"Computer, set up Protocol Steve One"
"Working, Warp-Core Breach Imminent"
"Computer Evacuate Deck 37 immediately"
"Plasma conduit ruptured on deck 37"
"Set up protocol Steve Four"
"Working , Warp-Core Breach in T-00:03:00
"Computer set up protocol Steve Thirteen"
"Working , Emergency protocol Alpha Two Set"
As Steve pushes the last of the what he thinks of the people through the closing door he notices three people in the next room trying to get to the door but the first door seals. "Come on!"
Emergency Evacuation of engineering"
As they rush to the second door Steve rolls under and just barely makes it.
The Big door shakes violently as an explosion goes off" Computer , how many where in there ?"
"Five Life forms were present"
"Computer, (sigh) End Program."
As the black room with the yellow grid lines slips into place Steve Exits and he heads toward the turbolift.
"Computer, deck 18"
As the turbolift starts to move Steve wonders where he could of gone wrong.
The doors of the turbolift open and Steve steps out. He goes down the hall till he gets to his room. The door opens and he goes to the replicator. "Food program S 23" a small pizza with assorted meats and vegetables appears. As usual Mason ,the dog, starts to beg for scraps. After that Steve lays down and says "Computer wake up call at Six hundred hours. With a final yawn Steve dozes off.
Shelby was laid on his bed, the lights were dimmed, and soft jazz music flowed around the room. Relaxed, almost happy, Shelby was thinking.
Almost 6 hours before he had completed his first shift, and had operationally and formally met the rest of the senior crew.
Shelby's appointment to the galaxy had been straight forward, although he was concerned that his transfer to the flagship of the federation, and as 2nd officer aboard that ship, hadn't also carried a rank promotion to Commander. This concern however, didn't lesson his amiable mood, as he was never one for moping. He would simply have to prove to his CO that he was ranking officer material, not easy, admittedly - but very possible.
His CO. That was another thing that was on his mind. Price and Shelby had attended Starfleet academy at the same time, and although never close friends, and not even in attendance in many of the same classes - they were familiar with each other and held each other in a modicum of respect.
Shebly found it strange that he be commanded by one of his classmates. Not unexpected of course - Price had always been supra ambitious, but strange.
Deciding to forget the point for the moment, Shelby, stretching, rose from the bed and moved to the replicator. "Herbal Tea, program Shelby 3. Hot." The familiar whirring of the replication process precluded the appearance of a steaming mug.
Lifting and sipping it, Shelby moved over to his viewer. "Computer, display unread messages, today only."
The sultry tones of the computer offered a curt reply. "Shelby, Christopher. You currently have 3 unread messages."
Scanning the brief messages, there was only one of interest. "Jamson eh?? For training?" Shelby mumbled to himself. "Sure, why not." Answering the message, Shelby signed off.
Glancing at his antique grandfather clock, Shelby noted that he had an hour or so before he was required on the bridge and so settled down in a lotus flower position and began to meditate.
He had always found that his concerns tended to be dwarfed by the enormity of the space around him, and his meditative state always soothed him, regardless of his physical location. That, as a senior officer, his quarters were quite luxurious, and afforded him a view of the space-vista, he always found his greatest comfort came from within himself.
45 minutes later, Shelby showered, shaved, dressed and headed for the bridge carrying a PADD that contained some scheduling & priority changes to the current security arrangements.
En route to the bridge, he smiled as he passed a pretty young ensign, and heads turning, they maintained eye contact until she almost clattered into a rather startled young boy.
A chuckle on his lips, Shelby entered the turbolift. "Bridge."
Captain's Personal Log entry, Supplemental:
Our first day patrolling the boarder of the Alpha and Beta quadrants along the Romulan Neutral zone has ended pretty much as I expected, uneventfully. Gamma shift has begun, so I expect that Lt.Commander Shelby is on the bridge.
