Part of USS Issedon: Whisky Tango Foxtrot and Bravo Fleet: Blood Dilithium

Little Plastic Trees

~Nov. 2400
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In his quarters, Jamie was finally feeling better. He’d drunk two snifters of whisky, washed it down with some gin, and was just rousing from sleep. He was preparing for the next however-long shifts he’d need to do, and he ALSO knew he was going to need to assign a team to find a group of alien beings, about whom they had little information and even LESS involvement with. It could prove to be a dangerous mission, and so he’d have to tread lightly. Maybe asking for volunteers instead of just assigning folks would be the best course of action. He sat up then, wincing against the cool air that greeted him. He *really* needed to start getting his life together-he was getting old, too old to maintain this lifestyle, but also really not wanting to change his habits. They had worked for him this long, hadn’t they? Had they? He shook his head, the voice of his subconscious sounding suspiciously like Alex’s voice. He stood, pulling a fresh uniform from his bureau and readying for a quick shower. After, he changed into the uniform, and looked at himself in the small mirror. He kept his quarters sparse-a bed, a bureau, a desk, chair, and a fake plant that someone had given him once. The mirror was an old, OLD one that was stuck to the wall with barely-still-adhesive engineers’ tape. He was going to shave, but decided he was still too tired, but took a minute to take in his image as he brushed his teeth and combed his hair. He LOOKED like an old man-nose reddened from the alcohol and late nights, lines by the corners of his eyes from that near-constant look of boredom he kept-irises dulled by pain, loss, the weariness of a life hard-fought. Thinning lips he smiled to hide a lot, but some people still somehow figured it out. His carefully-curated visage of “je ne sais quoi” sometimes cracked, when he least expected it-like it NEARLY had that morning, talking to Johnson. CRAP. Johnson. With a quick rinse, he was done with his self-care tasks and headed out of the door. On his way to the elevator, he saw Engineering hauling a large fan in the direction of the medical bay. He knew better than to ask questions he didn’t want an answer to, and, while he ALSO felt that he was the Captain and needed to keep in the loop, he knew that Roger would tell him as soon as he could if it mattered that he knew. After a moment, he was standing in front of Johnson, prepared to take a report. “Commander, what’s the news?” The correct ask was “What is the passdown” but Jamie never stood on tradition, and besides, it brought him a bit of childish joy to mess with the XO just a little bit. Johnson must be tired because Jamie was surprised when the man didn’t even get a LOOK on his face, and instead, just simply answered. Dr. Harrison is proceeding forward with his idea about the transporter illness. I figure it’s worth a shot, right? The young woman from Engineering, the Romulan, she’s helping him out, and the Science team is working on an anti-matter process to clear the blood crystals from the planet. Engineering is on standby to assist them OR the ship if we get blow-back. Nothing new in the atmosphere, and the plants are in the same position as they were when you left, Sir.

Jamie nodded, pleased that Johnson had enough sense to arrange those things. But that’s why he’d probably be Admiral before he was sixty and Jamie would be lucky to be alive at sixty-five. 

“Great. Thank you so much. Any word on the condition of the empaths?” He watched as Ben stood to give him the Helm seat. As well as can be expected, sir. Dr. Harrison said he’d have more information for you shortly. Shall I bring the rest of the team off of emergency protocols? The Devoran is still about but nothing untoward seems to be underfoot. Jamie nodded. “Please do, then you can take your leave.” Ben nodded, issued the orders as asked, and hauled out of the deck room, running into Maggie as he did. She looked a mess; like she hadn’t slept a bit. Lt. Why don’t I take you to MedBay? You don’t look…great. Good job, Ben, just make yourself sound like a total idiot. He shut his eyes for a moment, and then reopened them to see her smirking at him. “I don’t need it, just couldn’t sleep. It happens. Have a lot on my mind. Anyway. Since you took us off emergency protocols, it’s time for me to work.” She looked towards the empty tactician’s seat. He nodded. Alright, but if you start to not feel well, tell the Captain that I said you can leave. She nodded, and he moved past her. He wanted to go back, take her with him to his quarters. Not in a sexual way, just to have something to cuddle so HE could sleep. He wasn’t sure that the pure exhaustion alone was enough. He fell into bed, and let the sleep take him. 

Back on the bridge, Jamie sent an all-call on the Comms system. “Department heads, report to the Bridge immediately, unless you’re in Medical. All department heads, to the Bridge.” He sat back, and rubbed his face. After a few minutes, several people were gathered around him. “Let’s move this party to the Command room,” he stood. “Tacticians, please monitor the systems; Lt. Eastlyn, you’re in charge for the few minutes this should take.” The woman had once been a Fenris pilot, but had come over to the “good” side after sustaining an injury that had almost killed her. He liked her immensely-mostly because of his own background as a space vigilante, but also because she was quiet and never minded his bullshit. After a moment, the Department Chiefs were in the room, seated, and he spoke. “Go back to your departments, and ask for volunteers. I need a small party to transport to a planet that is near-ish, about one warp out, and find the former inhabitants of Sides*. Due to the unfamiliarity of this quadrant to us, it may be dangerous, so make sure you highlight that. I need at least ONE security, and ONE medic, as well-Hospitalman Carter, please relay this to Dr. Harrison.” The young Corpsman nodded. He sighed. “Please report back to me in one hour.” He glanced at his wristwatch. “Thank you.” He stood to return to his command chair. No one stopped him this time, and it was quiet as they all left to return to their departments. He knew that they understood the severity of the situation, and were behaving as such. *I realized I forgot to clarify the pronunciation of this in previous chapters. It’s “see-days”, the planet of the lucid plants.  



  • You've got a way with characterisation. Reading this chapter, I felt fully steeped in Jamie's perspective. It was like going on a Trek adventure through the lens of film noir. It's left me deeply curious about why Jamie is the way he is. Life in the Federation is usually pretty easy, so something bad happened to him. In future chapters, I'd suggest starting a new paragraph break whenever a new character starts talking. You're building a good rapport between Jamie and Roger and it'll be even easier to read with slightly different formatting.

    January 8, 2023