USS Lionheart
New Orders

by Seth Roark

New Orders


Alan Rickman as Gedna Tachion
CGI as Kiva
Helen Bonham Carter as Renee' Boyce
Ben Affleck as Christoffer Williams
Bruce Willis as Roger Deict
Halle Berry as Andrea Sullivan
Laurence Fishburne as Vor
MacCauley Culkin as Spencer Stone
Reese Witherspoon as Mala Cowin
Lee Ermey as Kolp


Kim Basinger as Lisa Decker

Commander Gedna Tachion yawned as he leaned back in his chair, rubbing his eyes. He glanced up at the chronometer above the door. 2311 hours.

2311. Now there was a significant date in his life. It was the year that relations between the Romulan Star Empire and the Federation had broken down, resulting in what became known as the Tomed Incident. His grandfather, Centurion Derel, had defected to the Federation after being taken prisoner during the incident. He had later managed to bring his wife and daughter to live with him on Coridan.

Looking down at the last two PADD's on his desk, Tachion leaned forward to get back to grading his students' final holo-simulation exercises in Starship Tactics 101. He taught thirty-two fourth year cadets, none of them from the Security or Command branches, but each having shown potential in their first three years to be part of a ship's senior staff one day. Just these last two, he promised himself, before he put in an appearance at the landing pad, then meet Boyce for a late dinner.

He'd given his class a relatively simple problem:

In command of the frigate USS New Orleans, your ship receives a distress call from the SS Yanaka, a freighter four days out from Benzar. Arriving on scene, the freighter is adrift and sixteen of its eighty-crew members are wounded, with another seven dead. Plasma trails show two ships leaving along parallel routes.

Picking up the first PADD, he flipped it on.

"Interesting reading, Ged?"

Switching the PADD off again, Tachion looked up to find a two-pipped Admiral standing by his desk. He got to his feet.

"Evening, Admiral Toh."

It had been two years since Tachion had seen Toh, when the Defiant Project at ASDB had been shelved due to design flaws in the class prototype.

"Can I get you anything?" Tachion cast a questioning glance towards the admiral as he picked up his mug and headed for the coffee pot next to the replicator.

"No, Ged, I'm fine," Toh said, setting a PADD and a small box down next to the two PADDs that remained for Tachion to grade. "Actually, I've brought you some things."

He looked at the PADD and box while he refilled his mug, which bore the image of a Merced class escort, a gift from his friend and former chief engineer Roger Deict.

"Please tell me it's not another simulation to grade, Admiral."

Toh smiled at him.

"Ged, are you still bitter about my decision to shelve your design for the Defiant as a high speed torpedo attack vessel?"

"No," Tachion said, scanning the PADD that Toh had brought him. "I'm bitter that my wonderful warship became the model for the Oberth class' replacement. It really-" Tachion stopped in mid-sentence as he read the orders on the PADD.

"Let me try to make it up to you then," the Rigellian laughed, leaning over the desk. "A Defiant class heavy escort currently being finished at the London Fleet Yards in the BeTau Sector. We're nearly done with her; just a few more adjustments and she'll be all ready. And authorization from the Chief of Starfleet Personnel to gather a crew of non-senior starship officers at your discretion," Toh said, handing him the small box. "Oh, and priority transportation throughout the Federation to gather them. Anything else I can do for you Captain?"

"Rub my feet?"

