CHAPTER TWO: REBIRTH
6 YEARS LATER
Captain Jacob Cooke stood up, turned around and looked out the window, noticing a few more gray hairs and lines in his reflection than he wished to admit. Outside was the Utopia Planitia Shipyards that built the finest ships in Starfleet. From Danube-Class Runabouts to 5 of the Enterprises, this was the one of the, if not the largest shipyards in all of the Federation, maybe even the Alpha and Beta Quadrants. “Let me get this straight Admiral,” Cooke said. “You want me to captain a new Uss Magellan?” Jacob was surprised, but exited. He had not been the same since loosing the Magellan. “That’s right Jacob, After the Dominion War, we are trying to go back to peaceful exploration, but we still need a small, versatile reconassince ship that could possibly take on some a couple scientific missions. Fast, Agile, Versatile, the Magellan had all those great qualities.” Admiral Rixx said. “What about the design flaws, im surprised Admiral Norah Satie hasn’t come out of retirement to court martial you for even considering it.” Jacob allowed himself a wry smile, but thought better of it. The admiral sighed. Oops. Satie was a touchy issue, ever since the conspiracy trial a lot of officers didn’t want to talk about it, trying to forget what happened. “That’s why we’ve called you in captain.” Well, that was a quick and easy way to hopefully temporarily loose a first name basis with a high ranking officer. “You’re going to oversee the shaking-down of it. Then, you have your command. You make that ship, in essence, work. Do that and she’s all yours, if not...” The Bolian did not need to finish, he’d most likely end up with a survey ship in an obscure corner of the galaxy. “I won’t fail admiral.” No way im going to let this pass up. Jacob thought. “Your officers will be arriving by the end of the week, here’s the supposed crew roster, tell me if you have any objections.” The admiral neutrally said. “Thank you sir.” With that, he took the crew padd, and beamed down to the Magellan.
His eyes refocused from the disorientation of the transporter to a barren transporter room. The walls were not painted, just gray bulkheads. Before he had beamed down, he had read the report. They were taking on the same type of initiative the Titan, Captain Riker’s ship had. A ship with a crew comprised almost totally of aliens.
A Deltan women stood at the transporter console. “I am Chief Petty Officer First Class Klivic. Welcome aboard Captain.” “Thanks chief.” He plainly said, then walking out into the corridor. The walls were the same, dull, gray, monotonous, color. He stepped into a nearby turbolift and ordered to the bridge.
The doors opened, and there it was. The exact same bridge. The Tactical rail high above the rest of the fore section of the bridge. Operations in an almost complete circle, excluding a spot to step into the console area. The helm taking up the front portion of the bridge, complete with a larger, yet far more efficient layout. The engineering station on the starboard side, and of course mission ops, science, and environmental systems in the aft section. The bridge was anything but abandoned though, Bynar technicians in pairs scurrying from console to console, along with engineering officer poking around inside bulkheads, running checklists, heck, the operation was so large, the Admiral must have purposely tried to keep it a surprise, no way a lot of resources being diverted to a new ship without everyone in Starfleet knowing. He stepped out of the turbolift, it closing with a gentle swoosh. He stepped down the ramp and sat down in the chair, checking the chair’s console. From here he could view tactical info, location, heading, speed, ship status, and basic helm and a few tactical controls. He got up from the chair and reentered the turbolift. Next stop, Main Engineering.
