"Putting a plan into motion"
by Captain Robert Edward Lee Price
After stepping in on Lieutenant Mercury's meeting in Main Engineering, Captain Price was pleased that the Chief Engineer and his team had formulated a plan. They were going to attempt to contain the expanding vortex by surrounding it with a series of stationary satellites, and then channeling the bulk of the USS Galaxy's warp core energy through the network to create a massive warp shell around the entire spatial anomaly. It would be the largest such warp shell ever attempted in the Alpha quadrant. Once the fluidic vortex was contained, a series of pre planted anti matter mines around the maul of the vortex would be detonated, to try and compress the walls of the fluidic funnel, with a final anti-matter photon torpedo fired from the Galaxy to hopefully seal the vortex the same way an explosive blast can quench a blazing liquid fire.
The teams of Officers and crewman that made up the Engineering core of the Galaxy were rising to the occasion. It was calculated that a total of 32 stationary satellites would be needed to surround the vortex, spaced closely enough to allow the generation of a warp field of sufficient strength to affect the fluidic vortex. For each satellite, three anti-matter mines would be carefully placed and positioned so their shaped charges would direct the deadly blasting force of the anti-matter explosions towards the vortex to help collapse her fluidic funnel. A last team was busy preparing a photon torpedo with enough anti-matter explosive to create a charge theoretically sufficient to seal the vortex once and for all. One of the engineers made a passing joke about the destructive force of the 'filled to the brim' torpedo casing having the power output of twenty quantum torpedoes. The engineering challenge was to figure out a way to launch the highly volatile weapon without destroying the ship.
Captain Price walked back through the corridors of the Galaxy. Having left Main Engineering so that Mercury and his staff could get to work on the new plan, Lee decided to stop into Ten Forward to get a quick bite to eat. He knew the Galaxy was in good hands with Lieutenant Thomas on the Bridge, and if the Captain didn't take a break now, it would be unlikely that he'd get another chance before it was time to execute Lieutenant Mercury's plan to try and close the vortex.
Walking into the lounge, Lee glanced around. The place was not overly busy, but there were a few patrons there which the Captain gave a gentle nod to. His eyes scanned the room and paused momentarily at the Galaxy's newest bartender, Mr. Dorffen. He was part Cardassian which unfortunately lead to a certain degree of mistrust and prejudice given the current situation with the Federation and the Cardassian-Dominion war. The Captain knew that it wouldn't be easy for Door, but he also knew that Door was half Betazoid. With the recent fall of Betazed to the Dominion, Door didn't have anywhere else to turn. He refused to stay on Bajor after they signed the anti-aggression pact with the Dominion. And he was not trusted on earth, even though he was born and raised there as a child. Since dropping out of Starfleet academy, he'd been treated as even more of an outcast than he was before. Lee gave Door a nod of recognition to acknowledge his presence, and more importantly his personal approval.
Captain Price sat down and glanced out the lounge portals at the swirling vortex. From this vantage point, it appeared to be almost beautiful. A sort of dangerous, hypnotic attraction, like watching the crackling of a burning fire. But the Captain knew all too well how deceptive that beauty really was. The entire crew of the Galaxy had experienced it first hand when they all nearly perished in the currents of the fluidic vortex.
"Can I get you anything Captain?" a feminine voice asked.
Lee turned and glanced up at an attractive Ktarian hostess. "G'day miss." He started looking up into Xala's eyes, "I'll 'ave a cup of Ractajino for starters." He smiled.
"Coming right up sir. If you haven't anything in particular in mind, I would suggest trying the hot Ferengi vegetable stew. It is quite good." Xala mentioned.
Lee smiled slightly, "You aren't going to chew it for me, are you miss?" the Captain joked of the Ferengi tradition.
"No Captain, I'd have to know you a lot better before I would do that. If you'll excuse me, I'll get you your Klingon coffee." Xala explained in a professional manner before leaving.
The Captain got his Ractajino, and the Ferengi stew. The hostess was correct, it was quite a delicious meal. Just when he had finished eating, his comm badge hailed.
["Casey Ti Miran to Captain Price. Captain have you got a moment?"] the former Chief Helmsman asked.
Lee tapped his communicator badge, "Go ahead 'mate. What can I do for you Miran?"
["Captain, I was hoping you could stop by our quarters and visit with Colby. He's been asking about you sir. I think he'd like it if you could manage to stop by, even if only for a few minutes. It would mean a lot to him sir."] she explained.
Captain Price paused for a moment. With all of the stress and responsibility over the last couple of days, he had forgotten about the eight year old Betazoid stow away that Deiran's wife had volunteered to watch. "Tell the 'Ambassador' that I will be there directly." Lee mussed.
["I will sir. I am sure Colby will like that very much Captain. Casey Ti out."] Miran said with a smile in her tone before closing the channel.
Patting the corners of his mouth with a napkin, Captain Price stood from the table and straightened his duty jacket with a slight tug.
"Duty calls Captain?" Xala asked while preparing to clear away the dishes from the Captain's table.
"Of a different sort, miss?..." he beckoned.
"Xala." The Ktarian smiled, picking up the Captain's plate and piling on the other dishes on top. "Did you like the stew sir?"
"Yes, it was quite delicious just as you said. Thank you." Captain Price replied.
"See sir, I knew you could chew it all by yourself." Xala smiled before turning to bring the dishes back to the replicator for recycling. Pausing, Xala turned back and added, "See you later Captain. Come again."
Lee gave her a nod and then turned to exit Ten Forward and head for the Casey's quarters to check in on "Ambassador" Colby to see how the boy was doing.
Sunder looked around the sickbay with a sense of total bewilderment. He had no recollection of visiting sickbay. He struggled with a dizzying sense of nausea to sit up and ask someone just what was going on. At first he thought he was simply weakened by whatever it was that had caused him to be admitted as a patient, but looking down at the bed restraints that prevented him from sitting up told him that something was truly wrong in the state of Denmark.
Unfortunately, nobody seemed to be around in his immediate vicinity and while the urge to exert his manly strength and break free of his bonds did leap foremost to his mind, the urge to vomit was even stronger. Sure enough, the most basic of the two reflexes won out and Sunder was twisting his torso to heave out the contents of his stomach on the nearest side of the floor.
" Urrrgh. " He groaned, the bitter taste of bile stinging his mouth. He flopped back on the bed, feeling a bit better if somewhat light-headed. He fumbled for the call button at the base of the bed that was placed conveniently close to his restrained hands. Within seconds a nurse entered the room and grimaced to see the mess on the floor.
" Sorry about that. " Ursa croaked. " I tried to hold it back, but ... "
" Don't worry, I'll take care of it. " The nurse said sympathetically as he moved to find a waste disposal unit.
" If it's not too much trouble, could you remove these? I'm fairly sure you're not in any danger. "
" Well, if you could have seen yourself when you were brought in for treatment, you might think something elese. " The nurse started. " But I'll leave that decision up to the doctor. "
" Who's attending? " Sunder asked, puzzled by the nurse's comments.
" That would Dr. Khatroweena - she brought you in with a couple of security guards. " The waste unit had finished transporting the offending mess away. He straightened up to put the unit back in its place. Afterwards he checked out Sunder's vitals on the monitoring instruments. " You look like you're doing fine. " He observed.