* * * *

Personal log, stardate 48386.3.
Within the last few hours I've been promoted to Captain and given a new command: the USS Lionheart, NCC-74208.
Something even funnier, though, is that two of my first crew selections turned out to be the two cadets whose Pad's I graded last: cadets Spencer Stone and Mala Cowin. It just seemed like fate for those two PADD's to keep me from what I thought was going to be a break from teaching and some down time. Now Toh drops this on my lap.
Might as well take the two of them along for the ride. Besides, they had interesting solutions, being from the Science and Medical branches respectively.
Before I even begin searching for my crew, I have to admit to some measure of amusement in that several of my former crew from the Vigilant are actually serving at posts in the Sol System.
None of them are serving at critical positions or the senior staff of a starship, which means that if they accept, I can recruit a core group of individuals already in tune with my command style.
Which brings me to the ship herself.
Hell, I've not had a command in six years, and now they've given me a brand new battleship. Oh wait, that's heavy escort. Wouldn't want to scare the Romulans, Klingons or Cardassians, would we?
I can read between the lines well enough to see what is going on. Starfleet has always fought defensively, never attacked first, and always tried to sue for peace no matter how bad the situation. In the past few years, though, more of the military-minded officers have made it into the upper echelons of Starfleet. Admirals Toh, Leyton and Nechayev, to name a few. I reported to Toh while working on the design team for the Defiant class design team and served under Leyton during the third war with the Tzenkethi in the latter 40s. Nechayev I know only by reputation.
I believe that these new military-oriented ships will require a different kind of crew. This class of ship isn't designed to for stellar cartography, first contact and diplomatic missions. The explorers, dreamers and generalists of the ships of the line won't be practical. A harder, rougher crew is called for. Changes must be made and I've already made one while drafting a potential crew roster. With a ship full of weapons, I've broken Security and Tactical into different departments. I'm even thinking of making all away team missions from the ship have at least one member of security armed with a phaser rifle.
I think it's about time the Federation showed the rest of the galaxy that it has teeth. I just hope we don't have to use them too often.

End log.

The door read:

Commander Renee T. Boyce
Starfleet Earth Command
Senior Medical Advisor


The dark-haired woman looked up from her desk display at the figure standing in the door. "What do you want, you half-breed phaser slinger?" the woman demanded. "I waited half an hour for you before ordering last night, and now you saunter into my office without even bringing me flowers."

Tachion leaned against the doorframe. "Sorry. I had a late night visitor. One I couldn't refuse."

"Oh, this is gonna be good," Boyce said as she leaned forward. "Now close the door, get us some drinks, and have a seat. I want to hear about how the dirty old teacher is taking advantage of those young cadets."

"Saurian Brandy and a Whiskey Sour," Tachion ordered from the replicator, ignoring her.

As he turned, Boyce noticed the four pips on her friend's collar. "When did you become a Captain?"

"About eight seconds before Admiral Toh gave me command of a Defiant class heavy escort," Tachion said, sitting the drink down in front of the Commander in blue. "You want to come play Doctor?"

Lifting her glass, Boyce toasted. "To a glorious death among the stars!"

"By the Great Bird, I hope that's not on the dedication plaque," Tachion said, raising his glass.

* * * *

Waiting to step off of the transporter platform behind a Bolian Marine Major, Tachion noticed the transporter operator cover his mouth and yawn in boredom. Something inside him, be it intuition, divine inspiration or the fickle hand of fate, prompted him to approach the man. "Excuse me, Petty Officer?"

The man snapped to attention. "Transporter Specialist First Class William Franklin, sir." He sounded off, probably assuming some anal Vulcan Captain was going to chew him out for relaxing on duty.

"At ease, Petty Officer Franklin. The jarhead went that way." Tachion laughed, nodding his head toward the departing Bolian Marine. "I couldn't help but notice you looked rather bored."

"Well, sir, yes." He said, then stopped, realizing what he was about to say. "I mean, well-"

"It's all right, Franklin. In fact, I was wondering if maybe you would be interested in a shipboard assignment. Brand new ship of the line."

* * * *

As he made his way through Spacedock, his thoughts turned to the next individual he was going to recruit: Lieutenant Vor, currently assigned to Spacedock's External Tactical Operations Department.

In the final months of the Vigilant's career, a young Klingon Defense Force Weapons Officer had been assigned to the ship as part of the Officer Exchange Program. Coarse and short-tempered, Vor was exceptional at his duties, but wallowed in his warrior pride. He snubbed orders from non-Command and Security personnel, so much so that Tachion had been forced to take drastic measures.

While enroute to Starbase 39 aboard the Himori, Tachion had convinced him to apply to Starfleet Officer Candidate School. The Klingon Defense Force had agreed to release Vor from service and the young warrior had received a commission a few months later.

