Blue Clear Sky

Captain’s Personal Log, Stardate 53176: Baldwin has remained at Deep Space Nine for the past three days. I’ve briefed Starfleet Command about the Khan situation, but I have to admit that I have been distracted by Bridget’s condition ever since we arrived. I know that she will be all right, but my feelings for her have overwhelmed me recently. Maybe it’s just fate that love has been right before my eyes for the past two years.

“Trying to balance personal issues and duty is a very tricky thing to do. It’s a good thing Katia and I are in different fields, otherwise, I’d think we’d be at each other’s throats.”

“I know,” Patrick replied, “but I’m not sure… maybe I need some time off.”

“That’s a good idea, Captain,” Sara answered. “However, I think that the two of you should take that leave together.”

“I thought you were a lawyer.”

“I’m trying to be a friend. Bridget confided in me that she does indeed have a crush on you. I’d be a fool to not encourage you to take her on a date. As for any legal issues, I have talked to Commander Petrelli. She will have the final say over any personnel matters relating to Bridget.”

“You must have thought this thoroughly, Lieutenant,” Patrick replied.

“Have you talked to her since we got to D. S. Nine?”

“Not yet. I’ve got a briefing about our good friend Khan. I’ll make sure to see her when I get done.”

The Captains of the 10th Squadron gathered in Baldwin‘s war room as Patrick entered. “Good morning, everyone. As you know, a renegade group of Jem’Hadar, led by Khan, has asserted control of this sector. Starfleet Command would prefer to keep them contained right where they are. The 10th will be assigned to patrolling this area. The rules of engagement are simple, and I have double-checked them with Captain Rabb. Any unescorted Jem’Hadar ship that is caught on sensors shall be construed as hostile. If you see them, they have probably seen you. You should be prepared to engage. Remain on yellow alert while you are on patrol.”

“So, who goes first on patrol?” Captain Trafficant inquired.

“Since you’re eager, Jim,” Patrick answered, “you can go first. I’m going to be on leave for a couple of weeks. Captain Carson and Commander Petrelli will take care of things while I’m gone. If there are no other questions, you are dismissed.”

As the other captains left the room, Amanda remained “Mind if I have a personal word with you?”

“Not a problem.”

“I just wanted you to know I’m glad you found potential companion.”

“Thanks. You know that I care about my entire crew, and Bridget knows that. I’ve never considered myself an expert on women, but when she took a plasma bolt meant for me, I had a moment of pure clarity. She feels special to me like she is the person that I was destined to be with. I was just about to go see her in the infirmary.”

“Do you have any flowers for her?”

“Unfortunately, I don’t. I was planning on spending some time with her on Aloran IV, just the two of us at a wild, beautiful retreat.”

“Hey,” Patrick said as he approached Bridget’s bio-bed,

“Hi,” Bridget answered as Patrick proceeded to kiss her on the cheek. “I’m sorry that Khan ruined your big 3-0.”

“There will be other birthdays, How are you feeling?”

“Like I’ve been shot in the waist,” Bridget replied, smiling. “Dr. Bashir says I’m ready to check out of here.”

“That’s good,” Patrick replied, hesitating to find the words to say. “Have I ever mentioned that I think you are a very beautiful woman?”

“Patrick, I don’t know what to say, I have to admit that I’ve been somewhat attracted to you myself.”

“I know,” Patrick replied as he kissed Bridget again. “I was wondering if you would be interested in spending some time with me – just the two of us?”

“When do we leave?”

“I can have the Neosho ready to go as soon as you are discharged.”

“Captain on the bridge!” Anna exclaimed as Amanda exited the turbolift. “Did you get a chance to talk to my brother?”

“I did,” Amanda replied as she sat down. “There’s no doubt about it, Patrick has been bitten by the love bug.”

“I saw Bridget in the Infirmary a couple nights ago. She was asleep, but the impression I got was that she was definitely Patrick’s type, and that if there were anyone in this universe that can fill that special place in Patrick’s heart, it would be her. On another subject, what are our new orders?”

“The Khan incident has caused the current study that the Wasp was working on to get pushed back a little. We’ve been asked to help them out.”

“JP, could I have a word with you before I go?”

“Sure. I hear that you’re planning on taking your leave with Bridget.”

“That is correct, I just wanted to talk to you about I just wanted to thank you for ironing out the complications of a Captain dating one of his subordinates.”

“Not a problem,” Jamie answered. “Just make sure I don’t have to deal with ‘undue command influence,’ all right?”

“I’ll do my best,” Patrick answered as he turned back toward the turbolift. “Take care of the ship while I’m gone.”

