The doors to the bridge opened, and Peter Crawford stepped onto the command center of the USS Olympic. He’d spent much of the morning getting to know his new crew. Most of them had been transferred from the USS Mackenzie after the murder of their commanding officer. Crawford had never met Captain Harris, but what he had heard gave him plenty of reasons to respect the man’s memory.
He sat down as the faces of his bridge crew turned to him. Each of them had expressed nerves to him about the new assignment while also admitting they were still processing the loss of their captain.
Crawford was pretty good at having a poker face and keeping his emotions held behind the surface of his face. He wasn’t doing a great job of that today. He tapped at the small console on his chair, “I wish I had better news. You’ve probably heard the rumors. Our new task is…well, the Olympic has been placed within a squadron…specifically, the Mackenzie squadron.” There were audible gasps around the room from the former senior staff of the Excelsior II class starship. He nodded in understanding, “We’re going to be both a medical and science support station for them in their mission.” He held the silence for a beat, “That mission…well, it’s not great news.” He tapped at his console, and the main viewscreen was filled with the startling revelation that the Dominion had returned. Horror, shock, fear, and a tear or two were on display as he walked through what little information they had on the situation and that they were being dispatched within the hour.
The various officers, former Mackenzie and current Olympic, stared at each other, the now empty screen, and the floor. One of the greatest threats to The Federation and the universe had suddenly appeared without warning. Crawford remained in his chair as he spoke, “You were supposed to have more time to mourn, grieve, and rest. The entirety of the Fourth Fleet has been pulled into this, and they need all hands on deck. Your hands are needed in the face of…whatever this ends up being. We’ll do what we can to care for each other…but this threat is bigger than just us.”
A lone voice spoke up from the rear of the bridge, “We set the tone.” Lieutenant Atega turned in her chair, facing Captain Crawford, “It was something Captain Harris said to me, sir…when he promoted me.” She felt the moment play out in front of her eyes and swallowed hard, “He told me to model the way for my crew…that I set the tone.” She looked around the bridge and made eye contact with her old crew, misty-eyed as they had listened to her speak of their former captain, “We set the tone.” She turned back to Crawford.
He nodded, remaining silent as he turned those words over in his head. There was power in what the communication’s chief had shared. He gave her a nod of thanks, “I’d like to make that senior staff and bridge policy going forward. The crew will be looking to us. We’ll be the ones to get them through this.” He let the words hang in the air before repeating, “We set the tone.” The senior staff and bridge crew slowly nodded as he looked at each of them. “I’ll draft something and enter it into the ship’s logs. Mr. Prentice, the status of the Mackenzie?”
Will blinked at the brief moment of shared emotion on the bridge. It felt familiar, and yet…different? He wasn’t sure what to make of their new captain, but he had something to do now, and that helped as his hands returned to his console, “Mackenzie reports ready and able, sir.”
Crawford ordered, “Set course, maximum warp. Let’s get on our way.” Both ships adjusted their position and, a moment later, sped off in pursuit of the mission ahead.