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Tumbleweeds Part 1

Posted on Sun Mar 19th, 2017 @ 7:55pm by Captain Malcom Llwyedd & Lieutenant Jackson Smith

Mission: Mission 0: Coming Home to Roost
Location: Bridge
Timeline: 13 February, 2394 -1300 Hours


The bridge was almost as quiet as it had been back on Empok Nor. With three major undertakings, his crew was stretched thin. All of his department heads were either off ship or involved in some critical mission. Malcom would have loved to take part in one of the away missions, it was one of the ways a captain could get into the mix of important events, but his crew needed to learn to work together, without him looking over their shoulders. He looked around the bridge and saw Ensign Zh'evhihloss standing diligently at her post. She was a quiet one and Malcom was worried that if he tried to talk to her, she would knock him to the ground out of instinct and then apologize for the next hour. Chief Warrant Officer Haverson saw him looking at Ops and nodded. He'd proven himself to be a sturdy and experienced Warrant Officer and Malcom liked him. He nodded back.

He sighed and stood up. "Ensign Smith, what is our status? Anything from the away teams?"

Jackson checked his console and then spun his chair around, "Nothing, it's pretty quiet." He leaned a bit more casually in his chair, "So is this the way of the pilot? Intense insanity for a few minutes, followed by hours of quiet?"

Malcom wandered closer to the conn, his hands clasped behind his back. "Well," he said considering the question. "Pretty much. Although there are a lot of different types of 'insanity'. We haven't been shot at yet. Or crashed. Or been boarded. Or flung through space and time." He paused, grinning. "But otherwise, yeah this is standard. But don't worry, I will get you out on some away missions too. I just need you here in case something happens. You're the best pilot I have."

Jackson smiled, "Well, besides yourself. " His smile turned into a grin. "You never really told us much about your missions in class. Have you been shot at, crashed, or what did you say...flung through space and time?" Jackson raised an inquiring eyebrow at Malcom.

"If you asked my wife, she would say that is all I do," he said. "My first posting was the USS Iowa an Akira class. You've never been aboard an Akira, have you?" Jackson shook his head. "Well they are about two and a half times larger than the Firebird and they are made for one thing, hitting the enemy in the mouth. They have fifteen torpedo launchers and four phaser arrays. Really an incredible amount of destruction. About a year after I joined the ship, the Dominion War broke out and we fought almost every day for three years." He paused, thinking about that time in his life. He would never forget the seemingly constant red alert status, the sound of the Iowa's torpedos launching, and the haze of exhaustion that made each day blur into the next.

"Sounds pretty terrible," He spun back around his hands brushing across the console. Jackson couldn't imagine being at war, fighting every day. He would lose himself, "We are very lucky to have the Firebird." Jackson hesitated, he wanted to ask more, but he knew that sometimes the past could be painful. He spun back to look at his mentor, "I hope that starfleet makes more of these ships."

"You know it was pretty terrible. But it was also one of the most important times of my life. It made me, me. I hope to never see those kinds of days again." Malcom wore a calm expression as he walked around to stand in front of the viewscreen. It was currently set to display the beautiful sea vista nearby. "Starfleet is going to be watching us closely. They are going to see how we perform and how the ship performs. If we prove that the Firebird fills an important, unmet need in the fleet, there will be others." He nodded at the young ensign. "And maybe one day, you'll be sitting in the center seat."

Jackson tilted his head slightly to consider what his mentor said, "It's possible, but I am sure a long time from now." He lowered his gaze and looked at the steel plating of the floor. He then looked back at the captain. "Struggles and tragedy in your past, made you who you are." Jackson stood up and walked over to his mentor, If tragedy made him a good man a good captain, was there hope for me? , Jackson thought. "Did you ever worry, that it would break you instead of strengthen you?" Jackson looked out the viewer at the vast sea.

The question was the most philosophical thing Malcom had ever heard Jackson say. It was also a very difficult question. He looked around and saw that none of the other crew on the bridge were paying much attention. "More than once," he finally said. "The first time was on the Iowa. We were heading to Criates IV on a standard resupply mission. The usual logistics ship had a warp core breach and was out of service. So we got the job. Halfway there we were jumped by three Cardassian heavy cruisers. I was a really junior helmsman, without, I might add, an amazing CO who recognized my potential," He raised his eyebrows at Jackson. "So my red alert assignment was damage control. We lost sixteen officers and sixty-seven enlisted before we got away. I had to help with the retrieval of the bodies. I don't think I'll ever get over it. I guess that is as close to breaking as I've gotten while in uniform."

He turned and walked back to the captain's chair. He felt into it, sprawling more than sitting. "The other time was when my mom died."

Jackson turned as his captain went to sit in his chair. He glanced over at his own console to make sure there wasn't any alerts. "Still quiet," He mentioned as he headed over to the XO's seat,"Think she will mind?" He smiled. Jackson sat down. He leaned forward and placed his arms on his legs, looked over at his captain. He looked over at his mentor, he empathized with the pain and loss, "I am sorry for your loss." His words felt hollow, he wasn't sure what to say. He shook the feeling, "Sometime, we should get a drink."

