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Part of USS Mackenzie: Mission 12: Measure by Measure

MBM 005 – The Real Threat

USS Makenzie
7.15.2401
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Henry Longfellow entered sickbay and headed directly for his office.  Thanks to the expanded medical services of the Mackenzie, he was afforded a larger space to manage his department.  He motioned for Charge Nurse Hiro and Nurse Parker to join him.

He gestured to the two chairs as he activated the holo screen display, “Captain Walton’s just come back from Task Force Command.”  He tapped at the screen.  “I’ve shared the mission briefing with both of you on your PADDs.”  He brought up the main images.  “We’ve got a mad separatist Romulan with a genocidal streak and a sociopathic alternate to our Deputy Chief Engineer.  All wrapped up with The Orion Syndicate.”

Hiro shook her head as she read.  “This is… bad.”

Renee read the information.  She didn’t know the backstory, but she could see that Hiro was right about the situation being bad.

Longfellow noted, “There’s a very good chance we end up against Patra and his Syndicate command group.  The Mack is a heavy hitter, but I’d like to think we’ll avoid direct conflict.”  He gestured to Hiro, “We’ll need to run some drills and get the triage stations and equipment ready.  The threat that was delivered was about taking what is ours.”

“Taking what is ours?” said Renee.  What did that mean?

Hiro wondered the same thing.  “It is vague and yet foreboding.”  She looked out into sickbay from the office, “There’s no real chance they get to Earth…”  She was lost in thought.

Henry tapped at his desk console, “I wonder…computer, analyze the ship’s roster for officers and crew with connections, relatives, and friends outside the Earth system.  Detail specific risk factors per crew member regarding any blackmail using those connections.”  The computer trilled and began to work.  He looked at both of them, “It’ll take the system a few minutes.  Do either of you have people you care about outside of Earth?”

Hiro nodded, her whispered answer saying enough, “Yes.”

Before replying, Renee paused respectfully at Hiro’s subdued response.  “My family are all on Earth.  I was the first to leave and go into space service.  My Academy friends are assigned on posts all over the Federation.”  She stopped to consider for a moment.  “My roommate, the person I care about the most, Ensign Erica Carter, is a nurse on Starbase 93.”  Renee felt a flutter in her stomach, wondering if her friend could be in danger.

Henry watched Hiro carefully as their new nurse spoke.  She met his gaze and gave a slight nod.  She was ok, for now.  He turned to Parker, “I need to take this to the captain…and you need to see the rest of the ship…and probably meet the captain.  Come with me, Ensign.”

They walked out of sickbay and into the corridor, and Longfellow led them towards the turbolift.  He spoke to Parker at his side as they made their way, “When was the last time you talked to your friend?”

“The day I left Earth to come here,” said Renee.

Henry stepped into the lift and called “Bridge” as the doors closed.  “Ensign, once we’re done reporting this, send a message to your friend. Start the clock on her response time.”  The door slid open, and they walked into the bridge.  Park was in the center chair and nodded to the Ready Room.

Captain Wren Walton looked up from her desk as the door chime rang, and she called out, “Enter.”   Her Chief Medical Officer and the new nurse stepped through.  Walton looked at both of them, curious.  “Doc, you usually don’t come all the way for a ‘hello.’  Report.”  He relayed his theory and motioned to her PADD, adding about the still-running report.  He’d added her as a viewer to the ongoing compilation.  She tapped open the PADD and scrolled through the ongoing details.  “His phrasing was…unique.  You think he’s got a plan with his daughter to do the dirty work while we sit here trying to find our way out of a black hole of confusing information?”

Longfellow chuckled dryly, “You’ve been doing some thinking, Captain.”

“I have.  I think Gregor was intentional – Patra didn’t care for him.  Rigila is a mixed bag on what was and wasn’t intentional…but it’s been bothering me…why bring us out here in the first place?  Why give us a mystery that, if unsolved, could endanger the station?  I think Patra wanted this to slow us down and keep us out of whatever he’s doing out there.” Walton raised her eyebrows in curiosity, “You haven’t introduced me, Doc.” 

Longfellow smiled quietly, “This is Ensign Renee Paker, one of our nursing staff. She’s a recent transfer.”

Wren let out a small sigh, “There’s been a lot of that lately.”  She turned her eyes back to Parker, “Welcome aboard the Mackenzie, Ensign Parker.  You’re not wrong to think there’s probably more to this plan of Patra’s.  I’ve asked Captain Crawford to have his ship meet us here to relieve us so we can get back out there.  Longfellow – pull Park in with you on this report.  We’re going to have to test your theory.”

Longfellow stood at attention and led Parker out of the Ready Room and across the bridge into the turbo-lift.  They had work to do.