A Legend is born
A LEGEND IS BORN
Ship: USS Endeavour, Ncc-1895-A
Excelsior refit class
Launch date November 17 2293
Captain: Eric Miller, human Male
XO: Commander Heather Watson, Human Female
CMO: LIEUTENANT Commander Annie Carson, Human Female
Engineer: LIEUTENANT Commander James Parker, Human Male
Tac/Sec: LIEUTENANT Alexa Watkins, Human Female
Science: LIEUTENANT L’Marr, Vulcan Female
Operations: LIEUTENANTJG Lisa Reed, Human Female
Helm: LIEUTENANT Commander Jacen Hawx, Human Male
Med Tech: Ensign Kacie Grant, Human Female
Ships Councilor: Civilian Sara Hawx, Human Female
Commander Miller walked down the main hallway towards Admiral Walker’s office. As he got closer his mind drifted to his last engagement onboard the Maranda class starship John Paul Jones, during that battle the Jones faced off against two renegade Romulan ships that were trying to attack outpost 128. The crew did manage to win the battle and defend the outpost, but it cost the crew dearly. Not only was the ship nearly destroyed, but half the crew was lost including the ship’s Captain, leaving Miller in command. The crew managed to limp the Jones to the nearest space station for a full refit. When the stations repair chief looked at the ship it was decided that the ship was too far gone and too old for a refit and the ship was going to be decommissioned.
Miller reached the Admiral’s door and pressed the call button, a few seconds he heard the Admiral’s voice over the intercom say, “Enter.” With this Miller entered the office and walked up to the Desk and stood at attention, “Commander Eric Miller reporting as ordered, Admiral.”
Walker looked up at him and smiled, “Relax Eric, we have known each other for far too long to stand on ceremony, besides this is not a court martial. Please have a seat.” Walker motioned to the arm chair over by the window.
Miller smiled and took a seat in one of the chairs. “So how have you been Old Man?” Miller asked jokingly. “It’s been a while since I have seen you.”
Walker Laughed, “All these years since my last posting on a ship and I still get called Old Man. In fact I’m due to retire in a few months. And that kinda brings me to why we are here today. I have been watching your career closely in the past 9 years since the Intrepid was destroyed. You have has a very interesting career my friend. You have been in a fair amount of scrapes over the years, you have been helm officer on two ships that were so badly damaged in battle that both had to be limped to towed back to port for refits, one of which you lost half the ship, I see combat engagements with the Klingons, Orions, and Romulans, as well as other small forces. You have quite a record.” As he spoke Walker tried to put a little bit of edge into his voice.
Miller looked down thinking that his old friend and mentor was disappointed in him and his heart started to sink.
Walker kept talking, “And now in your very first command you barely bring the ship home in one piece, if the report I got is correct 60% of her power grid is blown, weapon systems are shot with the main phasers being fused so badly it looked like they were overloaded. The torpedo launchers are a complete loss and you only had one nacelle. That’s not counting all the hull and structural damage to the ship. I hate the idea of losing a ship but I couldn’t be prouder of your performance in that battle. You were outnumbered and out classed yet you still managed to win the day. That trick with channeling all the warp power into the phasers for that last shot was risky but brilliant. I watched the logs of that battle and read all the reports from the staff. The Romulans had you dead to rights and yet you managed to cheat death yet again, and with a skeleton crew no less.” Walker Smiled at him, “Eric I couldn’t be prouder of you if you were my own child. And I am even prouder still to give you this.” Walker pulled a small box from his pocket and handed it to Miller.
Miller took the box and stared at it for a few seconds before opening it, when he finally opened the box all we could do was stare in disbelieve for inside was the rank insignia of Captain. Walker stood up and moved to where Miller was sitting and held out his hand “Congratulations, Captain Miller you earned it.”
Miller stood and took his friends hand, “Damn Tom you had me worried there for a minute. Here I was thinking I was in big trouble.”
Walker laughed and said “Oh you are, just not the kind of trouble you are thinking. With your record, you have being assigned to take command of a starship. Now before you say anything I know you wanted the Jones someday but she is just too far gone to be refit at this time, hell she is almost 40 years old. As of 12:00 hours today she is going to be Decommissioned and dismantled, there are still a few first generation Maranda class ships out there that could use the parts.”
Miller let out a low sigh “It’s a shame Sir, she was a good Ship, but what about what’s left of her crew?”
Walker looked at his padd, “Looks like most are being transferred to your new command. Those have haven’t been have assigned to you are still in Starfleet medical recovering and may or may not return to active duty, a few others are going to do some teaching at the academy. I see only three that are being transferred to other postings. One of them as Xo on a science ship.”
Miller Smiled “Lieutenant Commander Cutler I take it, She had already accepted the transfer to the Ballard before this happened. Hate to lose her but I’m happy for her, she is a good officer and was head of the science department.”
Walker activated the hollo display and pulled up a file, “Eric you are being assigned a deep space mission. We are setting up a starbase in the Arkaria sector of space, this is a distant part of the galaxy, and we want a few starships out in that area to support the base. It’s kind of what the old Vanguard station was. This will be a deep space research and repair station. You will be one of four captains assigned to this mission, and you will report Admiral Lynn-Mae Tokey. She will be in command of the station. You will be leaving in three weeks as part of a convoy transporting the station pieces to the Arkaria system. With half of those cargo ships staying out there as support ships for the station. The three ships that will be going with you are the Ballard, the Gettysburg, and the Tomahawk. What do you know of these ships?”
Miller thought for a few seconds “The Ballard is an Oberth class I believe, the Gettysburg is a NEW Constellation class. Now I think the Tomahawk is an Archer class and if I’m correct that is a very old ship they have been in service for at least 50 years.”
Walker smiled, “You are correct on all three ships, but the Tomahawk is a generation 4 Archer class one that is been fully updated. And they make the best scout ships cause of their size.”
Miller nodded his head “I agree Sir, their small size makes them good at getting where other ships can’t. And the ability to land on planets does help a lot as well. Will make a good addition to the small fleet”
Walker looked at his old friend “Now Command was talking about giving you an Constellation class Starship, in fact we have a few coming off the line in the next few weeks”
Miller smiled a little, “From what I read Sir, It’s a tough little ship, close to the same size of the Maranda class. But my guess I’m getting the Tomahawk or some old constitution class ship that is expendable.”
Walker looked at him and chuckled, “To be honest there was talk about giving you something from the mothball fleet. I think a Walker class was suggested”
Miller signed, “I knew it. Guess most of command doesn’t trust me.”
Walker Started to laugh, “However the Fleet Admiral decided on a worse fate for you. You are to be given a brand new Excelsior Class starship and you will be attending her launching on Friday. You will also be getting a few additions to our normal crew. One is a Ships Councilor, Sara Hawx, she is a civilian Contractor and the wife of your new helm officer.
Miller Smiled, “Well I guess I will need a new one since my last one had to go and get promoted.” Both men started to laugh. “Hawx, is she any relation to Jason Hawx?” Miller asked
Walker looked surprised, “He is her Husband, and your chief of Flight Operations. Do you know him?”
Miller nodded his head, “Yes Sir, if you remember that I spent a year at the academy teaching new cadets as pilots, Jason was one of my rising stars, he has a goal to be one of the best pilots in Starfleet, hell he was one of the few cadets that could give me a run for my money. He used to spend hours in the simulators, both shuttle and capital ships.” Miller looked at his friend with an evil grin, “I even think his training scores were higher than yours, Sir. Any captain is lucky to have him. And I take it I will have a full medical staff this time?”
Walker laughed, “I forgot we never got a chance for you to get a replacement for Doctor Grey. In fact the Doctor that was to replace DR Grey is going to be your new CMO a Doctor Annie Carson. And she brings with her a young MedTech, an Ensign Kacie Grant. As well as a few new nurses and other medical staff. On a good note you get to keep your Chief engineer and head of security.”
Miller Smiled, “Alexa and Jim are good officers, and close friends I’m glad to have them. All that is left of my senior staff is a new science officer since I am losing mine.”
Walker pulled up the last file, “It looks like you get a Vulcan, a LIEUTENANT L’Marr. From what I am seeing she has some very hi marks. And a graduate of the Vulcan Science Academy.”
Miller was also looking at her File as well, “Says here she was an apprentice to Ambassador Spook for a few years. You know I had the honor of training under the Ambassador myself one time when he was an instructor at the academy. He was a very hard man to read. Thinking of Spook did you hear what happened to Captain James Kirk a few months ago on the Enterprise?”
