The shiny decks of the newly commissioned USS Tesla made Michael’s eyes glisten. He had been thinking about his own ship for a long time, but never figured it would be so soon. Captain Beckett had given him a ship due to the incoming and looming threat of the D’Ghor. Michael rubbed the new pip on his collar and smirked. He was brought back to reality when he reached the Bridge.
“Captain on the bridge” Lieutenant Dorner the conn officer replied.
The bridge crew snapped to attention and looked at their new commanding officer. Michael nodded at the crew. He had commissioned a new crew for the Nova Class ship. Some he had served within his time and others who had been recommended to him. Ryder picked up the PADD that had the bridge crew’s names on it.
Commander Tia Savik – First Officer.
Lieutenant Franklin Dorner – Chief Flight Officer.
Lieutenant Ruvok – Chief Operations Officer.
Lieutenant Commander Riru Sareth – Chief Engineer.
Lieutenant JG Amanda Kennedy – Chief Security and Tactical Officer
Lieutenant Commander Kra’vaak – Chief Strategic Officer
Micheal smiled at the list and looked back at the crew who still had their eyes peeled on him. “Prepare the ship for departure. I want to be ready to depart in 2 hours.“
Michael headed to his ready room and began to plot the ship’s mission as it had been briefed to him by the higher echelons. This was his first time taking a ship out on his own though he had spent many years as a tactical officer. If he did come up against hostiles he could hold his own. Every minute that passed added anticipation.
Michael was still waiting on his First Officer whom he had never met up to this point. “I’ll say one thing I don’t like how she’s taking her sweet old time.” He muttered. If there was one thing he hated it was people not being prompt and on time someone the First Officer would learn.
First Officer Savik’s stride was long as she made her way down the corridors of the USS Tesla towards Captain Ryder’s ready room. She had not yet made her way to the bridge, but was running late this morning and so had determined to first report to the Captain upon boarding the ship. Her responses to the various greetings she received as she strode down the corridor, were just as short and clipped as her steps, but none took notice as all were on edge that day, each member of the crew bustling around in their individual tasks to prepare the Tesla for departure. Tia chided herself for her tardiness. Perhaps it was nerves or perhaps it was the fact that she had tossed and turned in bed for hours the previous night, unable to sleep as the future meeting with Captain Ryder loomed before her, that had caused her to sleep in later than usual.
The tension in the air was so palpable that Savik could almost taste it on the tip of her tongue. She hid her nerves behind a mask of confidence, hoping the crew around her would not notice her own self doubt as she attempted to navigate the waters of her new station. Her lack of a long lineage of StarFleet commanders was doubtless to be noted among her peers, but she had trained for this her whole life and she felt equal to the task at hand. Halting at the door to the Captain’s ready room, she activated the door chime and patiently waited for permission to enter. When the doors smoothly slid open to allow her access, she took that as her cue.
“Officer Savik reporting for orders, Captain,” she announced her arrival with a snap of her heels, standing smartly at attention till Captain Ryder was prepared to acknowledge her.
Michael looked up at her for a minute and stood walking over to her. “Officer? Are you confused Savik? Your rank is Commander and you should address yourself as such. Also do you make it a custom to be late. You were supposed to be here thirty minutes ago?”
Tia sucked in a quick breath of air as she straightened her posture even more tightly. She had been afraid that running late would cause her to get off on the wrong foot. She knew she would have to work hard to earn her new commander’s favor, but it was a task she was willing to dedicate to.
Michael went back around his desk and sat motioning for Savik to sit as well.
“My apologies, Captain. It won’t happen again.” Tia made a mental promise to herself never to allow tardiness to be an issue in the future, and then she moved on from the issue to broach the subject of the ship’s assignment. “And do you wish to discuss the objective for our maiden voyage now, or would you prefer to make the particulars of the mission known to the entire crew at once?”
Michael looked at her again and sighed. “Tia please realize I understand your eager, but you need to take it back a few notches. We need to discuss a few things before we get to point. First off, you’re new to a command role am I right?
“A command role is new to me,” Tia admitted carefully, finding the words a little difficult to voice aloud, “But I certainly aim to live up to the task and follow the training and instruction I received in the Academy as well as the hands-on experience I gained while aboard the Jupiter Station,” she followed up quickly.
