Personal log, Stardate 50924.4: I have arrived at my parents home extremely close to the Cardassian Border. Although my parents never fought against the Cardassians, and the System occupation, many abandoned the planet. Unfortunately, the Cardassians' new alliance with the Dominion has resulted in their untimely demise. I have made plans to evacuate my family's belongings. Because of the high threat in the area, I did not come along. I have brought my friend and shipmate, Ensign Sonya Fiehrer, just in case the Jem'Hadar came calling.
"There it is," Patrick said. "Let's get everything and get out of here. This isn't a happy homecoming."
"I understand, sir." Sonya replied as the pair approached the house.
The house was still standing after numerous attacks by the Jem'Hadar, but both knew that might not be the case for long as they entered the door. "I'll locate what I want to get out of here, you determine the coordinates," Patrick told Sonya.
"Aye, Commander," Sonya replied.
Second officer's log, Supplemental: Intrepid is patrolling the Cardassian border on the lookout for Jem'Hadar ships. We've heard about Commander Ingrum's mission to recover his family's heirlooms, and are keeping an eye on him.
"Sir," the slightly older ensign said to the young Jenna Carson, "I have a report saying that Hastings has been destroyed."
Oh, great, Jenna thought. Although she didn't always get along with Patrick, she had the utmost respect for him and was sorry to hear that the ship he served on was destroyed. "Keep your eyes on our home-salvagers."
"Aye, sir," the ensign replied.
"That should do it," Patrick said as he beamed the last of the items he wanted to remove onto the runabout.
"What is it?" Sonya asked.
"It's a late 20th century afghan. The cat portrayed here, Chessie, was a famous icon of the Chesapeake and Ohio railroad."
"All right," Sonya replied as she powered up the runabout engines. "Commander, I think you should take a look at this. It looks as if a runabout was downed."
Patrick viewed the monitor, "Let's get a visual. Take us to that location."
The view of the wreckage was enough to send messages of gloom to anyone's heart. "Sonya, scan for survivors, if there are any, beam them up, and get us out of here."
"Reading two survivors. Transporting."
Patrick watched as the two survivors beamed up huddled together. Patrick's heart melted at the sight of two lovers together. "I'm sorry to interrupt your togetherness, but this isn't exactly the best place to have a date."
"I have to agree, commander," The young man said, "I'm Lieutenant Bernie Tyler, USS Tian An Men, Roslyn and I were returning from shore leave when we were forced to dodge the Dominion and Cardassians. Unfortunately, our runabout came in the line of fire and we went down."
"Unfortunately, the Tian An Men has been lost, but I'll be sure to get the two of you out of here. I'm Commander Patrick Ingrum, welcome aboard the Neosho."
"Commander," Sonya said, "I'm reading unusual readings ahead, maybe a cloaked ship."
"Continue scanning, and open hailing frequencies just in case."
"Something's going on. Looks like a she's decloaking."
The group aboard the runabout watched in awe as a Federation starship decloaked in front of their eyes. "The registry reads USS Baldwin, NCC-2013," Roslyn noted.
"I'm pulling up Baldwin from the Starfleet Archives," Bernie added. "The only details I have say she was lost 65 years ago in this sector."
"It sounds like an early skirmish with the Cardassians" Patrick noted, "Sonya, take us into the shuttle bay. I want to investigate this further. Given Starfleet's ship shortage and the likelihood of full-scale war, they will want to put this ship back into service."
"Yes, Sir," Sonya proudly replied.
As the runabout approached the ship, Patrick connected the computer systems together. "Looks like we got an atmosphere in most of the ship, but the Bridge systems have been compromised. I say we set up shop in engineering." As soon as they boarded the ship, the crew headed directly to engineering. Although the ship had been hidden, the elderly systems were more or less intact. "It appears that this ship still has good bones," Patrick continued, "but that the main power generators need a jump start. Sonya, transfer power from Neosho" The lights and the main computer came on flawlessly; however, when Patrick checked the sensors, he saw trouble coming. "We've got bandits coming in. Red alert, battle stations," he replied.
"I have tactical. Looks like this ship still has its guns. Shields and phasers are online and there are photon torpedoes already in the chamber," Bernie replied.
"I have helm control," Sonya said. "The impulse engines are online. I will have warp drive in a few seconds."
"Here they come," Roslyn said. The ship rocked with the hit of the Dominion ships. "Direct hit. Shields have no effect," Bernie replied.
Bernie directed every ounce of power he had into the phaser array as he fired on the Dominion ships. Even he was surprised at the result, "Direct hit. Major damage to the enemy ships."
"Then let's get out of here while we have the opportunity. Set a course for Deep Space Nine, Warp 5."
"Ready, sir," Sonya replied.
Acting Captain's log, Stardate 50925.2: I have been studying the history of this ship. Some of the details are a little sketchy, but I did find the answer to one big question.
"Apparently, Starfleet at the time was still wary of the Cardassians. A secret agreement between Starfleet Intelligence and the Romulans allowed Baldwin to be equipped with a cloaking device."
"Similar to the current agreement regarding a cloaking device aboard the Defiant," Admiral Ross noted. "Commander, I am sorry to bring you more bad news, I have received word that the Hastings has been destroyed."
"Understood, sir" Patrick answered stoically.
"Based on what you've ascertained, it sounds like Baldwin is in good enough shape to be put into service. I'm making the Baldwin yours. Captain, your current orders are simple: get the ship to D.S. Nine for a new bridge module, then proceed to Starbase 212 for a more thorough refit."
"Thank you, sir," Patrick replied. Despite having just lost his parents and his former ship to enemy action, he knew that having his own command was a great responsibility, and perhaps the best way to honor his fallen friends and family.
"I understand that you weren't on the command track originally. We have several ships that are nearly ready, and they will need new captains. It's at the point where some we might be offering commands to current second officers. I have one such candidate in mind."
"I'm all ears," Patrick replied.
Admiral Ross continued, "The current second officer of the Intrepidhas been on a command path since she graduated from the academy."
"Jenna Carson, I've known her since high school," Patrick replied. "Though I haven't always gotten along with her, I would agree that she has the aptitude to be a fine captain herself."
"She's definitely on the shortlist for an eventual command of her own," the Admiral said. "We would like for her to have some time as an XO before we offer her a ship. Would you be willing to take her in, even if it's for a short while?"
"I understand that the Intrepid will be at D.S. Nine. I will talk with her when we get there."