“You know that I will.”

“Are you ready to go?” Patrick inquired as he entered Neosho‘s cockpit and hugged his companion.

“If I had known how you would react to my feelings for you, I would have turned up the charms earlier,” Bridget answered. Patrick replied by reaching around Bridget’s shoulders and slowly and cautiously pressed his lips upon hers. “Patrick, I take it that you’ve never felt this way about anyone,”

“How did you know?”

“When we first met, you mentioned that you’re not an expert on women. I’m not exactly an expert on men. We’re both going to have to go with our instincts with the relationship.”

“I guess this is the first date for both of us,” Patrick answered. “USS Neosho is ready to disembark.”

“Anna, are we ready to depart?” Amanda asked.

“The equipment for charting warp currents is online. We’re ready to rock and roll,”

“Good. Seal the airlock, release docking clamps, aft thrusters to one-quarter.”

“Aft thrusters at one quarter, aye.”

“Set course 015 mark 20, and engage at warp 5.”

“Amanda, what’s this I hear about Captain Ingrum taking a vacation?”

“He’s taking some personal leave,” Amanda replied.

“Patrick and Bridget seem to be on the verge of a serious relationship,” Anna added, “They’re planning on spending some time alone together.”

“I’ve never thought he was interested in dating.”

“He is good at making friends with women, but not at dating.”

“I hope they pull it off.”

Patrick stole a glance at his traveling companion. “Patrick,” Bridget said, “you don’t have to be so sneaky in stealing a look. I know you think I’m attractive.”

“I have to wonder,” Patrick commented, “If you being genetically engineered has any bearing on the fact that I find you attractive,”

“I was built with a certain template – facial features, body type. that sort of thing. The determination of beauty is, as they say, in the eye of the beholder.” Bridget moved over toward Patrick and sat on his lap, “There’s no question that we find each other attractive,” she finished as Patrick gently caressed her.

Hours later, the Neosho made it’s way to Aloran IV, where the runabout landed “Welcome to my humble home,” Patrick stated as they entered the house, “I wish there was somebody here to meet us.”

“I understand,” Bridget replied. “I’m just curious, have you ever been close to another girl.”

“I was fairly close to Katy but I never dated her. She was more like another sister.”

“You and Anna are real close, aren’t you?”

“Anna and I were practically inseparable as kids. We shared the same bedroom until I was 9 years old.”

“So, you have always been close to Anna,” Bridget said.

“The two of us have always complimented each other.”

“I think that may have shaped how you interact with women. You may not be an ‘expert’ on women, but you seem to do well with them. Of course, I’ve seen a little sense of attraction, but nothing like what you’re now showing me.”

“I’m not sure how to take that answer.”

“Take it as a compliment,” Bridget replied. “You are a great guy to work with. I for one am honored to serve under you.”

“Is that also why you are also showing signs of or schoolgirl crush?”

“I think,” Bridget answered, “we are on the verge of something more. Are you sure you have never been this far before?”

“The closest I’ve been is when I befriended Katy – if you recall, Khan used that friendship to draw me in once.”

“I think that Khan will find me a little harder to handle.”

“I guess the next question is where do we go from here?”

“Something tells me that we should go wherever our hearts take us.”

“That Sounds like an excellent idea,” Patrick replied as he moved in closer to his companion. Bridget acknowledged his embrace by extending her arms around Patrick. “I wouldn’t mind if we just held each other like this.”

“Neither would I.” Bridget replied as they held each other so closely they could feel each other’s heartbeat.

As Anna was tapping on her control panel, the panel beeped suddenly and alarmingly, indicating a problem. “Captain to the bridge,” Anna called.

“What seems to be the problem?” Amanda stated as she exited her ready room.

“Something is not quite right. Subspace current energy is at 18,000 rels and rising rapidly.”

“Shields up, take evasive action, and prepare to drop out of warp . Any ideas as to the cause of this weird subspace weather?”

“I don’t have a clue,” Anna answered, “Brace yourselves, we’re heading into some rapids.” The Wildfire was broadsided as or subspace current shifted course.

“Damage report,” Amanda ordered.

“Warp core is off line, warp coils are shot, and the nacelles are badly damaged. We’re going to be sitting here for a while.”

“Kristl, send out a general distress call. If there is anyone out there that didn’t get caught in that tidal wave, we’re going to need some help.”

“Good morning, beautiful.” Patrick said to Bridget “I hope you had a good night’s sleep.”

“It was wonderful,” Bridget replied.

“I hope you’re ready for breakfast.”

“If it’s as good as your dinner, I’m sure it will be a treat.”

