"What's up, Kelly," Patrick said as she entered the ready room.
"I just got word from Captain DeSoto. The Hood will be going in for a quick refit, but Captain DeSoto is being offered command of a new ship."
"What do you know about the new ship."
"I know that he has offered me the position of executive officer," Kelly replied, "And the name of the ship is the Edmund Fitzgerald."
"What kind of name is that. Who was Edmund Fitzgerald. Computer," he said as he reached for his computer terminal and scrolled through the library, "Search libraries on a 'Edmund Fitzgerald.' Now, Kelly, what's going to happen with the Hood,"
"As I understand it, Commander Traficant will receive it,"
"Jimmy T, eh. Good for him. He always had a good sense of humor."
The Computer beeped an indication of completion as Patrick stared out his window at the streaks created by the warp fields. "Proceed," Patrick replied.
"Edmund Fitzgerald was a prominent Statesmen from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A iron ore vessel was commissioned in his name. The Edmund Fitzgerald sank in Lake Superior November 10, 1975, killing all 29 aboard. A song was written about it, but is not available in Federation Libraries."
Patrick Pulled out a 20th Century earth book. "Edmund Fitzgerald... sinking, no, how bout wreck of. Here we go, Gordon Lightfoot."
Patrick left his ready room. "I'll be in the archive room if you need me."
"Understood," Jenna replied.
In the Archive room, Patrick looked up the old style compact discs for the artist. "Lightfoot, Lightfoot... ah, here it is."
Patrick inserted the CD into the player and started playing the song. Lovely song, interesting lyrics, Patrick thought.
Patrick exited the turbolift wondering about the smooth ride. "Report," he said.
Reinette's bright face turned to Patrick, "We haven't seen any Dominion ships, and we're eight hours from starbase."
"Thank you, Lieutenant."
Captain's log, Stardate 50984.8: The New Edmund Fitzgerald is scheduled for launch today; however, we have detected Dominion activity, so it may be a quick launch for what will be one of the prides of the fleet.
The new ship glistened as it reflected the light of the nearby starbase. The Edmund Fitzgerald stood just as ready to explore the cosmos as it is to defend the virtues of the Federation against the Dominion.
Patrick retrieved his new dress uniform from his closet and put it on as his doorbell rang. "Come in," he replied.
"I'm sorry to bother you, sir," Jaimie said, "but I was just wondering what do you think."
"Just great," Patrick replied as Jaimie turned around in a old-fashioned dress pose. "Are you ready to go."
"All right then," Patrick said.
With spotless dress uniforms shining bright, Patrick and Jaimie arrived on the bridge of the new ship just in time. "How's it going," Kelly said as Patrick and Jaimie stepped off the transporter pad.
"Just fine," Patrick responded. "Are you ready?"
"Then let's get this show on the road," Patrick replied, smiling.
On the bridge, Admiral Ross and Captain DeSoto were waiting as Patrick, Jaimie, and Kelly exited the Turbolift. "Right on time," Captain DeSoto noted.
"To Captain Robert DeSoto, stardate 50969," Admiral Ross began, "you are hereby requested and required to take command of the USS Edmund Fitzgerald effective as of this date, signed Vice Admiral William Ross, Starfleet Command. Computer, recognize Captain DeSoto as the commanding officer of the Edmund Fitzgerald, authorization Ross-gamma-9."
"Confirmed," the computer responded, "USS Edmund Fitzgerald is now under command of Captain Robert DeSoto."
Applause rang out from everyone on the bridge.
"Normally," Captain DeSoto started, "we would do a really long and boring speech at this point. But there is no time for that. The war has begun, and as Starfleet officers, we have a duty to defend the Federation."
"The Dominion," Kelly continued, "has attempted to break us apart, not only with the Klingons, Romulans, and Tzkethians, but within the Federation itself."
"We must stand together," Patrick finished, "or we will be an easy target. It's time to show the Dominion we will not tolerate their tactics of 'order' in the Alpha Quadrant."
