Previous Next

Meeting the new Engineer

Posted on Sunday 26 September 2021 @ 19:23 by Captain Melody Jones & Commander Seklar

Mission: First Contact
Location: Main Engineering
Timeline: MD1 1000
1734 words - 3.5 OF Standard Post Measure


Having sorted out the staff briefing and spoken to the Doctor, Melody was going over the transfer orders and noticed they had a new chief engineer starting today. She decided to go and meet them.

Melody left her Ready room and headed down to main engineering. Having been both a pilot and an engineer herself, she had enormous respect for those who looked after the ship's propulsion systems.

Entering she stopped and regarded the warp core for a moment, listening to the gentle thrum.

"Fascinating, is it not?" Seklar said as he approached the woman, "and incredibly soothing. I have missed being near one the past years. When I served on a ship, and could not sleep, I would go sit and listen to the thrumming of the core."

"I know what you mean." Melody agreed with the newcomer. "I was born on a starship and I always miss the background hum of the systems when I'm planetside. I wonder if these two will be the same." She pondered placing a hand on her baby bump which was starting to show quite prominently through her uniform. She turned to him and regarded his features for a moment before holding out her hand "You must be our new Chief Engineer. I'm Captain Jones. Welcome aboard."

True to his Vulcan heritage, Seklar ignored the offered hand. "Seklar," he answered, offering a slight inclination of his head instead, "and my twins were born on a starship as well. I have found the hum of a warp core will also easily lull a child to sleep, which as a single parent is quite useful. Especially Salai, my son finds it extremely soothing."

Melody chuckled. "Well if I have trouble getting them to sleep, I'll have to bring them down here then." She withdrew her hand, not taking offence as she was familiar with Vulcan logic. "So Commander Seklar, tell me about yourself. Did your family join you on your new posting?"

"Of course they did." Surely he wasn't expected to leave his children behind? "My children are eight standard years old, my son Salai being a few minutes older than my daughter Ishara. Their mother was killed shortly after their birth and I have been raising them on my own for the most part." Of course he had help across the years, but he had rowed it alone for the most part. "I am not certain what else you wish to know. I have served as an engineer, security officer as well as a first officer for several years since graduating from the academy. I do not wish to discuss where I grew up, it is of no consequence and I would prefer not to be reminded of it."

"I'm sorry to hear about your wife." Melody replied as she studied him. For a Vulcan, she could swear his responses were almost.... emotional. "Of course you don't have to bring up anything you're uncomfortable with... Unless it's going to affect this ship or this crew." She added. "I like to get some background on my new officers. I think the senior officer on a starship should know something about each other. I'd be surprised if you hadn't looked over my service record before you came on board."

"I did not," Seklar confessed, "I prefer not to be prejudiced by someone's records, and experience has taught me to form my own opinions, before reading someone's files. As I assume you did read mine, you also know that I recently lost my latest bondmate and my daughter. Though I wonder if I really could call her that. From my perspective, it was all real but her parting note to me was that it was all an illusion, and that I should not look for her, and our daughter. As I have no hope of even knowing how to look after a part aquatic child, nor do I have the illusion of being capable of it on my own, I will respect her wish."

"An interesting approach Commander." Melody said. "Yes, I have looked over your file, as would any commanding officer and I am still going to form my own opinion based on my observations. Tell me, I want to get the efficiency of the warp drive up to 98% and I want our power conversion levels improved by another 5%." She turned to him. The task she was setting him was achievable..... Just but it was going to take some creative thinking. "Do you think you're up to the challenge, Commander?"

"I am up for any challenge ma'am," the Vulcan reassured her confidently, "I am quite pleased to be in engineering again. I have missed this for the past years. I have found engineers on the vessel I served on as XO was quite possessive of his engineering, and even on the stations, the engineers all but barred me from the space. I was known to...sneak in... when I could not sleep."

