#33 The Roots Are Strong
Behind Enemy Lines
Location: drydock facility
Lieutenant Ken Kudo was as happy as a Tiger Shark with a seabird in its mouth. Here he was, the Chief Engineer of a starship, his first posting as such, and now he would get to personally oversee the complete refit. This was his vacation, what would make him relax, to fully know every glitch and system on the ship he called home. It was his duty to keep the Indy in top notch running order and he was damned determined to do just that. With the ship now docked in a drydock facility near to Jupiter Station Ken had been receiving data log after data log for all the refit. It was daunting and seemingly impossible, but with his own staff who will remain, and the drydock personnel, this would take as little time as possible, with all standards met.
Kudo stood in a lounge on the drydock facility, facing a panoramic view of the Indy outside the window. From his angle back and to the right he could see the nacelles and the aft portion of the primary hull, with the impulse drives and all. HIS baby. Whoever the CO was was in command, but when it came to ownership every CEO in Starfleet thought of their ships as theirs. Any who didn't usually didn't amount to much. Not with pride but with confidence can one achieve all things. Ken Kudo wasn't going anywhere. Hell, if the Indy wasn't so large, and him not so young, he'd throw his name into the hat for skipper. But, that was a pipe dream at this time in his career so, why bother. He had taken and passed the command courses to be able to take the conn when necessary, even taking the Kobyashi Maru twice. The first time he had been too nervous, too focused on what not to do instead of what to do. It had been a summary ass whooping. The second time he had focused on saving the people, period. As Starfleet it was his duty to risk his life for the citizens of the Federation and others. That was his purpose once he had sworn to do so and received a commission.
"Hey, you okay?"
The question came from his right so he looked over and saw Kehlani standing there. He hadn't even heard her approach, so deep in thought he had been. "I'm fine, thank you. Just deep in thought."
Kehlani knew his feelings. In all her years of service to both the UFP and the KDF she had had to take command many times. Mostly on Klingon vessels since her exploits among her own people were well known, especially when it was a Klingon who had saved a Federation President from being kidnapped by a group of criminals. Thei failure had been quite amusing and...satisfying. "Too many changes, having trouble adjusting?"
Kudo gave a quiet chuckle and glanced over. "No, sister. I am fine with all the changes. My thoughts were delving into the various changes to come in the engineering department and how tough the work will be for the next few months."
"You'll have my support, Ken." Kehlani gave him a nod and then reached her left hand up to clasp his shoulder in a comradely fashion. "I am an engineer. Earth is one of two homes. We are not far and when we get a few days leave, I can go and enjoy what I consider to be the most beautiful planet in the galaxy. I have an estate in Jamaica."
Ken's head turned to look at her, his eyebrows going up with interest. "Really? May I borrow the keys some time when I get some days? Sunny beaches sound nice in another part of the world. I'll grant you access to my estate in the Hawaiian Islands. Fair trade?"
Kehlani gave a laugh. "Absolutely..." she went to say more but Billi came up to them.
The three of them faced each other in a triangle.
"It's official, they're doing a full switcheroo of the crew. I'm staying, as I know you are," she motioned at Kay. "And, you being CEO, I can only imagine you wouldn't go anywhere."
"Correct," he nodded. "This bird and I will form a lasting bond."
Billi smiled. "I'm so glad. This ship is like a bloody ice box. Everyone is stuffy and cold. We need warmth and teamwork. Friendships that mingle perfectly with profession." She suddenly stopped, quirking her face a moment before going back to normal. "Apologies. That rant was not expected." A giggle and shrug. "I'm not going anywhere. Earth has its fun places, and its not that far. You need me to assist as I have been, Ken, then I'm there."
"Thank you. Both of you. We're going to need all mechanical hands on deck for a while. Engineering, Sciences, and Operations. Like ants on a sugar cube." Kudo Straightened his uniform a bit. "So, I'm going to go get some rest since the work starts today. All the hull plating has to be removed, which means the entire crew will be staying on Jupiter Station, or assigned to Earth for now until they get slotted. Take care, both of you." With a polite bow from the neck he walked away from them.
Billi and Kehlani gave a slight lean toward one another, Billi speaking first. "That is one serious man."
Kay grinned. "Yes he is. They'll start the removal of plating with the warp nacelles and such, giving crew time to get themselves camped elsewhere. We should go see to our belongings, sister."
Agreeing on the task at hand the two of them left the lounge and headed for the gangway.