In the post that follows two officers from the USS Pioneer, Jennifer Masters CIO & Dana Wakefield former COO and now Ops Officer, guide each other through a very trying time. Masters having just been severely injured and facing the possibility of losing her sight for good. Wakefield having just been ordered to destroy an entire ship of men and women.
It is a revealing post about what Starfleet officers must go through, and in my opinion something that is not shown nearly often enough on the various television shows and movies. It is a compelling post about two characters each dealing with trauma in their lives and leaning on one another to try and get through it. This post helped pave the way to more drama throughout the mission. It’s been a lot of fun to read. This post was awarded the Outstanding Post Ribbon for the last mission. I hope you enjoy it.
What Are Friends For
Posted on Tue Jun 18th, 2019 @ 2:43pm by Lieutenant Dana Wakefield & Staff Warrant Officer Jennifer Masters
Mission: Episode 7 – Home Again
Location: Jennifer Masters’ Quarters – Deck 2 – USS Pioneer
Timeline: MD002 0200 hrs
Dana found herself stood at the operations station on the bridge, smoke and the sound of people screaming out filled the air, her finger was hovering over a button on the console before a voice in the back of her mind screamed.
“It’s kill or be killed, us or them, do it…do it…. destroy them.”
Her finger inched lower towards pressing the button, but suddenly she hesitated, her finger stopping mere millimeters above the button as another voice tore through her head.
“Stop…you don’t have to kill them. There are innocents aboard that ship, simply following orders, you can simply disable them.”
Dana was caught in a moral dilemma, her finger poised. If she simply disabled the ship, they may be able to carry our repairs and re-join the fight. However, if she sent an overload command, she could trigger a warp core breach that would destroy the ship, fully taking them out of the equation. The bridge shook again as it was bombarded by another round of enemy fire, a console exploded and sparks flew across the bridge, several consoles started beeping and she glanced down at the incoming damage reports.
“Do it now, while you still can…kill them…destroy them, No Dana, spare them, disable them, they deserve a chance at life.”
The voices grew ever louder in her head, a power struggle, shouting over each other, she closed her eyes and pondered for a moment before she simply whispered to herself, “God, forgive me.” As she gently exhorted her finger the final millimeter and the console beeped in acknowledgement, her gaze falling on the view screen as she watched the defiant class ship explode.
“You’ve done that, you killed them. You’re a murderer…. murderer….”
- Chief of Operations Quarters, Deck 3 –
Dana bolted upright in bed, sweat was pouring from her, the darkness engulfed her, and she began to hyperventilate.
“Com…. Compu…Computer lights.” She gasped before a gentle tone acknowledged her command and the lights flickered on to reveal the familiar space of her quarters.
Her breathing began to regulate as she fumbled out of bed, the soothing familiar surroundings grounding her. “Just a bad dream, Dana, just a bad dream.” She muttered to herself as she paced up and down. But it was a dream that was becoming all too familiar, the third time this week she had relived that moment in a nightmare. It was true, she had killed them, but on the bridge that first voice was right, it was kill or be killed, she had to make the decision in a split second, she was thinking of her crew and her friends. The Pioneer was already heavily damaged, systems were failing, she had no choice, but now she was struggling with the consequences of her actions.
After several minutes of pacing, she had almost stopped shaking, but her mind was still racing, she was running through the situation, what if she had done that differently, could it have worked out differently. “Computer, time.” She barked as another acknowledgement tone broke the silence.
“The time is zero, one, twenty-six hundred hours.”
Sighing Dana had realized that she had only gone to bed some forty minutes earlier and she certainly knew that there would be no more sleep tonight. Gently sighing she decided to get dressed if she was awake, she may as well make herself useful and go and do something.
“Coffee, black.” She yelled as she poked her head out of the bathroom, pulling at her gold uniform, it was certainly a little slacker in places and would need taking in. The replicator springing into motion, as she glanced in the mirror ‘you look rough as hell’ she thought, her red hair only highlighting her pale complexion even more, before slowly walking to the replicator, picking up the steaming cup of coffee, gently closing her eyes and inhaling the aroma. Coffee was certainly Dana’s go to drink, it had helped her survive the Academy when the all-night sessions were in full flow, and it had certainly helped her get through her father’s endless functions and lectures. Grasping the cup firmly in her hands, she headed out of her quarters and began to walk. The walk wouldn’t be far, just around the corner, after all, if her she couldn’t turn to her best friend, who could a girl turn to.
Meanwhile, in another room on the same deck, Jennifer was sitting upright on her bed. Her vision had not fully returned. She stared in front of her. The lights in the room were still on. She was off duty for the time being, but she missed working at her department. She missed doing something. Sitting around in her room all day wasn’t working for her. Her hair was loosely in waves on her shoulders. She was wearing a tank top and shorts. It was how she liked to sleep. She sighed. She couldn’t sleep. She wasn’t tired. She slept all day this morning.
She reached to her night drawer where the nurse left her something to drink. She slowly moved her hand around the glass and then picked it up. “Computer!” She called out. “Please locate Petty officer, Calhoun.”
“Petty officer Calhoun is in the SCIF.” Came the reply.
Jenn had been calling him all morning but he hadn’t replied. She sighed again. What use is an internal communication system if he never answers? She thought to herself. She felt a bit lonely. She was debating if she would let the computer read her some more departmental reports.