"That is usually good advice," he said. "So how do you think your first landing went?"

Jackson studied him for a moment before answering, "I would say that overall, it went well. We landed despite some tough situations popping up." He thought for a moment, "The Firebird is a really good ship. It handled things very well. Next time, I think I can increase the pitch by 10% right after breaking through the top layers of the atmosphere. That could result in a little bumpy ride at that point, but it would give me more options for landing if something happens, like it did."

"Mhmmm hmmm," Malcom said. "The number one thing is to remember that something almost always goes wrong and if it doesn't, rejoice. Having more options, is always great. Maximize that at all times. And I thought you showed maturity by asking for help. That took me a long time to learn. You don't have to do everything yourself and if you do screw up, its ok."

"Well, it's ok as long as I don't plaster us against a mountainside," Jackson smiled. "The crew makes it easy to ask for help. I have only spent a few days with them, but it feels like the beginning of a good family. It will be good to have a family again." Jackson smiled to himself, "It was nice to see Nici trust me to land the ship. I don't think many people would trust an ensign straight out of the academy. What do you know of Bajoran's and their religion?"

Malcom's attention flitted to where Ensign Zh'evhihloss stood. "Bajoran? A lot, really. My best friend is Bajoran. Not sure what you are looking for. They believe in the Prophets and are led by a Kai and Vedeks. The religion is based around charity, humility and faith, which in my opinion is pretty great. Why do you ask?"

Jackson hesitated a moment, not quite sure how to approach this question. Then his panel beeped, =^= Firebird this is Lieutenant Ina we have a link with the ship please come in =^=

Jackson was saved, "Speaking of Nici, " He headed over to the conn. He sat down and pressed a button on the panel, "This is the Firebird, Smith here, we hear you. Checking the link" Jackson used his console to access the communication network. He saw the data link was operating at 100%. "This is probably all the excitement we will get." He said over his shoulder to the captain. "Link is good on this end. Have a good trip up?"

Jackson waited for a reply, but none was forthcoming. He frowned slightly at that.

"Well that's one less thing to worry about. With the shuttle up there, we aren't as blind," Malcom said.

"Anything specific you are worried about?" Jackson asked. "Dangers in this area?"

"Not really. I just don't like being stationary with not a lot of options to move quickly. It would take us a while to get the away teams back. At least this way we have good coverage for any raiders trying to take advantage."

"More time to respond is always a good thing." Jackson thought for a moment, "Worse case, we could always launch the ship without the science away team and send the Prometheus out to pick them up. Then it could rendezveous with us in orbit."

He nodded. "Possibly. But then you have to evaluate the danger. If its bad enough for us to have to take off right away, is the shuttle going to be safe? Its shields aren't nearly as strong as ours."

"Good point, so it's an option, but you would have to balance the risk." Jackson thought about this for a moment. He had never took the opportunity to consider things outside of his department. It was an interesting exercise. "What other options do we have then? How are the transporters down here?There is also, just sending the Prometheus out to pick them up and bring them back." Jackson started to consider some of these options and what there pros and cons would be.

Before Malcom could respond, a voice came across the bridge sound system.

=^=Engineering to Bridge=^=

Malcom recognized Chief Keys' voice.

=^=What can I do for you, Lieutenant?=^= Captain Llwyedd asked.

=^=Sir, I've lost communication with the crew. Can you try from the bridge?=^= Lieutenant Keys said

=^=Of course. One moment=^= Malcom said and motioned to his console.

"See if you can raise the engineering team that's fixing the hull breach, please," he said.

=^= Bridge to Engineering Away Team, please respond? =^= Jackson waited a few moments and then said, =^= Bridge to Lieutenant Th'Kharia, please respond ... Bridge to Chief Harlan, please respond ... Bridge to Petty Officer K'Vec, please respond... =^= Jackson typed in a few commands. "No response, Captain, but sensors show four life forms, and vitals appear to be good."

Malcom nodded and reactivated his channel to engineering.

=^=No luck on our end either. Ensign Smith's sensor scan shows they are unharmed. We have some kind of interference. Stay on top of it and let me know if you detect an emergency.=^=

"See, Jackson, no mission goes exactly as planned."

"Seems that way." Jackson smiled. "I am sure the other missions will be just fine. "

To Be Continued in Star Trek: Firebird Tumbleweeds Part 2

Commander Malcom Llwyedd
Commanding Officer
USS Firebird NCC-88298

Ensign Jackson Smith
Chief Flight Control Officer
USS Firebird NCC-88298


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Comments (1)

By Lieutenant JG Murril Na on Sun Jul 22nd, 2018 @ 11:00pm

"The crew makes it easy to ask for help."

Now THAT was a well-placed, good line.