An Flight of the Raptor Short Story.
A few days had passed since the attempted Urthean takeover of Starbase 186. Life was gradually returning to normal. Several ships were still dispatched to help cover the bases defense until the Raptor could be returned to operational status.
Harry for the most part had been taking the time to look over his crew manifest, he figured that he might as well get to know the people serving under him if he was going to be in charge of the ship. Their first time out he barely had time to get to know any of the base personnel the first time out. Outside of his Chief Engineer and his navigator he barely knew any of them. So he had taken the time and looked over their information which was displayed on several Padd's on his coffee table.
Terri Lu (Communications, System Support) , Jakar (Security / Tactile), Dr. Richard Okan (Chief Medical officer) , Michelle O'mara (Science) and Don Rivas (Ops).
He took a freshly replicated pad and condensed these down into one list and then tossed the others into the recycler and headed out on his way. May as well take the time to do this while things are quiet for the moment.
"Who is it?" Terri's voice said on the speaker.
"It's Lt. Commander Martinez. I'm just trying to take some time and get to know some of my staff. Unless you're busy."
"No just give me a moment, you caught me making lunch."
"Not a problem." Harry said waiting a moment or two before the light turned green showing her door was unlocked.
"Come on in sir." Terri said.
Harry moved forward and the doors parted, he began to step inside when he heard a loud mew from below. He looked down and saw a quadrepedal rather fat feline creature with horns and a ringed tail. Terri was an echidna like him with all read fur and head fur to match she was in her early twenties and carried her self with an air of quiet confidence. She was dressed in civilian garb in a pair of loose slacks and a cotton blouse with some strange designs on it. "Don't mind the cat he won't bite." She said stepping around the cabinet of her little kitchenette.
"Well hello there." Harry said looking down at the creature.
It mewed again and cocked it's head to the side eyeing him carefully.
"Taber, skat." Terri said sooshing the cat away. It gave Terri an indignant look and then moved out of the way flicking his tail. "Sorry, sir he doesn't like male visitors he thinks i'm his." Harry headed for the couches in the sunken part of the room, Terri's quarters were in an area that had balconies overlooking the promenade below. The balcony was lined with what seemed to be a small herb garden and shrine in the middle of it, the doors were open and the dull murmur of the crowds below floated in to her quarters. Harry noted that everything was very neat and tidy and had it's place including the various decorations placed around the room.
"It's ok. I didn't know you had a pet." Harry said taking a seat.
"Well he's bonded to me I raised him from a kitten so here he stays." Terri shrugged. "So what did you want to go over sir?"
"You can call me Harry, i've never liked the people serving directly under me being too formal."
"Ok, Harry, so what's up." Terri said sitting in the couch across from him.
"Well I read you are a class A technician, you graduated fourth in your class, went to the academy with a recommendation from the Sarnes institute. Now my question is, why the hell are you not assigned to Ops on the Raptor?" Harry said rather bluntly. "You passed all your assessment tests, i don't get it."
"You want the real answer?" Terri asked. "Because that was what I applied for initially."
"Don Rivas has actual combat experience. That's why I'm on communications." She shrugged.
Harry flipped through the information on his padd and quickly read over it. "Hmm.." He mused.
"That's what I thought, but if he's ever sick, I can more then handle the position." Terri shrugged. "Don's a nice guy, I'm sure he knows his stuff it's just I probably know the hardware better."
"Meh it's a trade off." Harry finally said. "So do you have anywhere you'd like to go with your career?"
Terri thought about it a little. "Not any direction in particular, at the moment but i won't turn down an opportunity if it presents itself."
Harry made a note and nodded. "This says you grew up on Roulia Three, isn't that the windy planet as they call it?"
"You could say that, it has a lot of nasty storms, but when it isn't acting up it's very pretty." Terri said petting Taber as he hopped up in her lap and murred.
"Sounds a kinda like where I grew up." Harry said. "Ketha Province."
Terri nodded. "I have some distant cousins there, only been there a few times. It's very, hilly."