“Ok so then from Officer training what do you recall about being the First Officer? “
“In the CTP I learned the responsibilities and duties of an XO. An XO’s chief duty is to carry out the orders of the CO. Other responsibilities include training, discipline, and management of the personnel. The XO is operationally the ship’s second in command, and as such, it is another primary duty of the First Officer to spearhead away teams so the CO can remain secure on the bridge. An XO is also specifically tasked with performing a sort of checks-and-balances role with the CO.” Tia hoped her almost robotic statement didn’t sound like she had quoted it directly from the CTP guidelines, but she pretty much had. She realized the task ahead would not prove easy, and earning the respect of her CO may prove to be her first difficult hurdle.
Michael looked at his notes realizing that he may have been premature in his pick. As he was about to say something he caught an eye of the Commanders service record.
“Well it looks like you know how to hold your own. That’s good. Let’s get one thing straight though I am a very calm person and want to get along with everyone, but I have strict guidelines and I expect them to be followed. Is that understood Commander?” Michael looked at Savik awaiting a reply.
“Understood,” Tia replied without hesitation. “I look forward to growing under your correction and guidance.”
Michael nodded and smiled. “Well then Commander let’s get to business. We have been asked to assess the area that is the Federation space boundary. The Federation has been seeing attacks from the D’Ghor a worthless group of dishonorable Klingons. I always expect trouble, though the Tesla may not be the most powerful ship in the fleet we can put her through the paces. Our exact orders are to be announced to the crew, as this mission must be carried out with the utmost care and urgency.”
“Well if you’re ready Commander, let’s go introduce you to the crew.”
Tia nodded and stood to her feet, prepared to follow him to the bridge. As Michael strode by her Tia released her breath in a short sigh. As a new officer under his command, she surmised that she had much to learn from him, and she hoped to live up to his expectations. As they entered the bridge, every officer quickly stopped what they were doing and snapped to attention.
Michael looked at the crew and couldn’t help but smile even with the new crew and command he was already proud of them. Michael knew this crew would be a little green, but he planned to fix that, as soon as he possibly could. He wanted to see just what Savik was capable of.
“You have the bridge XO. I expect the ship ready to embark within the hour. I will be in my ready room if you need me. Once we get underway I will read the orders to the crew.”
Tia nodded as the Captain relinquished command to her.
Michael returned the nod and headed back to his ready room. He had a lot of information to review and he wanted to make sure that he wouldn’t be in for any surprises. The Tesla was new to him, but she was used and Ryder was reluctant. He hoped the ship was in the right condition for the trip ahead.
“You heard the Captain. We need the ship ready to embark within the hour. If there are any immediate concerns or issues, report them to me. Dismissed.” As Tia barked out their dismissal she hoped they did not hear the slight waver in her tone. She was not accustomed to commanding such authority over such an imposing group of individuals as the officers of the Tesla, but she hoped she would prove up to the task.
Michael originally planned to go back to his ready room, but instead, he decided to go see Kra’vaak, who joined his crew due to their close friendship. Kra’vaak was a Klingon and one who knew Klingon battle strategies better than anyone Michael had ever met. Michael knew he would be in his quarters. Michael didn’t need to knock, but he did after which the door slid open.
“Michael! Aren’t you supposed to be preparing for departure?” Kra’vaak smirked.
Michael shook his head and grinned “Captains prerogative you know.”
“I mean I can’t argue with that what do you need Captain?” he inquired.
“Well, we are heading for Praxis III and I know that the D’Ghor has had a big presence in that area. I am trying to prepare for the possible ambush. What are the usual tactics they use?”
Kra’vaak looked closely at the Captain and thought for a second. He had heard of Praxis III it was a planet that would never be able to hold a habitable atmosphere, but the gasses in the area around it made for good sensor manipulation and the D’Ghor would use that to their advantage. The Federation had been trying to put sensors in space around the planet, but the gasses interference had made it hard which would be a great place for the D’Ghor to stage. That worried him because the likelihood of an ambush was higher than he would care to admit.
“The usual tactics wouldn’t matter here because they have cover around Praxis III’s the gas there has caused issues for sensors since it was discovered, but they have the element of surprise with cloaking and with no sensors, we would not be able to detect them we would be sitting targs. This situation could be one of the most dangerous you have ever encountered in your career.” he said looking at Michael.
Michael sat there for a second thinking about what he had been told, which was the news he had thought about but did not want to hear. Kra’vaak was his Chief Strategic Officer and Michael knew that his words were true.
