The Aquila meets up with the Horizon at the station. There, the injured Captain Felix Farquhar is taken in for treatement at the station's medical facility, while its new Captain, Lieutenant Commander Owain Taggart is given command of the Horizon and promoted to full Commander.
After a disastrous diplomatic mission with Zavarians, a non-verbal alien species, Lieutenant Commander Owain Taggart explains to his Captain that he's had a command opportunity come up that he's decided to take after the diplomatic mission had turned sour.
A few weeks ago, the Aquila had gone on a diplomatic mission to Zavaria. The Zavarians were aliens untrusting to others, speaking, not in the normal sense, but throughout their mind; a bit like Betazoids, though where Betazoids were able to speak vocally, the Zavarians were not.
During their last mission, the Aquila had come in contact with a race that wasn't in the Federation database. Mapom, the leader of his group had captured Gawain, one of the Aquila's engineering officers after beaming to the Aquila and misinterpreting his body language for aggression. Gawain had been captured the Zavarian's group and had become friends with Mapom. So much so, that the Aquila had become intriguiged by Mapom and Zavarians in general, and decided to go to Zavaria on a diplomatic mission.
The Aquila of course, knew how difficult this would be, but never had they imagined the horrors of what actually did happen. First, upon arriving to Zavaria and docking with their station and encountering incompatibility errors between Federation and Zavarian power transmission, the Aquila had suffered a warp core breach which had hightened the Zavarian's sense of alaarm. It was not looked upon very kindly by the Zavarians. In fact, it was thought, no, implicitly blamed that the Aquila had created a breach on purpose, and the Aquila which had undocked and orbited the planet to fix their breach, was not allowed to dock again by the Zavarian military. This all happened while a team including the Captain were on the station conducting diplomatic talks with Mapom, who had been named Ambassador by the Aquila, and things had escalated from there.
There was the issue that Ambassador Mapom was different. He had a sense of curiosity unlike those of the Zavarians, who thought he posed a danger to them. He was more of an outsider to his own people, and the fact that he interacted with the Aquila freely and was often among them and enjoyed their company was quite troubling to them. The talks did not go well.
First there was O'brian, Aquila's then Chief Engineer, who had sacrificed himself in the line of duty in order to stop the warp core breach. Owain had seen this with his own eyes. Then, Ensign Nera Janey, the woman who loved and was also assigned to the team on the Zavarian station with the Captain had been killed in the line of fire.
The air among the Aquila was very different after that. Many days elapsed where he and the Captain would not speak to each other and would go so far as to avoid each other. It wasn't so much that he blamed the Captain for what happened, because he didn't. It was more a well of a emotions that had surfaced in recent days that made it difficult to decide what he was going to do and how he was going to deal with it. They had been forced to pull back after hostility had grown to an uncomfortable level.
Finally, one day, he entered Frankie's Ready Room and told her what he intended to do.
“Captain, a few weeks ago I got a command opportunity, but I was perfectly happy staying on the Aquila. Why would I want to leave? I had my friends here, including….” Here, he gasped. The words were so hard to say. Everything was just so fresh in his mind, but Frankie didn't have to hear the words, to know what he was trying to say. She simply nodded.
“Circumstances have changed quite a bit, haven't they, Number One? I understand.”, she said with a sigh. God help mercy on his soul. Owain hoped he wouldn't have to deal with this kind of situation much in his own command. It still didn't quite feel real; more like surreal.
“I wouldn't have accepted, Captain. In fact, I had put it aside, thinking of writing a letter declining the offer. I hadn't told you because I didn't want to make a big deal about it. But now that things have changed, and the Horizon needs a Captain, and I'm willing to do it.”
So, Frankie was losing an XO, but the Horizon was gaining a Captain. And on a somewhat similar fate, the Horizon itself was coming back from what it could say was a disastrous diplomatic mission.
The Horizon was docked back to where she had started, space station Megiddo, home. The moral of the crew was quite low, what with the botched Volaris mission, the injury to the Captain and several other crew members. All in all, it was quite a disaster. For Volaris, the aftermath of the rebellion will be a great depression unlike which that sector of the quadrant hasn't seen in its recorded history. The only saving grace is that the Federation, ever the altruistic government, will be sending aid to help them recover. On a brighter note, Vodhel Himmel has been placed on the restricted substances list on all Federation allied planets.
Newly promoted Lieutenant Junior Grade Nicholas Li continued to stare out into space from the mess hall. He took a sip of his rum and coke and pondered. Lieutenant Commander Kardin had kept the ship relatively intact while fending off the Volaran frigates. All that had to be repaired was a shield emittor here and some power conduits there. Overall, not much work for the Chief Engineer. As well, Nicholas had no excuse to put off writing his mission report. That was one of the things he hated to do.
