Part of USS Mariner: M1: Into The Gamma Quadrant and Bravo Fleet: The Lost Fleet

19) Damage Control

USS Mariner - Ready Room
March 2401
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Entering her office, Sazra wanted to throw something or slam something. Waves of emotions were going through her of what had just happened. Yes, she managed to get the situation quickly under control, but at what cost? She is leaning against the window, her head hanging down and her eyes closed. Sazra needed a moment to let it sink in, let it be played over in her head. The feeling of her duty as a Starfleet Captain had overshadowed her judgment over her crew. 

The door opens as Silina and Adrián enter seeing Sazra standing at the window. Adrián leans into Silina and whispers “I told you that it would get to her…” seeing how Silina ignored it and moved more into the room waiting for Sazra to react.

She took a breath in and a slow breath out as she opened her eyes and stood back from the window looking at her colleagues and friends… family. Sazra narrowed her eyes and leaned against the window. “Give it to me, status report” 

Silina shrugs a bit and nods. “Security sweeps have been conducted and completed. Twenty-six people have been arrested in the attempt of a mutiny on this ship and escorted to the brig. Two people are in a chief position, and one is in an assistant position. The majority of the participants are new and enlisted. Security is digging up the regulations on how to deal with this the proper way seeing that their Chief is also arrested” 

“Engineering has sustained minor damage, same counts for the Bridge. So I have put Lieutenant Tarritt on it to fix what needs to be fixed. However, Doctor Th'shrithel is down on personnel and requesting either to review the medical personnel immediately and send them back or something else to fill the gaps. We have sustained injured people across the ship that is now booking the sickbay overtime” Adrián shrugs thinking back at his interaction in the engineering. 

Letting the numbers sink in made Sazra rub her face not trying to lose her composure over it. “Meaning that I need to find a replacement for the two departments, prioritize the medical personnel in their arrest process, and keep the ship afloat while going back to Opaka station” she said, touching her nose. 

“Well…” Silina gave out a bit and saw a piercing eye of attention coming from Sazra. “The thing is, protocol dictates that a mutiny is reported immediately to the nearest outpost” Holding her hand on her wounded arm. “But if we do that, then we need to explain why we have Dominion representatives on the ship” 

Letting her hands go down and biting her lower lip “F*ck….” Letting out the cursing word. “He knew this would happen, even if he would miracle succeed in taking control and do what he said he would. Rami would still freaking report it” Shaking her head, Sazra began to realize that the poorly executed coup plan was actually the diversion of the real goal. “He built himself a trap so that we are required to report it in.”

Crossing his arms “What if we bluff our way into Alpha? Do the regulations state when we need to do it?” Adrián blinked a bit trying to think along.

“I believe I just stated that we need to report it as soon as possible to the nearest station. That would be Opaka and not Starbase 86” Silina pointed out. “If we choose to bluff our way into Alpha. We risk as a Command Team taking the fall for neglecting our duties and making a stronger case to the appeal of the people that we now condemn for a mutiny to be validated” 

“Wait…” Adrián raised his hand looking at Silina. “Wait a second, what do you mean we would validate their reasoning for mutiny?" He felt a rush of frustration going up his spine. “Since when does Starfleet agree on those terms that a mutiny is validated?”

Shaking her head again, Sazra looked at Adrián. “Because if we ignore the principles of Starfleet regulations, we validate the actions of the mutiny. Remember that Rami stated that we are not holding onto Starfleet conduct and endangering the crew. If we tend to ignore the rules, their charges will be…. lightened or even discharged and they are free to get back into Starfleet services” 

"That is messed up. Would Rami think it so far ahead? I mean he doesn't seem like the guy that does such a thing, and we know him long enough to know him by now?" Adrián was surprised about it for sure.

“It doesn't really matter” Sazra replied briefly. “Because in the end, the damage is done. So we either tell Opaka station what has happened and risk exposing our true mission, or bluff our way into Alpha and lose a pip and maybe our position for it?” 

Those options hit the team like a brick, they played right into Rami's hand and their mission was now in danger. Not only was their mission in danger, but the lives that depended on it were also in severe danger because of neglecting and accepting one person's truth. Silina shrugged a bit. “I look at it differently. If we tell Opaka station about it, we will get towed into their docks and placed under arrest for deceiving them" She thought for a second. “If we bluff our way through this, we face arrest also because of deceiving and not following the chain of command regarding regulations. So another way, our current predicament in the given situation is that….we are screwed as a command team, but one leads to completion of the mission and saving many lives, the other risk that very outcome”

The other two stayed quiet for a second as Sazra nodded to herself. “Millions of lives depend on our completion. We got the representatives already on board and cooperating with our plan. I say screw the pips, I will sacrifice my career if it saves millions of lives” Sazra was quite blunt in her statement. Maybe the other lifetime memories of the previous host were rubbing off on her. 

Slowly nodding to the statement “I support that. Pips don't matter right now. We've all seen the reports of what is happening in Deneb. If this can end our colleague's suffering then I gladly put my career on the line” Adrián replied determined by his own words.