After ascertaining Vor's position from the station's computer, Tachion headed for the nearest turbolift.

Early in his career, Tachion had been an attach‚ at the UFP Embassy on Quo'nos and while there, had learned much about Klingon culture, as well as being adopted into a small Klingon house. A remarkable feat, seeing as how he was half Romulan and the Klingons feelings after Narenda III and Khitomer.

He'd had Vor relieved from bridge duty and reassigned to torpedo maintenance. Two weeks after doing so, and knowing the Klingon was suffering, he'd approached him.

"Lieutenant Vor, how are you doing in maintenance?" Tachion asked as the Klingon stood in front of him in his ready room.

"If this was a Klingon ship I would march onto the bridge and stab Lieutenant Gertek and tacked the position of Tactical officer my self." Vor snarled

"That's actually an improvement I believe, over the attitude you were displaying that got you removed from bridge duty Lieutenant." Tachion said. "However, I do feel that you need some remedial Starfleet instruction before reassuming such a position."

Tachion waved to a trio of hardbound books laying on the desktop. "These are three books that are part of the fundamental curriculum inherent to all Starfleet officers, regardless of branch. But, since they all have implications for military use, I think you'll find them refreshing."

"Sun Tzu's the Art of War, Federation Tactics Textbook, and General Korrd's biography." Tachion said "Now, take care of those books. They are my personal ones. Dismissed Lieutenants."

The ploy had not worked exactly as planned, but Vor had shown a bit more respect for those around him after the incident. And Tachion was glad. His other option was to go to his quarters, get his dk'tahg and challenge the Klingon to a duel.

And in the battle that had ended the Vigilant's career, Vor had been back at Tactical.

* * * *

And there he was, in one of the massive space station's replimat's, staring at a replicator, dk'tahg at his side.

"Are you planning on stabbing the replicator, or are you going to order something?"

Turning, the short, stocky Klingon found himself face to face with a stern looking Starfleet Captain. "Skipper!" Vor exclaimed, slamming a closed fist to his chest, the traditional salute of the KDF. "My heart sings to find you well Skipper. And promoted!"

"I have ship, Vor." Tachion said bluntly, which was the best way to deal with Vor. The Klingon hated politicians, red tape and beating around the bush. "I don't need a security chief."

The Klingon's face darkened, but Tachion kept going, not allowing him the chance to speak. "What I do need is a Weapons Officer. You have anything more interesting to do?"

* * * *

After Vor had left to request a transfer from his CO and pack his belongings, Tachion had made his way down to the main shuttle deck. Shuttles of both Starfleet and civilian design were scattered around the massive area with technicians crawling over them like ants.

Having found the flight deck officer on duty, Tachion was given permission to use an older executive inter-system shuttle.

High on impulse speed but lacking warp, it was designed to carry VIPs throughout the Sol system rapidly. He declared his destination as Utopia Planitia, then to Jupiter Station before returning. The shuttle left Spacedock toward the shipyards in orbit of Mars.

Williams noticed a slight taper to his ears. `Half Vulcan," he thought to himself as he stepped into the small office.

Seated behind a desk was a humanoid Captain smiling, looking every bit like one of the Human/Vulcan hybrids who embraced their emotions. "Lieutenant Commander Christoffer Williams, Intruder Response Team Leader," Tachion read from his monitor. "You graduated 25th from the Academy in `64. Subsequently assigned to Deep Space Four, coincidentally where you were raised and both your parents were still serving. Actually, both of them have served there since you were born."

"After four years and making Lieutenant you transferred to the USS Adriatic as Assistant Chief of Security. Decorated with the Gold Palm for staying behind on an away mission against overwhelming odds while the rest of the team headed back for the beam out point."

"After six weeks in the infirmary on Starbase 34 you were given the post you now hold and made Lieutenant Commander last year after aiding Commander Kiva in uncovering an R&D researcher who was attempting to give the Maquis the specifications necessary to construct quantum torpedoes."

