E1 Only The Beginning
Location: Starbase 10
Timeline: MD00 - Pre
Will looked out of the massive crew lounge that displayed the inside of Starbase 10's docking bays, shuttlecraft were moving back and forth shuttling people from one area to another. Worker bees carrying supplies and containers to various locations and ships were also darting back and forth. As he stood in the window holding a cup of coffee, with a bit Irish Whiskey added. As he looked out the window directly in front of him was the USS Churchill; or what was left of her. It had been a month since she arrived under the assistance of the USS Piedmont; the battle with the Romulans took a toll on her and also her crew. As he stood looking at her the events of that day flashed before him as if it was yesterday.
"Commander, the Captain is dead; the bridge just took a direct hit, and sickbay is reporting that Commander Silver has been wounded in repealing the boarding action."
"Get me Lieutenant Greene and the other Asst. Chiefs and have them meet me on the battle bridge on the double," yelled Will as he wiped the blood from his forehead. " Jean take command of engineering!"
(On the battle bridge)
"Commander, shields are down to 35 percent, main power is fluctuating....we are venting atmosphere from several breaches!" yelled Lieutenant Greene. The sounds of explosions and disruptors striking the Churchill's shields could be felt and heard from every where.
"Transfer all power from the warp engines to the shields! Greene, bring the shields with 10 meters of the hull; that will make us a smaller target to hit. Jean! Boost power to lateral thrusters, continuing firing phasers on that warp nacelle that's leaking plasma!"
"Sir, the Piedmont and Virginia reported they are three minutes away!'
"We won't be here in three minutes! Greene fire aft torpedoes when you get the chance. Shut down all non-essential systems and transfer the power to the weapons!"
"Sir, starboard impulse engine is overheating from the damage!"
"Shut it down, instead of transferring that power to the weapons, transfer that power to the Starboard secondary impulse engine and use starboard thrusters to compensate as well...we can't afford to lose our edge in this match."
"Sir we have micro-fractures forming on the upper nacelle plyon...we are going to lose that if we don't......"
"William," came a distance voice. It was enough to pierce through the voices in his head. "William" (slight pause) "Commander Harris!"
[End of Flashback]
Will found himself staring into his coffee cup, he had not noticed that he once again was lost in his thoughts. Jean walked up behind him and placed her hand on his shoulder, which finally snapped him out of his deep trance.
"When I couldn't find you in your quarters, I figured that you would be here!" Jean replied as she stood next to her friend holding what looked to be Bolian Tonic Water.
"It's strange Jean, looking at what we came through and somehow we survived." he said as he sipped from his coffee mug. The events played over and over and over in his head; and when the memorial service was held for the Captain and XO. He found himself lost when Rear Admiral Benson spoke, and prayed. The adversity that they had all come through was still shocking, and no matter how much he spoke to the counselors on the station it seemed as if this hole would never be filled.
"You know I try not to think of it Will, why we survived and others didn't ; all I know is that we were given another chance to prove ourselves and make a difference. No matter how you try to look at it it will never make sense, all you have to do it live for yourself and those who sacrificed so we could live." Jean moved closer to the huge window and placed her hand against the transparent aluminum. She too could feel the lose he felt.
"You know, I've fought in the Klingon Federation War and the Dominion War; I've lost dear friends that I worked close with. I've lead men and women and watched them die as well. Yet somehow this feels more different than the others. War is direct Jean," he said as he looked out at the burned disruptor blasts on her saucer section.
"In war there is an agenda, there is a plan of action. There is a reason why we were fighting; to protect and to defend the Federation and innocent lives. Yet....these Romulan Bastards were not direct," he said as his grip on his drink increased. The glass under the sudden built of of pressure started to slightly crack. The anger, the pain, the frustration flowed through him, like a violent storm brewing on the inside waiting to be released.
Jean quickly sensed the change in his tone, and knew what had been brewing would be unleashed. She too had to deal with this, and like him she spoke with the counselors. Talking worked with her, but some people handled things differently. She placed her hand on his upper arm and slightly gave it a squeeze.
Somehow the forceful touch was enough to check the violent storm with in him; he found the storm clouds inside his mind and soul slowly dissipate. He took in a deep breath and slowly let it out, remaining in control of his emotions. He looked away from the Churchill and focused on a small shuttle heading towards the Churchill.
"However Jean this wasn't direct at all; this was an act of cowardice and that's what turned my stomach more than ever," Will said as he sipped his spiked coffee. In the distance behind the Churchill, the Starbase main doors opened and a Ambassador Class starship started moving between the doors. Will couldn't make the name of the ship out directly, but once she moved further inside and the doors started closing behind her; the name Rutledge stood out.
"There she is," said Jean watching the massive ship come to a stop, and watching as the mooring lines started stretching, towards the ship. Will gave her an raised eyebrow look, she knew something that he didn't know. Was this her new assignment? Was she leaving him behind moving on with her life? "What's so important about the Rutledge?" he asked.
"That's the main reason why I came to find you," she said as she handed him a data PADD. He attached his thumb to the scanner and the PADD activated, and it read.
SUBJECT: LIEUTENANT COMMANDER WILLIAM C. HARRIS JR.
PREVIOUS ASSIGNMENT: USS CHURCHILL NCC-74020
CURRENT ASSIGNMENT: USS MAGELLAN NCC-71820
By order of Starfleet Command, you are hearby transferred to the USS Magellan under the command of Captain Anjad Terax as her Chief Engineer. You will board the USS Rutledge and depart for Starbase 249, once you arrive you will report in and wait for the Magellan to arrive. Good luck on your new assignment.
Rear Admiral Paul Forrestal
"It's been reported that the Magellan needed new engineering officers for her next assignment, so everyone that had not transfer out will be going aboard the Magellan," Jean said as she watched Will scan the PADD over and over and over again with his eyes.
"Does this mean you as well" he said as he sipped his drink slowly look at her from out of the corner of his eye.
"It does, I mean I can't let you get into trouble not have someone there to bail you out," she said as she nudged his shoulder with her fist. "Besides, with a new assignment like a Galaxy class starship; you are going to need all the help you can get."
"A new ship, new orders; I guess life continues no matter what you deal with," he said as he slipped his hand in his pocket still staring at the hulk of the Churchill taking his occasional sips.