All of sudden, Nicholas yawned. He was beat. He had to catch some Z's before his shift on the bridge, which will be followed by a meeting with Lt.Com. Kardin over staff assignments and preparation for the arrival of the new Commanding Officer that the brass was sending them. It was going to be a long day. On the bright side, he can finally get Aegis to tell him how he disabled three enemy ships, hell bent on capturing the Horizon. That was his silver lining.
Ozu was sitting in his quarters reading with his cat sitting on his legs. Ozu had quite a though mission and done a lot that Starfleet doesn’t like witch he knew could have cost him all his promotions for the next 30 years. But now he was just happy that he could read a book with his cat close to him. It had always been his way to relax after his hard missions. Suddenly he heard his computer he stood up and moved to it and sat down. Ozu: what!? General: well you are still alive. Ozu: bloody what ells do you want you rat. General: ho ho relax my friend you know the deal “you do what we ask or you are gone. Ozu: I hate you, but what do you want now? General: I heard you have had a very interesting mission, but to badly you have kicked a leader away that we had put there. Ozu: o great so you people even work with drug lords. General: we do what must be done to keep order. But now he is gone we need all the info about your friend who is now the boss. Ozu: o I am so sorry but he is making a democratic government. General: than we will stop that. I will see you again. Ozu: you better not.
Ozu knew that keilan was in trouble so he quickly made a secret connection with him. Ozu: Keilan you got to watch your back some people in the Federation don’t like our moves we made. Keilan: bloody hell do you know what they are planning to do? Ozu: to badly I don’t but be prepared for any thing. I got to go now or they will trace me. Keilan: ok later.
Ozu quickly deleted all the info about the transmissions as he was ordered to do. “bloody hell if this goes on like this I will be in big trouble” he toughed. Than he stood up and went to the bridge to see if he could be of any use.
Nikki's personal quarters-USS Horizon
Nikki was lying down lost in thoughts thinking about the previous mission that she had had to be rescued from. If it had not been for Nicholas and the rest of the Horizon command crew then she may never have left Volaris alive. She felt so happy to be alive and yet at the same time was saddened to learn that their Captain was leaving, but it was always her way to be positive. She had heard that later they would be learning who was to be their new Captain.
She picked up the novel that she had been reading, Wuthering Heights was a book that Nikki had enjoyed every since she was young. Nikki loved getting lost in its pages and wasting hours away thinking of how she would be running through open fields with the wind in her face. How she longed to see some green fields again that weren't holographically created
Feeling like she needed some company, left her quarters and made her way down to the junior officers quarters where she hoped Christina Scott would be free to talk about things other than the previous mission
“I wouldn't have accepted, Captain. In fact, I had put it aside, thinking of writing a letter declining the offer. I hadn't told you because I didn't want to make a big deal about it. But now that things have changed, and the Horizon needs a Captain, and I'm willing to do it.”
Frankie nodded. SHe understood the pain of losing someone close to you very well. After all, all her closet loved ones she'd left behind over 100 years ago. "I understand, COmmander. I'm positive that you will more then make an excellent Commanding Officer."
The Aquila's Captain stood up and moved to look out her view port. She clasped her hands behind her back, and stared at the reflection of Owain through the mirror effect. "The one thing, I think, that will be the hardest lesson to learn is that you can't protect everyone." Frankie ducked her head down. "Listen to your XO, your department heads, but always, always remember the final decision rests in your hands, Owain." She turned back to face him. "I inherited the Aquila after a battle. Captain Williams had broken down, I stepped up, uncertain and having to meld three crew together. You on the other hand are joining a crew that's been established. They may not completely like having their new CO join them from outside. Some may resent the fact that their Captain isn't from their own ranks. I hope that won't happen, but you never know."
She crossed over to the desk, and stood infront of her desk. She reached out and placed her hands on the younger man's shoulders. "Remeber. You are expected to know how each department works as a whole, how it fits with the major workings on the ship. Your Chiefs know how to run thier departments. Let them do that, and they'll come through making you look good. And always….always remember…Exemplo Ducemus," she stated, citing the Aquila's motto.
By Example We Lead
It was beautiful. It really was. The sun was shining and it seemed to be a perfect Sunday afternoon kind of day; a light breeze making the trees sway gently. A picnic basket lay nearby, and bees were buzzing around it, trying to get to some of the sweet content inside. Their faces were inching closer for a kiss, and then….
