Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Imperial Destiny Page 14

                His quarters was indeed much larger than the room he shared with three other Ensigns on the Jinar.  The quarters was designed for a married officer, as well, which meant a sizable bed, a closet with two sections, and two desks, each with its own data terminal.  The entire room was currently decorated in varying shades of military gray.  No doubt Lily would add her touch to everything.  Prallan himself had no decorative sense.  His quarters on the Jinar were decorated much like these currently were.  His luggage had been brought aboard, and set on the bed, and a InfoTab was sitting on top of the luggage.  A glance at it told him that it was the personnel report he had asked for.  Noble or not, Lieutenant Itran was efficient.
                Prallan laid down on the bed, and began tabbing through the information on the report.  The Hermus had a maximum crew compliment of eighty-five, but was currently undermanned.  The Jinar’s surviving crew had helped some, but they had seventy-six crew members.  Judging by the manifest, they really needed engineers, they were missing six different specialists in that department.  The other missing personnel were two security mates and a pilot.  They would have to make due for the time being with only two pilots, which would make bridge shifts interesting.  It was hard to precisely fly a starship for eight hours at a time, let alone twelve or with limited rest.
                Officers were another problem.  The Hermus had six departments: Armory, Security, Engineering, Navigation, Operations, and Medical.  In total, they had seven officers: Commander Rickler, himself, Lieutenant Itran, and four Ensigns.  Rickler and Prallan could not, according to tradition, serve as Department Heads, as Prallan was in charge of the Department Heads, and Rickler outranked him.  Itran’s specialization was Command, so he could not effectively lead any department.  The Ensigns all would lead a department.  Ensign Orfil was one of their two pilots, and would head up Navigation.  Ensign Rutgol was an ordnance expert, and would be the Armory Chief.  Ensign Runntin was technically a Sensor Specialist, but she would make a decent Chief of Operations.  That just left Ensign Hutsop, who was ill suited to do much.  He had very low marks on all of his evaluations, with little or no ability to command others….probably a career Ensign.  He had specialized in xeno-biology, so Prallan lumped him in with the Medical staff as Medical Chief.  Doctors were usually self-sufficient anyway, and wouldn’t need much of a head of department.  Engineering and Security would be without officer-level leaders.  Engineering had a Chief Specialist….Vera Wurstol…she would make a decent Chief Engineer.  Security comprised of only three of the five security personnel they should have.  The decision was very easy, as one outranked the other two slightly. Petty Officer Second Class Erfold would be their Chief of Security. 
                Prallan had just finished sorting out the command issues when the door opened.  Lily walked into the room, dragging her large suitcase.  ”Waiting on me to get here to unpack you?”  She asked.
                Prallan stood, and retrieved her other suitcase from the hallway, setting it on the bed.  “No, just assigning Department Heads and sorting out other assignments.  Unpacking would have been more fun.”  Awkwardly, he leaned in and kissed her.   It was strange being married to almost a complete stranger, but they made the best of it. 
                “How was the captain?”  She opened her suitcase, began unpacking her uniforms, hanging them in one of the closets.
                “I’m not sure what to think of him.  He was meditating to the flame when I reported to him, I didn’t think anyone actually did that anymore.”
                “There are cults in the Tirol system that still meditate on the nature of the flaming spirit.  Then again, their sun changes color throughout the solar year, so it isn’t surprising that they would be interested in such things.”  Prallan just stared at his wife with a smile on his lips.  “What?  So I enjoy reading about far off places, you realize we’re on a starship that will jump forty-two trillion miles over the course of a second?  We could be at Tirol like that.” She snapped her fingers.
                “You will always be smarter and more well-read than I ever could be.” Prallan said, unzipping his own suitcase.  “Your Chief of Engineering is a photonic resonance specialist, so you should have no trouble getting along with her.”
                “All they want to talk about is shields and particle weapons, and how if the Empire used particle weapons, the research would benefit our shield generator research as well.”  She made a digusted face.  “None of them are interested in beautiful sunsets.”

                “When this tour is over, and we both have some leave, I’ll take you to Tirol, and we will send the pictures to the Chief, maybe you can convert her.”  Lily laughed at that, and it made Prallan feel a lot better about everything that happened over the last few days.  If he could make this woman….his wife…laugh, then maybe they would be okay.

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