Part of USS Mercy: Mission 2 – “Into the Breach”

And in the end…

USS Mercy
9.30.2400 @ 2200
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Leopold Halsey was tired.  Hell, they were all tired. Thirty days.  Search and rescue.  Recovery.  Rooting out the remaining Romulan separatists.  Helping Colony 159 rebuild.  Rinse. Repeat.  The crew had fallen into a rhythm with each other as the days had gone on, the mornings had come earlier, and the nights had stretched longer.  They had saved so many.  The reports were nearly complete. Out of 5,000 colonists, they had only lost 100.  The intrepid work of the medical teams, supported by the other departments’ quick action, had stemmed the tide of casualties turning into fatalities.  The injuries were the other side of the attack. 1,500 were initially injured, and through focused triage efforts, they quickly transported, treated, and healed many in the initial hours and days.

The last fifty ICU patients departed early this morning for the colony.  Intensive care had been busy, and the critical patient load had tested the still-new crew.  There had been some stress points for many of them.  The crew had learned what it meant to be the healing hands of the Federation – and the work that contributed to the ongoing legends and legacy of the Olympic class ships and crew.

He pushed himself out of his chair and sent a message to his command team, commending them on their hard work.  They would depart the sector shortly and head for the nearest starbase for resupply for whatever was next.  That was the big question that weighed heavily on Halsey.  What was next for them out there?  What challenges would await them in the next sector or on the next planet?

=^=Bridge to Captain Halsey, you’re needed on the bridge.=^=

He stepped out of his ready room and through the door, “Report.”

Wellington Jackson at communications spoke up, “The colony representatives wanted to speak with you before our departure, sir.”  Halsey gave a nod and turned to the screen.

The rugged face of the interim governor appeared on the screen, a look of anticipation filling his face before he spoke, =^=Captain Halsey – I wanted to thank you and your crew…again.  We’re sad to see you go – getting to know you and your crew has been one of the few joys in the last month for us.=^=

The CO returned the compliment with a warm smile, “Governor Larsen, I’ve heard nothing but good things from my crew about the hospitality of you and yours.  I’m sorry this had to happen to bring us to your doors.”

A nervous smile drifted across the man’s face, =^=We’ve…had some requests from colonists to leave and return to their home planets. I’ve sent your communications team the list to forward to Starfleet Command.=^=

Leopold frowned, “Are they worried about further attacks?”

The tall and lanky man shook his head, a rueful smile accentuating his words, =^=No, I think they’re just tired, Captain.  Living out here on the edge comes with risks…and those risks wear on people.  Please make sure the list is given to the right people, Captain Halsey.  I wouldn’t want to ask these folks to stay if they truly wanted to leave.=^=  There was a hint of something in his voice that Halsey recognized.

“I understand, Governor Larsen.  I’ll make sure it gets to the right people.  We wish you the best.”

He sighed a sigh of relief and resignation, =^=The same to you, Captain.  May the Mercy fly true.=^=  He stared at the screen for a moment before quietly closing the channel.

Wellington spoke from his station, “Sir…what was that about?”

Halsey scratched at his overgrown stubble, “I think whoever he’s trying to get off the planet may be a little more high value than he’s willing to admit on an open channel.”  He turned to the communications chief, “Get me Commander Jessica Torrez in the Colony Relocation Services office at Starfleet Command, priority one on a secure channel – put it through to my ready room.”  He shook his head, “What a way to end this mission.  Helm, set a course for the nearest starbase for resupply and repair.  Warp six at your leisure.”  He retreated to his ready room as the USS Mercy took a deep breath and flew true in a flash of warp speed.