Harry laughed. "Yeah that's about the gist of it, if it isn't hilly it's flat."
"How'd you entertain yourself Harry?" Terri asked. "I mean there aren't any major towns and everyone lives off by themselves, it's not very developed."
"Ah but it's quiet, you find things to do if you get bored." Harry said. "Lots of long walks and camping under the stars. It's pleasant if you like that sort of thing."
"Roulia was like that before the storm." Terri sighed. "But after the main ship arrived and got everything rebuilt and the weather control grid installed it got very busy very quickly. Where my grandma's house used to be is now a parking garage, go figure."
"Did your Grandmother raise you?"
"For the most part, my parents were both in Starfleet and they disappeared on some mission, it's been to long I can't remember the details." Terri said her gaze looking downward sadness crossing it as she slowly stroked her over spoiled feline.
"You don't have to go into it." Harry said.
Terri nodded in agreement. "Harry if you ever need me to do anything I'm pretty efficient at whatever task I'm put on, I'll be more than glad to help." She said looking up her continence back to it's usual lightheartedness. "Being a glorified operator isn't exactly that exciting, but I'll be the best dam communications officer you'll ever have."
Harry smiled. "I'm sure you will be, and I'll keep that in mind. I'm sure we'll need your skills at one time or another."
"I would appreciate that." Terri said. "Is there anything else?"
"No not at all." Harry said smiling, he felt like she was someone he could rely on if he needed too and she usually seemed composed under pressure and very at ease any other time. He felt relieved that she was exactly what her evaluations said of her. A very intelligent, and capable young woman. He figured there wouldn't be any further need for feeling her out. If there was something to be said she was going to be up front with it. "I hate to cut it short but i got a lot of other people to talk to, thank you for taking the time to have this little chat."
"No problem, Harry." Terri smiled. "I look forward to getting to know you better."
"Same here." Harry said politely excusing himself.
The next one up was Jakar, he was easy to find, in the last few days he had proved to be rather predictable. Every day he did his rouds during the day, at night he would stalk around the station even when everyone else would be turning in. Way into the morning hours he'd see Jakar still out patrolling, he wondered if he even slept. And then just like clock work when he'd go off duty he'd go into Leeta's and order the same drink and sit and chat with the attractive bar tender and drink a lot for a few hours then turn into his quarters, or not. Harry checked the wall chronometer, with him being such a night owl being able to talk to him one on one may be a bit difficult.
Sure enough, as Harry entered the Bar there he sat in his usual place with Dr. Okan chatting with him and obviously eating breakfast. He had noticed that the two of them obviously had a kinship of sorts, they both seemed to spend most of their off time either drinking, playing darts or gambling or arguing almost to the point of blows about some current political debate. He was well aware that Okan was sort of a night owl himself, he always seemed to be tinkering something in his lab.
"Good morning gentlemen." Harry said , approaching them.
Jakar who looked more then a bit hammered looked at him and grunted a morning.
"Ah Lt. Commander. What brings you here?" Okan asked.
"I wanted to talk to my tactical officer if he wouldn't mind." Harry said flatly.
"Well, I don't know he might have over done it..." Okan said a bit distastefully.
"Pssh. What do you want to talk about?" Jakar said with a slight slur.
"Just wanting to get to know some of my crew, while we're not getting shot at." Harry said nonchalantly.
Jakar shrugged and turned around and shoved out a stool about nearly tipping it but he caught it before he did. "Have a seat then, what do you want to know."
"Are you sure you're capable?" Harry said.
"PFftt I've done more with MORE of this." He said waving a strange purple bottle he was drinking out of when Harry had arrived. "Have a seat sir."
"Doctor if you don't mind, I would like to do this with you but these sessions are private."
"Ah that's ok." Okan shrugged. "I've got something I'm working on anyways." Okan said scooping up his stuff and leaving the bar.
"So, Commander what can I do for you?" Jakar said taking another swig from his bottle.
"I would appreciate it if you would stop drinking so I can talk to you." Harry said.
