By: Lieutenant Jg. Adrianna
Engineering Technical Specialist
Adrianna frowned as she approached the area of the burned out ODN transfer relays. The damage to the wall conduit had at first seemed not that severe, but one crewman had already been injured by misjudging the seriousness of the repairs and she wasn't about to make the same mistake.
*Well, lets see now.* She thought to herself as she reached into her side satchel and pulled out a small engineering tricorder. Giving it a quick scan, she frowned again. The word 'damaged' didn't quite do this justice. A majority of the delicate circuitry would have to be completely replaced.
Adrianna tapped her comm badge once to open a channel. " Adrianna to Chief Jenson, um..are you busy?" Adrianna had taken to biting her lower lip as a nervous habit...and found that she caught herself doing it as she waited for his reply.
"Jenson here. No, in fact I just finished up. Anything I can help with?" He sounded so friendly over the comm channel that Adrianna couldn't help but smile.
"Yes, that would be great. Were going to need a new Grid Sequencer for the hall access near the Captain's quarters. Can you bring one from Engineering and meet me here?" Adrianna continued to study the burnt out ODN relays as she spoke.
"Sure, I'll be there in a few minutes." Jenson replied.
"Thanks." Adrianna taped her badge again to close the channel.
Adrianna began humming to herself as she worked at replacing the burned out transfer's one a time from replacements in her supply kit. The work was very delicate and time consuming, but for her always rewarding. She could always imagine what it must have been like for the maverick Engineer's in the early days of space exploration. Responsible for working in horrible conditions and with tools that were barbaric by comparison to today's standards. Even during here El-Aurian lifetime, she had seen many advances.
Lost in thought, She trudged on with the work....
******** Later that day, around 1600 hrs. *********
Adrianna entered the wide open lounge of ten-forward and took a long look around the room. The Huge viewing ports that ran along one side afforded a good view of the stars. Star's she could watch forever.
Going up to the bar, she noticed a Cardasian Bartender that she had not had the chance to meet before. Sitting down, she watched him remove a bottle of something alcoholic from the under the counter and set it on a tray he was preparing.
"Is that where you keep the good stuff." Adrianna asked him coolly.
"I take it from the tone of your question that you think I might be hiding something truly alcoholic under here?" The Bartender replied.
"Aren't you?" Adrianna asked, not backing down.
"I don't believe we have had the pleasure?" Offered the Cardassian.
"No, I don't believe we have. My names Lieutenant Adrianna. I'm from Engineering. Now, back to my question.."
"Of course. I'm Door by the way...Just door. And actually, I was getting this out for you. It's something I thought you might be able to appreciate, being El-Aurian." Door smiled.
Looking at the bottle for the first time, Adrianna truly smiled. Door had produced a bottle of El-Aurian Nectarwater. Its bluish color was easily recognizable now that she looked closely.
"Is that..genuine?" She asked in a low whisper, not taking Her eyes from the bottle.
"Of course, what kind of a Bartender would I be if it wasn't." Door offered.
"I won't ask how, but I will nominate you as my absolute favorite person on the ship if you pour me a glass of that." Adrianna gave him Her warmest smile as she nodded toward the bottle.
"What..oh, this." Door smiled back. "Coming right up." Producing a tall fluted glass from beneath the bar, he poured it and set it out before her.
For a moment, all she could do was stare at the light blue liquid, watching the delicate swirls that seemed to form within the glass as if by magic.
"Door, I think we are at the beginning of a long and wonderful friendship." Smiling, she took the glass and allowed herself a small sip.....
by Lt. Commander Tebrianne Bancroft
Chief Helmsman, USS Galaxy
** Ten Forward, USS Galaxy **
Tebrianne Bancroft looked out the large Ten Forward window again. The stars whisked by at warp speed. It was so peaceful outside of the ship. She took another moment to let her mind wander. It didn't wander far. It never did.
Lately, when she was by herself and she let her thoughts wander, she usually either found herself thinking about Benedict or a new song. Tonight she was thinking about Benedict up on the bridge. Probably standing behind the tactical console running some scan or diagnostic just to keep himself awake during the night shift.
On second thought, she corrected herself, Benedict would never need to worry about falling asleep at his post. She couldn't picture him ever being bored. He had grabbed life and was riding it like some kind of Andorian Kicking Goat. The thought of Benedict perched atop the nine foot tall creature brought a smile to her face. She could see Ben's long black hair whipping around his face as the beast reeled and kicked, trying to dislodge its rider.
"Something funny this evening," a voice said from behind her.
"Just thinking about Ben, Raoul," Teb replied.
"How'd you know?"
"Raoul," Teb said, turning to the bartender. "I've been showing up here for how long? And every time I'm here, we talk. Don't you think I'd recognize your voice? Besides, I have an ear for music."
That brought a smile to Raoul's face. "Music, eh?" he said with a grin. "I never really thought of my voice as musical, but you're the diva."
"Hardly," Teb said, waving him away. "I just like to sing."
"Yeah," Raoul said as he moved around the table. "You like to sing like Commander Casey likes to win. And, I for one would love to hear you singing again. You should set up in here sometime. I'm sure the Ten Forward clientele wouldn't mind you singing for them."
Tebrianne laughed at the thought of singing for the Galaxy crew. "Yeah," she said. "I can see all of them bouncing along to my rendition of 'In a Targ's Arse' by Molten Rebar. I'm sure that one would have the crowd on its feet singing along."
"Tebrianne, you could sing the Starfleet registry and everyone would love it."
"Go on." She hid her face in her hands, feeling the familiar flush of embarrassment. "I don't know."
"We're on boring patrol duty. Don't you think the troops could use a little morale boost? I think they would love a small concert in Ten Forward."
"I don't know--"
"Okay," Raoul said, sitting in the vacant chair across fromTeb. "When was the last time you sang in front of people? And, I'm talking about real, flesh and blood, biological types. Not holo-simulations."
"It's been about three months," Teb said. "Christmas, remember?"
She didn't want to think about the Christmas party fiasco. Everything had been fine up until Deiran called her back up to the stage. She had been doing so well adjusting to life after their affair--and then she was up there in front of everyone playing back-up in Deiran's love song to his wife. Looking out across the crowded dancefloor of the party, she knew that everyone was making the same connection--Deiran and his mistress playing a song to Miran. And then topping it all off, Jules had to rub her face in it even more. Teb felt the sudden urge to order a drink.
"I don't think it would be a good idea for me to do a concert, Raoul," she said. "Besides, I'm the Chief Flight Control Officer and my department just tripled in size. I'm going to be very busy going over proficiency reports and stuff. I don't have the bloody time to entertain the troops."
Raoul nodded. "Okay," he said, his eyes dropping as he let out a sigh. "I understand. I never thought I would hear you turn down the opportunity to sing in front of a crowd. This doesn't have to do with the mess at the party does it?"
"No it doesn't," Teb snapped a little too quickly. She looked into Raoul's eyes and saw the warmth and caring there looking back at her. "Yes it does. I'm scared to get up in front of the crew again, I guess. You don't know what it's like."
"You'd be surprised," Raoul said. He looked away momentarily, back toward the bar and his work. He nodded to Door and gave the half-Cardassian a signal that only bartenders understood. "You'd be surprised," he said again, barely above a whisper.
Teb suddenly wanted to reach out to him, to find out what nerve she'd just touched. She knew the sound of an old wound opening and the look in Raoul's eyes said that she just re-opened a doozy. Way to go, Bri. Why don't you toss him into the warp core while you're at it. A concert wouldn't be that bad really. And after everything Raoul has done for you it's the least you could do for him. And Ben always likes your concerts. She forced a smile to her face and clapped Raoul on the shoulder. "Okay, I'll do it. How does next week sound?"
"It sounds like a week too far away," Raoul said, his usual grin back in place. "But, it'll have to do."
"And it has to be either Beta or Delta shift," she said. "That way--"
"--Ben can be here," he said with a smile. "I couldn't imagine it any other way. Now, my dear, if you will excuse me. I have to get back to work before Door docks me another hour's credits."
"Talk to you later, Raoul," Teb said. "And, thanks."
"Hearing your voice echoing off of the walls in here is all the thanks I need," he said with a flourish.
"Oh god," Teb said, throwing a balled up napkin at him. "Get back to work you melodramatic nut. Or I'll dock your pay."
She watched Raoul's back as he disappeared through the crowd. You are one lucky little slot, she told herself. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have men like him and Ben in their lives. Count your blessings and get over that rubbish with Deiran. Enjoy what you have...
She knew where the thoughts were headed. The war and the thousands upon thousands of dead. Any one of them could be added to that number in a heartbeat. She didn't need to go down that path. She didn't want to go down that path. Tebrianne didn't need to depress herself again. She didn't need to start thinking about what would happen if any of her friends on the Galaxy were killed. She'd gone over it in her head a million times since the war started. Everytime she saw one of her mates from the Academy on the casualty list she was depressed for days. At least since she and Ben had started seeing each other, she had someone to console her on those nights.
Teb absently turned the bracelet on her wrist. The depression was pulling at her. Trying to drag her down. Snap out of it, a voice in her head shouted.
Teb blinked, realizing she was on her feet. She glanced around at the other occupants of the Galaxy's lounge. With a sigh, she headed toward the door.
Something's not right, she thought as she started down the hall toward the turbolift. We've changed direction, Teb realized. The ship had changed it's heading. Everything seemed normal, so she pushed the thoughts away.
She stepped into the turbolift. "Deck three," she said. The car began it's ascent through the body of the Federation's premiere Galaxy-class starship. Teb always wondered why the ship was always referred to as premiere. It wasn't like there weren't a bloody lot of them in the fleet anymore. Then again, the premiere part could have been the crew. Or the captain. Or, maybe it was the premiere ship in the fleet because of the scads of musicians aboard.
Teb dismissed the thought with a smile. The smile disappeared as the lighting in the turbolift dropped and the red alert klaxons started blaring.
"Speaking of music," she muttered. "Computer, override destination. New destination, bridge."
The affirmation chirp was lost amidst the blaring siren. The doors opened into the command center of the ship. As she moved to the helm, she made eye contact with Benedict. He was still at the tactical station. As she slid behind the helm station, she noticed Mac standing in the center of the bridge--which explained why Ben was still at his station.
She was half-listening as Kelt filled her in on the details of what had happened. Her hands flew across the console running a quick diagnostic. She had anticipated the need to adjust the Galaxy's current heading, but Kelt had already put them onto the optimum vector for the situation. An eyebrow arched in approval. Teb glanced at the Vulcan helmsman at her side and attributed her sudden use of Vulcan facial tics to his presence.
"Cheers, Kelt," she said. "Take the backup station and monitor thruster output levels. We've been running a little high recently. This will give us a better chance to see if we need to put in a request to engineering."
Teb settled in behind the console and began the waiting process. The Away Team was on the Ferengi freighter, and the Galaxy wouldn't be doing much moving with them off-ship. She threw a quick glance back to the tactical console. Ben's nose was buried in the reports being fed to his station. Teb tried to conceal her smile as she returned her focus to her duties.
As Teb monitored the flight control systems, she began forming a set list in her head. An eclectic collection of songs spanning centuries. The pace would be quick and daring. A volatile collection of music. One style blending into the next. Like mercury. Tebrianne presents the Mercurial Concert. A grin slipped through her working face as song titles started dancing through her mind. I hate you, Raoul, she thought.
Lt. Tebrianne, USS Galaxy, Chief Helmsman
By Ensign Yazron Beq, Tactical Officer, USS Galaxy
Yaz had reached his quarters after the incident in Sickbay. He had only ran into two ensigns from Engineering who had sniggered as he passed.
He now stood at the console in his quarters. It was an hour after when he was due for his Medical. He had decided to let Sickbay clear out before he went in. Lorraine had returned, unharmed, but says that she was one of the lucky ones as a console had blown up in the lab, injuring two other officers. She had been over the other side of the lab and escaped the explosion. She had called for help and a security officer had been outside and came in. He had picked up one of the officers and Lorraine the other, they had carried them to Sickbay.
That had been about an hour ago and now she was back in bed.
Yaz decided that Sickbay would be a bit calmer now and left to get his medical.
The doors 'swooshed' open revealing a much calmer Sickbay, only a few trivial cases remained. There was another ensign here already getting his medical, a Bajoran.
A nurse walked over, "Can I help you?" she asked.
"I'm here for my medical." Yaz replied.
"Just come over here and sit on this bed then," she said picking up a tricorder.
***A few scans, tests and a half hour later***
"Your in excellent condition, Mr. Beq," she said and then smiled before adding, "and obviously your dress sense has improved since last time!"
He blushed as he realised this was the same nurse who had instructed him on where to put the patient he had brought in earlier. "Thanks," he said quietly before leaving quickly.
Ensign Yazron Beq, Tactical Officer, USS Galaxy
Help Has Arrived
USS St Louis
"Captain, the Caduceus has arrived." Thiana rubbed the sleep out of her eyes. She had been sleeping when the comm had awaken her.
"Coordinate whatever they need and or want us to do. I'll be on the bridge shortly." She stretched out the knots in her back and yawned once again. Sitting on the edge of the bed, she sighed wishing it wasn't so earily.
Getting up, she padded over to the replicator to order coffee and a bagel for herself and breakfast for Onyx. That cat was so spoiled it wasn't funny. She took her time. Probably shouldn't have, but the St Louis had capable crew that didn't need her to babysit them. Anyway, if Commander Strauss had returned to duty, it was him on the bridge and everything was in good hands.
Last night, shortly before going to bed, she had recieved word that the Ocero disease had jumped Species. Ensign Oleksandreko was the first to fall sick. It was unsure yet how fast it would spread, but it was a little frightening.
After getting dressed, Thiana went down to Sickbay first. It was a hive of activity. Everyone was busy. Trying not to get in the way, she went towards the isolation ward where the ensign was. They were trying everything they could to protect others, but Thiana knew that most of the crew had already had direct contact with the Ocero.
"How is he?" She asked of Doctor Sorin.
"He has a really high fever. That seems to be the first stage of the disease. I'll let you know Captain. We're doing the best we can."
"Thank you Doctor, I am sure you are." She left Sickbay and went to the bridge to see how everything was proceeding with the Caduceus. Besides, she would like to meet those that were going to try and save her crew and passengers.
Lt. (jg) Benedict T'Kal
Benedict smiled. He kept it to himself of course - but he was smiling on the inside anyway. He kept his body relaxed and his face impassive, and all those things that made him the 'dutiful' Tactical Officer. She was walking past him and he could feel her presence - even as the turbo lift opened and deposited her on the Bridge.
He didn't need to look up. She was imprinted on his consciousness regardless - it was the sound of her walk - the unconscious movements - the way she flicked the sagging strands of her black and red mohawk. Benedict glanced up very quickly - and looked straight into her dark eyes. She had a slight smile on her face - and she looked away as quickly as he did. But it was still there - the contact.
When Tebrianne sat at the helm Benedict couldn't help but feel comfortable. She was the Chief helmsman afterall - but still - she played the helm as if it was a concerto by Ramast. Benedict was pleased that Mac was still standing in the Command well - and that Price hadn't assumed command. It gave him an excuse to be in proximity to the woman he loved.
Benedict felt tired - but the adrenaline was still present. The action was over as far as he was concerned. The Dominion craft were well gone - at least they would be by the time the Galaxy could end its' obligations to the "Latinum Prince". He knew that everyone on the Bridge had agreed with Kelt. The Vulcan had been surprisingly vocal in his disagreement to remain in proximity to the Ferengi Trader. Benedict agreed with Mac though - Starfleet had to play by certain rules, and one of them was looking after civilian shipping in times of war.
The Ferengi traders would be selling to the Dominion - that was only business - it was expected as far as Benedict was concerned. The Ferengi were useful to both sides - business was good in times of war. The Federation made as much use out of those morals as did the Dominion - in fact when Benedict was with the Marquis, he had done as much trading as anyone else in weapons and information.
The Ferengi were cowards - well they were a small species trying to keep their heads above water as best they could - and staying neutral was a good defence for the diminuitive race. Benedict didn't argue with that. It was the natural order of things.
The soft voice of Tebrianne reached his ears without him trying to concentrate upon it. She was speaking to Kelt and discussing the status of the Galaxy. Her accent was like a musical note that rang a full octave apart from anyone else - it was distinctive, and Benedict was attuned to it. So much so that she was a positive distraction.
He monitored the data flowing across the tactical station - the Away Team was moving purposefully to their respective destinations. There was nothing that the Galaxy could do at present - simply monitor the situation and assist where they could.
The emergency beam out ordered by Albrecht came through and took Benedict's attention away from Tebrianne. He locked the co-ordinates into the Transporter Room systems and tried to beam the injured crew member back to the ship - to no avail. It took several seconds to make sure that the Away Team got the boosters - seconds counted and Benedict was impatient. He made the transfer as soon as he could - and then had to wait. Sickbay was busy. The Security Officer was badly injured, and Benedict sent a silent prayer to the Prophets for his safe return.
They had just been through battle. This time Benedict had been the one to stand at tactical. It was his duty to safeguard the ship. The Captain - or in this case Mac - was responsible for the overall action - but Benedict was the man at the arch. The safety of the Galaxy was in his hands - the safety of every life on board. Particularly the one that counted the most. He smiled to himself again.
It was the first real action that he'd participated in outside of a simulation with the Galaxy. It was his first true battle. He'd been participating on the Battle Bridge before - but that had been as a back-up to Mac. Feeding him data and assisting with the secondary tactical duties. This time it had been in his hands.
Mike Marc was on the Battle Bridge. Benedict was satisfied with Mike's performance during the battle - he held up his end of the exchange of fire - then again Benedict felt like he was too severe. Mike was a good tactical officer, and he'd done everything by the book - as Ben would have done it. So satisfaction was being a little unfair - Mike had done a damned good job of it.
Benedict felt a little dissapointed in his own actions though. He'd used too many torpedoes to take out the target. Logistically that was true - and he knew it. But all he needed to do was look up and see the curve of her face to know that none of that mattered. The Dominion Attack Craft could have gotten close enough to do a suicide run on the Galaxy. It had happened that way with the Odyssey. Benedict had not let the Fighter get close enough to even try that tactic.
There were civilians - women and children on board the Galaxy - and their safety rested in him while he stood here. He glanced at Ryak Sullax who was busy with the Science Station. The Romulan was a severe individual - not known for his sparkling wit - or sense of humor. The man had a son on the Galaxy. A small boy - but the only family the man had. Benedict envied him. He'd seen the liitle one a few times - but never had the opportunity to talk to him. It made Benedict sad that the boy couldn't speak to anyone without his translator. Benedict spoke fluent Romulan - and along with that knowledge came the cultural awareness of what Sullax was trying to do with his son.
Benedict understood. He was more attuned to the Romulan way of life now that he had taken the opportunity to study it more. Tebrianne had made him do that. Not that she had suggested it of course - it was just that she identified herself as being part Romulan, and so Benedict had made sure that he understood what that meant to her.
Now they had a Vulcan serving as helm officer - Kelt. He sounded like every other Vulcan Benedict had encountered before. He glanced at the man as he stood close to Teb. He seemed aloof - and that suited Benedict just fine. For a fleeting moment Benedict wondered when the Vulcan would enter Ponn'Farr - and who the lucky girl was. He was extremely happy that Tebrianne wasn't like that.
She was emotional - full of life - and such a bloody rebel! Benedict smiled - in fact the grin spread across his face as he thought about her again. She was busy. She would have been in bed when the alarms went off. Benedict hadn't spent too much quality time with her since his shift had changed. He'd almost tried to get out of the change - but realized that he was actually needed in his shift slot. He was proud to serve here - and would do what was required of him without fail.
That of course meant less time with Teb. He missed her. The 0330hr shift ends were not the best of times to wake an Alpha shift commander - and so far he'd managed to avoid doing that to her. She would be tired in the morning. Her usual shift wouldn't be ignored just because she'd pulled a late one. For a moment he wondered if she'd find an excuse to stay on shift duty until the end of Gamma. Mike Marc was assigned to Delta - even though right now he was in the Battle Bridge at Red Alert stations, he would most likely remain to do a double shift. Benedict would be turning over his station at 0330hrs - and glad to do it too!
Tebrianne had actually suggested that she could speak to Hunter about his shift - but Benedict had stopped that idea in it's tracks. He didn't believe in pulling those kinds of strings - his name wasn't Deiran Casey!
He thought about Casey. The man had shown up on the Bridge a short time ago - after the action was mostly over. He'd talked briefly with the Captain - telling him that he'd had to drag himself out of a warm bed to get here.
Benedict wondered who's bed it was. No - that was unfair. Casey had only cheated once - maybe. Casey Ti Miran was expecting another child - Prophets bless her - and Benedict hoped that things would work out for her. She was Bajoran after-all.
He listened intently for a few seconds for the chatter of the Security Away Teams - they were going according to schedule - Sunder co-ordinating the affair with his typically blunt yet effective style.
Tebrianne glanced back at him. He saw her looking in his peripheral vision and met her eyes. He winked. She was artful enough to hide her initial reaction, and she looked away to hide her smile. He missed Alpha shift. Filling in for Mac on the Bridge had given him the opportunity to stand behind her more than once.
He guessed that they would both be up for the whole night. One way or the other...
Benedict tried to push aside that little distraction. He got back to business. The minutes seemed to tick away so interminably slowly!
"A Test of Patience"
By Ensign Kelt
Flight Control Officer, USS Galaxy
with additions by Lt. Cmdr. Tebrianne Bancroft
-- USS Galaxy, bridge --
Unable to convince his superior officers of going after the second Dominion fighter, Kelt continued to monitor his station. The away team initiated the assault on the Jem'Hadar in the Ferengi freighter, while Kelt and the others on the bridge were forced to wait.
Then, the turbolift door opens, and lieutenant commander Bancroft enters. She heads straight for the helm console. It is not her assigned shift yet, but it is normal for the senior officer to take over the station in a red alert situation. Kelt consideres it curious that the lieutenant commander would bother to relieve him after the battle had occured. Surely, red alert will not last much longer.
But protocol is protocol, and Kelt is out of his seat before the lieutenant commander can order him out of it. She sits down and initiates a short diagnostic, while checking the ships current status. Kelt gives her a detailed report of the latest developments, but the lieutenant commander's facial expression tells him she is only partially paying attention.
"Commander, are you even paying attention to a word I'm saying?" Kelt asks. Lieutenant commander Bancroft's head snaps up.
"Of course I am," she said, matter-of-factly. "Just splitting my attention between you and the station. Don't worry, Ensign, I've heard every word that you've said."
"Commander, the reason a senior officer is intended to relieve a junior officer in an alert situation, is the higher experience the senior officer has. However, it is pointless for you to assume the helm if you are not fully aware of our current situation. Now, I will give you my report again." Kelt explains, and starts to report again, telling exactly the same facts he has told the lieutenant commander moments earlier.
Tebrianne held her tongue when tempted to inform Kelt that she'd heard him the first time. In a red alert situation, she didn't have the time to sit and wait for a detailed report and _then_ run the diagnostic on the station.
After Kelt finishes recounting the past events, lieutenant commander Bancroft thanks him and replies: "Cheers, Kelt," she says. "Take the backup station and monitor thruster output levels. We've been running a little high recently. This will give us a better chance to see if we need to put in a request to engineering."
"Aye sir," kelt responds, and walks over to the backup station. If his estemation is correct, the alert situation will end soon enough, allowing lieutenant commander Bancroft to leave again. In the mean time, Kelt will see how much he can spend going through the thruster output levels.
Back to Work
By Dana Jergensen MD
CMO USS Caduceus
Just as Dana was preparing to leave SickBay she was called to attend to Lt. Allen he was beamed aboard and was suffering some burns. She threw on her smock and some shoes and headed out into Sickbay.
Allen was on a bio-bed, He seemed uncomforatable but not in serious pain. She looked over his chart and scanned him for radtiation. He was going to live and his injuries were minor. She picked up a PADD and looked worried.
" Hmmm, Mr. Allen I have good news and some bad news. " She said seriously. " The good news is you're going to have a great tan. the bad news is that it won't happen til the skin peels off and that will itch like crazy. You'll be very tender for the next couple of days. I recommend cool hydro showers until then." She smiled at him re-assuringly.
" It seems that making you feel at ease is becomming my second job." She patted his hand and returned to her office.
Inside she again made a mental note to get her office back in order. She then recieved a message fromt he Captain and began research on the Ocero virus.
"No Feeling." Part 3
by Security Officers, Ensign Anna Gartner and Ensign Neil Bolitho
USS Galaxy - On board the 'Latinum Prince'
Gartner didn't know where she got the strength but she made her ankle work enough to charge down the long corridor firing repeatedly at the Jem'Hadar standing over the struggling form of Neil Bolitho.
Beyond that she couldn't remember much. Just moving like hell and firing as she advanced. The Jem'Hadar didn't even look at her as his cloaking field engulfed him, making him seemingly melt into thin air. Looking back later, she probably would had hit him if she kept her cool and took a second to aim, instead of shooting from the hip.
However she didn't care, upon reaching Bolitho's side she dropped hard to her knees screaming at the top of her voice. "Neil! Neil! Neil! Hold on!"
Gartner switched her phaser rifle to wide beam setting and fired up the corridor to sweep it, not hitting a thing but it showed that the Jem'Hadar had left the area.
Quickly she set her phaser down beside her and knelt over Neil. Gartner saw his bloody gut wound, Neil had both of his hand over it, trying to stop the steady flow. She put her hand over his to try and help as she leaned over his face and saw that his eyes were still partially opened. She was almost yelling in his face. "Neil! Don't you die on me you son of a bitch! Do you hear me! DON'T DIE!!"
His eyes focused on her and smiled. "I'm... I'm not going anywhere... but I will be if you don't get me some help."
Gartner mentally kicked herself. 'Call for help stupid!' she silently cursed herself. 'Keep your damn head!' She tapped her comm badge. "Gartner to Sickbay. Medical emergency! Lock on to my comm badge and Ensign Bolitho's and beam us directly to sickbay."
Two long seconds pass before she felt the transporter beam embracing her body before breaking her and Neil's atoms apart...
... and reassembling them on the floor of sickbay.
Then blue uniforms were swarming over them. Neil was pulled and lifted from her, she tried to stand to stay with him but her ankle refused to obey. She heard voices about her but she didn't hear them. Hands now reached down gripping Gartner and lifting her to her feet, she still tried to move after Neil as he was carried away but she found herself being pulled in the other direction.
"No!" Gartner yelled. "I want to be with him! He's my partner!"
But the hands kept pulling her away. The voices spoke to her, Gartner however refused to listen until she exploded. Gartner jerked free favouring her good ankle and lashed out. Her fist connected in a gut of one the figures around her. Gartner never saw their faces, not recognizing their rank or uniform. She was now out of control and saw only targets.
Arms wrapped about her from behind but Gartner twisted her body to drive her fist down to the back of her. Gartner felt her fist connecting solidly into the crotch of the person behind her, then the arms holding her fell loose.
More people came at her, Gartner punched one as others grappled her to restrain her. She struggled as she was forced down and screamed in anger as the madness that Gartner thought was gone took a firm hold again.
Gartner kept on screaming and fighting until someone finally pressed a hypo spray against her neck to sedate her.
By Lieutenant JG Mikey Dorffen
& Doctor (Lieutenant JG) Kyla Sorin
Mikey let his fingers do the walking, and manoeuvred the St Louis out and around, into transporter range and then on to Starbase 357.
He was 'hightailing it' apparently. Oh, he had to stop that. He had to stop making fun of the Captain in his head. He tried to remember what Pepys had told him and giving her a chance, and to be fair, he'd tried his best. But if you get into the habit of thinking badly about someone, then it's usually hard to break out of it.
It was just waiting now. At the helm you rarely got down and dirty with the really interesting events. Helm was closest to Security that any other department on the ship, and they always got to have all the fun. Mikey and his department were starting to feel a little down. He'd lost Kestra, and so a great asset to the Helm department.. And maybe..?
Yep, it was just another example of Mikey pushing a perfectly good woman a million light years away from him.
(Or at least in that ego controlled head of his.)
He turned back to the PADD on his lap. He'd stopped looking at it after that.. Quite frankly scary thing had happened with the Angel and the Devil. But he looked now.
He was getting onto a very interesting part actually, one that just might work. It was about different species and the effects of Vulcan mind melds. Apparently, because Betazoids have much more open mental abilities than Vulcans, if a Betazoid practised a mind meld, they should theoretically have more power than the pointy-ear'd ones within the meld. It was all very confusing and involved having a Vulcan perform a three-way meld, acting as a conduit. He didn't know any of the Vulcans on the ship, let alone well enough to ask them to do this with him.
He pressed down on the PADD.
Next there was the 'simple' task of just delving into your victim's mind. Easy for them to say. Mikey read through it anyway, and discovered that the supposed reason for his seeming lack to mental prowess was all down to concentration: If you tried hard enough, you'll be able to do it.
It seemed simple enough, so Mikey closed his obsidian eyes and gave it a shot. He knew that this should be easy, because he'd just listened in on a conversation over in the Science console, where Lieutenant Stadi had been complaining that she couldn't keep the Ocero voices out of her head.
Okay, let's give it a go.
Mikey didn't close his eyes, but allowed all images to be blanked out. Then he kind of /unravelled/ the thick mental shawl he had been taught to wrap his mind in, in order to protect himself from outside emotions and thoughts. It was training every Betazoid went through, and though there were different mental techniques, it was all basically the same for everyone. Only with Mikey, it didn't quite work. All thick threads have dissipated and floated off in all directions, Mikey could still not hear all that much. There were the stray thoughts of crew members, but to make the heard loud and clear they had to be strong: hatred, love, fear, passion, anger.
Only to Mikey, it didn't quite work. Usually.
But now, if he concentrated, and although things were still all very fuzzy.. Whoa, that's a helluva lotta voices!
"Everyone's a telepath today!" he heard from far below him.
* You got that right. * Mikey thought to himself, smiling at his minor accomplishment, * Even me! *
He could see the Mikey of his mind (sans Devil costume and dressed in casual clothing) wading through the different thoughts that were coming his way, like they were the rigid sheaths of corn in a Terran field. The sky was blue and cloudless and there was a look of release on Mikey's face. But.. now he was looking at a particular ear of corn. It was black and burnt. No, not just burnt, incinerated. You got the feeling that if you were to touch it, the entire thing would turn into dust and started to form a pile of soot from the bottom going up.
Mikey couldn't help himself.
As the last grain of black hit the floor, Mikey felt the jab of emotion. It was horrible.
What was that? Who was it? Who did that little pile of ash represent? Mikey quickly came out of himself and back onto the bridge. He again tried to find that pain, but to no end. He reached out, down below him and tried.. he was so close.. but no cigar.
Mikey turned to Rosenblith, again sitting in the Captain's chair, and asked to be excused: his (ahem) telepathic abilities could be made to some use down in the cargo bay. He was relieved by Ensign Matthews, who eagerly took the helm.
Mikey didn't like this feeling banging around in his head, the one sent up there by this poor person, down in the cargo bay. That was who he was assuming the pain had come from: if it was someone on the ship then the counsellors obviously weren't doing their job properly.
He arrived at the cargo bay.
The feeling hit him again, and Mikey, never one to be melodramatic, couldn't help but let out a squeak as if someone had punched him in the stomach. Suffice to say, if wasn't a pleasant feeling.
Mikey maybe melodramatic, but he didn't not panic... okay, so Mikey maybe one to panic, but not overly so... but wasn't that being melodramatic? In any case, he was not the type of person to play act for no reason, as he casual observer may've seen now; Mikey, the ever vigilant starfleet officer, moving as if wading through the very air in front of him, having trouble breathing.
There was an air of sickness and ill health and... bad feeling in the room. Maybe Mikey should've become a counsellor? No, no: the thought of Mikey being in charge of his own mind was a scary enough thought.
The Betazoid scanned the place. There were various members of the Ocero race literally littering the room. That sounded weird. Very bad repetition of the 'lit' sound. Bad alliteration. Doof.
Mikey stood in the centre of the room and attempted to act as a compass, trying to seek out the one who he had felt in his mind. There were too many of them, and all were feeling the same hopeless despair. Why was he doing this to himself? Acting like a kid yet again, he closed his eyes and spun around.
When he randomly stopped and opened his eyes, they were drawn to an Ocero man, sat on the floor of the cargo bay, his back against the wall. He was about Mikey's age, but had light blonde hair and darker skin: he was the Mikey you'd get by looking through an ancient negative from the days of chemical photography. He looked perfectly normal, and in now way was a priority case... but there are some people who don't look close enough. Mikey wasn't one who always did look closely, but he knew there was something wrong with someone and he knew that there was something wrong with this man: he was drawn to him after all.
Mikey moved a little closer, examining the young man a little more closely. He was in fact a little younger than Mikey, and with those almost angelic looks he seemed younger still. His eyes though... his eyes...
There was something wrong. Mikey waved his hand on front of the man's frozen stare. Nothing. He turned his head and followed the view towards... nothing. There was a blank wall.
Something was definitely wrong.
"Oi!" he shouted across to a member of the St Louis medical team, "Doctor-oh. Would you look at this?"
Kyla looked up from her tricorder and looked around. Spotting where the trouble was, she abandoned her efforts with Durandos and moved over to check things out.
"Uh-oh..." she said kneeling down beside the young man who seemed to be in questionable health, not that any of these people were in tip top shape largely..
"Uh-oh?" came the inquisitive response beside her. Kyla had never met this member of the crew, but she was still familiar with most of the crew bios. Michael Dorffen...
"Uh, yes..." she said, trying to cover up her hardly medical opinion... She looked into the young man's eyes, and then into his thoughts... but to her surprise, it was like the vast emptiness of space, there was just nothing there. "Was he responsive before?"
"Not exactly, but there was something in his mind that drew me down."
"Well, I'll tell you, its pretty empty in there right n.." without being able to finish her sentence, she was suddenly overcome with a wave of absolute and terrifying pain. She gasped and tried to recollect her thoughts and disrupted stance... shaking her head slightly, she looked up again, to find Mikey staring into her eyes. For Mikey this was business as usual, especially when a pretty young lady was the stare-ee, but his eyes were now full of conern and revelation.
"You feel it too?" he asked Kyla. It was all she could do to nod.
The Doctor swallowed ahrd, exorcising the ill emotions emminating form the man. "I'm not sure we're looking in the right place for answers... I mean, we've tried everything medical to get answers on what's happening to the people like him... but what's the one thing we haven't ruled out.."
