Next episode

 “Last minute”

 by Lord Thanatos


20/11/08 31/12/08







0. An introduction

1. The arrival

2. Klingon / Vulcan clash part I

3. Senior officers meeting

4. Klingon / Vulcan clash part II

5. LT’s speech

6. Thief

7. Departure

8. Meat

9. Back to warp

10. Captain’s departure






SCENE 0: An introduction


Before you start reading the first episode, some background information helps you put the world of USS GP in its place...


This first episode starts on april 21st 2385... 18 years after the Borg attacked sector 001, 10 years after the end of the Dominion War and 7 years after Voyager returned home from the Delta Quadrant...


The Klingon Defense Force is close to regaining its former strength, a decade after the end of the Dominion War.


Much of the space around Federation territory has been claimed. However, south and south-west of the Federation, space is largely unclaimed by any great power like the Cardassians and Breen whom are home to the west and north-west of the Federation, the Romulans who live to the north-east, the Klingons who reside to the east and the Tholian assembly found to the south-east.


The first mission will take the USS Greate Pier to that southern 'border' of Federation space, relatively close to the edge of the galaxy...





SCENE 1: The arrival


LT and Admiral Mullins are at Starfleet HQ walking in a slow pace to the docked Akira class starship Greate Pier.


LT: “The ship will leave dock at the scheduled time, admiral?”


Mullins: “The ship arrived from Utopia Planitia just 30 minutes ago… She’s not quite finished yet, LT, but she flies… During the trip to the first colony, the final systems will be installed and tested, but we can’t afford to wait any longer… You’ll have an additional crew of about 40 engineers onboard to finish up. You will drop off that crew at the Harwood colony together with a lot of the equipment stored in the cargo bays… But, as by wonder, there are no delays that force the launch to be postponed, captain.”


LT looks slightly nervous and replies:


LT: “Good, good…”


Mullins: “Anxious?’’


LT looks straight into Admiral Mullins’s eyes and smiles


LT: “Ab-so-lute-ly…!”


As on cue, they simultaneously look out of the large window they pass by with a good view of the Greate Pier…


LT: “I know there’s a lot of work to be done and the crew first needs to settle in a bit, but yes, of course I’m anxious to get underway with this ship…”


Mullins: “Only natural… I know I was anxious when I got my first command… The Trailblazer…”


Admiral Mullins seems to gaze into the depths of infinity for a moment and pauses for a second…


Mullins: “She was a small cargo ship, designed for fast deliveries of small cargos… warp 8, heavily armed… Not bad for a cargo ship… We hauled a lot of cargo mainly to research colonies along the Federation border, so the risk factor was great… We had a few fights with Cardassian ships and made it through in one piece every time… But, you know, still a cargo vessel…”


LT: “You can’t tell me that serving on a cargo ship in that kind of situation was boring, admiral?”


Mullins: “No, no, not boring, not in the least… And I learned a lot on that ship too… I could finally captain a ship, but it was still a cargo ship… But I guess I did enjoy my time on the Trailblazer…"


Admiral Mullins looks at LT


Mullins: “She’s nothing like your ship, LT… Consider yourself lucky. I would have killed to captain a ship like this…”


LT: “I do consider myself lucky, admiral… Believe me, I do… I’ve been more serious, devoted and determined than anyone else, but now the launch is just 6 hours away, I find myself to be as restless as a young puppy who’s not allowed to get out of his dog basket...”


Mullins: “Well, you got this assignment for a good reason, and of course you’re entitled to feel a bit anxious to fly off into space with the Greate Pier and a crew that is all yours to boss around...”


LT smiles and replies:


LT: “Yes, I’ve been meaning to ask about my crew… We’re going to launch in a few hours and I’ve not been briefed on who will be on my crew… I know this assignment is sort of a last minute space trip…”


Mullins: “Well, yes, it is…”


Admiral Mullins and LT get into a lift taking them to the Greate Pier


Mullins: “That’s another thing I want you to understand before you fly off… This assignment was issued just 6 days ago and we only had to wait for the arrival of a few crew members… We were lucky the Greate Pier was nearing completion; else we wouldn’t have a ship to send… But, we don’t want you to think that we picked you to captain this ship because perhaps you wouldn’t have been first choice. Or because there’s no one more suitable close enough to headquarters to send on this mission… You’re perfect for the job and I would still have suggested you even if all Starfleet captains would have been available for this assignment.”


LT: “Thank you sir, …and I won’t disappoint you. Given that my crew won’t disappoint me, haha…”


The lift stops, the door opens and the admiral steps into the corridor on the Greate Pier. The captain follows and is welcomed aboard:


Mullins: “Welcome on the Greate Pier, captain…”


LT: “Thank you, sir…”


Mullins: “As of now, you are in charge of this vessel, captain… With all its obligations and privileges…”


LT: “Thank you, sir… Well, ehm, welcome on my ship then, sir…”


LT peers into the corridors with a sparkle in his eyes… Standard starship corridors, nothing special to see, but he feels wonderful being on his own ship for the first time…


Mullins: “Well, about that crew, LT… I bet we’ll meet some now… We’ll go to the bridge first and get you acquainted with your chair and some of the crew…”


LT: “I understand the crew is onboard already, sir?”


Mullins: “Yes, most of them… They assembled during the last week at Utopia Planitia. The last 6 crew members are scheduled to arrive today… You also need to understand, you were first choice for the position of captain, but due to the extremely short time we had to complete the crew complement before launch, most of the crew were not…”


LT: “I understand, sir. But I’m very sure I can get this crew to work as a well oiled machine in no time…”


Mullins: “I don’t have any doubts about your abilities as a captain, but I’m just warning you that most of the crew are fresh out of the academy… I did assign some more experienced officers to this crew, but put some extra effort into the motivation and evaluation of the inexperienced crew…”


LT: “Of course, sir.”


