Star Trek Destiny - Episode 1 - Prologue

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Captain2395, Aug 20, 2007.

  1. Captain2395

    Captain2395 Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Jul 31, 2007
    This is my first fic. The series is set on board the USS Destiny in the late 2390s and the series will build to the turn of the 25th century. This is a teaser/prologue for the first episode.

    The format is that of a novel but I may change it in future to make it more forum-friendly.

    I will also be setting up a Yahoo or MSN group which will contain the full episode upon completion.

    = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

    Only the hum of the USS Destiny's engines penetrated sombre silence in the torpedo bay as Commander Letina Iyal maintained her solemn vigil over her captain’s remains.

    The thirty-seven year old had been aged by the catastrophe. She carried the sorrow of the whole crew on her rigid shoulders and bore their stress and anguish on her face. Her duties served as a temporary distraction from grief but nothing could distract her from the casing laid before her in the forward torpedo bay. Letina was overcome with a sense of irretrievable loss and irreconcilable guilt. The captain was dead because she made a gross misjudgement and staring at the capsule of his remains drove his death home to Letina like a stake into her heart.

    As she mulled over the tragedy again and again in her head Letina convinced herself that in failing to uphold regulations she had allowed her captain to meet his death along with three other decorated Starfleet officers.

    The swooshing of the main doors sliding open alerted Letina to the arrival of Lieutenant Commander Ra-Barra’veth, the Destiny’s second officer and chief scientist.

    “The service will begin shortly,” said Ra-Barra softly as he approached the commander. “Have you prepared your eulogy?”

    Letina looked over her shoulder at the tall Efrosian. He was an imposing figure with his piercing genetically-modified eyes and his proud mane of silver hare. Ra-Barra’veth suited his white dress jacket. He was a wise and confident veteran. The dress uniform projected his confidence and lent his presence an air of elegance.

    “I don’t think I can deliver a eulogy,” sobbed Letina. “I don’t think I can watch that capsule being released into space.”

    Ra-Barra thought Letina Iyal to be an unseasoned XO. She considered strict obedience to textbooks and rules to be a virtue in a Starfleet officer. His forty-five years of continuous service had taught him that this was a only half true. Not all the textbooks in the galaxy could prepare this young Trill for commanding such a sophisticated and powerful starship, especially under trying circumstances and especially when battling the demon of guilt.

    “Commander…” Ra-Barra decided to alter his tone. “Letina, this is difficult for all of us but the crew are looking to you to lead by example as the captain would have done.”

    Ra-Barra’veth placed a comforting hand on his commander’s shoulder.

    “I’m responsible for this,” thought Letina. “There’s something twisted about me delivering this eulogy. He would still be alive if it wasn’t for me and now I’m expected to lead the mourning.”

    Ra-Barra’veth removed his hand from her shoulder and coaxed Letina around to face him. He frowned at Letina. his bright blue eyes like daggers penetrating her soul.

    “Commander Iyal,” said the science officer sternly, “no-one on this ship blames you for this whole sorry affair. In fact, they trust you for leading us out of it and they respect for you for how you have coped with command. You haven’t let anyone down for as long as you have served on this ship - don’t start now.”

    Letina contemplated Ra-Barra’s words and returned her gaze to the captain’s capsule. The body of Captain Vran, the renowned Andorian explorer, lay encased in an empty torpedo shell. Many officers held romantic notions of committing the body of the famed interstellar voyager to the vast expanse of space he sought to discover and understand all his life. The emptiness worried Letina, she would prefer a burial or a physical monument where the memory of the deceased would live on for years and could be shared with others. Nonetheless, in returning Captain Vran’s body to space, she was doing as he would have wished.

    “Very well,” sighed Commander Iyal. She regained her composure, wiping the tears from her eyes and brushing her hands down her front to straighten her uniform. “I will adjourn to my quarters to prepare for the service.”

    An approving smile appeared on Ra-Barra’veth’s lips.

    As Iyal left the room, Ra-Barra heard her call back, “Thank-you, Ra-Barra, you have been a rock.”
  2. Dulak

    Dulak Commander Red Shirt

    Jul 6, 2007
    Pacific NW
    please please please at least space out the paragraphs and repost this. Many people who want to read this will probably not, just because of the formatting.
  3. Captain2395

    Captain2395 Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Jul 31, 2007
    The first post didn't include the spacing I used on my word processor, which I can envisage being a problem. Hope the reformating makes it more forum-friendly.
  4. Captain2395

    Captain2395 Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Jul 31, 2007
    This is the next part of the first episode of Star Trek Destiny. A reminder that the year is 2395 and the universe is based only on recognised Star Trek canon.

    Captain Bane Mather stroked his square chin as he observed the arrival of the USS Destiny from Observation Pylon-A on Starbase 600. He was intrigued to note every detail of the Saturn-class starship as the fiery red impulse engines calmed to a dull glow and the ship slowed to manoeuvring speeds. The sleek structure of the hull and the warp nacelles betrayed the sheer size of the vessel, thought Bane, marvelling at the splendour of the first ship he would ever command.

    Twenty minutes ago he had shaken hands with Admiral Kelvin, his direct superior for the past four years, and wished him well. He left the Operations Centre of the Federation space station for the last time in his career, preparing to embark on his next challenge.

    “Is that her?” piped an excited voice from behind. “Is that the Destiny?”

    Bane’s furtive gaze turned to a warm, fatherly grin as he scooped his son up in his arms. Young Freddie inherited his animated blue eyes and his floppy blonde hair from his mother but his fascination with space travel was passed down from his father, the Starfleet frontiersman.

    Father and son watched together as the Destiny seemed to glide gracefully through space against the awesome backdrop of glimmering stars, framed by great window of the Observation Pylon.

