USS Explorer


Changing Hands

Posted on Thu Jun 16th, 2022 @ 4:25pm by Fleet Admiral Charles Vance & Captain Hastios Patton
Edited on on Thu Jun 16th, 2022 @ 4:25pm

Mission: Prelude Mk 2 (Soft Reboot)
Location: Federation HQ, CinC Office

Staring out of the window at the abyss that was the artificial distortion field that enveloped them all. The sheer scope of using ‘docked’ ships to power the field sometimes even blew Hastios’ mind. The Maelstrom housed them, shielded them from outsiders and protected them from outside interference as they looked to recover still from the Burn.

Hastios had always found HQ to be quite cold and serious, nothing like the headquarters of old. He still remembered back in the 2900s when Earth was still a part of the Federation, Hells when there were still hundreds who were, and it was a vibrant place. It was full of excitement, knowledge and a care-free attitude almost. HQ now was serious, no nonsense where the very weight of the galaxy could be felt around every corner and under every bulkhead.

Admiral Vance had called him here. They’d known each other since Vance had been a Lieutenant on the USS Orville and he had watched him grow into the man that now led them at every turn, at every expense to living his own life.

Hastios had been in Starfleet now for 199 years now and it had been anything if not eventful.

He walked up to the desk that Vance’s yeoman sat at. “Is he in?” Hastios asked.

“Yes, Captain. He has been expecting you, please go right on in.” he spoke with assured confidence as he pressed a button to let the Admiral know he was entering.

Hastios let out a wry smile at the comment of Vance expecting him… as he should have given he’d essentially summoned him from his own ship, the USS Virgo.

It was a many times refitted older styled Intrepid class that Hastios had been in command of for the last 12 years. With it he kept the White Palm Raiders at bay, he had skirmishes with the Emerald Chain and pushed back those that tried to push back at the Federations, at Starfleet's want to help people in need.

As the doors gave their quiet swoosh Hastios moved inwards, his large frame obscuring the space behind him leaving nothing to the imagination as he strutted forward.

“Admiral, nice to see you again.” Hastios spoke with respect as he stood by the man's desk.

The Admiral was also staring out his window, much like Hastios had been not so long ago. As he turned a small smile formed on his face, a tired smile. The weight of so much for one man to bear, and often given his stubborn streak chose to do so alone. Rarely did he let people in, Hastios’ past with the man gave him more of a foot in the door than most.

“Has, it has been too long. Please, sit.” he said gesturing as a chair began to materialise in front of them both.

Hastios nodded and sat down. Vance often called his Has, a nickname of sorts he didn’t understand as he felt it was just as easy to say his full name. However, Humans had a need to shorten things and he had gotten used to it.

“We are always kept busy sir. If we give even an inch you know the Palm, or Chain… Hells anyone who can would pounce and take advantage.” Hastios replied.

Vance nodded knowing all too well that Hastios was right.

“It’s funny you say that…” he drifted off rather vaguely.

Hastios got a sense from the man that news was coming. He didn’t need his El Aurian empathic sense to tell him that. The man’s body language and pattern of speech was enough.

“Captain Dimlac of the Explorer has suffered quite extensive injuries as a result of the Explorer being hit by a subspace pulse near the planet Kaminar. He will not be returning to duty any time soon.” Vance said as he brought up a 3D holoimage of the Explorer.

“You are transferring me.” Hastios stated, not asked.

“She could use your guidance and steady hand, Has. She’s a constitution class, big, sturdy and reliable.”

“Sounds like what you used to use to describe me, Charlie.” Hastios joked.

“Well you are the most experienced Captain I have, 160 years or so as a commanding officer is nothing to scoff at.” Vance pointed out.

Hastios nodded.

“I have organised a small gathering from your crew of the Virgo later tonight. A farewell party, 12 years is a long time and you’ve seen most of them through a lot of their lives.” Vance spoke proudly. “Commander van der Berg insisted it be a free bar… I did remind him that we still do not take currency but I believe he was joking.”

Hastios chuckled, his XO did have a cheeky sense of humour. “Is he taking over command of the Virgo?” he asked.

Vance nodded. “It seemed only right. You had recommended him for command several times over the years but he seemed insistent on staying on with you. I know he is ready.”

“I get the feeling the chance of command is not just because of Captain Dimlac’s unfortunate injuries…” Hastios hinted with a leading comment.

“No… we feel we need a more imposing figure when dealing with the Chain and the White Palm. Giving you a ship with more firepower, with more ability helps push our agenda as well. It's all politics… but the real reason I have given you command is that we received a distress call from one of your old commands… the USS Attenborough.”

The words hung in the air. The Attenborough had been thought lost with all hands when the Burn flashed through the galaxy. Their mission at the time had been to study the turbulent planet, Praegus. An angry volcanic planet that emitted harsh radiation. Only a science ship with minimal crew was selected to study the phenomenon.

“How…? Where…” Hastios spoke, moving further to the edge of his seat. “Captain T’vol was in charge was he not?” he asked.

“He was, and still is. It was his voice on the distress call, albeit there isn’t a lot to work with. You’ll need to head to Praegus and see what you can find out.” Vance instructed rising from his chair.

Hastios followed suit and stood. “You can count on me sir, and the crew of the Explorer. We’ll bring them home.” he said puffing out his large chest in confidence.

“I know, Has. Stay safe.” he said sticking out his hand.

Hastios shook it and gave him a bow of his head before leaving the room.

The Attenborough, a violent volcanic planet with radiation and the unknown.

What could go wrong?