Bridge, Deck 5, U.S.S. Juno
San Francisco Fleet Yards, Earth
Stardate: 35028.6 (January 11th 2358)
The Bridge of the Juno
was larger than Saul Keller had expected when he’d first come onboard, but then again he also found it odd that it wasn’t on deck one—due to the dorsal section of the secondary hull. The Captain’s chair was in the centre of the Bridge, flanked on either side by two seats, one for him and the other for Counsellor Aewyhn to use whenever he was on the deck, behind the three chairs, was tactical, where Lieutenant Daro stood. At the back of the Bridge were four consoles and the MSD, two science posts on the starboard side whilst environmental and engineering were to port, as well as two exits, one leading to the observation lounge and another to a turbolift. To the front of the deck were flight control and operations, manned by Lieutenants Ra-Vahlei and Jorr respectively, and before them was the viewscreen. To Keller’s right was another turbolift, whilst opposite was the ready room.
He had been onboard for seven days, but still wasn’t comfortable. None of the crew had said anything, but he had no doubt that rumours were aplenty about his past and what had happened, as well as how he came to be onboard. He wouldn’t let that bother him though; his rank and position would be respected, even if he wasn’t. There had been a lot of reading up to do on the mission, ship and crew, so he hadn’t had the chance to interact with them, even his time with the senior staff had been brief, all of them too busy to really have a chance to get to know each other. That would come, seeing as they had six months travel at high warp to even reach the sector where their mission would start.
With their departure time only minutes away, the Bridge was bustling and the excitement level was palatable. Every console was manned, with almost all of the senior staff at their posts—the most notable exception being Rhyth. She had gone for one final inspection of Engineering and had said she’d be back in plenty of time, but had yet to reappear. So he supervised the last minute prep needed prior to leaving dock, but kept a watchful eye on the turbolifts.
He glanced for the forward lift and then the aft for the thirtieth time, but as he turned his attention back to the viewscreen, he caught Aewyhn smiling slightly. Keller gave the Enayan a serious look for a moment, which he returned with a look of serenity. Though he didn’t know the man, Keller got the impression that there wasn’t much that could rattle his cage.
Turning his attention back to their preparations, he focused on ops. “Lieutenant Jorr, secure all connectors with dry-dock and retract gangways.”
“Connectors secure,” the Tellarite replied simply. “Gangways retracted.”
To Keller’s right the doors opened and the tall blonde figure of Captain Linna Rhyth strolled calmly onto the deck, her long legs bare as she’d favoured the skant-style uniform today. She gave him a warm smile as she made her way to the command arena, took her seat and crossed her legs. She took a moment to check the displays on her armrests, then looked at him.
“Don’t let me stop you, Commander.”
He gave her a curt nod. “Lieutenant Daro, clear our departure with the dock master.”
It took the Bolian a moment to relay the request and get a response. “Docking control has cleared up.”
He tapped the intercom. “Engineering, ready thrusters and have impulse on standby.”
“Ready here, Commander,”
Alden responded from Main Engineering.
“Lieutenant Ra-Vahlei, lay in the course and clear all moorings.”
“Course laid in. All moorings cleared.”
“Aft thrusters at two-thirds, port and starboard at station keeping.”
“Engines ready,” the Efrosian conn officer confirmed.
Keller looked at Rhyth and gestured for her to continue, this was her ship after all. Her smile widened and she sat a little further forward on her chair.
One little word started off a chain reaction. The spidery arms of the dry-dock fell away from the viewscreen as the thrusters eased them forward. As the dock was left behind them, the blue-green marble they had been orbiting fell away as the ship turned to port and headed out. Once clear of the station and the planet the impulse engines were powered up and within minutes they were barrelling out towards the outer edge of the system, passing shuttles and ships heading for Earth—a world they wouldn’t see for the next six years. Their mission, whatever they would discover, whoever they would contact, had begun.
It wasn’t until they had passed Uranus, free of all the gravity wells and traffic within the Sol System, that Captain Rhyth ordered the warp drive to be readied. Warp eight would see them reach their destination in six months, and from there they had five years to go places no one else in Starfleet had tread, speak to people who had never heard of the Federation, make a lasting contribution to the history books.
Their new mission and his chance at redemption were at hand.
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