ahead—and trying not even to contemplate the hangover tomorrow (her Gram didn’t believe in synthohol)—she quickly finished off her checks, notations and made a few tweaks to the work schedule for January second, before switching off her PADD and heading out the exit.
“The time is 1828 hours.”
“Which transporter room is in service this evening?”
“Transporter room three.”
She nodded to herself, as she had just enough time to nip to her quarters, have a quick shower, change (no uniforms were allowed at Gram’s parties), and get down to Earth before her Gram contacted Starfleet Security and sent out search teams—and as the former Director of that department, she would know just who to call to organise that.
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