Star Trek Outardly Mobile - The Acton
Jay P. Hailey
Delo Maran looked at the ship floating in the space dock outside the huge transparent aluminum windows.
"What do you think of her?" Vontoer Bach asked.
Maran knew that Bach was proud of his recent ship building. He viewed it as a way to enhance the status of the Great Spiral sector. Maran smiled lightly. She enjoyed Bach's energy, his ambition. His no holds barred patriotism. A lesser man than Bach would be a conniving, scheming, political animal seeking his own advancement at the cost of the Great Spiral.
At the same time he was like a little boy showing off his first attempt at a shop project.
Maran made her smile wider "She's beautiful." Maran could care less about the ship. She enjoyed Bach's affection for the thing.
"She's a Niagra class cruiser. Originally there were only six of them built. They were considered half sized prototypes for the Galaxy class." Bach said.
Maran quirked an eyebrow. "That was some time ago."
"About thirty years." Bach said. A hint of bitterness crept into his voice "I asked for the jigs to make the Intrepid class, but they wouldn't turn loose of them."
"But this thirty year old ship..." Maran prompted. She felt a hint of bitterness herself. Since Starbase 94 wasn't in what was called a strategically sensitive area, all the tools and jigs to make advanced starships went to shipyards closer to the Klingons, Romulans and Cardassians.
Bach shook his head. "We're expected to support the Intrepids, though. We can build most of the systems. So this new girl was updated in the design stage. While you've been away at Earth, we've been busy."
"Someday..." Maran prompted. She loved to hear Bach say it,
"Someday they'll speak of Caractalla or Tallamatrix the way they speak of Earth or Vulcan now." Bach said.
Maran's smile became more sincere. Not only did Vontoer Bach believe he could move the center of the Federation, Which Maran found utterly charming, but so far he'd shown no sign that this might be out of his grasp. Once again Maran was deeply happy to have returned from Earth and her training there. Although it was nice to know that she could function as a Starfleet Officer on her own as well as by Bach's side, she really wanted to be near him.
"I believe they will." Maran said.
"This ship will be part of that." Bach said, looked at the new starship again. "Part of our future."
Maran looked at the new ship again. Every detail she could make out pleased her. The Bridge module and the lounge looked bright, new and modern. "How so?"
"Well, I mean ours in the larger corporate sense of the Great Spiral as a whole. She means trouble for the future of you and me."
Maran's blood ran cold. "How do you mean?"
Bach turned and look Maran in the face. "I need someone to command her I can trust, utterly."
"Are you going to ask me?" Maran said. She discovered some ambivalence within herself at the idea. Being Bach's right hand woman sounded satisfying in many ways. But command of a starship...
"Yes. That's exactly what I am going to do." Bach said. "Maran will you command her for me?"
Maran looked at him with bright eyes. She started to speak and stopped again.
"Will you command her for the Great Spiral?" Bach drove the final nail home.
"Oh, Bach." Maran felt tears begin to roll down her cheeks. To think that the man she loved trusted her so, and loved her so as to put her in the center seat of a starship "Yes." She straightened up and put her officer's face on. "Yes, Admiral, I will."
"Welcome, Captain." Bach said "To the USS Acton."
Maran found herself hoping that she'd prove worthy of Bach's trust.
"Do you think this will come between us, personally?" Maran asked.
"I know it will. Maran, this ship is not just a patrol cruiser, She's also an explorer. At first you'll be undertaking routine patrols like a destroyer squadron. But as time goes on, you're going to be one of the ships out on the frontier, pushing it back." Bach answered.
"I will miss you. But I won't let the time and distance separate us. You won't get away from me that easily, Bach."
He smiled "That's the way I like to hear you talk. Think you can find some time free for dinner this evening?"
Maran grinned brilliantly at the thought. Her trip to Earth and back had taken a long time. "I'm sure I can."