I have been reviewing the personnel records of my senior staff. In the near future I will have to decide on which officers will receive promotions to support the positions the hold. I still need to assign the position of Chief Science officer between the two Ensign candidates, as well as fill the Chief Tactical officers position. Then there is the situation in Medical, Lt.Commander Rousseau really should be promoted so she is senior ranking officer in that department. Then there is Mr. Shivok, the ship's counselor. His experience in and out of Starfleet are not nearly recognized with his current rank of Lieutenant. I will continue to evaluate everyone's performance and make my decisions accordingly.
"Computer. Close log."
The computer complied as always. Captain Price walked over to the replicator. "Terran milk, warm, in a tall glass." The replicator produced the glass of lightly heated liquid which the Captain took. Taking a big sip, Price walked over to his observation window and gazed out at the passing stars. Being on patrol, the USS Galaxy was traveling at warp factor 1. The Captain's thoughts drifted elsewhere as he gazed out the view port. He thought of Captain Shoak, the retired ex-captain of the USS Galaxy. Price wondered how much thought Shoak had put into decisions on his crews promotions. Certainly Shoak was not afraid to promote an officer that showed great promise as he had been. But Captain Price wondered about all of the other positions on the Starship. This was really the first time the full weight of Command had rested on his shoulders, and his alone.
Finishing his milk, Captain Price prepared to go to bed. He wanted to be on the bridge early tomorrow to get a full report from Lt.Commander Shelby. As the Captain settled into his bed, he glanced out of the view port one last time before dimming the lights. He had a strange feeling that something was going to happen, but he didn't know why. Eventually, after much tossing and turning, the Captain drifted off to sleep.
"Ensign, I need you down here on deck 12. Ensign Waugh has opted to take the Beta shift and you will be the Gamma shift detail."
"Understood. I'm on my way." Ensign Vo logs off as Mr. Waugh relieves her on the second science station. She nods to him with a courteous smile as they pass one another.
**On deck 12, science conference room**
T'Nevin and his crew are assembled at the conference table. Ensign Vo walks in and takes a seat.
"Okay. This will be extremely brief. I have taken 8 samples of atmosphere between Earth and the neutral zone, precisely spaced apart. Now just through the collection sequence and information transfer from the sensory array, I have concluded that there is something in the last 3 samples closest to the neutral zone resembling foreign ion signatures from warp or maybe even impulse engines. I think maybe even some of the particles are from a nebula on the Romulan side of the border, which would suggest a breach in contract, but we will get to that later."
"Aw, hell!" cries Ensign Allen. "Somebody crossed the border?"
"Excuse me Mr. Allen. I am not finished. And that is not a substantial conclusion at this point in time. So this is what I want you to do, Mr. Allen. Each of you will take 2 of the atmospheric samples back to your science labs. Alpha lab takes 1 and 2, Beta, 3 and 4, Gamma, 5 and 6, and Delta lab takes 7 and 8. Now, Gamma and Delta labs will probably have the most controversial ion signatures, so pay very close attention to whatever you find."
"Sir," Ensign Syrain speaks up. "I have heard that other militaries, especially the Romulan Star Empire, have been trying to mimic ion signatures of Federation Starships."
"So have I. No more than a rumor, I feel. However, to leave no stone unturned, I want you to sync-time the signatures to tell the exact time, or at least on what day they were emitted and calculate the estimated time of dispersion of the ion particles. That way, we can calculate at what speed the ship was traveling on that day, based on a reconstruction of the concentration gradient of ion particles. The more concentrated, the faster the ship was going. Then, check each signature with every known ship that has patrolled this area within the last 6 months. Your report will consist of 2 case files. The first being successful Federation ion signature matches, and the second being foreign signatures. We will decide what to do after that. You have 16 hours--essentially until the end of the upcoming Alpha shift. It shouldn't take you even that long. Any questions?" The room sits in silence. "I will inform the captain. Thank you." T'Nevin turns towards the door.
"Sir, you haven't dismissed us."
T'Nevin smiles. "No. I am just the acting CSO, not the real thing. And stop calling me sir. We all are the same rank."
