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Day 02 [0800 hrs.] The Passing of the Spanner

PO1 Scruffy LeBlanc [Chief Engineer’s Office | Deck 25 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy] attn: @uytrereee @BZ

The office was a mess.  There were no two ways about it.  The battle and subsequent emotional distress she had been through didn’t help, but she never really bothered to keep the place organized in the first place.  She was a whirlwind when excited, throwing PADDs and various documents every which way, though usually remembering where they landed if she needed them later.  But there were also signs of her obsessions: cups of liquid stimulus tossed into the corner instead of put back in the replicator; ration bars instead of proper meals; unanswered memos; half finished projects.  It all stood as a testament to the brilliant but troubled mind of Blue Tiran.

Scruffy stood, just inside the door, gazing over the room.  He had come to check in with the new department head, but it looked like he hadn’t moved in yet.  Scruffy tried to keep his breathing steady as the weight of all those lost pressed down on him, but Blue’s death felt like a particularly sharp stab, and he wasn’t quite sure why.  They had certainly never been close, she had practically cursed his existence on several occasions, but she had been the person on Theurgy Scruffy had known the longest.  Sure, he may have had a bit of a crush on her back on the Gettysburg, but as his eyes settled on the cybernetic owl sitting dormant along a wall, he realized he had truly admired her.  From one engineer to another, her skill was undeniable and her creativity inspiring.  Things had just started to turn around for him, they had worked together to design the benamite reclamation and reformation chamber and she had almost sounded impressed by his ideas and the effort he was putting in to understanding the Quantum Slipstream Drive.  After Blue, he had probably understood the system more in depth than any non-Savi aboard Theurgy.  Ever since the Spearhead bombing, the event that had broken Blue and caused an awakening in Scruffy, he had been trying to prove himself, to be more than just the layabout his reputation said he was.  And now he’d never get the chance to show her what he could really do.

Suddenly very aware of the absence in the room, Scruffy stepped toward the desk, picking up debris as he went.  Maybe he could straighten this room up a bit before the new Chief arrived, help him settle in better.  As he straightened the discarded PADDs, his eyes couldn’t help but scan over some of the unfinished projects and theoretical models Blue had started but would never finish.

Re: Day 2 [0800 hrs.] The Passing of the Spanner

Reply #1
[ Lieutenant Frank Arnold | Main Engineering | Deck 25 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Griffinsummoner

Frank had come here, as he had every morning since he’d come aboard the Theurgy, however today was different. This was the first morning that this Engineering bay was his. Usually, at least prior to leaving on the Allegiant for the longest few days since the Dominion War, he’d have arrived by 0530 hours at the latest, to take report from the night shift, and prepare a summary of the work on Vector 01 or the hulls for Blue. However, things as they were now, he was the man to take the report. He’d taken the liberty of an hour’s jog before he came to work, and a stiff cup of black coffee, once he’d prepared his dress uniform for the memorial later today. Custom nor the captain required his attendance to the physical ceremony, however obligation did, he’d been passed a mantle that required a higher standard; As such he was later than normal. Today however, something else was different. The office door he’d left closed thus far, was open. Not by mistake, nor by malfunction, both would have seen the door close again, but held open by someone entering and him not yet signing in, a purposeful visit.
With a furrowed brow Frank made his way over to the office doorframe, and peered inside. Lo and behold he had a visitor, or an interloper depending on the point of view. On any other day, he might have offered a hard word about the propriety of knocking, and of privacy. But the reality was, he wasn’t the only one that had lost someone in this department, and essentially all of the engineers had known the Chief longer than him. There by his desk, was the elusive Schubert LeBlanc. Frank knew very little of the man, other than that Blue had marked him as an underperformer, and in conversation had described him as a slacker, a poor candidate for promotion; he’d only recognized the man from his profile, and the times he’d been pointed out. He watched for a moment, and observed the man was idly cleaning up. He allowed another private moment to pass under the watchful, yet dark eye, of Al the Owl. Frank hadn’t decided what to do yet with the creation, only that whatever it was, Al would have a say. Eventually though, Frank cleared his throat, and offered, “The thing about giants is, they cast a very long shadow.”
He waited a moment for Scruffy to turn around, before he offered politely but firmly, “I’ve never generally been regarded as a particularly harsh man, firm yes, harsh no. However, in the future, I’d like you to please note, I prefer to be in my office when I receive visitors. That said, given the circumstances, I think we’ll let it go for today. Please have a seat.” Almost as if surprised, he started then, looked around and offered, “You know, I hadn’t come in here yet, too many things that remind me I am a hermit crab, inhabiting a shell that isn’t truly mine.” He rolled his shoulders, “Perhaps that makes me a coward, I haven’t decided yet.”
While he spoke, the barrel chested Engineer with a salt and pepper beard made his way toward the desk, his desk. He looked around then, set his PADD down atop the small bit of clear space on the desk, chanced a warm smile to Scruffy, and extended a paw that was two sizes too big. “I tried to meet you once before, but I couldn’t find you. Chief Tiran did warn me to keep a special eye on you. You’re my lost sheep.” He cleared his throat, “Frank Arnold” and once the pleasantries had been made, he looked around once more, “This place is a midden isn’t it? Eventually I’ll have to tidy up, but not today.” He rolled his shoulders and offered, “A monument to a giant.” He offered a sigh, and then said, “And as I said, giants cast long shadows.” He leaned back in his seat and waited a moment, before he stated, “What can I do for you Petty Officer?” 
While he waited for Scruffy to answer, he regarded the man with a gaze. While his greeting and smile had been warm, after he asked his question, his gaze had hardened about the eyes, as if he was trying to look through the man’s skin to what sat beneath, to figure the man out, perhaps find out what he was made of.

