“You’re sure I can’t talk you out of this, Mister Kyle?”
The gleam in Kirk’s eyes belied the words. And Kyle could tell his captain, very nearly his former captain, at least for the next few months, didn’t mean them at all. “Aside from being the best transporter chief in the fleet, I’m pretty sure Mr. Scott relies on you more heavily than he says, at least to go by the annual evaluations he’s written for the last three years.”
Those evaluations, only one of which the Captain had actually been on board for, had been a big part of why Kyle had been able to make the application, so while they were embarrassing on the one hand, on the other they were letting him take a big next step. “No, sir. I think this is probably the right thing for me.” Although he still couldn’t articulate why, exactly.
“Very well then, Mr. Kyle.” Kirk held out his hand.
It took Kyle two raised eyebrows and several seconds to accept it, and he found the grip firm and warm when he did. Breaking the handshake so he could step back and let Kyle step up onto the transporter platform, Kirk grinned. “I hope to see you back here when the training’s over, chief. Fair winds.”
He felt his face get a little warm but didn’t let it stop him. “Thank you, sir.” It hurt, just a little twinge, to look at Johnson standing behind the transporter panel and looking just a little bit nervous. The man would be fine, Kyle decided. He ran the boards better than most and nearly as well as Kyle did himself. “Energize.”
The transporter room slowly faded out around him as the device shifted him into a pattern of stored energy before sending him across a few kilometres of space to the training vessel that would deliver him to the Starfleet Officer Candidate School on Andor.