    “That’s the Destiny,” replied Bane with a satisfied smile. “She has a transwarp drive, twenty nine decks, the first Caspian-class runabout ever assigned as an auxiliary vessel, experimental transphasic torpedos and some of the most advanced space-borne research facilities in Starfleet.”

    “What’s the holodeck like?” asked the four-year-old Freddie Bane innocently.

    Bane laughed, “I don’t know but there’s three of them…more than enough to keep you entertained.”

    Cassandra Bane, the captain’s wife had been watching her husband and son from the alcove of the doorway to gallery. She did not need for Bane to look over his shoulder and beam at her to sense the feelings of happiness and anticipation from her family. Cassandra joined them as they absorbed the spectacle of the renowned USS Destiny connecting to one of the cumbersome metallic docking arms of the space station. She playfully ruffled her son’s straw blonde hair and let her husband place an arm around her.

    “I’ve even arranged for you to have an office, Cassandra,” mentioned Bane Mather as he pecked his wife on the cheek. “It’s adjoined to our quarters so you can keep an eye on this little scamp during the working day.”

    Cassandra occupied an advisory role to Starfleet before. Her vast experience as a diplomat and an aide to some of the most shrewd and successful ambassadors in the Federation had contributed to her reputation as a respected negotiator and a trustworthy confidant to her commanding officers.

    She had worked with her husband before during their time on Starbase 600 but was slightly apprehensive about her new assignment. On the starbase she answered to Admiral Kelvin, on a starship she would be accountable to her own husband. Cassandra was unsure as to how members of the new crew would accept the captain’s wife carrying out the duties of an advisor but knew that the opportunity for her beloved Mather to command a Saturn-class vessel could not be rejected. She deliberately discarded any niggling qualms or concerns and persuaded herself that a promising future awaited her family aboard the Destiny.

    “I think it’s time to see our new home,” grinned Cassandra Bane as she rested her head on her husband’s shoulder.

    * * *

    Lieutenant J.G. Naomi Wildman paced back and forth in Transporter Room 1, awaiting the arrival of her new commanding officer. She was unsure as to why she had been asked to welcome the new captain to the Destiny as she was certain that the occasion warranted some form of pageantry and at least the presence of a more senior officer.

    Perhaps, she thought, that under the circumstances a celebration or a formal ceremony would be insensitive. The memorial service for Captain Vran had concluded barely two days ago and whilst normality was returning to the ship, some were still mourning - notably Commander Iyal.

    Naomi’s thoughts were interrupted by the small, hairy yet slightly cute technician who was stood by the transporter controls, “Starbase 600 signals that the captain and his party are ready for transport.”

    The lieutenant took a breath and nodded, “Very well, chief…beam them aboard.”

    It would be some time until Bane Mather could be entitled ‘the Captain’, mused Wildman as she awaited the arrival of her new commanding officer and his family. The Destiny was Captain Vran’s dominion, the bulkheads and corridors of the ship captured memories of the legend, and Naomi could envisage the appointment of a new captain as an intrusion.

    The high-pitched screeching of the transporters alerted Lieutenant Wildman that the new CO was to be delivered imminently. Three separate vertical beams of white light appeared on the transporter pad and three individual bodies started to materialize. Naomi ran a hand through her blonde hair, brushed the front of her uniform and straightened her shoulders as her new captain and his family appeared on the raised platform of the transporter.

    “Welcome aboard, sir,” said Naomi with a beaming smile.

    No sooner had Captain Bane Mather and a civilian woman, whom Naomi took to be his wife, emerged in the room than their son hurried off the transporter pad and scurried up the steps towards the operator’s console in an excited rush.

    “Freddie!” called Bane Mather, looking sharply at his son. “This is a workplace - you cannot disturb any of the officers on this ship!”

    The furry transporter technician, at barely five feet tall, towered over the boy yet he was visibly uneasy and uncertain as to whether he should instruct the child to leave the duty area or tolerate the disturbance. Naomi Wildman sympathised with the technician but focused her attention on the captain.

    Bane Mather struck Naomi instantaneously, his chiselled good looks and his impressive build immediately set him apart from his lean Andorian predecessor. She judged the tall Bajoran to be in his mid-40s yet as she discretely noted his taper cut, Naomi did not detect a hint of grey.

    The captain and his wife descended from the transporter pad and the lively, spirited child scampered to his parents. Bane apologised as he lifted his son and concentrated on the Starfleet officer whom he presumed was here to welcome him.

    “There’s a lot more to see on the Destiny than just Transporter Rooms and I would be glad to offer a tour for you and your family but first I have been asked to greet you,” said Naomi with an anxious smile. “I’m Lieutenant Wildman, the ship’s Operations Manager, and it is a pleasure to welcome you all to your new home.”

    “I’m Bane Mather,” declared the new captain as he extended a hand to the young officer, “and this is my wife, Cassandra, and my son, Freddie.”

    Bane indicated towards his partner and child while he shook Naomi’s hand. A disarming smile appeared between his strong jaws as Lieutenant Wildman felt the firm grasp of the handsome gentleman. His enchanting green eyes warmed Naomi, setting her at ease in a way she would have considered alien under even the esteemed Captain Vran.

    “It is a pleasure, sir,” remarked Naomi, smiling widely at the group.

    Cassandra Bane was an attractive, slender human whom Naomi thought seemed elegant in her refined blue dress. She smiled to greet the lieutenant and affectionately rubbed a tender finger against the cheek of her son.

    “Commander Iyal is tending to business in the captain’s ready room,” said Wildman as if reciting a prepared avowal. “If you would care to meet her on the bridge…”

    “First things first, lieutenant,” interposed Bane as he put an arm around his wife, “I think we should see the family quarters.”