"As I'm sure you know the Federation is on collision course for a war with the Dominion. I've just been given command of a ship on practically no notice." Tachion said. "In light of the recent incident at Utopia Planitia and my prior experience with Commander Kiva, I want you on my crew. I've been given a certain amount of leeway as to my choices, but I'm on a tight schedule. If you agree, you will meet with me and the rest of the crew at the London Shipyards in the BeTau Sector, as Chief of Security."

* * * *

"Commander Kiva, report to conference room seventeen."

Turning to his laboratory assistant, a Second Year Hallian Cadet, Kiva clicked out orders to be carried out on the experiment. The universal translator installed on the drone's comm badge translated the orders from a series of S'Silvekian clicks to Federation Standard.

"Aye sir," the Hallian said, then bent over the readouts of the experiment.

Skittering out of the lab, Kiva hurried toward the nearest turbolift.

* * * *

Having been granted the use of a conference room aboard Jupiter Station, Tachion sat calmly looking over an engineering report on the USS Defiant written by Chief Petty Officer Miles O'Brien of Deep Space Nine. He sat the PADD down as he remembered when he'd met Kiva, four years before...

Smoke filled the bridge as the Borg cube filled the Endeavor's viewscreen. The Saratoga exploded on it, mere seconds after a dozen or so escape pods had sped away.

Emergency lighting created shadows as a medical personnel stormed the bridge. Two of them knelt beside the limp form of Captain Amasov in front of the Command chair, where he'd been pitched during the last hit the ship had took from the Borg.

Wincing as his old shoulder wound acted up after being slammed to the deck, Tachion waved off one of the medics as he got to his feet.

He heard the high pitched clicks of the ship's insectoid XO giving orders before they were translated by the ship's computer.

`I'm only here as a Strategic Operations Officer advisor and a damn lot of good I've done so far against the Borg. Let the XO have the ship,' Tachion thought to himself as he manned the vacant Tactical station. "Tactical standing by, Commander," he said. "Phasers still off-line, but we do have forward and aft photon torpedo launchers."

"Thank you, Commander Tachion," Kiva clicked. "Conn, on my mark come full about and set courzzz for the far zide of Venuzzz, warp two. Their target izzz Earth, not uzzz. We will await the rest of the Third Fleet there. Tactical, lay down a spread of photon torpedoezzz to cover our retreat."

"Aye, Commander" Tachion said, targeting the cube.

"Commander Kiva, how have you been?"

Seated at the head of a long table, Tachion shook the offered mandible of the insectoid S'Silvekian. "Very well and congratulations to you, Captain Tachion. I appreciate your help in allowing several cadets to attend your courzzze via zubspazzze while they continued their field training ztudiezzz here aboard the ztation."

"Field training is valuable for all officers, Commander, regardless of branch. Sometimes its Sciences or Medical that bring a crucial element to the bridge in a hostile situation." Tachion said, smiling. "Which is one reason I'm here. I know that you've already served as an executive officer and are awaiting your own command. But at the moment I need an XO and a Science officer, both positions which you can fill for me in the interim."

As the insectoid pondered the offer, Tachion continued. "I know as well as you do that there are some in admiralty who think you should have kept the Endeavor in the fight at Wolf 359 instead of falling back to the far edge of the system to await the rest of the Third Fleet. I supported your decisions to disengage then and I still believe it was the right thing to do, as later evidence proved.

I've got a gut feeling those are the same Admirals that are stalling Personnel. They're saying that you're distancing yourself from Command and going back to the Science Branch the longer you're on this station, Commander. But if you were to take an XO position during the shakedown of a new starship, they wouldn't be able to say much, now would they?"

"Right you are, Captain." Kiva clicked. "Which zip are you being given?"

* * * *

"Have a seat, Cadet Cowin," Boyce said, reading off the monitor on Tachion's desk. "It says here you finished second in Emergency Medical Treatment course, as well as achieving high marks in the majority of your Medical Sciences classes."

"Yes, ma'am," the young blonde woman said, taking the offered seat. "Excuse me, Commander, but is Commander Tachion going to be here, or have you been assigned as my new advisor?"

