Part of USS Damascus: M1: Just A Gentle Touch and Bravo Fleet: Blood Dilithium

24) The aftermatch

USS Damascus - Bridge
November 2400
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The Devore ships had made their quick exit after a devastating defeat from the large Blood Crystalline Entity that came to the rescue of the Damascus. Meanwhile, the crew settled down and let the now-past event settle in. Damascus was still severely damaged after the events at the grid and now with the patrol ships. But life continued, and repairs were started once again. The bridge crew was tense as they could see the sizeable crystalline shape still hovering above their heads. 

“Commander, the entity is not doing anything right now. The moment that Devore retreated it stopped” Rami was puzzled about the whole ordeal and didn’t know what was wise in the current situation. Would firing upon this entity be wise? Or just a mark of sudden death. “We could make our exit right now” 

“That seems like the most reasonable idea right now. Ensign, take us to the maximum of warp we can handle” Silina orders as she sits back in the command chair.

“Yes, ma’am” K’Nala responded. She looked tired after the countless interactions over the past few days, yet she did her best to keep her spirit up. The same fatigue was present with the other officers. People were tired and needed a rest from these events. Pressing a few buttons and sliding one upward as the Damascus jumps into warp, “Warrrp 3.7 is the max we can do, Commanderrr” 

Silina nodded to that. “I take it. The status of the entity?” She looked over her shoulder to Rami.

“It followed us in the warp. It’s like stuck on us as glue” Rami shrugged and tapped his finger at the side of his console. “Should we do something about that thing?” It sounded stupid when he suggested it, and he rolled his eyes, wanting to take it back. 

“I wouldn’t advise you to do so.” A voice came from the turbolift as Sazra entered the bridge, followed by Kossaal. “The Entity has helped us more than once. Going to shoot torpedoes into it would make us no better than the Devore that tortured it” She stood on the middle platform, looking at the screen.

“Captain, what are you doing here? You need to go back to sickbay and recover from your interactions with the creature” Silina stood up, looking worried at Sazra. “We got everything under control here, you have done enough, and you might have saved us when I had to lock down the ship.” She was unsure that her act was correct, but handing the ship to the Devore was not an option either. 

Kossaal was checking on some bridge officers “I have been saying that since the moment she stood up from her bed and left my sickbay violently.” He nods to the Lieutenant and pats him on the shoulder, moving to the next. “But I tend to agree that her stubborn behavior has saved potentially us from certain destruction,” Treating a leg wound from the enlisted. “Stay still” He mentions to the enlisted. 

Lowering her head a bit as Sazra’s eyes looked slowly around the bridge seeing the amount of damage that was done to her bridge. She felt a weight on her shoulders from everything that had happened, but it was also the first calmness that reached her mind in a long time. It has already been more than 12 days since being in Delta Quadrant. Her eyes stopped at those of Silina standing there looking worried. Ah, she looked so beautiful. The thought crossed her mind as she let out a small smile. “Don’t worry about it, Commander. You have acted accordingly to Starfleet orders. The Devore is forbidden to seize control of our ships, and I think most Captains will take it to the extreme to prevent that at any cost” 

“We might have acted accordingly, but if you look back at our history of the last few days, we have broken at least a few rules out there” Adrián pointed out with a shrug followed. “I know we acted in pure desperation with the given situation, but will Starfleet value the same conclusion in our actions?” Adrián knew that he was discussing something more for the command structure’s ears. But somehow, this would concern every single one of them on Damascus

The bridge became quiet for a second until K’Nala turned her chair. “We did …what we had to do. Ourrr crrrew perforrrmed remarkably durrring the tense events of the last few days. We might have brrroken a few Starrrfleet rules, but it is for the sake of ourrr safety that we had to. Starfleet dictated that we had to pull back from the grrrid when therrre was dangerrr. But that also conflicts with ourrr standarrrds of responding to those that requirrre ourrr help. The Red Lunarrr requirrred our help. Yes, we made mistakes…but in the end, we saved them, and we had no idea what we would find out therrre. Starfleet doesn’t train us to fight a legendarrry creaturrre such as the Crrrystalline Entity! Especially being influenced by the blood dilithium,” K’Nala blinks, only now noticing that everyone is looking at her as her ears lowers a bit. “Sorrry if I spoke out of turn” 

Everyone was surprised at the sudden lecture that the young ensign gave. Sazra’s red eyes were slowly changing to their original color as she smiled at K’Nala “You don’t have to be sorry for speaking your mind, Ensign. I and the rest of us appreciate hearing your opinion” She waves slowly to the others at the bridge, smiling at her. “But while you are right, everyone did perform within the limited space they were given. We got the research data from the grid. We have scans from the area, which was our primary mission. We manage to hold our ground against the Devore with the help fo the Crystalline Entity” 

“We managed to save the transport ship people trapped by the Devore” Silina pointed out as she crossed her arms.

Taking a deep breath and shaking his head. “While I disagree with certain choices and opinions, we did get valuable information on the blood dilithium effects on telepathic people” Kossaal looked at Sazra for a second only to return to his duties of checking everyone. 

