The USS Discovery’s dorsal plane stretched like the wings of a Jerett falcon as it passed into sector Typhon 252. Matter and antimatter steadily annihilated each other in the ship’s reactor core, the intermix chamber increasing the particulate flow diameter by barely a micron as the ship altered course. That same warp engine had bent the very fabric of space for close to a month while the Discovery rounded the trailing edge of Romulan space. Now, having stopped only to investigate the movements of a small party of Fenris Rangers, they had reached their journey’s end.
“Captain Rider,” Mek stepped onto the bridge, calling his colleague’s name before completing the short arc from the turbolift to within view of the command chair, “I hear we’ve nearly reached the station.”
Rider, half of his attention still directed towards the viewer, caught sight of Mek in the corner of one pastel blue eye, “We’re still about an hour out. Not long now,” the human’s rugged face creased into a smile, “we’ve got some odd spectral phase pulse readings coming from around the Typhon Expanse, oh and an intelligence report came through on priority two. Internal discontent on some of the old Romulan core worlds.”
Just what they need,” Mek pursed his lips, “never thought that’d become my problem again so quickly. I was just starting to get used to the Klingon way of doing things.”
A quiet laugh escaped Rider, “Ah, station life… The problems come to you.”
“We can but hope they don’t all arrive at the same time,” Mek added.
“You know where to find us if they do,” Rider shot back.
A rare shadow of a smile flickered across Mek’s face, his teeth showing in a flash. Rider had the easy confidence of a man who truly inhabited his role, forcing Mek to admit that the voyage had in fact been rather pleasant. The Discovery’s captain was as affable as he was knowledgeable.
Mek looked around the bridge, “I have to say, I almost miss starship service. The Discovery’s a fine ship. A first-rate crew,” his eyes settled unconsciously on the centre seat. Commander Rozan, the First Officer, kept watch to the right. To the left a third chair, standard on larger vessels such as this, lay empty.
Mek stepped over to it. An almost sheepish tone seeped into his voice, “May I?”
“By all means,” Rider obliged, knowingly.
Mek impulsively checked the systems display as he sat, prompting Rider and Rozan to exchange an amused glance.
“Mr. Szeto,” Rozan announced in a soothing tone, “inform Deep Space 17 control we request our final approach vector.” She input a few commands to her own controls, then reclined. Her shaven head touched the padded head rest as she turned to Mek, “Thinking about coming back to the bridge, Captain?”
“Hah, no.” Mek lied.
“Never too late,” Rider cajoled, taking the centre seat.
“Oh, be quiet. Both of you,” Mek harrumphed, “let me enjoy the moment.”
Deep Space 17, once a pale white dot on the viewer, grew larger by the minute. The Canopus-class station spun lazily, in the outermost phase of its elliptical orbit around the Lioh sun. Gas giant Lioh III hung back; a vast ethereal spirit reducing the station to a darkened silhouette. Heavy concentrations of atmospheric methane absorbed the red fury of the Lioh star, producing a Gaussian blue perimeter. To Mek, it appeared serene. It was as if the station’s superstructure travelled forwards on a pale ocean wave. The rotation of its mycelial form ensured no part of the station escaped that spectral crescent, washed cerulean; a tiny island in an endless sea.