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

UAA 007 – What To Do

USS Dragonfly
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“I would like to resign, Commander Park.”  Lieutenant Junior Grade Calvert Rogers stood before the XO, his hands listlessly at his side.  They were in her office, and he’d politely demanded a meeting first thing in the morning. He was practicing his breathing as she stared at him.

She remained impassive and replied, “Resign from Starfleet or resign from Chief Operations?  There’s a lot of space on the resignation spectrum, Mr. Rogers.”  She gestured to the chair, “Take a seat – this could take some time.”

He plopped down in the chair, “Resign from Chief of Operations.  It’s that easy.”  He put a PADD with his resignation notice on the desk, “I have just under 250 officers and crewman under me, sir.  I have people older than me and higher ranked than me.  My department meeting last night was a disaster.”  The disorder that had vomited out of the large group had shaken him.  He felt the fatigue from his restless night dragging him down.

Park didn’t pick up the PADD.  “It wasn’t great, I grant you.  You lost control of the meeting and let them take over.”

His face burned red, and he gripped the arms of the chair.  “Why didn’t you step in, Commander?”

She leaned forward on the desk, and he leaned back in his chair as her eyes bored into him, “Because that’s not my job, Mr. Rogers.  If I came in and saved you – I’d have to repeat that performance repeatedly – I’d eventually be Chief of Operations.  I held down science for a brief time – I don’t intend to repeat that error.”  She picked up the PADD and tossed it to him, “Resignation rejected.”  She slid her own PADD onto her desk, “Now, let’s talk about what went well and what didn’t.  We figure out where I can help you build up yourself; we find a way to balance the situation a little more.”

His blank stare held on for a little too long, and he jumped as she cleared her throat. He replied, “You said this could take some time…what did you mean by that, commander?”

“It means we’re on the Dragonfly for the long haul, Mr. Rogers.  You, me, everybody.  We won’t solve your department issues in the next few hours, but we will find a way to get your central computer rewired enough to earn a passing score at the next meeting.”

He joked, “You sound like a Borg, Commander Park.”

She didn’t crack a smile, “Whatever it takes, Mr. Rogers – Borg, Gorn, or Klingon.”

His smile vanished.

 

“This console is bugged.”  Ensign Carolyn Crawford mused as she went from station to station in the power plant on the Cardassian colony.  “So is this one.”  She showed the scanner results to her Chief, Lieutenant Commander Miados.

She grumbled as she began to understand what had happened, “They said this started yesterday – unconnected to the aperture opening weeks ago.  See if you can get into the computer.”  Miados had spent the night poring over the Cardassian Colony’s operations and equipment schematics.  Compared to the other colonies, they were barely scraping by.  “We know the Hubria Colony and this Craga Colony have been sniping at each other…and we know the administrator for the Hubria Colony is probably a new agent for the New Maquis.”  She’d read the report from Captain Walton this morning.  It wasn’t good news.

Crawford worked at the console, her eyes searching for records of the hack or manipulation.  There were traces of something in the system.  “Whatever they did, we’re going to need Barzo and V’Luth.  I could blunt force it, but we’d probably lose any hope of identifying the who, what, and all that.”  She saw the frown on her Chief’s face, “Should I not call…”

Miados waved her question away, “No, we need to involve them.  They’re just…they bicker like an old married couple.  I’m sure everybody else enjoys it, but it distracts me.”  She answered the long stare from Crawford, “You’ve known me long enough to know I hate distractions.  Especially when I’m trying to figure out how to save a colony from certain doom.”

“That bad?”  Crawford walked over, wondering what she was missing.

The Chief pointed out the various pieces of equipment in the plant that were either broken, malfunctioning, or mysteriously offline. “We can fabricate the smaller units on the Dragonfly, but the bigger units—those have to come off an Odyssey or a station.  Those three there supply power for the colony’s city and the defenses on the wall, keeping the wildlife at bay.”  Crawford had seen the larger wildlife in pictures and as a part of a shuttle tour of the area.  They were massive and only kept at by supercharged fences brimming with electric energy that could kill any of the larger four-legged Earth creatures.  She continued, “We can keep throwing our generators at the problem, but eventually, we must get this power plant operational.  Without it, this colony would be overrun in hours.  And if a generator fails – we’re back to being overrun.”

Crawford whistled low, “That’s why you have the Dragonfly producing generators around the clock.  Just in case.”  It had put a strain on the engineering and operations department.  “We’ve got a lot on our plate right now, Chief.”

Miados turned to her, her voice lowered, “I’m aware of the issues you’re referencing, Ensign Crawford.”

Carolyn waited a beat for an explanation.  It didn’t arrive.  “And?”

Miados answered, “We’ve got shift leads and team leads learning as they go. You’re still learning your people’s names, and our cadets have found themselves in not one, not two, but three fights in three days…with other departments – cadets and otherwise.  I had hoped keeping them busy would give us a break.  The brig will have to do for now.”  She fell silent for a minute, her eyes searching the darkened power plant for ideas or an answer to the troubles of the Dragonfly.  “The answer to your ‘and’ is more…’and’.  If Okada had survived…maybe she could have made sense of all of this.”  She felt there was still an empty space in the crew for their former Chief Engineer.  “But she’s not, and we’re in it. That’s the ‘and’.  Over and over for us until we get a chance to breathe.  Until then…,”

Crawford added, “We just have to find a way – bumpy or otherwise – through it all.”

Miados cracked, “At least we’ll be going somewhere.”

Comments

  • Damn Park is getting rejected in his resignation with painfully remarks, thought Rogers is right in the matter. I loved the interaction between these two and further on the complex problem that the crew are trying to solve in both addressing the technical and political challenges that they face with the colony really shows that the crew is on edge. Great work!

    July 13, 2024