Jakar shot him a glare mid swig, but Harry stared him down. "All right." He said sitting it down and sliding it down the bar. "Leeta but a cap in it so it stays fresh!" He hollered at the Catarian bartender who glared at him and nodded her head going to pick up the bottle. Harry grabbed the stool next to him and sat down, sizing up Jakar. He was rather large for an echidna his fur was the dark crimson red of blood. His spines had a few large beads in them for decoration and on his head he had a solid white marking that looked like a shield between his brows. Over his left eye ran a single jagged scar that ran from brow to his cheek.
"So, Sir." Jakar said bluntly "What do you want to know?.
"Well since mostly what I see you do is well this, is it going to affect your job performance."
Jakar sneered. "Hasn't before why would it now?"
"Right." Harry said.
"Listen pup I'm sixty seven years old, I'm damn set in my ways and I've never done anything to make anyone ever doubt my abilities." Jakar grunted. "If I do however ever give you reason to question my abilities be damn forward about it." He looked down at Harry's data padd. "And don't write it in that damn gadget and say nothing."
"It was just a question, I'm just trying to get to know my staff is that too much to ask?" Harry said calmly.
Jakar raised a brow and scratched his chin. "Suppose, not.."
"So you are sixty-seven? You don't really look it." Harry mused.
"Guess it must be all this clean living." Jakar said with a smirk.
Harry nodded. "Kind of a late start on a fleet Career isn't it?" Harry said noting that he'd only been in for five years less then he had.
"Ah that, well let's just say i bummed around the quadrant for awhile, got tired of it came here, asked for a job and they sent me to school." Jakar said putting his hand to his chin in thought. "I think i've done about all there is to do out there, been a smuggler, a soldier, a freighter pilot, a mercenary you name it I've probably done it."
"So lots of experience in about everything." Harry said.
Harry glanced at the vanquished glasses and bottles in front of him. "Do you have to drink that much to be this talkative, usually I hear more from a wall."
"Kid," Jakar grunted as he learned towards Harry. "When you get to be my age, you have a lot of Ghosts you don't want bothering you in the longer hours of the day."
Harry wanted to reprimand him for talking down to him like that but something about the older Echidna kept him from saying anything, he assumed as long as it was sir when things were formal he could let it slide.
Jakar really didn't have to much of a file, he didn't even have a brith certificate, he had a service number and obviously a date of birth. That was about it.
"Do you have any family or relatives?"
Jakar seemed to think for a moment. "None that I am aware of." He shrugged. "You?"
"A brother and my aunt back on Termia." Harry nodded.
"You go back and see em much?" Jakar asked.
"When I can, I've been busy the last few years." Harry said.
"Well go see them sometime; don't end up like me, here." He said waving at the bar. "Wandering around the god damned station all hours of the night."
"Why do you do that?" Harry asked.
"Bah I don't need sleep to much, besides the place is more interesting in the dark hours." He then did a stretch and yawned. "Keeps things all nice and peaceful like around here. Look here, and write this down in your little pad. I may not be a saint, I may not even be a good role model but if you need anyone who you can count on I got your back, as long as your willing to do the same."
"I'll remember that." Harry nodded.
"I think we'll get along just fine." Jakar said. "This isn't my first trek through the stars and it isn't yours either. That alone will be some benefit."
Harry nodded his head, Jakar was still obviously a little drunk, but it had given him some insight into him. He seemed like a good guy despite a few obvious failings; Harry figured it would probably take some time watching him to see how reliable he was. Jakar's record didn't show anything but praise for him but it could be the fact that he usually looked as if he was about a half second away from disemboweling somebody might have had something to do with it.
Jakar seemed to be glancing up at a wall clock. "Ah damn it I got to get going, are we done here?"
"What do you have that's going on so Important?"
"I got a calisthenics class I teach every morning."
"You teach it after drinking?" Harry asked.
Jakar shrugged. "Good way to work the alcohol out. Later sir."