He shrugged, "Insanity?"
Kyla thought for a minute, then smiled, "Exactly! Except... not in the exact definition of the word... I meant something psychological, something in his mind." She thought for a moment and tapped her comm badge, "Lieutenant JG Sorin to Melissa Sheridan, could you please come down to the Ocero's cargo bay?"
While Kyla was ordering this second medical opinion, Mikey had begun thinking about the idea of Insanity. He tried once again to force his way into the damaged mind of the blond man before him. It was like he was looking through a piece of opaque glass, and even then it was into a darkened room. There were fluttery things dancing around inside, and if anything they were darker than the darkness they inhabited.
"Hold that." said Mikey, touching Kyla's arm just as she got through the comm system and to Counsellor Sheridan's badge. "It's too late for that, this guy needs help Now."
"What?" she asked, confused, "I don't-"
She was cut off as their blond paitent began to convulse in front of them. Mikey raised his eyebrows in surprise, "Y'see?"
As they arranged to get their mystery man to sickbay, Mikey played with the idea of quitting the fleet and becoming a sea-side fortune teller.
By Lieutenant (jg) Suder
As Suder asked Adrianna if she wanted a drink, he remembered his old Academy days. He had used the same methods of gaining Adrianna's confidence. She must have had his trust. She must have known that Suder respected her and trusted her. Back when he was a Cadet, there was a girl he wanted to know, get involved with. He sent her a poem and some flowers, and then he went round to her quarters. The two Cadets, along with some others had been assigned to the USS Gorkon for two weeks to observe ship operating systems. When Suder had asked this girl if she would like to have dinner, she said he wasn't her type. The next day, he discovered the whole crew knew about it and everyone laughed when he was around, either that or he just saw them whispering things in the corridor, leaving when he arrived. It broke his heart. He didn't think he could love again. But now he wa son the Galaxy. A lot had happened since then. And what was this now. Love??? He had worked with Adrianna several times and knew her wel, or so he would like to think. But what if she did the same thing. That was what set Suder back whenever he had an opputunity to ask her out. But he was doing it now. But what if she said no. He wasn't sure what to do.
"Can I get you another drink?" he asked.
It seemed strange. They were Engineers. And with all the recent events, shouldn't they have been in Engineering. It felt like it. But this was what was happening now. The moment Suder was waiting for was hee. Would Adrianna say "yes" or "no"? He waitied...
"To be continued..."
"While You Were Gone..."
By Lieutenant (jg) Suder
Suder had completely shut out the image of his old friend that had come to haunt him. He was in a good mood now and decided that today, was the day. In his hands were a data padd and a flower, well a rose. He passed several quarters and stopped at one in particular. He pressed the door chime and waited. There was no response. He tried again, but still no response. He looked around, and saw no one. He tapped in a code on the door panel and the doors slid open. He quietly stepped in and then realised that Adrianna was not in. He placed the padd down on the table and replicated a small vase to put the one rose in. He then tapped a button on the padd to bring up a poem and then left.
After he had left Adrianna's quarters, he made his way to his quarters, got another data padd and then went into ten-forward. It was fairly busy. He didn't look to see who was around, he assumed everyone he knew was on duty. He sat down and went over the latest data report on the enineering holo-program. Things were going well. One or two things cold be changed. Nothing serious though. He looked out of the window for what seemed to be forever. He turned back and looked around the room. He wasn't reading anyone's minds, as he didn't know any one and it wouldn't be right. He thought about using his telepathic abilities to contact Adrianna. It would be funny to see her expression when her voice is called and she looked around to see no one there. But that was for another day. He had to wait until she went to her quarters. Perhaps she was there already. But then maybe not. He heard her laughing and looked up from his data padd and saw her drinking some kind of drink and talking to the bartender.
He stood up and strolled over to where she was and lent on the bar with one elbow. "Can I get you another drink?" Suder asked.
"To be continued..."
Just Trying To Help Out
by: Robert Howald (CO, SEAL Team 23)
USS St. Louis
***Bridge USS St. Louis***
The large shape of the medical ship loomed on the viewscreen. Strauss turned to the Tactical officer, just in time to hear the announcement. "Sir, we are being hailed".
Turning back to face the viewscreen, he commanded, "Onscreen".
The screen shimmered and the face of the captain of the Caduceus appeared. [USS St. Louis, this is Captain Mercedes Manion of the Starfleet ship USS Caduceus.]
"This is Commander Robert Strauss, Captain. We can really use your help. I will get the rendez-vous happening, and then you can coordinate with our captain. I have called her to the bridge". He hit the mute on the comm panel in the chair, and looked over at the tactical officer. "Call the captain to the bridge". He unmuted the connection, hopefully the other captain hadn't noticed.
It didn't appear she did, as she was looking down at a panel on her right. [St. Louis, come about ten degrees to port, and prepare for data transfer.]
"Acknowledged, Caduceus. Glad you made it". Strauss turned and nodded at the tactical officer to start the download. "Helm make the required course corrections". The screen winked back to the exterior view as the channel was closed and the two ships moved into position, like a ballet in space.
The tactical officer spoke up and relayed the message back from the captain. "Sir, the captain reports she will be up shortly. Internal sensors show her moving towards sickbay".
"Very well" Strauss said moving to the XO seat. No need to tie up her seat when she got here. "Might as well inform Lt. Commander Rosenblith to make his way up here when he gets a chance as well". Strauss knew that Daniel's experience with medical would make him much more adept to dealing with the Caddy crew than him.
After several minutes, the captain walked onto the bridge. Strauss called out "Captain has the Bridge" as she walked on. Most Starfleet vessels were light on process, but Strauss always thought that the only way was the proscribed way. Hence why he was always so harsh on his men. Why should they be allowed to be soft if he wasn't.
"Report Commander" the captain said, moving to her chair.
"Captain, the Caduceus has arrived and we have moved into position as requested by their captain. Data download has been completed, and other than that we were waiting for you to arrive. I have also called the XO to the bridge at his earliest opportunity". He leaned over and said more quietly, so that only she could hear. "I have been thinking, maybe I should take Daniel's shift, to free him up to deal with the medical crew, and to help the new CMO with our current problem".
"Very well, in fact... I will take half his shift, to free you up to get some sleep". The captain said, shooting Strauss a small smile.
"You are so good to me". he replied, settling himself deeper into the seat, and returning the smile. Then he just sat back and watched the captain do what she did best.
Commander Robert Strauss
CO, SEAL Team 23
Assigned USS St. Louis
"Living In A Nightmare"
by Ensign James Riddley
Engineering, USS Galaxy
Additions by: Dr. Felicia Khatroweena
When James Riddley opened his eyes, all he saw was a smoke filled room. He wondered what kind of hell his mind had cooked up, until he realized that it wasn't a dream. He was in sickbay, and he could feel a dull pain in his leg.
Then he remembered. Dr. Luck had given him the sedative, and that was all he had remembered. He had drifted in and out for the next few hours, and now he seemed stable enough to stay awake.
Looking around, he could see that sickbay had turned into a slaughter house. Bodies were strewn everywhere. But everyone he could see seemed to be alive. But then again James' visibility was almost nothing.
He tried to sit up, and felt a throbbing pain in his leg. He sat back down, before trying again. This time he managed to prop himself up.
Dr. Felicia "Cat" Khatroweena, made her way over to James' bed. She frowned in disapproval at his sitting position.
'Just like a doctor,' he thought. Always frown on the patient.
"And what are we doing, Ensign?"
"Attempting to sit up, Doc. Is that ok?"
Cat shook her head. "Why do patients insist on defying doctors? Now you lay down."
"Why do doctors overprotect patients?"
Neither responded to the others question. Instead, James tried to move his leg.
"Easy James, " Cat put her hand lightly on his leg, "You had your leg broken in an explosion, you also sustained some burns to the leg. Your injury isn't serious, but not something to take lightly. You'll have to be off duty for a few days while you recover."
That hurt, James thought. He really didn't want to have to sit around his quarters for a few days, doing nothing.
"Is that doctors orders?" he asked, a little more hotly than he would've liked.
"It is," Cat returned.
It shut James up. Cat helped him stand, and he slowly got his balance, and a major headache at the same time. He rubbed his head, and looked at the other people around him. Comparing himself to them, he didn't feel so bad.
"Guess I don't have it that bad," he said to himself. Cat didn't hear him.
"You can return to your quarters," she said, "plenty of rest, and no work." "Thank you doctor."
"Here, take these, they'll help you walk."
She handed him a pair of crutches. After a few moments of direction from Cat, he got the hang of it. He nodded, at her, and took an unsteady step towards the door. By the time he got to the main doors, he felt confident, and steady on the crutch's. The doors slid open, and he walked out.
"The final analysis"
by Captain Robert Edward Lee Price
Captain - USS Galaxy
Captain Price stood by Lieutenant' T'Kal at the tactical arch near the rear of the bridge. Behind him, the whir of the Red Alert klaxons continued to sing throughout the ship, in synchronization with the pulsing red lights that flashed along the walls. The Dominion attack ship had long since high tailed it back to the safety of Cardassian space. Sensors plainly showed that. Early reports began to come in from the away team on board the Ferengi freighter, the "Latinum Prince". The Jem'Hadar soldiers left there by their retreating compatriots were putting up a fair dinkum of a fight. But in the end, the security officers of the USS Galaxy had managed to gain the upper hand. Casualties on the Ferengi ship had been light, thanks to Lieutenant Commander McKenzie's fast action in sending a security detail onto the Ferengi ship to combat the Jem'Hadar rather than pursuing the fleeing Dominion ship into unknown Cardassian space where anything could happen. Technically the Galaxy had most likely done exactly what the fleeing Dominion ship wanted. But in the final analysis, the premier Galaxy Class starship had done the right thing. Just looking at the faces of the grateful, living Ferengi as they beamed over to the starship would tell you that. Most were not even worried about the fact they were actually being detained for questioning into the possible charges of smuggling across enemy lines. Most that is, except for DaiMon Toog. He continued to protest profusely at the accusations. At several minutes past midnight, Captain Price didn't really care how loudly the Ferengi protested. It was something best dealt with in the morning.
Lee suppressed a yawn, just as the turbolift doors opened and several more sleepy eyed senior officers came walking onto the bridge to assume their stations. Standard Starfleet protocol during a Red Alert. In all the excitement, or perhaps just in a extended measure of conservativeness, Lieutenant Commander McKenzie had chosen not to down grade to a yellow alert while the away team was initially battling the Jem'Hadar soldiers left behind on the Ferengi freighter. It was a sound text book decision. Though judging from the faces of the senior staff who got pulled out of bed, it was not likely one that would win Hunter many friends.
"Lieutenant Commander Sunder is reporting the freighter has been secured Captain." McKenzie turned to Captain Price and explained. "Still no sign of Dominion ships in the sector."
Lee finished his yawn and nodded for Mac to go on.
"I think it's safe to cancel red alert and stand down from battle stations. What do you think Captain?" Hunter asked, still a little nervous at his first tour in command of Gamma shift.
"I think the rest of the senior staff would appreciate that 'mate. See to it that all of the Ferengi are brought on board the Galaxy and held while this matter is investigated by security. They can begin questioning the Ferengi in the morning. Hopefully we can get to the bottom of this." Captain Price suggested.
"Sounds good Captain. With your permission, I'd like to leave a small detail of security officers on board the "Latinum Prince" just to keep an eye on her and make sure we didn't miss anyone over there. Ferengi can be quite sneaky. I wouldn't put it past them to have hidden compartments that are shielded from our sensors for use in smuggling operations." Lieutenant Commander McKenzie explained.
"Suit yourself 'Commander. You are in command of Gamma shift for the next few hours. I'm going to return to my quarters." Lee replied. Then placing a hand on Lieutenant' T'Kal's shoulder he turned to the Tactical officer and asked, "Keep a sharp eye on the sensors for any approaching ships 'mate."
"You can count on that sir." T'Kal returned. He seemed to be fully alert compared to most of the dreary eyed senior officers who'd been awaken from their sleep cycle.
"Fair dinkum 'mate. G'nite." Captain Price said before exiting the bridge to return to his quarters.
The night past uneventfully, at least for the Captain. Alpha shift wasn't scheduled to start until 09:00, but the Captain was wide awake come 06:00, right when the Galaxy came out of the night watch lighting and back to regulation illumination levels for sunrise watch. Lee laid in bed for a few minutes, trying to get back to sleep, but his brain was racing and it was no use. Discarding his blankets, he decided to take a sonic shower and get dressed.
While getting ready, Lee thought about the Ferengi situation. It seemed obvious that Toog was trying to cross into Cardassian Space when the Galaxy first came across her. That was strong circumstantial evidence that they may have wanted to meet up with Dominion or Cardassian ships. The security detail that boarded the "Latinum Prince" had discovered several crates of empty drug vials concealed in cases topped off with Bajoran Coffee. These vials are commonly used to ship drugs and other medications throughout the quadrant, but what struck security as very coincidental was they are the exact same shape and size as the vials used by the Dominion for storing ketracel-white. The enzyme needed by the Jem'Hadar to survive. Lee deactivated the shower and stood there a moment. Still, only circumstantial evidence. Unless they found some hard physical evidence on the ship, their entire 'case' against DaiMon Toog and the crew of the "Latinum Prince" was circumstantial and speculation. Perhaps with questioning of the Ferengi crew, one of them could be made to incriminate the operation. Though even that the Captain thought was unlikely. There is no profit in implicating one's self in a war crime against the Federation.
Getting dressed, Captain Price headed for the Galaxy's mess hall to get some breakfast before checking in on Delta shift to see what had taken place while he slept over the last few hours. If his memory served him correctly, Lieutenant Hewson was the officer assigned command duty this week for Delta shift.
"Brew of the gods"
by Lt. AC Hewson
Ast. Chief Engineer, USS Galaxy
***** USS Galaxy, Deck 17 *****
It had happened countless times in the last year and a half. It could strike at anytime of the day, on any day of the week. The timing was erratic and unpredictable, caring not whom might be sleeping and otherwise. And unfortunately for those officers onboard the USS Galaxy who usually enjoyed a siesta during the late hours of the night into the wee-hours of the morning, the familiar sound of klaxons echoed through the ship as a Code Red Alert was issued.
Lt. Alan Hewson found himself moving down the corridor of Deck 17 at a rather hurried pace. It took the Assistant Chief Engineer a few moments to recall why he was dressed in uniform and heading towards the turbolift. Since the war with the Dominion had begun, AC had repeated the procedure of waking up, getting dressed, and heading for Main Engineering during an emergency so many times that his mind had automatically gone through the process on this particular night without him even noticing it.
“Hewson to Mercury,” AC said as he tapped his communicator.
[Mercury here, go ahead AC.] The voice of the Galaxy’s Chief Engineer responded promptly.
“I assume we’re following the usual,” AC said, surprised that his voice failed to reflect the lack of sleep that he had been able to get in the past twenty-four hours.
“You know it. I am en route to the bridge right now. Looks like a couple of Jem’Hadar ships.”
“Understood,” AC acknowledged as he stepped into the lift. It wasn’t that long ago that AC had never heard of the Dominion or the Jem’Hadar. Now an attack by a pair of Jem’Hadar fighters was common.
***** Main Engineering *****
Ensign Tonya Eggleston greeted Alan as he entered Main Engineering. The fair-skinned Ensign handed AC a PADD containing a summary of the situation at hand, a second PADD contain a list of Engineers who had reported for duty and those who were on standby, and a triple strong cup of coffee (also known as an Engineer’s Special).
“ ‘Latinum Prince’…Ferengi…Jem’Hadar…” AC said quietly to himself as he scanned through the report. He stopped for a moment as he took a swig from the cup.
No matter how hard he tried to prepare himself, nothing could dull the impact of the black liquid as it passed from the cup to his mouth. The substance, by definition, went against everything that was holy and pure in the universe. Whatever demon from Hell that had spawned this strange brew knew not what power it held. The smell was strong enough to raise Lazarus from the grave, and the taste was powerful enough to send him back to the great beyond. A shot of Nectii might not even be as severe.
Time seemed to stop as Alan swallowed. His eyes were closed, but he could see patterns of light dancing before him. The sounds of silence screamed in his ears as the concoction forced its way down his throat. He stood still as the ship moved through him.
“It could use a bit of sugar,” Alan said as he handed the cup back to Eggleston.
“I’ll remember that, sir. But if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go climb into a bio-hazard suit and pour this down the sink.”
As smiled and nodded, then turned and walked towards the island in the middle of engineering. Lt. Commander K'Eytyanna Samara was leaning over the island, monitoring the status of the ship.
“Report,” AC stated flatly as he positioned himself on the other side of the control island, directly across from Samara.
“Minor damage reported on Deck 3 and 8. Shield strength at 83%. Phaser banks at 89% power. Photon and Quantum torpedo tubes at 100%. Bridge reports that one of the Jem’Hadar attack ships has been destroyed. The other has escaped into warp.” K’Eytyanna rattled off.
Alan nodded as he took some of the non-essential systems off-line and transferred their power to reserves. While this probably was not necessary in this situation, it was standard procedure. At the same time, K’Eytyanna assigned repair crews to take care of the minor damage, and brought two other repair crews up to alert status.
All remained relatively quite for the next forty-five minutes. The repairs had been assessed and taken care of, and there had been no sign of any Jem’Hadar ships.
Alan entered his office and sat down behind his desk. He quickly filled out a few reports before taking out a pillow and blanket from the bottom left drawer of his desk. After locking the door, he quickly fell asleep on the floor. Alan only had about an hour and a half before he was due to report to the bridge for command duty.
"Repairs under Fire"
by Lt Cmdr K'Eytyanna Samara,
Engineering - USS Galaxy
Growling in anger as she banged her head, K'Eytyanna slid out from under the table when she picked up the red lights and loud alert sirens.
Grabbing her toolkit, she headed to the door, "Just great. Everyone down to Engineering. Move it, move it."
The group charged into the nearest turbolift and less then 20 seconds later, it dumped them out in Main Engineering.
Taking over from the ensign she had left in charge, she headed directly to the status consoles, bringing up the ship's status, as if the ship was shaking around her.
Barking out orders to repair crews, she silently cursed the Jem'Hadar a few times.
AC Hewson flew into Engineering, stopping across from her a short while after.
"Report," AC stated flatly.
Without looking up, she quickly snapped out, "Minor damage reported on Deck 3 and 8. Shield strength at 83%. Phaser banks at 89% power. Photon and Quantum torpedo tubes at 100%. Bridge reports that one of the Jem’Hadar attack ships has been destroyed. The other has escaped into warp."
Halfway through Delta Shift..
A cadet ran over to K'Eytyanna as she was working on fully restoring the fore shields and handed her a PADD, "Lt Commander, delta crew reports that the Saucer Module ventral array's EPS submaster flow regulators are now all reporting at 100 percent. Once the emitters are retuned, they report that Saucer section phasers should be repaired."
Skimming briefly through it, she smiled and handed it back, "Good work. Cadet, see what you can do about getting a status report on Deck 3."
Moving over to a nearby console, she wiped her forehead and brought up a diagnostic of the shields she had been retuning.
Tapping her combadge, she spoke,
"Samara to Bridge."
[AC here. You're still on duty? Ever heard of sleep, K'Eytyanna?]
"Yes to both, but there is still more work to go. Your phasers are nearly fixed on the Saucer section, and the shields are upto 96 percent. By the end of Delta, I expect the shields will be fixed totally."
[That will be something good to tell Captain Price. AC out.]
Heading down the corridor, K'Eytyanna reached the door and wacked the panel, stepping in while trying to be quiet.
Moving over to the sofa, she heard the sound of Hunter in the bathroom and smiled. Crashing down onto the sofa, she stretched before rolling onto her stomach.
Hunter stuck his head out and grinned, "Hi. I was wondering where you were, K'Eyt?"
She yawned and grinned mischeviously, "Repairing the ship after your first command shift. Haven't seen that much damage for a long long time."
Hunter laughed and gave her a playful tap as he went by on the way to the replicator,
"Very funny. Your welcome to crash here if you want."
"Thanks, but I might go back to my own quarters. If I don't, D'Akana is going to start destroying things again. Remeber what he did to your slippers last time? It took ages to clean it all up."
Hunter smiled and gave her a kiss before he headed out to Alpha shift Tactical.
"Embarrassment and Duty"
By Ensign Yazron Beq, Tactical Officer, USS Galaxy
As he left Sickbay, Yaz noticed that the alert had been cancelled. He walked straight into a female. He quickly realised it was one of the Ensigns who had seen him earlier. His face grew even deeper red with embarrassment but she did nit seem to recognise him.
"Sorry," Yaz said in a half mumble, "I wasn't paying attention."
"It's alright." said the Ensign before walking off.
He began to head back to his quarters.
He finally walked through the door to his quarters. It seemed as if everyone was sniggering at him as he passed them in the corridors.
"Time?" he asked the computer.
[The time is 0830 hours]
He had half an hour before he had to be on the Bridge, he took that time to have a sonic shower and put on his uniform.
He walked over to the replicator.
"Water, 5 degrees celcius."
The computer chirped and the water appeared in front of him. He drank it quickly and headed for the Bridge.
Ensign Yazron Beq, Tactical Officer, USS Galaxy
"The Hot Lab"
by Lieutenant Commander Kozlov
First Officer, USS Caduceus
***** Bridge, USS Caduceus*****
"Commander Kozlov, prepare to deploy the quarantine unit." Ordered Captain Manion. "Ensign Coghlan, activate the remote helm control. This is a standard 'saddleback' deployment. The unit will be tethered to the St. Louis on the dorsal plane, between the nacelles. Notify the St. Louis that we are about to release the unit."
"Right away, Ma'am". Said Kozlov. He tapped some keys on his command chair's folding console display and went to work.
"Engineering department. We are deploying the Deck 9 hot lab. As soon as flight control has her docked with the St. Louis, we are going to need a team of inspectors to go aboard. I want every seal checked, the bio-filters diagnosed and the containment fields tested. I do not want so much as a particle of matter from the Saint Louis on board until we are certain we have level four containment."
[I'll have our teams ready] replied Claymore from engineering.
Kozlov contacted medical next. "Doctor Jergensen. You will be coordinating the medical end of this operation. Let me know when you think we have enough preliminary information on the situation to start up operations in the hot lab. You will also act as the direct liaison to the medical staff on the St. Louis.
"Dr. Lou, your teams will be leading the research effort. Please have them review the safety procedures for the hot lab and make certain they are enforced. You should draw from the resources of our science department as well."
The two doctors replied quickly and got their teams in motion. He turned his attention to flight control. "How's the docking going, Ensign Coghlan?"
"Almost there." Replied the ensign. He toggled the Caddy's starboard sensor array and put the image of the hot lab up on the screen.
The mobile quarantine unit, informally called the 'hot lab' by most of the crew, was unlike any other space faring Federation vessel. Shaped like a wedge and powered by little more than thrusters, it detached itself from the Caduceus like a piece from a Chinese puzzle box and slowly rotated along its axis to face the St. Louis. Using the remote piloting protocols, ensign Coghlan guided the wedge carefully between the nacelles of the St. Louis. Once in place, along the target ship's dorsal plane, it extended its docking clamps and latched itself firmly to the hull. In this position, the lab could function without seriously deterring the performance of the St. Louis. Not that such matters were important in this case. The St. Louis had a deadly virus onboard, one that apparently had just made the jump between species, so they would not be going anywhere for a while.
The hot lab was more than an advanced research lab and emergency ward. It was a fortress, designed to keep prisoners smaller than a few microns in size from escaping. When used properly, it would allow the Caddy's doctors and scientists to work with the most deadly biological entities Starfleet's brain trust could imagine.
"Docking procedure completed." Said Coghlan.
"I'm reading all power systems on the hot lab in the green." Said Lt. Vanx from the operations station.
"Alright." Said Kozlov. "Engineering, transport your inspection teams over. This is the first time we have used the hot lab in the field. Let's make certain everything is running perfectly."
He learned back in his chair and glanced over at the Captain, who nodded in acknowledgment. Manion would handle the high level stuff between herself and Captain Thiana. Meanwhile, Jergensen, Lou and the rest of the medical staff would be conducting the really dangerous work. While Kozlov was a doctor in his own right and a graduate of Starfleet Medical, he rarely used the title these days. For the past decade, his medical practices had been limited strictly to 'meatball surgery', getting the wounded patched up, often in the middle of combat, and then getting them out of the fire zone and into the hands of the real surgeons. Advanced epidemiology was out of his league. His role for the rest of the operation would be the management of the Caduceus itself, a task which he hoped would be routine while the doctors went about their business. As long as everyone on the St. Louis and in the hot lab kept their heads, everything would go like clockwork.
"Ferengi... They Are So Like Guilders"
by, Lt. (j.g.) Raesene Hermedhie
Tactical Officer, U.S.S. Galaxy
Raesene quickly made his way to the Tactical Center and took in the situation with the "Latinum Prince." he sat back to ponder this. ~Ferengi... They are so like guilders,~ he thought.
Guilders were a strange breed of men that existed on Raesene's homeworld of Aebrynnis. The more common name for some of the lesser ones were thieves. All they seemed to care about was money, to the end all of that belief. They traded across the lands of Cerilia. Well, except maybe the lands called Vosgaard. No one liked to deal with those barbarians.
They even had their own "Rules of Acquisition" to go by. Oh, they may not be as stringent as the Ferengi ones, but few were. Some of these guilders were kindly souls, doing their trade for the good of their workers, and for the people they catered to. Most, however, were as evil a bunch as your were likely to meet. They merely wanted to leech off the populace, and pull the strings on the regents. In other words, run the show for all of Cerilia.
These things and more went through Raesene's mind as he considered the implications of a Ferengi ship near the border with the Cardassian-Dominion Alliance. All in all, it was a lot to consider...
"Eye of the Storm."
by Doctor Vernon Luck
It was now Delta Shift, and Doctor Luck looked like he needed a good night's rest. He sat at his regularly seat on the sidelines, his head in his hands. He was exasperated, exhausted from one of the hardest shifts he had every worked.
The crisis certainly wasn't over; it was only just beginning. The quiet aftermath would only exist for a short while, until the ever-encroaching dilemas took a hold of the Medical Staff once more.
Vernon lifted his head, and looked on. Now was the eye of the storm, the eerie silence forming itself inside the Medical Bay.
Dr. Luck knew this wouldn't last, and that was what made it all the more unbearable. He returned to the fray, knowing that the harder ordeals were still to follow. These ordeals were not just for him, but for the many officers who served outside and within the Medical Bay.
"...Add to this Gakor's condition, and we've got a problem, Vern." comment Cat, having just sent away a healing officer.
Vernon shook his head. He felt the pressure that was now on him; "Without Dr. Huntson, and with an emotionally fragile CMO, this is going to become extremely difficult. With the Galaxy heading into a mission that looks as if it's going to be putting maximum pressure on us, this is going to become a nightmare."
Cat smiled, as she joked; "Maybe we could ask the Captain to turn around, hmm?"
"Maybe." Vernon flatly replied; "Things seem to have calmed down for now, at least."
"Rumour has it the Galaxy just sent out a boarding party, so don't count on it." continued Cat.
A sigh came from Vernon; "Wonderful."
The Caitian purred; "Well, we had better get to work, hadn't we?"
The pair moved away from each other. As Cat began to study the progress of one of the wounded officers from the incident, Vernon walked towards the nearest console. He tapped at the buttons quietly.
He looked over the screen. It was an injury report, detailing the injuries that had occured as a result of the attack. It was senseless; many had come to serious harm thanks to a petty skirmish with a few Dominion Warships. A small few had died.
War was always ugly, but sometimes it was the only solution. This kind of madness was what made it seem only worse; when lives had died for such a minor cause. The protection of a small Ferengi vessel had paid its toll, and had things gotten worse, could have cost even more.
Dr. Luck looked down at the floor, solemnly. He turned the console off, and turned around. He looked up, to find an attractive female officer standing nearby. She simply stood still, waiting for a Doctor emerged. Vernon headed her way, approaching from her rear-right side. Her inquired; "Can I help you, ma'am?"
The officer tended around, and looked at Dr. Luck. There was a neutral expression on her face, as she replied; "Yes, Doctor. I'm here reporting for my physical."
"Now really isn't a good time..." Vernon began. Before he finished his sentence, he paused. He took a deep breath, and despite being rather over-worked, continued; "...but what's one more check-up."
The officer nodded; "Thank you, Doctor. Will this take long?"
"Not at all. Would you prefer a female nurse to examine you, Ma'am?" Vernon commented.
There was another pause. After a while, the officer laughed; "Now that you mention it, Doctor."
Vernon smiled, a little faintly; "I'll have one of the less-busy Nurses take care of you. What's the name?"
"Ensign Jordan Antoinette Arisa, Doctor. Yours?" replied the Ensign.
As Nurse Munroe approached, the Vernon answered; "Doctor Vernon Luck. That's one hell of a name, Ma'am."
"Well I'm a musician so I have to have, as you put it, 'One hell of a name'." laughed Arisa, as she turned to Munroe.
Before she walked away, Vernon concluded; "Well it's been nice meeting you, Ensign. If you need anything, give us a shout."
Jordan nodded, before the Nurse began to go through the usual routine.
There was still an eerie-calm over the Sickbay. The few physicals and minor injuries that had been brought in in the meantime had gone straight back out shortly later. A lot of the medium-level cases had been let out as well. Despite this, the situation was still intense, mostly for personal reasons.
Vernon once again was seated at his resting chair, taking time to think. Shortly after taking his seat, he was joined by a woman who he hadn't had much time to talk to since he was assigned to the Galaxy.
"So how it been, Vernon, wasn't it?" the voice asked.
Dr. Luck turned around, to see the familiar Tellarite. He smiled; "Well, you've seen it, haven't you?"
"I have, and let me assure you that this gets..."
"Worse. I can tell." interrupted Vernon. He obviously wasn't the only one feeling the grind.
Gakor looked quite solemn. She had been through a lot, and things looked like they were only going to get harder for everyone. She commented; "About those triangle food-parcels of yours. They tasted interesting, but something wasn't quite right about them."
Vernon grew a rather distraught look. His eyes lit up, as he looked straight at the Tellarite. He asked; "Erm... such as...?"
"I don't know, the meat tasted a little bad. I think you might have added too many herbs." continued Gakor.
Vernon nodded; "Erm, if I might ask, when did you eat them?"
"About three weeks after you gave them to me." Gakor calmly replied.
Shock overcome the Doctor. His face was quite literally stunned. He commented, after a long pause; "Gakor, Samosas go bad after only a coupla days... after three weeks, I'm surprised you even ate them."
"It was wrapped up in a parcel, though. Isn't that meant to keep it fresh for longer?" asked Gakor.
Vernon shook his head; "The concept of Samosas is a very old tradition. The pastry keeps the meat fresh, but not for long."
"That was pastry?" Gakor looked shocked herself.
"Yes, what did you think it was?"
"I thought it was some form of plastic. I presumed you opened it up, and ate what was inside."
"No, you eat the entire thing."
"Ah. Perhaps you should have included instruction regarding how to eat them, then?" commented the Tellarite, dryly.
Luck smiled, thankfully getting the joke. He replied; "Perhaps I should have. When someone first offered me a Donna Kebab, I had no idea how to eat that, either."
"A Donna Kebab?" asked the older Doctor.
Vernon nodded; "Another Earth-dish, for health-reasons you don't tend to find anyone willing to make them anymore. The towns and cities I come from, though, tend to have someone willing to create great-tasting food, as well as healthy food."
"Real food is something infinitely greater than what Starfleet gives us. Perhaps you should help me with preparing food for Sterner's leaving party." commented Gakor. She had a smile on her face, but it still bore the stress of life in the Medical Rooms.
Vernon's expression, however, looked completely different. It was as if he had completely forgotten the stress. He replied; "I would love to. I'm sure the Mess Hall folks won't mind me preparing such unhealty dishes if it's a party."
Gakor grinned; "Good. When you have a free moment, then..."
"You can count on it, Ma'am." Vernon enthusiastically responded.
There was a brief pause, before Gakor concluded; "Well, I better turn back to work. G'day, Vernon."
Gakor headed away, deep into the background. Once again, Vernon got off his chair, and got back to work.
It was now a little deeper into Delta Shift. Unbeknownst to Vernon, a Security Detachment had been sent to the Ferengi Marauder in an attempt to investigate the situation. There was no telling what sort of impact it would have on the Galaxy's mission, or on the war effort. Closer to home, Vernon had no idea how it would affect his life. Of course, he had no knowledge it was even happening, but soon he would.
"Anyhow..." continued Dr. Khatroweena; "I have no idea what Dr. Kahn is going to be mentioning in this meeting, but you can be sure it's gonna add even more stress to our lives."
Vernon sighed; "Sounds wonderful... at least things are calming down."
"Don't count on it, Ensign. Or jinx it." Cat laughed, purring ever so.
Vernon struggled to laugh, but it wasn't working. He didn't like the tones this mission was taking, and no one seemed confident that things were beginning to ease off. There was another long pause, which wasn't interrupted easily.
The interruption came in the form everyone suspected. The first casualty from the mission on the Ferengi Marauder had come through, and staff was immediately racing around. It was clear the Eye had passed, and the Medical Bay was once again being plunged into action.
A few minutes later, and another two beings began to materialize in the medical room, forming two Security officers. Quickly, a selection of Nurses moved towards the pair. Vernon stood back a little, observing. He had only just finished dealing within one situation.
The yelling stopped, as one of the Nurses dragged a sedated officer away. Cat returned to the scene and looked on; "Not again..."
"What?" asked Vernon.
Cat shook her head; "Ensign Gartner."
"Ah... I heard. Some severe mental problems, apparently. I'm surprised she was reinstated." Vernon commented.
Cat nodded; "Me too. Listen; go help the other officer. We'll take care of Gartner later."
Sighing, Vernon gave a look of agreement, but no clear words or actions in response. He turned away, heading towards the other officer.
It was twenty minutes later, and the injured officer became concious for the first time since he was admitted to Sickbay. He had suffered several injuries, the most of which were a huge stab-wound and an energy-blast wound. Blasts from Jem'Hadar rifles were intense cases; Survivors had to deal with an anti-coagulant that often causes the victim to simply bleed to death. With most of the blood draining from the officer's body as a result of the offender's knife, Ensign Bolitho was in a terrible state of affairs.
