“Attention on deck!” shouted Mac as Tikva stepped out of the shuttle, the handful of crew members that he’d scrambled together snapping to attention. “Welcome aboard the USS Atlantis Captain Theodoras.”
“Commander MacIntyre, you’re supposed to be on leave,” she shot back with a smile. “How long have you known?”
“Not even a week ma’am. Straight from Memory Alpha to here. Flight Ops was all squirrely, directed me here where…” he smiled, paused, then turned to indicate the primary doors out of the shuttlebay and into the ship proper. “There’s someone who would like to see you, ma’am. On the bridge.”
With a nod of her head, she headed in that direction, hearing Mac dismiss the party behind her and catching up in quick order. Mac on her left, Adelinde on her right, was there a force in the universe that could stop her?
“Tell me Mac, what’s your role in all this?” she asked as they walked down a deserted corridor. Everything was so shiny and new, yet classic lines and design elements remained. A ship of a half-generation ago, but with all the new bells and whistles that could be crammed into her without too many problems.
“Sorry ma’am, orders not to tell just yet.” Amusement radiated off of him and she gave him a filthy glance as they entered a turbolift. He was a big boy with a big secret and so happy he didn’t have to tell. “Bridge,” he ordered of the computer, standing just that little bit straighter and giving her a smile that she didn’t like.
The ride, short as it was from deck six to the bridge, was in silence. As the doors opened, she could make out exactly five people on the bridge waiting for her. One had their back to her, wearing command red and talking with two civilians whom she immediately recognised – her parents. No attention was given to the other two officers, aside from noting a blue and red uniform.
What are they doing here?
Seriously?! Ma? Pa?
She stepped out, Mac clearing his throat behind her to announce their arrival and the unknown person turned around and she immediately straightened her posture and came to attention at the sight of her former captain, now commodore, Ricta Denevan. It was short-lived as he smiled, closed the distance and extended a hand for a solid handshake. “Captain Theodoras, welcome aboard.”
“Cap…Commodore Devenvan, sir, pleasure is mine.” She tossed a momentary glance to her parents, her mother offering a small wave, her father an upwards nod of the head, then back to the commodore. “I was unaware of your promotion sir.”
“Recent thing actually. You would have been in the Delta Quadrant at the time anyway.” His grip was still strong, still confident. But then he let her hand go and held his hand out, the red uniformed ensign stepping forward to place a padd in his hand, which he looked at momentarily then immediately handed it to her. “Captain, as an officer in the Bureau of Personnel, on behalf of Starfleet Operations, I hereby order you to read the contents of his padd out loud for all here to witness.”
She blinked at him a few times, remembering the captain who had wished her all the best when she left the Trafalgar for the Atlantis, the first Atlantis that is. “Hate to see you leave,” he had said then, “but glad they’re giving you your own ship again.” Now he was a commodore, which meant the Trafalgar was in some other hands. A ship she had quite literally saved at personal cost was in someone else’s hands to keep safe.
“Captain, is there a problem?” he asked.
She blinked twice more, her brain still processing all the information, but pushed it aside to look at the padd and the short paragraph on screen.
“I, Captain Tikva Theodoras, hereby directed and required, take upon myself the duties and responsibilities as the commanding officer of the United Federation of Planets Starship Atlantis, NCC-90562, on stardate 77143. I declare,” she paused to look up at Commodore Denevan who was grinning like the cat who stole the cream, “to uphold and maintain the best traditions of the Federation and Starfleet in the discharge of my duties.”
“Computer,” Denevan said as she finished speaking, “transfer all command authorisations to Captain Theodoras and make a note in the official log that I am assigning Commander Charles MacIntyre as her executive officer effective immediately.”
“Acknowledged,” the automated minion intoned. “Captain Theodoras is in command.”
Denevan took the padd back, passing it off to who clearly had to be his yeoman. “First order Captain,” he said, mirth in his voice, “is get this ship launched on time. Dedication plague already says stardate 77170 and you know just how much of a pain it is to get those redone.”
“Aye sir,” she answered.
“Good. Your old crew are all being assigned here, as well as enough personnel to fill out the roster for this ship. The commissioning ceremony is all booked as well, then you’re off for an eight-week shakedown, back to the yard for final fitment and evaluation, and then we’ll turn you loose.” Denevan chuckled briefly to himself. “I don’t think anyone over in Fourth Fleet command is going to be too annoyed I replaced an Argonaut-class with a Sovereign, do you?”
“I suspect they’ll be pleased actually,” she answered.