Harry just shook his head as he watched him go. Jakar was quite the character, a bit gruff but he seemed overall trustworthy. He really didn't seem to be much more than what he showed on the surface, and in his own way there was something likable about him even though he seemed a bit brash. One more down, he decided it was time to visit the good doctor. But first maybe he should grab something to eat.
"Hey buddy if you're going to sit there and doodle on your little gadget there you got to by a drink." Leeta hissed impatiently. "Jakar gets to sit here and waste time because he spends money."
"Ok, ok." Harry said nodding politely and getting up to leave.
He went to the Replimat, basically a small outdoor eatery with replicators that most Fleet personnel passed through during the day to grab something quick. It was centered in a little island amongst the traffic of civilians passing through the various shops, businesses and other trades that were located throughout the station's massive promenade level. He had the machine make him a small lunch and when he turned to find a place to sit, he spotted another name on his list.
Michelle O'mara, his assigned science officer. She was an blue and purple feathered Avian female. She was eating and reading and old paperback while she enjoyed her lunch.
"Excuse me." Harry said. "Mind if I join you?"
This caused the avian to jump in surprise. She nearly knocked her tray onto the floor. "Sorry sorry …. Sir…" She said trying to regain her composure.
"I didn't mean to intrude."
Michelle took a deep breath. "I'm fine it's ok… what do you… how can I help you sir?" She stuttered.
"I just wanted to ask you a few questions," Harry said. "I'm going around taking some time to get to know my senior officers. I saw you sitting here, and figured I would ask you but…"
"No that, that's fine.." She said shakily. "I'm fine, sit. Sir." She added.
"Deep breaths, just calm down this is all just informal Ms. O'mara." Harry said sitting across from her.
"Oh ok good." Michelle said trying to smooth her feathers as a few more molted off her.
"Just relax." Harry said calmly then smiling. "I'll try to make this as painless as possible."
He looked over the information on her record displayed on his padd. She had formerly been assigned to the unfortunate U.S.S Drake, that had been destroyed earlier. Apparently she was the only surviving crew member. He decided to be careful asking any questions about that being that it hadn't happened to long ago. He had wondered why she hadn't also been on the Raptor later when it had been attacked and noticed a mention in the records about her being stuck in a damaged turbo lift for almost two days a result of the Xox's previous attacks on the station. She had been stuck in it for that long because the internal communications were pretty badly damaged and no one knew where she was until a repair crew had found her.
A strange fortunate yet unfortunate turn of events.
"I see you were stationed on the Drake you have my condolences." He said respectfully.
"Thanks.." she said.
"I myself have been in a similar situation where only me and one other person were the soul survivors. Believe me I understand what you are going through."
Michelle nodded. "Thank you."
"Usually it's recommended that when something like that happens you should take some time off."
"I know but… no no I don't want to. I just want to get back to to to to work is all." She said suddenly not looking him in the eyes.
"The Raptor won't be a cakewalk, just because it is a battleship don't expect to just sit there and look busy." Harry said matter-of-factly. "What do you specialize in?"
"Astrometrics, Advanced Math, Atmospheric structures and types, biospheres, a little bit of Exo-Biology but not much." Michelle replied.
Harry nodded and made a note. "It says here on your record you just barely squeaked by on Exo-Biology."
"Yeah, I didn't like it much." She admitted it.
"Our chief physician, Dr. Okan has a masters in it." Harry said. "I suggest you maybe take up a little understudy under him. I expect my science officer to pretty much know anything on this padd that it says they know." Harry said. "Do you think you can do that?"
"Yeah…. I think so." Michelle said. "You know I used to not.. be be be like this." She stammered again. "I I I've been like this s s sense they rescued me.."
"I'm just warning you , I will push you to work through this, I need a good science officer not just someone warming a chair." Harry said sternly but watching his tone carefully to not rattler her too bad.
"I understand." Michelle said.
Harry smiled trying to not look so imposing. "I hope so, and I'll try to help you as best I can. If you ever need to talk about what happened feel free to talk."
Michelle nodded as Harry scribbled down some information. O'mara was going to take some work and some proper guidance. He felt bad for her he recalled his own state of mind when he had spent a few day's in an escape pod with a nearly fatally injured crew member.
