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Part of USS Mercy: Mission 1 – “Life as a House”

New Lease

USS Mercy
August 11th, 2400 @ 2100
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The transport shuttle slipped through space as her sole passenger sat strapped in, watching the stars fly by the cockpit window.  She had been assigned to a ship late last night and had spent most of the day going from station to station to get out to her new assignment, the USS Mercy.  Her previous assignment had been destroyed, and since March, she had been kicking around on Starbase Bravo as an engineering assistant to help them with whatever they needed.  She had kept to herself out of habit, and her father had made some visits as his command had been shifted.  The Watership was to be renamed and reassigned while Peter Crawford went to work within various Operations departments.  They’d spent much of their time together reflecting on the terrible risks they had taken with the former crew of the USS Denver and the USS Heracles.

She’d only known the Pike as her home ship.  Crawford had found herself getting stir-crazy in her time on Bravo, so much so that she’d sent out a flurry of applications at the end of July, hoping to get something, anything.  It had taken a few weeks, but she’d been accepted as an engineering officer on the USS Mercy.  They’d asked if she could accept the demotion from Chief Engineer, and she’d scoffed at them then quickly mutely apologized at the mild shock that was present on their faces.  She’d explained, “I got Chief my first assignment out of the Academy.  That doesn’t happen.  It was a Raven Class – not a lot of us engineering officers to go around, you know?  I’ll be happy to have an engine room and a ship to call home.”

She’d been accepted and handed orders to get to the USS Mercy as soon as she could.  The ship had already left the station, and she was playing catch up.  She’d been excited to learn it was an Olympic-class starship – it would remind her of her father, Peter.  Now, as the shuttle approached, she stepped onto the transporter pad.  Soon, she vanished into the light.

“Welcome aboard the USS Mercy,” Ensign Jake Blakely gave her a nod as she stepped off the pad.

“Thank you, ensign.  Ensign Carolyn Crawford, engineering.  Reporting as ordered.”

Blakely accepted her PADD and read over it.  He handed it back, “Captain wanted to see you….” She moved to speak, but the doors to the room opened as in stepped an older man with captain’s rank pips.  Blakely blinked and sputtered, then recovered, “And there he is.  Captain Halsey, this is…”

“Ensign Carolyn Crawford.  Mr. Crawford, walk with me.”  She glanced at Blakely, who shrugged and returned to his duties as the captain motioned her along.  She followed, thoroughly confused.  Halsey continued as he walked with her, “Welcome to the Mercy, Ensign.  I was surprised to see you added to our crew if I’m honest.  We have an assistant chief engineer who is interim Chief at the moment, and she’d doing well enough.”  He stopped and turned to her, “I apologize if sounds like we don’t want you.  That isn’t the case.  You just surprised me…and I’m not a captain who enjoys surprises.”

Crawford worked to find the words in the middle of the empty and quiet corridor.  It took her a moment, but she managed with, “I was just as surprised, sir.  I didn’t think I get assigned to a ship as big as Mercy.”

Halsey chuckled and resumed walking, Crawford kicking into gear to keep up, “I know your father by reputation, Mr. Crawford.  Good man, a strong officer, and a capable captain.  The Mercy could have been his if he’d asked for it.”

She allowed a thin smile, “I think my father goes where Starfleet asks him, sir, not the other way around.”

Leopold came to a stop at the intersection of the corridor and turned to face her once more, “We all have our ways of navigating command, I suppose.  My assistant chief also interim chief doesn’t know you’ve arrived or been assigned.  We’ve had a bit of a busy day around here.”  He handed her a PADD, “Read up on the days events.  Your quarter assignments are there as well.”  He paused, “Let me introduce you to your future commanding officer in the morning…I suspect she’s not a fan of surprises either.”

Crawford examined the PADD and thanked him, “I’ll get myself bunked and rested for tomorrow.  Thank you, Captain.”  He gave her a mild nod and was off down the corridor, leaving Carolyn to think about what in the world she had found herself into this time.