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

11 – The New Day

USS Mackenzie
11.2.2400 @ 0630
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Harris sat in his quarters, coffee in one hand and a PADD in the other.  Jordan was already headed to sickbay to do rounds with her Assistant Chief.  The reports from the overnight were thankfully light.  They’d managed to map most of Hazari space but were no closer to figuring out where the SS Jeremiah had ended up.  There were notes suggesting that the Hazari may have found ways to cover up the rest of the trail, as they could have taken possession of the transport ship.

It was a lot.  He reflected on Captain Fontana’s confidence in him after they had experienced command together on the Eddie.  He held onto that confidence as he headed for sickbay.

Sickbay – 0645

“Captain….Harris.”  Lieutenant Greer Moore lay in an intensive care bed as Jordan Reid stood near monitoring her vitals.  Ambrose had pulled up a stool to her bedside.  She shifted her head, wincing as the pain scratched at her nerves, “I…am sorry for what….”

He held up his hand, “Lieutenant Moore.  You were under extraordinary circumstances.  What matters is you’re still with us.  I’m the one who should be saying sorry for what happened to you.”

Greer closed her eyes, “I didn’t think I would live, Captain.  They hurt every part of me.  I don’t remember much.  Just…screaming.  They didn’t care.  They just wanted to do what they wanted to do with the Mack.” He put his hand on hers, and she gripped lightly in return, “I want to stay on the Mack, Captain.  I don’t want to leave this place.”

Ambrose assured her, “No one’s going to transfer you, Assistant Chief.  You’re where you’re supposed to be.  We’ll get you healed up and back on duty as soon as we can.”

She smiled wanly, wincing at the pain, but the small smile remained, “Thank you, Captain.  I should rest.  Doc Reid seems to think I need some.”  Closing her eyes, Moore faded to sleep.  

Harris stood and walked to the end of the bed where Reid stood, PADD in hand, “Update me as needed, Chief Reid.”  A nod, and he was off to the bridge.  The Hazari awaited.

Bridge – 0700

“We’ve got a pretty good idea of where they’re situated, but it’s going to be a hit or miss.  Prentice will have his hands on immediate courses out of the area with warp speed.”  Okada looked better after a night of rest, and she quietly thanked him for yesterday.  “I’d recommend red alert only because we’ve had disappointment around every corner in the Delta Quadrant.”

Harris accepted the PADD, “Not a bad idea.”  Cardamon sat in the right-hand chair, reading a PADD of his own.  Reid had treated his disrupter wound, and he’d insisted he is able to back on the bridge the next day.  Okada shared that he’d been unusually quiet since arriving on the bridge a half hour ago.  He sat in his chair and turned to the Voth, “Good morning, Cardamon.”

He stared at the PADD for a moment and then looked at him.  Ambrose wasn’t sure how to interpret how the Voth looked like, but tired as a possible interpretation.  Cardamon gave him a bow from the chair, “Good morning, Captain.”  He seemed to be looking for words, his claws nervously playing with the PADD.  “I am…feeling… philosophical about the events of last night.” Okada moved over and leaned on the railing behind the Voth as he continued, “I was shot twice…and it hurt like,” he searched for the right word, “it is a Voth word…it means…a great awakening of pain and suffering with a realization of life and death.”  He turned to the XO, “Our language is complex.  If I said it to a fellow Voth, they could immediately tell me about a time when they had that kind of a moment.”  There was a brief sadness that passed across his face before he continued, “So that is what I am feeling.”

Ambrose leaned over, “We have similar words and experiences.  We would say ‘our life flashed before our eyes’ as if we relived our entire life at that moment.”  He nodded to Okada, “We could both tell you of those experiences and how it felt…but the important piece is that you find a way through those feelings to the other side.”

Cardamon sat back, thoughtful.  “You’ve given me something to contemplate, Captain.  Thank you.”  His attention returned to the PADD as he went silent once more.  Behind him, Okada shrugged and returned to her station.

