Part of USS Olympic: Mission 1 – Uneasy Alliance and USS Mackenzie: The Mackenzie Squadron – The Uneasy Alliance

01 – Dread and Crawford

USS Olympic
03.01.2401
0 likes 384 views

“Captain Crawford.”

“Captain Dread.” They were sitting in Peter’s ready room, he in the desk chair, and she across from him.  Her face wasn’t hiding anything.  She was mostly amused, and to be honest, so was he.  He might have labeled it bemusement. “It’s been a few years, Helena.”

She chuckled, “Always figured you’d be an XO for the rest of your life, Pete.” A wry smile flicked across her face before she held up her PADD, “So, two captains on a ship, eh?”

He admired her ability to be jocular one moment and serious the next.  She was a consummate professional, and it as odd as it had been to read her assignment to him, he’d been relieved.  Executive Officers were a grab bag of rust to latinum.  “Big as the Olympic is, she needs a steady hand in medical, and the natural solution was to have them hold the XO role.”

She accepted the compliment with a cock of her head, “I’m ready for the challenge.  Already started working through the duty roster.  I have your permission to make some changes?”  He gave her a side eye, and she laughed, “I know, I know.  My reputation precedes me.  The interim chief left much to be desired.”  He didn’t disagree, and she continued, “I’ll need a free hand to get my hands around medical and science.  I need a day, maybe less.”

“You already have your lists, don’t you?”  She acted as if he’d just accused her of murder but nodded a little after the fact.  “Make sure everyone has a place to call home when you’re done, Helena.”

“I promise you I’ll be….”  

Suddenly a voice broke through Crawford’s badge, “Bridge to captain.  Priority Alpha Secure Message from Starfleet.  CO and XO’s eyes only, sir.”

Peter arched his eyebrows.  There was an edge in the voice.  Something was up. “Put it through.”

A chirp and the desktop console lit up, requesting security authorizations.  Both typed it in and gave their verbal acknowledgments.  The face of another captain filled the screen.  He glanced at both of them, seemingly satisfied they were secured.  “I’m Captain Geronimo Fontana – Executive Officer over here at Task Force 72, Fourth Fleet.  You’re being transferred to our task force.”  He let that sink in before continuing, “The Dominion has returned.”  They listened in mute shock, then horror, and eventually, something resembling acceptance as he laid out the briefing.  Fontana promised more updates as they made the best speed to Starbase 72.  The channel closed, and Helena let out the breath she’d been holding.

“I don’t like this, Pete.”  She’d been around long enough to live the first war as a cadet.  “The last time we did this…that was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in Starfleet.”  She leaned back in the chair, “We’re going to have to prepare the crew.”

He nodded to the screen, “Crew changes are a part of this.  Captain Fontana just sent it through.  Seems we’re taking on a crew who recently lost a captain in the line of duty.  They’ve been off the lines since early February.”

Dread grimaced, “If it’s not one thing, it’s the other.  Or both.  Both are good.”  She pushed herself out of the chair, “I’ve got less time than I thought to clean up sickbay.”

Crawford acknowledged the sudden change in direction and temperature, “I think we’ve all got less time for anything normal, Helena.  You know where to find me if you need me.”

She smirked, “You’ll hear me coming before you see me, Pete.”  She stepped through the door, onto the bridge, and was gone.  Crawford stared at the blank console screen.  He’d need to get a staff briefing together.  Rumors would start to spread as the mission briefings were rolled out across the fleet.  Time was now of the essence.  

He reflected on his time on the USS Denver that had begun in 2374.  The nightmare had been real, and it had taken him time to process everything they had experienced.  War never changed, and it was still hell. 

Comments

  • A heartwarming reunion turning into a reality check very quickly, the Olympic services might be needed much more than they would think I presume. I look forward to your adventures! Keep it up :D

    May 8, 2023
  • Two captains eh? Could be interesting for sure. Even though Dread was a Cadet during the war Peter is going to have unique experience thG could help with this conflict.

    May 16, 2023