These were frustrating cases for most Doctors, but thankfully could be dealt with with the right equipment. Ensign Bolitho was going to live, but for the next few days he would wish he had died. The pain was terrible, and even with sedation the pain closed in on its victim.
Bolitho began to speak, but it came out as dilerium; "Jem'Hadar... Ferengi... Gartner..."
"Ensign, can you hear me?" Vernon asked, rather worried.
Bolitho turned to him, and struggled; "What... the mission?"
Before Vernon could respond in any way, the officer's eyes closed. He wasn't dying, but any on-looker could tell the prognosis for the Ensign was bleak as far as the short-term was concerned. The officer could be suffering from a wide variety of side effects from the rifle-wound.
Nurse Opel quickly darted to the bedside, and ran some quick checks. Dr. Luck simply sighed, and walked away.
This was a nightmare for all concerned. This was only one of many injuries that had occured. Whether it was a direct shot or a mild wound, almost every case that was cropping up in this new batch was going to become extremely severe.
Stress was mounting. This was not the only case Vernon was involved with. Several other Security members had been beamed back to the Galaxy. With the more personal situations creating further stress, it was becoming difficult for everyone to perform.
Vernon wanted to take a break, but he couldn't. More officers were coming down with every minute. The Jem'Hadar was extremely efficient killers, and with their biological ability to shroud and their very powerful arsenal, it was surprising that the Security Team were managing to hold their own on the Ferengi ship.
As far as things in the Medical Department were concerned though, people wished this simply wasn't happening.
Back to Work II
By Dana Jergensen MD
CMO USS Caduceus
Doctor Jergensen eyed herself in the mirror. She was no fan of Starfleet fashion. She was teh CMO and she wondered if she was allowed to modify Medical uniforms. She was wearing her uniform for a reason though. Today she would be holding her first staff meeting of the medical department. They just didn't know it yet.
She prepared her office by moving the still semi-unpacked boxes to a far corner. There were several coffe mugs scattered on her desk and she sent them to waste disposal. Then there was the blanket on her couch (from the occasional 'all nighter'). She folded it up and but on the back of the couch. Every thing seemed somewhat squared away. She hit tapped at her Comm badge.
-/\- Doctor Jergensen to senior medicla staff. Please report to the CMO's Office for staff assignments. -/\-
She hoped it sounded officious enough. What she read on the virus had her stumped and she wanted to maker sure all Staff were aware of what they were facing. She also messaged Ops for up to the minute updates on any information comming from the St. Louis. She wondered if she looked as scared as she felt.
"Engineer in Command"
by Lt. Alan Hewson
Ast. Chief Engineer, USS Galaxy
***** USS Galaxy, start of Delta Shift *****
Almost every boy and girl had the desire to command a starship for the Federation. Once upon a time, Alan Hewson had dreamed of one day becoming a captain of a ship. But the dreams of command quickly faded away for Alan after he entered Starfleet Academy, and found his niche in the field of engineering. His desire was no longer to become a captain, but to retire his commission at the rank of Lt. Commander after a few years and live a peaceful life. Perhaps he would even teach at the Academy one day.
The new four-shift rotation had provided many benefits to the crew, one of which was the opportunity for officers that usually wouldn’t receive any real command duty to gain experience during Gamma and Delta shift. All officers going through this program had to pass a series of command tests and simulations before they were assigned to real bridge command duty. At the encouragement of Lt. Commander Greer Erikson, Chief Science Officer and best friend to AC, Alan had enrolled in the program.
As the turbolift doors opened, AC tugged at his jacket. He scanned the room from where he stood on the turbolift, looking to see who was on duty. Stepping onto the bridge, he noticed that the feel of the floor seemed different than the rest of the ship. Alan had been on the bridge countless times as he manned the engineering station, but never had he walked the bridge as a command officer. As AC made his way down the ramp, Lieutenant’ Benedict T'Kal looked up from his position. Alan nodded to the Bajorn officer. While Benedict and Alan did not really spend that much time together, they had developed a friendship of sorts from playing poker together. Another bond they shared was their dislike for now Command Deiran Casey.
“Good morning, AC.” Lt. Commander Hunter McKenzie welcomed the Engineer as Alan took the vacant seat to the right of the Big Chair.
“And good morning to you, Commander. I hear that you saw a little action during Gamma.” AC said with a smile as he sat down. Mac filled Alan in on all the details before he went off duty.
“…and if those Ferengi make any noise, let them know that Captain Price will deal with them later in the morning.” Mac said as he got up from his seat.
“All right Mac, sleep well.” AC said as he too got up from his seat.
***** 5 Hours Later *****
Delta shift had passed fairly fast and rather quite. The last of the away team was back onboard the Galaxy, and the Latinum Prince had been searched stem-to-stern and top-to-bottom. All of the crates of drug vials that had been found on the Ferengi’s ship were currently being examined by the Security and Science departments to determine what exactly had been transported in the vials. However, if they Ferengi had been smuggling the white across the border, it was not likely they would be so careless as to simply leave the evidence lying around.
Lt. Commander Samara had been working very hard to repair all of the damage done by the short skirmish with the Jem’Hadar ships. Ever since she had been placed back on regular duty, she had taken on all problems that she faced with full force. She was determined to make amends for the pranks that she had pulled. The Human/Bajoran/Klingon’s hard work would also benefit AC in this situation. Alan would be more than happy to report to Captain Price on the repair progress once the Captain arrived for Alpha shift.
“Computer, what is the location of Captain Price.” AC asked the computer quietly.
“Captain Price is currently in the Captain’s Ready Room.”
A frown formed an Alan’s face. He hadn’t even noticed that the Captain had slipped onto the bridge. Glancing at the ship’s clock above the view-screen, AC decided to go ahead and give his shift report to the Captain since Alpha shift would relieve Delta in fifteen minutes. AC made his way to the door of the Captain’s Ready Room, PADD in hand.
"How Can I Live"
By Bradly McCree- Bartender, Uss St Louis
*Bar, Uss St Louis*
Brad had stopped by the bar to see if Alex had left a message for her. When she didn't find one Her anger rose to a little higher hieght. Then she cooled down and worry replaced her anger. It wasn't like Alex to break a date. Esepcially without leaving her notice.
They were supposed to meet at 1500 in her quarters. They were going to have a picnic dinner in front of a star filled sky. the veiw was compliments of her window. When he hadn't showed then she hadn't got mad. When 1600 rolled a round she started getting mad, by 1630 she was boiling.
She was just about to ask the computer to locate him when commbadge chimed.
"Sickbay to McCree." The message came to her and she slapped her commbadge. The tone of the voice made her wary so her answer was hesitant.
"McCree here, Go ahead."
"Brad can you come down to sickbay...it's Alex"
by Captain Thiana Zeri, USS St. Louis
and Captain Mercedes Manion, USS Caduceus
Mercedes Manion watched as the external monitors tracked the placement of the Quarrantine Unit. She watched as the pie-shaped section of the Caduceus' saucer slid out of place and slowly began to move away under the control of Ensign Coghlan at the bridge helm station. Coghlan made it look deceptively easy, a clear indicator of his skill level. Manion herself had been required, as had all the bridge crew, to certify in the remote piloting of the QU. It was in no way as easy as her chief helmsman made it appear.
The sophisticated medical facilities that were the core of the quarrantine unit were extensive, for all their compactness. Now, she watched as the tractors of the St. Louis joined in the effort to get the unit into the saddleback position on the Intrepid-class starship. The wedge was almost as long as the stardrive of the St. Louis. With the aid of the St. Louis' own helm and engineers, the QU was lowered into place and locked down by remote tethering sequence. There was a hatchway airlock, but it would only be used in emergency situations. All transport between the QU and the two ships involved would be done by the Caduceus' transporter, with the Caduceus' highly sophisticated biofiltering system monitoring in the background. This allowed the medical personnel to get additional information from each patient.
When the unit was nearly finished, Lt. Vetra announced that there was an incoming message from Captain Thiana from the St. Louis.
"On screen, Lieutenant."
"Greetings Captain Manion, Thank you for your help. One ofour security officers has fallen to the Ocero disease."
"I was hoping that would not happen. I'm sorry, Captain. We'll start work immediately." Manion had a million thoughts going through her head. The foremost of which was that there was a Starfleet vessel with an alien plague that had crossed the species barrier once. That meant it could mutate, and could do it again.
"So, Captain, tell me more about the Ocero..."
Captain Mercedes Manion
USS Caduceus NCC-9462
An Allied Electronic Simulations Affiliated Sim
"Go Ahead, Make My Day"
by Lt. T'Zaq
Engineer, USS Galaxy
*** Main Engineering, USS Galaxy ***
The normal lighting winked out of existence, replaced by the dim red flashing of the red alert tracers. T'Zaq banged on the side of her Jefferies tube and hollered, "Someone turn that damn thing off!"
She wasn't in all that great of a mood today, and it was beginning to show. First a Ferengi ship had shown up, then some Jem'Hadar, and now the Galaxy was being caught in the crossfire.
T'Zaq pulled herself the rest of the way out of the Jefferies tube and surveyed the scene. Engineering was a mess, with exploding machinery and bits of electronic equipment strewn all over the place. Several of the unlucky injured personnel laid there on the floor, moaning in pain, although from a cursory glance there appeared to be no serious casualties. Repairs were already underway, and everything appeared to be under control.
She quickly decided that at this time, she could be of the most use helping to get people to sickbay. Descending upon the nearest invalid, she picked him up gently and started as fast as she could, without jostling the patient too much, toward the door.
Although she wasn't a medic, T'Zaq's orderly mind couldn't help but try to diagnose the poor victim as she made her way through the corridors to sickbay. His light bone structure placed him as quite probably a Lunarian. He had multiple burns along his arms, face, and neck, red and blistered. Maybe second degree. He was stunned and semiconscious.
As the doors swished open before her into sickbay, T'Zaq felt a wave of fear wash over her, attempting to spike its way through her control. This was why she could never have become a medic - she was too much in tune with others' pain. Being in a sickbay full of injured people was nearly unbearable. She could see the expressions on their faces, feel their agony screaming in her mind. She quickly set the engineer down on a cot that had been set up for the excess of injured personnel. A harried-looking nurse rushed over and scanned him with a medical tricorder. Giving a curt nod to T'Zaq, she said "Not critical. Dr. Luck will see him in twenty minutes." She rushed off to tend to more important duties, leaving the two alone.
T'Zaq leaned over the burned Lunarian, trying to make eye contact. "It'll be okay..." she said softly. She straightened and looked around a bit. Satisfied that he would hopefully get the necessary treatment, T'Zaq walked out of sickbay and made her way back to Engineering. She felt so superfluous... what could a network engineer possibly do in a battle?
Lt.JG T'Zaq, Engineer USS Galaxy
The Moon is made of Green Audits
by Lt Endris Gakor, Doctor, USS Galaxy
*** Sickbay ***
The Tellarite medic peered down at the wounded Ferengi, Toog. The exam indicated he had a ruptured tympanic membrane during his encounters with a Jem 'Hadar and a bulkhead respectively. After smashing the troll's lobes into the wall, the kytracell addict had moved on to fend of more dangerous threats.
"Nutrients!", she exclaimed grabbing a sonic tool and probing the extent of the damage to the Ferengi's hearing. The wounded Daimon grasped the bio bed as his damaged ears were stimulated by the healing tool. Gakor noticed a green discharge, almost the color of ancient currency in the United States of America.
*Snacks! These greedy little buggers even have cash for blood*, the doctor thought.
Methodically, Endris used an array of tools to repair the damage done to the Ferengi. The Daimon managed to cringe several times as probes were inserted to check the status of the Ferengi's inner ears, despite being strapped to the biobed for the safety of the patient.
Gakor thought back to her previous duty station, Memory Beta. She had once been asked by an FCA liquidator to cook for the Audit Week appreciation brunch on Ferenginar, but had to decline.
Endris did not like audit week. Maybe she was part Ferengi. The big ear acquisitioners virtually do anything feasible to escape a fiscal checkup. Actually, her distaste was caused by her belief that audits would not be necessary if everyone posted regularly to their journals. There was probably even a rule about confiscating assets if a business failed to comply to their outrageous regulations. Gakor rubbed her fur, which had started to itch once she entered her third month of pregnancy. Normally, she had many recipes and stories to share with her crewmates, but the very mentioning of an auditor sent all her ideas scampering.
"Listen up, Toog", the cuisine loving doctor said dramatically. "I have a business proposition for you that could make you a great deal of profit."
The Ferengi was definitely paying attention now, scooping his lobes towards the speaker. "This must be a trick, Tell-are, Perhaps you have a Snack to peddle", he said greedily reviewing the rules for some hidden advantage.
"Have you heard of the A@i'dyes?", Endris began.
"Isn't that a world that closed there borders to the Federation due to some political protest?", the wide eared one inquired.
"Yes, the borders have been corridoned off for 3 centuries. It seems first contact with the A@i'dyians was made accidentally 300 years ago. They have a law similar to the prime directive, and they did not want to tamper with OUR development as a Federation with their more advanced technology. However, I met an Yridian trader at Star Base 375 who hinted they have especially advanced antiviral knowledge."
"So, what does this mean?", the Ferengi said with a big smile that indicated he sensed a business proposition was about to be proposed.
"It means I am willing to pay handsomely for an A@i'dyian tricorder. The technology is superior to even the medical advances retrieved in the once lost Fabrini archives. The number of diseases I could cure with such a device would be worth a bundle", the immunologist negotiated.
The Ferengi paused in thought. Getting the coveted object would be difficult at best. The A@i'dyians were a cynical and distrusting species descended from avian stock. Unlike their flying cousins, however, the A@i'dyians large cranial cavities were packed with a large brain, which explained why they had developed such superior technology.
After a moment, the bargainer looked up and said "I am not sure if I can get that merchandise. It would be very costly to make the attempt. What would payment entail?", the Ferengi inquired.
"First", Endris began, "full reimbursement for any reasonable expenses used in acquiring the device."
"That is a good opening bid, but I can not start a venture of this magnitude on a mere promise."
Gakor knew she had the cohoones to make a deal. Wasn't it the 54th rule that said "Everything has its price?", she thought.
"If the A@i'dyian technology cures the Teresi virus, the Tellarite government is willing to give the person or persons responsible for discovering the cure their own moon.", she said flatly. Clearly the Ferengi did not expect the last word of Gakor's statement.
Toog gave himself oomox! *My own moon*, he thought. *There's a commodity that you don't see marketed often.* The greedy troll rubbed his hands, thinking of a way to cheat Gakor and still get the moon.
"Which moon?", he said trying to pump more information from the Tellarite.
"The mining moon Klorax, orbiting Tellar VII. It is class L, but the offer comes with rights to all facilities currently on the planetoid."
"I see. So all I have to do is to help find a cure for the Teresi virus and I get the moon?", Toog asked with great interest.
Endris had to reign the Ferengi in. She didn't want to be cheated out of a deal, after all. "Not quite," the doctor said. "The Grand Counsel of Cuisine has ruled that only Tellarites may claim the moon."
"So how do I take possession of it?", Toog asked.
"If you find me the cure for the virus, I will, in advance, execute a contract to sell you the moon Klorax for 1 bar of gold pressed latinum. Quite a sale, wouldn't you say?" Endris finished.
"That's the minimum allowed by interplanetary law", the Ferengi said, eyes glazed over with the thought of impending profit. "I think we have the basis for an agreement", the Ferengi said.
There were more details to be ironed out....
(To be continued)
By Ens. Coghlan
Manovering the Quarantine Unit into place had taken nearly fifteen minutes. The QU despite its size moved quite slowly and steered like a cow.
"The quarantine Unit has docked and is ready for the engineering team." Coghlan said hoping that: A: The QU worked. and B:The he hadnt docked the unit into some poor ensign's bathroom.
"Well done, Bridge to Engineering, send your team over as soon as possible, I want the med teams in as soon as possible." Kozlov asked.
With the QU in place the away teams began to assemble.
Ens. Richard Coghlan
by: Lt Tyler Jackson; Chief Science Officer, USS St Louis
Lt JG Zahara Kai; Asst Chief Science Officer
Tyler was busy working on one of his pet projects, it had something to do with the study of wormholes. It also had something to do with the study of warp damage. Well, it had a little something to do with a lot of different things. Tyler liked working on projects like that, as they stretched and tested all of his abilities. It was not uncommon to find him elbow deep in circuitry, attempting to re-wire something to be used on something else. It was also not uncommon to hear things exploding inside his quarters. While the rest of the ship was busy taking care of the new passengers on the St Louis, Tyler was doing what he did best, improvising. When the computer reminded him of his upcoming shift, Tyler looked down at the mess on the table. "Well, I guess you're not going anywhere, I can pick you up later." Turning towards his closet, Tyler changed into his uniform and headed off to science lab one where he figured that he could find Zahara and get filled in on what was happening on the ship. If Zahara was anything, she was a center of information.
Zahara flopped onto her bunk and had a good cry. Her uniform was soaked with sweat and her face was streaked with tears. She needed a shower and she needed food, but all she really wanted was her mommy. That in itself, was an odd feeling, for all at once she couldn't recall which woman that was. Determined to pull herself together, she rose and ambled to the shower. The clean fragrance of the soap and feel of a crisp uniform, restored her will to get on with the day. She left her quarters and made way for Lab one.
Both officers came to the door at the same instant, both of them in thought, and they didn't see each other until they practically ran into each other. "Oh, Zahara, I was just looking for you. How's it going?"
"I'm okay." She said in polite response as much as she did to hear the words herself. "But things were looking pretty rough in sick bay, when I left." She breated out a long breath. "How are you feeling?"
"Actually, I haven't ever felt better. Rough in sick bay, huh? Oh yeah, how are our guests? I haven't been down there yet to see them."
"Neither have I." She shook her head. "Mandatory physical this morning." She dipped her head. "The medical staff has a full plate." She winced a little. "Could be a virus, but I haven't had a chance to look over any of their findings" She activated the door and swept her hand forward, "After you, Sir."
Tyler just rolled his eyes, but entered the room anyways. The room was empty expect for some equipment, "Yeah, I stopped in there as well. Doc Cat gave me a clean bill of health ... again. Well, I guess it's between shifts, that'd explain there not being anyone here. Wait, did you say something about a virus? What virus? What are you talking about?"
"I'm speculating." She arched her eyebrow at him. "As far as I know, none of the crew have succombed to any of the symptoms. All I am saying, is that there have been a few suspect casualities among the refugees." Kai attached her contameter to the V part of her collar. "So, what do we have on the books for today?"
"Well, as the resident expert on alien viruses, I'd suggest that you head down to medical and see if they need any assistance. I'm not gonna do them any good, so I'll just stay up here out of the way. You got anything that you need me to do?"
"I....." She paused a moment. "I really can't go down there." She weighed the consequences. "Maybe you should go and bring back a few sterile samples." She gazed, trying not to give anything away. "It is always better to be impartial."
"Uhhh ... I guess so. Alright, I'll be back just as soon as I can." With that, Tyler turned and headed off for medical.
Zahara watched him go, regret surfacing from her soul.
USS St Louis
"So, Captain, tell me more about the Ocero..." Captain Manion requested.
"They are a race fleeing oppression. They are a beautiful race, much like the Unicorns of Terran mythology. They are wise to their surroundings. They are a peaceful people. You should meet them, that way you can see for yourself."
Thiana paused, thinking of Vela. So young, but she had seen so much. She was destined to be one of power within the Ocero race. Here of late, Vela was imprinted upon the captain's mind.
Thiana was worried about the Ocero and her crew. She was afraid of what might happen to them all.
"Captain Manion, how can help you? What do you want us to do? I want to save the Ocero and prevent it from moving to other crewmembers."
by: Lt Tyler Jackson; Chief Science Officer; USS St Louis
Tyler left the impromptu meeting with Zahara intending on bringing back samples from sick bay right away. Unfortunately, upon arrival at sick bay, Tyler saw what was happening there and was horrified. The Ocero disease was quite complete in it's destructive powers on the internal organs. The one body that he was allowed to take samples from looked like it had exploded from the inside out.
Tyler began extracting samples from the body, all the while thinking to himself that he was glad he didn't go into medicine. He never could stand working this close on people. He carefully packed the samples into separate containers, and sealed them into a transport case. Just as he was leaving, he noticed that one of the St Louis crew was lying on a bio-bed near the Ocero patients. Tyler caught one of the nearby nurses and inquired as to the officer's condition.
"Excuse me, what happened to him?"
"It looks like he's contracted the Ocero disease, he is in what we are calling stage one. We have no idea how he contracted it, nor how to fight it. We're hoping that you guys will be able to help out like you did last time."
"What the prognosis?"
"We don't know. From what we've gathered from the Ocero, every case is terminal."
"Well then, I'll get these samples back to the science lab right away, thanks for your help."
Tyler quickly left the sickbay and headed for the science lab. Tapping on his comm badge, he contacted Zahara. "Lt (jg) Kai, you're needed in Science Lab One."
"From the top"
by Captain Robert Edward Lee Price
Captain - USS Galaxy
*** USS Galaxy ***
Captain's Log, Stardate 49902.1
The Galaxy saw a bit of action last night. While escorting a Ferengi Freighter across Federation space, a pair of Jem'Hadar ships attacked both the Galaxy and the Latinum Prince. One of the ships was destroyed, while the second one hi-jacked a ton of cargo from the Ferengi ship and then escaped, leaving behind a suicide squad of Jem'Hadar soldiers to insure their allies escape.
Lieutenant Commander Sunder's security detail did an excellent job at curtailing the damage inflicted to the crew of the Latinum Prince by the berserker soldiers. Fatalities were surprisingly light, a tribute to Lieutenant Commander McKenzies quick action at sending a detail over to the freighter. Of the crew of 24 Ferengi that manned the Latinum Prince, fifteen survivors have been beamed onto the Galaxy. Six of those are being treated in Sickbay for their injuries but are expected to fully recover. The rest are being held in the Brig and being questioned by security about their involvement in this matter, and the cases of empty drug vials that were discovered hidden in the crates of Bajoran Coffee their manifest has them shipping to Ferengar. DaiMon Toog is protesting over their treatment as can be expected. The Ferengi have also proved to be quite tight lipped about the whole matter. I can't say I can blame them. There is little profit to be had by incriminating ones self in war crimes against the Federation. Smuggling supplies to the enemy is a very serious offense. I can only hope that Medical can identify what was held inside those vials. If it was ketracel-white, we can turn the Ferengi over to the proper authorities for prosecution. If not, though there is strong circumstantial evidence indicating that these Ferengi are smugglers, I will have no choice but to let them go.
Lee paused for a moment before continuing his recording. "I am going down to Security to see how the interrogations are proceeding. Hopefully, if no physical evidence can be extrapolated from the vials, 'Commander Sterner will be able to get the Ferengi to implicate themselves in this crime."
The Captain deactivated his monitor and stood up from his desk just as the chime to his door sang out. Standing, he tugged at his duty jacket and called out "Come."
The doors swished open and Lieutenant Hewson stood there holding a padd. "Good morning Captain. You are up early sir."
Lee nodded, "Couldn't sleep 'mate. I got a quick bite and decided to work on some reports before Alpha shift starts in an hour. What can I do for you Lieutenant?"
AC took a few steps into the Captain's office, holding out the padd. "I thought you'd like to see the progress report on the repairs to the Science Lab. Lieutenant Commander Samara has just about finished cleaning up from the explosion there."
Lee took the padd and smiled as he activated it. "I imagine she's glad to be back to more productive endeavors than cleaning out the waste extractors."
AC smiled, "I imagine so sir. All was quiet for Delta shift. No further contact with any ships in the sector. Security has secured the Latinum Prince. We have a tractor beam holding her in tow."
Reading over the repair report Lee nodded, "Excellent work Lieutenant." Glancing up, the Captain added, "So how was your first rotation as commanding officer during Delta shift 'mate?"
"Thankfully a lot quieter than Macs." AC smiled. "It wasn't bad sir. A little getting used to having everyone turn to you for the answers and directions, but it was not that bad."
"Well, it's good experience for you 'mate." Lee commented, placing the padd down on his desk and slowly moving around to the front. "I was just heading for security to check on our 'guests'."
AC nodded, "I had the vials that were found on the freighter sent to medical for a chemical analysis. They are running a little behind because of all of the injuries, but Doctor Gakor promised to have the results no later then by the end of Beta shift."
"Fair dinkum 'mate. Mind the store while I'm gone. I'm headed for security, but should be back before Alpha shift begins."
"I'll see you then sir." AC acknowledged as the Captain walked out of the ready room and to the turbolift.
*** Security Department, Deck 38, USS Galaxy ***
Captain Price exited the turbolift and walked purposefully towards the security wing. Ensign Rios was standing watch at the entrance and gave the Captain a nod of recognition as Lee walked past and entered.
Inside, he saw Ensign Trabuco sitting at the reception desk where the electronic control panel for the security deck was located. "Good morning Captain." Trabuco greeted.
"G'day 'mate. I came to see how Lieutenant Commander Sunder is doing with our guests. Do you know what wing they are in?"
"Yes sir. The Chief is questioning DaiMon Toog right now in interrogation room two. You can watch from the observation room. I'll buzz you in sir."
Lee nodded. "Thanks 'mate."
The force field to the adjoining corridor dropped, allowing the Captain to pass through before the pale blue field was reactivated. A short walk later Lee came to the observation room. A sort of lounge area that was right beside the interrogation room, separated by a sheet of one way translucent aluminum. Entering, Lee could see that several security officers were already in the room, watching 'Commander Sunder carry out his interrogation of DaiMon Toog.
"Hi Captain." Ensign Campbell commented as the Captain walked in. The rest of the security officers seemed to tense up a bit with the Captain's presence.
"G'Day Ensign. How is the questioning proceeding?"
Chris shook his head, "Not very well I'm afraid sir. 'Commander Sunder is not getting much more than complaints and protests out of the Ferengi. He seems to think the Galaxy has no right to detain them like this."
Ensign O'Connel jumped in on Campbell's comments, "Yes. He's saying they are the victims here and that the Galaxy should be questioning the Jem'Hadar. The little worm had enough balls to say 'they are the enemy after all'... The slime smuggling little....!"
Lee just nodded at O'Connel. Indeed, he felt some of the same frustration himself. Frustration and a little anger. For the better part of a year this war with the Dominion has been raging on. Many lives had been lost in the struggle as the weekly casualty reports attested to. Many lives of Starfleet officers who served on ships like the Galaxy had ended prematurely because of the war. Now, to learn of people like DaiMon Toog, who would sell and supply goods to the enemy just for mere profit, was sickening. But what was worse was if no physical evidence could be found, they'd have to let Toog and his ship go. Turning his attentions to the conference room, Lee watched as Sunder's questioning continued.
"I told you! We were on route to Ferengar with our shipment as stated in the manifest. We have gone over this for several hours, hoo-man, and I find your questions to be redundant. I am a dues paying member of the Ferengi Consortium. They will be outraged when they learn an allied member of the Federation has been treated in this manner!"
Sunder was cool and collect. He'd had plenty of experience interrogating prisoners in his time on board the USS Galaxy, and as Chief of Security at Outpost 77. But even before that, back in his younger days on his father's ship, the SHADOWFIRE, Sunder had had the opportunity to witness more than one Orion Pirate interrogation. Too bad he couldn't apply those techniques now.
"The Ferengi are not a member of the Federation Toog. Everyone knows that." Sunder said coldly.
"And is it no wonder! The barbaric way you treat honest merchants like myself when we are the victims of a fierce attach by the Dominion. You detain us, and treat us like it was we who attacked when in fact it was they, *they*!, who are the enemy here."
"Barbaric like sending a detachment of security officers onto your ship to save your lives from the suicide squad they left behind? Barbaric like the way we transported your wounded onto the Galaxy to render the immediate medical attention they needed to save their lives? Is that what you mean by barbaric?" Ursa asked.
Toog barred his pointy little teeth at the Chief of Security. "Your help is appreciated hoo-man. It is your accusations that are not wanted or deserved."
Getting up and walking around the conference room, Sunder glanced upward at the ceiling. "Oh yes, I remember. When the Galaxy came across the Latinum Prince, you were heading directly for Cardassian space. Nothing suspicious there." Ursa commented sarcastically.
"I already explained that. It was my idiot half brother's fault. Besides being incompetent in the lobes department he is a terrible pilot. I'd have him replaced were he not family."
"Your brother. Right." Sunder regurgitated in an unbelieving tone only a security officer can muster.
"Half brother. And he *is* a terrible pilot. This line of questioning is pointless."
"Why do you suppose the Dominion would send two attack ships into Federation space to hi-jack a pallet full of Bajoran Coffee from a Ferengi Freighter DaiMon Toog?" Ursa questioned.
"I told you! I do not know. Maybe they plan on extending their war efforts against the Federation and needed the coffee to stay awake at night. I told you I don't know why the Dominion do anything. I am a merchant, not a strategist."
"The Jem'Hadar do not sleep Toog." Ursa pointed out.
"It was a joke you retched hoo-man fool. If you want to know why the Jem'Hadar attacked my freighter, and took some of the cargo I suggest you ask *them*. Didn't they teach you that in detective school hoo-man?" Toog spat back defiantly.
"I see. Then what about the vials of empty drug containers we found on board your vessel? The ones concealed inside the coffee you were shipping to Ferengar?" Lieutenant Commander Sunder asked, slapping his palms onto the surface of the table suddenly, as if making a threatening accusation.
DaiMon Toog looked up at the hovering Chief of Security and started to laugh. Nervously at first, but soon he seemed to relax as his volume rose. "How should I know what those *empty* containers were doing there? For all I know they were there when we picked up the sealed crates at Deep Space Nine. Besides, since when is shipping empty glass vials considered a crime?" the Ferengi smiled, rubbing his fingertips together nervously.
"That remains to be seen Toog. We will know more about that when Medical finishes their analysis of the vials for trace evidence and residual residue. Believe me, if those vials contained any illegal substance, like oh, say ketracel-white for example, we will find out about it. And when we do, you're ass is going to be mine!" Ursa declared with a forceful thumb pointing to himself indicating how satisfied he was going to be to see the Ferengi brought up on war crimes for smuggling supplies to the enemy.
Toog seemed to be unconcerned in his mannerisms, but the sweat forming on his bulbous forehead indicated otherwise. The conference room was not particularly hot, but Toog was drenched in a film of sweat. "Examine them all you like hoo-man. Anything found there was not my doing. Those crates your men illegally searched were all sealed hoo-man. They were that way when we picked them up from Deep Space Nine. Again you waste your questions on the wrong person. I was delivering coffee to Ferengar. That is all I know. It's what the scanners register, it's what my cargo manifest states, it's what I paid for and what was loaded at Deep Space Nine. Anything beyond that and you are wasting my time!"
Sunder took in a deep breath and released it slowly. "Let's try this again DaiMon Toog. From the top... Your ship was heading towards Cardassian Space when the Galaxy spotted you on our sensors...."
Lee had seen enough. It was obvious that Toog was not going to give in and incriminate himself. And it was likely that no one on the crew knew much of any illegal activity either. Even if they did, it was unlikely they would cooperate any more than Toog was.
"That bastard. We all know he's a smuggling little troll. Supplying the enemy with the drugs they need to continue the war. O'Connel blurted out.
"No worries Ensign. Those of the likes of DaiMon Toog eventually get what they have coming to them. It's the way of the universe 'mate. I have to report to the bridge for Alpha shift. If you'll excuse me gentlemen? G'Day."
The security personnel huddled in the observation room acknowledged the Captain's departure before watching the Chief of Security continue to question the Ferengi trader Toog as he'd done for the last several hours. Though they were reluctant to admit it, the Captain was correct. It didn't appear as if the Chief's questioning was going to do the trick at getting DaiMon Toog to admit to smuggling to the Dominion.
by Lt. Commander Ronni Morris and Captain Lee Price
While sending some suggestions to fix the replicator virus, Ronni heard that the USS Galaxy was having trouble with some Ferengi visitors. Putting down her PADD, Ronni got dressed and headed for the Bridge. She was still a little stiff from the explosion, but she was better.
On the Bridge she nodded to Deiran who was obviously enjoying working Beta shift. She gave a wink to Lt. Sullax at the Science Station. He looked at her with a quizzical look and then returned to looking at his station. Walking down the ramp, she signaled the door at Captain Price's ready room. He was carefully studying something on his console as he had said "Come" and the door opened.
"Captain Price. I understand we are having difficulties getting information from our Ferengi visitors. I would like to volunteer to work with them to find out what we can." she said.
"Are you sure you're up to this 'mate?" he asked honestly. Earlier Commander Casey had offered to assist security in the interrogations, but the incident with Ensign Anna Gartner in sickbay had required Deiran's immediate attention as First Officer.
"Yes Captain. I am probably one of the only people on the ship to actually like the Ferengi. As you know Sir, they are the ones that took our people from the equivalent of the Bronze Age to the Space Age in under 20 years." she said.
"Yes, by interfering with your culture and trying to open a new market on your world . . . ." he said with more than a little disgust.
"True, but our people have adapted well. Probably mostly because there are not many aquatic races. But we, the Delphinians, have always felt an affinity for the Ferengi, even if they did tell us that the Rules of Acquisition were required learning for all intelligent species." she said with a raised eye brow and a half smile. "They like us and I like them. Even though I'm female, maybe I will have some luck with them. Remember Rule of Acquisition # 62, 'The riskier the road, the greater the profit.'." she said.
"Well 'mate, I'm willing to give it a shot. We need to know what they were doing going into Dominion territory and with whom were they dealing?" Lee paused for a moment, "We have a pretty good idea they were heading for Cardassian space when we came across them, and security has discovered several empty chemical vials which are being examined by Medical to try and learn what they once were filled with. Their size and shape would indicate they are ketracel-white containers, but unless we find physical evidence of that, it's all hearsay I'm afraid." The Captain looked up into Ronni's eyes, "So, why are you volunteering for this 'mate? After your run in with them a couple of years ago, I thought you would be glad to be done with them?"
"Rule #284. Deep down everyone's a Ferengi." she said.
"Well, just remember #285, 'No good deed ever goes unpunished'" he said with a smile.
"I will Captain. Besides, with all of the changes around here lately, it doesn't hurt to remember rule #33" she said. With that she turned a headed for the door with a little wiggle to her back side.
Captain Price stared at the door for a minute and shook his head. "Computer, what is Ferengi Rule of Acquisition #33?"
["Rule of Acquisition #33 is: It never hurts to suck up to the boss"] the computer replied.
