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Part of USS Mackenzie: Mission 5 – Answering the Call (ATC)

ATC 008 – Another Assignment

USS Mackenzie at Starbase 72
02.04.2401 @ 1230
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Harris sat in his ready room, frowning.  An application had come through for the assistant chief science position, and he’d been staring at it for a long time.  The file was an incredible read.  She was over three hundred years old for starters, and for a Vulcan, that was a long time.  Ambrose wondered how T’Penga would get along with Chief Fowler.  He was also left to wonder how his executive officer would react to another Vulcan, and one significantly older than her.  The truth was they needed a stronger science team and Fowler had been quietly asking for help since she’d been promoted.  He tapped his badge, “Captain Harris to Lieutenant T’Penga, please report to the USS Mackenzie and see me in my ready room.”  Sitting back in his chair, he began to prepare his questions.

T’Penga of Vulcan had boarded the Mackenzie about two days ago and had yet to meet the Captain. The ship itself did not seem too different from the Excelsior Class that she remembered. Which was something that she could appreciate. She had been setting up her meditation table in her quarters when the Captain called. T’Penga tapped her comm badge. “I am on my way, sir.” Moments later, she found herself outside of the Ready Room. After ringing the door chime, she placed her hands behind her back and awaited the Captain’s answer.

Ambrose glanced up, “Come on in.”   He gestured to the chair, “Feel free to grab a drink from the replicator if you’d like, Lieutenant.”

T’Penga took the chair offered and sat rigidly straight. “Thank you for the offer, Captain. However, refreshment is not needed at this time. Lieutenant T’Penga reporting as ordered, sir. I must apologize for not checking in with you sooner. I have been getting… How does the human expression go? …My sea legs back.”

He sat down in his chair, PADD in hand.  He held it up, “You’ve got quite a file.”  He had read through it several times.  Each time something new came to mind.  He landed on, “You could have had the choice of where you ended up – your record is fairly sterling.  Why Mackenzie…and why Assistant Chief of Science?”

“I shall answer the second part of your question first, if I may. Assistant Chief Science Officer was my last posting prior to my disappearance and subsequent reappearance. When I decided to take another shipboard posting, it seemed only logical to start where I last left off. Now as to the Mackenzie, again, as the idiom goes, work with what you know. The Excelsior Class was the workhorse of the fleet many years ago, and here is the refit version of that very same class. So logic dictates I start there as well.” T’Penga spoke in even tones without the slightest hint of emotion or expression. She was one with total logic, and the Kolinhar had purged all sense of emotion from her.

Harris understood her desires.  T’saath had started to help him acclimate to the unique dynamics of a Vulcan officer, and he suspected that T’Penga would continue to teach him the ways.  He leaned forward in the chair, “A return to familiarity, I suppose.”  He tapped at his PADD, “I think you’ll fit in well here on the Mack, Lieutenant.  I’ll send you the details of your superior officer, Sadie Fowler.  She’s currently on an away mission, but…”

=^=Bridge to Captain Harris, we have a message from the away team, sir.  Well, I don’t know if it’s from the away team.  They want to talk to the Captain.=^=

Ambrose glanced at his new assistant chief, “Welcome aboard the Mackenzie.  Join me on the bridge.”

T’Penga cocked her left eyebrow in that all too familiar Vulcan way as the Captain walked passed her and out to the bridge. “Yes, Captain…” She followed him out and onto the Bridge.

He headed out the door and glanced at Ensign Atega at communications, “Put it on screen.  Lieutenant T’Penga, take the science station, please.”  Harris turned and stood facing the viewscreen, unsure of what he was about to face.  It flickered and then solidified on a face that chilled him.  It was a Devore Imperium officer, and the smugness was universal.

=^=I am Pantheon, and I am one of the leaders of this colony world.  Your crew is currently being detained for suspicion of anti-governmental activities.  We will transmit a complete list of allegations.=^=

Ambrose didn’t attempt to hide his disdain and frowned, “You asked for us.  We sent our crews to assist.  Your allegations are baseless – none of our crew would consider doing anything like that.”

=^=Their trial will be held in three days.  We will also transmit our laws and legal code of conduct to you.  You are allowed three defenders to stand for them in our courts.  The clock starts now, Captain Harris.=^=  The screen cut.

T’Penga took her station and immediately began to run any and all scans of the planet. It may have not been needed; however, she found it logical to have as much information as she could gain. She also managed to gain tracking of the away team by their life signs via the shuttle above the planet at least for the time being. She had just arrived, and already she was in the thick of it. 

Harris walked to his chair and tapped the console, “Message to all crew of the Mackenzie – return to stations within the hour.”  He turned to the science officer, “Suggestions?”

“I have managed to get tracking on the away team. I have used their life signs for the sensors to track. This way should they be moved we can find them. In the immediate, I would not recommend beaming them out or trying to get them back by force. We should follow their legal procedures until we know more. I would assign three officers to go down there as defense counsel. Logic would dictate that yourself should be one of them.” T’Penga found the charges and the proceedings to be fascinating. 

Harris considered her suggestions, “I think I’ll have to be one of them.  You would be an additional resource as you’re as close to an impartial person as we could find – you’ve spent all of a few days aboard the Mackenzie.  We’ll depart the station in an hour and head to the planet.”  He considered another point, “Meet me in my ready room at 1330 and we’ll dig into what we’re up against.”

T’Penga saw the logic in the Captain’s request that she join the defense team. Although since she was still relatively new to the ship she did not quite know what she could add. “Yes sir…” She said in response to the Captain’s orders. This certainly was an intriguing situation and one that she would like to see the ending of.