They leave, discussing methods to complete their tasks to each other. T'Nevin touches his communicator as he steps back into the conference room for a minute. "T'Nevin to Captain Price."
A groggy, sleep-filled voice answers, "Go ahead."
"Sir, I have some pertinent information that I feel should be brought to your attention. In other words, I've found something. However, if you feel that I should tell the CO on duty, then I will apologize for waking you and discuss the matter with Commander Shelby..."
Ensign T'Nevin, acting CSO
USS Galaxy NCC-70637
He took a deep breath and pressed the door chime.
The doors opened with the typical hiss and Taryn entered. He was not alone, as he expected, the other four of the counseling staff were assembled in Shivok's office, too.
"Well, Taryn, you arrive in time. Please, have a seat!"
Taryn took a free chair and closed the demicircle of chairs in front of Shivok's desk.
Shivok showed his normal expression: piercing gaze, a tensed face expression, although his mouth showed a touch of a smile.
"Ladies, Gentlemen, I want to welcome you officially on board of the USS Galaxy as members of the counseling staff. I know all of you, because I taught you the basics of your job and you know me, and what I expect from you. I first want to quickly present each member of our team to the others and outline the organization of our department."
He pointed to the woman who sat on the left end of the democircle, on his right.
"Lt. Poitier, 45, Human. She's head of the education department. She is a skilled teacher and experienced in space travel. She was on the NCC-1701-D on her first missions. She will handle all questions concerning the education of the children and grown ups on board the Galaxy. Next to her Lt. jg. Semanka, age 33, Human. He will be the main contact person for our security personnel."
He nodded to a small Indian man wearing a green turban. "Lt. Semanka served for five years on the USS Flinder as tactical officer and returned to the Academy to achieve a degree in psychology. He finished two years ago and was together with me in the Federation Negotiation Department."
His gaze moved to an attractive Vulcan. "Ensign T'Leira, 24, Vulcan. She will take care of our scientists. She has an adequate Vulcan education and finished the Academy this year. It is her first assignment onboard a Starship. Next to her Lt. Liito, 28, Betazoid. She served for four years on the USS Curie as Counselor and second officer and has waste knowledge in all matters concerning ship operations. She will be in charge of the operations personnel."
"And finally, Lt. jg. Taryn, 24, Bajoran. Lt. Taryn finished the Academy in both matters: counseling and engineering. He is very knowledgeable in technical aspects and he will have an ear for the engineering personnel. It is his first assignment as well. I assigned myself to special operations and primary contact person for the senior officers. Furthermore I will be in close interaction with Captain Price and Commander Gael."
The meeting continued for another half an hour and came to the end.
"Our job is a constant learning and acquiring. You have to be flexible and open. You must accept differences and tolerate inconveniences. We are no more at the Academy. You have achieved an academic degree in psychology and counseling, but you have to prove yourself in real life! Dismissed!"
The five stood up and walked towards the doors. Rose has almost arrived and was happy, Shivok has forgotten about this mornings incident.
"Lt. Taryn, I'd like you to stay for another moment. And I never forget anything."
Taryn sighed, returned at his chair and thought about the fact, that if anybody else than Shivok had said this, he would have laughed about his showing-off, but he knew Shivok well enough to believe everything he said.
Stephane, aka Lt. Shivok, Counselor, USS Galaxy
War isn't fought to decide who is right but who is left.
"Well, sir, as I have gathered information from the surrounding atmosphere, I have also run across some mysterious evidence." T'Nevin walks over to his computer. "I am uploading the information and data I have received as of this date. I regret that I have no formal report ready."
Captain Price rubs his sleepy eyes. "That's okay. What did you find?"
"Samples 6, 7, and 8 may be conclusive of a breach of the Romulan/Federation agreement. Note I have said, 'may be.' These samples contain particles of a particular configuration. Particles on the Federation side of the neutral zone that I recognize to exist only in the Kai'Yasha Nebula, which is approximately 600,000 meters into Romulan space.