Captain Price sat back in his chair and laughed for almost five minutes.
"Picking up the Pieces left after Picking up the Pieces."
by Ensign Gordall Kalln, USS Galaxy, and Reeto-Vaughn
guest-starring a bunch of conspirators
Kalln waited and waited outside sickbay, and eventually the security team returned from the Latinum Prince. Before he could greet them, though, Neil was moved into surgery and Gartner was put under restraint. Eventually he gave up, and returned to his quarters, muttering. As usual, they had gone off without him, and even when by procedure a Science Officer should have been on the away team!
***USS Galaxy, a broom cupboard, a couple'a days later***
'Then we're adjourned for now. Watch yourselves - the next few days are going to be very tricky.'
The dodgy secret meeting concluded, and the security officers leaving the small dark room, Kalln's cat Vaughn crawled out of the tiny space he had found to sleep in. Here was something interesting. All of Kalln's new friends and his student involved in a clandestine meeting. He was sure the Gnalish Elt would want to know about this. Maybe he could even get something out of it.
***USS Galaxy, Kalln's quarters***
'They said what?!' asked Kalln increduously.
Vaughn relayed, again, the conversation he had heard fully.
'I think I'd better see what's going on, then,' he said, 'I tell you what, we'll play it cool for now. You follow Sunder, I know you won't be noticed. You never know, you might pick up a few pointers. I'll act all inconspicuous, won't let them know what's going on. So they got Anna out of sickbay? I must catch up with her, find out what happened. She's in the brig? Oh well, better go and see her I suppose.'
The cat walked away.
Tim Fletcher for:
Ensign Gordall Kalln, Science Officer, USS Galaxy
Fara straightened from checking a patient when she heard the CMO's message. Checking her appearance, she headed for the briefing room.
Some assembly required
By Lt. jg Anthony Mendenhall
Engineer, USS Galaxy
***Remnants of the Science Lab***
Anthony watched as the last bits and pieces of the demolished science lab were left. He enjoyed blowing up the various messed up equipment. Gamma shift occasionally had perk, occasionally.
Turning, the 'commander picked up a PADD and ordered as she motioned for Mendenhall to come,
"Mendenhall, I need you to pull the specs of this lab and start working on replacing everything while I go check with Science about any new needs for it. I don't want any more explosions so check everything first."
He nodded and replied, "Got it, Sir."
As the the Lt. Cmdr. left, Anthony started looking through the specs, and visualized what it used to look like. As he looked through the list, he wondered what some of these strange things where. A "plasma inducing wave aligner, a Geomagnetic Pulse Analyzer, and a Cross l-something comet tail spectral something.
"Ok, looks like they have a plamsa inducer wave aligner thingy in storage Can't replicate the rest. Ensign Flummux, go get that." He looked at the plans where everything would go. They needed to replicate, and assemble some shelves, tables, chairs, and some other things. They needed to make sure that there were no holes in the wall, and that everything was secure. After that, the science people would have to resock it.
***3 hours later***
"Why won't this stupid shelf fit together?" Anthony puzzled over this again and again. He looked at the instructions, looked at the peices, and looked back again.
"Insert screw to hole #3, and place over bar #2..."
***A while later***
"Yes!" shouted Mendenhall as he lookde over the newly prepared shelf. He admired his work, and thne made sure everything was in order. Before he left, he switched the lockout codes off the door, and informed the science officer on duty that he was finished, and they could go into the lab again.
As he walked down the hall, the red alert went off. The ship shook as Anthony made his way to engineering. Orders were being shouted, and he started following a group of engineers as they made there way to a blast area from he Jem 'Hadar fighter.
They made there way to the damaged section, and scanned the area to make sure that there where no hull breaches. The ship shook again, and Mendenhall looked out s the large roach like ship exploded. The shock wave loosened a piece, and through the sealed door, Anthony could see where a force field was holding in the atmosphere.
"Alright, Griss, go get a hull patch kit. I'm sure the 'field will hold, but let's jsut be sure. After all this fighting is over, we'll start patching it." Anthony felt that things were going to get a little more complicated.
" Cell Culture."
By Ensign Deryn Valendras
USS St. Louis
***USS St. Louis Sickbay***
Deryn studied the small vial of infected cells closely in his hand. It had been an hour since he had been told to go take a rest in the corner of the Sick Bay. It had also been an hour since he had instead taken a small sample of the blood of one of the still living Ocero and now held it gingerly between his fingertips. Time for hours on end of studying the specimen followed by hours of work. This was incredibly tension provoking as it was. Without sleep, he'd be vibrating faster than most warp coils.
Slipping a small amount of the blood into the analyzer, the Betazoid tapped his foot impatiently as the cells slowly came into view. What decided to poke its ugly head was a disease he really didn't know where to start diagnosing.' Well, Deryn, there's always something. Let's start with Ocero medical history.' Taking a PADD into his hands, the nurse slowly studied the words that filed upward. This was obviously going to take a while.
' Alright. Animus-Creptocilli. No, that's only a form of sore throat...' Hooking the PADD back into the sick bay's databanks, the Betazoid sighed.
" Computer, limit database search to highly contagious, fatal, and high risk mutation virii of the Ocero." With a slight chirp in response, the PADD's screen glowed softly with the data transference. As the light faded, Deryn unhooked it and slowly began once more.
' This is going to be like picking needles from a haystack.'
Ensign Deryn Valendras - USS St. Louis
USS St Louis
When Alexander woke, he was on a biobed in sickbay. He just barely remembered getting here and he sure didn't remember getting onto the bed. He was cold, it was so cold.
"Cold." His voice caught the attention of someone. Alex didn't know him, or at least didn't remember him. The man was of a race he had never seen. He was funny looking color of blue. There was a windshield over his face- he could see the facial features behind it. A blanket was brought and drapped over him.
"Brad? I got to find Brad. She's going to shoot me, I missed our date." He started to sit up but was restrained.
"Alex, you need to lay down. I'll get Brad for you if you lay down." He felt a hiss at his neck and once again it was dark. It was a good thing he wasn't afraid of the dark, they liked to keep him there.
"Returning to Sleep"
by Lt. Commander Thomas
** Galaxy's Bridge **
Lt. Commander Thomas had remained at the tactical arch, until Captain Price stepped up to join them. He then switched to Mission ops, and worked from there. He could've taken over at ops anytime he pleased, during the red alert, but he chose not to as it appeared the action was already over. He instead used the mission ops station to conduct scan and monitor the ship's status.
He really wanted to go back to bed, because this was getting to be a drag. He'd been on a high plateau after getting promoted to his new rank and new position, then beating Commander Derian Casey in a game of baseball on the holodeck. Then he had a argument with Viara, which was pointless and made him realize what was more important in his life and why he;d actually remained single after Gwyen's death. He had goals to accomplish and if that meant, not being able to have a the kind of life he dreams about each and every night, then so be it. He had goals and promises to keep before he could think about moving on with his life.
Now he knew that he was being irrational about his future, but at the moment he was more interested in getting some additional sleep. He was ready to return to bed, but unfortunately during red alert situations the senior officers where expected to report to the bridge.
Then it was all over, the bridge watch commander at the captain's suggestion stood down from red alert and letting everyone relax. Doing so also allowed the senior officers to depart the bridge an return to their quarters, where they'd been sleeping just moments earlier.
Chris departed the bridge with most of the other senior officers and headed back for his quarters. He would be happy to get back to sleep and he knew there was going to be no one there to keep him awake. With Viara having stormed out of his room earlier, he knew she wouldn't be back. He needed to get some sleep and was happy to be leaving the bridge.
USS Galaxy: "Medical Meeting"
Written By Lt Commander Kahn Nilani
Chief Medical Officer, USS Galaxy
The meeting had been called, I had invited the Counselor's to this meeting as apart of what I had to say was in relation to them. The staff had settled down when I stood up and it was time to bite the bullet so to speak.
"Ok were comming up to a time that were going to run out of doctors pritty soon, Endris is pregnant and as of the end of this meeting I will be on restricted duty. So The first big announcment is untill I am placed back on full duty Cat will be the Acting Chief Medical Officer, Endris will take over as the Acting ACMO untill such time she is unable to proform those duty's. Also I would like to announce that we will be training the Councelor's in triage and first aid, were making them into Nurses. I belive Cat and the Chief Councelor have a few words they would like to say!"
"When the Going Gets Tough"
Chief Counselor, Lieutenant Karyn Elizabeth Dallas
Assistant Counselor, Ensign Ruina K'tret Keigan
Ruina ducked as another pillow was thrown at her.
"Ensign Salt... Astrid..." Ruina said, putting down her PADD.
"Stay away!" Salt barked.
Ruina halted in her tracks.
"Look," she said, "you just weren't ready to discuss the incident today. I understand that. We don't have to. I'm not going to make you. We're doing this at your pace, remember?"
Astrid scowled and picked up a vase.
"You read my mind!" she shrieked.
Ruina paled and ducked behind a chair.
"Astrid! Put that down!" she yelped.
Astrid loomed over the chair, eyes blazing.
"Don't try to deny it!" she argued, "I know that you did! I could feel it! You were probing my thoughts, you little sneak!"
The vase came crashing down.
Ruina rolled out of the way.
"I didn't!" Ruina protested, holding up her hands to defend herself, "Astrid! What has gotten into you?! I told you I wouldn't! It would be a breech of confidence! Astrid, you have got to trust me!!"
Astrid hopped over the chair.
"LIAR!!!" she screamed, "LIAR!!!"
She raised her fist.
Ruina dove to the side.
"Astrid Salt!! What in hell do you think you're DOING?!!" Ruina gasped, placing herself behind a tall, potted plant.
"You sneaky Betazoid scum! You used your telepathy to read my mind...!" Astrid stalked over to the plant.
"I DIDN'T!!" Ruina said, backing up.
"You pulled the trigger too, didn't you? DIDN'T you?!!" Astrid accused, grabbing for Ruina's shoulder.
Ruina jumped back.
"Astrid..." she said, "get ahold of yourself! How could I POSSIBLY have pulled the trigger? Astrid, you're not making sense... If you don't calm down soon, I'm going to call security and have the doctor sedate you!"
Astrid tipped over the plant and raised the bronze colored pot over her head.
Ruina stared in disbelief and tried to get away.
She tripped over the couch and sprawled onto her back.
Astrid ran at her.
Ruina screamed and brought her hands up to cover her face as Astrid brought the pot down toward her face...
... but it never hit.
Ruina peeked out between her crossed arms as she heard muffled sobbing.
"Astrid...?" she asked cautiously, reaching out a shaking hand and brushing the woman's arm.
Astrid pulled away, and crumpled, sobbing, to the floor, the pot thudding down harmlessly beside her.
"Oh... Ruina... I'm so... so... sorry..." she blubbered.
Ruina took a shaky breath to steady herself, then slid off the couch to kneel beside her patient.
"It's all right," she said softly, clasping Astrid's shoulder, "it was just too soon, that's all. Tell you what, we won't talk about it again until you're absolutely sure you're ready. And we'll just forget what happened today for now. Now, is there anything else you want to talk about?"
Astrid looked up and wiped the moisture from her eyes.
"Thanks... but no..." she said, appearing a little more collected, "I-I really think I should go now..."
Ruina bit her lip.
"Are you sure?" she asked.
Astrid nodded and stood.
"Thank you, Counselor... " she said.
She walked toward the door.
Ruina knew she should stop her. She started to protest... but couldn't force the words past her lips.
As the doors closed behind Salt, Ruina realized that she was paralyzed by fear of her patient!
Trembling, she reached out and pulled herself into a chair. She looked around.
The room was in ruins. Pillows were flung everywhere. A shattered vase, dirt, and a green, leafy plant were littered on the floor. Her table was overturned, and the other chair had been knocked over.
Ruina hugged herself, trying to ease her nerves.
She rocked back and forth, surveying the destruction.
It was probably an hour before she summed up the energy to move from the chair.
"Apple cider... hot..." she said to the computer.
Her hands shook as she grasped the cup, but she was steadier.
Ruina felt more in control.
She took a sip of her cider, then set it down and started putting the room back in order.
The table and chair were easy, and the vase wasn't too difficult either. Ruina was able to take care of most of the dirt. The remaining brown stain would have to be attended to later. Ruina had somewhere she needed to go.
Not entirely confident that she was doing the right thing, but unable to think of any other options, Ruina walked to Counselor Dallas' quarters.
Taking a deep breath and again assuring herself that this was for the best, Ruina pressed the PADD in front of her.
"Come." answered Karyn.
Ruina hesitantly walked into the room.
"L-lieutenant Dallas?" she said.
"Hello, Ruina. What brings you here this evening?"
"Ummm... I'm here because... well... I just had a session with Astrid Salt... you see... and it was... a little... ummm..."
Karyn sensed Ruina was debating whether or not to tell her the whole truth. Something had her clearly shaken. "Go ahead, Ruina. What happened?"
"Well... she attacked me you see... it wasn't her fault... I'm not sure she even realized what she was doing... she's awfully shaken by that incident with the gun... and she kind of has this thing about Betazoids... I think she somehow put the two together and it just... manifested into something beyond her control. She was so sorry afterwards... I know I should have made her stay... but to tell you the truth, that incident... really shook me too. She came... close to... injuring me... very badly..."
By this point Karyn had come around her desk to face the young counselor. Concern clearly etched on her features as the Chief Counselor answered, "Ruina, are you all right? Should you visit sickbay?"
Ruina shook her head. "I'm fine now. It's just so frustrating. She resists me every inch of the way. From the very start, she distrusted me. It was as if she thought I was going to steal her thoughts without her permission. Maybe I shouldn't be working with her." It wasn't hard to hear the defeat in her voice. Karyn knew how hard Ruina was trying to help Astrid deal with all that she'd been through. Karyn suspected Astrid's problems had less to do with Ruina and more to do with Astrid herself.
"If you feel that's best, I'll understand. I don't expect you to work in a situation where you're not comfortable or safe. I agree with you, that she's not dealing with her fears and because of that, she's getting her events mixed up. In Astrid's mind, she's all healed and back at work, so there's no problem. You and I know that denying the problem can just make things worse. It's her own stubborness that's keeping her from facing this, not your counseling."
"So what do you suggest we do?" asked Ruina.
"Well, when the going gets tough..." Karyn gave her 'cat just ate the canary grin. "Just leave everything to me..."
***The Next Morning(Alpha Shift), Holodeck 2***
Everything was perfect. Karyn surveyed the holodeck for the hundredth time, checking every last detail. She had to make the setting as realistic as possible. After she'd talked to Ruina the night before, she'd gone back and read all the reports from their last mission. Then she set about preparing Ruina for the difficult moments to come. Five minutes before she called Astrid to the holodeck, she made sure the holo recreations were in their places.
A quick sigh was exchanged between the two counselors, before a seemingly annoyed Astrid Salt entered the holodeck.
"Counselors, I really don't know what this is all about, but I really must get back to work."
You're not going anywhere, Astrid. We have business to discuss." answered Karyn icily.
"Please..." Ruina implored. "We only want to help you."
Astrid blew air between her lips, "Look, if this is about yesterday...I said I was sorry, I'm just not ready to talk yet. As far as I'm concerned, it's over. I'm back at work and I'm fine. It's you people who think I can't cut it and face my problems."
"Oh, really, Karyn shot back, "Then perhaps you'd like to explain that little stunt you pulled yesterday. Or is assaulting a fellow officer the way you usually deal with stress? I'll be straight with you, the only thing that's keeping me from throwing your ass in the brig is the fact that it would just create more problems for me tomorrow."
Astrid huffed, "I don't have to take this. Obviously, you don't understand me. Neither of you do. I don't have time to sit around feeling sorry for myself." Astrid got up to leave and was promptly shoved into a chair by Ruina. Ruina answered, "I wouldn't hurry back, you've been suspended from further duty, until Karyn and I deem you fit for duty again."
"What do you want me to say, that I'm afraid? That I'm angry I couldn't do more to help myself?"
Karyn answered, "I want you to tell me what happened to you. Not just with words, use the characters in front of you. Change the setting if you need to. You keep saying how sick and tired you are, of people telling you what happened and how traumatic for you it must have been. Here's your chance, prove me wrong. Tell the world once and for all that you've faced your fears. Tell the world what really happened."
Astrid sighed, it was clear there was no getting out of this one. She nodded, ready to begin her tale. For really the first time, she looked around the holodeck. Karyn had recreated, in exact detail...Sigma Iotia 2.
"It was really cold. Q had brought us to this godforsaken planet without any warning. I and the rest of the kidnapped crew, went looking for the others before they were recognized by any of the locals. We walked for a long time, almost getting run over by a car. I was annoyed at how helpless I felt." Karyn had moved over to a control panel and had begun to change the setting accordingly. She had arranged it so that the computer would automatically respond to the descriptions Astrid gave. Occasionally, the computer would add dialogue and scenery that Karyn and Ruina had programmed beforehand.
Astrid continued her story, seeming to lose herself in the images. She was interrupted from time to time and asked to describe in greater detail what she sensed and felt. With each new detail, Astrid was unlocking another memory. It wasn't long before Astrid was giving full details under her own momentum. By letting Astrid tell the story, Karyn was forcing her to face her fear. Any one could give her the details but then she would still have the sense that the actions weren't happening to her. Giving her the control, forced her to feel everything.
"I remember seeing Lt. Sullax being shoved in a car. Whoever took him, saw us and began to shoot. For a moment, I thought I saw the...g--." Just the thought of what she was about to say, frightened Astrid. Tears began to course unknowingly down her cheeks.
"What did you see?" asked Ruina. "describe it to me."
"The gun was...pointed right at me. It was black and smooth looking. The next thing I knew, there was a brief flash of light and I was on the ground. Suddenly, as if on cue, there was a loud pop. Astrid jumped. The holographic Astrid collapsed onto the snow. "It felt like something bit me in the chest and arm. I could feel my warm blood begin to drain from my body. I-I was so scared." Astrid sobbed, no longer caring who saw her. There was no hiding it anymore. After a few moments, she continued.
"After that I was in and out of consciousness. I remember the warehouse. It was a little warmer there. People kept giving me water and telling me to hang on. Their voices were so quiet. It was as if they'd already given up hope. I tried to tell them I was alive and scared but I couldn't speak. Nothing seemed to help the pain." The frightened girl bowed her head, as wracking sobs seemed to consume her. "I-I didn't want to die."
"Go on, urged Ruina quietly.
"Eventually I woke up in the hospital. Everyone rushed about me. There were bright lights everywhere. Instruments poked and prodded. I think they had to operate. It's really hard to remember. I have these visions but they don't make sense. I think they lost me on the table." Karyn shuddered, recalling Cat's account of what happened, just as the scene changed to an operating room. Beeps from the equipment kept a steady rhythm. Suddenly, she heard Cat shout.
"We're losing her! Harper, I need help." Then just as quickly the scene changed again.
"I spent the next few days in ICU until we were rescued. I tried to forget everything, foolishly thinking what I didn't know couldn't hurt me. I couldn't stop thinking about the gun. I SHOULD HAVE BEEN ABLE TO DO SOMETHING!! ALL I COULD THINK ABOUT WAS MY OWN FEARS, MY HELPLESSNESS!!" Astrid pounded her fists in anger. Then softly she asked,"How am I supposed to go out there and protect the crew, knowing I was a coward when it counted?"
Karyn placed a hand on her shoulder. "There was nothing you could do. None of us knew what was going on. We did the best we could with what we had. You're not a coward. You're..."
"Human." answered Ruina.
"Exactly, answered Karyn. "You'll need some time to deal with this on your own but now you can face it on your terms, as you remember it. It won't happen overnight, but sooner or later you'll be able to decide for yourself, now that you have the tools."
Astrid looked up at both counselors and heaved another sigh, this time of relief. "Thank you both. I knew I couldn't live like this anymore. Thanks for giving me a swift kick in the butt." Both Counselors smiled.
"Our feet are available anytime. " Ruina replied.
"Can I return to duty now?" Astrid grinned mischieviously.
"I'll leave that up to you to decide. You're the only one who can tell us how you feel." Karyn told her.
Astrid rolled her eyes. "Now you decide to listen to me. I think I'll take a couple of days, then go back. I'm feeling much better."
"Take care of yourself." Ruina said.
"You know where to find us." Karyn said. Astrid smiled then turned and left the holodeck.
When the doors closed, both counselors looked at each other, feeling as if a huge weight had been lifted from their shoulders.
"We did good?" asked Ruina.
"We did good." replied Karyn.
“Retired or Re-tired?”
By K. Moses Amenhotep
USS Galaxy, Counselor
Dr. Moses leaned back in his chair as Ensign Seborn left. At one time, Josef was one of his best students at the Academy, but something had happened to him. How he ever be assigned to this starship he’d never know. He never matured. Not like the rest of the officers aboard. He remembered talking to him 3 weeks ago when they boarded together at Starbase 357. At that time Moses thought he just needed a little guidance. Now he was convinced that Josef needed therapy. Moses didn’t enjoy therapy. Most of the time he thought it was a big “Woe is me!” party. But Dr. Mo loved his students, and often granted them the benefit of the doubt. In fact, the past month on board the Galaxy has been filled with renuions with his former students at the academy. As he closed his eyes for a moment—pressing his hands against his face and forehead, Counselor Amenhotep remembered his first day upon the Galaxy.
***Flashback, 3 weeks ago***
Moses set his bags down on his bed. ~So these are my new quarters? Much better than I expected, but it could use a little work.~ He unzipped his duffel bag and took out two frames.
In one hand was a picture of his family. It had been some time since they had passed away, but their memory remained—just as clear as if it were yesterday. He remembered the admiral’s words…*I’m sorry Moses…our people are trying to do their own investigation…but the Cardassians will make it difficult. Our prayers are with you…* He shook his head, it had been over 15 years now and still no new information. Last time he had heard, they were ready to close the books on the case. ~So much for Starfleet Intelligence.~
In his other hand he held a certificate of recognition. *Dr. Khyan Moses Amenhotep is hereby recognized for his outstanding tenure at Starfleet Academy. Congratulations on your Retirement…* Moses lifted his head up and glanced at himself in the mirror. ~Retirement at 62?~ Other men almost twice his age were still serving as Admirals and Captains aboard many of the finest vessels. ~62! Hmmph…how old is Jean-Luc these days?~ But he knew the layoffs were coming, and the school of ethics was one of the hardest hit. Most of the teachers were teaching a neo-pluralism in which anything was justifiable as long as it served the betterment of the Federation. Moses was a “dinosaur”. The Academy had probably grown weary of his “visits” to the Dean. He always had come with some new concern or criticism. He always seemed to have an opinion. Maybe this was one way to finally get rid of him. When they learned of his desire to be back in “uniform”, he was assigned here, and for the most part, he looked forward to it.
He adjusted the frames on the walls, and reached back into his duffel bag. Two PADDs…On one was the latest crew log, with a welcome from the Captain. Moses had been impressed with Captain Price. Though he was not as well known as some of the other Captains, Price had a hard-working, down-to-earth appeal. Moses had considered being reassigned to the Enterprise, but the memories of the past were too haunting. He had always wondered why he had been spared, and considered himself, “a brand plucked from the fire” so to speak.
The Galaxy was filled with young officers. “They’re children,” he muttered to himself. The list read like a two year old class roster from his course in Bajoran History and Occupation…Casey, Sterner, Thomas, Luck. All of them he had seen at the Academy only years before. Some of them had missed his classes in Federation Ethics, but others he had met in the halls, or in the lounge sipping a cup of coffee. Now they were his superior officers. ~Wow…it never fails to amaze me how quickly life out here makes men and women out of teens.~
He scanned the roster, “Lt. Karyn Elizabeth Dallas…Chief counselor?” He smiled. He looked at the other PADD. There was a message from Karyn:
Lt. Karyn E. Dallas
Welcome aboard the Galaxy, I understand that you will be with us for awhile. It is good to have your experience and expertise aboard. I have assigned you to Gamma shift for Engineering personnel, and Delta shift for Medical personnel. Please make yourself comfortable in settling in to your new quarters, you will need to report to sickbay as soon as possible for a physical. We will be having a joint staff meeting with the medical department near the end of the month. I will notify you of the time and location. Look forward to seeing you again.
USS Galaxy, Chief Counselor
Lt. Karyn E. Dallas
There was a grin from ear to ear, upon the new counselors face. He was so proud. He had watched Miss Dallas over the course of her education really rise to the top. Never once did her handicap stop her. He had heard a million excuses from cadets about physical problems and emotional problems that had kept them from turning projects in on time. But Karyn was different, she was always one step ahead of the others. She had to be.
Moses admired her commitment…and her warmth. He had met others with handicaps, but their struggles made them bitter. It reminded Moses of his own bitterness that he needed to swallow from time to time. Karyn gave him perspective.
The grin quickly turned south though. “A physical?”, Moses gasped, “…just another reason for someone to tell me how old I am.”
Ensign K. Moses Amenhotep, Ph.D
USS Galaxy, Counselor
Self doubt, and apprehension
By Dr.Whitesong to-Ennine and Dr.Daniel Rosenblith
Chief Medical Officer & Executive officer
* * * * ** Sickbay, CMO's office ** * * * *
WhiteSong sat back in her chair, Daniel's chair. No damnit! It was her chair. She was starting to doubt herself. She shook it off as best as she could, but that dream kept haunting her. What if it were a premonition of events to come? She quickly dismissed that train of thought. *Don't even go there or you'll have yourself buggy.*
She decided to go down to the cargo bay and get a report on the Ocero. Never mind that Ltjg Kyla Sorin had just sent a report 15 minutes ago, she just had to see for herself.
She walked out of sickbay and turned the corner, as luck would have it Commander Daniel Rosenblith was walking the opposite direction. WhiteSong raised her paw, motioning for Daniel's attention. He nodded recognizing her wave, and forced a smile. "Good day, doctor."
When she finally reached him, she said nervously "Daniel, I know you're very busy with your new position, but I really need your help" Handing him a PADD that contained information about the virus. WhiteSong hoped that Daniel would help her, and that he didn't harbor ill feelings.
"Naaaa, I'm not too busy. All I do is sit on the bridge, ask Crane to explain me strange reports, watch cocky Admirals talking with Ze..". His jaw dropped in mid-speech as he reached the second sentence of the PADD's report, and his eyes trailled downward to the three-dimensional diagrams. "Oy vey zmir.. that makes it four in a row..."
"Beg your pardon? Four in a row?", Whitesong's tail rattled a little, showing her curiosity.
"There was that non-viral diseas when I came, then the biological weapons in the mission we teamed up with Strauss, then the orb epidemic, and now this... lema'an hashem, someone's really trying hard to convince the brass that expanding our sickbay will be worth their while.", he said, but his dry tone ruined any chance for the comment to sound amusing. He then handed her back the PADD, and closed his eyes.
"I.. we'll take care of it. Why wont you tell me in your own words what exactly did you find.". It sounded more like a command than a polite request.
"Well Sir" WhiteSong started, she was nervously wringing her tail while she talked. "The Ocero have a virus, the likes of which I have never seen before.", she watched Dan nodding in acknowledgment, and proceeded. "First it starts with a fever and vomiting, then their skin breaks out in large oozing lesions. I have cultured the fluids from the lesions, but nothing in the databanks matches. Then they start bleeding out of every orifice in their body. Their stomachs become distended and their eyes bulge. Then, their abdomens rip open, like a bomb has gone off inside of them. I autopsied all of the corpses, their vital organs just exploded causing their abdomens to follow suite. Sir, I am really nervous about this. It is by far the most awful sight I have seen in my life" WhiteSong shuddered and her fur bristled out.
"It's all part of the job.", Daniel sighed in resignation, then narrowed his eyes. "Did you seal them completely, Doctor?" "Huh?" WhiteSong's mind reeled! She feared her nightmare was coming true. They all would die and it would be her fault. Her whiskers and tail drooped.
"Sealed, quarantined, isolated their life support system, seperated them, their food and the air their breath from the crewmembers of this vessel, decontaimnated every single place they've been through. Did you?", his voice was unneccesserily angry and impatient.
"No, I haven't. My first instict, was to call you" WhiteSong confessed. All of sudden WhiteSong's tail brisstled, as she thought of Zarhara. "OH My God! Zarhara" WhiteSong belted out, as she tapped her combadge. "WhiteSong to Kai, Drop everything your doing and get into an E-Suit STAT!!"
"Oh Elohim, not uncle Kai..", the Commander whispered.
WhiteSong looked into Daniel's eyes "I made a bad call, I just hope this is specific to the Ocero" WhiteSong felt the need to appologize, but it would have made her seem week, and she was NOT week. She is inexperienced true enough, and it would take years of experience to be as knowledgable as Daniel. Instead of beating herself up about it, she would learn from this experience, she would never again hesitate to quarentine anything suspicious.
"Don't put your money on it yet. We'll need to start the research immidiatly, of course, we can't just let them blow.", he started to pace around the office, just like he did on their last talk which took place in the very same office - the chat they had after both of them were promoted. She didn't have pleasent memories of that talk, and this one was starting to look like a deja-vu.
WhiteSong was relieved that Daniel was taking over, though. She didn't like it at all, but she was grateful. This would require his experience and knowlege. She just had to figure out how to keep her tongue when he gets too bossy, and she had now dought the he would. She would bet her Sivaoan family crest on it.
"Okay, we're going to pull double shifts again.", Dan states, leanning over the desk. He spread his fingers one after another, after every sentence. "Nakamura and that intern I reccommended for acting ensign to browse through the databases again and find similar disease. Beam a single specimen onto sickbay and let Dr.Sorin if that's her name work on him or her - make than a specimen in early stages of the disease, but clearly sick - and we need to put him or her an an E-suit first. Johnson and his gang could change OR 2 onto a temporal research facility, and then... doctor, are you paying attention?"
WhiteSong jerked her heard back in Daniel's direction, she must had drifted off. Either that or she subcontiously was trying to tune Daniel out. "Yes Daniel, I was just trying to oranize myself in my mind" WhiteSong snapped, without actually meaning to. She was mad at herself, and had little patience for being treated like a 3rd year resident. Or mabey just was feeling quite guilty and would see everything in a negative way. She wasn't sure was. But did it really matter, she needed Daniel's help either way.
"Good. Zer.. The Captain told me another ship is arriving to lend a hand. I told her it's unneccessery, but now things look like we could use the extra personnel and equipment. Don't let the other CMO take over the research even if she's a three-piper; Have some faith in yourself, or I'll get Vincent Randall to be CMO and kick you back to gamma shift.", he smiled weakly. "Honestly, I have full confidence in you - just try to find the cure before more Ocero will go balistic. I'll coordinate the personnel transfer from the... Caduceus... myself, you just concentrate on research."
"Yes, Sir" WhiteSong tried to sound confident. She was grateful for Daniel being if not understanding, at least supportive. She had to gain confidence in herslelf, she had the training and the skill. But she had to admit that after talking with Daniel she felt much better. Even though they were like oil and water, she had to admit he was first in the medical field. If he believed in her, so should she.
Dan gave her head a friendly pat - a pat she suspected that had something to do with the fact that on his homeworlds felines were nothing but pets - and exited his previous office hastily.
WhteSong flinched and backed away from Daniel. *Imaging that! Him petting me like a common housect* She thought and caught herself hissing at Daniel. She quickly replaced the hiss with a cough. She picked up a PADD and stormed out of her office.
"WOLF 3 5 9" by:
Acting Ensign Viara Rhys
Junior Science Officer
Captain Edward Lee Price
Viara sits in the Pilot seat of a Peregrine Fighter, running Tactical as well. We see a large Borg Cube in front of the small fighter. Viara looks at the other Officer in Fighter's Control Room.
"What's our status, Ensign?" Asked Viara of the Ensign at the Engineering Station as the small Peregrine avoided the Borg's tractor beam.
"Shields are down and Auxillary power is falling. Trying to compensate now!" Said the Ensign as he looked at Viara.
"Use Ops controls to modulate frequencies of the Phaser Cannons. I'm not doing anymore damage on this modulation." Said Viara as she sent a volley of fire toward the Cube.
" Understood...." Started the Ensign.
Suddenly the small Fighter exploded. White Light engulfs Viara.
******A Short Time Later******
We see Viara outside a Holo Deck.
"Figures...everything else is going down the tubes why should this be any different?" Said Viara as she walked toward a Turbo Lift.
Viara walked into Ten Forward and took a seat by hersel. Becoming bored Viara stood and approached the stage.
A nightmare come true
Ltjg WhiteSong to-Ennine CMO
USS St. Louis
WhiteSong was in her office going over all the information Starfleet had available on the Ocero. She studied their physiology, all their recorded diseases. She could not come up with one thing that even slightly matched their symptoms. As she read her tail gracefully moving from side to side. It was a habit she had when she was concentrating.
She remembered head nurse Ensign Deryn Valendras's comment on getting his Doctorate in microbiology and antibodies. "Ltjg WhiteSong to-Ennine to Ensign Deryn Valendras, report to sickbay immediately"
She stood up with confidence and she was ready to do battle with this disease. Thanks to Daniel's pep talk, but she would never admit that openly.
Through the glass walls of her office she saw someone stumble into sickbay. Her heart sank, when she saw who it was. Alexander Oleksandreko fell to his knees. All her fears and selfdoubt took a backseat, she was doctor and damn good one.
She grabbed a medical tricorder, looked around for Ensign Deryn Valendras. Since everyone was in an E-suit she had a hard time telling everyone apart. Two medics helped Alexander Oleksandreko onto a biobed. WhiteSong took a deep breath to calm herself, this was not good! Alexander Oleksandreko had a very high fever, and his eyes were swollen and appeared to slightly bulge. His stomach did not look distended, but neither did the Ocero's until last stage of the disease.
A tear ran down WhiteSong's fur on her cheek.
The virus progresses
Ltjg WhiteSong to-Ennine CMO
USS St. Louis
"Cold, so cold" Was all Ensign Alexander Oleksandreko said. He was shivering so much his teeth chattered. His body was moist from sweat. His eyes, he had the same look as the Ocero. She held a hypospray up to his neck and injected him with corophizine. "We are doing everything we can to make you comfortable, try to rest" WhiteSong wiped his brow. "Am I going to die" Alexander said weakly. WhiteSong tried to hide the panic in her voice. She knew the virus was terminal to the Ocero, but there was no way to tell how it would act in another species. "Don't you worry about that Alex, you need to rest and help me to fight this virus. You let me do the worrying OK" WhiteSong did not use his formal name, this was no time for formalities.
