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Part of USS Seattle: In A World Called Catasrophe

Begin Again

USS Seattle - Captain’s Ready Room
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[USS Seattle – Captain’s Ready Room]

 

Captain Nathan Hawthorne could swear that he could feel the difference between being on the USS Anaheim and the USS Seattle. As a newer, quicker and all around better ship it felt better, though he knew that intellectually he could not tell the two apart. Things though were looking up for him, with a new command and a new First Officer maybe the five years going to the worst assignments that Starfleet had to offer had finally paid off. Maybe this was the start of something exciting.

Something new at least.

The Ready Room was no larger than on the Anaheim. It was newer, and had been the subject of better care leading it to be a nice place to remain. There he had set up his bespoke coffee equipment, one of the only personal effects that he had really collected over the years, a tribute he thought to the city of Seattle which had been well known for its coffee. It still was actually though very few people these days drank coffee from the rainy city in the Pacific Northwest. He was using a pour over method to make a cup when his door chimed, and he answered with a simple, “Come in.”

His First Officer Commander Adriana Cruz entered and waited until the door slid shut to sigh, “You know you can get coffee out of the replicator.”

”It’s not the same,” Hawthorne said, “Want a cup.”

”I had one, from the replicator. It took ten seconds,” Cruz said.

The Captain made a disapproving noise and continued slowly pouring water out of a kettle onto the ground beans. This was better, though he knew that such thoughts were as impossible as being able to tell that he was on a newer Rhode Island class ship versus his old California class. 

”We’ll be done sweeping this region in a day or so,” Cruz said, “nothing much here worth our time.”

Their old duty had been to go to the worst spots in the region and provide medical care. Often they were in disasters, picking up bodies which had worn on the crew. Now they chased ghosts. The ship was not the Defiant or any battleship exactly but the Seattle did have enough armaments that most trouble makers avoided them, which meant that thus far they’ve been visiting areas of space with nothing for them to do.

“We’ll keep looking. I’m not mad that we’re starting off slow, it’s good to get the new crew members integrated into the crew,” the Captain said. A new Chief Science Officer, new Chief Strategic Officer, and a new Assistant Chief Strategic Officer had joined with the new Assistant Chief Medical Officer to round out the crew. Both Science and Strategic Officers were roles that the Anaheim had not had.

Cruz sat in a chair, “The Assistant CMO is Romulan, just so you know.”

”I saw her record,” Hawthorne said, “Her dad’s Starfleet. She was raised human, by humans. I’m not worried, it’s not like we have a Tal’Shiar exchange Commander or anything.”

“Remember when Starfleet used to do that with the Klingons? Like I want to go stay on a Klingon ship,” Cruz said.

”Their captain probably makes blood wine the old fashioned way,” Hawthorne joked returning the kettle and removing the pour over attachment from the cup, leaving only the coffee there.

”That’s when the first officer stabs him and takes over the ship,” Cruz said.

Hawthorne grinned, aside from the physical attraction he felt for his First Officer which he was doing his best to keep out of his mind, she was smart and fun. Obviously the doctors who he’d been assigned in the role previously had been smart, but they were smart in a showy way where they constantly had to remind Hawthorne that they were doctors, and knew what they were doing. Maybe they had and he just had not listened, but he was a good Captain in his own mind, and they should have shown him the deference of rank. Cruz at least treated him like a superior even when joking about killing him in a Klingon based honor fight.

Meeting her and their physical affair had been a mistake, especially when they had continued it after she had been assigned to him as his First Officer. In fairness to both himself and her, neither of them had known that was going to be the case until later on. Now they were trying to be good. It was especially important for him, as he was just getting started on the next phase of his career and did not want to screw that up by abusing the power imbalance between him and a younger junior officer. Of course it was one of the burdens of being the captain, everyone on board was his junior officer. 

There were forms that could be filled out, but they had both decided to end it rather than go through that. Nobody quite knew how a situation like that would work itself out, and now that they were on a more exciting ship neither of them wanted to be reassigned which was a possibility. Hawthorne worried about being handed a Vulcan First Officer or something, someone no fun.

He sat at his desk with his fussy coffee. 

“Want dinner tonight?” Cruz asked.

”Sure,” Hawthorne said.

”I was thinking a few Mexican dishes like my Abuela used to make,” Cruz said.

”Did she use a replicator or make them by hand?” Hawthorne asked.

”She was old, but she did both. You’re comparing yourself to an eighty year old Mexican woman?” Cruz asked.

”Maybe,” Hawthorne said. Sipping his coffee he grinned, “I like this, right now. Us, this ship. See stick with me, we’re going places.”

Cruz smiled, not saying anything for a second, “Kolem knows something is up.”

”Nothing is up,” Hawthorne said, “we decided.”

”Well, the empath is being empathic, and likely knows what’s not up,” Cruz said.

”She’s smart, and as you say an empath but she’s not going to take that to Starfleet. We’ll be good, and she’ll forget it, unless you want to deal with the forms,” Hawthorne himself was not against the forms, but Cruz was worried about losing her first job as First Officer and had convinced him that as long as they were good they did not have to report their mistake.

Standing up from the desk Cruz shook her head, “No offense but you nude isn’t worth the forms.“

”You are,” Hawthorne said honestly.

”I know, enjoy your coffee that took longer to make than it will to drink,” Cruz said exiting the Ready Room.

”I drink slowly,” Hawthorne said to her back as she left.

 


 

[USS Seattle – Bridge]

 

On the bridge Commander Cruz took the Captain’s Chair that was roughly in the centre of the room. The crew did not really change, though she noticed a few postures improve as she sat. Everyone was on their best behaviour currently, a new ship and a new job. She had not been on the Anaheim, but understood that it had been a hard and a depressing assignment at the end. Their last mission had been cleaning up a colony after a pirate attack, and they had to deal with a population that was short on supplies and dying.

Beside her sat the new Assistant Chief Medial Officer, a pale Romulan with dark hair. Cruz knew that the woman was actually rather old, but she looked about Cruz’s age. Cruz nodded, smiled and decided to inquire about how things were going.

”How is medical,” she asked.

T’Rala looked up, “It’s good I think. It’s hard to say, we haven’t had any patients yet. Va’Tok is very, what’s the phrase about cards and close to the chest?”

Cruz nodded, “I think I know the one you’re thinking of, but I don’t know it.”

“Well it’s not like he’s that expressive,” T’Rala said. 

It was odd seeing as she looked very Vulcan having her complain about the Vulcan nature of the Chief Medical Officer. Cruz understood, and knew that the woman had likely gone through life with everyone assuming she was an emotionless void. Still the Assistant Chief Medical Officer was likely right, Chief Medical Officer was the one position that Cruz thought that a Vulcan was not the right person for the job.

”Well we do what we can with what we have,” Cruz said, “I’m sure you two will find ways of working together.”

”Oh we will,” T’Rala said, “Even if I have to just keep hitting him with optimism until he cracks a smile.”

Cruz smiled, and looked out at the viewscreen which was showing the vastness of space. 

For now, things were looking good. Now apparently the main mission was to get their Vulcan CMO to smile, which in and of itself was no mean feat.