Captain Price sits upright in the bed, showing a slight interest in the young ensign's discovery. "So you're saying that someone over there, has been over here..."
"No sir. I am merely suggesting. I have studied these particles briefly with an optical enhancement unit. They are made of a microscopic reddish particle core with orange and yellow particles circumnavigating the "nucleus."
"Sort of like the atomic molecule." Captain Price gets out of bed and paces the floor a step or two.
"Yes sir. And the Kai'Yasha Nebula is the only one known to myself that has this particular configuration. My father and I used to drive through it on occasional trips to and from Remus. When the two particle elements are separated, they release a burst of light and energy and for a moment, it looks as if that area of the nebula is engulfed in flames. Very interesting display of molecular physics."
"Sounds impressive." Captain Price walks over to the replicator. "Terran milk, warm, in a tall glass." The soft whirring of materialization fills the little area in front of him. "And you have found traces of these specific particles on our side of the zone?" Captain Price takes a seat and a sip of his milk, mildly irritated at the fact that he just finished a glass of this not too long ago, but that's okay because it helps him to think.
"Yes sir. There are parts of the whole, in small traces here and there."
"Well, I don't want to jump the gun on any of this. We can't go pointing fingers. After all, crossing the zone is an act of war. What is the science team involved with now?"
"They are extensively analyzing the 8 samples, with special emphasis on 6, 7, and 8. Their reports will be accessible at the end of Alpha shift."
"Good. In the meantime, check to see if there are any other nebulae that match the configuration you just explained to me, and where they are located. And of course we'll keep those tachyon emitters running strong. What about ion signatures or evidence of the use of warp drives?"
"There are numerous strands of ion signatures, but most of them are from our ships. A couple of foreign strands, but it's hard to tell anything about them. May just be a freelance merchant ship not registered with the Federation, or something to that effect. However, we are isolating those as well to possibly find out when and where they came from."
"Sounds like you're on top of things, ensign."
"I'd like to think so, sir."
"Captain Price chuckles to himself, "Let Commander Shelby know what's going on. And you, get some rest."
"Ensign...that's an order."
"Price out." Captain Price takes a seat in his favorite chair with his favorite music, Terran milk on the table in front of him, and a PADD in his hand. He makes notes about his conversation with Ensign T'Nevin for later reference, as well as to take a look at the uploaded data. Upon his conclusion, he rolls into bed once again, and thinks about how much he hopes the Romulans didn't breach the neutral zone contract. He is pretty well convinced that war is not for him, but he will if he must. He has no trouble falling back to sleep.
Ensign T'Nevin makes his way down the corridor towards the turbolift. He enters.
Ensign T'Nevin, acting CSO
USS Galaxy NCC-70637
Having been relieved a few hours ago by Ensign Jiron, Ty of Betazed, Ensign T'Lein gazed through his view port at the streaks of light passing by...the Galaxy was still moving at warp 1 patrolling the neutral zone.
Ensign T'Lein took one last look around his small federation habitat to find a spot that was calm and serene (one that was free of objects and cozy). He went over to the corner that was next to the food replicator and took a seat on the floor. He crossed his legs, put both arms on his sides, took three very deep breaths, and relaxed. He cleared his mind of all things and engaged in meditation.
"Hmm . . ."
Jacqueline was up late, unable to sleep. She could have given herself a sedative, but it really wouldn't help. This wasn't insomnia. This was tension.
Ever since the Galaxy had settled into it's patrol route, she'd felt edgy. It wasn't until she had time to actually think about it, like when she left Sickbay, that she really noticed how tense she was. And there was no reason for it. Only this nagging feeling that something was going to happen. Call it woman's intuition.
"Either that or I've just snapped."
She had no interest in worrying for nothing right now. She just wanted to go to sleep. So she started on the next day's work. Boring and tedious. Hoping that would knock her out.
