Julian's pulse was up as he stepped through the doors. He tried to appear calm but the beeped he'd heard about a minute before indicated he was officially late for his duty shift.
"You're late Mr. Ice." Captain Robert Hunt said sternly without even turning to look to see who had entered.
Andrea "Andy" Kawolski's mouth curled up just a touch as she tried to keep from smiling at the look of sheer panic on Julian's face.
"Um..." Julian stammered as he rounded to his chair.
He came up in front of the captain and pushed back his shoulders, resolving not to show fear. "My apologies Captain." he said as calmly as possible while his heart hammered in his chest.
Captain Hunt spared him a look and then turned to the crewman at the helm. "Please inform Mr. Ice what he has missed since his duty shift began."
"Um..." The crewman looked at the captain confused and then at Julian. "Nothing really."
"Ah well, shame." Captain Hunt said. The ghost of a smile appeared on his face as Julian relieved the crewman and took his seat. Behind him Andy was grinning and trying hard not to laugh. Commander Hoshimi Katou - the ships' chief science officer looked less pleased.
A couple hours into his shift, the ship rocked roughly to the side jerking the bridge crew. Julian clutched his station and worked hard to regain balance. "Mr. Ice, I trust that you learned how to pilot before coming onto my bridge." Captain Hunt said.
"It's not his fault Captain." Andy spoke up from the engineering station. "Looks like there's a stabilizer malfunction." she explained and then opened up communications to Engineering. "Bridge to Engineering."
"Get your purple haired arse down here Kowalski!" came a gruff reply. "Sorry Cap." it added as an after thought.
Captain Hunt just held up his hand absently, whether to dismiss Andy from the bridge or in response to the chief engineer's language or both. "Now Mr. Ice, do you think you can get us righted?" he asked as the ship leveled out. "Ah, very good."
Kowalski was halfway to engineering by the time Julian compensated for the stabilizer. Walking down the hall at an angle was awkward but not something she was inexperienced at. She walked into the upper level of engineering and noticed a distinct lack of people. Leaning over the rail she heard the chaos below and made her way to the stairs. "Dex!" she called out for her boss and mentor.
"What you do to my ship Dex?" she called out. There was a flurry of activity in the lower level. Dex - Anthony Dexter and the chief engineer - was barking out orders as engineers zipped past him.
"Get your butt in gear Andy! Those stabilizers aren't gonna fix 'emselves and I ain't got no faith in that flyboy on the bridge to keep this ship steady!" Dex barked over the bustle of activity.
Andy grabbed a tool box and kicked off her boots, they were completely impractical for climbing into the innards of a starship. She was flat on her back, under a panel and covered in soot when several alarms went off. She heard a muffle of voices and a thunk followed by loud groans. She scrambled out from where she was and took in the scene. Dex was crumbled against the wall and a fire was raging on another panel. "Get that fire out!" she yelled and shoved a couple of nearby engineers in that direction. She knelt beside Dex and gave him a once over. "Dex, hey Dex!" She was answered by groans and curses. "Engineering to Medical - send us a medic!" she hollered over the noise around her. The fire was put out and the chaos died down slowly. "You!" she said pointing to an engineer. "Work on those stabilizers."
"I told you to work..." Dex said and then started coughing. "To work on them." he finished followed by more coughing.
"Can't say I really care what you want right now Dex." Andy said with a grin. "Just shut up and wait for a medic."
"Ugh, you called them? I'm fine!" Dex said starting to sit up. He groaned and cursed so much, Andy forced him to stay prone.
Freya walked in then and came over to them. "What happened here?" she asked kneeling down beside them.
"There, the blue coat is here - now go get the" Dex coughed several times, the coughs shaking his whole body. "damn stabilizers workin'!" he finished the sentence gruffly. Andy just smiled but she looked at Freya knowingly before leaving them to get back to the stabilizers.
Freya nodded. "I'll keep you posted Andy." she said before turning her attention back to Dex. "Come on, we have to get you to the ward."
Her instruction was met with groaning and more cursing from Dex but she eventually convinced him to go.
Dr. Finn insisted on keeping Dex for observation after treating his burns but first shift was ending so Freya left Dex, unhappy as he was about it, in Dr. Finn's grumpy care. She gave Dex and weak smile and shrugged. "I'm on call tonight so I'll probably be back to rescue you soon." she said with a wink. She saw Dr. Finn eying her and grimaced. She made a quick retreat over to the bar where she was meeting Andy and Julian.
She was the last to arrive and sat between the two of them. Julian looked annoyed and she hoped his first shift with the captain had gone better than his expression suggested. "So?" she asked looking between them. She knew that Andy had been on the bridge for at least part of the shift. "Come on! How did it go?"
Andy grinned and then started recounting the details over Julian's late arrival and the side roll the ship had done. "He looked so nervous!" Andy said laughing. "Captain Hunt could see it all over his face and I know he was laughing on the outside as he antagonized him."
"I was not nervous!" Julian said, but he was smiling so he had taken the captain's ribbing well after he realized the humor.
"Right! Not at all!" Andy said sarcastically. She rolled her eyes and ordered up three drinks. She handed one to Freya, placed one in front of Julian and held her own glass up. "To Julian's first shift with the captain! A few bumps but otherwise not too bad I'd say."
"To Julian" Freya repeated, raising her own glass. Julian didn't say anything and barely touched his glass, let alone raised it in the toast.
"How's Dex?" Andy said after a long drink from her glass. "Ooh good stuff!" she said admiring the contents of the glass.
"Pissed that he's stuck in the ward with Dr. Finn." Freya said with a laugh taking a drink from her own glass - non-alcoholic in content. "But otherwise fine I think."
"Well I'd be pissed too. Dr. Finn is a grumpy old jerk." Andy said.
"Andy!" Freya hissed glancing around. She saw Commander Katou sitting at a table nearby.
"What?" Andy said looking around as well. She saw the commander and shrugged. "I'm sure Katou knows." she said a little lower. "It's a universally acknowledged fact." she paused and leaned in closer to them. "Besides - Commander Katou's not exactly winning any personality awards either."
Freya chuckled and finished her drink just as her comm beeped. She was being called into the ward. "Duty calls." she said. She gave Julian a quick kiss on the cheek and wove her way through the crowded passages back to the ward.
Finn tossed her surgery garb as soon as she entered the bay. "Scrub." he said. "And get dressed. Mr. Dexter needs surgery."
Freya's eyes went wide as she looked around for Dex. She scrambled into her scrubs and tied her cap before approaching the sink with Dr. Finn. "What happened?" she asked.
"The blast threw him into a wall. He's bleeding into his brain." Dr. Finn said matter of factly. For all his faults, when it came to his job - Dr. Finn was all business.
Freya finished scrubbing and the nurse helped them don gloves and a mask before they went into the attached surgical bay. This was the first surgery Freya had been called in on since she had been assigned to the ward. Her stomach was fluttering and her heart was pounding. She noticed her hands trembling slightly as she stood by the table.
"Get it together Ryan!" Dr. Finn snapped. "You're no good to me like that!"
Freya took several steadying breaths and watched her hands slowly stop. "I'm ready doctor." she said.
"About time." Dr. Finn muttered and made the first cut.