Michael had been working to help with the repairs of the Tesla, when he got a priority message from Commodore Marshall-Bennett. It had been a lot of work to get the Tesla back into shape due to the attack of the D’Ghor. He had been catching up on his reports when the message came through he immediately stopped what he was doing.
“Ryder to Savik, I have to go to an important meeting so you’re currently in charge until I return.”
“Copy that, Captain,” Savik responded. “Do you wish to remain apprised of the repairs on the ship throughout your meeting, or shall I wait for your return to update you on any issues?”
“You can wait till I return. I don’t want to be interrupted, as this meeting is important. I will be wanting to meet with you when I return before speaking to the rest of the crew.” Michael replied as he prepared to head out of his office.
“Understood, Captain.” Savik knew better than to question the purpose of the Captain’s meeting, but her mind couldn’t help but wonder if he was being provided with details concerning their next mission. After their latest encounter with the D’Ghor she was anxious to get back out in the wilderness of space, and hoped it would not be long before they were once again deployed on an assignment.
Returning her mind to the task at hand, her fingers slid around the hologram projection from her PADD to rotate and zoom in and out of every nook and crevice in a thorough inspection of the image of the ship’s warp core. Tapping on the PADD she highlighted areas that would need attention, dictating repairs and routine maintenance to the busy team in the bay below her. If they were to go on another mission soon, she wanted to ensure the ship was in top condition to handle whatever may come their way.
After getting the affirmative from Savik, Michael quickly made his way to the shuttlebay. After a small journey he arrived on the Discovery after being cleared to land. Ryder immediately made his way to the commodore’s ready room and waited for approval to enter after the crew notified the commodore of his arrival.
“Come in.” Bennet answered via the intercom.
Ryder heard the familiar voice of the Commodore. He entered the room and waited to be acknowledged before proceeding any further.
It was just a few hours before the entire fleet would launch and Commodore Marshall-Bennet was reviewing the latest round of orders he had issued. Looking up from his desk, he automatically swiped the holographic display to off and smiled at his guest. “Come on in Michael.” He welcomed his former chief strategic operations officer.
“Thank you Sir, it’s good to see you as well.” It was funny that not too long ago Michael was on the ship with the Commodore, though that did not last long before Bennett surprised Michael with his own ship. The Tesla had already been put through her paces in the last mission. A surprise that Michael had not expected, but one that made sense given the current state of things during the campaign.
“It’s good to see you again commander.” Bennet said as he rose from his chair and offered the Tesla’s skipper a handshake. “How’s it going in the big chair?” He asked. “Are the upgrades to the Tesla complete yet?”
Michael returned the handshake and grinned slightly at the questions. “I’m sure you heard the adventures from my report. The chair isn’t bad, just been busy from the start. I do like being busy though it reminds me of my days in Security. As to the upgrades we received, the Tesla should be ready for deployment in the next day or so. It’s been quite a bit of work, but the crew has worked hard to get her finished and ready again.”
“Good, I’m glad to hear she will be back in action and ready for our mission to the Delta Quadrant.” Bennet remarked as he found the PADD with Ryder’s new orders. “Here you go.”
Michael grabbed the PADD and began to look through the information. He had never actually been into the Delta Quadrant, but he was excited for this assignment. It looked like the Tesla would finally be doing what she was supposed to do. He couldn’t wait to tell Sophie, as he knew she would be excited. He looked up at the Commodore as he began to explain the mission.
“There’s a few planetary systems near to the mouth of the Barzan wormhole that I want you and your crew to go and explore. They are all uncharted systems and none of them were visited by Voyager. They were just detected as they flew by on their way home.” Bennet shared as he let the commander read through the PADD. “There’s an M-class world we want you to start at first and then go from there. Use whatever resources you need and make sure you have everything from Starbase Thirty-Eight before we depart. Any questions?”
As Michael read the information he saw that the plan was for the Tesla to survey the three planetary systems nearest each other close to the wormhole. Michael knew that the Delta Quadrant held secrets still to be discovered. Michael nodded as he listened. “Well, I see these systems are different from the others, but is there anything we actually know about this M-class world?”
Shaking his head, the commodore elaborated further. “In theory it should be an easy ride and a good chance for Tesla to put its science based tools to the test.”
Michael stopped for a second and raised an eyebrow “Are you saying that this could be a simple survey mission? In and out with no issues?”
“We hope so, but Discovery and others in the expeditionary force won’t be that far behind to help you if it’s urgent.” Bennet said. “That said I want regular updates from you. I don’t want anyone else taking advantage.”
Michael was not optimistic at the fact that this mission could be so simple. He knew things never seemed to be simple when he went on any mission. Even when he was just a junior officer he seemed to always find trouble, but it was a good experience for him and helped him to learn thinking on his feet. He nodded back at the Commodore.
“Well I hope that the ship doesn’t require any backup, but it’s good to know that people will be there. I will make sure that we send updates as often as allows. I don’t plan to let anyone make a fool of me or my crew.” Michael said strongly. “Are there any enemies that we know of in that vicinity?”
Shaking his head, Bennet responded. “Not that we’re aware of but it could change. Make sure you use that tactical brain of yours until reinforcements arrive.”
Michael smirked “I will make sure that I do just that! If there is any opposition I will make sure it’s not easy for them. Is there anything Sir?”
Smirking at Ryder’s optimism, Bennet signaled for the Tesla’s captain to leave. “Dismissed.”_
Michael nodded and departed from the Commodores office. Immediately making way back to his shuttle so he can head to the Tesla. He wanted to make sure the ship was officially ready for the departure of the entire task force.
