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The Handover

Posted on Wed Jun 1st, 2016 @ 8:54pm by Captain Claudia Ainscow

Mission: S1E1 - Booby Trap
Location: USS Vindex, various
Timeline: Mission Day 1; 12:00

The brand new USS Vindex sat in Starbase Unity ahead of her first mission. The vessel had been delivered to the Gamma Quadrant just in time as just days before the Vindex arrived at Starbase Unity, the Consortium had taken control of and sealed the wormhole back to the Alpha Quadrant. The Vindex had always been intended to be permanently assigned to the Gamma Quadrant, however this recent development now meant that the remaining loyalist forces in the Gamma Quadrant were isolated from the rest of the Federation and unable to get word through to them, or receive any reinforcements. They were alone.

Despite the personal consequences that situation had for new Vindex's master, Commander Claudia Ainscow knew what she was signing up for when she accepted command of the Vindex just weeks before. She was certainly pleased with the Sovereign-class starship considering Claudia wasn't expecting to command a vessel so large in her career, never mind her first command being such a powerful and capable starship. Claudia had arrived in the Gamma Quadrant a week before her starship's arrival and stayed in quarters aboard Starbase Unity as she began to assemble her senior staff for the first time in her career. She had hoped to bring a couple of officers from the Endurance, however a number of them had already been reassigned or had chosen to remain aboard the starship Claudia had served aboard for just over a dozen years.

As she came aboard the Vindex for the first time in a shuttlepod, Claudia admired the sleek lines of the vessel that she was now in command of. At that particular time the Vindex's warp and impulse engines were powered down, something Claudia felt was a prudent course of action to take given it was unknown how long the vessel would be at Starbase Unity prior to departing. Claudia hoped it would only be a few days at the most, as she was eager to leave the starbase and embark on the Vindex's maiden voyage. The circumstances of her first command were slightly different than she expected, especially given the recent developments with the Consortium, however it was something that Claudia knew she was ready to take on.

The shuttle passed through the forcefield and into the shuttlebay, with the young pilot landing the Type 11 shuttle smoothly in its designated space. Claudia rose from her seat and collected her hand luggage from the seat next to her. Her personal belongings had already been transferred to the Vindex just after it had arrived, after finally being able to move aboard the starship and officially assume command instead of remaining on the starbase waiting patiently for her ship's arrival.

"Thank you Ensign, your piloting skills are far superior to mine" Claudia said.

Henley, the pilot, had been assigned as part of the Vindex's skeleton crew to deliver it to Starbase Unity. He had piloted the starship through the Gamma Quadrant, and hoped that he would get another opportunity to do so in the future.

"You're welcome Commander, any time. May I get your bags?" Henley replied.

Claudia smiled. "Thanks for the offer, but I'm alright. I'll get these to my quarters and get to the bridge"

Henley nodded and watched as Claudia disappeared from the shuttle and out towards the exit. He had previously served on a Nova-class starship, so the Vindex was a big step up for him. He was expecting to return to the Alpha Quadrant after delivering the Vindex to her destination, however given the present circumstances it seemed more likely that he would be remaining aboard the Vindex for the foreseeable future. It was a surprise, but a very welcome one.

Claudia made her way to the nearest turbolift and announced her destination as Deck 2, where her quarters were situated. Having seen the Captain's Quarters on the Endurance, she knew what to expect, and she was looking forward to making the more like home. The Vindex felt as new as it was, with the extra shine on the bulkhead panels very noticeable, at least to Claudia.

Once the turbolift arrived on the second deck, Claudia alighted and headed for her quarters. Having been on a Sovereign-class vessel for many years previously, she knew exactly where they would be. A short walk later, Claudia entered her new quarters for the first time. It still didn't feel real that they were her quarters and that she commanded the vessel that she was on that very moment, but Claudia knew that it would sink in soon enough. Once she had deposited her holdalls on her bed, Claudia checked to verify that all of her personal belongings had been delivered as she was promised. After verifying that was the case, Claudia decided to head up to the Vindex's bridge.

Once she was back in the turbolift, Claudia paused for a moment before she stated her destination.

"Bridge" Claudia requested.

A few moments later, the turbolift had whirred its way up one deck to the bridge, and the doors hissed open on the Vindex's command centre. It was a hive of activity, with many officers working the various stations positioned across the bridge. After one of the engineers who had accompanied the Vindex to the Gamma Quadrant spotted Claudia and the three gold pips on her collar, he announced her presence.

"Captain on the bridge" the engineer called out.

Claudia was slightly embarrassed by the engineer's announcement, it was certainly something she didn't feel was necessary to announce. Moments later, Claudia was face to face with the officer who had brought the Vindex to her destination, Commander Keith Briggs. Briggs was also an engineer, and would be leaving the vessel prior to its departure, remaining aboard Starbase Unity for the foreseeable future at least.

"Ah Commander Ainscow, nice to meet you" Briggs said, extending his hand to Claudia.

Claudia smiled and shook Briggs' hand firmly.

"Likewise Commander, thanks for bringing her here in once piece. How's she performing?" Claudia replied.

Briggs and his team had ironed out a couple of issues on the way to Starbase Unity, including finally managing to correctly align the Vindex's lateral sensor array, and he was pleased that the issues they had rectified had not reoccurred. This would allow the Vindex to depart whenever Claudia and her crew were requested to.

"Not bad at all, runs like a dream now my team has sorted out a few minor hiccups. She'll be ready to go on your command" Briggs responded, aware that now Claudia was here, he would have to hand over command of the Vindex to her.

Claudia smiled. She was pleased that the minor hiccups had been rectified, and that everything else was running smoothly.

"Speaking of which Commander, I'll do the honours for you" Briggs said.

Keith looked away from Claudia slightly and requested the computer transfer the command codes of the Vindex to Claudia.

"Computer, transfer all command codes to Commander Claudia Ainscow, voice authorisation Briggs-Gamma-4-5"

The computer replied moments later.

"Transfer complete. The USS Vindex is now under the command of Commander Claudia Ainscow"

Claudia smiled. "I relieve you Commander"

"I stand relieved" Keith responded.

Claudia and Keith shook hands again before parting ways, with Keith heading down to Engineering and Claudia towards her ready room. Upon entry, she noticed a model of the previous starship Vindex on a stand had been placed on the sofa. She collected the model and placed it on her desk, adjusting it until she was happy with its position. Claudia had researched the previous Vindex after accepting command of its namesake replacement, and was very interested in its history. Originally, Claudia hadn't planned on putting anything on her desk, but in this case she was happy to make an exception.

It still didn't feel real to Claudia, but now the important task of assembling a senior staff lay ahead of her. Her Executive Officer - a Vulcan by the name of T'Mia - had travelled with the Vindex to the Gamma Quadrant. Claudia had chosen the Vulcan because of her experience and felt that they would work well together as a command team. Firstly however a cup of tea was in order, then Claudia would go and find T'Mia to introduce herself.


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