“We also managed to wreck our new ship after one mission. Damn, this is going to take me weeks to fix,” Adrián smirked and shook his head, looking at the damage report that came in. “But most importantly, your piloting skills saved our ass, Ensign” Adrián looked at K’Nala “You are of all of us, the MVP right now. Your flying made it possible for us to stay active. 

Everyone agreed and nodded collectively to each other with the statement, “I…am the MVP?” K’Nala felt her eyes tear up and began to wipe her eyes “I …I didn’t do much…I did only my job” She tried her best to stay brave and not cry in front of the whole bridge crew.

Kneeling next to the young ensign, Sazra placed her hand on her shoulder, seeing K’Nala’s eyes look at her Captain with watery eyes. “You did good, I have only seen you in action when entering the grid. And I agree that it was stunning work you did back there. Everyone did great out there, but you deserve this praise, and I believe Commander Valerio’s observation in this” K’Nala nodded to her as Sazra looked at the screen seeing a man standing there leaning against the wall next to the screen “Oh boy, you are here? What I told you on invading my head”

“We know we are not supposed to be in your head without permission. We slowly understand your social ethics.” The man replied while his arms were crossed over each other, “But we notice that there is no danger for this vessel” 

“You have noticed that correctly” Sazra stood up, looking in the direction of where the man was standing.

Silina shrugs, seeing no one in the direction of where Sazra is talking. “Captain, are you okay there?”

“Here we go again. She is talking to her imaginary friend” Kossaal said sarcastically. “It might be an after-effect from the connection with the large creature out there” He tried to get a reasonable explanation for this behavior, but even that sounded bizarre, to say the least. 

Rolling her eyes at the comments, “Please show yourself to them as well, or I will be getting a white coat when arriving at Markonian Outpost.” She shook her head and looked at the others looking at her with questionable eyes. 

The man looked at everyone on the bridge. “As you wish” Everyone, except for Sazra, suddenly grabbed to their heads as a piercing pain surge came to them, forcing them to close their eyes for a brief few seconds. Then the pain slowly faded away as everyone opened their eyes and only then noticed the man standing there. “They can see us now” 

“Who…what are you” Rami said quickly in a defensive position. He still could feel the pain in his head. “What did you do with us?” 

Kossaal narrowed his eyes, pointing his tricorder in the direction of the being. “Fascinating, it shows that there is nothing there, but there you stand” The doctor was curious about what had just occurred to them “How did you make this connection even possible?” 

The man looked at the Andorian with no change in his facial expression. “We have learned from our connection with the being named Sazra Praugol. Your methods of communication can be considered barbaric in our society. We are, after all, further developed than your minor species.” The man’s eyes looked at Rami “ We are the entity you see out there. This protection is what is deemed acceptable for you. As said before, we created a telepathic connection with the people on the bridge per her request:” He looked at Sazra.

“Well, that begs the question, why did you help us? Our history doesn’t show positive interactions” Silina rubbed her head and was quite blunt with the being.

The man’s eyes looked at Silina when suddenly Sazra spoke up “Because I helped them being cut away from the effects of the blood dilithium. Their mind was stuck that the effects of the blood dilithium overruled their senses and made them blind to what was going on around them. The Devore somehow figured this weakness out and used it against them. They were testing their weaponry to see if they could control the being” She looked at the man, who nodded in agreement. “This was their way to repay the made debt of my help to them”.

Adrián leans at the console while looking at the being. “So why did they eventually attack the Damascus?” He referred to the puncture on a particular deck that was still crystallized. 

“To help me take control of the given situation of the invaders” Sazra looked at Adrián. “It was the only way for the entity to help us out there” Looking back at the man “But your debt is repaid. You can go if you desire so. I would advise you to leave before we enter the neutral zone. We know you are not hostile to us, but other species might think differently about it” 

The man nodded to Sazra. “We shall take our leave and take distance from you. But we feel obligated to stay nearby until your ship is safe from any danger. We thank you again for your assistance in this matter and breaking our chains from the blood dilithium” He looked at the others and bowed slightly as he disappeared in front of them.

Rami looked at the console seeing the large Blood Crystalline Entity take distance from their position “ They are indeed leaving our flight trajectory” It felt like a relief for him that the most significant danger had accepted their Captain’s advice to take distance from their ship “With our current status, how long until we arrive at Markonian Outpost?” He looked at K’Nala.

She turned her attention to the console and tapped “On the current speed, at least nine days until we arrrive at the outpost” 

“I will work on the engines with the material I have, but I will make no promises to get those engines back to specs. We have sustained quite some damage from those encounters” Adrián pointed out, already scanning the reports of damage.

Silina looked at Sazra once again. “I believe I can take it over from here, Captain” She smiled softly. “If you stay any longer, our doctor will suspend you from your active duty” 

“Now, that is an idea I will have to consider” Kossaal stood up from the last crewman and looked at them both.

“Alright, I get it. I will go back to sickbay” She raised her hands to admit defeat. Sazra shrugged and started to walk to the turbolift, followed by the doctor “Commander, you have the conn” Not turning around until she was in the turbolift and looked at Silina, who nodded to her.

“Aye, Captain, I have the conn” She replied, sitting back down in the command chair. 

“Sickbay” Kossaal answered as the tubrolift doors closed.