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

The Queen’s Gambit

USS Edinburgh
July 2, 2400
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USS Edinburgh – Bridge – 1600

The carpet still held the bloodstains, debris, and burns.  It was a stark reminder of what had been lost and gained in the last few days.  Ambrose smiled at his command chair back in place, a grinning engineer from the Polson standing beside it, “Chief…I mean Commander Harris – I’d like you to try it….if I need to adjust it I will.”  Ambrose looked closer at the young officer and snapped his finger in recognition, “Ensign Daniel!  Well, a lieutenant now, I see.”  

The officer reddened, “I didn’t think you recognize me, sir.”  

Harris sat carefully into the chair and scoffed, “You were one of the all-stars on the Garrison – always willing to take on a challenge. Plus nobody calls me Chief anymore…it’s mostly just Commander.”  He nodded appreciatively at the feel of the chair, “That’s a damned fine job, Lieutenant Daniel.  What are you doing on the Polson?”  He turned in it to make sure it moved where he would need it.

“I’m…uh…Assistant Chief Engineer.  When I heard it was your ship, I asked my chief if I could lend a hand…and they put me in charge of the bridge so I figured the chair was the one thing I could put my hands on while working with everyone else, you know?”

Harris jumped out of the chair and shook the startled officer’s hand, “That’s…incredible!  I’m so glad to hear you made assistant chief…you enjoy it?”

Phil Daniel grinned widely, “I love it, sir.  It’s what I’ve always wanted to do, you know?  Like…this is what I was meant to do.”  He glanced at the chair, “You really like it, sir?  I can tune it up a little more if you need.”

Ambrose shook his head, “Ensign Daniel, I love it.  Don’t change a thing.”  He shook the young man’s hand again, “Thank you for doing this for me…and my crew.  The bridge looks like she’ll fly again.”  They exchanged a few more words and the ensign was off to the newly repaired turbolift.  

Stepping out as he went in was Lieutenant Thasaz, her arms and hands still gloved, but her color was returning. “You wanted to see me, Commander?”  He gestured to her station and took the seat next to it as she let out a long sigh as she plopped down, “They don’t warn you about the tiredness, do they, Commander?”

He agreed, “Grief takes emotions and emotions take energy – sometimes more than a workout in the gym.  Everyone’s off duty for the rest of today and tomorrow.”  Harris paused and looked at his hands before he told her why he had called her to the bridge, “I don’t know if you’ve been told…but Governor Tasawa has nominated you as his successor to the Governorship over his people.”

Thasaz stared at him, “He…nominated…me?”  Harris explained the situation – there were no qualified members of the community who would be able to replace him without serious training and mentoring.  He ended the explanation by shrugging his shoulders at her.  Thasaz continued to stare at him, “Can he…do that?  Do I get a choice?”

Harris chuckled, “You have all the choice in this situation – your agency remains intact, Lieutenant.”  He looked at her, “What are you thinking?”

She turned to her console, running her hands absentmindedly over it as she answered, “I have found this season of my life with this ship to be…something extraordinary.”  She sighed, “I wasn’t sure I’d ever return to my people, Commander.  I…there was too much hurt there…too much betrayal to consider returning to Romulan proper.”  A moment passed, “But…they are not like the ones who hurt me.  They…are free of the sins of my past experience.”  She turned to him, “What do you think, Commander?”

Ambrose leaned forward, the aches in his body fading, “I think you should think on it.  It’s a powerful statement on you that he asked for you…but I am not surprised you’re the one he sought as a replacement.  You’ve seen much of the darkness that lurks within your people, Lieutenant…maybe he thinks you deserve to see the goodness and brightness that shines within them.”

Thasaz gave him a faux annoyed look, “You’re not doing a great job of preventing me from leaving the Edinburgh, sir.”

Harris gave a serious look, “Lieu…Thasaz.  You should never stay somewhere because you think you have to – loyalty should only be to yourself and the path you carve out for yourself.  Thasaz is the one that needs to do the persuading or preventing.”  He motioned to her head, and then her heart, “There is real power in there, Thasaz…and you have to decide to unlock it.”

She sat back in her chair, “You should have been a counselor.”

He cackled and shook his head, “I couldn’t talk to patients all day.  I preferred warp cores and EPS conduits.  Got me here, didn’t it?  What’s gonna get you where you need to be, Lieutenant Thasaz?”  He tapped her lightly on the shoulder as he stood, “Let me know within the next 24 hours what you decide.  Don’t stay here long – you’re still off duty.”  Harris left her to sit on the bridge, the silence resonating in her as her mind contemplated her next moves.