Unwanted Command - Part 2
Posted on Sunday, 18 June 2023 - 9:23am by Commander T'Varis Pren
Operation: Lobes & Liberties
Location: USS Light Seeker - Medical bay
Pren arrived in sickbay later then she wanted. She’d stopped along the way to check on crew, to assist where necessary so it was a good half hour before she walked into sickbay. She was, as she had expected, greeted by the crossed arms, and furrowed brow of Doctor Valaria.
Before the doctor could utter a sound Pren raised her hand. "I know, I had to stop and help. What is the issue doctor?"
The fight seemed to leave Valaria and Pren was suddenly afraid. She schooled her features into a neutral expression prepared for the worst. "Doctor?"
"It is my duty, as chief medical officer, to inform you that you are now the temporary CO of this ship."
The sound of a roaring wave filled her ears and the room spun. "Doctor?" Her voice sounded far away even to her.
"The captain is in a coma, I...I will have to operate and even that's risky."
But she was alive. Pren swallowed past the panic in her throat. "She's alive?"
"For now. Let me tend to that cut on your forehead."
"I am fine doctor...."
"Another order this one you won't loophole out of. Sit."
Pren sat, not because of the doctor's order but because her feet suddenly felt shaky.
She was numb as the doctor scanned her and waved the dermal regenerator over her wound. "I'll do all I can Pren."
Valaria was one of two people on the ship that had the privilege of using her first name; the other was in a coma in another room.
"I wish to see her."
Valaria gave a nod. "Five more seconds."
Pren sat there silently waiting and when she was cleared she followed the silent doctor into the room next door. The doctor dismissed the nurse preparing the captain for surgery. "I need you to prioritize the med systems."
Without a world Pren tapped her coms. "Commander T'Varis to Engineering we need medical systems on priority as well."
"Aye Sir, I'm working on it. It will be an hour."
Pren looked at Valaria who shook her head. "Engineer make it twenty minutes. Priority above all other systems."
Pren held the doctor's gaze for a moment before the CMO turned and walked out.
On shaking legs Pren approached the bio bed. Her hands shook her entire body felt as though it was going to collapse. She wanted a ship of her own but not like this.
She walked over to the bio bed and stopped. Scanning the room even though she knew it to be empty she reached out and took the captain’s hand. "I require something from you." She leaned in close so that her lips were just a fraction from the captain's ear. "I require that you wake up. Nothing more. I need you to wake up Ivy." She pulled back swiping at her eyes and the tears that gathered there. "Please, I do not want this ship, this command, I don't want any of this...not without you."
She gently brushed her fingers over Ivy's face. "Please wake up." She closed her eyes willing her heart to stop hammering in her chest and beat slower. How much could she take today; the ship, the crew losses, the people that had been destroyed on the other ship, Ivy could not be another on the list.
She took several breaths to stop the sob that threatened to come out.
She heard the door hiss open and stepped back. A gentle hand on her shoulder and she turned to see the CMO standing there. "We have to prep her."
Without a word Pren gave a nod and stepped back. "Take care of her doctor."
"Yes ma'am. You know I will. I will do everything I can. Get those systems back on."
Pren gave a nod. She took one last look at Ivy Grams and headed out to engineering. Like a woman possessed, her Vulcan strength an asset, she tore aside rubble and made it to engineering at warp speed. After being assured by the Engineer that they would have systems up and running she headed to the bridge.
Slipping into the command chair she curled her fingers around the arm rests and then sat up straight. "Coms," her voice steady even though a storm turned inside her. "Do we have power for ship wide?"
"Open a ship wide channel."
"Attention, Attention. Ship coms open. Stand by for command announcement."
Pren nodded at the woman behind coms. The Light Seeker had certain requirements. They were an elite ship called the ship of Amazons referring to an old Earth myth.
"Light Seeker crew. I know that we are battered but we are not beaten. As we speak the ship that attacked us stands destroyed. A necessity to save our lives but nonetheless a loss of life that did not not need to happen. Starfleet is about diplomacy and about seeking out new life. This opportunity at first contact with a species not yet know to us went badly. I and the bridge crew will be reviewing all that has occurred. We have suffered our own losses, several crew injured and under the expert care of Doctor Valaria and her team, and some are not going to make it home. Their names will be displayed on all ship panels not destroyed so that you can know which of your comrades gave their lives to save the those of us left. I suggest giving thanks to their spirits. As is tradition on the Light Seeker we will hold a vigil when we have shields back online and weapons so that we are safe. I have put out a distress call to any Federation ship but until the time of their arrival we must work together to get ourselves back up and running. I have faith in you all as a crew and as a family." She paused.
Looking over the faces of the bridge crew the next words she had to fight to get out. "As of this moment and by the confirmation of Doctor Valaria I am taking over as temporary CO of this ship and promoting Lieutenant Commander Tagarin as my XO and the Chief Engineer as the second XO. Captain Ivy Grams was injured during this battle and is in the care of our CMO in a coma fighting for her life. A friend, a warrior, a guide, a mentor to us all. If you are of the believing kind and have deities or spirits you pray to I suggest including an extra prayer for the life of Captain Grams. We..." Her voice threatened to break but she took a deep breath. "We are prioritizing medical above all other systems for the moment to ensure the doctor can save the captain and all others who are injured. I urge any crew with medical to go out and help your fellow injured crewmembers. Those with Engineering background or systems report to the Chief Engineer and assist her with getting this ship up and running. Keep our fallen sisters in your minds and hearts and keep our injured there as well. I know that this crew has been through worse and we will get through this. We will soar again and Captain Grams will be back in charge soon. Until then we have work to do. Make haste."
She gave a nod to comms who cut ship wide. There was silence on the bridge, everyone taking things in.
She looked up at the doors of the turbo lift even thought they were not open hoping Grams was there and all this had been a mistake.
She looked up at the Tactical officer and winced. "Commander T'Varis that is still my rank. What is it?"
"We have acknowledgment of our distress call. Two hours out, the USS Standing Bear A."
T'Varis paled. His ship, it would have to be his ship. There was no time for pride or drama. "Signal our thanks and ask them to push their engines. Send the Captain of their ship a brief of events and a status update." She paused. "I believe their name is Pippa Whitley."
She watched as the woman's brow furrowed. "Standing Bear acknowledges receipt of info forwarded to the temporary CO. Commander Soral."
Add insult to injury. The Prophets are of a distasteful sense of humour today.
"I see. Thank you. Tell Commander Soral we are grateful for his assistance." She turned away making sure to not clench her fists. "I will be in the ready room." She strode off the bridge. If she was going to deal with Soral she would need to gather her mind. She had things to do but she could not face him without some time to process his being here and him being the one to come to her...no, the ship wasn't her. She shook her head. She had to process him being the one to come to Captain Grams' ship's aid.