" I AM fine - just a bit groggy, that's all. " Sunder growled, feeling frustrated by this whole affair. " Now take these damn things off me. "
" Not without the doctor's approval first, Lt.-Commander. "
" Then get her in here. "
" In all due time. She's currently occupied with another matter. You'll just have to be a bit patient, I'm afraid. "
" Fine. " Sunder said, slumping back dejectedly. " At least you could get me something to eat while I'm waiting... "
"A Fairy Tale: Part 2"
Lt. Commander Deiran Casey
Casey Ti Miran
Deiran was tired. He was always tired. He just saved the ship, its crew, his family, himself. But, he would not act in his old, less dignified way. He would treat it as he had done his duty and nothing more. He did however hope it went on his record, it would be a good thing to read when the Captain went to hand out promotions in the future. After all, he may change his demeanor around the crew, but his heart was one of ambition and goals of power in the Federation.
But, Deiran was also a man of honor. His own interpretation of honor, not that of a pacifist coward. He would fight for what he believed in and kill if necessary, but never with joy.
As he headed to the turbolift with the Commander and Leslie, he realized that hegasped in horror! "Oh my God, Miran!" And took off in a flash of blurred light.
*** Entrance of Holodeck 2 ***
When Deiran arrived Miran was nowhere to be found. The holodecks were still shut down. Deiran knew he might be in trouble. When it came to a woman, you approached her anger with a greater tact than you would a Bird Of Prey full of Klingons, and much more cautiously. For women, Deiran had learned, have a fierce temper that seemed to take hold of all female species in the galaxy. How to make her docile, to calm her? They were after all in the middle of a romantic evening when they were interrupted.
As he stood there thinking, Jurelle approached him from behind. She tapped on his shoulder, a gentle tap. Deiran turned so quick and moved with such speed, that Jurelle was up against the wall with her neck and body being pressed against Deiranhigh on adrenaline.
The position of both lasted for a second until Deiran realized who the person was.
"Forgive me Doctor, my apologies. I m still on an adrenaline high from my encounter with the Breen. I hope you will forgive me?" Deiran said as he gently backed away. His face said he was sorry, his features truly remorseful.
"Congratulations, " Jurelle replied with a smile.
"How do you know?" Deiran asked.
"Leslie is in Ten Forward having a drink and going on about what happened.By now your exploits have been spread throughout the ship, " Jurelle laughed.
Deiran stood there smiling, he enjoyed it, but said nothing.
"I gave you a chance to brag and gloat and you didnt take it?" Jurelle asked in shock.
"It was my duty, that's all," Deiran replied, a slight gleam in his eye.
Well, our young dashing hero is learning modesty. Shall wonders never cease?" Jurelle replied, laughing with gusto at the prospect.
"Gee, thanks. Its not modesty," Deiran replied, feigning a look of offense.
"I was looking for you though. Did you still need me to take care of Lara for a few hours?" Jurelle asked.
"Doctor, I would be grateful if you would. Miran and I need some time together." Deiran stopped and asked the computer, "Where is Casey Ti Miran?"
[Casey Ti Miran is in her quarters.] The computer replied.
"Would you come with me? You can baby-sit for Lara in our quarters while I make up with my wife for leaving her to go save the ship," Deiran said, his feet starting to move toward the turbolift.
"Miran should be used to it by now. Do you ever sleep?" Jurelle joked.
"I'm starting to worry that she's getting too used to it. I don't want to lose her. I'm trying to show her how much I love her and still keep my career intact," Deiran was almost melancholy as he spoke.
*** Casey Quarters, Deck 8 ***
Deiran and Jurelle entered the quarters. Miran was sitting at her couch, looking at a PADD, her eyes a little red around the edges. Lara was in her crib. Deiran walked over to Miran, took her hand and walked with her to the door.
"Wait Deiran, what about Lara?" Miran said, her concern showing for her baby. She didn't want to leave her daughter.
"Honey, that's why Jurelle is here. She has agreed to baby-sit for us. Who better than the ships CMO ay?" Deiran said. He didn't give her time to refuse and led her out of the room. "Make yourself comfy Jurelle, we
"No, buts," Deiran interrupted.
"Take your time, Lara is sleeping so I'll catch up on reports. She'll be well taken care of, I assure you."
"Thanks Doc," Deiran said as the doors closed behind him.
*** Deck 8 corridor ***
It was just the end of Beta shift when Deiran and Miran were making their way to the holodecks. They entered the turbolift and were surprised to see the Captain.
"Hello Commander, Miran. Good to see you mates. Bonzer job in the torpedo bay Mr. Casey, quick thinking mate," the Captain was smiling.
"Thank you sir, I just did what came natural," Casey was being modest again. Both Miran and the Captain were shocked.
"You acted quickly, took initiative and saved the ship along with the Commander. It showed valor," the Captain replied. "Be proud of your husband Miran, he and Commander Sterner and the Counselor saved us all today. G'day 'mates," he said as he exited the TL.
"So I am married to a hero?" Miran said Saracastically. They were alone for the first time since Deiran left to go with Sterner.
"Honey, I'm sorry that I let. I am. But I was needed, its my job, my duty. Please understand?" Deiran was begging his wife to understand him and why he worked so hard.
"What about your duty to your family, to Lara... to me?" Miran looked at him just about ready to cry. So many times he had not been there when she needed him, so many times.
"You're right, and I am going to try and spend more time with you. You have my word."
"The word of an Irishman? Or the word of a Starfleet Officer?" she asked seriously.
"Both," Deiran replied, smiling.
Miran managed a small grin but she still felt hurt. His smile always did want to make her melt, so dashing and charming. He knew it melted her when he showed her his smile. He always used it to his advantage. She tried to take that warmth and gain strength from it.
"I want to go back to the holodecks. You only saw the countryside. You never saw the real reason I brought you there. Would you go with me?" he asked.
"Yes, but may we eat first?" she replied, her stomach was growling.
"Okay, we can eat in the holo-program. You can have anything you want, the replicators are tied into this program."
*** Holodeck 2 ***
Deiran reactivated the program with his command clearance. The Breen Sunder was chasing had been captured and the threat was now gone. It was safe to use the holodecks.
Deiran wanted to make one last modification, "Computer, start program in the courtyard instead of the countryside please."
The computer chirped and beeped and finished applying Deiran's command.
The holodeck doors opened and Miran was met with a b
reathtaking sight. A wondrous palace, a huge fountain, surrounded by more fountains, gold statues adorning the pools at the perfect spots. It was a work of art.
"The fountain there is called the Grand Cascade. I modified this program. You will play a Queen, using your real name, and I play your King. We can do anything you want. But, play along for a little bit. I want the servants to spoil you. You are truly worthy to be called Queen. I hope you enjoy this present, a gift from my heart, I hope you enjoy the next few hours. You can come here anytime you want and enjoy this place, I made it for you."
Deiran spoke from his heart. There were times when Deiran had difficulties with expressing his feelings to Miran, so he tried to express them by his actions, hoping she understood. He was saying you are my Queen, and I will give you the world, palaces, riches, my heart and undying affection.
Miran was awed by the size and beauty of the palace. "What is this place? Did you make this yourself? What do you call it?" she asked, her eyes wide, a smile adorning her face, her eyes lighting up her face with a sparkle.
"Well, I programmed this, but I didn't design it. It is a Russian Palace, the name is The Palace Of Tsarskeyo Selo in St. Petersburg. It was made for Catherine The Great. To the people in this program you are Catherine the Great. So, you are the Empress Of Russia. Best of all you get to spend time in the palace. You think the outside is beautiful?"
"Yes, it is exquisite!" Miran replied.
