Pushing all of the eyes on him to the back of his mind, Terrence smacked the delta-shaped combadge on his chest. “Glover to Eaves,” he said quickly.
“Eaves here,” the woman responded nearly as fast.
“You and your entire medical staff are beaming down to the surface,” he ordered.
“Aye-,” before the woman could finish, Glover cut her off.
“Commander Konall energize,” the captain ordered. The Klingon fingers pounded against the consoles controls.
“Teleportation complete,” Konall said several breaths later.
Glover stood up and eye-pinioned Lt. Dempsey. “Horace, get down there with your team and assist the medical staff.”
“Yes sir,” the security chief said, pointing at the other security team on the bridge. They all formed around him. Terrence shifted his gaze to his first officer and grunted. The security detachment was enveloped in shafts of sparkling light.
Lt. Dryer rushed onto the bridge, from the turbolift right before the Dempsey’s team had fully dissolved. Behind her galloped Ensign Ximenes.
“I knew you wanted to be in the thick of the action,” Terrence smiled. Though Nyota was off shift, he admired her dedication to her ship and crew, especially to him. He preferred having her on the bridge and at Tactical more than Konall or Dempsey.
“Take your post Lieutenant,” he ordered. Nyota gave him a sidelong look before following his command. Konall growled low, refusing to step aside.
“Commander,” Glover raspsed. His shoulders bunched, as if he were preparing to fight over the issue. “Konall, son of Koldo! You will follow my orders or face my wrath!” Terrence cranked up his angry voice, which had gotten a lot of usage during his time on the Dorna.
Konall’s nostrils flared and challenge flitted through his eyes. But the streak dissipated quickly and the Klingon stiffly stepped backward. He flashed a feral smile. “The station is yours Lt. Dryer, strike well.” He stood awkwardly beside her, not sure what to do or where to go next. Terrence wasn’t quite sure either.
Glover next turned to Ben. The man’s face was contorted with anger and frustration, his lips working but no sound coming out of them. There was a faraway look in his eyes and Terrence could only imagine that Sisko was replaying the firefight with the Borg again in his head. They had been so close to them, so near to finishing this, but the Borg had gotten away again, to spread more devastation, to make more widowers. The man was in turmoil and there was nothing Terrence could really do. Except…
“Helm, stay on that vessel’s impulse trail!” the captain ordered. Ximenes was already seated behind his console, the seat reconfigured for his larger frame.
Ensign Zaloom had scampered toward the turbolift, his head down, his rapid eyelid clicking soft but audible. “Ensign Zaloom,” Glover called. The diminutive reptilian stopped with a start, his shoulders hunching slightly as if he had been caught doing something illegal. He turned slowly, his nictitating eye lids slowing as well. “Good job,” Terrence said, punctuating the compliment with a smile. The young officer’s shoulders dropped, his tension pouring out of him like a sieve.
As the younger man entered the lift, Glover felt the ship turning about in the direction of the retreating Borg cube.
Sighing, Terrence turned back to his last knottiest issue. “Ben, I think Chief Hwang could use a hand in Engineering.”
“Terrence I should be here, on the bridge,” Sisko protested.
“Right now your skills as an engineer are more valuable to this ship than your encounter with the Borg,” Either encounter, Terrence thought, but didn’t elaborate.
“I want to be here, I need to be here when we catch them!” The DS9 commander dug his feet in the sand.
“My ship, my rules,” Terrence said, flexing slightly as his authoritative side took over. “And you go where I say you do.” He hated treating Benjamin that way, but the man was becoming a distraction, not just to him, but the bridge crew as well, and everyone needed to be on their A-games when they found the Borg scout ship again. If wasn’t even a consideration.
And Glover hoped that giving something Sisko something to do would help break up the thundercloud forming within the man.
“You need me here,” Sisko half demanded/half pleaded.
“Commander Sisko,” Glover said, stressing the man’s lower rank, “You will follow my orders or I will have you restricted to quarters!”
Benjamin glowered at him, the air becoming thick between them. Terrence held his stare. After a few tense moments, Sisko relented, “Aye….sir,” he said tightly, smoldering.
He turned on a dime and pounded his way to the turbolift. Terrence wanted to call after him, reach out to him, and apologize for pulling rank. It was something he never thought he would ever have done to Benjamin.
But he didn’t. He was a captain now and he couldn’t have his crew see him second guessing himself or relenting in the face of a subordinate officer’s obstinacy. If he set that precedent here, so early in his command it would plague him for the rest of his career.
So instead of turning toward Sisko, Terrence turned toward the main viewer. His eyes burned holes through the empty space before him. Glover intensely wanted that scout ship; he wanted this over, more than ever. And he just hoped he could still call Ben a friend afterwards.