Science meets Engineering
Location: Mess Hall
As Savok entered the mess hall, he found the view...unusual. He had not been on board a Starship in an official capacity, and he was not sure how much help he would be here. Yes, Jacob had asked for him, but his knowledge of Starfleet procedures was, most definitely, out of date. Still, he was here now, and he had agreed to serve as the Chief Science Officer.
As he selected a glass of Earl Grey Tea, he sat down at a table, alone. He held a PADD in his hand, which detailed all of Starfleet's current protocol's for department heads. Savok knew he would be able to learn it, but it was the rest of the mission that had him worried. Still, the facilities with which he could perform his research in were much better, and that appealed to him.
Jenni entered the Mess Hall, studying the contents on a PADD. Had her replicator in her quarters been operational, she would have settled on having a meal there. Alas, the last thing she wanted to do on her self-imposed break was to make yet another repair. Standing just inside the doorway, Jenni looked up from her device and saw that her timing had been poor. A line of several people were already waiting to use the replicators.
Frowning, she got in the back of the line. Her eyes wandered the room, hoping it would help pass the time as she waited, only to spot a familiar face sitting alone at a table.
It couldn't be...
Jenni left the line, only to take a couple steps towards the Vulcan at the table. She peered around the PADD that blocked his face from hers to verify that the man was indeed who she thought he was. "Mister Savok!" she nearly exclaimed when she realized that he was indeed a former teacher.
Savok turned and faced the young woman who had addressed her. He only needed a moment to recall who she was; she had, after all, impressed him with her knowledge of engineering, and her science paper's were always of an excellent quality. He also noted the rank pips she wore. 'Impressive, although not unexpected.' He thought.
"Miss Matthews, or rather, Lieutenant Commander Matthews. It is agreeable to see you again." Savok greeted the young woman. "Although it is now Lieutenant Savok. Your Captain requested that I return to service from retirement, as he was in need of a Chief Science Officer." He explained.
Her expression winced as she heard Savok make note of the role reversal. She let the hand holding the PADD fall to her side. "Regardless, sir," she replied, "I don't think I'm ready to call you Lieutenant." The Vulcan was much older than she, and she did not feel comfortable being seen as superior to him, especially since she studied under him at the Academy.
"Then by all means, call me Savok." Savok said. "Would you care to join me? I would be grateful of your assistance with a matter." He said, as he placed his PADD on the table.
"Of course," she said with a smile, sitting across from Savok and placing her PADD on the table as well. As she did, she felt a hint of honor in the Vulcan's request. She'd enjoyed the few courses that she'd taken under Savok's purview and had highly respected the man as a result. "What can I help you with, Savok?"
"It has been Fifty Seven Years, 2 Months and 1 Week since I have been an official Starfleet Officer. Finding myself in the position of being in the service again, while agreeable, has left me out of touch, I believe the term is, with Starfleet Protocol and procedure. I would be in your debt if you would be willing to assist me in getting up to speed." Savok said.
Jenni's eyebrows arched at Savok's precision. Her smile remained on her face, however, and she replied, "I'd be happy to." Jenni paused for a moment, quickly considering what might have changed in that time and then reasoned she'd have little idea seeing how Savok's time out of uniform was far longer than she'd been alive. "We could start with a full overview, I suppose, though it might be best to address any initial questions you have and go from there."
Savok nodded. "I believe the first question I must ask is regarding the chain of command. I am a department head, although when I was last an officer, my role was joined with that of First Officer. A tradition that started back in the time of Captain Archer. How does the chain of command work on a ship such as this? Do I report to the Captain directly, or to other officers, such as yourself, who would then report to your superior?" Savok asked.
Interesting question... Jenni thought, though the answer came to her quite quickly. She'd have to look more into how that role functioned back in the day. "The Unification has an Executive, or First, Officer whose job is to be the liaison between the Department Heads and the Captain. On a ship this size, I guess managing the crew is a full-time job, not to mention being at the Captain's call at any moment. You'd report to him." She paused again, considering her next words, "Though my collar is heavier than yours, I have no purview or say in how you run your department, nor do you have any need to report to me."