Doctors rarely had anything to do during a patrol mission, so there was nothing in that way of work. She decided to rummage through the physical analyses of the command crew.
She was asleep ten minutes later.
Shelby was full of thoughts. Big thoughts, little thoughts, worries, plans, hopes.....all had decided to plague him at this moment, the moment before he took his first command shift aboard the Galaxy.
It wasn't new to him of course, his tour as XO of the USS Victory had given him all the experience he needed. But, then, it wasn't a matter of experience, or confidence, or even of nerves - it was simply the knowledge that he had made it. Throughout his career he had thought of the magnificence of commanding a Galaxy class ship - and although he knew his was not the captains seat, nor even that of first officer, his anticipation continued to grow.
Interrupting his pattern of thought, erratic though it was, the turbolift slid to a halt.
The whirring computer complied.
Rubbing his temples, and smoothing out his uniform, Shelby took a deep breath to clear his mind, and prepare himself for his shift.
The doors slid open, and to Shelby it seemed that everything for a moment moved in slow motion. The sliding doors gave a growing view of the entire bridge, and glancing over each station, Shelby noted that most of his Gamma shift staff had already reported for duty.
He smiled. 'They're as anxious as I am.'
His eyes flicked to the main viewer, and for a moment rested on the parallax field of stars shifting through the blackness. Again breathing deeply, he took strode purposefully towards round the tactical station, taking time to smile at his officers, before presenting himself to the previous shift officer, the Trill, Commander Gael.
"You're relieved Commander."
Gael smiled, "Hmm. Aren't I supposed to relieve command to you, Lt Commander?"
"Perhaps, although, if you want to be formal about it, you really shouldn't have allowed my shift officers to take their positions before I took command."
Gael shifted, a little uncomfortably at the rebuke. The smile re-formed on her face. "Never the less, I relieve command to YOU."
Shelby inclined his head slightly, but his posture stiffened almost unconsciously. "Sir."
Gael examined Shelby for almost a minute, before rising and offering the him the chair. "You have the bridge, Lt. Cmd. Shelby."
"Anything I should know about?" Shelby inquired.
"Nothing really, Ensign Vo informed me that the science team were rather exited about some ion distortions, but other than that......."
"Very well. Good evening to you, Commander." Shelby waited until Gael had left the bridge before taking the seat.
He smiled. It was a big smile. A big satisfied smile, that he shared with the whole of the bridge.
"Lets have some fun. Helm, current speed."
"Current speed is 1/2 impulse."
"Give me full impulse, and fluctuate our course a little - make those stars jump."
The young ensign flashed a smile back before replying. "YES, SIR."
"Ensign Vo. Do you have anything to report on those Ion streams you guys have been tracking?"
Vo babbled something meaningless.
Shelby's smile widened and he caught a chuckle in his throat. "Perhaps you could repeat that, just a little more slowly."
"Um, Ensign T'Nevin is still working on it, if you like I could......"
"No, no....just let me know when you have something, ok?"
"Yes...yes sir." Vo stammered.
Shelby then stood and paced a little, before handing his PADD to the ranking security officer, Lt. Hanrald. "Could you test these force field deployments, and also have a security team report to transporter room one in 15 minutes - I want to do some tactical deployment exercises tomorrow."
Glancing briefly at tactical, smiling at the pretty ensign currently manning the station, Shelby made his way back to the big chair.
'Hmm.' He thought to himself. 'Comfy,' and promptly settled back to enjoy the rest of his first shift in command of the Galaxy.
It was still a good thirty minutes before the end of Gamma shift when Captain Price exited the turbolift and stepped onto the Bridge. All heads turned to the Captain as he noticed everyone straighten up slightly. "At least no one yelled 'Captain on the Bridge!' this time" Price thought.
"Captain. I hadn't expected you for another several minutes." Lieutenant Commander Shelby began to stand up from the command chair as he spoke. Captain Price just raised a hand signaling Christopher to stop.
