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Zefram_Cochrane January 30 2008 08:44 PM

Star Trek: Full Speed Ahead
 
I'm a new member, here, but I've been writing fanfic for over a decade. It was suggested that if I needed a good group of people to bounce some ideas off of, you guys would be at the top of the list, so I hope that my newbieness doesn't rub you guys the wrong way.

I'm designing a new series of fanfics centered around a ship (shock), but with stories that compliment episodes played out in The Next Generation, starting with the third season and following along through to the fourth season of Deep Space Nine or the end of Generations.

I have four episodes outlined so far, two of them written. Does this sound like anything anyone would be interested in reading?

Thanks,

-- ZC

Gibraltar January 30 2008 08:55 PM

Re: Star Trek: Full Speed Ahead
 
^Absolutely! :) Welcome to the fanfic board. Post away!

Mistral January 30 2008 11:02 PM

Re: Star Trek: Full Speed Ahead
 
Have at it. Always eager for more(drools on self). :drool:

Zefram_Cochrane February 1 2008 01:32 AM

Re: Star Trek: Full Speed Ahead
 
Okay, so I want to preface this with a note saying this is a first draft and I'm looking for feedback. This is also my attempt to bring a little more 'realism' to officers in Starfleet, being that I study military history a great deal and number of my close friends are former or currently serving officers (commissioned and non-commissioned). With all that said, I present the teaser to the pilot episode, "Damn the Torpedoes!"
---------------------------

NCC-60597 (USS Farragut)
Present Location Unknown
Main Bridge
Stardate 43224.74

The wail of the red alert klaxon could barely be heard over the trembling of the ship's hull under her feet. The comfortable chair she sat in carried those vibrations and massaged her back, but she had no time to enjoy it. The blue-green distortion on the main viewscreen looked like a long tunnel for as far as she could see.

"Mister Aspinall, reverse thrust!" she ordered, over the din.

Lieutenant (jg) Gregory Aspinall turned his head to call back, "Helm is unresponsive, Captain." He tapped in a few more commands, but the console rewarded him with a negative response. "Braking thrusters are offline!"

"Damage reports coming in sections one through thirteen, decks six through twelve!" shouted Lieutenant Commander Ariel Elannis.

Lieutenant Wilson Nieves added, "I've lost weapons, and the shield emitters are offline!"

"Structural integrity field at seventy percent and falling."

"Damn it," Captain Leone spat. Her right hand balled up into a fist, and she pounded it against the armrest in frustration. "Petra, divert auxiliary power to the structural integrity and inertial dampening fields!"

"Aye, sir!" said the chief engineer. "Aux power engaged!"

The result was immediate. The vibration softened considerably and the background noise level dropped enough to allow the red alert siren to be heard once more.

From her station, Ariel nodded. "IDF stabilized. The SIF is holding steady at sixty-seven percent, but I don't know for how long."

"Sensor pod is offline, I'm switching to the lateral array," reported Nieves. The viewscreen flickered as he switched the inputs. A few moments later there was nothing but the inoperative holographic display diodes behind the clear screen, and he added, "Sorry, sir, we lost the lateral sensors, too."

The ship still strained under the power of whatever it was they were caught inside of. She continued to eye the viewscreen, hoping that outside of her ship, the end of the tunnel was coming soon.


TWENTY-FOUR HOURS EARLIER...


NCC-60597 (USS Farragut)
Drydocked at Yard 39A, Antares Ship Yards
Navigational Deflector Control Room
Stardate 43222

The ship's massive navigational deflector allowed Farragut to traverse the expanse of vacuum without the fear of microfracture caused by small objects impacting against the hull as it travelled at high velocities. From the front, it looked like a huge blue dish carrying an orange-colored serving platter. At least, it looked that way to Saleb, as they looked out from behind the darkened dish.

His companion, Belkis, stood over him one level up, wearing a rather impatient expression. Saleb gave him a sheepish grin, as he had been caught enjoying himself. Belkis thought of nothing but the mission and the objectives, but Saleb liked to seek out the little pleasures of this particular excursion. They were pretty far from home, anyway, and he would be remiss not to suck every tender bit of information he could from it.

Saleb stepped down onto the primary access level and placed his Starfleet-issued carry-all on the deck. He kneeled and touched the access panel's control to allow it to slide out of his way. The deflector's control computer extended like a drawer, allowing him complete access to the key component of the ship's system.

Belkis tensed above him, and Saleb sensed it immediately. Belkis turned his back to him suddenly, and Saleb froze. The door to the corridor opened onto the deck above, and someone was talking because he could hear their voice faintly.
Their work on the navigational deflector could not afford to be discovered or disturbed. Saleb slowly snaked his hand around the butt of his weapon. He was certain Belkis' hand was moving toward his own concealed weapon, underneath the engineering jumpsuit worn by all the civilian engineers aboard the ship. The good-natured tone of the unexpected visitor floated down to his ears.