Before Patrick could respond, an alarm rang out. The couple ran to a beeping communications panel to respond to the message. “Wildfire has sent out a distress call. They ran into a shifting subspace current, and are dead in the water,” Patrick stated.

“So, when do we leave?” Bridget asked.

“What makes you think I’m ready or able to help them out?”

“They’re your family, Patrick. I don’t want to be the first person to stand in the way if you want to help. Besides, I’m an engineer and I want to get to know your sister.” Bridget moved in on Patrick and embraced him one more time.

“Perhaps we should get dressed and have breakfast on the way,” Patrick commented as he kissed his girlfriend passionately.

“You wanted to show me something, Lieutenant?” Jaimie asked as she entered the warroom.

“We’ve got a major situation,” Sarah commented. “There’s been a disruption in subspace. The best analogy I can give you is that of an earthquake. It set off a subspace wave that has taken up few of our ships.”

“How many?”

“I would say at least half a dozen ships.”

“Is it safe to travel at warp?”

“It’s still a little rough, but it looks like current flow is stabilizing. I wouldn’t travel much faster than warp 6.”

“Looks like the Hood is in the worst shape,” Jaimie commented. “Petrelli to bridge, set course for the Hood, warp factor 5.”

“Aye, Commander, warp 5.”

Personal log, Stardate 53179.3: We are on our way to render assistance to the Wildfire. I briefly met Anna when I was helping with the Wildfire‘s engine room some time ago. Now that I am in a relationship with Patrick, I want to get to know his sister a little better.

“I apologize if breakfast has not up to my usually rigid standards.”

“It’s all right. Besides, I am interested in meeting your sister.”

“I think she’ll like you,” Patrick replied. “How soon before we rendezvous with Wildfire?”

“20 minutes.”

“Good, the sooner we get there, the better. Any problems with warp currents?”

“I don’t have any problems here. I’m just curious, how do you feel about having children?”

“Why do you ask?”

“I have to admit, the thought of having a little one has crossed my mind.”

“When we were held up by Khan, did you by chance talk about it to Lieutenant Jackson?”

“I admit, Sara told me that you wanted to have children.”

“I’d especially be interested in having a little girl.”

“I think being around a lot of women has rubbed in on you. I would have thought that you would want to have or boy.”

“Don’t underestimate me. I’ve already got a girl’s name picked out.”

“Are you planning on telling me what it is?”

“I’ll tell you if you give me that little girl.”

“Oh, you’re going to blackmail me for the answer?”

“I just want to see just how serious you are.”

“Captain,” Kristl stated, “there’s a ship approaching off the starboard bow, bearing 020 mark 5.”

“Can you identify?”

“It’s Neosho. We are being hailed.”

“On screen.”

Hey Amanda,” Patrick started as his image appeared on the Wildfire‘s main viewer. “I couldn’t help but pick up your distress call. I assume that you could still use some help.

“Anything you can send us would be helpful, especially that girlriend that you’re rumored to be with.”

“I’m no rumor,” Bridget broke in. “I can offer my expertise to get those coils back up and running.”

In that case, I can put you to work.

“Come in,” Jaimie said after her doorbell rang.

“Commander,” Dorian said as she entered, “Could I speak with you for a moment?”

“Absolutely,” Jaimie replied, “What’s on your mind?”

“I was just wondering, did you ever feel lonely during your time as a junior officer?”

“If I said no. I’d be lying,” Jaimie replied, “On my first assignment, I tried to keep in touch with my family. Sometimes, keeping in touch with my family was impossible. When you are serving aboard a starship, that kind of luxury is not always attainable. I got over it, I tried to make friends with my shipmates.”

“Was that difficult when you moved from ship to ship?”

“Thankfully, I only changed ships once. I started out as a security officer on the Renegade . I moved over here just before the war broke out.”

“That’s comforting,” Dorian commented.

“How have you been doing down in the engine room?”

“It’s been a good experience. I’ve learned a few things they don’t teach at the Academy.”

“I’ve heard good reports from the engine room staff. They say you’re doing a first-class job.”

“Thank you, sir,” Dorian replied. “I’ve been concentrating on the rebuilding of the Hood‘s coils. It’s been an interesting experience.”

“Hello,” Anna said as she entered the nacelle room.

“Hi,” Bridget replied. “May I help you?”

“I just wanted to say hello and introduce myself. I’m Anna.”

“I guess we have something in common,” Bridget commented. “I hope I meet with your approval.”

“From what I know, you’re a great person to be around. I also think that you are a good looking young woman.”

“I hope that doesn’t make you jealous.”

“Heck no,” Anna replied. “I want my brother to be happy.”