ZAP! ZAP! ZAP!
Right before his eyes, the person that he was with slumped to the ground as she was cut down by one of the Zavarian military officers on the station.
“NERA!”, he yelled out, jerking awake with a sweaty forehead. He quickly pulled off his sheets and stood up, trembling as he walked to the replicator. “Com.. Computer, a glass of water, cold.”, he told the computer, trying to calm himself. It was a horrible nightmare. He tried to shake it out of his mind as he had already dealt with enough today. It was apparent that he wouldn't get back to sleep now. Too much was on his mind, so when the glass of water materialized, he quickly gulped it down. Since he wasn't going to get any sleep, he knew that he must visit a dear old friend of his.
-= Holodeck 1 =-
“Computer, run Program Erizmus, authorization, Taggart Delta Two.”, Owain told the computer; while a device like on those old science-fiction movies sat resting on his head. It was a device he had created to connect his brainwaves and give him a direct graphical representation of his Symbiont, based on his Symbiont's memories of what he had looked like.
An image of an old man appeared before him and before Owain could say anything, the man smiled. “Well, it's about damned time you visit me again”, the man told Owain grumpily.
Still shaken, Owain looked at the old man with a sad look, “Yeah, I know, I'm sorry. I've had a lot on my mind recently, and… well..”
The man known as Erizmus Taggart put a hand on Owain's shoulder and guided him in the direction of a beautiful sunset on the horizon. “No need to explain. You of all people should know what you're thinking about. It has been on my mind as well. To be honest, I've been worried about you, what with what's happened lately.”
Owain nodded solemly. First O'Brian, then Nera. It was all too much to cope with.
“No need to say anything. I know how you feel. You've been through a lot these past few days. But look on the bright side.”, Erizmus said, and then pointed to the sun in the distance. “You see, that over there is your destiny.”
“I'm supposed to slingshot myself to the sun?”, Owain asked, with a lopsided grin that was forming on his face.
Erizmus looked at him with a hearty chuckle. “No! That is an Horizon. Simply put, the Horizon is your destiny.”
“Well, I'm comforted to know you think that way.”, Owain smiled.
“Heed your humble Captain's words wisely”, Erizmus told him as he faced him directly, obscuring the view of the sun. “I may be the old wise man here, but your crew will seek your wisdom. They will seek your direction. There will be deaths. Make no mistake, it won't be easy. Life is not a free ride. I should know that. I've been through much struggle to get to where I was. You'll be leading by example. And to echo the words of your Captain, or shall I say former Captain, Exemplo Ducemus.”
“Thanks,” Owain said, smiling, “You always know what to say. I only wish I had started to listen to you sooner rather than later. Our early days were, shall I say, merciful.”
“As they say, Sweet Mercy!”, Erizmus exclaimed with excitement. “I'm almost excited as you are with this new command of yours. So, before you leave the Holodeck, please take me with you!
“What?!”, Owain asked out of surprise. He couldn't believe what Erizmus was asking. “Why would you think I'd forget you?”
“Well, my memory isn't as it once was… Oh, who am I kidding, it was a joke, and probably not a very funny one.”
“As some say, some things never change”, Owain said as he chuckled. “I'll see you on the Horizon, old man.” He ended the program and then walked to the panel and took out his program chip. He felt the weight of it in his hand and threw it a bit in the air to catch it, “No matter where you go, there you are”
Aegis overlooked the PADDs on his desk and sighed. The "paperwork" never seemed to dry up. In the aftermath of the Volaris mission, he had even more to do, collating mission reports and updating the ships library.
He was in temporary command of the ship, due to the Captains withdrawal from duty and subsequent transfer to a Federation Medical facility to fight the addiction to the Volarans narcotic crop. It was a sad ending to a stellar career. On the upside, command had informed him that he was promoted to Lieutenant Commander and that the new Captain of the Horizon would officially seal the deal a couple of days after his arrival.
Being the good Cardassian, Aegis had already pulled the new Captains file, as the old adage goes "Forewarned is forearmed".
The chime to his office rang. He looked to his chronograph and then the door.
"That would be Mr. Li" He whispered to himself.
The door swooshed open and the young Asian Engineer, now Lt(j.g.) walked into Aegis's office, a smile spread on his face as he saw Aegis's stack of PADDs.
"Tsk tsk, you know I don't stand on formailty in private Nic. And I would be wiping the smirk off your face, with you goin' up in the ranks you will be seeing more and more of these little buggers!" He said with a grin.