Savok nodded. "If I were to make a logical assumption, you are the Chief Engineer. I knew you would do very well for yourself. Out of the entire group, you showed the most promise. Your science thesis was, I believe, unique and inspiring. You might be interested to know that I have been following up on your research studies." Savok explained. "Again, I believe this is different now, but on the Constitution, the Science Department was responsible for scanning space ahead of the ship. I take it that is no longer the case?" He asked.
"Really?" Jenni replied, forgetting the tune of their conversation for a moment. She'd actually forgotten about her thesis following her years at the Academy and only recently thought about picking up some of her paused projects from yesteryear. Returning to the topic, Jenni said, "Operations handles that now, I believe, in addition to juggling power requests and computer functions among other things. The actual study of the details still falls under the purview of the Science Department, as do any additional scans and study."
Savok nodded. "So the Science Department is no longer a bridge position?" Savok asked. That certainly meant he would have more time for the research he was doing, along with any other work that needed to be done. He did, however, know it would mean he would not be among the first to see new discoveries, which had always appealed to him.
"There's four science stations on the bridge," Jenni said, calling up a bridge schematic on her PADD. Handing it over to Savok, she continued, "I can't say for sure if your position would be a standard duty station on the bridge. That might be something Colonel Wright can help you with, but I have a feeling that determination would be up to you and how you use the various specialists in your department."
Savok nodded. "Speaking of my department, do you know anyone in there? I am...concerned that they may not wish to see someone such as myself take over. After all, I am of a different time." Savok said. "The technology aboard is...certainly more advanced than I was used to before."
"Honestly," Jenni said, leaning forward subtly, "I transferred aboard a couple days ago myself. Outside of the Captain and XO, I've only met the Engineering staff. And, speaking as someone who is always working with technology... Equipment is great, but the true talent lies with the person behind the controls, not the features of mechanical or software components."
Savok rewarded the compliment with a rare smile. "Thank you, Miss Matthews. I will confess, I did not expect to be in a Starfleet Uniform again. I rather miss the red uniform of the past. However, I believe I will adapt to this new one." Savok said. "So tell me, since graduating, you have clearly done well for yourself. You have achieved an exemplary rank for one so young, and I am glad to see your hard work is paying off. What brought you here, if I may ask?"
"Someone took notice, I guess," Jenni replied. The situation regarding her sudden reassignment had been a whirlwind, and even she was still trying to make sense of it all. "Not long ago, I was assigned to the USS Katana, Intrepid-class. She was struggling to finish a refit that should have taken a matter of months, not two years. We managed to get that done quickly, thankfully. I also stumbled across a couple things here in the Gamma Quadrant, including a very old Borg sphere. Somehow in all of that, the Task Force took notice, and here I am."
Her smile faded, thinking of the Katana. "Course, I did hear they tried to make use of some of that Borg tech, and it didn't end well." Jenni's voice fell silent, and her gaze fell to the two PADDs on the table.
Savok frowned. "Someone attempted to use Borg technology? That is...unthinkable. I saw the results of Wolf 359. My son's ship was assigned to Earth for protection after that battle, and my Cousin died in that battle. What were they attempting to do with it?" Savok asked, confused.
"Going to the Delta Quadrant." She sighed, and looked back up. "That's what I heard anyway. The whole thing was classified. I assume it was some form of transwarp travel. Had I known they were going to try that..." The thought of dying wasn't pleasant, but she hoped she would have had better luck than the Katana actually had. "But then, I probably would not have got the chance to see a favorite teacher in uniform, much less serve with him."
Savok allowed another smile. "You must think me a piece of bread, to be buttered so heavily." He teased lightly, something he did very rarely. "I will confess, I am glad to have you aboard this vessel. I know of your skills, and I believe that you will be greatly needed. I can not go into detail, but to have you aboard does bring a comfort to me."
