Part of USS Odyssey: To Hold Fire

Biting The Bullet

Starbase Bravo, Mellstoxx system, Beta Quadrant
Stardate: 77014.8
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Her meeting with the admiral had started promptly as she had expected. Counsellor Horin was sitting opposite Admiral Bennet’s desk while the admiral himself was in his own chair on the other side.

“Louwanna, as always your reports are insightful and helpful.” Bennet stated as he finished reading the last sentence and looked from the holographic display hovering to the left of him to the counsellor herself. “I notice your recommendations are for the crew to continue with further support and therapy?”

Nodding once, the Betazoid woman placed her hands in lap. “I do sir, though from what my team and I have gathered in the last few days, the crew are able to work through the trauma from their incarceration, they will require that high level of support. I’m also recommending that the Rylsanti teenagers remain under the direct care of Commander Duncan and Senior Chief Court. Breaking the attachment would only add further trauma to their mental wellbeing.”

“Yes, I saw that.” Bennet responded as he flicked the holographic screen away to close it. “How long do you think it would take?”

“As I said before sir, this is a catastrophic-level assignment and though we are ahead of schedule with the initial assessments, my team and I are certain that our work won’t stop just there.” Horin answered. “I don’t think I could put a time frame on all of this though sir.”

“Okay, in your professional opinion can the crew function while receiving the support they need?” Bennet asked, changing his tactic and leaning backwards somewhat in his chair.

“I believe so, sir but I thought the plan was to give them at least two weeks off and receive the help they need?” Horin questioned.

“That was the initial plan but with what’s happening in the Paulson Nebula, our planned timetable may have to be brought forward.” Bennet shared. “I’m going to give them three more days before they are all recalled. In that time frame the Odyssey’s repairs will be completed and I will be ordering Captain McCallister to join the relief efforts. His wife has already left but the situation is getting worse each day. Odyssey can’t launch until her upgrades and repairs are complete and last night it was decided to place more people onto the job so she could launch sooner rather than later.”

“Then sir, can I be honest. I am not sure that Counsellor Samris and his team can fulfil their duties in supporting everyone. He requires more support with this as well as dealing with what you want to place the Odyssey into.” Horin declared.

Smiling at her, Bennet took hold of a PADD and slid it across his desk towards her. “I had a feeling you would say that, so with that in mind. I am ordering you and your team to join the Odyssey to continue the work you’ve started.”

“You’re assigning me to the Odyssey? What about my teaching commitments to the academy?” Horin questioned as she took the PADD and began to read its contents.

“Those will be covered until you return. In the meantime, I suggest you begin packing as you’ll be joining the Odyssey.” Bennet remarked.

“In what capacity?” Horin asked next. “Am taking over from Samris as chief counsellor?”

“Yes.” Bennet replied almost instantly. “I’ll be informing Captain McCallister about the change, but you will keep Samris as your senior assistant chief.”

“That seems unfair for Samris, especially as McCallister picked him to succeed Duncan as chief counsellor.” Horin stated. She didn’t like the idea, but she knew the admiral well that he would probably not listen to her comment.

“McCallister had no choice when he appointed Samris as chief counsellor, he had no-one else while they were in the Delta Quadrant, but if he wants to remain in command and for his entire crew not to be sent off on to other assignments then he’d accept it.” Bennet now said in a stern voice. “Louwanna, you can do this.” He added before dismissing her.

Leaving the admiral’s office clutching the PADD in her hands, Horin groaned. She had never wanted to return to active starship duty anytime soon. She just hoped this was not permanent.