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

DMBM 015 – Going Dark

Daedalus, Mackenzie
7.17.2401
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“The body arrived a few minutes ago.  We’ve confirmed it’s Patra.”  Walton spoke as she sat in her ready room on the screen, her face a mix of emotions.  Dread watched her move through those feelings as she spoke.  It was a victory that felt half-full.  They had rescued one of their people.  Sadie Fowler was resting comfortably in sickbay, and the relief it had brought Dread and the crew of the Daedalus was invaluable.  With just over one hundred souls on board, the connections with each other had quickly formed in the few days they’d been together.  The firming of those bonds would begin soon.

Dread tapped at her desk console, pulling up the reports that science and tactical had gathered.  “We’ve been unable to trace Crawford to Patra’s headquarters.  We’ve had scattered reports from connections inside Syndicate space about some of those loyal to the dead Romulan going dark or vanishing entirely.  There’s a lot of second and third-hand information, so the veracity of any of it is suspect.  It could be disinformation from Crawford trying to throw us off the track.”

Walton sighed, “I don’t feel like I have to hide my feelings on this with you, Helena.  I don’t think I’ll be truly satisfied with what we did until Crawford is off the board, for good.”  She switched subjects,  “We’re focusing on making some inroads with local colonies while keeping an eye on the True Way.  Your orders are a little different.”  She felt conflicted about the orders she was to hand over.  Dread and her team hadn’t been together for long.  They’d worked on an Olympic class and were just getting used to the sleek Rhode Island class starship.  She had confidence in them, but it was tempered by an untested captain and crew being tossed into larger galaxy conflicts.

Dread echoed Walton’s sigh, “Given our size and power, we’re the ideal ship to scout with a little running and gunning if we have to.”

Wren’s face remained impassive while her eyes did most of the talking, “It’s not ideal.  Your people have my confidence – they’ve got the training and bearing to take this on.”  She sat back in her chair, dropping her posture to a more relaxed tone, “How about you, Helena?”

Dread chuckled, “How is it being a ship captain for the first time?  We got everyone home safe and sound, so that’s something.”  She shrugged, “It’s…not easy.  I have to carry a different weight in that chair.  When I was XO, I walked the ship.  I made my weekly department meetings like clockwork.  I knew much of the crew by name or at least by face.  It was…good.  It was a good place to be.”  She leaned back in her chair, “I finally sat in the chair…and it felt right.  Not good yet, or even great…but I’m working towards it.  And you, Wren?”  

The wry tone was not lost on Walton as she replied with amused sarcasm. “Thank you for reminding me of my path to the chair.”  She remembered the notification of her assignment, her meeting with Task Force Command, and that first day on the bridge.  “The weight is different, I admit.  The difference is…I wanted this so much.  If I hadn’t gotten the Mackenzie…I’m not sure I would have stayed in Starfleet.”  She pulled herself back up in her chair, “None of that matters…we’ve both got our center chairs…and our duty is to serve.”

Dread allowed a smile of admiration to slip through, “I hope I can see it from your side eventually, Wren.  I do.”  They talked back and forth about the latest status reports, and the channel closed.  Helena stood and walked to the door that led to the bridge.  It would take some work, but she would make Daedalus her home.