"The inside is even better!" Deiran said with enthusiasm. He then began to tell her the history of the Palace and of Catherine The Great.
They finally reached the entrance to the palace. Deiran was so excited. He had taken great care in recreating the palace interiors exactly as it was in Catherine "Wait, hon, we will need clothes of the period. Computer, give me a white and black suit for the time period of the early 18th century. Give Casey Ti Miran a dress to match my suit and the time period."
Instantly, they were in period clothing. Miran looked absolutely stunning. A beautiful white gown, made of silk and satin. She truly looked like a Queen. Deiran almost fainted when he saw how beautiful she looked. He then moved to her back, and removed the pins in her hair to let her hair down. He loved Miran "Miran, my sweet, you are a vision of true beauty. Shall we begin our romantic rendezvous?" he held his arm out for her as a gentleman did in those days and escorted her through the grand doors of the Catherine Palace.
The servants bowed to their Empress and King as they entered the palace. Miran wasn't at ease with the treatment. It was an odd feeling
"Where should we go next?" Miran asked expectantly as she gawked at the dreamlike entryway.
"Here," Deiran directed her through two golden doors. They both slowly walked into the Painting Gallery. The floor was decorated in a circle and checker pattern, the floors polished to perfection. To their left was a wall filled with gorgeous paintings of antiquity. The other walls were decorated with sculptures of gold and copper and fitted onto the velvet white walls. The windows were designed to allow light to shine off the sculptures and create a golden light in the room, illuminating the paintings.
"This is so beautiful, " Miran exclaimed.
"This is one of the lesser rooms. Through here is the throne room. Your throne room," he said your throne roomher jaw dropped. The room was absolutely beautiful.
A floor of black marble, French style windows on both sides of the room that let in sunlight, gold walls with beautiful patterns of flowers and antiquities, two gold chairs were positioned at the head of the room. A piano was off to the left. And the ceiling was a mural of angels and prophets. The room was one of the most beautiful man had ever created.
The setting was just as it was in Catherine's time. There were servants, statesmen, nobles and others of prestige in the room. They all bowed as Deiran and Miran entered the room. Miran seemed nervous and shy as all eyes were on her. Miran felt as she must be crimison.
Whispers of "Look how beautiful the Empress looks today" were heard throughout the room. Upon hearing the statements, Miran blushed even deeper. A nice touch in programming Deiran thought to himself. It took a minute to walk the length of the room. Deiran helped Miran onto her throne.
"My dear Empress, I have composed a song for you, that I would like to play for you now." Deiran bowed like a gentleman and then proceeded to the piano. He sat on the bench, closed his eyes and began the intro to the song. It had a haunting melody, similar to the fantasy overture of Romeo & Juliet, but with even more passion. Deiran played like a virtuoso as his hands stroked the keys in perfect rhythm and timing. The melody invoked tears in Miran's eyes as the song was so powerful. She could feel Deiran's passio and love for her. The holograms noticed her tears, thinking themselves lucky to experience a moment such as this between the Empress and King of Russia.
Then Deiran stood up form the piano bench and politely dismissed everyone. One servant stayed behind.
"Xander, please bring us the food we ordered earlier please. We will eat here."
"Yes your highness, immediately," the servant replied.
In minutes the food and a table appeared before them. Deiran and Miran sat down to eat. Miran had her favorite Bajoran delicacy. Deiran ate Steak and Lobster, with a tangy grape juice, not fermented.
Deiran took a bite of his steak. He hesitated to bring up his thoughts to his wife. But, he knew he must confront her. His love for her compelled him to bring the last few months out into the open.
"Miran, honey, I love you with all my heart. I haven't been the greatest husband in the world. I have tried my best. You have blessed me with your love, your kindness, your friendship and a beautiful daughter," Deiran stopped to take a bite of steak. "I have noticed that there is something wrong, and I want to help you. You hardly ever smile, or laugh, your very quiet. What's wrong hon, can I help you? Please let me help with what's bothering you?" Deiran said this with sensitivity and true love, he was concerned and was honest with her. He had always been honest with her.
"You are never there. I have to take care of Lara alone, I eat alone, most of the time I even sleep alone. Deiran, I am tired of being lonely. It seems like you do not care but then you do something like this." Tears rolled down her face.
"What can I do to help sweetheart?" Deiran asked, his heart breaking for his love.
"Do not work as much. Surely they understand that you have a family to take care of too. Stay with me a while please?"
"I promise that things will be different from now on. I'll do everything I can to help you. I promise Miran. And I will spend more time with you and Lara. If I can, I'll request some leave and we can go to Bajor for a vacation. Maybe we can do that soon. I have only taken a few days of shore leave since graduating from the Academy, I'm long overdue for a vacation. Would you like that?"
"Really?" Hope filled her. Would they really get to go to Bajor?
They finished their meal. Deiran had a surprise for his wife now, that he knew she would enjoy.
"Computer set Casey program alpha 0177-08."
[Working program alpha 0177-08 is now running.]
The only thing that changed was instead of it being daylight it was now nighttime. Two ladies in waiting escorted Miran to her bedroom where she would get dressed for the Ball.
Deiran went to his bedroom and dressed in his finest 18th century attire. A satin white suit with silver lining and white shoes, his long blonde hair in a pony tail that stopped at his neck and shoulders. He looked the part of a regal king.
*** Grand Ballroom, The Catherine Palace ***
The room glittered in the candlelight, the orchestra played beautiful melodies, music that filled the soul as it took hold of the listenersears. The room was full of costumed characters, with white wigs for the men, and tall white feminine wigs for the women. There was at least 400 people in the Ballroom. The Ballroom was red, blue and gold with 18th century furniture to the exact detail. Deiran took great care in accuracy of the period.
The Great Hall was all white marble. It was directly outside the Ballroom. Deiran was approaching the Ballroom, his royal entourage following behind him. He could see at the other end of the hall, his wife and her ladies in waiting, were approaching him. She was still too far away to see, but he could see the blue dress she chose for the occasion. It made her look angelic.
Deiran and Miran walked to each other. Deiran bowed to his wife, "Milady, you look truly beautiful, an angel walking among us."
Miran blushed, smiling a little at her husband "Shall we my dear?" Deiran asked. She put her arm around his and they walked into the Ballroom.
The entire crowd of people stopped dancing. The orchestra discontinued and started to play the Russian Royal anthem. All eyes were on the Caseys.
Miran looked beautiful in her blue 18th century authentic gown. She wore a white wig of the time and even the undergarments of the period. Deiran insisted on accuracy, he enjoyed acting for some strange reason. The orchestra began playing the Blue Danube waltz. And the people watched their King and Empress dance. Deiran had improved his dance since the first time they met. He was no Fred Astaire but he was good enough to appear dashing and suave as he guided his wife across the dance floor.
The orchestra finished the Blue Danube and began playing the Claire de Lune by Debussy. A very slow song, it brought tears to Miran's eyes as Deiran led her. Deiran moved perfectly to the music. His love and passion for his wife showed with each movement, each touch. Each delicate kiss.
Then the Piano concerto no.21 2nd movement was played by the orchestra. A brilliant piece by Mozart. Miran looked happy. She was smiling and looking adoringly into Deiranmusic, and to the other Deiran was making sure he was dancing to the music as precisely as possible while staying in character as King, or Tsar of the Russian Empire.
Miran felt happy for the first time in a long time. Deiran really did love her.
