As the transportation came through, Captain Harry Kim stepped forward to met his new First Officer of the USS Voyager.
“Rachel! Welcome aboard Voyager. Or I should say, welcome home, Commander!”
“Thanks, Captain, it’s good to be here.”
Their conversation continued down the corridor, as they made their way to the bridge.
“Are you ready for your first mission as a Commander and First Officer?”
“I think so. Big shoes to fill so to speak! Voyager has always scared me a little, to be honest.”
“Nonsense Rachel! You’ll be fine! Your one of Starfleet's best! 24, and already holding a command mission! It’s in your blood, literally!”
“I know. But it still doesn’t ease the nerves, Harry,” she spoke as they entered the turbolift.
“Deck one. Though, I was surprised they assigned you to this mission if you know what I mean.”
“I guess they thought it would be an easy first First Officer assignment, Captain.”
“Easy Rachel! Voyager will get you back for saying that. It got me as a young Ensign.”
Harry and Rachel were greeted by the bridge crew as they stepped out of the turbolift.
She immediately recognized some familiar faces.
Two in particular.
At the helm, Commander Lieutenant Naomi Wildman.
Naomi was significantly older and more mature than Rachel. Naomi, the first child born on Voyager, had always wanted to be a Captain one day. But not just any Captain, Voyager's Captain. While in the Delta Quadrant, she served as Voyagers unofficial Captain's assistant.
But surprisingly, Rachel, born six years after Naomi, was on the road to beating her to it, but Rachel had more than skills on her side. Naomi, however, was happy, cruising her way up the chain of command and enjoyed, surprisingly, piloting Voyager.
Next to Naomi sat Lieutenant Miral Paris, assisting at the helm. Miral never wanted to join Starfleet, but followed the family tradition and joined anyway. 9 months older than Rachel, Miral never was keen to move up the ranks, and so she doesn’t see herself moving on from the helm any time soon.
They were both some of Rachel’s closest friends. She had grown up with them, gone through the academy with them, and now would be serving with them.
Harry conducted formalities, introducing his First Officer, before calling in the senior officers to the briefing room.
Rachel took her seat by Captain Kim’s side. To say she was nervous about this mission was an understatement. So much was at stake.
“Good morning all,” he began. “As many you are aware, our mission is to venture to the border of the Alpha Quadrant to retrieve a much loved Starfelt Captain. Two weeks ago, on a lone away mission, Voyager’s former Captain and First Officer, the now retired, Captain Chakotay was abducted by unknown aliens. No contact has been established, so we have been sent to retrieve him. Our orders remain clear, we have been told by Headquarters that we must take all action necessary to retrieve Chakotay. Naomi, I have sent the coordinates we have been given to the helm. Dismissed.”
The officers quickly hurried out to begin their orders.
“Commander, a word.”
“How are you feeling Rachel?”
“My nerves are growing, but I’ll handle them.”
“If you need a break at any time, I’ll understand.”
“Thank you, I appreciate it but I’ll be fine. My job comes first.”
“I have heard that one before. Just remember to put yourself first, okay?”
“Promise me, Rachel. You're a good officer. I questioned Starfleet when they assigned you to this but I trust this is the right decision.”
“Naomi, how far away till Starfleet’s recommended coordinates?”
“30 mins Sir.”
Harry leaned into the command console, “After two weeks, it’s down to this Rachel.”
She breathed in sharply as her eyes stared at the helm.
“Anything out there?”
“That’s strange, don’t you agree Commander?”
“Yes. There should at least be a warp trail.”
“Something's not right here. Yellow alert. I want every possible scan done. This doesn't add up. I’ll be in my ready room, Commander, you have the bridge.”
Her nerves increased as Harry stood up from his chair.
Without warning, the ship shook. Harry’s body went to be supported by the railing.
A spark of light flooded the bridge.
When it subsided, Rachel looked up to where Harry was standing, but, he was gone.
“What happened! Report. The Captain? Can we find his life signs? Someone.”
There was silence on the bridge.
“Commander, I...he… I don’t understand.”
“I think I’m picking up a ship on long range sensors.”
“Think! Lieutenant what do you mean you think!”
“Commander, If I may.”
“Yes Seven please, I need your logic right now.”
“I believe the aliens that took Commander Chakotay might be responsible. During the attack, Chakotay’s life signs appeared on my console briefly. It is possible they have taken the Captain as well.”
“Let’s hope so. Commander Wildman, set a pursuit course, warp 8.”
Rachel’s hand ran across her temple. A headache was brewing. She desperately wanted another coffee.
All the action they had just faced disappeared.
“Well, if everything is fine right now, I’m going to my quarters. Naomi, I guess you have the bridge, Miral you've got the helm.”
Her body almost fell to the ground once the turbolift doors shut in front of her. She was alone, on a mission that was somewhat personal, with no mentor. She hated ordering her friends like that.
A tough decision faced her.
A warm bath and two more coffees did nothing to ease her pain.
“Rachel to Naomi”
“Sorry, I hope I didn’t wake you.”
“No, just getting back to my quarters actually, what can I do for you?”
“I’d like to speak to you and Miral in my quarters.”
“Of course, we’re on our way.
Rachel had made a decision and she knew what she needed to do.
The chime to her door rang.
“Rachel, how are you faring?”
“I’ve been better Naomi. But let’s face it. We don’t how long we could be searching for the Captain, so some changes are going to be needed around here.”
“I guess, it leaves me in the position of acting Captain. Naomi, you have always wanted to be the Captain’s assist, well now you’ve got it. The First Officer's seat is yours. So Miral, you’ve got the helm. Understood.”
“0700hrs on the bridge, we will make the announcement.”
Rachel barely got any sleep.
As she stepped out of the turbolift, the bridge crew rose.
“Rachel, the bridge’s comm system has been put through to the whole ship.”
She nodded in Naomi’s direction.
“As you all are aware, Captain Harry Kim has been taken by the aliens we believe took Captain Chakotay. We will do everything we can to find them both. Some changes have been made to compensate for this. Lieutenant Miral Paris will take the helm, With Commander Naomi Wildman taking the First Officer’s position, leaving me as acting Captain.”
She stared down at the Captain’s seat.
She looked towards Naomi who was smiling.
Naomi knew what taking that seat meant to Rachel.
“Lieutenant Paris will remain on our previous pursuit coordinates at warp 8. Your orders remain the same.”
Before ending the transmission, Rachel took the seat.
Grinning, she finished with, “Janeway out.”
The next generation had taken control of Voyager.