Chapter 1-Enterprising Young Women
Chapter 1: Enterprising Young Women
“How can you settle for being Assistant Engineer?!” Jacqueline wondered, a girl with black, short curly hair and wide jade eyes as she looked to the Japanese girl next to her. “If I were you, I’d shoot for Chief Engineer.”
“You know I don’t like giving orders, Jacque,” the shorter girl next to her replied, her slick black hair pulled into a loose ponytail, straight bangs hanging just above her eyebrows which dark brown eyes sparkled beneath.
“Oh, but you certainly don’t mind being walked all over, do you, Akiko?” Jacqueline retorted as the two girls climbed into a shuttle, still in their Cadet uniforms.
“I’m not going to be ‘walked all over’,” Akiko replied, finding a seat next to the window, Jacqueline sitting next to her. “I’m told Mr. Scott is a brilliant Chief Engineer. I could learn a lot from him. You know, he figured out how to beam onto a ship that was going at warp!”
“Yes, yes, I heard,” Jacqueline waved off. “You should be more ambitious. Engineering isn’t a big deal. Now, piloting, that’s a whole other beast, and in my opinion, the best one. I’m gonna pilot the Enterprise some day, and show that Captain Kirk a thing or two.”
“What is it about him that gets you all steamed up?” Akiko wondered, honestly as the shuttle began to start.
“He’s a lucky little brat that made captain way too easy,” Jacqueline muttered, slouching back in her seat. “It’s not fair. He cheated on the Kobayashi Maru!”
“I’m pretty sure he made up for that by saving Earth from being sucked into a black hole,” Akiko reminded her, calmly.
“Oh, bull,” Jacqueline blurted. “Give me a ship like the Enterprise and I could save the planet.”
“You get back to me when that happens,” Akiko smiled, earning a sneer from her friend.
“If you’re so into science, why aren’t you trying for a spot on the bridge?” Jacqueline shot back. “You could shadow Commander Spock, couldn’t you? He’s the Science Officer, after all.”
“I don’t want to be a bother,” Akiko replied, leaning on her window. “If I’m up on the bridge I really won’t be able to do much by way of helping. In engineering, there’s plenty to do. And there’s science involved in that, too.”
“Still, you need a better position than assistant engineer.”
“This is all pretty big talk coming from the girl who’s shadowing a helmsman,” Akiko shot back with a smirk.
“A helmsman I’ll soon be taking the place of,” Jacqueline smirked back, deviously.
“I doubt the Board will let you do that. They’ll find a better place for you. Starfleet’s always building bigger and better ships, you know?”
“There won’t be a ship like the Enterprise,” Jacqueline replied and Akiko smiled at the admiration in her voice. “She’ll last forever. Others will come and go, but the Enterprise will remain.”
“You haven’t even seen her yet, and you’re star struck,” Akiko smirked.
“I’ve seen her,” Jacqueline admitted, then leaned out the window to gaze at the stars they were floating through, making Akiko do the same just as the Enterprise came into view. “She’s a thing of beauty.”
“You get too poetic about ships,” Akiko giggled. “If I didn’t know better, I’d say you wanna do more than just pilot the Enterprise.”
“Like what? Captain her?”
Akiko nodded but Jacqueline shook her head.
“I’m not worthy,” she replied. “Neither is that twerp, Kirk.”
“Be careful who you say that around,” Akiko warned in a hushed tone. “Some of these cadets consider him admirable.”
“Well they’re all fools,” Jacqueline snapped in the same hushed tone.
Akiko shook her head in exasperation. She knew better than to try talking her friend out of hating someone when she’d made up her mind about them. Hopefully, she wouldn’t cause too much trouble on the bridge with her feelings toward the captain. She also hoped the captain would show her that he wasn’t as bad as she thought he was. She looked out her window at the Enterprise and had to agree with Jacqueline, she was a thing of beauty.
Once inside her, and the shuttle came to a stop, she felt her heart jump in excitement. She couldn’t wait to get to engineering and learn about all the workings. The gears and gyros that made the ship run. She admitted that her true fascination was in science, but she was also interested in learning all sorts of things, including the workings of a ship. Who knew, if she couldn’t make Science Officer, she had Engineer to fall back on.