    Naomi Wildman felt a refreshing sense of relief sweeping aside her anxiety about the new commanding officer. Never before had she encountered anyone who radiated such kindness and affability from their very first meeting. As Naomi escorted the party of three through the automated doors and into the adjoining corridor she thought of how she was looking forward to calling Bane Mather ‘the Captain’.
  5. DavidFalkayn

    DavidFalkayn Commodore Commodore

    Dec 13, 2003
    To be honest, I don't really have enough to go on here to form an opinion. Don't worry about posting novel length stories here--feel free to post your story in separate parts--we all do. I find that posting 8 to 15 page parts works best for me--it gives the reader plenty of material while at the same time not overwhelming them. It also gives me time to flesh the story out and work out any kinks.

    I also appreciate very much your reformatting your story--it made it a lot easier for me to read.

    I hope we get to see more of your story here.
  6. CeJay

    CeJay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Feb 5, 2006
    Promising beginning.

    I like that you elected to have a family man to be the hero of your story. I haven’t seen/read that in a while. It brings an additional dynamic to your story as the captain will have to balance his duties and obligations to the ship with those to his wife and child. That opens up fantastic plot possibilities.

    The first officer will also have plenty of issues to deal with, blaming herself for the demise of her mentor and having to accept a new person to fill that role.

    I like the warm, spirited way of the captain as well. This is a man who can put his crew around him at ease which is an often overlooked skill a commanding officer should possess.

    I personally like to read novel-length stories as long as you can give some reassurances that you’ll be able to post it. Little is more frustrating that investing time into reading a story only to find halfway through that it's over.
  7. DavidFalkayn

    DavidFalkayn Commodore Commodore

    Dec 13, 2003
    I agree with CeJay--making the captain a family man is a good move--it's something we don't see too often and it'll give you plenty of material to work with. Also, it's nice seeing Naomi Wildman again--I have a feeling her and Freddie are going to get along just fine with each other.

    A very good beginning.
  8. TheLoneRedshirt

    TheLoneRedshirt Commodore Commodore

    May 22, 2007
    Here and now.
    A very nice beginning! I'm looking forward to where you go with this. Obviously, there's much we don't yet know regarding the ship, the crew and their mission, which you will, no doubt, reveal to us in due time.
  9. Captain2395

    Captain2395 Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Jul 31, 2007
    Thanks a lot for the feedback guys. I enjoy writing the novel style but I'll chop and change it as I go to make it more forum-friendly and beef it up for when I put everything together at the end of the fic.

    Letting little segments trickle out I think reinforces the main points about the main characters, some of whom I'm growing more and more attached to. The further into the story as there is more action and intrique, I will post bigger segments.

    Thanks for all the feedback, I'll be posting the next piece shortly.
  10. Captain2395

    Captain2395 Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Jul 31, 2007
    Commander Letina Iyal sat at the ornamental glass desk in Captain Vran’s ready room. She had personally cleared each individual shelf and drawer of her captain’s possessions and neatly placed them in two containers by the door. Three items remained in the room, three items which she could not bring herself to remove at all. The room looked bare enough with these three items and would be cold and hollow without them. The painting of Vran’s native Andor on the wall, the antique Risan horga’hn beneath it on a shelf and the picture of Vran’s family on the desktop.

    Letina looked to the small computer, built into the table surface, for a chronometer and deduced that the new commanding officer was now likely to have arrived on the ship and be on his way to visit the senior staff for the first time.

    “Wildman to Iyal,” came the voice of the young operations officer over the intercom.

    “Iyal, here,” replied the commander, tapping the comm-badge on her chest.

    “Commander, Captain Bane and his family are settling into their new accommodation…he will not be reporting to the bridge just yet.”

    Unorthodox, thought Iyal. Vran would have made the bridge his first port of call. Had Starfleet replaced him with a captain who was lax or slipshod?

    “Commander, the captain requests your company in his quarters as soon as possible.”

    Letina considered the request to be peculiar yet the arrival of this new CO was peculiar. Letina remained unwilling to accept the loss of her previous captain and therefore uncertain as to how to welcome a new captain. The uncertainty, the preoccupation with the fateful day four officers were lost and the back-breaking burden of guilt consumed Letina.

    Nonetheless, her superior officer could not be kept waiting.

    “Inform the captain that I am on my way,” ordered Letina as she rose from the desk and made her way towards the door.

    She stopped before leaving the room and turned back to the desk glancing from the painting on the wall to the statuette on the shelf to the picture on the desk and hoped that if Vran was watching her now from the afterlife that he would not consider the acceptance of a new captain as a betrayal of his memory.

    * * *

    Letina Iyal strode through the bright blue and grey corridors of the USS Destiny, nodding to acknowledge crewmen she recognised. She drew towards a turbo lift, tapped the small wall-mounted panel to summon the carriage and waited, preparing herself to meet the acquaintance of Bane Mather and his family. She would have preferred to do so formally in the correct environment such as the bridge or the captain’s ready room but was at all times bound to comply with the wishes of her commanding officer.

    The turbo lift carriage arrived and the doors slipped open with a gentle hiss, revealing an occupant. Lieutenant J.G. Marcus Owai, one of the ship’s promising tactical officers, an attractive, tanned human male of slightly Polynesian appearance.

    Letina Iyal had been seconded to a Starfleet facility in New Zealand when she was an ensign and was familiar with the land of Owai’s birth. The beautiful landscape and indigenous Maori culture intrigued her but her duties rarely permitted her to enjoy shore leave on Earth or even her Trill homeworld.

    “Ma’am,” nodded Owai in acknowledgment.