The captain and the admiral walk into the turbo lift at the end of the corridor.


Mullins: “Bridge.”


LT: “Sir, if I may ask, how long will this mission last? I mean, I understand that the threats near the southern border are increasing and this ship is needed in that area, but what will Starfleet do after we arrive? Send more ships? Or a ship to replace the Greate Pier in that area after a while? Greate Pier was probably not built with this specific mission in mind…”


Mullins: “It depends on what the situation is like in the months to come… You will be there for at least three months. We’ll decide what happens when we get a clearer picture of what the situation is like as you send us your reports… For now, at least, Greate Pier is the only heavily armed ship to go into that region. In fact, all the other scheduled ships are just cargo ships…”


LT: “And now the need is there to send a big, brand new Akira class ship to that region to defend those already well armed cargo ships…”


Mullins: “Indeed… Those cargo ships can take a pretty heavy beating and are well equipped to defend themselves… But that may not be enough anymore as the Federation received numerous threats in the past 2 weeks of violence against Federation colonies… The cargo vessels may pack a serious punch, but the colonies themselves are under-equipped when it comes to defending against a serious attack… Starfleet is sending more defensive equipment and weapons to that region; part of it is in your cargo bays… Cargo ships with more equipment will depart later this week, all the more reason to have Greate Pier there to make sure the deliveries are made safely and the cargo does not fall into enemy hands…”


The turbo lift comes to a stop and when the doors slide open LT sees his bridge for the first time... He slowly walks onto the bridge and looks around the whole bridge once… He leans forward and rests both his hands on the upper edge of the science console overlooking the captain’s chair… He turns his eyes to the chair for a few seconds, which generates a broad smile on his face… He then proceeds to look around the bridge again, soaking up all the new things around him with a feeling a great excitement… A few crew members are on the bridge getting familiar with the controls… The admiral walks towards the captain’s chair and smiles as he invites LT:


Mullins: “Come, try it on for size, LT…”


LT doesn’t need any more convincing and without saying a word he walks down to the admiral… Meanwhile, a young, eager ensign, one of the many officers fresh out of the academy, hastily walks to the admiral upon seeing him approach the captain’s chair.


Stuckman: “Welcome aboard, captain!”


Mullins: “Hello, son. Look at these…”


Admiral Mullins points at the buttons on his collar.


Mullins: “I’m an admiral, this is the captain.”


Admiral Mullins points to LT who just joined the two at the captain’s chair and has a wry, little smile on his face when he says:


LT: “Hello, son… Look, I have collar buttons too…”


Stuckman: “I’m onboard for just a day and I already have 2 new fathers… Amazing!”


Ensign Stuckman turns to the captain with a curious look in his eyes…


Stuckman: “Say, aren’t you a little young to be a captain?”


LT’s smile fades from his face as he tries to look more serious than he feels about this situation and rapidly replies, putting the ensign in his place:


LT: “Say, aren’t you a little low-ranked to ask such a question?”


Before the ensign can say a word, the admiral, with an equally serious look (but he actually means it), breaks in:


Mullins: “Don’t you have a job to do, ensign?”


Stuckman: “Yes, sir…”


Ensign Stuckman gets slightly annoyed but doesn’t want to show it… He decides to prevent the admiral and the captain from becoming even stricter towards him…


Mullins: “Then get to it, ensign… and I hope you perform better in your job than you do with recognizing ranks…”


Stuckman: “Yes sir, I’m sorry, sir”


Before the ensign starts to walk away to his console the captain quickly orders:


LT: “In fact, make it a point to recognize your superiors, ensign…”


Stuckman: “Yes sir, I will, sir”


LT: “Alrighty… As the admiral said: back to work…”


Stuckman: “Aye, captain”


The ensign walks back to his console, even less amused after having been put it his place so publicly… The admiral continues to speak with LT:


Mullins: “Well, I’m sorry your first order as a captain on this ship had to be such a silly one; ordering an inexperienced, loudmouthed ensign to recognize his superiors… This will be a very nice anecdote for those boring Starfleet parties, hahaha!”


LT and Admiral Mullins both laugh while ensign looks over his shoulder at the two high-ranked officers with a look that could kill an adult Klingon in the prime of his life. Not noticing this lethal look, Admiral Mullins continues:


Mullins: “Anyway, this ensign you’ve just met is Ensign Stuckman. You’ll have your hands full with that one, or rather, his direct superior will… He’s fresh out of the academy; intelligent guy, very eager, good grades and excellent skills, but lacks certain social skills, but I guess that much was clear…”


LT: “Quite…”


Mullins: “Well, the captain’s chair will have to wait… I have a meeting in 20 minutes, and I still have one more issue to discuss…”


They both walk towards the captain’s ready room and as the door opens in front of them:


Mullins: “Now… Your first officer…”


They enter the ready room and Admiral Mullins sits down and requests the captain to sit in his own chair behind the desk with a hand gesture… LT sits down and clearly enjoys the comfortable chair while the admiral continues:


Mullins: ”Despite the shortage of personnel, you actually requested someone in particular to be your first officer. Someone you served with on a previous ship, and also a personal friend I believe?”


