Chapter 8 - Season 5: Episode 8 - Decommissioning of their Home

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Captain Toron Pax had been sat in the same seat in the lounge of Earth Space dock for the last several hours. The view afforded him over looked the mooring point for the Potemkin. His ship still bore the scars from the battle with the Romulan’s at the end of their Tilikaal mission and their few battles in the Delta Quadrant. It was hard to see how much his ship had suffered and to as salt to the wounds he had came here from a meeting with the admiralty where the praised him for his good work and offered him a promotion, which he turned down. They had seemed to have anticipated this as they also informed him that the Potemkin was being decommissioned but that he and any of his crew who wanted to would be assigned to a just off the production line Excelsior II, the USS Wabi Sabi.

The little grazerite engineer found him there. She was huffing with exasperation as she honed in on her Captain, and she started talking a while before actually coming to his table by the view port. “I tried to submit it, my dockyard request for repairs and refit, from all the damage we took in the Delta Quadrant— The system wasn’t accepting any of my work orders.  There were only messages that kept coming back, ‘see a dockyard supervisor’ ,’see a dockyard supervisor’ and then this Vulcan kid in the supervisors office, you know where I’m waiting, he can’t have been over ninety, he remarks that ‘the only logical conclusion is that the ship is beyond it’s serviceable life time.’ and then I told him what I thought of that and there was this very nice security officer, Dale, who showed me out of the office, and I’m not supposed to talk to them again for a week!” Elli slapped the table indignantly.

Pax smiled as his tiny but fiery Chief Engineer vented. At least they had been good enough not to just blurt it out to everyone. “Sit Elli” he said “We need to have a chat about the future of the Potemkin.”

“Oh good, I can give you all the work orders and you can talk to the Dockyard Supervisor, because now the system is returning all my attempts with an auto rejection notification. I think if I could just talk to the supervisor’s supervisor, I could get it all straightened out.” Pax seemed to be looking at her with a sad smile and she shifted into the chair opposite of him. “What is it?”

As she sat, giving him a quizzical look. “Just got back from a meeting with the Brass” he began” glancing back at her from the window. “They informed me that the Potemkin is being retired, we are to report to Jupiter station in a months time. A week or so far that we will be transferred to the USS Wabi Sabi” Toron hated the look on her face, she had only been aboard for a few years but she had fallen in love with the old ship just as he had decades before when he was the Chief Engineer. It was almost as bad as losing a friend for him. He looked back out the window at his ship.

At first her ears drooped at the thought of the Potemkin being retired. The ship wasn’t much older than Pax. And even younger than that rude Vulcan! Had they put too many miles on the old girl? No! She was quirky, to be sure, but personality was what came through when any ship saw active service long enough. Determined to disbelieve him, Elli started to laugh, thinking Pax was about to say ‘gotcha Elli’. “The Wabi what now?” She teased.

“The Wabi Sabi” he said again. “The Potemkin has been pulled from service due to her age, much of the ships systems can’t be upgraded further without a major refit, which would be more of a gutting and rebuilding. Not cost effective” He gave a half shrug, “The Wabi Sabi is one of the new Excelsior II classes” he offered with a smile. “Top of the line and just out of the yard. Space trails wrapped up a few days ago and the post trail reports and tweaks have started.

Elli looked just like someone who had just been told her dog was being put to rest and simultaneously handed a puppy. Her eyes welled up and she sniffled and couldn’t speak more than some incoherent bits “Oh, but I, it’s not even, we can, did anyone check with, what would the whole, even, but then—” she started to sob.

Pax understood how she was feeling. He scooted forward a little towards her and a little awkwardly put a hand on her shoulder. She was like a daughter to him but he was also her commanding officer and, well things were a tad strange. “The Po was a grand ship. She was my only command” he said in an effort to distract her. “Did you know that?” he did the mental maths quickly and continued, “37 years as her commanding officer and 8 more before that as Chief Engineer. I have called that ship,” He nodded to the ship beyond the window, “home for 45 years”

“I knooooow.” She sniffed. “How can they just write her off, just like that, when she’s such a good girl, still? I mean, I just, ” She blew her nose in his napkin, “Need to bleed the manifold a little more often, and the computational relays get a bit degaussed if you haven’t got a data supra check double line code under the resonator adjustment, but that’s just because the Warp containment unit housing is slightly elongated from the setting base, so the cycle has a field strength that inadvertently radiates low level lepton fields which you can always account for with a little—” she snorted a great big sniff again “A little extra love!”

Pax smiled despite the situation, “She has reached the end of her life Elli” he said gently. “But” he added reaching for the until now ignored padd on table before them and scrolled down. “They are transferring our entire database over, they were just going to move the Protectorate parts over but they discovered that those parts had somehow rooted themselves throughout the entire database, and it seems saving the galaxy allowed me a few strings i could pull. So, everything as it is… well” he half shrugged “Updated operation systems of course.”

“They’ll transfer the Potemkin’s whole core database onto the new one?” Her ears lifted slightly. If that was true, the memory of the Potemkin would live on in more ways than one, not unlike the Pax symbiote’s move from host to host. “Onto the… Wabi Sabi’s?” She tried out the whole name now.

“Indeed” he said seizing on to the subject which seemed to calm her Chief Engineer, “The Wabi Sabi has Four main cores, two primary, one engineering and a dedicated science core. Each has around 10 times the storage of the Potemkin’. You remember years ago the cold quantum computer we found, guess what our processors are?”


“Yup” he said “In a processor half the size of the Potemkin’s we have almost 100 times the processing power. Couple that with the new FTL ODN system and the newest gel packs, we have a near instant response time.” He pulled up the specs for the new systems on his padd and handed it to her. The Wabi Sabi was a powerful new ship for them but he was going to miss the Potemkin.

Elli quieted with a series of smaller and smaller sniffs as she read the specs. It was all new, all much more powerful than everything she had jury-rigged on the Potemkin. The Protectorate upgrades would even interface much more smoothly. “It’s lovely and all. But she’s going to need to have the quirks worked out.”

“Clearly only a labour of love is going to bring this lady up to standards” he said, Elli and her crew had brought the Potemkin to peek performance, he had no doubt that she would shape the Sabi up in no time. “She is at Jupiter Station now if you wanted to head out” they had some leave before they were meant to report in. “I would suggest you take some time first though. Its been a hard few months”

He was talking about the Tilikaal investigation and then their time in the DQ. It was much shorter than anyone had expected it to be and coming to terms with that had taken its toll.

“I will if you will.”