"It's actually Captain Tachion now, and no Cadet, I'm not your new advisor. I've been assigned as CMO of a new starship. Captain Tachion recommended you to me as my assistant."

Cowin eyes went wide. "Ma'am, I'm not even going to the Medical Academy! How can I be the assistant to a Commander on a ship that size?"

Boyce smiled. "I don't think that will be a problem with a medical department consisting of four humanoids, do you?"

* * * *

Having returned his shuttle to Spacedock, Tachion beamed down to the Academy and headed for his office. He was certain Toh had already informed the Commandant of his new orders, so all he had to do was clean out his office, then catch an air tram to Orlando and let his landlord know that Starfleet Moving Services would be arriving to pack his belongings.

As he walked, he saw Cadet Spencer Stone standing puzzled as the Academy's groundskeeper, old Boothby, walked chuckling. Boyce had said she wanted to meet with Cowin before having her as part of her medical staff, which left this one to him.

"Having problems, Mr. Stone?" Tachion asked.

The half Vulcan cadet turned to see who had spoken.

"Captain Tachion," he said. "Congratulations on your new assignment. My father informed me via subspace an hour ago. He has a former shipmate from the Pompeii in Personnel."

Tachion smiled. "Thank you, Mr. Stone. Actually, there was something I wanted to talk to you about. Do you have a few minutes?"

* * * *

All in all it had been a productive day. Having found out about his command at 2234 hours the night before, he'd managed to gather his XO, Science, Weapons, Medical and Security Officers as well as assistants for two of them, plus a transporter operator, and still make it home by 2213.

After a quick shower, Tachion sat on his couch and began going through a stack of PADD's. The technical manual on the Defiant class, current BeTau Sector politics, and many other topics were vying for his attention. As was currently the door chime.

"You were actually thinking of taking off on a starship without me, Skipper?!"

Throwing his hands up in mock defense as he was forced backed into the condo by an angry looking Tellarite, Tachion laughed. "No, no, I wasn't, Senior Chief. I just didn't want to disturb you while you were reaming recruits up on the Great Lakes."

The Tellarite snorted as he made his way into the kitchen carrying two sapphire bottles. In the doorway stood Boyce, a smile across her face. "I ran into T'nis while I was in Chicago visiting an old flame," she said, stepping in. "I mentioned your promotion and he asked if you'd gotten a command yet. So, here we are with three bottles of Bombay Sapphire Gin." She handed him one.

"Let's drink."

Senior Chief Kolp emerged from the kitchen w three glasses filled with ice. "If her Medical skills are improving this well, Skipper, there's no way I'm not coming along."

* * * *

Cracking an eye open, Tachion's sensitive ears tried to ascertain the sound that had rousted him from sleep. Kolp was snoring loudly in the recliner while Boyce snoozed quietly on the couch. Rolling out of his bed, Tachion went to the door and opened it. "What?" he said hoarsely as the light of the Saturday morning sun caused him to squint.

"Gedna, I can't believe you haven't contacted me in two days!" a whiny, high-pitched voice screamed. "My father informed me of your promotion, and that you were getting a ship. You should have been celebrating properly in San Francisco with me, your girlfriend, not holed up in your condo doing whatever it is you've been doing over the past few days."

Wondering if she could smell the alcohol on his breath as he spoke, Tachion muttered, "I've go a lot of catching up to do on technical details, Lisa. I don't have much time for anything else."

Pushing past him, he heard her take a deep breath and could imagine the look on her face as she saw his houseguest.

"Technical details!" she exclaimed, pointing at Boyce.

"Quiet, Lisa," Boyce mumbled with her eyes still closed. "We're professionals. We'll be up at the crack of noon. Maybe..."

"My father will hear about this, Gedna!" With that, the blonde stormed out of the condo.

"Too bad the doors didn't slide together on her ass," Boyce murmured.

"What in the four quadrants was that?" Kolp asked, wiping his snout.

"Our beloved Skipper's girlfriend, and only child of Rear Admiral Christopher Decker." Boyce laughed, pulling her blanket over her head. "Can we get some coffee?"