Walker Sighed, “Yeah is a great loss for Starfleet, but he died a hero. He saved a lot of lives, and died making a difference. So did you have any special way that you would like to meet your senior staff, we do have a few offices available that you could use if you like.”
Miller thought for a few seconds, “To be honest Sir, how about a conference room and some good food and drinks. We are to be the first crew on a grand ship maybe we should do it up right. In fact any chance we could have one for the whole crew, even if it’s in a cargo bay. This will give the whole crew a chance to meet each other. And we are talking about what 450 people.
Walker smiled “we are trying something new for deep space missions like the one you are going on. It has been suggested that Officers would be willing to take longer tours if they had their families with them. With that being said your ship has been modified to support families with children. And total crew will be smaller than Normal but there will be a hand full of civilians to make up for the difference. As well as a few class rooms onboard your ship. I believe there are at least three teachers now on your crew.”
“Well it will be a whole new dynamic for the crew, I’m guessing some of the other civilians will take other rolls around the ship. “ Miller asked
“Yes you will have a wide range of scientist and technical support staff both Starfleet and civilian. I believe there are even a few department heads are civilian specialist, botany and archeology I believe.” Walker Said. “You should invite all of them to the party as well.”
Miller smiled, “I was thinking about everyone that will be on the ship even the children. With three teachers we have to have a good handful of children”
Walker looked at his PADD, “Looks like at least 25 children of all age groups. Now your trip out there due to the slower cargo ships will take 18 months. And you and the other ships will be tasked with protecting the convoy enroute and while the station is being completed we are looking at about 50 ships, including a few tankers.
Walker looked at the list of ships in the file, “Looks like a few mining ships as well. How long is this assignment set up for?”
Walker looked at his friend, “At least 5 years, so if you need to see anyone before you ship out feel free to do so.”
Miller shock his head, “My family is already going with me.” Miller let out a long sigh, “Well most of them that is.” Miller looked up and smiled,” I'm sorry Sir just missing some old friends.”
Walker looked at his friend, “And I know every one of them would be proud of you. You earned this Eric, never forget that. In fact I even think you would like the name given to your new ship.”
Miller gave his old friend an inquisitive look, “Oh and why is that, Sir”
Walker smiled and pulled up an image of Millers new Command, “Behold the USS Endeavour NCC1895-A, and if memory serves you have a link to that ship name.”
Miller’s jaw dropped and he was speechless for a few moments, “I served on the Endeavour when I was an Ensign under Captain Khatami. I joined as a shuttle pilot and engineer shortly before Vanguard station was destroyed. Also my great Grandparents served on the NX-06 together. It’s a very big name in my family and I am proud to be her Captain”
Miller looked at his friend, “I had a feeling you would like the name and that is why I suggested that you be her Captain. I also knew you would be the best choice for this mission, with the excelsior up in one corner exploring and the Enterprise in another we needed a good ship and captain to take on this mission.”
“Thank you for having Faith in me Admiral, I will not let you down” Miller Said, “It’s going to be one for the books for sure.
Commander Heather Watson, took one last look around her quarters to make sure she didn’t forget to pack anything. Part of her was sad to be leaving the only home she had known for the past 8 years. On the other hand she was excited to embark on this new mission and do so as first officer. Their ship is headed for McKinley station to drop her off before heading to Earth starbase for a little R&R. The ship will be there in fourteen hours and her friends are having a going away party for her so she needed to have her stuff Packed before the party with just a change of uniform for tomorrow. In a few hours, a few crew members will be coming to transport her belongings to the cargobay for transfer to her new home.
With this being her last day, the Captain gave her the day off but Heather wanted to explore the ship one last time before tonight’s party. After checking her uniform, she was still not use to the new rank insignia, she grabbed her camera and walked out of her room and headed to Sickbay. As she walked in she stopped to take a last good look around. She found Dr. Lance at her desk and walked over to sit down to visit for a bit. Heather said, “Hey Jen, you’re not busy I hope?”
Dr. Jenifer lance looked up from her computer screen, “I'm never too busy for my friends, and I was just reviewing a medical journal so it’s fresh in my head for a conference in two days at Starfleet Medical. So are you all packed and ready for your next adventure?”
Heather smiled weakly, “I'm all packed, but part of me doesn’t want to leave. Most of my friends are here and I will be going so far away. On the other hand it’s a brand new ship, on a very long but important mission. I reviewed all the reports from the survey teams and it looks like there will be some new discoveries and we will get to meet a lot of new people. I have also learned as much as possible about the new ship, makes the Intrepid look like a bucket of bolts by comparison.”
Jen laughed at her, “Well this is one of the last Constitution class ships in service. I think there are what four left, and the Hornet is the oldest one since the Enterprise and Endeavour were decommissioned. But they got upgrades as I'm sure we will also. But this old girl still has a few years in her.”
Heather laughed, “Yeah just like the ships doctor, when are you going to retire.”
Jen gave her a shocked look than smiled” Retire, hell I can’t retire I would get bored. Besides there would be no one left to keep the Skipper in line.
Both woman burst out laughing. “Now Heather, you better keep in touch. I know it would be too much to ask for real time communications but you can always send letters,”
Heather leaned over to give her oldest friend a hug, “I promise I will sent you letters at least once a week. But I need to visit with a few other people before the party tonight so unless you want to roam the halls with me I will see you at the party”
With that Heather got up and walked out of Sickbay, over the next few hours she stopped in the different departments ending in her second home, Heather has always been a gifted engineer even when she was a little girl, she was always trying to take things apart to understand how they work. Even managed to make a small warp core for a school science fair, it didn’t work as it was just for display but it sure looked real enough she also got full marks on the project because she had everything down to the final details. It was at this point that her parents encouraged her to go into Starfleet as an engineer. She got top marks in all the classes and was even smarter than some of her instructors. She was also one of the youngest cadets to graduate from the academy at only age 16. Since than she rose up the ranks to become Chief Engineer of the Intrepid, and is the main reason the ship is still close to new, she even managed to get a little more power out of the engines increasing the Intrepid’s Max speed from Warp nine to Warp nine point four. She also came up with a way to make the engine more efficient, in fact some of her designs are used for newer starships.
As she walked into Main engineering everyone on duty dropped what they were doing and saluted her. She has earned the respect of every engineer in the room. And most of them are friends. She also help train these young men and women to become great engineers. She walked over to the warp core, climbed up onto the rail and held onto the core to keep herself stable.
Heather closed her eyes for a moment than started to speak as she opened them, “I just wanted to say thank you for being one of the best Engineering teams in all of Starfleet. The past six years have been filled with ups and downs. No matter what was thrown at us we always managed to pull through. I couldn’t have asked for a better support team, thanks to all of your help I have been able to keep this old girl at a high state of readiness, no matter what was asked of us. As you all know Lieutenant Commander Kobi will be talking my place as chief engineer, and I know you will all do your best to show him the same level of support and commitment as you have shown me. Again I want to say, thank you for everything.”
With that she jumped down and was greeted with hugs by all the engineering staff. After an hour of visiting with her engineering teams Heather headed up to the main observation lounge where her going away party was to be. As she walked in she was greeted by those that she had called friends for the past six years. Hours later after all the well wishes and the food and drinks were gone, the party disbanded. Everyone said a final goodbye as they left, this went on till the only one left was the Captain.
Heather turned around to see him sitting in a chair next to the window. She walked over to him and asked, “Is something wrong Sir?”
The Captain looked up, “In a manner of speaking. I'm losing one of my officers and one of the best damn engineers I have ever known. It’s almost like losing one of my children, but there comes a time in every parent’s life where they have to let their children go.” Captain Tyrel pointed to the chair a crossed form him, “Have a seat Commander.”
Heather sat down and looked at her Captain as he started to speak again, “I remember when this young engineer first came aboard my ship. It was her first assignment as Chief of Engineering but she was still a little green in terms of leadership. As I watched her I seen that there were a lot of her fellow engineers resented her for being so young and to be honest I also had my drought’s about her as well. It was a few weeks later that we had our first encounter with a Klingon ship while on protroling the natural Zone. It was during that battle, that I came to see how brilliant of an engineer this young girl was. And at this moment I didn’t see the shy meek girl that came aboard my ship a few weeks. But a very confident and cool headed Engineer that knows how to allocate her resources and get things done. And I believe that was the time that the rest of the crew noticed as well. And I also knew at that point that you would make a fine Captain yourself that day. As much as I hate to lose you I was very happy to recommend you for as First officer of the Endeavour. And I know Captain Miller, he is a good Man and an amazing pilot and stagiest. I think you can learn a lot from him. If you ever have any questions or want some advice feel free to send me a message, even if you just want to say hi.”
