Mission Day 01
USS Atlantis – Main Bridge
“Come in,” Tikva Theodoras said in response to the door chime to her Ready Room. Her Ready Room. When she had command of the Haida the little ship had been to small to have much more then a Ready Closet. This space was palatial in comparison. Sure, she’d had the ship for coming on two weeks now but it was still amazing.
Lieutenant Commander Charles MacIntyre stepped through and stopped exactly far enough into the room to let the door sensor know he was clear and the doors could close, looking for his commanding officer whom he couldn’t see at first. This was resolved momentarily as she stepped out from around the corner where the replicator was hiding with a cup of hot chocolate.
“Want anything?” she asked of the man before he could start speaking.
“Uh, no ma’am. Just a couple of status updates for you,” he replied, offering a small PADD.
Accepting the device, she motioned for him to sit and walked around her own desk to her chair. Her desk. Her chair. Her ship. The smile crept back onto her face. “Any warnings Mac before I start reading this?”
“Admiral Cody’s office sent us the most up to date survey charts and cartography information they have on the Swallow Nebula and the Expanse, so I guess our exploration orders have been confirmed. I lot of the information is nearly as old as we are.”
“We’re talking Voyager old aren’t we?” She sat the steaming cup down and looked over the information on the PADD. It wasn’t the full info, just the headlines to inform her what to look for later in the ship’s computers. “Geez, you’re right. Some of this information is old.”
“There’s also a notification in there that Admiral Cody will call once they’ve all settled in at Delta-Bravo. Likely we’ll get a bit more information once the powers that be start sweet talking the Turei.”
“Just saw that. No point worrying about it, he’ll call when he’s ready. Likely the same thing I’ve heard from half a dozen other Captain’s since taking the center seat. ‘Call me if you need anything’ and ‘Be careful out there Captain’.”
MacIntyre’s eyebrows furrowed at that and he looked his Captain over. She was technically only a Commander and younger than him but here she was commanding the Atlantis. There was an element of professional jealousy but it was restrained by actually having read her file, what he was entitled to anyway.
He had read about her skill at the helm of a starship, loading herself down with course work at and beyond the Academy. Even the petitioning for her own command as a Lieutenant and getting a small patrol boat for a couple of years. All things he himself hadn’t done because he’d just ‘done the job’ instead of living it.
“You know Mac,” Tikva said as she sat the PADD down and retrieved the cup from her desk, “it’s also an element of right place, right time.”
“Ma’am?” he asked in response to her statement out of the blue, then shook his head as he remembered what else was on her profile. Half betazoid. “Sorry ma’am. Can’t help it. Three years younger than me, already had your own command. Feel like I’m missing something.”
“Maybe, maybe not. You’ve still got both your original legs,” she smiled back at him, sipped from her cup and then set it down again.
“Mac, just remember, I chose you as my XO. I also don’t intend for you to stay my XO forever either. Might be a bit of hard work but I think we can get you your own ship quickly enough. Oh!” she exclaimed, snapping her fingers. “A quote from the great Captain Denevan. ‘I’d prefer you leave this boat because Starfleet has a far nobler purpose for you’.”
MacIntyre nodded in comprehension of the quote, then his nodding picked up in amplitude as it sunk in. “I think I can work with that Captain,” using the rarely used rank honorific for a ship’s commander despite their rank.
“Only took me two weeks!”
“To get you to call me Captain outside of the Bridge.” There was an infectious grin on her face as she leaned forward slightly. “Mac, loosen up a little bit, pick up a couple of command courses we can work on out here in the DQ and we’ll get you a ship of your own in no time.”
Mission Day 03
USS Atlantis – Main Bridge
“Yes ma’am, an SOS. Krenim long range scout if these old drive signatures are anything to go by. Voyager only ever had one encounter with these people. Being harassed by a Hirogen vessel. More than enough information to confirm them.”
Turning in her chair to face her tactical officer, Tikva was smiling. “Keen to test those skills of yours Guns?”