LT: “I like this chair, I can get used to this…”


LT looks around the ready room and seems impressed… Admiral Mullins shows a little smile of understanding… LT then turns his eyes back to the admiral and answers the question…


LT: “And yes, indeed… I did request for Eisinga to be my first officer. The reason I requested him is because I know him very well, as he is indeed a good friend. I actually grew up with him. I know how he thinks, and I like how he thinks. He’s a hard working man and is at least as dedicated to his job as I am… I served under him on the Skybound for about a year and before that on the Morningrise for about a year and a half… In both cases he was number 2, ranked lieutenant commander and I was a lieutenant posted at the science station on the bridge… So, we’ve worked together for a while…”


Mullins: “Yes, I’m very familiar with both your service records and I noticed a few things… You’ve performed in the capacity of engineer, science officer, first officer, ambassador, advisor, … Very diverse…”


LT: “Well, you get to do a lot of different things in 9 years of hopping from one vessel to the next… As the records probably told you, I’ve been assigned to 16 or 17 different Starfleet vessels, doing whatever Starfleet needed me to do…”


Mullins: “18…”


LT: “Well, I hope assignment number 19 will be a bit longer… I have always enjoyed the diversity Starfleet offered me, but I think it wouldn’t harm me or my career if I could stick with being a captain on this ship for a while…”


Mullins: “I understand completely… I also roamed from ship to ship for many years before settling on the Trailblazer as her captain… Another thing that caught my eye, LT… You’ve been a lieutenant for years, and just 7 months ago you made it to commander… Why not earlier?”


LT: “Well sir, promotions are not handed out when asked for… And perhaps I could have been promoted earlier, but then again, there are tests you need to pass before you can get that extra button on your collar… And as I was hopping from ship to ship, usually with very time consuming assignments leaving me with very little spare time. I wasn’t able to study much or take those tests, pulling double shifts most of the time…”


Mullins: “Then after you left the Skybound 9 months ago and were assigned to the Freedom Call you immediately went for the promotion?”


LT: “Yes, I was assigned to the science station in normal shifts, with no special orders, so I had a lot of time on my hands… I studied in my spare time and I applied for the tests…”


Mullins: “A little over seven months ago you were a lieutenant and now you’re a captain on your own ship. Remarkable… But I’ve got some more good promotion news… Eisinga made it to commander last week.”


LT: “Oh, that’s good news… I wonder why he didn’t let me know… It’s not like him to keep such good news to himself. As friends we’re of course still in regular contact after I got reassigned…”


Mullins: “That’s probably because he was busy reading detailed mission information of his next assignment while he was in transport from the Skybound to here. He’s one of the last 6 crew members who will arrive on the Greate Pier today. He’s on your team.”


LT: “Hahaaah! Wonderful!”


Mullins: “I’m glad you think so… It took me quite some convincing to get him out of there…”


LT all of a sudden looks less amused.


LT: “Oh? He didn’t want to come?... I thought he would be thrilled to move from being number 2 to number 1… Sounds like a double promotion after having been promoted to full commander just last week…”


Mullins: “Oh, I didn’t need to convince Eisinga, I needed the captain of the Skybound to let him go…”


LT: “Good, good… I was starting to think for a second there that he wouldn’t appreciate working under me, as I worked under him for nearly two and a half years…”


Mullins: “Well, you were promoted to captain and got your own command, Eisinga indeed got a double promotion, so I bet the both of you have nothing to complain about…”


LT: “I assure you, admiral, if you hear someone complaining on this ship, it won’t be me…”



SCENE 2: Klingon / Vulcan clash part I


Meanwhile in engineering, someone was complaining so loud, the admiral might actually hear it…


Margon: “GRRRR! Damn substandard crap!”


A loud alarm warns Lieutenant Margon, a Klingon, of a power problem… Margon runs from one console to another trying to fix the problem... Serrag, a Vulcan, casually walks into engineering in plain clothes, with his hands casually behind his back and casually observes this scene for a while, keeping a discrete distance… After Margon pushed many buttons, growled and cursed continuously and slammed his fist on a few consoles, Serrag walks up to the enraged Klingon and starts a nice conversation:


Serrag: “Do you need any assistance? … It seems you lack the patience or the knowledge to resolve this issue… Possibly both…”


Margon turns to Serrag with a look that could vaporize an ocean and replies with a loud voice:


Margon: “The only thing that is lacking here is my bat’leth cutting off your head, Vulcan!”


Margon yanks out a circuit board from an open panel… Sparks are flying around and the alarm finally seizes...


Serrag: “Did you ever consider anger management?”


Margon stands up, throws the circuit board away, walks up to Serrag, looks down, straight into the Vulcan’s eyes. Serrag doesn’t flinch or even blink. Margon now speaks at a ‘normal’ Klingon volume, but quite threatening:


Margon: “Did you ever consider leaving before I reduce you in size?”


Serrag: “After four years in the academy, there is a hint of Klingon in you still…”


Margon: “If you are as “logical” as I am Klingon, you will leave now!”


Serrag: “There were no Vulcans were you grew up, were there? Does my calm response annoy you?”


Margon: “I am busy! If you don’t leave now, I will make sure there are no Vulcans on this ship either!”


Serrag: “As you wish, as you wish…”


Serrag walks towards the door, but before he disappears into the corridor he says:


Serrag: “This cooperation should prove interesting…”



SCENE 3: Senior officers meeting


LT remained in the ready room after the admiral left and is studying some mission information on a computer screen. Then he hears the door chime.


LT: “Enter…”


The door whooshes open and Eisinga walks in…


LT: “Eldert, haha! Come in, come in!”


And LT quickly walks around his desk to give his first officer a hand…


Eisinga: “Permission to come aboard, sir.”


LT: “Oh, shut up with that permission and sir nonsense… And besides, you’re already onboard, aren’t you?”


Both laugh and Eisinga replies:


Eisinga: “Well, you are the ranking officer now, SIR... You better get used to being called that…”


LT: “Well, only with other crew members present you’re allowed to, haha… And I hope you don’t mind me outranking you for once?”


Eisinga: “Not at all, hahaha… As long as the rest is still the same.”


LT: “Of course! Only I get to boss you around now…”


Eisinga: “Yes, I had to mentally prepare for that… Don’t be surprised if I resort to Klingon tactics to take command of this vessel after a few weeks of you tormenting me with your authority…”


LT: “Haha, let’s hope it doesn’t come to that… How are you, Eldert? And sit down, sit down.”