All of a sudden Alex let out a scream, he was thrashing around like a wild animal. It was apparent he was in agonizing pain. She injected him with morphine."This will help with the pain Alex, I want you to take deep breaths and try to calm down" WhiteSong started to breath with him as if she could will him to do the same, but he just kept thrashing and screaming till the morphine took it's affect.
She hoped the team from the Caduceus had some ideas on how to treat this awful disease, because her team was getting no where.
Lt. Commander Ursa Sunder, Chief of Security
*Bridge of the Latinum Prince*
Sunder and Heratta pried open the doors to the bridge of the Latinum Prince. The entire ship was far beneath the prissy standards of the Ferengi Alliance. This ship was certainly no bargain to its purchaser. The decks were stained and the ship was clearly in need of a severe maintenance overhaul.
" What a pit of a bridge. " Sunder exclaimed, as he surveyed the interior. The nausicaan ensign beside him only grunted in assent. " I thought the Ferengi kept a better house than this. "
" They are a shifty species and have reasons for everything. " Heratta observed as he examined the helm station. " Even for working in this squalor. "
" Good point ensign. Now, what can you pull up on that console? " Sunder replied, checking what passed for the operations station.
" They erased their flight history for the past three weeks. Along with any information on their last ports of call in that period. " He looked up from the console. " This looks like they were trying to cover their tracks. "
" I'd have to agree with you. There's no record of them taking on any cargo within the last month and the data keeps getting eroded further down the line. They've inserted a data-worm into their entire database. Within a few days, the entire ship's mainframe will be totally useless. " Sunder slammed his hand down in disgust.
" Basic functionality is secured though, and the ship's systems are operating at peak performance. " Heratta said. " This ship meets more than the eye can see. "
Sunder ran a look over his monitoring station's systems status. Heratta was right. This ship could almost out-run the GALAXY on a good day - though he'd make sure none of the Engineering department ever heard him say that. It was as if the ship had been designed to look like little more than a garbage scow.
" Clever bastards. " He said in an admiring tone for the first time since he set foot aboard the vessel. " They've got a Q-ship here. "
The naussican looked quizzically at him. " Sir? "
" Sorry ensign, not your culture and a little bit before both our times. The Q-ship was an invention by the British nationality on Terra - Earth. During one of the great global conflicts, sea-farers used to out-rig old sea-hulks with the best weapons and engines to lure sub-aquatic commerce raiders into attacking them. They would mistake them for a helpless trading vessel and hope they could get within gun-range. This is a vessel with a similar intention in mind. "
" They are a devious race. " The naussican reminded him.
" Yes, but these are government ships operated in a clandestine fashion. If they are discovered, they'll be formally disavowed. But it shows you that the Ferengi are trying to straddle both sides of the fence here. "
" Or that the Ferengi goverment is a two-faced be'ktrat! " Heratta spat. " They have cowards and true statesmen alike. "
" Hmm. " Sunder mumbled back. He'd never been too fond of politics. Even discussing the subject seemed to be an exercise in futility. Why complain about something that you as an individual could not affect?
" Ensign Heratta, shut down the engines and keep a watch. You'll take a prize crew and maintain the ship while she's under tow. " He checked his chronometer. The rest of the detail should be back on board the GALAXY by now and he needed to interrogate the Ferengi captain. " I'll send a fresh detail over as soon as I transport aboard. "
" Yes sir. " Was there a note of pride in the naussican's voice? Sunder couldn't tell.
Security Office, a few hours later...
The interrogation was not going well. Sunder hated to admit it, but the little Ferengi captain was hardier than he seemed. Of course, he had to be an undercover operative. The hidden sophistication of the Latinum Prince was pure testament to that fact. He wished he could he could hang the little bastard by his shoulders and fix hot-plates to the bottoms of his feet, but ...
" Alright Toog, this isn't getting either of us anywhere. " Sunder began, another tactic forming in his mind. " If you want to leave it that you were unaware of your ships' cargo contents, and that you were deliberately slowing to sub-light speeds despite your ship's ability to move faster. Oh, and that you had an idiot of a brother who changed your course heading towards Cardassian space without you knowing about it - that's fine by me. That's the story you want listed, then that's where it'll stand. "
The Ferengi looked wary. What was the hoo-man up to this time.
" I mean, it's no skin off my lobes if you want to go down with a Federation record stating gross incompetence, seizure of property, assault on a Federation official, and not to mention the substantial medical bill we will be issuing your government for the injury of my officers. " Sunder pulled out a number of PADDs. " Oh, then there's the bill for property damage to our equipment in defence of your vessel and crew, and the one for towing your ship to the nearest starbase. Don't worry so much about that last one - the seizure of the Latinum Prince will definitely off-set the costs a bit. "
The stunned look on the ferengi's face told Sunder that he was getting through to him. He was hitting him where it hurt the ferengi the most - in the wallet. To give the captain credit though, he did try to turn it around.
" What does the Ferengi Alliance care about your Federation's claims? They mean nothing and will be ignored. "
" Really? " Sunder's eyebrows arched. " Then you won't mind that I have a statement here from the FCA stating that all your assets have been seized to recover some of the damages I mentioned. Your ship is already in our posession and the Alliance will not be able to reclaim it. Furthermore, your reputation has already been ground into the dirt. Remember: the Federation makes all of its data freely available to its neighbour races and by now, you won't be able to work anywhere in the galaxy without the news of your gross stupidity following you! You're penniless, ship-less, and heading for incarceration for whatever charge I CAN MAKE STICK! " Sunder finished.
He paused and let this realization finally sink it's way through to the ferengi's brain. For all Toog's deviousness, he had to realize that this was it. Even if he didn't admit to his crimes on the GALAXY, he would still be facing an extended Federation penitentiary without any sort of future when he got out.
" You're screwed, Toog. Any sort of help I could have given you here, is now forever lost. It'll go worse for you when you hit the starbase. I gave you the chance to come clean, but you weren't willing to play ball. " Sunder stood up from his chair and started to walk out.
" Wait hoo-man! I - I can tell you that we ... "
Sunder interrupted him.
" No Toog - save it 'til you get to the starbase. Now I want it to go bad for you. You made me look bad in front of my captain, and you know what? What's waiting for you on the base is almost worth it. " He leaned forward.
" You'll rot in prison before you recover any of your good name or your latinum. "
You could hear the ferengi gulp as Sunder left the jail cell. He walked into the operations centre to see Matthew Albrecht standing, waiting for him.
" How're the bruises Matthew? " He said, watching Albrecht subconsciously lift his hand to his head.
" Hard head - common family trait. How'd it go in there? " He asked.
" Nothing. It's fairly circumstantial but he knows it's not going to go good for him. If he is a clandestine ferengi operative, then he's screwed up in front of the certain powers-that-be that activated him back on Ferengenar. He's never going to go back to them. If he's just an idiot DaiMon who let his stupid brother - funny how almost every ferengi has a moron for a brother, isn't it? - take his ship into a suspicious course heading, then he's blacklisted in every major shipping lane from here to Tholus. " He headed for the replicator.
" Ice water. " he said. " Still, at least the FCA will seize all his and his family's assets for being stupid. " Albrecht nodded his head.
" Good thing that report just came in on his id. The FCA asked about our infor request out of routine. When we told them why, they requested that we inform him about his current fiduciary holdings. "
" And their current status is ... ? " Sunder prompted, already knowing the answer.
" Absolute zilch. "
" Ah, the power of being the law. " Sunder intoned, almost in prayer. Then he changed his manner. " How's Trabuco? "
" Not good. Jem H'adar blasters leave messy work. They're worse than the Breen in their ruthlessness. Still waiting on word from sickbay, but it's his nervous system. It's got to be. "
" Not much we can do, Matthew. But he's in good hands, right? Who's he with? Cat? "
" No - the new doctor - Luck. " Matthew replied.
Sunder looked blank. " I didn't know we had a new doctor. " Meaning, of course, that Cat hadn't mentioned his name. " I'll have to check the security access board. I don't remember processing his access. "
" No, I did. " Albrecht replied. " But I wish I could get more information out of him. "
" Maybe we can get Cat to take a peek at him, you know, on the sly? " Ursa suggested.
" That's right, you two are getting close, aren't ... " The look on Sunder's face told Matthew to stop talking. " I mean, you're pretty good friends, right? " He said, remembering that the chief's relationship with the Catian was only a rumour. If Ursa wanted to share anything, it was his choice.
" Yes, the doctor and I are fairly good friends... " He sighed. " Matthew, Felicia and I are seeing each other, but I trust that you will keep it to yourself. I don't feel comfortable with my life in a bubble. "
" Fair enough, Ursa. But I appreciate you using your influence on Gary's behalf. " Albrecht replied.
Sunder coughed in awkwardness. " No problem. What's the use of having friends in high places, right? " He said, his discomfort managing to abate itself. " Anyway, I suppose the rumour mill is cranking out endless quantities of different versions regardless of what I do. "
He changed his expression back to the usual business-like demeanour he normally wore. " Keep an eye on the other ferengi and keep them rotated at various intervals. I don't want them hatching plots in there until we drop them off at the starbase for processing. I'm off to the bridge - I want to check on our people over on the ferengi freighter and update the captain on Toog's future. "
" No problem, Commander. "
"Looks like our guests have a short Reservation"
by Lt Endris Gakor, Doctor, USS Galaxy
with Lt Matthew Albrecht, Security, USS Galaxy
reviewed by Captain Price.
*** Matthew Albrecht's Quarters ***
Gakor was in a bad mood. The baby was fussing and turning, and wouldn't let the Tellarite have a moment's peace. She had stopped by at Muffin's request. The human had made a large Oinkus for his betrothed, but had otherwise stopped pampering her to the point of Excess. The human was actually learning to be a good cook. Endris picked up a carrot stick and was nibbling on it, when Albrecht launched into a dinner story about his search of the Latinum Prince.
"It was like something out of an action holo-novel! There was smoke hanging in the air, and you couldn't see the enemy even a few meters away." He told his story animatedly, "Meanwhile, Bolitho and Gartner were on their way to engineering, to secure it from the Jemmies. Ursa took the cargo bay, and got his people searching for evidence. Heather was able to pinpoint a source of tricorder interference, which led us to Deflector Control-which is a tiny place on one of those freighters."
The security officer's face fell with the thought that occurred to him next. "Gary was watching our asses while we ferreted out that damned Ferengi second fiddle when he was shot with the polaron rifle," Mathew paused, "And Gary found these vials before he was shot with the polaron riffle.", Muffin concluded.
"What was in the vials?" Gakor said. Knowing the Ferengi, it was most likely something profitable.
"Oh," Matthew began, "You've heard about the vials? Well, that's the mystery, isn't it?" He served up some twice-baked sweet potato onto his lover's plate. "Actually, there've been several theories about the vials Ursa's team found. But, I'm afraid that somebody in Science will have to discover the answer to that riddle." Looking up with pride in his well-cooked meal evident upon his face, he asked, "Butter?"
"The vials were inside a storage trays hidden in the coffee cases. However, they were all empty when we discovered them, so we don't know for certain what the vials had in them." Mathew explained.
"Snacks! As busy as I am with Dumpling and all, I could make time for a project I know would be simple to complete. It does not look like Teresi will be cured anytime soon, which is a continual frustration. Right now, successfully completing an easy project would bolster my spirits."
"What did you have in mind, Lipchien?", he asked.
Endris frowned and tried to determine if Matthew was toying with her. He moved over to the replicator and idly shook a rattle he had replicated for their expected child. After seeing he was just trying to encourage her to talk, Gakes replied "I will take some of the vials down to the lab and test them for residue. It should only take a few minutes to determine if the enzyme in the bottles was Kytracell or not."
Albrecht trusted Gakor with his unborn child, and had offered her the Fruit of Engagement, but turning over Forensic evidence in an ongoing investigation was a different matter entirely. It was against the rules. He wasn't about to break regulations, even for his future wife. But... what if the rules were malleable enough to bend them a little.
After all, knowing what was in the vials could only help his investigation. "Okay, Gakes, you can perform your tests. But only if I accompany you to make sure the evidence is handled correctly."
"Nourishment!", Endris retorted. "You just want to find reasons to spend more time with me", the doctor accused in a light jocular tone.
The human offered no objection to this, instead extending his arm to escort the lady and the vials to Med Lab 1.
*** Med Lab 1 ***
"Grosit!", Gakor exclaimed with an off world expression. "Hand me that last vile Matthew. Whoever cleaned these wiped any traces of foreign matter clean out of the containers. They are all 100% sterile so far, but maybe they didn't have time to destroy all of the evidence you seek, however."
Crossing his fingers, Albrecht gave the last vile to his lover. He didn't expect her to drop it. The glass fractured, flying everywhere around the room. Carefully, the doctor swooped down to pick up some of the larger glass fragments
Gakor was perspiring. Perhaps even this simple test wouldn't yield results. "I think I got something, honey!", she said excitedly. "There is microscopic powder residue in this container", the Tellarite informed, twisting the dial on the microscope to bring things into focus. Endris poured a dropper of Glycerine onto the sample, and it changed to a blood red hue.
"We have a positive reaction, Matthew. This vile once contained Vulcan Selatberry Juice." The Tellarite squinted at the stained slide. Eyesight was not the best characteristic of a species that evolved around Cuisine. Realising there was a potential problem, Albrecht looked at the red dot himself. It was fairly bright, indicating the Juice had been present less than a hour before.
There was something Albrecht almost forgot. "Gakes, dust the outer surface of the vials for DNA."
"Anything for you, Scrumptious!", she said cheerfully. Matthew could tell his girl was finally cheering up from the successful test. But then he had a surprise for her. Something traditionally Terran to mark an engagement.
"Well, it looks like there are traces of Bajoran Arabica beans and Ferengi DNA on the outside surfaces."
Matthew thought a minute and then beamed "That proves the Ferengi were hiding Juice in their shipment of coffee. Why would they do something so absurd?"
"I don't know, but Toog surely isn't going to tell.", Gakor said. "This changes my agreement with that fat troll," Endris said with considerable tension.
Now it was the security officer's turn to look troubled. "What deal?", he inquired, machismo showing that he perceived a potential threat to his mate.
"I asked him to acquire a piece of A@i'dyian technology. They have medical knowledge that could potentially cure Teresi and save our child, hoomon." Matthew could tell Gakor was getting anxious again, she exaggerated the word human, making it sound like a Ferengi pronunciation.
"And I suppose you had to promise him the moon and the stars to get him to agree to try and get A@i'dyian devices."
"No stars. But I did offer to sell him Klorax for 1 bar of latinum. However, he has to produce the cure first according to our contract, which is void if a cure is developed by other methods first."
Matthew considered this and tempered his response. "Don't worry your pretty little head. I heard about the encounter you had with our new Nausicaan security officer. Rotan must have scared you enough for one week."
"You... You heard about that?", Gakor stammered. "It's just, a Nausicaan, you know. But Rotan indicated the renegades that attacked Tellar were exiled. It's good to know villains sometimes face justice."
"Well, Sweetheart, you have proved there is no evidence to hold Toog and his cronies for trial. I guess that means we can drop them off at the Caob outpost."
"That would seem to be the most equitable solution, since it is the closest Ferengi business venture to our patrol route.", Endris said. (Secretly, she was glad Toog would be free to go. She genuinely wanted the A@i'dyian device, after all).
Matthew paused and adopted a more somber tone. He pulled a small box from a pocket in his duty trousers after fishing around for it in his pants.
It was an ancient Earth custom. Gakor took the box, but the smooth purple velvet nearly slipped from her hands. Grasping it at the hinge, she pried it open like an oyster shell.
"Snacks!", Endris exclaimed excitedly. "Its...Its breathtaking."
"Allow me, Madam", he said slipping the ring onto Gakor's finger. The sapphire matched the doctor's blue medical tunic. From the way it sparkled in its latinum fixture, Gakor could tell the gem wasn't replicated.
Or if it was, it really didn't matter. The scarab-sized ring was exquisite! She gave Matthew a passionate kiss, ruffling his thick hair. But after a moment, the Bacon Lady couldn't resist turning to look down at her hand.
"Snacks! Oh! Snacks!", Endris said. "I simply must show this off", Gakor said hoofing out of the lab and heading towards 10 Forward. The human, who had been abruptly (but temporarily) ditched, returned to the security office to prepare proper documents for Toog's release. There was no longer any viable reason to detain the Ferengi....
"After Delta shift."
By Ensign Mike Marc - Tactical Officer USS Galaxy
Mike came from the battle bridge and went to the TL. When he came to the TL he enter and ordered that lift move to the bridge. "It was my first real battle aboard the USS Galaxy. " - thought Mike. The doors opened and he came from the lift and went to the tactical station. There was Benedict "he is a very good tactical officer. I may learn something from him." - thought Mike as he approached Benedict.
" You were great. " - said Mike to Benedict
" You too. I appreciate your help on the battle station. " - replied Benedict
" I think it is time for my shift. "- said Mike
"You are welcome to take it " - replied Benedict with smile, as he turned the station over to Ensign Marc.
******* Mike Marc quarter after Delta shift **********
" Computer , play all message with period 10 seconds " - ordered Mike and took hot cup of klingon coffee from replicator and after seat on the chair and put his legs on table. When computer finished played messages Mike stood up from chair and left his quarters heading to sickbay. He needed to check his medical status, but not only that. Mike walked to sickbay because he was hoping that he would see Cat there and could talk with her about dinner. Mike knew that Cat had a relationship with the Chief of Security , but he wanted to know more about her because after Lotia 2, she became good friend and Mike liked to know all about his friends.
Viewscreen Chats II
"They are a race fleeing oppression. They are a beautiful race, much like the Unicorns of Terran mythology. They are wise to their surroundings. They are a peaceful people. You should meet them, that way you can see for yourself."
"Captain Manion, how can help you? What do you want us to do? I want to save the Ocero and prevent it from moving to other crewmembers."
Mercedes thought about that for a moment, attempting to phrase her answer in just the correct fashion.
"As I understand from the initial reports Captain Thiana, the disease has now jumped species from the Ocero to a member of your crew. That means that I must now assert my authority from Starfleet Medical to quarrantine your vessel, a task of which I'm not fond. I am receiving the final clearances for the Quarrantine module which has been deployed and attached to your ship. As soon as the QU is cleared by my engineering teams, I will give the order to transport the staff, and then your patients. The two groups will be totally separated by the best quarrantine technology the Federation has. From there, the research will continue. It's a standard operating procedure for a medical ship. For the safety of the QU and its occupants, there will be a tractor beam holding our two vessels in relative position, for while the QU is self-contained, it is necessary to keep it in exact position in order to accomplish the transports we will be doing from the Caduceus."
She looked throught the viewscreen, hoping to convey her confidence to the other captain. Mercedes was certain that Captain Thiana was feeling the strain of the circumstances. And now she was informed that her vessel was quarrantined...effectively detaining it until a cure could be found. That type of decision from an outside source was never easy to accept.
"What I need most from you, Captain, is for you to keep your crew calm and focused. We need people to be as separated as they can be, especially from those in Sickbay or the Ocero in whatever your ship has them quartered. If you can erect a quarrantine field around the Ocero, it might slow down the spread of the disease. Anything that you think would help to keep your crew separate. I'd like to hope that the one jump was a fluke. Perhaps a genetic flaw. Perhaps he doesn't actually have the same disease as the Ocero. And please, have your medical staff coordinate regular reports with mine. I've got to check with the engineering staff now. I'll touch base with you in a couple of hours. Manion out."
She closed the comm link after Capt. Thiana nodded. Then she turned to Lt. Vanx. "You have the bridge, Lieutenant. I'll be in with Commander Kozlov and the medical staff."
"Aye, aye, sir." Vanx replied as she rose to take the command chair. Mercedes left the bridge and headed for the meeting.
Captain Mercedes Manion
USS Caduceus NCC-9462
An Allied Electronic Simulations Affiliated Sim
"Fate Lies In The Stars"
by Lt. (jg) Fiona O'Keefe,
Ship's Counselor, USS Caduceus
***USS Caduceus, Fiona's Cabin***
Fingers of steam rose from the blue-rimmed tea cup and crept up the computer console leaving small beads of water covering the subspace frequency display. A mint leaf floated atop the tea, a blend of Chinese black tea with a hint of camalile.
"..and then you won't believe it Io, I know you won't," the face of Alexandra O'Keefe-Sheen erupted into red-cheeked laughter on the other end of the communications screen. She was a little more tan than the last time Fiona had seen her, and her brown hair had a few more red highlights than it had all those summers that her father, Fiona's uncle, brought Alex from Earth to visit the family on Mars. Fiona supposed the Vulcan air would do that to a person after just three or four months.
"He walked right up to him," Alex continued, barely restraining the humour she found in the story, "right up to the Vulcan ambassador's adjutant and kissed him right on the lips!"
Smiling, Fiona waited for the peel of laughter to fade a little. "Did he mind?"
Alex looked square into the communication's screen and in a horribly forced straight face said, "He stood there. Shoulders arched back, jaw squared, stern Vulcan glare in his eyes, and delcared the situation... 'most human.'"
"He meant that as an insult?" Fiona said.
Giggling, Alex said, "I think everyone took it as a joke. All the Terrans at the gathering were laughing or trying their best not to. I tell you Io, even some of the Vulcans looked like they found it very humourous."
Fiona picked-up the tea cup and blew on the tea until the mint leaf floated against the far rim. Putting the rim to her lips the heat rose off the liquid. Rather than tilting the cup and letting the tea pour against her lips, Fiona decided it too hot and slid the tea cup back onto the communications panel. "Does the Science Academy usually invite high-ranking dignitaries?"
"Far too often," Alex said, turning her attention away from the communications screen for a moment. "I have that data you requested Io, but I'm afraid it's not much."
Fiona sat forward in her chair. "Anything you have would be wonderfull Alex. The ship's computers drew a blank and all we have now are the St. Louis' medical scans of the refugees."
Waiting as Alex read through the data PADD, through the various Vulcan archive registry numbers and catalog cross-listings, Fiona remembered the first time she heard that her very popular cousin from Earth was going to be a librarian... or rather an 'archivist' as she called it. Locked away in a musty data archive wasn't quite the job for someone whose father sent her on four-month vacations to Mars in part to get away from all the boys climbing up to her window every night.
"The first reference to a people called the 'Ocero' was in 2305. The USS Kraton, long-range exploratory vessel registry NCC-485, encountered an alien scout ship orbiting an L-class world orbiting a pulsar in the middle of a nebula...," Alexed paused long enough to raise her eyebrows and shake her head at the... interesting... conjunction of stellar phenomena. "...near the Gamma Quadrant. The aliens called themselves the Ivek, claimed they too were on a long-range exploratory mission, and were willing to share information with the Kraton. Among the data exchanged from the Ivek, was a reference to a species called the Baan who had a long history of trade contacts with another species called the Olod who... finally... obtained rare minerals from a species called the 'Ocero.'"
Fiona's eyes were glazed. After finding no reference to the Ocero in the Caduceus' database, she had hoped the much more expansive holdings of the Vulcan Science Academy would have something, anything, helpfull . "Gee, Alex," Fiona said, crinkling her nose at the screen. "Are the other references so..."
Alexed smirked. "Fortunately, no. The other reference dates to 2368, from the Captain of the USS Trefalgar. While on patrol near the Delta Quadrant..." Alexed paused and said a brief silent prayer what she found wouldn't upset Fiona. She remembered the Borg... She remembered her cousin Rhiannon, Fiona's sister, had disappeared around the same time and in the same sector as the Trefalgar's report. "The Trefalgar was attacked by a Borg vessel. She managed to hide from the cube in the dense atmosphere of a K-class planet, but not before several drones had beamed aboard. After three days the cube left the system and the Trefalgar's crew was able to..."
Alex paused again before continuing. "One of the drones recovered, the Borg implants were removed and he claimed to be of a race called the Ocero. I'll send you the bioscans for comparison, but your medical department is probably looking at the same readings right now from the refugees. I'm afraid there isn't much more on this. Once he recovered, the Ocero male refused further help and after being dropped off at Starbase 84, disappeared from all records."
Fiona hadn't paid very much attention to Alex's words. The year, the place, the Borg... it was all so... she couldn't bring herself to listen. Everything Alex said would be on the data she transfered. Fiona didn't need to read that, only send it on to Captain Manion. "Thank you Alex," Fiona said, looking at her tea cup.
"Io I... I'm always here for you. Let's not let two months pass by without talking again, okay?"
Fiona smiled. "Definitely. Take care and don't let Roger kiss too many Vulcan ambassadors or their staff."
Pressing the end-transmission button, Alex said, "Now why should I stop him?"
The steam from the tea cup had failed to rise a while ago. The mint leaf was brown and crinkled, slowly slipping beneath the liquid's surface. Rising from bed, her eyes red and the skin around them tender, Fiona crossed the cabin to the communications panel. Opening an intraship channel to Captain Manion, but then thought it better to leave the Captain only an audio message.
"Computer, begin recording," she said, looking down at the now-cold tea cup.
"Thinking it through"
by Dr Kyla Sorin, Ltjg
Kyla walked into the cargo bay, and was immediately ambushed by Durandos...
"Whats going on?" he asked, quite disturbed.
"Well," Kyla started, "It seems that one of our crew has come down with the same disease that your people have. Its... not good, we thought that it was specific to your species."
Durandos sighed and then looked up, "Then, why aren't you in a bio suit?"
Kyla pondered the completely valid question for a moment, "Well, to tell you the truth, I;ve never been sick a day in my life. My immune system is highly adaptive, but no one knows why... of course, its not a risk I can afford to take much longer."
"Well, why do you say that?" he asked, "not that I want you to come down with this. Complete curiosity..."
"It looks like this disease is less physically affecting patients, and more... " she searched for the right words. She still hadn't come up with a descent way to explain it, and it all seemed to radical.. "more effecting their minds. We can't be sure how its transmitted yet."
"Mind of matter," Durandos muttered, and then looked up, "you mean, they're litterally thinking themselves to death?"
"I know, it sounds insane," she sighed, "there just doesn't seem to be another physically-related logical explanation... and if you could just be inside their minds, you'd know what I mean..."
"I do know," he stated, "trust me."
"Your a mysterious man," Kyla smiled as she turned, "I'm going to head over to sickbay right now, hopefully WhiteSong will be there, and I can talk this over with her."
A 'Little' Problem"
By Ensign Anna Gartner, Captain Lee Price and Commander Deiran Casey
*** Captain's Ready Room ***
Captain Lee Price sat at his Ready room desk going over fresh battle reports from the front, the alliance was slightly making more inroads against the Dominion. It wasn't even a few hours before when his ship was engaged against two Dominion fighters in the defense of a Ferengi freighter that obviously now proven to be smuggling the drug 'white' for the Jem'Hadar.
Just then the chime to his Ready room door was heard. Lee glanced to it. "Come." He said.
It opened to reveal Commander Casey. The young acting first officer walked in and stood at attention before his captain. "You wished to see me sir."
"At ease 'mate'." The captain said. "Yes, now since things have quieted down in this sector for the moment, a little problem has come to my attention."
Commander Casey watched as the Captain picked up a data PADD resting on the corner of his desk and handed it to him. Casey saw it was a crew bio. He read the name of the crewmember aloud. "Ensign Anna Gartner," he looked to his captain. "What about her, sir?"
"Four hours ago she assaulted two nurses and a doctor when she and a wounded Ensign Bolitho, were beamed directly to sickbay. Apparently she became violent when she was separated from him. It took four people and a hypo spray to bring her under control."
Casey was a bit surprised. He was about to ask for details when the Captain anticipated it coming and answered before he asked.
Captain Price gestured to the PADD in Casey's hand, "Check the medical file on her Bio, it'll explain the situation a lot better than I can."
The Commander checked and speed read the medical file, afterward he looked outraged. "Of all the bloody bureaucratic nonsense! I knew Starfleet was scraping the bottom of the barrel in this war but to put a uniform back on her! Why didn't I know about this Captain?"
"Because it was Commander Sterner's responsibility but now since he's being transferred, she's your problem."
"Exactly what do you want me to do with this little problem, sir?" Casey asked, smiling.
"Find out if anything can be done to salvage her, check with Counselor Dallas. Gartner was under her care and check with Ensign Lexana Ral, she is Gartner's roommate and Ensign Bolitho himself when he recovers, they were paired together for security duties to see what they have to say."
"Why the interest in keeping her aboard sir? If I may ask?"
"Because." Captain Price started. "She was one of the few survivors from Outpost 119. Have you heard about it?"
"Aye sir. It was one of our main outposts along the Cardassian border that fell early in the war with the Dominion. If it wasn't for the support from the Klingon and Romulan fleets we might not have retaken it, if at all."
The Captain nodded. "Yes and it took a year before we did and during that time Anna Gartner and 225 Starfleet personnel were trapped on 119 and were hunted down by the Jem'Hadar. And they fought back, using everything they had, when their phasers ran dry, they used Jem'Hadar weapons, when they didn't have those they used knifes, sticks and rocks, even bare hands. The people of 119 were the first casualties of the war and her survivors became a symbol of courage for the Federation. The Dominion sent in 5 Regiments of Jem'Hadar soldiers and they still couldn't eliminate all of them. They continued to fight the Jem'Hadar until the planet was liberated."
"With all do respect sir," Casey said carefully. "That was propaganda put out by Starfleet. Yes, they fought the Jem'Hadar tooth and nail but only because the Jem'Hadar were ordered not to take prisoners. If offered a chance to surrender, I'm sure they would have taken it. Also the way Starfleet put it, they made it sound like they tied up an entire fleet of Dominion ships in the effort to eliminate them from orbit as well. Whatever they did, they made little impact on the war."
"Except you left out one thing 'mate'."
"What was that sir?"
"Hope." The Captain answered. "Back then, we needed it wherever we could find it and those poor souls from 119 gave it to us. They faced everything that the Dominion threw at them and survived. To date, Anna handled herself well on this ship, she even killed two Jem'Hadar over there on the 'Latinum Prince'."
"Until she started going after the people in Sickbay," Casey added. Then after he said it, he wished he hadn't. He sympathized with Gartner, she had done her duty, fought valiantly and made her contribution to the war effort.
"I understand your concern Commander," Price said standing up and walking around his desk to stand, looking at Casey. "But every person who came out of 119 was damaged goods, they were never the same. However as a Captain, an officer and a man, I feel we should give them a chance to continue serving.
"I ask you to keep an open mind, if there is a way to keep Gartner serving with us, or somewhere else in Starfleet or not at all, I'll back you. Just remember, no telling we'll be put in her position during any time in this war and it'll be us requiring the mercy of people judging our worth after everything is said and done."
Casey stopped to look at the data PADD with the photo of the Ensign that he'd be dealing with shortly, noticing the blank stare of her eyes, almost lifeless. He looked back up to his Captain.
"Sir, I can rehabilitate her. We can all rehabilitate her sir. She's worth saving," Casey said with feeling. He saw every officer on the Galaxy in a different view now that he was the XO.
Just months ago he was at the lowest point of his life and Dev and Cat helped him. He owed it to Gartner, those that died by her side, his friends and the Galaxy's crew to save this woman from herself.
*** Sickbay ***
This was the one thing Casey hated about being the First Officer and the only thing he hated about the job. He would have to regularly take trips to sickbay, he hated sickbay! But Casey's determination and sheer willpower would help him overcome his fears and anxieties. He entered the room slowly. He quickly perused the room and found Cat.
He strutted across the room like it was an everyday occurrence for him. "Hi Cat, I need to speak with you about Ensign Gartner," Casey asked, it didn't really sound like a question.
"I am busy Commander, can it wait?" she asked, her purring voice letting her annoyance be heard.
"I'm afraid not. I need to speak with you. It won't take long, let's go to your office."
Cat and Casey left the main sickbay and walked into her office. "I understand you've had a few run-ins with Ensign Gartner? I trust your judgment Cat. I want to know if you think the Galaxy family can save her?" Casey asked. He trusted Cat unequivocally.
"Yes Deiran, we're all worth saving. She's just a bit tougher to save. She's resistant to any help."
"I hear she has a smart mouth? That she's indignant to others?" Casey asked, trying to get Cat's opinion of the woman.
"She is a pain. She needs help, she also needs a good scare," Cat replied, her purr and slur of her r's, s's and e's coming through loud and clear.
"Okay, well thankfully she has me. We'll get her straightened out," Casey smiled.
"Excuse me while I wipe my shoes of the enormous ego in the room," Cat said and laughed.
"I've never denied the extent of my egotism Cat. It's part of my charm don't you think?" Casey laughed with her.
They walked back out into sickbay. "Get her up and awake would you please? I want to talk with her. When will she be able to leave sickbay?" Casey was already thinking ahead before he even met the woman or even spoke with her. The woman's life was now in his hands.
"Her foot and ankle injury has been under the regenerator for several hours. She should be able to leave soon. Maybe two hours. I want to see that the injury is fully healed before I release her Deiran," Cat replied.
"Fair enough, wake her please," he asked firmly. Casey was a tough CO. He demanded loyalty and respect. He also cared about people whether people knew it or not. He was getting into "Bust butt" mode and so everyone could hear a change in his voice. People who saw the instant change were amazed. Even Cat was stunned. Casey could turn his emotions off and on at will. Just call up any emotion he needed.
Gartner woke up slowly. As her eyes opened she realized she was restrained.
"We put those restraints on you for your protection and ours Anna. You need to control yourself. We need to talk extensively later on. I regret to tell you that you've been relieved of duty temporarily. After you've been released here you'll serve time in the Brig. Once you're released from the Brig, you'll be watched around the clock by a counselor. I understand you've been seeing Karyn. She'll head your rehab. As of now Ensign, you're in rehab. You're going to change here and now Anna. You may not think it's possible. Your doctors may think it's impossible. Hell, even Karyn can think it's impossible. I happen to think that impossible is a word that's a figment of people's imaginations and just plain negative. I believe that all things are possible. You will change, the old Anna is coming back, one way or another. Understood Ensign?" Casey was showing tough love. The people who overheard what he said were quite shocked by how firm he was but at the same time you could hear that he cared about her well-being. He had hope and in turn he was giving hope to Anna.
To be continued.
By Ens Tim O;COnnell
Security Interrogation room 2
O'Connell walked in to interrogation room after Commander Suder tried his best to get Boog to admit anything. Suder walked out. O'Connell said to his commander, "Sir we may not be able to use Orion Pirate methods but Chicago Police might be able to get some information"
Suder thought and said, "give it a shot ensign"
O'Connell picked up a padd and walked in to the room he stared at DaiMon Toog and smiled. "Hey Toog, you and I have to talk" Toog looked at him and said, "Why do we need to talk hyoo mon ? Will you release me."
