USS Kitty Hawk • NCC-1659  
Story: Final Mission (Ch 1 ⋅ Sec 4)   


 
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Table of Contents Far above its earthbound namesake was the Glasgow Space Yard. Actually, the name was a misnomer since it was comprised of three Terran shipyards: Clydebank, Greenock and Glasgow. This same space dock had been responsible for many starships including the original Enterprise, NCC-1701.

Here in the final stages of construction was Starfleet's latest ship, the U.S.S. Enterprise, NCC-1701-B. The new starship was an improved version of the Excelsior class, incorporating all of the latest in Federation technology and experience.

The Superintendent of Starfleet Construction, also known as Master of Yards, took a very personal interest in this newest ship. As a matter of pride, he had checked each and every system and subsystem on board. Every step in assembly and each major test had been carefully monitored personally. All that remained now was the official shakedown cruise, but he knew that it would be a mere formality. With all of the time and effort put into the ship by him up to this point, there was no way anything would or could go wrong. Actually, he was counting on a one hundred percent rating on the shakedown, a first for Starfleet.

As superintendent of all construction projects, he visited all of Starfleet's yard facilities, but this one was home, literally. Aberdeen, Scotland, was home for Montgomery Scott, now Admiral of Engineering and Master of Yards.

During his lengthy career, he had kept two previous Enterprises operating at peak performance. Occasionally, he had to put them back together after battle or the severe conditions of space travel. With the 1701-A, he had to just about rebuild the entire ship. When he boarded the ship, it was obvious it wasn't exactly up to specs and Scotty set about to make her right.

However, this Enterprise would be right from the very beginning. Some duty engineer would be very thankful for that. The name Enterprise would always hold a special meaning for him, so he felt a special obligation. After all, of his four starship assignments, two had been on an Enterprise.

Of course, he still had fond memories of his first ship simply because it was his first. He was second assistant engineer Scott, then on the U.S.S. Hermes, for almost three years. He served under Chief Engineer Halley; the likable Canadian officer taught Scott a great deal. Many of the basic principles that Montgomery now held sacred came from Halley. These principles included everything from 'the right tool for the job' to the 'can do' attitude he was so famous for. Because of the latter, he would become known as the old miracle worker.

He was still called the 'old miracle worker,' although he didn't really care much for the 'old' part anymore. However, there was no denying the fact he was usually one of the older persons in any room he happened to be in, unless it was a room full of Vulcans. His looks actually did much to belie his actual age, though--an attribute he converted into many free drinks in the various pubs located throughout Aberdeen.

His next assignment had been with Lee Kelso on the original Enterprise. Well, maybe 'original' wasn't exactly correct. Throughout Earth's history, a total of fourteen ships of all types had proudly borne the name of Enterprise. The engineering assignment with Kelso was exciting. It was a class one starship and he was ecstatic when he received orders to report for duty.

Kelso had also helped shape his career, although not the way that Scotty had liked. When Kelso had been killed, or rather murdered, Scotty had been given a temporary posting of Chief Engineer, with the endorsement of the captain. By the time the crippled ship had reached a starbase, he found that Starfleet had made the position permanent. He always hated that his promotion was due, at least in part, to a friend's death. It was Kelso's work which had saved the ship and Kelso was in line for the position of Chief of Engineering.

Still, Scotty had impressed the young captain that was in command at that time. That officer had given Starfleet a glowing report on how Scotty had brought the Enterprise home safe. That was due mostly to Scott's need to honor Kelso's work and memory. From that point on, Scotty had never disappointed James T. Kirk, not in all the years they served together on two Enterprises, '01 and '01-A.

He had been present when the '01-A was decommissioned almost three and a half years ago. Eventually he found himself in agreement with Command's decision to take his 'bairn' out of active service, but it didn't make it any easier to let go.

Scott was briefly assigned to duty on the Excelsior, but he preferred to forget that particular ship. It was officially part of his record, but the only good thing to come out of it was his promotion to Captain of Engineering. At first he tried to refuse the rank for fear it would keep him from his regular shipboard duties. It did, but he found a new career, that of starship construction. Kirk had recommended that Scott accept the rank and use the rank to take a new position, that of a yard master. Reminding Scott of his many comments regarding the inadequacies of the new Excelsior, he stressed that Scott could make a major difference in the yards. Scott was intrigued by the idea so he did just that.

