Admiral Williamson steepled his fingers under his chin. I shuffled my feet, unnerved by his measuring stare.
“A most interesting report,” he said after a very lengthy silence. “Am I to understand that you have been granted the singular honor of receiving a Klingon warrior name?”
I blushed. The victory party on the bridge of the captured cargo ship had gotten slightly out of hand. Del’Brugado would never forgive us for the picture we’d sent long range to every contact listed in the ship records. The Klingons appreciated the joke.
“Klingons have a strange sense of humor, sir.”
“They claim it was your idea. They wanted you to have the credit.”
“That was generous of them.”
“They also requested you be sent as the Federation Ambassador to the Klingon Empire.” Admiral Williamson leaned back in his chair, rocking slightly. “I am almost tempted to send you.”
“I don’t know the first thing about diplomacy. I know supplies and a ship galley.” Me? Ambassador to the Klingons? I’d start a war within five minutes of arriving.
“We found a polite way to refuse. Tensions are high enough without adding you to the negotiation table.” He tilted his head, watching me like a bird eying a juicy worm. “Captain Herring requested you as his quartermaster. You are assigned to the Voyager. The refitting is almost complete.”
The Voyager, flown by Vasha and the handful of crew left aboard, had shown up just after Commander Carroll finished installing the remote driver for the cargo ship. We’d transferred prisoners to the Voyager and set course for Starbase 14 with the Galileo and the cargo ship.
“I’m afraid the Delphi project will have to be scrapped, though,” Williamson continued.
“What was Delphi?” I asked. He seemed in a mellow mood, maybe he’d answer.
“An experiment in AI controlled ships. We haven’t got the bugs worked out yet. So, your job is safe. We still need humans to fly our ships and humans require food. You have six hours before the Voyager leaves drydock. And, Stevens, prepare for a long flight. Captain Herring is investigating the marauders. They are too well organized for pirates.”
His chair thumped back into place as he bent over his paperwork.
I saluted the top of his balding head. Quartermaster on the Voyager under Captain Herring. What would he ask of me on the next mission? I shook my head, unable to even guess.
Personal Log 2-1: A New Assignment