He said, "I'd like to but my boss is being very pigheaded on this... he wants to charge you with smuggeling and trading with the enemy very bad stuff.. they could execute you for it you know."
Toog replied, "execute me... The Federation does not execute." O'Connell shrugged and said, "It's starfleet they'll execute you there's a war on pal, think about it first they put on a gurney then they fill you with poison then they disintigrate your body.. no profit you're just dead. then they will confiscate your property and your assets."
Toog looked shocked his breathing coming in gasps fear showing in his eyes. O'Connell looked sympathetically, " I know a lot to swallow you need a break would you like something to drink? some Beetle juice or something,"
Toog replied, "just water" O'Connell got up and left the interrogation room. He stood at the transparnet panel and observed . He turned and faced Commander Suder, "Sir, here's the plan I would suggest, Give him 5 minutes then go in and be a harsh bastard for 4 minutes then I'll go in and be a sweet caring buddy, we should get him to give up something incriminating."
Suder turned and looked in at the DaiMon, He replied, "Ensign 4 minutes you said?" O'Connell replied, "Yes sir."
A voice from behind said " 'mate you know we don't execute anymore.'
O'Connell turned facing the commanding officer of the vessel, "Yes sir but the greates fear of the ferengi is to be unprofitable and not have his remains in the divine treasury."
Price replied, "that;s a fair dinkum idea will it work?"
O'COnnell replied, "I don;t know sir but it was effective on the job"
" Revelations Part 1"
By Ensign Deryn Valendras
USS St. Louis
The nurse stared at the PADD for it seemed hours before it hit him. How could he have been so blind? The gestation period of this virus was incredibly short. Perhaps it wasn't even Ocero in origin! Quickly spinning to hook back up to the computer database, the ensign smiled with a small spark of hope." Computer, analyze the virii and superimpose its cellular structure against every other fatal and quickly gestating virus to date."
Blinking shortly, the monitor flashed one more time before creating a list of ten virii with the same structure and habits. Kata Sorin was too long a gestation period. M'paq didn't kill have a igh enough fatality rate. All the others were the same. Except two. Bubonic plague and the Ebola virus had to be the ones.
" Computer, find all known information on the Bubonic Plague and how it was treated." The confirmation chirp brought the long history of the terran disease to the computer screen. No wonder this thing killed a big chunk of Europe. They were primitives! This wasn't going to work at all. Now that he knew what it was, he'd have to actually come up with his own cure. What an interesting way to begin life on a new ship.
Ensign Deryn Valendras - USS St. Louis
"The Final Fight"
By Ensign Timothy Richeson
USS Galaxy Bridge, Beta Shift
"Sir, one of the repair teams on the 'Latinum Prince' are requesting extra power packs to be sent over." Tim was standing behind the tactical station. It was nice to finally get some bridge time in. Lt. Hermedhie had been hogging it all for the past couple weeks.
"Send 'em over Mate'." Captain Price was manning the bridge. Which was a relief to Tim, Commander Casey really wasent Tim's favorite person. Casey thought he could do anything the correct way. Tim had only meet him a couple times but his attitude towards junior officers was well known.
"Aye aye sir." Tim turned to see the TL open, and Hermedhie walk out of it. With a slight nod Tim was replaced by the ranking officer.
"Ensign, Commander Mckenzie wants you to finish that holo program you've been working on."
Tim gave Hermedhie a confused look, "Sir? I finished that program a week ago."
"Well Mckenzie said he tried to run it on holo number one, the computer said it wasent completed."
Tim knew it was working, he had been using it. Even Ruina had seen it when she "visited" him. "I'll take a look at it." Tim entered the TL and went straight for holodek 1. "Computer activate Tactical Training program. Under the Richeson file."
The computer made a few squeaking sounds and then replayed "Program is incomplete."
"Like hell it is. Arch." The computer obediently revealed the controls for the holodeck. It took awhile but he finally saw that one of the power relays to the memory was burned out. "That's weird...... Computer send a message to Engineering, tell them that a power rely on holodeck 1 has burnt out."
Then came Tim's favorite voice, "Message sent."
"Great, computer has Beta shift been relieved?"
Tim rolled his eyes upward, "Good, nap time........"
By: Lt. Ryak Sullax
S.O. USS Galaxy
Ryak worked away at getting the information collated correctly. The little encounter with the Jem' Hadar had finally made his bridge duty some what more interesting.
"Lieutenant, can you get any sensor readings on what's happening inside the Latinum Prince 'mate?" the Captain asked.
Ryak tapped a few controls and examined the read outs on his station display. "A lot of weapons fire sir. Most in the main cargo hold. Nothing more specific."
Ryak looked back down at his station and tried to finish getting his work done. Ryak check his messages and noticed that he was going to be needed to fix Lt/Cmd Morris's lab. Ryak had a feeling that he'd be busy for quite a while.
"Sullax to Khatroweena."
"Cat here Ryak. Let me guess you will be unable to make it to sick bay."
"That is not correct Doctor. I would like to be able to find a time where we could discuss something if that is alright with you."
"Oh....Ok Ryak I will get somethings caught up here. I will make sure that I have time to sit down with you when you come down."
"I will be there at the end of my shift. Sullax Out."
Ryak turned to see that Lt/Cmd Morris had entered the bridge. He noticed that she gave a wink to him at the. Ryak looked at her with a quizzical look and then returned to looking at his station. Ryak was not to sure about the Lt/Commander but he was impressed with her ability to work under any circumstance.
Ryak finished his shift and headed to get his son. Ryak entered the turbo lift and sent it in motion. Ryak stopped it before he got to the deck his son was on and headed to Morris's lab instead. Ryak entered the lab and looked around. The engineers had gotten it rather fixed up. Ryak looked around to see what she'd need to have it back to normal.
"Erikson to Sullax, the sensors are detecting a binary star system composed of a white dwarf star and a micro-quantum singularity."
There was a pause before the Ryak replied. "Is there a problem Commander?"
"Not exactly Mister Sullax. The sensors are detecting an interesting binary star system," Erikson explained as he began a transfer down to the laboratory the scientist was working in, ". . . a quantum singularity in the orbit of a white dwarf star. I am sure you and the rest of stellar science will find this most interesting."
"Aye sir. I will start analysing that information as soon as I receive it." Ryak moved over to a terminal and turned it on.
"It's already on it's way Lieutenant. And Lieutenant. I would like to speak to at your earliest convenience about the incident in Stellar Cartography. Sickbay may be finished with their investigation but there are a few questions I would like to ask you."
"Understood sir. Sullax out."
Ryak looked over the information and sent it to Stellar Cartography and turned off the terminal. Ryak turned and headed to get his son. The lab was going to take a lot of his time.
Ryak walked into the Day Care and picked up the Romulan child. Sullar talked about his day in lecture for most of the way to sickbay. Ryak was impressed with his son's ability to pick up on the proper use of the Romulan language. The second Sullar saw the doors to sickbay he got down from his fathers arms and ran into sickbay to see Cat.
ALSO KNOWN AS:
Lieutenant Ryak Sullax,Science Officer,USS Galaxy.
Contact at: email@example.com
From: Counselor Fiona O'Keefe
To: Captain Manion
Re: Xenological Search Results for the Ocero
After my search of the ship's database drew a blank for any reference to the 'Ocero,' I contacted the Vulcan Science Academy. The assistant archivist was more than happy to help. Well, actually she's my second cousin Alex. We hadn't talked in over two months and so... while catching up with each other, she searched the Archives and came up with this:
Status Report.USS Kraton.Stardate 20299.12.Captain Lila Tomas:
"Only eight weeks out of starbase and already the crew is feeling the strain. Our negotiations with the Ivek are going slowly, but smoothly. After encountering the Ivek's ship two days ago in a section of this nebula which our stellar cartography department head is calling the Harding Expanse after himself, we have worked to exchange information about this area of space and the alien species which reside here. Unfortunately, the Ivek seem to have little data on this region of space. It would seen they too are explorers and most of their data is regarding their home region of the galaxy. With the recent outbreak of Klingon activity along the neutral zone, I must admit some hesitance over sharing information about Earth and the core worlds of the Federation with an unknown alien species which, for all we know, could easily exchange that information with those Klingon devils. My chief of security is now working on ways of eliminating sensitive data from the memory banks. Maybe then we can excange information."
Captain's Log, supplimental.
"We have successfully completed the data transfer with the Ivek ship. With little difficulty in matching the data transfer stream of our two very different starships, we now have information on an area of space several hundred lightyears from our present position. I find most interesting the varied races in the region the Ivek have...
[Captain Tomas goes on to describe several races which live, or at least used to live, near the conjunction of the Alpha and Gamma quadrants.]
"...the Ocero... I'm afraid there isn't much about this species, at least not enough to base any tactical decision over. They don't seem to be ally material though. Just a race of miners and pastoralists from whom the Ivek indirectly receive processed heavy metals. Now the Vrital, they seem..."
Report of the USS Trafalgar concerning Borg incident at Beta Epsilon III
Stardate 24568.5, Captain Alexi Popokov Commanding.
To:Admiral Joseph Landover, Starfleet Headquarters, San Francisco
Re: Recovered Borg drones
As a follow-up message to my report of the Trafalgar's encounter with a Borg cube near Beta Epsilon III, I am happy to report that our Chief Medical Officer has successfully removed most of the Borg implants from a drone who is now self aware and slowly regaining his memories. He is of a most unusual species. Although anthropoid, there are very striking equid features to
both his physiology and physical appearnac such as the long and brilliantly white mane flowing down his back, the elongated face, and most strikingly the small unicorn-like horn growing from his forhead. Of course, the Borg did away with all those 'frivilous and imperfect non-machine defects' when the assimilated him, but the doctor reports these features are once again reforming as his body re-adjusts to not being Borg.
He has not spoken very much of his people, the Ocero, just that they were a peacefull folk opressed by a mroe technologically advanced space-faring race. He did say that he and a group of others of his kind were fleeing their homeworld when they encountered the Borg cube. Although the Federation database makes no reference to an encounter with his kind before, I suspect he may represent one of the first species of the Delta Quadrant we have encountered apart from the Borg... One this is for certain, if he too is from the Delta Quadrant, that must be one interesting region of space.
I am also very happy to report that three other recovered drones are progessing very well in sickbay. The bioscans of one registered as a Starfleet Officer who served aboard the McKenzie at Wolf 359...
Those, Captain, are the only two references Alex was able to track down for me. The captain of the Trafalgar made a brief mention in his personal log that the Ocero drone recovered and had left the ship at Starbase 84. I checked with Dr. Jergensen about the bioscans of the St. Louis refugees... apart from the neurological and vascular damage done by the Borg implants, the Trafalgar's Ocero matches the general Ocero physiology of the refugees aboard the St. Louis.
I would recomend that since we have so little information on the Ocero, we request someone aboard the St. Louis interview the refugees regarding their culture, where they come from, where they've been since leaving their homeworld and what species they've come into contact with. That information could be of critical importance in finding a cure for the virus, bacteria, parasite, or whatever may be affecting them.
Vince and Nix cleaned up the dinner area and left the holo-deck full and content. The little boy seemed much more perky than he had before they went into the dinner. Vince scooped him up and carried down the halls taking him on a bit of a tour. He found imself outside of sick bay. He knew full well he would end up here. He looked at the boy and smiled. Nix smiled back at him and in the young boys eyes Vince saw a future. He hoped it was a big one. He set his jaw and walked trhough the doors. He looked around and things were hoppin. Doctors in crazy lookin blue suits were scurrying back and forth among all sorts of sick people. There were even a few fleeters there looking under the weather. He scowled at them, not because os dislike for them but because it appeared this disease or what ever it was was going to start hitting them as well. He surpressed an icy chill. What would happen to Z and there child, what about Nix?
Helplessness was not a trait that Vince Randal dealt with well. He shoulder'd Nix and stormed into the CMO's office. "Hey Whitesong will you check this kid out please?" He practically ordered. He regretted it at once but he needed to know. Just needed to.
"Vince, damit! What the hell are you doing here? Much less without an E-suit on? What are you doing walking around with that Ocero child? Where is Zahara?" WhiteSong grabbed a medical tricorder and ran it over Vince. "Your damn lucky mister, you could have put Zahara and your baby at risk!" WhiteSong hissed, her ears went flat. She didn't know if Zahara told him yet, but if not he knew now.
"You don't think I know that?"Vince bellowed back trying hard not to be angry."Does everyone on this damn boat think I'm stupid?" Nix cowered behind him, tears welling up from the loud noises both of the adults were hurling at one another.
Vince composed himself for a moment,"Just check the boy out, if he's clean then I'm gonna see to it that he doesn't catch what ever it is. And check me to. And I'm scared to death for Z and our baby thanks." He knew he was being a bastard to the doctor who had been so nice to him before but he had to know. He "had" to know.
WhiteSong took a deep breath, she put her claws away. "Vince, no one thinks your stupid, you just do some crazy stuff" WhiteSong smacked him on the shoulder. She handed him a PADD that contained information on the virus. "Read this then you'll know why I'm so scared" She poked him in the gut with the PADD with some force.
Vince grunted slightly and snatched the PADD from her furry hand. "I'll read it, just check him out."He growled half heartedly. And picked up the PADD and glanced here and there. It was alot of gobbly-gook about viruses and treatment options and then his eyes stopped. The word leaped out like a snkae, TERMINAL. He looked up from the PADD and watched as Whitesong tried to get close to Nix and he played round robin around Vince keeping the security officer between him and the Cat-like doctor. Vince bit the inside of his lip hard trying not to just scream in frustration. Was the boy going to die?
WhiteSong was chasing the Ocero child around Vince"s legs with her medical tricorder. "Hold this child still!" WhiteSong growled at Vince who effortlessly grabbed him by the arm, not even looking up from the PADD he was reading. *He will make a great dad* WhiteSong thought *if we live through this.*
"Your lucky mister!" WhiteSong growled again poking him in the chest with her paw. She was short on patience and she knew she shouldn't keep abusing Vince like she was, but she couldn't help it. "Neither of you show any signs of the virus, I want you to go to your quarters with the child and stay there! Don't go near anyone especially Zahara. As long as you insist on caring for the child I am ordering you as CMO of this ship not to have any contact with Zahara" She grabbed his face and turned him to look into her eyes "Do you understand me Vince. I am putting this on record" She had a special place in her heart for Vince and Zahara and would keep them healthy at all cost.
Vince stepped back from her grip and narrowed his cy eyes into her big ones."I understand perfectly." He growled, which sounded almost as impressive as Whitesongs had been earlier,"Now you get this straight if she gets sick, you let me know, and if anything turns up you let me know. If this little one,"And he scooped Nix up in an arm and the boy instantly clung to his neck,"Or Z need to get away from all of this I'll see to it they are. You follow me?" Vince knew going awaol would be unforgivable but he'd do it to save these two. He'd do just about anything.
"I'll keep you informed on Zahara. I want you to take his temp every 15 min" WhiteSong handed him a spare medkit and showed Vince how to take the boy's temp. "I want to know if his temp raises even a degree, and watch his eys and stomach for any changes. Also I want you to let me know when you get to your quarters, I am going to erect a level 4 quarentine aound your quarters, and only myself and Daniel will be able to let anyone in or out. I am sorry to gound you like this, but it's for the good of your little family"WhiteSong said sarcastically, looking down at the boy. WhiteSong couldn't help but like this guy. He was a good man in every sense of the word, she couldn't figure out how he always got himself into so much trouble.
Vince nodded and headed to his quarters. Nix just clung to him. They reached his quarters and when he entered he heard the tinkling of the quarentine field. He looked at his new roomate and sat him down on his comfy chair. Nix looked around the room and seemed happy enough. "Well hell,"Vince muttered,"Guess I'll make some dinner."(Life's just full o' surprises aint it?)
***** Emergency Meeting *****
By Dr. Felicia Khatroweena, Lieutenant (Assistant Chief Medical Officer),
USS Galaxy NCC-70637
***** Sickbay *****
Things were slowly calming down in Sickbay. The excitement of the encounter with the Latinum Prince finally had run its course. It certainly had been interesting. The death of Leah had been a shock, it had left a big hole in Cat. She was a good friend to the entire Medical department. And now with Nilani...
Cat just let her head rest on her desk, she banged it against the surface a couple of times. Talk about when it rain, it pours. Endris pregnant, Nilani's breakdown and the loss of Leah were going to vastly increase the workload on the rest on the department. Well, third time in less than a few days, she was re-writing the roster.
***** Meeting *****
"...So the first big announcement is until I am placed back on full duty, Cat will be the Acting Chief Medical Officer. Endris will take over as the Acting ACMO until such time she is unable to perform those duties. Also, I would like to announce that we will be training the Counsellor's in triage and First Aid, we're making them into Nurses. I believe Cat and the Chief Counsellor have a few words they would like to say!"
Cat rubbed her eyes as she picked up her PADD. "Ok, you'll find the details on the computer. Until something approaching normality, the roster will be, I'm taking Alpha and Beta Shift." Cat looked at Endris and Nilani, "Gakes and Nilani will both be rostered on to Alpha with reduced workloads." Cat looked at Geoffrey Harper, the civilian doctor, "Geoff, I'd like you to take on most of the civilian cases. You're on Alpha."
She indicated D'tarna, "D'tarna, I've got you on double shifts on Gamma and Delta." D'tarna just nodded her acceptance.
Vernon spoke up, "And my shift?"
Cat just looked at Vernon, "You're still on Beta. I'd like to talk to both you and Endris after this meeting."
"Personally, I hate the idea of this. The EMH will be active until everything can go back to normal. "Dr Grinch" will deal with the physicals, unless there is some special requirement. During Gamma and Delta, the EMH duties will be to support D'tarna." Cat grimaced at the thought of having the holographic doctors active for twenty four hours. "That's it. Ahh, I'll see you in my office if anybody want to discuss anything with me."
Cat rested back in to her chair, interesting to hear what Karyn was about to say, especially about Nilani.
"The Coming Darkness"
by, Lt. (j.g.) Maltos Saria
Counselor, U.S.S. Saint Louis
There were dark feelings about on this night. As Lt. Saria struggled to sleep, his mind was endlessly filled with these dread feelings. They were as if a great force of evil was descending upon him. Sort of like the darkness called Azrai that attempted to destroy his people. And he was worried that it just might be... For who knows the powers of the gods? Was it not possible that they had other worlds in which they played with the minds and bodies of men, like that Earth game Chess?
But the feelings remained strong, so Maltos knew that the forces of the evil ones were going to send their servents to try and strike at him... and others... The specific others were hidden from his view, but he knew that it would be so...
Then he gained a vision of his opponents. All of them were Cerilians, people from his continent. How they entered this universe was unknown. Why they would come for him was also a mystery... But all mysteries can be solved eventually.
And finally he received a vision of his fellow people. Those that would be hunted with him. Many of them were the crew of the Saint Louis. But one in particular stood out... A red-haired, crystal blue-eyed Masetian paladin of Nasri... The one he had met in the Counseling Center...
"The Real Latinum Prince"
Lt. Jg. Jonathan Lucas Brandis, Zea Toa
USS Galaxy-Operations Officer
Ensign Yazron Beq
USS Galaxy-Tactical Officer
It was an insult of a ship. Sure it probably equaled the Galaxy in weaponry and manuverablity, but it definately wasn't a nice looking ship, at least not by Lt. Brandis' standards. Looking out of Ten Forward at the awqkward vessel, Lucas was actually kind of ensulted that at the notion of calling that thing a Prince.
Lucas had heard that security wasn't having very much luck interrogating the prisoners. 'Man, I wish I could have a crack at those sorry little bastards.' Lucas thought to himself. He'd managed to trick a few Ferengi before. Who knows maybe he'd ask the Captian if he could lend his services. But, for now Lucas was....absolutely board. As Ensign Yazron Beq came striding in and Lucas waved him over to his table at the furthest forward point of the ship.
"What's a lowly peasant like you doing here?" Lucas asked.
"Just figuring things out for the wedding," he said and then as an afterthought - "That reminds me I was going to look for you afterwards."
"What for?" Lucas said suspiciously, knowing there was some catch up on the horizon.
"Well we're going for a Traditional Wedding and that requires me to have a best man and I thought that maybe you...?"
"Yes, of course," Lucas said and smiled, "I'd be honored!"
"Thanks!" said Yaz, looking rather relieved, he smiled, "I thought that maybe Prince's didn't do things like that!"
They both laughed.
"Well that's one thing down." He modified something on the PADD he was carrying.
"What's this?" Lucas asked grabbing the PADD from Yaz.
"Hey, that's personal." Yaz protested.
Lucas pointed to the pips on his collar and said, "It's okay. I probably won't tell anyone."
Scanning down, it seemed the groom had gotten the short end of the stick. "Let me guess, Captian Price will be the marrying offical, I'll be the best man, no surprise there, and... well, judging from this PADD, you've gotta a hell of a lotta work to do. Gees, you haven't even requested a good nearby star system for the view, which according to Lorrane here should include a tri-star system with a Class M planet nearby too. Sheesh, talk about picky. Oh, and I suggest you cater the event soon, I hear Gakor's quite the cook and some of these dishes look like they take a while to make. Boy, do you realize what you're getting into?" Lucas was about to burst. Yazron had decided to marry a woman with some taste... a little too much in fact.
Handing the PADD back over to Beq, Brandis thought for a moment before continuing, "So, let me get this straight. You do realize that traditional Betazoid wedding educate dictates that everyone present be tastefully Nude."
"I know, I managed to get out of that but that's about all that I've managed to talk her out of!" Yaz sighed deeply.
"According to Human standards, I as the Best Man must throw a bacholor's party the night before the wedding, if I'm not mistaken. That should be fun. I'll have to reserve the holodeck, see if we can't get you to change your mind, before you tie on the ole ball and chain." Lucas chuckled.
"I think I'll still go ahead with it but you're welcome to try!" He laughed - "Anyway, as you can see I've got a few things to do, is there anything you think you can help with?"
"Well, I can see you haven't even thought about a wedding ring." Lucas saw that it was missing from the list of demands on the PADD. "I can handle that for you."
"Lucas, I'm not exactly royalty. I'm working on a Federation budget." Yaz reminded Lucas, pointing to the one pip on his collar.
"Ah, but you forget, you speak to a Prince. I'm sure Zerp Inc. has a few good choices. I'll get a cataloge to you and you can pick any one you like. On me." Lucas finished with a grin covering ear to ear. He loved being generous and felt that money was no good if you couldn't give it away to make people happy.
"No, Lucas I couldn't accept." Yaz didn't want to impose on the new friendship he and Lucas had.
Telepathy was a great thing at times like this and Lucas jumped in immediately. "You wouldn't be imposing. Listen, my family has way too much money anyways, it's good to put it to good use. Besides, I'm not a Frengi. Plus, it'll be my honor and it's an order, Ensign."
Yaz realized he had to accept, not that the rank mattered. He just saw that Lucas was intent on it. "Okay, fine."
"Good, I'll have a few catalogs sent over." The Lt. stated with some finality.
"Well that get's me out of one thing, now the catering - so Gakor is quite good then?"
"Yeah, I think she would be your best bet, although that's just the reputation she recently recieved. You'll have a chance to sample some of here stuff and Commander....make that Captian Sterner's going away party."
"Okay.." Yaz said modifying the PADD. "Now she wants me to choose the colour of her dress - she wants it to be like the Tradition Terran dresses but not white!"
"Well, I'll leave that one to you!" Lucas said, "I'm not doing all the work for you!"
"Okay - how about rose?" Yaz asked.
"Sounds like a plan." Lucas was beginning to think that Yaz should give it a rest, "I think you should go order a drink, come back over here and we'll talk about something else for a while."
"You're right. I'm just a bit anxious." Yaz walked over to the bar and got into a conversation with Door, the friendly bar-tender, before returning with a strawberry juice. "Well that takes care of the decror."
Lucas just was not having it, "STOP!" he almost shouted, "you've got nearly a week! Now what do you think of that hunk of junk over there?" He motioned to "The Latinum Prince" which was hovering outside the window.
Lt. Commander Chris Thomas
Chief of Operations
Lt. Jg. Jonathan "Lucas" Brandis, Zea Toa
USS Galaxy-Operations Officer
The Suns were shining brightly over the Capian Sea. A deeply, rich orange rising in the West, calming the crests of the Capian with a gentle obvious passion for peace and tranquility. The mild tided caressing the shoreline in a rhythmic dance, centuries old, added to the uniqueness of this place. With warm tropical breezes pervading the evening, bringing with them the seductive sent of tropical flora, this was truly a haven for the sole. Where else could you possibly find this unending bliss of Rise...The Holodeck.
It wasn't easy being an Operations office onboard the premier Galaxy Class Star ship. He'd been working double time on a newer, more efficient, neural pathway for positronic relays and that only added to the stress. Lucas even doubted that Deiran Casey himself could derive the proper matrix for his new neural pathway. Advanced Dimensional Tri was a mathematical science few could participate in or even cared to. Yet, even as he was surrounded by such an unending harmony as Rise, the Soong book of Artificial Complexities rested beside him in the pynon hamoc he laid in. The soft, feather like fabric felt as if it were gently messaging every muscle on Lucas' back.
A rather voluptuous Ricean girl, dressed in a climate appropriate thong bikini made her way up to Lucas. He naturally couldn't help but...notice. Her well tanned physique seemed to curve around space-time itself. Lucas wondered how a computer could possibly be so...
"Elia, My name is Rea. Is there anything you desire?" The Ricean inquired as if it were her only wish in the world.
Lucas couldn't help but think...hummm... "No, nothing, I'm fine thank you. Except well..."
Lucas was interrupted by the annoying chirp of his comm badge. Reaching over to the stand next to him, beside the Sunrise Surprise, a Ricea delicacy, Lucas tapped his comm badge.
=You have a meeting scheduled in ten minutes in Lt. Com. Thomas' office.= The dispassionate voice of the computer chirped.
"Oops," Lucas said.
"What's the matter? What oops?" Rea asked.
"Ops is the oops. I forgot I have to meet with my 'new' boss." Lucas stated, finishing with, "I've gotta go."
"Aw, do you have to, Lucas?" Rea stated in an all too coy and playful manner.
"Alas, duty calls. Bye, Rea." Lucas said standing. "Computer save program and exit."
With that command the beautiful Rica coastline evaporated in the a grid like prison that resembled something like a chess board in many ways.
Walking out of the Holodeck, Lucas decided that he wasn't exactly dressed appropriately to meet his immediate commander. The black silk pants and shirtless motif was probably not something that he'd go for. He headed to his quarters for a quick uniform change.
*******Operations Department Offices*******
'Commander Thomas had woken up earlier and decided to pay the Operations Department office a visit. Since taking the position of Chief Operations Officer he'd yet to pay a visit to what used to be commander Casey's office. Now it was his office and he figured he should begin moving into the office. He had figured that Deiran had moved his stuff out of the office by now as well.
Chris reached the door to his new office, once used by Commander Deiran Casey when he held the position of chief operations manager. Since he'd not been to the office in a few days he honestly didn't know if the boss had removed his stuff from the office. Either way he need use of the office and start making it his office. He stopped at the door, but it didn't open up like other doors, of course he thought the command code.
Chris had brought a PADD with him containing everything that he needed to do today. It also included the codes to unlock the door, once he did then he'd reprogram the security protocols to his preference. This was standard procedure when one officer gave up his office the new occupant would change the security settings and codes to their preference. He brought the needed information and unlocked the door to the office.
"Computer Lights" Chris said, the first thing to do was to make sure the office was empty.
The lights turned on for him revealing the room was stripped off everything, except the furniture that had been built for the office. He would have to start personalizing the office to his likelings soon as he had time, but for the moment he couldn't do that. He was scheduled to begin his shift watch in thirty minutes, which would just give him enough time to change the security lock commands and preferences. He'd also scheduled a meeting with Lt. Jg. Jonathan Brandis who was now the second highest ranking officer in the operations department.
With Casey's departure from the department it left the department weaker once again. Chris was one of the officers that believed that a department's power and position on a ship was partially based upon the number of staff in the department and the ranks held by its members. While this wasn't true it was just how he perceived things, which was more based upon his time in Starfleet Intelligence. In particular this was directly related with his time living and being a Klingon in a moderately powerful house. He was in fact still part of the house and could take his place in the house when he was ready to leave Starfleet behind, though at the present he was quite happy.
He looked at the room for a moment, "Definitely going to need to remodel the room as time permits." Chris said to himself. He walked into the office and allowed the door to close behind him, so he could start working on the security protocols for the door. He did enjoy his privacy and he was sure to have information in the room that would be for his eyes only, which meant that he had to put it away when he left.
He continued to work on the codes, when his appointment arrived. He quickly finished what he was doing, so he didn't lose the coded matrix.
"Enter." Lt. Commander Thomas said.
Lt. Jg. Jonathan Brandis entered. "Lt. Brandis, reporting, Sir." Stated standing at attention.
"Right on time Lt., punctionality is good Lt." Chris said to the Lt. as he stepped into the room. Chris walked around the desk and took his seat. "Please have a seat Lt."
"Yes sir." Lucas said, taking his seat. "I see you've been moving on up." Lucas said, stating the obvious and looking around a little uneasy. Lt. Com. Thomas was something of a tight wad, apparently it had something to do with the untimely death of his wife or so Lucas had managed to sense telepathically and empathetically.
"With Commander Deiran Casey having been promoted to First Officer of the Galaxy, Captain Price offered me the position of Chief Operations Officer. Which as you can see I graciously accepted the position."
"I'm sure Captain Lee made the right choice, sir. He's pretty good at that." Lucas nodded his unnecessary approval and continued, "Commander Casey and I were friends back at the Academy and he holds you in high regards, Sir."
"I have been looking over the last performance reports Commander Casey filled, before leaving this position. I have to admit that I am impressed with not only his detail reports, but also with the performance of this department. Which brings me to the reason I wanted to talk with you Lt., with this change in command I wanted to let you know that for now I am going to maintain the status quo." Chris said.
Lt. Brandis wasn't really surprised by this. Of all the departments on the Galaxy, Operations was at the highest level of efficiency. Do in no small part to the iron rule of Commander Casey, who always seemed to run a smooth operation. There were a few...questions...doubts really. And Lt. Brandis needed to have them cleared up.
"Sir, respectfully," Lucas paused, choosing his words wisely. "It's come to my attention that you and Acting Ensign Viara Rhys are involved at the moment. Well, Commander Casey had placed me in charge of instructing Cadets, Acting Ensigns, as well as incoming Ensigns in the 'Art of Ops' as we called it. I was curious that if ever there would come a time, when I instructed Acting Ensign Rhys..." Lucas trailed off, not knowing quite how to tactfully finish the sentence. He wanted to put his best foot forward with the new Chief; but, this had been nagging him and needed to be answered.
Lt. Commander Thomas looked at Lt. Brandis for a moment, "I see no reason to change having you instruct the new officers joining the Operations department. My involvement with Ensign Viara Rhys or anyone else on this ship is not your concern Lt." Chris said, then added. "When we're on duty I am strictly business."
"Yes, I understand completely." Lt. Brandis replied.
"Good now that is cleared up, then I don't see any problems." Chris said.
"Well, there is just one more thing, sir. Do you fence?"
Chris looked at Mr. Brandis for a moment, "Afraid I haven't fenced in a long time in the terms you're likely talking about. I do however practice quite frequently with my Klingon weapons on the Holodeck against various opponents. I suppose that fencing is nothing more than what I do in the Holodeck." Chris said honestly, "I truly don't know much about fencing Lt."
"Really, it's just a great form of combat. Every aggressive culture in the quadrant has some form of sword fighting. To the Klingon, it's damn near a form of meditation. Just thought that if you played, maybe we could get together for a game." The young looking Lt. replied.
"I'll give some thought and read up on fencing and see how it defers from Klingon sword fighting, once I understand the concepts then i might be up for a match or two someday soon." Lt. Commander Thomas said. He wasn't firmilar with all the ends and outs of fencing, though he had a general idea of what it was about. He was trying to be as friendly as possible, but at the same time he was being honest about not knowing how to fence.
"I hear you actually beat, Commander Casey in a game of Baseball. Con graduations, wish I could have seen the look on his face!" Lt. Brandis chuckled.
"Thank you Lt." Chris said, then continued to explain a few things, "You heard correct I did indeed beat Commander Casey in a game of Baseball. The game was a great match, but in the end I won as I knew I would, because I was able to incorporate my players with a better sense of the game and understanding. There was something that Commander Casey forgot when we got into this match, I created and programmed portable holographic people."
"The look on his face was worth everything, and the look on the first day he serves me breakfast in bed will be another one of those images that you just want to hold onto forever." Chris said with a big smile.
"I'll bet. It will be." Lucas said grinning, just the thought of THE ICEMAN serving breakfast like a common servant was an idea Lucas relished.
"If you'll excuse me Lt. I need to be getting to bridge my shift begins shortly." Lt. Commander Thomas said politely.
"Yes sir, I have some duties to attend to myself." Lucas said rising and heading towards the door. He couldn't help it. But, Lt. Com. Thomas was his CO and he had to get the nagging thought out of his head; as second man up the Operations totem pole, he felt he had to say what was on he mind.
Turning around slowly, "Sir, permission to speak freely?" Lucas requested, respectfully.
"Within reason, Ensign." Lt. Com. Thomas replied.
"Well, I don't believe that there is strength in numbers sir. In fact, in the Betazed Global Guard, it was always taught that strength came from the individual, who stood up and did what they had to do. Well, what I'm saying sir is... just because we're not the largest department on the Galaxy, doesn't make us any weaker. And, in fact, I think it makes us special, as well as stronger." With that Lt. Brandis stood at attention.
Lt. Com. Thomas already knew what Brandis had said. It was nothing new to him. He reasoned that the Lt. must have been outside the door and 'listened in' on his thoughts. But, he knew the Lt. had a point and wasn't about to argue, and his shift was on. "Dismissed, Lt." Was all he said.
Lt. Brandis acknowledged and exited the room.
"Nice Lab Repairs ... Wrong Place"
by Lieutenant Commander Greer Erikson - Chief Science Officer, USS Galaxy
& Lieutenant Commander K'Eytyanna Samara, Engineering, USS Galaxy
Walking upto the Chief Science Officer's office, K'Eytyanna tapped the companel and entered once Greer had called out.
