First Glance

By Katherine O'Riley

Disclaimer: Characters are Paramount's, story is mine, yadda yadda yadda. You know that junk.

Archiving: Please LMK first.

Time: About the same time the Maquis ship was taken to the Delta Quadrant in "Caretaker".

Rating: G


The small pod flew over the Martian surface. Thanks to the Vulcans, Mars had been terraformed in the early twenty-second century. It was now used for colonies and for shipbuilding, at Utopia Plantia in orbit.

The pod's pilot glanced at the sole other occupant. "We're almost there."

The woman he was talking to looked up from the padd she was studying. "Can you tell me something?"

"Of course, Captain. Ask away."

"Why did they land it?"

"Since there are only a few of its class, they've been testing the landing gear on each of them. Starfleet wants to make sure that it functions correctly." The pilot explained.

"Thank you."

"You're welcome, Captain."

They flew on in silence for a few more minutes. Then the pilot spoke, a hint of excitement in his voice.

"There she is."

The woman came forward and glanced out the window. A small starship stood there. Her graceful, curved lines gave the impression that she was fast indeed. No harsh curves marred her, nor did any nicks. The ship looked like perfection itself. The pilot flew the pod in a lazy circle around the ship, showing her sleek, compact warp nacelles, the bridge module, flying under the saucer section. They wound up at the shuttlebay, where the pilot landed. The woman stepped out, looking around.

"Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful." she murmured.

She walked through the shuttlebay door, down the corridor until she found the turbolift. She entered the turbolift, debating mentally over what she should make her destination. The bridge or Engineering?

She chose Engineering, finally, reasoning that she could check the bridge before they lifted off. She walked into Engineering and looked around in amazement. This was the first time she'd ever been assigned a new ship. She glanced at the moniters, the warp core which had never been used except for testing. Consoles that had never been touched, some with protective plastic sheeting still on them. The warp core gave a steady hum.

After several minutes, she walked back to the turbolift, but this time stopped on deck three, where her quarters were. She took a quick glance, making sure her luggage was there and all was as it should be. The quarters were spacious, shining with their newness. She took a glance into the bathroom, noting with pleasure a large bathtub.

She finally went to the bridge. A crewman was busy removing the plastic from various consoles. She walked around to the captain's chair, which still had its sheeting. She pulled it off and sat down in the chair. She leaned back and closed her eyes. What adventures would this ship have? What would she do with it?

After a minute, she stood up and went into the ready room. It was the nicest one she'd ever had. Large, with a couch at one end that ran the length of the room. A desk stood in one corner.

As she was looking it over, a crewman opened the door. "Captain, we're ready to take off."

"On my way." She exited the room and walked back onto the bridge. She sat down in her new chair. "Blue alert."

"Blue alert, aye." There were only two crewmen on the bridge, one at helm, one at security/tactical.

"Do it."

The ship lifted off. The captain marveled at it. This state-of-the-art ship, brand new, was all hers. She was in command.

As soon as the ship cleared the atmosphere, she stood. "I'll take it from here." She said.

The crewman at helm glanced at her. "Captain?"

"You're dismissed. I'll pilot the ship for now."

"Aye captain." The crewman stood up and gave her the helm.

As Kathryn Janeway slid into the seat of the U.S.S. Voyager, and laid in a course, she had a sudden vision. A picture of the bridge came into her mind. A handsome man, with a tattoo on his left temple, was sitting beside her in the executive officer's chair. A blond-haired young man – Tom Paris? – was sitting at the helm. A young Asian officer stood at Ops, and was talking to a woman in a yellow uniform with forehead ridges. And, steady at tactical, was her friend Tuvok.

As quickly as it came, it went. Captain Janeway took a deep breath. She hoped it was a vision of the future she saw. She wanted to get Tuvok on board. She didn't know why she saw Tom Paris at the helm. Why would she let him pilot? She didn't know who the man in the executive's seat was, or the two at Ops. But she was on for the adventure.

Whatever came of it.