Laying the Groundwork
Location: USS Highlander/USS Hephaistos
Timeline: En Route back to Iota Station
While the Hephaistos was one of the top of the line ships and could provide a lot of her needs herself, Eliza still had to spend a lot of time finding everything they needed. Being one of the first ships in the Delta Quadrant made finding supplies even more interesting.
There wasn't too much that they really needed, but building an inventory and getting some items that could be used for trade with others ships would be helpful.
With the battle with the Hirogen just ending, Eliza knew that the other ships in the battle group wouldn't have anything to spare. She pulled up a list of nearby ships and saw the Highlander wasn't too far.
Opening a comm line, “WO Harrington to Highlander, may I speak with your Quartermaster, please?”
The crewman on duty replied with a polite, “One moment WO Harrington, I’ll patch you through.”
PO3 Cassidy had just entered her quarters, undoing her jacket midway when her computer on the little table chirped and beeped for her attention. She walked over and tapped on the keypad to access the incoming message. A live transmission actually, from the Hephaistos. Remembering her appearance she quickly put herself back together and connected the link.
“Warrant Officer Harrington. What can I, uh, do for you?” It was apparent that having a WO contacting her caught her off-guard. And, she found herself suddenly sitting straighter in her chair.
Eliza smiled warmly “Good day, Petty Officer. I just wanted to reach out to you to establish a relationship with a fellow Quartermaster. We are all fairly new to the Delta Quadrant and are finding new challenges to meeting the supply needs of our ships. My hope is to work together and help each other out so we can meet not only the needs of our respective ships, but also the wants of our crews. Plus, having someone who understands what we're going through goes a long way when we need to vent. Does that sound like something you'd be on board for?”
Jordan had found herself staring and blinked herself back to the conversation with a series of slow nods of agreement. “It definitely is, Warrant Officer. It makes more sense for us to work together. We have the luxury of relying on other ships unlike the Voyager at the time.”
She paused to consider her next words carefully then smiled. “I’m all for venting. I mean, even being on different ships, I don’t see why we couldn’t help each other out with things.”
She opened a second file, browsed through it and entered a command. “I’m sending you a list of our current inventory, Warrant Officer. I know it’s not much right now, but, I hope it helps. Would you like to well, maybe meet and do this face to face?” She asked as an afterthought.
“Sounds like a plan to me, on one condition. We drop the ranks. Please call me Eliza, unless we're in front of other enlisted personnel.” She replied.
Jordan had to admit to herself it would be a little odd not calling a senior crewman by their rank. And, the fact Eliza insisted on it. Which, made Jordan relax somewhat. “Oh, of course Wah...ah, Eliza. Your place or mine?” Oh, way to go Jordan. “Ship.” She sighed softly at the faux pas.
Eliza smiled, barely keeping herself from giggling. “Let's go with my ship, Jordan.” Eliza replied with a wink.
The shuttle ride to the Hephaistos was short and sweet. And, when it landed on the much bigger vessel, there was a security officer awaiting her arrival. They escorted Jordan, who was looking around like a kid at a theme park at the size difference, to Eliza’s quarters. Though pretty good at finding her way around places, Jordan was actually glad to have the escort not wanting to keep Eliza waiting because she got herself lost and ended up on the upper-most part of the port nacelle.
She arrived and thanked the security officer before pressing the door chime and waiting with slow bounces on her heels with a little nervousness flowing through her.
Eliza hit the door release as she got up to meet her guest. “Welcome aboard the Mighty H, Jordan. Come on in. Can I get you something to drink?”
The auburn haired woman walked into the cabin holding her oversized PaDD at her side and looking about before redirecting her attention back to Eliza. “Thank you, Eliza. If it’s not too much trouble, I could use an iced tea with lemon.”
“No problem at all.” Eliza replied as she got the requested drink. Handing it to Jordan, she nodded towards the chairs. “How is the Delta Quadrant treating you and the Highlander so far?” She asked as they sat down.
Jordan sat down with her drink, but only after Eliza had. She set her PaDD on the table and took a sip as she considered the question. She licked her lips and lowered the glass in both hands, looking at Eliza. “Well, it’s a little early yet. But, It’s definitely going to be a challenge for us. For all of us.” She continued to look at the other woman, taking in her features and reactions. She was quite beautiful. “And, not being in our home quadrant, we won’t exactly have the cavalry to ride to our rescue if things go south.” She added dryly at the reality of their situation.