Hurrying out of the shuttle, Jacqueline could barely keep up with her as she hurried out of the hangar bay and into the lift, her friend just making it in before the doors shut.
“Did you even get your room number, Sparky?” Jacqueline asked, using her nickname for her friend.
“I’ve had it in my head since we got our assignments,” Akiko replied as the lift began to move to take them to the deck their quarters were located on.
“Well, aren’t we excited?” Jacqueline smirked and Akiko only nodded, vigorously. “You’d think you were meeting someone for a date.”
“I just can’t wait to get to engineering!” she beamed as the lift stopped.
“Well, I’ll see you at lunch, ok?” Jacqueline smiled, patting her friends shoulder as the lift doors opened and they walked out.
“Sure thing!” Akiko grinned and turned to find her room.
Once there she hurriedly changed into her uniform of engineering red long-sleeved shirt with a silver band at the end of each sleeve, black pants and tall black boots and hurried down the halls toward the lift to take her to engineering. When the lift stopped, and the doors opened, she ran out in such excitement that she didn’t watch where she was going and rammed into someone, sending them both to the ground. She shook the rattling from her head and heard a groan ahead of her, making her stare wide eyes up at the man she’d rammed into.
“Sir!” she gasped, shooting to her feet and scrambling to help the man she saw was the Chief Engineer. “I’m so sorry, Sir! I wasn’t watching where I was going! I didn’t mean—!”
“It’s alright, lass,” he replied in a Scottish accent, waving her off as he stood. “Nothin’ hurt but me bum.” Akiko couldn’t help but giggle when he smiled at her. “Now, you must be my new assistant, eh?”
“I am indeed, Sir,” she nodded, standing at attention with a smile and holding out her hand. “Lieutenant Akiko Suzuki, at your service.”
“Whew, that’s a mouthful,” he smirked, shaking her hand. “I don’t think I’ll be able to pronounce that properly, lass. I can barely get our helmsman’s first name right.”
“That’s no problem, Sir,” Akiko assured him. “I respond just fine to Lieutenant.”
“Ick, that’s too formal,” Scotty blanched. “Got any nicknames?”
“Well, my friend, Cadet Fabian, calls me Sparky,” she shrugged, slightly. “My name means sparkle so she shortened it.”
“That’ll work,” he grinned, then waved her over with a tablet he was holding as he began walking away from the lift. “Call me Scotty, or Sir, if you’d like. It doesn’t really matter to me. Let me show ye around.”
Akiko nodded and followed her commanding officer deeper into engineering. A quick run around, showing her where everything was, not just in engineering but everywhere on the ship, led them to the transporter room.
“If I’m too busy on the engineering deck, I might ask ye to come up here if necessary,” he explained, gesturing toward the seat in front of the control panel behind the glass through which they could see the beaming pad. “It may not come to that, but just in case, I’ll show ye how to work it. It’s fairly easy.”
Akiko glanced around at the panel, wondering how it could be easy.
“Let’s head back to engineering,” he suggested. “We’ll be launching soon and I have to make a quick check-up on everything down there.”
“Yes, Sir,” she nodded and hurried after him as he headed out of the room and toward the lift. As she entered and stood next to him, she asked, “Do we know what our mission is yet, Sir?”
“We’re transporting some survivors to New Vulcan,” he replied as the lift moved. “A captain and her crew. Apparently she’s a good friend of Commander Spock’s.”
“Really?” Akiko wondered, intrigued.
“Oh, aye,” Scotty nodded, looking at his tablet and making adjustments on it. “She’s a survivor of…Old Vulcan. I’m sure you heard about what happened.”
“I did,” Akiko nodded, solemnly.
“She was off on a mission in the Messer System,” Scotty went on. “She started heading here when she heard what happened. She and the Commander were childhood friends, apparently. Her name is T’Leia.”
The lift stopped and when the doors opened, Scotty walked out, without looking up from his tablet as Akiko followed him.
