“Have you seen the new captain yet?” Ensign Robert Grant asked his colleague, seated at the operations station next to him.
“Not yet. The Captain just beamed aboard this morning. It’ll be some time before he makes his way to the lower decks.” Lieutenant JG Howard Randell responded. It was true, the USS Nebula was not the largest ship in the fleet, but it’s mid-size meant that their new CO would need a few weeks to become acquainted with all parts of the ship.
“Let’s see if he’s like the last one. Taking three weeks to say hello to his first ensign.” Ensign Grant laughed as he returned to his controls. There wasn’t much for him to do today. The USS Nebula was docked at Jupiter Station, in the final stages of their refit. The last order of business was upgrading their EMH.
Captain Harris Hill had just taken over command of the USS Nebula. In his mission briefing, he’d been briefed on the relatively low morale of the USS Nebula, which Command had made his primary mission to improve. Now, as he stood in the turbolift headed for the bridge, he was anxious. Turning around an entire starship as a first time Captain was either a vote of confidence or a curse. He hoped it was the later.
As the lift started to slow, he took a deep breathe. The doors opened and an ensign at the helm yelled, “Captain on deck.” All the officers immediately stood at attention facing him. He made a mental note to end this practice – it made him feel uncomfortable.
“At ease.” He walked towards the center of the bridge and looked around at each of the officers. “Status report.”
The helm was the first to answer. ‘Looks like we’ve got an eager young helmsman.’ he thought to himself.
“The Nebula is currently docked at Jupiter Station, sir. All engines are on standby and ready upon command.” Captain Hill nodded to the helmsman. Next was operations.
The Lieutenant turned to the Captain. Another eager officer. “All systems are operating within normal parameters, sir.”
Then the firing squad continued, “Engineering is assisting with the last upgrades to the EMH system.”
“Science is continuing its multiple experiments. Scanner diagnostics and recalibration will be completed within the next 20 minutes.” He noticed his Science Officer was a Trill. This was the first time he’d be working with a Trill on the senior staff.
“Medical is on standby and continues all routine medical exams.”
“Tactical system upgrades have been integrated and are ready for use upon your command, sir.”
Captain Hill noticed that the most of his senior staff was on the Bridge to greet him: Tactical, Science, Operations, and Medical. He’d excuse Engineering, their place was in the engine room, but where was his Helmsman? Command had informed him that the First and Second Officer positions were his to fill, and he expected to promote from within, and first impressions did account for some part of the process.
Harris tapped his combadge =/\= Captain Hill to all senior officers. Please report to the Observation Lounge at 1400 hrs. Hill out. =/\=
With that he nodded to Lieutenant James Cortes, the Security Chief, “You have the conn lieutenant.” And entered into the Ready Room. He’d have twenty minutes to prepare for this meeting.
—20 minutes later —
Captain Hill entered the conference room. He appreciated it being situated directly behind the bridge – it meant his commute was mere seconds in length. To his surprise, the entire staff that was seated waiting for him, immediately stood to attention. ‘Maybe I was wrong about them,’ as he took his seat and nodded to his staff and they sat down.
“Hello everyone. I know we all met briefly when I took command, but I am Captain Harris Hill. A native of earth and a former operations officer. As this is my first command, I know there may be a few bumps along the way, but I’m confident we’ll achieve greatness together.” He paused for a moment, “I asked you all here to provide an update on our first mission.”
The Captain tapped a few buttons on the table, pulling up data on the screen, “We’ve been assigned to Task Force 86. Two days again, the Federation freighter Narragansett was traveling through the Triangle, loaded to the brim with spare Starfleet components, but it has since gone off the grid. Starfleet intelligence reports that they discovered the USS Connecticut, an Akira class vessel that was reported missing during the Dominion War.” He paused again bringing up a political map of the Triangle, “As you may be aware, the Triangle is a hotbed for crime and instability. If one of the syndicates were to get their hands on Federation technology and/or weapons, the resulting violence would have a ripple effect across the region. Starfleet has ordered us to locate and reclaim any and all Federation property. Questions?”
It took a moment for the Senior Staff to review all of the information on the screen. The first to speak was Lieutenant James Cortes, “Are there any indications to what happened to the Narragansett, sir?”
‘He’s making a good impression…’ Hill thought to himself, “Intelligence suggests that it was taken by one of the local crime lords. We’ve narrowed it down to three potential.” He sent the information on his PADD to Cortes.
“The Nebula has just completed a relatively large refit. Is there time for a shakedown to sort out any bugs?” The Chief Engineer, Lieutenant Hoko Shun seemed to be coming from a good place, but a hint of laziness hung in his voice.
Captain Hill decided to be short with him. He wasn’t in the mood for excuses, “This is our shakedown.”
The next person to speak was the science officer, Lieutenant JG Vima Tam. Hill couldn’t recall if she was joined or not – he made a mental note to double check. “Do we have any leads on the location of the Narragansett? A warp trail?”
Hill liked where she was coming from, “Great question. The last ship within range of the Narragansett was the USS Thunderbolt. They were able to scan the ship with their long range scanners. We have their Warp Core ID and their general course heading. That’s where we’ll start.”
The Captain then turned to the Operations and Engineer, “I’d like to get underway in three hours. Any objections?”
The Engineer and Operations Chief turned to each other and shrugged their shoulders. “I would have liked at least five hours, but we can complete our work en route to the Triangle.”
Captain Hill didn’t like their tone but didn’t want to get off on the wrong foot, “We’ll if it’s another set of hands you need, I’ll be there in thirty minutes. Anything further?” He paused, “Dismissed. We leave in three hours.” Captain Hill stood, waiting for the officers to leave the room.
Lieutenant Cortes was the last remaining officer, he approached Captain Hill extended his hand and said, “Welcome aboard, Captain. Most of us are excited to see a fresh face on the Nebula. If there’s anything you need to help get acquainted with the ship, please don’t hesitate to ask.”
Captain Hill grasped his hand, “Thank you, Lieutenant. I appreciate it. Is there anything I should know before we ship out?”
Hill noticed Cortes pause, probably debating how much he wanted to share with his new CO. “Let’s just say that the strengths and weaknesses of the Nebula will become apparent in the next day. I don’t want to taint your view of the ship, but I’m sure you’ll be able to figure it out.”
“Good answer.” Captain Hill responded with a smile. “Well, I best be headed towards Engineering.”
They walked out together, with Hill thinking to himself, ‘One down, only 748 to go.’
Captain Harris Hill
Commanding Officer, USS Nebula
Lieutenant James Cortes
Chief Security/Tactical Officer
Lieutenant Hoko Shun
Lieutenant Keagan Booth
Chief Flight Control Officer
Lieutenant JG Vima Tam
Chief Science Officer
Lieutenant JG Howard Randell
Chief Operations Officer