Re: Day 2 [0800 hrs.] The Passing of the Spanner

Reply #2
PO1 Scruffy LeBlanc [Chief Engineer's Office | Deck 25 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy] attn: @uytrereee

Scruffy froze a moment as the new Chief’s voice rang out, but he stood straight with the exception of his bowed head.  “It is the echo I feel more than the shadow, today.”  He turned around and raised his head to make eye contact, his hands still holding a stack of PADDs he had picked up from the floor.

“Sorry about the intrusion, Sir.  The door opened on my approach, so I thought you were in.  I guess it made for an easy in-and-out for the Chief, er… Commander Tiran.  Once I was past the door, I guess I just got swept up in the moment.”  He turned toward the offered seat, placing his held PADDs on the desk before him and picking a few other bits of detritus from the seat before lowering onto it.  “I don’t think you’re a coward, Sir; it can take time to adjust to the light once that shadow is gone.”

Scruffy took the offered hand and gave it a firm but warm grip.  He looked away when Frank talked of his reputation.  He watched the Lieutenant look around the office, and was reassured that Frank shared his thoughts on the room serving as a monument.  When addressed directly, Scruffy took a focusing breath and sat up straight in the chair.  “I know that I haven’t… applied myself as enthusiastically as I could have in the past.  Recently, however, some perspective is prompting me to make more of a difference.  I had been trying to make a more positive impression on Blue, but…” his voice trailed off as he failed to find the words to express the complexities of the situation.

He reached into his belt and pulled out a PADD, holding it toward Frank.  “The chief had asked me to keep an eye on the repair teams so she could ‘ride the asses’ of any team that wasn’t getting Theurgy back into shape as quickly as she thought it should be done.”

Re: Day 2 [0800 hrs.] The Passing of the Spanner

Reply #3
[ Lieutenant Frank Arnold | Main Engineering | Deck 25 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Griffinsummoner 

Frank realized he might have been a bit harsh about the office, after all these people could use a tender touch for the next little while, so he waved a massive mitt, and replied, "We'll mark it up to getting to know one another. I don't want you to think anything of it. While I'm here, I'll always have an open door policy." He realized what he had said had juxtaposed his gut reaction, but he knew it was right. Many of these young men and women didn't have other people to turn to for guidance, and his position now made him the natural default candidate. 

As the man said he didn't think he was a coward, he gave a shrug, saying almost forebodingly, "Time will tell, as it does with all things." He smiled at that, and decided he needed a cup of coffee, so he stood up and walked to the replicator as he had seen Blue do a hundred times in their morning briefs, and evening briefs, in the time they'd gotten to have them. He cleared his throat, and said to the replicator, "Coffee, black, two sugars please." Frank had an odd habit of saying please to the replicator, he imagined it made his drink taste better. He turned to Scruffy, and then motioned to the replicator, as if to offer him the opportunity for a refreshment. Whatever Scruffy ordered, Frank would return with, even if that was nothing.

He sipped his coffee, as it afforded him a few moments more to think about how to reply to Scruffy before he spoke. Frank had a feeling this conversation would be very important one day. "You had been trying to make a more positive impression on Blue but, now she's gone. And I think you're feeling the deep sting of guilt, and shame." Once he'd thought about it, he replied plainly, but not coldly, "No, you haven't made a good go of applying yourself. Every note I have read, inclines the impression you've spent much of your time here working harder at getting out of work and palling around with your friends, than you have on actual tasks." He swiped, and swiped again, and again, and again, on his PADD, as if to emphasize a point, before he stopped, and then he set the PADD down, and said, "But then I read something else."

