Captain's Log, Stardate 55576.9: On the Earth's Gregorian Calendar, it is New Year's Day, the start of the year 2379.
For the 10th Squadron, it's been a productive year maintaining the peace and continuing to update our subspace maps in the Aloran sector. The new fighters assigned to the Winchester have exceeded our expectations. Their combat abilities were demonstrated fairly well in the recent Operation Blackbird. Utopia Planitia has released the second batch of fighters for the Effingham.
The Past year has also brought big personal changes. Commander Petrelli took on the challenge of being a mother of not just one child, but two. My wife was more than happy to dish out parenting advice to Jaimie, as well as to Stephanie Taylor, who also had her first child, Ginger, a couple of weeks ago.
As for me, I was recalled to sector 001 just after the Christmas holiday to be debriefed by Starfleet Command and interviewed by the press. Although I had to leave my ship and my family behind, I did not come alone.
"How was your meeting with Starfleet Command?" Jenna asked as she came aboard Neosho.
"My performance review with HQ was pretty good," Patrick answered. "Then again, no one else had to deal with a rogue colony."
"That was a unique situation," Jenna noted. "One that gave you additional scrutiny from the press."
"Judging by the latest FNS poll, some think I should retire from Starfleet and go into politics."
"What about moving up into the Admiralty?"
"You know, if you told me when we were in high school that I would make Captain by now, let alone be a five-year veteran in command of a starship, I would have said you were crazy. I have always been more of the 'hands-on' type, doing instead of leading and documenting. You know that." Jenna nodded in agreement as Patrick continued. "However, there is one possible reason I'd take a desk job: a bigger family."
"That is one thing I would not have imagined you eventually having back in high school."
"That's mainly because you thought I was a little weird." Patrick broke off the conversation to request clearance to depart. "Orbital Control, this is Neosho, we're ready to roll."
"Acknowledged, Neosho. Safe travels."
"Setting course for Aloran IV, warp 4," Patrick continued. "ETA: 18 hours."
"18 hours at warp 4? That's unbelievable!" Jenna exclaimed.
"That's a secret few people outside the squad know," Patrick noted. "With Aloran still undeveloped, we can't invite commercial traffic just yet."
Acting Captain's Log, Stardate 55577.2: Baldwin and Ottawa are in orbit of Aloran IV awaiting the arrival of Captain Ingrum and Captain Carson.
Sara sat down next to Jessica. "How has life at the Ingrum Compound been treating you?"
"We've got the new industrial replicator almost ready. Once we get that running, we can get started with the foundation for a new structure."
"What sort of new structure are you planning?"
"We're starting with a new house, so that each of us has our own room and so that Patrick can have his own home back. He has been kind to let us live here with few strings attached, but this house is his home, and we're ready to give it back."
"Don't feel you have to rush out of here," Sara stated. "You're family, after all."
"I know," Jessica retorted, "but even though he's my baby sister's husband, I still find it weird to call him a brother."
"To be honest, I find it weird that Bridget has been deferring to me. Technically, she outranks me."
Bridget heard Sara's commented and felt compelled to add a comment. "I may outrank you, but while Jaimie is inactive, you are the captain until Patrick returns."
"How is Jaimie, by the way?" Jessica asked.
"She's bonding well with her new daughter. Joshua is getting used to his little sister."
"What about my favorite niece?"
"She's growing up fast, and I think she's happy to have other kids around."
"Tiana might not feel the same way if you have more kids," Sara commented.
"I don't know about that," Jessica remarked. "As the oldest of seven sisters, I never felt resentment for any of my siblings."
Six hours into the Neosho's flight, Patrick and Jenna sat together in the aft compartment eating lunch. "So, what else did you learn while you were at Starfleet Command?" Jenna inquired.
"There's a couple of new innovations in development. First, Starfleet wants our transporters to match the range the Dominion demonstrated. They're pulling out an old, unperfected theory called 'Transwarp Beaming.'"
"If I remember correctly, it was Montgomery Scott himself that first came up with the concept while he was still chief engineer of the original Enterprise."
"Very astute, Jen. It has been a while since he has gone over his research. Having some time plus a couple of captured Dominion transporters could help perfect the technology."
"So, what's the second 'big thing?'"
"When Voyager returned from the Delta Quadrant, they brought home a concept called Quantum Slipstream Drive. Voyager created a prototype but was only able to get it working for short periods, which was quite an undertaking considering they did not have access to Starfleet R&D. Unfortunately, in order for the Slipstream Drive to work, Starfleet engineers have to rethink ship design. Ottawa might be compatible, Baldwin definitely is not."
"What does that mean for you and Baldwin?"
"Starfleet is considering decommissioning Baldwin. When we found her, she was still serviceable enough to serve, and she still is. However, she is getting a little long in the tooth. I suspect they'll pull the plug on her sooner rather than later. If and when that happens, I suspect I'll be given the choice between Baldwin's replacement or a desk job."
"Let me guess, the one you take depends on whether or not Bridget has another bun in the oven," Jenna quipped.
Before Patrick could answer, the cabin shook violently, and the lights flickered off. "What the hell!" Patrick exclaimed as he swiftly walked toward the cockpit.
"Do we have a problem?"
"I'm afraid our reunion with our ships will be delayed slightly. We ran into a nasty subspace wave. Everything subspace related; warp drive, radio, and sensors; are down."
"So, we're stuck and can't call for help."
"I can patch the radio, but it's still going to take a while."