Captain Tracey of the USS Exeter pinched the bridge of his nose, near hard enough to leave a bruise.
“Ma’am, I don’t know how else to reassure you that we are in fact a Federation vessel whose intent is not to harm, but to help you.” He said to the woman whose face was currently on the viewing screen.
Her jaw clenched and she angrily tossed her dark curls over her shoulder. “Sir, I get that you are frustrated, and I get that I haven’t put you in a good position… that is, if your intent is true.”
“But?” asked the captain. He could hear it in the tone of her voice.
Her green eyes flashed, and then suddenly her shoulders slumped as she sighed. “But, the truth is you have found a group of people not likely to trust those they don’t know for a long while.” She rubbed her head, and smoothed her hair back. Her manner was not of one trained to be a leader, not confident and calculated. No, her manner was simpler. It was of a woman who cared, and of a person suddenly thrust into the path of leadership. “Alright, how about a compromise?”
A compromise. Letting out a breath of relief, the captain leaned forward. Maybe –finally- the situation can be resolved. “What kind of compromise are we talking about?”
“I will give you a list of names.”
In a far different place, Admiral Pike finally allowed himself to smile as he looked at the woman on the screen in front of him. “We found them. We finally found them.”
Nia’s breath left her in a rush. “All of them?” She asked quietly.
The admiral shook his head. “Our sensors failed to pick up the full group, but the leader has admitted to some casualties. We don’t have a full account.”
“Leader?” Nia asked, surprised. She wondered who had stepped up to that plate.
He glanced at the transmission on the PADD in his hands. “A Doctor Wena Verde.” At the hitch in Nia’s breath, he looked up again. “I take it you know her?”
Nia nodded. “Yes, sir. Very well. When will they be brought home?”
Pike sighed. “Therein lies the rub. Dr. Verde doesn’t trust anyone on the Exeter, and has requested for a familiar face to be brought to them. You, Miss White, will need to travel with a starship to aid in the rescue effort.”
Surprise laced her features for a brief moment, before a shudder of relief passed through her. While her friend was likely being severely overcautious, Nia understood and was grateful. Wena knew what she was doing, and even if she didn’t Nia trusted her judgment. If Wena wants a familiar face, then she was going to get one.
“When do I leave, Admiral?”
The bustle to get the ship ready for takeoff was surprising. So much effort had been put in prior to fix all the damages from the Nero incident, now nearly three months past, that the captain of the Enterprise had expected to have a smooth an uncomplicated takeoff for the following five year mission.
He really should have known better. Kirk settled on the bridge as he thought over the past few months, and then the upcoming mission. There had been many delays in getting the bird ready to be up and flying again, and extensive interviewing of the crew to ensure that only the most necessary of actions had been taken. Eventually, all the right officials were appeased, and Captain Pike was promoted to Admiral.
Then, and only then, was Kirk promoted to Captain of the USS Enterprise and given orders for the ship’s voyage into uncharted territory. To discover new planets, people, and life in general. To go into virgin territory, a place where no one else had gone.
Only now, that was being delayed. A priority rescue mission popped up, a group of stranded settlers on the edge of uncharted and charted territory. Territory that was a good month away.“Welcome aboard the Enterprise, Miss Sargent.”