And then the orchestra began the Fantasy Overture: Romeo & Juliet by Tchaikovsky. The room was full of dancers, the room was lit up like heaven. The whites, golds, blues and reds in the room seemed to shine under the candlelight. The large mirrors on each wall added to the effect of illuminating the Ballroom. It was like dancing in pure light but easy on the eyes. It put Deiran and Miran in a dreamlike state, a fairy tale of indescribable power.
The orchestra deftly moved from the Fantasy Overture and began the Piano Concerto No.2, 3rd movement by Chopin and then smoothly shifting to "The Swan" from Carnival Of The Animals by Saint Saens.
Listening to the melody, Miran rested her head on Deiran's chest. She listened to his heartbeat mainly to prove to her that this was not a dream and he really was dancing with her.
Deiran leaned down to his wife's ear and whispered, "It's beating for you only." The passion in his words brought Miran to tears. She needed this time with Deiran desperately. She smiled, her love for Deiran being renewed with each beat of his heart she heard.
"Okay, get ready. The next song is quick," Deiran smiled. The music of the Hungarian Dance No.5 by Brahms began to play. Deiran and Miran flew across the dance floor, enjoying the song, laughing as they tried to keep up with the music.
Then the music of Schubertthrough the Grand Ballroom.
"Are you getting tired?" Deiran asked Miran.
"Yes I am, can we take a walk in the courtyard?" she asked.
They stopped dancing and walked to the glass doors and out into the lit courtyard. They were holding hands as they walked. "I love you," Deiran said as he looked into her eyes.
"I love you," she replied.
Deiran took Miran in his arms and kissed her, a passionate kiss that expressed his undying love to her. Miran touched his chest, his face as they kissed. Each touch delicate and precious. Their eyes met, no words were spoken. They were talking with their thoughts almost. Each knowing what the other wanted. Deiran gently picked Miran up into his arms and carried her to the Royal Bed Chamber. Their love expressed through action and passion, a love renewed.
Written Kornan Rios
Waiting was always the hardest part of many jobs. I was starting to talk to my self.
"Join the Imperial Navy they said. It's exicting they said! they are dishonorable targs!"
from the bed where Sunder was I head a noice. I slowly stood up, the nurse went over to sunder. After a short time the Doctor went over. After the doctor had finished I went over.
"Sir I hope you can ::pause:: Forgive me for fighting you. I was only protecting the ship and my self!"
"Sir I might come back later and talk to you. you seem a little distressed. I turned and left SB."
"8 year old briefings"
by Captain Robert Edward Lee Price
Captain Price made his way through the broad circular corridors of the Galaxy class starship. He soon found him self at the Casey's quarters where he buzzed in and waited for a reply, straightening his jacket and brushing away a piece of lint opposite his comm badge.
["Enter"] came Miran's voice through the hall mounted communicator. The door swooshed open and Captain Price entered. Inside he saw the smiling face of the little Betazoid Ambassador who sat coloring on the floor near little Lara.
"So this is what you've been up to all of this time 'mate." Captain Price greeted.
Miran just smiled and nodded at the Captain when he entered. She was holding Lara in her lap and rocking her gently.
"Yep. Wanna see? I colored all of these on my own." Colby said proudly, gesturing to the coffee table that had a half a dozen colored pictures displayed upon it.
Lee stepped over and admired the young artist's work. "These are bonzer drawings 'mate." he said picking one up and looking at it. "These are of the Galaxy?"
Colby nodded, "Mm-hum. And that's the Breen ship we rescued. And this one is the shuttle craft exploding... see how the people are getting away in their suits... and this one is the Jem'Hadar ship attacking us in the vortex..." Colby explained enthusiastically, "and this one is a picture of the Breen getting shot out the photon torpedo tube and blowing up, that's his blood..." the boy pointed out, which made the Captain smile slightly since Breen don't have blood, but he let the boy carry on, "....and this is Commander Deiran firing his phaser at the other Breen and saving the entire ship from the bomb they planted in the torpedo room... that's the First officer being choked by the other Breen in the back ground... just before they pushed him out the torpedo tube in that picture."
Captain Price placed his hands on his hips and was quite impressed at the level of knowledge Colby had just demonstrated in describing the recent events on board the USS Galaxy through his drawings and explanations. "These are most impressive 'mate. How did you come to know about all of these events?" Lee asked.
"Commander Deiran told me." Colby smiled.
Lee looked over at Miran who was hiding a smile while she adjusted Lara's booted jammies. It seemed just like Deiran to brag about himself to an enthusiastic eight year old eager to hear great tales of adventure and excitement. What made this special was that in this case, everything 'Commander Casey had told the boy was true. He, Sterner and Counselor Wilson had saved the ship. It was something that the Captain was going to make a point to note in their records.
"Well, I must say, you have been busy here and these are excellent drawings. What is that one you are working on? It sure is colorful." Lee asked.
"That's the Galaxy when we were trapped in the vortex and spinning around and around and around after the Jem'Hadar ship fired at us and hit the vortex instead. I'm not done with that one yet." Colby explained.
Lee smiled, "Well, I like it a lot. You will have to show it to me when it's finished 'mate. You 'ave a lot of talent for such a young man." Lee commented.
Colby smiled and admired the drawings he'd colored that laid across the coffee table. The Captain's praise meant a lot to the young boy, he stood there proudly. Nearly as dignified as when he toured the bridge as "Ambassador Colby".
The Captain's comm badge sang out, interrupting the visit. Lee reached across and tapped the badge, "Price here, go ahead 'mate."
It was the voice of Lieutenant Mercury the Chief Engineer. ["Captain, Lieutenant Mercury here sir. We are ready to start deploying the satellites around the perimeter of the vortex opening. I have a crew still working on the shaped anti-matter charges, but I think we have enough created already to begin positioning some of the satellites and getting everything ready sir."]
Lee nodded, "I understand Lieutenant. By all means, begin having your people deploy the satellites and the shaped anti-matter explosives around the vortex opening. How is the progress coming on the anti-matter torpedo?"
["There are still a few things that need to be worked out with that Captain, to insure a safe launch out of the torpedo bay, but we should have it pinned down before the last of the thirty two satellites is in position and ready to go."] David explained.
"Fair dinkum 'mate. I'll be on the bridge in my ready room if you need me. Price out." Lee replied, deactivating his comm badge with a tap before looking back at Colby.
Kneeling down, Lee came to eye level with the boy, "Duty calls 'mate. I have to go. You be good for Miss Casey Ti here. And be sure to finish that drawing there, I like that one very much." Captain Price smiled.
"Okay. I will." The boy said is a quiet tone, slightly saddened that the Captain had to leave.
"That's a good 'mate." Captain Price said, rubbing a hand on Colby's hair playfully. "I'll see you later this evening. G'day."
Captain Price stood up and began to exit the quarters, pausing to thank Miran, "Thank you for keeping an eye on the little rascal. I know this was kind of sudden."
"Don't worry about it Captain. Colby has been a pleasure. He even helped me to calm down Lara when we were caught in the vortex and she started crying because of the motion of the ship." Miran explained still holding her new born baby she and Deiran shared.
"Well, I just want you to know I appreciate it 'mate. G'day." Lee said with a nod before exiting the Casey's quarters and heading towards the Bridge.
Chanor stood before holodeck three, once again. He was a first thinking of all the events that had happened on the ship in the last few hours (Mainly whilst he was asleep, lucky him!). The Jem'Hadar, the Breen escaping, and now Commander Sunder in sickbay, having gone ballistic in holodeck one. He'd carefully avoided going to that one, just incase something else happened there, whilst he was inside.
