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Time for a Change [CD]

Posted on Mon Jun 29th, 2020 @ 11:38am by Captain Malcom Llwyedd & Lieutenant Jackson Smith

Mission: Interlude 4
Location: Shuttlebay
Timeline: 16 March, 2395 - 0900 Hours


Malcom was looking at their newest arrival. It had required some delicate maneuvering and the retirement of one of their shuttles but the Firebird was now in possession of a brand new Danube class shuttle. It had been delivered just an hour ago and Malcom had decided to use the new shuttle's arrival as a tool to help. He tapped his combadeg.

"Llwyedd to Lieutenant Jackson. Please meet me in the shuttlebay at your first opportunity," Malcom said.

Jackson tapped his com badge, "On my way sir!" Jackson lept from his desk, any excuse to ignore paper work was worth being excited about. Plus things were always interesting when he met the captain in the shuttlebay. Within moments Jackson walked through the entrance to the shuttlebay. A big grin came across his face, "A Danube class shuttle! Very exciting, " he turned toward the captain as he took in the shuttle. The large shuttle seemed even bigger than normal as the shuttlebay seemed to strain to contain it. "Must have been some delicate maneuvering to get this beast in here."

Malcom smiled at his protege's enthusiasm. "It would have been impossible if not for the shuttlebay refit after our rough landing on Far Wanderer. I like our type elven shuttlcraft but I was really interested in how you used the Runabout during our Tevok 2 mission. I read your report on what happened but I'd like to get your expert opinion on a Runabout, specifically their flight profile," Malcom said and motioned for Jackson to follow him into the craft. "This Runabout is brand new. I made sure they didn't send us one that was twenty-years old."

Jackson followed the Captain into the Runabout. "Well, sir, I will gladly give you my opinion." He ran his hand along the walls on the inside. He briefly closed his eyes, almost like he was trying to get attuned to the shuttle. After the brief hesitation, he quickly continued, "Despite being older I don't think any of our smaller shuttles could have handled the mission we did. Too much power was needed to haul the probe and avoid the asteroids. That is what the Anube class offers. It has that great balance between raw power and maneuverability and straight up ability to take a beating. Combine that with the extra firepower and I would take this shuttle over our past ones any day." Jackson continued to walk through the shuttle his eyes looking over every detail. Hard to say if he was inspecting the shuttle or admiring it.

Malcom slid into the pilot's seat and accessed the main control panel. He also released control of the co-pilot's console. "Let's just run through a quick systems check," Malcom said and began checking all of the baseline systems. The last thing he wanted was to find anything wrong during the maiden flight. "So, Jackson, I also wanted to take the opportunity to talk to you about your future on the ship. I know you're working with Starfleet Intelligence but your duties on the ship are just as important. Are you satisfied with your current duties?"

Jackson chuckled as he continued checking the systems with the Captain, "Well, Captain, I could give you the standard, "I am wholly satisfied with my work" bit, but you know me pretty well. You know I want more and can handle more." Jackson smiled at this thought, but that quickly dissipated as he considered that there were no positions on the ship that were open. "Having said that, if you think you can get rid of me, its not going to be that easy." He gave Malcolm a slight glare as he studied his mentor for any sign of where this was going.

Malcom pulled up the flight controls and began a subroutine that would calibrate the system. Sometimes during the initial check flights, a new craft could suffer small changes. "I have no intention of getting rid of you, Jackson. I've got something different in mind. As you know, Commander Han has departed to become the sector intelligence chief. I'm sure she's going to do great things with that. I've talked with her and we both think that you would be a great replacement for her as the ship's Chief Intelligence Officer. What do you think?" Malcom said.

Jackson considered this for a moment. Going deeper into Intelligence would put more of a strain on his friendships, but this work seemed to be what he was good at. "Sounds good. I suppose it will mean less flying, but I think I can handle it." He flashed Malcolm a grin, "So does this mean I will know more secrets than you do?" Jackson kept up the smile, he knew that knowing secrets was a double edged sword and he had been cut multiple times by it already. His intelligence work had already strained his relationship with Gantt, would this new position push things with the Captain?