Heather was smiling and fighting back tears” Sir you have been like a second father to me for these past few years. And I learned a lot from you. You have always tried to support and nurture everyone on this ship, and I for one am grateful for all you do for your crew. And you better believe I will keep InTouch. I plan to keep InTouch with all my friends.”
Tyrel stood up and offered a hand to Heather, who in turn took it and accepted the help up, then she gave him a big hug. Tyrel smiled at her and said, “You better get some rest you have a long day tomorrow. And be sure to tell your new captain I said hi”
Heather looked up at him and smile,” I will Sir and thanks again I will do my best not to let you down.” With that she turned and walked away and headed for her quarters for her last night on the Hornet.
As she left the room Tyrel said in a low voice, “You have never let me down.”
The next day Heather woke up, showered and put on a clean uniform, then walked down to the turbolift. For her it was a sad walk, knowing it may be the last time she will ever see this ship again. She entered the turbolift and said, “Deck 5,” when the doors closed the lift took her down 2 floors to the deck that housed the transporter. When the doors opened Heather stopped and couldn’t believe her eyes. Lining the hall were members of the crew standing at attention all down the hall. Heather had to fight back tears again as she walked to the transporter room at as she turned the corner, she seen all her Engineering staff standing there in her honor. She stopped and smiled at them then entered the transporter room. Inside was the senior staff including the Captain. They were all in dress uniform and behind the door was a crewmen with a bastions whistle. He played a tone to bring everyone to attention. With this Captain Tyrel stepped forward and in a strong firm voice said “Commander Heather Elizabeth Watson departing,” at that every one of the senior staff saluted her.
Heather Saluted back and said, “Permission to depart Captain.”
Tyrel smiled back at her and said, “Permission granted Commander.” With this Heather stepped on to the transporter pad gave her friends one last look and with tears in her eyes said, “energize”
Lieutenant Alexa Watkins was already late when she entered the turbolift heading up to the first staff meeting of the Endeavour’s senior staff. She started pacing as the lift took her to the stations operations levels, once the lift doors opened she took off at a fast sprint for the briefing room assigned to them for the day. Panting when she reached the door, she took a moment to compose herself and entered the room. She tried to hide a little as she walked in, being on the petite side that is sometimes possible, however this time she looked to see everyone starring at her.
With a smile Captain Miller looked at her and said. “Late as always Lieutenant.”
Alexa gave him an embarrassed smile, “You know me Skipper, and I like to make an entrance,” With that those that knew her started to laugh. Alexa moved into the room and grabbed the empty seat.
Miller looked around the room, “I want to welcome you all today, this is a general meeting to that we can introduce each other and get an overview of our mission. I know some of you know each other as we have also served on the same ship, but we also have some new faces here. So I will start, My name is Eric Stephen Miller, and I am from Mars, my last posting was as XO on the USS John Paul Jones before she was decommissioned a few days ago.
Next to speak what one of the new faces, “I am Commander Heather Elizabeth Watson the ships first officer. I grew up on Starbase 115. I am an engineer and for the past 6 years I was the chief of engineering onboard the USS Intrepid.
Next was a young woman barely out of the academy, “My name is Kacie Lynne Grant, I'm an Ensign and a medical tech on my first assignment.”
Next to her was a middle aged woman with long silver hair, “I am Doctor Annie Carson. I'm am the ships Chief Medical officer, and hold the rank of Lieutenant Commander.”
Next to her was a middle aged Black man, “Hello everyone I'm am the current Chief of engineering, Lieutenant Commander James Parker. Fun fact about me is that I am a space boomer, I grew up on a long range cargo transport”
Then came this small petite woman with red hair. “Morning, I am Lieutenant Alexa, Watkins. I will be the ships head of security and tactical officer.”
She got a few looks from those that didn’t know her and Parker came to her defense, “Don’t underestimate her cause of her size. She may be small but she can pack very big a punch”
With that all but the next person in line laughed. When all was quite she spoke. “I am Lieutenant L’Marr the ships new science officer.”
“Hi everyone.” Said a soft but strong voice all the way in the back of the room. “I am LTJG Lisa Reed, I will be your new operations officer and I am fourth generation Starfleet, starting with my great-grandfather who serves on the NX class Enterprise, and later became Captain of the Intrepid.”
Miller broke in, “Are you talking about Malcom Reed Lieutenant?”
Lisa looked at him and smile, “Yes Sir. Do you know of him?”
Miller nodded “I studied the NX class ships as my final project when I was at the academy. They were good ships and the Enterprise is still one of my favorites to visit at the fleet museum. Sad that out of six ships only two survived the romulan war, but the Enterprise was so badly damaged that she was decommissioned.”
Lisa smile grew, “That’s correct it was at that point that my Great-grandfather was promoted to Captain and given the intrepid. That’s where he meet my great grandmother and three generations later here I am” Lisa giggles a little.
Miller looked at her. “You have some big shoes to fill Lieutenant but I'm sure you will have no trouble filling them.” He looks at the last 2 members of his staff, “That only leaves you two and unless you went down a different path Mr. Hawx, you’re my new helm officer.”
Hawx looked up and smiled, “Yes Sir and I see that you remember me, at least I hope you do. For those that don’t know me I am Flight Officer Jason Hawx, I hold the rank of Lieutenant Commander. And this pretty girl next to me is my Wife.” He pointed to this blonde girl sitting next to him.
She looked up and spoke softly, “Hello my name is Sara, and I am the ship’s counselor and will be working under Dr Carson as part of her medical team. And yes I am a civilian.”
Miller looked around the room, “Now that we have all meet I will explain our mission. As you may already know this is a deep space exploration mission. Yes it is what Starfleet is all about but this will be a little different, we are to be the flagship of a fleet that will be transporting and setting up a deep space station in a remote sector of space. Once the station is completed it will be the main port of call for our exploration missions. There will be two other starships and one scout ship going with us, along with 50 freighters that will be transporting the station and supplies, the trip will take about 18 months to complete than we have about 5 years on station. In about a year there will be convoys bringing more supplies and personal for the station. Our overall command will be Admiral Lynn-Mae Tokey. And she will be onboard the Endeavour for the trip out there. She may be the fleet admiral for this mission but she promised that she would not interfere with the day to day operations of the ship.
Now the three ships going with us will be the Gettysburg, the Ballard and the Tomahawk, the Tomahawk will be running ahead of us as a scout, we will have point, and the Ballard will be in the center of the fleet, with the Gettysburg taking up the rear. Most of the trip will be safe but there is a few sectors of a narrow corridor between romulan and Klingon space that we have to be careful in.
Now we are going to depart in three weeks but the Endeavour needs a final shakedown cruise before we leave. The ship launched in 48 hours I want all systems up and running. During the shakedown I want to run battle and repair drills, the Endeavour does not have as big a name as Enterprise, but she has had a few great Captains and the last Endeavour, and her crew served Starfleet well, leaving us with some big shoes to fill. I will be counting on all of you to help fill them. So for now go meet and inform your people of the upcoming mission and get to know them a little better. Any questions for now?” with that Miller looked around the room and when no one responded he spoke again. “Ok everyone your dismissed, Alexa and Jim stay behind for a moment.”
With this everyone got up and walked of the conference room, leaving the three officers alone. Miller was the first to speak, “So what is your take on the new command crew”
Alexa was the first to respond, “I did look over their files as protocol with security, and I don’t see any issues in fact from what I read most of them have top marks in their fields. That young MedTech is even working to become a doctor herself. It said in her file that she is a trained field medic, so she would be useful on away missions. I don’t foresee any issues with the command staff as for the crew I still have not completed going over the personal files yet.”
Jim spoke up at this point, “From what I seen today we have a solid foundation, but it all depends on how well the different teams hold up. Some of the crew have worked with each other for a few years now, but I think with some time we can become a well-oiled machine.
Miller nodded, “Very well. Now what about your crew? Will they have the ship ready in time?
