What Has He Done THIS Time?
Posted on Tue Jun 11th, 2019 @ 6:30pm by Lieutenant Junior Grade Cady van der Kellen MD,
Search and Rescue - USS Eclipse & USS Sovereign
Location: Somewhere in the "Forgotten Frontier": the Captain's Ready Room
"Mr, vander Kellen--I need to see you in my Ready Room--if you please..."
Several of the Bridge Crew snickered, some more openly than others at the tone of Captain Knox's voice. "What has your protege Friday been up to this time?" The Chief Navigator actually LIKED ship's Counselor Cady vander Kellen but there was just enough "shadenfreude" in him to be the man discomfited.
"I expect I'm about to find out..." he replied, careful to keep his voice and expression carefully neutral as he followed the Captain off the Bridge and into her Ready Room. "You wanted to speak to me, Ma'am?"
"Take a seat Mr vander Kellen," the Captain told him. "This may take a few minutes..." Cady sat, growing more uncomfortable as the moments stretched. "Young Mr. Friday has presented me with a most--interesting--proposal..."
"Are you going to enlighten me Captain or do I have to guess?" Cady was frankly growing tired of dealing with his Superior's "issues" with the visitor they'd rescued. Yes, Captain Knox was anticipating retirement (maybe to the point of trying to slough off her responsibilities onto other Officers) and she had an almost pathological fear of getting involved in something that would disrupt her plans. Still, she WAS the Captain and, as such, really should not been afraid to exercise authority. Mr. Friday was frankly uncanny but he was still an Ensign and, at least so far, hadn't tried to challenge the authority of any of the senior Officers.
Captain Knox chose to ignore her Counselor's dig--as sure sign this was serious. "Mr Friday presented me with a plan to build a device that would let him directly link to the ship's Control systems so he could fly it remotely."
"That sounds--interesting..." Cady knew there was absolutely NO WAY the Captain was going to allow this--not on her transport ship on its final voyage. "Do you think it would work?"
"Frankly, Mr. vander Kellen--I have no idea," the Captain told him. "I came up through Ops and Security so I only have a basic knowledge of Engineering and I'm not interested in trying it out on my last voyage!"
"You could let him build it on Cargo Shuttle Four," Cady suggested, knowing there was no way the Captain would approve. "That thing hasn't worked since Chiang-Lindstrom bounced it off the Argo when he was transiting cargo..."
"Not going to happen Mister!" the Captain snapped. "This is my LAST voyage! I will NOT risk screwing up my retirement for some little freak we rescued in the middle of nowhere!"
Cady was surprised at the Captain vehemence--not to mention the Captain dislike. "Does Mr. Friday know you nixed his proposal?" Wanda Knox nodded. "How did he react? Do you have any evidence that he's doing the work behind your back?"
"He pouted a bit," Knox told her Counselor. "I've not seen any evidence that he's working on it since I told him 'no'."
What's the problem? Is what Cady would have liked to ask but he had better sense. Instead he asked: "what do you want me to do Captain? Mr. Friday has completed a full treatise on Symbospeech and I expect he'll be done writing his Bre'enn Dictionary and Language Rules shortly. I suppose I could have him transcribe the data he's gathered on his travels but considering how fast Friday works I don't know how long it will actually take him to finish..."
"FIND something to occupy that little brat!" the Captain snapped. "I don't want him bothering me with his nonsense again! Are we clear, Mr. vander Kellen?"
Seeing the Captain openly display such anger and resentment disturbed the Counselor but he kept a professional face carefully in place. "Captain--permission to speak freely?"
"Considering you're going to say your piece no matter what I say you may as well," the Captain said tiredly.
"Steven Friday is just a kid!" Cady said, with a bit more passion than he'd intended. "He had a start in life that would break most people but he persevered! He didn't ASK to be taken up by the Oblivians or be the only survivor of their tender mercies. Like it or not--he's Star Fleet and Star Fleet doesn't abandon their own..."
"Are you sure about that, Mr vander Kellen?" the Captain asked. "Frankly--we don't know who--or should I say WHAT he is! For all any of us know he could be some alien spy sent to infiltrate the Federation!"
"Or he could be a kid with rotten luck!" Cady countered. "It's true we don't understand Steven Friday but he hasn't done anything to indicate he's anything other than he's who and what he says he is! I suppose there is a slight possibility that he could be part of some elaborate scheme to infiltrate the Federation from within but that seems about as like likely as me farting and having monkeys fly out of my butt! Captain--it's not that long until we're back at Starbase 55 then Friday and all the trouble he brings will be somebody else's problem!" Then you can fly off in your space yacht and never worry about any of this again!
"Fine--just keep him out of my hair!" the Captain said.
"Captain--maybe you could give him something to do?" Cady suggested. "Let him man the Helm or Navigation--or just let him man the O[s Station: that will keep him busy doing things under your control at least--and he won't have time to bother you! And if he does you can always send him to the Brig!"
"I'll--think about it Mr. vander Kellen," the Captain told him. "You're dismissed!"