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

11 – Uneasy Courage

USS Olympic
3.15.2401
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Crawford sat at the briefing room table with his XO and the senior staff as Chief Kondo from the Mackenzie gave his report.  “The joint investigation with the Janoor III security forces confirms that a small group of officers from the Galor fleet had gone AWOL from their duties on their ships after learning of the discovery of the Supreme Commander.  They worked to come up with a plan to rescue him before the trial and actively worked to break him out and then flee.  We’ve identified and arrested three remaining Cardassian officers whose fellow officers gave up on the ships.”  De La Fontaine mused, “The Janoor III government has waived any extradition rights to them, and they’ve been secured on the Olympic.”   He took his seat.

Crawford had been amused when the message from the planet had come through.  It had been terse and straight to the point.  They didn’t want any part of having to mete out any justice anymore.  One firefight within sight of their vaunted Hall of Justice had been enough.  He sat forward in his chair, “We’ve completed the initial treatment of the colonists at the outlying cities that had been poisoned.  Most will survive, but five colonists will succumb within the next week.  We’re working with the local government as well as the capitol.”

Dread was next, “We’re starting to work our way through the larger cities with targeted vaccination clinics and health checks.  We’ve identified some short- and long-term solutions for some nutrition issues connected with food production and supply.”  The reports from each department continued until Crawford thanked them for their continued hard work and dismissed them.  Dread remained seated until the door closed.  “You worried about me, Pete?”

Crawford scoffed, “They broke your leg, smashed the other one up pretty good, and gave you a concussion.  I think my worry is valid, Helena.”  He slipped into the seat next to her.  “And before you say ‘been there done that,’ hear me out.”  Peter related his Dominion War experience, “I thought I could handle it…but those years felt longer than anything I’d experienced before…and at the end of it, I had to sit down and look hard at myself.”  He glanced at her, “We’re trained to have the greatest capacity for the troubles of the universe…and sometimes we convince ourselves we can carry it alone if we can just get to the next assignment or checkpoint.”  He sat back in his chair, “You’re a force of nature, Helena.  But even hurricanes need support from the environment around them to keep them wreaking havoc on the world.”

Helena turned to face him, a sly smile of amusement crossing her lips, “Your metaphor sounds more like an insult than a compliment, Peter.”  She punched him playfully in the shoulder, and he returned the smile.

“You’ve got a reputation to uphold, Captain Dread.  I wouldn’t want to risk minimizing it.  Besides – Hurricane Dread has a nice ring to it.”  She rolled her eyes and chuckled.

 

Fowler sat at her station, staring at the sensor reports.  They’d continued to monitor the neighboring fleet for any movement, and her understanding of tactical operations had grown over the last week. She wasn’t quite ready to apply for a tactical officer position.

“Lieutenant Fowler.”  She jumped up at the voice of her former fellow Mackenzie and embraced him, drawing a deep chuckle from him and amused glances from the Olympic bridge crew.  He sat beside her, “What do you have on the Dominion forces?”

Sadie tapped at her console, “It’s staying pretty consistent at 100 fighters and two Battlecruisers.” She shifted the reports, “Their patrol vectors have slowed and are starting to resemble an organized arrangement.”

Kondo approvingly tapped her on the shoulder, “Sadie Fowler, you sound like me more and more.  That’s some nice work!”  He traced her work with his eyes and confirmed, “You’re on the right track.  They’re starting to shift into formation.  How long do you estimate until they’re ready to launch?”

Fowler felt her old panic rise from her stomach at the sudden question she had not exhaustively prepared for.  Her eyes widened, but she refused to listen to the voices telling her she didn’t know.  She repeated the mantra ‘I know I can figure it out’ in her head.  Sadie tapped at the console, “Given what we know from previous engagements, we’re looking at a minimum of 24 hours to a maximum of 48 hours.”

The Mackenzie’s Tactical Chief clapped his hands and whistled in appreciation, “You’re right on target, Fowler.  Nice work.  Send me the report, and I’ll brief the captains.”  She accepted his high-five before Kondo headed off the bridge.  She sat in her seat, a broad smile filling her lips.  She’d been working so hard to understand her job as Chief Science Officer…and she’d been studying long hours on the tactical side of things.  It had paid off.  The smile remained as she turned her attention to the rest of her duties, courage and pride filling her soul.