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

Waiting for the Light to Shine

USS Edinburgh
July 1, 2400
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USS Edinburgh- Bridge – 1630

“Commander’s log.  I spent the last few hours going deck by deck with our medical and security teams to find survivors and wounded.  We were able to clear most decks, but there are five that have experienced severe buckling.  Thankfully, they were evacuated before things got worse so we’ve sealed them off.”  He sat in a temporary chair where his command chair would have been as engineering officers worked to get the bridge at least functional for the remainder of the mission.  The Tower area had been declared a total loss and closed.  “Main power was restored just in time.  Chief Katsumi was able to follow my recommendation and get us back up and running.  We’ve had to use plasma cables running from engineering to other decks to ensure power is restored since over half of our EPS conduits have been rendered inoperable.  A standard repair is impossible to the damaged units and after looking at them…I’m surprised we managed to only lose half.  The Eddie’s a strong ship and she’s carried us through everything we’ve faced.”  He accepted a PADD from a passing medical officer and felt his heart grow heavy.  “Updated numbers from Doc Reid…our casualties stand at forty members of our crew.”  He paused the recording and sat back in his chair, wiping the immediate emotional reaction to the report he’d just read.  The engineers on the bridge audibly gasped and paused in their work to look to their CO, who had bowed his head.  He looked up at them, “Sorry…I wish I could find a place to do this without…that part.”  They gave him a quiet nod and returned to work.  Everyone knew someone on the list he was looking at and word had spread through the ship as bodies had been discovered and the injuries claimed more from sickbay.

After five minutes he tapped the button to continue, “Each of them had a story of why they died…and we’re going to make sure those stories are told.  Each of them mattered to us…and to their family.” He sighed, the emotions running just beneath the surface.  He carried on, “Our medical and security team is working on the last few decks now and Doc will have a final medical report later this evening.”  Another tap on his PADD, “Our command crew is not without injury.  Ensign Prentice is in critical condition but expectations are high that he’ll recover.   Lieutenant Thasaz is resting in her quarters.  She had significant burns on her arms and face.  Currently, our injured count who cannot return to duty is at 100…given our losses that leaves us with 60 officers and crew to handle repairs to the ship and medical care.  We’re waiting for the arrival of the USS Polson to help in that area – Doc’s words to me regarding her staff and recruited staff were that they had passed the emotional and physical breaking point an hour ago.  Science reports we have five days to evacuate the colonists from Kaseas before the sun and its temperature reach harmful levels.”  Harris looked around the bridge, “We’re back on our feet at least…and we can start walking eventually.  End log.”  The computer beeped as it filed the recording.

“Commander?”  It was Sadie Fowler, the Assistant Chief Science Officer at her console, “The USS Polson has arrived and is hailing us.”  Harris gave her a nod and sat forward in his chair.

The speakers sputtered for a moment and then the voice of Rachel Harris spoke clearly, “Commander, we’re here to assist in your repair and recovery…permission to come aboard?”

“Permission granted, Captain.  I’ll have your report on the bridge.”  The channel closed and a moment later a large group appeared the glow of the transporter and in the center, the mother of Ambrose Harris stood, searching for him.  

She found him and held her emotions in check as she ordered her crew to disperse around the Eddie to offer support and direct additional crew from the Polson aboard.  They scattered down the Jefferies tube, leaving the bridge empty sans the Harris family, and Fowler crouched over her console, working away.  Rachel stepped forward and hugged her son tightly and he returned the embrace.  She felt tears at the edge of her eyes as she quietly thanked the stars that her son had come back to her.  She pulled back and looked at the prosthetic leg and she held onto his hands, “Amb…I’m so sorry.”  She hugged him again and he returned the embrace.

“It’s OK, mom…Doc got me fixed up well…and we’ve already started the process of creating a permanent mechanical leg.”  

She pulled back and kissed him on the cheek, “I am glad I get to hold you in my arms again, son.”  She stepped back a few inches and her posture adjusted slightly, “Now, Commander…what’s your status?”

Ambrose focused himself as well and handed her the updated report on his PADD, “We’ve got main power in most of the ship, and impulse engines are expected within the hour.  Chief says she’s got crews in the warp nacelles now checking connections and running plasma cables where the EPS conduits are blown…she thinks by tomorrow afternoon we’ll have warp 5 available.”

Rachel nodded as she read the heartbreaking casualty report and updates on the injured, “You’ve done a good thing here, Commander…I’m sorry that you had to pay such an awful price to save the colony…and this system.”

The commander kicked at the ground, “I never asked science to run the numbers on the effect the sun’s explosion would have had on the system…or beyond.  That wasn’t an option for me…and it wouldn’t have been for this crew.  I don’t think Patra thought or cared about it when he put this plan in motion.”

She nodded, her voice carrying an ounce of acid, “Your consolation is that he’s deep in the darkness of space in a small cage for the rest of his life.”  Rachel glanced up as one of her officers climbed out of the Jefferies tube and handed her a PADD.  She glanced it over, “Make it happen.”  He tapped his badge and was gone in a blast of transporter light.  “I’m moving all your patients – injured and critical to the Polson.  Your remaining crew is so ordered to rest overnight on board the Polson.  Don’t think about arguing with me – I still outrank you, for now.  We’ll get our support teams to work on the Eddie overnight so you all can rest for a moment.”

Ambrose sighed.  He could feel the stress, the pain, the sorrow…all of it in his muscles and bones.  They needed to breathe.  “I accept.”

A quiet smile, “Tomorrow is another day, Commander.  Don’t worry – there’s still plenty for you to do.”

She walked off and he returned to his temporary chair, eyes gazing over the bridge.  His bridge.

Tomorrow was another day.  He rested his hope in those words.