Captain’s Log, Stardate 62192.18: With three days left before launch, the lead crew of the USS Tesseract is busy making final preparations for our departure to the Delta Quadrant. All systems appear to be functioning well, and I’ve had the opportunity to meet the various department heads over the past day or so. The rest of the support staff will be arriving on transports from Deep Space 5 today and tomorrow. I look forward to trying to meet each of them, but with a crew of nearly 1500, the task will be monumental. I suppose it’s a good thing that I have seven years with them in which to complete it.
Starfleet still reports no sign of the Borg since Admiral Janeway’s rather explosive return from the Delta Quadrant almost eight years ago. I am hopeful that, thanks to the destruction of the Unicomplex, we will find a thriving and comparatively peaceful quadrant, free of Borg activity. Unfortunately, history says that every time we think we’ve dealt the Borg a crippling blow, they come back stronger than ever.
Captain Adele Oyugo was just finishing her log entry when the viewscreen in her ready room chirped, indicating an incoming transmission. A little early in the morning, isn’t it?
she thought. She glanced at the screen to see who needed to talk to her before 06:00. When she saw the name, she quickly sat up straighter and smoothed out her uniform before activating the comm. link. The Starfleet emblem was instantly replaced by the face of Admiral Kathryn Janeway.
“Good morning, Admiral,” Adele greeted her warmly. “To what do I owe the pleasure of seeing your friendly face so early in the morning?”
“Oh, just checking in with you before you go,” Admiral Janeway said with her signature grin. “Are you ready for the trip of a lifetime?”
Adele smiled back at the Admiral, whom she considered a friend and mentor. Kathryn had taken an interest in her when she found out she had been selected to lead the first mission back to the Delta Quadrant. She had wanted to share as much knowledge as she could, knowledge of the sort that wasn’t included in Captain’s logs and official records.
“I think I’m ready, Admiral ... I hope I am.” She knew Kathryn would understand her hesitation. Janeway had been a brand new Captain on her first command when her ship, Voyager
, had been pulled into the Delta Quadrant by a powerful alien technology. When the owner of that technology died, Janeway had destroyed it rather than let it fall into the wrong hands. It was a choice that had stranded both her crew and a group of Maquis 70,000 light years from home. That they had found a way to return just seven years later was nothing short of miraculous -- the trip should have taken seventy years at maximum warp. Adele knew most of the details of the circumstances surrounding their return, including the fact the temporal prime directive had been violated in the extreme to make it happen. What she, and most of Starfleet, did not and would never know, is who exactly had committed the violation. That information was highly classified, even higher than the stratospheric clearance level Adele had needed to achieve in order to take command of the Tesseract
. The crew of Voyager
, of course, knew what had happened -- but they weren’t talking. As a group, they invariably kept their secrets ‘in the family.’
“You’re up to this challenge, Adele,” Admiral Janeway reassured her. “How is your First Officer working out for you?” she asked with a twinkle in her eye.
Adele spoke truthfully. “He’s efficient and polite -- charming, even -- and obviously brilliant. He’s also incredibly young.”
“Yes, he is. But soon, I think you’ll wonder how you ever survived without him. Even as a child, his assistance on Voyager
“He’s not much more than a child now, Admiral,” Adele replied skeptically.
“Oh, I think you’ll find he’s much more than that, Captain. Give him a chance. He’ll surprise you.”
“I don’t doubt it, Admiral,” Adele replied. She did not add that her fear of being surprised by her First Officer was exactly what was keeping her up at night lately. Admiral Janeway was Starfleet’s strongest advocate for the handful of liberated Borg drones that had made their way to this part of the galaxy. The idea that such a person, especially one of her own protégés, could be a possible threat to mission security was not a topic open for discussion with Kathryn.
“Well, Captain, I know you’ve got a full day ahead of you. I won’t keep you any longer. I just wanted to see your face again and wish you well before you head back to my old stomping grounds. Give my regards to the Delta Quadrant, will you?” Kathryn asked with a slightly wistful smile.
“Certainly, Admiral,” Adele replied.
Kathryn’s voice softened. “Be safe out there, Adele. Janeway out.”