((Main Engineering Lower Level - Deck 16, USS Gorkon))
It was Rachel's first full day as an engineer on the Gorkon. Of cou=
had volunteered for the first available duty shift in Main Engineering that
she could get. There weren't any sights down on the planet'=
s surface that
she was all that eager to visit. The prospect of getting back to doing her
dream job of starship engineer was so much more appealing. Even if the ship
was just in orbit over V=C3=A6ron. As she went about her work in Main
Engineering, someone working at a console next to the warp core caught her
Flores: oO No, is that=E2=80=A6 it can't be. Oo
Meeting someone she knew on the Gorkon wasn't something that she ha=
expecting. But the bearded engineer across the room was uncannily familiar.
She placed a name with the face after only a moment. Theo Whittaker. She
had met him when his ship, the USS Blackwell, had rescued her and her
crewmates and returned them to Earth. It had to be him, or perhaps a twin
She had spoken with Commander Whittaker several times during her brief stay
aboard the USS Blackwell. First in sickbay, and then in what he had
insisted on referring to as a ready room. Given the small, cramped quarters
of his office she had to assume it had started life as some kind of broom
closet before being hastily converted into an office for the ship's
commanding officer at some point late in the design process. But what was
he doing on the Gorkon?
Her musings were interrupted when Master Chief Petty Officer Jones
approached her and quietly cleared his throat to get her attention.
Jones: Is everything alright, ensign?
Rachel looked up and blushed a little. How long had she been standing there
staring at him from across engineering trying to discern if it was really
Whittaker? She straightened up a bit and politely turned to face the petty
officer before replying.
Flores: Everything is just fine. ::She motioned to the officer standing
near the warp core.:: Is that Theo Whittaker?
The Human man followed her hand gestures and looked over at the indicated
officer. He nodded slowly, looking at her with a slightly confused
Jones: Yes=E2=80=A6 why?
Flores: Just wanted to be sure. Thank you!
With the confidence that she hadn't imagined him, Rachel walked acr=
Engineering and approached Whittaker where he was working next to the
Flores: I didn't expect to run into anyone I knew out here, comm- :=
finally spotted the fourth pip on the man's collar.:: captain! It=
good to see you again!
Rachel and now-Captain Whittaker weren't exactly friends, or even
colleagues. They barely counted as acquaintances. But it was still a
connection that she had cherished, however briefly it had existed. A few
times, she had wondered just what the commanding officer of the Blackwell h=
gotten up to. But she had never followed through on those musings enough to
actually look through records and find out. Whatever had happened, it had
apparently set the two of them on a collision course with each other once
Flores: It really is you! ::She couldn't help but laugh. Sometimes,=
the only reaction to the surprises that fate always seemed to have in store
for her.:: What an unexpected surprise. And our uniforms match this time.
Not only were they both in uniforms from the same era, Whittaker had earned
a promotion and changed from red to the gold of operations in the two years
since they had met before. Rachel was sure that there was a story behind
all of that.
Flores: How have you been, Captain Whittaker?
Rachel was certain that whatever adventures Whittaker had been on in the
meantime were much more exciting than her stories. Assuming, of course,
that he wanted to share them.
After the initial excitement wore off, the years she spent on Earth had
been rather boring. She had spent most of it going to appointments or
attending classes at the academy. And being interviewed by historians. So
many historians=E2=80=A6 Even still, scholars studying the Earth-Romulan Wa=
send her letters with questions. Rachel had only been able to take so much
of it. Her heart still yearned to crawl through jefferies tubes, fight to
keep the complicated mechanical beast that was a Starfleet flying, and
never, ever give an accurate time estimate on how long repairs would take.
Flores: Retirement didn't suit me. I was pretty eager to get back o=
exploring the stars. So, I applied to join Starfleet=E2=80=A6 again. One
accelerated stay at the Academy later, and here I am. ::Rachel gestured
grandly around engineering for emphasis.:: Ensign Rachel Flores, new
She had never set foot in Main Engineering aboard a Sovereign-class
starship, or the Gorkon in particular. But being in the engine room and
seeing the gentle pulses of light being thrown off by the warp core felt
like a homecoming. New or not, it was where she belonged.
Ensign Rachel Flores
Engineering Officer, USS Gorkon
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