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The Enterprise B or oh-one-bee as it was sometimes called at the dry dock, was nearing completion. The army of various yard workers, factory reps and subcontractors had now been reduced to a mere handful. Last minute details, spot checks and punch list items would be completed in every way for the shakedown cruise tomorrow.
1701-B was a beautiful ship in every respect. Externally, the arrangement was the now very familiar and classic primary hull/secondary hull and two warp drive engine nacelles. It was a time tested and proven arrangement. In the words of engineers over the centuries, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
The internal arrangement, while also familiar, had a few notable differences. The ship incorporated all of the latest in technologies and even a few improvements that had been requested by the crew of the Excelsior. New pulse frequency phasers allowed for the easy penetration of most known shield types. It also allowed for sustained use without control burnout or overloading the main energy systems. The shields and screens were a major triumph in their own right, built to withstand or absorb any known weapons energy for sustained periods of time, including 1701-B's newest phasers.
The pride of deep space exploration was packed with the latest hyper-sensitive sensors and detection arrays. The computer banks had an additional twenty percent capacity over the previous Enterprise. The main core was packed with every speck of information possible making the database one of the best in the fleet. In fact, every system throughout the new ship, from communications to the food processors and living quarters were the finest that Starfleet could possibly offer. The new ship was ready for any duty assignment and a crew to man her.
Scotty checked the engineering readouts from the new bridge station and nodded with approval at each readout; one hundred percent all across the board. He moved slowly around the upper bridge level, poking and prodding various panels and checking details in preparation of the shakedown. He might even get to go home early. Well, at least, on time for a change.
All systems and subsystems had been pre-tested prior to installation and post-tested after it became part of the ship. Even the maneuvering thrusters had been checked out while moving the major ship sections into place. Not waiting for any problems to show up in a formal shakedown, every aspect of the ship was given personal attention by Master of the Yards, Montgomery Scott.
Although it had not been announced officially, Scotty was convinced the ship would be given a very special send off. Perhaps he might even be recognized for completing her ahead of schedule. A rare occurrence indeed in ship building, Starfleet was pleased and word was that Scotty would be recognized for the accomplishment.
However, that wasn't important to him. He already had plenty of recognition and awards. What the early completion meant to him was more time with Uhura. The only remaining tests left were the actual impulse and warp drive functions. Of course, they had been shown as optimum by various simulations and static tests, so a 'quick trip' into space was necessary. Once that was complete, he would take the time to see Nyota.
Scotty smiled outwardly and took much satisfaction in what he saw and felt about the ship. He was also very happy about who would take her out. It was Starfleet's newest admiral, Hikaru Sulu; he was one man that could be counted on to give the ship a proper and safe test. Only he could be trusted with Scotty's 'bairn.'
The intercom whistled at the captain's chair, startling Scotty a bit. He had thought there was no one on board save the usual security detail. Generally, they would report to the Officer of the Day at Starfleet and not him.
He took the short walk to the command chair and tabbed the appropriate circuit. "Scott here, security?"
"Aye, sir. It's Lieutenant Duncan; there are two visitors to see you sir. Shall I send them up?"
Scotty was surprised and asked the obvious question, "Hae they cleared security?"
The Master of Yards was really looking forward to this time alone but acquiesced just in case it was really important or a senior officer; maybe the old man himself. "Very well, security, send them up." Just a hint of reluctance made its way into his voice, but maybe it would not be evident on the other end.
He sat hard into the helmsman seat and activated the main viewer. Switching the unit to a space normal, forward perspective, Scotty smiled at the sight. Below was the home planet, Terra. Hovering above the blue-white form was the fleet's massive space dock facility. Far beyond that were the bright form of Luna and then the blackness of space.
He turned at the sound of opening turbolift doors and smiled as he rose. Sulu and Kyle walked out into the bridge at a clip and headed straight for their friend.
Scotty's smile faded as he noticed the look of grim determination etched on both men's faces. He rose slowly to greet the pair.
Sulu held out his hand to the master Engineer and felt the grip of iron. "Scotty, I brought along an old friend, hope you don't mind."
Kyle took Scott's hand next and pumped it vigorously.
The Engineer finally retrieved his hand and shifted his look back to Sulu. "Did ye bring this lad to help ye sabotage th' ship so I'd lose the bet?"
Sulu ignored the comment and Kyle looked confused, but recovered with a barb of his own. "I believe it's you that has the experience in sabotaging Starfleet's newest ships."
Montgomery Scott looked a bit guilty and then laughed until he noticed that Sulu wasn't laughing. In fact Hikaru's expression hadn't changed a bit since arriving. "What's up laddie? Ye act as if ye seen a ghost?"
"Very close to it, Mister Scott; is the bridge secure? We need to talk, now."
Unsure of what his friend had in mind, Scotty activated a series of circuits on the nearby console. Then he called out, "Security?"
When there was no response, he tried again, "Security?"
Again there was no answer. "Okay, laddie, now what is it?"
Hikaru Sulu indicated the captain's chair, "Sit down, Scotty, this may knock the wind out of your sails."
Obediently, the engineer did just that.
True to his word, Sulu presented a brief summary of the facts concerning James T. Kirk.
Scotty was quiet during the entire story. Then finally he spoke, "If it wasna' coming from ye, I wouldna' believe it. What do ye need from me?"
Sulu heaved a large sigh and began, "First of all, I need you, then I --" he corrected himself "-- we need the Enterprise B."
Glaring hard at his old friend he asked reluctantly, "Ye're not plannin' ta steal this Enterprise are ye?"
Kyle had been silent so far, but jumped on Scotty's premature evaluation. "No, sir, we are going through channels on this one. Depending on what you can do for us, we will put a proposal before Walking Bear tomorrow. Interested?"
"Aye! Just what did ye hae in mind?"
For the next hour or so, Kyle and Sulu laid out their tentative plans with the best engineer in Starfleet. Now and then Scotty would ask a question or make a suggestion. As their conversation progressed, Scotty became more and more excited.
When the three finished, they felt that, at the least the technical aspects of the plans were secure.
Scotty was still a bit curious, "How many of the old crew hae ye' been able ta' recruit?"
Kyle responded matter-of-factly, "You're the first and you must observe strict security about this, otherwise the mission will be aborted."
Shifting his gaze, Scott looked to Sulu for confirmation. "He's right. If the Romulans found out we were going to attempt a rescue, they would execute the Admiral and the others."
The Scotsman shook his head slowly in agreement. "Aye, I suppose ye are right. I do hae one more suggestion though."
"What's that, Scotty?" Sulu was very curious as to what the engineer had in mind.
"You two go finish your planning and let me get a few things done around here." He gave his two friends a broad grin and pointed to the turbolift.
Sulu and Kyle took the not too subtle hint and headed out. Sulu looked over his shoulder just before the turbolift doors closed. "We'll be in touch."
Montgomery just gave a short nod and then cleared the communications security screen and the main viewer. So much for going home early, it was going to be a very long day after all.