    “Lieutenant,” said Letina by way of greeting, entering the turbo lift with her hands clasped behind her back.

    The first officer instructed the turbo lift to Deck 8 and the carriage initiated it’s descent. There was a query on the tip of Owai’s tongue but he declined to mention it to his senior officer. The unasked and unanswered question bore down on the occupants of the turbo lift carriage, both sensing that it was bound to be addressed yet improper to raise the matter until the new captain could be briefed on the situation.

    “Might I ask when the new captain will be appointing a Chief Tactical Officer?” asked the young lieutenant, breaking the taut silence. Owai estimated that the XO harboured a degree of angst with regards to the issue and so decided that he would avoid pressing the matter any further than necessary.

    “In due course,” replied Commander Iyal almost abruptly.

    Letina appreciated Owai’s commitment and his potential but the unspoken truth was that she already had earmarked her preferred candidate to fill the vacancy…and that she blamed herself for the vacancy ever emerging in such harsh circumstances in the first place.

    The carriage arrived at the destination on Deck 8 and Letina Iyal stepped through the sliding doors and onto the corridor, calling over her shoulder, “Good day, lieutenant.”

    Marc Owai thought he noticed the commander’s voice breaking just ever so slightly.

    * * *

    Entering the sick-bay on the USS Destiny was akin to beaming onto a different starship. The lighting panels running along the ceiling and the shape of the bulkheads were consistent throughout the entire ship but the stark difference between the medical bay and the rest of the vessel’s interior was the colour scheme. The patterns and features of the décor were in harmony with most of the ship but the uniform blue and metallic grey carpets and walls, characteristic of the corridors and workplaces on the Destiny, were replaced with a light cream and green design.

    Ra-Barra’veth presumed that the change in tone was supposed to be soothing but in his two years serving aboard the Destiny he considered the colours to be ironically sickly.

    “Commander!” called an unseen voice.

    Ra-Barra looked towards a transparent partition in the corner of the room and noticed the Chief Medical Officer emerging from her office. The sturdy Cardassian woman fussed towards a trolley, situated next to a biobed, tidying her equipment and placing items neatly on a near-by shelf.

    “You are early for your appointment,” stated the doctor, checking and adjusting her apparatus.

    Ra-Barra’veth was marginally older than Doctor Lenor but he too had experienced the almost maternal comfort and assurance she provided to the crew.

    “Take a seat,” directed the doctor, indicating towards the nearest biobed.

    Ra-Barra eased himself onto the cushioned surface of the biobed but Lenor placed a hand on his chest, nudging him, compelling him to make himself comfortable rather than perch stiffly at the edge. In the care of any other physician Ra-Barra would have regarded such an act as rude but in Lenor’s sick-bay it affirmed his confidence that he was in good hands.

    “Have you been experiencing any pain or discomfort?” asked Dr Lenor, pulling a medical tricorder from the pocket of her flowing blue coat.

    “Not for a month now,” replied the science officer as Lenor probed around his head with her device.

    “Very encouraging,” commented the doctor, studying the read-outs on her tricorder. “Everything seems to be in order.”

    Lenor set aside the tricorder and took a PADD from the trolley, tapping the screen and entering notes. She glanced up from her work, “The tests I conducted last week show a marked improvement in your vision.”

    “I have noticed many improvements myself,” confirmed Ra-Barra’veth as he ran his hands along his thighs, impatiently awaiting the conclusion of the doctor.

    “I’m sure you have,” said Lenor with supportive smile. “Commander, I’m pleased to say that you are making remarkable progress…already your vision has developed beyond the limitations of the optic implants.”

    Ra-Barra’veth considered the doctor’s opinion with contentment. Efrosian eyesight is typically poor yet from a young age he suffered greater disadvantage than his contemporaries on his homeworld. Optical implants corrected his vision only partially and when Doctor Lenor proposed genetic-modification last year he leapt at the prospect of clear, sharpened eyesight.

    “In the first few weeks after the surgery I had thought that seeing the world through genetically-modified eyes would be too good to be true,” he said. “Now it is reality, doctor.”
  11. Captain2395

    Captain2395 Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Jul 31, 2007
    Cassandra Bane feared that accommodation on a starship would pale in comparison to her family’s residence on Starbase 600 but her concerns were laid to rest as she entered their new quarters on the Destiny. The spacious lounge was not just liveable but homely.

    As Freddie skipped around lounge and dashed into the adjoining rooms, exploring his new home, Mather exchanged an optimistic smile with his wife. He wrapped his arms around her waist and they embraced until the sound of the door chime interrupted them.

    “Come!” invited Bane, projecting his voice to his first guest on the other side of the door.

    The doors slid open, a brisk, business-like female officer stepped into the quarters, her hands remaining clasped behind her back. Bane noted the brown spots running from the beneath the woman’s auburn hair, across her temple and down her neck into the red collar of her uniform. His attention turned to the three golden pips on the breast of the officer’s uniform. Bane Mather deduced that this was his second-in-command, the Trill female, Commander Letina Iyal.

    Iyal acknowledged the captain and his wife with her best attempt at a welcoming smile but was faltered when deciding how to greet their young son whom she noticed bouncing on a bed in the next room out of the corner of her eye.

    “Greetings,” she said, looking from the captain to his wife. “I am Commander Letina Iyal, the first officer of the Destiny.”

    Bane Mather approached Iyal and enthusiastically shook her hand. He placed a hand on her shoulder, instinctively coaxing the commander towards his wife but failing to anticipate the unresponsiveness of his guest.

    Cassandra avoided embarrassment by approaching Letina Iyal herself and greeting the executive officer, “It is a pleasure to meet you, commander.”