It was very rewarding and he enjoyed the work more than anything he had done previously, including Chief Engineer of the Enterprise. There he had taken care of one ship; now he was in charge of a fleet! His new position allowed him to be in on all the planning for new ship construction. He was one of the first to become familiar with all the new technologies and construction techniques. Also, as Superintendent of Yards, he could roll up his sleeves periodically and get into a variety of work situations, just like the 'good old days.'

Now, standing in his office, Montgomery Scott checked the status board that dominated the wall behind his desk. Posted here were the step-by-step phases of various construction projects in a vividly graphic form. At a glance it was easy to see just how far along each project was and whether or not it was on schedule. Of course he wouldn't accept anything less than 'on schedule,' even pushing for 'ahead of schedule' whenever possible.

Scott smiled to himself; he had a perfect record. Each project from building the Enterprise B to the many refits was going just as he expected. Turning to the modest expanse of transparent aluminum adjacent to the board, he looked down at his homeland below. Night time was already falling over Edinburgh and would soon make its way across Scotland to Glasgow.

Right now he was beginning to feel the effects of a long, hard day. He often stayed late as it gave him a chance to get things done after the constant interruptions had concluded. Alone, he had a chance to concentrate on a particular problem or file his reports to Starfleet Command. Yielding to his body, he began the routine of turning off lights and systems when he caught sight of Uhura's holo image on his desk. 'Hang in there, lassie,' he thought. 'As soon as th' new Enterprise is launched, I'm coming ta see ye, permanently!'

His thoughts were interrupted by the sound of the door call chime. Since the duty staff was long gone, it would probably be a contractor inquiring about the next major project, the U.S.S. Columbia refit. Scotty sighed, "Come!"

The office doors snapped to one side but no one entered.

Curious, the Scotsman walked over to inspect. He arrived just before the sensor would have deactivated the circuit, allowing the door to close. Still there was no sign of anyone. So he looked out into the corridor.

Standing against the wall with his arms folded across his chest was Hikaru Sulu. "Hi'ya, Scotty, just wanted to see if you were still awake in there!"

Montgomery smiled and rushed towards his old friend and gave him a genuine bear hug.

"Easy, Scotty, or I'll have you brought up on charges."

The older officer stepped back with a surprised look on his face. "What?"

The two entered Scott's office and Sulu continued, "Assaulting a superior officer, of course." Sulu then pointed to the extra band of gold braid on his tunic sleeve. Scotty stood by patiently for a moment before the former helmsman added, "Just got it today."

"Congratulations, laddie!" Scotty pumped Sulu's arm in a vigorous manner for what seemed a full minute. "And laddie, I still hae time in grade on ye." He pointed to his own braid. Then, still grinning, "Anyway, I dinna suppose ye hae any plans ta celebrate, do ye?"

Sulu looked at the engineer in mock surprise. "Why, Scotty, I just came by to visit an old friend."

"Aye, that ye did and I hae a wee surprise for ye, too."

Sulu was curious but said nothing.

Scotty continued on. "Guess who's takin' out th' new Enterprise?"

"You, Mister Scott?"

"Nae, laddie. Why do ye think Starfleet recalled ye and stuck on th' extra braid?"

Sulu jumped visibly. "Me, Scotty? I'm taking her out?" His smile was literally ear to ear. Then he stopped and studied his friend closely. "You have something to do with this?"

"Aye. Do ye think I'd let just anybody take out my new bairn? Besides, I thought ye'd be positively bored ta tears if they sent ye out on inspection tours!"

The two had a good hard laugh and gave each other a pat on the back, then another traditional Terran handshake.

Turning slightly, Montgomery Scott walked over to his duty desk and hit a few select switches then spoke proudly, "Computer, yard lights on."

Sulu followed and watched as large blinds opened and a series of giant floodlights revealed the gleaming grey-white hull of Enterprise NCC-1701-B. He sighed audibly. "She's beautiful, Mister Scott. Absolutely beautiful! You did a wonderful job on her."

"Aye, but I did hae a wee bit o' help here and there." His broad smile accented the exaggerated statement perfectly. "How about a wee celebration for your promotion and completion o' th' Enterprise?"

"Sounds good, but we'll have to keep it short. I still haven't seen my family yet!"

"Don't worry, laddie, we'll use the yard's transporters and I'll hae ye home afore lunch!" Scotty shut down the floodlights and the rest of the systems, then activated the security screens. Turning back to face his old friend, he wrapped an arm around Sulu's shoulder. The two then exited Scott's office and walked down the corridor laughing and talking about the 'good old days.'






© 2019 Brad McDonald / U.S.S. Kitty Hawk