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Part of USS Daedalus: Mission 1 – Measure by Measure and USS Mackenzie: Mission 12: Measure by Measure

DMBM 005 – Running and Gunning

USS Daedalus
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At tactical, Athena Catari watched the threat screens carefully as the two ships fell slowly behind.  She reported as such.  The bridge crew relaxed, and Dread felt relieved at having put distance between them.  “Helm, let’s…”

Catari shook her head in astonishment, “Captain, we’ve got a new contact, identified as a medium Syndicate ship on a direct intercept course.”  She worked the sensors at her station, her heart rushing.  “They’re thirty minutes out…we’ll meet them here.” She put the sector map on the screen, “The other ships are returning to the mining operation.”  Athena knew herself.  She was a competent tactical officer.  She had been thrilled to move to the better-armed Daedalus.  She realized she was about to find out how good she was at her job.

Captain Dread remained standing in front of the command chair, her hands at her side as she fiddled with her fingers.  This was akin to the dreaded ‘No Win Scenario’ command officers trained in repeatedly.  Endless discussions were had between COs and XOs about how they would handle such scenarios.  She was now party to the hard decisions.  “Ensign Catari, how do we rate compared to them?”

She answered, “She’s a medium-sized ship, but we’ve got them in weapons and maneuverability.  It’s an even fight, almost.  Tactical evaluation suggests a ‘running and gunning’ offense.”  She didn’t add that she was ready to start firing weapons for the first time in her Starfleet career.  The Olympic had phasers; they’d never used them when she came aboard after graduation.

Helena shifted her attention to her Chief Flight Officer, William Prentice.  His file was filled with notices and notes from his academy career.  She had to give credit to the former Ambrose Harris.  Prentice had come aboard the Erigone undisciplined.  He’d left the Mackenzie an officer capable of maturity and learning.  “Prentice?”

He smiled slyly, “Sir, the Rhode Island class can run and gun with the best of them.”

Dread kept her lips straight and her eyes severe, “I didn’t ask about the class.  I asked about you, Lieutenant.”  She reminded herself that flyboys would always be flyboys.

His face reddened slightly, “Sorry, sir.  I can make the Daedalus fly like a leaf on the wind.”

Helena accepted his answer, “Well, we might be getting ourselves into a hurricane, so maybe strap onto that leaf.” She took a few slow breaths before she spoke, “We’re going to take them on.  Reede, update the Mackenzie.  Red Alert.  Report to battle stations.”

The lights dimmed to a ruby red as the klaxon loudly announced the status change.  Officers and crew scrambled to figure out their red alert station and where they would be for battle stations.  They had been onboard the Daedalus for mere hours.  There hadn’t been time.

On the bridge, Dread watched as the disoriented movement played out, doing best to remain calm.  Most of her bridge crew had come from the Mackenzie.  This wasn’t their first fight in space.  A few minutes later, Halsey reported from his XO station in the back of the bridge that all departments had found their way.  She turned to the screen, “Updated time to intercept?”  Fifteen minutes was the answer.  Fifteen minutes until they would find out what they could do when given the keys to the bright red sportscar.

She paced in front of the chair, touching it lightly.  A spark of energy jumped through her hands, eliciting a smile from Dread.  She quietly sat down in the center chair.  It felt right, at least.  “Count us down in increments of five minutes.”

Now, the waiting began.