"Well, I have one more to add to the pile, my mission report" Nic reached out over the desk with the PADD and handed it to Aegis.
Aegis had a quick skim over the report and added it to the pile of PADDs.
"Looks good, I will add it shortly."
"Just don't lose it, I don't want to have to do it again!" Nic winked.
Aegis stood up and moved from behind the desk.
"Well, I have been cooped up in here for the last 4 hours, time for a change of scenery I think. Why don't we take our scheduled meeting in the staff lounge, have a drink and talk about the preparation for the transfer of command."
"Sounds good boss."
They started out the door and down the corridor.
"And I just know you are itching for me to tell you about the battle with the Volaran cruisers."
"More to the point, why the hell was the ship in such good shape?" Nic looked incredulously at Aegis.
"I know the lack of damage isn't my style, but I couldn't be bothered listening to you nagging me about what you needed to fix such and such. I think I would rather be pushed out an airlock!"
"It CAN be arranged." Nic said jokingly.
"Well, if I am gone, that leaves you to be XO, and that means all the lovely paperwork. Trust me, you don't want to do that to yourself."
"Yeah, I didn't think about that."
They walked into the staff lounge after having taken the turbolift, grabbed a couple of seats overlooking the vista of space and started talking about preparations.
-= 1 Week Later =-
After a lengthy week, the Aquila had finally docked with Space Station Megiddo. It had been quite awhile since he had seen it last, and seeing it now gave him a pang in his heart. The station, a hub of activity; new recruits having freshly come out of the Academy and waiting for and talking excitedly among comrades about their first assignment aboard-ship, and officers transferring from one ship to another with sadness in their eyes.
He admired those new recruits and often wished he could go back to being one. Their enthusiasm was almost contagious to the point that he wished he could walk up to them and pretend being a new recruit with them; the problem being his rank would immediately be noticed. They had noticed him looking though and waved, and he had mouthed a silent “hi” and waved back in return.
Seeing other officers say their goodbyes though was quite painful , because everyone seemed to say it like they wouldn't see each other again, and that quite honestly scared Owain, because he wouldn't know what he would do without his friends. Just before stepping onto the deck of the station itself, Owain had said his farewells to his officers; his friends first and foremost, but he knew he would see them again soon. He had visited Gawain a bit and wished him luck, and then listened to words of Wisdom from Frankie as he told her he was heading out, but not before he had planted a kiss on her cheek and thanked her for everything she had done for him. And then he had invited her aboard his ship for a tour, in order to get some ideas for the Aquila's refit.
He had to admit, he was excited. Going forward, everything would be new to him. A new ship, and a new crew, and Owain understood the irony of his transfer. He was leaving a ship that was perhaps a century old, give or take a few, only to take command one of the fleet's newest ships; a new design they had called the Horizon class. Now, he fully understood what Erizmus had told him.
He wasted no time at all to visit the Brass, and so he immediately went to visit the Admiral and personally pick up his orders. With them in his hand, he scanned them and rolled his eyes. Another diplomatic mission. How could they do this to him on his first mission? His first contact with the Zavarian people had gone over horribly, but that was something he would have to keep secret as it wouldn't exactly be good for the ship's morale.
Dutifully, with padd in hand, he made his way to the walkway leading up to the Horizon itself. He had almost tripped on someone in the process as he was awed by its beauty, seeing it for the first time. It was magnificent, and he couldn't believe the had managed command of it. There had to been some mistake. Could they have seriously considered him for it? Its beauty made him smile.
As he continued down the walkway, he realized he hadn't alerted anybody of his presence, but it would be for the better, he thought. Oftentimes, the best way to judge the readiness of a crew was to appear unexpectedly, instead of letting them know when you were coming and having them expect you. For that very reason, he preferred seeing the ship as-is, and if any modifications were going to be made to them, he would be made aware of it.
So, that was his plan, but it didn't exactly mean it would work out that way, as when he finally stepped onto the ship itself, he was greeted by a Cardassian Lieutenant Commander. Someone must of told him that he would be on his way. He laughed a little and realized it must have been Frankie.
“Permission to come aboard!”, exclaimed Owain, waiting for the answer.
Transport Room - U.S.S. Horizon
Aegis had replied, "Permission granted sir. Welcome aboard the USS Horizon."
The two officers shook hands. Aegis turned to Nicholas and introduced him, "This is Lieutenant Li, our Chief Engineer."
The Commander nodded and looked to Li. "I look forward to discussing the Ship with you. I'd like to become more familiar with her."
"Aye, sir." replied Li with a grin, "it'll be my pleasure."
