Captain’s Log

Stardate: 54315.6

As under orders from Sector Commander Quinn, I’ve arrived at Cameron Station. It’s on the edge of Federation Space, and it’s most definitely not home. I’ve been told that the crew of Cameron are somewhat ‘on-edge’ with having the Ferengi ambassador on board. The Clovians have, somewhat understandably, been less than receptive.
The USS Foyle will be waiting for me at Cameron, and a new crew is assembling there. Our first mission will be to escort the Ferengi ambassador back to his homeworld. I’ve been told that the President themself has advised the ambassador will reach Ferenginhar without incident. Of course, the President won’t be going through the Clovian ‘badlands’. I’m not sure the President has been outside of Sector 001.

There was a knock on the door. Balfour ended his log and tidied away the computer terminal into a small bag, all the luggage he had. Satisfied, he summoned the person to enter.

‘Captain,’ said a young ensign, ‘We are docking with Cameron now. We’ve received word that Commander Lox is waiting for you.’

‘Very good ensign.’

The small shuttle hurtled through the vast emptiness of space. Cameron Station was alone in the void and the black. Little lights and little windows gave an indication of life inside its cold metal walls, but it was dwarfed by the great black that enveloped it. Spindly docking arms branched out to meet several starships. There was the venerable Excelsior class and a slightly worse for wear Nova class. But the only ship that mattered to Balfour was the Olympic-class: the USS Foyle.

Commander Lox waited impatiently in the concourse of the shuttle arrivals on Cameron Station. She resisted the urge to pace back and forth, to avoid any risk of scuffing her polished boots or to put a crease in her uniform. She fidgeted endlessly with her headdress, never quite sure if it was sitting right.

Before she could rush to find a mirror to adjust anything further, the airlock doors rushed open. Lox straightened up, clicked her heels together and was tempted to salute as Captain Balfour stepped out from the shuttle. But as the light hit Balfour’s face, a surprised look fought for control of her expression.

Federation captains are supposed to be the best of the best. Faces of the Federation and Starfleet - role models to all. Kirk, Picard, Janeway, Sisko – the greats of Starfleet were smart and sophisticated, at least in the holonovels. Captain Balfour, if he was a Captain, was a scruffy unkempt man with a wild beard and a crumpled uniform. Tired too, with bags hanging under his eyes. He looked startled just for a moment, as if he had been expecting someone else. Balfour seemed to quickly hide his expression and extended a hand.

‘Commander Lox?’ said Balfour, ‘Captain William Balfour.’

‘A pleasure to meet you, Captain Balfour,’ said Lox graciously, ‘Please, let me walk you to the Foyle.’

‘Of course, of course,’ Balfour replied, and the two began to walk down the corridor, ‘Tell me about yourself, how did you get on this assignment?’

‘I know what you are thinking, Captain,’ said Lox, ‘I know you are thinking that me being a Ferengi will compromise this mission, but I can assure you that I put the Federation first.’

Balfour was quiet for a moment. He wanted to press further, but felt it was better to save that for a different time.

‘I hear you requested the Foyle specifically, Captain?’ continued Lox.

‘Yes,’ replied Balfour, ‘That’s right. I had… heard about the disappearance of the Foyle – the first one.’

‘It was destroyed, wasn’t it? Lost with all hands.’

‘Officially, yes,’ Balfour conceded, ‘But it was never recovered. It, uhm, felt right to bring the name back.’

‘I will let you settle in, Captain,’ said Lox, gesturing to the airlock door that would lead to the ship, ‘I will meet with some of the crew that are still transferring to the station.’

‘Very well, Commander Lox.’

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