Paul Gadzikowski


T*R*E*K: "And an untried captain."

When Hawkeye materialized on the docking station, B.J. was waiting for him. "Mr. Hunnicutt," Hawkeye said, "why aren't the Enterprise transporters working?"

No "cheesy new mustache" comments. Whatever was up had Hawkeye pretty occupied. "A minor blowout," said B.J. "Hawkeye, these departure orders - twelve hours? Starfleet can't be serious." Though if Hawkeye's pace as he crossed to the pod dock was any indication, they were.

"B.J., an energy field of incredible force is on its way to Earth, and the Enterprise is the only ship that can stop it." Hawkeye stepped into an open pod. "Like it or not, she sails in twelve hours." He waved at the controls; a little exaggeratedly, B.J. thought. "Take me across."

B.J. closed the seals, released the docking clamps, and set the pod moving toward the Enterprise. Hawkeye was indeed a little hyped up about something, but B.J.'s mind was still on the departure orders.

"The crew haven't had nearly enough time with the new equipment," B.J. thought aloud. "The warp engines are still offline. And a desk jockey for a captain."

"Two years as exec may have kept me buried under red tape," said Hawkeye, scratching his ear, "but I'd hardly call myself a 'desk jockey'."

B.J. looked sharply at him. He was still scratching his ear, his cuff a few inches from his eyes as they met B.J.'s.

There were two and a half stripes of braid on the cuff.

"They gave her to me, Beej," Hawkeye said.

"'Gave her'?" B.J. snorted. "I doubt it was that easy with Imbry."

Hawkeye winced and grinned. "You're right."

B.J. grinned back. "Well," he said, "anyone who could pull that off, I sure as hell don't want to cross. She'll sail on time - and she'll be ready ..." He reached across the space between them and clasped Hawkeye's arm.

"... Captain."

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