Posted Aug. 12, 2022, 12:15 p.m. by Civilian Molly Holloway (CEO - Holloway Industries) (Joana Ribeiro)
As they walked into Room 104, Boomer promptly jumped to one of the several tandem seats available. Molly on the other hand didn’t. She was fully aware that if she paused for a moment she would break down again, so it was best if she put her mind to work on the other tasks that need to be done.
Resting her bag next to Boomer for a moment, Molly took a PaDD from her coat’s pocket and took a moment to write what seemed to be a list of names:
Shuttle pilots – check morning logs
Gen. Harris, Dr. Harris
Grandfather Michael and Grandmother Sue
Molly made an effort to try and remember if there was anyone else that needed to be told the grim news of that afternoon, but she couldn’t think of anyone else.
Suddenly, her wrist chronometer beeped and her sister’s photo showed up on the screen.
“Not now Erin.” Molly muttered as she muted the call, going back to reviewing her list. It didn’t take long for the communicator in her watch to warn her of a second incoming call from her sister. With a frustrated sigh Holloway dismissed it once again. After a short while, another beep told her that she had unread audio messages in her inbox. Molly didn’t think about it twice, she’d get to them when she had the time, and right now, she couldn’t afford a second to spare.
Molly Holloway, CEO Holloway Heavy Industries
Suddenly, Boomer shot from beside Molly like a rocket… hitting Ali at full speed, jumping almost into her arms. At the sight of her father’s beloved companion, Ali collapsed to the floor… sobbing into the fur of a dog she had known since she was a child. Devri looked at Molly, shaking her head and nodding to the young woman with Boomer. She then knelt beside the girl, her tone softer than Molly had ever witnessed. “Ali honey…” Devri began. “… Aunt Dev’s gotta get back to work.” Ali looked up at her terrified. “Molly is right here and I’ll make sure when she can’t, Aunt Sam will stick with you till we get your dad moved upstairs after he gets out, OK?”
Jumping at Boomer’s sudden departure from his seat, Molly’s eyes followed the old dog, her gaze finally meeting Ali. She had last seen the young woman two years before, but even though it had been a while, the Starfleet Security Officer didn’t seem to have aged a day.
As she watched Devri calm down Calvin’s only child, Molly felt inadequate. Wasn’t she supposed to be the one running to help her ‘step daughter’? Wasn’t she the one supposed to know what to do? And yet, Devri was the one kneeling next to Ali and not Molly. In fact, Molly hadn’t moved at all, her mind still half on her call list. The fact was, despite having taken care of Erin when she was a child, Molly didn’t have a particular interest in kids, and well… she had also never helped a twenty-four year old. Not in that fashion anyway. Helpless, Molly stared at the situation unfolding before her eyes not knowing what to do next.
Glancing at Molly, Ali smiled. “Daddy always said I’d never…” sniff “… be safer than if I were with you.” The young officer sniffed again and looked at Devri. “I’ll be… fine” Hudson smiled softly, nodded and left the room.
Touched at Cal’s faith in her ability to protect his family, Molly remained silent, choosing instead to shoot an awkward smile at Ali. Right now all that the former Starfleet Captain could think of was the unpleasant calls she’d have to make in a few minutes, and she felt guilty for having to leave the girl behind so soon.
A moment after she walked out, Ali dried her eyes and walked to the couch, Boomer on her heel. She took Molly’s hand and looking her dead in the eye asked. “I’m not a child… if Daddy can trust you, so can I.” She said confidently but her voice wavered as she spoke. “Please… don’t sugarcoat this. Is my father gonna be OK?”
LTJG Alexis Harris & Gen. Devri Hudson
Molly’s light brown eyes met Ali’s green ones, as her hand gently squeezed the young woman’s hand in what Molly hoped was a comforting manner. With a soft sigh, her gaze fell to her lap pondering her words, before returning to Ali’s.
“I don’t know Ali…” There was a genuine struggle behind Molly’s eyes. “I’m not a doctor.” She said softly. “But if there’s anything I know about your dad is that he’s a hell of a fighter. He’s the most resilient person I’ve ever known and I’ve seen him shake off incredibly hard things.” Molly smiled softly, hoping that she wasn’t being too blunt. “I think he’s going to shake this off too.” Holloway said with a smile. “He was very lucky. I haven’t been able to speak to any of the medical staff yet, but from what I was able to gather I think he was able to escape with only a bump on his head and a few broken bones. If that is the case he will be okay.” There was no point in telling Ali how she knew the information she was giving her. “We will find out more soon. I promise.” She smiled softly and squeezed Ali’s hand again.
Ali looked on the brink of tears once more but now that she was with the people who loved her dad the most, she seemed a bit calmer. “I know… I know.” Ali sighed, scratching Boomers ears absentmindedly. “It’s just not fair…!” Her voice cracked. “Daddy is a good…” sniff “… a good man. He never deserved…” sniff “… all the bullshit that’s happened… happened to him.”