"The worst part is…." O'mara said uneasily. "Is I really… miss my friends… I didn't … didn't even get get to say.. goodbye."
"Do you wish you had been with them?"
O'mara thought a bit and then slightly dipped her head. "It would be better then feeling so so so horrible."
"But yet you are alive, through fate or chance you are here." Harry said. "I understand your pain but let me tell you this. There are a lot of people in this universe who are ungrateful to just be alive. Despite how miserable you feel…" Harry paused. "At least you are alive to feel it. Look at every meal you've eaten since then, that book you are reading now, the simple fact you got to wake up today." Harry paused to let that sink in. "There are a lot of little things that we neglect to appreciate every day."
Michelle seemed deep in thought but he had her attention.
"Just take a step back and look at everything around you and you'll see that if you weren't here, things would be a lot worse for people around you that you would not have imagined."
"Ok well the interview is over." Harry said. "let's talk about this a bit more, if you want to while I eat my lunch, before it gets cold."
"I'd really like that." Michelle said with a faint smile. "Thank you, sir."
They continued on talking throughout Harry's lunch until they had both finished eating and finally parted ways.
Harry felt a little better about her towards the end of their little talk. Michelle was going to definitely take some work but maybe if he could take her under his wing he could probably help her a lot. The stuttering and lack of self-confidence was a bit annoying but he could see she had potential.
A bit later.
Harry had headed for the station's infirmary and asked for Dr. Richard Okan. One of the nurses led him back to a storage area of the infirmary and told him to be careful to not touch anything. Harry made his way through the storage room that seemed to be in the process of being sorted.
"Dr Okan?" He called out as he made his way carefully through the disheveled store room.
"Yes come in." Dr. Okan said with a stylus in his mouth as he took an inventory of his lab specimens.
Harry came in and noticed there were several jars/cages/pots and every vessel imaginable a veritable menagerie of specimens from all over the confederations.
"Am I interrupting something?" He asked.
"No not at all just updating my catalog of well, everything." Okan shrugged.
"What is all this stuff?" Harry asked, trying carefully to watch his tread.
"Well that shelf is spores, molds and fungi. Over there is some of my living specimens." He said pointing at a menagerie of small creatures making a cacophony of animal noises seemingly excited by all this activity. "Minerals from various worlds, vitamin concoctions for just about every sapient species around here and a bunch of other stuff that I assure you is all legal and cleared with customs."
"What do you need all this for?"
"One moment please," Dr. Okan smiling going over to a small pallet of what seemed like food pellets and he began tossing them to the various animals in their cages until they all quieted down. "Well, there that's better."
He said reaching into one of the cages and extracting a strange palm sized tarantula like creature. "This is a rare Onarian Torka, Her name is Betsy." He said feeding the creature another type of food. "Don't worry she won't bite. They are herbivores."
"No I'll pass." Harry said waiting until Okan put the creature back in it's cage. "Now before I was saying have you ever heard the old joke about the guy who went to his doctor and says. Doctor can you help me my arm hurts every time I do this." He said working his arm back and forth. "The doctor says, well stop moving your arm that way."
"Well that is pretty much my approach to medicine. I try to thoroughly study the homeworlds and ecologies of all my patients to gain a more better understanding of how to treat them. Most physicians are content with just handing out a pain pill or two there, but I've had much success using many home remedies and just treatments for various elements without use of our Confederations wonder pills."
"You sound like you don't approve of current methods." Harry alluded.
"Hmmph I just don't see why with the resources we have most Doctor's aren't looking into these things. Do you want to know why most of my patients to day have an overall shorter recovery time then anyone else at the moment?" He said quickly counting the specimens on one of the shelves.
"Why is that?" Harry asked.
"Because I don't coddle my patients." Dr. Okan said. "If I give them a happy pill they are more apathetic towards doing their physical therapy. When they actually do it, and start hurting less with reputation, they heal up a lot quicker then just counting on the body to naturally recover while riding the pain killer express." Okan finished. "And that is why we I have all of this. Now was their something else you wanted to talk to me about, you said something about just an interview or something."