Both men sit down and Eldert answers:


Eisinga: “I’m fine, I’m fine… Great even. The promotion didn’t really sink in until I boarded this ship…”


LT: “Yes, ‘commander Eisinga’… Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Congratulations… I didn’t hear the news until Admiral Mullins told me, not an hour ago...”


Eisinga: “Well, I’ve been busy, as you can understand… I’ve had a full briefing of our mission and studied the details on the way here… But, how have you been yourself? Obviously you’ve not been sitting around, doing nothing…”


LT: “Haha, no, not at all… And I’m great, really…”


Eisinga: “Yes, I can see that, haha… And with good reason… This is a beautiful ship, LT… And you get to command it…”


LT: “I can’t wait to set off into space, Eldert…”


Then LT suddenly remembers the senior officers meeting.


LT: “Computer, time.”


Computer: “1459 hours and 4 seconds”


LT: “We’ll catch up some more later, we’re nearly too late for the senior officers meeting…”


Eisinga: “Ah yes, more briefing and bla bla…”


LT: “Somehow I think we’ve not had our last meeting, Eldert…”


They walk to the briefing room and when they arrive there all the senior officers are already present and also the representative of the extra engineering crew. The sound of softly speaking voices seizes.


LT: “Good afternoon, all… I see a few familiar faces, but for those who don’t know me, I’m Captain LT and this is my first officer Commander Eisinga. We’ll get better acquainted later, I’d much rather get to know you outside of this briefing room… And we’ll try to keep this meeting as short as possible, because I hate meetings. Let’s get this over with…”


Smiles appeared on most faces and the two highest-ranked officers sit down at the head of the table.


LT: “First of all, welcome on the Greate Pier… As you probably have seen, she’s a beautiful ship, …so I’ve been told… Unfortunately, I’ve just seen the outside of the ship in a glance and the corridors and turbo lift that brought me to deck 1… Another reason to keep this meeting short, I want to see the rest of the ship myself too… Anyway, it’s a brand new ship, but the ship isn’t quite finished just yet. She will be completed during the trip to the Harwood colony. In charge of the completion of the ship is Lieutenant Commander Linton.”


LT looks up after reading the name from a PADD and Linton raises his hand.


Linton: “Here, sir.”


LT: “Ah good… What’s the current status, lieutenant commander?”


Linton: “All the equipment and parts we need have been brought onboard at Utopia Planitia and have been stored in cargo bay 3.  And so far, we’re on schedule with the installation of all the remaining systems.”


LT: “Good, good.”


Eisinga: “Are there any critical systems that need completing or testing? Admiral Mullins probably doesn’t like the Greate Pier to suffer great delays during our trip to the colony.”


Linton: “No, all engines work perfectly as well as the rest of the major systems. There are 114 items on our schedule and the major items on our list are transporter room 3 and 4, the main tractor beam emitter and building the brig’s cells… The other items on the list almost aren’t worth mentioning…”


LT: “Sounds good… Keep it on schedule and request assistance from the ship’s engineering crew if necessary.”


Linton: “Aye sir. We actually already enlisted the help of a few engineers to help out…”


LT: “Good, good… Now, if Linton’s crew can get the job done in time, our first objective is to deliver that crew to the Harwood colony along with some supplies. After that, our mission is simple… Defend all the colonies in that region and all Federation and other friendly ships present in the area. Specifically, we have to make sure that the many cargo ships which Starfleet will send in the months to come will make it there safely. The cargo they carry will mainly be weapons and other defensive equipment. As you probably all have heard, the colonies received a number of threats lately. They’re basically telling us to pack our bags and leave, or else… Who made those threats is currently unknown… The biggest threat we can think of that could be in that region is the Cardassians. But in the past, they’ve shown no interest in this region of space and it would be quite far home for them… Also the ship or ships, we don’t know yet, seen in the region are not of any Cardassian make we know.”


Chief Medical officer Shelley leans forward and rests her arms on the table…


Shelley: “Aren’t they just a bunch of rogue pirates, trying to steal whatever the Federation is mining there? I understand a few of the colonies are mining colonies, right?”


Eisinga: “That’s right, there are 21 colonies in that region, 7 of which are mining colonies… And indeed, it might just be a few rogue bandits trying to steal something, but then again, it also might just be a scout ship or two trying to find a new place to mine or even settle…”


LT: “Whatever is the case, if there’s even just a rumour of possible violence against the Federation, we at least have to take a look and find out how big a problem this really is… Currently, they couldn’t defend themselves against an angry pussycat, so we’ll do good to oversee the delivery of weapons…”


Commander Reinard, chief of security, concerned about missing his family for too long:


Reinard: “How long will we be posted in that region, sir?”


LT: “Well, upon arrival at the colony, at least 3 months according to Admiral Mullins… But perhaps longer. Starfleet Command will decide what will happen depending on the contents of my reports.”


The room is quiet for a second or two, before LT continues:


LT: “Well, ehm… Any further questions? I’m out of inspiration… Eisinga, anything to add?”


Eisinga: “Not really, sir”


LT: “Good, I was hoping for that answer… Then this meeting is over, as soon as I tell you to brief your slaves on our mission.”


Reinard: “Slaves, sir?”


LT: “Yes, well, you know… Those people who are lower in rank than you?”


Smiles all around the briefing room again


LT: “And tell them to prepare for a short message from the captain over the com system at 1700 hours. Dismissed.”


Everybody gets up from their chairs and one by one leave the room… Eisinga and the captain are the last ones to reach the door. Eisinga, with a broad smirk on his face:


Eisinga: “Well, time for me to meet some more of the slaves I’ll be bossing around for the next few months, hehehe…”


LT: “You do that, hahaha… I’ll go give myself a tour of the ship…”


The door closes behind them.



