842:The Admiral’s Prize

by Commander Nick Lassiter

Concurrent with events happening now aboard the USS Serendipity

-=USS Zenith=-

Captain’s log: First entry by Captain Jennings Grey, USS Zenith: Stardate 90331.

We’ve just entered our target sector, deep inside Ferengi held territory. The Ferengi have been gracious enough to allow us to explore this uncharted region as part of this first mission for the newly commissioned Zenith.

I can’t imagine how much that cost the Federation, and frankly that is none of my concern. I am simply pleased to be leading this fine crew for Starfleet’s first look at an expanse they’ve called “The Mixing Pot.”

Long range scans seem to show space and subspace are twisted here. Existing almost as one but in a constant state of flux. Our sensors have already begun detecting breaches in the fabric of space. It will take our science department days to pour over the data, and more of it just keeps coming in as we come closer to what is believed to be the center of the phenomenon. We are still three days away at full impulse. Our engineers have already deemed it too dangerous to use the warp drive from here on out, until the effects of this region are better understood.

My First Officer is due on the bridge in five minutes to oversee further research. I’ll be joining my daughter for an early dinner. End log.

-=Elsewhere aboard ship=-

“Oh my God, the Captain is meeting me in five minutes!”

Ensign Natalie Grey leapt out of bed and began scrambling to retrieve pieces of her uniform.

“Relax. Five minutes is plenty of time. You’re so uptight. And you can call him dad here, its not like we’re on the bridge.”

“Yeah, the bridge. His bridge, Where you’re supposed to be in five minutes Nick. I can’t believe you let me fall asleep. What if he had come looking for one of us?”

“Well he didn’t, did he? Besides, Grey thinks I’m the best thing that ever happened to Starfleet. He and my mother would love each other. Maybe I should set them up.”

“Not funny. Get dressed!”

Grey tossed Commander Lassiter’s tunic at him. Nick, still groggy, winced as the corner of his comm badge hit him square in the forehead.

“You are so uptight.” Lassiter said, shaking his head. Grey tucked in her uniform top and pulled her boots on with lighting speed. She said a silent thank you whomever came up with the completely wrinkle free material.

Nick tossed his uniform top aside, deciding his first priority was returning his short, spiked dark hair to its pristine condition before dealing with anything else. He grabbed his comb off the bathroom counter and began to sculpt his masterpiece.

Grey sneaked up behind him and kissed his cheek.

“See you later?” She asked.

“That’s cool, whatever.”

Grey frowned, considered saying I love you but decided against it, and dashed out of Lassiter’s quarters.

Nick dressed, and figured he had just enough time to make it to the bridge if he jogged.

“Computer, any messages for me?” Nick asked, as he hustled down the corridor towards the lift.

^Two messages. First from Lieutenant Dilava Plask, USS Athens.^

“Ugh. Is she ever going to get the point? Delete.”

^Deleted. Second from Ensign Gira Lassiter, USS Serendipity.^

“She loves to write doesn’t she? All right, let’s hear it. Bridge!” Lassiter listened over the hum of the turbolift as the computer played the recording from his sister.

[Hey Nick. Vulcan was very… interesting. You’d hate it there. I got to visit a few museums though and learned some really eye opening stuff about the Vulcan people. The textbooks don’t do them justice.

You know, the subspace system does work in both directions. Can you see fit to take a break and let your sister know how you are at least once a year?

Nick rolled his eyes. “Computer, record for a reply message.”


“Hey G. I’m doing great. Real busy with this mission. You’d love the Zen. Flies like a dream. Could probably do circles around that thing you’re on. Gotta go. Peace.”

Lassiter wrapped up the message just as the lift reached the bridge.

“Right on time as always, Commander. My ready room for a moment.”

Lassiter followed the Captain and waited for the doors to close so they could speak in private. Nick stood tall with his hands clasped behind his back.

“Of course, Captain Grey.”

“So what did you decide on last night? Dickens or Hardy?”

“I went for Hardy, Captain. I find Dickens is best enjoyed over brunch.”

Grey slapped Lassiter on the back. “A great officer and an appreciation for the classics. Is it any wonder when they gave you the Zenith that I wanted you for my First Officer?

The only wonder is they didn’t make me the Captain. Lassiter thought to himself, but his response to Grey was quite a bit different.

“I’m just humbled to even be serving with you, sir. I feel I’ve come so far but I still have so much to learn from you.”

“My daughter could learn a lot from you. Sometimes I wonder if that girl has her head screwed on straight. Hopefully serving here under you and I will help that girl get her head out of the clouds and her feet firm on the deck. She doesn’t know what it means to be Starfleet. Have you met her yet?”

“Yes, Captain. I’ve had the pleasure.” Lassiter replied. He suppressed a smirk. Especially given Grey's choice in using a few of those specific words in his little speech, which Nick found to be utterly ironic, and completely hilarious.

“Then you probably know what I mean.”

“She’ll come around, sir. The daughter of Captain Grey has Starfleet running through her veins. How could she ever go wrong?”

“Bah! Listen to me going on, Nick. You’re right of course. You’re always right. Look, Science is pretty much running the show right now. Just keep an eye on the different departments in case they start arguing over access to the sensor arrays. You know if any squabbles arise I trust your judgment.”

“Must be because you taught me everything I know, sir.” Nick said with a wink.

“Now come on, Nick. I can’t take all the credit. Gemini won the mother of the galaxy award when she brought you up. Say, how’s your sister doing?”

Lassiter shook his head. “Head in the clouds,” he said, sounding regretful, as if Captain Grey of all people would understand.

“Yeah well, Lassiter blood is in her veins. I’m meeting my daughter for dinner, have to run, but I want to discuss Hardy with you later after your shift. Be ready for me.”

Grey got up out of his chair, and patted Lassiter on the shoulder. “I’ll be ready, sir.” Nick said back politely, while silently cursing that he had to placate the old buffoon with another round of literary twenty questions.

Lassiter followed the Captain out, and took his spot in the Command chair. The science officers were buzzing about, doing whatever it was they were doing. Nick left them be and tapped the Captain’s personal console on the armrest, bringing up the summaries and key plot points of Thomas Hardy’s most influential works.

“Commander Lassiter, getting some real heavy distortions ahead. Sensors can’t get any readings. I think we should stop.” Lieutenant Swift reported from the science station.

“Hmm?” Nick was too busy reading to have heard what was just said.

“I said, I recommend we stop the ship. There are serious distortions ahead.”

“OK. All stop.”

“Answering all stop.” The helmsman reported.

Lassiter regarded the twisted space before them. The stars themselves seemed to be wrapping around some unseen point ahead of them.

“Maybe we should back off a bit. One hundred kph, reverse thrusters.”

“Aye sir.”

There was a brief burst from the thrusters, and the ship crawled slowly away from the phenomenon.

“Starfleet wanted a report if we came upon anything unexplainable like this, so they could keep tabs on us. Record a message for Admiral Lassiter.”

“Ready, sir.”

Admiral Lassiter, this is your son, Commander Lassiter aboard USS Zenith. Gemini, my darling, we have encountered some severe spacial distortions. All is well on the ship for now. We will follow...”

Nick never finished his message. In an instant, he vanished from the ship, and all eight hundred and seventy one other members of the crew now present vanished along with him.

The Zenith inched along slowly, as the Computer, having assumed that Lassiter was finished recording, uttered one last report.

^Message sent.^


Commander Nick Lassiter
Executive Officer
USS Zenith, NCC-71215

Location Unkown