Sometimes Hank decided to go out on missions and that meant Lena had to do the unfortunate task of running the command center. It was one of the second-in-command tasks which she despised, but simply had to do. As Hank was away, there was little for her to actually do but sit around listening to radio transmissions and giving the crew direction where it was needed. If Hank and the advance teams needed anything, Lena was there to help out by way of administration. It was not boredom or difficulty that made this job bad for Lena, it was pressure. She hated having everything depend on her and her direction.
João Santos said to her, “Madam, I need you to look at the duty roster for the day.” In his hands was a clipboard with several pages of times, names, and chores.
“What is it, João?” Lena brushed her hair out of her face as she took it from him. “Something wrong with it?”
“Collins and Hershvock are left without work for the day,” João said. “Captain Mitchell perhaps forgot to assign them?”
“Oh, Hank,” Lena sighed as she pulled a pen out from her pocket. “Is anyone having trouble meetin' slack?”
“It is still early, but I do not think so.”
“Well, look, what if I sent Collins to engineering and put Hershey on deck duty?”
“It is your decision, madam.”
“Right, yeah, of course it is,” Lena loosely shook her head. She took the pen and filled int eh necessary parts. “That's what we're going with then. Thank you, João.”
“No problem,” he smiled politely. “I will get them to work.”
The radio came to life with Hank's voice, “Bravo team, report in.”
“We're below decks, captain, so far nothing,” Liam replied.
“There's blood and casings all over the floor here. No bodies. It's starting to look like-”
“Monsters,” Liam said it for him. “We'll keep an eye out. Seems quiet down here though.”
“It never stays that way,” Hank sighed. “We're moving on, stay in contact.”
Lena shook her head. Of course it was the monsters. It had to be. There weren't any problems left in the world which couldn't be immediately traced back to zombies. Hank and the others could handle it though, Lena was sure of it. Then again, she couldn't help but worry a little.
The door to the control suddenly opened. Lena looked to see Dr. Lorentz with Emma on his shoulder. Immediately, the doctor went on defense, “I am sorry, she heard about the operation and insisted on being up here. If I did not stop her, then-”
“It's okay,” Lena said as she shot Emma a look.
As Dr. Lorentz unfolded a portable wheelchair and set Emma upon it, she said, “If I can't be down there, then I'm gonna-”
“Are you crazy?” Lena clicked her tongue and sighed.
“What's going on?”
Lena filled her in with the necessary details.
“Liam's with Sergei?” Emma scoffed. “That slut.”
“What your mouth,” Lena shook her head.
“Captain!” Liam's voice burst over the radio. “We've got a problem down here! We need immediate assistance!”
“We've got dozens of monsters closing in on us! No telling how many! We need assistance ASAP!”
“We're on our way.”
Emma's eyes widened, “I'm going down there!”
“No, you are not,” Dr. Lorentz tightened his grip on the wheelchair.
Emma forced herself to her feet and hobbled her way over to the gun locker. Obviously in pain, she forced the door open and pulled out an H&K G36, loaded it, and moved along determined not to let anything to stop her.
“Mom, they need me over-” No one could stop Emma but herself. Her leg flared in one final gasp of pain as gravity overtook her. It was left side which hit the ground first, mercifully sparing her still-healing right arm. Nevertheless, she still hollered as he body begged her to stop. Even Emma's stubbornness had its limits, but she refused to know them. She refused to accept that her physical, mental, and emotional being held boundaries. Despite this defiance, reality often took a right hook at her jaw. In this case, the blow connected and Emma found herself shouting in pain on the cold steel floor.
“Oh, gosh!” Lena put her hand over her mouth in shock at what had just happened.
Dr. Lorentz was quick on his toes as he dashed to Emma's side and helped her back to her wheelchair, “Emma, this is what happens when you try to do too much. You simply are not ready to go off on one of your adventures, you are not even ready to walk on your own! What were you thinking? That was incredibly foolish of you!”
Emma clenched her teeth, “Dammit, I hate this!” As soon as her body made contact with the wheelchair, she relaxed in resignation. There was no point. “I hate this.”
“I will take her back down to the infirmary, it was foolish of me to bring her-”
“No, let her stay, doc,” Lena interrupted. “She can at least listen in, right? I mean, she's already here, ain't she?”
“It is your decision,” Lorentz replied.
“Right, my call,” Lena seemed to never remember she was in charge. “Yeah, she's staying.”
“Thanks,” Emma forced it out.
Lena pressed down on the send button, “Hank- er, alpha team. Give me a sitrep! What's going on?”
“Still advancing to the engine room! Damn ship's a maze and a half!”
“Hurry! Li- Bravo team sounded desperate.”
“Right, we're aware! Moving as fast as- Contact! Contact!” The sound of gunfire penetrated their ears. “We've engaged hostiles!”
“Can't talk now, sweetie!”