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Captain Nyota Uhura sat at her duty desk looking through the daily briefs. Each of the ten stations of the Epsilon complex was under her command and she was very proud of it. There was a certain amount of routine, which might be considered boring by some, but not by her. It was a real challenge to keep up on all ten stations and maintain a one hundred percent readiness rating.
In addition to the regular administrative duties here on Epsilon One, she performed on-site visits to all of the stations. This aspect of her job gave her the opportunity to keep her hand in space duty. Because of these regular visits, Starfleet provided a ship at her disposal. Nyota smiled at the thought; her own ship. The U.S.S. Zhukov, a first line destroyer escort, complete with crew, was for her to use as she saw fit. The ship was even part of the sector's fleet during emergencies and special occasions. Not bad, not at all.
She thought back. After leaving the Enterprise, she had several opportunities, but decided to give the Academy a try and found out that she loved it. However, after holding the post as a special instructor for only one year, she was approached with a unique opportunity. She always felt that she was destined to move amongst the stars, and her command was the newly-commissioned heavy destroyer, the U.S.S. James T. Kirk.
When she had learned a new ship was to be built with her former captain's name, she put in for command. She received the post with the blessings of her associates and Starfleet Command as well. It was truly wonderful and probably the most satisfying duty of her life. While commanding the James T. Kirk, she had been responsible for first contact with several new races, including the Betazeds. Now they were joining the Federation and they had requested her presence during the admittance ceremonies.
So she would be going back to San Francisco one more time. Her schedule would allow for some personal time as well. That would mean a visit with her father and, of course, Scotty. Dear, sweet Scotty. They had always been close, ever since their days together on the Enterprise, but in the second half of their careers, there was something more. The two agreed that marriage was probably the answer.
Unfortunately, their careers carried them in opposite directions and they were forced to share moments together whenever possible. They made the best of it, but there were problems and even a brief moment of friction when she declined a position at Starfleet Headquarters. She would have been close to Montgomery but the position would have been one of staff and not command. Now that she was used to being her own boss, the job was declined.
Unfortunately, the decision became a focal point of temporary disharmony. As a result, command of the Epsilon complex had given her pride and career a boost, but it almost cost her, her precious Scotty.
Over the past few months, however, the two had worked it out and her personal engineer not only understood her decision but heartily endorsed the command she so richly deserved.
Now she would surprise him with an unannounced visit. Those were always the best kind. Again she smiled to herself then refocused on the various reports before her. Nyota called up the last report. As usual, mostly routine, but one item caught her attention and she said a name out loud. "Harry Mudd!" Now there's a name she hadn't heard or thought of in a long time. But what was this report about?
Screening communications for Command was part of the work. Normally she would flag anything of interest and forward it through channels in a summarized form. This particular repot, from Starbase Forty-Nine, was fairly short, but very interesting. It was definitely --
"Oh, no," she said out loud. Poor Harcourt Fenton Mudd, dead at the age of seventy-four. The Romulans were responsible, but what was an old flim-flam man like Harry doing in Romulan space? Nyota pulled the report and gave it a flag for Starfleet Intelligence. Then with a small shrug, she tried to put it out of her head for the moment, but she would tell Scotty about it.