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

DMBM 012 – Movement on the Board

USS Daedalus
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“Where did she go?”  Captain Helena Dread was in shock.  Her tactical and security chief had informed her that Sadie Fowler had not returned to the shuttle via the transporter.  Someone’s transporter system had picked her up, and Ensign Athena was doing everything she could to figure out who.

“Unknown.  I’ve stabilized the five hostages…but I think they were artificially sedated.”  She tapped at the console in the cockpit, sending the results of the preliminary workup.

On the screen, Helena read through the notes and reports, “Your theory is probably right.  This was a trap.  We were so worried about the hostages we rushed to save them…and in the end, fell right into their plans.”  She hit the arm of her chair in frustration.

Athena began plotting a course back to Daedalus when she thought, “Captain…if we hadn’t been reassigned to the new ship…the Mackenzie would have been sent here eventually.  Prentice said it – they don’t know you or the ship.  They would have expected Captain Walton and her team here.”

Dread appeared lost in thought until her eyes brightened at a realization, “Carolyn Crawford is on the Mackenzie.  You think this was a play to get her?”  She motioned to someone off-screen and accepted a tossed PADD.

Athena was about to respond when suddenly the Syndicate ship raced from within the planet’s atmosphere and immediately went to warp, leaving the shuttle in the system again.  A tap or two at the console, she felt some relief, “Captain, Fowler is on the Syndicate ship.  She just flew past me.  She’s moving quickly towards…course projected is for the Mackenzie.”

Helena snapped her fingers, “That’s as much of a confirmation as we’re going to get.  Bring your passengers home.  We’ll alert Mackenzie and head her way.  Keep an eye out there – Patra’s just getting started.”  The channel closed on the bridge of the Daedalus, and Dread moved quickly, “Prentice, with me in my ready room.”  

He glanced up as his deputy chief appeared on the bridge.  His confused look was replaced with a knowing understanding.  She wanted him off the bridge.  He followed her into her ready room, “Captain, I…”

She waved dismissively at him, “Sit down on the couch, William.”  He felt as if his mother was yelling at him, but he didn’t protest and sat on the couch as ordered.  Captain Dread rattled around in what looked like a mini fridge and tossed him a cold can of something, which he caught.  

He looked at the label, “Root Beer?”

She snagged a can of her own, “It’s a recent addiction.  Also, we’re still fighting with the replicator with coffee.”  She slid onto the opposite side of the couch as the stars streamed by behind them.  She popped her top and took a long swig, exhaling in satisfaction.  She watched as Prentice opened the can and hesitantly took a drink, his eyes wide at the flavor explosion.

“That’s…that’s amazing, Captain.”  He turned the label around, “Morgan Mustangs Soda.  Never heard of them.”  He sat back and asked, “Why am I here, Captain?”

She took another sip, relishing the flavor.  “You are here because your girlfriend’s been kidnapped by the other Carolyn Crawford…and I don’t know much about commanding a starship beyond what I learned in class and simulations…but I don’t think it’s a good idea to put an angry, vengeful boyfriend at the helm of our brand-new ship.”

He blinked twice before his face reddened with a mix of embarrassment and anger.  “I am starting to get a little pissed about the situation.”  The door to the ready room and Chief Counselor Milton Ford walked in.  Prentice rolled his eyes and turned to Dread, “Captain…I…”

She stood from the couch, “You’re off duty until we get her back, William.  It’s for your good and ours – we’re getting her back.  Your heart will be fighting with your duty and responsibility… I’m not willing to put you through that.”  She gave Ford a nod and left the ready room.

Ford grabbed a soda from the minifridge and sat on the couch’s end, taking a sip from the can.  He remarked, “These are really good, aren’t they?”