JP: Time to Rebuild

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JP: Time to Rebuild

Postby Kris » Sat Jun 21, 2014 8:23 am

Time to Rebuild
Neil Qarson & Christine Sterling
SD: 67557.6 (Monday, July 23rd, 2390, 12:15pm)

Things had finally started to calm down. The crew of the Lionheart had been allowed to do a lot of what they wanted to for the past month. Christine, on the other hand, had been put into a temporary position at Starfleet Headquarters while prepping for the arrival of a new and unexpected baby. Just glancing at her, you’d just think she put on a bit of weight, but those she’d spoken too obviously knew different.

Her mission today, however, was to go find one of her crew members who wasn’t answering any time anyone tried to contact him. It was nice to get away from Headquarters, but she never expected she’d have to go to Colorado to find the person she was looking for. The combadge was pinging off of a location near a lake, which she figured was where he was staying to relax. But the situation she needed him for now had to take precedence to vacationing.

It didn’t take Tine long to figure out where he was. There was a lake behind the house and figured that, on a day like today was, he’d be outside somewhere. Circling around the house instead of knocking on the door, she noticed someone in the water and chuckled. The water looked nice, but she was here on official business. Walking to the edge of the water, she just stood and waited to see if he would notice someone else there that wasn’t supposed to be.

Neil had purposefully tried to stay off the grid ever since returning to Earth. With no family with which to stay, he decided to hide away at a friend's lakeside cabin in the middle nowhere. It had been a while since they'd all gotten back and Neil wanted to spend as much time as he could away from everyone and everything else to try and relax some.

The peace of being alone in nature, his time being his own, and eating real food did Neil good. He honestly didn't remember the last time he had been not-grumpy with life.

With the sun shining above, birds singing from the trees, and the perfect balance of breeze and warmth, Neil spent the majority if the day hiking and swimming in the lake. But his stomach had started to call to him, and so he made one last dart underwater for the dock and climbed onto it. Wearing only a black pair of swimming trunks, Neil toweled himself off. He nearly jumped out of his skin after a few steps toward the house when he saw Christine watching him from the yard. He sighed at length. "And I was just starting to enjoy myself... How the hell did you find me out here?" he said, walking past her.

Walking to catch up with him, she sighed. "Nice to see you too, Neil. And...you left your combadge inside and I figured on a nice day like today you wouldn't be cooped up inside." She kept walking along with him, making sure to obviously keep her distance since he was still technically on vacation for a bit longer.

"Might have something else that you might enjoy," she said, holding up a PADD she had with her. "I put in the request and it got accepted. Their going to rebuild the Lionheart, and I've asked that you be put in charge of the rebuild."

"I could've sworn that I turned that damned thing off." Neil marched onward to the back of the cabin and up the rear deck. He knew that Sterling was one of the very few crewmembers who had researched his service history and knew he had a long background in designing and building starships.

Pausing to turn and face her, Neil opened the back screen door. "No." He then went inside and closed the screen behind him.

Tine knew it was going to be hard to convince him of this, with their not-so-great relationship. But this was something that he really needed to take her up on. Sighing, but not walking any further than standing near the edge of the deck, she set the PADD on the railing and just stood there.

"Not even interested in what you'd be in charge of? There's more to it than that if you do accept other than the ability to be in charge of the whole thing."

"You know my history," he said from halfway inside. "You know I'm not fit for that kind of work any longer. To be honest, I'm not so sure I want to return to duty. My options in the civilian world seem a little more attractive these days." Neil's footsteps over the creaking wooden floor were more apparent as he approached the door. He had quickly dried himself and changed into different shorts. "Besides, I'm an Ensign now. I'm not what you need. If you want, I can give you the names of a lot better people with more experience."

"Yes, I do know your history, and what you are capable of. That is why I requested you to head the project." She'd known this part of the conversation was going to come up, and was actually ready for it. "You've beyond proven yourself that you can handle this from what I can tell. As I said, there is more to the position than just being in charge. But only if you are willing to read over the information I have here and accept it. Reading doesn't mean you accept, I'd never do that to you. I don't want the names of anyone else, I know who I want to head the project, no one else."

Neil grunted. Despite not being very fond of or attracted to Christine, she sometimes had a way of handling him that somehow made him both upset and capitulate. He wasn't entirely sure if this was going to be one of those times and would definitely resist it being so. The door slid open and Neil stepped out. Christine and the PADD stood before him, motionless. Rolling his eyes, "Summarize it for me. I'm not in the mindset of tolerating million-dollar words right now."

"The short version? Alright, that's easy. You head the rebuilding of the Lionheart, which is going to be Prometheus Class. On top of the position, and being able to pick who you want as part of your main staff, you no longer have to sit with that Ensign ranking." Tine waited a moment before continuing, grabbing the PADD in case he wanted it after she gave the next part. "You're service on board has been exemplary and your shuttles that sadly got destroyed when the ship did has earned you a promotion. I couldn't swing First Lieutenant, though I did try. But full Lieutenant, and after the rebuild you could be all the way up to Lieutenant Commander."

The thought of returning to his old line of working was admittedly tempting. Promise of a promotion, however, wasn't entirely attractive to him. "Sounds like a pretty sweet deal. I'm surprised the top brass approved me for this, I was told that I was pretty much black-balled after my previous assignment." Neil pondered a few moments. "Now, the important question: What about Nadall? Won't she start pouting once she hears about this?"

