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Part of USS Thyanis: The Raven of the Fourth and Bravo Fleet: The Lost Fleet

Act 1 Part 1- ‘Spreading her Wings’

Main Bridge: USS Thyanis (Berthed) : Starbase Bravo
March 2401
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“Computer, replay priority message, audio only,” Wallace commanded as he stood shirtless over the sink, scrubbing the last remnants of engine grease from under his nails.

Good morning Lieutenant Commander, I hope this message finds you well as you’re settling into your first command and Im sorry I can’t afford you the opportunity for more discourse.

As you well know, the crisis in the deneb sector is heating up fast and we are running out of available ships to spare. I know I promised you and your crew a straightforward humanitarian mission to start you off, however, I’m going to have to throw you in at the deep end sooner than expected. 

You are to make your way to the Gamma Coronae Borealis system post-haste. You’ll find a small research outpost orbiting the primary star at the L5 Lagrange point.

This station has not responded to the evacuation order and I am being instructed by Starfleet Intelligence to send someone as a priority. Further information on your mission parameters is attached with this transmission, I’m sorry we couldn’t have this chat face-to-face but time is of the essence, and with the majority of the fourth fleet engaged on the front line, you and your crew have drawn the short straw. Good luck commander, your ship may be small but she has a capable crew; I’m sure you’ll rise to the task. End Transmission

Wallace absorbed every word of Commodore Ekwueme’s message; like a school child preparing to write his first book report. He paid close attention to every sentence, every infliction in the Commodore’s voice all with the hope of preparing himself to deliver a briefing to his crew and carry out his orders to the letter.

As he retrieved a fresh duty jacket from his suitcase he reflected on the sparsity and compact nature of his quarters. Although he and the XO had the only staterooms on the ship, it felt like a little bit of an exaggeration to call them such; for he was stood in little more than a 12ft x 9ft cabin, with room enough for a single bed, a small desk against the wall and a small coffee table and armchair in the corner. There was a single manually operated slide door at one end of the cabin, which offered a small washroom facility and a latrine but nothing more. ‘At least it’s got a window.’ he thought to himself as he straightened up his jacket and insignia in his reflection that was cast upon the glass.

Just before stepping out into the corridor, he took a small lint brush from the desk and made sure to erase any stray fibers from his arms and trousers. He gave particular scrutiny to his shoes, and seeing that his face reflected upon them was sufficient for him to check them off his mental list.

Wallace stepped out of his cabin into the corridor, the main bridge was only the deck above and thankfully his quarters were towards the bow of the ship. Despite its size and apparent lack of any creature comforts, he considered the Raven class a marvel of modern Starfleet ship design. It was designed to be absolutely practical with the space available, every inch of the ship was designed with purpose, functionality, and efficiency in mind. It was only 36 steps to the ladder that would take him to the deck above. However describing it as a ladder may have been a little misleading to someone unfamiliar with the vessel, it was more like a very steep set of stairs, with a hatch at the top and some cable for handrails.

As his head peaked above the floor of the deck above, Wallace could see the doors to the main bridge in the same trunk as the ladders. This appeared again to be an efficiency & space-saving measure, as the ship was so commonly crewed by so few officers; it was always a likelihood that someone would have to leave the bridge quickly and make their way to another area of the ship to perform some other duties.

He took one final deep breath; his last moment of displaying weakness before beginning his command in earnest and with one final step he triggered the automatic door mechanism and stepped out onto the main bridge

“COMMANDER ON DECK!” Master Chief Catterick bellowed as Wallace made his appearance in the aft section of the room. “At Ease!” Wallace replied as he surveyed the room and his crew members.

The bridge itself wasn’t particularly interesting; A single command chair in the center, integrated CONN and Helm just in front of the view screen at the bow, and various crew stations along the port and starboard walls.

He was however particularly proud of his senior crew for this mission and he had every faith in their abilities:

Master Chief Martin Catterick – Chief of the Boat & Operations Officer. A sort of chip off the old block he was an experienced engineer and operations officer who had the trust of the junior crew. But hardly anyone could understand his thick cockney accent at times.

Dr Mollia Xan – Chief Medical Officer & Science Officer. Probably the smartest person in the room at any given time. she was a joined Trill with decades of experience passed onto her from her Symbiant.

Lieutenant Junior Grade Olivia Garcia – Chief Tactical & security officer. A bit of a loose cannon at times, but she had a fierce reputation. She didn’t suffer fools and followed orders like a true soldier. Definitely would not recommend getting into a bar fight when she was on duty.

And finally, Wallace’s old friend from a previous tour of duty – One of the best fighter pilots he had ever had the pleasure to serve with, though Wallace would never admit it to his face for reasons of personal pride. Lieutenant Commander Harris Tan – Executive officer & Flight control officer.

