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Part of USS Dragonfly: Mission 1 – From Mackenzie to Dragonfly and USS Dragonfly: Dragonfly Emissary Division

FMTD 001 – The New and The Old

USS Dragonfly
9.15.2401
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“How many?” Captain Walton stood at the head of the briefing room table as her new command, Dragonfly, flew back to their original operating area at maximum warp.  The XO, Commander Park, sat working on an array of PADDs on the table.

“The Mack had 500 crew, the Fly has 820 to 850 depending on the day and the needs.  That’s approximately 320-350 additional officers, crewmen, and cadets.  I’ve got the department heads reworking shift schedules now,” she checked her watch, “and I should have a better idea of where we’re at in an hour.  We took on an additional 100 ensigns, 100 lieutenant junior grades, and another 50 lieutenants.  A small civilian science team was already assigned here, so they’re the other 50 or so.  Which leaves us with…,”

Wren had done the math in her head, “Twenty to fifty cadets – depending on the day and the needs.  We’re still an overall young crew, Park…this isn’t helping.”  She tied her hair back up, cinching it tightly in order to clear her head metaphorically and literally.  “We’re back in the thick of it in four hours.  You’re going to have to work it out so that our cadets get the experience and knowledge required for their learning…while keeping them safe in the middle of the zone.  We’ve got a lot of people out there who don’t trust us, and riding in on an Obena class isn’t going to bring them any more joy.”  She looked up as her Chief of Medical walked in, his face looking long.  “Doctor Longfellow – you look how I feel.”

He lamented, “It’s been a long afternoon, and it’s going to be an even longer night.  Chief Tir reports everyone has a bunk assigned after the initial confusion.  Sickbay is even more beautiful and bigger than it was on the Daedalus, so I’m thankful for a bigger workspace.”  He handed over a PADD, “We’ve been working on completing the medical exams for those who were overdue.  You should know T’saath failed her medical exam on Starbase 72 – she asked for it to be clear.  That’s part of why she’s not onboard.”

Walton turned on him, “You mean we left Starbase 72 without an Operations Chief?”  She took a deep breath, “You said that’s part of why she’s not onboard.  Clarify.”

“She’s been diagnosed with a neurological condition – she’s been hiding it for a month.  She confessed to the whole thing and immediately put in her resignation.  The docs on 72 were as upset at her as I was.  We did get lucky – you remember you had an application for the Deputy Chief position – a Calvert Rogers?”  She stared at him, and he quickly filled in the blanks.  “Rogers got caught up in the transfer confusion – they had him as a transfer officer to the Dragonfly, so he just came along for the ride.  He’s got the credentials to be Chief.”

Wren turned her attention to her XO, “How in the hell….,”

She put up her hands, “I would own this mess if I had made it – but this wasn’t me.  I looked over his dossier – he’s got talent and is a little rough around the edges.”  She felt the stare of her CO move from Longfellow to her, and she snorted, “Yeah, I know.  Replicator, Stove, Black.  You’re going to assign me to him as a mentor, aren’t you?”

Her CO smiled wide, “Guessed it in one.  Have him report to the outside of my ready room – I’ll take him under advisement.  Any other surprises, Doc?”

Longfellow sent his report to her on his PADD, “Aside from having a lot more bodies that I have to keep healthy and alive, no, sir.  As the XO has made clear, I’ve got new people I need to train and schedule.”  He stood at attention and then left on Wren’s dismissal.

Park worked on her PADD, “Chief Miados wanted to see you.”  She didn’t glance at her friend and CO.  They both knew Miados had been emotionally connected to Mackenzie, given her previous time spent onboard.  Being ripped from that was going to leave a mark or two.

“Send her in.”  She looked up from the table as the Trill Chief Engineer stepped in and stood at attention.

“Captain Walton.”

“Lieutenant Commander Miados.”

“You should know I’m considering asking for a transfer back to Mackenzie.”  Her eyes remained impassive and staring at the wall ahead of her.

Wren gave the statement some time to sink into the air of the room.  “That would largely depend on whoever becomes her CO.  I’m not one to stand in the way of someone who wants to leave.”  Her tone hadn’t drifted into hardness yet.  She was starting soft.

Shealynn fought her emotions – both from within herself and from Miados.  It was impossible to separate the feelings, and both of them were incredibly furious.  “I….returning to the Mackenzie was what I thought I was meant to do, Captain.  I was back home, sir.”  She shifted her eyes to meet her captain’s gaze, “It felt good to be back home.  And now…I’m a ship I’ve never worked, a design I’ve never liked, and more crew that I don’t know.”

Walton let her vent and gave Miados time to let her feelings flow. After she’d waited a few minutes, she said, “You spent almost eleven years on the Mackenzie. It can be hard to let something like that go.  I don’t want to lose you, Miados.  I need a good head in engineering, and you fit that need perfectly.  The Dragonfly is complex, and she’s new…but I know what beats inside that engineer’s heart…and inside Miados.  As much as you say you don’t like the design, the ship, or the load of more crew…I don’t believe that’s the complete truth.”

Park watched the Trill’s eyes go wide in reaction but said nothing. This was Wren’s fight; she needed to let these two have it out.

Miados sputtered, “You think you know me?  Or either of us?”

Wren leaned on the table, “I’ve had this conversation with officers from Deputy Chief to Chief to XO to Captain and back again.  You’re right – I don’t truly know you or Miados in the way that you do.  But I know what I’ve seen you do.  I’ve talked to your people.  You were the right person to step into Okada’s space, Commander.  The reports from Commander Park have been nothing short of appreciative of your efforts to rebuild a team that couldn’t get itself out of bed most mornings.  Sometimes, the job is the ship.  Plenty of stories of engineers who stayed with their first loves and never looked back.”  She pushed off the desk, “But what if you were meant for something different…something better?  What if choosing to accept the challenge and push into the unknown…what if that takes you places you never thought possible?”

The engineering chief remained silent, her eyes fixed on her CO.  She chewed on her bottom lip before turning to Park. “Has she done this to you before?”

Park answered honestly, “And every day since.  She pushed me to wake up and put my eyes on what I needed, not what I wanted.  I’m still learning.” At that statement, Wren smiled, and the XO continued, “But that’s the point. Learning is life, to borrow the Jem’Hadar saying.  Besides, I like you, and I don’t like everyone.”

Miados let out a long breath she’d been holding, “Can I have a day to think about it?”

Walton shook her head, “You have the time it takes us to get back onside in the zone – which is just about four hours from now.  If you were ready to leave, Commander, you would have handed me a resignation on the station and walked off.  My expertise is in people who want to stay or want to go.  And you want to stay.”

Miados stared at her in shock but also in mild appreciation.  “You’ll have your answer in four hours, Captain.”  She stood at attention and left the ready room.

Park waited until the door closed. “Have you been reading over your old notes?”  She smiled as her CO stuck her tongue out at her. ”I think you’re right; she’ll stay.”  She sat up in her chair, putting her back straight again. “Now, let’s see what we can do about the rest of this mess.”  The XO handed a PADD to Wren. And yes, I’m going to need your help.  Calvert should be here in fifteen.”