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Scotty was in full motion when Kirk arrived unannounced. Turning to see Kirk, he lit up like an old fashioned Christmas tree. "Captain, good to see you; looks like the Kitty Hawk may be ready sooner than we thought."
An elated Kirk approached the engineer smiling. "That's great news, Mr. Scott; status please."
The chief engineer became enthusiastic and directed Kirk's attention to his work. "Impulse engines are at 85% and rising all the time. Shields are repaired and will be at full strength as soon as warp drive comes back on line."
Kirk asked the obvious and most important question. "How long before warp drive is restored?"
Swallowing hard, the Scotsman looked guilty. "That's our main problem as the port engine was badly damaged. Starboard is only slightly better off. Repairs are moving slower than I'd like, but we are making progress."
"Aye, there's the bad news. Forward and port phasers are recharged but the starboard unit is fused solid. No chance of repairing that one."
"Ready to go, but limited. I'm not sure how long the emitters will last as they were just about worn out in the battle." Scotty looked sad then explained, "This ship took a hell of a pounding, sir."
"Any idea who was responsible?" Kirk asked.
"Standard phasers, sir, I'd bet on it. But they're pretty common, so it could have been just about anyone." Scotty was distracted by a repair team. "Sorry, sir, the lads need some help."
"Mr. Scott, you've performed a major miracle. This ship is proof of that." Kirk then posed one last question. "What's left?"
"Communications and food processors are still down and only half the turbo lifts are functioning. Mr. Spock and Chekov are still working on the computers. Once they're fixed, it should go a long way to making the ship closer to fully functional. Without them; we have no helm, navigation or sensors."
"Understood, Engineer, be sure to take a rest at some point. Don't forget, after you're done here, you still have the Enterprise to take care of."
Before Scotty could respond, Kirk exited leaving the man with a lost look on his face, then turned to the nearby repair team. "On my way, lads."
Making his way around work parties and using ladders instead of turbolifts, Kirk finally arrived at the main computer room. There he found Spock and Chekov busy with tricorders and a few items he didn't recognize, "Any progress gentlemen?"
Chekov turned but Spock was transfixed by his tricorder readings.
"Try again, Ensign."
Adjusting the controls on the device, Chekov activated an audible circuit and a few lights came on in the main computer core. "It worked, sir."
"Only partially, Mr. Chekov. We still seem to have a problem." Turning to greet Kirk, Spock explained, "The main computer was damaged at several key points, Captain."
"Such as helm, navigation and sensors, right?"
"I believe you have been discussing the issue with Mr. Scott. We are attempting to reprogram the Kitty Hawk computers with downloads from Enterprise."
Kirk moved closer and became interested in the process. "Is it working?"
"Reasonably well, but the Enterprise has different systems, so Mr. Chekov and I have to adjust the program and work in small stages. I am certain that we will succeed but the process is inherently slow."
"Would additional personnel help?"
Shaking his head, Spock resumed his work. "Not really, sir. It requires a certain level of skills and computer knowledge."
"And a special touch," Chekov added confidently.
Frowning a bit, Spock agreed, "Essentially correct. Also, there is limited room to work here and additional teams might work at crossed purposes, thereby delaying progress even further."
"I see your point, Spock. Just one more question, any chance we can recover ship's records concerning the attack? I'd like to examine the logbooks, sensor readings and other sources. If we know what happened to them, we might be better prepared if the aliens return."
Appreciative of his friend's train of thought, Spock replied. "It is one of my goals and a priority, Captain."
"I know you're doing your best, Spock." Kirk stood to leave. "Keep me informed on your progress. Mr. Scott is confident the ship will be capable of returning to Starbase 24 within eight hours or so. However, without navigational sensors, it will be a difficult trip; worse if the aliens return to continue the fight."
"Understood, sir." Spock watched as Kirk left the compartment, he then turned to Chekov. "Ensign, prepare for the next download and see if you can increase the transfer rate, I would not care to disappoint the captain."
Once back on the Enterprise, Kirk returned immediately to the bridge. Before taking the center seat, he went to Uhura and spoke quietly. "Lieutenant, I have a special assignment for you."
Uhura looked interested but puzzled. "What is it sir?"
"The survivors from the Kitty Hawk will need a...'guardian angel'. I'd like you to take the job."
Confused, the ship's communication officer questioned the captain, "What is it you want me to do?"
"Dr. McCoy is worried that they may be... troubled by survivor's guilt. They may feel they didn't do enough or even did something wrong. He made them rest and before they can return to duty and he has to examine them again to certify them fit for duty. Until then, I want you to keep an eye on them and let me know if you see anything that the doctor or I should know about."
Still confused and uncertain, Uhura vocalized her doubts. "Sir, I'm not sure I'm qualified for this."
He smiled then explained. "They need a gentle touch, a peer to relate to. Dr. McCoy, Mr. Spock and I all represent authoritarian figures and may intimidate them. You are more... approachable, and you have a major plus."
"Your job is to communicate. That's what I want you to do. Find out how they are feeling. You have a calming manner and a very pleasant and soothing voice. Just what the doctor ordered... well, at least the captain ordered, okay?"
Smiling weakly, Uhura nodded, "I'll do it, sir."
"Thank you, Nyota, get Palmer to relieve you, take a rest and be ready for your new assignment."
"Sir, Palmer is on the Kitty Hawk. She's working on the communication circuits by Mr. Scott's request."
"Select your own replacement then. Just be sure to keep me informed." That said, Kirk turned and took the steps down to the command chair.