He was the master of all he surveyed. At least, that's what it felt like sitting in his captain's chair. It was the turn of the twenty-fifth century. A legendary officer commanded for a reason – to salvage the Reliant. He commanded the Claymore by order of its captain, Mary Chase.
He was a legend for rescuing the captain on her first mission. He refused to let anyone else rescue her. Claymore was a ship of Nova-class.
Speaking to his second officer, he inquired, "Have you found anything consistent with a starship coming out of that black hole?"
Duncan Swan responded, "I see it. It is a starship, so damaged, it has only life support for its bridge. It is salvageable."
"Captain," the Ferengi at tactical responded. "It's the Reliant. I can feel it in my lobes. She is emerging from the gravimetric pull of the black hole."
The commander nodded, "I knew Ferengi ears could find something as valuable as this. Thank you, Ensign Hugo."
Duncan Swan was a full lieutenant over sixty years old. He asked, "May I speak with you in your ready room, Captain? I have some questions."
Happily, Jacob Stone replied, "You're second-guessing me. That's good. It's the reason why I chose a veteran to be my second officer in the first place."
Lori Gates took his seat at the operations station. It was a salvage operation. Holt Jerome had already discovered the Reliant there three months before. It was found along with an augment who had made some very bad choices.
Duncan always felt nervous in groups of two. He compensated by fooling with his wedding ring. He was assigned by Lieutenant Jacob Stone to take part in a mission buried in secrecy, "You were about to question my authority as commander to salvage a ship as infamous as this."
"Not exactly," Duncan responded. "I find it hard to believe in the existence of a ship one hundred years old emerging from a black hole?"
Jacob Stone smiled as he sipped water, "It would take hours to explain the science behind it. If you don't approve, you can run it by Mary Chase."
"By who?" the confused chief of operations stated. "So there it is. You're going to just sit there, tell me the mission is not as it seems and I am supposed to be okay with it? I am outta here."
He walked out of the ready room leaving his communicator behind. He boarded the turbolift telling the first officer, "Lori, do not trust him."
After he left, the captain was contacted by Rush Logan. He was the chief engineer, "Captain, I've got some bad news."
"Yes," said the acting captain, "this is Lieutenant Jacob Stone."
"We are experiencing a power loss. It's because we left warp too close to the black hole," said the chief engineer.
"It could be from protomatter," the officer theorized. "Can you compensate for the power loss before it affects other systems?"
"Yes," he thought. "We could begin a full diagnostic of all systems. But the mains would go offline."
Everyone knew, if the mains went offline, they would lose weapons and shields, "Lieutenant Logan, that's why you're here."
Lori Gates was a full commander and was mad at him. If he wanted to command a Reliant, there was a perfectly good one sitting at Spacedock. He had to answer for his actions. His orders were not sane.
Lori Gates was already the first officer of the Reliant. Nobody wanted it. All he had to do was ask and he would have been its captain. She began to think it was not a salvage operation.
"Put the Reliant on the main viewer," Jacob Stone said sitting in the captain's chair. "It's emerging from the black hole."
"Belay that order, Hugo," Lori spoke. "I volunteered for this mission for two reasons. Mary Chase highly recommended you."
"Yes," he said. "And what was the other reason?"
Sternly, she replied, "You told me, in confidence, you wanted to command the Reliant when this mission was over."
"I'm already the first officer of the Reliant at Spacedock," she continued with contempt for the captain.
"Your Reliant is a photonic copy of this one," he smiled. "That is the reason why it was not dismantled one hundred years before you were born."
Lori Gates told him, "All this science makes me puke. I have a superior rank, Lieutenant. You are no longer the acting captain."
"That won't do it for me," replied the officer. He trained a phaser on the commander and stunned her. It was the ship's only working phaser.
He told Hugo, "I am going to board the Reliant. You can do whatever the hell you want to after that."
"How would you do this?" Hugo calmly inquired as tactical officer. "Are you out of your mind? She volunteered to be here."
"I'm doing this out of love," he confessed. "Mary Chase told me that she would love it if the Reliant was salvaged from within the Genesis Star."
He left for a shuttle. His reasons proved him to be insane. He launched towards the black hole. The Nova-class Claymore let him be. Jacob Stone set a course for the Reliant at full impulse.
In the shuttle, he approached the Maranda-class ship. His mission proved more difficult – both shuttlebays were compromised. He had no choice but to use the shuttle to tractor beam the Reliant back home.
He said to himself, "Oh, this will be easy. Shuttle is on route. I better inform the captain through subspace. Let's hope it doesn't attract Klingons."
"Captain Mary Chase, here," replied a tall voice.
"I've done it," he told his superior.
"Jacob?" she responded. "Done what? Where are you? Does this have anything to do with my missing ship? Did you take it?"
"Yeah," he said. "You ordered me to find the Reliant. So I borrowed the ship to complete the mission."
"You took my ship to do what?" she said with anger. "When I said, find the Reliant, it was only a figure of speech. Like, jump in the river."
"Well, I have it," Jacob noted. "I'll be home as fast as I can. Make sure it's welcome at Spacedock when I get there."
She was not aware she had such power over men. It creeped her out. She had to take the credit for the salvage since Jacob Stone refused to do so. It was unusual. Starfleet had no choice but to decorate the captain over his actions.