"Well, this is your domain now..." Melody said, gesturing around with her hands. "But just remember, it's my ship, so I might call in from time to time. I want a plan outlining how you're going to get the required results on my desk by tomorrow morning. Do you like piano music? I'm giving a recital tomorrow afternoon. There are some special guests arriving on the USS Santa Maria. They'll also be transferring over some personnel and equipment. I believe you're getting a few new mission specialists as well."

"This is your vessel," Seklar acknowledged, "though I would prefer it if any intended tinkering is run by me first so I can pull staff from said area to provide room for you. And required results may take a little longer than you desire. I am not a miracle worker captain, and I do not yet know this vessel. I also still have a family to settle and make certain they will be alright first. But if you give me two days, then I can give you preliminary schematics on how to improve warp core efficiency."

Melody smiled. "Aren't all engineers miracle workers? I should warn you, having been an engineer myself, I can tell when you're multiplying your repair estimates." She thought for a moment about the times he had given. "Those sound about right, but as you get used to the ship, I best those estimates come down slightly. You have a good team here, use them well. Is there anything else you'd like to know?"

"There is no logic in multiplying estimates," Seklar answered dryly, "no, I will take some time to familiarize myself with the systems, after I make certain my children make it home safely and I settle them into the ship's school. Assuming there is a teaching facility, that is. I will be taking alpha shift, with your approval, to ensure time with my children. They are all I have captain, and they are most important to me."

"Of course Commander, that's no problem," Melody replied "and I entirely agree. Family is the most important. I have a.... nineteen year old daughter myself. She's called Sansa, and now two more on the way." She paused and took a breath. "If you need any more resources or personnel, just let me know. Right now, I'll leave you to get settled in and I look forward to your report."

"That is quite the age difference," Seklar noted, then nodded towards her bump. "When are you due?"

"I've got another 3 months until these two blasts off, and as for Sansa she had an... unique childhood but that's a tale for another time. I'll be taking some time off for the birth and to get acquainted. Admiral Jackson will be taking command during that time. This upcoming mission won't be too taxing on the engines so they'll be plenty of time to get the warp drive just right."

"In my personal experience, twins do not make it to the due date. Mine were premature." Seklar offered another faint smile though his expression changed at the memory. I assume your mate is on board to support you?"

Melody’s face fell slightly. “They don't? Well, that's just great. Sansa wasn't premature but.... She did come earlier than I expect.” About 5 months earlier she thought to herself. She had carried Sansa for less than 1/2 the normal time and she was glad now that now would Sansa age at the normal rate but thanks to Caroline's help she was able to have these babies develop at the normal rate.

“I think I'll be able to handle an earlier delivery and yes, my husband is on board. He’s the assistant operations officer.”

"Then at least you have someone to support you," Seklar answered. "I did have help when my twins were newborns, but mostly, I have raised them on my own. It has not been easy, and now they have lost a mother twice since then too. My second marriage ended in divorce as my wife wished to pursue Kolinahr, and my last marriage... apparently was a lie. It was non-existent, and I was used to suit her needs. I am not certain I can put my children through such an ordeal again. Treasure what you have captain...."

“That's always good advice.” she said nodding in agreement. “Sounds like you've managed to cope with some very tough situations. The ship has an excellent school and they can provide you with as much or as little support as you need. I take it you'll be sending your children there?”

"Obviously. They are too young to be on their own, they need supervision and tutoring while I am on duty. Especially Salai, as he is starting to test limits, and he is increasingly inquisitive." Seklar gave a quiet nod. "I will see to it as soon as I am done here," he promised. "Was there anything else you desired to discuss?"

"I don't think so Commander, I'll let you get back to your work. Once again, Welcome aboard the Merlin" and with a nod of her head, Melody headed out of engineering.

Seklar arched an eyebrow as he watched her go. There was something he did need to discuss, but engineering was hardly the place for it.


●●●● Captain Melody Jones
Commanding Officer
USS Merlin

Commander Seklar


Previous Next