Aegis walked to the door and it slid open with a whoosh. He gestured to the corridor and said, "If you would follow me sir, I'll show you to your quarters."
"If you'll need me, I'll be in Engineering," spoke Li.
With that he was off to his station. He could feel that an inspection was upcoming, and he had to ensure himself that everything was in tip-top shape. It wouldn't do to for his first impression of Engineering to be a bad one.
Engineering - U.S.S. Horizon
Nicholas Li stepped off the turbolift and passed a Bajoran crewmate, whose name he couldn't remember. It was really annoying sometimes that he had such a poor memory for names. He could remember the 145 anomalous warp frequencies or the 1001 calculations to calculate a quantum probability field, but names of people he had little to do with, always escaped him.
As Nicholas entered Main Engineering, the first person to greet him was Crewman Mandrake. Bianca was an unabashed extrovert. Sometimes Li wondered if she had Terets syndrome. Despite her open personality, she looked like a petite, mousy woman. Her porcelaine white complexion and impecably neat uniformed, belied the strong person that she was on the inside. That goes to show you the error in relying on first impressions.
"So Li, what was the new CO like? Is he as handsome as the rumour mill makes him out to be? Come-on, the girls and some of the boys in Engineering are dying to know."
"Bianca, I'm the last person who would be qualified to make such a judgement. And as your superior officer, I must remind you that it wouldn't be proper protocol to comment."
Bianca punched Li in the shoulders, "Aw Li, you're no fun," she said with a mock pout. "You're just jealous, I bet he looks better than your ugly mug."
The rest of the engineering crew tried to stiffle their mirth, some not succeeding very well. Nicholas quirked an eyebrow and said, "That's not what you said on our last shore leave together?"
She humphed and turned around and said over her shoulder, "Sometimes I miss the greenhorn that you were on the Amun-Ra… looking up to us experienced women in engineering with virginal terror."
As she walked off, Nicholas couldn't help but hear some of the crew bursting a gut in laughter, as his left eye began a uncontrollable twitch.
Aegis lead the new Captain to his quarters and paused at the door.
"Here is your room Sir. I will leave you to settle in. I have arranged an inspection tour of the ship and after that I have sorted an official welcoming dinner in the messhall. All non duty personel will be attending. We have quite a delectable menu planned, all real food and even some items specially sent from home. The crew is quite excited as we usually subsist on replicator rations."
The Captain looked impressed in the least. Aegis suppressed a smile. It all seemed to be going well so far.
"Thank you Commander. I appreciate the effort."
Aegis bowed graciously.
"You are most welcome. Just comm me when you are ready to proceed, there are a few duties I have to clear up before I can allow myself to relax a little."
With that Aegis again bowed, turned and walked off down the corridor leaving the Captain to explore his new accomodation.
Everything was going smoothly so far. He had been greeted both by Commander Aegis and Lieutenant Li and found a warm and welcoming hospitality. He knew of course that the crew would probably curious about their new Captain, as the only two faces that had seen him were these two officers, and as he had been told by Frankie, they would also probably be at odds with a new Captain while they became accustomed to him. As such, he had to be careful about what he said and how he reacted to things. In a way, it was a lot like diplomacy, and as every Captain knew, a happy ship was a happy crew.
He was impressed with the Horizon the moment he stepped on its floors. Compared to the Aquila, you could tell the Horizon was state-of-the art. Not that the Aquila wasn't of course, as she had her own unique character. He was going to miss that ship. There was only one like her in the fleet due to a temporal mishap. To him, it was a good thing it happened because it had allowed him to make some great friends and get some command experience.
The Horizon though, was something else. Her designer obviously had an eye for aesthetics. It was a modern masterpiece, which showed a certain hope for Starfleet moving forward after the devastation that was the Dominion War. Slowly rebuilding itself, it was finally beginning to look like the Starfleet of yore, where it could again focus on missions of peace.
As he walked down the corridors following Aegis, the women officers whispered to their comrades and had somewhat mischievous looks on their faces. From what he could tell, and from some of the rumours he had heard, many women found him attractive. He wasn't ready for any kind of commitment yet though, as it was still too soon after Nera's death. It would take him a good while before he could seriously think about hooking up with someone. Only he was sure that Nera's death would haunt his dreams until he could forgive himself for letting her down there in the first place. Security had risks though, he had to tell himself. He wasn't entirely responsible. He knew the position had its risks , and during Kirk's time, there had been a lot of risk involved; with it almost getting to the point that they were expected to die on an away team. Still, even though he knew he wasn't entirely possible, his consciousness told him that he was; the result, nightmares that had occurred ever since the day she died.
