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Gunning Down Problems

Posted on Sun Jan 25th, 2009 @ 9:54am by Lieutenant Michael Lake

Mission: Echoes of the Damned: Pilot Episode.

Mike sat at ops, he knew he was going to be stuck there for a while. He was running diagnostics to keep himself occupied and was watching Podi's progress on diagrams and often sending light insults about his incompetency and how Mike could do it the "Mike way" and get it done in about 50% less time... it was just the power of the "Mikey Way". He paused his "Podi Progress" diagnostic and moved his chair about twenty degrees to the right.
The duty helmsman looked at him with curiosity and raised an eyebrow staring at him "Sir?"
Mike shook his head quickly "Nothing, mate, go back to work."
The helmsman nodded and started to tap away on his panel. Mike looked up at the duty CO, Kristina, she too was tapping away doing something up at tactical.

Quickly she stole a glance over her console to see who had been talking quietly breaking the near silence on the bridge. She wasn't surprised when she learned it was Lake. In the short time they had shared in the same space Kristina had quickly worked at that he was in a word annoying and filled with ego that desperately needed popping with a large pin.

Mike gave a light smile when he looked up at her she was "cute" by his standards, and always was, but he always wanted to belt her one at the same time and tell her how to do her job in the "Mikey Way" like everyone else. He was thinking about seeing if he could make a straight decent conversation with her, even though, being an operations specialist he knew most things about the tactical side of the fence.
He mulled it over and then got out of his chair to hopefully fix up relations between them. As he came up the ramp, he could sense her dread.

Masking her sigh Kristina turned in her seat to give Lake her attention. Beneath her tough shell of stubbornness she was a caring person, but only a selected few were privileged to see that side of her. They had to earn it. Considering the way Mr Lake had ruffled several feathers so far he had a very long way to go if he wanted to make himself worth while in her opinion.

Mike smiled as he walked up to her "Ma'am, could you please explain the 'advanced' side of targeting a ship with the tactical sensors?" he was waiting for her to grab him and throw him over the back railings... "waiting... waiting... waiting..." he thought to himself as she looked at him.

Asking this sort of question would not push him very far on that journey. She resisted the temptation to roll her eyes. He looked tense as if waiting for her to shout at him; she didn't want to disappoint him too much. Turning back to her console she resumed her research and answered him: "As on Operations Officer I would have expected you to already have that information Mr Lake. However if you do not know the answer to the question I would recommend that return to the Academy for a refresh course." she turned back to him. "Or perhaps if you used your common sense more you would have the thought to have consoled with you colleagues in you department or even the computer data banks."
She turned abruptly back to her console giving Lake the cold shoulder. Privately she knew that this would eventually make it to Beverly's ears. No matter she would face the consequences. It was important that weedy staff their where the line was drawn and what should happen to them when it is crossed.

Mike leaned on the rail "OK, I know the answer, I'm an ops specialist for crying out loud."

She gave him a sideways glance and let his attitude bounce harmless off her. She was the Second Officer and needed to act like it. She reined herself back in: "Then if you knew the answer to your own question why did you ask it?"

Mike arched an eyebrow "Actually, I just came up here to... patch up relations between us."

A small snort of amusement escaped her nose. Clearing her throat she she turned to face him again. "You cannot patch up a relationship that has not yet been constructed. If you wish to gain my trust you have a long way to go yet. I don't tolerate foolishness Mr Lake, between Commander DeVuor, Lieutenant Zhjaeve and myself we intended to run a very tight ship and those who cannot follow our examples will be removed from their post at the next convenient moment
"Do I make myself clear Mr Lake?"

Mike gave an arrogant smiled "This crap again." he muttered "Perfectly..." He knew there was some way into that shell of hers, he just couldn't figure it out "Well, I'd better step up to the plate as well... assist someone with coping with this tight ship stuff, eh." maybe going all "job orientated" was the way to go.

She bite her lip restraining herself from leaping off her seat at him. How dare he mutter that? With a sigh she recomposed herself and turned in her seat scanning him with her eyes. Finally it seemed he had seen the light and was prepared to rise to the challenge perhaps he owned a spine after all.
"How are you willing to assist Mr Lake?"

"I don't know... got anything to do..." his voice quietened "Seriously, I'm bored, you being the best thing on the bridge is a disturbing thing."

She shut her eyes briefly shutting the younger man out of a moment. This could be very awkward if not handled correctly. Then again she wasn't overly certain if this was the early signs of attraction or if like before Lake was being just his normal self. Opening her eyes she searched for the words but fortunately she was saved from answering for the moment when he continued.

Mike smiled "Joking. So what do people like you talk about?"

"At the moment there is little to discuss. Most of the crew's thoughts are still with the departed. It weighs heavily upon their shoulders. There are not many of us here now that endured the battle where Captain Jennings lost his life. That sill plays fresh in my mind."
She turned back to her console amazed that she voiced her thoughts so easily and exposed them to a near stranger.
"Something new would be appreciated. Tell me, what's life like outside the quadrant?"

Mike leaned against the railing again with his arms crossed "Same old... same old... you know, cold and empty."

"I see," Kristina signed. "What about you Mr Lake? Do you have any family waiting for you to return?"

Mike wiped his right hand across his left eye "Yeah... my mother is still having panic attacks about the thought of me being in Starfleet. She wanted me to be a cook."

"Have you explained to her the importance of your position and the purpose of your function? I'm sure she would feel pride if she were able to see you now"

Mike smiled... was that a compliment? "Thanks... what about you?"

Kristina shrugged casually hoping the subject would quickly change soon. "Just me, no one else"

Mikes face went sympathetic, so did his tone "I'm so, so sorry, I didn't realize... If there is any way I can make it up to you."

Not only did the Lieutenant Junior have strengthening spine it seemed too that he had a heart, but a huge a balloon of ego that went hand in hand with it. "Thank you for your kinds words Mr Lake but I'll be fine thank you."

Beyond them Kristina could hear the sound of Beverly singing carried through from her ready room. Although the words were slightly muffled she could still feel them pulling at her heartstrings. Bev had been forced into this position without time to prepare. Kristina had sworn she would give as much support as she could but there was nothing she had to offer to protect the fragile woman from her own inner demons.
Rising from her seat Kristina steeped up carefully to the closed door enough to hear what was happened, but not close enough to open the door.

Mike knew that something was going down, he was going to help. "Whoa, Lieutenant, wait up." He had to prove his worthiness to her now that he had got her attention.

Kristina turned back to him. "What is it Mr Lake?" Inside the room the song ended. The soft music was replaced with the aching sobs of the woman inside. "If you don't mind I would like to comfort Beverly alone."

Mike nodded "Fine, I'll hold the fort up here."

"Thank you," she offered a weak smile before slipping inside the room.

He watched her walk in "Stunning." he said quietly.


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