“Is there anything you need me to do, Sir?” she wondered. “I can help you with that check-up you mentioned earlier.”
“That ye can,” he smiled, stopping and looking from his tablet up at her. “Alright, here’s what I want ye to do. Go around the panels on the top level and give me the readings on everything vital. Got that?”
“Aye, aye, Sir!” Akiko grinned, saluting before she ran toward the stairs leading to the upper level and Scotty chuckled at her before turning to do the same on the lower level.
After ten to fifteen minutes they met on the lower deck again and Akiko reported the readings, panting from running around up there. He told her what to fix and she bounded back up the stairs to obey. Another five minutes went by and they met again.
“Readings all check out, Sir,” she panted.
“You might want to slow yourself down, lass,” Scotty smirked at her energy. “You’ll need your energy for later. Why don’t you go up to the bridge and watch the launch?”
“Thank you, Sir, but I’m fine down here,” she smiled, straightening herself out.
“Alright, then,” Scotty shrugged. “We’ll be working till lunch. I’ll walk ye there if ye like?”
“Thank you, Sir,” Akiko nodded. “Will the other crew members be there as well?”
“Probably,” he nodded. “Somebody usually has the con, but most of them might be there. Are you interested in meeting them that much?”
“Well, I’d like to,” Akiko admitted. “My friend is up on the bridge. She’s shadowing the helmsman.”
“Oh, your friend is Jacqueline Fabian!” Scotty realized, walking toward a desk to sit down and she followed him with wide eyes.
“You know her, Sir?” she breathed.
“Aye,” he nodded, setting his feet on the desk as he leaned back in the chair. “She’s one of the better cadet pilots. I’m sure she’d be able to fly this ship through the eye of a needle if needs be.”
“Flying this ship is all she talks about,” Akiko smiled, sitting at his feet on the corner of the desk. “I feel sorry for your helmsman, though. She can be one tough cookie.”
“He can hold his own,” Scotty smiled, waving it off. “What are your ambitions, lass?”
“Well, I’d like to become a Science Officer,” Akiko smiled, swinging her feet as they dangled off the desk. “Not on this ship, necessarily, but a Science Officer nonetheless.”
“What are you doin’ down here then?” Scotty chuckled.
“I haven’t had any hands on experience with engineering yet,” she shrugged, cutely. “Who knows, maybe I won’t leave and just stay here on the Enterprise as your assistant. I wouldn’t mind that if you don’t.”
“I hardly have such lovely company down here,” he smirked. “I don’t think I’d mind it a bit.”
“Kirk to engineering,” a voice suddenly came from overhead. “How we doin’ Scotty? Everything ready for launch?”
“Aye, Captain,” Scotty replied, swinging his legs off the desk as Akiko shot to her feet as well. “Ready when you are—Get down from there!”
Akiko frowned at him then looked up at where he was looking. On one of the pipes, a little green Kolaran was sitting on it, shaking his head at Scotty’s order. She couldn’t help but giggle at him, which made Scotty give her a glare and she stifled the laughter threatening to come out.
“Don’t encourage him,” he grumbled, starting to walk past her and she followed. “That’s Keenser. He’s a climber, as you can see. Part of your job will be to get him down from there!”
The last few words were directed at Keenser who hadn’t left his position on the pipe and Akiko just nodded, “Yes, Sir.”
“You’d better be ready for anything,” Scotty smirked, clapping her shoulder. “Enterprise is a lovely ship.”
“So I’ve heard,” Akiko smirked.
“Hope ye don’t mind eatin’ with your commanding officer,” Scotty smiled as they both sat down at a table with their food.
“Not at all,” Akiko grinned, sitting across from him. “We can even talk ship if you like.”
They both snickered at her pun and a second later Scotty was rambling on about the aspects of the ship and engineering while she listened intently. He suddenly stopped and waved someone over from behind her, making her frown and turn around. Her eyes widened and she immediately turned back around to sit stalk straight, making it Scotty’s turn to frown.
“What’s the matter, lass?” he asked in a hushed tone.