SCENE 4: Klingon / Vulcan clash part II


After attending the senior officers meeting, Serrag changes into his plain clothes again (as he hates wearing the uniform) and goes to the lounge, located on deck 5, where Margon is having a drink and a laugh with a fellow Klingon named Kerr, a security officer. The eyes of most present shortly peer at the Klingons in annoyance as they burst into laughter.


Margon: “…so I told him 'Did you ever consider leaving before I reduce you in size?', HAHAHAHAHA!"


Then Margon’s eyes notice Serrag walking into the lounge.


Margon: “Speak of the devil! That’s him…”


Now both Klingons look at the Vulcan as he walks towards the bar, when the Klingons start their thundering laughter again:


Kerr: “You were right, he does look a bit underfed, HAHAHA!”


Serrag then notices the two loudest people in the room and changes course towards their table.


Serrag: “Good afternoon, gentlemen. Hmm, it gives me great pleasure to see you’re capable of laughing as well, Lieutenant. It seems you’re temper has been restored to a normal level, for a Klingon, it seems…


The smile fades off of Margon’s face as he replies, mildly annoyed:


Margon: “…so it seems…”


Kerr: “Since when do Vulcan’s have 'great pleasure', Pointy?"


Serrag: “You’ll find that I’m not an average Vulcan, Ridgeface…”


Kerr seems stunned. He’s silent for a second after this returned insult, and then continues:


Kerr: “HAHAHAHAHA! A Vulcan with a sense of humor! Now I’ve seen everything!”


Margon: “What do you want anyway, Vulcan?”


Serrag: “Earlier today you probably were not in the mood for formal introductions, so this seemed to me like a good moment. I’m Lieutenant Commander Serrag. I’m the chief engineer.”


Margon, just taking a big gulp out of his big chalice, spews his drink back out, all over the table…


Margon: “WHAT?! YOU’RE the chief engineer?!”


Kerr slams his fist on the table as he says:


Kerr: “This day keeps getting better and better! HAHAHAHA!!”


Margon: “Shut up, Kerr.”


Kerr: “Or else what? You’ll ‘reduce me in size’? HAHAHAHA!”


Serrag quickly interrupts before there’s a casualty onboard even before launch.


Serrag: “I understand the issue in engineering has been solved?”


Margon: ”Yes, eh, sir… The programming of that circuit board was faulty, the wrong amount of power was fed into the control panel, fusing the connectors… I had to yank it out before the whole panel fried… I replaced the circuit board and the connectors, eh, sir…”


Serrag: “Lieutenant Margon, isn’t it?”


Margon: “Yes, sir.”


Serrag: “It seems you will make a good addition to my team, lieutenant.”


Margon: “Yes, sir.”


Serrag: “Good! Report to engineering at 1600 hours for our first briefing. Enjoy your drinks, gentlemen.”


Margon: “Yes, sir. Thank you, sir.”


Serrag sets course for the bar again and orders a drink.


Kerr: “You’re making good friends already, Margon, HAHAHA!”


Margon, still annoyed:


Margon: “Wipe that smirk off your face, Kerr.”



SCENE 5: LT’s speech


Eisinga is still wandering around the ship to get to know the crew ‘he can boss around’. He just started a conversation with Ensign Amini, assigned to astrometrics, when at 1700 hours sharp, the captain’s voice is heard over the com system throughout the whole ship:


LT: “Helloooo! May I have you attention please! This is the captain speaking… I’ll keep it short. I hate speaking publicly almost as much as I hate meetings. Welcome aboard the Greate Pier. I’ll be your very entertaining host, Captain LT. By now, most of you will have been briefed on our mission, if not, find your superior before 1800 hours and force the information out of him. Sickbay, be ready for casualties. On a more serious note, this is a fine ship we have been assigned to and from my point of view we’re all lucky to be here. Most of you came straight from the academy and are hopefully eager to start your careers on this ship. I trust that everyone will give their best and will not disappoint Starfleet in the assignment they gave you. We will depart in one hour and head straight for Harwood colony and expect to arrive there in about three months. We’ll be in that region for another 3 months at least and then we’ll simply have to await further instructions… You almost have one hour left to say your goodbyes if you haven’t done so already. Be sure to be back at your stations before 1800 hours. Thank you! Captain out.”


Eisinga: “Do you have any family or friends here at Starfleet HQ to say goodbye to before launch, ensign?”


Amini: “No sir, I’ve already said goodbye 4 days ago, when I went to Utopia Planitia to board the ship. And what would I say now anyway, after hearing the mission details…”


Eisinga: “What about them?”


Amini: “Sir, we’re going to travel for three months to visit some boring colonies being teased by some small space bucket run by one or two renegade bullies… This is not what I had in mind…”


Eisinga: “Not what you had in mind? You’re assigned to astrometrics, right? Isn’t that a great job to have, on a mission like this? If I wasn’t able to order you around, I would love to work in astrometrics… In fact, I’ve done that for almost a year, in the past… The colonies are very far from here and the region has barely been explored by the Federation. You were in the academy not long ago and you’re already given the chance to explore space far away from home. Most academy students won’t travel this far from home in their lifetimes…”


Eisinga almost sounds angry at this point…


Eisinga: “’Not what you had in mind’… I wonder what you did have in mind, if this astrometrical adventure isn’t to your liking…”


Amini sounds half ashamed as she replies:


Amini: “Well, sir… You see, I always thought I would be on some ship travelling to unknown territories… Perhaps travel all the way to the center of the galaxy and go into the Delta quadrant…


Eisinga: “Ehm, the center of the galaxy is some 30.000 light years away from here... It would take you over 15 years to get there at warp 9…”


Amini: “Actually, more like 19,7 years…”


Eisinga: “What are you? A Vulcan?”


Amini: “No, interested.”


