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

ATC 019 – The Next Command

USS Mackenzie
02.07.2401 @ 0800
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“You didn’t hesitate to get back to me.”  Wren Walton sat in her new ready room, leaning back on the couch and staring out the windows at the interior of Starbase 72.  Her old friend, Park Seoyeon, was at the replicator getting her dose of coffee, a wry smile on her face as she listened.

She sat opposite the captain and sipped, “I wasn’t getting anywhere with that idiot.”

Wren chuckled, “That’s no way to talk about your commanding officer.”

“How does that old expression go…pot calling the kettle black?”

Walton rolled her eyes dramatically, “We were talking about you, not me.  How much yelling did you do?”

Park winced, “A little too much.  My discipline report doesn’t put me in the best light.”

Wren held up the PADD she’d been reading, “You remember anything I tried to teach you?  This reads like you didn’t learn a damn thing, Park!”  She raised her eyebrows at the woman.

The commander sighed, “I’m sorry, Wren.  I tried.”  She felt the stare from her friend and mentor intensify.  She relented, “OK, I didn’t try hard enough.  It’s just…he’s such an idiot!”  She fell back into the couch, knowing what was coming her way.

“You can’t break protocol or professional standards just because you think someone’s an idiot, Park. You have to have reasons…evidence…a trail of details explaining why they’re an idiot.  You had none of that.”  She tossed the PADD on the couch, “You’re lucky I have a position.”

Park pouted weakly, “I don’t want your pity.”

Wren scoffed, “Reality check, commander…you need it.  If I don’t take you on as my last project, they’re talking about sending you back to command school for remedial training…for a full year.  You may not want my pity, but you need it.  Otherwise, you won’t step foot on a starship for a long time.”

Seoyeon chewed on her bottom lip.  She’d met Wren two years previous on her former command. She lacked some impulse control, and it had come to bear when she’d been promoted to executive officer from chief science officer.  Her captain hadn’t been willing to put up with it, and Wren had come onboard to assist.  “I don’t like admitting when I’m wrong, Wren.”

Walton shook her head, “You’re going to have to start learning with me how to do just that, Park.  The Mackenzie is a big ship with a big crew.  This isn’t a Rhode Island or an Intrepid class ship.  You’re in the deep end of the pool, and we’re gonna have to teach you how to swim damned fast.”  She sipped at her coffee, “Think you can do that?”

Park studied her fingers briefly before she glanced up, “I can, Wren, if you’ll help me.”

The captain of the Mackenzie stood, “Push, pull, or drag, commander.  Welcome aboard the Mackenzie.”  She held out her hand, and the younger accepted as her CO pulled her up and embraced her lightly, “Don’t screw it up.”