The turbolift doors opened to a madhouse. Techies running around, optical cable strung all over the floor, a pair of Bynars and an engineer arguing over something. A yellow Starfleet Lt. Commander uniform was visible from the Engineering main console. The captain cleared his throat, and a male Cardassian in his early thirties slid out from under the table, his smooth black hair, usually curved back in disarray, loose optical cable, grime, and sweat littered. “Ah Captain!” he stood up and smiled. “It truly is good to see you.” The captain tried to speak, but the Cardassian unknowingly cut him off. “I’m very sorry for the state the Engine Room is in, but a lot of the systems were not wired correctly, and the main circuits blew out when we, oh, what’s the human expression for it, switched it on? Hm?” In the short time Jacob was once on Deep Space 9, the only Cardassian left on the station, a tailor named Garak, reminded him a lot of the engineer in front of him. “Oh I truly am sorry, I didn’t introduce myself did I? Im Lt. Commander Conok, chief engineer.” “Captain Jacob Cooke.” The two men shook hands. “How long before the ship is ready to go Commander?” Cooke asked. “Oh, I’d say well be ready for the shakedown cruise in 3 weeks, well within the time allotted.” “Very good, I’ll be on my way now.” “Good seeing captain!” with that, he slid back under the console.
The captain went on his way back to the turbolift, the doors opening to reveal a Romulan Lt. wearing a security outfit, carrying a type-1 phaser. “Sir!” the Romulan straightened and saluted. “At ease Lieutenant.” The Romulan relaxed negligibly. “I am Lt. Loran, Chief Tactical and Security officer sir.” “Jacob Cooke.” Loran ordered the turbolift for the bridge. The doors opened to a short Ferengi Ensign and an Andorian in an Operation uniform, wearing the Lt. Cmdr rank pips. “Sir,” the Ferengi began. “I’m sorry, but I can’t do that yet…..” “And why would that be Ensign Nog?” The Andorian stood taller at least two feet taller than him, his antennae flaring up in anger.” “Rerouting helm control in that manner would be breaking standard procedure. In order for the…” “THEN TO THE ICE SPIKE VALLEY WITH STANDARD PROCEDURE!!! IF WE ARE IN AN EMERGENCY….” “Is there a problem here gentlemen?” Cooke calmly asked. “The Helm console is connected to the main power board could lead to an overload during a firefight! Ensign Nog says he cannot let it be rerouted because it isn’t standard procedure! I am giving him a direct order and...” The Blue skinned Andorian started. “But sir Engineering protocol needs captains clear…..” “QUEIT ENSIGN!” “Both of you calm down!” the captain shot in. “Now, what exactly does Cmdr. Toran want you do to?” the captain asked. “He said that we should redouble route the helm console to the auxiliary power grid, so that if the primary overloads, the auxiliary will automatically back up the helm. He wants to do this with all stations on the ship. The only problem is, is that if there is a power surge in the primary grid, it could surge into the auxiliary too. So I was going to tell him we need to reinforce the optical cable, and Standard procedure is to ask you if that is acceptable.” Ensign Nog said. “I was trying to say what I just told you when he interrupted…..” his voice trailed off. “Alright, do what you told me, now both of you hug and say you’re sorry.” Both the Ferengi and the Andorian looked at each other, to the captain and back to each other. Jacob smiled. “I believe the captain is joking.” Loran started. “Earth parents made their children ‘hug’ after a quarrel.” Loran finished and walked off, going to do checks on the lateral sensor array. “Well I’m glad someone on this ship is versed in human history.” The Ferengi and the Andorian shook hands and apologized. “Very good, carry on Ensign, Commander.” He walked over and sat down in the captain’s chair again. It gripped the sides, and sat back. He thought he’d never see this bridge again, and he was wrong. He shut his eyes, intending on