Star Trek: Defiant

Pilot Episode 1A

Written by Jeffrey Scott Bridges

The pages of the book, old and fragile, were turned gently by the reader. He was reclining in a chair behind a desk, and had his feet propped up. He wore the crimson-black uniform of the Command division of Starfleet, and there were four lackluster gold pips on his collar. Another page turned, and then another, the man's smile growing with each line he read. The book was one of his favorites, and just FAR better as a book, and not a holonovel....although, he mused, the holonovel was good as well. But the book was superior. He looked up towards the ceiling to ponder what he'd read for a moment, and just as he dropped hi head back down to resume his reading, the comm system crackled to life. The voice of his First Officer came over the channel.

"Sir," said the voice, "We have completed the pre-launch flight diagnostics, and everything has checked out. We've been cleared from Starfleet Command for departure. We only await your order."

"On my way, Number One," the captain replied. he glanced back downward at his book and sighed. It figured...right when he was really getting into it. "Inconceivable," he muttered to nobody in particular.

He placed the book back on his desk, next to a few others and many other personal items he had jad transferred over fropm his previous assignment. Yes, this was a new assignment for him....on an entirely new ship. The U.S.S. Defiant...not the prototype smaller one, but the full-size version. With a maximum crew capacity of 500. Yet his current crew count, including himself, was only.....18. Very large difference in those numbers, he thought. They were to pick up three more members fo his crew (His Counsellor, Chief Science Officer, and a Xenobiologist) who were transferring from Starbase 23 upon the Defiant's arrival. It was a long distance away, but through explored and friendly space. There shouldn't be any problems....

He wondered about running a ship meant for 500 with only 21 members, but he was assured and reassured that it WAS possible....a skeleton crew of 15 could run the ship well enough for a while, and here he had 18 (soon to be 21) so why woory, the bigwigs at Starfleet Comand had said. Yeah, right. He stood, tugged on his tunic to smooth out the little wrinkles and folds, and exited his ready room onto the bridge of the new Flagship of the Federation, the Defiant.

Captain Jeffrey Bridges walked purposefully to his center seat, and lowered hinmself in. he glanced around the bridge a few times...Jen Matute at tactical, Liz Shinika at the science station, John Hardin, the executive oficer rushing around checking up on everyone, making last minute corrections...Lieutenant Lebin at ops....

The captain called to the last person his eyes had rested on, Lieutennant Lebin. "Lieutenant, inform Starfleet Command that we are departing drydock."

"Aye, sir," came the Trill's curt reply.

The captain looked back to the helm, where the finest pilot in all Starfleet sat...Lieutenant Commander Chad Mackowick. Who better to be "behind the wheel" of Starfleet's NEW flagship? Mackowick, feeling the captian's gaze upon him, glanced over his shoulder and asked, "Heading, sir?"

The captain responded with just a hint of annoyance. he apparently was not too happy with their first assignment. "Set course for Starbase 23, Warp 4. However," he added as Mackowick began laying in the course on one of the panels in front of him, "Starfleet Command wants us to make a slight detour on the trip and cruise by the Klingon / Federation Neutral Zone."

As Mackowick laid in the new course, Lieutenant Commander Shinika turned to him. "They want to show-off the Defiant, don't they? Sort of a 'Look at our new gun-heavy, blast you out of the stars flahsip, and we're bound to make more, so don't mess with us,' thing, right?"

The captian smiled. El-Aurians....they just knew. "Pretty much," he replied, disgusted with it himself. Just a hint of the Defiant's power to try and scare the Klingons into possibly reconsidering their decisioon to break the treaty with the Federation. Funny, Starfleet has spent so many years studying the Klingons, and yet seemed to know virtually nothing about them. This would not scare a Klingon baby, let alone a warrior. All it would do is make them want to attack the ship in hopes of victory and glory, but that wasn't likely. it was more likely that they would die with honor, in battle, the way they all wanted to go. Just what this skeleton crew ship needed...ships full of Klingons with a death-wish attacking every which way they turned.

He reached up and tapped his commbadge, "Bridges to Laine..."

"Laine here, go ahead Jeffrey," she replied. She and the captain were quite close....intimate.

"I just thought you might like to be on the bridge for our departure. It is tradition that the senior staff aboard ship be on the bridge when the ship first leaves to join us?"

"I'd love to," she said with a smile. it was true, what the captain had said about tradition. But she knew him too well, could hear in his voice that he really wanted her there for this. It meant a lot to him.

"Great. Stop in engineering and bring Commander Bedard with you, if you don't mind. Bridges out." He glanced over at Hardin, "You invited Mr. Greer, I hope?"

Hardin nodded. "Yeah...I wouldn't want to face the consequences if I didn't," he said with a wide grin, which he quickly removed as he noticed Greer entering the bridge. The captain chuckled.

"Did I miss something?" Greer asked, as the rest of the bridge crew broke out into laughter.

"Don't worry about it, Greer...nothing of any importance," Hardin explained, hoping that Greer would buy it. After all, if Greer found out what was said, HE'D be the one who be stuck eating gruel and Vulcan soup for a week. And Vulcan soup, well....he didn't even want to think about it.

Greer narrowed his eyes to slits, and looked at Hardin suspiciosly, but said nothing. Inwardly, hardin sighed with relief as his tastebuds thanked him for being convincing enough to keep them away from that soup....

The captain and crew on the bridge waited a few more moments, until the turbolift doors opened and deposited Rael and Bedard onto the bridge. The captain smiled at them, and Bedard nodded a greeting in return, as he headed directly for the Engineering station to check on the matter / antimatter mixture rate one last time before the warp engines were engaged. The captain sighed....Bedard, the Bolian...wouldn't stop until he knew everything was perfect.

Rael walked over to the center of the bridge, and stood close behind the captain to his left, resting her right hand on his shoulder. The nerves in his shoulder came alive with the tingly feeling he got every time they touched. It made him feel warm, excited yet calm...empassioned. He said, loud enough for the entire bridge to hear, "Mr. Mackowick, take us out, one-quarter impulse."

A few soft beeps of acknowledgement from the computer were heard as Chad brought the impulse engines on-line, and the warp engines to stand-by. All eyes were on the main viewer, as the crew saw the drydock slip behind them and out of view.

"We are clear of the dock," Shinika informed the captain, after ckecking the sensors.

The captain took a deep breath. "Chad..." he said, and his hand moved forward with the gesture, a habit he had picked up from his friend, Jean-Luc Picard, "....Engage."

The stars changed from points to streaks as the Defiant's new warp engines came on-line for the first time, and the Defiant was gone.

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