USS Edinburgh – Briefing Room – 0830
“…you’ll be working with additional medical staff who have also had training in operative work to assist you in continuing the mission. Doctor Reid, you’ll be briefed by our team in full detail on what part you’ll have in working with the additional officers.” Reid nodded as Captain Rachel Harris spoke next to the security chief, “Mr. Kondo – we’re placing a small group of officers under your command as well – they are primarily there to support your efforts but should things become challenging they will step up to assist.” She looked around the table and the seated command team of the USS Edinburgh, “Any questions?” There were none. She nodded to them, “Dismissed.”
Soon it was just mother and son. Ambrose leaned against the wall, “You warned me last night…and you warned them in the briefing…what’s got Starfleet worried about Patra?”
Rachel looked at her son. He’d always been a thinker who liked to ask questions – it had given him an edge as an engineer climbing the ranks to becoming a Chief. It was a benefit to a commanding officer in that asking questions of your crew and about the situation usually helped solve whatever puzzle the mission presented. She was proud of him, but worried for the same reason – he hadn’t stopped poking the Patra question since it had come into his orbit. Starfleet was taking advantage of his persistence in trying to bring justice and peace together in the end. “He’s not a known element to us, Am. He’s shown up in reports from other sectors in the Romulan Star Empire in the past but mostly as a passing mention or an unusual action that brought him a benefit. Before the collapse, his name was starting to show up more regularly with ties to Tal Shair operations and even some separatists. Romulans and Remans alike started taking note of him after the collapse but it sounds like they were all a little late to the party – he’s been seizing control and consolidating his power. To what end…we’re not sure.”
He nodded, “But his pattern and reputation suggest he wants to play with the big bad ugly boys…”
“Or he wants to be The Big Bad Ugly Boy.” She stood and walked to where he leaned against the wall, “The thing about Patra…and those like him – they are true believers. You saw what Rexin did to your officer. They see the future of the Romulan Empire as one that needs to be ready to spill blood and pile bodies – within and outside their borders.” Rachel took his hand in hers, “Son of mine – I’ve never stopped them from sending you wherever you were needed. This time…I was tempted to try and divert you elsewhere…but you found your way into the mess anyway.” She pulled him closer for a hug, “I love you, son. I want you back in my arms when this is all over. I want to be able to hear how your girlfriend has changed your life and you can’t live without her.” She looked up from their hug, “I want you to live, son. I want you to see the future.” She stepped back, “You’ve got a command to run…and a mission ahead. Good luck, Am.”
Ambrose felt the pride of his mother shining in his heart, “We’ll have dinner together again when this is all over.” He leaned down and kissed her cheek, “Love ya, Mom.”
A final smile before she straightened her stance and looked a little more like a captain and less like a mom, “You have your orders and your heading, Commander. Godspeed.” She gave a strong salute.
He returned the salute, “We stand so ordered, Captain Harris. Safe travels.” She gave him one last look before heading out the door. Ambrose let the moment hold. Then he headed for his bridge…and his command crew.
USS Edinburgh – The Castle (Bridge) – 0900
The bridge was alive with activity as he stepped through the doors. The Tower stations were manned by Lieutenant Thasaz’s science team who were poring over the chips and data the two Romulan captains had not given them. His new first officer, Lieutenant Blanchefleur Courtemanche sat in the center chair and glanced at his entrance, and quickly stood and shifted to the right-hand seat. They exchanged nods and he sat, turning to her, “Report?”
“The USS Polson and her task force are in final preparation for departure. Long-range sensors are clear for the moment. Engineering has completed repairs and the work on the three modular units. Our additional staff have been assigned boarding and worked into the shift schedules for their departments. All departments and stations report ready for departure, sir.”
“Thank you, Dr. Court.” He glanced at the helm station. Prentice was still not in the seat. He made a mental note to visit with him in short order. The young woman at the helm turned in her chair. They needed a heading. He tapped at the console on his arm, “Ensign Del Castillo, plot us a course to this Romulan Colony. They’ve recently struggled with an outbreak within the mines and we’re suited to respond. Set maximum warp if you please.” She smiled quietly as she turned in her chair and tapped into the commands on the console.”
“Course laid in and ready, sir.”
Harris felt that feeling that every commanding office talked about…that feeling when you’re about to take a leap into the next big thing…the next waypoint…the next clue…the array of unknowns that laid ahead. The mystery. The danger. The challenge. Another running jump forward into the Final Frontier. He made a note to use that in a future log. “Let’s get on our way…put us in motion.”
The Edinburgh flew into the future.