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Shipping Out

Posted on 05 Mar 2018 @ 7:14am by Lieutenant Rafe Cassidy

Mission: Ne Me'e Laua Na Paio - Heroes & Villains
Location: USS Sydney
Timeline: 26 December 2388

Music that Captain Roderick could only describe as "modern" and "loud" assaulted his ears the moment he entered the USS Sydney's main shuttlebay. For a chamber this large, it shouldn't have been easy or necessary to pump out enough sound to fill it, but so it was.

Captain Roderick was a mild-mannered, middle-aged officer who liked classical music, tea, and wore a knitted jumper by choice when off-duty. And yet, he reflected as he padded towards the Type 11 shuttle in the most distress. Sometimes, routine maintenance required gutting these vehicles so badly they looked like they needed breaking before they remade.

He approached the pair of boots sticking out from under the prow and rested a hand on the hull. "You do know that's not your job?" He had to raise his voice to be heard over the music.


"I said - oh, computer, reduce sound to standard listening levels!" Roderick sighed with relief as the noise subsided, and looked back at the boots. "I said that's not your job."

"Oh." The boots kicked for Lieutenant Cassidy to slide out on the deck, dark hair a wild mess, fingers and face stained from the work. "Sure, Skipper. But it's soothing."

"I think Engineering would have a fit if you kept on hijacking their schedule," Roderick mused, looking about the shuttlebay.

"How am I supposed to fly these things to the best of my ability if I don't know their capability?" Cassidy stood and dusted off his hands.

"So is that the reason? Or is it because it's soothing?" Roderick cocked his head.

Cassidy froze. "You're being wily, today, Skipper. Why can't it be both?"

"Well, really, it can't be either."


"I shouldn't have said it's not your job. I should have said it's not your job 'any more.'" Roderick pulled out a PADD. "Your transfer orders came through."

He watched Cassidy intently. Watched the bright young man who strived so hard to take nothing seriously hesitate, watched him school his apprehension into a mask of enthusiasm. "Oh, hey, about time!" Cassidy took the PADD, and beamed. "Sorry, Skipper, you know this isn't about you or the Sydney."

"I know. I still disapprove."

"You'll find someone half as good as me, don't you worry."

"I'll find someone as good as you who listens to actual music, Lieutenant; the Sydney will do just fine." Roderick kept his voice warm, joshing. "It's you I'm worried about."

"It's just career stuff, Skipper. Always moving on."

"And I approve, a young officer like you needs opportunities," said Roderick mildly. "I'm concerned at your insistence on a posting to the Beta Quadrant."

Cassidy had been flicking through the PADD and didn't look up. It was too deliberate, along with his shrug, to fool the veteran captain. "It's where the action's going to be."

"You've never been the soldierly sort, Lieutenant. Despite it all, you're an old-fashioned explorer at heart, minus the pith helmet and colonialism."

"I would look good in a pith helmet," mused Cassidy.

Roderick sighed at the evasion. "I know the invasion has hit us hard, hit this region of space hard, hit Starfleet hard -"

"And it's going to keep on hitting, Captain." If Cassidy bothered to be wholly appropriate, something was really wrong. "I can't see what I've seen and scoot off to the Cardassian border."

Perhaps it was a matter of youth, Roderick reflected. He'd fought in the Dominion War and was happy to never see its like again; he'd seen atrocities and suffering and been moved onto the next posting, leaving disaster as the next person's problem. Roderick didn't consider himself a soldier, either, but he suspected the galaxy disagreed. Perhaps it was time for the galaxy to disagree with Rafe Cassidy.

"You're meeting your new posting at Bre'el IV," he said at last, levelly. "The Hawaii is a good ship. Sovereign-class. Which means lots of abominable toys for you to play with in a shuttlebay. Share nicely with the fighter pilots."

Cassidy looked up. If he'd heard the warning and concern in Roderick's voice, he didn't let it on; if there was any lingering apprehension or that tension Roderick had seen sink into his bones on their aid missions after Canterra, it had been swallowed.

But not, the old Captain thought, ejected.

Cassidy beamed with all the casual confidence of youth and deception. "You know me, Skipper. I always play nice."


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