"We only went out on four dates, Senior," Tachion said, ordering a trio of coffees from his replicator.

Kolp took the mug from Tachion and sniffed it. "One of Deict's blends I'll wager," he said.

Tachion nodded, sitting a mug down on the table in front of the blanket shrouded mass of his CMO.

"Her dad gonna make trouble for you?

"I doubt it. He's Chief of Staff for Fleet Admiral Collins. Not in any real position to do much."

"That'd be the Twentieth Fleet, in the Bolarus Sector, right?" Kolp asked, taking a healthy swig of the black elixer.

Tachion nodded again as he sipped his coffee. "From what I've been told we'll be joining the First Fleet, out on the Neutral Zone. I don't think they want to send me back out on the Cardassian border with a heavily armed ship at the moment."

"Especially with the Maquis running around in the DMZ." Kolp looked at him with a glimmer in his eyes. "I've got three weeks left of training before my division graduates, Skipper. So, what kind of ship is she?"

Taking one last look around the condo, Tachion sighed. He'd never really felt at home anywhere but in a dilithium mine or the bridge of a starship before. But having lived here in Florida for the last five years he'd grown attached to the small, one bedroom place.

But he knew his destiny lay among the stars, not in a bachelor pad in the Florida Keys. With that thought he tapped his comm badge.

* * * *


The balding, stocky Lieutenant Commander stepped off the transporter pad of the Crusader. He passed a thermos bearing the logo of a self-sealing stem bolt company into his other hand so that he could shake hands with Tachion. Boyce nodded half-heartedly in greeting. Vor smiled.

"Ged, when are you going to tell me what in the hell is going on? I was EVA doing a calibration on the upper docking hatch when I was told to standby for your transmission three days ago." Deict said, setting his duffel bag on the ground. "I packed all my stuff and here I am to serve under your command again. I'm going to assume that new pip means this Excelsior type two is yours, right?"

"Not quite, this is just our ride." Tachion said, leading the him to a turbolift, "You just became Chief Engineer of the Defiant class USS Lionheart, NCC-74208."

"What is it with you and escorts, Ged?" he laughed as the party left the turbolift.

"Actually, he's moved on to Admiral's daughters and innocent young cadets." Boyce put in.

* * * *

"You know, people are going to talk if you start visiting my quarters in the middle of the night Ged."

Rolling his eyes, Tachion pushed past Boyce and made his way to the replicator and ordered a pair of drinks. Handing one to her, he passed to look out the port hole at the stars rushing past.

"What's gotten in to you?" Boyce said, tasting her drink. "Least you didn't order synthehol."

Turning to face his long time friend, Tachion set his drink down, untouched.

"Let'em talk Renee'. I don't really care about any of them." Tachion pointed out the viewport. "I'm just worried about the way this thing is turning out."

"Wait, you're given command of a ship and promoted, have the ability to pick your entire crew, and now you're questioning it?"!" Boyce doubled over laughing.

Pulling strands of jet black hair out of her face, she met his eyes as he looked down ate her. "I'm not sure what's eating at you Ged, but look around you. We're gearing up for a war here, if not with this Dominion from the Gamma Quadrant, then more than likely a much larger, and better armed Borg threat. Then there's still the Cardassians and the Romulans."

"This is no picnic we're going to. We're going to war, somewhere my old friend. And someone from up high as elected you to be one of our leaders." She said, emptying her glass.

* * * *

"Welcome aboard Captain."

Stepping off of the Totem's transporter pad, Tachion took the offered paw of the Commander Morket and shook. "Thank you, Commander. It's nice to be back on a Merced class again," he said as a crewman grabbed his duffel bag. "Makes me miss the Vigilant."

"My understanding is the Defiant class has a smaller crew by thirteen," Morket said, leading the four officers towards the transporter room doors and tapping his comm badge. "Morket to bridge, Captain Tachion and party are onboard, set course for Starbase 315, warp six point five."

"Captain, I was hoping that you could join me for dinner in my quarters this evening. Perhaps we could discuss some of the finer points of Merced and other escorts in battle."

