The doors opened to the command center of the USS Mackenzie, and Ambrose Harris stepped out, his heart metaphorically bouncing around in his chest. They had worked most of yesterday getting the crew roster sorted from those that were staying onboard to those that were transferring to leaving Starfleet service entirely. Each of the department chiefs had a complete roster and had started this morning across the ship with staff meetings, schedule sorting, and duty organization. Harris held in one hand a PADD with the briefing he’d just gotten out of and a thermos of coffee in the other. It had been a recent development, but morning coffee had become part of his routine. He wasn’t sure how to feel about it, but he was enjoying the various roast options programmed in the replicator.
“Captain on the bridge,” his XO called out as she stood from the center chair and gave him a quiet smile. “Good morning, Captain. The reports from the department heads. Mine’s in there as well. I’ve got an eye on an assistant chief and would love your eyes on him to see if I’m crazy.”
Harris accepted the PADD on top of his, “Thank you, Chief Okada.” He glanced at the record, “You might be a little crazy. I’ll take a deeper dive. You are relieved.”
“I stand relieved, sir.” She headed out the turbolift door as he made his way to the center chair. The bridge of the Mackenzie (or Mack as they’d taken to calling her) was similar yet different from the Edinburgh in that it was still large, but the helm was lowered into the floor, and there were seats and consoles nearly to the viewscreen. It would take some getting used to – starting with his chief helm officer, who now shared a space with the chief science officer. Both liked each other well enough, but it would be an adjustment sitting next to each other.
Ambrose sat down in his chair, slightly elevated above the two guest chairs on either side of him. He’d mentioned to Okada about installing a console to the side of each of those chairs, and she’d gone to work on figuring out how to do just that. He set his PADDS on the right side chair for now. “Ensign Atega, advise Bravo we are ready for departure. Lieutenant Prentice, plot us a course away from the station and then onto our objective.”
Both officers went to work, and Atega confirmed they were clear. Prentice, at first, slowly went about the process of getting them unmoored from the station. Once they were clear, he pushed the Excelsior II class to full impulse, and they were soon in open space. William turned in his chair to face his captain, “Free and clear, sir.”
Harris turned to Atega, “Open a ship-wide channel, Ensign.” She did, and the whistle sounded, and the CO spoke, “This is your captain speaking. We met many of you yesterday. There are five hundred of us onboard. That means a lot of new faces and a lot of new getting to know the people you’re working with. I wish there were more time to do just that. We’ve been asked to assist in a trade escort mission near the Fenris system. There’s been an unusual rise in attacks on transports in the area, and Starfleet feels it necessary to ensure safe passage. You’ll receive a full briefing from your senior staff. Captain Harris, out.” He turned to Prentice, “Let’s get underway.”