Captain’s Personal Log, Stardate 47102.2
Captain Matsumoto Sulu
I have my Grandfather to thank for today, even though he is not here to share this moment of such pride and vindication. At least he had the satisfaction of seeing me graduate from the Starfleet Academy before he died, and go some way to assuage the pain and disappointment that had been his son, my so-called father.
I will always remember the exact words of Admiral To’Pah as he handed me this assignment:
“It is my honour, Captain Sulu, to hand you this commission… It only seems right to have a Sulu in command of Excelsior…”.
It was a surprise, I can say: to be handed this ship, in my first assignment as Captain, was beyond all my expectations. And to be told to head into the darkness, to emulate Grandfather Hikaru and Enterprise’s explorations, was a shock. Not just a shock, but an honour, and an enormous vote of confidence in me as commander. It’s a vote of confidence I shall not betray.
Hikaru Sulu commanded Excelsior for twenty years, declining promotion to Admiral on three occasions so he could stay on the bridge of this beautiful starship. But eventually he had to relinquish his hold, and took that promotion and a seat on the Starfleet Command Board Of Operations. But his spirit touched every aspect of this ship, and I’ve heard tales of subsequent commanders having a sense of unease, as if Excelsior herself was pining for the presence of Captain Sulu.
Well, here is Captain Sulu, once again, after my first day in command of this fine old vessel. I must do everything in my power to live up to the spirit of Grandfather Hikaru: it’s one hell of a responsibility.
I say “fine old ship” but Excelsior has had the best refit I have ever seen in preparation for our mission into uncharted space. Her hull and super-structure have been reinforced. The sophisticated complexity that had been her early hall-mark (and Achilles heel) has been stripped away in favour of simpler, more functional systems: this will make effecting repairs that much easier – potentially life-saving, as we will be far from any friendly Starbases for months or years on end. All that, and the addition of an improved Impulse Drive and Secondary Reactors will see her operate well in all conditions. The final touches will make her resolute and resilient on the frontiers, with High Resolution Sensors and a Quantum Torpedo Bay, to augment the existing standard firepower of Phasers and Photon Torpedoes.
Excelsior is a fine ship, and my Command Crew is coming along well.
My XO is a Vulcan, Lieutenant-Commander Rekan. True to the Vulcan traits of intelligence and curiousity he is my Science Officer. A difficult but committed officer, he mutinied in all but name against his Captain aboard the USS Eclipse. His decision was ultimately vindicated, showing excellent judgement and a moral strength that will serve Excelsior well. But I should expect my command decisions to be scrutinised and challenged at every turn until I can win him to my command style. And perhaps, not even then.
The ship’s Doctor, my Chief Medical Officer, is a Tellarite, Lieutenant-Commander Ketsu. I haven’t had much experience of Tellarites, and Ketsu’s direct no-nonsense approach is both a refreshing change and a test of my patience. But he is highly skilled and comes with the highest of recommendations, and I am lucky to have him on my crew.
My Chief Engineer is yet to be assigned, and I look forward to meeting him or her in due course. But much of the work to refit and upgrade Excelsior has been led by one of the more junior Engineering Operations Managers, an optimistic young Lieutenant (Junior Grade) called Nikolai Tokhtakhounov. He has been the driving force behind much of the work to simplify the technology and make Excelsior less prone to technical breakdown. He has done an excellent job, and I expect he will rise up the ranks in short order.
Finally I come to my Chief of Security. I have to record that my feelings may not be entirely objective in this case. Torgh, son of Pok, is a half-cast Klingon/Human, and one of the first to serve in Starfleet in the tradition started by his father and Worf of the Enterprise. The threat to my objectivity in this case comes from my friendship with his father, Pok, when we served three years together aboard USS Bridgetown. We fought side by side in the disaster that was the Battle of Wolf 359. When Bridgetown was boarded by the Borg we fought hand to hand, Pok wreaking havoc in the best Klingon tradition with his Batleth. But the odds were overwhelming, and Pok was mortally wounded. Despite my desperate attempts to save him he died in my arms.
It was a good death, a warrior’s death, a Klingon’s death…
Before he died he made me swear a promise, to protect and mentor his son, Torgh, and deliver the blood-stained Batleth into his son’s hands. The memory of the day I did so still brings a tear to my eye…
So, when I had the chance I made a personal request for Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Torgh, son of Pok, to be assigned to my crew. He is talented with huge potential, and I have recorded elsewhere the official reasons for my promoting him to full Lieutenant and appointing him as Chief of Security. It’s a risk, but I see Pok’s strength in him, and I am confident that my trust is well-placed. But perhaps that is just wishful thinking: only time will tell…
Such is my new command, my first as Captain: I can’t wait to set sail.
And should we come across any Borg in our travels? Well, let’s just say, that resistance is NOT futile…
Captain Mat Sulu