Chapter 5 - Reprocussions

Statzia gave a tug on her uniform jacket as she stepped out of the turbolift. She and K’Naut and the team of engineers had spent the better part of two days digging into the freighter’s systems and logs. A medical team had beamed over to help them identify and prepare the bodies for transport. Now, the Captain had summoned her to his office. She paused outside the door to the Ready Room, and entered when it opened.


Evelyn looked over her shoulder. She’d been waiting alone for nearly a half hour, sweating out what punishments would await while half her mind was on her ongoing family issues. “He’s not here yet,” she said, motioning to the empty desk.


Statzia nodded, looking back over her shoulder, as if to look for the Captain, and entered far enough to let the door close. “You okay? Chief told me you’re taking a leave.”


“I asked for one, it’s not been approved as of yet. If I end up in the brig that might put a damper on things.”


Statzia gave a huff. She crossed the room and plunked herself into the seat next to Evelyn. “I’m going to be brutally honest with you. You are an Ensign who followed the explicit orders of a Lieutenant Commander in order to free your Captain and his senior officers from hijacking murderous pirates.” She gave a smirk. “And if they don’t give you a medal or a promotion for that, you and your counselor should transfer to a ship that can handle your kind of brilliance.”




Henry entered the room, without so much as a hello, and took his seat before looking them both over. He tapped his com. “Transfer the other to my Ready Room.” A moment later Emma fizzled into existence.


Emma opened her mouth, as if to say something in anger, until she saw Statzia–who sprung to her feet as the hologram appeared. The two gave each other a fierce embrace. “Good to see they kept you alive, Statz.”


“No small thanks to you.” Statzia pulled back, looking the hologram over. “Sorry it took so long to let you know.”


“Be seated,” he said sternly.


Emma’s brow raised in what was a very Vulcanesque gesture. In response to Statzia’s shrug, she nodded. The two women released each other, both pulling up seats in front of the desk.


“The purpose of this hearing is to determine the consequences for the three of you related to recent events in which one of you took actions without direct permission of the Commanding Officer..” his eyes went to Evelyn. “….and one of you potentially coerced such actions or were a conspirator towards the action..” his eyes slid to Statzia.  Finally, the question as to what to do with you.” His eyes rested on Emma.  “I will entertain any defense you wish to offer.”


Evelyn stood up out of her chair, at attention. “Captain, I take full responsibility for linking the Mercutio to a foreign system and allowing a non-starfleet program into our computer core.”


He dryly looked at her. “Sit down, Ensign.”


Evelyn didn’t expect that but obeyed. He looked to Statzia. “You’re the one who was behind this.”


“I am absolutely the one in charge of this scenario, sir.” Statzia glanced at both Evelyn and Emma. “And as I am the superior officer to both of them, and was acting Captain at the time of the incident, I take full responsibility for any repercussions of my direct and explicit orders.”


“And what of this program?”


Emma opened her mouth to say something, but stopped as Statzia held up a hand.


“Her name is Emma. She is a commissioned Starfleet officer under my command–or was until my injury that removed me from active field duty. Her sister program has retired from active service, but serves in a Federation medical practice in Boston on Earth.” Statzia couldn’t stop the sigh that escaped. “And I have been working for two years to be allowed to extricate her program from my shuttle to allow her to continue her existence and service to Starfleet–should she so choose.”


“A shuttle which was reported stolen from a research facility. Any idea how it happened to end up in my shuttle bay?”


Statzia’s expression didn’t falter. “It appears that the report was faulty.” She shrugged. “The transfer request inadvertently wasn’t entered. It appears the shuttle was…sold for scrap. It’s been decommissioned.”


Evelyn slowly looked over at her with a look silently saying now wasn’t the time to dig their hole deeper by lying.


“I am saying this on the record, sir. My Captain, First Officer, Chief of Security, and any other ranking officer above me were captured and incapacitated. Under Starfleet regulations, that granted me, under the chain of command, acting Captain status and command of both vessels.” Statzia gave another glance to the two women seated on other side. “Your final message to me, though coded, was abundantly clear that you were communicating under duress, and instructed me to, and I quote, ‘get it taken care of.’”


He leaned back in the chair, and for the first time the stern expression broke by just a tad. “And you did. Both of you did.” He turned to Evelyn, sliding a box across the desk to her which she deftly caught. “For your service to this ship you are hereby awarded the rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade.”


Evelyn’s eyes were wide. “Thank….thank you Sir.”  


“You’re welcome. Now if you’ll return to your duties, I have some other business.”


“Of course, Sir.” She stood when he stopped her with a hand. 


“Oh, forget that. You ought to go pack. Your family leave is approved.”


She couldn’t stop her eyes from moistening before she turned and quickly left.


He turned to the other duo. “I’m going to be recommending you for advanced command training. When it’s completed we’re going to discuss your role in the line of succession.”


There was a flicker of surprise, but Statzia quickly masked the emotion. “I have a favor to ask, Captain.” Her gaze flickered to Emma. “She has spent two years locked in a computer. I owe her my life, and the fact that I am here is entirely due to her quick thinking. She–she deserves the chance to plead her case to Starfleet…and not be forced to sit in a shuttle while someone else determines her fate.”


“Too late.” He turned his eyes to Emma. “You want to say anything about what you can bring to the ship?  What’re your skills?”


Emma smirked. “I can fly a shuttle, speak seven different languages fluently, have all the medical training of an emergency medical hologram, and I believe you saw my combat training module in action.” She looked to Statzia, who raised an expectant eyebrow. “Sorry.” Emma sat up straighter. “Sir.”


“I believe the counselor said that she was hoping to be able to implement Emma on the counseling staff?” Statzia inclined her head. “The timing is impeccable, given that you just granted their family leave–”


“I don’t know if the crew will be open to speaking with a new counselor, even in the short run. But I’m sure we can find a place for you. For all our sakes, please just defer to the EMH if you ever run into him. I don’t even want to hear his complaints.”


Statzia let out a breath she’d felt like she’d been holding for months. “If I may, Captain, I’d like to get her settled into my old quarters, now that I’ve moved in with the Chief–”


Emma let out a string of profanity that seemed to be a combination of five different languages. “The Chief?”


Statzia held up a hand again, which made Emma clamp both of her hands over her mouth. “Would–my old quarters be sufficient? Until she can be assigned a mobile emitter?”


“I think so, nobody’s claimed those quarters.”


Statzia glanced at Emma, who still sat wide-eyed and barely contained with her hands over her mouth. “Then, if there’s nothing else…may we be dismissed?”


“Yes, please get our new crewmember settled.”


Both Statzia and Emma stood, simultaneously giving a nod to the Captain. They were barely across the threshold onto the Bridge when Emma squealed, “You found the Chief?