USS Watership – Bridge – 1800
Mitsak sat at her station, staring at the screen as her hands worked the console. She glanced at her Captain, thankful he’d promoted her in January. She’d been thinking of leaving the Watership when her CO had retired. Her years as assistant chief had begun to feel like she’d stalled out in her climb up the mountain. When Crawford had sat in the chair, he’d begun a bottom to the top review of the command and control structure of the ship. It had been an open secret that the previous CO hadn’t been at the top of his game for the last year. He’d neglected to instill a sense of worth in the senior staff and most of the ship had become indifferent to the ongoing mission of the Olympic class ship.
Peter Crawford had changed that. It took thirty days, but the less then steller officers were quickly motivated to transfer. The hungry and hopeful were promoted, assigned a mentor, and given chances to make a difference on the ship. When Mitsak had told her family of her promotion and senior staff position, they’d not stopped smiling since. She had watched both nervously and in awe of her new CO as he’d worked his way through the ship and the command staff. The month of February had been non-stop and brutal training and retraining for every crew member. There had been tears, there had been fears, and there had been some who had realized the CO wasn’t going away and wasn’t taking the foot off the pedal. Some had left while many more stayed. The ship’s culture had begun to shift, and there were more smiles amongst officers and crew alike. Communities started forming across departments, and the power of connection was rediscovered. By the time the month of March had started, the Watership was a new ship with a refreshed and renewed crew.
She turned at the voice of the FO, Lieutenant Commander Alexandra Hoyt. She smiled at the tall and broad-shouldered operations chief, “Evening, Ali. Still trying to figure out how to punch through the rifts to reach the Heracles.”
Hoyt gave her a nod and leaned down to examine the data on the screen, “There’s a lot of interference…lot more than we usually see.” She pointed at a point in the nebula, “You see that?”
Mitsak frowned and watched the area of the screen her first officer had noted. A minute passed as her eyes caught the pattern, “You’re right…there’s a pattern to the interference in that segment of the nebula.” Her fingers tapped on the console as she refined the sensor’s focus to examine and evaluate the type of patterns Hoyt had identified. The computer beeped a few times and the display changed. Kiera gave her FO a pat on the shoulder, “Ali, you see this? There’s an underlying pattern in some of the interference…enough that we could circumvent the overall patterns to get a reinforced communications signal through the rifts.” She tapped at the console a moment longer, “There are small enough rifts that are staying open that this could work.”
The FO smiled quietly. The young Korean woman’s energy was infectious – her innate desire to learn and try new things outside the box had been part of the reason she’d been promoted to Chief of Science. She turned towards Crawford, “Captain, Chief Mitsak has a solution to our communications need.”
The CO stepped from his chair, walked to the bridge’s rear, and looked expectantly at Mitsak, “What do you got?” The lieutenant showed him what they had discovered and how they intended to keep the channel open. Peter listened carefully and asked questions as his science chief went point by point on how they’d work through the process. He nodded as she finished, “Solid work, Mitsak. Coordinate with your team and have engineering keep you in the loop on repairs. When they’ve given us the all-clear, I’m ready for us to get back in it. Loop in Admiral Talon and the others on your work so they’re aware of our progress.”
She gave a nod as he returned to his center chair. There was a sense of accomplishment she had felt since the culture of the ship had taken on a shift. That she was making a difference in the galaxy. That she was doing something for the good of human and alien kind. She swung her chair back to her station and continued to fine-tune her work. They needed to bring these people home.