Gul Re'jal wrote:
I think you'd get more comments if you actually posted it here too. A lot of people do that. It's kinda strange to comment something that isn't here and commenting here lets discuss things further--something that is impossible on AdAstra (only review--response and that's all).
I didn't know if that was okay as it is a lot of writing over the long term and might look spammy... but as its okay, here is the first chapter
Stardate 53104.8, USS Nightingale, Utopia Plantia
It took seconds for the transporter beam to completely remove itself from John's body. He wouldn’t look during transport, not after that one bad experience, but he swore every time he went through the damn contraception that he could still feel the energy swirl around him. As he slowly opened his eyes he saw the shiny transporter room in perfect clarity, he was safe. Stepping off the pad he walked down to the slightly bulgy man stood at the bottom. "Welcome aboard, Captain." John was greeted by him, in a warm friendly voice.
"Thank you Admiral," John replied as he smiled back. Admiral Jenkins had been an old commander on the Washington, when John was chief helmsman, and the two had built up a good working relationship during their four year service together. "I see you got the red carpet down in time," John joked to Jenkins referring to the lack of people in the room. Apart from the two men, only the transporter chief stood in the room, at attention.
"Well Captain, I didn't want to overwhelm you on your first day in command." Jenkins smiled. "How does it feel to have one?"
John walked round the room looking at all the fixtures, "A little strange to be honest sir," John replied hesitating a little as he strode around the room purposefully, "I never thought I would make it past Lieutenant, to be honest."
"Lucky for you, you have friends in high places." The admiral gave another cheeky laugh which John felt himself return instinctively. Jenkins stretched his arm out towards the door. "Should we proceed with the tour, there is a lot to show you John." John smiled and followed the direction of the arm.
Walking out on to a carpeted walkway, John felt the air tasted electric with freshly laid carpet and newly placed equipment, "Still have to take the sawdust off," Jenkins remarked as both the senior officers passed a couple of crewman working at a junction, "but she is a good ship, do her job well. She'll make warp 9.99 if you need to."
John touched his hand down one wall, "Oh she'll be fast alright," John said smiling, "didn't I hear the St Bernard broke Starfleet's record last week?"
The Admiral smiled and continued to walk down the corridor, "Yep the older sister certainly did do well for us. Captain T'lorek has done wonders with that ship." The Admiral paused at a turbolift junction and pressed the button, "of course Captain you'll want to make some changes." John smiled back before the admiral continued, "It's only natural for a new captain, put their mark on their ship and all that."
The turbolift doors opened and in walked the admiral and John, he was still felling slightly overwhelmed by looking at his command for the first time. The doors slide silently shut leaving the two men in the circular lift. "Bridge," the admiral commanded and the lift started a silky motion. "Wait until you see the bridge." The admiral gave another friendly smile.
It took just a few seconds for the bridge to appear before John, he stepped onto the bridge amongst a hive of activity, crewman and officers doing various tasks across the bridge and a loud clutter of noise, voices and tools at work.
"Captain on the bridge," shouted an Andorian woman stood next to a console to the right of the turbolift door. The room suddenly came to a standstill with the booming voice command, everyone was stood at attention. John looked round at the at the faces, some of whom seemed to be attempting not to stare at their new commander, John pondered for a moment on how long he could keep them all at attention, stiff in their uniforms.
"At ease," John said after his moment of cruelness had passed, he couldn’t gain their respect by being evil to the crew.
The Andorian approached the Captain and the Admiral, "This is Lieutenant Shrak," commented Jenkins, "your Tactical Officer." The young woman wore the insignia of a Junior Lieutenant and with her white hair it shone in the bright lights of the bridge. John had requested her on the crew, partly because of her ability as a tactical officer but also because she, according to her former commanding officers, spoke bluntly - something that John admired.
"It's a pleasure to finally meet you Lieutenant," John said to the blue skinned woman. Shrak had obvious aggressive tendencies just like any other Andorian, but John could feel an unnerving feel that she was more aggressive than the usual Andorian.
Shrak's antennae moved forward, a sure sign that she was paying complete attention to the two men that were standing in front of her. "Captain," she said politely but with a crisp, professional tone that held the aggressive undertones, "tactical systems are almost ready for departure."
"You solved that problem with the weapon control systems?" the admiral interrupted.
Shrak quickly turned her head in a sharp movement, her antennae straightened up, "Yes Admiral," she replied quickly.
"Very well Lieutenant," John wanted to end the conversation quickly, "you better get on with your work, there's still is a lot to do before we set sail." The Andorian nodded an almost salute like response and walked back to what John recognised as a small station for tactical and security.
John moved over to his chair situated in the centre of the bridge, far away from the ears of his tactical officer, "A bit aggressive?" John asked in a low voice.
"The Andorian way," the admiral whispered back, "they like it." Jenkins smiled again.
John looked at the chair and felt the arm rest before he carefully slid himself into the furniture. The warmth of the cover and design of the bridge made him feel as if the ship was hugging him at that moment, a true bonding session between Captain and ship. "Best view in the house," John said smiling.