"I'd be delighted, Commander." Tachion said. "But first, if we could find my quarters? I could really use a head break."

* * * *

The door chime sounded as Tachion emerged from the head, causing him to hurriedly secure the front of his uniform. "Enter," he said as he finished.

A dark skinned, short haired human woman entered. "You wished to see me Captain Tachion?" she asked.

"Yes, I did Lieutenant Sullivan." Tachion said, gesturing to a seat at the table in the his guest quarters. "Have a seat, I would like to talk to you for a few minutes."

"You've had an impressive tour here on the Totem, Lieutenant. And before that you were received commendations for your work at Mission Ops aboard the USS Gandhi."

"Yes sir," Sullivan replied, sitting across from him at the table. "Are you an investigator with the Judge Advocate Corps sir?"

Smiling Tachion shook his head. "Why, have you done something Sullivan?"

"Not that I'm aware of sir, but this is how I'd imagine them trying to get me to implicate myself."

"Well, I'm not. I'm a starship Captain with an opening for an operations Manager. You interested?"

* * * *

Trying not to wince Nekrot tore into his extremely rare steak, Tachion shifted his peas on his plate with a fork. Reaching for his glass of wine, he smiled at his host after he swallowed. "I was wondering Commander, if you could do me a favor?"

Wiping a white furred paw over his bloody mouth, Nekrot snorted. "I will do what I can Captain, but I would think you've got about everything you could want at the moment."

"Lieutenant Andrea Sullivan, your Assistant Chief of Operations." Tachion said, sliding a PADD across the table. "She's got more than the qualifications I'm looking for, and she's the same rank as you Operations Officer. She's eventually going to transfer anyway, why not now, while you can get to a starbase and recruit yourself a replacement of your choice, instead of whoever Personnel decides to stick you with?" I asked you here for information on strategies for escorts Captain, yet here you are instructing me in strategies on Starfleet politics!" Nekrot roared. "But it is a good strategy Captain Tachion, I'll give you that."

"Gedna, call me Gedna. We're both starship commanders, you don't need to stand on formality." Tachion said, stabbing a hunk of steak with his fork and sticking it in his mouth. "So, do you think you can spare her?"

"On one condition, Gedna." Nekrot laughed. "You tell me the what really happened with the Vigilant, not the dry, official reports from Command."


* * * *

"Bridge to Captain Tachion,"

"Tachion here," he said, tapping his comm badge in reply to the page as he set aside the PADD containing technical info on the Lionheart's warhead module.

"Sir, we will be arriving at Starbase 315 in ten minutes. Commander Nekrot was wondering if you'd like to be on the bridge."

"Inform the Commander that will not be necessary, but I would appreciate it if my officers would be informed to gather in transporter room three."

"Aye, sir. Bridge out."

* * * *

Boyce turned as Tachion stepped out from the turbolift.

"Nice to see you out of bed, Skipper," she laughed where she was examining the transporter controls, much to the worry of the crewman who was supposed to operate them.

Stepping onto the transporter platform, Tachion said, "C'mon, Roger, you've got your own transporter to play with now."

"Sir, would you and your officers like to be beamed directly to the Lionheart's bridge?" the young Crewman asked as Deict relinquished his post to him.

"Crewman, Defiant's are constructed so you can't beam into the bridge module," Deict told him as he stepped onto the transporter platform between Tachion and Sullivan. Boyce and Vor were in the back trying not to laugh.

"The transporter area of the dry-dock will be fine, Crewman," Tachion smiled. "Energize."

On the center table lay a gold plaque, there was no mistaking what it was. Looking down upon it, Tachion read the quote from the Lionheart's dedication plaque:

"I have no wish to have any association with a ship that does not sail fast, for I intend to go into harm's way. - John Paul Jones."

"Roger, this is the first order of business," Tachion said, pointing at the plaque. "Bring it along."

"Aye, Skipper," Deict said as he and Vor lifted the plaque.

Sullivan scooped up the four bolts and drill lying next to it.

"Gentlemen and lady, I believe we have a ship to see."