“Always ma’am,” the young woman in Security yellow said. Another giant on the crew who towered over her.
“Right,” she turned back to face the Helm and Operations officers in front of her, both looking her way. “Best possible speed if you please Mr T’Van. Red Alert!”
“Aye aye,” came at least three officers and the thrumming from an active warp engine went up in pitch as the Atlantis accelerated from a paltry 1024 times the speed of light to over double that. “Interception in three minutes,” her helmsman piped up to answer the question that was just forming on her lips.
Her hands found the ends of her armrests and she sat forward in her chair as MacIntyre sat himself down in the empty seat to her left. He had the choice of left or right and had claimed the left-hand set on day one. “Little keen there Captain.”
“Just like being the good guy. Riding to someone’s rescue.”
“Then let’s go be good guys,” MacIntryre responded.
Mission Day 03
USS Atlantis – Sickbay
Sickbay was full to bursting with Krenim spacers occupying all the biobeds, the walking wounded took up wall space and a few other stretchers were simply on the floor out of the walkways. A few yellow shouldered security personnel were present as well and Tikva had to pass a few more in the hallway outside just to enter the eminent domain Dr Terax. The situation must have been bad because she spotted the EMH tending to the walking wounded with the other two doctors while Terax was in the surgical bay, a forcefield having been erected for sterility and privacy, it’s shimmering blurring all taking place within from those without.
The Krenim ship hadn’t been destroyed, but it was so severely damaged that the offer to take the injured off the ship had been accepted without any qualms by the ship’s captain. From the scans her people had made he was just happy enough to get them off so his able crew could focus on their vessel without tripping over their own.
“Captain,” a man in the Krenim uniform said, approaching her with his left arm in a sling. She recognised him as the scout’s XO who had insisted on coming across to keep an eye on his own personnel. He looked like he had been about to say something but was stunned momentarily by Tikva’s lack of height versus his own.
One day, just one day she might have a word with the universe about that. Why couldn’t she have taken after her mother for height instead of her father? She’d have made a good Amazon.
“Commander Terk, pleasure to meet you. You and your people being treated alright?” She looked around the room and in a quick count confirmed that all the medical staff bar four where in Sickbay, but the forcefield to the surgical bay was obscuring a few indistinct masses. Likely the rest of the staff. Dr Terax, or one of the other doctors, had even activated the EMH so things must have been a bit dire.
“Yes, thank you. Not often strange vessels come out of nowhere to help in these parts. Or have the firepower to drive the Hirogen off either with little threat to themselves.”
“Not often I get to come to the rescue of a new friend,” she responded.
“I…I think you might be right there. And yes, your people are remarkable. I am led to believe you’ve even sent engineers over to assist in repairing the Tavorax.”
“That I have. In the entire Starfleet you’ll likely only find a handful of engineers better than Lieutenant Velan. We’ll do what we can to get your ship back to speed and your crew on their feet.”
“Can I ask what your ship is doing in these parts? I don’t think I’ve ever heard of this Federation you speak of.”
Grinning, Tikva indicated towards the doctor’s unoccupied office to get the two of them out of the way of the medical staff and took one of the seats on the patient side of the desk for herself, indicating the other for Terk. “Same as you I gather. Exploring, learning about the universe. We were on our way to explore a nebula nearby and an area we were told was called the Expanse.”
“Ah…I see. Might I impress upon your generosity once more Captain?” Terk asked, caution in his voice.
“We’re also out here to meet new civilisations and learn about them Commander. I think we can escort your ship back home,” she replied, having got the jist of his request from his emotional state. His desire to very much get home in one piece and with his crew intact.
“I’m sure Captain Hallin will want to phrase it differently but I’m not to proud to admit we need the escort at this time Captain,” the man said with a genuine smile on his face. “Perhaps once the Tavorax is in a better shape and my crew doesn’t need me we can exchange tours and pleasantries properly?”
“That Commander Terk sounds like a plan.”