The Fourth Fleet was still mopping up the last of the effects from the Century Storm that had battered the region, but life was slowly returning to normal. The Crazy Horse’s mission to locate two of the fleet’s missions ships had turned out to be a dismal failure. Lieutenant Commander Erin Hayden tried not to let that fact get to her, but she couldn’t help it. The best they could figure was that both ships got pulled into the rifts they were supposed to be closing.
“Commander,” Operations announced. “We are receiving orders to return to Starbas 86 for replacement crew.”
Erin knew what that meant. It meant Starfleet was moving on from Captain Mckenzie and Commander Halstead. She didn’t like the idea of abandoning her captain either. Resisting the urge to sigh she gave a grim smile and nodded, “Very well. Thank you Ensign. Mr Talon set course for Starbase 86 at best speed.”
“Aye Captain,” the Ensign announced honoring the age old tradition, “Course laid in for SB86. Warp 7.8.”
-Starbase 86, Several Days Later-
The senior staff were sitting around a table in the main recreational lounge aboard thr Crazy Horse sipping their drinks. The lounge was affectionately referred to by the crew as the “Wild Horse Saloon”. No one knew who named it that, only it had been passed down from one crew to the next over the decades. The doors parted, allowing the light from the outside corridor to flood in revealing the form of Commander Hayden. She paused at the bar long enough to get a coffee and then crossed the lounge sitting down in between Diego and Doctor T’lar.
“Well?” Ensign Anthony Talon asked. The ship’s navigator had a synthohol whiskey in his hand. “When are we going to go look for the Captain and Commander Halstead?”
Erin sipped her coffee before answering. After a long pause she shook her head. “We aren’t. Starfleet is officially classifying them as missing in action and presumed dead.”
“That’s ridiculous!” Washington exclaimed, “They’re out there somewhere.”
“Marcus,” Erin started, “It’s been six months. The fact that Starfleet has indulged us this long is a miracle.”
“Logic dictates that it is highly unlikely that we will find them after this long,” T’lar added. “I would also deduce that Bravo Fleet brought us to pick up our new captain.”
“Your deduction is correct,” Erin replied.
“You conducted yourself adequately during the rescue mission. I would have much preferred you made captain but I don’t see them promoting you twice. Is Ensign Hargrove taking your position at operations?” T’lar stated giving her high praise… for a Vulcan.
“I will be remaining in Operations,” Erin replied.
“What? They didn’t even make you XO?” Diego demanded offended for her.
Erin shook her head. “The new captain and XO will come aboard tomorrow.”
“Do you know who Starfleet is saddling us with?” Shrin asked who had been silent until now.
“Captain Órlaith Murphy and Commander Kevan Torin. I haven’t personally met either officer, though Captain Murphy has a solid reputation.”
“I served with Torin on the Majestic,” Washington added. “I liked him, but a little quiet, but I don’t know what he’s like as an XO. I guess we’ll find out tomorrow morning.”
– Next Morning-
Captain Órlaith Murphy stepped off the shuttle and onto the Crazy Horse and looked around. It was an old ship, but she was pleased with how clean and orderly it was.
Commander Kevan Torin stood at the entrance with his hands behind his back waiting on her step off the shuttle. Beside him was Lt. Commander Hayden.
She stepped forward, “Welcome to the Crazy Horse Captain.”
“Commander,” Órlaith said giving her second officer an appreciative nod.
“The senior staff is waiting on you two in the observation lounge,” Erin reported.
The trio made their way to deck one and they entered the observation lounge together. Erin slid into her old chair and Commander Torin sat in the XO’s seat. Órlaith opted to remain standing. “Good morning ladies and gentlemen. I am Captain Órlaith Murphy and this is our executive officer Commander Kevan Torin. It is my hope that you will continue to serve with same dedication that you did with your old commanders and Commander Hayden here as well.”
“Welcome to the Crazy Horse,” Erin repiled.
“We will be loading supplies to help rebuild the Ficus Coloney. Mr. Washington I expect you to supervise the loading. Mr. Talon, see about coordinating with Commander Hayden with the shuttles and cargo bays. Doctor T’lar get me a list of medical supplies you think we’ll need. Mr. Garza I don’t expect there will be much for you to do, but let’s increase security during the supply transfers. There’s going to be a lot of unfamiliar faces coming on board. Doctor Shrin, I apologize, but unfortunately there is little call for a science officer on this mission. If you chose you can take leave here on Starbase.”
Shrin shook her head, her antennae swaying softly, “I’m good captain. I have plenty of backlogged data that requires analysis.”
“Very good Doctor,” Órlaith said. “Let’s get to work then.”