“He is, Ali. He really is.” Molly squeezed the girl’s hand once more. “He just…” She stopped for a moment thinking about Ali’s words. “He just was in the wrong place at the wrong time.” It wasn’t fair. It wasn’t fair for anyone. Not for Cal, not for Lucas, not for the pilots in the front seat. Everyone in the shuttle was a good person, and yet, one of them had a target on his back. It wasn’t fair for him either. It was even less fair that that same target had dragged other people with it. Molly sigh, sadness clear in her face.
Molly remained silent for a moment not really knowing what else to say, but wanting to be there for Alexis as much as she could. After a few minutes she finally said:
“I’ll have to make a few calls… Will you be okay with Sam and Boomer while I’m gone? I’ll try to be as quick as possible, but I don’t know how long this is going to take…”
Ali sniffed and nodded her head, looking up to the woman. “Of course Mo… Molly. Do what you gotta do.” She sounded sad but sure in her words. “It’ll give… give me & Aunt Sam time to catch up. See you soon.” Without a word, she wrapped Molly in a tight hug and whispered softly. “Thank you… for loving my dad so much.” As Ali pulled back, her eyes were misty but she smiled just the same.
Molly smiled softly, even though she was trying her best not to let her discomfort with the embrace show. She didn’t catch the young woman’s slip, thinking that she had stuttered in the beginning of her name and not that she had corrected herself midway to calling her ‘mom’. Molly hugged Ali back as naturally as she could make it. “He’s easy to love, Ali.”
Standing up, Molly tried to get Halloway’s attention. “Hey Sam…” She started in a discreet tone. “… Can you seat here with Ali for a bit? I need to make some calls and I don’t want to be disturbed…” The heavily solemn expression in Molly’s face would tell Sam exactly what calls she needed to make. “I don’t want to leave her alone, but I really need to do this… I’m using that room over there, if that’s okay.” She motioned to an empty hospital room right outside of 104.
Molly Holloway, CEO Holloway Heavy Industries
“I’ve got her Molly… take your time. Those calls suck.” Halloway patted her shoulder before going to sit next to Ali.
Ali & Sam
Molly smiled softly. ‘Suck’ was an understatement. “Thank you.” She replied, shooting Sam a tired smile before walking into the empty hospital room.
The room was silent. Depressingly so. Right in the middle sat an empty biobed, there was a viewer on the wall, and a chair for anyone visiting when the room was taken.
With a deep breath Molly took off her coat and sat on the empty visitor’s chair. Pulling up HHI’s shuttle logs for that morning, it took her a few seconds of scrolling through the page before she found what she was looking for.
Holloway Executive Shuttle / Passengers: Holloway, L., Harris, C. / Pilot: Ramsay, N. / Sensor Technician: Guenièvre, E.
It was a gut punch. Deep down, Molly knew that she would be familiar with the flight team, but somehow she had tried to convince herself that Holloway Heavy was a big company and that there was no way she would know everyone. While in part that was true, the shuttle in question was her Uncle’s personal shuttle, and he liked to keep the pool of people with access to it very restricted.
Closing her eyes, Molly allowed herself a moment to mourn. She wasn’t necessarily close to Neil and Eveline, but she had met them on more than a few occasions. Lucas had always spoken highly of them, and Molly knew that it would be a hard blow for her uncle when he got the news. If he got the news… Molly shook her head dismissing the thoughts. When he got the news.
Telling herself that she could do the task at hand, Molly looked for Ramsey and Guenièvre’s emergency contacts. Someone had to give their families the news, and tonight that duty fell onto her.
It took about ninety minutes for Molly to go through her list, and it was like a piece of her soul was being ripped away from her body with each call. First, the shuttle crew’s families. Neil Ramsey, the shuttle pilot, was leaving behind a wife and two small children. Eveline Guenièvre, the sensors technician, was leaving behind a young girlfriend and broken parents seeing their only child taken away.
Next it had been one of the calls that spooked even the cold-hearted Intel officer — General Thomas Harris, Calvin’s father. Fortunately, it had been his wife who had taken the call, but she had insisted to see Molly on the viewscreen, concerned about her future daughter-in-law. Victoria, Harris’s younger sister, had burst into tears, sobbing uncontrollably, telling Molly that she was headed to OED no matter how many times she had tried to dissuade the woman. Finally, she had called Lucas’s parents, her own grandparents from her father’s side of the family, with whom she had to admit out loud for the first time that there was no telling on whether Lucas was going to make it. She knew it would be hard for them, with Lucas being their only remaining child. Their oldest, Molly’s father, having jumped from the Brooklyn Bridge 21 years prior. Struggling to keep her own tears at bay, Holloway excused herself and disconnected the call moments before breaking down. Alone in the room she wept silently, not wanting to be heard through the door.
With a soft beep, the small dial on her wrist chronometer now indicated three audio messages, two more lost calls from her sister, and one from Robert Hazen, her adoptive father.
Wiping her tears and taking a few deep breaths, Molly played the first message.
