Part of USS Century: 1.5. The Long Haul

Wrangling Wishlists

USS Century
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Commander Peters sat behind the desk residing in her office, a place she infrequently visited while the ship was carrying out its normal operations. Their visit to Gateway Station had afforded her the rare but welcomed opportunity to use her office during her usual allotted time on the Bridge to attend to the various paperwork that never seemed to end no matter how much time she devoted to it. Her current workload was fraught with evaluation reports from the various departments, all of which had to be looked over and edited before being passed up to the Captain for his approval. 

It was in the midst of this slog through the administrative mines that the chime to her office door pulled Abigail’s attention from the endless series of letters that had started to blur together. She let out an unconscious sigh of relief as her muscles seemed to suddenly loosen up. “Enter,” came the response, her eyes struggling to refocus after having adjusted to reading at a near distance for a protracted period of time.

The one responsible for her reprieve was Lieutenant Commander Sorreth, who moved into the space quickly and without commentary, taking up a position just behind the chairs set up in front of her desk. Abby motioned for the Vulcan to take a seat before taking the opportunity to banish the holographic projections of the various reports she’d been almost mindlessly reviewing.

Peters leaned against her desk, inquiring, “What do you have for me, Mister Sorreth?”

“As requested, I have compiled the requisitions that each department, my own included, has made for your review,” Sorreth replied, proffering the PaDD he’d been holding to the Commander. Abigail took the device and sank back into her chair while she glanced over it. First on the list was the requests that the Operations department had made, all of which fell safely within the confines of reasonable and necessary for mission readiness. It wasn’t a hard decision on her part to give the Operations department carte blanche. Then the next list popped up on the screen, causing a frown to grace her features before she’d even realized she’d done it.

“I see you have encountered the science department’s contributions,” Sorreth observed after seeing the woman’s face change dramatically.

“I don’t even recognize half of this stuff,” Abby commented, her brow still drawn down in a mixture of exasperation and confusion, “Is anything on this list even something we could requisition?”

“Roughly sixty percent of their inventory of desired items would require us to conduct a minor overhaul of the science laboratories just to accommodate the equipment they are asking for. It is not a realistic list, though I am certain it was compiled with the expectation that the more unattainable items would be rejected,” the man replied.

“Talk about shooting for the moon…” Cmdr. Peters muttered.

Sorreth’s right eyebrow drifted upward at the statement, “I do not believe I am familiar with that metaphor.”

“Hmm?” Abby responded before she’d processed the comment fully, “Oh, right… It basically means that they had a lot of ambition when generating the list, sort of like our ancestors did when they were first looking to leave Earth and reach the Moon.”

“If that is true, would that particular metaphor be somewhat inaccurate, as humanity did indeed reach their moon?” the Vulcan inquired.

“Well, not entirely, no,” Abby paused before explaining, “The part I said was only a piece of the whole metaphor I learned growing up. ‘Shoot for the moon… be happy if you make it into the atmosphere.’”

“I see,” Sorreth nodded in comprehension, “The additional information does make your statement more logical.”

“Yes, I suppose it does. It’s easy to forget that not everyone’s heard that phrase before,” the woman said with a small chuckle, “But getting back to the list, have you already picked out what we could reasonably acquire in the few days we have before we depart for the Thomar Expanse?”

“I have,” the Vulcan replied, “I have changed the text colors in conjunction with what I have assessed to be achievable versus those items that would be impossible to implement with the number of days we have remaining before we need to begin our journey across the quadrant. All requests colored red are outside of our capability and should be denied. Orange text indicates equipment or modification that are not impossible to arrange, however there may be a delay to our departure should anything fall behind schedule for any reason. I recommend only approving one or two of those requests if you are inclined to do so at all. Any requests  I have colored green are of a routine nature and would not warrant any amount of caution regarding their procurement as it will not require more than a few hours to move them from the starbase to our ship.”

“Of the ones you’ve highlight orange,” Abby asked, scrolling through the list several times to compare them, “Is their any particular project that you would recommend we actually execute to make our exploration mission more successful in the long run, even if there’s a delay?”

Sorreth folded his arms as he gave the question some thought, “If we operate under the assumption that only one project will be approved in that category, I would suggest that we approve the conversion of the geology and archeology lab. The equipment there will not require a complete overhaul to replace, however what we currently have would prove lacking when confronted with any sort of long term survey conducted by that branch of the science department. If we are to operate with a high degree of autonomy for a protracted period of time, this would give us that maximum return on our invested time and resources.”

“Fine, then let’s go forward with that project, scrap all of the ones in red without comment, and everything else we can provide, let’s go ahead with those as well,” Cmdr. Peters stated as she handed the PaDD back to the Operations officer.

“Very well, Commander. I will see to this list at once,” the Vulcan said, pushing himself out of the chair in preparation to depart the office.

“Thank you for the inputs,” Abby said with a smile, “I’m glad you were able to do some of the groundwork on what was actually realistic from the science folks. I’m afraid being a pilot for most of my career didn’t grace me with much in the way of scientific prowess.”

“Your gratitude is not necessary, Commander. It would have been remiss of me to provide an unedited list given the… ambitious mindset our science crew seemed to have when composing their inputs,” Sorreth remarked.

“Still, I appreciate your efforts as always.”

“I see…” the Vulcan said with a bit of pause before nodding to the woman in farewell and departing the room.