Christine leaned against the railing, thinking on how to word the next part. "She's been granted extended leave with her kids. I think her father had something to do with that. After what happened while she was off the ship, I think he's keen to keep her grounded for a while. Unless something changes, you'll still hold chief engineer position when we launch."

She looked around, making sure no one was actually listening that might be in a nearby house and looked back at him. "After our little excursion with the Romulans, things aren't going so well. You've been in Starfleet long enough I don't have a problem telling you this. We're afraid they are rallying with others and might possibly start a war. The Romulan ship we encountered wasn't part of that, there was time travel involved in the one we met up with. But seems that was the aftermath of what seems yet to come. Swaine wants the Lionheart to be the top of the line, we need you to make it that way."

Somehow, Christine knew exactly what to say. Neil had always wanted to build the most advanced ships Starfleet had to offer, tricked out with every toy and option there was. Time was that he actually helped to design and research such things. Even though he had given up hope of ever being promoted again, being a lowly Ensign again for so long was a bit depressing for Neil. But, he couldn't give up his poker face just yet. "Are you serious that I can choose my own staff? If I find so much as one Admiral's lackey or a mole being forced on me, I won't be a happy camper."

"Yeah. Obviously some engineers to help put things together, but they will be under your direct orders. No lackey, I've been promised that. I'm stationed at Headquarters now so everyone will pass through me as well. We're not cutting corners on this thing, state of the art." She chuckled a bit. "There are rumors they are going to make me a captain before launch. Find that bit hard to believe as I don't think I've earned it. But, one never knows." She turned back to him. "What do you think, Neil?"

Neil let out a small chuckle at the possibility of her being appointed CO. "Just what the universe needs... You in the center seat and me calling the shots down in the engine room." He took one last look around the beautiful landscape and breathed the air in deeply. It was a bitter internal battle to actually bring himself to say the words, even though he wanted to. "Oh, fine. I'd probably get fat as a civilian anyway."

Christine let out a laugh at the last bit. "You get one last day of shore leave, then you're expected at Headquarters Wednesday. Pips are in my office, waiting for you. I had a feeling you'd accept so...I made sure they gave them to me. I've got a few other crew members to send things too, but your's was to be done in person. Actually...mostly just Rixx. The others are being called to Swaine I think if they have anything for them." She shrugged. "I wish they'd given me shore leave. The whole crew got it, and I've been stuck in offices since our second day back. You're lucky."

"Yes, the calm before the storm. One more day of grace before being thrown to the lions." A smirk started to form on Neil's face before he quickly tried to hide it. "Guess I'd better start packing."

"You have no idea how big that storm could actually get. Be glad you'll be building a ship. They'll have me confined to an office for who knows how long." She looked out over the water. "Enjoy it out here, might not get much of a chance to get back here for a while."

"You know, Sterling, you could, um... Stay. If you wanted," he clumsily said. "The lake is pretty lonely around here. It's very... relaxing. There are a couple extra bedrooms. Maybe have your family come down?"

A slight smile crossed her face, "That's a nice offer, Qarson, and believe me I'd enjoy it more than you can imagine. But I've got enough stuff to do and prepare for on top of what Command has me doing..." She continued to stare off over the water, her mind seeming to be a bit distant in the moment.

The hell with it. She was in uniform, he wasn't. "Christine. It's barely lunch time. You four deserve a quick break. Call your husband, get them down here, and enjoy it. There's a ton of food in the kitchen, real food!"

Tine glanced over, "Real food?" She looked around for what time it was, trying to remember when Command wanted her back. "As long as there is nothing spicy. My stomach has been a bit...sensitive lately." She didn't dare go into more information on that and quickly called up Howard to bring the kids. "Thank you for the invitation, Neil. Time away from my office, even though the view is amazing, is welcome."

Neil nodded to her thanks and studied her for a few moments. What did she mean by a sensitive stomach? And only lately? Her face was a little puffier and her uniform maybe more snug than it's been-- Neil cocked his head to the side a bit. "You're-- You're pregnant, aren't you?"

"Is it that obvious," she asked, turning away from looking at the water. "Found out the day after the memorial service. Not something that was planned, obviously. But real food sounds good, maybe it'll help how I've been feeling. And a bit of time away from the stresses of Command might help out as well." She tugged at her uniform a bit then looked back at him again. "How were you able to tell? And don't worry about sounding rude, I've heard it all recently."

"Uh, well..." Neil began to chew at his bottom lip. Even though he was known for his rude comments, they were typically in response to those he deemed deserving. "Your uniform. It looks a bit tight on you. But no blatantly, mind you."

Christine chuckled, "The weight gain. Figured as much. I've been resisting going up a size in uniform. Seems I've hit the limit of this one." She heard a transporter and glanced over to where the sound had come from, seeing the three missing members of her family. "So...what do you recommend for lunch?"

A quick snort of a laugh escaped him. "Hmm... This may be a rhetorical question for most of us Humans, but I've been surprised before. Do you like chicken?"
Kris: SLA Council Moderator
USS Lionheart First Officer (XO): Commander Christine Sterling
USS Potemkin Second Officer (2O) & Chief Science Officer (CSO): Commander Jayla Rollands
USS Mercutio Tactical Officer (TAC): First Lieutenant Brielle Jayde
Starbase 27 Chief Science Officer (CSO): Lieutenant Commander Nayeli Behar
SS Heimdall Medical & Employee Relations: Catrina (Cat) Kali Tendai
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