“Good. Lieutenant Gantzmann,” he turned on Adelinde, who was already at attention. “I have something for you, though I think it best it comes from your captain.” His hand was held out once more, his yeoman filling it with a small black lacquered box, which he handed straight over to Tikva to open and inspect. “For your bravery in leading the rescue of your captain and your mostly peaceful apprehension of the Highcroft Liberation Front, as well as your stellar track record while on assignment in the Delta Quadrant, it is my honour to promote you to the rank of Lieutenant Commander with all the privileges and responsibilities that entails.”
While Tikva had kept it from her face until she turned towards Adeline, the smile was absolutely genuine as she took the silver-rimmed black pip and set it on Adeline’s uniform. “Congratulations Lieutenant Commander,” she said, shook hands and then stepped aside for Denevan and then Mac to do the same.
“Right, those official acts, sorted, how about we relax a bit?” Denevan then stated and with that the official stuffiness in the air seemingly vanished as everyone’s shoulders relaxed and emotions actually presented themselves. “Told you Tikva I wasn’t letting you leave my ship unless it was for nobler things.”
“Tour of the DQ, a galactic crisis, then a regional one, now a new ship. It’s been a whirlwind since Trafalgar Sir.” She was going to say more but her mother, whose height she did not inherit, interrupted by enveloping Tikva in a hug. “Ma, please!” she protested, but no one was seemingly coming to her rescue.
‘What did I teach you?’ came her mother’s voice directly to her mind, the emotions of happiness and slight disappointment laced with them. So happy to see her daughter, disappointed she was talking to her versus simply ‘speaking’ at her.
‘To be polite around others,’ she replied. She waved to her dad who had made his way to introduce himself to Mac. There was a pairing she figured would get along well, especially since she’d gotten Mac motivated once more. ‘Especially Pa.’
“Good girl,” her mother spoke, then mostly turned her loose, holding her upper arms. “Eating well? Taking care of yourself? You look good, aside from that dreadfully unfashionable uniform,” Mikou continued. Then she stopped and smiled. ‘Being taken care of?’ her mother spoke at her privately.
“Ma!” she exclaimed, knowing a blush was forming immediately. “Not the place.”
That was her father’s queue as he excused himself from Mac and stepped over, a hand on his wife’s shoulder, a loving smile to his daughter, who he was only marginally taller then. Ballis Theodoras had been the peacekeeper in the house during her teenage years and looked like it was a skill never lost. “Love, stop teasing our daughter. Hello sweetie.” He then gently pushed his wife’s hands aside for his own, gentler hug. “Your mother and I were invited by Commodore Denevan to the commissioning ceremony but then just this morning he asked us if we wanted to come and see you take command. So proud of you.”
“Thanks, Pa,” Tikva said. “Gonna need some ouzo though, toast this young lady,” she tapped the deck with her foot, “properly.”
“I’ve got four bottles as a gift to you, two for the party and one for the ship.”
“That’s seven Pa, they come in crates of eight.”
“Your father,” Denevan spoke up, “made a compelling argument for my ownership of a bottle. And since you introduced it to me, Captain, I’ve accepted his offer.” He stepped forward, turning to face her parents more than anything. “I do want to apologise Mr and Mrs Theodoras, but I need to brief your daughter and Commander MacIntyre while I’m here. I promise there will be time for you to see your daughter during the week.”
“Must you Commodore?” Mikou started, stopping as Denevan nodded his head softly. “Well then, we shall return planetside. Tikva darling, dinner tonight. Bring your officers along, I’ll book us somewhere to eat.”
“Yes Ma,” she answered, then suffered a kiss on the cheek from both parents before they passed for the turbolift, Denevan’s yeoman trailing them no doubt as an escort. That left the bridge, the nearly empty, unmanned bridge, to the Starfleet officers. “My parents Sir?”
“It’s a mentor’s duty to make a student’s life just miserable enough,” he said with a smirk. “Commander Gantzmann might as well remain for the briefing, as well as Doctor Pisani here,” he finally introduced the blue collared individual who was present. “She’s one of many new doctors you’ll be taking aboard ship. Doctor Terax is still your CMO, but Doctor Pisani here is bridge qualified as of…three weeks ago?”
“Thereabout Sir,” Pisani replied with a mischievous smirk and a sense about her that went with it.
Going to have to watch out for her.
Trouble. Chaos. Did she just check us out?
Well, this is going to be interesting.
“Let’s make for the conference room then,” Denevan said, indicating a particular door. “Patrick will return when he’s seen your parents off the ship.”