    Bane backed off and indicated towards a coffee table by the window and a three piece suite in the lounge, adopting a new approach to making his guest feel comfortable. Cassandra and Letina sat on the cushioned sofa beneath the window whilst Bane found his place in a large comfortable armchair.

    “I must say, commander,” began Bane, “I have been more than impressed with what little I have seen of the ship so far. I’m looking forward to getting down to work…I only wish the circumstances could be different.”

    “Captain Vran was so well known that even on Starbase 600 news of his death came as a shock,” commented Cassandra in her careful, sensitive tone.

    Letina Iyal had avoided addressing the subject for as long as possible, which was easier amongst subordinates than with her commanding officer. She was certain that rumours and gossip spread as far and as fast as news of the disaster itself. Anticipating how these rumours portrayed her was unbearable. She could feel herself perspiring as she quietly speculating as to whether this striking Bajoran captain would be accusing or understanding.

    “How is the crew dealing with the death of Vran?” asked Bane Mather, crossing his legs, leaning back in his armchair and observing the first officer.

    Letina suppressed the lump in her throat and succinctly, almost snappily, answered, “The crew of the Destiny are resilient.”

    Cassandra and Mather exchanged a discrete look, over Iyal’s shoulders, and into one another’s eyes, each confirming that a hint of irritability was present in the tone of the commander.

    “How are you coping with the loss of Captain Vran?” probed Mather, studying the Trill woman with his searching green eyes.

    “I am resilient too, captain.”

    Bane traded another discrete look with Cassandra. His wife predicting her husband’s silent, tacit request rose to her feet and excused herself from the conversation, “I’ll go and check on Freddie.”

    As Cassandra disappeared into the adjacent passageway, Bane Mather adjusted his position in the armchair, watching Letina as if continuing to size her up.

    “I understand that losing a crewmember, especially a captain, can be trying,” said Bane sympathetically, pressing for more dialogue with his new second-in-command. “I also know that command can be a burden as well as a privilege.”

    “Captain Vran was the most distinguished officer I have ever had the pleasure of serving with,” stated Iyal as if building a front against the captain’s scrutiny. “The crew has mourned his loss and perhaps I’m still grieving. It is an emotional burden but one I will endure.”

    Bane paused for a moment, watching his XO, as if trying to appreciate her position, grasp her thoughts and establish a picture of the troubled Trill in his head. He was aware of perspiration trickling from his guest’s forehead and sensed her discomfort. Mather decided against upsetting the officer further and dropped his enquiries.

    Bane took a breath and adopted an altogether more businesslike pitch, “With regards to our mission, Admiral Kelvin has ordered the Destiny to the Yolande system on a supply mission.”

    “I was under the impression that we were to employ the new multi-spectral sensor array to conduct a nebula survey,” replied Iyal as the signs of discomfort faded into a collected, professional poise.

    “We will replenish stocks of consumables, equipment and research materials at the Federation outpost on Yolande-IV and then to proceed to the Quothikor Belt to conduct a survey of the Sabre Gamma Nebula,” explained Bane Mather pointing towards a grey PADD on the coffee table.

    Letina Iyal lifted the PADD and skimmed through the script on the small handheld screen. She concluded her scanning with a nod, “I will see to it that the necessary arrangements are made.”

    Both officers stood to conclude the meeting as Cassandra Bane popped her out from the alcove to the bedroom, bidding the commander a good day.

    Bane Mather followed his executive officer to the doorway.

    “Letina,” he said softly, “I don’t quite know what kind of relationship Captain Vran enjoyed with his crew but for as long as I’m in charge on the Destiny the ready room door is always open.”
  12. Captain2395

    Captain2395 Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Jul 31, 2007
    The cavernous shuttle bay of the USS Destiny contained the shiny, innovative Caspian-class runabout Superior and a compliment of Type-20 shuttlecraft. In addition, Lieutenant Ray Nagata had arranged for the shuttle bay to be used for storage purposes. The walls were illuminated as barrels and cases from Starbase 600 were beamed aboard. As a new batch appeared on the cargo transporter pad, technicians would gather to remove the containers and haul them to designated shelves and compartments.

    Ray Nagata, the Chief Engineer of the Destiny supervised the process, making notes on his PADD and barking instructions to crewmembers.

    Lieutenant J.G. Darzon, a lofty Tarlac security officer, was charged with scanning the containers with a tricorder for safety purposes.

    “That was the last batch,” reported Nagata, the Japanese engineer, as he consulted his PADD.

    Darzon ran his tricorder over the delivery and concluded, “The final batch is secure.”

    Ray Nagata tapped his comm-badge and announced, “Bridge, the cargo consignments have all been accounted for and have passed inspection.”

    Very well,” replied Letina Iyal through the intercom. “We are preparing to disembark from Starbase 600, return to your stations.”

    Ray Nagata and Darzon gaited from the shuttle bay side by side. They walked through the long blue and grey corridor of the Destiny and entered a turbo lift.

    “Deck 22,” instructed Darzon as the turbo lift initiated it’s ascent.

    “Any word on your promotion?” asked Nagata as he studied the script on his PADD.

    Darzon replied hesitantly, “Promotion?”

    Nagata smiled, sensing apprehension and uneasiness, “There is a vacancy for a new head of security and Chief Tactical Officer. Or hadn’t you noticed?”

    “I am comfortable in my current role,” replied the Tarlac, opting to diplomatically avoid the sensitive issue.

    “You don’t harbour any ambitions to go further?” teased the engineer.

    “I would welcome a promotion but there are other consummate candidates…Lieutenant Owai, for instance.”

    The turbo lift stopped at the security section of Deck 22 and Darzon made to depart when the engineer called him back.