Eliza nodded in agreement. “Very true, but as more ships join us out here, the better it will get from both the supply aspect and the calvary end of it … In theory anyways.”
Jordan shrugged gently and took another sip. “I’m a little scared and alone I admit. So far from my home and family.” She dipped her eyes to her half empty glass. The furthest she’d ever been from them was after she left the Academy to begin her career in Starfleet. This was really far.
“I understand where you're coming from. Family isn't always biological family, though. The longer you're in a post and the more comfortable you become there, it will feel like a second home and your crewmates become an extension of your family.”
Jordan sighed softly. “I hope so. I don’t have any friends to speak of. It’s just been all business with everyone.” She held her gaze on Eliza for a moment longer before dipping her eyes to her glass. “I love my job and take it seriously. I have to, but, I like to have fun too.”
Eliza reached out and softly touched Jordan's hand. “We may not be on the same ship, but I consider this meeting not only two colleagues establishing a working relationship, but also the groundwork of what can become a long lasting friendship. Regardless of where we are, we will always be there for each other, both professionally and personally.” Eliza smiled.
Her eyes lowered to the hand on hers. Gentle and soft. This meeting was nothing what Jordan had expected, yet it wasn’t unwelcome either. Nor was Eliza’s comforting touch. She was reaching out to her in a way Jordan hadn’t thought. “As my senior, you’ll be the one I’ll be contacting to make sure we’re on the same page with making sure the task force is equally supplied.”
Jordan slowly slid her hand out from under Eliza’s. Not because she felt uncomfortable, which oddly she hadn’t as much as she thought she would at her touch. But, because she needed to use her PaDD. “I talked with my Chief, Lt.Cdr Reynard regarding some additional tasks he wanted me to handle, and he approved my working with you on it along with the rest we discussed.” She tapped in a few commands bringing up a list.
“Basically, we need to come up with trade resources that would be practical for the refinery colony.” She looked up at Eliza smiling. “We came up with things like upgraded environmental equipment and breathing apparatus along with entertainment data that can be put together digitally. But, none of these things could be to the level of our tech. That’s the only stipulation.”
Eliza looked at the floor as she thought through the requested items. “Those items are easy enough. I have environmental equipment I've been tinkering with for a couple of months that I'll have fully restored by this time tomorrow. It's very old school by our standards, but still an upgrade to what is around this area currently. As for the breathing apparatus and entertainment data, we have schematics for models going back 50 years, so whatever year CMDR Reynard is thinking, we can replicate it easily.”
“I think this can all be workable with your help, Eliza.” Jordan stated confidently. “And, I’d like to spend more time with you off duty. If we ever have a chance of R&R together.” This was said a little more sheepish as she wasn’t sure how it would be received.
Eliza smiled warmly. “That sounds good to me, Jordan. There's a work around for everything and I'm sure we can make something work.”
Jordan smiled with a shrug of confidence. “We’re ops, we can find a solution to anything.”
“Exactly. We fix problems that the majority of the crew don't even know exist.” Eliza laughed. “Anyways, I think we've laid the groundwork for mutual needs for now. The H has our basic needs met for now, but I know who to turn too when we need too.”
Jordan felt more relaxed now than she had when first entering Eliza’s quarters. She was easy to talk to. And, now that they’d be working together, that was a big relief. So does the Highlander.”
She set her PaDD on the chair next to her thigh. “I think we made some real progress here, Eliza. But, I should, ah, be getting back to my ship.”
“I agree. Thank you for making the trip out to get things started. Our next meeting should be on your turf to keep it fair.” Eliza said with a warm smile as she stood up.
Jordan also stood and smiled back just as warmly. Feeling quite successful in not only accomplishing her goal with Eliza, but, acquiring a friendship in the process. A small, yet fruitful diplomatic mission in a way. “That’d be great, Eliza. I look forward to it. In the meanwhile we can keep each other updated via holo-link or whatever.”
She moved towards the door with her PaDD in hand and half turned to look over her shoulder at Eliza. “I brought a case of Irish Whiskey from home.” She added and headed to meet her escort back to the shuttle bay.
“Your place is our official meeting place!” Eliza said with a half joking smile on her face. “Safe travels, Jordan”
A Cross Sim Joint Post by:
PO3 Jordan Cassidy
WO Eliza Harrington
NPC Played by Lt(jg) Seamus MacDonald