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Part of USS Daedalus: Mission 2 – The Edge of Hope and Despair and USS Mackenzie: Mackenzie Squadron : The Edge of Hope and Despair

DEHD 003 – The Next Big Thing

USS Daedalus
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“Better you than me, Halsey.” Captain Helena Dread stood facing the windows of her ready room, hands behind her back.  The orders transferring a trainee to them had come through an hour ago, and she’d finished briefing her Executive Officer Commander Leopold Halsey.  “On paper, she looks to be just about perfect.  You know how I feel about perfect.”

Halsey sat in the corner of the couch, PADD in hand.  There was plenty of possibility with the transferred officer.  She was pretty strong on paper, but there was plenty missing.  “Don’t judge a book by its cover, Helena.  She’s being sent to us for a reason…even if they don’t want to give us those reasons in the brief.”  He frowned, “She’s got a similar story to the former captain of the Mackenzie – he was a chief engineer before he got vaulted to command.”

Dread turned to him, “Harris wasn’t ever an Executive Officer.  He was given command of a Raven and eventually a New Orleans Class – they held him to the commander rank for a while before they gave him the Mackenzie with the four pips.”  She rolled her eyes at his accusing stare, “I do my research on my squadron, Leo.  I need to know the history of this rag-tag group.”  She sighed, “He had an impact on them, that’s the thing.  His death broke them…and they scattered.”

Leopold pushed off the couch, “They may be rag-tag, but he instilled plenty of values.  They’ve stuck with you as unproven as you were.  Keep that in mind.  People are still just people – lots going on in the head and the heart.”

As the door closed behind him, she grumbled, “Goddamn it, I hate it when he’s right.”  She glanced at her watch.  The trainee was scheduled to arrive shortly.  She picked up her PADD and headed for the shuttle bay.

 

Natalya wasn’t sure about this as the shuttle came closer to her destination. While she was excited, Natalya knew the evaluation of an Executive Officer could push the person, and she wasn’t sure if she was ready to dredge up the past, she always tried to hide. She had been asked why she was at the bar so often, but that wasn’t anyone’s business in her mind, as she did her job and made sure it did not affect her life.

The death of her parents was something she kept close to her and the only person that knew the truth was her sister Miska, who she loved dearly and was proud of. She had never opened up to anyone because she had never found anyone to open up too. The truth was it was the one part of her life she kept so closely guarded that others didn’t deserve to know. 

She sighed as she thought on the events of her life ‘Maybe it is time for the past to not hold back who I am.’ The truth was she blamed herself for her parents death and it still haunted her to this day. Her thoughts were interrupted as she was nudged on the shoulder, notifying her that they had arrived. She grabbed her bag and turned, walking down the ramp of the shuttle. She saw the ship’s Captain and stood at attention. “ Commander Natalya Koerner reporting to the Captain as ordered.”

Dread returned the stance of attention.  She tapped at the PADD, accepting the commander’s assignment and granting her access to Daedalus.  “Captain Helena Dread.  Welcome aboard.”  She gestured towards the exit back to the ship, “I’ll give the brief tour.”  She walked back into the ship’s corridors with Koerner at her heels.  “How familiar are you with the Rhode-Island Class?”

Natalya shook her head “If I’m honest…not much. I did some quick research on the way here, but that’s about it. I’ve served on a Luna, Intrepid, Galaxy, and a Station. I know the engineering for the ships universally have the same setup, but that’s all I’ve ever done. I’m sure you looked at my service record. I’ve done some things that most classify crazy, including almost dying.” 

Dread turned a corner with her, heading towards the turbolift, “Your service record is an…interesting read, Commander.  And almost death isn’t nearly as bad as death.”  She waited for the doors to open and stepped into the lift, “I’ve had more than my share of nearly dead patients on the table.”  She tapped at the console, headed for the quarters that had been arranged, “The Rhode Island is a notoriously small ship – we’re all quickly becoming friends and neighbors in the small space on Daedalus.  You’ll get a crash course in managing around a hundred people – crew, officers, and senior staff.” The turbolift doors opened, “I’ll show you to your quarters.  Your trainer is Captain Leopold Halsey, XO, and Chief Medical.  He had wanted you on the bridge at….,” she glanced at her PADD, “1800, which gives you time to settle in, take a breath, and meet up with him.”  She stopped at the new officer’s quarters door, “What questions can I answer?”

Natalya thought for a minute after listening to all the information. The ship seemed like it would be an interesting duty post, but she still wasn’t sure if she would fit in. The family-like relationship was not something she had ever done due to her past, but maybe things would change here. “I currently don’t have any questions other the the most important one. What is the ship’s current mission?”

Dread handed her a PADD, “Captain Halsey will review that with you – it’s both complex and annoyingly simple.  I’ll let him know you’ll see him at 1800.” She gave the woman a nod and headed off down the corridor.

Natalya nodded and followed the Captain down the corridor to her new quarters; while she still had lots to learn, the welcome from the Captain put some of her doubts to ease. She said goodbye to the Captain and entered the quarters to get settled before she reported to the XO.