“That’s the captain, isn’t it?” she whispered and he only nodded, still frowning.
“No need to be formal, Sparky,” he smirked, using her nickname.
“How dare you show up here before me,” Jacqueline suddenly grinned, sitting next to her and making her jump.
“How’s it going, Scotty?” Kirk smiled, slapping Scotty’s arm before sitting across from Jacqueline, who gave a not so hidden sneer. “This place is swarming with new cadets.” His eyes landed on Akiko who was still sitting straight as a board and he smiled, charmingly. “You must be Scotty’s assistant engineer, right?”
“Yes, Sir. Akiko Suzuki, Sir,” Akiko nodded, stiffly and Jacqueline frowned at her for a moment then poked her in the side, making her give a small squeak and jump, turning a glare to the curly haired girl.
“Loosen up,” Jacqueline urged as Akiko looked her friend up and down, now noticing her uniform was different from her own. An ensign golden long-sleeved dress.
Smirking, she couldn’t resist taking the shot, “I see they got you in dress.”
Jacqueline glared back and sneered before starting to pick at Akiko’s food, which the other girl pulled out of her reach.
“Bones!” Kirk suddenly called, waving someone else from behind Akiko and Jacqueline. “Come meet our new cadets!”
McCoy appeared from around them and sat on the other side of Scotty as the girls exchanged glances and Kirk spoke again to them.
“Bones here is our Chief Medical Officer,” he explained. “Isn’t it nice that such a handsome fella is gonna be giving you physicals?”
“Jim, leave the girls alone,” McCoy scolded, trying to save the girls but Akiko was the only one who needed saving as Jacqueline just gave another sneer. “And if you’re here, who’s at the con?”
“I gave it to Sulu,” Kirk shrugged, stealing something from Scotty’s plate who pulled it back from the captain.
“Hey! Get your own plate!” he snapped, playfully.
“Fine,” Kirk groaned and stood to go get some food, slapping McCoy on the back on his way and saying, “Come on, Bones. You’ve been working hard, I’m sure.”
“When am I not?” McCoy grumbled, standing up to go after Kirk.
“I guess Chekov and Uhura won’t be joining us,” Scotty guessed. “Seems Mr. Spock is missing as well, eh?”
“Too bad,” Jacqueline sighed, leaning back on Akiko who was now a little more relaxed. “Chekov’s kinda cute. You’d like Uhura, Sparky. She’s fun. And you’d really like Spock.”
“Oh, I know that tone,” Akiko smirked, rolling her eyes as Scotty frowned at the conversation but said nothing as he ate. “What’s the temp?”
“One hundred,” Jacqueline grinned, fanning herself with a hand. “But since he’s half Vulcan, I’m guessing his real temp is fifty below.”
“That’s cold,” Akiko scolded.
“Exactly,” Jacqueline replied.
“No, I mean that’s cold from you,” Akiko clarified but her friend just waved her off, trying to pull the skirt on her gold uniform down, but it was in vain.
“Good afternoon, Mr. Scott. Cadets.”
Akiko and Jacqueline jumped at the sound of the monotone voice and the sudden movements made Jacqueline fall from the bench and onto the floor with a grunt. She scrambled to her feet and collected herself to stand at attention in front of Spock and an elegant looking woman next to him as Scotty and Akiko tried to keep from laughing.
“H-Hello, Commander,” Jacqueline sputtered, trying to cover her blunder but he was looking at her with a raised eyebrow. “Captain T’Leia.”
“I trust you haven’t hurt yourself, Ensign Fabian,” Spock said, and Jacqueline shook her head. He then turned his attention to Akiko as Jacqueline sat down, properly this time. “You are Mr. Scott’s assistant, are you not?”
“I am, Sir,” Akiko replied, holding a hand out for him to shake. “Lieutenant Akiko Suzuki.”
Instead of shaking her hand he only nodded and she hesitantly pulled her hand back as Jacqueline scooted closer to her and shivered, whispering, “Did it just hit fifty below?”
“Can it, Jacque,” Akiko muttered out of the corner of her mouth.