"And to start that off," Admiral Ross stated, "I'm assigning the Baldwin, the Edmund Fitzgerald, and the Hood to the 5th fleet. Captain DeSoto, you will be the 5th fleet Commander."
"Understood," DeSoto replied.
"We'll see you there," Patrick replied. "Ingrum to Baldwin, two to beam over."
Captain's personal log, Stardate 51080.7: The clouds of war seems to have taken a toll on my crew. So far, luckily, we haven't had anybody killed, but the laws of statistics say that one of these days...
In the weeks since the war began, it has been a constant pattern of attack an retreat. Despite losing a major facility, it was clear that the Dominion still had the upper hand. Patrick pondered his thoughts in the ready room when the doorbell rang. "Come in."
"Hello, captain," Kay said as she entered the room with the medical report.
"Thank you, Doctor," he replied. "I suppose you're not just here to bring me any good news."
"Unfortunately, no. Here's yesterday's casualty report. We had two plasma burns and a class-four concussion."
"I can think of worse. Anything else?"
"Bridget suggests that other ships will have to get some weapons upgrades in order to compete with the Dominion."
"Something tells me," Patrick replied, "That Starfleet should been ready a lot earlier. The trouble is, we have only known about the Jem'Hadar for about three years — new ships take a bit longer to build, and upgrades to an entire fleet of hundreds could take some time. At least we have a ship — and crew — in one piece."
A call interrupted his thought, "Captain, there's a message for you from Admiral Ross,"
"I'll take it," Patrick replied as Admiral Ross appeared in the holo-communicator. "Admiral,"
"I suppose you could take as much good news as you can,"
"I suppose so," Patrick replied.
Patrick stepped out of the ready room onto the Bridge, "Any good news?" Jaimie asked.
"Maybe, JP. I've got the latest field promotions list," he said.
"It's a big one," Patrick replied, implying a signal, "All senior staff report to the conference lounge. By the way, I understand today's your birthday."
"Happy Birthday, then."
"Thank You, Sir."
"All right, In my hands is the latest field promotions from Starbase 375. First off, Bridget, you've been granted a field commission as an engineering specialist."
"It's about time," Karen replied, "she's been a big help in engineering."
"I agree," Roslyn replied as she reached to hug her twin, "Congratulations, sis."
"Thanks," Bridget replied.
"Ahem, I'm not done yet. Roslyn and Jaimie, you have both been promoted to the Rank of Lieutenant j.g."
"Job well done, you two," Jenna stepped in.
"Bernie, they have approved your promotion to full lieutenant, and Starfleet thinks that you and Roslyn make a good team. Karen, you are now a Lieutenant Commander and Command likes the way you and Bridget have been improving our weapons and warp drive, and for keeping us in one piece."
"With so much work improving the engines," Karen quipped, "why do we need a cloaking device."
"Keep an aye on it anyway, you never know. Next, commendations to the Medical staff for keeping the crew patched up."
"No problem," Kay replied, "that's our job."
"Number two, Reinette, you've been promoted to Lieutenant Commander, and finally," Patrick says as he slaps his hands on the table in a drum roll, "Jenna, you've been offered the Ottawa."
"What!!!" Jenna replied, jumping back in amazement.
"Your ears are not deceiving you, you've been offered a ship. In fact, we have been ordered to meet up with it."
"Why me?" she wondered out loud.
"The answer seems obvious," Reinette replied, "A lot of good captains have been killed in this battle — with their first officers with them."
"Then do I have a choice?" Jenna asked.
"Actually, you do have a choice," Patrick quipped, "but why would you say no."
"Has anyone else?"
"Yes, but never in wartime."
"Then I'll take it."
"Very good," Patrick finished, "Congratulations, captain. Now, Reinette."
"Don't say anything, I know," Reinette said as the rest of them burst into laughter.
