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Part of USS Atlantis: Mission 10 : A Blast from the Past

A Blast from the Past – 12

USS Atlantis
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Adrestia, this is Atlantis, nice to see you again,” Rrr said, out of nowhere and breaking the quiet of the bridge.

Atlantis had been at rest for a couple of days now, the events of the Tholians, Breen and the Aitu well behind them. They’d pulled back enough from the border that there was no way the Breen could make any claims without overplaying their hand and returned to what they were originally meant to be doing while the captain was away – boring old survey work.

And boring survey work meant that when the ship was parked in orbit of a world that depending on how you tilted your head was either L-class or M-class, there wasn’t much to do on the bridge but make sure the ship didn’t suddenly veer into the planet, or some nasty suddenly jumped on you. Oh yes, the science labs were busy, the transporter rooms and the shuttle bays were busy, and conversely, Operations was busy coordinating everything to support the Science department, but the rest of the bridge was…mostly redundant.

Which is why Mac had banished Rrr and their lackeys to the mission ops at the back of the bridge, joined them in the corner to do his own paperwork as the ship’s commander, and left the bridge proper in the tender hands of Commander Gantzmann who was at this time torturing, or educating, again depending on how you tilted your head, a gaggle of junior officers. It was all part of a beautiful plan to familiarise them with the bridge and more importantly with duties not their own.

He’d only remained on the bridge because he’d been finding the quiet of the ready room oppressive for the last few hours, needing some background noise to drown out the silence. And it turned out the hum-drum of the bridge was just what he needed. But Rrr had a talent for making themselves heard when they wanted to and this was one of those situations. He had looked up, twisting the chair around just as the response came in, Tikva’s face a small window on the large display wall, directly in front of Rrr who had been prowling the space recently.

“Nice to see my ship in one piece,” she said with a smile. “Though a little birdie tells me if I look really careful like on the approach I’ll see where you’ve painted things over.”

“I doubt that ma’am,” Rrr said confidently. “I ensured Commander Velan had the correct colour samples to work with. Bright green with blue stripes, yes?”

“Oh, could you imagine?” Tikva responded. “Atlantis herself would throw us off.” She chuckled lightly and looked over Rrr’s shoulder as Mac made his way over to join the Gaen officer. “Commander, how’s my ship?”

“Yard dogs would have trouble spotting anything wrong with her,” he answered. “We’re just awaiting your arrival and for the survey teams to finish here and then we’re good for just about anything.”

“Good, I’ve just had a report from the Fleet Captain about an oddity and they’re pulling Fourth Fleet ships for it right now. Hopefully, by the time we dock, we’ll get an update from her on if Atlantis is getting yanked for this or not.” He had to admit, Tikva didn’t sound too enthused about that possibility.

Adrestia just dropped out of warp and we’re starting our engine shutdown and purge routines right now,” she continued. “We’ll be with you in thirty minutes. Adrestia out.”

“Now that sounded ominous,” Rrr concluded as the channel cleared. “I’ll keep an eye out for comms from the flagship.”

“Please,” Mac said. “And reach out to Camargo, just give her the heads up her little field trip might get called off if we have to turn this ship around and go sprinting all the back to DS47, or even further.”

With a brief stop on the bridge itself to give Gantzmann the news that the captain has on final approach, and hand over the keys of command, that holiest of Atlantis relics he was personally proud not to have walked off with yet, Mac had made his way to collect Velan, for the duty of welcoming the captain home.

“You know I’m technically off duty,” Velan griped as they stood in the corridor outside the airlock that the captain’s yacht would dock to. Windows let them look out and watch as the craft neared, her warp engines cold, the pylons already folded upwards for docking.

“As the second officer, with the captain away, you’re always on some sort of duty,” Mac responded. “Besides, you only just got off duty, this will only take a couple of minutes, and then you can go back to chatting up Fre’nel in the lounge.”