Harris turned his chair forward, “Mr. Prentice, set course for Hazari space and engage.  Yellow alert.”  The lights and klaxons clicked over to signal the shields going up, and the alert status changed.  Cardamon glanced up nervously, even though he had been warned.  He studied the lights as they changed and muttered something in Voth as he viewed the bridge in its new color scheme.  The Mackenzie was in motion as the warp field played across the screen in front of them.

Their communication chief spoke up, “Captain, I’m picking up transmissions from Hazari ships.  Working on translating and identifying.”  Okada shifted from her console to one next to Atega, her eyes searching the screens for patterns.

Kondo announced, “Picking up multiple contacts, mostly small attack vessels.  Approaching the interception point…now.  Dropping from warp.” The screen slowed and showed open space and a planet in the distance.  The tactical chief confirmed, “We have four vessels approaching, armed with shields raised.  Confirmed Hazari design.”

The CO turned in his chair to Atega, “Open hailing frequencies.”  The whistling sound trilled, and he leaned on the arm of his chair, “This is the Federation starship USS Mackenzie, Captain Ambrose Harris speaking.  We’re here to ask some questions, nothing more.  We have no hostile intent towards the Hazari.”  He closed his microphone and waited.  Nothing.  

The four ships remained where they were as Atega worked her console, “Showing they have received the message but…nothing in response.”

Suddenly the four ships opened fire, impacting the shields.  Harris grumbled, “Apparently, it was a boring conversation.”  He moved to order Red Alert but held short. The weapons fire had only been a burst.  “Damage report?”

At operations, Calog shook his head, “Minimal.  Shields holding.”

Kondo spoke up, “I believe they are pulling their punches, sir.”  Harris glanced at him, eyebrows raised.  The tactical chief explained, “The power readings on those ships – their blasters, phasers, projective weapons would give us a mild run for our money.  They hit us with low-powered blasts.”

Ambrose, exasperated, complained, “Why does everyone in the Delta Quadrant seem to want to test our defenses?  Is it just us, or is this a new policy we didn’t get looped in on?”

Okada cracked a smile, “They might just like us better than everyone else.  Although ‘like’ may have different meanings in the Delta Quadrant.”

The CO tapped the console on the arm of his chair again, “This is Captain Harris of the USS Mackenzie.  Please respond.”  He muted the channel again and muttered,  “I’d be tempted to get into a shooting war if only to send a message not to mess with the Mack to the rest of this quadrant.”

Cardamon looked up from his PADD, “Captain, I believe I have a solution.”  Harris gave him a look to continue, and he did, “You may need to go into business with them in order to get an answer.  Open a contract.  Then they will become far more…talkative.”

Okada laughed and covered her mouth as she explained, “It is the most reasonable explanation…they are a bounty hunter species.  They are a business.  You gotta pay for what you want.”

Ambrose sighed, “Thirty more days of this.  Fair enough.  Do we contract them to find the SS Jeremiah?  Knowing full well they may actually have her as it is.”

Prentice spoke up from the helm, “It’s our only play.  We have something we need…and they need what we have.”

The CO tapped the arm of his chair, “This is Captain Ambrose Harris of the USS Mackenzie…we’d like to discuss a contract.”

The screen flickered to the bridge of a Hazari ship, and the captain stood, menacing the camera, “Now you are speaking our language.”

Harris was tempted to laugh out loud at the absurdity of it all but chalked it up to the growing list of absurdities of the Delta Quadrant.

Comments

  • The relief to read that Moore is alright is heart warming and the plead she did to stay onboard because it is her life, bravo! Mac getting into a shooting battle only to find out that the true language is to talk like a Ferengi! War is good for business! Wonderful turn around and makes it interesting to keep reading what kind of contract Harris will do.

    November 4, 2022
  • Oh, Cardamon, with his philosophical approach to being shot. I like how you brought up the tension with the Hazari, and as Ryoko mentioned, they seem to have a Ferengi way of dealing with things. In this sense, it appears to be contracts, similar to how the Ferengi acquire wealth. The ending had me in stitches, and it appears that Harris did as well. Continue your excellent work. Now for the next episode.

    November 7, 2022