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Old is New Again

Posted on 16 Jan 2019 @ 1:55am by Commander Gerald Wainwright III

Mission: Prologue
Location: Starbase 49 / UPFY Mars

[Starbase 49]
[Commander Wainwright's Quarters]

In the dark, the hulking form of Commander Gerald "Gerry" Wainwright tosses and turns in his sleep.  The blanket has long since been kicked to the deck below and the sheet is twisted around his knees and ankles.  A fine coating of sweat coats Gerry's brow and upper lip.  He mumbles and reaches out a hand.

"No, wait, we can settle this peacefully.  Please don't... no, don't.  DON'T DAMN YOU."

Gerry sits upright in bed, awake now but for a moment transported through tricks of his own mind and his guilt back to the deck of the USS Maine.  The face of the rogue Cardassian captain fades and Gerry realizes once again that the events in his dreams were 4 years gone.  Gerry stands, his legs shaky at first as he heads to the bathroom.  As he enters to splash his face, only his knees still give any indication to whoever might observe that he was 50 years old and at times moved more like he was 60.

Gerry emerged from the sonic shower a short time later and put on a fresh uniform.  He attached the 3 rank pips and looked at himself in the mirror.  He didn't feel 50 now, and didn't think that (other than his graying hair) he looked that old.  There was definitely a lot more salt than pepper in his closely-shorn locks, but he didn't mind.  He scurried out the door.

[Engineering Lab, 45 minutes later]

"No, damn it, try again.  You're acting like you're back on Earth in the Academy!" Gerry snipped at his two young trainees.  His gaze softened a bit almost immediatly and he took more of a fatherly air than that of a coach or angry professor.  "You're both here because you're the most promising young warp field engineers that Star Fleet could find.  Believe in yourselves, trust in your instincts and your math, and you'll be fine."

A beep from his commbadge stopped Gerry's pep talk short.

"Commander Wainwright, please report to Admiral Vincennes' office immediately."

[A week later, aboard a long-haul shuttle entering the Earth's solar system]

Gerry looked down once again at the PADD that he'd had with him for this entire trip.  He couldn't believe his eyes or his fortune.  Executive Officer on any ship after his past mistakes was a huge vote of confidence from the admiralty.  The fact that the ship itself had been mostly in mothballs for years didn't give Gerry a lot of confidence, but he hoped that it meant that he could dust off some of his engineering chops.  He piloted his shuttle around the rings of Saturn, getting clearance to dock with Utopia Planetia Fleet Yards, Mars.  His next adventure was about to begin, and for a moment the memories of the loss of his former XO and the two other officers were the farthest thing from his mind.

Commander Gerald Wainwright
Executive Officer
USS Mark Miller


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