Star Trek: New Horizons
1.00 - “Horizon” - Prelude
written by Travis Cannon
Lieutenant Janice Pelar stood on the bridge of the latest Emperor-class ship to be constructed at the Jupiter Shipyards; Starfleet registry NCC-91901. It was one of the most advance in the fleet. And currently it was being outfitted for specially assignment under the Fourth Fleet. Thirty hours ago, Pelar had been back on Earth, working in Starfleet Intelligence, and now she found herself on the bridge of a ship set to test the latest in Starfleet's propulsion technologies.
She stepped down to the helm and leaned forward to examine the console. There was the whoosh of a door opening and she looked up to see Admiral Thadius Rutledge emerge from the ready room with two engineers, engaged in a heavy conversation. She straighten her back and approached the Admiral.
“Admiral Rutledge?” she questioned.
The friendly look man looked up. “Yes?”
“Lieutenant Janice Pelar, reporting as order, sir,” she said.
“Ah,” Rutledge grinned, looking her over. “Your a betazoid, are you not?”
“Yes, sir,” she said.
“And your the officer from Admiral Pavoc's office?” he asked.
“Great!” he grinned. “Just as Admiral McCloud said.”
Rutledge held up a finger to signal he need a moment. He then turned to the two engineers and spoke with them quickly. Afterwards they left, heading for the turbolift. Rutledge turned back to Pelar and smiled.
“You're my supervisor!” he said with a laugh.
“Come, let me tell you about how this all got started....”
“So its ready, then?” McCloud spoke gruffly as he shifted in his chair.
Admiral Thadius Rutledge gave a nod. “Primary tests have proven it.”
“Testing it on an inanimate object and using an actual ship are two completely different things,” McCloud protest, looking over at Admiral Pavoc, the head of Starfleet Intelligence.
The vulcan nodded. “I would have to concur with Admiral McCloud.”
Rutledge chuckled. “Come on, Pavoc,” he said. “You know I'm right. We need this.”
“You're there!” McCloud snapped. “The damn thing is dangerous! Look what happened with the Quantum Slip Stream drive! We lost Admiral Hayes...!”
“Yes, we did,” Rutledge admitted. “But your missing the point. Admiral Hayes believed in progress, and if John were still alive today, he would approve of my request for a ship.”
Behind them the doors hissed opened. The three looked up and saw Admiral Harold Anton, the Starfleet Command, step into the office. All three stood.
“At ease,” Anton said. “I came as soon as I was available.”
“Having lunch with the President, again?” McCloud asked.
“With the war going on, the President needs constant updates,” Anton confirmed. “There's nothing that says that we can't eat while we talk.”
McCloud inclined his head.
“So where were you?” Anton asked, talking a seat.
“We were just discussing the advance meant of the Horizon project,” McCloud said, as he and the others sat down.
Anton nodded. “And you don't approve?”
Dustin McCloud inclined his head in the affirmative. “I was just explained how rushing the Cosmos-class resulted in Admiral Hayes' tragic death.”
“And I,” interrupted Rutledge, “pointed out that John would have approved my request.”
“And I refused to acquiesced to his request,” growled McCloud.
“I see,” Anton said, raising his eyebrows and looking back and forth between the two. “And what does Starfleet Intelligence have to say?”
“We already have the Covert-class ships underway,” Pavoc asserted. “I do not see the logic in advancing the Horizon project prematurely. In the long wrong, such an advance is neither beneficial or required in our current conflict with the Coalition.”
Anton nodded. “Thadius?”
“Their wrong there, sir,” Rutledge assured the Starfleet Commander. “Having the ability to have our ships appear in the desired location at a moments notice would be every beneficial in the war. It would give us a tactical advantage.”
“He does have a point,” Anton admitted, looking at Pavoc.
“To risk a ship is illogical,” the vulcan said.
McCloud nodded. “Besides, we have no ships to spare.”
“What about those new Emperor-class ships being built at the Jupiter Shipyards?” Rutledge asked.
“Out of the question,” McCloud said, putting his foot down. “Those are our most advance ships, meant for combat against those damn So'jan hybrids.”
“Surely just an advancement in propulsion would require a vessel capable of handling the pressure to exceed,” Rutledge countered.
“Sir?” McCloud looked to Anton for relief.
Anton thought for a moment.
“I'll have to agree with Thadius,” Anton said.
“John Hayes believed in progress, and I know he would not have stop, even with his life at risk,” Anton said. “And having a space folding drive would be very beneficial against the Coalition. Especially against the Mass Drivers.” He paused and looked at Rutledge. He stood up. “Give him a ship. His choice from the entire fleet.”
With that said, the Starfleet Command left the room, and Rutledge turned back to McCloud, grinning.
“Don't me so proud of yourself!” growled McCloud.
“You heard him,” Rutledge grinned. “Give me a ship.”
“Fine...,” McCloud leaned back in his chair. “How about the Aeolus.”
“A Constellation-class ship!” objected Rutledge. “Beside, Admiral Anton said I could have choice of the fleet.”
McCloud glanced at Pavoc for help.
“He did, indeed,” Pavoc confirmed, with a typical unemotional vulcan response.
“Fine!” McCloud relented, frustrated. “Which ship would you like?”
“An Emperor!” Rutledge said with glee.
McCloud glowered at the admiral sitting across from him. “All right, but I'll have Pavoc assign someone to you... to supervise the project.”
“What? To make sure it follows the needs of Starfleet?” Rutledge questioned.
“Exactly,” McCloud said. “Beside, its time you have someone to keep you in check when you get too ambitious.”
“Fine,” Rutledge said. “Then I get to name the ship!”
“Fine!” growled McCloud. “Go see the ship's registry on your way out and give the damn thing a name!”
Rutledge nodded and left the room.
“So what did you name the ship, sir?” Pelar inquired, already intrigued and ready to get to work on this new propulsion system.
“Well you see, that was quite a pickle,” Rutledge admitted, running his fingers along the edge of the command chair. “I hadn't really expected Admiral McCloud to give me that choice.” He paused. “So I thought for a while and then it struck me. We are testing the Horizon project in this magnificent vessel... why not name it that?” He paused, and inhaled. He looked back at Pelar and smiled. He extended his hand. “Welcome aboard the Horizon!”