Both smiled… Then Eisinga came with the undeniable truth:


Eisinga: “I guess it’s human nature to want to look ever further into space, look around every corner to see what’s there… We’ve travelled tens of thousands of light years from our planet to look for the unknown, but still there are new species of animal being discovered right here on Earth every now and then… You want to explore solar systems 30.000 light years away or more, while you can explore the unknown right here on Earth… Or just 3 months away from home, here on the Greate Pier…”


Amini: “I guess you’re right, sir. I guess I just don’t find the region of the colonies that exotic… Not far beyond the colonies we’re already on the edge of the galaxy… I just thought that it wouldn’t be such an interesting region… But I guess there’s enough to explore…”


Eisinga: “You bet… Little is known about that region, and in fact, that ‘space bucket’ is the only vessel, or at least the only type of vessel we have ever seen there... There must be more out there… Unexplored solar systems… Perfect for an eager Ensign in an astrometrics lab…”


Eisinga walks away to the turbo lift and the doors close behind him. Amini is left thinking…



SCENE 6: Thief


The doors of the lift open and Admiral Mullins walks into corridors of the Greate Pier together with Crewman Mansfield, welcoming him:


Mullins: “Welcome onboard the Greate Pier, crewman…”


Mansfield: “Thank you, sir… Looking forward to serve on this ship.”


Mullins: “Really? Not sad to leave your wife and child behind for so many months? I mean, she’s just 4 months old…”


Mansfield: “Well, of course I’ll miss them, sir. I love them dearly… and it will be hard on all 3 of us… But I also love this job… I’ve never been on a mission this long or so far away, but I’m looking forward to it…”


Mullins: “Well, you don’t have to look forward much longer, we’ll be leaving in less than an hour…”


As they continue through the corridor, Mullins sees Eisinga exit the turbo lift and walking in their direction, while whistling a melodic tune… The eyes of Eisinga come across the familiar face of Mansfield and suddenly he stops whistling and his facial expression changes to the human equivalent of a cornered Targ with a hangover…


Mullins: “Ah! Eisinga… This is the last one of the crew to report for duty, we’re all set now… This is Crewman Mansfield.”


Eisinga: “Yes, we’ve met… And he’s last on my list as well…”


Eisinga is clearly annoyed with the very presence of Mansfield... Mansfield’s mood also diminishes and, to seem polite, simply nods to Eisinga and mistakingly says:


Mansfield: “Lieutenant Commander.”


Eisinga looks straight into Mansfield’s eyes without blinking even once and with a pretty scary angry look. With a firm voice he says:


Eisinga: “It’s Commander now, crewman.”


Mullins: “What’s with people not recognizing ranks today?”


Eisinga looks at the admiral with a smile and says:


Eisinga: “Must be a lack of interest, admiral."


He looks back at Mansfield and his expression also returns to that of a serial killer on death row.


Eisinga: “What station are you assigned to, crewman?”


Mansfield: “Flight Operations, sir.”


Eisinga: “You’ve been assigned quarters, crewman?”


Mansfield: “Yes sir, I …”


Before he could finish his sentence Eisinga breaks in:


Eisinga: “Good. Bring your stuff to your quarters and report to your station on the double, crewman”


Mansfield: “Aye sir...”


The admiral watches Mansfield proceed to the turbo lift without delay and when he turns around to ask Eisinga why he was so strict with Mansfield, he realizes he’s already walked off. The amazed admiral then also walks to the turbo lift and ask the computer:


Mullins: “Computer, what’s the location of Captain LT.”


Computer: “Captain LT is on the bridge.”


Mullins: “Bridge.”


Computer: “Affirmative.”


Mullins: “No, you idiot. Move the turbo lift to the bridge!”


The lift finally starts to move and when it reaches the bridge, Mullins exits to find the captain just a few feet away from the doors, talking to another bridge officer…


LT: “Admiral, I didn’t expect to see you onboard again.”


Mullins: “Sorry to disappoint you, captain…”


Both smile, and the admiral continues:


Mullins: “I just popped in to say that I just accompanied the last crewman aboard and everything is set to go…”


LT: “Good, good.”


Mullins: “By the way, we came across commander Eisinga when we were walking down the corridor… I’m not sure why, but Eisinga, for some reason, was pretty strict with him and sent him to his station on the double… Is he having a bad day?”


LT: “Well, I spoke with him when he came onboard and he was actually in a very good mood… I’ll be sure to ask him about it, admiral. There’s probably a good reason and I’m sure it’s nothing… I don’t know the commander to be unreasonable in any situation…”


Mullins: “Well, I’ll leave it to you then… I’m happy enough that all of the crew made it to the ship on time… I’ll be going back to HQ now, and I’ll contact you a few minutes before launch to give the ship an official send off…”


LT: “Alright, sir.”


Mullins: “And LT… Keep her at a steady warp 9 if you can, we don’t want to lose any time… The threats may be a bluff, but I want you to be there as soon as you can. And let’s hope they don’t attack before that…”


LT: “I will, sir. We’ll send you some good news a.s.a.p.”


Mullins replies firmly:


Mullins: “I expect you to…”


In a softer tone of voice he adds:


Mullins:” Have a safe trip, LT…”


Mullins steps back into the turbo lift. The captain walks down to the captain’s chair and stands there just looking at it for a second or two… He hasn’t had the chance to actually try his brand new throne… He sits down and is totally amazed by how comfortable it actually is… He relishes the moment for a while and after inspecting the controls and his view from the chair he opens a com link to Eisinga:


LT: “LT to Eisinga”


Eisinga: “Eisinga here.”


LT: “Are you engaged in anything important until launch?”


Eisinga: “Not really sir, just getting to know the ship and crew. Am I needed on the bridge?”


