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Part of USS Edinburgh: Mission 3 – Take These Broken Wings

A Dangerous Game

USS Edinburgh
August 5th, 2400
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Quarters - 0600

“…we've made it to the Thomar Expanse, and the process of investigating the situation has already begun.  It's been an adjustment being a First Officer…it's a position I've never held. Getting my hands around what Captain Fontana wants of me is…harder than I thought.  It's clear that Jordan's old instructor from the academy had a hand in this.  Fontana hasn't spoken much to me aside from walking me through my new role and putting me to work on the mountains of reports and information he expects.  The crew is doing everything they can to not push back on him.  He's already upset Chief…and Ensigns Woodward and Fowler have been working to repair that damage.”  He sighed and leaned back in his chair, “He's pushed a few buttons with a few others…noticeably in refusing to allow them to choose how they're referred to - Chief Kondo isn't thrilled the mangling of his last name.  He hasn't asked for my help with the crew or even advice on how to work with them…which I find odd.  I've done some reading up on Fontana, and by most accounts, he's a competent commanding officer.  My mother gave him high marks when she stepped into the role on the Polson and that most of the crew got along with him.”  He paused, “He's asked me to meet him in my…his ready room at 0630 hours.  I don't know what to expect at this point.  End log."  Harris stood and gathered himself.

Ready Room- 0630

The door opened, and Harris entered, seeing Fontana at what was formerly his desk.  He'd cleared out his own personal belongings, and the new captain had put up a few things.  It still felt awful, but he had resolved to do his best.  “Commander Harris reporting as ordered, sir.”

Fontana waved him to the chair across from the table.  He tapped at a PADD, sighed, and cast it aside as he looked at Harris.  “It's come to my attention that you have a romantic relationship with Lieutenant Jordan Reid, our Chief Medical Officer.”  Ambrose did his best not to show his annoyance, but it slipped through, and the captain noticed it, “That make you unhappy, Commander Harris?  It's considered improper for a CO to have a relationship with a subordinate officer.  I understand she was your first officer for a brief time.  That's alarming in many ways.”

Harris threw up his hands in surrender, “She was briefly…and then we had a FO in her place until she retired…and until just recently, we had Chief as our FO.  I had Lieutenant Reid report to Lieutenant Commander Katsumi…she handled her operational reviews and any kind of disciplinary actions.  We had established a system to address it.”  He shook his head, “Now I've been reassigned as First Officer.”

Geronimo picked up his PADD and reflected on what Gwenelda Patton had shared with him before informing him of his unique assignment.  She had concerns regarding the commanding officer of the Edinburgh.  She had given him a PADD with fairly explosive allegations regarding his tenure on the Erigone and his continued command on the New Orleans class ship.  Much of it revolved around his relationship with Doctor Jordan Reid and the various improprieties that had occurred in violation of several Starfleet regulations.  She had been clear in her assignment - he was to ensure that Commander Harris was a qualified CO that would pass in her own command classes.  If he did not meet Fontana's expectations, he suggest reassignment to the fleet for Harris…and only Harris.  She had also given him Jordan Reid's history and her performance in the Academy.  He had found most of what she had described as true.  The Edinburgh command crew was doing as he asked, but cracks were starting to show.  The Chief Engineer had nearly had a breakdown in front of him after he'd made several asks of her, and the Chief of Security and Tactical had asked to have Fontana address him differently than the standard manner.  As good as they looked on paper and in reports, he had serious doubts about each of them.  His doubts about Harris were now amplified as he watched the man's response to their discussion.

“Well, that was your system.  Now we have to do it the right way with regulations and the like. I don't see any other way about it, Commander Harris.  You will need to break off your relationship with Jordan Reid.  If you'd like, I can….”

Harris stood quickly, the chair nearly flipping over behind him.  He didn't speak.  He simply stared at Fontana in shock.  The silence bathed the room several times over until Harris reached for his rank pips and communication badge and put them on the surface, his tone calm but focused, “I had hoped for a discussion…or at least a conversation about how it could be worked out.  That wasn't what I walked into this morning, Captain.  You've made your mind up about what needs to happen.  Effective immediately, I resign.”  He pushed the metal forward on his former desk.

Fontana frowned and reached for the pips and badge, pulling them across the desk to him.  He looked to Ambrose and thought for a moment.  He had always been taught if an officer resigns, you accept their final decision.  It wasn't a negotiation or a game to be played.  “Your resignation is accepted, Mr. Harris.  I will note it in the log.  You will be confined to quarters until we are able to return to a Starbase.  Dr. Reid will be allowed visit as you are no longer her superior officer.”  He played with the badge and pips with his hands, “Thank you for your service to the fleet, Mr. Harris.  You are dismissed.”  Ambrose gave the man a curt nod and left.  Fontana placed the metal into a desk drawer.  He wondered what game the man was playing.  Gwenelda had given him some idea of how Reid had played her at the Academy.  He hoped he wouldn't have problems with his chief medical officer.