Part of USS Venture: Episode 3: Salvage Rights and USS Venture: Season 1: Into the Frontier

Your presence is only logical, Commander.

Transporter Room; Bridge
Stardate 24011.1, 1400 Hours
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Transporter room one to Commander Henry.”

Mason was in the ready room working on the next crew shift rotation schedule for what had seemed like hours. Doing the schedule was always a little tedious, but he did like the opportunity to get to know the crew a little more, even if this position was most likely a temporary assignment. Given that his former vessel was only a Steamrunner-class starship, he had no expectations to be permanently assigned to a Sovereign-class ship, even if he did have the qualifications and experience necessary for such a post. ‘Maybe they’ll just skip the XO position and promote me straight to Captain’ he thought, smiling to himself. 

He was just about finished when the comm system activated. Putting the PADD on the table, he replied, “Henry here.”

You better get down here sir,” the voice from the depths called like a siren, “we’ve got a transport request coming in that you’ll want to see.”

Mason squinted his eyes a bit and tilted his head slightly, intrigued by what the transporter officer was reporting. He put the PADD down on the desk and said, “Acknowledged, I’m on my way.” He spun around in the chair and paused a moment, looking around the ready room briefly before standing up and leaving the ready room. 

As he walked out onto the bridge, he turned to Lieutenant Commander Dalton who was just about to get up from the captain’s chair and held up his hand, motioning for him to remain where he was. “I’ll be in transporter room one, you have the bridge.” Dalton nodded and acknowledged the order as Mason made his way into the turbolift. He didn’t know who was coming on board, but the transporter officers usually weren’t cagey with their responses unless it was someone of significant importance or rank.

The transporter room doors hissed open and Mason walked inside. He looked towards the officer of duty and simply said, “Report.”

“Transport orders from the starbase sir,” the transporter chief revealed as she held out a data PADD to the Commander with a glare, waiting for him to read what she had.

Mason took the PADD and glanced at the information displayed on the screen. He always knew this day would come eventually, though truth be told he was just starting to get used to his surroundings, not to mention sitting in that center chair. He took a breath, raising one eyebrow slightly before looking up at the transporter chief and saying, “Very well, energize when ready.” 

Sure enough, the transporter room was soon filled with the trademark hum of Federation transporter technology and the blue glow of the transporter beam as a figure began to materialise on the pad. When the glare died down and the newcomer had literally pulled herself together again, the transport was complete. Standing on the pad, hands clasped together behind her back, hair slicked back in a tight ponytail and features that could have been attributed to the Romulan culture had it not been for the lack of green-tinted skin, a Vulcan nodded in the direction of the Commander.

“You are Commander Mason Henry, are you not?” the female asked in a dry tone.

Mason nodded, standing near attention and replied, “Yes, sir.” He looked towards the transporter chief hoping he would have caught on to Mason’s sudden change in demeanor, and thankfully he had and was also standing at attention. “Please accept my apologies, Captain, I was not informed ahead of time of your arrival or we would have followed protocol and arranged the command transfer ceremony in advance.. assuming, of course, that is why you are here?”

”An apology is neither warranted or solicited, Commander,“ the Vulcan stepped down from the transporter as elegantly as she could. “As of stardate two-four-zero-one-one point one, I am requested and required to assume command of this ship,” she told bluntly and unapologetically.

Mason nodded as the Captain informed him she would be taking command of the Venture, “Aye, sir. I will make the necessary preparations for the command transfer ceremony.” He knew that his posting here as commanding officer wouldn’t last forever, but in the past three months Mason had grown accustomed to this ship and its crew. He didn’t know what his future held and where he would end up next, but he hoped it was on a ship as fine as this one. 

Nodding to the transporter chief, he motioned for Captain T’Prynn to follow him outside into the corridor, then began again, “Did Starfleet send new orders for me as well?” He thought about asking her who her new executive officer was going to be, but given Vulcans usually like to stick to the need-to-know facts, he thought an inquiry about his own future was a safer bet.

“I have been advised that such a ceremony may be of benefit to crew morale after a lengthy stay here,” the Vulcan nodded slowly, arms and feet swinging in unison as they walked, “so I will allow the ceremony to take place. Starfleet has not provided orders for you Commander, but I may have a proposition,” she revealed, coming to a halt in front of a turbo lift.

Mason nodded, “Thank you, Captain. I’ll make the necessary preparations and inform the crew.” He knew since he really wasn’t the Venture‘s actual captain, more like a substitute teacher waiting for the actual teacher to come back, it really wasn’t necessary, but the command ceremony was more than just a Starfleet tradition. It was a way for the new captain to introduce themselves to the crew and to project what they would expect of them moving forward. Having the ceremony was definitely the right choice. 