So now he stood outside holodeck three, about to try the Jem'Hadar boarding for one last time. It seemed even more vital now to have the simulation up and ready, so he wanted to see whether the computer could handle one last variable. Ensign Neg'Puj had programmed the simulation well, and he was confident it could be done. He stepped inside, called up the arch, and asked for Security-Jem'Hadar programme. However, this time he asked for something a little different.
"Computer, since the programme is programmed to allow anyone to use the simulation, replacing themselves in the holodeck, is it possible to allow me to play Captain Price, and have his holoperson play Lieutenant Paran?"
"Working." the computer replied, before coming up with, "Affirmative."
"Computer, programme in a list that allows a person to select anyone on the Galaxy to play during this simulation, but set the default as themselves."
Computer, run programme, replacing Captain Price with myself, and placing him as a security Lieutenant."
The programme started up, and Chanor, for the first time, found himself just infront of the command dias of the bridge. He looked around, and saw Commander Sterner in the first officers chair, Lieutenant Blair at tactical, Lieutenant Bancroft at the helm, 'Commander Casey at Ops, and Ensign Gretzkey at the Engineering station.
"Computer, begin simulation." he stated, sitting down in 'the big chair!'
The simulation started immediately, with all the usual bridge noise that these officers would be accustomed to. However, it was all very strange for himself. Mr. Blair immediately gave him a report,
"Sir, three Jem'Hadar warships, approaching fast, bearing 226 mark 265."
"Mr. Blair, raise shields, red alert. Arm all weapons. Miss Bancroft, set course, 228 mark 250."
"Sir, that will take us nearly directly in the path of the enemy ships." she answered.
"I am aware of that Lieutenant, lay in the course, and prepare to engage."
Sterner looked over at him and quietly asked,
"Sir, may I enquire as to what you intend to do?"
Chanor's reply was startling blunt,
"I'm not quite sure yet, Commander, but bear with me."
Sterner's face turned a little paler at this, but he faced his tactical screen, watching the Jem'Hadar move in rapidly. As they approached to within weapons range, he suddenly told the helm to engage at full impulse, sending the Galaxy straining at her structural integrity, but avoiding the first volley from the warships.
"Mr. Blair, fire all weapons."
The Galaxy unleashed a powerful first strike at the lead warship, knocking it heavily off it's flight path. However, the second two swung round with amazing speed, and made for the rear of the Galaxy.
"Helm, evasive manoeuvres. Mr. Sterner, call security up here, just incase we're boarded."
Both responded with an aye sir, as the Galaxy raced away from her pursuers. Lieutenant Blair periodly fired torpedos at the incoming Jem'Hadar ships, managing to cripple the lead one, and seriously damaged another. However, as he had expected, his tactical skills weren't really up to ship to ship fighting, and with shields failing, he prepared himself and the security team who had arrived (one of whom was 'Lieutenant' Price), for close combat fighting. It didn't take long after the shields were gone, for six Jem'Hadar warriors to emerge on the bridge.
Chanor fired immediately, as did Lieutenant Lawson, but he noticed that Price was slow off the mark. Suddenly realising that he didn't have proper security training, he knew the battle was lost here. Sterner was already up, engaging in hand to hand with the Jem'Hadar, and Chanor tried to stay back, as his skill lay in ranged weapons. However, as more Jem'Hadar boarded, and Lieutenant K'arta reported an increasingly weak situation, Chanor stood and cancelled the simulation.
'Looks like I ain't up to tactical duty just yet afterall' he thought, before heading down to securuity. Once there, he sent one message out,
To: All security, command and tactical staff
Thank you, and please try out the simulation.
From: Lieutenant Paran, security
Subject: Holodeck Programme
You will find a holodeck programme called "Security-Jem'Hadar" on the holodeck. It is designed as a training exercise for security personel to fight the Jem'Hadar, and report response times. However, Ensign Neg'Puj programmed in a ten-minute delay before such an event occurs, and this would allow any command or tactical staff the chance to try to destroy the Jem'Hadar warships before the ship is boarded. The simualation is not specifically designed to do this, so it should be a challenge to all concerned. Furthermore, you can also 'swap' roles, and play in a different position if you wish. I found out this afternoon that I need to brush up on my 'how to captain a starship' skills.
Thank you, and please try out the simulation.
He finished the message, sent it, and sat back, hoping Lt. K'arta would be pleased at the job he'd done. He then set to work to arrange drill times for security officers on the holodeck programme.
Lt. Paran Chanor
by Lieutenant Greer Erikson
Personal log, Stardate 49804.22
I always understood that a career in Starfleet involved risks. I also knew that as a scientist I would explore the unknown in an attempt to decipher the mysteries of the universe. I knew that leading an away mission placed the lives of those under my command, however, I was unprepared for dealing with the loss of one of those lives. True to form, Ronni had organised a celebration of Ensign Tholen's life, and although I considered it, I could not face the thought of being in the same room as her friends and feeling how I do.
Greer continued to pace around his quarters in a near circular fashion. He was uncertain of exactly how he should feel or what exactly what he wanted to do. He had rarely had problems with indecision, but it was obvious that he was frustrated which he had been unable to vent out in a constructive way. In some ways, he became more frustrated in that he couldn't simply relax.
[Time is thirteen hours forty.] the computer replied coldly.
Greer sat down to gather his thoughts. It was the beta shift and he was not required to be on the Bridge. In times like this he would usually go to bother AC as he worked in Engineering or tinkering with something in his quarters, however, his friend was still in Sickbay. The Holodecks had already reserved for other uses and he didn't really feel prepared to go to Ten Forward.
"Erikson to Ensign O'Hare."
"Jon, have you and Idana been able to reconstruct the data contained in the tricorders at all?"
[The data is badly corrupted. I don't think we'll be able to recover very much of the information at all.]
"I see." Greer replied in a disappointment tone. "Please keep trying and let me know if your able to get anything. Erikson out."
Tapping his finger against the armrest of the chair, he looked into the void of space. He tried to allow his mind to drift, only finding that he concentrated more and more on the fact that he was finding it difficult to relax. Deep down he knew that he needed advice, he needed to discuss what had happened on the away mission, someone to tell him where he went wrong or perhaps even that it wasn't his fault.
Once again finding it uncomfortable in the chair, the young man went to the replicator. "Milk, warm, a dash of nutmeg and cinnamon."
Moments after the replicator produced the beverage, the aroma of the cinnamon and nutmeg were carried through the air and awaking his feline companion from her sleep. Running from her resting place, she began pacing around his feet in an attempt to attract his attention.
"What do you want mischievous?" Greer asked as he looked down on Jasey, who responded with something that sounded like a cross between a purr and a meow.
"Feline supplement 69."
Placing the bowl of cat food down on the ground, Jasey's attentions turned away from Greer and the replicator, towards the food. He watched her eat for a little while before sitting down at his desk and going through his correspondance.
Lieutenant David Mercury
Chief of Engineering
The Captain had just given David the O.K. to start deploying the Satelites and the anti-matter mines. David had the entire Beta shift devoted to creating the rest of the anti-matter mines. The Gamma shift was given a couple hours off after doing a double shift to get the satelites built in time. The Alpha shift was preparing to start deploying the satelites and mines. David had spotted Lieutenant Boudreau by the warp core. "Melissa, do you have a minute." David joined Melissa over by the warp core. "I am going to leave Samara in charge of getting the rest of mines built. I need you to keep on eye on the deployment. We are having some trouble with the anti-matter torpedo. If we get this wrong the torpedo might explode on launch and we all know what that means. I will be in Science Lab II. Remember the deployment has to be precise otherwise the vortex will not shrink enough to seal it." "Good luck David, hey if this works dinner is on me." Melissa added to help ease the tension.