Jim smiled,” I can’t say the same for the other departments but we will have this ship ready on time. A lot of the bugs were worked out with the Excelsior and Enterprise. As for my engineering staff, I have a lot of new engineers that I have yet to work with and see where their strengths and weaknesses, once I learn that I can start with training everyone to they get stronger where they have a weakness. You know me Skipper I like to cross train my teams so they can be more independent and we can remove that weak link. I think by the time we ship out we will be in very good shape.”
Miller smiled, “It’s good to have you both with me, and at least on this cruise I know I have some friends. Alexa I want you to set up a schedule that has guards in all the critical areas. With a mission like this I don’t want any surprises. Also keep a guard posted at the airlock. Jim I want a full readiness report in 24 hours. Ok I have a Captains meeting in an hour with the admirals to go over final plans. You two going to join me for dinner correct, I think I’m going to invite CDR Watson as well. I would like to get to know my first officer a little better.”
An hour later Miller and Watson were walking down the hall to a big conference room when up ahead was a small group of Starfleet officers, Miller recognized one of them from his days at the academy. As he walked up to them he says to one of the female officers, “Hell Amber, when did they make you a Captain?”
With that a female officer turned and looked at Miller for a moment, then jumped into his arms and gave him a big hug, “Eric what are you doing here? Are you going to be coming with us?”
Miller hugged her back smiling, “Yeah they gave me command of the Endeavour, a few days ago. It was Admiral Walker that gave me the news, and this assignment.” Miller let his old friend go, “it sure is good to see you again we will have to have a few drinks and catch up after the briefing.”
“For sure,” Amber said, “but to be honest I was surprised that they are letting me bring my daughter along. I’m not used to having families on starships. But I have at least twenty-five families assigned to my ship. But hey it’s a deep space mission with a very long run time so I can understand.”
Miller nodded, “Its will make things a little more interesting, I will have about fifty kids onboard my ship and a good handful of civilians including part of the science and medical departments. Even the Endeavour has been modified to have a three dozen Two to three room apartments like Quarters. You should see the size of my quarters, its three times the size of my room on the John Paul Jones, hell my ready room is bigger than my Quarters on the JPJ.”
Amber Mettzinger gave him a sad look, “Oh god I'm so sorry. I heard about what happened but I had no idea you were on that ship. “
“Thank you,” Miller said. “We lost a lot of good people on that ship, and we also lost a good ship, even if she was old. But we also saved a lot of lives that day and those we lost died heroes. I even hear that Outpost 128 is going to set up a memorial for the crew that were lost. Too bad I will not be in the area to attend that one, but Admiral Walker will be there and will send me a video of the event. I am thinking of having the remaining crew of the JPJ gather in one of the large mess halls and watch it together. I'm even thinking of asking the Captain of the Ballard if I can borrow his XO for the event.”
“Well,” Amber said with a sly grin, “they are right behind you so now is your chance.”
Miller turned around to look in the faces of Captain Drew Jefferson and Commander Elizabeth Cutler. Captain Jefferson looked a Miller and asked “Ask me what Captain Miller.”
Miller looked at the 2 people in front of him and tried to smile, “Sir, Outpost 128 is going to set up a memorial for the lost crew of the John Paul Jones, Those that died defending the planet. Admiral Walker is going to be there and will have it recorded and sent to the Endeavor and I through that Commander Cutler here would like to come onboard and join the remaining JPJ crew in watching it. She was part of that last Mission, Sir”
The senior Captain kept his face firm and looked Miller over, “You can have her on one condition Captain.”
Miller looked at him wondering what to say if he said no, “And that is Sir?”
Jefferson’s face softened into a sad smile, “That you permit me to join as well, Captain Kelly was an old friend from my academy days, and in fact he was my roommate for all four years.”
Miller Smiled at the senior captain, “It would be an honor Sir”
“And Miller please stop with the Sir thing, you’re making me feel old, we are of equal rank and I know if John Kelly and Tom Walker recommended you for command that you earned it. Both are hard men to impress. You can call me drew when in present company, I was never one to be formal.”
Miller held out his hand, “And I'm Eric, even if I should be sore at you for stealing my best science officer.” He smiled and turned to Cutler, “How are you Beth, you taking to your new ship and crew ok?”
Culter smiled at him, “The crew as a whole is making me feel welcome and I'm not use to a ship with that range of sensors, so it will be a small adjustment but from what I seen so far I will fit right in. but it’s not really a ship meant for combat like the Jones was, so I just hope we don’t get into any major scrapes.” She paused and looked down at the floor, “A lot of us didn’t come back from the last one”
Miller put his hands on her shoulders and spoke, “Beth, there was not a man or woman on that ship that didn’t know that leaving meant death for that colony, they all died heroes and died knowing what they were giving their lives for.”
Beth started to cry, “I now but I also lost my sister in that battle. She was in the port phaser control room when the phasers overloaded and blew out the relays on that side of the ship. I don’t blame you Eric, and I know you wouldn’t have asked her to do something you were not willing to do yourself, I have known you to long, and I know she was just doing her job. I blame the Romulans that attacked that outpost.”
Miller pulled her in for a hug, “Beth I understand how you are feeling, in fact the phaser overload was Kate’s idea. We needed a Hail Mary pass and she gave it to us. The computer relays to the control room were fried and she had to manually bypass the safeties. The Romulans were turning for their last attack and we ran out of time. I waited till the last possible second before I fired. I even ordered her out. I looked at the log after the battle and it showed that she went back in. I'm guessing one of the relays reset and she had to go back in to release it. Beth she saved the ship, well what was left of it, as well as that colony. I know you’re sad but you should also be proud of her.”
Beth hugged him back as she cried softly into his shoulder and listen to him, “I know Eric and I am very proud of her but also miss her”
Miller gave her one last hug, “We all will, that ship was small enough to be one big family.” Miller looked over at Jefferson, “You now have a crew of what 200?”
Jefferson shook his head, ”We ae running on a crew of 150 officers and NCO’s and another 80 civilians, as well as about 25 children. Most of the civilians are part of the crew thro, mostly science and medical”
Miller looked at him, “That seems to me the theme of the night for the Starfleet ships, I have a crew of 550, with close to 200 civilians and about 50 children. I'm not sure what the Gettysburg has. Amber what is your crew count?”
Amber stepped up to the rest of them, “I am looking at about 200 crew and 90 civilians and I think 40 children. One of the children being my daughter. Don’t get me wrong I like having my daughter with me but this mission could be dangerous.”
“I'm guessing the only ship without family would be the Tomahawk,” Jefferson said, “that ship is very small.”
They all heard a male voice behind them, “You would be wrong. We don’t have any children but we do have 4 couples onboard, and three of the 8 are civilians, one is my Wife and the ships Doctor, another being one of our scouts. Our scout was a MACO, but he resigned to come on this mission. The third is one of the engineers, in fact it’s our Chief engineer’s wife.” The man laughed, “Those two are funny as hell when they start to work together and bicker, but I have never seen a better team in engineering. “
He looked at the other officers, “Where are my manors, Captain Arron Lockhart, USS Tomahawk, and this is my XO Commander April Davenport.” With that they both held out their hands and everyone else introduced each other.
Miller was the first to ask, “Don’t you all think it’s strange for Starfleet so send families on ships, I mean I can see waiting till we get the station up and running and then send the families to the station but from my understanding they are to become part of the crew”
Just than another Officer showed up, “Am I late, sorry was helping CDR Jackson in engineering and lost track of time.”
Amber smiled, “No Jen your fine we have about 10 minutes left. Everyone this is my XO Commander Jennifer Smok, so Jen did you guys manage to get the number four nacelle working again?”
Jen shook her head, “No not yet, there is still an issues with the flow regulars in the nacelle. They are not letting the plasma flow the way it’s suppost to. Right now Jackson is looking into the computer controlling the damn things, we checked everything else and it all checked out so it may be a programing error.”
Miller asked, “What happened”
Amber said, “Oh we were studying a comet and got in as close as we could for transport and one of the rocks that make up the tail hit the lower starboard nacelle while our shields were down. The whole nacelle had to be scraped, just finished installing the new one but it’s not working. I have had a crew working on it for three days now. And they are close to solving the issue but they had to almost take the whole nacelle apart. Good thing we still had some working parts in the old Nacelle.”
Miller was about to say something when the announcement came over the intercom system “Meeting to start in 10 minutes please take your seats.” With that the eight officers walked into the briefing amphitheater and took their seats in the front row. The amphitheater started to fill up quickly being that there were the Captain and XO of 54 ships as well as some Officers of the spacestation. The last to come in were a small group of flag officers one of which being Admiral Walker. Once everyone was seated and settled down a Middle aged Woman stood up and walked up to the podium.