Michael returned to the Tesla with Savik standing there waiting for him. He wasn’t quite sure why she was waiting on him, but he hoped it wasn’t unneeded delays.
“There was an issue with a few of the materials for repairs. They were damaged upon delivery and unable to be used, but we were able to get replacement materials ordered and work on other preparations in the meantime. So overall we should still come in on schedule, just had to make a few rearrangements,” Savik reported quickly.
“I’m glad it wasn’t anything to delay the repairs, but I do need to meet you in my ready room as soon as you make sure that Engineering is ready and set for the departure.”
“I’ll be there shortly, Captain,” Savik nodded smartly.
“Very good Commander” Michael replied nodding as he headed to his ready room.
Michael made his way towards the turbolift when he was stopped by his chief of the boat Hallih Sahal. It was the first he had seen her since before the Archanis fight. Hallih was brought in as a new member, but her prior experience was impressive.
Hallih had been moving between the decks overseeing the repairs which had been a busy time for her, but as she had just regenerated she is more energy than most would have in a situation like this. She was heading for deflector control when she ran into the Captain. A man she had met once his demeanor and look demanded respect. She stopped and was surprised to hear the Captain speaking to her.
“Master Chief Sahal, it looks as though you’re working hard. I haven’t had a chance to talk to you, as your chief of the boat I need to hear your assessment of the enlisted crew here on the ship.”
Sahal nodded “Captain it has been busy making sure we are ready for the next mission. I can meet you at your earliest convenience, but I can tell you that the crew here is extraordinary. They are devoted to you and that keeps morale high. However Sir, not to be rude but I need to make sure that these repairs are completed for the refit.”
Michael was impressed with Sahal’s demeanor and could see why she had been recommended as Tesla’s chief of the boat. He would definitely have to record that in his logs.
“Very good Chief, we will try to meet as soon as I can. We will be departing for our next assignment as soon as the ship is ready. So the meeting may not be till after this mission, but we will see if I get the spare time. Keep up the great work Chief!”
Sahal smiled and nodded as she headed off for deflector control.
Michael watched her walk off and continued making his way to the Bridge. Upon his arrival to the Bridge he was greeted by the voice of Ruvok.
“Captain I’m getting an encrypted message. I am not quite sure who or what it is, but I can send it to your ready room.”
Michael stopped with a puzzled look and rubbed his beard. That was not what he was expecting especially as they were docked. “Put it through to my ready room Ruvok.”
Ruvok nodded “It is waiting for you.”
Ryder nodded and headed into his office as he activated the screen he saw black. And heard a voice that seemed to be altered.
“Captain you look well, which is not what I want.”
Michael perked his eye up and replied “Who are you and what do you want?”
The voice laughed and then after a short silence replied “You don’t remember me, do you Captain?”
“You expect me too?” Michael replied back.
The screen suddenly lit up and revealed the person behind the call, which made Ryder’s jaw drop.
“Jonathan? Is that you?” He said in shock.
The man scowled and slammed his fist down “You have a lot of nerve calling me that after leaving me to die. Your own brother…”
Michael shook his head “I did not leave you to die. You did not listen to me.”
“That’s Crap and you know it Mike. Look at me this is your fault! I will repay you for what you’ve done.”
Michael looked closely seeing some major scarring on his brother’s face. He was at a loss for her words but tried to say something. “I can’t believe you’re blaming me for this. I am just shocked you’re alive. Relieved would be a good word to use.”
Jonathan sneered “Oh yeah I’m sure. Say what you want Michael, but this is your fault and I will make sure you get what you deserve.”
The image cut and Michael slowly sat down trying to process what just occurred, when the door chimed and brought him back to reality.
“Come in.” He replied.
The door slid open and Savik stood there in the doorway with a smile on her face and a new confidence that Michael had not seen.
“Our lady is ready and raring to go, Captain.” Savik delivered the news smoothly, but held a pride in her tone that betrayed her new found connection to the ship. “The Tesla is prepped for whatever lies ahead. Did you receive new orders in your meeting?” Savik’s eyes narrowed as she took in the Captain’s appearance, noting the lines creasing his forehead and a slight tension in his demeanor. “Are you well, sir?” her tone quickly changed to one of uncertainty and concern.
“I’m ok, not something I want to discuss right now, but we have something else to discuss. Our next mission is going to take us into the Delta Quadrant near the Barzan Wormhole. We have been tasked to survey an M class planet than go from there. I was told this should be a simple survey mission, which I feel will not be the case. Do you have any questions or concerns before I continue?”
“What planet are we headed for, Captain, and why do you believe the mission will not be simple?” Savik questioned.
“The planet’s name is Ryex and it’s not really that I don’t believe it won’t be simple. It’s the fact that I have dealt with situations like this before. I have learned you never underestimate the mission or the possibility of danger.” Michael replied informatively.
“Understood,” Savik nodded in agreement. “Hope for the best and plan for the worst. We will make sure the Tesla is ready for whatever may come.”
Michael nodded as he realized his second in command was learning quickly which he was proud of. Savik had started off rocky, but he respected her opinion and she had to learn the way he liked things to be done.
“That’s right! Well the mission is supposed to be a simple survey mission. Land on the planet and explore. After exploration is complete we move to the next cluster of planets. We will be in constant contact with Commodore Bennett. Any other questions?”
“I believe that covers everything, sir.”
“Very well then let’s go and brief the crew before departure with the entire Task Force.”
Michael led the way out of the office and headed for the conference room to meet with his senior staff to discuss what came next.
To Be Continued….