thinking about what he would do from this chair, exploring new parts of the galaxy, first contact. Instead, when he closed his eyes, he was still on the bridge, but of a different USS Magellan. “DAMAGE REPORT! MEDICAL TEAM TO THE BRIDGE! WARP CORE BREACH! The bridge was in flames, a Jem’Hadar warship on the main viewscreen heading right at them. Beams shooting from the Dominion ship. “WARP CORE BREACH!” voices screamed in his head. “No!” no he said, “Captain!” it was Loran behind him. “Jacob’s eyes shot open and he turned around. “Are you alright?” “Yes lieutenant.” He replied, doing his best to sound calm, but with terror tugging at him. He breathed in and out, and counted to ten. “Good.” Loran went on. “I have to go over a tactical matter with you in the armory/torpedo bays.” “Very well, well do that now.” They both walked into the turbolift. “Deck six.” They both ordered at the same time. Jacob grinned. “So lieutenant.” Jacob tried to pass the time. “Why did you join Starfleet?” he asked. “You may recall the defection of admiral Jartok?” Jacob nodded. Jacob was only a lieutenant when that happened, he remembered reading the reports of the defected Romulan Admiral. “I was his son.” “He had a son?” Cooke asked. “He kept it secret. My mother stowed me away in a Kobarian freighter on its way to Earth. When I was old enough I joined Starfleet.” “I see.” The captain said. The turbolift doors opened, revealing a short corridor with a four way intersection, the fore section the armory, the location of the main weapons, torpedoes, and adjacent to the torpedo bays. The two men walked into the room, and Cooke involuntarily let his jaw drop. Not only were the standard Quantum and Photon torpedoes, regular phasers, But stores of exotic and different weapons in a different room. Romulan disruptor pistols and rifles, Klingon disruptors. Tamper-proof Ferengi phasers, Bajoran phasers, Kelluran Assault rifles. Stun, Sonic, and plasma grenades. Isomagnetic Disinigrator Bazookas’, Regalian phaser rifles, compressed tetryon beams, Domion, Gorn, Klingon, Lysian, and Cardasssian Disruptors’, and over a dozen other weapons Jacob couldn’t recognize. “This is what you wanted to talk to me about?” Jacob could barely manage the words during the awing experience of a massive inventory. “Yes sir, I keep a personal stock of alien weapons as my own collection, is this aright?” “Well I guess so; you have a level 6 security clearance right?” “That is correct.” “Well it seems its okay then, but you need more security over it, that doesn’t approve with me. Someone could just waltz over here to this shelf to grab whatever this is…” “Sir I would…” “Let me finish Lieutenant, anyway…” Loran frowned. “I just put my hand right over…..” ZOOM!! A bright yellow forcefield appeared around the weapons shelf. “A Flaxian Forcefield, carries adjustable settings including, burn, degenerate, vaporize, stun, knockout, kill, electrocute, disrupt, slice, and many others, I tried to warn you, luckily it was only on 5%stun. Your hand will feel better in about 30 seconds.” “Well, disregard what I earlier told you, and I want this forcefield non-lethal at all times, there are few protocol sound times when non-lethal forcefields are allowed, you may play with your settings then.” He held his hand. Loran frowned. “I have no intention of playing with the settings sir, I merely...” “I was joking Lieutenant.” “I see sir.” Loran stepped over to the forcefield. “Computer, disengage forcefield, security clearance Lt. Loran, Kappa 13 dash 4. ZOOM! The forcefield disappeared. “This, the object you were reaching for, the, whatever this is, you called it, is a Breen disruptor, 3 settings, kill, stun, or burn, it only affects living matter, but is impervious to tampering.” He picked it up and showed it to the captain, a gleam in his eyes, almost like a child showing an adult a new creation. “I see, that’s very nice, anything else?” “No sir.” He said, eyeing the captain’s hand. With that, Captain Cooke went to check out his new quarters.
