//Captain's Log, Stardate 239312.06
This is the first entry of Captain Roshanara Rahman, assuming command of this vessel under the orders of Admiral sh'Hiel. It's always difficult to begin a new assignment with a new crew, whether captain or crewman. Even during the launch of a brand new vessel, there is an uneasy period where both captain and crew are still learning about each other and ultimately to trust one another.
But this is not a new vessel, and this is not a new crew. They have suffered a tremendous loss with the death of Captain Carrero, and I sympathize, having experienced similar anguish last year when the Invicta crew and I had been informed--incorrectly--that Fleet Captain Kells had been killed. We later were able to retrieve him from his captors, but the Veritas crew cannot look forward to such a development.
All I can do is help them find out who did this and why.//
((Shuttle en route to USS Veritas, several hours earlier))
::The shuttle ride from Star Station Esperance to Veritas had been relatively quiet, most of her fellow passengers looking over their new vessel closely as the shuttle made its way around the ship.::
::She was the first of her class, one of Starfleet's newer extended-range medium cruisers developed to address the Federation's needs in the aftermath of the Dominion War. First launched in 2381, the Veritas class was effectively the Defiant class's bigger cousin. While not possessing quite as much firepower as the tough little ship, Veritas still boasted an impressive array of offensive and defensive systems such as pulse phaser cannons, quantum torpedoes, and ablative armor. But more than that, she was a reliable workhorse, easy for crews to maintain and while not necessarily the fastest ship in the fleet, certainly capable of handling the vast majority of Starfleet's domestic obligations and deep space patrols.::
::Roshanara was familiar with the class, having served aboard one of Veritas's sister ships, the Tempest. It was there ten years ago that she had suffered the accident that had left her with her scars and disfigurement from the plasma coolant that had eaten away her flesh. Yet despite that horrific incident, seeing the familiar form of the four-nacelled ship in front of her gave her some comfort for the difficult mission that lay ahead. She knew what the class was capable of, and Starfleet, despite its current constraints, had at least given her as good a tool as any for the hostile region.::
::She crossed her arms as she stood behind the pilot, looking ahead now as the shuttle began its approach into Shuttlebay 1.::
::The ship's former first officer Commander Zhou stood by her, the rest of the crew assembled across from them, standing at attention.::
Zhou: ...you are hereby requested and required to relinquish command of your vessel to Captain Roshanara Rahman as of this date. Signed, Admiral sh'Hiel, Starfleet Command.
::He paused for a moment, not looking at her.::
Zhou: Computer, transfer all command codes to Captain Roshanara Rahman. Voice authorization: Zhou-Tango-Sierra-33.
Computer: Transfer complete. USS Veritas now under command of Captain Roshanara Rahman.
::The sound of the bosun's whistle signaled the final part of the ceremony. Roshanara looked over at the man next to her.::
Rahman: I relieve you, commander.
Zhou: I stand relieved.
::There was an iciness in his voice, but she'd let it go. She knew he was upset--perhaps even furious--at having not just the ship taken away from him but being reassigned to remain on Esperance. She would have been furious a year ago if sh'Hiel had done the same to her after telling her Captain Kells had died. But since Captain Carrero's death, anxiety had swept across Esperance, and Starfleet needed a calming face to assure them circumstances next door to them weren't completely falling into lawlessness. Zhou was headed down to the surface, and Commander Blake woud take his place on the bridge.::
::She addressed the crew gathered in the bay.::
Rahman: All those besides the senior staff are dismissed. We'll be proceeding back to Shadow's Edge tomorrow. If you wish to spend some time on the station, you are free to do so.
::As people began shuffling out, she turned back to address the remaining officers in front of her. Besides the few who had been on Syracuse with her, the rest were faces she'd last seen in the Menthar Corridor nearly half a year ago.::
Rahman: It's good to see you all again. I'm sorry it couldn't under more pleasant circumstances, but Starfleet has tasked us with finding out what happened, and there's no set of officers I'd rather have at my side to tackle this mission.
::She looked over to Tuk.::
Rahman: Lieutenant Tuk, I understand you've completed advanced training at the academy?
Rahman: ::nods:: Excellent. I am hereby promoting you to the rank of full lieutenant as you assume the position of Veritas's chief of security.
Rahman: I'd like you and Lieutenant Sands to check the armory and assess if we need any additional equipment before we leave Esperance.
Rahman: Ensign Harik, I'd like you to work with the engineering department, specifically Commander Walker, Lieutenant Greyson, and Ensign T'Dara. ::She looked over at the chief engineer and her underlings.:: The ship's subspace antennae was damaged in an ion storm a couple of weeks ago, but we don't have time to wait for a proper replacement. Do the best you can to get it working again.
Rahman: Besides that, you all should get acquainted with the ship's systems and make preparations for departure. I'd like an assessment of the ship by tomorrow morning.
::She next turned to Doctor Blueheart and Counselor Moonsong.::
Rahman: Doctor, Counselor, if you could do an inventory of sickbay to make sure we're properly stocked?
::She nodded and then paid particular focus on the counselor.::
Rahman: This is a smaller ship, and you're the only counselor this crew has. I don't want you to be overwhelmed, but I'd also like you to work with Commander Blake, our new first officer, on assessing the state of the crew, how they're handling everything, and if any of them in particular need more help. She's been with the rest of them for nearly two years.
::She turned to the next person and smiled when she saw it was the intelligence officer Rune Jolara.::
Rahman: Commander, the officials on Shadow's Edge have forwarded their preliminary findings thus far about the attack on the governor's residence, but frankly, it's hardly anything to go on. I'd like you to look into the wider situation with Shadow's Edge and the governor. If he had any enemies or if there was something in the works that would cause someone to target him. You'll brief the rest of the staff as we make our way back to the colony.
::She could see the gears starting to turn already, Jolara no doubt already having come up with a few possibilities.::
Rahman: With the difficulty in communications throughout the region, we won't be able to speak with him directly until we arrive at Shadow's Edge. When we do, I'd like you to meet with him. Get the details from him directly for yourself.
::She then looked over at her companion from Deep Space 3.::
Rahman: Commander Kelrod, if you could prepare a SAR team. I suspect honestly we'll be needing your services a lot more here than we did back in the Corridor, and I'd like for a team to be ready as soon as possible.
Rahman: When you've picked your team, forward the list to myself and Commander Blake.
::She finally looked over at the ship's helmsman.::
Rahman: You'll want to get acquainted with some of the "rules" here in regards to flying through the Shoals. Auto-navigation is unreliable. I'll brief you on further details in my ready room, say in two hours?
::That should give him more than enough time to settle into his new quarters.::
::She gave a final nod and then looked back at her crew.::
Rahman: This is going to be a major adjustment I know for some of you.
::She looked up and around the shuttlebay.::
Rahman: She's a more modest vessel than what we've been on before, but she's home now.
::She tilted her head back down.::
Rahman: Welcome aboard. Dismissed.
Captain Roshanara Rahman
Commanding Officer, USS Veritas