Nether stars twinkled from the deep beyond. Light, emitted from them hundreds, thousands or even millions of years ago splashed against the spaceframe that now hung in a steady orbit around Starbase 86’s meridian. She was a fine ship, or so said those who’d served aboard her. Sleek, with a low profile, she crouched and prowled along her path.
“We’ve been waiting on the right person for a while, now.” Mek looked away from the viewport towards Shilo. The Task Force 86 Operations Centre bustled behind them as the two officers prepared to leave for the transporter room. “But Kowal… She does have a damned strong dossier. Any last-minute objections, Captain Shilo?” He grinned.
Francesca nodded “I agree I think that Kowal is a good fit for the command,” she stated as they began to walk out of the Operations Center.
Mek’s white dress uniform creased at the elbow as he held up the PADD. The senior staff and a good few other members of the USS Serenity‘s crew stood around them in a semicircle, a burble of chatter spreading through them. Mek, and Shilo alongside a podium that had been hastily erected in the ship’s mess hall. Another officer, a young woman with a tumble of golden hair that fell about her shoulders, stood in front of them. Ten years out of the Academy, Heather Kowal was the picture of authority. Her stoic expression betrayed no nerves as Mek prepared to grant her what so many others had sought and competed for over the course of their careers.
“Ready?” His wrinkled crow’s feet bunched at the corners of his eyes as he looked towards Kowal.
“Yes sir, I am,” she said, with a nod. She felt strange like an imposter in her own dress uniform and while no stranger to being a part of the command team it was different being place in command. She thought that she’d be good to go when this day presented itself but as she learned in the time since she’d been given command about a week ago now that she wildly underestimated what it would be like.
“The Senior Staff and I have been working hard to prepare for this moment,” Heather said proudly, she then looked among her senior staff. A lingering look at the ship’s Command Master Chief before she turned her attention back to her Task Force Commander.
Mek gave a quick nod to Francesca; the signal for her to bring the room to attention.
Francesca nodded and proceeded to the podium that was in front of her. It had been a while since she had donned the white dress outfit, but she was always excited when the chance arose. She had a somewhat serious look on her face as she began to speak “Everyone please come to attention!”
As she finished the whole room went to attention the thrum echoed as they all complied in unison. She continued “And now without further ado I would like to introduce Task Force 86’s commanding officer Captain Mek.”
Mek had moved to stand next to Kowal, and now he looked to her, “Commander Kowal, I’d like to thank you on behalf of myself and Captain Shilo for inviting us aboard this fine ship. Your crew have done a standout job preparing her to get underway. On behalf of Task Force and Fourth Fleet Command, I wish you all the best in your future journeys and endeavours. There’s not a doubt in my mind that you’ll go forth and represent the aspirations of the Federation in all that you do. It therefore gives me great satisfaction to officially declare the USS Serenity returned to active duty.” He paused, surveying the officers and crewmen in front of him who stood ready to embark on perhaps their greatest journeys; a snapshot in time. Mek stifled a pang of jealousy, “Now, I believe Captain Shilo would also like to say a few words.”
Heather stood her heart beat increasing as the statement from her Task Force Commander continued on. She was prouder than she had ever felt and wished that her best friend had been able to be present but knew she could send her a recording later. She intended fully on demanding to watch her see the video so she could see her tear up. Kowal was going to thank the Task Force CO for the kind words but then as he turned it over to Shilo she decided that she would wait until the end for both.
Francesca stood and looked back at Kowal “There is not much that can be said that hasn’t already been said, but I will say that you deserve this and have worked hard for this moment. Congratulations Captain Kowal on your new ship the USS Serenity.” She extended her hand to Kowal.
Mek extended a hand to the new commanding officer, “Congratulations, Captain Kowal,” he beamed as applause spread throughout the mess hall.
“Thank you,” Heather said, “I appreciate and will be sure to repay the confidence held in my abilities as Commanding Officer of the USS Serenity,” she began. “While I have cut the line in gaining experience to hold this position I promise that you will never wonder if I maybe reached this position too soon. The Serenity will be a command that shines in each mission, supports the crew, and enables everyone aboard to have the magnificent opportunities that I’ve had in my short time in Starfleet. Welcome home to my new crew, and I look forward to getting underway for our first time together.”