“Captain T’Leia, this is our Chief Engineer, Montgomery Scott,” Spock began introductions to the Vulcan captain with black hair like Spock’s and dark eyes. Scotty waved and nodded, knowing she wouldn’t take a hand shake. “And these are two of our newest cadets, Ensign Jacqueline Fabian and Lieutenant Akiko Suzuki.”
“Hello,” the girls replied together then smiled at each other for a moment as T’Leia nodded to each of them.
“Where is your crew, Captain?” Jacqueline took the liberty of asking, then added, “If you don’t mind my asking, of course.”
“Of course not,” T’Leia replied in a monotone with a straight face. “They are all in the guest quarters. They would not wish to become a nuisance.”
“Nonsense!” Kirk suddenly plopped on one side of Scotty, McCoy on the other. “They can roam the ship as they like, Captain.”
“Thank you, Captain,” T’Leia replied. “All the same, they all wish to be amongst each other after what’s happened.”
“Of course,” Kirk nodded, seriously. “I understand. Please, won’t you both have a seat?”
Akiko glanced at Jacqueline to see her reaction to his civility, but the ensign gave a small sneer again, making Akiko sigh, silently in hopelessness.
“Thank you, Captain,” T’Leia nodded, and she and Spock both sat, the Commander next to Akiko with the Vulcan captain on the other side of him.
“I trust everything is to your satisfaction, Captain T’Leia,” Spock told the captain as Akiko looked at him out of the corner of her eye in surprise.
“Yes, Commander, very much so,” the T’Leia nodded. “Seeing how far you have gotten has been interesting. I knew you would excel in Starfleet.”
“Thank you,” he nodded and Akiko and Jacqueline looked at each other in wonder. How could two people have such a monotone conversation after seeing someone they hadn’t seen in a long time? Then again, neither one of them were Vulcan.
“Tell me, Captain,” T’Leia requested. “Exactly how long will it take us to get to New Vulcan?”
“Can’t wait to get there, can you?” Kirk smirked over his food then became serious again and replied, “Another day or so. We’ll have you there before you can say, ‘Vulcan.’”
“Sir?” T’Leia almost frowned.
“It is a human expression,” Spock explained. “It means, we will have you there quickly.”
T’Leia nodded, but still seemed confused. To her it was illogical that they could get her to New Vulcan before she could speak a single word.
“Well, back to work, I’m afraid,” Scotty said, standing with his tray and Akiko followed. After putting their trays away they came back to say good bye, Jacqueline getting up to walk with them as they walked away.
“I couldn’t stand being there with the ‘Captain’ and the Snowman,” she told Akiko once they were out of earshot of the Mess Hall and making air quotes when she said Captain.
“You know, you’re going to have to deal with the ‘Captain’ and Commander Spock if you want to pilot this ship,” Akiko reminded her, mimicking her air quotes, and Jacqueline only waved it off.
“I’m confused,” Scotty chimed in with a frown as they stopped at the lift. “You have a problem with the captain?”
“Yes, I do,” Jacqueline replied as they all entered the lift. “It’s too complex to get into.”
“She’s jealous,” Akiko shrugged with a smirk and Jacqueline glared at her.
“No need to be jealous, lass,” Scotty assured her. “Don’t go tryin’ to over-achieve. You’re pretty good on your own, if ye don’t mind me sayin’.”
“Wait, I’m confused, do I know you?” Jacqueline frowned as the lift doors closed and Scotty pressed the button for the engineering deck and the bridge.
“Apparently, you’re famous,” Akiko replied.
“Aye, that ye are, lass,” Scotty nodded.
“I take it you’re Sparky’s superior officer, right?” Jacqueline guessed. “The Chief Engineer?”
“I am indeed,” Scotty smiled, holding out a hand. “Call me Scotty.”
“Call me Jacque,” Jacqueline smiled back, shaking his hand just as the lift doors opened.
“Well, this is us,” Scotty replied, nodding out the doors and stepping out. “Come along, Sparky. I’m sure Keenser is climbing somewhere he—Get down!”