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Part of USS Mackenzie: Mission 3 – Island of the Damned (IOTD)

IOTD 033 – Remember the Why

USS Mackenzie
12.29.2400 @ 0530
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IOTD 32 – Remember the Why

The morning had come quickly.  Harris rolled out of bed, stretching and groaning.  His girlfriend lay in bed, still peacefully asleep.  Her night had been longer with working through the injured Palasa people.  She’d stumbled to be around 2 am.  Harris stood in the shower for longer than usual, his head trying to clear the horrors this mission had brought them.  A prison planet with a dark side.  All powerful beings had been intent on taking over the galaxy and had been undone by their reliance on a steroid.  He slipped into a fresh uniform and adjusted his rank pips.  The mission wasn’t done yet.

He walked out of his quarters, PADD in hand.  A crewman stopped him in the hall, “Sir, we’ve got a really great idea for a recreation room.”  Harris resisted the urge to pass the man off and asked to take a look.  Fifteen minutes later, he was sold and had added a few ideas that the crewman hadn’t thought possible.  “Thank you, captain.  I’ll send it to Commander T’saath.”

Sipping at his coffee in the turbolift, he met eyes with one of the lieutenants on the night shift who was leaning against the wall of the elevator.  “You doing ok, Tanisha?”  She cringed and said she was ok.  He shook his head, “Ship rule number one – don’t lie to me.  I won’t lie to you.”  Tanisha Gregg confessed she’d been having trouble sleeping with her transition to the overnight shift.  He pulled up his PADD and made her an appointment with Juliet, saying, “She’s really good at helping our insomniacs.”  The door opened, and Gregg gave a wave as she headed off.

The doors to the bridge opened up as the chrono hit 0600, and Harris lifted up his coffee, “Good morning.”  A smattering of replies was returned, and he slipped into his chair, sipping at the steaming mug in one hand while tapping at the PADD in the other, “Do we have an update on an Olympic class coming to replace us?”

Atega took that one, “Starfleet Command got back overnight.  They’re sending an escort group with her just to be safe.  Should be here within the hour.”

Harris chuckled, “Palasa is going to love that.  Fowler – how did the planetary survey go?”

She lifted up a mug of coffee in response from the science station, “There’s plenty for the task force group to examine, I can tell you that.  Palasa had a mining operation before the Arretans took over, but they weren’t disclosing everything they were mining.”  Harris glanced back at her and to his PADD as she sent the report to him, and he audibly gasped.  She raised her eyebrows, “I think Palasa is going to find themselves having to answer some very…uncomfortable questions.”

Ambrose observed, “Poor Palasa – couldn’t have happened to a nicer group of syndicate pirates.”  Another tap on his PADD, “Commander T’saath will be back to full duty tomorrow.  Starfleet have anything to say about our resident El-Aurian?” Atega stood and walked a PADD over to the captain, who raised both his eyebrows, and she wordlessly handed it to him and returned to her station.  Harris opened the document after certifying his credentials and whistled low after he’d read the full report.  He stood and glanced at Atega, “Have Henry Wyatt meet in my ready room.  Tir, you have the CONN.”


The door opened, and Wyatt stepped in, taking the offered seat across from Harris, who took a sip of his steaming tea before he handed a PADD over to the El-Aurian, “Starfleet has completed their review of your record, actions, and history that you were willing to provide.  They will require a full and complete debrief back at Earth once we’ve finished her…but….”

Wyatt pointed at the PADD, “They’re serious?  Master Chief and Quartermaster on the Mackenzie?  This is a joke.”

“No joke, Master Chief Wyatt.  I’ve gone ahead and assigned your quarters and an office and informed your new department of your assignment.”  He leaned back, “To be clear – this wasn’t my preferred choice.  They sent the orders through, and I’m just the cautious messenger.”

“You don’t trust me.”  He said it plainly and leaned forward in his chair, “Putting on that uniform is an agreement with you and Starfleet. If I’m going to call this place home…I can’t afford to hide things from you.”

“You said ‘if,’ Wyatt.”  Ambrose stared at him, “You’ll have three days to make your decision after your debriefing is complete.  I won’t wait around for you.”

Henry read through the PADD details again.  He tapped his signature to the orders, “You won’t have to wait, captain.  I’m ready to work.”

Harris asked, “Why?”

“Why what?

“Why say yes so quickly?”

Wyatt stood from his chair, “Walking these halls and talking with the crew…this is a special place, captain.  I never had a good experience with starship crews in my day.  This place is different.”

Ambrose let a wry smile pass his lips, “You did say if I had been your captain, things would have been different for you.  So will they?  Will they be different for you now?”

“There’s only one way to find out, captain.”

“I’ll accept that, Master Chief Wyatt.  Welcome aboard the Mackezie.  Let’s get to work.” He left the room with a mild smile on his lips and a slight spring in his step.  His journey toward his final frontier continued.