"Pardon me," said the visitor. "I'm looking for junction two-one-Alpha-three. Would you happen to know where it is?"

A barrel-chested bruiser, Belkis tended to intimidate most people he met. He answered with his typical terseness, "It's three junctions forward, one deck up."

"Hey, thanks-"

The door was closed from their side, cutting off the engineer midsentence. He heard Belkis' boots on the deck and he could feel his stare on him like before.

Feeling safe enough to pull his equipment out of the carry-all, he let out a deep breath and retrieved his very unStarfleet scanning device, along with a set of packets mounted on a technical pallet. "That was pretty rude," he noted, not taking his eyes away from the control computer.

Belkis hissed. "How long?"

Saleb looked at the scanner in his hand. "This is not something we rush, Bel. I need to calibrate the device, first."

"Don't call me that!"

Out of view, Saleb grinned. "Watch the door, will you?"

"Hurry up."

He rolled his eyes at his companion. "Relax."

"You're treating this like it's a pleasure excursion!"

"I said relax. The ship launches tomorrow and the navigational deflector is going to pass their rather cursory inspection."

"You keep saying that, but I think you're underestimating them!" snapped Belkis as he rubbed at his forehead.

Saleb sighed, "We studied them for months, specifically for this mission. They do their little walkthrough, they make their little scans and they're done." For as long as they've worked together, he knew what the big man was going to do next. He grinned to himself in anticipation.

"You are an arrogant, aggravating, soulless, little man!"

"I love it when you talk dirty to me, Bel."

Belkis threw his hands up in exasperation. "Hurry up! We have people waiting for us!"

"Did you think I forgot?"

He pointed at him from above in a dramatic fashion. "I say it because you appear to need reminding. I don't want you running off to join Starfleet."

Saleb showed his teeth as he smiled. He looked up at Belkis. "Starfleet could use my help."

"Just remember that we asked you, first."

Of the many qualities a Kasui had, humor had yet to be developed. Saleb sighed. "I'm joking."

Belkis grumbled, "You better be."

---------------------------

It's totally rough, and I'm sure there are spelling errors or mechanical errors. I welcome all feedback, though try to remember that I do write more character story and skimp on the Treknobabble.

Thanks for reading,

-- ZC

hellsgate February 1 2008 01:48 AM

Re: Star Trek: Full Speed Ahead
 
Zephram: I'd love to see what you're going to do with the rest of your ideas. I'd love to have you submit your work to "Star Trek: New Worlds" (see link below.)

Zefram_Cochrane February 1 2008 01:57 AM

Re: Star Trek: Full Speed Ahead
 
Quote:

hellsgate said:
Zephram: I'd love to see what you're going to do with the rest of your ideas. I'd love to have you submit your work to "Star Trek: New Worlds" (see link below.)

Heh, well thanks, but I'm intending on making this a series unto itself. I am working on a series bible for anyone who wants to write stories about this crew, though. The site for Full Speed Ahead is under construction at http://www.stfsa.net.

-- ZC

Mistral February 1 2008 03:00 AM

Re: Star Trek: Full Speed Ahead
 
OK, looked pretty clean. Nice set up and it was coherent. It shows that you've done this before. I am thinking this is around the Dominion War era? From the serial # of the ship, that is. I've never wrapped my head around stardates. I assume descriptions will be worked in as it grows? And what class is the ship? (Just curious).

Zefram_Cochrane February 1 2008 03:06 AM

Re: Star Trek: Full Speed Ahead
 
NCC-60597 is a Nebula-class starship.

Stardate 43224.7 puts it near the start of TNG's third season

-- ZC

Mistral February 1 2008 03:20 AM

Re: Star Trek: Full Speed Ahead
 
Thank you. I'll look it up on my ship chart .jpg that I have. I went to HopeStation-kinda the only one doing ST fanfic there, huh?

Gibraltar February 1 2008 03:27 AM

Re: Star Trek: Full Speed Ahead
 
A great start! Your writing style is strong and fluid, and your scenes take on a life of their own. That was a great way to pull the readers into the story by giving a glimpse of the peril that awaits the ship.

It appears strange things are afoot aboard the good ship Farragut, and our faux-engineer friends are likely involved.

More please! :D

Zefram_Cochrane February 1 2008 03:31 AM

Re: Star Trek: Full Speed Ahead
 
Quote:

Mistral said:
Thank you. I'll look it up on my ship chart .jpg that I have. I went to HopeStation-kinda the only one doing ST fanfic there, huh?