“Good afternoon,” she said. “I am Rear Admiral Lynn-Mae Tokey. I will be the flag officer for Starbase 612. All of you have been tasked with transport and setup of the station and a hand full of you have been asked to stay in the area as cargo haulers for any new allies we may run a crossed. The rest of you will be asked to make runs to and from the Station and you will be staggered at one month intervals. All the cargo ships have been offered long term contracts in relation to the current mission. Now this will be a giant convoy and yes we understand that with the average speed of the slowest ships that the trip out there will take at least eight-teen months. We also understand the concerns from most of you that the convoy would be sitting ducks if attacked by pirates or other forces, to help safeguard the convoy Starfleet has assigned four ships to protect the fleet. Those four ships are the Endeavour, the Ballard, the Gettysburg, and the Tomahawk. These ships will also be assigned to Starbase 612. However we learned today that Starfleet has assigned three additional ships to the fleet, two of these ships are old and will be used as spare parts once on station. These two ships are coming from the mothball fleet and will be crewed by the stations personal. The third ship is crewed by the Starfleet Corp of Engineers and they will be assisting in building the station. Now these will not be small underpowered and unarmed ships, we have two of the mothballed Constition class ships the Hornet and the Lexington, and the SCE team is using an old Miranda class USS Hermes. All three ships have been refitted and fully restored for this mission. There has been a change in mission profile, it was first decided that the Hornet would be the flagship of this fleet. The admirals have changed that and have assigned the USS Endeavour as Flagship because of its greater speed and firepower.”
“Now the Starfleet ships will be assigned and arranged in such a way to offer protection for the fleet. The Tomahawk will be scouting out ahead of the fleet and will be leaving three hours before the fleet does, the Endeavour will be at the front of the line. In the middle will be the Ballard, for the advanced long range sensors, and the Hermes as added protection. In the rear will be the Hornet and Lexington. Now along with the freighters and cargo haulers we will have a few tankers for any ship that needs to refuel. I believe there are still a few ships that are having upgrades made to weapons, shields and engines. At last report those upgrades will be completed in two weeks’ time.” The Admiral looked at Miller, “And if I'm not mistaken the Endeavor needs a proper shakedown cruise?”
Miller looked at the Admiral and said, “Yes Ma’am we ship out at 09:00 tomorrow morning, shake down will take about a week if we don’t have any problems.”
Tokay nodded,” Very well Captain, I look forward to seeing your ship. Ok if there are no farther questions you are all dismissed, if your ship is still awaiting upgrades please see the officers at the table outside. I would like to see Captains Miller, Jefferson, Lockhart, and Mettzinger, as well as their XO’s before you all leave.”
The eight officers waited for everyone else to leave before walking up to the stage and over to the other group of officers, Jefferson was the first to speak, “You wanted to see us Ma’am”
Tokay smiled and said, “Yes I always like to meet the people I will be working with. Your four ships will be making up the backbone of our fleet once we are on station. And I also wanted you to meet the rest of the Stations senior staff. This young lady is Lieutenant Commander Kelly Jones she is the stations second officer and will be in command of the Hornet till we are on station, she is also the stations Chief of Operations, and this young man, is Commander Jake Ryan, he is in charge of the day to day operations of the station as well as the Lexington’s CO for the trip.” The Admiral went on to introduce the rest of the officers, ending up Denobulan Female, “and last but not least, this is our Chief Medical Officer Doctor Feezal Phlox. Turns out her second great grandfather was the first Denobulan to ever serve on a Starfleet vessile.”
Miller tilted his head a little as he realized where he knew that name from, “Are you talking about the NX-01 Enterprise, they had a Denobulan Doctor Named Phlox if memory serves me correctly”
Phlox smiled, “It serves you well Captain, I was Named after my great-grandmother and decided to followed in my great- grandfather’s footsteps and went into medical school. Now I'm CMO on a Starbase, and I think I have the most cargo with all my medical supplies.”
Cutler spoke next, “What kind of medical supplies do you have that you can’t replicate?”
Phlox gave her a big smile, “The living kind. Denobulan medicine still uses living creatures to help in the healing process, don’t get me wrong I do use some of the more up to date procedures, but I still like some of the old methods better and at times they work better.”
The Admiral broke in, “DR Phlox served with me for years and I have never had a problem with her.”
Miller smiled, “If she is even half as good as what I read about the first Dr Phlox, we are in good hands.” Dr Phlox just looked at him and smiled. Miller added, “Admiral you have no farther need for myself or Commander Watson, we do have one more meeting to get to today.”
Tokay smiled at them, “By all means, I will see you in two weeks when you get back from your shakedown. And good luck.”
“Thank You Ma’am,” Miller said “I hope we don’t need it.” With that they turned and headed back to the Endeavour.
The next 2 week were for the most part uneventful, there were very few problems with the new ship, and the few minor ones were easily corrected by Chief Parker and his team of engineers, also over those two weeks the crews ran battle readiness and damage control drills all over the ship. Miller was pleased with the performance of his new ship and crew. He knew they would be ready for this mission.
The Endeavor docked and started to take on final supplies and fuel for the long trip. They had planned on overstocking the supplies even taking up one of the small shuttle repair bays to fit all the supplies. With the smaller than normal crew the ship did add a few luxuries due to the nature of the mission. The ship sported an arboretum that spanned two decks and even a swimming pool. But the biggest treat was four state-of-the-art simulation rooms that could put a person anywhere they wanted. This was the precursor to the Holodeck. On the day the convoy was to head out the Tomahawk was the first to leave as planned? Than three hours later, the other ships stated to jump to warp in a lose formation with the endeavor in the lead. Admiral Tokay was on the bridge for the start of the Mission but soon went down to her quarters to start the next stage of the mission planning. True to her word she left the day to day operations to the ship’s Command crew.
Miller sat at his desk in his ready room. “Captains log, stardate 8745.8. With the convoy traveling at warp 4.5 the first leg of the trip took four months. In three days we will reach the corridor that would leave them between the Klingon and Romulan Neutral zones and thanks to the peace accords with the Klingons the convoy was to have safe passage through Klingon space we just have to stay close to the neutral zone. With this the Klingon High command has assigned two Birds of Prey to escort us. I am hoping for a peaceful crossing but the Ballard has picked a few romulan ships at the edge of their sensor range. With luck they are just watching us. As for our Klingon friend the Admiral suggested we host them for a dinner tonight at 17:30 hours and I agreed with the idea, I also have the Captains and XO from the Ballard, and Gettysburg coming to join us. I would ask the Captain Lockhart but he is three hours away from us but what I heard about this captain he likes to work independently of the fleet. This does make him a good scout just hope he is able to play ball when the chips fall.” Miller heard his door chime go off, “Computer end log and open the door.”
When the door opened he was surprised to find Amber standing there, and behind her was a little girl about eight years old. Amber spoke up, “I hope we are not interrupting you.”
Miller smiled, “Not at all. I was just finishing up my log report.” Miller got up and walked over to them and gave Amber a hug, than looked at the little girl. Kneeling down a little he asked, “And who do we have here?”
The little girl hide behind her mother a little more, this made both Miller and amber smile a little, and “This is my daughter Amanda. Amanda this is an old friend of mine Eric Miller, he was also a good friend of your Fathers.”
The little girl looked up and said, “Hello.”
Miller smiled at her, “How old are you little one?”
Amanda seemed to perk up a little and replied, “I just turned nine last week.”
“Well Happy Birthday Amanda,” Miller said as he gestured to the couch that was in the ready room. “Please have a seat you two” with that Miller walked over to the replicator and pulled up a small menu and started to go through it. “Now let’s see here. Tell me Amanda, what are you into?”
Amanda just sat there not saying anything, her mother nudged her in the arm, “Now don’t be so shy he is not going to bite you.”
Amanda looked at her shoes as she said, “I like history, and I want to learn about the history of Federation and Starfleet.”
Millers smile got bigger, “A girl after my own heart. Do you know about the NX-01 and Captain Archer?”
Amanda seemed to perk up a little more, “I know a little, it was the first of six warp five starships and Archer did play a big part in the formation of the federation”
Miller nodded, “That is a good start.” Miller made a few selections for the replicator and a box appeared. Miller took the box and carried it over to the couch and handed it to Amanda. “This may help your understanding a bit more.” With that he sat down next to Amber and watched Amanda open her gift.