“Speaking of, we should do dinner sometime.” Velan had stepped up to the window and cast a look outside at the approaching yacht. “Honestly, we should do a senior staff dinner soon. And we need another crew event as well. Something fun before we jump over that line on the map that says ‘here be dragons’.”

The two men chatted, throwing ideas between them for a few more minutes before the reassuring ‘thunk thunk’ of locking latches reverberated through the deck, locking the Adrestia firm against the Atlantis’ underside. The hard lock confirmed, the airlock sealed as well, the tell-tale switched from red to green and the door finally opened, admitting Tikva Theodoras back aboard her own ship.

And despite his earlier protestations about being here, Velan cleared his throat and happily announced, “Atlantis returning.” The ship’s whistle sounded briefly at that statement and echoed it through the ship. “Good to have you back ma’am,” he continued after the ship-wide had cut out.

“Really cranking out the ceremonies for my return?” Tikva asked as she stepped up to her officers and shooed them aside to let the crew of the Adrestia file past them, save for one, whom they could see still aboard, a padd in hand and checking something. “Oh, don’t worry about Burke. I gave him the task of completely shutting Adrestia down and waiting for a deck crew to arrive for post-flight maintenance.”

“Oh, shoot, was I meant to organise that?” Velan asked, shock on his face, which he couldn’t hold very long. “Chief O’Reilly is already on his way with a team. We’ve got most of the shuttles going back and forth at the moment, so his people are working a little hard at the moment.”

“I saw,” Tikva added, then led her officers to the nearest turbolift. “Bridge,” she commanded. “No need to fret,” she said to Mac. “If we’re forced to turn around, I’m not going to mad scramble out of here.”

“Turn around?” Velan asked.

“Hold that thought,” she said as the lift carried them to their destination. Not a word was said as all three, the senior most officers aboard, crossed from turbolift to ready room, the door closing behind them. “Fleet Captain Sudari-Kravchik alerted me to the possibility we might get recalled for something.” Stepping around her desk, a moment to inspect her chair, she sat down and tapped at her computer, looking at something briefly. “And…” she drew it out, “we’re in the clear. I’ll forward you two the notes, but some news out of the Delta Quadrant recently has a lot of folks spooked. Most of the task force is getting called for this since they were still putzing around DS47. It’s going to leave Nobel and Atlantis to carry the flag out here for a bit, so we’re not going to be allowed to dash past Ultima Thule just yet.”

“Still some pretty impressive flag carrying,” Mac added as he and Velan sat down. “Nobel isn’t a spring-chicken mind you, but she’s got fighting chops. I don’t reckon we could take on the Confederacy, just the two of us, but we can handle anything else that pops up.”

“And add to that someone recently demonstrating to the Breen Confederacy what a brand-new Sovereign-class can do,” Tikva said with a smile at Mac, “we’ve got a reputation doing a fair bit of work for us now too. I’m confident we can hold the line until everyone gets back. Once they do, we’re pushing the engines hard and going to chart some new frontiers.”

“I’m sure I can convince the engines to play nice when we need them,” Velan said.

“Excellent. Now, how about you two give me a quick fifteen-minute catch-up, and then we’ll do a full debrief tomorrow?”

“Hmm….you’re late,” said a soft voice in the darkness.

“I know,” Mac answered. He was already in the process of removing his tunic when he collided with the edge of the bed in the dark. The lights were off, the windows darkened against the glare of the planet below and even terminals and control surfaces turned off, turning the space into a pitch-black void.

Sitting himself down, he patted Blake’s feet through the duvet briefly, then went about unsealing his boots, tucking them against the end of the bed as he always did. Then the tunic was given a gentle lob, done through muscle memory to throw it over the back of the nearby chair. It only took a few more moments to finish disrobing before he too crawled into bed, Blake soon curling up against him.

“Just couldn’t help but debrief the captain straight away?” she asked sleepily.

“Pretty much.” His answer was emotionless as he found himself staring at the ceiling, not that he could make it out.

