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Log of the Month for September, 2014

The Soft Touch
Posted on September 24th, 2014 by Rodney Quinn

“That was good, Quinn.” His voice muffled even from the engineer assisting mere feet over to his right by the racket of the balloon/grappler assembly, among the last and also requiring a bit of brute force to get aligned just right, Rodney allowed himself the indulgence of the muttering to complement the rolling of his eyes. “Real ‘Take no prisoners’ hardass.”

He wasn’t about to complain, even to himself, about all that had come with his recent promotion. He’d earned it, and a full Lieutenant… well, that did not suck. All the same, though, there was still that gnawing worry, that he’d bitten off more than he could chew when he’d accepted the responsibility of succeeding Chief Busard. It was normal, he knew. Running a department was a big responsibility for anyone. For the first time, and on a flagship… and even most folks who contended with all of that needn’t worry about the inevitable comparison with someone who’d possessed the raw intelligence and mechanical aptitude of half her department put together.

He wasn’t Percy. But everyone knew that, and he WAS darn good in his own right. In time, he’d find his own style, build a new and vibrant rhythm for what he would eventually be able to call HIS engine room. And if he couldn’t say that with utter confidence just yet, if rationalization hadn’t completely dismissed the butterflies, then that was okay. He hadn’t had any time to dwell on any of that useless stuff anyway.

He’d found himself worked pretty damn hard on this one. Modify the crush cans, come up with a way of getting the station back up, modify the cans again, build the means to get the aforementioned done, needed ship repairs hovering over it all… he’d barely had the time to think about HOW to do half these things, much less actually put it in practice before the next project came down. Workload enough to tie up every gold shirt he had, until no amount of delegation would keep him from sleeping like a rock once the opportunity presented itself.

And he was loving it, having never liked passing off a project anyway. Something he and Percy might share in common after all. This, he could say proudly, was just what engineering was: the house of ideas. Well, that was Science too, of course, and the work which had passed his way from the bridge was extraordinary as always, but Engineering was still the machine shop that took the idea and built it. A steep challenge, worthy of the Federation’s finest resources he had to throw at it? That part was just plain fun.

But that was just the thrill of being an engineer. And he wasn’t just an engineer anymore, was he? He was the one who was supposed to bring order to all of this, and keep it there. Not a trivial task; yes, these people were all supremely competent, good at their jobs with or without him looking over their shoulders. But he also knew all too well that the most brilliant minds were often the most prone to wandering. More thoughts, more ideas to prioritize.

Especially if that brilliant mind belonged to someone who liked to tell stories. And persisted in telling them even as the mission had entered a crucial juncture. Yes, he could see himself that Ilaihr and T’Lira made an effective team, two skilled technicians managing a good pace. And ordinarily, he had no problem with a bit of chatter on the job; it eased the workload. But with that station caught in the middle of a storm down there, and no reliable data available on precisely how long it could safely endure the turbulence, he would happily take every extra second their focused talent could give him. He didn’t want to call them out in particular right now, though. He suspected that would only slow things down, and besides, he’d already decided he wished to speak to the Andorian about how he meant to run things in private.

Thus, his attempt to kick the shuttlebay as a whole into a last spur of action via the comm. And he had to wonder, if he just felt like a child puffing out his chest because the folks made him the sitter over a younger sibling, how seriously did the recipients take it? At the very least, he doubted he’d hit the balance of stern yet respectful that he was hoping for.

“Keep practicing.” He finally concluded to himself, nodding to Price with some satisfaction at least at the crush can ready to go.

“Okay! Number 8 is good to go! Anyone who can’t make an announcement like that within the next five minutes, raise your hand, and let’s see what we can do!”

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  • Atlantis Patch Ian Blackthorne says:

    Yep, he’s the Chief. Big shoes to fill, but with that insight, I think he’ll manage juuuuust fine. :)

  • Atlantis Patch T'Kirr says:

    I like this. Good to have that transition piece of Quinn’s thoughts in taking over for Percy!

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