"Excuse me, Sir. I have had a team fixing Lieutenant Commander Morris's lab, and I was wondering if you wished for any specific equipment to be installed."
Greer looked up to see some one he had not seen in quite a while. In fact, if he had seen her only a few days earlier, he may have wanted to start explaining to her the implications of that practical joke she played on Ronni. Not to mention that it was illegal to enter another officers quarters without their permission.
Despite the way he had felt int he past, it was the past. "I'm sorry. No one told you?"
Samara looked annoyed as she got the impression that no one told her about whatever 'Commander Erikson was talking about. "And that would be?"
Greer put his PADD down and gave his full attention to the engineer. "That lab is being shut down in line with the new policy. After the explosion, Captain Price and I discussed the matter and there is now a restriction as to where laboratories can be placed. More importantly, they can no longer be adjacent to residential quarters as was the case with 'Commander Morris."
The slight feeling of annoyance in K'Eytanna grew a little more with each word. As the engineer assigned to replacing the lost laboratory space, and repairing the damage section on that deck, she had assumed that some one would have told her. "With all due respect sir," she said with an assertive expression in her voice, "I think it would have been appropriate that I was informed of that change. I currently have a crew assigned to rebuilding the laboratory next to 'Commander Morris' quarters."
"Much to her delight I am sure. Unfortunately that is the decision which was made. I am sorry about the inconvenience," he said as he recalled the new policy on a PADD and handed it to her, "but as you can see that decision is reasonably final."
A scowl appeared in the engineer's face. "Very well." she said as she tapped her communicator badge. "Samara to Engineering Team Three. Stop all refits until further notice."
["Aye ma'am. Mendenhall out."]
"And this is the list you requested. Considering Morris' practical sciences background, and her need for some engineering equipment, I have no doubt that you should be able to get it all put together in no time."
The half-Klingon felt like growling. "Sir." she simply said as she took the PADD and gave it a quick glance.
Walking out of his office, she turned around and gave the wall a hard kick before entering a turbolift.
K'Eytyanna stormed into the newly renovated lab and swore in Klingon. Punching the wall, she let out some of her self-anger about not checking.
Most of the work had been completed before the Jem'Hadar attack, and she wished that they had attacked before she could stuff up again.
"Just typical.. stupid Klingon enthusiasm."
As she left, she gave the wall another punch.
Lt. Commander Ursa Sunder
Various Security Officers
Chief of Security
- Empty Brig Cell, Security -
" Are we all here? " Sunder asked, rhetorically. Obviously they wereall there. It wasn't as if there was an official roll-call that neededto be read out. O'Connel, Ral, Bolitho, he'd even given Ensign Gartner granted special dispensation to appear for this meeting.
Besides, there was nothing official about this gathering. Bolitho, and Gartner sat huddled together in the dim light of the securitycell. It was delta shift - the wee hours of the morning, and Sunderhad chosen this time for the meeting so as not to encounter anyone whomight be interested in learning what this sinister four was up to. Particularly Lieutenant Albrecht.
Sunder sighed. He disliked the nature of this whole affair. Deceptionwas something he had hoped to have left behind in his old days on boardthe SHADOWFIRE. But it needed to be done. There was going to be a changeon the GALAXY and Security in particular. Ensign Ral looked up from her checklist. " I have all the articles I need complete the package. Bolitho hasmade arrangements for the transfer of personnel at the appropriate time.Moreover, nobody suspects a thing. " She said with a conspiratorialsmile.
" Wipe that smirk off your face, ensign. " Sunder growled. " This isno time for levity. This operation needs to be conducted with the utmostsecrecy and precision. If anyone gets wind of it - especially Albrecht -then we'll never be looked at by our shipmates the same way again. Whoknows where we may end up? " He almost looked nervous.
" Commander - there's no way this can fail. " Ral objected. " We'vegone over the drill a dozen times. We've kept them carefully monitoredand know their routines off by heart."
" Make sure it doesn't Ral. This was your idea, after all. You'rejust lucky that I've been able to keep it under wraps for this long. I'msure Albrecht is getting suspicious by now."
" He's too distracted by Gakor. " Bolitho interjected. " It'sperfect! The timing, the materials - everything's falling into place. Wecouldn't have asked for better conditions. Once the ferengi are off theship, we have the whole security section all to ourselves. "
" Very good. " Sunder said, drawing himself up to his full height. " Then we're adjourned for now. Watch yourselves - the nest few days aregoing to be very tricky. " With that said, the security officersdisbanded, keeping their thoughts to themselves as they left the office. The one unspoken question on everyones' minds was: would it work?
"Rose coloured glasses"
USS ST LOUIS
Ensign Roan flopped down like a paper clown into her seat in Main Engineering. For the past 3 hours she had been helping oversee the hookup of the Mobile Quarantine Unit from the USS Caduceus to the St Louis. The engineers of the USS Caduceus where all first class. Roan could see by the deliberateness of their actions that they had done this kind of work before on more than one occasion. There was really not much for the St Louis Engineering Department to do just sit back and watch this well oiled machine flex it's muscles. Still the shift had to be there just in case of any unforeseen emergencies during the operation. There wasn't any, Roan's conscience was cross with her emotions
*Girl, what the hell are you thinking? Where you actually looking for something to go wrong, skip it we will deal with this later......*
It was the first time that Roan had been in a situation such as this. Before coming to the St Louis she had never had to deal with humanitarian concerns before. The current crisis with the Ocero was her first. She really had not had much time to think about them while she had been here. Of course she knew that they where on the ship, they where suffering from a horrid disease which also seemed to be infecting certain members of the crew.
*But your safe girl aren't you, you haven't even had the guts to go and see any of these poor people try to help them, you also swore an oath to uphold the Prime Directive where is all of that now, so much for you being a highly emotional species*
A flicker of anger crossed Roan's brow. She had, had enough of her conscience for one day (when she was younger she thought everybody's conscience talked that loudly to them she was surprised to find that this wasn't case. Roan's conscience took on the form of an African American girl she had befriended early on in her childhood. Like the "real life" lectures she used to receive from Cassie all those years ago, her subconscious now used "Cassie's" voice to remind her of her guilt, her cynicism and anything else she might manage to do. In her more philosophical moments Roan realized that perhaps the reason she built defenses around herself not allowing others to penetrate whilst unleashing hostile barrages at others, was because she was involved in a constant civil war with her "Cassie" alter ego)
*Make's me sound like a flake doesn't it Doctor, no not that straight jacket sir I need one for two*
Something was definitely eating at her. Searching her mind she hit the exact brain cell where her discomfort was felt. It was the Ocero.
*So much for all your caring, your high sounding ideals, Federation officer indeed, have you helped, have you seen what you could do, have you talked to any of them, I didn't think so, Prime Directive indeed*
*Enough of you* Roan had decided she realized that her conscience would not let up until she went to the Ocero and sorted out her "head" once and for all.
The first thought that struck her as she encountered the first group's of Ocero was how lonely they looked. They had congregated into groups, some sitting, others milling about wandering aimlessly with no destination. The seen touched Roan somewhere very deep inside. She suppressed an overwhelming urge to cry out to those around her "You see I do care, I care about all of you, tell me what to do, how can I help you!" Instead she cast her eyes to the ground and proceeded on her expedition.
"Lady, lady what are you doing here" Roan could feel a tugging at her sleeve. It was a small Ocero child, dressed in what appeared to be a small strip of rags. Obviously this child had been through alot.
Roan descended from the heavens to kneel with the child who was now standing taller than her.
"I'm.............(Struggling to hold out the lump in her throat which felt like granite blocking her wind pipe), I'm seeing if I can do anything to help"
"Well you can't, nobody can" the child stated this matter of factly as if it was common knowledge to everybody.
"What's your name, mines Roan" Roan stated extending her hand in a greeting
"Mine is Melina, I'm pleased to meet you."
"Where's your family Melina perhaps you should be with them"
"They are all dead" The silence after this last comment was absolutely tangible, Roan felt as if she could reach out and grab it.
*What the hell do you say to that. I'm sorry, sorry that everybody is gone but we at Starfleet are going to make it all better. We'll save you all and in our omnipotence conquer space, time and death and bring them all back for you because we care, we really do*
Tears began to well up in Roan's eyes. She felt that if she started crying she might never stop, NEVER.
Folding the child up into herself. She let her grief mix in with that of the child. Together they cried for what seemed like an eternity.
And you know what her conscience did not say a word.
"Watching the Viewscreen Chat"
by Ensign William McDonald
Chief Tactical Officer, USS Saint Louis
McDonald watched as the viewscreen came on and saw Captain Mercedes Manion on the viewscreen. Captain Manion and Captain Zeri were talking about how to save the Ocero. As McDonald listened to the tone of Captain Zeri's voice he knew that this is going to be a long day.
By Ens. K. Moses Amenhotep, USS Galaxy, Counselor and
Ens. Viara Rhys, USS Galaxy, Science Officer
Moses wasn’t a drinker, but he often walked into ten-forward to just to talk. It reminded him of the Academy Lounge—where students and teachers would gather to pick each other's brains. He remembered the cadets eagerness to hear the stories of life on board a starship by some of the older veterans. Some professors would play it for all it was worth. He could almost see a bunch of freshmen now hovering over every word one of the officers was saying.
He had heard the story a hundred times. Each time the details grew more and more fantastic. Each time the officer became more outnumbered, more responsible, as if the hero carried the entire crew of the starship on his own back. The ending was often predictable—"just in the "nick" of time!" He often tired of the story. Space hadn’t been that exciting for Moses. A few friends, A couple late nights with the tricorder…basically humdrum…
But something caught his attention in mid-stream. Just across the next table, she sat with her back to him sipping her favorite beverage. He was stunned at first… "Miss Rhys?"
She turned to see who it was. "Dr. Mo!" she quickly turned around and stood to greet him with a big hug.
Moses didn’t know what to do…His hands stood suspended behind her as she pressed towards him. He felt awkward. Signs of affection towards students was often frowned upon at the academy. Nevertheless, Moses smiled and hugged her back. Quite embarrassed, He quickly attempted to change the subject.
"So…Viara, tell me...how’s Marus these days, its been a long time since we’ve talked about the good ol’ days." Moses began as he took a seat across from her.
"Fine, but the real question is how are you? I don't normally listen to the rumor mill, but..." Started Viara.
",,,then don't," interjected Moses. "And if you mean my retirement... let's just call it..." Moses looked up searching for the words, "...a temporary reassignment."
"Ahhh I see. I hope it's not a sore subject for you." Said Viara after listening intently to the Counselor.
"Miss Rhys...are you sure you didn't miss your call to counseling?" Moses smirked.
Suddenly a young women in a Starfleet Medical Suit approaches the pair. "Hey, V. What happened? I see your stuff is back in our quarters." Said Hali as she assessed the Counselor and smiled widely.
"It's...uhhhh...a long story. Anyhow, Hali Munroe I'd like to introduce you to an old friend of mine. Dr. Mo meet Hali Munroe. "
Moses offered his hand, keeping her, rather awkwardly, at arms length. "A pleasure to meet you..."
"Hali is a Nurse down in Sickbay." Said Viara as she introduced the Counselor and Young Nurse.
"OHHH a Counselor,huh? Could you help me with a problem I have? You see I always have these dreams with little men in it and I was wondering..." Started Hali as she blopped down next to the Counselor.
Viara just looked at Dr. Mo and grinned from ear to ear.
Counselor K. Moses Amenhotep and
Ensign Viara Rhys w/ NPC Nurse Hali Monroe
Ensign Rotan Heratta,
Security - Delta Shift
Rotan Heratta had watched the interrogation of the Ferengi prisoner with keen interest. He had for a time been in the observation room and watching the Human Commander Ursa Sunder play the dance of words with the slimy creature.
Where the Commander found his patience Rotan could not be sure. One thing that he was positive of was that answer's had not been forthcoming.
Rotan had only been on the Galaxy for a short time, his first chance to see how the crew of a Starship intermeshed to perform there mission. This crew for the most part worked very well together. It was in fact a testament to there training that he rated them so highly. Something however had bothered him. He had watched on more than one occasion during his time in security the strange interactions of the staff.
One thing that Rotan had learned to do during his time among so many different and diverse Alien's was to read there expressions. Knowing a potential enemy could always lurk amonst friend's had kept many wise Nausicaan's from meeting untimely ends.
He had seen look's pass between member's of the security team whenever Lieutenant Albrecht was nearby. Some member's of Security watched him, but what Rotan didn't understand was..Why?
Rotan had risen early to prepare for his Delta shift watch and found himself deep in thought about these concerns. Moving through his quarter's he settled in front of the LCARS station and spoke out in his usual baritone voice.
"Computer, display shift roster for Security department." Rotan waited for the information to come up on the display. He studied the data for several moments before speaking again.
"Computer, bring up a three dimensional map of the Galaxy with rotational fixed points. Overlay with the locations of all security personnel using there comm badge's as location markers. Continue to log movements of the security personnel during the next 48 hours. Log all findings in a security file accessible by my voice index only.
"File created and secured." Came the neutral female voice of the computer's reply.
Rotan keyed off the display and finished preparing for Delta shift. Perhaps his concerns amounted to nothing more than Nausicaan paranoia. But, if there was even a chance that he might be right then he had to pursue the reason's why.
Adjusting his golden uniform shirt a final time, he turned and exited his quarter's in route to deck 38....
Lt. Korvin Vetra
Cheif of Sec/Tac USS Caduceus
Vetra waltched as the Captain and Captain Zeri discussed the situations on their ship. Korvin waltched and listed attentively, just out of habit than any suspcison of a threat to the Caduceus' saftey. Then suddenly a thought occured to him the man behind Zeri, McDonald if he remembered the bios of the St. Louis' crew. He was Chief of Tactical. Smiling only slightly not to betray his calm demeanor, Korvin opened a paralel text only channel to the Tactical console of the St. Louis. His message was simple, THIS IS LT. VETRA CHIEF OF SECURITY AND TACTICAL ON THE CADUCEUS, PERHAPS WE AND THE CHEIF OF SECURITY OF ST. LOUIS SHOULD WORK TOGEATHER TO ENSURE OUR SHIPS SAFTY?
Once he noticed McDonald had noticed the message arriving Korvin met his rising gaze with a knowing look and awaited McDonald's reply.
Lt. (jg) Benedict T’Kal
Galaxy Gymnasium: Alpha Shift.
Benedict was in the Galaxy’s gymnasium and by his shift clock it was late in the day. He had Gamma Shift rotation and that meant getting up again at 1900 hrs or so, and it was 1000hrs now. It was late – and Teb was now on the Bridge for her regular shift. He was squaring off against a heavy punching bag and really working up a sweat. He’d been at it for well over twenty minutes, and showed no sign of tiring. His blows were fast and powerful – rocking the bag that automatically compensated for the kinetic impacts.
“Still working out hard I see.” The feminine voice came from behind him and he stopped and looked over his shoulder. Cathy Page stood there with a towel over her shoulder and a bright emerald leotard that clung to her body like a second skin. She had a bright smile on her face – and she looked like she’d been working out too – probably on the hydraulic machines. She wore her hair up – honey blonde tresses caught in a ponytail. Her bright blue eyes were regarding Benedict with open interest.
He stood there catching his breath for a moment and she took the opportunity of glancing from his beautiful violet eyes to his powerful shoulders, muscular arms and chest, and his perfect torso. He was working out in a sweat shirt that covered his body tattoo – but was tight enough to show his superb muscular definition. Benedict’s hair was likewise bound in a ponytail – the raven dark hair long enough to reach well past his shoulders now. He’d been allowing it to grow a little more recently she noticed.
“Hi Cathy.” He said. He smiled and Cathy just wanted to reach out and kiss him right there and then – but she held it back and smiled in return. If she tried anything like that she knew what his response would be. Benedict was a one-woman man – he’d made that quite clear to her. But there was more than one way to skin a Romulan! She gave him her warmest smile and stepped a little closer, as he’d stopped the bags movement and now stood facing her. She watched his muscles ripple as he reached down for his own towel and wiped his face. Being this close to him she could feel her body begin it’s own response and she felt a little flushed. She looked into his eyes and could feel their pull – almost hypnotic and intense. She wanted him badly.
Benedict knew that Cathy page felt more than friendship for him – it was obvious – but then she’d been more than forthcoming with her desires in the past – before he’d become involved with Tebrianne. He hadn’t felt the same way and had asked her to be friends. Just friends. She’d been very upset – and hadn’t spoken to him for a while. But she seemed to have gotten over it now. In fact he remembered their last meeting he had promised to have lunch with her – that was before he’d been transferred to Gamma Shift from Alpha. It was also before Tebrianne and he went to Q’onoS with Jack D’Auria on a little shore leave. Cathy was on Alpha Shift – he wondered why she was in the gymnasium at this time of the ship day.
“My shift has been altered.” She said – almost reading his thoughts. “I’m on Gamma now – stuck with a night shift with this stupid new rotation.” She grinned – behind it she neglected to tell him that she had specifically requested the change in shift assignment. She’d swapped with Ensign Clarke from her department who was in the advanced stages of pregnancy and the Alpha rotation was better suited. Of course that just made Ensign Cathy Page look good. It was an opportunity to maneuver that she hadn’t missed.
“You did promise me lunch – but I’d settle for a late supper instead.” She arched her eyebrow in a small challenge. Benedict smiled back at her and nodded.
“Okay – I did promise a while back.” He looked sideways at the bag and back to her – “In a few minutes?” He asked. He wanted to continue his workout for a bit – he needed it. Between his rotation – a few extra shifts and Tebrianne he was feeling guilty about not hitting the bag often enough. Something always seemed to pop up lately.
Like Cathy. She smiled and said, “Okay – I’ll just hit the showers.” She sauntered off – looking terrific – as usual. It was hard not to notice the way she walked – quite different from Tebrianne – Teb was less self-assured in her womanhood. Cathy flaunted it. Tebs’ body was lithe and muscular – Cathy’s was soft and curved – very womanly.
Benedict preferred Tebrianne – she was unique in the way she did everything – Cathy was typical of the many women Benedict had met on Earth. Benedict was half Bajoran – and very Japanese – Cathy came from the element of human society that simply took what they wanted and discarded it when they wanted and didn’t know what serenity meant. Tebrianne was different. Benedict loved her more than his own life. Not to say that Teb knew what serenity meant either – but she was simply a truly genuine person.
Benedict walked out of the gymnasium a short time later after taking a shower and dressing in his off duty clothing. He wore a pair of baggy navy blue pants tucked into high calf boots of polished leather (he still couldn’t bring himself to wear his favorite boots – the lizard skin ones). A white high collared shirt of cotton in Cossack style – with baggy sleeves, and a multi-hued sash at his waist (courtesy of a Ferengi trader on Q’onoS) that had his T’Kal House sigil stitched in gold and latinum thread. Tucked into the sash, his new Klingon fashioned short blade protruded – it too bore the golden T’Kal crest. His hair was as he preferred it – loose, and it draped over his shoulders in glossy strands of midnight black.
Cathy Page watched him walk toward her and she felt her heart flutter with nerves. She was about to embark upon a plan that would in the end – she was sure make Benedict hers. She saw the way several other women stared at him as he walked out of the gym, and she despised them all. She composed her face in a smile of greeting as he caught sight of her and she stepped close to him and gave him a quick hug. Not nearly enough for her – but quick enough that he wouldn’t take it as anything more than a friendly greeting. She backed off and said, “I’m starved – I didn’t get a chance to eat dinner – lets’ go to the Officers Lounge.”
“Fine.” He replied. As they walked off to the turbo lift she slid her arm into the crook of his elbow and grinned at him.
“Let’s start all over again.” She said looking up into his eyes. “I’d very much like us to be friends – I’ve missed you Ben.”
They entered the lift and he leaned back against the wall. She stood beside him, still holding his arm lightly. Benedict didn’t pull his arm away – even though he though that he should – he liked Cathy – she could be a fun loving person most times, and he didn’t want to hurt her feelings by shoving her away again. As long as she realized that they were ‘just’ friends it would be okay. She seemed to accept that – and Benedict held to the firm belief that you could never have too many friends.
Joining the briefing
by LTjg Trevor Allen
Ltjg Allen had little sleep the medicine Dr. Jergenson had given him was little help. Putting on his robe and looking at the clock he figured it was time to start getting ready for work.
"Computer display messages."
Reading through the messages he sees the one calling for a staff meeting in sick bay in less than an hour. "Great!!!"
"Computer 1 bowl of Honey Nut Cherieos with bananas." After eating break fast Allen quickly takes a semi cold shower has hot water on the sever sun burn would be more pain then he would feel like dealing with right know.
Looking at his hands and face Allen carefully washed and pealed off as much of the loose skin as possible. Even after that he still looked worse then a snake in the middle of multing season. with several blotches of dead skin and fresh skin that was just exposed and some ready to peal for the second time.
Shaking his head Allen entered sick bay and took a seat at the table and waited for every one else to arrive.
Reflections of Passion
Casey Ti Miran
Commander Deiran Casey
Casey had just come back from meeting with Ensign Gartner. He also checked with Sunder on how the interrogation of Toog was coming along. He also was still making plans for Commander Sterner’s going away party. Things were going along well in that department. Everyone was invited. Food was all set, the holodeck program was set. He was just waiting for the Captain’s go ahead. When he had that, then the party could begin.
Beta shift had come and gone and Deiran was looking forward to going home and being with his wife. He had earlier spoken to D’tarna Bellen about babysitting. She agreed. So everything was ready for his celebration with his wife. He had been the Executive Officer of the Galaxy for a few days now, but he still hadn’t found the time to celebrate with his wife. Celebrating with her was the most important thing to him.
Deiran left the Bridge immediately and was quickly on his way to be with his gorgeous wife.
*** Casey quarters ***
Miran was reading through a PADD on the couch. Lara had already been put down in her bed. She was waiting on Deiran to see how his day went before heading towards bed. It had been a long day and she was tired. She looked up when the door swished open.
Deiran came in with a bouquet of purple tulips and red roses, tied with a golden bow. It was reminiscent of the flowers he had sent her when he asked her out on their first date. He smiled, put the flowers on the table taking a red rose. He came over to her. Tracing the curve of her sculpted cheeks with the silky petals, teasing her nose with the sweet smell. Smiling at her, he sat down next to her, still using the rose to tantalize her and then kissed her.
"I have a surprise for you. Come on," He took her hand and helped her to her feet.
"But what about Lara?" Miran inquired of their daughter.
"I arranged to have her watched," He led her out of their quarters and to the holodecks.
“How are your ankles and feet hon? Your back?” he asked her. “Did you rest today?” Deiran was clearly concerned about Miran’s well-being.
"Would you relax? I am not going to break. Yes, I rested. I did not do much today. Nothing hurts." She leaned her head up against him, enjoying his strong presence.
“Okay, okay, I’m just concerned is all hon,” he replied and put his arm around her as she put her head against his chest.
They arrived at the lift and entered. They were alone as the lift traveled through the bowels of the ship.
*** Holodeck 4 ***
As the doors opened, Miran was met with a galvanizing view. Draped in blue light, the stars and the midnight blue of night. The blue light was shining against a romantic circular dome, with a Grecian-columned base and a lake that seemed to shimmer from both the blue lights and the stars above that beamed their fiery light onto the water. It was probably the most beautiful setting Deiran had ever designed for the holodeck. The whole scene was breathtaking. At least it overwhelmed Miran. Her eyes grew wide as he watched her. He stood there and watched her take in everything she saw.
“It is beautiful Deiran!” Miran said quietly, clearly effected by what she saw.
Deiran smiled at her and put his hand to her cheek, “Can’t even touch you my darling.” Deiran then turned forward. “Computer set picnic up please, a few yards from where I am.”
Miran blushed and smiled at him. She didn’t need to say that she liked the idea, Deiran could see it in her eyes and the smile. They were so much in love that words didn’t need to be spoken at certain times. They had connected on a spiritual level. They had been through so much pain in the last year, so much trial and they had grown so close during the tribulation that they could feel the other’s heart beating just by using their sixth sense. They were truly one.
Deiran put his arm out for her to take hold of and started for the picnic basket and the food that had been set out. The food replicators had replicated the food for them. Everything the two of them enjoyed on a picnic. They each had their favorites.
Miran was two months pregnant and getting to the ground wasn’t going to be easy. She was Bajoran so she was almost half way along in her pregnancy. Deiran took her into his arms.
“Deiran!” she said in surprise.
“Let me just set you down. It’s easier for me to set u down then you trying to sit yourself,” he did set her down gently.
“You like me in your arms,” she replied playfully.
Deiran smiled like she just exposed him for something bad. “I enjoy having you in my arms. You carry me in your arms by the strength of your heart. The least I can do is carry you in my arms by my brawn,” he smiled at her like a shy little boy. He was putty in her presence. He loved her so much, there were times where she had a magical hold on him.
Deiran picked up the bottle of sparkling apple cider, he took the glasses into his other hand and poured the liquid into both glasses. He set his glass down and handed the other to Miran. “Here you go sweetheart, did I get everything you like?” he asked. They were drinking cider because neither of them drank alcohol.
Miran looked over the food before her. He didn’t forget anything she liked but wanted to be sure. He had set out too much food. But, Deiran wanted to be prepared, you never knew how much a pregnant woman could eat.
“I’m sorry it took so long for us to celebrate. It’s been busy lately. I’m tired, but this is relaxing isn’t it? I think the blue light has that effect on me,” Deiran spoke up, the blue light was bright and cascaded into different shades as it shined on the Greek dome and the lake. It was like a Parisian park. In fact, Deiran could have modeled the scenery after one.
“You enjoy the new job,” she stated simply while smiling at him.
“I do love it. It’s fun, exhausting… but fun,” Deiran paused for a moment, “We should talk about changes to our family.” Deiran kept it vague on purpose. He wanted to see how Miran would reply.
"Like what? We have already talked about the baby." Miran picked up a carrot stick. She wasn't overly hungry. It was strange, with Lara she was hungry all the time, this time it wasn't much different than normal.
“Well, not just the baby. But, how things change with me as XO. It won’t be too long, maybe four or five years until I get my own command. You’ll stay with me when I take on a command won’t you?” he was concerned. They had never spoken about the future. Just glad to be in the present, war or no war.
“Deiran, I love you. I am your wife. I go where you go,” she replied.
“Just making sure…” Deiran stopped and looked into her eyes. It was his gift to peer into a person’s soul, he knew this woman better than anyone else. But he always had to make sure, just to reassure himself. She was being honest with him. There was no doubt that Miran would follow Deiran anywhere.
It was quiet for a few minutes as they continued eating and then Deiran spoke up again. “I love you Miran. Those aren’t just words that I say. I want you to know that when I say ‘I love you’ that it comes from the depths of my soul. You are everything to me. All that I have that’s dear to me comes from you. You’ve made my dreams reality. Without you,” Deiran paused and looked down at the blanket and then his food.
He looked back up at her, meeting her eyes, “Well, life without you ju
st wouldn’t be worth living. I truly love you with all my heart. Sitting here with you, you take my breath away. You’re having my child, the second time in 2 and a half years. I’m just…just… overwhelmed by your love. Our family… Thank you Miran,” Deiran wasn’t really the kind of person who allowed himself to express his deepest feelings, but his love for Miran overwhelmed him at times and he couldn’t hold back what he felt in his heart. She was his world.
Tears threatened to spill over. Miran didn't want to cry in front of Deiran because she didn't want him worrying any more than he already was.
"I was scared when I thought I lost you. I love you more than anything. I cannot make it alone." She couldn't bring herself to say everything she felt. Even knowing that he loved her so deeply, it was hard to open up. She was so afraid that he would turn away from her. Deiran took her into his arms.
"I will never leave you," his gaze held her beauty. Every curve, every subtle line of her face and body held Deiran’s heart. There wasn’t anything he didn’t love about this woman.
“Miran…” he spoke quietly, almost as if his voice was tip-toeing, at least his actions looked trepidatious. “Please open up to me. I know you better than I know myself and I can see you’re holding back. Would you tell me what your feeling? Express yourself to me and I will express myself to you. With the changes taking place in my life, I need you to be honest. I don’t want anything to create a barrier between us. You can talk to me about anything,” it was something he knew would make her uncomfortable but he truly wanted her to express her feelings to him tonight.
He had created a beautiful program. He had set everything up for perfect ambience and comfort. Deiran wanted to enjoy his wife. He was in the mood to share. He needed to share. She pulled out of his embrace to be able to look him directly in the eyes.
"I am scared of you finding someone prettier or smarter. I wish to be things I am not just to please you. I want to be pretty. I want to be smart. I want to be the perfect wife. I love you and I am scared that you will find someone that deserves you more. You married a nobody. I get the feeling at times from your family they are wondering why? Why did you marry a Bajoran? Why did you marry someone without family connections? Your family is made up of Admirals and other high ranking individuals and my family is dead." She pushed herself off the ground and started to walk down to the pond where the stars and blue lights danced off the surface.
He sat there a moment before scrambling up to catch her. As he caught up with her he was concerned he’d say the wrong thing. Miran was a very sensitive woman. He had to approach this delicately.
He put his hands on her arms, looked her straight in the eye, “Miran you’re a Starfleet officer, that itself says you’re among the best and brightest. When I married you it was the first time I ever did anything for me, made my own choice. I don’t care what my family thinks about you. I married the woman I loved, screw my family. I will never love another as I love you. I’ve made mistakes in our relationship, no one hates that more than me. But, it was my stupidity and had nothing to do with you. You are the most beautiful woman I have ever known. You’re far from being a nobody, you are everything. I don’t want family connections. I don’t need anything to get where I’m going but my own determination. I married you because I love you, I wanted to be happy. The pressures of my family has never made me happy. You make me happy. You’re the best wife a man could ask for and the best mother ever! You please me every day and I try to please you. There’s no other woman who can even touch your beauty. That goes for the inside as well. Because who you are as a person is just as beautiful as your appearance. You are my world, my destiny and the only woman I will ever love. I’m yours for as long as you want me,” Deiran spoke from his heart. He loved her more than life. He brought her close to him, they embraced and then he kissed her with all of his passion. Their blue silhouettes reflected on the water as they continued to kiss.
Miran knew in that kiss that he would always love her. That she didn’t have to be anything else than what she was, Deiran loved her for her and no other reason.
The kiss lasted for an eternity. But they did stop eventually. Deiran took his wife’s hand in his and walked her back to the picnic blanket. He picked her up in his arms and set her down gently again and sat across from her.
“Don’t try and be something you’re not and don’t be scared. I don’t want anyone else, I don’t need anyone else. In you, I have everything I need,” he reached across the food and put her hand in his and sensuously kissed her fingers. “You are my life’s passion.”
Deiran had everything he needed to be happy as long as Miran was part of him.
starring Ensigns Anna Gartner, Neil Bolitho, Lexana Ral and Tim O'Connell,
USS Galaxy Security Department
and Ensign Gordall Kalln, USS Galaxy Science Department
*** USS Galaxy, a few weeks ago, whilst on patrol, before all this Ferengi Nonsense ***
With a hiss and a groan like an engaging carbon-freezing unit the door to holodeck 3 slid open. Inside was what you would expect to see, a black room with yellow grid lines. Ensign Kalln, Ensign Bolitho and Ensign O'Connell were about to step in, when there was a shout from down the corridor.
'Hey, guys, wait up!'
The two men and the lizard creature turned to see the rapidly approaching igures of Ensign Ral and Ensign Gartner. Bouncing, bouncing... enough. As the two women neared, Kalln said, in a typical sardonic fashion:
Well, aren't we all a lovely bunch of Ensigns. Have you two come to watch?'
'Yes,' said Lex enthusiastically, 'We want to see the fight between you and Neil.'
Kalln looked perplexed, a very strange expression on his reptilian face.
'Fight? We're not having a fight.'
'You're not?' asked Anna Gartner, equally confused then murmured. 'So much for our bet.'
'No,' said Neil, 'Kalln said that he wasn't too fond of Klingons, and he's going to show me why. I brought Tim along, he's my roommate. Tim O'Connell, Lexana Ral and Anna Gartner. And we all know Kalln.'
'Hi,' O'Connell looked at the two female Ensigns. He looked at the smaller of the two, smiled, and said, 'You must be Gartner.'
The little Ensign smiled back at him, 'That's my name, don't wear it out.'
O'Connell smiled and replied, 'I'll try not to but I've heard so many stories all of them usually involving the phrase "Damned Gartner".'
'Lex, long time no see!' smiled Bolitho, a little embarressed at not having seen Lexana Ral since Chen had left the ship.
'You've been hiding from me, admit it,' she said with a grin, her recent shift change to take charge of Delta shift had meant she'd been on a different schedule to a lot of her friends.
'So you ended up with Gartner as a roommate,' said Neil, shaking his head in sympathy.
Anna half raised an eyebrow, and Lex gave an evil little laugh, 'Yeah, gives us two minds to work with instead of merely one to plan unscrupulous activities...'
Neil wasn't entirely sure whether or not she was joking, and the half serious expression upon Anna's face didn't exactly allay his supsicions.
'Actually Anna's really good company, so I'd appreciate it if you didn't let anything... happen to her on your duty shifts together.'
Ensign Bolitho groaned inwardly, it seemed most of the senior security staff had the expectation he was going to be responsible for Ensign Gartner whilst on duty. He was pretty sure Anna had entirely different ideas about who was going to be taking care of whom.
'Well now that we've got all these pleasant introductions are over with, would you all care to step inside?'
The four humans filed into the room, with the Gnalish Elt jollying them along and bringing up the rear. When they were all inside, and arranged in a neat little row, Kalln walked around in front of them and made his address.
'Right,' he said, 'Well apparently some of you don't know why you're here, but I have prepared a little presentation for you concerning Klingons. All you've got to do is watch and learn. And ask questions, if you want, but I do bite. Computer, run program Kalln-2307, first section.'
Lex gave him a look only a half-Romulan could and stifled a laugh. Neil rolled his eyes and sighed. In the centre of the holodeck, a figure appeared. It was immediately obvious that it was Klingon Warrior, it full battle armour, with an expression of that peculiar amalgam of fearlessness and hatred they all wore. Kalln paced slowly around the figure, both pairs of hands clasped behind his back, as he spoke.
