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Ensign
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 24
". . . so I think we've got that problem ironed out, although I'll be pretty happy if I don?t see a phase inverter for another month or two."

Gorel joined in the wave of chuckles that swept the small auditorium. Going over the specifications of the Yorktown had brought him into close contact with Commander Suren, commanding officer of the Starfleet engineering team responsible for working out the ship's kinks during trials. They'd actually arrived about a year and a half earlier, when the USS Sternenbach had come to install the restricted systems and perform enough general integration and finalization work for the Yorktown to be officially commissioned. At that point, the Sternenbach had left, leaving behind Commander Suren?s team to finish the job.

Suren had felt it would be logical for him to join in on the weekly team meetings, especially since he came from an engineering background. At this point in the ship's development, uniformity of command had become less important than troubleshooting and sharing information; thus, now the meetings were a bit more freeform, with anyone who had encountered a particularly thorny problem invited to stand and present the problem and solution they'd found; if they hadn't actually solved the problem yet, then that was also acceptable, so the rest of the team could provide their insights and suggestions.

The Vulcan commander stepped to the front of the room and began to speak; Gorel allowed his attention to drift to the man who'd just finished his presentation: Senior Chief Petty Officer Felix Macchia. He was a bit of a gangly human, with dark skin and lighter, short-cropped hair; by all reports he was excellent at practical repairs and very personable. From what Gorel had seen, he could agree with the latter; if what the Chief had to say during his presentations was accurate, then the former seemed quite true as well. He had spent the last year and a half working on the Yorktown, and before that had earned a modest but respectable number of citations and awards for performance of his duties.

All of these facts led Gorel to one conclusion: he had to try to poach the man from Suren's team. It wasn't going to be especially easy; with the importance of shipbuilding, the Vulcan was sure to argue that it would be illogical to take such a proven resource and confine him to the operation of a single starship, no matter what that ship may be. He wouldn't be wrong in that, either, whether or not Gorel felt that the entirety of his crew and success of his missions could depend on having someone with the capabilities of Chief Macchia.

The room rustled and a low noise of conversation broke out once Commander Suren dismissed them. Gorel stood and gave his uniform tunic a tug down. He was not especially looking forward to the fight, but it was one he intended to win, and the Youth Orders did not breed quitters. He'd gotten a bit of capital to trade with from his great-uncle Eskot, and he was sure he'd need to use every bit of it to convince Suren.

The Vulcan met his gaze and arched an eyebrow in question; Gorel smiled thinly and stepped into the ring.

"Commander Suren, I intend to request that Chief Macchia be transferred to serve as Chief of Operations on the Yorktown. I'd like to have your support."

"Unacceptable. Senior Chief Petty Officer Macchia is a very strong component of my team. Once the Yorktown is out of trials, our next destination is a full retrofit of the USS Gorkon. The task will be quite demanding." The Vulcan did not raise his voice, nor did he bend his will, both as Gorel had fully expected.

"The Chief's practical experience with the Yorktown will be of vital importance in ensuring that the ship functions smoothly. I'm sure you are fully aware that even once the ship's trials are complete, there will be 'teething problems' for some months; in a ship of the Yorktown's size and complexity, I would not be surprised if they continued to crop up for a year or more. Both the Chief's skill and his ability to impart his knowledge to the Yorktown's operations staff will be of tremendous assistance in making sure the Yorktown becomes and remains fully functional."

"Your point has merit. I am willing to temporarily detach Chief Macchia for three months once the Yorktown's trials are completed. He can train your ship's crew in that time, and then return to my team in time for the major projects on the Gorkon." The compromise was more than Gorel had expected, although it was logical. Another man might have taken the deal in the interests of peace; in theory, those three months might be enough to give the Yorktown's crew the training they needed. For Gorel, it was a sign of weakness.

"That will not be sufficient." he said, and at that Commander Suren did raise an eyebrow before Gorel continued.

"I am sure you are aware of the importance of the Yorktown, both from the mechanical perspective of studying Cardassian and Dominion technologies, and the moral perspective of being a demonstration of cooperation between the Federation and Union and encouraging restless Cardassians unable to enter the CDF to pursue Starfleet rather than the True Way."

"I am." He may not allow his emotions to rule him, but he was aware of them. Even Vulcans appreciated a good victory.

"Given this importance, I have been authorized to convey to you an offer from the Ministry of Defense. They are prepared to increase their purchase of industrial energy cells from Vulcan, to a total value of 2 billion new leks per year."

"A bribe, Captain?"

"Not at all. A consideration. The economies of both the Union and Vulcan, and thus the Federation, will be strengthened. If the Yorktown is successful, the Union could easily become a supplier of starships to the Federation."

"Would it not be logical to pursue this course of action whether or not Chief Macchia is transferred to the Yorktown?"

"Possibly, although industrial energy cells can be purchased from elsewhere; the Remans are always looking to increase their business contacts, for example, and the Union is always seeking more allies." There was an implicit threat there, and one with enough history to make it plausible. The Romulan Star Empire and Cardassian Union had not been enemies, nor had they always been friendly with the Federation.

The Vulcan paused for a long moment. Gorel decided that showing a bit of softness might ease matters a bit.

"The Union has no wish to antagonize the Federation, but it is taking the Yorktown project very seriously."

"So I see," the Commander said blandly. "Very well, Captain Karn. I am not certain whether Chief Macchia will be amused that he was sold to the Cardassian Union for two billion new leks."

That was it. Gorel allowed himself to relax just a bit and smiled at Suren.

"We are all Starfleet officers, Commander, but Cardassia needs this project. If the Orions were selling officers of the Chief's caliber, I would go to Ter'jas Mor to buy them."

Last edited by thesciencer; 03-22-2013 at 01:49 AM. Reason: Blast, notepad didn't fix the question mark problem.