Some time ago, the Nebula class USS Hiroshima-A was lost and much of the crew with it. Those who remained have been assigned to the Vesta class named Hiroshima-B in succession to the lost Hiro-A. Not all of the crew is making the transition well.
This post shows three characters processing their loss in different ways: One through putting her shoulder into the work ahead, another has calcified into a state of paranoia, and a third extends himself by reaching out to try to bouy his crewmate.
This little glimpse reminds us that stress and grief strike all of us in different ways.
It wasn’t nearly enough of a nap, but LTJG Davies-Muir knew that the ship was ailing and needed all hands on deck. Her roommate was still at the table, glaring at her as she ate her oatmeal, almost as if Steffi had done something wrong. After a sip of orange juice, she decided to let the cat out of the bag. “Problem?”
Jenny’s head jerked a little in surprise, actually. She was overtired, and didn’t know what to look for to either confirm that the newcomer was a security risk, or to rule her out. It, like everything else, was a complete mess. What she did know was this: there were active agents, who’d caused the true USS Hiroshima to be destroyed, and that they were likely still in action. Not wanting to go through the destruction of another ship ever again, she was trying to keep her eyes open.
How were people able to bound such a problem? Jenny didn’t know. Her brain was overloaded with observations, thoughts, and suspicions, and it was difficult to shut it down. She almost didn’t trust a soul, and did not want to get stabbed in the back again. “I don’t trust you,” Jenny answered.
“I dinnae care,” Stephanie replied, meaning it. She had her hands full, getting power distribution systems back online, and would likely be spending the next six hours doing so. Secondary conduits were keeping the lights on, but they were woefully short of reliable redundancy, and that needed to be addressed in short order. “But ye could at least try tae be civil,” she added, before standing to reclamate her dishes.
Jenny frowned at that. Of course, a hostile would try to get her to put her guard down. Then, again, an innocent friendly would do the same. It’s what made the enemy so difficult to suss out in the first place. Halfway through that thought, she realized her mind was zoning out and her eyes were closed, so she snapped to with a start, but didn’t say anything.
Stephanie was distracted by a chime at the door. “Come in,” she called. The Chief Intelligence Officer, LT al Khalid, was outside, maybe coming to call on her roommate. Good luck with that one, she thought. “Good evening, sir,” she greeted, hoping that tiredness, coupled with frustration with her living situation, wasn’t bleeding too much into her mood.
“Lieutenant Davies-Muir,” Iskander greeted the young woman warmly “Good to see you again.” She looked exhausted, as most everyone did to some degree. All the same, he asked. “How are you doing?”
“Holdin’ up,” she assured him. “Lots tae repair, and so little time.” It was often that way, especially after action. She didn’t mind so much, as it made her feel important and relevant in most situations.
“I’m sure there is.” He thought to caution her not to work too hard, but Zander knew the type. Instead, he leaned toward his actual purpose for visiting. “I was wondering if Lieutenant Hanmore is available; I had some things I need to go over with her. ”
“Oh, aye. Ye can ‘ave her,” Stephanie promised. Jenny was wearing on her, and she didn’t so much mind that creeping out of her inner thoughts. She wouldn’t say anything overt, but one could communicate quite a bit with the eyes. “B’sides, I’ve work tae do. Excuse me.”
“Of course.” The look spoke volumes and Zander arched a brow in surprise even as he moved aside to give Stephanie room for exit. Just beyond, he could see a haggard Jenny seated at the table and realized that the snatches of rumor he had heard were sadly more than that.
Jenny stayed silent until the doors had closed behind Stephanie. “A cagey one, that is,” she observed, wondering if Isk’s creepy intelligence vibe had picked up anything untoward in the redhead’s arrival. Her guess was that, if she was an agent, she was a good one, and had escaped scrutiny. That didn’t change the fact that she was positioned to do a lot of harm to the ship, if she so desired.
“Stephanie, cagey?” Zander huffed a laugh. “Jenny, I know you don’t tend to trust people on first shot but even that’s a long call. The girl is an open book. You, on the other hand …” He took a seat across from her. “I’ve seen corpses look livelier. When’s the last time you slept the night through?”
“That’s what you’re supposed to think,” Jenny hissed, shutting her eyes tightly for a second, because they ached. “Good operatives are the hardest to suss out. Otherwise they wouldn’t be. Good, I mean.” Her thoughts were generally scattered, but she was pretty solid on this one. An unknowable number of enemies were aboard, still, planning to kill them all. Maybe it was better that Meryn wasn’t here, as they wouldn’t be able to get both of them next time they struck.
Refraining from the urge to sigh aloud. Zander silently counted several beats in his mind before cautiously venturing. “And do you trust that I am not an operative?”
“I don’t,” Jenny replied. “But I’m pretty sure you’re not.” Unlike most, he was with her, trying to save the Hiroshima until the bitter end.
“I’d worry if you took me completely at face value,” Zander deadpanned. “To that end, if I were to suggest you hit the bunk for the next six – preferably eight – hours, would you agree?” He could see the protest waiting to break free and added as he held up a padd. “I will even remain here for the duration to ensure you are not compromised.” He would wait until after she’d rested some before suggesting a chat with the counselor.
Although inclined to tell him off, Jenny wondered if she might sleep better, knowing somebody had her back. It was worth a shot, anyway. “Only if you promise to get me if anything happens.” After all, they were all over the ship, and there was no telling what they would try to do next.
“Yes,” Zander nodded. It was an easy promise, as he doubted anything WOULD happen, and if it did, they would need their best in deck. “You are department head; if something happens you need to be there.”
“Fine.” Not a hundred percent in agreement, she also didn’t feel like opening another rift. She was just too bloody tired for that.
Waiting until her door was closed, Zander chuckled softly under his breath. For all she could act like a moody child, he knew Jenny’s heart was in the right place. Something was wrong, and it was hard to determine just who could be trusted right now. For the moment, though, he replicated himself a cup of hot tea and settled onto the couch to study what notes he had so far. At the same time, he tapped in a message to the ship’s counselor. He hadn’t met her yet, but Jenny’s roommate spoke highly of her; and regardless what his one-time assistant thought of the girl, Zander knew the Engineering officer was a good judge of character. Receiving a positive response, he returned to his study. If he was lucky, he might actually get a few hours under his belt.
LT al Khalid and LTJG Hanmore