Disclaimer: I do not own Star Trek or any of the characters created therein.

A/N: Each of the characters in this story is representative of something I particularly like or find important in the Star Trek universe. But more on that later.


First Impression, Chapter 1: Introductions All Around

He stared at the viewscreen in front of him, weighing his options. The room around him was almost completely devoid of furniture or decoration; its metal walls amplified and echoed every sound he made. The distant thrum of the engines purred comfortingly beneath his feet, giving his surroundings their only spark of life. The room was dark now, the soft glow of the viewer his only light. He was supposed to be asleep, but he got very little sleep these days. He ran a hand through his dark hair, making it stand slightly on end and giving him a devilish appearance.

He read through the names again as they flashed across the screen: the manifest for the USS Temura. Funny that a ship he'd never seen had come to mean so much to him.

He dismissed the first set of names: the scientists. The biologists, zoologists, and geologists were probably not much to be concerned about. None of them had rebellious reputations, certainly. Even if they did, scientists had protocols, a system. They were relatively predictable. He moved on.

Lieutenant Taurik. Species: Vulcan. Gender: Male. Position: Propulsion Specialist.

The second son of a family of prominent diplomats—his father had been the ambassador to Andoria for 17 years. Interesting. He was transferring from the USS Enterprise as a warpfield expert. Engineers, he thought ruefully, moving on.

Lieutenant Una Magis. Species: Human. Gender: female. Position: Away Team Coordinator.

The screen went blank for a moment, then turned to static. Must be a glitch, he thought, or this thing is finally dying. He slapped the side of the viewer impatiently, though he knew it would do no good. Unlike everything else on the ship this computer was old and unreliable. There was little chance that his dodgy equipment would go missing, and less chance that anyone would bother trying to break into his personal files. The downside was the complication that older technology brought. The viewer finally made up its mind to snap back into focus and he continued to read.

Away Team Coordinator wasa relatively new position on only a few Starfleet ships. The list of missionsMagis had worked on and designed was quite extensive; her rate of success was extremely high. It appeared that the one thing Lt. Magis truly excelled as was adapting to any situation. He was worried, very worried, about this one. She had a past, to put it mildly.

Lieutenant Vesta Tirat Shee. Species: Andorian. Gender: Female. Position: Chief of Security.

Lieutenant Vesta would have been mortified to know that a stranger knew her entire name. For Andorians, this was a strictly followed taboo: only one's close family or mate should know one's full name. He noted that she also had a background as a non-commissioned officer: before going to the academy she served for two years aboard the USS Hood as a Transporter Chief. Vesta was someone he felt he should not cross, if possible. She might be rational but if she sensed a threat she would be merciless.

Minister Mirasta Yale. Species: Malkorian. Gender: Female. Position: Special Diplomatic Consul.

Ah, Special Consul. She wasn't Starfleet, but Mirista Yale had agreed to serve as an envoy for the Federation. When her own world had abandoned warp technology at the brink of First Contact, Yale had asked for and been granted the opportunity to leave her planet and become part of the Federation herself. She might be useful—she was the one that would be most easily convinced and would serve as a direct line to the captain's ear.

Commander Paul Bohemir. Species: Human. Gender: Male. Position: First Officer.

Bohemir was a standard officer. A widower for the past 6 years, spent the last 10 as first officer on his current ship—it seemed less and less likely that he would be getting his own command, but that did not appear to bother him. His list of commendations was long, his reviews exemplary. He would lay down his life for this crew all if asked, and they would all certainly do the same for him. Ho hum. Yawning, he continued down the list.

Now this one was interesting:

Commander Japel Kordant. Species: Cecestian. Gender: Male. Age: 32. Position: Science Officer.

Cecesta didn't often allow it's citizens offworld, certainly not to join an organization with which they were only nominally involved. Kordant must be a remarkable character indeed—he could not recall ever having come across a Cecestan science officer before. The intense environment and stronger gravity of his homeworld must have made adjusting to Federation ships and planets quite difficult; the man at the viewscreen wondered how he managed.

Next came the ship's doctor and the chief engineer:

Dr. Helen Kincaide (Rank: Commander). Species: Human. Gender: Female. Position: Chief Medical Officer.

Kincaide was typical but for one detail: she pioneered cosmetic enhancement and transformation for use in field survey and security operations. In other words, Dr. Kincaide could make people into chameleons.

Lt. Commander Ito Arima. Species: Human. Gender: Male. Position: Chief Engineer.

Arima's record was decidedly Feng Shui: there was very little to it but for the lauds for his work. Words of praise were sparse and to the point. Arima was hard to read, which was unsettling.

The last name on the screen scrolled into view.

Captain Sovak. Species: Vulcan. Gender: Male. Position: Captain.

Sovak's age was listed asa mere 91 years—relatively young for a Vulcan captain. Sovak had the potential to be one of the greats, especially given his ship's new mission. The computer listed commendations for his work in the Romulan Sector during the Dominion War, for developing diplomatic relationships with the Klingons—he had even worked with the Cardassians. He was sorta like the Vulcan version of Captain Kirk. Or maybe Picard, since so much of the Vulcan's work was diplomatic in nature.

He sat back in his chair, rubbing the bridge of his nose—one of the few indicators he ever gave of being tired or irritated. There was still time to get some sleep before his shift began. He had learned all he could from the files he had requested. As a precaution he transferred the data to an equally outdated removable media format—a small disc no more than a couple of centimeters in diameter—and wiped all remnants of the information from his computer core. He flipped off the screen and made his way to a corner of the room where a flat mattress lay uninvitingly.

Next time you volunteer for something, he told himself for the hundredth time as he crawled in and tried to get comfortable, ask about the accommodations.

Well, he'd be gone soon enough anyway. If the crew of the Temura weren't idiots.