Part of USS Mackenzie: Mission 6 – Uneasy Alliance and USS Mackenzie: The Mackenzie Squadron – The Uneasy Alliance

23 – An Uneasy End

USS Mackenzie
3.20.2401
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“You got the chair right, Chief.”  Wren sat in the center chair.  The carpet had been ripped up, and the damage to the walls scraped away.  The ceiling was pockmarked with missing pieces.  Most of the consoles were working, and the chairs had been repaired.  The bridge was a bare skeleton, her wounds gaping.

Okada smiled proudly, “We’ve got warp up through eight.  We’ll do a little more work on the way, see if we can get our girl a little faster.”  Walton clapped her on the shoulder, and the commander left for the turbolift.  Wren sighed as she looked around the bridge.  It had been beaten and bruised…but she still worked.

“Sensors reporting we’re all clear.  Ops confirms all Mack crew is back onboard. Our Janoor III guests are happy to be here.”  The XO turned in her seat, an uneasy smile crossing her lips.  The bruises and some bandages remained on Park Seoyeon.  Despite it, she had requested to be cleared for full duty that morning.  She had lived.

Wren gave her an assuring smile back, “I’m just glad they all fit.  We’ve got a long list of colonies to transfer them to, so we best get moving.  Castillo, let’s set some courses while we’re at it.”

Reede spoke up, “Olympic is calling, Captain.” Walton still wasn’t sure what had happened between her and Captain Crawford in his quarters a few days ago.  She wasn’t sure he was sure either.  They hadn’t talked about it since.  She motioned for the channel to open.

Crawford sat in the center chair, surrounded by his crew.  Smiles were exchanged between the old Mackenzie crew before he spoke, “Captain Walton, we wanted to thank you and your crew for their efforts in saving Janoor III.”  

His smile was genuine, at least.  She wondered what that meant…if anything.  She replied, “We paid for it, Captain…but it was the right thing to do.  These people called…and we answered.”  She allowed her own smile, “We’ll see you at Starbase 72 once we complete our drops.”

Pete replied, “We’ll be waiting for you all to come home safely.  Take care, Captain Walton.”

She replied, “You too, Captain Crawford.”  The channel closed, and she leaned back in her chair.  She ignored the stare from her XO until she could ignore it no more.  “Helm, let’s get moving.  Let me know when we get to our first destination.  Park, join me, won’t you?”  She stood and stalked into her Ready Room as the Mackenzie jumped to warp.

The door closed behind Park Seoyeon, and she raised her hands, “I admit I stared a little too….”

Wren waved her hands, “That’s fine.  I mean, it’s not fine…but…whatever.”  She smoothed her uniform in an effort to calm her nerves, “He said ‘take care.’  I half expected him to wink!”

Park gently grabbed her friend around the shoulders and moved her to the couch, setting her down, “You’re kinda funny when you get twitterpated.”  Her CO stared daggers at her, causing Seoyeon to laugh aloud, “You like this guy!”

Wren sat back in the couch, grumbling, “He’s my deputy commander of the squadron.  We can’t be flirty while debating operational theatre choices.”  She crossed her arms and pouted.

Her friend cackled and didn’t apologize, “You could be flirty.  That MSD table in operations would be a great place to….”  Walton smacked Park playfully over and over with a pillow from the couch, and they dissolved into laughter.

The captain regained her composure, “We haven’t had many reasons to laugh like that in a while, Park.”  She wiped the tears away from her eyes, “You can’t be seriously suggesting I start up a relationship with Peter Crawford.  He’s seven years older than me for crying out loud.”

The XO shrugged, “It didn’t stop you before.  You gotta admit your string of successful relationships isn’t much of a standard.to measure anything by.”

Wren fired back, “You haven’t done much better.”

Park smiled deviously, “I’m still young; I’ve got years and years….”  Walton smacked her again with the pillow, and they rolled their eyes at each other.  She offered, “Seriously…there’s nothing wrong with dinner with a fellow captain.  Give it a few…dates and see if things still have that spark from that…hug.”  

Park emphasized ‘hug,’ and Wren groaned, “I regret telling you about it in the first place.”  She chewed at her fingernails and sighed, “You might be right.”  She ignored the silent victory dance her XO performed before crashing back on the couch with Walton.  “What am I going to do?”

Seoyeon gently hugged her friend, “We’ll figure it out.  First, let’s get these people homes they can live safely in, and then put this poor girl into the repair house…then we can plot and plan on seducing Captain Crawford.”

Walton groaned again, but it was still heavy with sarcasm, “Why am I friends with you?”

Her XO booped her on the nose, “Because I’m helpful.”

“Or annoying.”

A final chuckle from Park, “Or both. Both is good.”  She stood and straightened out her uniform, “I’m glad you found me, Wren.”  

She left the ready room, and Walton begrudgingly admitted in a whisper, “Me, too.” 

Comments

  • I am still of the opinion that Wren is my favorite character I've read during the entire FA, I actually laughed out loud when Park mentioned the MSD table in operations haha! I really love their dynamic and friendship, they really do make a good pair serving together. And I really enjoyed the tender moment at the end where Park told Wren she was glad she found her. Wonderful stuff!

    June 9, 2023