Miracle Workers II
Location: USS Exeter, Deck 14, Main Engineering
“Right, so, okay, new subject. How’s your department, how’s your crew, how are you finding the exeter and how goes the refit?” Having veered much further into uncomfortable territory Paris steered the conversation back to safer topics.
“The department is quite good. They seem to work well together...and they carry out my orders with little fuss.” Amaan took another sip of his coffee, putting the mug back on the desk with an audible thunk. “I do have some requisition requests though that need approval.” Seeing that she had her tablet, Amaan pressed the transmit key to send the request to the nearest compatible device.
Setting the coffee cup on the chief’s desk, Paris uncrossed her legs and dextrously flipped her tablet over with practiced ease, bringing up the screen of the PDD and checking her messages to find the requisition. Eyes glancing about, her fingers began tapping at the screen as she read, contacting the shipyards and checking availabilities and potential snags.
“Seventeen kilometers of plasma conduit, chief?” the second officer asked without looking up, fingers nimbly dancing atop the screen surface as she worked.
“A new regulation,” said Amaan sourly. “I quote: All ships of the line must carry as emergency supplies enough plasma conduits to rebuild their power grid completely, as well as an additional 25% for assisting vessels in distress.”
Those short-nailed fingers tapped out their high-speed drumbeat as she checked the regulation- after all, she had to know, and sure enough, there it was. “I’ll take your word for the numbers Chief- “ Paris stopped suddenly, looking up at the engineer. “What do you prefer to be called, Lieutenant Commander? I’ve already fallen into the habit of calling you ‘chief’ when I started the conversation trying to ask the form of address that you’d prefer. Sorry, I guess I’m a bit off my game today.” The smile was one of earnest chagrin.
“Chief is what I generally prefer,” said Amaan. “Of course, you can call me Amaan when off duty. As long as you don't start calling me Grande Verde like Chavez on the Mayflower did.”
Privately Paris decided to keep the ‘Jolly Green Giant’ nickname to herself. “Chief it is then, thanks. And by all means, call me Rita when it’s appropriate. Or for dramatic effect,” the navigatrix added with a chuckle as she returned to her work. “Wow, you people are going to be working like mad down here... all over the ship, rather. Aside from rubber stamping parts requisitions can I help in any other ways? Allocation of manpower, requisitioning techs from the station, arranging meetings and briefings, extra coffee filters?”
Amaan chuckled. It was nice to work with a command level officer that had a sense of humor. “If you could get me a dozen more techs from the shipyard, that'd be great. I'd like repairs to be ahead of schedule when the Captain returns.” He leaned forward and whispered in a conspiratorial fashion. “It reinforces my reputation as a miracle worker.”
That split the gold-clad bombshell’s face into a wide grin. “I suspect we’re going to get along just fine then, Chief. I’ll start moving men around and don’t be surprised if I overcompensate. You give me clear requests and I will get you as far ahead of schedule as you can manage.” Paris sounded excited for the challenge and it was clear that she liked to play to win, and what she played was the game of her own job onboard the Exeter.
Oh, I like this one Amaan thought to himself. “ I'm glad to see that we are on the same page, Rita. I want the Captain to be able to brag about both of us when he meets up with the Brass after his shoreleave.”
“Ahhhh... right, we’ll get it done and it will surprise him... er,” Paris debated internally for a moment then turned off her touchscreen to lean an elbow on the tough tablet before leaning in conspiratorially to speak in hushed tones. “The captain... doesn’t particularly brag to the brass, in my experience. He’s excited to see when we get things done quickly- he used to be an engineer himself, and he does love to try to get us out of port much faster than we should, almost every time. But mostly it’s a clap on the shoulder and a ‘job well done’, if you catch my drift.”
“In that case, I will make sure there is plenty of room on my refrigerator so I can display my atta boy stickers,” said Amaan. He seemed to have missed the fact that the Captain had an engineering background.
That brought forth musical laughter from Rita Paris. “Yes! Yes, I see you’ve got the gist of it. Well, that will help you in dealing with him immeasurably. Atta boy stickers,” she chuckled as she reached for her cup of coffee and powered back up the tablet screen.
Amaan knocked back the remainder of his coffee in one large gulp. “As pleasant as this conversation has been, I do need to get back onto the floor with my team.”
“Understood, chief. I have no pressing business save the status reports which in the transition between Lieutenant Marcus and yourself have had a bit of a lapse, so if you could fill those gaps in before the captain gets back that would be swell. Oh, and since you are checked into the command you’ll have those ready by 0900 every day no problem, right?” Paris took another gulp of coffee before setting it down on the chief’s desk, lacking anywhere better to set it down as she stood, tugged down her uniform skirt smoothing it over her prodigious rear then smoothing out the rest of the minidress with practiced ease.
“You'll probably have the reports much earlier than that,” said Amaan as he stood. “And I shall endeavor to have the missing reports to your mailbox by 1800 today.”
“In your own time, chief. Let me be the first of the command staff to make it official,” Rita offered and she extended her hand. “Welcome to the Exeter, Lieutenant Commander Ragez.”
“Thank you, Lieutenant Commander Paris,” said Amaan as he took the offered hand and shook it up and down a few times. His hand certainly dwarfed hers by at least five sizes, maybe more.
He had met her on every level, up to and including the handshake. He could crush the bones in her hand if he chose to do so, but it was a firm handshake, eye contact, a few pumps and release. Rita was reasonably sure it looked like the engineer cared about the ship, his job and his shipmates. Which meant that he was going to get along marvelously on the Exeter, she surmised. Exiting his office she began picking her way through the organized chaos of the refit, her movements half girly mincing, half seductress sashay.
Amaan gave the Second Officer a single nod as she exited the small office. In his mind, she was a force to be reckoned with; all the more reason to keep in her good graces. As he stepped out of the office, the lights flickered twice. That gisjacheh power converter was acting up again. He began his search for Crewman Kal’K, hoping that he and the Rigellian could fix the converter once and for all.