Yeah, sad isn't it? I wish more writers would show up. It's a great site. No ads and no waiting, all free. I love it. Tons better than FanFiction.net!

-- ZC

Zefram_Cochrane February 1 2008 03:32 AM

Re: Star Trek: Full Speed Ahead
 
Quote:

Gibraltar said:
A great start! Your writing style is strong and fluid, and your scenes take on a life of their own. That was a great way to pull the readers into the story by giving a glimpse of the peril that awaits the ship.

It appears strange things are afoot aboard the good ship Farragut, and our faux-engineer friends are likely involved.

More please! :D

Thank you so much for your kind words. :) I appreciate it. I'll post some more in a bit.

-- ZC

Zefram_Cochrane February 1 2008 03:39 AM

Re: Star Trek: Full Speed Ahead
 
All right, here's Act I:

--------------------------------

NCC-60597/03 (Shuttle Ptolemy)
Spaceport Two, Antares Ship Yards
Cockpit
Stardate 43222.03


Captain Krystine Leone stepped in from the shuttle's passenger compartment. It was one of the type-seven shuttlecraft in use by Starfleet; with its curvaceous exterior, it reminded her of a reverse-colored panda bear. She ran a hand across the line of the console in front of her and tapped in a few commands to check on the shuttle's status. The yardmaster promised her a pilot, but she had yet to see him or her arrive, yet.

The Ptolemy was to be one of forty-seven auxiliary craft assigned to her ship, and just being inside it made her feel giddy at the prospect of assuming command of a Nebula-class starship. The shuttle felt like an extension of her impending status as the newest starship captain in the United Federation of Planets.

She stood from her seat and rechecked her stowed gear in the shuttle's storage area underneath the portside bench seat in the rear compartment. Satisfied, she turned to go back to the cockpit when she heard the familiar click of uniform boots on the shuttle's deck. Her eyes looked down at the shuttle's chronometer, counting away the seconds upon the corner display of the console.

The clicking stopped, just behind her. She turned her head, ready to introduce herself to the pilot, when she realized that she did not have to.

"Wilson," she smiled.

Lieutenant Wilson Nieves returned the smile, the skin around his brown eyes wrinkling as he did so. "Congratulations on your promotion, Captain."

She beamed, "Thank you! How are you?"

He settled into the pilot's seat and activated the console. "I'm doing fine, sir."

"Last time I saw you, you were high-tailing it off the Potemkin. I heard you went home."

"I spent a few weeks on leave," he nodded. "But then I heard they promoted you and were giving you a ship. So, I decided to cut my leave short so I could at least see you off."

She winced, inwardly. He applied to be her new chief tactical and security officer, but he lost to a more qualified officer by the name of Daniel Hunter. "I'm sorry you didn't get the berth, Wilson. I really am."

Nieves waved her off with a shake of his head. "No, it's all right, sir. You went with the right man. Danny's going to make you proud." He turned his head, after signaling for launch clearance. "And besides, you've got Commander Elannis, too. So, you're definitely in good hands."

Leone grinned. Ariel Elannis, Wilson, and she had all served together on the Excelsior-class starship USS Potemkin, under the command of Captain T'Cirya. When T'Cirya received her promotion to rear admiral, the crew dispersed to different ships in the fleet, as Potemkin's new captain began to assemble his new senior staff. "I know she's already here."

"She's been here for weeks. She and your chief engineer have been making use of the time during the final stages of the refit," he informed her. "Control, this is Ptolemy. Engaging thrusters for launch."

The shuttlecraft shuddered slightly as the primary thrusters lifted it off of the deck and pass the energy barrier holding the atmosphere inside. They slipped into space from the launch bay.

"Petra Bartlet. I haven't had much of a chance to meet everyone... except Commander Kincaid."

"Your new first officer?"

"Yeah."

"I didn't see him on board."

"He's still at Starbase Three-One-Zero, waiting for us to pick him up. Actually, most of the crew are there."

Nieves asked, "Because of the warp tests, right?"

She nodded. Farragut's refit included an upgrade to the warp's core and field coils. It required a warp test to tune the coils to the new core and that would fall to Lieutenant Bartlet and her entire division. In order to accomplish this, they'll need to take the ship out away from any stellar body and engage the engines. "We'll only have a hundred seventy-four in crew, including the civilian engineers who'll observe and consult. You know, the new core was originally intended for the Sutherland."

"You say that with such pride, sir."

"Are you making fun of me, Lieutenant?"

Nieves smirked, but forced a dispassionate expression onto his face. "No, sir, Captain, sir!"

Unable keep a straight face for very long, both dissolved into laughter. Leone placed a hand on his shoulder and smiled. "I'm glad you were able to make it to the ceremony."

