“Welcome aboard, Captain.”
The Captain stepped from the transporter platform and accepted the Starfleet First Officer’s handshake. “Thank you, Commander Picard. I trust everything is in order?”
“We are merely waiting for you, sir.” Jean-Luc Picard gestured for the ranking officer to proceed him out of the transporter bay.
“Very good. How has the bridge crew been getting along?”
“Splendidly, sir.” Picard fell into step beside the Captain as they headed down the uniform beige walkways towards the turbolifts. “You could not have chosen a better executive staff.”
“That remains to be seen, Commander.” The two stepped into the lift. The doors slid shut behind them.
“Bridge,” Picard said aloud. The lift began to move. He brushed his too long dark hair off his forehead and tugged at the hem of his uniform shirt.
“You look fine, Commander,” the Captain told him. “Anyway, it is I who should be worried about my appearance. You have been on board for a standard week, while I’m meeting everyone for the first time.”
“Ah, but your reputation precedes you, Captain,” Picard said. “Whereas this is my first post as the First Officer.”
“I have every confidence in you, Jean-Luc.” The turbolift doors opened and the Captain nodded to Picard. “Shall we?”
“Attention on the bridge!” The four senior officers stood at attention as the Commander and the Captain walked onto the bridge.
“At ease,” the Captain said, though no one stood down.
“Captain, Lieutenant Jordan Rather, our Communications Officer,” Picard introduced the young redhead nearest to the lift.
“Sir, it’s a pleasure to be under your command,” Rather said, shaking the Captain’s extended hand.
“Good to have you on board, Lieutenant.”
Picard led the way down to two steps to the command floor. Two identical officers in matching red uniforms nodded in acknowledgment.
“Our Navigations Officer, Ellen Millar, and her twin sister, Sarah, who is our Helm Officer.”
“Captain,” the two sisters chimed simultaneously.
“Finally,” Picard continued, introducing the young man on the opposite side of the bridge. “Our Chief of Security, Lieutenant Commander Clark Kent.”
The Captain shook Kent’s hand, holding onto it longer than necessary. A slight frown creased his brow. “Lieutenant Commander, have we met before?”
“Depends,” Kent said. “Do you believe in fate?”
“I believe anything is possible, when I am in control.”
Kent chuckled. “A very, very long time ago, a man by the name of Lex Luthor told me that our friendship was going to be the stuff of legends.” He smiled at the surprised-looking Captain. “I have a feeling he was more right than he could have imagined.”
“Captain,” the Communications Officer said. “Command has just informed me that we’re cleared for launch.”
“Very good.” The Captain released Kent’s hand, walked over to the control consol and pressed a button. A whistle sounded throughout the starship, causing all hands to stop and listen.
“This is Captain Lex Luthor. I’d like to formally welcome everyone aboard the Stargazer. We’re about to embark on the first of many voyages as a crew.” The bald young Captain glanced over at Clark. “I believe we have a future together, and I intend to let nothing stand in the way of our friendship....”