Captain’s Log: stardate 51171.1. Denver has rendezvous with the rest of Task Force 91 lead by the USS Tigris captained by an old friend. A meeting I look forward to greatly. As for the rest of the crew they are still settling into their new roles, and a few days of downtime should be a welcomed sight.
The transporter room of the Sovereign-class USS Tigris still has that new from the ship-yard smell. In wine and beige accented on gold the Tigris was a contrast to the Denver’s decor from nearly ten years earlier.
A man in command red with spiky black hair and four pips on his collar stepped forward. Rebecca decended the transporter pad and wrapped her arms around him.
“Nicholas, it’s been too long.”
“Definitely,” Captain Nick Ryder said with a grin. “I see you finally made captain. About time. Back at the Academy I was sure you were going to beat me to the center seat.”
Rebecca playfully slapped his shoulder, “Whatever. So, how’s Julie and the kids?”
“You’ll be happy to know Dragon Lady and I are separating, but Angel and Trinity are doing well.”
Rebecca fell into step with her old friend as the left they transporter room and walked into the corridor heading for the nearest turbolift. “I am not happy you and Julie are separating. I never cared for her, and I was certain she would break your heart, but she made you happy. Because of that I hoped you two would have worked out.”
Nick smoothed his goatee with thumb and forefinger, “I remember you saying that after we graduated too.”
Rebecca shrugged and flashed him a mischievous grin, “I’m always right.”
“Not always Becca. You did say you’d make captain before me.” The two laughed as they stepped into the turbolift. “Bridge,” Nick commanded.
Making small talk they caught up on things in their lives Rebecca told Nick about loosing Captain Fitzpatrick and their long refit and repair cycle. Nick had his own horror stories of the war which, included a failed raid on the Monak III shipyards.
At the top of the turbolift shaft they were deposited onto the bridge where their discussions ground to a halt as he took reports from his bridge officers before retreating into his ready room. “There’s always something,” he said as he dropped heavily into his seat and setting a pile of PADDs off to the right corner of his desk.
“I am learning that my ownself. If there isn’t a dozen fires to put out on a daily basis I start to get worried.”
Nick chuckled as he uprighted a clean white mug with the mission patch of the USS Tigris imprinted on it in monotone blue. From a nearby pot he poured Rebecca a cup of coffee and repeated the process with his own cup adding cream and copious amounts of sugar before taking a sip.
Rebecca for her part drank it black and as is. Her first sip brought a smile to her face. “This is real coffee. How on Earth did you get real coffee in the middle of a war?”
Nick chuckled, “I have a little stockpile stashed around. Every time I would go to Earth I would pick up a bag and put it in stasis.”
“Well, here’s to a short war,” Rebecca smirked raising her cup in salute.
Nick nodded, “I’ll survive without coffee. I have orders for the Denver.”
“And here I thought you invited me over to catch up?”
“Well, I did. I could have sent you this over comms.” Nick turned to him computer and downloaded their mission details into a PADD and slid it over. “You will rendezvous with the Mariposa. The troop carrier will need escorted to Devos V, a planet near the old Demilitarized Zone.”
“Are we expecting an attack?”
“Not at the moment, but the planet holds a strategic location between the Dominion Space and AR-558 which protects against several key locations in the Alpha Quadrant including Bolius.”
Rebecca held her cup to her lips and sipping considering the information. After a moment she set the cup down, “So, it’s important. Not only that it’s war materials it also lives of Starfleet personnel.”
“That’s the long and short of it,” Nick replied. “Becca this is important. I would do this myself, but the Tigris is needed elsewhere and you are the one captain I know and trust on this mission.”
“Not sure if I should be flattered, but I accept.”
Nick nodded like a weight had been removed. “Thank you Becca. I knew I could count on you.”
“You always could,” She said.
“Tell you what, the Mariposa isn’t due in until day after tomorrow. Let’s have dinner tonight. I have a chef that can do wonders mixing vegetables from the hydroponics bay and replicated steak. Say 19:00 hours?”
“I accept, ” Rebecca said with a genuine smile. “I’ll see you tonight.”