STAR TREK: PANDORA
PREDATORS OF THE VOID
MISSION POST # 2: FIRST IMPRESSIONS
Less than seven hours following the change of command ceremony and departure of the official party, the crew of the Pandora cautiously returned to executing the ship’s routine business as they awaited the inevitable changes their new commanding officer would enact.
Commander Xavier Callahan had always been a disciplined officer, with a strong sense of duty and a keen sense of responsibility. As he made his way to Captain Maddox’s cabin, he couldn’t help but feel a sense of apprehension. His new CO had always been a man of firm beliefs and unshakable determination. He was known as a stern and domineering commander with a reputation for being tough on his subordinates and more rigid with his executive officers.
Callahan approached the door and read the compartment plate: ‘Captain L.J. Maddox, Starfleet Commanding Officer’ as he keyed the door chime.
“Enter,” Maddox said, his voice firm and commanding.
Callahan had always prided himself on adapting to new situations quickly. As he walked into Captain Maddox’s cabin, he took a deep breath and prepared himself for what he knew would be a challenging conversation.
Captain Maddox sat reading over a status report at his desk. It was made of a rich, dark wood that shone in the soft glow of the overhead lights facing toward the two doors that led out into the corridor.
The desk was the focal point of Maddox’s gathering room. Near the desk’s center was a large computer monitor, which displayed various information relevant to Pandora’s mission.
On the right-hand side of the desk, there was a small stack of PADDs, each containing essential reports organized in neat piles according to their importance.
On the far left of the desk was a small crystal statue, a gift from an alien dignitary on one of Maddox’s previous assignments. The statue was intricately carved and glowed softly in the light as a reminder of the captain’s successes and accomplishments.
Maddox’s desk reflected his personality – organized, efficient, and commanding. It was a workspace that exuded confidence and authority.
Callahan stood at attention before his desk, waiting for Maddox to acknowledge him. He marveled at the speed and efficiency of Starbase Eighty-Six’s ship-fitting team for a heartbeat before letting the thought pass.
“Commander Callahan,” he said, his tone cold and measured. “Take a seat.”
Callahan sat down in the chair opposite Maddox, his posture stiff and his expression guarded. Maddox leaned forward, his strong hands clasped in front of him.
“We must establish a good working relationship from the start.” Maddox offered.
“Of course, sir,” Callahan said. “I’m looking forward to working with you.”
“I’ve read your file, Commander,” Maddox said, eyeing him critically. “You have an impressive record. “
“Thank you, sir.” Callahan replied.
“I want to make it clear from the outset, Commander, that I expect nothing but the best from my Executive Officer,” Maddox said, his voice low and intense. “This ship has a mission to complete, and we need to be at the top of our game if we’re going to succeed. To that end, I have high standards for this ship, and I expect those standards to be met.”
“Understood, sir,” Callahan replied, his expression serious.
“I intend to conduct a Captain’s inspection of the entire ship to ensure that all departments are up to par,” Maddox continued. “I want to establish my expectations early on and set the tone for the crew.”
Callahan nodded, but his mind was racing. He knew a Captain’s inspection was a comprehensive review of the ship and could take time and resources. He also knew that the crew was still adjusting to the change in leadership and might find the inspection overwhelming after a year-long interstellar survey mission with little rest and diversion.
“Sir, I suggest that we give the crew some time to adjust to the change in command,” Callahan said, his voice firm but respectful. “A Captain’s inspection is a comprehensive process, and it could be overwhelming for the crew at this point.”
“Commander, I appreciate your concern for the crew, but I cannot compromise on the standards of this ship. The inspection will proceed as planned.” Maddox scowled, his eyes narrowing.
Callahan took a deep breath, steeling himself. “I understand, sir. But I suggest we provide the crew with at least seventy-two hours to prepare for the inspection. This will ensure that all departments are up to par.”
Maddox leaned back in his chair, considering Callahan’s words. “I see your point, Commander. Very well, we will kick off the inspection in seventy-two hours. I want a schedule on file by 1200 tomorrow.”
“Thank you, sir,” Callahan said, relief evident.
“But make no mistake, Commander,” Maddox added firmly. “I will not tolerate any deficiencies in equipment on this ship. The crew must understand that I have high expectations and will hold them accountable.”
“Understood, sir. I will ensure that the crew is fully prepared for the inspection.” Callahan nodded, acknowledging the captain’s expectations.
The communications panel integrated into the surface of the captain’s desk began beeping.
“Excuse me, Commander,” Maddox said, pressing the button to open the channel.
“This is Captain.” Maddox said.
“Captain, priority one message from Starbase Eighty-Six Operations.” The Officer of the Deck called over the intercom.
“Send it through, Maddox out.” Maddox closed the channel as the message came through on his desktop screen.
“At 0805 tomorrow, Captain Vadeny, Deputy Commander Task Force Eight Six, will come aboard USS Pandora for mission briefing with Commanding Officer, USS Pandora.”
“Commander,” Maddox said, reading the message. “Captain Vadney is coming aboard tomorrow morning at 0805 to brief me on our first mission.”
Callahan raised an eyebrow. “Captain Vadney? That’s unexpected. What’s the mission?”
Maddox looked back at the message. “It does not say. But we’ll find out tomorrow when he comes aboard.”
Maddox leaned back in his chair, feeling a sense of unease. He knew that working with Vadney would be a challenge, but he was determined to put aside their personal differences for the good of the mission.
He looked over at Callahan, who was waiting patiently for further orders. “Make all preparations to receive Captain Vadney, Commander. I suspect it will be a Captain’s only briefing, so you can inform the department heads to be on standby until after Captain Vadney departs the ship.”
“Aye, Captain.” Callahan rose to attention smartly and proceeded out of Maddox’s cabin.
Maddox sat back in his chair, closed his eyes, and took a deep breath. He knew tomorrow would be a long day, but he was ready for whatever Captain Vadney would throw at him and his crew.