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Part of USS Edinburgh: Mission 2 – Wings of a Phoenix and Bravo Fleet: Sundered Wings

The Beginning or the End

USS Edinburgh
July 1, 2400
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USS Edinburgh- The Castle (bridge) – 1330

Harris pushed himself up and onto the bridge from the Jefferies tube and got his first real look at the bridge.  The body of their fallen officer had been removed and the injured triaged and spread around the entirety of sickbay’s deck.  The command chair lay on its side behind the helm station.  Blood stains scattered across the carpet as he pushed hard on the cane and himself forward.  The helm console was shattered and leaning forward.  The chasm at the front of the bridge was startling to him, even as he knew and had witnessed what happened – any bridge in the fleet had the screen in the front.  Certain things remained from ages, echoing the voices and stories of adventures had heroes long gone.  He spotted a lone figure at the only working console and was not surprised to see the new Assistant Science Chief officer doing what work she could.  He slowly made his way towards her and she turned to see who had come to the bridge.  A quiet relief filled her face, “Command Harris…it’s good to see you up, sir.”  She sported a bandage across her forehead, arms, and legs.  She winced as she worked, but her hands kept moving as fast they could.

“Ensign Fowler, you should probably be…,”

She interrupted him, “With respect sir…half of our team is in triage, and the rest of them are working with engineering and medical…someone needs to hold this station…sir.”

Ambrose didn’t respond for a moment but pushed himself up the lip of the deck and gently sat down next to her and he turned to the ACSO, “Well, at least you didn’t curse me out.”

Sadie felt a little smile on her lips, “I can fulfill your request for that type of language anytime, sir.”

“I have no doubt that you can, Ensign Fowler.  Since you’re here, what’s the latest?”

Thasaz’s screens had survived so she put up what she had been able to gather, “The Eddie’s taken a solid beating.  We’ve got reports of buckled decks, hull damage from the intensity of the energy of the beam…impulse is still offline and warp speed is shot as well – word is the warp core issues are gonna be fixed soon so we should have main power soon…but the EPS conduit issues are a big problem so even if we get main power…getting that power to the systems that needs it – that’s a whole other issue.”

Harris nodded along, “We may end up running mobile EPS conduits and breakers from points where the power is flowing.  Haven’t done that in ten years.”  She gave him a look and he explained, “One of the aging Miranda classes I was assigned to – had to snake the cords up turbolift shafts, Jefferies tubes – the only way we got home was because our CO had thought to keep that stuff around when he took command.  Learned plenty from that man.” 

Fowler asked, “He still alive?”

A shake of his head, “He was an old man when I served with him…he told me he’d rather die in the chair than be anything more than a captain of a starship.”  He leaned back in the chair, wincing at the pain and aches that resulted, “He retired five years ago to his family’s ranch in Nebraska – he was starting to struggle.  He would send photos of his cattle and horses with reports on the wheat he was growing.  He may not have been in a captain’s chair on a starship…but he was the captain of that ranch.  He passed away last year.  Lotta folks showed up to say goodbye to him.”  A pause, “It’s corny to say this now…but he wasn’t made to be a captain…he was born to be a captain.”  He nodded to her station, “What’s the sun look like?”

She tapped at the console, the scorched sensors doing the best they could.  She frowned as she read the report, “I…this is odd.  Look here,” she pointed at the spectrometer readings compared to the ones they had gathered, “They’re…on the rebound?”

Ambrose leaned in, “I wonder…with the scout ship being the cook that started the sun on its path…could it be that without the final ingredients to throw in the soup…it won’t be able go supernova?”

Sadie shifted the scans with a few taps on the LCARS and pursed her lips, “The sun’s vitals are trending more towards the original status when we were here a month ago…without the final dose…the sun is returning to a regular cycle.”  She outlined what she had found, “The problem is…the regular cycle that it’s trending towards…,”

The CO grumbled, “Is going to increase the temperature on the planet ten-fold within ten days…and continue until the planet will be an oven.  The moon’s systems won’t be able to keep up.  Damn.”

Fowler looked at the data once again and agreed with her CO’s hypothesis, “It seems no matter what we do…the planet will have to be evacuated.”

Harris pushed himself up from the chair, groaning at the strain, and brushed off the young woman’s concerned look, “I’m fine.  Doc made sure I wasn’t going to follow apart.”  He looked over the bridge, his heart heavy at the loss of life they had endured, “I really wish I would have let her kill Patra.”  

The ACSO snapped her finger as she remembered, “That reminds me – I did a work up on the scout ship both from the scans they came back with and with what little I can get from here – there’s a receiving transmitter on the ship…but not a sending.”  Harris turned to face her as she pulled up the scans on the screen at the console, “I was able to access the ship’s logs now that it’s inert.  As best as I can tell, the only inbound communication log shows a transmission shortly after we captured Patra.”

Harris frowned for a moment.  Then, “Son of a bitch.  He programmed this thing to do what it did in case he died.”

Sadie shrugged, “I can’t say for certain, Commander…but best guess given the target and intent behind it – he may have intended for us to get caught in the midst of a rescue with the sun going supernova – taking us out just like he promised.”

“Damn.”  He stood in that realization for a moment.  “File that information and send out an update with that information to Starfleet Command.  Any word on relief ships?”

Another nod, “They have dispatched the USS Polson and a small support task force.  They’re arriving in three hours.”

Harris chuckled, “Leave it to mom.  Keep an eye out there, Ensign Fowler.  I’m going to see the condition of my ready room.”