"I wouldn't have missed it for anything, sir." Under his command, the shuttle banked around the marker beacon for Yard Thirty-Nine-Alpha, where Farragut was dry-docked. The bow of the shuttle swung into view and he knew it would be a special moment. "There she is, sir."

Leone looked away from him and out to the scene before them. Cradled within the span of the drydock facility was NCC-60597. From their vantage, she could see underneath the Nebula-class heavy cruiser's saucer, which was an exact duplicate of the saucer one would find on a Galaxy-class starship. She breathed, "Oh, my gods..."

He expected her response. "Beautiful?"

"She looks... cold."

Nieves looked at the ship again. None of its lights were on, including the warp nacelles or the navigational deflector. "They're keeping her on internal power, right now. They already did the power system tests-"

"Two days ago," she interrupted him. "I've been keeping up with the reports."

He grinned. "Yes, sir."

"Can you take us under the saucer and then over?"

"Of course."

The shuttle dived below the 'waterline' of the saucer section and the large block numbers of the ship's naval construction contract number were as big as her eyes. Pride surged within her as she reached out with her hand to touch the viewport plexiglass, as though her fingers might pass through so she could touch the hull with her bare hand. When her fingers hit the glass, she pulled them back quickly and gave Wilson a sheepish grin.

The underside slowly crawled by the shuttle. They continued on and she noticed a big divot at the very bottom. "Hey, where's my gig?"

Wilson looked at the docking port for the missing captain's yacht and shook his head. "I don't know, sir. Maybe it'll be delivered later?"

She frowned. "Damn. I wanted to take a look at her."

"Did you have a name picked out?"

"No. I was hoping I would be inspired, later."

"Would you like me to find out where it is?"

Leone shook her head. "No, I'm sure I'll find out once I'm aboard."

"Aye, sir." When they reached the navigational deflector, he announced, "I'm bringing her about, now." They moved along the port side of the saucer and floated up and over the lip.
The upper half looked more impressive than the bottom. Ptolemy approached the ship's bridge module and she looked closely at the viewports. "There's my ready room," she grinned uncontrollably.

"Yes, sir."

The shuttle's speakers crackled to life. A woman with a contralto voice called to them, "This is Farragut Control to inbound shuttle. Please identify yourself. You are entering the approach and landing for our main shuttlebay."

He tapped at his console and spoke, "Control, this is Shuttle Three, Ptolemy, on approach. We are inbound from Antares Central."

"Your landing code, please."

"Code Six-Farragut." The code announced to control that a ranked captain was on board, and additionally, that captain was their new commanding officer. "Request landing clearance at your convenience."

A different voice replied; a deep male baritone. "Code Six-Farragut acknowledged. Welcome, Captain Leone. Commander Tennyson sends his respects."

Leone spoke up. "This is Captain Leone. My compliments to the commander."

"Ptolemy, you are cleared to land. Approach vector alpha."

Wilson nodded. "Approach vector alpha, confirmed. On final approach, now."

The cavernous main shuttlebay looked more like a fully-fledged planetside spaceport than its name implied. Shuttles and pods of varying sizes moved within the bay and out, while other shuttles approached and landed on one of the four light strips available for them to do so. Ptolemy approached on the port-side strip and then guided to a waiting compartment where a staff of flight deck personnel burst forth to tend to the shuttle.

Leone smiled. "Smooth landing. Thanks for taking me over, Wilson."

"Anytime, sir," replied Nieves with a smile of his own. "I'll take care of post-flight. Why don't you look around and get familiar with your new digs?"

Even if he hadn't mentioned it, she would've done so. "I will. See you later?"

"I'll be here for the ceremony, so definitely, sir."

"Excellent." She didn't wait another moment, instead gathering her gear and making for the exit.

"Captain Leone, I presume?" asked the stocky dark-skinned man in the gold Commander's uniform.

"You presume correctly, Commander Tennyson."

He smiled and extended his hand. "Commander Robert Tennyson, sir. A pleasure to meet you."

"I feel like I know you, already, Commander," she replied, accepting the firm and warm handshake. Since the Farragut arrived at the Antares Ship Yards for its five-year refit nearly eight months ago, Commander Tennyson assumed engineering command of the ship. "I've read every one of your reports going back to the beginning of the refit."

"Then you have me at a disadvantage, sir," he said as they ended the handshake. "But I do know that congratulations are in order, Captain."

"Thank you. Do you prefer Robert or Bob?"

"Rob, actually."

Leone smiled and asked, "Rob, where are you bunking me?"

"Deck eight, section alpha one."

"Nice. Is it ready?"

Tennyson grinned. "In anticipation of your arrival today."

"Then, lead on."

