Part of USS Mackenzie: Mission 2: Wayward Sons and Bravo Fleet: Blood Dilithium

9 – The Power of Grief

USS Mackenzie
11.1.2400 @ 1930
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They’d pulled back from the expanded Devore Imperium borders.  Harris sat in his command chair, running through the reports from the attempted takeover of the USS Mackenzie.  They’d put the unconscious twenty back on their ship and sent it slowly flying back into Devore space.  They’d kept an eye on the area as they’d left, and the farther they got, the more readings they picked up on ships coming to the border to hold positions.  Okada had worked hard with her team to ensure that the saucer separation was reversed completely.

“Captain, I have an updated report.” Sadie Fowler called out from her station.  He stood and soon stood beside her as she ran down what she had found, “The transport ship that was detected recently is the Aerie Class SS Loch.  The readings for the Sydney Class SS Jeremiah are not as recent.  The Loch appears to have entered Devore space about a week ago.  We tracked it as best as we could, and as far as my team can tell – the Loch has not returned.”

Harris narrowed his eyes as he tracked the readings, “Anything you can tell from the warp trail?”  

Fowler turned towards the Chief Engineering Officer, who sat a few seats down from her on the bridge, “Chief Okada had some theories.”  

Katsumi gave a nod as the CO sat down next to her, “I do have some interesting information.”  Her face told the story that her heart was feeling.  Her assistant chief had been beaten and tortured by the Devore invaders as a means to get the saucer separation underway.  Lieutenant Moore remained in intensive care in sickbay.

Ambrose leaned in, “I can get the information myself, Chief…if you need some time.”  He returned the weak smile she had given him, “I’m a former chief myself.”  Okada stared ahead, her hands hovering above the console, slightly shaking.

“Can…can I talk to you in your ready room, sir?”  He led her through the door at the back of the bridge.

As the door closed, he tapped the console enabling soundproofing of the room.  He guided her to the couch, where she sat, shaking her head over and over again.  She didn’t move or speak for a long while.  Then she blinked and turned her gaze to him.  “God Fucking Damn Them.”  She repeated it a little louder and kicked the coffee table gently at first and then started pounding on it with her heels until her tears flowed freely, and she accepted a box of tissues from her CO.  “Pieces of shit.  Just…absolute garbage creatures.  To do that to Greer…just…why would you do that to someone?  How…fucking depraved do you have to be to have that in your heart…or hearts…I don’t know the physiology of the dickhead Devore.” She sobbed into her hands, “I just promoted her…and her reward is to get abused by careless cowards.  Damn, damn….damn.”  Harris shifted, so his shoulder touched hers, and she slowly looked up, her face stricken by the grief of a friend and a commanding officer.  “Why do we have to keep feeling this, Captain?  Why is this necessary?  I hate this…hole in my stomach.  It’s like the wound from the Eddie isn’t healed.”  She leaned into him, and he held her gently.

The door opened, and Lieutenant Juliet Woodward stepped in and made her way to sit on the other side of Okada, who wailed, “Oh, Juliet…” and shifted from Harris to the Chief Counselor.  Woodward held the XO in her arms as her cries continued, the sobbing shaking her body as the cycle of grief became a weight on her soul.  Harris stood and gave a nod of thanks to Lieutenant Woodward as he returned to the bridge.

“Katsumi…I’m so sorry.”  Okada continued to cry, letting out the pent-up emotions she thought she had processed and reconciled months ago.  A few moments later, she shifted up to the sitting position, her face flushed from the tears.

“Goddamn feelings.”  She looked heavenward, “To be a Vulcan…or an Android.  So much simpler.”

Woodward chuckled lightly, “I dunno about that Vulcan wish.  I’ve done my time and work with those folks, and as much as they work on controlling those pesky emotions – they ain’t all that and a side of beans. They spend months…years…entire lifetimes getting control of their feelings.  It’s a whole thing that’ll make your head spin and hurt.”  She poked her friend and superior officer, “As for being an android – something is missing from those creations that makes us different.”

Okada let out a long sigh, “It doesn’t heal, does it?”

Juliet stood and grabbed two cups of herbal tea from the replicator and handed one to the XO, “Healing…isn’t the right word.  You heal from a broken bone, but you sometimes carry the scar from it.  It’s the same with emotions.  Given time, counseling, and good ol’ fashioned processing – you can find a place where you can handle the reminders of grief…and the emptiness that that person or persons left.  When you’re constantly finding yourself revisiting that trauma in a similar way…the bandaids often aren’t good enough to hold back the pain.  You lost fifty of your friends.  That doesn’t just heal overnight…or even after a year.  It takes time.  That’s the part that sucks.  There’s not a lot of spare time right now.”

Katsumi grumbled, “God damn Delta Quadrant.”

Woodward raised her mug, “I second that motion.  Place is nothing but trouble.”  She leaned back in the couch and turned to her friend and patient, “You really like Greer, don’t you.”

A soft chuckle, “She’s crazy like me.  We talk about specifications as if we’re speaking an entirely different language.  She’s an engineer, through and through.  She was so happy to be promoted to Assistant Chief…her smile was so big.”  She took a long drink of her tea, appreciating the honey that had been added.  “I might need you to come down and work with my team…I’m clearly a wreck…but some of those folks went to the academy with her.  They’d follow that girl anywhere.  Part of why I chose her.”

Juliet got a refill for both of them and returned to the couch, “I haven’t gotten a chance to sit down and talk with Lieutenant Moore.  Tell me more about her.”

Katsumi sat back, and felt a smile return as she began to tell the counselor about her assistant chief engineer.

Comments

  • This is so heartwarming, so sad at the same time. Command coming together to grief and to remember is the thing that is carried so heavy in this post. Well done, I love how Harris keeps his professional distance and yet is able to comfort his crew through this time. I wonder what else will happen in the next few posts, keep it up!

    November 4, 2022
  • I wasn't expecting that kind of language from Okada. It was refreshing to see the raw side of her emotions, even if they were influenced by a previous set of circumstances. This part's title was perfect, and you portrayed it exactly as it should be. You continue to demonstrate the power of emotion and drama in your storytelling, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading and being taken to the ready room. Keep up this great story telling, and I look forward to reading the next part.

    November 7, 2022