"One more thing," Jenna said. "Bernie, I would like to tow you along as my first officer."
"I would be honored,"
"Than I have another hole to fill on the senior staff," Patrick joked. "Ottawa will be ready to roll in 11 days — just in time for May Day."
Captain's personal log, Stardate 51110.9: It will take some time to get used to it, but after less than two months, I have sent my first officer up the rank ladder and placed my former second officer in her place. I still have a good crew, but now I feel there are holes to be filled. Meanwhile, the war rages on, so the crew I re-assemble may be gone the next day....
"Any last words before I send the two of you off."
"Not really," Jenna replied. "Energize."
"Kristy, you heard the lady," Patrick replied.
As Jenna and Matt beamed out, another young lady materialized on the opposite pad. "Lieutenant Dawson reporting for duty, sir."
"Welcome Aboard, Gloria. The captain of the Akagi said he thought you deserved a promotion. I had a spot for second officer, the rest is history. I certainly hope that this war is a lot more than that."
"Do you do this to all your new officers," Gloria said.
"Hey, I'm new at this," Patrick replied.
Captain's log, Stardate 51128.6: Another attack, another retreat. It can make it boring, but fortunately, we still haven't have any major causalities.
"The one thing the Dominion has," Patrick commented, "Is gung-ho and efficiency. They can build ships faster than we can get them off the drawing board."
"Not to mention expandability," Gloria replied. "Did you see the way that Jem'Hadar ship made a run on the Gardencourt. They slammed into her without giving it a second thought," she continued as she took a look at some readings on her console. "Captain," she continued with a tone of seriousness, "take a look at this."
"I've noticed this background radiation anomoly through the duration of our altercation. It appears to be stronger the closer we get to the Argolis Cluster."
"The Argolis Cluster is in Dominion territory. Roslyn, get me Admiral Ross in my ready room."
"Is there something wrong, Captain," Admiral Ross said as his 3-D image appeared in the holo-communicator.
"Sort of, sir. I was wondering if anyone noticed any background radiation from the Argolis Custer area."
"No," Admiral Ross replied. "But if you feel it's worth investigating, I can release you from the fleet for 72 hours."
"I take it that's a firm 72 hours,"
"Correct. After that, I want you back in Federation space with your report."
"Understood, Ingrum out," Patrick finished as he turned off the communicator. Upon getting off with the Admiral, Patrick returned to the main bridge, "Roslyn, prepare a course for the Argolis Cluster."
"Aye, sir," Roslyn replied with a surprised expression.
"Ingrum to Engineering,"
"Go ahead," Karen responded.
"Karen, we're gonna need that cloaking device."
Upon the mentioning of a cloaking device, Gloria's eyes widened and her face gave a puzzling expression. Patrick's face reddened, "I knew I forgot something," he replied as he began his brief on the cloak.
"Cloak is ready," Karen said just as Patrick finished his speech.
Captain's log, Supplemental: With only 60 hours left for investigation, we are relatively minutes away from the Argolis Cluster.
"Computer," Patrick said, "Run 20th Century Music Compilation Program 21-alpha, track 1."
Upon receipt of the request, the computer piped in the music from the CD's he had been working on. Sounds of harmonica and piano filled the bridge and Patrick started singing.
"Captain," The operations officer said, "what is this song?"
"'Piano Man' by Billy Joel. It's from the late 20th Century, 1973 to be exact. What do you think, Kristy."
"Very nice, sir," she said as Patrick listened to the song and began to sang along. A few minutes later, Kristy interrupted again, "Captain, I hate to interrupt you, but I'm picking up a small fleet of Dominion ships."
"About 20 Jem'Hadar cruisers," Reinette commented.
"Kristy, anything on the Argolis Cluster."
"Negative, we're still too far away, but the background radiation Lieutenant Dawson noted is still rising as we get closer,"
"Sir, I think they know we're here," Jaimie commented.