"Actually that pretty much covered it." Harry said rather impressed. "I do have a favor to ask though."
"Mmhmm and what would that be." Okan said making a note on his data padd and counting another row on his shelves.
"My science officer is a little lacking in the Biology area. Would you mine giving her some tutoring."
"Why would I mind?" Okan said. "I love sharing my knowledge. I am assuming you are referring to the young avian L.T. who was trapped in the turbo shaft?"
"Yeah." Harry said.
"I do need help cataloging some of my newer acquisitions I'll give her a call. Believe me it may sound boring but she could pick a lot up doing it." Dr. Okan said matter-of-factly. "I think if she is not currently busy I will give her a call. Well unless you have anything else to go over Commander, I have a lot of work to do if you wouldn't mind excusing me."
"No go right ahead, I'm more in your way then anything else. Thank you for your time Doctor."
"Any time sir." He said shrugging and going back to his work.
The meeting with Dr. Okan had gone pretty much how he had expected it to. He only one person left to go, his ops officer Rivas.
Don Rivas was a Cornerian Wolf around his age, he'd been one of the first to join up with Starfleet when the Lylat system became part of the Confederation. Harry however felt a little bit of hostility towards him from the Wolf. He was aware that command of the Raptor had originally been offered the command of the raptor and Harry definitely detected a little hostility towards him on that regard. Even though the Wolf basically held a position that made him second by command he didn't seem happy with it.
Harry called him and, grudgingly Rivas told him where he was.
He was in one of the holo-suites. Harry made his way down toward it and entered it. Inside he spotted the Wolf boxing a holographic opponent. Harry stood to the side and watched and studied the match taking note of the Wolf's moves as he danced around the wing landing blow after blow on the holographic opponent until he finally tagged it hard enough to make it drop to the floor.
Harry clapped. "Nice work." He said.
Rivas looked up at him and his eyes narrowed when he realized who it was. He put his glove to his head to acknowledge Harry in order to be polite. He then went over to the side of the ring and took a drink.
"What can I do for you sir." Rivas said taking a drink in between pants of breaths.
"I'm simply going around trying to get to know my senior staff." Harry said. "Do you have some time to answer my questions?"
A flash of annoyance crossed the wolf's features. "Sure.. What." He grunted.
"Well." Harry said retrieving his padd from the crook of his elbow and put it in his hand. "I see here you were originally slotted for command of the Raptor is that correct."
Rivas took a drink of water and then glared, wondering what this echidna's came was. "That's correct." He put the water bottle down and glared at Harry. "Funny how that didn't work out isn't it?"
Harry knew that was a dig at him, her personally wasn't too thrilled about being assigned to this posting but he wasn't going to let that show not to someone who could potentially be a pain in his ass out of something as stupid as jealousy. He had suspected that his posting in position in command for the Raptor would put a sore spot between him and the Cornerian wolf.
"How familiar are you with the various intricacies of the Raptor's systems?" Harry asked without flinching.
"Oh I've only been involved for the last year or two, did a lot of the fine tuning working with Ms. Phoenix." Rivas said flatly. "I know the ship pretty well, if that's what you mean."
"Good." Harry said. "I'll expect your assistance over the next several weeks until I am more familiar with what this ship can do."
"I'll do what I can sir." Rivas said flatly.
Harry put the pad to his side and made eye contact with the wolf. "I understand you are not happy with the Headquarters decision to not put you in command?"
"May I speak freely sir?" Rivas asked.
"I'm wondering what the fuck they are doing bringing someone in here who has had nothing to do with running this show except sit in the seat to this point. So yes you can say I'm pretty damn pissed off about not getting command of the Raptor." He paused for a moment. "No offense to you that is." He added, although Harry could see he didn't mean it.
"You don't think I'm capable of handling this job?" Harry asked.
