[USS Vanguard] Did You Say Q?

  • From: Kent Kavan <tonykavan@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 25 Oct 2004 00:23:07 -0700 (PDT)

USS Vanguard, Jeffries tube 7-1
Command Chief Petty Officer Kavan
Weapons, tactics, combat, management, leadership.  These were the things that 
Craig understood.  Things that he could stay in a conversation with anyone 
about.  No-one in the galaxy knew enough about these subjects to confound 
Craig.  They came as easily to him as breathing did to most people.
He'd learned tactics and ship handling as a Bosun's Mate as a young crewman, 
the Master at Arms program taught him about weapons and small team combat.  
Away missions, infantry based operations, etc.  And the Chief Petty Officer 
program taught him tactics.  Both ship to ship and further training in land 
based combat.  
But training was never a substitute for experience.  His time in the fleet had 
given him that.  A single glance at his service record showed that not only had 
he spent more time in space than most of the people on the boat had been alive, 
he'd been in more combat engagements than most of them as well.  It wasn't 
bragging, it was simple truth.  Maybe because he knew he was good at all of 
these things was why he was so frustrated right now.
"So what exactly am I looking at Crewman Davis?"  Craig leaned into the 
Jeffries tube and tried not to sound as flabergasted as he felt.
The young man held the tricorder close to the bulkhead again for his Chief's 
benefit as he tried to explain.  "Chief, it's called 'flexing,' it's a minor 
variance caused by the..."
Craig stopped listening and turned to Petty Officer First Class Jinero.  Jinero 
recognized Craig's exasperated look and broke it down into layman's terms while 
Crewman Davis continued his explanation unaware that the two senior enlisted 
men had stopped paying attention.
"Basically Chief," Jinero began, "It's buckling in the hull."  
Craig's eyebrows shot up in alarm.  Jinero saw the look and continued, "Don't 
worry Chief, it's natural and generally harmless.  What happens is that 
sometimes gaps form in the inertial damping system and the hull 'flexes.'  
Hence the term.  The damage is microscopic and is nearly impossible to detect 
unless you have the right equipment.  You also have to be looking for it.  
Every time the ship gets a refit it also gets a thorough going-over and the 
flexing is repaired.  Like I said, it's not a problem.  You just happened to 
pick the wrong crewman to ask how his morning was going when you walked by on 
That was true enough, Craig had merely been on his morning tour of the ship and 
asked Crewman Davis how his morning had been going.  That was when he launched 
into how he had found the "flexed" area purely by mistake.   Craig had been 
concerned and asked for the Petty Officer of the watch in engineering to 
explain it to him.
Much happier now that he knew the ship wasn't going to break apart, and feeling 
somewhat sheepish because he didn't understand what the crewman had been trying 
to tell him.  Craig continued his walking tour and found himself going by sick 
bay.  He'd been putting off stopping to check on the Captain mostly because he 
still hadn't had his physical since coming aboard and he wanted to put it off 
as long as possible.  
No good at engineering and afraid of doctors.  Sometimes he was amazed that 
he'd ended up where he had.  He chuckled to himself as the thought 
sarcastically came to him that maybe his charming personality had been the 
reason for his success.
Craig approached sick bay just in time to see Mandrake and the XO go through 
the door.  
Craig paused a moment to consider their current situation.  Zena Quetan seemed 
a capable enough XO and though he didn't know her all that well, come to think 
of it he didn't really know anyone on the ship outside of Ceelak all that well. 
 At any rate, Craig knew he'd never be an engineer but he knew people, that was 
part of his job as the command officers' conduit to the enlisted crewmen on the 
ship, and he knew that if Captain Santos wasn't in charge that Zena could 
handle the position in his place.  He'd find out for sure when they had their 
first crew performance meeting.
The doors to sick bay swished open to admit Craig just as he heard the trio of 
officers say something peculiar...
"Did you say 'Q?'"  Craig asked.  "As in THE 'Q?'"

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