He waved and grinned at those ladies though, practicing his outwards appearance and matter-of-fact friendliness. As a Captain of the Horizon, he wanted the crew to feel as though he was accessible to them. Nobody liked a Captain who always had his door closed and who wasn't open to concerns from everyone. This was his touch. His policy was simply that everyone who had a concern, either ship business or other personal concerns, they could see him.
When he and Aegis arrived at his Quarters, he was taken by surprise at how big and nice looking it was. Aboard the Aquila, his XO quarters were quite big, but this, they were even bigger. It almost looked like it had room to stage a party for the command staff. He grinned at that. Yes, he would have to do that. He was sure of it; maybe after the dinner in the messhall, he would invite them all to his quarters to have them get to know him.
After Aegis had left, he had decided that he should wash up, so he had a shower and put on a fresh uniform. The Commander Pips that were put on him when he had picked up his first orders as a Commanding Officer of the Horizon, still felt odd on him. He almost felt like he was wearing someone else's uniform.
He was pleased to see that, already, all of his belongings had arrived safely to his new quarters. So, he took the time to unpack everything and place them to his liking. Included was the old-style flip-top communicator he had picked up on his away mission on Alameda IV. After the testing they had done with it, Owain was free to do with as he pleased, and so, he took it as a safekeeping. Here, it served as a reminder of the adventures he had had on the Aquila; memories that he would always treasure. As he touched it, he sighed as they came flooding back to him.
“In life, you must always remember the footsteps that took you where you are today,” Erizmus had said one day. “Never forget those who helped you earn your career, for one day, those people may need your help in return.”
Owain remembered the advice. It was told to him by Erizmus, in the actual flesh as his last living words before they had been joined. Young and brash at the time, he hadn't fully understood what it meant, but now he knew. Jay Dhillon, Lien Marc, Saniya of the Chesapeake. Frankie, Nera, and Gawain of the Aquila. They had all touched him in one way or another and helped him build his career to what it was today. But there was one person he couldn't return the favour to, and his eyes rested on the pot of flowers resting on his desk in commemoration of Nera.
Tears were welling up inside of him and he put his hands to his face to let himself sob. It had felt right as he needed it. He had needed to let himself go after holding it in.
Looking at the clock on his wall, he realized he had lost track of time when he had taken his hands off his face and was now an hour later than when he had first entered here.. He didn't want to have anyone wait any longer on his account, so he regained his composure and tapped his commbadge.
=/\= “Commander Kardin, I am ready to proceed if you're ready.”, he spoke into the badge.
Nikki was just finishing the Alpha Shift and was just doing the handover for the next shift when Ensign Christina Scott came rushing into sickbay. Allowing her to catch her breath Nikki waited until she had sufficient breath in which she could speak.
"Nikki the new captain has arrived and hes come across from the USS Aquila"
"Commander Owain Taggart?"
"Yes hes met Aegis and Nicholas as he came aboard"
"I need to report to him after my shift and need to transfer his medical records across from the USS Aquila"
=^= Nikki to the bridge =^=
=^= Bridge here, go ahead=^=
=^= Could I have the Captain medicals records transferred to sickbay, as soon as possible =^=
=^= Transferring now =^=
=^= Recieved thank you =^=
Nikki knew from her previous experience with Xos and Captains that they are so dedicated to their duties that having a medical check-up was a hinderence not a help. Nikki was having none of it, she needed as protocol to make sure that the new Captain was in perfect health so that he can command a ship to his full ability.
With that Nikki left sickbay armed with her medical kit to find the new Captain
Stepping off of the shuttle, Jackson took a sigh of relief as his foot touched the metal bay floor. Shuttle flights had always been a risky venture for him. Growing up on the larger freighters, flying around in a vehicle no bigger than a 20th century RV made him uneasy. Somehow, even with flying around in the old, rusting marine shuttles, Jack had never quite outgrown that feeling.
Stepping onto the deck of the shuttle bay was like stepping into Starfleet's latest toy… in fact, it probably was Starfleet's latest toy. From what Jackson had read, the Horizon class was one of the newest classes, and probably one of the first to be sent directly out of the Alpha Quadrant. She was made for tough exploration, and had already seen her share of the "fun" the Gamma Quadrant had to offer.
After a few minutes of gathering his gear, Jackson made his way to his assigned quarters and began to unpack. Yet another trait due to the marines, he always packed and traveled light, even for a transfer. Less weight and items to keep track of meant more time to either relax, work, or survive. Within a half of an hour, the new security chief was unpacked and ready to tour the ship.