"I'm just here to get a head start on some evaluations Commander. You still have the Conn. I will be in my ready room if I'm needed."
"Aye Sir. I will give you a full report at the end of my shift." Shelby stood there for a moment until Captain Price nodded and walked into his ready room, before sitting back down into the command chair.
Captain Price sat at his desk and activated the desktop PADD. Recalling the personnel files, he began to review them to try and determine who would be promoted.
Mean while, on the Bridge, Lt.Commander Shelby was putting his signature to Yeoman York's PADD, signing off the authorization for security exercises later that day.
Ensign Baker, acting Tactical officer, had reported for duty early to get in some extra practice with the Galaxy class controls. He was quite surprised to see the blue-green comm light flashing on his communications panel. "Sir! I am receiving a distress call, audio only, from the USS Hydden. A Federation trading ship." Young Zak could feel his stomach tightening as he confirmed the transmission.
"Play audio Ensign." Christopher stood as he said it and began walking around the tactical arch to check it himself.
"... under attack! I repeat, I repeat! This is the USS Hydden and we are under attack. Have lost warp engines. Explosions every where. Oh God, please someone help us! ..."
The message repeated with the same hysterical officer transmitting. It didn't sound like he was a commanding officer, which made his pleas for help even more sincere.
"Are they transmitting their coordinates?" Shelby asked, noticing that everyone's attention was on him.
"No sir. He appears to be transmitting on a civilian frequency. He certainly doesn't sound like an officer."
"Triangulate on his transmission and see if you can get a fix on their position."
"Aye Sir. Just another moment. Got it Sir! They are six light years away, heading 345 Mark 6. Well within the Federation side of the Neutral Zone."
Lieutenant Commander Christopher Shelby straightened up as he stared out the main view screen for a moment. He took a deep breath, then, after holding it for a second, turned his gaze to Ensign T'Lein who had just reported for duty minutes before.
"Helmsman. Plot intercept course. Maximum warp. All stations, Red Alert!"
T'Lein pivoted back to his station and plotted the course. This would be the first time he got to really "punch" the warp engines on a real mission. "Course plotted and laid in Sir!"
The lights on the Bridge had dimmed to the glow of red alert. The ship wide warning tone echoed through the corridors of the ship, and into the Captain's ready room. Captain Price looked up from his PADD and out the observation window as he saw the ship jump to high warp speeds. Switching off his computer, Captain Price exits his ready room and walks onto the Bridge.
"What's the situation Commander?"
Shelby was still standing near the Tactical arch, assisting the inexperienced Ensign Baker. "We have received a Federation distress call from the USS Hydden. She claims to be under attack. I have ordered an intercept course.... They are well within the Federation side of the 'Zone."
Captain Price paused as the turbolift opened and Commander Gael, Ensign T'Nevin, Lieutenant Shivok and Lieutenant Commander Jamson exited and took their stations. The Captain was glad to have some of his senior officers on the bridge. "Have you confirmed that the distress signal is coming from a Federation ship?"
Ensign Baker looked at Commander Shelby, then at the controls before speaking. "They are transmitting on a Federation civilian frequency. There are no coded Federation corresponder keys in the transmission, however the USS Hydden does have trading routes in this sector. And..." The Ensign's voice trailed off as he looked at the Captain. "... and the distress call sounded very convincing Sir."
Captain Price locked eyes with the Ensign for a moment, then turned to Shelby. "Good job Commander. I will be assuming command. If you would assume the station here at Security, I think Ensign Baker would welcome your presence, as would I."
Christopher smiled slightly, and nodded to the Captain.
"Let's not take any chances 'mates. Raise shields. Charge up all phaser banks. Load forward photon torpedo tubes, and get me a visual as soon as we are within range."
Acting Chief Science Officer, Ensign T'Nevin had already settled into science station 1 where he checked the Tachyon emitters for signs of cloaked ships. A quick sweep of the area revealed no anomalies. Young Ensign T'Nevin wondered whether he should tell the Captain that, or if the Captain had faith that he would warn him only if he *did* find something. Deciding not to disturb the Captain with information he did not find, the Science officer turned long range scanners ahead to get a reading on the USS Hydden.
