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Part of USS Dragonfly: Mission 2 – Undiscovered and Alone and Bravo Fleet: Labyrinth

UAA 005 – Together

USS Dragonfly
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“So we’re farther out than we thought.”  Captain Leopold Halsey muttered as he sat at Dragonfly’s observation lounge table.  Captain Walton and her senior staff filled the remaining tables.  The report from the Thasaz about their location and situation had just finished.  Halsey felt grateful the Dragonfly had been within range for a reunion, but only to discover they were in uncharted territory in the Gamma Quadrant.  His gratefulness had run up against a wall of desolate space.

Wren was somber in her response, “We’ve attempted to reach Starfleet Command, but without knowledge of what or who’s in the way – we don’t think that’s going to improve.”  She looked down the table towards the lone figure, “Cadet Morrison, you can shed some light on what brought us here in the first place.”  She saw the young woman’s eyes go wide at being called on.  Wren hadn’t had a chance to meet with her before this meeting.  She hoped the science cadet had something they could work with.

Lita stood awkwardly, catching the encouraging eyes of her mentor, Commander Park.  She stepped to the front of the room and activated the holographic display, hesitantly introducing the concept of Underspace.  She stumbled at a few junctures, her face reddening at the missteps, but she stumbled forward, her words finding foundation as she explained the historical connections shared with the USS Voyager and the Gamma Quadrant where they found themselves, albeit in the deepest end of the quadrant pool.  She circled the drain, explaining what was known between the Douglas and the Dragonfly data.  She controlled her breathing and ended with, “Questions?”  She wasn’t sure that was the right thing to do and felt her face warm again at the rebounding of her old friend Doubt.

Walton looked up from her PADD, where she had taken notes on the report the cadet had shared with them, “Lieutenants Fowler and Atega were able to control the Douglas and her entry into the aperture.”

Morrison wasn’t sure there was a question in the captain’s statement until her brain caught up with her ears, which caused her another round of visible embarrassment.  “Uh, ah, yes.  Chief Fowler did some research on the Voyager’s experience.  Shield modulation had some impact on mitigating potential damage due to the nature of the aperture.  There was still damage, but it was not to the level as the first time.”  Lita explained further, “Science teams on both vessels are working on searching for aperture signals and working on the data gathered.”

Wren motioned for her to sit down, “Thank you, Cadet. Good work.”  She pretended she didn’t see the involuntary wide smile that broke across the worried cadet’s face as she moved on to the next part of the agenda, “We need to find more apertures.  Getting ourselves home is the first priority – safe and sound are your guiding principles as you work with your teams.  Engineering and operations teams will cover the repair work for Douglas and Dragonfly.”  She paused, considering how to discuss the final item.  She dove straight in,  “The answer to everyone’s question is no; we have not received any communication from Dominion forces, Jem’Hadar patrols, Founders, or Vorta representatives.  Make that clear to your teams – the rumor replicators will be running overtime if they haven’t already.”  She dismissed them and waited until the door closed behind Commander Park.  Captain Halsey had stayed behind, and his eyes were distant and unflinching. She asked him, “How are you doing, Leo?”  She had watched his face throughout the meeting.  There was a lot of pressure on his shoulders.

A dry chuckle was followed by “We’re lucky to be alive, Wren.”  He remained seated at the table and stared at a point on the table, “There was a moment…where I thought the Devore had us.  I can’t imagine what that was like for our crew.”  He swallowed what felt like a tennis ball in his throat, “We got lucky with that aperture.  Our luck is going to run out.”  His face rippled with emotion as he lamented, “I told Helena I didn’t want the center chair.  Whole lotta good that did me.”

She knew his dossier history.  He had faced plenty in his career.  What she was hearing in his voice was what she was keeping locked in the back of her mind – the fear of a future lost in the Gamma Quadrant.  No way home.  No rescue.  Just the Dominion somewhere out there in the inky darkness, followed by whatever else lurked in the undiscovered reaches.  “I know you don’t believe in luck, Leo.  I don’t know if I do or I don’t…but Douglas held together and got you here.  There are old bones in that girl, and I believe they’ll keep you and your crew safe through all of this.”

Halsey shifted his stare from the table to his Division Commander and dodged her line of thinking by changing the subject, “Those apertures haven’t stayed open long enough for two ships, Wren.”  He held back his immediate feelings on who he’d rather go through.  That conversation, he hoped, would be taken up by his CO, Helena.

She absorbed what he’d said.  She’d wondered which of them was going to be the one to bring it up.  Her Latinum had been on her own lack of subtly getting there.  It amused her that she’d lost a bet with herself.  “For now.  Between Commander Thasaz, Lieutenant Fowler, and the science teams they lead, we might find a way to change that.”  She was surprised at Hasley’s pessimism.  “Aren’t you usually the optimistic one in the bunch of us captains and commanders?”

“Being just shy of four years from home will do that to a person, Wren.”  He stood, “I’m not without a small ray of hope, Wren.  It’s just hard when the darkness just keeps winning.”  Standing at attention, he left the room to return to the Douglas.

Walton sighed as the door closed.  They needed a win, and they needed a way home.  She downed her lukewarm tea as she steeled herself to step back onto the bridge.  She wasn’t going to settle for being the next Voyager.  Wren loved Janeway as much as the next captain, but she was nowhere near as patient as the venerable captain.

Comments

  • Its a bitter sweet reunion of the two ships, but the situation is still left with the unknown factors of fear and doubt. You portrayed the legit worries of the crew about the potential dangers and shed a teasing light of hope. I look forward to more, I need more to see how this rolls further! Great work!

    June 20, 2024
  • With the Douglas and the Dragonfly together, anything is possible! I appreciate the reunion prose, and the young cadet as she fumbles through her explanation, but this is the line that really hits: “Those apertures haven’t stayed open long enough for two ships, Wren.” That’s the great challenge the combined crews now face, and whether, if such a short-lived aperture allows one home, do they make that call, or do they stick it out together and wait for a solution that brings them both home?

    June 21, 2024
  • The reunion of the two ships is great, but then you can tell it is a real bittersweet moment when we remember the circumstances that got them there. Your cadet part was great showing how she made mistakes through the presentation but still was able to get through it overall. With both ships united the possibilities are endless. You have really shown how dire the situation is and the question of how they are going to get back plays in the back of my mind. Hopefully nothing tragic happens for the success of this mission to occur. Great job as always!

    June 21, 2024