"Aye, sir." He barked, "Yeoman, get the Captain's gear and follow us, please."

A yeoman third class moved quickly and offered to carry her duffel and garment bag. She relinquished both to the young enlisted petty officer and followed behind the broad back of Rob Tennyson.

---- Scene Change ----

Saleb finished installing the device and tucked the isolinear connection behind the bulk of the control computer. He began entering in commands on the scanner, satisfied with the response and looked up.

Leaning over the rail, Belkis shot an expectant look at him. "Well?"

"It's ready."

"Are you sure?"

Saleb looked back down at his scanner. "I think so."

"You think?"

"Look, I've only done this once before."

"Gods, help me..."

"Do you want to come down here and do it?"

Belkis raised both hands in dismissal. "No, no." He sighed. "When we activate it, what's going to happen?"

"One of two things, I guess. Either, it'll work and we'll have succeeded..."

"Or?"

"Or it'll destroy the navigational deflector and possibly the entire bottom half of the ship."

"What?!"

Saleb ran a few more calculations and then snapped his head back up. "No, wait."

Belkis perked up. "Yes?"

"I was wrong."

He let out a sigh of relief. "Oh, good."

"Both could happen. We could succeed and then blow up."

Belkis placed his hand over his face and closed his eyes. "I should've stayed home."

-----------------

And there's Act I. The whole thing is only 9k in word count, so the acts are a little short, but this first episode is a multi-parter. :)

Thanks for reading.

-- ZC

Zefram_Cochrane February 1 2008 03:58 AM

Re: Star Trek: Full Speed Ahead
 
A warning up front: I use a lot of graphic language in my writing, and Trek is no different. Also, I make allusions to sex and other mature themes, so if you're not cool with that, please stop reading, now. Especially if you stick around for part two of this series, because I get damned graphic at one point.

Here's Act II!

---------------------

"We've been working triple shifts trying to get that new warp core online in time. Lieutenant Bartlet has been instrumental in completing that installation and activation for us," said Tennyson as they moved along deck eight.

Leone kept her eye on their location. Unlike her previous assignment, Potemkin, this ship's corridors were unmarked. The LCARS interface running the length was available in case one got lost aboard the ship, but she felt like it would be an embarrassment to not know where you're going. "Nothing short of impressive, Rob."

"Once you've settled in, sir, I'd be more than happy to take you on a tour of the ship."

"If you don't mind, I'd like to conduct my own tour."

Tennyson tilted his head. "That's not necessary, sir. I would be delighted to show you around."

"A captain needs to learn her ship backwards and forwards, Commander. I'd prefer to find my way around and get to know her on my own terms."

"Of course, sir. If you need any help, please don't hesitate to call me." He stopped in front of the last door at the end of the corridor and pointed. "You're in here, sir."

When he tapped on the door controls, the doors did not open immediately. Leone looked at him. "Problem, Rob?"

Tennyson chuckled nervously. "Uh, no, sir. Give me a moment, please." He continued to work on it, until the doors finally snapped open with violent speed.

"Wow," said a wide-eyed Leone. "When you tell those things to open, you don't mess around."

"We'll get that fixed for you, sir."

"At your leisure. No rush." She stepped inside and took a look around at her new home. It was twice the size of a normal stateroom, with a small working area that acted as a private office. She would be able to work from here or in her ready room attached to the main bridge on deck one. But the view was the most impressive part of the stateroom, showing the entire forward are of the ship's saucer section.

As the yeoman entered and placed her things on the couch, she smiled at Tennyson and nodded. "This is quite a stateroom."

"I'm pleased you like them, sir." He stood behind her and asked, "May I inquire as to when you would like to assume command?"

"I was thinking tomorrow morning at around eleven hundred."

"Not tonight, sir?"

"Are you that eager to shove off?"

"No, sir, I only meant that most captains like to take the reigns the moment they step on board."

Leone smiled. "I'm sure they do, and with a ship like this, I must admit... it's tempting. But I need to meet with key staff and I want to walk the ship through a few times."

"Understood, sir."

"I was also hoping to meet Lieutenant Bartlet sometime today."

"Tennyson to Bartlet," he said, calling to the air. "Report to the captain's stateroom."

Leone replied, "Thank you."

"My pleasure, Captain." He dismissed the yeoman and then returned his attention to her. "Anything else I can do for you?"

She folded her arms and thought about it briefly. With a smile, she nodded. "Have Commander Elannis report here, too."

"Aye, sir."

"Thank you, Rob."

Tennyson inclined his head before leaving her alone in the stateroom.

