Star Trek: Cygnus

NCC-71954

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But What Is It?

Posted on Thu Jul 1st, 2021 @ 1:34pm by Ensign Albert Spangler & Lieutenant JG Lisald Vaat

Mission: Episode 3: Search and Rescue
Location: COO Office
Timeline: MD5 Prior to Reception

Spangler sat at his new desk, eyeing the office slowly. He almost didn't trust it. He opened the drawers, trying to come up with something to put in them. He began to close them again, whn something caught his eye. Albert pulled out a... what the hell is that?

The object fit in his hand, but the sheer fact that he wasn't even sure how to describe it meant that it must be a remnant of his former chief. That, and it was Lisald desk last.

Albert walked out of the lab, and stopped in the corridor. What deck was Ops on?

Down on Deck 13, Vaat was busy setting up his new office. He had made it a point to actually use his office during this iteration of being a Department Head; as Chief Science Officer, he had not been afforded much time to use it. Stepping back from the artwork he had just hung, an ancient painting of Remould Mountain on Bajor, he smiled at it, then frowned at it, stepping forward again to straighten it out. It was the final touch of making the office his.

Albert stepped into the office the Ops Chief adjusting the painting. He watched for moment, "It's still crooked. Whoever calibrated your level must have done Lab 3, too."

With his hands still on the painting, he looked over at the new Chief Science Officer and snorted. "You probably aren't wrong, Spangler. What can I do for you," he asked, stepping back from the painting. He would deal with it later.

Spangler held the thing in front of him, almost as though it might be hazardous. "I was just taking this thing for a walk. It looked bored." Albert responded with a raised eyebrow. "Thought it might need a new home."

Looking at the item being put on display, it took a moment longer than Lisald cared to admit to comprehend what he was seeing. With a flash of frustration, he reached for it. "Where did you get that? Give it back."

The reaction surprised Spangler. Must have touched a nerve. Hiding his amusement, Albert lowered his hand slowly before responding. "It was in your old desk. Which, is apparently my desk now." Spangler helped himself to a chair. "It would seem I have you to blame for that." Albert stated with a smirk.

"A decision I assure you I have regretted since the moment I made it, Ensign," he said, sitting down behind the desk, using it as a barrier and a stark reminder that Spanger was junior to Lisald. "Shouldn't you be, oh, I don't know, doing research on lab rats or something right now? Something more to your level?"

"We all make mistakes, Sir. But no, I gave the rats the day off." Albert wasn't used to seeing Lisald angry, and while it was somewhat amusing, he thought better of prodding the man further. "Besides. Just because you escaped the labs doesn't mean I'm no longer your unfortunate burden." Albert said with a slightly wider grin, before acquiescing with a half nod/half bow. "Congratulations Lieutenant."

"Thank you," Lisald said, with a nod that was more suited to an officer much higher ranking than he was. The frustration he felt a moment ago had subsided, and he felt a pang of guilt for feeling it. “You were never a burden. Honestly,” he said, opening up, “I didn’t really know how to take you at first. But you are a capable scientist, if not a bit,” he paused, “Unorthodox.” He fingered the item for a moment absently before realizing what he was doing.

Lisald nodded. "I appreciate you returning it, Al. I'm not entirely sure how I forgot it. It has considerable meaning to me." Switching the subject, he continued. "How is the department doing? Anyone giving you any trouble?" Lisald was prepared to help out Spangler, if he asked for it.

Spangler tried to come up with a polite way to ask what it was, but failed miserably and chose to diplomatically forget about it. "Trouble? No.. I give myself enough for the department. But, I've made it just over a full day without any major issues." Albert shrugged. Not even a single fire." He chose not to emphasize how significant that was in his lab.

Vaat nodded, choosing to not tell the Ensign about his own experience with starting fires in the Lab, back when he was just the Anthropological and Archaeological Science Officer. Just a year later, and here he was, having a stint as Chief Science Officer, and now Chief of Operations. “Good, glad to hear it. I know you don’t care for me too much, Al, but I do have your back. We are on the same team,” he emphasized, pointing to himself and to Spangler, “And I want to see you succeed. If you need anything at all, please count on me, even if you don’t necessarily like me and don’t want anything to do with me.”

Albert nodded slowly, "I appreciate that." He stared at the Bajoran for a moment before breaking his gaze. There was a lot of truth to what Lisald said, and Spangler wasn't sure how to feel about that. A lot had been changing, and at the very least he wouldn't keep afloat without the support. He looked back up, tilting his head slightly. "Tell me, Lieutenant. What's your story? How'd you end up with Starfleet?"

Vaat eyebrows went up in surprise, for two reasons. First, it was a tall question, one that wasn’t quite normal with other people that joined Starfleet as soon as they were able. Second, it was telling that Albert had asked him this; it seemed the young Scientist wanted to get to know Vaat more. Maybe there was hope that the two would be on better terms. Probably not ever friends, per se, but certainly more than just cordial, with tensions bubbling just below the surface. “Well, I have been interested in Archaeology my entire life,” he began, sitting back in his chair and steepling his fingers. He went into how he had been shielded from the horrors of the Occupation, about hearing stories of lost cities and sites on Bajor from his parents and other family members. He talked about how, when he was in college on Bajor, falling in love with the idea of Alien Anthropology, followed by his desire to dig in the dirt on alien worlds, and how that led him to Starfleet Academy. “Once I graduated, I was assigned here, and have worked my way up slowly. I never intended to be more than a guy playing in the dirt on various planets we visited; it seems the Prophets have other plans for me,” he said finally. Turning the question back on the Ensign, he asked the same.

A number of tales came to mind, both interesting and admirable. However, Albert lacked the energy for much more than the basic truth. He shrugged slightly. "I studied the sciences, chemistry specifically because I was good at it, and it enabled me to move as far away from home without leaving earth as I possibly could." Albert looked down to the desk, momentarily distracted by the 'thing'. "I worked for a mining company for a few years, materials analysis and the such. Starfleet.. well, I thought it might impress my family. At least, it was a good way to show up my brother." Albert's eyes remained fixed on nothing in particular, surprised by the ache caused by saying out loud the blatant truth.

Quite suddenly, Lisald no longer felt contempt for the man in front of him, but of brotherhood. He understood, if on an intellectual level, what he felt. "Your brother and the opinion of those close to you mean a great deal to you, doesn't it," he asked.

Albert sighed gently. "My brother.. My brother is a horse's ass." This was followed with a shrug. "I don't know. The rest of it is probably true. Has to be; four years of Academy training just to get hurtled into deep space is a hell of a thing to do to avoid disappointing the folks." He finished with a grin.

Lisald grinned with him. "I know what you mean. For what it's worth, I'm really glad you are here, Al," Lisald said, using his first name for the very first time. "Out of curiosity, are you any relation to a Dr. Egon Spangler? I seem to have heard that name somewhere, from Earth Antiquity, maybe?"

 

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