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

ATC 016 – In Life and In Death

USS Mackenzie
02.05.2401 @ 1200
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The bridge was empty save for Commander T’saath and the operations chief, Tir.  The news of the captain’s death spread quickly once the senior staff was briefed and counseled by Woodward.  They had requested another Federation ship be placed in their stead, and a replacement had arrived an hour ago, and the Mackenzie was underway back to Starbase 72.  The crew was meeting in small groups across the ship with Woodward and her counseling staff.  Additional counselors had been transferred from the replacement ship to assist.

Pantheon and his followers were to be transferred to Starfleet Security.  An investigation team was on the ground at the colony, conducting interviews and examining the scene.  T’saath was thankful the crew had not been tasked with such an endeavor.

Calog sat at his station.  His captain was dead.  He had known the man briefly but had come to appreciate his style and ways.  Now there was every question about what would happen next.  A senior staff meeting had been called for upon their return to Starbase 72.  He shifted in his chair.  His symbiont Tir had been unusually restrained, and they’d spoken quietly to each other once the news had been shared.  She’s been giving him vital comfort through their connection, and he was finding a renewed sense of purpose from their joining.

T’saath sat in the center chair, her arms gently resting on the arms.  Tir sat in the helm station, quietly working on the processes already moving into place at Starbase 72 and beyond.  The captain’s family had been notified, and the body would be transferred from 72 to a Harris Transport ship.  The two remained silent and worked at their stations as the Mackenzie thundered home, her captain at rest.

 

“Dr. Reid.  I’m so sorry.”  Captain Geronimo Fontana extended his hand, and Jordan gingerly shook it, sliding into the chair.  A messy collection of tissues was grasped in her right hand, and her eyes were red and still filled to the brim with tears.

“Thank you, Captain Fontana.”  She fought the sobs, “I know you said I should wait, but I needed to do this quickly.”  She pulled off her communications badge and slipped it into his hands.  With a deep sigh, she removed her rank pips from her collar and did the same into his hands.  “I cannot do this.  I’m resigning immediately.”  She held up her hand, trembling.  “I can’t stay here.  It reminds me of him and us.  I need to get him home and help put him to rest with his family.”  She sniffled and wiped tears from her eyes, “I don’t think I’ll ever be back, Captain Fontana.  Fill my position, please.”  She stood from the chair and sobbed before burying her face in the tissues.  He approached her and placed his hand on her shoulder.

“I’m not going to stop you, Jordan.  The door is always open if you need it.”

She glanced at him with a weak smile, “That means a lot, Captain Fontana.  Thank you.”  She touched his hand briefly and departed out the door and into the corridor.  He stared at the door, the weight of the loss of one of his officers weighing down on his heart.  He returned to his desk and sat, reflecting in the silence.

 

Rachel Harris stood at the dock, dressed in black.  Her daughter, Natalie, was similarly outfitted.  Several staff members were standing at attention, waiting for the transfer of the body.  The news had come as a shock, and she held her daughter’s hand firmly as they stood patiently. She had never imagined having to bury her son, and her anger increased at the Devore Imperium’s actions.  They had played a long game, taking advantage of her son’s loyalty to his crew.  She knew Ambrose had ignored the security parameters for the away mission.  She also knew his senior officer in charge of such matters had been captured, and his advice had not been there in the critical moment it was needed.

Ambrose Harris, her son, was dead.  His girlfriend walked carefully with the coffin towards them, her eyes filled with emotional anguish over her loss.  Rachel placed her hand on the container and quietly spoke to her son.  A moment later, she waved it on and embraced Jordan.  No words were exchanged.  None were needed.  The grief and loss united them in silence.  They all walked slowly onboard the ship and sat down, surrounding the coffin as the door groaned closed and shuddered shut.