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Old December 21 2011, 11:21 PM   #14
Lieutenant Commander
Re: Star Trek: Pathfinder #1 - The Siren's Call

Star Trek: Pathfinder
The Siren's Call - Part Five

U.S.S. Pathfinder
in orbit around Mars, Sol System
May 6, 2163

“Captain on the bridge!”

Lieutenant T’almo-za Marakis took his posting very seriously. He had been the first Andorian accepted into the first integrated Starfleet training class, and the first to graduate from Starfleet Academy’s two-year program, breezing through the curriculum just as easily as he could navigate a cargo carrier through an asteroid belt. The worst his instructors had to say about him was that, at times, he could be... overenthusiastic.

Such as when he made the traditional announcement, every time Captain Teague stepped onto the bridge. The captain grimaced inwardly; enthusiasm was one thing, but this was overdoing it. The Andorian’s announcement echoed across the crowded bridge, drowning out every other speaker, just as it had every time for the three days since Marakis had come aboard, and Teague was already tired of it. But Marakis was the best navigator in Starfleet, and this mission required the very best. “Thank you, Lieutenant,” he said as he took his seat, reminding himself to have a talk with Marakis later. A moment later, Beaumont was at his side, offering him a padd. “Status of the ship, Commander?”

Without pause, Beaumont listed a handful of minor inconveniences - one of the decontamination pods had a jammed hatch, life support controls on part of E Deck were jammed on heat, making several rooms uncomfortably warm for most of the crew, and a few other technical problems they could solve in flight. “Engineering assures me that they’ll have everything locked down within six hours, sir. Other than that, just fit and finish work.”

“Just enough to keep the crew busy on the trip out. Thank you, Commander.” Teague let his eyes wander across the rest of the bridge crew. To his left, Ensign Sarria was checking the communications station for the umpteenth time, trying to keep her azure antennae from twitching, though whether from fear or excitement Teague could not tell; Lt. Cmdr. Andrei Kassin was at the science station, cool as ever - if he felt any anxiety, he would never let it slip.

In front of him, Teague watched as Lt. Marakis drummed an old Andorian rhythm on the navigation console. Beside him at the helm was Lt. Webb, chatting away with the navigator as though they were old friends. And to the right, Lt. Cmdr T’Vril was watching her console with that calm, almost bland dispassion that only the Vulcans were capable of. Teague knew that beneath that dispassion was one of the deadliest people he had ever met, which was why he had chosen her as Pathfinder’s tactical officer. My crew, he thought, a smile pulling at the corner of his lips. “Ensign Sarria, put me on ship-wide.”

“Aye sir.” Sarria pressed a few switches and nodded back to him.

Teague waited a moment before speaking. “All hands, this is the captain.”

Throughout the Pathfinder, members of the crew paused in their tasks as the captain’s voice surrounded them. “I know this isn’t what you expected for our maiden voyage,” he continued. “No fanfare, no speeches, not even a bottle of champagne for a proper christening. Only a call for help, and a duty to perform. I know you all have questions about the nature of our mission. You will all be fully briefed en route to our destination. You’re all here because you’re the very best our new Federation has to offer. Soon, we’re going to prove that. Man your stations. Captain Teague, out.” He gestured to Sarria to cut the inter-ship, then looked up at Beaumont. “How was it?”

“Concise, sir,” she replied. “To the point.”

“I never was good at speeches,” Teague said quietly. He sat up straight and looked at the main viewscreen. “Clear all moorings. Helm, make engines ready for one-quarter impulse. Navigation, plot a direct course for Sol’s gravitational boundary. I want warp as soon as we’re clear.”

A chorus of ‘Aye, sir!’ rose from around the bridge. The last connections linking the Pathfinder to spacedock broke away, venting small puffs of water and oxygen into space. The Pathfinder slowly pulled away from the dock, her impulse engines blazing brightly as they propelled the ship on its maiden voyage, maneuvering between the other docks and the regular Mars traffic until the ship emerged into open space.

At last, the U.S.S. Pathfinder was underway.

To Be Continued...
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