"I don't think I know too many secrets, unless you are talking about crew secrets," Malcom said. "Starfleet Command doesn't pay much attention to the Firebird. They've decided not to build any more Dilligent class ships so I think they'll just ignore us until we cause problems." The subroutine finished and Malcom switched to a diagnostic of the sensor arrays.

"I'll give you access to the spy cave. Commander Han has left it in good order. Take some time to get organized and then get in touch with her. She'll be your intelligence sector commander and will probably have things for you to do from time to time. It is a lot to take on as you are the only intel person left on the ship with Chief Stephens' retirement. Do you want me to request another person from HQ to help you?"

"Nope", Jackson realized he was a little quick in responding there. He quickly followed up, "I think that we have enough personnel on the ship to complete any missions we need. Besides, overall, we are not an intelligence vessel. Let's not let them subtly take control of your ship."

"Why does it sound like you don't want another person around to watch you while you're doing intelligence stuff?" Malcom asked. "I'd have thought a new ensign would be a good addition so you have someone else to do the reports. But if you don't think it is necessary, I'll leave it up to you."

One of Jackson's eyebrows raised slightly, "See now you are making some sense..." He said as he deflected past the first question. There was a part of him that didn't want someone looking over his shoulder, spying on him. Jackson hesitated and then got a bit serious. He looked down for a moment and then turned towards his mentor, "I trust you. I trust Commander Han. I don't completely trust SFI. They forced me into this position. It's not a great way to build trust." He sighed and hesitated for a moment before continuing, "I think what SFI, and what I do, is very important. It needs to be done and it needs to be done without the vast majority of people knowing it. I talked with Stephens a bit and he said that we have to do what needs to be done, but what everyone else is incapable of doing. Not because they aren't skilled, but because they can't mentally handle it. I can handle it." Jackson chuckled slightly, although it was not filled with his usual mirth, "I think my whole life has been preparing me for doing these very things. Albiet, probably for the other side." He turned to look at his mentor, "I am getting off-topic here a bit, the bottom line is that SFI is full of secrets and I don't know if I can fully trust them. I could bring someone on, but how does one trust a spy?" Jackson looked hopefully at Malcolm for an answer.

"Trust is built. It doesn't happen overnight. Do you think I would give you this position if I didn't have one hundred percent trust in you, Jackson? Your actions have shown me time and again your character and loyalty. Sure, if we bring in someone new, you won't trust them right away. But you can't think that you can do everything alone. You're not a lone wolf anymore. You're part of our gang now. You do need someone to watch your back when you're out doing the things you are best at and I can't always let Gantt or someone else go. They just aren't trained like you are and they definitely don't have your instincts. Except Commander t'Aegis. But she's not much for covertness," Malcom said as the diagnostic finished.

Jackson chuckled at the last comment, "Alright, your advice is amazing as always. I will take an ensign. But I want some say in who it is," Jackson kept his smile up as he pondered some of the other stuff the captain said. About loyalty and character, would the captain think the same if the captain knew the people he killed, the lies he told, the lines he crossed? This last undercover mission was tough, and Jackson didn't know how his friends, his mentor would handle what he had to do. Jackson hardened a little, hopefully none of them will ever find out. Seeing the diagnostics done, "Everything looks good, let's get this in space and see what it can do."

"Captain has the helm," Malcom said with a grin.

The Runabout lifted off, turned in a perfect circle and accelerated out of the shuttlebay into the darkness.


Captain Malcom Llwyedd
Commanding Officer
USS Firebird NCC-88298

Lieutenant Jackson Smith
Chief Intelligence Officer
USS Firebird NCC-88298


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Comments (1)

By Warrant Officer Arlan Harlan on Thu Jul 2nd, 2020 @ 10:39am

Oooo very interesting development for Jackson. I love the potential character shift here.