When Amanda opened the box her eyes opened three time larger than should be and she had a smile from ear to ear. Inside the box was a model of the NX-01 and a data padd, when Amanda pulled up the directory on the Padd, it shows everything from ships logs and reports from the eight years the ship was in service, as well as service profiles of the crew. The Padd also held a full technical blue print of the ship.
Both Amber and Miller watched the little girl go through the files and smile. Miller broke the silence, “That padd holds everything I have on the NX Enterprise and her crew even information you can only get through Starfleet, well besides the classified stuff. I can also pull up the ship in one of the simulators if you would like to explore the ship.”
With that Amanda jumped to her feet and said, “When can we go.”
Miller looked at the clock, “Well your mother and I have a dinner in an hour.” The sad look on Amanda’s face make Miller think for a second, “But I think I can arrange something.” Miller reached over to the comm button on the end table. “Miller to Reed can you please come to my ready room.”
Reed responded quickly, “On my way, Skipper.”
Amanda looked at Miller, “Skipper?”
Miller laughed a little, “It’s an old earth NAVY term. It’s another name for Captain, the whole crew has taken to calling me skipper but I don’t mind, I'm not used to the idea of Captain yet anyways.”
Amber chuckled a little, “I know what you mean I was just made Captain about six months before we got this assignment. I do know my parents were not happy that I accepted the assignment they have been taking care of Mandy while I was deployed. In fact one of the conditions to accepting is that my Parents get a place on the station once it’s finished. But it turns out they wanted shop owners, so they are going to move their shop to Starbase 612 and they are booked on one of the first transports for civilians and crew. So Mandy gets to see her Grandparents as much as possible.”
The Door chimed again and Miller called out, “Enter”
The door opened to reveal Lisa Reed. Lisa seen the other captain and snapped to attention, ‘Lieutenant JG Lisa Reed reporting as ordered”
Miller smiled, “Relax Lieutenant before you strain something. I have an assignment for you but this is strictly volunteer. This is Captain Amber Mettzinger and her Daughter Amanda, Amber and myself have a dinner to attend to with our Klingon Hosts, but Amanda here is a history buff and I just gifted her a package that included a lot of information of the NX Enterprise. I also told her that we can bring the ship up in the sim room and she wanted to go right away. I was wondering if you would like to show her around the ship. And yes I understand that you are not a babysitter.”
Lisa looked at the little girl and smiled, “I would love to Skipper, I was bored anyways.” She squatted down and looked at Amanda. “Hi my name is Lisa, what’s your name?” with that Lisa held out her hand.
Amanda jumped up and took Lisa’s hand, “I'm Amanda but everyone calls me Mandy”
Lisa smiled, “Well Mandy if we are going to visit the Enterprise we better dress the part.” She looked up at Amber, “Ma’am with your permission of course I will get her one of the old jumpsuits that Starfleet wore back then.”
Amber smiled, “By all means Lieutenant. Now go have fun you two, we will come find you after dinner.” With that Lisa took Mandy’s Hand and they headed out of the main replicator shop to get new uniforms before heading to the simulator room.
Miller looked over at Amber, “Don’t worry she is in good hands, Lisa knows more about the NX-01 and her crew than I do. Her Great-Grandfather was the Ships tactical officer. And she grew up on the story of that ship.
Amber smiled and nodded her head, “Yeah this is the happiest she has been since the idea of being on a ship with her mother wore off, and that lasted about a week. I think she is just bored there are only two other kids her age, both boys, and I'm not sure she likes them. But she always has been a little on the shy side.”
“I think Lisa will get through to her.” Miller said, “Ok I know that Devan was KIA but do you know what happened?”
Amber looked down at the floor, “I don’t really know it was a shuttle accident but Starfleet said it was all classified all I know is the shuttle he was testing blew up. It was very hard on Mandy, ever since than she has been quite. It’s hard to get her to open up. I'm just worried about her.”
Miller gave her a hug, “I don’t know if your ship has one assigned to you but we did ship out with a ships councilor. Maybe you can talk to her, see if she is able to help out.”
Amber tried to smile, “I don’t know she doesn’t like to open up to Starfleet officers I think it makes her feel week.”
Miller smiled, “Problem solved she is not Starfleet. She is one of the civilian members of the crew, the wife of my helm officer in fact.”
Amber nodded, “That may be helpful, I will think about it but what happen after we go back to the Gettysburg?”
Miller smiled at her, “That is what subspace radio is for, but we better get going I wouldn’t go over well if the Captain of the hosting ship is late.” With that Miller lead the way out of the ready room and to the main mess hull.
Once in the mess hall, the officers found the rest of the command officers from the five Starfleet ships as well as Admiral Tokay. The Admiral walked over to them, “Your right on time we were about to beam over the Klingons. We also have a sample of both our food types and theirs. Neither of you have a problem with Klingons do you?”
Amber was first to answer, “I have had a few run-ins with them Admiral, and what I do know about them leaves a good impression they are honorable, even if their ways may seem to be wrong, They are a warriors and soldiers first, and I have never had an issue with them.”
Miller spoke next, “I have been in a few scrapes against them, fierce fighters not so great in tactics at times, a little too quick to give up their lives to win a battle. They are a race I have come to respect as well. They are not a sneaky as the Ferangi or as dishonest as the Cardasians. They would make good allies in any fight.”
The two Captains hear a low rumble of a laugh coming from behind them, “I am glad you both see us that way, it makes peace with the federation a little easier if their officers respect us.”
Miller and Amber turned around and came face-to-face with two Klingon officers. Admiral Tokay was the first to speak, ”Captain Miller and Captain Mettzinger let me introduce you to Captain Toral and Captain T'vis of the Klingon Defense force.” The four captains exchanges greetings and started to chat among themselves and the admiral went to talk to a few other officers.
Toral said, “So Captain Miller you said you have a lot of respect for us, is this true?”
Miller replied, “Yes sir, as I said I have been in a few battles against Klingons and yes they are hard to beat, but yes there are a few of what I would call Rogue Captains that have caused trouble but those that I have run into have been honorable.”
T’vis broke in, “But you said something about bad tactics.”
Miller replied, “Not bad tactics, just not the greatest. But I also understand that Klingons are willing to die in battle and may not always look for a way to survive. You will all go full force and go in shooting when a more suddle approach would work better.
Toral looked at Miller for a few seconds, “Miller, are you not the guy that defeated two Romulan Warbirds when you were out gunned, now that is no small feat.”
Miller looked at him, “Thank you Sir, But I can’t take all the credit for that one, one of my crew member suggested that we overload the phaser banks for one final shot, the resulting explosion destroyed the phaser control room with her in it. The hit the Romulans took was enough to bring their shields down and our last torpedo destroyed them. But as I said it was a group effort.
“Ahhh, yes,” the Klingon Captain said, “That is the hardest for young warriors to learn that no one person can win a war it has to be a team effort.”
“I lost half my crew and my half ship in that battle, but we did save the colony that the Romulans were attacking. That at least gave their deaths meaning, they died Heroes.” Miller took the drink he had been given and raised his glass, “To the John Paul Jones and her crew, to the fallen and those that survived.” All those around him that heard the toast raised their glasses as well. Miller was filled with pride for his old ship and crew.
T’vis was the next to speak, “I thought your ship was the Endeavour what is this other ship.”
Miller looked sad, “The John Paul Jones as an old Miranda class ship a lot like the Hermes, the ship was so badly damaged in our last engagement that she was decommissioned and sent to the scarp yard for spare parts, and I can understand it would have taken almost a year to repair her, and she was so old that it would not have been worth it, I'm guessing the old girl only had 10 to 15 years left in her. But like the Fallen the ship gave its all for her crew.”
T’vis looked at him confused, “You speak as if the ship was alive.”
Miller smiled, “Not alive in the same sense of you or me, but over time a ship tends to get its own quirks or personality. And if you think of it the Warp core is the ships heart, the ship does breathe by pulling in hydrogen through the bussard collectors, and the ships computer is its brain. If you have been on more than one ship, you may have noticed this.”
T’vis nodded, “I do see what you mean. The first ship that I served on was very temperamental.”
Miller smiled, “The Jones had the honor of transporting a doctor from Starbase 123 to earth a few years ago. This doctor refused to use the transporters and insisted on being transported by shuttle. He made a comment about how well a ship as old as the Jones was maintained. I told him that we all take pride in our ship and do our best to take care of her. He gave me a little advice as we landed at Starfleet command’s main landing pad. He said, ‘Treat her like a lady and she will always get you home.’ I told my Skipper of this and he agreed and that is what we have done since. And I believe because of that even with all the damage the Jones held together long enough to get us home.’’
