Part of USS Mercy: Mission 3 – “Lost in Space”

The Morning Report

USS Mercy
10.14.2400 @ 0745
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The doors to the bridge opened and Halsey stepped on his bridge.  The officers were shifting to their stations and he spotted Sorek standing from the center chair.

“Captain.”  Sorek nodded.

Leopold gave a slight nod, “I expect Captain Pottinger shortly.  She’s made an impression on most of the senior staff.”

“I heard,” said Sorek.  He was hearing talk from around the ship, but he didn’t want to say anything in front of the bridge crew.

Halsey moved to share a smile but halted when the turbolift door flew open, and Captain Pottinger stepped out, her eyes searching the bridge as her assistant dutifully followed behind her.  She stepped into the central command area, “Captain Halsey.  Commander Sorek.”  Ensign Laurel handed over a PADD to her which she examined briefly and then headed to the CO, “We’ve completed our preview work with your various departments.  My evaluation of their status is included for your review and signature.”  She glanced at the helm, “The course to our target planet has been entered into the computer.  Departure is set for 0800 hours and at warp 9 we will arrive tomorrow morning at 0600.  We’ll begin operations immediately upon arrival and the operational crew will need to be ready.”

“Captain Pottinger, have you chosen the personnel for the initial phase of the assignment?” said Sorek.  Normally that would be his purview, but with Pottinger commanding the mission, the decision was hers.

She gave a cursory nod.  “You will be serving as my executive officer for the mission.  Lieutenant MacDonald will be assisting with the medical operations.  Lieutenant Beattie will be assisting with science operations with Ensign Laurel working with him. Lieutenant O’Shea will be handling our security efforts.  I’ve assigned Ensign Crawford to handle our engineering operations.  Each of those officers will select two to three additional departmental officers or crewmen to serve alongside them.  All others will stay on the Mercy to support the ongoing operation.”

Halsey remained silent but nodded at the appropriate points.

Sorek nodded.  “I will inform them of your orders.”

Pottinger eeked out a slight smile, “Thank you, Commander.”  She turned to the helm officer, “Helm, plot a course to the coordinates that were provided.  Warp Factor 9.”

The helm officer glanced back at Halsey and he almost laughed out loud.  Almost.  He gave a nod.  Pottinger’s head turned to him, her eyes widened a little as the Mercy jumped to warp.  She didn’t say anything, but her stare communicated something other than kindness.  She turned and left the bridge without saying anything. The turbolift doors closed and Halsey turned to Sorek, “Commander, you have the CONN.  I’m going to review the reports she filed on our operations.”

After the two captains had left the bridge, Sorek addressed the helm officer.  “Captain Halsey commands the Mercy.  You were correct in looking to him first.”

The pilot appeared to be relieved.

Halsey entered his ready room and let out a long and deep sigh after the door closed.  He wasn’t looking forward to reading the report and instead went to his replicator and ordered a vanilla rootbeer, plopping down on the couch and relishing the flavor.  Fifteen minutes later he refilled the glass and opened the PADD to start reading the report.  He nearly spit out the drink and tapped his badge, “Halsey to Sorek – report to my ready room.”

Sorek got up from the command chair and looked at the Ops officer.  “You have the conn.”  He stepped into the ready room.  “Captain?”

The door closed behind the XO and Halsey grumbled, “I just sent a copy of her report to you.”  He pointed to an extra PADD on the desk and scooted over on the couch, “She walks the line in calling our people idiots, but it’s pretty clear she doesn’t think our Chief Science Officer isn’t worth much.  Her report on our security team isn’t much better – she specifically identifies the practice of Dougal’s knife as out of line with Starfleet Guidelines and she’s borderline wondering about the mental health of our Chief Engineer who she didn’t sit down with but completed multiple observations…she went as far as to put the Assistant Chief in charge of all the engineering operations.”  He gestured to the report, “It’s a lively report.  I’m curious to hear your thoughts.”

Sorek quickly skimmed through the report.  “We know our people.  We have completed two important missions together.  Her opinions of them are irrelevant.  Until we discover Captain Pottinger’s motives, we must follow orders.  I know this is personal for you, but the assignment won’t last long and she’ll be gone.”

Halsey grimaced, “I wish it wasn’t personal, but you’re right.  It is maddingly personal…and it’s a cold war that she’s playing.”  He sipped at his drink, “Logically, it’s just a wait her out until she’s onto whoever else she wants to torture. He tapped at the PADD, ”I’m going to sign off on this report and I am not going to like it.”

“We must do everything according to regulations and protocol,” said Sorek.  “That way, as Humans say, our butts are covered.”

Leopold chuckled, “Vulcan humor – it does help break the moments of frustration.  It’s also got a more explicit idiom cousin – CYA as in cover your ass.”  He checked his chrono, “One of us is going to have to break the news to our Chief Engineer before too long – Pottinger will send out the full roster assignments later tonight.”

“Humor?  I don’t know what you mean,” said Sorek.  “I will inform Lieutenant Cordon.”

Halsey smiled quietly.  Vulcans.  Mysterious and hilarious intentionally and unintentionally.  “I’ll leave you to it, Sorek.”  He waited as the XO left the ready room, the door closing behind him.  Halsey growled, “Goddamn Pottinger.  Goddamn it all.”  He plopped back on the couch and returned to his reports.