Chapter 0 - Leaving Andoria

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Njessa ran her hand along the ship’s nameplate, loving installed., and looked around the bridge. While much of the ship had been built out of system, the final assembly and finishing had been done here in the shipyards above Andor. It was only fitting that a ship named for an Andorian hero should be completed but their descendants, she hoped that he would be proud of what his people had become and what they had done, inspired by his example.

It was . . . good to be back aboard a ship. Overseeing training, managing a base, raising a family, all these were vital things that kept Starfleet and the Federation running, but very little, to her mind, was better than being on a ship, traveling between the stars. Now, she was again going to be leading a crew, exploring and pushing back the frontiers of the unknown. Yes, it was going to be an odd crew, she knew her proposal was going to be challenged when she made it. But Starfleet needed trained people and the Academy was not producing enough on its own, the net had to be cast widely to bring people in, or in some case back, to Starfleet. Reservists, civilians transferred in, cadets, all would have to work together, learn from each other. She had commanded training vessels before but not like this one, this was proof of concept, her concept. A new way to build a crew, it was a risk, but she had faith in Starfleet and the Federation, this would work.

She sat in the captain’s chair and looked over the bridge, tomorrow, she would officially take command and the transfer crew would take this fine ship as far as Equismalt Station, departing Andoria with much fanfare, no doubt. A few of the transfer crew would stay on but most of the permanent crew would be coming aboard there.

It was kind of the shipyard to give her some time alone with the new ship, it was truly an honor to represent Andor, and Starfleet, in a ship named for an Andorian. Njessa could not help be feel pride in what she had accomplished to be here and excited about what the future held. But to be among the stars, meeting new civilizations, to boldly go where no member of the Federation had been before. It was the dream, it was why she had joined Starfleet all those years ago and it still made her heart race to think about it. She stood. Soon with her crew, this ship would be more than just a potential, more than just a dream of the future, but the embodiment of the Federation ideal and that of Starfleet. It would be a challenge to realize that ideal but one she was looking forward to meeting.

“The future awaits us, Tanjura,” she said quietly. “Tomorrow we begin a new voyage, together, to boldly go. I cannot wait.”