Posted on Mon Dec 12th, 2022 @ 2:08am by Captain James McGowan
Personal Log, Stardate 47033.9.
Commodore Daniel Mwangi Maathai, my former captain, called to wish me luck on my new ship.
The chime sounded, a personal message coming in on his desk monitor. The seasoned face of his mentor came through from his office down on Earth in Cape Town.
"Captain! Long time no see! How are you today?" he said with a giant smile. The Nairobi-born man had just the slightest accent to his English, sounding somewhere between Australian and South African. His curly hair had little bits of silver speckled throughout.
"I'm doing well, Commodore," Jim said with a genuine smile for his old mentor from his first ship-assignment.
"We're past that now, how long we've known each other, Jim," he said with a little tone to his voice.
"I know, Danny, it's just...it's easier to keep the walls up...."
"Believe me I know," Maathai said, leaning forward from behind his own monitor. "When my son died, it hurt so bad...like a hole ripped in my heart, but Sarah, my wife, and my daughters and Michael helped pull me through. It's just...you're not alone. If you can open up again, that emptiness can be filled again."
"It hurt me too when Kalonzo died. He was one of my groomsmen," Jim remembered. "It's just, it's easier not to open up after Jessie died. If I don't let someone in..."
"But she brought out the best in you," Daniel said. "You remember Julie? She was really into you..."
"The redhead? You put her up to that intro, didn't you?" Jim said, as Daniel smiled, silently admitting he tried to set Jim up with Julie about a year after Jessica died. It was at an officers' party in New Orleans, and she was hitting on him pretty hard that night. They danced quite closely for a good part of the night.
"She's still single. It wouldn't hurt to give her a call sometime," the commodore said. "She's working over in Dallas at Starfleet Research. Not today, but keep it in mind."
"I will," Jim said with a smile.
"Now, the Andromeda is brand new, and I've sent over a few data files from Starfleet Intelligence on the Daltari and their dealings with the Orions and some of their trouble-making."
"I'll review the files. Thanks for the pep talk, it means a lot," Jim said with sincerity. Commodore Maathai was like a second father to him, and hearing from him again meant a lot.
"I've gotten the files reviewed, and the Daltari are attempting to acquire a cache of weapons and dilithium from Kolvar III, a planet in disputed space between the Federation and the Daltari Empire. I've got to get the crew up to speed and make sure we can stop them before they use that to destabilize the Alpha Quadrant."