Star Trek: TNG Indstinguishable From Magic

Star Trek: TNG Indstinguishable From Magic by David A McIntee

Book: Star Trek: TNG Indstinguishable From Magic by David A McIntee Read Free Book Online
Authors: David A McIntee
afforded seats, and Nog quickly found his way to the table at one end of the windows, where Commander La Forge was sitting with Qat’qa and Barclay. Qat’qa saw Nog and beckoned him over, then turned to whisper something in the ear of the nearest seated junior officer.
    Said junior officer leapt to his feet and slid the chair across before disappearing into the standing throng. “We saved a seat for you,” Qat’qa said.
    “Thanks.”
    “If you studied engineering, how did you come to be a security chief?” Qat’qa asked.
    “It was the position that was open. I’d been a ground pounder in the Dominion War, and chief engineer on Deep Space 9. Now when the chief engineer slot opens up on
Challenger,
I’ll apply.”
    La Forge understood. “It happens that way on a lot of Starfleet ships,” he said to Qat’qa. “When I first joined the
Enterprise,
it was as flight controller, because that was the slot I was rated for. After a year, the chief engineer position became available.”
    “What made you want to become a starfleet engineer?” the Klingon asked.
    “That’s really two different questions,” Nog said.
    “It is?”
    “I wanted to join Starfleet because of the officers I got to know on DS9, mainly Chief O’Brien and Captain Sisko. When I saw the things they did, and the way they worked together, for a greater good . . . I wanted to do that too. It’s a sort of project that’s inside, and feels good. Engineering . . . I always had a talent for it, like my dad.”
    “Your father’s an engineer?”
    “He was.”
    “Was? Oh, he’s not—”
    “No, no . . . I didn’t mean that. He was an engineer on Deep Space 9. Now he’s . . .” Nog looked a little embarrassed. “Well, he changed jobs. He’s not an engineer any more.”
    “Oh. Okay.”
    “It’s a shame, because he was really, really good at it. I mean, he never had any formal training, he just learned as he went along. But he had a natural talent, an instinct.”
    “Innate talents are things to cherish,” Qat’qa proclaimed.
    “Absolutely.”
    “So why did he give it up?”
    “Circumstances changed. It’s a long story.”

6
    A s the
Challenger
entered the Agni Cluster, Tyler Hunt was pulling a double shift, to ensure that every department was ready for the job it would have with regard to the
Intrepid,
and to ensure that those departments not involved didn’t lose any productivity on their own projects. Most people showed signs of strain when they pulled such a long shift, but Hunt actually lived for it.
    Scotty fell into step beside him as he walked, and Hunt slowed down slightly, to keep step with the older man’s pace. “Captain.”
    “What’s up, Tyler?”
    “I’ve arranged a schedule for away teams to the
Intrepid.”
He handed Scotty a padd with the details. “Starfleet was pretty clear about making sure the remainsof the crew are taken care of before any other work begins.”
    Scotty gave an approving nod. “And rightly so.”
    “I agree, we need to take things slowly and with respect.” Hunt looked relieved. “I was kind of afraid that you’d want to push on ahead.”
    “Don’t worry, Mister Hunt. Respect for the past isn’t something I’m likely to disregard.”
    “Aye, sir. Sorry, I wasn’t thinking about it from that angle.”
    “So, what’s your schedule?”
    “Doctor Ogawa has assembled a medical forensics team to recover the remains of the crew, and bring it back to the
Challenger
to be separated out into individuals. Barclay and I have checked over the stasis units and their separator modules, and they’re perfect for the job. Starbase 410 have done us proud, actually.”
    “What did ye expect from Q’Hap? Call a meeting of the senior staff in the briefing room for twelve hundred. I want to go over the status of the
Intrepid
before we reach her.”
    “Aye, sir.”
    Scotty preferred to be in engineering when he could get away with it, but that was disappointingly infrequent these days. There

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