Leone placed her hand against the bulkhead and felt the smooth finish of the standard-issue Starfleet beige color that lined every corridor and deck aboard the ship. The distinctiveness of the Farragut lay in the carpeting. She had been aboard the Enterprise, with its beige walls and salmon-colored carpeting. Teal graced the trim of her carpets and the decks, to give Farragut a somewhat unique look.

She grabbed her duffel and tossed it onto her large queen-sized bunk. Yet another change from her last post, where she had a twin-sized bunk to sleep in, and her feet tended to scoot over the edge of it while she slept. The bunk's comforter carried a Starfleet insignia and the words, "U. S. S. FARRAGUT NCC-60597" stenciled upon it. Standard-issue equipment, even for the ship's new master and commander.

By the time she hung her uniforms in the closet near the bunk, the door chimed. Leone moved into the front room and beckoned her caller to enter.

Lieutenant Petra Bartlet wore her brown hair up in a regulation-length pony tail, with all of the hair swept back away from her face. She looked rather unassuming within the confines of Leone's stateroom, as though she were there for some sort of punishment rather than a simple meeting.

"A pleasure to finally meet you in person," said Leone as they shook hands.

"Yes, sir," replied the chief engineer meekly. Her grip was nonexistent, letting the captain's hand fall away rather than releasing it.

Leone made certain her smile was as pleasant as could be. "I have been keeping up with all the engineering reports you've submitted to Starfleet. I must say that I've been most impressed with your work on this refit, and I can't imagine a better qualified chief engineer in the fleet."

The praised caused the young woman to blush. "T-Thank you, sir."

"In fact, according to your last report, I understand we can get underway tomorrow as scheduled?"

"Yes, sir. W-We do a final walkthrough tomorrow morning, after the c-ceremony."

"Very fine work," said Leone. "Do you prefer to be called Petra?"

"Petra is fine, sir. My mother calls me Pet, for short."

"Petra it is, then." The door chime sounded. "Enter."

A stern-looking lieutenant commander, wearing the same gold-colored uniform as Petra, entered the stateroom and ceremoniously stepped forward. "Lieutenant Commander Ariel Elannis, reporting for duty, sir!" She wore a serious expression and had her right hand upon to her brow in salute. Next to the short stature of Lieutenant Bartlet, Elannis towered over her with her tall and lithe form.

Leone narrowed her eyes at Elannis, and curtly returned the salute. "At ease, Commander!"

Elannis' feet spread apart in the proper stance, and her eyes continued to stare up and ahead. She did not make eye contact with Leone.

Petra looked between the two officers, obviously unsure of her footing now more than before.

"Well. I see that Starfleet has decided to punish me by sending over the bottom of the barrel of available officers," said Leone with folded arms. Elannis could not respond, as she was not asked a direct question by her superior. "I had hoped that they might've asked you to resign, or cashiered your lousy ass out of the service."
Elannis said nothing.

"Do you have anything to say for yourself?"

"Permission to speak freely, sir?"

"By all means."

Elannis fixed a hostile glare at Leone. "Who do I have to fuck to get off this ship?"

Leone shot a quick glance to their would-be chief engineer and read the mortified expression on her face. Enough was enough. "Gods, Ariel," she said with a wink, "who don't you fuck these days?" She broke her demeanor fully, and embraced her old friend.

Ariel laughed, accepting the embrace tightly. "Captain Leone. It has a nice ring to it."

"I'm still getting used to the weight of that fourth pip." The confused expression on Petra's face shot a pang of guilt through Leone's stomach. "I'm sorry if we frightened you," she said to her.

"N-No, sir..." said Petra with a shake of her head. "It-It was quite entertaining," she added, unconvincingly. "May I h-have your leave, sir?"

"Of course."

Without a further word, Petra departed the captain's stateroom.

Leone frowned and leaned against her desk. "I think we might have broken our chief engineer."

Ariel looked back toward the door and said, "Shit. We don't have any spares."

"Hey," said Leone, changing the subject, "Wilson's here."

Ariel winced. "Yeah, did he talk to you about the job?"

"I think he understands. He spoke pretty highly of Dan Hunter."

"He's actually pretty hurt by the fact that you passed him over," Ariel said, placing a hand on her hip. "He held up his leave to make himself available, and now he's got nowhere else to go."

Leone sighed. "Damn."

"I don't know this Dan Hunter guy from Adam, so I don't know what he did to convince you to pick him over Wilson..."

"Don't get defensive on me."

"C'mon, Krys. Wilson's the best tactical officer you've ever served with."

"Wilson's also an officer with a good career ahead of him, and he should be getting experience on other ships that don't have me on it," replied Leone tersely. "I'm looking out for him. If he has three tours with me, it's not going to look good."

"Like he cares whether or not it looks good. He's a good friend and good officer."