    “Why don’t you try two full pips on for size?” beamed Nagata, peeling a rank pip from his breast insignia and throwing it to the Tarlac as the turbo lift doors closed over.

    * * *

    Letina Iyal stood in the middle of the bridge, her arms folded, watching the work-bees and shuttlecraft darting across the view screen and awaiting the Destiny’s departure from Starbase 600. Her eyes were drawn the door to the captain’s ready room. For fifteen minutes Bane Mather had been in the office with Marcus Owai, Iyal presumed interviewing him for the position of Chief Tactical Officer.

    When the door opened Lieutenant Owai emerged with a beaming smile on his face.

    Bane Mather appeared in the alcove and called, “Commander, could I see you for a moment?”

    Letina Iyal unfolded her arms and made her way into the captain’s ready room, Bane following her, guiding her through the doorway. She noticed a box on the desk, the new captain had packed away Vran’s remaining possessions and the ready room looked cold and bare.

    “I presume you have interviewed Mr Owai regarding a possible promotion,” said Letina, clasping her hands behind her back.

    “I have indeed and I was very impressed,” replied Bane Mather with a smile, indicating for his XO to take a seat on a sofa.

    “Mr Owai shows a lot of promise but I would advise appointing Lieutenant Darzon to the post. He is experienced and has consistently excelled in his performance evaluation reports.”

    Bane sat on the edge of his desk and folded his arms, “I read the evaluations but I have already come to a decision. I have promoted Marc Owai to a full lieutenant and made him head of security and the Chief Tactical Officer.”

    Letina Iyal was taken aback, she was convinced that Darzon was a more capable candidate and remembered how Captain Vran held him in close favour.

    “Mr Darzon will deputize,” stated Bane. “They are both exemplary officers and I am sure Mr Darzon’s time will come.”

    Letina Iyal felt almost offended that such a decision could be taken without her being consulted. She watched, feeling almost ill as Bane patted the box sitting on his desk.

    “There were some remaining personal effects of Captain Vran in the ready room,” said Bane, adopting his heartfelt, sympathetic tone. “Captain Vran obviously held you in high regard and so I thought it best to ask you to take care of his possessions until we can arrange transport to Andor.”

    Commander Iyal rose from the sofa and carefully lifted the container of Vran’s most prized possessions from the desk. The lump in her throat returned but she once again concealed her anxiety.

    “If that will be all, captain…” she asked, leaving the question open ended but praying that she would be permitted to make a swift exit from the ready room.

    Bane rose from the edge of his desk and stood closer to the Trill officer.

    “If there is anything you would like to say to me in private then please do not hesitate,” the captain beseeched.

    “Yes, sir,” replied the Trill, perspiration returning to her spotted forehead. “I feel I should have been consulted on the appointment of any senior officer. I think Lieutenant Owai is too inexperienced and I know that if Captain Vran were still here that he would concur.”

    Bane Mather could see the sorrow in Letina Iyal’s eyes give way to irritation, if not anger. He hoped he could continue to offer sympathy and understanding but feared that the feelings harboured by the commander may hinder the growth of their professional relationship and become obstructive in their day-to-day duties on the Destiny.

    “I can appreciate your concern, commander, but I have made my decision and I am not Captain Vran.”

    “No, sir, you’re not.”

    Iyal turned from the captain, tucked the container under her arm and left the room without having been formally dismissed, leaving Bane Mather ruminating over how to develop a proper relationship with his new first officer.
  13. DavidFalkayn

    DavidFalkayn Commodore Commodore

    Dec 13, 2003
    You're doing a good job developing the characters here. Iyal and Mather look like they're headed for a collision.
  14. Captain2395

    Captain2395 Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Jul 31, 2007
    Thanks David, I'm concerned that the character development is more for a novel than suitable for the forum but I can assure you I plan on stirring things up.

    In the mean time here's another segment - I'm a bit nervous about this one because I'm still unsure about how to properly describe transwarp travel so I've been brief with that part of the story rather than explaining the image in my head in too much detail.

    = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

    Lieutenant J.G. Tessa Shanthi lived to explore the stars. Her entirely family were steeped in the Starfleet tradition. Her father was a serving starship captain, his mother was an admiral, as was her mother before that. Seated at the helm of the Destiny was where Tessa Shanthi felt most comfortable.

    “What do you think of the new captain?” hissed a voice to the left of Tessa.

    The dark, African helmswoman turned to face her colleague Naomi Wildman at Ops.

    “He seems nice,” replied Tessa with a mischievous smile.

    Naomi Wildman gleamed without looking up from her console, “You can say that again.”

    “Wait a minute,” paused the elder of the officers. “Didn’t you say he was married?”

    “I can dream, can’t I?” posed Naomi Wildman, briefly looking up from her controls.

    “Not on my watch!” joked the alarmingly recognisable voice of Captain Bane Mather.

    Lieutenant Wildman glanced over her shoulder, feeling that her heart should sink but the innocuous, harmless smile on face of the captain set her at ease.

    Captain Bane Mather stood in the middle of the bridge, surveying the nerve centre of the USS Destiny. He looked from the door of his ready room to the turbo lift opposite, observing the gargantuan view screen which spanned the fore of the bridge. He turned to face the rear of the bridge, noting the officers present on the raised platform. Unmanned auxiliary stations were spread across the aft perimeter, separated by a Master Systems Display and two sliding doors. Behind the three central command chairs was the long raised tactical console. To the starboard side was a dedicated engineer’s station, to port the main science console. This grand bridge was impressive and was Bane’s to command.

    “Okay then,” started Bane, returning his attention to the main viewer, “signal Starbase 600 that we are ready for departure.”

    “Aye, sir,” came the reply from tactical. “We are cleared to proceed.”