He turned the PADD to the man, and pointed to his birthday, "You're twenty eight years old." He nodded, Frank had read a lot about each of the officers he'd taken command of, even before then, he picked up the PADD, and a lot of what he read there, read the same motifs that Frank had within his own life, "And from what I read here, you haven't had an easy go of it either. From what I see, you were an excellent candidate in your basic training, a natural at Engineering, and averse to violence, not unlike myself." He nodded slowly, "That's had glowing recommendations on one hand, and a remarkably difficult time adapting to rigid life expectations on the other. I grew up on a mining vessel, I understand somewhat."

Frank sighed, and then offered, "But you're twenty eight, and Starfleet. When I was twenty eight, I was cruising with the Cortez, and we were at war. I thought I knew who I was, but you never do, not until you're tested for real. You served in the war too, I see that. But if you have been tested remains to be seen." He tapped on top of a closed hinged box on his desk with a burn scarred right hand, one of the few things on the desk that was his, that contained his war medals. Frank cracked his knuckles and picked up his mug of coffee for another long draw, and set it down. "I am, only who I am because I have been given the faith of great men, and the opportunity to rise to their expectations at the right moment."

He nodded after a moment, "I'm hardly a great man Mr. LeBlanc, but I'll have to do. That you feel shame, that you feel the compulsion to come here and carry on what you started, means you're not so far gone yet that you cannot come back." He cleared his throat, "The greatest thing about mistakes, is that we have the chance to correct them. I'll make you a commitment, I'll leave all of this behind." He waved his hand over the PADD,  "I'm not going to be easy on you, I'll be as hard on you as Blue was. But..." He drew on inspiration of passages that he'd enjoyed over the years, "...there's no price too great for a man to pay, to own himself." He pointed across the table, "At the end of the day you don't have to square yourself with me, or Ives, or anyone else for that matter. You're the man you have to look in the eyes in the mirror."

He'd spoken enough now, and he waited for a reply to what he had said, and he took the offered PADD, looking it over, before he nodded satisfied with the notes, "I'd like you to oversee the four person team working on the Deuterium Fill and Fuel pumps on Deck Six. We're on a forty two hour deadline for that job, and the progress reports I have so far seem to indicate we're behind schedule."

Re: Day 2 [0800 hrs.] The Passing of the Spanner

Reply #4
PO1 Scruffy LeBlanc [Chief Engineer's Office | Deck 25 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy] attn: @uytrereee

Scruffy declined the offer of refreshments.  He had only finished his, hastened, breakfast a short while ago.  So he sat there, trying to keep from fidgeting under the gaze of his new chief, his head hung low as Frank talked of shame over his past behavior.  Granted, his work got done, on the far end of a reasonable timeframe, he just had a history of not returning for his next assignment as promptly as he should have.  But he looked up when Frank set the PADD down.

He couldn’t argue with the assessment of his service.  Being challenge-averse was why he never entered the upper-division classes at the Academy, despite his talents, just as why he had barely made any advancement in his career.  Just another thing that weighed on his conscience recently.  When Frank said he’d give him a second chance, Scruffy held eye contact for longer than any time this whole conversation, as though he was reading the Chief as much as Frank was reading him.  He laughed when Frank said he wouldn’t be taking it easy with Scruffy.  “Honestly, Sir, I don’t know anyone could be as hard on me as Blue, but I’ll give you my best, I owe that much.”

When he got his assignment, he stood from the chair and nodded.  “I’ll get on it, Sir.  I’ll check with the quartermaster and make sure our tanks don’t need to be topped off by our Klingon allies as long as we’re in orbit.  But I’ll make sure the pumps are ready to give the warp core what it needs.”  Waiting to be dismissed, he accepted any final remarks with a nod before leaving to get started.

Re: Day 2 [0800 hrs.] The Passing of the Spanner

Reply #5
[ Lieutenant Frank Arnold | Main Engineering | Deck 25 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Griffinsummoner

Frank gave a slow nod as he sipped his coffee, and would listen as the man retorted. "No I don't know if anyone could be as hard on you as her, she was, a very special officer." He would give a slow roll of the shoulders, "I'm aware of the size of shoes I have to fill." He nodded gently at that, and set his cup down.

He cleared his throat and said, "I don't recall who said it, but they said the measure of a man is not how high he rises, but how many times he rises after he has been knocked down." He stroked his beard at that, he was sure he'd paraphrased a little, but he honestly could not remember the source. It was a quote that stuck in his mind though, "Let's see how you measure Mr. Leblanc." He nodded lowly, and then offered, "If you find yourself needing anything in your course of duty, or simply wish to speak with someone, feel free to stop in."

When the man stood, and took his assignment, Frank's eyes followed him, just for a minute as he looked him up and down, and then he would offer a polite, "You're dismissed Mr. LeBlanc."


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