"Pfft I've seen your record. Started as an Engineer, moved to a Con then Helm officer, and then a brief stint as first on Captain Sixx's ship." Rivas said. "No I don't think you are cut out for the job." He snapped taking another drink of water.
"You must not have read it very well." Harry said.
"I read enough." Rivas said. "Now if you'll excuse me "sir" I'd like to finish up my holo-suite time before it's up."
"I used to box in the academy." Harry said. "Let's spar. I'll show you why they picked me."
Rivas laughed. "No offence, but you're a little out of your league there Commander. I'm a little bigger then you."
Harry suddenly put the padd on the floor of the ring and then climbed up to it and removed his tunic. He then called the computer to give him a pair of gloves, helmet and mouth guard.
"You are kidding right?" Rivas said a bit intrigued now.
"No." Harry said slipping on the gloves. "I'm not or are you afraid a shrimp like me is going to make you look bad."
Rivas grinned at him. "Suit yourself."
"How about this.. we'll make a little wager." Harry said.
"Oh yeah?" Rivas said now intrigued. "I'm listening."
"We'll go one round, first one down looses. Winner gets the ship."
Rivas laughed. "Now you are just being crazy."
"Nope." Harry said. "Are you going to talk or you going to get ready to fight?"
Rivas wondered what the hell this echidna was on as he put in his mouthpiece.
Harry assumed a boxing stance and they started to circle around the holographic ring. Rivas through a few quick jabs trying to gauge his reaction and then tried to go for what he thought was an opening. He tried a double fake out and it looked like Harry had dropped his guard and he went for the first attack. However Harry quickly parried it and he got a muzzle full of glove followed by a few more follow up jabs.
Rivas stumbled back a little dazed. He hadn't expected that at all.
He shook his head a little pissed that he had been caught un awares like that. He tried again.
However, again and again, Harry seemed to counter every move he made even till the point where Rivas started throwing harder and harder punches to try to overpower him. This only resulted in more pummeling from his smaller opponent. Anything that did get through Harry quickly rolled with the punch and got in a few quick body blows.
This continued on for about ten minutes and Rivas was eventually getting more and more tired. He tried to channel his anger to give him more strength but the pummeling the echidna gave him was really starting to wear him down. Every time he tried to do a changeup Harry would change with him as well it was quite frustrating. Eventually he finally got wore down and he collapsed on his knees panting.
He spit out the mouth guard. "Ok OK I'm out." He panted. "You win. Who the hell taught you how to fight."
"Lets just say when I was younger, I wasn't so cut and dry and as I went through the academy combatives was a way to relieve stress." Harry said helping him up.
"You are pretty damn slippery I'll give you that." Rivas grunted getting to his feet and shucking off his grasp on his arm.
"Actually, I studied you as you spared with the hologram. Your style was not that hard to figure out." Harry said. "In fact you don't have much variety except for speed and fierceness."
"So what was the point of you coming down here and beating on me." Rivas grunted.
"Well." Harry said after spitting out his bite guard and taking off his gloves. "I wanted to demonstrate maybe there's more to me than you know. Maybe someone out there thinks I can handle this assignment and maybe that's why I'm here despite whatever misgivings we both may have."
Rivas shrugged. "I guess so."
"I'm not wanting any tension between us is all." Harry said. "I don't need my damn ops man causing me problems." He said flatly. "I understand why you are upset but give me a chance, that's all I ask. After a while, if you are still not happy with your position I will do what I can to help you find something more suited for you."
Rivas thought it over then chuckled. "Suits me just fine. But…" He said walking back over to him. "We'll give it a shot, see what happens." Don said thoughtfully. "Thinking about it, with some of the shit we have coming down the pipe for us to do, I don't think I want to be in that chair when something goes wrong." He extended his paw and Harry took it. "I can only wish you the best of luck, but I'll do my best to help if I can."
"That's all I am asking." Harry said confidentially shaking his paw.
"Hey Harry what are you up to?" He heard Jack Land said as he walked past the replimat.
"Oh just going around getting to know people that's all."
"Oh sounds real fun." Jack said.