"Funny, if this works, you are making dinner!" David answered.
"I walked into that one." she muttered under her breathe.
"Good luck, Lieutenant." David walked out of engineering. With Melissa in charge of the deployment David was now able to fully concentrate on the torpedo.
**** Science Lab II ****
David walked into Science Lab II and noticed everyone was starring at the torpedo as if they had no idea what it was. "Ensign, what is the status report?"
"Sir, we are still having a problem with the anti-matter. It is extremely unstable and I am afraid it will still explode on launch." the Ensigned reported.
"O.K. this is the deal. There is probably no way in the time we have that we are going to figure out a way to stablize the anti-matter. This is what I suggest. The torpedo doesn't need to travel that far, right. So what if we design a sort of shielding to contain the anti-matter for a few seconds. Almost like a containment field. This way the torpedo will safely exit the launcher and by the time the containment field fails it will have reached the vortex." David knew it could work in theory but implementing it might be a little harder.
"We would need another power supply for the field within the torpedo. But I think we could erect a shield for about 10 seconds." the Ensign calculated. Everyone stopped starring at the torpedo and started taking it apart and they were going to have to rebuild it from scratch.
"Memories of Lost Loves, Lost Friends"
by Ensign James Chen
Chen finished up his shift and went straight to his quarters. He knew Neg'Puj had already started her shift, and that pleased him. He just didn't feel up to seeing anybody right now. He quietly walked into the bedroom and sat down on his bed. The hope of going to sleep was nonexistent. He had been forced to start back his shift on what was supposed to be his day off, but instead he was called right back in to work. He had had a grand total of three hours sleep in the last day. He rubbed his eyes and looked over at his nightstand.
Almost of their own volition, his hands moved to the nightstand drawer and pulled it open. He retrieved three PADDs. The first one contained a photograph of him and Terence Julius when they were just fifteen years old. It was a picture of them at the Amateur Martial Arts Invitational Tournament. For the first time ever, Gong Rei had been entered into such a tournament and Chen and Terence did it proud. In the picture, their arms were around each other, holding the first place trophy for team competition. They were both smiling. Master Kwan was behind them, a small smile playing at his lips. Chen smiled as he remembered that day.
He looked at the second picture. This one was of him and Liz in the officers' lounge on board the Honorable. It was taken just before he proposed to her. He remembered that day well, too. He remembered picking the ring out while he was on shore leave at the nicest jewelry store in the quadrant. He had had to sell some things to a Ferengi
to obtain the money, but it had been worth it. The look on her face was ingrained in his memory forever. He shook his head as he recalled the day he had found their room empty and the ring lying on the table. Tears formed in his eyes. He blinked them away as he looked at the third PADD.
This one was a picture of his parents. They looked so happy. It had been taken when they first moved into Beijing. They were smiling and he noticed the swell on his mother's stomach that showed that he was on the way. He wondered what it was like. Being a father. Raising a son, loving him. Chen had never understood that type of love. Maybe someday. He closed his eyes for an instant and he saw the explosion as his parents' shop was destroyed that day. He was very young, then and was playing with another boy across the street. He had glanced over and his mother waved to him from the window. He had laughed and waved back. Then, all of a sudden, the explosion happened and both of his parents were gone in a flash.
He tossed the PADDs back into the drawer and stood up. He took a deep breath and wiped the tears he wasn't even aware had fallen from his eyes. He looked around and the emptiness of the quarters depressed him. He strode out, not really sure where he was going, just so long as it took him away from those memories.
"Where am I?"
By: Ensign Ryak Sullax
Science Officer USS Galaxy
Ryak awoke in what felt like minutes. As he scanned the brig he noticed that Cat was standing with the security officers. Cat was having what looked like a heated argument with one of them. Minutes passed and the guards came and released the containment field to the cell.
"Ensign, you have to come with us." The officer stated.
Ryak nodded and they all left the bridge and followed Cat to the sick bay. Once in sick bay Cat motioned for Ryak to lie down on the bed.
"Ok Ryak," Cat said in a soothing voice. "I am going to do a few tests and we are going to see how things are going."
Ryak stayed quiet as he absorbed the sounds coming from Cat's voice. Ryak had been away from contact for a long while now and he was getting annoyed with the silence.
"Ryak according to your medical file you where supposed to see a councilor on a regular basis and you haven't."
"No ma'am...Cat, I haven't had the time to see a councilor...the are also time consuming."
Ryak could see the concern in Cat's eyes as she completed the first scan. Cat moved away from the bed and returned with a larger scanner that would fit over top of Ryak's head. She turned it on and began going over the readings. Ryak wasn't stupid he was able to understand most of the readings that came up. Ryak could feel the frustration building inside of him. Cat moved away from the table and returned with a hypo spray. Ryak watched as Cat placed it to his neck.
"Ok, Ryak this is going to help you relax. I want you to listen to my voice as I go through these readings..." Cat moved back to the instruments read out panel after injecting Ryak. "... As I see here there are some anomalous readings that I am going to......"
The sick bay slowly became darker as she spoke then silence and complete darkness.
A.K.A. Ensign Ryak Sullax
Contact at: email@example.com
"A New Beginning"
Jean walked around his quarters looking at his "living space." This ship was different than what he expected, much friendlier. He thought to himself, "Starfleet Academy was great, but this is better than one could ever hope for."
Jean had fond memories of the Academy, but looked forward to the adventures he would see and live aboard the Galaxy. In the short time he has been on the Galaxy, he has seen more than some had in a full career.
He now decided to meditate and try to once again search for the "answer." Jean sat down with his arms and legs crossed. His eyes closed as he started to fall into a trans-like state. Slowly, he drifted into a nether-world in which he could seperate his Vulcan and Betazoid selves and let them talk to each other.
By Dianne Heppel
Aka Science Officer Alyssa Idana
Alyssa has spent the last few hours on the Bridge with Ens. O'hare attempting to retrieve the Data from Lt. Erikson's Tricorder. "The Tricorder circuits were so damaged it didn't look like it was going to be possible to retrieve much. "While she and Ens. O'Hare were doing that Engineering found a way to seal the Vortex using Probes to extend the Galaxy's Warp Field around the vortex and Antimatter charges and a Torpedo to seal the Vortex. "Alyssa knew the Physics behind this theory are sound though the procedure itself was really out of her field of expertise. Alyssa felt something she tried to ignore for the last Hour Hunger. (Idana to T'Shonra) (T'shonra here) (Can you please take over for me on the Bridge for a half hour, Ensign O'Hare will fill you in) (No problem on my Way) (T'Shonra now walks onto the bridge) "I'll be back in one half hour Alyssa told her. "Okay" said T'Shonra. Alyssa turned to the officer in charge of the bridge I am going to get something to eat I will be back in One half Hour Alyssa said. Acknowledged said that Officer
(Alyssa now leaves the Bridge and heads for Ten Forward)
*** In Ten Forward ***
Alyssa walks up to the bar, she is shocked to see a Cardassian behind the bar. Doesn't Starfleet know we are at war with these people Alyssa Thought. I'm Half Betazoid" the Cardassian Barman said. "Oh" Alyssa said. Well at least he is not a Borg, then I will start to Worry thought Alyssa. "Hudson Dorffen but people just call me Door" The Cardassian Barman said. "Alyssa Idana" Alyssa replied. "Well What can I get for you Ens. Idana. asked Door. "Do you think you can replicate a nice T Bone Steak with a glass of Saurian Brandy" Alyssa asked him. I believe that can be done" said Door. "Good" replied Alyssa. Door then went to go replicate the food and Alyssa went to a table near one of the Windows here. Alyssa looked at the vortex that the Galaxy is attempting to close up and let her mind wander slipping into memories of former hosts.
