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Back In The Big Chair

Posted on Fri Jan 19th, 2018 @ 11:37pm by Captain Alexander Kurtz
Edited on on Sat Jan 20th, 2018 @ 6:17pm

Mission: Earth
Location: USS Tempest, Bridge / San Francisco, Earth
Timeline: MD01 - 21:54hrs

[Then]

Klaxons blared on the Bridge of the USS Tempest, red alert indicators illuminating the room as the main lights struggled to restore themselves. Captain Alexander Kurtz struggled through the door from his ready room, followed by his first officer, Commander Mara Gors. The gravity felt wrong, as if the floor was tilted slightly to the port side. “Report.” He called out as he looked around, checking the bridge crew for serious injuries.

“We got caught in a gravimetric distortion sir.” Lieutenant Gomez replied from the ops position. “It threw us out of warp. Main power is offline and the engines aren't responding. All we have is minimal thrusters and… we're caught in the gravity well for the nearest star.”

The engineer in Alex kicked in and he made his way to the engineering console at the back of the Bridge. The schematics showed the extent of the damage, and it didn't look good. The secondary hull had taken the brunt of the impact and there were a couple of fairly significant hull breaches on the neck of the ship. Shield, weapons and communications were all offline and a number of secondary systems had been affected.

“Bridge to engineering, how bad is it down there?” He asked.

“The damage is extensive Captain.” Came the reply from Lieutenant Commander Sova. He was relieved to hear the Vulcan chief engineer's voice, she was a steady pair of hands and good in a crisis. “We have a number of injuries, however there appear to be no fatalities in main engineering.”

“All right, good.” He said with relief. Alex glanced around to see Commander Gors treating the tactical officer for a fairly nasty head injury, but they didn't seem to have an fatalities either. “Sova, we're trapped in the gravity well of this star.” Apparently the stellar body know as G-5792 hadn't warranted a name up until now, but they were falling into it far too quickly. They had around ten minutes to find a way out of this. “I need you to get the impulse engines back online.”

“Understood Captain, but that may not be feasible.” Sova admitted. “The damage to the systems down here is extensive. I believe that our best chance at success would be to repair the impulse engines on site, however I cannot contact impulse control or the closest damage control team in the saucer section. The hull breaches mean that we will need to travel via Jeffries tubes from here, which will take a relatively significant amount of time.”

“I need a no bullshit assessment Sova, can your people get there make the repair in ten minutes?”
“No sir.” Came the reply. “I believe we cannot.”

“All right, send a team up, I'll meet them there. Kurtz out.” He stood and opened up the access panel next to the console, retrieving the engineering toolkit stored inside it. “Commander Gors, you have the bridge. As soon as those engines are back online, punch it.”

The Captain was in the turbolift before Gors could reply, heading towards impulse engine control. It was the last time he set foot on the bridge of the Tempest.


[Now]

John Russell's apartment was nicely furnished if a little Spartan. It had good views of downtown San Francisco, and was well located within the city. Although it was a bit of a distance from Starfleet Headquarters. During his recuperation on Earth, Alex Kurtz had spent a lot of time with John, the two had served together early in Alex's career and forged a friendship.

John didn't look like a typical counselor. He was in his sixties now, bald with a thick grey beard and a deep, rumbling voice. At the start of his career, John had served briefly in the Marines, a career cut short by post traumatic stress disorder. During his treatment, he developed an interest in and affinity for the field of counselling. A significant change in career led to him joining the fleet and rising to the rank of lieutenant commander. He probably could have risen even higher if it wasn't for his habit of challenging authority at every opportunity, a fact that Alex reminded him of every chance he got.

John dropped an ice cube in Alex's glass and followed it with a generous serving of Scotch, the real thing not synthahol, then did the same with his own drink. “So back in the big chair.” He said as he sat down in a large, comfortable armchair. “You ready for it?”

“I don't know if you can ever really be sure.” Alex admitted. “But my treatment is finished, the doctors say I've got ninety-five percent use back in my left hand, which is likely as good as it'll get with such an extensive rebuild of the nerves. And I don't feel like I should be hanging around on Earth. You know I've never been one for a desk job.”

“Desk jobs, psychological evaluations or routine reports as I recall.” John commented.
“Hey, I have gotten slightly better at routine reports.” Alex grinned. “What about you, still happy on Earth? You don't want to go back out there?”

“Nah, I'm good where I am.” The counselor said, sipping his drink. “I like Earth, and this city, I don't mind a desk job and I get to piss the admiralty off regularly. I'll leave space to… well I was gonna say the young but that's not you anymore.”

“I'm young compared to you old man.”

“Hey I could still kick your ass. I was a marine you know.”

“Really? 'Cause you never mention that.” They both grinned, this was an exchange they had on an almost daily basis. “So,” Alex continued. “How much do you know about the Valkyrie?”
“Not a whole heck of a lot.” John said. “The older skipper, Kincaid, seemed to be well liked, but not really outstanding. One of my colleagues knows a little of the XO.”

“And?”

“Emil Nosske is what we in the psychological circles refer to as a total asshole. The man's out to make a name for himself, but he lacks the self awareness to realise that most people see through his bullshit. Watch out for him.”

Alex nodded. “The second officer, Blackwater, has a reputation too. But some of the people she's pissed off are the kind of people that need to pissing off every so often.”

John laughed. “I like the sound of that one. Keep her on your side Alex.” He stood and picked up the bottle of Scotch. “Now, you look like you need a top up.”

 

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