Leone wondered if there was more to the conversation than she was letting on. "Are you hurt I didn't choose you as my XO?"

Ariel raised her hands. "Hey, I'm just glad I made the cut."

"Uh-huh."

"Speaking of executive officers... nice pick. Jesse Kincaid's a rather attractive man."

"You've met him?"

"Not personally, no." Off her look, she continued, "I've seen holos."

"I'll bet you have. No sleeping with the XO. That's a direct order."

"I am a mature woman. I know what's right and what's wrong."

"Except when a semi-attractive person comes within sensor range. Then, you're like a Betazoid in the damned phase."

"You exaggerate."

"I certainly do not." Before Ariel could protest any further, Leone raised her hand and continued, "We were on Risa, two years ago, enjoying leave... or rather, you did. You put that stupid statue out and five guys and three girls showed up."

"I had a good selection, I'll admit."

"You took them all!"

"You're just jealous because you're tied down to one guy and have no opportunity to experience an orgy or two," Ariel said, while pointing at her.

"I'm surprised you had enough energy to walk after that."

"Can we please talk about something other than my libido?"

Leone nudged Ariel with her shoulder. "I missed you."

Ariel grinned. "Same. So... how's the family?"

"Mom and Dad send their love, and wonder what it's going to take for you to visit. They haven't seen you in two years, now."

"I know. I feel guilty about that, but..." Ariel gestured around the stateroom with her arms and said nothing more.

Leone continued, "John's doing well. He's on Starbase 6, working on their power systems. Dom's starting school in a week and is looking forward to it. Mom's already planning his eleventh birthday."

"Damn. I can't believe he's going to be eleven this year," said Ariel with a shake of her head. "Seems like just last year you were looking for a surrogate to carry him."

"I know."

"I'm surprised your mom's going all out for birthdays."

"I think she feels guilty about not being there to raise me, and is making up for lost time with my son."

"You should think about bringing him with you. This ship will be carrying some families. Why not let yours join you?"

Leone shifted uncomfortably on her desk. "The idea of having John and Dom here doesn't sit well with me. We get into all sorts of scrapes, and I want them to be safe. I'm not really sure I even like the idea of having families on board in the first place."

"Seems to be the general consensus among starship captains these days. Then again, you lot are weird when it comes to change, aren't you?"

"Aren't we all?"

"Point."

"John asked me about the possibility of having them join me before I got here, and the compromise was that for at least a week a year, Dom would get the chance to experience life on a starship."

"And he's not coming?"

"Depends on work. The Federation has him bounding all over the place, it's hard to really get a hold of his schedule long enough to put some concrete plans into effect. He's going to have to use his vacation time, well in advance, in order to get more than a few days off, let alone a full week."

Ariel nodded. "In the meantime, you've got me, right?"

"I was just about to say that," lied Leone with a sad smile.

Her friend pushed herself away from the desk and stood up, putting her hands behind her back. "Should we walk some decks?"

Leone's enthusiasm returned in full force. She stood up, herself and pulled down her uniform top from the bottom of the shirt. It snapped away all the wrinkles that had accumulated whilst seated. "Absolutely."

Ariel pulled on Leone's arm and they moved out into the corridor. "Good. Because you have got to see your new bridge."

"I'm looking forward to it."

"By the way, could Commander Tennyson be any hotter?"

"Ariel, please..."

---- Scene Change ----

One of the aspects of starship refitting was the modular nature of design in Starfleet. Everything aboard a starship could be replaced with a new module with very little effort. Ships of the Nebula and Galaxy classes used the same saucer design, and so modules built for one could be easily transferred to the other without nominal modifications. Modules available included sensor palettes, the navigational deflector, shield emitters, sickbay, holodecks, and of course, the main bridge.

When the turbolift doors parted to allow Leone and Ariel passage to the main bridge, one of the engineering crewmen working on the ops console looked up and smiled. "Captain on the bridge," he announced.

Leone felt her cheeks heat up. "As you were," she said, quickly. The bridge layout matched that of a Galaxy-class starship exactly. The split-level bridge had the support station to the aft, behind the large horseshoe-like rail that housed the tactical station. The massive viewscreen at the front of the bridge showed all of the little holographic projection diodes as they were offline, while the flight controller and operations stations sat before it. Her eyes moved from ops to the center, where her new chair was. Except, it wasn't there. In fact, it was the only chair that wasn't on the bridge.

An ensign wearing engineering gold quickly moved down to greet them. "Sorry, sir. There was a minor malfunction in the chair's display unit. We removed it to have it looked at."

"It's all right, Ensign," she said, with a raise of her hand. "I'm just taking a look around."

"Yes, sir."

"I assume the ready room is... well, ready?"

"Oh, yes, sir!"