2 WEEKS LATER
Cooke could never figure out why he had a weird aftertaste in his mouth for exactly ten seconds after transport, every chief he told always laughed and said you’re imagining it. He was feeling that same aftertaste as he stepped of the transporter pad of the USS Floridian. After two weeks of wondering who he should request as a first officer, he had his choice, and the captain of the Floridian said he was “cool” as he said, with his choice. He walked out into the corridor and into a turbolift. Excelsior class vessels had just about every aspect of them refitted he had always been told at the academy when asking if it was wise to put a 120 year old ship into the unknown. He smiled as he recognized the one thing they had missed; the turbo lifts were just a little bit smaller. “Deck nine, officer’s quarters.” The doors opened to a new corridor, lined with quarters at changing intervals, the higher you were in rank, the larger the accommodations, in fact, the Floridian was known for spacious and luxurious quarters, well, as luxurious as an Excelsior class vessel can be. 2 door on the right he remembered being told. He stopped at the door and rang. “Come in!” a women’s voice called. In front of him, was Commander Michelle Nelson, his former XO. “Captain!” she shook his hand violently, probably not even realizing it. “It is so good to see you! Come in!” she walked over to the replicator. “Can I get you anything to drink or eat?” “As embarrassing as it may sound, could I have some Anolian Spice pudding and Romulan Ale?” he asked, blushing at the funny food selection. “Okay..,” she asked the replicator for the pudding and ale, along with some Hasperat and Cardasssian Ale. Jacob cocked a brow. “No less stranger than your combination.” She smiled. “The Romulan Ale brings out the spice in the pudding more.” “Whatever you say Captain.” She laughed. “But I doubt you came here only to reminisce and debate the finer points of alien food combinations.” “That’s right.” He started. “Have you heard of the new Magellan.” “Yes I have, congratulations.” She replied. “I need a first officer.” He smiled. Michelle pointed to herself in question. Jacob nodded and smiled. “That’s wonderful! Thank you so much!” “I’ve already cleared it with your captain, or, old captain.” “I pack immediately.” She said. With that, they said goodbye and Captain Cooke went on his way.
The aftertaste wore off as one of the many turbolift doors of the USS Magellan shut, enclosing Captain Cooke and a M’klexan astrophysics officer. “Bridge!” he ordered. The alien next to him was pretty similar to a human, although had one more eye than the captain. The doors opened and the captain sat down in his chair. “Report, how things are coming along?” he asked. “Well,” his Andorian Ops officer started. “Chief Engineer Conok said to tell you that he had cleaned up the floor of the engine room.” His antennae shrugged. “He said you’d know what he meant?” “That’s correct Commander, continue please.” “Impulse Manifolds have been installed, the phaser array has been laid down and the power cells in place….” He went on for a while.
10 Minutes later.
“The paint scratched off from the accidentally collision with a worker bee shuttle has been recoated, the exobiology lab has to share the same sensor grid with astrobiology, complaining the wouldn’t get enough….” “Commander?” “Yes captain?” “Put it onto a pad and just give it to me please.” The captain asked. “Aye sir.” The Andorian let out a sigh of relief challenging that of the plasma injectors. He took the pad and ran over it. Just another day in the life of preparing a starship.
Tall Ship, Wind, Stars, And Starfleet Command
Of all the office guest chairs Jacob Cooke had ever sat in, various ready room chairs, recreation room chairs, principal office chairs, Admiral Rixx’s was the most comfortable, stuffed with Bolian Foam, no doubt something Admiral Rixx had ordered from his homeworld of Bolarax. “Anything to drink captain?” “No thank you sir.” Jacob replied. “Captain, you and I both know Starfleet doesn’t believe in warships,” Cooke nodded. “Both you and I know the Magellan isn’t a ship of exploration as its primary goal.” Jacob nodded again. Jacob had thought of this. Starfleet doesn’t like warships, since it was against their philosophy, so to make people feel good; they classified them as “Escort” ships. Jacob knew that was a load of crud though. “It’s a heavily armed reconassince ship that was the idea when Starfleet thought they should make another class of “Escort” ships. A little larger and a few more crew than the Venture Class. 10 decks, 150 people, 4 phaser arrays, 3 forward firing Quantum torpedo bays, 2 aft firing photon torpedoes, this thing is, as captain Scott would say, “a wee bit more twan’ an escort ship laddie.” Admiral Rixx laughed. “So I’m sorry to say Captain,” His face turned serious. “That your first mission will not be of exploration.” He solemnly said. This, Jacob thought, was going to be very interesting.