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

DMBM 007 – Bloody Noses

USS Daedalus
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The Daedalus slammed into a dive, avoiding the barrage of blaster fire from the Syndicate ship.  At the front of the bridge, Lieutenant Prentice and Ensign Athena were navigating how to work together in an active battle.  It had been wholly different on the Olympic.  The Bajoran had primarily been responsible for security, and Prentice had managed the helm of the medical ship and the various shuttles and runabouts.

Athena huffed, “Get me in range, Prentice.”  She was relying on the phasers to soften up the attacking ship.  She’d trained in simulators and on ships at the academy.  That was different.  The Rhode Island class was a mad hatter compared to the ships she’d learned on.  The speed at which she flew and the turns she could make were astounding.

At the helm, William Prentice was having the time of his life.  He hadn’t flown anything this fast or this nimble since the Raven Class Erigone.  It was a sensation of pure joy to tap the helm controls and have them immediately respond.  The Daedalus had moves.  “Understood,” He pushed the impulse engines, turned hard away from a crash of plasma fire, and then threw the ship back towards the attacking Syndicate ship.

The tactical chief let loose her fire and watched with satisfaction the impact on the Syndicate ship.  She focused on her attack with the eleven phaser arrays across the ship.  “Syndicate shields are at 75%.”  The bridge shook slightly as the attacks from the enemy hit against the shields of the Daedalus.

Tir spoke up from operations, “Our shields are at 80% – engineering reports some power issues, but they’re identifying.”  He tapped at his console, “Sickbay reports two minor injuries.”  The deck shuddered more this time, and he updated, “Shields at 75%.”

Dread tapped at the consoles on the arms of her chair, “They’re figuring us out.  Ensign Athena, we need to mix it up to throw them off.”  She trusted each of them in the midst of the chaotic attack.  The Bajoran Tactical Chief was the newest officer, and her learning curve would be much shorter than the others had in their previous postings.

“Aye, sir.”  She tapped at her console, searching for something she hadn’t tried.  Some were familiar, and others were unknown to her.  She chided herself for not having done enough work to be ready while she had languished on the Olympic.  She picked several fresh routines and went to work with Prentice, giving him an apologetic look as she flew from move to move.  They had to work together to coordinate his movements and her attacks.  It was still chaos between them, and she knew he would probably yell at her after this.

Helena watched as the attack intensified with Ensign Athena’s renewed challenge.  She unconsciously gripped the arms of her chair as the Daedalus rocked under more heavy fire.  The lights flickered slightly.  She looked to Tir, who reported, “Shields at 70% – some damage to power operations.”  His hands constantly moved across his console, the entirety of the ship and her departments under his purview.  His symbiote helped organize the flow of information coming from the console and screens.

A shout from Ensign Athena, “Phasers have cut through the rear shielding.  Permission to target engines, sir?” Dread moved to confirm when suddenly the Syndicate ship jumped to warp.  She was gone.  “Tracking her course…she’s headed back towards the mining operation, Captain.  I suspect she intends to bring reinforcements.”

Dread scoffed, “We’re not sticking around to find out.  Put us back on the intercept course with Mackenzie.  They come wolf pack hunting for us, and they’ll have to answer to her.  Get us on our way, Prentice.”

 

“How bad is it?” Dread had come to main engineering and was kneeling beside the prone body of Chief Engineer Lieutenant Moore, who was inside a Jefferies tube, cursing up a storm.  She had worked little with Moore on the Olympic.  She had some work to do in their relationship.

Greer Moore groused from within the tube, “It’s damned peculiar.  I think whoever was chief engineer before just missed it.  The EPS conduits are fairly new and upgraded – she’s a sportscar with legs.  She’s supposed to move and shake with the best of them.  Somehow, some old bits and pieces ended up in them…and they nearly wreaked havoc on our lady.  Thankfully, we spotted the surges before they could really do the damage.”  The chief pulled herself out and up, her hands caked with dirt, dust, and whatever else she’d been into, “We’ll make the adjustments on our way back to Mackenzie.  I’ll have Miados triple-check to ensure I didn’t miss anything.”  She glanced around the small engine room, “She’s a beautiful lady, Captain Dread.  I appreciate you bringing me along for the ride.”

“I don’t understand most of what goes into this, Lieutenant Moore…I’m glad to have you.”

Greer smiled, “Call me Chief or Chief Moore, sir.”  She held her dirty hands, “I won’t shake your hand, sir…but thank you for coming down here.”

Dread gave her a nod, “Keep our lady running and together, Chief…and we’ll get along just fine.”  She headed back to the bridge.

Greer smiled, “I like this one.”

 

Halsey looked up from the center chair and stood as Dread returned to the bridge.  He glanced at her and then at the chairs that had held Prentice and Athena but now were filled with junior officers.  He warned her, “They’re in the conference room.”  His eyes asked her what she wanted him to do.

She replied, “Time to start earning that XO title, Captain Halsey.”  He nodded and walked out of the bridge and down the short hallway to the conference room, pushing through the door.

Prentice was in full shouting mode, “You gotta be shitting me, Athena!  You didn’t study a damn…oh, hello Doct…Captain Halsey.”  His face bloomed red, and he went silent.  Ensign Athena was on the other end of the table, her face hot with emotion and her hands balled in tight fists.  Her eyes spun to Halsey, going wide with terror.

“Mr. Prentice.  Ms. Athena.”  He pointed to two chairs on opposing sides of the table, “Sit.”  They sat.  He stood, “Mr Prentice – you wanna use language like that against a fellow officer, you do it outside that uniform.”

Will replied, kowtowed, “Yes, sir.”  He felt like an idiot and a fool.

“Ms. Athena, you will spend your off time, rest time, and any time not in battle studying up on tactical operations, maneuvers, management, and collaboration with the navigational officer and station.”

She gave a resigned nod, “Yes, sir.”  She had been exposed as incapable.  She was writing her resignation letter in her head as she sat, sinking into her embarrassing failure.

Halsey sat at the head of the table and spoke to both of them, “I’ve learned what I’m good at and not so great at.  I’m an OK to good captain.  But I’m a great XO.”  He gestured to both of them, “We’re going to meet every few days together.  I will ask you how your work is going and how you’re working together to be better at working together.”

Prentice offered, “That’s a lot of together, sir.”

Leopold observed, “There’s a hundred people on this ship, Prentice.  We will either be the best we can be as a crew, or I will end up refereeing a fight club in Engineering.  Which do you think I’m leaning towards?”

Athena answered, “Crew, sir.”

He stood, “It’s Doc or Doc Halsey.”  He pointed at each of them, “You both are capable.  Dread wouldn’t have kept you on if she hadn’t thought you were the best choice for the gig.  Prove her right.”  We’ll meet tomorrow at 0700 hours in my office. Don’t be late.”  He left the room.

Prentice offered, “I’m sorry, Athena.”

She leaned back in her chair, “Apology accepted.  I’m going to get better at this.  I promise you.”

“I’m going to hold you to that, Ensign.”

“And I’m going to hold you to not cursing up a storm at me.”

“That’s fair.”