Rhiana had left the Santa Fe behind after the Lieutenant Sakarra and she had come up with an interesting plan to increase the shuttle craft's power systems to allow for better communications with the Charon in the nebula. She moved from the shuttle bay and went directly toward Engineering. Rhiana was actually quite pleased to be heading down into the heart of the ship for two reasons. One because down there was where the vessel was kept alive, the most indispensable place on the ship. And two because the first person she actually felt she considered a friend was down there Commander Calhoun.
She stepped through the doors to the massive engine room and headed over toward the 'Pool table' as the Terrans called it glancing around for the chief before she would head to his office.
After an intense staff briefing with a repair team for the main deflector Quentin, dressed in the alternate waistcoat as opposed to the standard duty jacket, headed out into main engineering and stood dead in his tracks. "Well, well, well… you're back with us at last" he said forcing a smile; while pleased to see her well again he still couldn't quite manage true positive emotion. "How can I help you?" he asked.
She noticed the false and forced smile on his lips and tilted her head. "Jolan'tru Quentin. Yes at last I have awaken from my short little nap. A lot of things have changed around here but it is good to see you at your place in the heart of the ship. I hope you have been well?" she asked him politely, She was actually not faking being polite to him unlike many of the others she had met on the ship.
"Well someone has to keep this ship together" he said with another forced smile trying his hardest to act normally. "As well as I can be" he said as he turned away to knock back several painkillers. "How are you coping with all the changes?" he asked.
"Well I notice there are more Klingons then I think is good for a crew, And being forced to see a councillor just to return to duty is highly inconvenient. And of course my old job being taken over not only by a fresh from the academy Ensign but also an attempted assassin." she grinned a little and said, "All and all a good deal to cope with my friend. Quentin I can not help but notice you do not seem your normal chipper self... Is something wrong?" she asked him and slid the PADD with the information on it back into her pocket for now.
"Yup fine" he said dismissing it immediately. Although his deep purple eyes screamed for help he wasn't about to open up now. He couldn't. popping another couple of pills he smiled again, this time with more feeling as the pills were kicking in. "just feeling a little rough from the last mission that's all" he added. "I don't think the Klingons will be a problem, they're providing extra security so it can't all be bad… as for the Ensign in your old job… give him a chance. He may have done some stupid things but… the Captain trusts him enough to let him carry on" he added trying to make sense of the goings on. "So what have returned to duty to do?" he asked.
"I'm taking over as the Chief of Communications, a strange position but at least I am still on the bridge staff." she said with a faint smile and reached in to her pocket once more and brought forward the PADD. "And in that respect I've come with a complex problem for our Nebula survey." she said again and handed the PADD over with the Specifications of the Scorpion class Romulan fighter craft's power systems. "The plan is to change the power structure of Lieutenant Sakkraa's shuttles to match these large powerful fighters; I have a list of parts that we'll need to fabricate."
Quentin looked at the PADD studying the alterations that they wished to make and mused for a moment. "Romulan technology isn't wholly compatible with Federation tech, how were you planning to compensate for the power differences and hardware size configurations without busting the hull?" he asked.
Rhiana thought about it a moment and said, "Well the hull of your ships will acutally fit our power drives. My plan was to completely remove the shuttle crafts power drives and replace them with Romulan designs. If we just widen the hall by a meter or two I can teach you how to create the artificial quantum singularities that power our fighters, now the only problem is once they are activated...You can not deactivate them."
"Well that could work, but you've got to make sure you add a phase varietal compensator into the mainframe otherwise you'll blow the power relays when you fire them up" he added moving towards the 'pool table' and tapped away at the console. "What did you need me for?" he asked. He hoped that by getting sucked into work he wouldn't have to talk about how exactly he was feeling. A subject best left well alone.
She admired his dedication to his work as she followed him toward the pool table. She could tell that he truly did not wish to speak about his problem and she let it go for now to not press the man into a situation he didn't want to talk about. "What I need from you my friend is the crew for the massive project. Also I know engineering's replicators can do a bit more detailed work so I require access to them so I can fabricate the parts for the shuttles." she said politely to him.
Thinking for a moment he tapped on the console as he checked the duty roster and shift allocations. "Hmm…" he said to himself as he mused over the situation. "I can give you access to the replicator system easy enough" he said as he allocated an access code for Rhiana to be able to use the system. "you've got console access now so you can replicate what you need for the overhaul" he said to her slowly. "As for the team of technicians I can spare one now the major repair works have been completed, also I think it would be good for the new Assistant Engineer, D'vana Xavier. Now she is a Klingon but I expect you to treat her with the same respect you show me." He looked up at her meeting her eyes with his own. "I need your word on that otherwise I may be less helpful" he said with a grin as if to say 'you must have known I'd give you a lesson in humility'.
With carefully measured practice she kept her face passive, but the smile on her lips froze in place and her eyes darkened. "Of course....I am 'excited' to work with any of your personal assistants Quentin. I promise you I will treat her with all respect due, as you wish." she managed to say with barely a strain in her voice. "May I ask one personal favour though?" she asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Ask away" he said fairly satisfied she would try her best to get on with the one species he knew she hated. Although not his place to bring people together harmony on a ship, reliance upon each other was the only way people were going to survive. It was the only way missions would be a success. He also didn't want an angry Klingon assistant complaining about the Romulans. Perhaps then this was just a little selfish.
"First when she is with me I am in charge, Klingons do not like to take orders... especially from Romulans. Second and perhaps most important to me...Have her take a bath...and use soap. We will be in tight quarters together and Klingons always smell foul." she said with complete seriousness. Though she knew she was going to have to deal with the Klingons again she had hoped she could avoid working so closely with them. She thought a moment and then added. "Also… There was a minor altercation between Foster and myself...I don't want to have to watch my back when we are working together... Klingons stick together." she smiled a little at him.
"Well that could be interesting, Xavier is Ch'tan's mate" he said with a sly grin. "As for your other points you can argue between yourselves whose running the show and as for the bath comment… I'll pretend I didn't hear you say that about one of my staff whom I'm incredibly protective over and would retract all assistance if I thought you said something out of line… I think you said something about wanting to replicate her a gift, maybe an old Earth hamper of Klingon treats and Romulan soaps?" he said with persuasion. "I want full reports on the progress of the upgrades every hour" he added. "Bet you're glad to be back eh?" he quipped.
Rhiana stiffed...great the beasts mate. That figures. "Of course I am very happy to be back...And I am not certain what you mean by an old earth hamper but I will definitely look that up...It sounds fascinating. Thank you for your assistance Commander. I will make sure you get all the reports promptly." she said with a forced smile of her own now. "If you will be so kind as to have her meet me in the shuttle bay at 0400 we shall get to work early." she nodded to him and turned to go but looked over her shoulder and said also "I hope you do get feeling better, you are one of the more interesting people on this ship and I would like to speak with you more."
Quentin smiled as he watched the uncomfortable Romulan wanting to make a quick exit. "I shall pass on the message" he said and then paused for a moment. "And I'll take that to be a compliment" he added ignoring the comment about feeling better. That part was easy… that part was the pills.
Lieutenant Commander Quentin Calhoun
Lieutenant Commander Rhiana t'Khellian
Chief Communications Officer