“I’d still like to get along well with Patrick’s family. What do you know about warp coils?”

“Enough to offer my help in making repairs.”

“Well then, what are we waiting for?” Anna and Bridget proceeded to make adjustments to the controllers for the warp coils. “What in the heck did you run into, anyway? This place looks like it was ransacked.”

“It was a 25,000 rel subspace wave. We got hit almost dead on.”

“I can see that this nacelle room needs to be shored up a little.”

“That sounds like plywood and body putty job,” Anna commented before giggling to herself.

“What’s so funny?” Bridget asked.

“Its just that,” Anna explained, “Amanda and I tend to resemble each other a bit. After Patrick met her for the first time at the academy, I tried to set them up together. Although they are good friends, they never seemed willing to move past that friendship stage.”

“How does that relate to me?”

“Besides the fact that you are the first girl to really break Patrick’s shell, I think that you have the same body type as Amanda and me, maybe a little slimmer around the waist.”

“You think there may be a psychological attraction, that Patrick is drawn toward females with curvy figures?”

“That may be the case.”

Before Bridget could answer, an alarm rang out, signaling a problem, “Ingrum to Bridge: What’s happening up there?”

Power to the structural integrity field in the nacelles is surging out. I don’t know how much longer it’s going to hold.

“I’ll stick around as long as I can,” Bridget answered. “Anna, you got any of that plywood you were talking about?” Sparks from a power console preempted Anna’s reply. Bridget quickly dived forward.

“We have a structural failure in nacelle room 1,” Maria noted as she kept her eyes on the tactical station.

“Any life signs?” Patrick asked, with a concerned look on his face.

“So far, so good,” Maria replied. “I read two life signs in the nacelle, but there’s no guarantee it will stay that way.”

“I’m on it,” Patrick said as he entered a turbolift.

“What happened?” Anna asked after briefly feeling dazed.

“One of the members collapsed,” Bridget responded. “I think we’re stuck here, but I got us out of the way.”

“Why did you do that?”

“It was mostly an instinctive move, but I have to admit that I want to have you around to see your little niece or nephew.”

“That tells me two things,” Anna commented. “First, you are definitely trying to butter me up.”

“What’s the second thing?”

“You are looking at having children.”

“Thank you for being responsive, commander.” Captain Traficant commented to Jaimie as they walked through a hallway.

“I don’t think that I’ve seen such a fierce surge,” Jaimie commented, “We got to you as soon as we can. Your rebuilt coils should get you going again.”

“Where are you off to next?”

“That’s what I’m about to find out,” Jaimie replied as the pair entered the warroom. “Sarah, any new info on that subspace surge?”

“It appears that the surge spread in a spherical fashion. Based on the time that all the ships reported being hit, I would say that it happened in this sector,” Sarah replied, pointing out a location on a map.

“That appears to be between the Aloran and Torros systems,” Jim commented.

“It’s well into the badlands,” Sarah commented “It’s likely that this was a natural occurrence.”

“Still,” Jaimie added, “It is worth investigating as soon as repairs are complete.”

“One other thing,” Sarah said, “Wildfire took a hard hit and is still down. No ship has taken it, but Patrick answered the call with the Neosho.”

“In that case – Petrelli to bridge, as soon as all of our crew is back aboard, set course to the Wildfire, warp 5.”

“You still with me, Anna?”

“Yeah,” Anna answered as the sound of metal being torched echoed in the chamber. “Hello, is anyone out there?”

Patrick dropped his torch momentarily, “It’s me, sis. Are the two of you all right?”

“We’re holding on,” Bridget replied. “Anna is pinned down by a beam. I managed to get her out of the way and avoid getting crushed.

“I’ll get the both of you out of there. I’ve got a laser torch, so keep back if you can.”

“I don’t think that’s going to be a problem,” Bridget replied, “We should be well clear of the door.”

As Patrick continued to cut the door open, he began to sing, “This ain’t no thinking thing right brain, left brain, it goes a little deeper than that.”

“What song is that?” Bridget asked.

“It’s a song from the late 20th Century. It talks about how love tends to be acted upon with the heart, and not the head.”

“You have a great voice,” Bridget commented. “Don’t stop on my part.”

“Thank you,” Patrick answered as he opened the door and continued singing. “It’s a chemical, physical, emotional, devotion, passion that you can’t hold back.”

“We’re over here,” Anna called as she heard Patrick break the door open.

“You two are pretty well pinned in here. It’s going to take the entire engineering staff to get this nacelle back in shape.”

“Captain,” Maria stated, “Baldwin is approaching.”