"Sir..." T'Nevin's voice trailed off as he stared into the scanner's visor, adjusting the gain.
"Yes, T'Nevin, what is it?"
"Captain, I am picking up the USS Hydden on long range scanners. Yes. I have positive id on her now. However I am picking up no other ships in the area. Most curious. I will continue scanning Sir."
Captain Price looked back to the main view screen, puzzled. He thought for sure they'd find a couple of Romulan Warbirds mulling about. Behind the Captain, Lieutenant Commander Shelby smiled slightly as he exchanged glances with XO Gael. They now had confirmed that this was a distress call from a Federation Starship and not a Romulan trick.
"Captain, coming into visual range." Lieutenant Commander Jamson said as he readied the main view screen.
The main view screen snapped on. The USS Hydden was dead in space. Inertial dampers were still functioning, as she was at even keel. There appeared to be no other ships present, though the exterior hull of the Hydden did show signs of a recent battle.
"Ensign T'Nevin, full sensor sweep. Are the Tachyon emitters detecting anything?"
"Already cycling Captain.... Negative, there are no other ships in the vicinity that sensors can detect. However...." The half Romulan, half Vulcan science officer made a few more adjustments before continuing. "I am picking up concentrated traces of the Kai'Yasha Nebula on and about the USS Hydden's hull. It is making internal scans most difficult Sir."
The Captain paused for a moment and thought about what T'Nevin had said. Traces of the Kai'Yasha Nebula on the USS Hydden meant only one thing. This ship had been traveling across the Neutral Zone.
"Well then. Since Ensign T'Nevin assures us that there are no other ships in the sector let's stand down from red alert." Captain Price walked over to the Tactical arch at the security station. "Lieutenant Commander Shelby, could you assemble an away team, with full security compliment to investigate the USS Hydden?"
Shelby was surprised at the request, but his smile, though well hidden, camouflaged this thoughts. "Aye Sir. I'll get on it right way. Could I take Lieutenant Commander Jamson?"
Captain Price nodded. "Do it 'mate. Commander Gael, get someone to cover at Ops."
As Lt.Commander Shelby and Jamson entered the turbolift, Christopher's eye caught Commander Carla Gael's. His arrogant, smug smile just made her rush with rage.
"Ensign Freeman, please report to the Bridge." Commander Gael tapped her comm badge again, deactivating it. "Captain, could I have a word with you please?"
Captain Price gestured to his ready room. As they both entered, the doors swooshed closed.
"Captain, why didn't you assign me to lead the..." Carla's voice was obviously angry when the Captain interrupted.
"This is Lieutenant Commander Shelby's ball. He was the CO when the distress call came in. He took the initiative to order the ship to red alert. He is the Chief of Security, fully qualified to lead the away team." Captain Price could see that logic was not going to relieve his First Officer's concerns. "Carla. This is the first real crisis mission our crew has faced. These young officers need a strong, Starfleet role model to help them through it. I want you here, right now, on the Bridge."
Commander Gael took a deep breath. She hadn't considered that the Captain would want her on the ship for the crew's sake. She had been so wrapped up with the competitive nature of Lieutenant Commander Shelby, that she had failed to put the crew's interests first, and now she was a little embarrassed. "Aye Sir. I understand."
With a smile, Captain Price motioned to the door. "Unless there is anything else?" Commander Gael just nodded "no" and the two of them reentered the bridge.
Commander Gael assumed the Ops position, waiting for Ensign Freeman to arrive.
"Sir. Approaching the USS Hydden." Ensign T'Lein stated.
"Bring us to transporter range Ensign, then full stop." Captain Price sat back down into the command chair.
"Aye Sir. Full stop." The Vulcan touched a few controls on the helm and the USS Galaxy stopped just a few thousand kilometers in front of the USS Hydden.