Before Silina could reply, Sazra raised her hand. “Before you state the same, you misunderstand my intent in what I said. I said, I will take the fall for this, you two have so much more to give to Starfleet and I would only feel guilty to bring you down with me for my choices” 

Narrowing her eyes a bit as she walked to Sazra and placed her left hand on her shoulder. “Don't sink with the ship just because you are the Captain. We are your command team and grown up enough to make our own choices. We were there when you made those choices. We will be obligated to intervene if your choice is unjustified. Most likely we will hear that also in the appeal if they would arrest us” She rolled her eyes and tilted her head to the right. “Plus you can hear Adrián's determination. No one can stop that level of stubbornness”

Seeing a proud nod from Adrián made Sazra smile. “You got the point on his stubbornness…” Placing her hand on that Silina “Thank you”. With that choice now made she took a deep breath. “Alright, Chief's problems?” 

Silina pulled her hand gently back and thought “We can put Miki in the acting Chief position. However, operations can be an issue” She bluntly pointed out “We don't have a direct experience assistant in that department. We could potentially put Drata in that spot as acting, though it is quite sudden” 

“Drata can pull himself together. Is he a Chief material ….not yet” Adrián pointed out. “Drata could step up for a while to ease the ship operations. But let's give Cailra a second chance. She did take Ensign Cho down when she tried to fire on me” 

Rubbing her face again, the fatigue of the hour-long shifts was catching up to Sazra. “I agree with Miki interim appointment as Chief. I can't entirely agree so much on the second chance part for Cailra” She looked at Adrián. “A Chief appointment is not only based on their experience or performance. It is also based on the level of trust the command team gives a certain individual and saying. Hey I trust you can do this without me looking over your shoulder” 

It was a difficult point to cross, but Silina didn't see many options. “We have to review a case by case with these people to see how deeply they are rooted in the coup. While I agree with you” Looking at Sazra “That a Chief appointment is based on the level of trust, we still are short-handed in the operation department. While Drata could fill the gap temporarily, I feel the man will get overwhelmed without any backup.” She shrugged a bit and looked back at Adrián. “So I agree with Adrián. We should give her a second chance” She raised her hand when Sazra wanted to object. “But after staying detained for at least 10 days and hearing her out on this mutiny. We need to stay objective which is hard I know, but she did end the siege in engineering, and that needs to be counted as a form of redemption” 

“So that means Drata to Operations temporarily and Miki as interim for Chief in security/tactical?” Adrián sums it up “I can handle engineering in that time of Drata's absence. What about the prisoners? We have to sort that mess up also" 

Sazra thought for a second and looked at Silina. “I got my hands tied with the representatives and found a way to bluff us through the wormhole. I need to keep delegating that issue into your hands.” Sazra felt guilty about doing this, but as her first officer, she was the person to deal with personnel. 

She felt the cloud hanging already and crossed her arms over each other nodding to Sazra's request. “I want to object, but seeing how you went down on Rami, I think it is also a safe bet for their safety" Silina joked a bit around that forming a soft smile on her face. “I will deal with these people and have Miki help out in the regulation part. If you need us, tell us. You are not alone in this whole ordeal” 

“Even if you think you are, you are not” Adrián pointed out with a smile on his face also “Let us bring this mission to a success and deal with Starfleet politics afterward” 

“Politics is indeed not the current concern. I thank you both for the vote of confidence in me. Adrián deal with the departments, Silina will deal with the personnel and I will deal with the command and the representatives. For now, dismissed, and Silina” Sazra points at her shoulder. “Get that checked before anything you do and that is an order” 

They both nodded and left the ready room leaving Sazra behind. She looked outside as stars passed and saw her reflection in the window. “I just hope this will get to a good ending” Mutters softly to herself. 

Comments

  • I expected to read about the emotional implications of a mutiny and the tangible realities of what it does to department staffing, but what I did not expect was that whole Starfleet regulations angle. Mutiny is a complex crime and, unless you've got a Staff Judge-Advocate on board, it makes sense that regulation would dictate you need to make haste for the nearest starbase in order to allow for appropriate handling of the sensitive matter... I had just never given that any thought, but you manage to reason your way to this point and turn it into an interesting plot point of its own. I also appreciate how you describe the mindset of the command staff: "I say screw the pips, I will sacrifice my career if it saves millions of lives." This has been a recurrent theme in the Lost Fleet story, the willingness to put the good of the people over oneself.

    June 1, 2023
  • That's quite a pickle the command team is in. I think ultimately they made the correct decision and I think that since they are following orders from their direct superiors that is a defense doesn't mean they will get off, but it's a defense.

    June 2, 2023
  • Interesting to see that whether or not Shew intended it he's forced the hand of the command team; as Allison says it's a cool angle to approach and makes perfect sense, could a senior staff really be objective in reviewing crewmembers who were trying to shoot them only a few hours ago? It's also a good touch to highlight the importance of a chief role too, another good piece of writing showing the weird middle ground for developing staff members.

    June 8, 2023
  • And the trap closes! I love how your command team worked through the issues here, from staffing through the fact they should report the mutiny, to deciding not to because it jeopardizes their mission, even though they put their careers in danger. All important decisions, made as a team. Looking forward to seeing how this plays out!

    June 9, 2023