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

Coming Down the Mountain

USS Edinburgh - Quarters - 0800
August 7th, 2400
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The door chime rang out as Ambrose looked from his couch, a book in hand.  “Enter.”  His eyes widened as Captain Geronimo Fontana stepped into his quarters.  He returned to his book, “What can I do for you, Captain.”

The current CO of the Edinburgh did not move from where he stood, keeping his distance for the moment.  “You’re choice of Chief Counselor gave me an earful two days ago.”

Harris glanced up with a quiet smile, “She fills a space in our halls and in our hearts…and you can’t ask for much more from someone in that position.”  He returned to his book.

Fontana took a step forward, “She told me that I should ask the crew about Gwenelda Patton.”  He winced as the head of the former CO snapped up.

“In no uncertain terms, I’m guessing.”  Harris held Fontana’s gaze before he broke off and returned to the pages before him.  “She’s got a fire, they would say, in her belly that can’t be put out no matter how hard you try.”

He took another step forward, “You don’t seem too interested in the name, Mr. Harris.”

Ambrose lazily looked up to him again and shrugged, “You didn’t seem too interested in the Edinburgh’s story as told by the ones who survived, Captain Fontana.”  He waited for the man to answer.

“That’s…a fair point.  I asked around.  I found stories that shook my faith in my mentor and champion.  two days’ worth of those stories…your ears start to detect a pattern.”  He took another step forward, “It’s become clear to me that I was not sent here to help you.  I was sent here to hurt you.  And Dr. Reid.”

Harris shook his head, “A little late for reality to hit, Captain.  You were incredibly blind…in ways, I cannot fathom any kind of understanding.”  He tossed the book aside, “If you’re here to tell me that I was right and you were wrong…fine.  Have you peace of your piece in all this…and get the hell out of my quarters.”  Fontana didn’t budge.  He didn’t move.  Harris stared at him, “Whatever else do you have to say, Captain Fontana?”

Geronimo chewed on his lips and slipped out of his pocket a case that he set on the table.  “I never communicated with Starfleet regarding your resignation.  I updated the ship’s list…but I didn’t take that next step.”

Ambrose stood quietly and walked to the table, his fingers brushing against the case, “Why wouldn’t you send it to them?”  He shifted his gaze to meet the captain’s eyes, “What kept you from doing your duty?”

A shrug, “I couldn’t tell you…I’m a medical doctor, and a damn good one at that.  I couldn’t quantify or qualify why I held off.  Something inside me…just didn’t want to.”  He sighed, “I made a terrible mistake and error, Mr. Harris.  I’ll submit to Fleet Command to answer for this…,”

Harris waved him off as he clicked open the case, “No…as pissed as you made me…and as close to murdering you as Jordan came…you know who did this to you…to me…to us.”  He admired the gold with a hint of a smile, “If you’re offering me this back…I’ll take it under one condition.”

Fontana eyed the man.  “Name it.”

“We burn Patton, and whoever else helped her in this…we burn them to the ground.”  He paused and slipped the rank pips into his hands, “I won’t forget what you’ve done, Captain Fontana…but I’ll find it in me to eventually forgive you.  Not today…and probably not tomorrow…, but eventually, I’ll figure out how to let this go.”

“I understand…and I’m agreeable.  I’ll leave you to it.”  He stopped at the door, “Computer – reinstate Ambrose Steven Harris to USS Edinburgh, rank Commander…and position of First Officer.  Voice authorization Captain Geronimo Fontana, authorization code GeronimoDoctor2001.”  

The computer chirped back a moment later, =^=Reinstatement complete=^=

“Commander Harris, I’ll see you on the bridge.”  The door closed behind the captain, leaving Ambrose alone in his room, the silence biting at him as he considered what came next.  Fontana seemed agreeable to bringing the heavens down upon his former mentor.  As he returned to his closet and changed into a fresh command red uniform, he wondered what there was to learn from Fontana?  He suspected there was something within the man to learn from – he just needed to find it.  Attaching the rank pips and communications badge injected a feeling of purpose back into him.  There was hope for what came next.

Commander Harris was back on deck.