Gently pacing outside of her friends quarters, she didn’t want to press the door chime, in case Jen was sleeping. She could always use the communicator, that way if she didn’t get a reply she would know for definite that Jen was sleeping.
=/= Wakefield to Masters are you awake? I’m stood outside of your quarters. =/= she said in a low whispered voice
=/= Masters here, no I am still awake. Please come in. =/= The doors opened as soon as she said that. Jenn put the glass back on her nightstand and got up and into her slippers. She slowly moved to the living room of her quarters. She stood there as she heard Dana walk in.
The doors to Jen’s quarters opened and Dana poked her head in. “I’m sorry it so early, I just couldn’t sleep.,” she said, coffee in hand as entered giving a gasp as she saw the bandages across her friend eyes. “I…I…What happened?” she asked realizing that she really hadn’t seen that much of her friend, or anyone else recently.
Jen couldn’t see Dana so she just directed herself to her as well as she can. “Well, as you know, I was on an away mission with Moore and the marines. We were ordered to apprehend a Cardassian. Something went wrong, well as you can see.” She pointed to her face. She then sort of waved into the direction of her couch. “Could you help me get there?” She asked, “So I can sit down. This is a long story.”
Dana walked to her friend and linked her arm “Of course” she said instinctively guiding her to the couch. A sense of guilt washing over her for not checking in with her friend before now, but alas, Dana had her own things on her mind, and seeing her friend blind didn’t help her predicament, did any of those that she killed, feel pain before their end?
Gently guiding Jen down, she sat in tandem. “Do you need anything else?” she asked politely “a drink, pain killers?”
“A glass of water would do,” Jenn said. “And please tell me what the state of my quarters is. I keep things nice and tidy, but now that I can’t see, I am very dependent on nurses.”
Dana wondered over to the replicator and ordered Jen a glass of ice cold water, before returning to the sofa and sitting down, she gently held out the glass “its right in front of you.”
Jenn put her hands on the glass and then drank from it. “That’s better. Thank you, Dana.” She sat back. “And as to what happened. Lieutenant Tremble was captured and they drugged him with something. I tried to save him with Sergeant Wilson, only he went crazy on us. I had to shoot him several times. He broke my nose and tried to poke my eyes out. They were able to repair my eyes, but I have to be this way for a couple of days for it to heal a completely.” She tilted her head as she turned in her direction. “But I heard you had quite the ordeal here as well. I was down on Cardassia, what happened up here?” She asked.
“Oh we took quite a pounding.” she paused, her memory returning to her nightmare, “In fact, for a moment, I didn’t think we would make it and I had to make a difficult choice,” she replied, sighing, her decision still weighing heavily on her mind.
Jen reached out with her hand to find her friend’s hand to show her some support.
Dana clasped her friend’s hand and squeezed it hard, Jen was one of the few people that she had connected with, something that eventually Dana would work on changing, but at the moment she just wanted to prove she was a capable officer. She drew a large breath and continued. “The Captain ordered me to use the transponder codes to disable a defiant class vessel, one thought had been destroyed, and however, it had simply been appropriated by the resistance. I could have simply disabled it, but instead, I killed them all, I sent a self-destruct command, overloading the warp core.” she paused, a loathing of self-hate washing over her as screams filled her head, hundreds of voices. “I didn’t have a choice.” she snapped “If I simply disabled them; they could have repaired the damage and come back to finished us off. It was killed or be killed.” she blurted out.
Jen nodded. “I understand.” She gave a warm smile. “Listen, Dana, nothing about the Cardassia mission went as planned, it caught everyone by surprise. We all had to do things we thought we never would have to do. You made the right decision. I won’t look at your different. Even when I can see you again.” She finally caught Dana’s hand and gently squeezed it.
“But was it…” she hesitated “Was it the right choice.” her voice shaking showing emotion, the self-doubt was consuming her, confusing her. A difficult choice with real-life consequences, her first major decision, and now she was a killer. “I killed them, Jen,” she said, a single tear rolling down her face and for a moment she was thankful that her friend couldn’t see.
“It is hard now, but you will get over it.” We’re star fleet officers, and war is ugly,” Jen said, “You don’t know how it was like for me the past period, hell the past year even. What you did was for the crew.”
“I know, you’re right. I made the choice for the sake of the crew, but I….” she hesitated “I’ll get there eventually, I just…Thank you, you always know what to say, but enough of my doom and gloom, your vision, it will return to normal….right?” she asked, now showing some concern for her friend. “I should have checked in on you sooner, you should have called, I would have helped, not leaving you at the mercy of some nurses.”
“I know, I tried calling Billy, I guess I am just upset that he didn’t answer me, I forgot about you. And I know what it is like to be a department head. And this department head is out of the running right now. But I’ll be fine. I have all the care I need.” Jen replied. “I wouldn’t want to impose.”
“Your no trouble, you’re my friend and friends are there for each other, no matter what…right?”
Jen smiled. “You are right.”
Dana chuckled and gave a smile for the first time in days, Jen certainly knew how to cheer her up but she still had to live with the consequences. Taking a sip of her now cold coffee, Dana sat there with Jen and they continued to gossip for the new few hours.
A Joint Post By:
Lieutenant Dana Wakefield
Chief Operations Officer
Staff Warrant Officer Jennifer Masters
Chief Intelligence Officer