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Part of USS Mackenzie: Mission 1 – Back to Work

The Waiting

USS Mackenzie
10.31.2400 @ 1000
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The USS Mackenzie was flying through space on its way to the wormhole to the Delta Quadrant.  Orders had come as expected, Captain Harris had held his command-level team briefing two hours previous, and the department heads had been working with their teams to give the overview along with the specific parts they were going to play.  The nervous energy that he’d heard about when it came to moments like this was certainly being felt across the ship and in him as well.  He’d been walking the corridors for the better part of an hour, and he was thankful – it was helping him find his way around the massive ship.  He’d cleared the saucer section and was no working his down the secondary hull.  He passed a few officers in the hall and greeted each of them with a nod or warm smile.  Thirty percent of the faces were known to him and had been with him on the Eddie.  The other seventy percent had heard of him in passing but were still working to figure him out.  He could see it in their faces as they passed him, glancing at his rank pips and then to his face and then returning the greeting as they walked on to their destination.

“Captain!”  He turned to see his chief counselor bounding down the hallway, “Was going to come looking for you.  Everyone’s on the ledge a little about this, aren’t they?” His look must have been quizzical as she chuckled, “I mean to say that I’ve been talkin’ with some of our crew.  They’re all a bit uneven.  Not enough to turn back, but enough that I wanted to talk to you a little.”

He gestured to the corridor ahead, “Let’s walk and talk.  I’m trying to see the ship from one end to the other.”  As they walked, she spoke of the worry that the younger officers were expressing and the outright fear the cadets were confessing to having about what awaited them in the Delta Quadrant.  They came to a “T,” and he thought about what she had said, “How many counselors do we have?”  

“Twenty.  Ten of them double as orderlies and nurses for Doctor Ried when we’ve got an emergency situation.”

Ambrose glanced at his chrono, “We’re slated to arrive at the wormhole tomorrow morning.  I’m wondering if organizing some…something around departments later this afternoon into the evening?  Food, drink, music…games?  A way for folks to come together, break some bread, and have some time to be together.  I could even give an encouraging word or something.”

Woodward was tapping on her PADD, “I think that is pitch perfect, Captain.  I’ll get my people in motion.  Maybe we have folks gather in their departments first, and then all gather in the crew lounge?  It is big enough.  I checked.”

“Get to work, Lieutenant Woodward.  Let me know what you need from me.”  She squealed and went careening off down the opposite way.  Harris, with an amused look on his face, continued his walk.