    Bane smiled, aware that he would never truly feel as if he was in command of the Destiny until the ship was moving.

    “Helm!” called Bane, sitting back in the captain’s chair. “Take us out - manoeuvring thrusters only.”

    The view screen appeared to show stars shifting leftwards but in fact it was the USS Destiny moving. The Saturn-class starship was propelled away from the hive of activity that was Starbase 600 and slowly turned to point towards a distant star.

    “Set a course for the Yolande system.”

    “Course set, sir,” confirmed Tessa Shanthi as she entered commands into the flight control station.

    Bane smiled, “Show me what she can do, lieutenant. Open a transwarp conduit! Factor Four! Engage!”

    With those orders a glowing blue haze appeared around the Saturn-class starship as a transwarp conduit opened and the USS Destiny blasted off into space at vast speeds thought of as unattainable by a Starfleet ship merely twenty years ago.

    Bane stroked the arms of his lavish leather chair and savoured the comfort he felt seated at the centre of the bridge. In his mind he felt reality finally sink in - he was now Captain Bane Mather of the USS Destiny.
  15. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Feb 27, 2002
    I'm quite enjoying this so far Captain2395. As has been pointed out the novel presenation is easy on the eyes to read and you're doing a remarkable job of introducing us to the crew and developing the characters and building tension. I can't wait until they actually start conducting their mission to see what happens...and you're using Naomi Wildman!!! Are you planning on revealing how Captain Vran was killed and how Commander Iyal feels she is responsible? Finally for your first fan fic again you are doing a fine job...

    Admiral Young
  16. Captain2395

    Captain2395 Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Jul 31, 2007
    Thanks Admiral Young, I do plan on revealing more of the backstory but that will come in time and I don't want to give too much away. Thanks for the interest and I'll prepare to post the next segment of the story.
  17. Captain2395

    Captain2395 Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Jul 31, 2007
    Ra-Barra’veth sat in a lone corner of the crew lounge, nursing a mug of raktajino and reading a PADD. Once the Destiny had delivered supplies to the Arcadia Outpost on Yolande-IV, the ship was to study the magnificent Sabre Gamma Nebula. Ra-Barra’s script was the account of the first ship to study the nebula forty years ago. Reading old logs and reports allowed him to expand his understanding of the mission ahead and provided him with a unique insight into space exploration. He found the comments of Captain DeSoto of the USS Hood to be particularly colourful.

    “Hello, old friend,” came a voice from over the shoulder of the science officer.

    Ra-Barra’veth looked up from his PADD to see the unmistakable sight of Bane Mather standing beside him. He rose from his seat, glowing with an inviting grin and shook Bane’s hand.

    “It is a pleasure to see you again, sir,” said Ra-Barra as he sat back down at his table with Bane.

    “You look different,” remarked the captain, examining the face of his acquaintance.

    Ra-Barra’veth nodded knowingly, “The eyes.”

    “Yes, have you replaced your optical implants?”

    “I have undergone a genetic-modification procedure,” answered Ra-Barra’veth. “The reason I failed to welcome you to the ship personally was that I had an appointment with Dr Lenor to assess the progress of her work.”

    Bane raised his palms, “No need to apologise. Besides I don’t want too many callers to my quarters just now, while Freddie is sleeping.”

    “Freddie?” posed Ra-Barra curiously, sipping from his raktajino.

    “A lot has changed since our days together on the Ganymede,” explained Bane Mather, folding his arms on the table and leaning closer, excitedly. “I’m a father now.”

    Ra-Barra’veth clapped his palms together and leaned back with a broad smile.

    “Congratulations! How old is your son?”

    “Four…in Earth years, of course,” answered Bane Mather, his face a picture of fatherly pride. “I’m sure he’s sharper than I ever was at that age.” Bane sighed a reminiscent smile. “When I left the Ganymede for Starbase 600, I met Cassandra and two years later Freddie came along.”

    Bane Mather and Ra-Barra’veth talked for over an hour, exchanging their stories in the corner of the lounge. They recalled the memories of their time serving together, laughed at jokes and humorous anecdotes, commiserated over misfortune and told the stories of their lives in the six years since they were last shipmates on the USS Ganymede.

    Bane altered the tone, remembering how he trusted Ra-Barra’veth in the past, confident that he could trust him during their future on the Destiny.

    “This first officer, Letina Iyal…” began Bane as the science officer leaned towards him to ensure that their hushed tones would not breach the solitude of their table. “She seems particularly troubled with the loss of Vran.”

    “She’s a good officer, Mather,” declared Ra-Barra’veth in his husky voice.

    “I’ve heard good things,” said Bane approvingly. “Yet, the loss of Vran seemed to be a particular ordeal for her and I’m concerned that her behaviour could become problematic.”

    “Letina Iyal is a perfectly competent first officer but she needs to gain experience and she needs to address some of her personal issues,” clarified the Efrosian second officer, pointing his finger aimlessly to accentuate the point.

    “I get the feeling she resents my presence on this ship. Captain Vran left some big shoes to fill and as far as Commander Iyal is concerned I’m not up to it.”

    Ra-Barra’veth offered, “She finds it testing to see someone else in her mentor‘s chair.” The scientist moved his PADD aside and clasped his hands on the table. “Letina Iyal has played her entire Starfleet career by the rules. She is lacking in empathy and emotional intelligence but nevertheless she is proficient, a tough XO and she doesn’t suffer fools gladly.”

    “I gathered as much from her file,” interjected Bane.

    The lounge was filling up with officers, Bane presumed a designated meal time was to begin shortly and there was a jubilant, animated celebration taking place in the far side of the room. The lounge no longer appeared to be a suitable location for such a sensitive discussion.