"Touring" the ship provided to be a bit more difficult than Jackson originally had hoped for. Every person he ran into was busy with some detail of their work. The engineers were busy making repairs and upgrades. Science personnel were busy with the ship's experiments and scans. Even his own security personnel were busy with drills and security checks. By the time Jackson had turned yet another corner of the corridor connecting him to his quarters, he was finally lost.
"Crap." Jackson said out loud. Knowing that there was time to kill before he would have to report to the captain, he decided to remain lost and continued to wander around….
Owain and Aegis were now walking in the corridors on their way to the messhall for the official welcoming dinner. He had to admit, he was quite famished as the long day had given him quite a hunger. And now, he couldn't wait to finally meet the faces of his crew. He was anxious to officially have command handed to him, brief them on the upcoming mission and depart on to new horizons.
“I must say, you've done a great job filling in for Captain Farquar temporarily, Commander”, he told Aegis. “The crew seems to be happy, and I'm sorry about the Captain's injury, but they do seem to genuinely be excited about seeing what their new Captain looks like. Can't say I blame them”, he added with his infectuous smile.
“Well, thank you sir. Truth is, I haven't done all that much. I've only tried to keep the crew as occupied as possible.”, Aegis said with an honesty that struck Owain with full appreciation.
“A testament of a good ship is one that practically runs itself, Commander, remember that.”, Owain said, winking. “And as far as the ship is concerned, she's definitely a beauty.”
“It must be a sharp contrast coming aboard the newest ship in the fleet after having served on the ship's oldest.”, Aegis stated to his Captain and judging his reaction.
“You're not even beginning to describe the feeling. It's almost as if I've time-travelled, only I really haven't.” Owain replied with a sigh. “Now I'm starting to know how Captain Mikalsen felt when the Aquila travelled to this universe. Must have really been overwhelming to see so much new technology that hadn't yet been invented in her own time.”
“Well, the Aquila definitely has its advantages, sir. She has a great crew that compliment the ship well. I'm hoping that you'll enjoy serving as the Horizon's Commanding Officer. ” This, Aegis said with a large grin. He was certainly proud of this ship and he could no doubt blame him. Her designer had designed a piece of art.
“Indeed”, Owain said, “I'm very honoured to be part of the Horizon. I'll miss the Aquila and her crew, but I'm sure we'll cross paths again. Speaking of the crew, is everyone aboard?”
“Well, we have a few new crew members that haven't yet reported in. We do have a new security officer, Lieutenant Concade, but I'm unsure if he's reported in yet….”
Before Aegis could finish, he saw someone who was wandering around, looking lost among the abyss of the ship. They both approached him.
“Excuse me, Lieutenant? Can I help you? You look lost.”, Owain asked the man as he extended a hand. “Commander Owain Taggart.”
“Ahh, Lieutenant Concade. Err, yes, this ship is big.”, the Lieutenant said while shaking Owain's hand and trying to hide his embarrassment.
“Well, speak of the devil, eh Mr Kardin?”, Owain said, grinning while looking in Aegis' direction. “We were just speaking about you. Welcome aboard. I look forward to having you as my Security officer. We're on our way to the messhall for a welcoming dinner that Mr Aegis has set up. All non-duty officers are to attend. That means, I'll see you there, Lieutenant, unless you want to follow us and not get lost again.”
The Lieutenant coughed a bit as if to bring attention to himself while looking at Owain and said, “I'll take the latter if you don't mind.”
So, the train had become bigger as Jackson started following Owain and Aegis. Before long, they arrived at the Mess Hall.
It was obvious that a lot of work had gone to prepare this dinner. Tables were spread about to fill the length of the hall, with a podium centered on a stage overlooking, and the food table had been layed out in a Buffet style, which meant there was a huge assortment of food from different cultures and alien species that were now tickling his nose. Owain couldn't wait to dig in, but unfortunately, he had to as the event hadn't officially started even though many crew members were milling about and mingling.
“Well, you certainly have outdone yourself, Mr Kardin.”, Owain told his Exec.
“You can't fault me for wanting to impress the new Commanding Officer, can you?”, Aegis said with a chuckle, “Besides, I wouldn't settle for less. No chance.”
“Where no taste buds have gone before.”, Jackson quipped, which had gotten more laughs out of Owain and Aegis.
Owain surveyed his surroundings. A very spacious mess hall, with a very elagant decor to it, which Owain had noticed was a theme everywhere on the ship itself. He couldn't wait to actually be on the bridge now and see his ship in action.
