The dialogue on the bridge is from the novel adaptation.


Five weeks after their commencement ceremony-- which was already being talked about as one that would go down in the history books--, Enterprise was ready to ship out. Scotty's team had worked their magic and the ship looked good as new. There were no signs of the beating she had taken, the hull restored to it's previous strength and all systems at peak performance levels.

Captain James Tiberius Kirk stood in the turbo lift, making his way to the bridge, where many of his command crew waited. He'd already swung through engineering, which was once again a gleaming example of the triumph of Federation technology. Still, Jim was pretty sure they were going to be one of the more interesting departments.

When he had arrived in Main Engineering, various engineers and technicians were going about their business. Keenser was atop a bank of consoles, though he did appear to be doing something with the wiring visible through an open panel. A crew woman was only visible from the waist down, as she was wedged into an open access shaft. Scotty was in a huddle by a large workbench with two of his people, Jensen Winchester and Kaylee Staite, if Jim remembered their files correctly.

As he approached, Scotty looked up, saw Jim and coughed. Immediately, the other two yanked a tarp over whatever it was they had on the table. Then, as Scotty moved to intercept Kirk, they pulled out PADD's, leaned against the table and began discussing the cargo bay door maintenance schedule.

"Captain!" Scotty said loudly and with great gusto, catching Kirk's arm and leading him away. "What brings you down here?"

Glancing back at the mystery Bench, Jim asked, "Scotty, what…?"

"Two words for you, son. Plausible Deniability."

Jim considered this for a moment. Scotty wasn't going to do anything to endanger the ship and hey, he wouldn't want someone poking their noses into his business, so he decided to drop the matter.

"Right," he agree, then as there was a small explosion somewhere in the distance.

"It's fine. I got it!" someone yelled from the unseen blast sight.

Scotty didn't seem too perturbed, so Jim decided to let him handle his people as he saw fit.

Sickbay was a bit more orderly, with Nurse Chapel whipping the nursing staff into a unified, professional force to be reckoned with. Bones had the ships MD's, a nervous group of six, plucked from the 1st and 2nd year Starfleet Med school classes, gathered around him to impart the rules of HIS SICKBAY. They were all physicians, but, due to need, their years at the Academy had been cut short. On the whole, the doctor's were a bit older than they majority of his young crew, having graduated from med school, but some of them still looked young,

Jim recognized the youngest of the group, Dr. Simon Maher, as the jumpy kid with the weird sister in the Helm/Navigation department. When he'd Okayed River's posting several people had warned him the girl was crazy, but so far the only odd thing he'd seen was her dancing in the hall the other day, and frankly he thought that was kind of fun.

Two of the others, Alex Chambers and Jill Cavanaugh, were leaning against a wall, radiating disgruntlement and boredom. But they were listening, so they'd probably get along fine with Bones, even though Cavanaugh had a bit of an anger management issue.

Jesse Chase and Mark Lawson were both attentive and alert, with kind faces and gentle manners. Kirk immediately pegged them as the ones possessing some sort of bedside manners.

Dr. Antony Green, a psychiatrist, was to be in charge of monitoring the crews mental and emotional well being. He was older than the rest of the medical staff, around forty, but didn't seem to have any issue reporting to McCoy. In fact, not much seemed to bother him, as his demeanor varied between placid and detached.

McCoy finished lecturing them as Jim arrived and their reactions to being released varied. Chambers and Cavanaugh stalked off mumbling to do god knows what, while Chase, Lawson and Maher went to work on inventory. Green kind of wandered off without an obvious destination, but stopped to observe an orderly swearing at a recalcitrant diagnostic machine.

"Hey, Bones," Jim began, but his friend held up a finger and waved around at the staff scurrying about.

"Bit busy now, Jim," he said, catching sight of the cursing orderly, who was now trying to force the machine into a too small space. "I'll be up for the launce."

Then he went over to cow either the orderly or the machine into submission. Seeing that Bones was in a mood, Jim beat a hasty retreat before a hypo found it's way into his neck.

He spent the next hour popping in and out of various departments. Security was interesting. He'd appointed Lt. Sarah Reese, a serious young woman with a scary aggressive streak, department chief, and Kirk found her and Lt. Damian Crews in the main office, the red headed man expounding on the virtues of fruit. Reese was only listening with half an ear as she finalized the security teams schedule.

So Kirk found himself on the turbo lift, headed to the bridge, ready to start their mission. He knew Scotty was down with his engines, and Bones had said he'd be on the bridge with Uhura, Sulu, Chekov and, hopefully, Spock.

The doors whooshed open and disgorged him onto the bridge to face the smiling faces of his crew. Taking his seat, he nodded to Sulu, who responded, "Maneuvering thrusters and impulse engines at your command."

"Weapons systems and shields on standby," Chekov added from the tactical station.

"Dilithium chamber at maximum efficiency, Captain," came Scotty's voice over the open comm.

From her seat, Uhura informed him, "Dock control reports ready for departure. Yard command signaling all clear on chosen vector."

Bones didn't really need to be on the bridge, but he was idling in the empty space between the lift and the command chair. "Same ship, different day."

That brought a grin to Kirk's face, though it fled as he noted the empty science station. He had so hoped Spock would have made his decision before departure, but it couldn't wait any longer. He'd have to chose one of the officers from the department and appoint him or her chief.

"Mister Sulu," he said with resolve, swinging around to regard the helmsman, "prepare to engage forward thrust---"

The whoosh of the turbo lift doors cut him off as a figure was admitted to the bridge. Spock stepped out, pausing between the science station and the command chair.

Permission to come aboard, Captain."

The bridge crew was practically vibrating with pleasure, but Spock ignored all of that, as did Jim, who, struggling to hold in his own grin, said, "Permission granted. Your purpose in presenting yourself here, Mister Spock?"

"As you have yet to select a first officer, I would respectfully like to submit my candidacy. If you decline, there is still time for me to disembark. I ask that you fully consider all candidates and qualifications before rendering a decision on this important matter." Then he did that thing where, without changing his expression, he managed to look sarcastic. "Should you desire, I can provide character references."

There he was, the final piece of the puzzle. Kirk met Spock's eyes and the Vulcan raised a single brow. Enough said.

"It would bee my honor, Commander. The science station is yours."

To Sulu, he said, "Maneuvering thrusters, Mister Sulu. Take us out."

"Aye, Captain." Sulu's grin mirrored many on the bridge and around the ship as news of Spock's decision spread.

The Enterprise had her crew. She had her mission. And she was going to make history.