The rest of the night went off without a hitch, dinner lasted three hours and at the end of the night Miller and Amber escorted their new Klingon friends to the transporter room. After they had beamed over to their ships Amber looked at him and said “I think I better go find my daughter. I'm sure she has to be tired by now.”
Miller smiled, “Well let’s find out what simulator she is in, and I will walk with you, this is a big ship.” With that Miller walked to the door and hit the comm button, “Miller to Reed”
A few seconds later a soft voice came over the comm, “Reed here Skipper”
Miller asked, “Lisa where are you at the moment?”
“We are in sim room three,” Lisa said, “still on the Enterprise, crew quarters, C deck room 307, Mandy fell asleep and I didn’t want to wake her up.”
Amber walked over to the com pane, “I will come stay with her Lieutenant so you can get some sleep.”
“It’s up to you Captain Mettzinger,” said Lisa, “but I am more than willing to stay with her. Besides I like the idea of staying in my great-grandfathers quarters. I can bring her around in the morning”
Amber smiled, “If you’re sure Lieutenant, it will give me some time to catch up with your Captain.”
Lisa giggled a little, “I'm sure Captain, go relax, I got this.”
Miller broke in, “Lisa you are under special assignment from me so take the day off tomorrow, I will let Commander Watson know and have her get a replacement for you. Just be sure to get some sleep yourself Lieutenant”
Lisa replied, “Yes Skipper, and you two have a good night” with that the comm went dead.
Miller looked at Amber, “So your place or mine”
Amber laughed, “Well since I was never officially assigned quarters on the ship I would think yours.” The two Captains walked to the Captains Quarters, and that was the last anyone saw them till Morning.
The next few days were again uneventful, all of the Captains went back to their ships and Admiral Tokay went with Commander Ryan back to the Lexington. Captain Miller sat in his chair on the bridge and watched the stars streak by.
Reed was the first to break the silence, “Skipper I'm getting a Hail from the Ballard.”
Miller sat upright and said, “Put it through Lieutenant”
Jefferson’s face appeared on the main screen and Miller spoke up, “Greetings Captain Jefferson, what can we do for you on this fine morning?”
Jefferson looked worried, “Eric I wish I could agree that this is a great morning, but I think we may have a problem. We have been tracking a small group of warbirds that have been shadowing us at distance of about nine lightyears. All four of them just went off our scopes. They may be setting up for an attack.”
Miller stood up, “L’Marr see if you can see the warbirds, let’s get conformation for the Ballard please. Lisa contact the Hornet, Lexington, Gettysburg, and Hermes put them up on a conference call. Also issue a recall order for the Tomahawk. We may need them.
A few moments later, the other four ships commanders were on the screen. With Admiral Tokay standing next to Ryan on the Lexington. Miller was the first to speak, “Everyone Captain Jefferson just presented me with a possible problem, if you recall about a week ago, The Ballard reported a shadow, consisting of four romulan warbirds. Less than eight minutes ago they disappeared. This could mean a possible attack. Anyone have any thoughts?”
Jefferson was the first to speak up, “Yeah run like hell we only tracked four ships but they do have cloaking technonly, there could be a whole fleet waiting for us, and most of the ships in the convoy are not that heavily armed.” In the background Miller saw Cutler shaking her head.
Captain Emily Stewart of the Hermes, was the next to speak up, “Admiral, my crew has had a hand in upgrading half of the ships in the fleet what they have can pack a punch for sure but they are not fighters, that fact is why I in part agree with Captain Jefferson, the other part of me says we stand and fight. The targeting systems are all automated, and each freighter has 10 Phaser turrets. We also increased the shielding on all the ships. The freighters are not very fast most can’t get past warp 6 but they can take a small beating. “
Amber Mettzinger added, “Admiral, we have five combat ready ships, no offence to the Ballard and her crew, but the Oberth class was never really set up for more than defense. Maybe we should pull the convoy closer so we can defend it a little better and recall the Tomahawk, I know the Archer class is just a scout but she is small and fast.”
Miller broke in at this point, “I already issues the recall order to the Tomahawk and I was thinking we could have her land on the Endeavour. Maybe we can trick them into thinking the Tomahawk is not around to help. And I agree bring the convoy closer together.”
Jefferson interrupted, “What good is a little scout ship going to do against a warbird, are you crazy man, you will get that crew killed. Hell you may get us all killed the only thing to do is run.”
Miller can see the anger in the Admiral’s face when he said, “Captain Jefferson there is not one ship in the convoy other than our seven ships that can outrun a warbird, in fact I don’t think yours can either, and if I remember my specs correctly you only have a max speed of warp six point four. So running means dying. Cause the other ships will not run.”
“Miller you’re a damn fool,” Jefferson screamed. “You may have a death wish but I don’t.”
Before Miller could say another word Admiral Tokay Spoke up. “Captain Jefferson how did you ever make Captain, when you’re such a coward. You will follow Captains Millers orders or you will face charges. In my fleet the Flagship has command I don’t care if the other captains have seniority. That means that Captain Miller is in command of the fleet. Do you understand me Captain Jefferson?”
Jefferson’s response was full of rage and fear, “I will not blindly give my life for nothing or follow the orders of some wet under the ears wannabe Captain that just wants to play hero. Helm, take us about and return back to federation space best possible speed. And turn that damn screen off.”
No one was expecting what happened next, the screen didn’t turn off, in fact the Ballard kept going on its same course and the helm and navigation officer turned in their seats to face the Captain, the other bridge crew sat and watched as the other bridge crew locked their stations and turned to face the Captain. Just than the aft lift doors opened up and two security officers entered the bridge. Commander Cutler was the only one to speak up, “Captain Drew Jefferson on the charge of disobeying a direct order I am placing you under arrest. As per the Admiral’s order to follow Captain Millers lead. Please come peacefully or I will have security team stun you.”
After Captain Jefferson was removed from the bridge, the Admiral spoke again, “Thank you Commander, I know that was not an easy thing to do. You will hold him in the brig until we are well clear of Romulan space than we would give him a formal hearing. In the mean time I am making you Acting Captain of the Ballard. Now Captain Cutler what is your take on the situation with the Romulans.”
Beth Cutler thought for a Few moments, “Well Admiral, I know that Captain Miller would never put us in danger unless it was necessary. I also agree with him that the Ballard nor the convoy could outrun the warbirds. I do suggest we make the formation a little tighter and maybe bump up the speed to at least warp five and clear out as fast as possible. I'm not saying run but let’s try to get out of this area as soon as possible. If it comes to a fight we will be ready.”
The Admiral spoke up again, “Captain Miller your orders?”
Miller looked at the five screens, “Bring the fleet up to Warp five and tighten the formation. Also place the fleet on Yellow Alert. Beth you have the best sensors in the fleet keep looking for those ships. Hermes I want you to shadow the Ballard as best you can and protect her. If the Romulans are smart they will go for the weakest ships first. Hornet and Lexington try to merge into the convoy pretend your cargo ships it will give us a Trojan horse. Lisa try hailing our Klingon friends see if they are up for spilling a little Romulan blood. And use those words that will help get them coming. Ready for a fight but hope we don’t end up in one.”
Lisa broke in, “Skipper I have the IKS Rotarran and the IKS M'Char on the comms they both say they are headed our way at flank speed and cloaked and would be happy to help spill the Romulan blood and will follow your lead. Their ETA is about 2 hours.”
Miller replied, “Thank you Lieutenant and send them my thanks as well.” He stopped for a second to look around and see that all five ships were still on the screen.
Admiral Tokay took this moment to speak up, “You seem to understand people well Captain the battle is yours if it comes to that.”
“Captain Log Stardate 8871.5,” Miller spoke into the computers microphone. “Over the past few hours the crew has been waiting for an attack. The Tomahawk, returned and docked with the Endeavour, also four Klingon ships showed up, these ships came in cloaked so the Romulans wouldn’t see them. The fleet is at a state of readiness. The Hornet and Lexington are being towed by two freighters each and have all their systems on warm standby, they also sent off probes with their warp signature to try and fool the Romulans. We have about 18 hours till we are well away from romulan space. At that point I will start to relax. End log”
Miller got up and walked out into the hall of deck one and made his way to the bridge at this late hour the third shift was on duty and Lieutenant commander Parker was in command. When Miller entered the bridge Parker turned in the command chair seen him and started to get up. Miller stopped him saying, “Relax Jim, I'm not here as Captain at the moment” he walked over to the helm and said, “Evans, go get a cup of coffee or something just be ready to take over again if needed.”