She remembered her host Thomas who served aboard the Enterprise-B on her maiden voyage, the one Jim Kirk was lost on. She remembered vividly the Temporal Distortion they rescued the Refugee's from and how they were almost caught in it themselves. She compared the situation the Galaxy was in to that.
Ensign Idana your food is ready Alyssa heard from a far away place. Alyssa snapped back into reality and saw Door standing by the Table with the Food. "Oh Thank you" said Alyssa. "Are you okay" asked Door. "Yes I'm fine, just remembering" said Alyssa. "Door I am sorry about Betazed, but I'm sure the Federation will get it back" Alyssa said
by Lt (jg) Endris Gakor
*** Sick Bay, Isolation Ward ***
Endris shivered a bit as Doctor Cat entered. Ensign Dana's pheremone levels had tapered off, but were still circulating in higher than normal concentrations. The medical staff was puzzled, but there seemed to be a correlative between the biochemicals and the proximity to the fluidic space. Every time the Galaxy drifted closer to the anomaly, the Deltan's sexual perfume increased production.
*Snacks*, thought Gakor! *If I was in command, I would make use of this!* There was a quirky, but unknown connection between the rift and Angela's medical problem. And the away team reported AC was in some sort of "Telepathic" contact with the beings that dwelled in the fluid. Deltan pheremones proved intoxicating to most humanoid species, but if there was a chance Gakor could establish communication with the aliens, it might provide them with insights that would save the ship.
"I don't think that's a good idea", Cat advised with a distinctively feline snarl. Intentionally raising her phermone levels will most likely send the patient into shock.
"But it may allow us to establish a telepathic 'com-link' with the alien race confined inside the fluidic space.", the Tellarite retorted with a frustrated oink. "It could provide insight for us resolving the dangerously growing vortex."
Lieutenant Khatroweena paced around the small isolation ward, a sure sign that she was not pleased with Endris's plan for treating Dana's sedated form. "If you intentionally harm Ms Dana, Doctor, I will personally see that you are Court Marshalled", she finally threatened.
"Perhaps you are right, Cat.", Endris conceded. "I have been pushing myself hard lately. If you look after the ensign, I will excuse myself for a bite to eat."
Cat purred, "Of course, Gakor. A reasonable request."
*** Corridors ***
Minutes later, Endris departed for her quarters. The doctor was not in the mood for her usual kibitzing in 10 Forward. She had not kidded Cat about being exhausted from recent events. First, the aborted leave on Bajor, the disturbing Orb vision, the frustrating medical hiatus for her Teresi research, and now the baffling puzzle of Angela Dana had all taken a toll on her.
In a huff, Gakor almost walked through the doors before the online sensors could open them.
*** Personal Quarters ***
"Gah, Fresh", she ordered the replicator. "And some fried Mugato gizzards". The machine produced the food without protest. While eating, Endris recalled the orb experience she had while visiting DS9. There was part that she hadn't yet revealed to her friends. Perhaps Albrecht would understand it. But the prophets appeared in many guises. And the one she had not talked about yet was the man known to Bajorans as the emissary.
Or to those in Star Fleet as Captain Benjamin Sisco. Of course, the actual message was a manifestation of the wormhole aliens posing as DS9's CO, but it was the content that Endris found disturbing. The being had uttered a single sentence. But it mangled her fur just thinking of it.
The "Sisco" had told her, quite dramatically, "Alaiyo, you are of Bajor". Something in the tone of the vision gave Gakor a reason to pause before pondering the meaning of the curious phrase.
She did so now. -Computer- Identify the meaning and origin of the term "Alaiyo". Linguistic banks quickly dredged up the following information, which the feminine voice of the computer replied: "Alaiyo is a proper name of African decent, possibly from the Nigerian region. It has been translated to mean 'One for whom Food is not enough'".
Finishing her meal, Endris returned to the replicator. *Not enough?* she pondered. *What more is there?* "One bottle of Caitialian Silver Milk please", she distractedly commanded the 24th century cuisinart. Whatever else distracted her, the Tellarite knew how to make an apology for her unexpected confrontation with Doctor Cat.
She dropped off the bottle in Sick Bay, and asked Cat if she could mind the store. Endris needed to relax from the constant tension of these last few days, and headed off to the holodeck.
*** Holo Deck 1 ***
The Tellarite could almost smell the excitement. Gakor intended to run her 'Risian mudbath' program. But thoughts of Alaiyo continued to intrude on her quest for serenity. "Its not enough", she whispered. At the same time, Endris wondered what could have happened if she had the prerogatives of command.
With this in mind, Gakor prescribed a holodeck scenario to ease her tension. Computer, load "CDO" training program, setting, randomly selected Medical or Hospital vessel. The porcine humanoid entered the doors, uncertain what the Command Duty Officer training entailed.....
*** Minutes Later ***
Endris sat in a replica of the command chair of the USS Pasteur. Things were critical. Gakor could almost smell the fear oozing from her Bajorian XO. A Bolian at the tactical console informed her the weapons array was fully charged.
"We seem to have surprised the Jem' Hadar this time, Colonel", said the Bajoran. In keeping with the program, the computer modified ranks and titles and had 'promoted' Gakor with Bajoran military traditions for the duration of the holo drama.
"Then by all means, Inoculate this scum with Quantum Torpedoes!", the doctor ordered with oinkish humor.
Caught off guard by the sudden violence of the demand, the Bolian never the less complied. The Jem 'Hadar antagonist dissolved in a flashy display of energy, no longer a threat to the Pasteur's mission of delivering medicine to the people of Tarsis IV. Startled by the ease of defeating the enemy, the Bolian cursed "you Butcher" under his breath.
"Nourishment! That was exhilarating", Endris exclaimed. A simulated Vulcan, whom one of the others addressed as Lieutenant Travar, merely noted the results as "Fascinating", with one brow extended.
Gakor left the holodeck, feeling she would run more of the CDO training programs in the future....
"Ready to begin the countdown yet?"
by Captain Robert Edward Lee Price
Captain Price was quietly sitting in his ready room filling out some reports on what had happened recently on this mission. He wanted to be sure and make a note on the records of Commander Sterner, Lieutenant Commander Casey and Lieutenant Wilson for their heroic efforts at saving the ship from the hostile Breen bent on destroying her with an overloading phaser in the aft torpedo storage compartment. Captain Price also was sure to denote the records of Lieutenant Erikson, Lieutenant Morris, Lieutenant Hewson and Ensign Tholen who lost her life on the away mission through the vortex.
While making the notations in his log, a hail came in.
["Captain, Lieutenant Thomas here sir."]
"Go ahead 'mate. I'm listening." Lee answered still finishing his notes.
["Captain, Lieutenant Mercury says they are just about finished deploying the last of the satellites and the anti-matter charges. The last of our shuttles and work pods are being recalled now sir."] Chris explained.
"Very good Lieutenant. I will be out on the Bridge shortly. How are they coming along with the anti-matter torpedo?" Lee asked.
