Jumping Right In
Once Upon A Time
Location: USS Minerva - transporter room and corridors
Timeline: Five weeks before the events of "This Way Up" in "Handle with Care"
The shimmering column of light on the transporter pad quickly formed into the figure of a Starfleet officer, lieutenant by the rank pin and operations division by the ochre collar, with a Starfleet duffel bag slung over his shoulder. He had dark complexion, shaven head and neatly trimmed facial hair. Dark eyes did a quick scan of the Minerva's transporter room before they came to rest on the officer standing down on the deck.
The lieutenant stepped down from the pad and stopped in front of Paige.
"Lieutenant Khaled al Rashid, reporting for duty as your exec." He handed Paige a data chip. "Permission to come aboard, sir?"
Paige took the data chip from the new arrival and plugged into a unit bolted awkwardly to the transporter operator's otherwise sleek console. It was all here: destination orders, encoded identification, piloting certifications, biometrics, hmm.. a mild allergy to Edosian seafood. Aware that he was perhaps taking too long, Paige pulled the chip from the reader.
"Granted. Welcome to the Minerva, I'm Lieutenant Warren Paige, Acting Captain. " Paige replied, handing the data chip back to the helmsman.
"Thank you, sir." He took the chip back and tucked it in a pocket on his duffel. The new first officer sighed. "It's a shame about your captain. How are the crew handling the change?"
"Frankly, the crew is unsettled. Commander Mokeke ran - I'm sorry - he runs a good ship. Firm but friendly. Thank you Petty Officer." Paige fired off a parting thanks to the transporter operator as he held the automatic doors to the corridor open.
"Have you served on a Miranda-class before, Lieutenant?"
"Never, sir," al Rashid replied. "Valkyrie's a Constellation-class. The others have been smaller scouts. Agile, but cramped."
"Watch your feet, sir!" a crewman called out to al Rashid. At the last moment, he hopped, barely missing tripping over a thick cable on the deck.
He looked over at Paige sheepishly. "They don't remind you about these things at command school."
"No, they don't." Paige smiled, it wasn't too long ago when he was the new man being shown around.
"Constellation-class? I hear their sensors and communications arrays are excellent, can't say I like the look of those four nacelles though, but then again I'm not a starship designer. Miranda's are a nice balance between exploration and utility, science missions and more aggressive taskings."
"Aggressive taskings," al Rashid repeated. "I have to admit I only ever encountered those in the command training program. Especially," he lowered his voice and looked about as the two officers continued through the Minerva's corridors, "that one simulation we're not supposed to talk about."
Paige smirked but remained silent. He knew exactly what al Rashid was talking about. For a split second, he recalled his own performance in the hot seat and reflected on the fact that now he was out here doing it for real, there would be no reset button. The two men reached a turbolift.
"Would you like time to settle in or are you anxious to get started?" Paige asked, pressing the car request button.
"I'd better drop this off," he tapped the strap of his duffel bag, "but I'd like to get started as soon as possible. After that, where do you want me?"
"You should speak to Chief Boyan, she should be able to give you status of all things helm control. Then I'd like you to check on some industrial supplies were carrying for Star Station India; they're hazardous, so we need to make sure they are stowed properly."
"Right away, sir." The new exec's head darted back and forth. He seemed to be looking for something. "Which way to the quartermaster, sir?"
Warren smiled slightly. He knew what it was like to be the new man aboard.
"That way," Warren answered pointing with his finger. "Turn left at the biochem lab; it's the fourth door on the right, if you reach the escape pods you've gone too far."
"Good to know. Thank you, sir," the replacement exec said as he turned in the direction Paige indicated. "I'll report to you on the bridge asap." In another few seconds he disappeared down the corridor and around a corner.