Previous Next

A New Frontier, Part 2

Posted on 19 Dec 2018 @ 2:10am by Rear Admiral Valentina Petrovich & Captain Abigail Rhodes

Mission: Prologue


[Mars orbit]

A transporter would have dropped the pair onto the Mark Miller's bridge within seconds.  But doing so would have skipped the best part of taking command of a ship in drydock. It was a sort of tradition; usually the ship's new helm officer would fly the Captain.  This time, Admiral Petrovich let Abby take the helm and control her own tour of the ship.

The Mark Miller was dwarfed by much larger ships nearby.  The drydock structure was just as small, wrapping around the ship like a cradling hand.  If not for the precise coordinates provided by the Admiral, Abby wasn't sure she'd be able to find it in a pinch.  She figured that could be a good thing, in case they had to find creative ways to avoid combat.

The shuttle approached the Mark Miller and Abby's pulse accelerated.  There was just something about seeing your first command in person like this.  She couldn't help but lean forward as the delta-shaped saucer section grew larger in the screen.

They came up from "below" the saucer, the Waverider atmospheric explorer craft nestled neatly into it's dock in the center.  The primary deflector glowed a dull blue off to her left, marking the front of the small engineering hull. Abby smoothly controlled the shuttle around the ship, making an arcing loop around and over the side of the saucer, passing directly over the Bridge dome.  They made almost a complete loop before Abby turned the shuttle aft and flew along the port side of the ship, admiring it in profile. They passed the nacelles and Abby input a gentle turn to approach the aft shuttlebay between them.

"She's beautiful," Abby remarked, and knew it to be true.  It wasn't just the emotions of a new adventure, but the Nova-class was indeed a graceful, elegant design.  She had served on one before, sure, but this was the first time taking the scenic tour. And the first time the ship in question was hers.

"Da," Valya agreed.

Automatic landing protocols kicked in and Abby leaned back and off the controls.  The computer eased the shuttle through the force field to gently land upon the small deck.  The women stood in the small Type-IX cockpit, Abby leading the Admiral out onto the ship. Once they were clear, automatic protocols triggered once again and the shuttle was ensconced into the storage bay below the deck.

"Is everything automated?" Abby asked in jest.

"Nyet, but a lot is.  Your crew will be small, so we need to be efficient.  There are emergency holograms for every department, and micro holo-emitters throughout.  You could run the ship with two people, if need be. Or, nobody at all, if you gave the holograms enough access."

Abby reflexively cringed.  The idea of a fully automated starship with no corporeal sentient beings aboard gave her pause.  "Hopefully it won't come to that," she commented.

They took a short tour of the ship, Abby realizing they set foot on just about every corridor.  And yet the tour only took as long as it took her to walk to the mess on the Farragut. Still, she couldn't wipe the smile from her face.  Every surface was spotless, every light perfectly balanced, every display bright and clear. A side-effect of being in drydock undergoing upgrades for the past few months.  Of course, the rosy glasses didn't hurt either.

They finally reached the Bridge and Abby took a moment to run a hand along the railing behind the two command chairs.  She walked around it and stood in front of her own chair a moment before carefully lowering herself into it. It was a comfortable fit.  A good thing since she'd be spending many hours here.

"Deep Space Thirteen," Abby said as she ran her hands along the armrests, "That's pretty far out."

Admiral Petrovich smiled briefly, leaning her rear against the railing behind the helm station.  "Da, 320 light-years, give or take."

"Pretty close to Klingon space, if memory serves," she commented as her thoughts turned to protecting her new baby.

The Admiral shrugged but had a sympathetic expression upon her features.  "Part of our task force's mission is a show of force. As you know, the Klingons have been getting bolder of late.  Border planets are asking for protections. A few have even joined the Empire just to protect themselves." Valya shook her head sadly, "I'm not sure they fully understand what that means yet."

Abby nodded with a wistful look.  "For so many years we tried to normalize relations with the Romulans.  It just had to take the destruction of their homeworld and the collapse of their empire for it to happen... and now we have another threat."  She sighed, "Perhaps that's the inevitable state of the galaxy. One enemy fades, only to be replaced by another." Valya knew Abby wasn't a pessimist, not really.  She was more a realist. Facts and patterns appealed to her scientific mind.

"Perhaps," Valya said noncommittally.  She pushed herself from the railing and nodded once.  "Well, my belongings have been transferred over. I should get my state room ready for our long journey.  Two months together. You think you can handle that much of me?"

Abby's smirk was jovial, "Oh I think I can manage."

"Right," the Admiral nodded again, "Just one more thing to do.  Stand to attention, Captain."

Abby snapped to her feet and the two women faced each other in rigid stance.  Valya recited the change of command from memory. "By order of Starfleet Command, you, Captain Abigail Rhodes, are hereby ordered to assume command of the USS Mark Miller as of stardate 72009.8.  Computer, transfer all command codes to Captain Abigail Rhodes. Voice authorization Petrovich gamma five juliet."

The computer beeped and reported, "Transfer complete.  USS Mark Miller now under command of Captain Abigail Rhodes."

"I hereby assume command," Abby stated.

"Congratulations, Abby," Valya stated with a wide smile, taking Abby's hand for a firm handshake.  "I know you'll do us proud."

"Thank you, ma'am."

The transfer of command over, the Admiral beat a hasty retreat, offering Abby a bref parting wave before vanishing into the turbolift.

Abby had her own tasks to finalize herself.  She had to get her own suite and ready room made up - the current decor was decidedly spartan.  Then, it was more or less a waiting game for her XO and skeleton crew to arrive. After that, they'd get under way towards their new adventure on the fringes of the Federation.  She had to admit, it was exciting.


Captain Abigail Rhodes
Commanding Officer
USS Mark Miller

Rear Admiral Valentina Petrovich
Station Commander
Deep Space 13


Previous Next