Et Tu, Brute?
Location: Main Engineering
Timeline: Backpost, right before 'The Kasheeta Arrive'
A soft click-click-click approached Echo, followed by a curious 'bledeep' sound. On the ground was a robot, its body a simple, shallow, slightly elongated box shape with a set of small tricorder sensors on the front edge. It was roughly 25 cm long by 10 high by 15 wide, painted intricately with a skull lying in the grass, flowers and grass growing out of holes in the skull.
Said robot stood on six spindly, segmented legs, roughly 30cm long each, arranged three on a side. Furthermore it had two small manipulator claws on either side of the sensor suite. Held in the manipulator claws was a padd, which the bot held up at Echo, once again repeating its questioning 'bledeep' sound.
"Well hello there." Echo said after a moment of bewilderment, greeting the large robotic spider/scorpion-thing. Even though it only had six legs, that's what it reminded her of. She could only guess as to who'd created it, but she suspected that the chief engineer had something to do with it.
Echo was not a huge fan of spiders, or bugs in general, but thankfully this one was made of synthetics, and not an actual creepy-crawly. She was actually very thankful, as a real spider that large would have been a terrifying sight.
Reaching down, Echo gave the spider-bot a gentle pat on the back then carefully took hold of the datapad and glanced at its contents.
The spiderbot wiggled at the petpets. The padd itself held only a note for Echo to read.
Meet Anubis. He is my little spiderbot helper and gopher. When you have a moment, could you please come to my office? Thank you.
Interesting way to deliver a message. Echo thought. But then again, engineers were some of the hardest to find aboard the ship, as their duties often took them all over the ship. She wondered how long it had taken the spiderbot to find her.
"Thanks, Anubis." Echo said. Standing from today's workstation, a waste management systems control panel, she made her way back to main engineering. She wondered whether the spiderbot would follow, or head off in search of other prey.
The soft but steady click-click-click of Anubis' segmented legs behind Echo gave her the answer to that question. Hel's office soon reached, a quick "Enter!" given as Echo rang the doorchime, and Hel inside poring over all sort of Starfleet Command manuals.
"Oh hey Echo. Anubis found you then. Good." Hel offered. "Long story short, I got made second officer, need to do a crash course on being acting first officer until we can find a proper one, so that leaves Engineering without a chief. Congratulations. You are Ass Chief, active immediately." Yes Hel knew it was pronounced 'Assistant Chief', but it said Ass. Chief in the manifest, so Echo was now the Ass Chief.
Echo blinked. For a moment, she considered the notion that Samedi might actually be insane. And to think people had thought that she would be the one to crack after all that had happened.
"Thanks? And... congratulations?" Echo said dubiously. She didn't know whether or not she was ready for the responsibility, and truth be told, she knew for a fact that there were several officers with more experience than her. They might not be as competent in the chief's eyes, and that certainly wouldn't make them feel any better about it.
"I... umm... I thought Ensign Katler had the most... credentials for that." Echo said, partly because she was curious to know why Hel had chosen her. Katler had been an ensign the longest, and Echo was surprised she wasn't a junior grade lieutenant by now. She also had the finest ass in engineering... not that that had any professional relevance, but it was still in keeping with the chief's sense of humor on the issue.
"Out of the two of you, you are the one who hasn't grabbed my ass in an inappropriate moment." Hel simply replied. "I mean, I like girls and I'm all up for flirting and playing around, but there's a time and a place, and a certain decorum to uphold. It's not enough for me to write Katler up, but it does make me think again about making her my second."
"Oh... well... okay then." Echo paused for a moment, seemingly unconvinced about something. "Wait... really? She did that?" She would never have guessed that Katler was into women. Or in the habit of playing grab-ass with her superiors. But then again, Echo knew that she wasn't very good at getting a read on other people.
"Nevermind." Echo said immediately after, deciding it would probably be for the best to get back on track. "So, as the assistant, is there anything you'd like me to do? That is, aside from being ready to take charge in engineering." Echo did know that the role of assistant chief varied depending on the chief's preference. Some preferred to be in control, and only wanted an assistant in name. Others wanted to train a protege. A few would probably take any opportunity to hand off as much work as they possibly could. Echo didn't know Hel well enough yet to be sure of where she stood on the matter.
"For now, just make sure everything's going ok. As I said, I've been made second officer and with our first officer leaving I have to take over directly, which means you're in charge of engineering as of now." Hel explained. "Don't worry, I'll check in on you when I can, help you through this. I realize I'm dumping a lot of responsibility on your lap without much time to prepare, but that's all just part of being a Starfleet officer."
Echo nodded, hoping she didn't look too nervous. She had no problem directing a small group of subordinates who were trained in the same things she was, but telling other officers what to do was a bit outside of her comfort zone.
"I understand." Echo said. She'd have to make sure that she didn't screw up, or else it would probably be a long time before anyone gave her a chance like this one again.
"Good." Hel smiled. "I will check on you and councel you and make sure everything's going ok, ofcourse. Thank you, Echo."