    “Her whole approach to the job means she is widely respected by the crew but not well liked,” elucidated the silver-haired Efrosian. “When Vran died she was deeply affected but there was no-one on ship whom she could turn to for comfort.”

    “She’s a loner?” proposed Captain Bane, intrigued by the wise veteran’s perspective.

    “Very much so. I have offered her a shoulder to cry on but she finds distracting herself through her duties to be an easier cure than confronting her grief…and her guilt.”

    Bane pursued this avenue of questioning further, “When you say ‘guilt’…?”

    The conversation was interrupted by the familiar, cheerful voice of Naomi Wildman and with her, the newly promoted Lieutenant Owai.

    “Sir,” called Wildman, her uniform loose, indicating that she was off duty and relaxing. “Would you care to join us for a drink to honour Lieutenant Owai’s promotion?”

    Where as Ra-Barra’veth fell silent at the intrusion, Bane Mather gleamed a broad smile. The captain looked to the celebration forming in the corner and noticed that among other young officers, even the rival candidate for Chief Tactical Officer, Darzon was enjoying the merriment.

    “I would love to,” replied Bane Mather, rubbing his hands together expectantly.

    He turned to Ra-Barra’veth and with a motion of his hand invited the science officer to join him.

    “I would enjoy a drink with you but gamma shift will begin shortly,” chuckled Ra-Barra’veth rising to his feet. “You may wish to remind Mr Darzon that he will be expected on tactical in ten minutes.”

    There was a chortle among the group as they left the table. Ra-Barra’veth gave Marc Owai a congratulatory pat on the back whilst Captain Bane Mather was handed a drink by one of his junior officers.

    Before Ra-Barra’veth left the crew lounge he glanced at Captain Bane socializing with his officers and smiled. In his first day on the Destiny Bane Mather had truly made his mark.

    = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

    Lieutenant Commander Ra-Barra’veth sat in the central command chair of the Destiny’s bridge, supervising the uneventful operations of gamma shift. The lighting was dimmed throughout the ship to save energy during the period in which most of the officers, crew and civilians aboard the vessel were asleep. Ra-Barra found that it also contributed to a placid, night-time mood which he found relaxing and helped others sleep.

    “Graveyard shift,” commented Tessa Shanthi from the helm, stretching her arms but managing to conceal her yawning.

    “Lieutenant?” enquired the second officer from the captain’s chair.

    “It is an old expression from earth. The night shift would be called the graveyard shift…it’s dead!”

    Ra-Barra’veth smirked as he noted the expression.

    “What is our ETA, lieutenant?” asked the Efrosian out of boredom more than genuine interest.

    Tessa Shanthi cracked her knuckles and set about tapping controls and entering calculations into her console. She reported, “We will be at Yolande-IV in approximately eight hours and forty minutes.”

    Ra-Barra’veth sat back in the captain’s chair, considering the conn officer’s report when he was suddenly interrupted.

    “Sir!” barked Darzon, the tall Tarlac security officer positioned at the tactical station. “We are receiving an incoming transmission from a Pakled freighter…they are reporting that there is a weak general distress signal emanating from Outpost Arcadia on Yolande-IV.”

    The atmosphere on the bridge seemed to turn immediately. Officers trudging through their work against tiredness in the docile, dimly-lit bridge were now checking their consoles with vigour and awaiting instructions eagerly.

    Ra-Barra’veth rose from the command chair and stepped up towards the tactical console. He stood next to the towering security officer as they examined the computer display.

    “The Pakled are relaying and amplifying the distress signal to us.,” reported Darzon, guiding his hand over the touch-screen in front of him.

    “On screen,” commanded Ra-Barra, gazing at the main viewer.

    The mammoth view screen at the front of the bridge showed the blue haze of the transwarp conduit but the image was instantaneously replaced with a chilling, garbled recording.

    “So much for the graveyard shift,” remarked Lieutenant Shanthi, watching the view screen with dread in her eyes.
  18. CeJay

    CeJay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Feb 5, 2006
    I continue to enjoy this.

    The more I read the more I like Bane and this crew. The first officer is obviously going to present problems for the new captain but I look forward to see her grow as a person.

    Also it is interesting to see how Bane's rather relaxed attitude will inspire the crew in a case of emergency.

    Admiral Shanti's daughter is a nice touch. Another very skilled writer on this board has Shanti's son as part of his crew. I can only recommend you check out the Gibraltar stories when you get the time. You won't regret it.

    Looking forward to more.
  19. Dnoth

    Dnoth Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Dec 12, 2006
    In the illusion, but not of it.
    This is very nice.

    I like the idea of the captain being the only 'new guy' on the ship.

    The characters are great; the story has a lot of potential. It'd be interesting find out how galactic politics have changed in 2395.

    I was wondering if you had any more details on your Saturn-class ship. How big is it? How many crew members?

    It's a great start, especially for a first story! I'll be reading.
  20. Captain2395

    Captain2395 Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Jul 31, 2007
    Thanks guys. Haven't had the chance to read every fic but I'm making my way through it. Didn't know about Shanthi's son in another fic but Gibraltar seems to be one of the most distinguished and from what I've read so far it deserves to be held in high regard.

    This is very much a character-driven piece designed to introduce the various members of the crew.

    My idea for the Destiny is for it to be to the Sovereign class what the Ambassador was to the Excelsior, if that makes any sense. I quite like the look of the Excalibur class starships but I don't want to pinch anyone else's work. That is what I had in mind when I was coming up with the Saturn-class ship.

    Galactic politics will feature more heavily in the next episode but thanks for your interest.

    I am growing attached to some of the characters and I really enjoy deciding what I'm going to throw at them. I'm glad others are so interested in them.