USS Magellan
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Fresh Meat

Posted on Sun Jul 21st, 2019 @ 10:28pm by Ensign Hannah Peeters MD & Ensign Kiara Hansen MD & Chief Petty Officer Ian Thorpe
Edited on on Mon Jul 22nd, 2019 @ 8:42am

Mission: E1 Only The Beginning
Location: USS Magellan; Transporter Room 2
Timeline: MD09 1750

She felt a strange but familiar tingle as the blue hue of the transporter beam receded to reveal a fuzzy pattern of gray and beige blobs, which in turn resolved quickly into the contours of a rather drab, but perfectly functional main transporter room. In all, the whole process had taken maybe half a second, if that. But as ever, it gave Hannah the creeps.

As she came into herself, she couldn’t prevent a slight shiver traveling from the nape of her neck down her spine, and into the tips of her toes. She told herself it was because this room reminded her sharply of a virtually identical room on the Galileo, where she’d spent many an idle hour observing the comings and goings aboard ship during the first ten years of her life. But the truth was, Hannah just couldn’t get used to the idea of what happens to a person when going through the transporter. The molecules she’d been composed of when she left the USS Gisborne a few seconds ago were still there, ready to reconstitute her if she went back within the lifespan of the pattern buffer, but likely to be used in someone else’s reintegration if she didn’t. The molecules that made up Hannah Peeters here and now had once been part of someone else. So, arguably, the version of her standing on this dais had never existed before, and the version that had left the Gisborne was likely never to exist again. In a sense, she’d died and come back to life in the space of a few seconds. And the hell of it was, billions of people all across the universe did it every day.

She shook her head and smiled, an inner voice that reminded her a bit of her mother (but more of her friend Kiara), telling her to ‘snap out of it already, and come join us out here in the world!’ If pressed, Hannah would have to concede that her tendency to reflect deeply on things that did not necessarily matter in the moment was one of her major weaknesses. Granted, it could be quite useful when grappling with a new, or new to her, concept. In day-to-day life, however, it left her mostly looking like a dreamer.

Case in point: “Ma’am?”

The transporter operator was a tall, dark, and arguably handsome drink of water with a clean-shaven head and a five-o'clock shadow. He looked to be in his mid to late thirties, though he could have been younger. Rather on the young end of the spectrum for a Chief Petty Officer, Hannah realised as she glanced at his collar. She instantly regretted her earlier momentary lapse in attention. It was important to make a good first impression, here. She may be barely an officer, but she knew enough not to keep CPO’s waiting if she could help it. Staying on their good side could potentially enhance her effectiveness greatly. If she made an enemy out of one of them, there was no hope.

“My apologies, Chief,” she said with a small smile. “I was just pondering the wonders of modern science. Sometimes I forget that most people don’t get to sit in on the conversations I have in my head.”

His face remained impassive, and Hannah made a mental note not to try to joke in the future. No brownie points. She stepped off the dais, holding her hand out to the Chief as she approached. “I'm Ensign Hannah Peeters."

Those words still had a new taste to them. The promotion to Ensign had been a parting gift from the CO of the Vindicator, before he’d sent her TAD to the Gisborne and a somewhat uncertain future. She didn’t know if the provisional commission, which had come at least a month or two earlier than planned, had even been made permanent by Starfleet Command, yet. In any case, she’d not yet been notified as such. But then, the gravimetric distortions that had knocked out half of the equipment aboard the Gisborne during the incident for which the Vindicator had come to her aid may well have had something to do with that. Subspace communications to and from Gisborne had been spotty, at best, for quite a while. In fact, she wasn’t sure they were completely back up to snuff, yet.

I was assigned TAD to the Gisborne from the USS Vindicator for the past four weeks, providing extra hands in Sickbay after a gravimetric distortion hit them the wrong way. But the Gisborne needs to stick around here and cannot take me on long-term, nor ferry me back to the starbase or my ship. So it looks like I’ll be joining the Magellan for the foreseeable future.”

When the Chief remained silent and focused on the console screen in front of him, she wondered whether he thought she talked too much, but added: “Has the Gisborne’s command staff been back through here yet?”

At that point, the Chief did finally look up at her. “I’m Ian Thorpe,” he said. “Welcome aboard but, eh … I have another transport request coming through. Give me a second.”

She shrugged and made a hand gesture, but he didn’t even see it, focused as he was on the console screen as he initiated a new transport cycle. Hannah turned to the dais, so she would immediately see who the new arrival was. It surprised her when, a second or two later, the new arrival turned out to be Ensign Kiara Hansen, with a clearly overstuffed duffel bag in tow. Hannah chuckled. “Hey, stranger,” she said. “I would have guessed it should have taken you much longer than that to stuff the unruly mess in your locker down a duffel.”

Kiara answered Hannah’s chuckle with her own. “Ah, yes, but then, I don’t have your exacting standards when it comes to things like that, do I?”

Well, that was an understatement.

Like Hannah, Kiara was a doctor. Also like Hannah, Kiara was determined to practice medicine in space, or more to the point: as far away from her successful but overbearing Earth-bound surgeon of a father as she possibly could. Unlike Hannah, Kiara was not a fleet brat. She hadn’t grown up on a ship where, no matter how high up the deck you live on and how big your quarters, total available space is always limited. A starship dweller who acquires too much stuff cannot simply dump it in the attic. Cargo bays are for cargo; not excess baggage. Much like the ingrained deference to rank and deckplate leaders that Hannah had developed before she could walk, though, being ‘squared away’ was a notion that Kiara, having come into the service through ROTC rather than the Academy, did not quite seem to have internalized. Hannah should know; in their time on the Gisborne, they’d doubled up on quarters. That had been an … interesting … experience. So far, Kiara seemed to have managed to prevent her general unruliness from spilling over into her professional duties, though. So who was Hannah to judge? As a matter of fact, perhaps she could learn something from a Starfleet officer who did not seem to care much for minor things like rank, or being seen as squared away, or fleet decorum in general, but got the job done anyway.

“Indeed,” Hannah said with a smirk. “Captain Terax order you to the Ready Room, too?”

Kiara nodded. “Yep,” she said. “Lead on, McDuff!”

 

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