“Open a channel.”

“How are things over there, captain?” Jaimie asked as she appeared on Wildfire‘s screen.

“Our warp nacelles have burnt out and our nacelle rooms are a mess,” Amanda commented, “Any assistance that you can offer would be appreciated.”

“I’ll send an engineering crew right over. I noticed that Neosho is parked outside. Our captain wouldn’t happen to be over there by any chance?”

“As a matter of fact, he’s in sick bay. Anna got pinned down in the nacelle room.”

“I hope it’s nothing serious.”

“She got her leg caught in the debris. Dr. Bratney is working on fixing her up as we speak.”

“How do you feel, sis?”

“Thanks to Neil’s handiwork, my leg should be fixed in no time. My question is, where is that girl that you’ve been seeing?”

“Down in engineering, trying to spearhead efforts to fix the warp engines.”

“I just got one thing to say about Bridget – go after her with abandon. I can see the physical attraction and the groundwork of a very intimate bond. Would you be willing to make a little wager between siblings?”

“What kind of wager?”

“I bet that the two of you will have a bundle of joy to call your own within a year.”

“That’s saying a lot,” Patrick replied. “I’m not sure I should take your off-“

The sound of the sick bay doors interrupted Patrick’s thoughts, “Hey Patrick, hey Anna,” Bridget said, “How are you feeling?”

“Much better,” Anna answered, “although I still feel like there’s about 60 kilograms pinned atop my legs.”

“I’m just glad that the two of you are all right,” Patrick said an he put his arms around his girlfriend and passionately embraced her. “So, how is the rebuilding of the warp nacelles going?”

“With the Baldwin here, things are coming along pretty good. The nacelle room has been shored up, we’re ready to rebuild the coils.”

“I suppose that the status of the two of you is painfully obvious,” Anna commented.

“If if wasn’t for the fact that you’re Patrick’s sister, I don’t think I’d let you get away with that comment.” Bridget moved toward Anna’s bed, leaned in beside her and gave her a quick kiss on the cheek, “I’m glad you like me.”

“I’m just glad Patrick found a good thing going for him,” Anna stated. “Sometimes, Patrick, I thought I would never see you in love like this. It’s as though it struck you like lightning.”

“Remind me to treat the two of you to dinner at Quark’s.”

“As long as you give us a chance to hear that voice of yours,” the two girls replied in tandem.

“Captain!” Dorian exclaimed as the ship’s commanding officer entered the room.

“As you were, Cadet,” Amanda answered, “I was just checking to see how the warp coil rebuilds were coming.”

“This is the 12th coil I’ve worked on today. I’ve gotten a lot of field experience.”

“That’s good,” Amanda commented. “I’ve heard a little about you. You were part of the Academy’s ‘Red Squad,’ correct?”

“Yes, and I was part of the Valiant mission. Only three people made it off that ship in one piece.”

“That must have put a degree of distrust in your classmates.”

“If I would say no, I’d be lying. I think Admiral Belding realized that when she put me aboard the Baldwin.”

“Still, It’s good to see you doing well.”

“It’s definitely hard work, but I expected that much when I enrolled in the academy.”

“No one out here is going to disagree with you.”

“Are we ready to head out?” Patrick asked as he entered the Baldwin‘s bridge.

“Hello, stranger,” Jaimie replied. “The Wildfire‘s warp coils are warmed up. I think they are ready to go.”

“Set course for D.S. Nine, Warp 5. I don’t think that we need to push the engines too hard.”

“Aye, Sir,” Kim replied.

“We’re going to escort the Wildfire so that they can receive a more thorough overhaul.”

“What about the rest of your leave?”

“I’m going to do one more thing. If anyone would care to join me at Vic’s, I’ve got something special planned.”

“I’m glad to see that quite a few people have shown up tonight,” Patrick said as he came from backstage, uncharacteristically dressed in his formal uniform. “I’m not usually this well dressed, but this is something of a special occasion to me. Bridget, this song is for you.” As the band’s horns started the tune, Patrick started counting the beats as he determined his time to join in the music. “She Walks like an angel walks. She talks like an angel talks. Her hair has a kind of curl. To my mind, she’s my kind of girl.”

Patrick’s song was greeted with a roaring applause. Bridget walked up onto the stage and embraced Patrick. “That was beautiful, Patrick.”

“Thanks, sweetie. I do have to thank Vic for setting me up with an appropriate song.”

“Not a problem, pallie. For a hot little number thats absolutely smitten for you, you need something that really cooks.”

“It definitely cooked,” Bridget commented.

“I’m glad you liked it,” Patrick walked with her off the stage.