Check out our latest Fleet Action!

 

Part of USS Steamrunner: Logistical Support of Bajor

Marching Orders

Main Bridge
02/06/2400
0 likes 1101 views

“Captain, we are being hailed. It’s Admiral Brexx at Starfleet Command,” said Lieutenant Commander Amanda Rose, the Steamrunner’s Executive Officer.

 Commander Tim Coleman, the Captain of the Steamrunner-class U.S.S. Steamrunner, had been looking down at a PADD handed to him from, well, someone for him to review and sign off. It was a report about crew efficiency on Deck 6, near Engineering. “On screen,” he said, looking up. 

It was unusual for the Captain of a ship to put communique from Starfleet on the main screen on the Bridge, but then again, nothing was “usual” about Commander Tim Coleman. Lieutenant Commander Rose did as she was told. “Aye sir. Onscreen.”

On the forward viewscreen, a blue-skinned Admiral appeared, complete with the bisecting ridge that ran from the back of his head all the way to the bottom of his neck. “Commander Coleman, it’s good to see you,” he said. There was no joy or honesty in the words.

“Likewise, Admiral,” It was not lost on Coleman that the Admiral did not address Coleman by the Naval tradition of Captain, since he was in command of this vessel. Coleman responded with a tone of voice that matched the Admiral’s. “How can the Steamrunner be of service to Starfleet today?” Coleman was bitter, like most of the 119 other crewmembers on the Steamrunner. With the exception of the very few members of the crew that were “lucky” enough to be assigned to this ship fresh from the Academy or Starfleet Bootcamp, the rest had been put here, like Commander Coleman, because of some infraction they had committed at some point in their career and were put onto this ship to be out of the way, but still useful to Starfleet. In other words, the Steamrunner was a mule, a workhorse, a beast of burden, nothing more. In the time that Coleman had been in command of the Steamrunner, he had been in exactly one firefight, stepped foot on exactly zero planets (outside of going on leave, naturally), and had not been on a single exploratory or diplomatic mission. It was a dead end for him, and for nearly everyone on this ship. The chances of him ever earning his fourth pip were zero. In fact, he had better chances of losing a pip than he did gaining one.

“I like your go-get-’em attitude, Commander,” Admiral Brexx stated, not meaning it in the slightest. “We need the Steamrunner to go to Tychon IV, pick up supplies and passengers, and take them to Deep Space 9.” Brexx picked up a PADD and looked at it for a moment. “Based on the information I have here, the space you have available in your cargo hold and crew space available, you will likely need to make three trips, unless you and your crew can come up with some other plan.”

Coleman looked at the Admiral with wide eyes. “Admiral, one trip from Tychon IV to DS9 will take three weeks alone! You are talking about,” Coleman did some quick math in his head, “almost four months to complete this mission!”

Admiral Braxx lost any sort of façade he was showing, his eyes glowing with anger, his face contorted in disgust. He slapped the PADD down, hard, and leaned into the camera hard and close. “Commander, you will do as you are ordered, or I will have you removed from command and put in your own damned brig for the duration of that mission, do I make myself clear, Mr. Coleman?”

The lack of respect that Admiral Brexx had for Commander Coleman was well known and well documented, but Brexx knew where to draw the line, and knew how to draw the line in the sand at the same time, and he had done just so. If Coleman spoke one syllable incorrectly, or made the most minute mistake in his response, he really would find himself trumped out of Starfleet, or in that promised brig. Coleman looked over to Rose, where they momentarily locked eyes, then his attention was back on the Admiral. “Admiral, my sincere apologies. Of course the Steamrunner and I can handle this mission. We will do so with the highest efficiency.” What he wanted to say, well, that was best left unsaid, for fear of virgin ears hearing it by mistake.

Leaning back into his chair and into a normal sitting position, Brexx smiled. His façade back in full force again. He didn’t give a care one way or another if anyone on the Steamrunner saw it. “Excellent. I will have Lieutenant Bleerak send you all the details. In the meantime, you better get to Tychon IV. Deep Space 9 is already waiting on those supplies and crew, Commander. Starfleet Command out.”

The screen went dark, the reverted back to the starscape that was normally present. Coleman looked to Rose again, lifted his eyebrows for a moment, a silent communication between the two signaling, ‘Oh well, we have our orders,’ then looked to the Helm. “Helm, set course for Tychon IV, and make your speed warp 6.” He had no idea what the course heading was. He could have looked it up before giving the order, but then again, that is why he had a Helm Officer in the first place, to look up these things and input them into the navigational computer.

“Aye sir. Course laid in,” he said after a few moments. “Heading 003 mark 045. Almost dead ahead of us. Warp six.”

“Lets get going, Lieutenant.”

From outside the ship, the red ramscoop collectors, encased in their cowling, brightened up by an order of magnitude before returning to their normal dark red color. At the exact same time, the blue glow along the length of the warp nacelles went brilliant white. The ship vanished into warp speed, travelling at roughly 392 times the speed of light, or if you wanted to be fancy, roughly 423 billion kilometers an hour.