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Lt. Cmdr. Alex Brodie “Empty Chairs All-Around"

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This is a beautiful example of what a counsellor can do in a crisis situation, and how a seemingly reserved and always composed character can bring a lot of emotional weight to a scene and assist another writer's character development. It's a wonderful sample of collaborative writing, scene timing, and prose. Besides killing ourselves a little bit inside for adding one more tear to the sea we are crying with this mission. Thank you for that, @Alex Brodie



“Empty Chairs All-Around”

((Bridge, Deck One, USS Thor))


Brodie: One-hundred and twenty-nine missing…


Time stopped…although not literally. The only thing moving were eyes as the crew’s gaze shifted from one, to the other, to the other. Geoff, however, was different.


He was still but the air around him seemed to be vibrating…it was similar to that moment of absolute calm before the storm came – primal energy waiting to be released. Very quietly, he spoke.


Teller:  ...And that's a God Damn Good Job Guarantee. 


He’d heard him use the phrase before. Cheerfully, sarcastically, even glibly…he had never, however, heard it used with malice and venom behind it. Alex knew the feeling, sometimes you wanted to punch something, and keep punching long after punching had achieved its results.


Kinnear: ::Quietly:: M-missing?


Garcia: Have we had any evacuation pods ejected?


Brodie knew the answer and Geoff’s shaking head confirmed it.


Teller:  Doesn't look like it, but the data link for most of the portside is down.  We can't be certain.  Once we're...once the ship is secure, Starfleet will conduct a thorough search along our course. 


Lovar: ::To himself:: One-hundred ninety-eight casualties... so many dead...


Brodie: We don’t know that.


Garcia: Understood. If you’ll excuse me, I’ll head there now, sir


With a last look at the readings, Ben pushed back from the helm console and offered his relief helmsman a nod of thanks before forcing his way bodily into the semi-functioning turbolift.


Kinnear: It doesn’t appear so on my end… surely that would have altered our course slightly.  I’m recording no records of any course corrections due to a pod ejecting.


Teller:  Thank you, Mr. Kinnear.  ::Geoff thought of his CO's over the years, and how they'd react in a situation like this.  He tried to appear calm and confident, certain and sure:: With some luck our search teams will turn up additional survivors, isolated belowdecks. 


Geoff was up now, pacing back and forth on the bridge while he thought. Brodie watched him intently.


Teller:  Lt. Lovar, Lt. De Scheppes, have your teams setup whatever remote monitoring gear they can, then pull them back.  We need to analyze what we've learned before we do anything else.


De Scheppes: Yes, sir.


Lovar: I don't want them out there longer than they have to be either, sir. We'll be quick.


Teller: Mr. Kinnear, how's the ship handling? Confident you can keep us stable?


Kinnear: ???


Teller:  Very well.  Mr. Brodie, you have the bridge.  I'll be in the ready room.  Advise me when we've got an updated damage report from Chief Sirok. 


Brodie:  Aye, Sir.


Alex watched as Geoff walked slowly and deliberately towards the ready room door. Alex eased himself into the Captain chair and stared at the ready room door. The bridge was quiet now, Lovar and De Scheppes working on the data they were getting, Ben taking a moment, Kinnear piloting…it was now or never.


((Captain's Ready Room, T-Minus 9 hours, 30 minutes))


Teller: Come in. 


Alex walked through the door to see Teller staring straight ahead at the empty chair behind Kells’ desk.


Brodie: Sir.


Teller:  Didn't I leave you in charge of the bridge, Commander? 


Teller wasn’t even looking at him – still staring at the empty chair behind the desk. Geoff could have written him up but Brodie's prime concern was the people in his care...not the rank on his collar.


Brodie: Empty chairs all-around…I can leave the door open if you like? Besides sometimes a man must take unilateral action…and right now ::lowering himself into Kells’ seat:: I’m of far more use in this chair than that one out there.


He leant back and took in the room…Teller cutting a lone figure. No, this view wasn’t for him – he wished he could let Geoff see what he could see though. A pained man who would have swapped places with any and all of those missing in a second.


Teller:  I see.  Well, speak freely - what's on your mind?


He didn’t come out with anything so blunt as ‘Fifteen percent of the crew missing – that’s what’s on my mind.’ He was somewhat more circumspect.


Brodie: Your good job guarantee…that’s what’s on my mind.


Teller: ???


Brodie: We don’t know that – you said yourself, we’ve got no sensors or comms. on the port side.


Teller: ???


Brodie stood out of the chair and walked up to Teller. It was the first time he’d looked at the man – properly looked. He was in his mid-twenties, only five years older than his own daughter. Commander in Starfleet or not, this was a heavy burden to bear – too heavy one might argue. He could give him platitudes, false hopes but none of that would help either of them – they simply didn’t have the time.


Brodie: Missing…and we’ll find them…however that pans out…we’ll find them


Teller: ???


Alex looked over to the side of the room and the glint under the desk caught his eye. He walked over as he spoke, bending down to retrieve the item.


Brodie: There’s still a ship here…::Scratting around under the desk::…and there’s still a crew to protect…there’s still a problem to solve. ::Grabbing the item:: I know you feel it’s all on you but you don’t need to do it alone…::Standing::…we’re all here to support you, Captain. ::Handing Mjolnir to Geoff:: I believe this is yours…for now at least.


Teller: ???


[[Time To QSD Overload: T-Minus Nine Hours]]


[[End Act One For Brodie]]

Lt. Cmdr. Alexander Brodie
Chief Counselor
USS Thor NCC-82607
Writer ID.: A239005BM0


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