Part of SS Vondem Rose: Tequila Mockingchair

I am in so much trouble…

The formerly secure and now pilfered wreck formerly known as the USS Endeavour
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The bridge of a Manticore-class starship was typically a well-lit and busy space, but for the former Endeavour it was the exact opposite. The only light was what Sidda and Chalmers brought with them on their suits, dead panels iced over with condensed atmosphere reflecting it slightly to give the space an eery gloom.

“Which consoles am I looking for again?” Chalmers had asked when they emerged from the turbolift shaft, his answer a shrug of Sidda’s shoulders. “I’ll just start looking then, shall I?”

“Good man,” she replied and floated her way across the bridge, grabbing the back of the centre seat as she approached and stopped her movement, swinging her feet around to finally come into contact with the deck plating.

“There you are,” she said quietly to herself. Experimentally she reached out to the control panel on the right arm, hoping for a modicum of life, but like the rest of the ship, the panel too was cold and dead.

The case she was carrying was carefully set down on the deck before she turned around and sat herself down in the chair, her hands coming to rest on the arms, crossing one leg over the other. Even with an EV suit on it was more comfortable than that brutal chair she’d suffered so long with. This was truly a good bad idea.

“Chalmers, keep an eye out for Starfleet, they could be coming up here,” she ordered over comms, then stood and walked towards a set of doors, carefully reading the Federation Standard for ‘Ready Room’ before going about forcing the door open.

She’d half expected a fully furnished office, maybe even Rourke waiting in ambush, but alas reality was a disappointment. The only things left behind were those bolted to the deck it seemed. A slow tour proceeded, gloved finger tracing across various surfaces before she stopped at the desk and looked down at it, its surface lightly frosted from the air that had condensed there as the ship had cooled.

A smirk came across her face as she reached out and wrote two words in the frost, chuckled to herself and then turned to leave, coming face to face with Chalmers who was pulling himself inside the ready room and behind the door.

“Lights coming up the turbolift shaft, no ours,” he whispered.

“Why are you whispering Chalmers? They can’t hear us unless we’re on open comms.”

“Because…” he started, then stopped.

Both of them reached up and turned off their suit lights, the room disappearing into near pitch-black as only starlight from a handful of windows lit the space. That and the steadily growing white light ascending the lift shaft.

“We’re toast,” Chalmers confided as both of them looked through the door.

“Not until he sees the carry case,” Sidda said, heaping bad news as her eyes settled on the purple case next to the captain’s chair.

A minute passed before the Starfleet officer emerged onto the bridge, his helmet lights passing over the bridge in a cursory manner before he settled on a bank of consoles and made his way there, completely missing the open the ready room door, the purple case, or even that another series of consoles had been opened up, parts lying on the door on a cargo net.

“Okay, it’s a vacuum and no gravity. Magboots off, hands only. Get to your stuff, grab it and get back down the lift shaft,” she ordered, eyes locked on the Starfleeter.

“What about you ma’am?”

“I’m getting my chair.” With that she pulled herself through the door over Chalmers’ head, coasting through the void and once more grabbing the top of the command chair. Carefully she pulled herself around towards the case and popped it open, pulling out the sword she’d had made for Rourke by way of an apology and a gift. Even in the gloom, the cutting edge was a thing of beauty as it emerged from the sheath.

“T’Ael, please please please be right about the mono-molecular edge,” she muttered, then brought herself almost to the floor level, finding the pedestal the chair was mounted on. Purchase points secured, she brought the sword swinging, cutting through the pedestal, releasing the chair and herself to float away towards the ceiling with a slight tumble.

“Crap!” she cursed, scrambling to try and position herself between chair and ceiling plates, to try and muffle the reverberation through the hull. The impact elicited only a small reaction as the engineer looked away from his work but kept his attention at deck level. Habit and gravity bias was a hard thing to shake.

She waited a full twenty seconds after he went back to his task before she left the chair and pushed back to the floor at a gentle pace. The sheath was put back in the case, itself secured to the floor with a very faint click of a magnet. Just enough to stop it from floating away and getting lost in the bridge space. The sword itself was given one last admiring look, then driven point-first into the de-chaired pedestal, enough to be obvious and attract attention.

That done she went for the chair and worked her way along the ceiling with the unwieldy thing, eventually disappearing into the turbolift shaft with it, offering a salute to the oblivious engineer as she left.

**********

“Burke to Hare, I’m just about done here,” Jack said after tapping his commbadge. He’d been reasonably lucky with his part of the list, the parts he’d been after all being in one place and all of them passing a field test. No need to scrounge around other bridge consoles, just need to update the paperwork and list Environmental Sciences as picked clean.

“Burke to Hare, you read?” he repeated when no response came forth.

“Sammie old boy, you there?” he followed up only after a moment.

Now he was getting concerned. Getting to his feet he turned around, a quick glance around the bridge as he made his way for the turbolift and a glint of light caught his attention. Mid stride he stopped, turning towards the captain’s chair and there was that light again.

It took a moment to recognise the chair was gone and, in its place, a sword had been left, its polished blade brilliant in his helmet light.

“I am in so much trouble…” he whispered to himself.

**********

As the access ramp finished closing on the Martian Thorn and the pressure light switched from red to green, helmet seals started to pop in near unison. Beneath the collected feet of all those present, the deck rumbled lightly as the ship pushed off the hulk of the USS Hollande.

“All good down there?” came Gaeda’s voice over the internal comms.

“Got what we wanted,” Sidda answered.

“And more,” T’Ael added, a happy grin all over her face. “So, so much more.”

“Good, because we’re leaving, so no going back.”

“I think,” Sidda said addressing those in the cargo bay, all now in the process of stripping EV suits off, “that I owe everyone here a drink.”

“You owe us a bar,” T’Ael snapped back.

“I’d go for a bar,” Chalmers added.

“I’d settle for a cup of tea,” Tavol added.

“You know what, for all of this, we’ll build a bar. Convert a cargo bay on the Rose?” The affirmative head nods settled the matter. “Until then, galley, drink. My orders.”

As the others all filed out, Sidda was left with Revin, who stood to block Sidda’s exit. “You didn’t seem as scared on the way back.”

“Adrenaline,” she replied.

“Uh-huh.” Revin stared at her for a few moments. “You need to talk to someone about your phobia.”

“No, I really don’t.” Her answer was cold but firm. “I already shot the man responsible.”

“Love…”

“Revin, I’m not going to talk to anyone about it. I understand it, I avoid it.” She knew it wasn’t a healthy position, but it was her position. “I want to celebrate,” she continued, tossing a look to the chair that was her prize, lying on the floor looking somewhat said for itself at present. “Then I want to celebrate,” she continued with a waggle of eyebrows as she stepped forward, wrapped an arm around Revin and pulled her close.

Comments

  • Victory! I loved this post. It was so so satisfying to see this caper cross the finish line to victory. I very much enjoyed the visual of Sidda crying away a captain's chair, right above Starfleet's nose. That's some nerve, right there. I think my favourite line was "Habit and gravity bias was a hard thing to shake", but "You owe us a bar" really made me laugh too. After all that fun, it was intriguing to read the tension in the closing paragraphs. That doesn't bode well at alllll; but it'll make for some good reading.

    April 20, 2022