Patrick scratched his head, "How is that possible, Kim, continue — "
An alert tone kept Patrick from finishing. "We just took a direct hit."
"Karen, how long can we take this."
"Bridget here, captain, I'd say they we can handle it for about an hour before the phasing circuitry overloads."
"Understood. Kim, do what you can to get the Dominion off our backs, but keep us heading toward the Argolis Cluster."
"Aye, sir," Kim replied, "I'm increasing speed to warp 9.2"
"Engineering to Bridge"
"Go Ahead, Karen," Patrick replied.
"I just wanted to let you know that you can safely proceed to warp 9.9"
"Have you been listening in on us?" Patrick stated, "Thanks."
"Increasing to warp 9.9," Kim replied.
"Computer, play Take It On the Run by REO Speedwagon," Patrick said. As the song began on the bridge speakers, Patrick wondered when the war would end and why the Dominion seemed one step ahead of them.
"Captain," Kim said, "We are approaching a station or array of some sort."
"Take us out of Warp," Patrick replied, "Kristy, can you determine what it is."
"It will take some time, but yes."
"Captain, we've got a swarm of Dominion ships approaching," Jaimie said.
"On Screen," Patrick replied, "Kristy, how much time do you need to collect data."
"Hold this position until Kristy is done, then get us out of her, maximum warp."
"How come I have the funny feeling those ships know we're here," Reinette said, pointing at all of the enemy ships on the viewer.
"I'm getting that same feeling too," Gloria commented
"That array we're scanning should have some answers," Patrick said.
"I'm done," Kristy replied, "sending the info downstairs for study,"
"Punch it, Kim."
After taking off for home, Patrick said, "If you guys need me, I'm going to be downstairs for a moment. Reinette, you have the bridge."
"Commander, we have returned to Federation space," Kim said.
"Thanks, Kim. Drop the cloak and contact Admiral Ross."
Admiral Ross's face appeared on the screen. "What can I do for you, Commander Hernandez."
"I'm reporting back to you for reassignment as you ordered, and since the captain is investigating what we found —"
"I understand," Admiral Ross replied, "Right now, report to Starbase for debriefing,"
Before Reinette could respond, another call came in on Baldwin's intercom system. "Ingrum to Bridge: I assume you have Admiral Ross on the line."
"That would be correct," Reinette answered. On the main screen, Admiral Ross nodded his head to acknowledge that he can hear the captain.
"I have some preliminary information that could prove vital. Secure the line and transfer him down to my quarters."
"The sensor array uses an tried and true directional method of increasing their range. By nulling the area they already control, more power can be used to scan our way. I'd say this thing could scan over five sectors into our territory."
"I understand, captain, but is there any way to take this thing out."
"I know what you're thinking," Patrick replied as he punched a few keys on the control pad, "But they have a secondary system that scans the entire spectrum, thereby allowing a cloaked ship to be seen by their scans. The range of this array is limited, however —"
"However," Admiral Ross replied, "it is far enough that if we send a cloaked ship in there, we would be toast before we could make it."
"Exactly," Patrick replied.
Captain's log, Stardate 51133.8: Back home in Federation territory, we have been ordered back to starbase, for now. The information retrieved by the Baldwin's sensors has been forwarded to Starfleet for their analysis.
We have rendezvoused with Edmund Fitzgerald and Ottawa. The current period of calm has afforded my crew the chance to interact with friends and family.
As soon as Jaimie stepped off the transporter, her older sister couldn't help but giver her a hug. "Aw, thanks," Jaimie replied.
"You're welcome." Kelly replied. "What's going on,"
"Not much besides duty, attack, retreat, etc."
"How's Patrick coming with that time capsule,"
"Still working on that music. I do think he's almost done with the 'rock era'," Jaimie replied.
"I'd like to hear some of it."
"I can transfer them over,"
"What do you think Patrick will have up his sleeve next," Kelly said.
"Lots of pictures, I think," Jaimie answered.