Aegis was surveying the surroundings himself when he caught sight of Dr Garland heading straight for them. “Incoming at 10 o'clock”, he warned the two.
“Commander”, Lieutenant Garland said, nodding, as she approached, “I assume this is the new Commanding Officer?”
Aegis nodded in response. “Correct. This is Commander Owain Taggart.”, he said while looking towards Owain, “Commander, this is Dr Garland, ship's Chief Medical Officer.”
“My pleasure, Doctor. I look forward to working with you.”, Owain said as he extended his hand.
“Commander,” she told Aegis as she leaned in, “I'll have to borrow the Commander for a bit. He will need to assume the position.”
Owain's eyes went wide in surprise and motioned towards the medikit, “Err, can it wait, Lieutenant? I know how important it is to have a checkup, but the welcoming dinner will start soon. I would rather do it after we've done this official business.”
“That's fine, Commander, but I want your promise. I don't like having to track down patients who avoid their checkups.”
“Don't you worry, Lieutenant. I understand your concern and your need as well, and I will make it my first priority after this is all done.”
And then he noticed that more officers were coming in. The event was about to start.
Owain now stood in front of the podium, overlooking his eager crew who were now awaiting for his words . Behind him, were both Lieutenant Li and Commander Kardin. As he surveyed the crowd, he reminded himself how he was the new one here, and how to best approach the situation with his words. Frightening them would be the wrong idea; he wanted to assure them all that he capable of commanding the Horizon. He wanted to give a good first impression.
“Good evening, Ladies and Gentlemen, “Owain began while a terrible feedback coming from the audio system had caused him to pause, the officers in the crowd covering their ears. He quickly turned to Nicholas who was doing his best to kill it. The situation resolved, he turned back towards his sea of officers, who had now had a thankful look about them. “Well, I guess it doesn't like me,” he joked, which initiated laughs from the crowd.
“I'm Commander Owain Taggart, and I'll be your new Commanding Officer.”, he first stated. He wanted to mention Captain Farquhar next. “I know many of you will miss your old Captain Farquhar, and I can never hope to replace his grace and charm. Some of you have grown quite close to him, and you're no doubt wondering as to his status. The Medical Facility here on the outpost is doing their best to take care of him, and I do wish him a speedy recovery. Good luck and Godspeed, Captain.”
“Before I can take the center seat though, we have some business to attend to.”, he said while looking towards Commander Kardin. “Commander Kardin, if you please.”
“Right”, Aegis said while nodding in acknowledgement. “Computer, Transfer Command codes to Commander Owain Taggart, Authorization Kardin Othello Magellan.”
“Acknowledged”, the computer confirmed in its monotonous female voice that tried its hardest to be humanlike as possible. “Two more authorizations needed to complete the request.”
Next was Li who stepped up in turn, “Authorization Li Romeo Omega.”
“Acknowledged,” again confirmed the computer. “One more authorization needed to complete the request.”
Then again, Owain stepped up as his first and second officers made way for him. “Computer, Authorization Taggart Ceasar Alpha.”
“Acknowledged,” the computer's expected reply, to which it came back saying, “Authorization complete. The USS Horizon is now under the command of Commander Owain Taggart.”
A burst of claps erupted from the crowd of officers, and when it had died down, a smiling Owain again addressed them. “Well, now that it's official, I think it's time I tell you what our next destination is going to be. You all deserve it.” He watched the crowd react, as he knew his crew was anxious to know where they would be going next. “Starfleet got a transmission from Aldeberaan a few months ago. They wish to join the Federation, and Starfleet has selected us. This means that we will conduct the negotiations. Starfleet things you all did a good job with Volaris, and tasked us with another diplomatic mission. Hopefully we come back here to the station with an extra Federation member. I know we can make this work.”, he said with a smile. “That's it. Enjoy yourselves. Go and mingle. Tomorrow at 11:00 hours sharp, we depart.”
So, everyone resumed what they had begun to do when Owain had started talking. He was now hungry and vow to put some food in his stomach.
“Well done, Commander, “, Aegis said while patting Owain on the shoulder. “I think the Horizon is in good hands..”
Nicholas nodded, “I couldn't agree more, Commander. Looks like I've got to make sure the engines are ready by tomorrow.” Nicholas had started to leave before Owain caught up to him. “Lieutenant, I have a special task for you. See if you can get the code for the Aquila's AI transferred to the core. I have some plans for it.”, he said with a wink.
“I'll have to see what I can do”, Nicholas said. “You're not being mischievous are you?”
“No, not at all. I just think the Horizon could use a good AI, and there's no problem with sharing.”
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