LT: “Yes, if you’d be so kind to join me here…”


Eisinga: “On my way…”


Eisinga orders the nearest turbo lift to the bridge and when he arrives the captain looks over his shoulders towards his first officer. He invites him down to sit in his own chair, also for the first time…


Eisinga: “Oh, this chair is so much more comfortable than the one on the Skybound…”


LT: “Well, you weren’t first officer then and this ship is far more luxurious… Anyway, the admiral told me you were kind of strict with some member of the crew… Like I said to the admiral, I don’t know you to be unreasonable to anyone, whatever the problem is, but I am kind of curious…”


LT has a smile on his face, so he was indeed more curious than he thought anything of it… The commander actually seems less happy, judging by his facial expression… He explains:


Eisinga: “Well, I can give you a short explanation, LT. Mansfield’s on the crew…”


LT: “What?! Mansfield, as in John Mansfield from the Morningrise?...”


Eisinga: “The very same…”


LT: “Hmm, no wonder you sent him away on the double…”


Eisinga: “Yes, well, it started out as a very good day today…”


LT: “Oh come on, you’re not gonna let a bastard like him ruin your day, are you?”


Eisinga: “Well, I can’t say I’m happy about it… Of all the people…”


Eisinga shook his head slightly and stared into the distance…


LT: “I mean, how long ago is it that he stole your girl?”


Eisinga: “Oh, nearly two years now, I guess…”


There was a moment of silence, before LT gambled a bold question…


LT: “Can I be frank with you, Eldert?… Isn’t it about time you forgot about that girl and the whole damn situation? Clearly, she had no problem with it herself, apparently she wasn’t too nuts about you anymore…”


Eisinga: “Oh, hahaha, believe me, LT… I didn’t care for Ellen anymore since I found out about Mansfield and her, hahaha… But you can’t expect me to all of a sudden like the guy… I wasn’t about to welcome him aboard as an old friend… No, it’s still war between us.”


LT: “Haha, no, I definitely don’t expect you to hug the guy… But, I’m glad to hear that Ellen isn’t on your mind anymore. I remember you being very serious about that relationship…”


Eisinga: “I was, I was… Up until that very moment at least… We’d been together for over 2 and a half years, I think I had the right to think we were serious… Apparently, she thought otherwise, haha… But don’t worry, she hasn’t been on my mind for a long time…”


LT: “Good to hear, but, don’t use it as an excuse to throw your weight around when you bump into each other… Not too much anyway, haha…”


Finally, a smile appeared on Eisinga’s face again, when he replied:


Eisinga: “You have my word, haha…”


LT: “Are you sure you can work with him around? I mean, when I was reassigned by Starfleet to the Skybound, you actually requested to be transferred there too, to escape the whole situation…”


Eisinga: “Well, yes, but the wound was still fresh then… I moved past that a long time ago… Besides, I probably won’t see much of him around, anyway… His station is in the Tactical Information Center , he’s a Flight Operations officer… Let his direct superior worry about him… I can handle it. I just hope he can’t handle his job.”



SCENE 7: Departure


At 1758 hours, the captain, first officer and all the other bridge personnel are anxiously awaiting the admiral’s call… None more nervous than LT… Not only nervous, but also feeling pride accompanied by a comfortable feeling, not in the last place thanks to the luxurious throne he sits upon… He exchanges a few words and some laughs with his first officer as the communications officer, Nora Maresca, interrupts:


Maresca: “Excuse me, captain. Admiral Mullins wishes to be patched through to the comm system and viewing screens throughout the whole ship.”


LT: “Alright, Maresca, do it…”


Less than a second later, Admiral Mullins appears on screen at the head of a table accompanied by another dozen or so admirals…


Mullins: “Hello, Captain LT… Can the whole ship see and hear me?”


LT: “Good day, sirs. You are patched through to the whole ship. Go ahead.”


Mullins: “Alright. This is Admiral Mullins speaking from Starfleet Command. It is almost time to depart, crew. But not before Starfleet Command wishes you all good luck. This mission is an important one; we don’t want to lose our colonies or anyone living and working there. As you all know, the actual threat is unknown, therefore we will take precautionary measures by sending you there, followed by many cargo ships with weapons and other defensive equipment as well as other supplies. Let’s hope the threat isn’t too big. Anyway, you all know the story already. We trust you will perform to the best of your abilities and keep the colonies, cargo ships and yourselves safe and in one piece… Captain, you have your orders. We have one last order to add to that: please give us an update every hour. You’re far away from Starfleet HQ and any assistance. If anything is wrong, we need to know as soon as possible. If we do not receive the hourly update, we know something is wrong…”


LT: “Understood, sir.”


Mullins: “Well, it’s nearly 1800 hours. It is time for the Greate Pier to be launched. Good luck and a safe journey to you all. Starfleet Command out.”


LT: “Alright, people, here we go… Helm, release docking clamps and get this ship going... Proceed to the programmed coordinates.”


Nerissa Pattison, a female ensign with nearly a year of experience at the helm of several different ships answers:


Pattison: “Aye, sir. Docking clamps released. Thrusters engaged.”


Vibrations are felt throughout the ship… Everyone is nervous and anxious to get underway… Seconds later:


Pattison: “We’re clear from the ground, now slowly increasing to maximum atmosphere speed.”


LT: “This is it, Eldert… We’re finally going, hahaha…”


Eisinga: “I haven’t been this nervous since… well, last weeks promotion tests…”


LT smiles and then instructs the computer to open his first log.


LT: “Captain’s log, stardate 62910.99. This is the first entry by captain LT, in command of USS Greate Pier, NCC-63646. We lifted off just seconds ago and haven’t even reached space. We depart in the hope of a successful mission without having to resort to violence. I hope our presence will be enough to prevent further threats against Federation colonies. First stop: Harwood colony. End log.”


After a short while, Pattison brings an update…


Pattison: “We’re entering the exosphere, sir.”


Eisinga: “Full impulse, ensign. Go to warp 9 as soon as we’re 500.000 km away from Earth.”


Pattison: “Aye sir.”