“What’s on your mind?”

“This could have been my command,” he said. “There was a previous Atlantis and I got passed over for command. Command sent some hot-shot commander in to take over when the previous CO retired. If I hadn’t been passed over, then there’s a chance this could have been my ship.” He didn’t sound angry or sullen about that, just stating facts.

“Just as likely could have been anyone else’s,” Blake reassured him. “Universe plays out the way it does for a reason.” She sounded a bit more awake than she had a moment ago. “You’d have made different calls, done things differently, and that ship might still be around.”

“And I’d still likely be a lieutenant commander,” Mac stated. “Tikva gave me the kick in the pants I needed to break out of a rut I’d fallen into on the old Atlantis.” He sighed, then pulled Blake in closer. “I liked being in command.”

“So what are you going to do about it?” Blake asked.

“Going to get my own command,” he stated. This time there was emotion in his voice. Command. He was telling the universe at large what he was going to do.

“In the morning,” Blake added as she kissed him on the cheek. “In the meantime, how about you settle for getting the girl?”

“Missed this,” Tikva said, leaning back against Adelinde, her hand with the padd falling to the side, draping downwards to the floor before she let go of the device, letting it clatter to the floor beside the half dozen others that she and Lin had been working through.

The ready room, like most of the Sovereign-class, featured a day bunk, which made a serviceable couch most of the time as well, but for now, was closer to its original purpose. Both she and Lin were off duty, well Lin more so than she was, and had just been enjoying some quiet time in each other’s company. Lin had sat down, then she’d joined her from her desk, then leaned against Lin and soon enough she was cuddled up with her lover while they both worked through the paperwork of the day. She’d found herself leaning back against Lin, forcing the larger woman to reach around her from time to time for more padds, but eventually the task of moving padds from one pile to the other ended.

“You were only gone two weeks,” Lin said quietly.

“Two very long, very dull weeks,” she countered. “I didn’t sleep well once.”

“Did you speak with the doctor aboard the Nobel?” Lin asked.


“Then who’s fault is that?”

She reached down and pinched Lin’s thigh lightly. “You’re hiding something.” She tilted her head back to look up at Lin. “You didn’t sleep well either did you?”

“Not particularly,” Lin answered. “I was hoping perhaps we could get dinner together and then your place?”



Hell yes.

The ayes have it.

“Sounds good, but first, serious question time.” She sat up, scooted away a touch and turned to face Lin properly. Even went so far as to check her tunic was sitting properly at the top corner seal. “Mac, how was he?”

“Solid,” Lin answered, and Tikva could feel her working hard to not betray anything with an errant thought, or emotion in Tikva’s case. “Stuck to his decisions, listened to the crew. As good as any other commander I’ve served with.”

“Captain material?”

“Certainly,” Lin said with no hesitation. “He’s changed a lot since you took over on the last Atlantis. Command would be making a mistake not to offer him a command one day.”

“But?” she asked. She could feel the halted elaboration from Lin, needed to ask, to unravel that thread.

“I think he’s already looking for an XO. Velan.”

She nodded at Lin’s assessment. The two men had been good friends before she took over the crew, they knew each other pretty well. “Not surprising. But if he thinks he can poach my chief engineer, he’s got another thing coming.” She then smiled and leaned towards Lin, hands on the woman’s thighs before pushing herself up to kiss her on the lips, but stopping just shy. “Least he’s not thinking of asking you.” And then she kissed her lover.

It was soft and sweet and brief before she broke the kiss and got to her feet, offering a hand to help Lin up, almost swooning when Lin did, right up close to her, her nose just under Lin’s chin. “Dinner?”

“Let’s.” And with that, they left.


  • That’s a nice and perfect way to end this storyline - though I’m still rooting for Captain Mac!! Haha! It’d be interesting to see how Mac now deals with being first officer instead of its commanding officer, especially as he is so set on becoming a captain.

    January 5, 2023