Leone looked back at Ariel and shot her a smile. "Thank you, Ensign."

The two officers moved into the ready room. "Wow, they really know how to treat captains around here, eh?" said Ariel, as soon as the doors were closed.

"I suppose so," said Leone. Her right hand was already moving along the sleek black mahogany-like surface of the desk, until she was standing behind the desk. "Nice office."

"Better than your last one."

"My last office was a desk in a closet on deck six."

"That's what I mean. Gotta love these new bridge modules."

"I was thinking the same thing."

"Kind of bare, though, isn't it?" said Ariel, as she looked around the room with her arms crossed behind her back. Her eyes settled on something in the corner. "What the hell is that?"

Leone's eyes moved in the direction Ariel was pointing in. "It looks like a bust of some kind." It was the bust of a man, perched atop a column, in the corner of the ready room between the two couches.

Ariel moved to read the inscription. "'Admiral David Glasgow Farragut, United States Navy.'"

"That bust must have been left here by the previous captain," said Leone.

"He looks mean."

"He was the one who said, 'Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.'"

"I see," Ariel said, her interest moving on. "I never really cared for ancient Earth history."

"You should. There are a lot of lessons to be learned from history."

"Back to the ready room. We could put some other art pieces in here."

Leone thought about it. "On the Enterprise, Captain Picard keeps a lionfish in his."

"T'Cirya kept a Vulcan harp on display in her ready room."

"You saying I should bring my saxophone or something?"

"I know you haven't played it in ages, but it wouldn't hurt to bring a little personal touch to your area."

"That's what your quarters are for."

"This is where most of your meetings are going to take place. And I'll bet you spend more time in this room than in your quarters."

Leone had not considered that. She'd never had a ready room like this before, and the only times she used an office as an executive officer was to conduct the ship's business and complete all of the paperwork required by Starfleet. "I suppose so."

"You're a mighty captain, now. I think your space should reflect your rank a little better."

"Well, this mighty captain doesn't feel like there should be a whole lot of pomp and circumstance when it comes to leadership. I plan on keeping things informal," assured Leone.

"Hmm." Ariel moved toward the replicator and asked the computer for a cold glass of water. When it materialized, she pulled back and sipped at the glass. "Hey, what's this door lead to?" Without waiting for an answer, she moved toward the single door and it slid open.

Leone looked over and grinned.

"Aha..."

"Yes."

"This is where your mighty captain's ass perches when you're... deep in thought?"

"Yes... that is the captain's head. What did you think it was?"

"A closet?"

"Was I supposed to hold it the entire time I'm assigned to this ship?"

Ariel laughed. Suddenly, she snapped her fingers. "I got it. How about a scale model of the Majestic?"

The Miranda-class USS Majestic was her mother's first command. "Maybe," considered Leone. "I think that would really please my mom, actually. Y'know, for the two times she's going to visit me. Plus, building one would-"

"Computer, replicate a scale model of the Miranda-class starship Majestic, as it appeared under the command of Commander Angelina Leone," ordered Ariel of the replicator. She set her drink down to retrieve the model.

"Please specify scale."

"One to six-fifty."

The replicator performed as it was requested, and within its materialization receptacle lay the Majestic as Ariel specified. It even had a stand to perch it on. She withdrew it from the replicator and set it upon a stand between the viewport and the door. "I think it would look really nice right here."

Leone sighed. "Well, I would have preferred to build the model myself, but then when am I going to have that kind of time?"

"Exactly."

"And I think a nice big piece of art over the couch would look really nice, too."

Ariel finished her drink and set it down on the replicator pad, where it dematerialized. "Now, you're coming around to the idea. Let's go see what else we can find."

They moved back out onto the bridge and aft, toward the observation lounge. They crossed behind the tactical station, which was open and exposing the circuits behind the LCARS panel. A door to the right of the bridge's head, led aft on that deck through a small hall that also provided access to the bridge control systems.

The lounge's massive viewports were angled as the outer hull was designed to. It provided a view aft and above the ship somewhat, while the long angled table provided for ten people to sit around it. Viewscreens on the port and starboard side could be used for presentations.

Leone could see the scaffolds of the drydock facility, as well as the massive sensor pod mounted on the dorsal section of the secondary hull. Shuttles moved in and out of the main shuttlebay below them on deck five. On the opposite bulkhead from the view, were all the ships named Farragut in a brass rendering, including the one they stood upon.

The first thing Ariel said when they saw the observation lounge was, "You can keep your cramped little ready room. This is my office."

------------

And there's Act II.

Thanks for reading,

-- ZC

RobertScorpio February 1 2008 04:05 AM

Re: Star Trek: Full Speed Ahead
 
Hi..where can we find part one?


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