Erin’s voice filled the room, clearly in distress. =/\= Molly? Please pick up! I just saw the news… they are saying that Alex— =/\= Her voice cracked. =/\= Gavin and I are on our way to OED right now. Please be okay… Please! Tell me when you see this! I love you… =/\= There was a stifled sob. =/\= I love you, Sis. Please be okay… =/\=
Another gut punch, but this time riddled with guilt. How could she have forgotten? And most of all, how could she have thought that Erin wouldn’t be worried about her? Especially since her sister knew that she had just gotten back to OED that morning. Molly had been naïve to think that the news were not going to reach Earth that fast. Then again, Lucas was the president of one of the most prominent ship building companies in the sector, and Calvin was the son of the Vice Commandant of the Starfleet Marine Corps. If she was to put her money on it, Molly would assume the whole Academy was already aware by that point in time. She should have known better than to assume any differently.
For a moment, Molly pondered whether she should call her sister or just send her a quick message. Her consciousness told her that she should do the first, but her fatigue made her do the latter, quickly typing a few words on her chrono’s holographic keyboard.
I’m okay. I’m sorry I didn’t say anything. It has been a very busy day. Calvin and Uncle Lucas are in surgery. I’ll tell you the moment I know more, and I will call you tomorrow.
Hitting send, it took but a second for a reply to come back. Ok. I love you, Molly.
A soft smile crossed Molly’s lips. I love you too, Sis.
Pressing next, Molly was surprised to hear the familiar British accent of the former Executive Officer of the Dresden, now Captain Amelia Manning.
=/\= Captain Holloway… Molly. It’s Amelia… Amelia Manning. I didn’t want to call because I know you must be terribly busy but… The news ran fast here at the Academy and… =/\= For a moment it was as if the woman was uncharacteristically at a loss for words. =/\= I am so sorry, Molly… I am so so sorry… =/\= Was Manning… fighting back tears? =/\= I just wanted to let you know that me and Pete own a small cottage on OED. I expect you’ll have family and friends visiting soon. If you need space to accommodate anyone, our doors are open. All I ask is that you give me call on a secure transmission so that I can give you the house’s access codes as I don’t want to leave them here. Whenever you have the time. Tomorrow. In a week. Whenever you need us. No rush. Take care. =/\=
That had been… unexpectedly thoughtful and sweet. Holloway remembered Manning fondly. Even though they had never gotten to know each other deeply, Molly was aware of her close friendship with Calvin. She was also aware of how much the woman had kept the former Marine in line during one of the worst times in Molly’s life. Holloway made a mental note to call Manning the following day. Given the fact that, at least, Victoria and Erin were already on their way to OED, Molly could absolutely use the Mannings’ house, especially after what had happened in her and Cal’s residence. She didn’t want anyone there, in case danger was still lurking around the corner.
Finally, Molly tapped the last audio message. This time, her adoptive father’s quiet voice came to life.
=/\= Hey Sweetheart. I tried to call earlier but I got no response… you know what they say, no news is good news… so I’m assuming you’re okay, just busy. I imagine terribly busy. =/\= His voice stopped and a clear sigh came through before he continued. =/\= I’m so sorry Sweetie… =/\= There was genuine sadness and worry in his tone. =/\= I can’t even imagine what this must be for you… Erin was worried that you had been in the accident, but honestly… I’m sure that if you were I’d have already been told. I’m just worried about you and how you are dealing with all of this. =/\= The recording went silent for a moment. =/\= Molly… Know that if you need someone to talk to I’m always here for you. That’s what dad’s are for. Stay safe, Sweetheart. =/\=
There was a sad smile on Molly’s lips as the message finished. Robert truly was an amazing person… and an incredible dad. For a moment Holloway found herself wishing that she had met him years earlier… that she could have with him the same kind of relationship Erin did. Molly breathed out a long sigh and started typing a reply, much like she ha done with her sister.
Hey Dad. I’m fine. Thank you for calling. I’m sorry I couldn’t answer. I heard your message. Thank you for the offer. I mean it. Erin told me she and Gavin are on their way to OED. Holloway stopped for a moment pondering on the words she wanted to say next. She had never asked Robert for anything, and he would know it. So when she typed the final words to her message he would know that she really meant them.
Is there any chance that you could come too? I love you. Molly
Hoping for a quick reply from Robert, Molly stayed in the room enjoying the quiet and trying not to think about what was going on outside.
Molly’s chronometer beeped softly and she looked at it hopeful.
I can’t tell you how happy I am to know that you are okay. Erin told me you messaged her. I had already thought about travelling to OED but I didn’t want to intrude. In the end, I asked Erin if I could join her and Gavin. I’m already on my way. See you soon Sweetie. Dad
With a sigh, Molly felt a weight lifted off of her shoulders. The journey from Earth to OED was still a long one, the whole ordeal taking about a week, which meant that at Erin, Gavin, Robert, and Victoria would at least take some days to arrive. Hopefully by that point in time she would have better news to share with them.
Grabbing her coat on the way out, Molly stepped out of the empty hospital room and back into Room 104 where they were waiting for news. Waiting. That was all she could do at the moment.
Molly Holloway, CEO Holloway Heavy Industries
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