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Part of USS Mackenzie: Mission 4 – Harris Transport Chronicles Chapter 1 (HTC1)

HTC 004 – Reflecting on Home

Opheim, Montana
1.3.2401 @ 2100
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Harris sat in the office of his house, the console at his old desk bright in the evening darkness.  He’d arrived a bit harried with Cardamon at the wheel, and he’d taken a few moments to get the old house open again.  Memories floated from room to room as he walked, voices from the past itching at his ears.  Finally, he sat at the desk and began working backward on the USS Garrison and Rachel, now Elizabeth McKee.  He’d been at it for an hour when his mother entered the room, her hair tied up under a wide-brimmed hat, her smile wide at seeing her son.  He stood, and they embraced tightly, exchanging greetings and catching up on the latest and greatest.  She found the bottle of dark liquid in the corner and soon sat on the rich leather couch, sipping at the whisky.  “She crashed into bed early…I figured you’d need some time to remember…things.”

Ambrose sighed, “I got started.  Looking through my report, the XO’s report, captain’s report…it all lines up.  I thought maybe there was a hint of something here or there…but the facts and figures lined up just as I remembered them.  Pirates attacked.  The Chief died in the middle of it all.  I pulled everybody out of engineering, including Rac…Elizabeth.  I lost my leg, but we managed to keep going.”  He gestured to the screen, “I was looking into the other reports when you walked in…did she say why?”

Rachel Harris sipped and shook her head, “Her exact words,” she pulled up her tablet and scrolled to her notes, “…were ‘ I knew what was coming.  I could have stopped it.  I could have saved them all.  I let them die.’  We haven’t been able to get much out of her.  Both her parents are long gone, and she’s an only child.  I think she didn’t have anywhere else to turn…so she came to find you.”

Harris tapped at the console on the desk, “The important thing is she found you.  I looked into the records for the Garrison…she was taken out of active duty shortly after I transferred…she’s been sitting in a surplus yard a few sectors away.  Surprised they haven’t scrapped her or sold her off.  Miranda Class hasn’t seen active service in a while.”

His mother sat forward on the couch, drink in hand, “You’re thinking of getting onboard her?”

Ambrose wasn’t sure what he would do, “I’m wondering if getting back on board with her would help.”

Rachel held up her refilled glass, “…or it could make it so much worse.”

“It’s a fair point.  I put in a request to the dockmaster to see about visiting the Garrison.”  He tapped at the console and shut it down, “How are things here?”

“It’s been an experience getting things in order.  My brother was an idiot…and that wife of his didn’t really do much.  She was content to be the softer side of things…trouble was, so was he.  We’ve lost a few teams in the shake-up…but I’ve been able to find some really good people to step up.”

“…and Natalie?”

She smiled, “She’s finding her feet.  She likes it here…and no, I don’t know if she’ll ever go back to Starfleet Academy.  She wants to be more than just the sister of Ambrose Harris.”

He sat forward at his desk, “I don’t blame her. After what happened in the Delta Quadrant…I’d have a hard time wanting to get back into space again.”

“And yet you did.”

“I don’t think I’ll ever be able to give up being able to search the stars.  There’s something about the expanse of it all…it just…draws you in and calls you along to the next adventure.  What about you?”

She set her empty glass on the desk, “I’ve found myself happier with dirt under my feet and the sun shining down on me – can’t really explain it.  I think this is where I’ll stay.”  She leaned over and kissed his forehead, “Good night, ‘Brose.”

As she walked out, he fell back in his chair.  She’d come looking for him, his mom had said.  She feels like you’re the only one left.  He held those words in his heart as he closed the office and headed upstairs to sleep, hoping for a clearer picture in the morning.