"It's always good to know someone." Jenni's smile returned, one more genuine than the others before it. "Um..." she said, glancing for a moment down at the bridge schematic that was still displayed on her PADD. "Were there any other questions about protocol I could answer for you?" She had thought about following up on his research on her thesis, but perhaps that was best for another time.
"There is one question which has been in the forefront of my mind. "When I am performing my research, do I need to report all research, or simply keep logs? And do I report before I begin my work, during, after or at all stages?" He asked. On the Constitution, he only reported in when he had finished his work
"I'd say that's a matter of situational priorities." Jenni leaned back in her chair and placed her hands in her lap. "Anything the Captain needs to know immediately, definitely speak up. Otherwise, keep the XO apprised of any progress. I would say keep a detailed log. You never know when something so minute will be the most critical piece of information." Her eyes settled on the cup of tea in front of the Vulcan, reminding her of why she entered the room in the first place. She was enjoying the conversation and would certainly grab something on the way out. Pausing now to get something to eat would just be rude.
Savok saw the movement of Jennifer's eyes. "I think some refreshments might be in order. Would you like something?" He asked. If they were going to continue speaking, he wanted to make sure they were both comfortable, and logically, Savok should have noted she had not gained any refreshments when she entered. He only hoped he was reading the situation correctly. 'Indeed, minute details are the most important' He thought.
Jenni was surprised at the gesture, though she wasn't quite sure why. Perhaps it was because it was unexpected. "Sure," she said, collecting her thoughts. "Lemonade sounds perfect for the moment." And as she made the request, Jenni thought she should get the beverage herself. It was Jenni, after all, that had invited herself over to Savok's table.
"I will return in a moment." Savok said, standing up. He requested a large jug of lemonade, along with ice, and two glasses. As he took the tray to the table, he poured out a glass for Jennifer. "I wonder if you would be willing to assist me further. I am revisiting the theory of an energy collector, which came about after a Starfleet vessel encountered an artificial subspace eddy. I find the science...interesting, and I think an engineering perspective would be of great value."
"Thank you," she said, picking up the glass and sipping the yellow drink. As it trickled over her tongue and down her throat, Jenni found enjoyment in the lemonade's rich flavor. A desire to gulp the entire glass beckoned within her, which she fought off, forcing her hand to return the glass to the table. "An energy collector..." Jenni's voice trailed off, letting the Vulcan's suggestion rule her thoughts. "Under the right circumstances, it could definitely increase the range of starships, allowing for longer deep-space missions."
"Indeed. Since the power required to create an artificial subspace eddy would be great, such a device must be possible. The trick would be to find a way to collect energy from a wide selection of sources, as well as use it to power anything needed. I will send you the information on the eddy that was collected." Savok said.
She smiled as a reply, her mind already thinking of how to harness power from such a variety of sources. It would have to be done without using a variety of converters as those would create quite a drain. "Well," she said after taking another drink of the flavorful lemonade, "I look forward to working with you on this project."
"As do I." Savok replied, with a nod. "I think, for now, I have enough information to begin with, although I do hope to spend more time studying with yourself. The Unification is, I believe, a fine ship, and I have no doubt that she will need a great deal of care that only you can provide. There is something further I wish to discuss with you, but I must do so later, in a less crowded environment."
"Sounds great," she replied with a smile. As exciting as this venture seemed, Jenni reminded herself that she still had several duties yet to perform before she could call it a night, all of which were related to her still settling into the Nebula-class engine room. "I'll probably be free after 2000 hours, if you'd like to do it tonight. Otherwise, I can make myself free elsewhere in the week."
"Tonight will be sufficient. Will my quarters suffice?" Savok asked.
"Perfect." Jenni finished the glass. "Are there any more matters of protocol I may assist you with? If not, I do have a antimatter inspection calling my name." She hated to cut this short so quickly, but Jenni had the feeling this was not the end.
"No, I think I have enough to start with. Thank you, Miss Matthews, for your assistance. I shall see you later tonight then." Savok said.
"Tonight it is." Nodding to Savok, Jenni politely excused herself and left, bound for Engineering.