“Ok, well I want you to be on the bridge for departure got it, Commander?” Michael usually did not use rank with Kra’vaak, but this was the time it needed to be used.
“Of course Captain!” Kra’vaak responded.
Michael nodded and left heading for the lounge to get a drink, as he now had the real issues that loomed over him as a ship commander. He had always had issues in his time as an officer, but he wasn’t sure what he would do here. He grabbed a cup of tea from the replicator and sit down to drink it. After quick work of the drink, he headed for the bridge.
Preparations for the mission went without incident, and it seemed but moments later when they were ready to depart. Tia was on the bridge with the Chief Engineering Officer, running some final diagnostics to ensure the ship was prepared for its first jump into hyperspace. She glanced up as Captain Ryder entered.
“Captain, we are prepared for departure.”
Michael nodded and took his seat in the Captain’s chair and opened comms to address the crew for the first time, as the ship’s CO.
“Good Morning crew of the USS Tesla. As you know this is Captain Michael Ryder and I want to thank you all for your hard work in the preparations of departure. I am proud to be captain of such a fine crew and I believe, as we explore the galaxy and look at the Federations interest at heart we will do great things! We are heading for the Praxis III System. The Federation has asked as to survey the planet for any sign of the D’Ghor be prepared for anything! Ryder out.”
Michael looked at Dorner, as Kra’vaak entered and took his post nodding at Michael. “Dorner, take us out and plot a course for Praxis II. Let’s see what the Tesla can do.”
“Sareth prepare for Maximum warp.” Michael ordered.
“Aye Captain” Sareth answered without hesitation. Sareth had worked with Ryder in the past and knew what he liked to hear so she had gone ahead and prepared the ship for Maximum warp before he asked.
Dorner looked at the Captain and nodded “Aye, Sir plotting a course for Praxis III.” As he began to do that he also was maneuvering the ship out of the docking area. The task was easy, but he was always nervous about the task. He made it out without a scratch and had plotted the course as ordered.
“Course plotted Captain!” Dorner reported.
The phrase he said next was something he had always said and it seemed to fit. “Let’s do it!”
Michael saw the space around him change to shimmering flashes as the ship entered warp. He sit back and had to smile. This was the first time he had ever been able to command the ship to go to warp. IT was a dream that had finally become a reality.
The USS Tesla’s first launch went off without a hitch. The crew had worked hard to ensure she was prepared for her maiden voyage, and their hard work had paid off. It was smooth sailing for the Nova-class Starship, and the crew began to kick back and relax as the science ship steadily made its way through the galaxy towards its destination.
Tia was in the laboratories inspecting the science equipment when the first shock wave shook the ship from nose to tail. She did not have to ask what the powerful pulse was that had caused the Tesla to shudder in its course. She was all too familiar with the feeling of a disruptor cannon making contact with a deflector shield, as she had experienced it many times before when the Jupiter station had been under attack.
She immediately reached out to Captain Ryder on the comms. “Captain, this is Commander Savik. I’m leaving the labs now and headed for the bridge.” As she finished delivering this update she was already halfway out the door.
The ship had just exited warp when it was immediately hit by Disruptor fire. Michael braced himself and calmly ordered for Red Alert. He looked at the screen in front of him. There was a D’Ghor Bird of Prey directly in front of him.
When Tia set foot on the bridge it was not the chaotic scene she had been prepared for, but everyone sat quietly, awaiting the instructions of a calm and composed Michael Ryder. No amount of training could fully prepare you for the feeling you get when you’re actually facing an enemy in battle, but the crew of the Tesla was far more experienced than any of Tia’s previous partners in training exercises, and she took confidence in the knowledge that they could competently handle any situation.
Michael began to size up the situation and knew that just as he had figured the D’Ghor was not going to let the Federation discover what has been going on in the system. He looked back at Kennedy.
“Fire at the right dorsal shield if I recall the ships had a slight weak point there.” He had used it on multiple occasions when he was a Tactical and Weapons officer.
Kennedy nodded and targeted the area of the Bird of Prey, which did nothing to her dismay. “No damage detected Captain.”
Michael realized they had probably fixed that flaw. The Tesla was under attack and Michael had to think of what to do.
To Be Continued….
A joint post between:
Suz- Commander Savik
DarthCrusader – Captain Ryder