"Always is," Jenkins replied, amusement ripe on his face. "The St Bernards class vessel is unique in the way that we've made space for the captain's office and quarters on the same deck as the bridge, as well as the executive officer's office and quarters." The Admiral had a sense of pride in his voice; he had been the lead designer in the team that had designed the St Bernards class vessel and felt pride in his accomplishments with the class.
"This entire ship has been designed in order to improve response times on crews in an emergency," the Admiral paused as he walked towards the helm station at the front of the bridge where a woman was working on the under panel, "you know it can take some crewmembers ten minutes to reach their stations on the Galaxy class ship?" the Admiral asked John, "this ship John, the most it would take a person to reach their duty station is two minutes."
"I did read about the interesting design," John commenting, "Most crew on the deck where their duty station is, the medical deck has its own transporter and is easily accessible from the shuttlebay."
The Admiral pointed to a door on the port side of the bridge; there was another on the starboard section almost a mirror reflection. The port door read Captain's Ready Room and the starboard read Executive Officer's Office. It was not hard to tell which was which. "We've also installed a new type of command and control room just behind the bridge," the Admiral pointed to a door in the corner, "it has the processing power to direct and control a fleet of over a thousand ships."
John imagined what it would be like to be in a fleet that size, even in the Dominion War, which only weeks before had ended, fleets of that size were rare.
The admiral walked around a bit as John took a look around his bridge from the comfort of his chair. From that position John could see nearly every station, tactical was behind him to his right, with an operations post to his left behind. One helmsman sat directly in front of John while science was to his left and an additional couple of posts were to his right. Directly on his right was a space for the executive officer to sit. It was a nice looking bridge, he thought to himself, small, it seemed as if they had attempted to mix the bridge of the Intrepid class vessel into something as small as the old NX class vessel. John stood up and walked over to the door that stated it was his ready room and walked in.
Jenkins had followed him in. John stood in amazement as he could barely move before he hit the chair in front of his desk, which had barely enough room for his chair on the other side. The admiral attempted to squeeze in next to him. "Believe it or not, you could have a meeting with three people in here?" Jenkins remarked, "I tested it last week."
"What did you have, someone hanging on the ceiling?" John asked with a slight hint of sarcasm in his voice. "There's barely anything in here," John asked pointed a table which was just big enough for a couple of padds and the small computer terminal already on the desk.
Jenkins smiled back and pressed a button on the side of the room, it opened out in to what John thought was nothing more than a cupboard. In it was a small bunk bed, a couple of draws and a small table, it was his quarters. "You think this is impressive?" John stated quickly, rubbing his hand down the left wall that had nothing but a small fold up table against the wall and a small replicator.
"We've had to limit some personal space in order to design the St Bernards class exactly as we wanted it." The Admiral stated, "In order to get the evacuation limit up to what we needed, something had to go, we've already compromised on weapons, shields need to be high spec and the science labs are minimum to say the least."
"So that left crew relaxation," John stated looking up at the ceiling.
"You've got a holodeck, more than on the defiant class," Jenkins said moving out of the quarters with John following. Walking on to the bridge John smiled at the busy work that going around the whole bridge.
"There is something that I need to speak to you about Captain," Jenkins' voice suddenly turned from the friendly one it had been before hand to one of more serious. "Do you know of the USS Brave?"
John paused for a moment, raking his memory for some sort of recollection of what the vessel might be for. "If memory serves it's an Intrepid class vessel that patrols near the Gorn border. Captain T'lock is in command isn't he?" John paused looking on the face of the Admiral, seeing if he was impressed with the correct answer, or disgusted by a wrong answer, there was nothing on the face that suggested either had occurred.
"It went missing," Jenkins said, "We haven't heard from it for about six days." Jenkins looked worried for a second that sent a chill down the spine of John, never before had John seen such emotion on the Admiral's face.
"You're going to tell me that we're going out there aren't you?" John said concerned, "Sir with all due respect, you said yourself, the sawdust is still on the ship, Lieutenant L'ras said to me yesterday that we've got a week until we're fully operational."
"You'll have to make some of the amendments on the way."
John wanted to push that, he knew he needed more time, he knew the ship needed more time, but if Command had made a decision that was it, he went. "Some of my senior crew aren't even in the system yet, my Operations officer, helmsman." John said turning round looking at the bridge crew who were still at work.
"I've reassigned Lieutenant Junior Grade Chloe Visitor as your helmsman," Jenkins smiled, "she is darn good pilot John, you're lucky to have her." Jenkins paused, "But every good turn has a bad one, I've assigned Ensign Torlik as your senior operations officer."
John quickly turned round and looked at Jenkins; Torlik was a well known Denobilan who held a Starfleet record, the longest serving ensign. Nothing on his record said what had happened or why he was so hated by his previous commanders, but he had been an ensign for twenty years, he had to be doing something wrong for that to happen.
"You'll leave at twenty hundred hours Captain." Jenkins ordered, "Good luck Captain." Jenkins suddenly left the bridge leaving John stood at the side of the bridge.
John looked round the bridge at his command; he felt a strange mix of emotions; excitement, fear and nerves. This was his first command and he was being thrust into the abyss of space with a vessel that wasn't completed yet. "This is not a good idea,"he thought to himself as he walked into his office, he needed to get a few people to the ship and fast.