The Young Petty Officer got up saying, “Yes Sir” once away from the seat he headed for the backup crew ready room that sits behind the bridge.
Miller sat at the helm and put in his personal code and made a few adjustments to the display. It was then that he noticed everyone on the bridge looking at him. He smiled saying, “What. It doesn’t say anywhere in the rules that a skipper can’t cover a station, and flying helps me relax” with that everyone went back to work.
Miller looked at the navigation scans on his monitor, “Science can you please send me your long range scans.”
The science office on duty was a young trill woman, by the name of Sura Raumal, on her first cruise. “Yes Sir, give me a moment,” the young officer nervously fumbled with her controls and managed to transfer the requested data to the Skipper.
Miller smiled at her, “Relax Ensign Raumal, we are all a little on edge, but you have nothing to worry about. We are as ready as we will ever be if an attack does come. But for now I'm just a helm officer, I just here to fly.”
James said "I know and one of the craziest ones as well.”
“Shhhhh Jim,” Miller said, “You don’t want to give them the wrong idea.” With that everyone started to laugh.
It was at that point that the helm and science console started to beep. Raumal was the first to say anything, “Skipper I'm showing a large number of ships dead ahead. I'm showing at least 15 ships.”
Miller said, “I see them, ops order the fleet to a full stop, and call all senior officers to the bridge. Tactical I want our shields up and weapons on standby. Let’s stay frosty maybe we will get out of this without a fight.” Miller stayed at the helm till Hawx got there and he handed over control to him. Then he went over to the center seat.
It took only four minutes to get all the senior officers to the bridge, parker went down to the engine room and heather took the engineering station on the bridge. Miller was looking at the Main viewer’s tactical plot when he said, “Lisa hail the lead ship.”
Lisa Reed went to work on the comm systems as she tried to hail the lead romulan ship, a minute later she flipped a switch and Romulan officer appeared on the screen. Miller stood up and spoke “This is Captain Eric Miller of the USS Endeavour, I would like to know what gives you the right to block out path into neutral Space?”
The Romulan Captain spoke up, “We came to find out why you have invaded this area of space. You have no rights here, yeah you have a fairly large fleet. How do we know you’re not planning an invasion into romulan space?”
Miller shook his head, “Romulan Commander all but three of the ships are cargo freighters. We have an alliance with a planet about another ninety-five lightyears from here. And they have agreed to let us build a space station in order to promote trade in their system. All the ships here are carrying components and material for the Station as well as station personal. You are free to use your sensors to scan the ships. We will stand by while you do so.”
The Romulan command turned to one of his crew members outside the range of the view screen. A few minutes later he back on and said “We can confirm that most of the ships are mere cargo ships but I am see two cruisers in the back of your formation that are on low power. Explain this.”
Miller smiled, “Those two ships have been decommissioned and rendered warp inactive and are being used to transport station personal that is why they are being towed by cargo ships. I'm sure you scanners can show you that, even ours are showing no active warp drive on those 2 ships.” Miller sat back down and glanced down at his chair monitor. “Now do you still have a reason to detain us?”
The romulan command sneered at Miller “You’re lying! Now tell me what you are hiding or I will destroy the whole fleet.”
Miller looked at him, “Really we have fifty-three ships, and even thro they are cargo ships our fleet is far from defenseless. Alexa charge up the weapons, Lisa order full tactical alert for all ships.” Miler looked at the romulan commander with a stone cold face. “It’s your move Commander, make the wrong one and a lot of Romulan lives will be lost. But I warn you, DO NOT TEST ME! Viewer off.” On his command Lisa closed the comm channel. “Lisa hail our friends and ask them to form up behind the romulan ships, ask them not to fire till they do.”
A few moment later Lisa came back” Skipper they were already there waiting for our orders, will hold their attack till after the first shot is fired, also Tomahawk, Hornet and Lexington signal ‘ready.”
“Lisa Send to Commander Gettysburg,” Miller ordered, “pick a target and ready a full volley. Open fire only after they do.”
At that point L’Marr spoke up, “Captain I'm picking up five more romulan ships. This brings their total to 23 ships”
“Thank you L’Marr. Alexa target the lead ship full volley. I want to counter with the hardest sucker punch we have. Don’t wait for my order just fire”
Alex smiled a little, “Way ahead of you Skipper. Target locked and weapons are green”
Alexa was the first to break the silence” Skipper we have incoming, ten of the warbirds just launched torpedoes, looks like two each at different targets two are meant for us and at least 2 more are meant for the Gettysburg. Firing on target full spread”
The Endeavour let lose a total of twelve torpedoes, Alexa also fired the phasers for a little added punch, mean well behind the Romulans, twelve Klingon birds of Prey de cloaked behind the romulan ships and open fired. At the same time the Endeavour took a hit from three romulan torpedoes. Within moments of the opening shots half the romulan fleet was damaged or destroyed. The flag ship was the first to blow up, the ship took a full volley from the Endeavour, with nine of twelve torpedoes overpowered and dropped its shields. The three that got in hit hard including one right into the bridge area, than you add to that the phaser fire. To add to that the Klingon flag ship also fired three torpedoes at the lead Warbird, the end result was the ship exploding. The Klingons destroyed three other ships. The Ship the Gettysburg fired on suffered the same fate.
A few other ships were disabled, mostly because they had most of their shield energy focused up front and the Klingons fired from behind. This left the fleet with only eight working ships.
“Lisa tell all ships to hold fire.” As he said this he seen two more ships explode. “And open hails the remaining Romulan ships, “This is Captain Miller of the Endeavour, as you can see will strike back and strike hard if provoked. I will give you fifteen minutes to collect your people and get the hell out of here or I will release my Klingon friends and let them destroy every last one of you. You can comply by powering down your weapons and shields within the next 60 seconds, starting now!” Miller made a slashing motion across his neck and Reed cut the comm channel.
“Lisa send to the IKS Rotarran and the IKS M’char ‘Give them another 45 seconds to power down, if not they are all yours” Miller ordered, on the main view screen the bridge crew could see the Klingons moving into attack the Romulan ships but staying true to their word they didn’t fire.
L’Marr was the next to speak, “Captain the romulan ships have all powered down their weapons and shields. I'm also seeing evidence of transporters being used.”
“Good News,” Miller Said, “Maybe he Romulans have brains after all.” This got a laugh out of almost everyone. Soon one by one the romulan ships turned and left the ship, leaving only debris and a few Drifting Warbirds. “L’Marr can you scan the drifting ships for any sign of traps?” he looked over at Watson, “I want to see about boarding one for Intel”
L’Marr scanned all the drifting ships, “Captain, looks like the ships are set to go off in five minutes, I can see ten core breaches in progress, Captain that large of an explosion will take out about half the fleet”
Miller turned around in his chair, “Lisa, hail the fleet tell them to go warp 5 and they need to do in in the next three minutes. That includes the Klingon ships. Hawx resume course but hold off till all the other ships are away.”
Miller watched as the fleet started going to warp. With thirty seconds left the last two ships jumped. It was at this point that Hawx engaged the Warp engines of the Endeavor at warp six so we can get back up to the front of the formation.
Miller hit the Comm button on his chair, “Bridge to engineering how are you holding up down there.”
Jim Parker was the one to answer the call, “We are doing well Skipper. They got our shields down to about fifty present, but the system was already rebooting to bring the shields back up to full. Only minor damage with about three relays blowing on deck 15 where one of the torpedoes hit, but I have a Damage control team there now working on repairs. I think this girl passed her first real world combat test.”
Miller smiled, “That’s good news, Bridge out.” Miller turned on the comm again, “Bridge to Sickbay”
Doctor Carson answered this time, “Sickbay here, did you feel a little jolt up there.”
Miller could here a few giggles in the back ground. Smiling he said, “I was just calling for a casualty report”
Carson replied, “Nothing more than a few minor scrapes and bruises, I do have one child with a sprained wrist but she is already taken care of. In all only twenty people came into sickbay. Everyone has been released already.”
“Good news Doctor,” miller said “Keep up the good work.”
Miller looked around the bridge, “Well we passed out first test with flying colors good work everyone.”