"No the real fun is in a few days." Harry said. "We've got a ship to do a shake down on."
"Oh no you are kidding me." Jack sighed. "IT worked fine for the most part when we took it out last."
Harry gave him a look. "Look it's just how I do things." Harry said. "Fara called me a few minutes ago and told me they just finished the repairs. So I'd like to get disembarked as soon as I get the crew rounded up. You might want to pack."
Jack sighed and shook his head. "How long is this going to last?"
"Maybe a week or so. We got a lot of work to do."
"Starting when?" Jack asked less then thrilled.
"As soon as I get a ship here to relieve us, we'll get underway." Harry replied.
"When will that be?" Jack asked.
"Soon?" Harry said. "Stop bothering me and I'll let you know as soon as I get it done."
"Ok, ok. I was just wondering. So what do you think about your crew?" He asked.
Harry shrugged. "I think I have a little work to do, but overall I've got a good group of people to work with." He made a few more notes on his padd with his stylus. "It will be interesting to see how everyone works together."
"Wow you are really looking forward to this aren't you." Jack chuckled.
"Yes." Harry replied. "We worked well together in the last crisis because we didn't have a choice. I want everyone to function as one unit in all situations. This little exercise will make us work on that."
"I don't have to share a bunk do i?" Land sighed. "Have you seen the crew quarters on that ship, they are cramped and you gotta usually share."
"You won't have to you are a bridge officer so you'll get your own." Harry said. "Which is basically the same size of room and has a head I think. I don't know I haven't seen mine. They'll all be on deck 1 so it's not like you wont' be able to find them."
Harry stopped and realized that Land was trying to get out of having to do a few duties he needed to do that he typically would put off till the last minuet by distracting him with idle conversation. A smirk crossed his face. "By the way I need you to get the helm properly calibrated before we head out."
Land looked a bit disappointed. "Damn, ok I'll take care of it."
"See that you do." Harry nodded. "I'm going to have to take care of a few things if you'll excuse me." He said politely.
"Later." Land shrugged.
Harry headed for a turbo lift and called requested to go to Ops.
As the lift started to move Harry began to think. He still had to get Captain Stiles to request a ship to come by to peform stand in duty for the Raptor while they were out getting acquainted with the ship. He figured that while they were waiting and providing there weren't any further attacks from the Urtheans.
This assignment was not particularly something he had wanted, he felt as if it had just been dumped on him. To top that off he now had an Urthean Commander after his hide and he was in charge of a highly experimental and potential dangerous starship.
"First thing that comes along I'm out of here." Harry muttered. However, this was no excuse to half ass his time here while he was at it. All that was left to do was get permission to take the ship out and file a flight plan and they'd be off. At least planning this little endeavor had helped quell his disappointment and distract him from being stuck out here in the middle of nowhere.
A few days later
Harry had gotten two ships to come stand-in for the Raptor and the ship had been outfitted for it's shakedown cruise. During the time they had been waiting Harry had the crew running drills and so far they had performed pretty well. In fact the drills had made them more open to doing the actual shakedown cruise. Harry had also set up some holo-suite time with his bridge officers and ran them through several scenarios and he was impressed at how quickly they had begun to work as a team.
Now he sat on the bridge and the day had come. They were going to learn everything they could about this ship and know how to run it blindfolded if it came to that.
As the ship began to disembark, Harry relaxed back into his chair and drank a cup of coffee one of the ship's stewards had brought to him. "Mr. Land, prepare to take us out."
"Aye, Skipper." Land nodded. "Disengaging Docking clamps and I've got our flight plan already plugged into the main computer.
The ship shuddered as the external umbilical connections disconnected and the magnetic clamps released the ship's hull from their hold.
"Ms. Lu inform Station Control our intention to disembark." Harry said signing off on a data padd.
"Station Control has granted us permission to leave. Station doors are opening."
Jack Land quickly swung the ship on it's axis and the main docking doors could be seen opening revealing the starfield outside. "Take us out Mr. Land." Harry said. "Let's see what this ship can do."