It was odd how quickly a person’s entire perspective could change. A mere twenty-four hours earlier Amaya Donners had been adamant that a starship command wasn’t really what she was after. She had been determined that she would not join the ranks of what she had perceived to be a group of self-important officers who arrogantly thought of themselves as the unquestioned rulers of their domain.
And yet as she stepped onto the bridge she could no longer deny the swelling pride she felt at being the master and commander of this ship and her crew. It didn’t even matter that most of her officers were green behind their ears, that they lacked experience. What mattered was that they were hers to command. That she would lead them and mold them into an efficiently working unit.
Was that a presumptuous thought?
Twenty-four hours earlier she would not have hesitated to say yes. Now things were suddenly very different.
Arden Texx stood from his chair as he saw her emerge from the turbo-lift. “All hands are standing by for departure, sir.”
She walked down to the center of the bridge between the captain’s chair and the main view screen and let her glance wander from one station to the other, from one crewmember to the next.
It was a diverse crew she had been given, maybe even more so than one would have come to expect from a Federation starship. “All stations, confirm readiness status,” she said.
Lieutenant Commander Chen stood by the engineering station. Chen of course was merely a nickname for a much longer and mostly unpronounceable name for most non Xindi. Maya hadn’t met many insectoids before and she already understood that it would take some getting used to working with what essentially looked like an oversized ant on a daily basis. But Chen was a fascinating creature and she was looking forward to learning more about him.
“Engineering, ready for departure. Impulse engines and warp drive standing by,” Chen said with a noticeable clicking in his voice.
At sciences she found Wayne Daystrom, a tall and broad-shouldered officer who had the build more befitting of a club bouncer than a scientist. There was an undeniable resemblance to the man who many thought of as one of the greatest scientists in Federation history. The young lieutenant on the other hand, still stood at the beginning of his own career.
“All sensors fully operational and ready for launch.”
Maybe one of the most physically impressive officers under her command was Lieutenant Lure Mer’iab, the ship’s tactical and security officer. The Aurelian was an avian and stood over two meters tall, had a body covered entirely with umber-colored fur like plumage, with a large beak making up most of his face and most fascinating of all, two large wings jutting out from his back. She wasn’t sure if he could actually fly but she had already made a mental note to keep Cosmo away from the lieutenant.
“Tactical systems at full stand-by.”
At the front she found Tess Allenby at operations, a pretty but generally stern looking young woman who had career officer written all over her.
“All ship resources within standard parameters.”
Bobby DeSoto sat at the helm next to her and he probably couldn’t have been more of an opposite to Allenby in general demeanor and attitude.
“Helm ready to rock ’n roll,” said Ensign DeSoto with a smirk. It elicited a disapproving sidelong look from Allenby but Donners couldn’t help but smirk.
Vej sat in the chair to the left of the command seat and he seemed to have settled in well considering how much convincing it had taken to have him sign-on. He looked up at her expectantly, not doubt almost as excited to get under way as she was herself.
He gave her an affirming nod.
Maya suddenly understood that these people around her were going to become more than just colleagues. They were going to become her new family.
She sat down in her seat for the first time and immediately found it to be the most comfortable chair she had ever sat in.
Texx took the seat next to her and she leaned over to him. “Commander, I hope that the crew is familiar with the proper procedures to depart from a starbase. Your approach left quite a bit to be desired.”
The Bolian smiled. “I’m confident we can do a much better job.”
“Good, I would hate starting my new command handing out reprimands,” she said and turned forward again to face the view screen which was still showing Deep Space Five and her home for the last four years. She had always thought that it be difficult to leave it behind when the time came. She knew she would miss the friends she had made there but a new challenge was awaiting her now and truth be told, she couldn’t wait to get started.
“Are you ready?” asked Vej.
She looked at him for a moment, only slowly realizing how fitting that question truly was.
“Yes,” she said. “I’m ready.” And then focused on the young helmsman. “Mister DeSoto.”
He swiveled around in his chair. “Cap?”
She shot a quick look at her first officer who merely shrugged innocently. Apparently nicknames traveled fast on this ship.
Captain Amaya Donners focused forward again. In anticipation to their departure the screen had now shifted to show the star-filled space beyond DS5. “Not to long ago somebody told me that there is a whole galaxy out there filled with opportunities. Let’s not keep it waiting any longer.”
If you enjoyed this story, you may also like the other nine short stories which make up Vignette Series Two: Crossing Over
in which characters from The Star Eagle Adventures cross paths with various familiar faces from other United Trek series.
Vignette Series Two: Crossing Over
is now available, for the first time ever, as various ebook downloads at StarEagleAdventures.com
, including as a PDF (for PCs and MACs) as ePub (for eReaders and tablets) and as a Kindle-ready version.
To learn what happens to Amaya Donners and Agamemnon
next, come back next month to follow her story in the feature-length novel Agamemnon Voyages: The God Particle