About 7 seconds later:


Pattison: “Going to warp, sir.”


The Greate Pier flashes out of Earth’s sight and starts the long journey to the colonies…



SCENE 8: Meat


At about 2200 hours, 4 hours after departure, the ship is still cruising at a constant warp 9 and there are no signs of any problems. LT sits in his chair and addresses his first officer…


LT: “Well, Eldert… As much as I love to sit here and throw commands at people, I think it’s time for me to hand over the bridge to you for a while… I’ve been up since 5 this morning… Can you believe the times they pick for meetings? Six in the morning… And you were lucky…”


Eisinga: “Lucky?”


LT: “If you had arrived at Starfleet HQ already, you would’ve had to attend that meeting as well…”


Eisinga: “I guess I am lucky, hahaha, but I bet I didn’t miss anything…”


LT: “Well, just 3 more meetings after that… Anyway, the bridge is yours, number one… I’m gonna eat something and have a good night’s sleep…”


Eisinga: “Don’t worry, I’ll take good care of her… Enjoy your late night dinner and good night, captain…”


LT: “Thank you and good night…”


The captain walks into the turbo lift and instead of instructing it to go to deck 2, where the captain’s quarters are located, he says:


LT: “Deck 3.”


The lift doors open and the captain walks through the corridor to holodeck 1. After entering, the door closes behind him and he then instructs the computer to start a program he earlier uploaded into the computer.


LT: “Computer, load program ‘LT woods 2’."


Computer: “Program loaded.”


Suddenly the captain is standing in a clearing in the woods… Tall needle trees line the clearing and tall yellow grass fills most of it. Here and there a solitary tree breaks the grassy landscape. LT walks to a lonely tree in a small field of short, green grass, some 10 feet from the edge of a small oval lake… He sits down against the tree and instructs the computer again.


LT: “Computer, create a campfire here with a wild boar roasting above it…”


The computer complies and the result matches the captain’s expectation, judging by the broad smile on his face…


LT: “Excellent, already smells good… Computer, change the season to summer, the temperature to about 22 degrees Celsius and the time of day to 2100 hours. Oh, and add a gentle warm breeze… Also, create a large jug of ice cold lemon drink…”


Now everything was set for a well deserved meal… He gazes across the lake and now and then takes a sip of his drink… Tranquillity replaces any thoughts of the past day, except for the good ones. You don’t really want to forget the first day of your first command… LT is just cutting a piece off of the wild boar and ready take his first bite of that juicy meat when, to his dismay, he heard his name over the comm system…


Serrag: “Lieutenant Commander Serrag to Captain LT.”


LT sighs deeply and then replies:


LT: “Yes, what is it?”


Serrag: “Sorry to disturb you sir, but the admiral informed me to contact you immediately if there was a major problem with finishing the build of the Greate Pier.”


LT: “How nice of him… What seems to be the problem, lieutenant?”


Serrag: “We’ve dropped out of warp, sir. Lieutenant Commander Linton just informed me that while installing the main tractor beam emitter there was an overload that knocked out several systems…”


LT: “Is the warp core still online?”


Serrag: “Yes sir, the problems are minor, but it will take some time to fix. Linton’s crew has to replace a few fried circuit boards. The power was cut off to several systems, but there’s no major damage to report.”


LT: “How much time?”


Serrag: “Hard to tell at the moment, sir. All available engineering personnel have been ordered to assist Linton’s crew. “


LT: “Good, good. Get it done as soon as possible, we can’t afford any delays.”


Serrag: “Of course, sir. We’re on it.”


LT: “Keep Commander Eisinga apprised of the repair’s progress, instead of me.”


Serrag: “Yes, sir. Your tone of voice suggests you’re not appreciative of my message. May I ask, sir, was it inappropriate for me to contact you, as per Admiral Mullins’ orders?”


LT: “No. I’ll be here if I need you.”


Serrag: “Sir?”


LT: “Captain out.”


LT sighed again… and after a few seconds gets an idea to prevent more interruptions...


LT: “Computer, open a new program.”


Computer: “Please, define specifications.”


LT: “When program is active, block all incoming communications for the captain, except important messages and messages from higher ranked officers. Save program under title ‘Red light’”.


Computer: "Bleep."


LT: “Activate ‘Red light’ program.”


Computer: “’Red light’ now active”


LT resumes cutting meat from the wild boar and finally enjoys his first bite of the succulent meat…



SCENE 9: Back to warp


One hour and four minutes later…


Serrag: “Serrag to Eisinga.”


Eisinga: “Eisinga here…”


Serrag: “Sir, the captain asked me to keep you apprised of the repair’s progress…”


Eisinga: “Alright, let’s have it, lieutenant.”


Serrag: “The circuit boards have been replaced and all other damages have been repaired. Warp speed is available again…”


Eisinga: “Alright, thank you, lieutenant. Eisinga out. Helm, resume course at warp 9.”


Pattison: “Aye, sir, warp 9.”


Eisinga: “Eisinga to LT.”


Computer: “The captain wishes not to be disturbed at this time. Is your message important?”


Eisinga: “Hahahaha, no, never mind…”



SCENE 10: Captain’s departure


While Eisinga, still smiling about the message block, is still in command on the bridge, back in holodeck 1 the captain enjoys the last bite of his wild boar. He throws away the bone as if to say “I’m done”… He sits back and closes his eyes. After a few seconds he suddenly opens his eyes again, and murmles:


LT: “Computer, set an alarm to wake me at 0800 hours, ship’s time...”


Computer: "Bleep."


LT closes his eyes again and shortly after falls asleep against the tree…


Next episode





 Changed: He leans forward and rests both his hands on the railing behind the captain’s chair...

To: He leans forward and rests both his hands on the upper edge of the science console overlooking the captain’s chair...

Reason: There is no railing behind the captain's chair on an Akira class ship.