Monday, June 14, 2010
New Rank, New Ship, New Assignment
Starfleet's newest captain looked back at her mentor, then looked down at her own drink. "It's a big responsibility for a simple doctor, sir."
"Yes, it is. But we have every confidence in you." Quinn reached out and clasped her hand. "I have every confidence in you. You're no simple doctor, uncovering the Reman involvement in the Hobus disaster, fighting off Klingons, Romulans, . . . even Hirogen. You've done great things for the Federation."
The admiral lowered his voice. "I don't think I need to tell you things are not going well for the Federation. We are fighting on multiple fronts. The Undine infiltration reaches deeper than even most of Starfleet knows."
Rowan shifted uncomfortably. "I've heard rumors."
"Trust me, the truth is even more disturbing than the rumors. You are not the only Starfleet officer to participate in missions that turned out to have been directed by Undine agents. We've had whole command crews replaced by Undine imposters. When you take command of La Gitana, you'll be accompanied by a platoon of MACOs."
Rowan picked up the PADD on the table, which had the her new ship displayed. "Sir, La Gitana is a research vessel. You expect us to fight a war?"
"So that's what our mission to Beta Ursae is about?" Rowan toyed with her glass, shaking her head.
Quinn made a dismissive gesture. "Oh, you'll have specific assignments from Captain Kurland of course. But your continuing secondary mission will be to detect and try to stop these incursions."
"We'll do our best, sir."
"In the meantime, enjoy shore leave while the final touches are being made to La Gitana. Your shakedown cruise will have to be on the way to DS9. It's not often that you get back here to Earth. Are you going to visit your hometown, your family?"
"I don't know. Father didn't want me to join Starfleet. He has made it hard to even think about going back."
"I understand. Life on a starship attenuates ties to the ground, any ground. Do what you think is best for you. But it may help to visit your father before that link becomes too tenuous."
"I'll consider it, sir."