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On Second Thought...

Posted on Thu Aug 28th, 2014 @ 8:47am by Ensign Charity Prince

Mission: A New Home
Location: Shuttle Bay
Timeline: MD2, prior to "The Temple"

Chap wrinkled her brow at the shuttle. It had been packed with the supplies she was supposed to be taking down to the surface, but it was VERY sloppy. Chances were it would fall all over the place at the merest hint of turbulence.

"Oi, Barca!" she called, turning to look for the cadet.

"Huh, what?" Mago responded as he stood up suddenly from the piles of parts that he was sorting through. He stood up a bit too fast and hit his head on a low-hanging girder. "Ow," he said, rubbing his head as he turned and saw Chap. "I mean, yes sir?"

"Wot's all this?" she demanded, indicating the shoddily packed shuttle. "Who packed it? It looks like someone just tossed everything in. Nothin's tied down, an' look! That crate will fall as soon as I enter the planet's atmosphere and the planet's gravity overrides the shuttle's."

Mago stared stupidly at the shuttle's interior through the open door for several moments. He looked as though he was studying the poor workmanship, but his mind was somewhere else entirely. "So, you think we should take that crate down, then?" he asked in a far off voice.

Chap was about to yell at him, but noticed the look in his eyes. Instead, she changed tack immediately and, voice still stern, asked, "you all right?"

"Huh?" He reached back and rubbed his head. "I think so. There's no bump." Mago closed his eyes and sighed. "It's just, there's too much to do. Even with all the new crew. Actually," he frowned, "sorta because of the new crew? Seems like no one knows where they're going and everyone keeps expecting me to help them with something. I sometimes want to scream at them, 'Dammit, I'm a cadet, not a yeoman!'" He looked back over at Chap and smiled abashedly. "Sorry, sir."

"No, it's okay," said Chap. "It's okay to be upset. It's okay to be overworked. But this," she said, indicating the packed shuttle. "Is not okay. See, what you do is when you're doin' something important, tell everyone else they're gonna hafta wait. Keep a mental list of everyone who needs somethin' and when you're done wiv the important bits, go see what they needed. Prioritize. Leave the unimportant stuff for when you've got extra time on your hands. See?"

"Prioritize. List. Mental. Ummm, tell people they have to wait," he repeated back. "So I should stop getting distracted by doing things for other people that have nothing to do with my official assignment?"

"Now you're gettin' it!" she said, slapping him on the back. "Look I'll help you wiv this, okay? We've still got enough time before we have to leave. Let's repack the whole thing."

Mago sighed. "Yes, sir," he agreed. He moved into the shuttle and began pulling out the cargo, trying to more carefully organize it this time according to the dimensions of the shuttle's hold. "Do you ever wonder," Mago asked as he worked, "if you made the right choice, joining Starfleet?"

"Sometimes, yeah," Chap admitted, dragging some of the crates out and then wondering if it was safe to do that while pregnant. "I was gonna be a Dentist until granddad made me apply to the Academy. Sometimes, I wonder if I shoulda stayed wiv that idea after all. But, I like flyin'. Why? You havin' second thoughts?"

Mago was unsure of whether he should admit it, but the thought had been burning a hole through his head for the last week. "Yes," he admitted. "I just don't know if I'm cut out for this. For Starfleet. The Academy was easy enough, and everything seemed to make sense there. Rules and regulations, engineering and operations, everything was in order, and I could handle it. But this," he waved around them at the ship, "is very different from what I thought it would be." He paused. "I actually don't know what I expected it to be."

"Yeah, it is quite different," she agreed, restacking the bottom layer carefully. "I guess you just have to decide what's more important to you. And also remember that there's no wrong answer. Sure, you may disappoint some people, but the only person you really have to worry about disappointing is yourself. As long as you're happy, everyone else will fall into line behind you eventually."

"That sounds like it makes sense," Mago agreed, although he made a face. "Wait, but if you think you're supposed to just do what makes you happy, why'd you become a pilot instead of a dentist? Wasn't that what you actually wanted?"

She grinned at him. "Thought I'd give this a go," she answered. "Granddad thought I'd be good at it an' he's right; I'm excellent at flying and I love it, too. I still think about it, you know? Like, would I 'ave liked dentistry as much? Would I 'ave liked it more? I dunno. Probably never will. But, who knows? Maybe three years in, I'll detest it and become a dentist after all."

Mago paused and set down the crate he had been holding. "So what you're saying is that I should just give it time?"

Chap shrugged. "That's one way of doin' it, yeah," she said. "Other people quit straight away an' try somefing new. It's up to you, really."

He looked back at the half-repacked shuttle. "I suppose it would be pretty rude of me to quit this very instant and leave the rest of the loading to you?" He managed a weak smile.

Chap gave him a look that quite clearly told him exactly what she thought of that plan. "Quite," she said. "Especially since it's your fault we've got to do this in the first place. Soon as we're done, though, you can quit all you want."

"Aye aye, sir," Mago nodded, picking his crate back up and stepping into the cargo hold.


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