Standing outside the lift, the doors finally hissed open just as T’Prynn finished speaking. After stepping inside, Mason replied, “Captain?”

Stepping inside the turbo lift, the Vulcan waited for the doors to close before she revealed more about her proposition. “Given the loss of your previous vessel, it would be logical for you to remain here as executive officer, she elaborated, “unless you have anywhere else to be?”

At first, Mason was so stunned that he didn’t know what to say. He just always assumed that this was going to be a temporary assignment, and because of that, he really tried not to get too attached to the crew because he knew the new commanding officer would probably be bringing their own XO with them. He never considered whoever was chosen as the new commanding officer would offer him the executive officer position, though with the new captain being a Vulcan, he supposed keeping him on board was quite simply ‘only logical’. 

It was only a second or two that he was silent, but with the number of thoughts his mind just ran through, he felt like he was silent for an eternity. Mason replied quickly through his thick English accent, “I appreciate the opportunity to stay on board as your executive officer, I accept.” He smiled slightly, nodding his head towards his new captain. He knew she was Vulcan and wouldn’t express any emotions, but he couldn’t help himself. 

From anyone else, he may have got a handshake, and a hearty ‘congratulations’, but from T’Prynn the response was simple. A curt nod and the resumption of their walk. “I have had an opportunity to review the logs of this crew regarding the search for the Enforcer,” the Vulcan changed the topic, “and I believe that it is time to focus on a new mission. Command has assigned us a new objective.”

Mason’s eyes lit up when she mentioned the Enforcer. He knew he probably should’ve hidden it a little bit better from his new captain, but honestly, he couldn’t help it. He didn’t know what the objective was that Starfleet was assigning to the Venture, but whatever it was, he was already committed. He would do almost anything to have the chance to find anyone from his crew alive and well, as unlikely as it was. 

“Oh? May I ask what that objective is?” He said, trying not to sound as eager as his face must have looked.

“Deep space exploration,” the Vulcan remarked as the lift gradually came to a halt. “We are to travel far beyond the borders of the Seliak, or the Tama, and commence exploration of uncharted space.”

As the doors parted, it revealed the bridge of Venture. It was in pristine condition and a modern marvel. Stepping onto the deck, the Captain took a deep breath and scanned the entire facility. It was a room to be proud of, and it was a sight beautiful enough to even give the Vulcan pause.

Mason nodded as the captain spoke the new orders from Starfleet. Though it wasn’t the answer he was hoping for, he knew it was time to accept his crew were lost forever. It surprised him, however, at how easily he succumbed to hope at the mere mention of his old vessel, though the thought of having to spill his guts to one more therapist… he decided to keep that ‘emotional outburst’, as T’Prynn might explain it, to himself. 

“Very good Captain, the crew will be excited to get underway. I think they’ve had all they can take of Starbase 11 over the past few months.” He said, following the captain onto the bridge.

“Then sound departure stations and get us out of here at your earliest convenience Commander,” the Vulcan requested as she took ownership of the seat at the center of the bridge. As far as she was concerned, there was nothing keeping them at the starbase.

“Aye, Captain.” Mason said, nodding. He pressed a few buttons to open a channel to the starbase and said, “Attention all Venture personnel, we are getting underway in ten minutes. Prepare to beam back to the ship.” While making his way over to his seat, he started to direct the bridge crew with new orders before finally turning his attention to the conn, “Helm, contact Starbase Eleven and obtain departure clearance. Set course 138-mark-077, warp factor seven. Prepare to engage warp engines as soon as all personnel have been beamed back aboard from the station.”

The ensign currently filling in at the helm station nodded and verbally acknowledged his orders, then plotted the course and speed quickly and efficiently. Mason then spoke again, “Bridge to Engineering, we are preparing to go to warp speed. All departments, report status to the bridge for review.” 

A few minutes went by as Mason checked all the incoming departments statuses before hearing the comm activate, “Bridge, all crew have been successfully beamed aboard and accounted for.” Mason looked towards the helm when replying, “Acknowledged. Helm, engage warp engines.”

He watched on the view screen as the Venture began to pull away from the planet, aiming at their new destination. They continued for a few seconds on impulse before the ship accelerated to warp speed. Mason was happy to have been given the opportunity to stay on board, and was more than a little excited to explore the unknown wonders that lay ahead.