["I believe they have that all worked out Captain. David said something about an inner containment field to help stabilize the anti-matter through the rigors of launch. They are making some last minute adjustments to it now. It should be ready by the time the last of our shuttles have redocked."]
"Bonzer news 'mate. I'll be there shortly. Price out." Lee closed the channel and then finished updating his log entries so he wouldn't forget the wonderful deeds his crew had performed. When he was done, Lee stood up and stretched slightly. He then took his empty coffee mug and placed it onto the replicator and punched the recycle button. The mug dematerialized while the Captain exited his ready room and stepped onto the Bridge.
Lieutenant Thomas turned from the command chair and looked at the Captain when he entered. "Just one more shuttle left to recall and then everyone is accounted for Captain." Chris explained rising out of the chair.
"Good work Lieutenant. Let's get the Chief Engineer on the horn and see how things are going below deck 'mate."
Chris moved to the adjoining station normally occupied by Lieutenant Commander Sterner who was presently in sickbay. Punching the controls on the arm of the chair, Chris raised Main Engineering. "This is Lieutenant Thomas for Lieutenant Mercury. Are you there David?"
A moment later David's voice came back. ["Aye. Mercury here."]
"The Captain wants to know if that fire cracker is nearly ready to use or if you need more time? The satellites are all in position, the anti-matter mines are all deployed and the last of our shuttles have just cleared the docking bays now." Thomas explained.
["Just give me five more minutes Chris. We have to get this right the first time... this is one powerful fire cracker!"] the Chief Engineer explained.
"Understood Lieutenant. Let us know when you are ready so that we can start the count down. Bridge out." Chris deactivated the channel and glanced over to Captain Price who heard the entire conversation. "Just a few more minutes Captain." he explained.
"Aye." Lee nodded. "Just a few more minutes before we find out if this is going to work or not. Either way, it should be one heck of an impressive show." The Captain commented of the attempt to create the largest warp field ever witnessed by the Federation and then ignite anti-matter explosives inside the shell.
"Yes sir. It most certainly will be." Chris agreed as he and the rest of the Bridge crew wait for Lieutenant Mercury to give the word that all systems are go for the attempt.
By Civilian Xala
Ten Forward Lounge Hostess
The holodeck was large and uninviting. The floor was lined with yellow lines and the walls covered with holo-emitting bars. It was amazing that this dull and sterile scene could be transformed into a tropical paradise or a world full of adventure.
The large holodeck double doors opened and a light from the adjacet corridor shined through. Xala struted in holding the small cylndrical disc she found in the lounge. She had played the disc on her palmtop eariler in the week and discovered an ominous message waiting for someone from a dark figure. The Ktarian woman hoped playing the message in three-dimensinal terms might prove more helpful. Xala stepped up to the arch and slid the disc into a small hole.
"Computer, display contents of disc."
Suddenly the sterile holodeck turned almost pitch black and Xala could barely even see her hand in front of her face. Then appeared a stout dark figure with a bulbus shaped head. From what Xala could see, the body looked Ferengi but the head look Ktarian. It continued to repeat over and over again, "I'm watching." Xala paused and watch the raspy-voiced frame.
"Computer, lighten image as much as possible without distorting the figure in front of me."
Everything in the room became much lighter but the person could still not be made out completely. The lighting of the image made it only more frighting. It had unhealthy tan skin and shrap wrinkles could be seen in the face.
"Do the dimensions of this figure match that of anyone aboard the Galaxy?" Xala asked the computer.
"Negitive," it responded after a few moments.
Xala watched the figure for what seemed like an eternity. It countinued to repeat his statement over and over again. She wondered if this message was intended for her. Perhaps it was a message from the Orion Syndicate, she thought to herself. Logic deemed that this disc was meant for someone else, but Xala had a odd feeling that someone was watching over her.
"Who are you?" she asked in a whisper rhetorical tone.
Suddenly the figure stopped speaking and turned to Xala. She was frozen and captivated at the dark movement. Up until this point the projection had simply been a 3D rendering of a subspace message.
"Who are you?" she repeated slowly.
"I'm your worst nightmare!" the figured yelled quickly.
Xala screamed in fright and the holodeck quickly flashed in a bright light and returned to normal. For some reason or another the program shut itself down. The Ktarian was in shock from the encounter, not to mention puzzled.
"Computer," she becokened, "why did the projection end?"
Xala took a moment to catch her breath and moved to the arch. She quickly ran out of the holodeck, accidently leaving the strange disc behind her.
Ensign Ben L. Nova
USS Galaxy NCC 70637
"Qui Li, The Mediator" part 1
The Holodeck formed a reproduction of DomeCity's slum sector at night. The alley way aclutter with debris a fire on the ground near a shael discard served as "Qui-Li's" home. The Japanese decendant, old, his life's history could be seen in the wrinkled traces within his face. The stars and Earth's moon adressed the sky above in the background.
Qui-Li watched, Ben Nova's advance. The old one stood and addressed the stars and the moon.., "my friends. Let us welcome young Ben!" an inviting smile as warm as his fire graced his mouth, "although I must admitt, he is not as young, he is more and more a man with all his visits..."
"Master Li", Ben addressed him and sat by the fire. "Its good to see you again."
Qui-Li, observed Ben. "What troubles you my young friend?"
Ben knew he could never slip anything past the old one. Even though Qui-Li was dead, and this was a Holo-simulation.., it is remarkable how realistic and detailed the simulation could be. All the mystique of Qui-Li was here, with every visit, a more detailed Qui-Li evolved. With all the subtile truths and doctrinations in tact, and most importantly.., every fiber of Qui-Li's humanity was there true to life.
"Master Li..., Im really knocked out. Ive been idling in the background of this Ship's activities. Avoiding every social cadence available. An open beach party in one of the Holodecks, for example. I've been invited both directly and indirectly. I was a no show"
Qui-Li, leaned forward..., "Ben.., who is to blame..," [he laughed] ".., if you do not interact with friends and worker associates?"
"Master.., ever since my friend Eugene's death, I..." Ben was interrupted by Qui-Li's sudden rage..., He stood over Ben.
"You dung head! Why do you waste my time!? How many times will you blame yourself for something beyond your control?" Qui-Li was almost violent in his tone.., even shaking..,"You have come to see me, looking for peace, looking for forgiveness far too many times! Get off your ass and leave the past alone! It is dead! I am Dead! Let me rest. You weary me boy!"
Ben, was in shock..., obviously the Holodeck's computer was over-improvising..., perhaps due to a minor glitch in his program, "Computer. End program"
The familiar female sythetic voice replied, "UnAble to comply. This program has been halted at 1.2 seconds of play.
"Impossible!" Ben spoke with a sudden chill racing up his spine....
Qui-Li, placed his hand on the now standing and nervous Ensign. "My son. I am not one of your holo illusions. I have ben with you. Until now I have always been with you. Your friend Eugene blames no one for his fate. I see now, I have only interfered with your growth and advancement by allowing you to keep my memory as a crutch."
Ben, was aghast.., horrified, not sure what was happening.., yet he knew somehow someway.., this was indeed, Qui-Li.
Qui-Li, continued..,"Young, Ben. You must let go now. Im leaving. My teachings you have, and that is enough. You must listen to you now. Good bye my friend..."
The lined bare walls and floors now replaced the street scene. Nothing was there..., Ben was near Callapse..., "Computer. Wh.., what.., what just happened here?"
The computer errupted in analytical sounds..., "UnKnown"........
story by David Henry