They were not just any crew, they were his crew and despite the rough accommodation of the Thyanis and most of them being asked to perform dual duties; not a single one made any complaint or objection to the posting. It was true that this was not an Odyssey-class ship but Wallace hoped that every one of them had some reason to want to serve here, even if it was simply to follow orders. He hoped that in the coming weeks and months, they would all grow to love their little ship and make it their own.

Wallace approached the center chair, stroked its faux leather headrest, and took a moment to permit himself a smile at achieving his first command. Sure it may not be an assignment to brag about to his academy buddies at a reunion, but it was his first command, and as the saying goes: ‘You never forget your first…’

“XO. Status report if you please,” Like a switch was flipped, Wallace immediately turned to the task of commanding his vessel.

“Sir, all Starbase personnel have disembarked, the enlisted crew have reported for duty and the dockmaster has provided a ready signal awaiting your request to depart” Commander Tan replied, standing to attention to make his address.

Wallace looked around the room, he realised none of his officers knew what to expect from him at this time and they were probably going to make themselves uncomfortable to make first impressions count. He felt a short speech was in order to allay any misplaced feelings of anxiety his senior officers might have prior to departure.

“When I look around the room, I see a few fresh faces looking up to the man who gets to sit in the big chair and call the shots. Let me make one thing clear from the start. You are my crew… but this is our ship, and each and every one of you has a voice on my bridge. There is no such thing as a perfect Captain, or a perfect human being. We each do our very best to shape the future of our endeavors but nobody is infallible. You all have the benefit of working together on a very small vessel with an even smaller crew, which means that I can afford to relax some etiquette that would be inappropriate on larger vessels.

I only expect two things. Number 1: Carry out your duties to the best of your ability, and in the finest traditions of the service; maintain high standards. And Number 2: When In this room, do not be afraid to speak up, make suggestions, and get involved in the decision-making process.

I am asking a lot of each and every one of you on this tour; the least I can do is respect your experience in your individual fields and put my trust in you to guide me to make the right decisions. Just as long as you respect the final decision of whoever sits in this chair, whether that be me or one of you. Understood?” Wallace scanned the room for agreement and was met with nodding faces and a unanimous “Yes sir!” from everyone.

“Groovy, in that case; XO you have the honor of getting us underway.” Wallace nodded as he took the center seat for the first time, crossed his legs, and adjusted his jacket by pulling sharply down at its base.

Harris acknowledged Wallace’s command and began operating his console with precision, dispatching the departure request to the dockmaster and preparing the ship for launch. The view screen burst into life and displayed the space doors of the starbase slowly opening to reveal the velvet noir backdrop of interstellar space beyond its threshold.

As soon as the clearance was given, Thyanis detached from her mooring and began a  graceful glide towards the exit breaching the veil of space for the first time in over a year. Her class was named after a large Avian, and she was happy to live up to that namesake flying free of her port and into her true domain; ready to spread her wings once again.

“Clear of Spacedock sir, what’s your heading?” Harris asked as he swung his chair backward to lock eyes with the C.O.

“Come to Port, heading 295 mark 69. Set course for the Deneb sector – Maximum warp!” Wallace commanded interlocking his fingers and leaning back into his chair.

“Course plotted and laid in…” Harris responded and an awkward silence followed.

“Course plotted and laid in Commander…” Harris repeated.

“Harris, what are you… a parrot? This isn’t the Enterprise, You’re the Helmsman and the XO; think you can decide for yourself when to step on the gas? Or should I write you a memo?” Wallace casually quipped with a slight grin on his face.

Harris just chuckled, turned back to face the viewscreen, and suddenly feeling a lot more relaxed he punched the engage command on his console and watched the calm field of stars against a black sky turn into a violent blue light show; announcing the return of the USS Thyanis to the cosmos as she punctured the threshold of the light barrier.

Comments

  • A great intro to the team! I like how we see the ship through the CO's eyes as he walks. My favorite line is the last line, "announcing the return of the USS Thyanis to the cosmos as she punctured the threshold of the light barrier." I love how that sounds and feels. Great start!

    May 11, 2023
  • This was a fantastic introduction to the action and a joy to read. The descriptive language used throughout really made you feel like you were there with the crew experiencing all the Raven-class has to offer. It's good to see a Captain who considers himself part of the crew and includes the opinions of his peers when making decisions. The opening speech was encouraging and yet humbling and the exchange between Harris and Wallace was top notch. An awesome first chapter and I can't wait to see what's next!

    May 11, 2023
  • Thanks folks - Really appreciate your Feedback and glad you enjoyed it! It was an absolute pleasure to write.

    May 12, 2023
  • Again well done on a great bird eye view into the Thyanis, the attention to detail and describing things throughout the captain again made you feel like you were there. I like that they Captain wants to know what the crew things, their ideas, etc it's a good thing to be a Captain that listens to his crew and not just barking out orders. I am looking forward to seeing how well this crew works together, especially with the current situation with the Dominion. Great job!

    May 14, 2023