'Here we have your typical Klingon. You will probably have seen these types around, maybe even talked to them. In any part of the Empire they can be found in droves, participated in their traditional pursuits of drinking, eating, fighting and bad-mouthing. In the shadier parts of the Federation, particularly under our current treaty, you can find them hidden in the less reputable places, if you look hard enough. Deep Space Nine is full of them, at this time of year. But let's watch our subject in his natural environment. Computer, second section.'
The holodeck transformed instantly into the traditional raucous scene of the Klingon equivalent of a beer festival (i.e. any situation in which Klingons and alcohol are combined). The panorama was silent and motionless, but clearly a very accurate representation of its subject matter.
O'Connell remarked, 'Well, one good thing about the Klingons is they can party.'
'Yeah, but they have really bad morning breath,' she added, then caught the glances of everyone and blushed.
O'Connell looked over and asked her, 'And how many ribs have you had broken?'
'Two actually; it was a very bad date," she replied smoothly.
'Actually, wouldn't that be a good date?' said O'Connell with a grin.
Neil smiled at Lex's red face, and turned to face O'Connell and Kalln, 'That's right Tim, they always throw a good party. But Kalln, the Klingons can also resolve a dispute without picking up a Bat'leth or a disruptor, by simply singing and drinking their enemy under the table.'
'So besides the aftereffects of drink, and if you can stand their singing, and as well as their morning problems,' smiled Neil to Lex, 'Klingons can find a relatively peaceful way to avoid conflict.'
'That's so, is it?' asked Kalln in a rhetorical fashion, 'Well just keep watching, you lot. Computer, run program.'
All around them the party came to life. The subject Klingon roared with laughter and took a seat at a long table, between two others. Behind them, food flew and flopped about as some of the guests got a little overexcited.
Near to Lex, two Klingons stumbled past, their hands locked around each others' throats, before slipping on a small patch of greasy food and knocking themselves out on the side of a chair. Over to the other side one Klingon rounded on another with a snarl, and punched him square in the face.
From somewhere in the background came the sound of wood splintering.
'Here we have-' started Kalln, and was promptly cut off as a dozen rowdy warriors at the far end of the table broke out into song.
'HERE WE HAVE,' he shouted, started again, 'A TYPICAL GROUP OF KLINGONS. Watch how they behave, act, treat each other and themselves.'
As of on cue, right in front of him, a Klingon stood up and yelled something at the warrior sitting opposite:
' qablIj HI'an! '
His opponent leapt to his feet, knocking his chair back over.
' qabwIj vISo'be'! ' he replied, and flew across the table at the first one.
O'Connell watched the fighting Klingons, 'Two things: first, what does that mean, and second, I've seen this in the Klingon section of Chicago, we'd usually call for backup and a wagon or two and everyone goes to jail.'
'The one who stood up asked his opponent to show him his face. It's a ceremonial duelling challenge. The other answered "Here is my face". After that it's a free for all.'
Neil was absentmindly tapping his feet and humming along to the tune that the Klingon warriors were singing. Throughly enjoying what he was seeing.
'Kalln, you gotta give me a copy of this !' smiled Neil, 'I feel so 'MajKkah! '
Neil ambled over to the bar, receiving a sharp glare from Klingon seated there.
' tlhlngan Hol Dajatlh'a ' grumbled the Klingon to Neil.
' Hija Suvwl'e'jiH ' sneered Nei,. helping himself to some of the Klingons gagh.
The burly Klingon stared at Neil then finally broke into a laugh and pummelled Neil on the back in a gesture of comradeship.
The burly Klingon then broke out in song, fotunately it was one Neil knew. The Klingon bard Keedera's rendition of the famous battle of Klach D'Kel Brakt. Neil joined in singing as loud as he possible could to match the deep voice of the Klingon.
O'Connell laughed and said, 'This is just like my police academy graduation party, with one exception, gagh and blood wine. So Lex, Anna drink with me. Kalln, have some blood wine.'
'No thanks,' said Kalln, 'I find that too much messes with my digestion.'
O'Connell walked over to the vat of bloodwine and grabs a glass. A klingon stands in front of him.
'Get out of the way of my drink,' said O'Connell, shoving the Klingon aside and dipping his cup in for a full measure.
He walked over to Neil, 'Hey this is like an Irish wedding.'
Anna left Lex's side to grab herself a mug and made her way to the vat of blood wine. The Klingon that pushed O'Connell was still there as he gulped down his drink of blood wine. When he finished he spotted the little Ensign, and he focused on the scar running down on the one side of her face.
'Aaahhh...' the Klingon said approvingly, 'So a human female considers herself a warrior.'
Gartner groaned. She discovered that some male Klingons found her scar a turn-on. She bared her teeth and growled, basically flirting with him in Klingon fashion. When he approached her, she planted a solid kick to the area south of his belt buckle. O'Connell, Bolitho and even Kalln, who were watching her, all winced as she assaulted the Klingon. Finally after giving one more savage kick to the now unconscious Klingon, she then turned to the vat of blood wine where she noticed three Klingon females were standing close watching her.
Gartner shrugged her shoulders to them saying in her best Klingon, **'I only sped up what the blood wine would had eventually done.'**
The three Klingon females broke into laughter and approached Gartner. Encircling her and slapping her on the back and shoulders, signaling their acceptance of her.
Kalln watched as his newfound security deparment friends, whose collective age almost equalled his own, roamed the party joining in with the various Klingon activities. Perhaps they weren't ready yet for the instruction he was trying to give them. He sighed with the realisation that they were still of the age where other cultures were fascinating things, to be treasured and experienced and revelled in. He watched as Neil danced with the Klingon warriors, O'Connell fed his face enthusiastically, Anna made herself some friends and Lex stood around making sarky comments, and he felt a pang of nostalgia. Back when he had first joined the Gnalish Space Fleet he had been like these people, over sixty years ago. Since then, the trauma of his accident and his natural genetic tendencies had led to the swift onset of ennui and cynicism. He would never look at the world with starry eyes again, never really experience wonder without that little voice inside him saying 'it's boring, you've seen it all before, give it up, you're too old for this sort of thing'.
Moving forward, his lesson forgotten, Kalln joined the rest of them in the crowd.
Tim Fletcher for:
Ensign Gordall Kalln, Science Officer, USS Galaxy
by Captain Robert Edward Lee Price
Captain - USS Galaxy
*** On Board the USS Galaxy ***
"It's useless Captain. We are not going to get anything out of DaiMon Toog." Ursa reluctantly admitted. "Besides his adherence to the Rules of Acquisition, the Ferengi knows Federation law better than a Yridian lawyer. He knows we don't have any solid evidence to hold him on, and he's certainly not going to volunteer any."
Lee nodded at the Chief Security Officer's assessment. The Captain had been in the observation room during part of Lieutenant Commander's interrogation of the Ferengi freighter Captain. It was obvious that Toog wasn't going to crack. "What about the others 'mate? How has the questioning of the rest of the Latinum Prince crew been going?"
"Nothing there either I'm sorry to report. Either most of them don't know anything or they are all expert liars. There is no way of telling of course, since Ferengi can't be read telepathically, but my gut tells me they are all in the dark." Ursa paused for a moment before adding, "Except maybe Boog, the DaiMon's half brother. He might know something, but even when Ensign O'Connell and I played 'good cop, bad cop' we couldn't get any the Ferengi to break. Sorry sir. How did medical come through with the tests on the vials we found on board the Latinum Prince?"
Captain Price shook his head. "Another dead end I'm afraid. Seems all of the vials were sterilized clean, except for one that had some Vulcan fruit juice on it... though that may have been an accident with the test."
Lieutenant Commander Sunder let out a frustrated sigh. "Then we have nothing. Maybe Ensign Kelt was right, we should have tried to stop that Jem'Hadar ship."
"No 'mate. We did the only thing we could by protecting the Freighter. Had we of gone after the Dominion ship as she tried to escape, we'd of been forced to destroy it, so we still wouldn't have known anything. And by the time we returned to the Latinum Prince, the suicide squad of Jem'Hadar soldiers would have wiped out the twenty or so Ferengi and probably destroyed the ship as well. Then we'd know even less than we do now, and a number of Ferengi would be dead."
"I know sir. But it's frustrating." Ursa paused, "What do we do now Captain?"
"Continue to hold the Ferengi in the brig. Maybe sitting in a cell for a time will loosen their tongues." Lee suggested.
"Toog has already commented that we can only hold him and his crew for 48 hours without formally charging him with a crime. Like I said, he knows how the system works." The Chief pointed out.
"Then we hold him as long as we can. Besides, that will keep them out of our hair while the party for Commander Sterner takes place before he leaves tomorrow for his new assignment. I think the crew could use the distraction after the last stint with the Dominion."
"I'm looking forward to it Captain. Any word on the Gartner situation? I heard about the incident in sickbay." Ursa asked, changing the subject.
"I have Commander Casey looking into it. I don't know if it was post traumatic shock from the away mission that triggered it from her past experiences, or if it was something else. Hopefully our people will be able to get to the bottom of the Ensign's aggression and help her to deal with it."
"I hope so sir. In the mean time, it might be better if I assign her to lighter duty. I wouldn't want to have her snap at a crucial moment." Lieutenant Commander Sunder suggested.
"For now she's relieved until medical and counseling clears her for active duty. But I think that may be a good idea 'mate. A little light duty for a while might be just the thing she needs to give her time to adjust." Captain Price agreed.
"My thoughts exactly sir. Sending her onto a ship full of Jem'Hadar when she could be guarding a shuttle bay or posted on the bridge seems to be an unnecessary risk. Both to the Ensign and to the other security personnel..."
"No argument here 'mate. You are the Chief of Security on board this vessel. Make whatever duty assignments you think are best for the safety of everyone on board the Galaxy." Lee reassured.
'Commander Sunder nodded. That was one of the things he liked about serving under Captain Price. The General always gave his department heads free reign to run their respective areas how they saw fit. So long as everything ran smoothly and the job was getting done, Captain Price had no worries.
After a long pause, it was Lee who changed the subject. "I understand congratulations are in order 'mate."
This took Ursa by surprise a bit. "Sir?" he asked, not understanding the Captain's statement.
"With Doctor Kahn placing herself on limited duty, that makes Doctor Khatroweena the acting Chief Medical Officer on board the Galaxy. You must be proud 'mate."
It took a lot to get the rugged Chief of Security to blush, but having his commanding officer comment on Ursa's girl friend did it. Lieutenant Commander Sunder could almost feel his cheeks redden as he looked back at the Captain. He'd been trying to keep his relationship with Cat a secret, but somehow, as it always seem to happen, word had managed to get out throughout the ship. It just never occurred to him that the Captain knew about it. "Ahem,..." Ursa cleared his voice, "Yes, that came as a surprise to me as well sir. I am sure Doctor Khatroweena will work hard in the position."
Lee smiled slightly. He could see that it was an uncomfortable subject for the towering Chief of Security to discuss. The Captain quickly ended the conversation. "Well, you can let the Doctor know I appreciate her stepping up to fill the Chief Medical Officer's role while Doctor Kahn deals with her personal issues. I believe that's all I have 'mate. Dismissed."
Ursa gave a grateful nod before turning to leave the Captain's ready room. When he exited, Lee reached across his chest and tapped his comm badge. "Commander Casey please report."
A moment later came Deiran's reply. ["Casey here sir. Go ahead Captain."]
"Commander," Lee began, "how are things going with Commander Joerg Sterner's going away party?"
["All the preparations are set sir. I just need to know when you want to hold it and we are ready to go. It should be great. I am sure everyone will enjoy themselves Captain."] Deiran explained beaming with pride.
"Excellent 'mate. Let's plan on throwing it this evening. Commander Sterner is scheduled to leave tomorrow via shuttle since the schedule has been rearranged on his new assignment. It will be the last chance to hold the party if we are going to have one. Besides, I think the crew could use the distraction after the last Dominion attack." Lee explained.
["I couldn't agree more sir. I'll let Gakor know. She's arranging for a lot of the food. I'll take care of everything sir."] Deiran explained with confidence.
"Bonzer 'mate. How are things going with Ensign Gartner?" Captain Price asked.
["She's calmed down a lot since the episode in sickbay. Medical and Counseling are trying to decide on the best course of action to help her adjust to her situation sir. There is some question over whether to use traditional treatments like drugs and therapy or to take a more drastic course like surgical implants to monitor and control her endorphin levels. It's all up in the air right now. Until everyone agrees to a positive course of action, I've relieved Gartner of all active duty. We will figure it out and set everything right Captain. I promise."] Commander Casey explained over the channel.
"Fair dinkum 'mate. I'll leave it in your capable hands. I look forward to seeing you at Commander Sterner's going away party this evening then. Captain Price out." Lee finished, deactivating the channel.
Turning in his chair, Captain Price stood up facing the large observation window at the rear of his ready room. With hands behind his back, he stood there in sage like fashion and gazed out at the slowly passing starts. The Galaxy was still moving at sub-light speeds, having a tractor beam on the Ferengi Freighter which they were towing along. So many things were happening on board the starship. It was difficult to keep a handle on it all. And still, there was this gnawing feeling in the pit of the Captain's stomach; a sort of Captain's intuition, that told him something major was about to happen that would make all of these petty problems seem small in comparison. He stood there for half an hour, unable to shake the foreboding feeling.
By Ensign Lexana Ral
Lex had been very glad to see Gartner and Bolitho back on their feet again. She'd tried to get into sickbay to see them as soon as they'd been brought in, but Sickbay was like a circus with multiple casualties and tired doctors who'd worked double shifts. Matthew had somehow gotten in and received an update on Gary- but then again he had a contact on the inside- Dr Gakor. Lex didn't have many friends in sickbay, and tended to avoid it at all costs. However, this had been an exeption. Much to her disgust, she'd been shooed out by some doctor who looked stretched to the limits of his patience, and told that unless she had a serious injury, she shouldn't be there.
"I have a headache." She'd said..
The Doctor had replied she'd better leave or he'd call security to have her removed.
"But I am security.." She'd said as the doors closed behind her.
**Skip forward to meeting**
The secret meeting had been a success, Lex was secretly proud of her little plan and was going to be overjoyed when they pulled it off.. If they pulled it off. Her Co had reminded her not to get overly confident about it, as that could often be one's downfall, especially in a covert situation like this...
She'd been watching Anna during the meeting. She'd been unusually quiet, but she seemed to be making progress.. Then again, with Anna , no one knew what was going on in her head a lot of the time. Lex hoped she'd be okay, and thought maybe giving her something to do like this would help her slightly- keeping busy.. Maybe..
As soon as delta shift was over, Lex had raced out of the office.. She had only a few minutes to make it.. Tapping her Commbadge, she'd asked for the location of Dr Gakor..
"Doctor Gakor is in her quarters" The computer replied..
The 1/2 hour window for changeovers between shifts had given her this opportunity.. She had to get to Dr Gakor's quarters before she left... Racing along the corridoor, she would occasionally slow down and walk when passing a senior officer. Most of them didn't give her a second glance, she had a reputation on the ship for doing irrational things like running full pelt down corridoors. Usually however, they ended up with her in sickbay, nursing some limb or other.
Running as fast as she was, she didn't see Ensign Eliathin walking back to his quarters after his shift.. Consequently, she crashed right into him.. again. She picked herself up quickly and ran off again "Sorry" she yelled as she rounded a corner, leaving the dazed Bajoran sitting on the floor wondering what had just hit him.
She reached the corridoor in which Endris' quarters were located and again checked the location of the doctor. She was still there..
Lex took advantage of the moment to lower her breathing rate and try to lose the "I just ran here from deck 38" look... She saw the doors open and casually started walking.
"Dr.." She said "What a coincidence.. I was hoping to bump into you.. I have a couple of questions that only you can answer.. May I walk with you to sickbay?"
Later, she'd been into Ten Fore to find Door. Lex had picked a time when she knew Electra wouldn't be there. There was a kind of unspoken animosity between the Orion woman and Ensign Ral.. Lex couldn't really explain it, they just "didn't like" each other..
The lounge had been quiet and she and Door had retreated to one of the more secluded booths in a darkened corner. Lex had been looking around conspiritously.. Then began conducting "business". Door had been somewhat confused.. But Lex had assured him he was the only one who could help. The puzzled look on the 1/2 Cardassian's face was replaced with that of suspicion, then disbelief.
"Ensign.. Are you sure you can pull this off?" He asked
"I've run the entire scenario through several times Door" she explained
"What if it goes wrong though?" he asked, thinking that surely Sunder wouldn't let several security officers undertake a task such as this without some kind of backup plan if things failed..
"It's not going to go wrong .." She said "Now will you help or not?"
He sighed, part of him thought it was going to be a complete failiure and everyone involved would end up in a large pile of Cardassian Vole Droppings.. However.. Another part of him was intrigued, and the young security officer's complete faith in the plan was somewhat inspiring..
"Why not.." he said after a pause
Her next trip had been back to her and Anna's quarters.. Anna wasn't there. Lex thought she was probably in counseling or carrying out her part in their plan.. There was something in their quarters Lex needed, a couple of things actually.. THe only problem was, she couldn't remember where they were.. In fact, technically a couple of them shouldn't have been there anyway, but somehow they'd found their way into Lex's quarters.. She found one of them.. and then it was back to see Door, to hand it over, then back to her quarters to get the other items.. then back to security, carrying said items, in a large box.
She stowed them in her office and went to clear away the huge pile of "paperwork" which awaited her and grab a much needed Raktajino from the replicator. She'd been working several shifts in a row- most of the staff had been changing shifts to free up the senior officers for their upcoming operation. And no one had quite gotten used to it yet.. She was tired, but the raktajino hit the spot, and she gained a new lease of life which would last for at least another couple of hours. Then she began to sift through the Padds, reviewing the reports and mainpulating the data accordingly..
Quid Vides Ipsit Custodes
" Who Watches the Watchmen "
Lt. Commander Ursa Sunder
Chief of Security, USS GALAXY
Sunder scrolled down the menu of choices Ensign Ral had prepared. Logistics was definitely a talent Sunder had overlooked in her before. He made a mental note for her to take the Star Fleet ordnance and supply program to add to her array of skills. No sense in her wasting such a valuable talent.
Her choice groupings were truly excellent. She'd made careful note of what the target's preferences were while pointing out what components were most easily accessible and obtainable within a limited amount of time. He highlighted his recommendations but made it very clear that this was her project and that he'd defer to her judgement. After all, she was going to be the one to run the gauntlet in assembling everything.
He'd looked over Gartner's report. His discussion with the captain earlier had at least the effect of freeing her for surveillance. By restricting her to light duty, she had a greater latitude of mobility all over the ship. Wherever Albrecht went, she'd be more than capable of keeping an eye on him. Of course, this'd also give her a chance to practice some discretion in a non-lethal environment.
Bolitho's report forced a reluctant smile to his mouth. He chided himself for finding the situation humorous. He'd reminded Ral only a few hours earlier that a sense of seriousness was imperative to the success of this operation. But Bolitho's suggestions were definitely ... unique, to say the least.
Ensign Heratta was a slight wrinkle in the fabric. He'd gone over the security procedures log out of routine before settling down for the night and noticed that Heratta had created a secure file, listed to his voice access only. Out of curiosity, Sunder could have over-ridden the file using his higher access clearance. Something told the security commander that this could have an effect on the secret operation he and the rest of the cadre were planning. Still, there was a matter of respecting another officer's privacy.
He noticed that Heratta had queried the computer for the locations of several officers - including himself. Coincidentally, or not, they were the same officers he'd conspiratorially organized. This clinched Sunder's suspicions. Somehow Heratta had pieced together that something was up. Still, there was no way he could know what they were planning. For now, Heratta was not an inconvenience. He'd just have to make sure the naussican was monitored - carefully. He couldn't afford to let anyone get in the way of this plan.
Then it was up to him to move the ferengi prisoners out of cell 13 and move them to the next few cells away from the staging area, as it were. Luckily, Albrecht was working the beta shift. That meant Sunder had the whole Alpha shift to enact the changes. Matthew could ask his questions later - when he had an excuse for them.
He put on his uniform and headed for the brig. A thrill of elation coursed through his body. Covert missions always had that effect on him. The time he infiltrated the Cardassian storage depot back on Nolas IV would always stay with him. He was just a young officer on the THOMAS PAINE, and the sense of intrepid danger combined with the idealistic sense of rapport he felt for the Bajoran freedom fighters and the Maquis gave him such a high, it was all he could do to keep his mind focused on the operation.
It was almost the same here. He wasn't on a mindless mission, run by some intelligence boffin back on a safe starbase somewhere. He was part of an operation that he believed in.
Ral was at the console, clearing her PADDs away from the desk. She looked tired.
" Good job on the ... consignments, Ensign. " He said sternly, as to not arouse suspicion. Ensign Heratta was undoubtedly nearby somewhere. " I've left my comments on the PADD. Well done. We'll have to talk about using your talents elsewhere in the future. "
" Thank you, Sir. " She replied. Despite her tiredness, she managed to evince a bit of pride. " If you'll excuse me, I'll begin making the arrangements for transport. "
" Then make sure you take a break. In fact, take your next shift off. I'll arrange for it to be covered. You did a sterling job. "
" Yes sir. I'll be sure to do that. " She stifled a yawn as she made her way out of the office.
Sunder went over to the brig cells area. Six of the ferengi were in 13 - the largest cell they had on the block. They'd have to be removed and relegated to other cells. He looked at the allotments. As captain, Toog, was allocated his own cell. Sunder quashed a smile as he began to billet three other ferengi - including Toog's brother, in with the ferengi DaiMon.
Take that, you little squid, Sunder thought vengefully.
The other three he spread amongst the rest of the cells. The ferengi had to be rotated on an irregular basis anyway, to keep them from plotting together. Random disruption of group activity over a short term prevented plots from hatching. It was one of Sunder's standard procedures.
One of the ferengi started to whine about moving around. But Sunder used his size to intimidate the wretch into submission and the others fell into swing.
" Why are these idiots in my cell hoo-man? " Toog called from the far cell. "I will inform your captain about another episode of your ill-treatment. "
" You can snivel all you want Toog. I just thought you might be lonely. "
" This is a gross example of disrespect. " Toog complained.
" I don't think so. The Ferengi Commerce Authority stripped you of your rank and property holdings back on Ferenganar, Toog. Now you're just another freebooter with no real status or distinction. You're in my brig, you'll do what I say. " Sunder concluded, refusing to hear anything else from the captain.
With the ferengi moved, all he needed to do was to set cell 13 for its next occupants. He ordered the computer to activate the sani-units and to set up a large table acoss the back of the cell.
He smiled as he watched the computer prepare the cell.
Matthew... poor Matthew. He wouldn't know what had hit him until it was too late.
Hand in My Pocket
By Ensign Anna Gartner, Security Officer
USS Galaxy - THE BRIG!!!
"Nobody knows the trouble I seen...
Nobody knows my sorrow..."
Gartner stopped for a moment not knowing the rest of the lyric's. After having that meeting with Commander Casey in Sickbay... Actually it was more like a lecture. She just laid there and listened to him laying down the law. After being given a clear bill of health she was then escorted down to the Brig. The only good thing was that she got to see Neil before being lead out of Sickbay. He was still out of it but the doctor fixed him up good.
Now, she had to sit and wait. Probably the Commander will be coming down here again to give her another lecture. Counsellor Dallas will most likely be dropping by too, wanting to know what happened. Gartner wasn't sure who she would dread the most in seeing, the Commander who could kick her ass off this ship or seeing the look of disappointment in the Counsellor's face.
Nothing much she can do now, her ass is in the fire and the only question now is how badly it would get burned.
Gartner leaned back against the wall, while sitting on her bunk. She thought of pacing again but the cell was too small. No one else to talk to for the moment and the only thing she could hear was the gentle humming to the forcefield blocking her exist from this cell.
She didn't have much else to do, except singing. Gartner selected a tune from the 20th century. A song she can relate to ...
"I'm broke but I'm happy
I'm poor but I'm kind
I'm short but I'm healthy, yeah
I'm high but I'm grounded
I'm sane but I'm overwhelmed
I'm lost but I'm hopeful baby
What it all comes down to
Is that everything is gonna be fine fine fine
I've got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is giving a high five
I feel drunk but I'm sober
I'm young and underpaid
I'm tired but I'm working, yeah
I care but I'm restless
I'm here but I'm really gone
I'm wrong and I'm sorry baby
What it all comes down to
Is that everything's gonna be quite alright
I've gone one hand in my pocket
And the other one is flicking a cigarette
What it all comes down to
Is that I haven't got it all figured out just yet
I've got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is giving the peace sign
I'm free but I'm focused
I'm green but I'm wise
I'm hard but I'm friendly baby
I'm sad but I'm laughing
I'm brave but I'm chicken shit
I'm sick but I'm pretty baby
What it all boils down to
Is that no one's really got it figured out just yet
I've got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is playing the piano
What it all comes down my friends
Is that everything's just fine fine fine
I've got one hand in my pocket
And other one is hailing a taxi cab"
Song: Hand in My Pocket
Alanis Morissette - Jagged Little Pill
by LtCmdr. Hunter McKenzie
Chief Tactical Officer, USS Galaxy
“Computer. Replay timeframes Beta 7, 8, and 10.”
“Working.” Came the generic voice of Starfleet.
Mac stood in the middle of Holodeck 2 as the ship’s computer reset its program. Rubbing the back of his neck, he tried to relive some of the tension that had settled in the past two days.
“Program ready.” Stated the computer matter-of-factly.
“Run program.” Muttered Mac.
As a 3-D globe of blackness appeared in the middle of the Holodeck Mac watched intently as two Jem’Hadar Attack ships made an assault run at the Galaxy. He had watched this set of frames trying to see what he had missed. The injuries on both the Galaxy and the ‘Prince’ had continued to eat at him as he second guessed every move and command he had ordered. AS the holo-images ran through the prerecorded scenes, Mac silently cursed as he continued to make the same commands in his head, that he had made from 'the Big Chair'. This was the 5th time he had reviewed the scenario and it ended the same way everytime. One Attack ship destroyed and one escaping with an unspecified cargo and leaving behind an elite assault element to destroy any evidence. Count on the ‘Prince’: One Security dead, 3 dead Foreignness and 8 dead Jem’Hadar. Somehow it didn’t add up. Those numbers didn’t include the 10 injuries and 3 casualties that had happened on the Galaxy. Mac had lost people in his command before, but never due to direct decisions that he had made. Distracted, he caught the end of the simulation as the surviving ship warped away with the goods.
“Computer. End program, ” ordered Mac as he turned and headed to the exit, muttering.
Lt. Commander Hunter McKenzie, Chief Tactical Officer, USS Galaxy
by Lt. Commander Thomas
** Bridge Alpha Shift **
Lt. Commander Thomas had spent twenty mintues talking with Lt. (jg) Brandis about the operations department. With him taking over the department, it was good to talk with the second most senior operations officer in the department. He wanted to go over the status of the department and inform him that the department wouldn't be changing for the moment. Commander Casey had done a great job with the department and left it in good shape, eventually Chris would want to start putting his mark on the derpartment.
His bridge shit watch was nothing interesting, just a normal day on the bridge at ops. He'd sereved at ops on the Galaxy for a while now, ever since he left Starfleet Intelligence. There were things he missed about working for SI, but there were many things that he didn't miss. He enjoyed working on the Galaxy and could not see himself leaving the ship anytime soon now. Several weeks ago he'd thought about leaving the ship and either going back to Starfleet Intillegence or joining an old Klingon house as it's ruler. He just wasn't ready to give up his life in Starfleet nor his life on the Galaxy, which was good. He knew that the day would eventually come when he would have to leave the ship, either for a new position or for retirement.
Chris finished his shift at ops on the bridge, brought Lt. (jg) Brandis up to speed for his shift at ops.
** Lt. Commander Thomas's Office **
Chris returned to his new office after completing his shift on the bridge. He wanted to finish getting the officer adjusted to his likings and start moving his own stuff into the office. However he was also expected to attend Commander Sterner's departure party that was set to begin shortly. Which meant he really didn't have time to start moving his stuff into the office at this very moment. He opted for the next best thing, grabing a PADD and started listing what he wanted to bring into the office. He then noted where he might decide to place the stuff in the office, eventually he would work on redesign the room's layout.
Chris noted what he wanted to put in the office at first, but he also was aware that the time was against him at the moment. He would have to finish his notes later, when he had the chance. He would be expected and would attend the party being held for Commander Sterner. The commander had taken a position as captain aboard a new starship, which was still under construction. Starfleet Command was needing and wanting more experienced officers to be ready to take command of their own starship or take the position of first officer.
Which lead Chris to start thinking about who would be the next officer on the Galaxy to get their own command. There was several of the officers on the ship that would never leave as far as he could tell. They'd sereved onboard the Galaxy for a long time and were not eager to leave for their own command or a position higher than their current position. 'It is going to be a very interesting year,' Chris thought as he finished noting what he wanted to bring into his office.
by Ensign Elaiithin Jii
Operations, USS Galaxy
Ensign Elaiithin picked himself up of the corridor floor after Lexana dashed off. no surprise there. Every time the young Bajoran turned a corner these days, he expected to run into the security officer.
Jii picked up the PADD he'd been carrying and headed into the Main Computer Core. Core maintenence was a monthly chore assigned to the Operations Department. A few officers armed with PADDs, Tricorders, and a satchel of spare Isolinear chips and bioneural gelpacks would run scans for programming errors in the main system. As a software problem, it natuarally fell under the heading of Operatiosn. Ensign Boaz Trinker, Ensign Slaan Quince, and Ensign Robert St. John were his associates in this particular endeavour.
Funny, Elaiithin thought to himself as he entered the core, not a single officer with a rank above Ensign was on this particular project..... As he walked into the Main Computer Core, he looked over to where the antigrav floaters were docked. The other officers were already at work.
"Was wondering when you'd show up, Jii. " remarked St. John as Elaiithin set himself up on one of the floaters.
"You'll have to excuse me, I had what you might call a run-in with Ensign Ral."he retorted with a wry smile.
"Hey, didn't you two have a date the other night?" asked Quince, poking his head out from around a corner.
"You know, gossip really must be the only thing that could travel faster than transwarp. I could start a rumor on the bridge at 0700, and it would hit the last table in ten-foward before I'd shut my mounth." complained Jii.
The Trill just gave him a raised eyebrow.
"Alright, we did have a date.." Elaiithin admitted.
"Ha! I knew it!"
"But it was rather unfortunately interrupted, thanks to a marvelous encounter with some Ferengi." Jii finished.
"Oops." said the Trill, and headed back to what he'd been doing.
Jii finished unloading the satchel on the floater, climbed aboard, and entered the main computer core of the USS Galaxy.
Now, THAT was a sight to behold. A cavernous area several decks deep, the core was a round enclosure wall to wall with isolinear chips and bioneural gelpaks. The only thing that prevented a lees-than-careful officer from a long and quite probably bloody fall was the emergency transport system. Any falling bodies, and the biosignal was automatically locked onto by an alogrothim the ships internal sensors, and transported to Transporter Room 2.
Provided the software was functioing properly. That was an uncomfortable thought....
About three hours later, the young Bajoran decided it was time for lunch.
"Hey, Slaan!" he called from his antigrav floater to the Trill OPS officer, who was only a few levels below him "I'm getting lunch. You want to come?"
"Only if you tell me more about Ensign Ral!" cried Quince from below him.
Elaiithin just sighed. "Deal."
"Recovery" By Ensign Bolitho and Acting chief medical officer Dr Khatroweena
OOC This occurred prior to "The Secret Meeting. Apoligies for the Posts which are a little out of sync"
Neil watched in slow motion as the Jem'Hadar blade entered his stomach. He felt no pain slowly his gaze slid down to the wound, but there was no blood? Looking back up the Jem'Hadar warrior was gone. The corridor outside engineering was replaced by the bodies of his comrades, and the Ferengi they were supposed to protect. Tim, Lex, Lt. Albrecht, Cmdr Sunder, the Naussicaan he didn't know. They were all lying there; their eye's staring sightless, but accusing!
Where's Anna? Neil stumbled past the bodies of his fallen friends and the Ferengi. Trying to avoid the accusing stares. Looking for Anna, He reached the end of the corridor the door he had blown from engineering was back in place. Neil starred at the door as if trying to recollect exactly what happened. Slowly he placed his hand on the door to see if it was real. The door swished open and Anna Gartner fell into his arms, slowly he gently lowered her to the floor, brushing the hair out of her eye's Gartner eyes stared back up at Neil. Her lips moved but he couldn't hear what she was saying. Leaning closer, Neil could make out.
"Wh...Where were you? I...needed you... to...to ... protect me," whispered Gartner accusingly.
"I... I... Hang on Anna I'll get you to Sickbay" stammered Neil heart sore at the accusations.
Tapping his comm badge, he was surprised to hear no responding chirp, tapping again "Bolitho to Sickbay."
There was still no reply.
"Too late Neil." giggled Anna her voice suddenly stronger. Anna was looking into engineering, Neil followed her gaze just in time to see a Jem'Hadar warrior aim his energy weapon at the warp core and fire.
"NOOOOO!" shouted Neil suddenly sitting up on his bio bed. Pain exploded through Neil's upper torso, strangling the cry into a desperate choke for air. Through blurred eyesight, he could make any figures running in his direction and then gentle hands pushing him back down onto the biobed.
Gradually his breathing came back to him; just taking in a lung full of air was painful. The blurred figures around him gradually came into focus, the unmistakable striking figure of Dr Khatroweena, and one of the nurses.
Cat was examining the bio display above the bed while the nurse was busy punching in settings into a hypospray. The nurse handed the hypos to Cat who bent over the conscious security officer, Neil weakly tried to push Cat's arm away.
"Please Ma'am I need to know what happened?" pleaded Neil.
Cat paused as she looked into his eyes, she put the hypo off to one side. "Ensign," she said quietly. "You lay back and rest. I don't want you to aggravate your injuries."
"Anna? Gary? Are they OK?" Neil swallowed back a jab of pain. "Did we get them?"
Cat looked at Neil. "Anna is fine. Gary has been seriously injured, but he will come out of it fine." Gary was serious and was Sickbay's problem, not for him to worry about. "As for the mission. It was definitely successful. I heard something about the warp core. The Jem'Hadar were all dealt with. Now you are to relax."
Neil nodded gratefully that he had at least had the knowledge that Anna was ok
Cat put the Hypospray against Neil's neck and injected the contents. Peacefully Bolitho drifted away. Cat paused before turning away knowing she had done the right thing by not telling him what was currently happening with Gartner. The young security officer had enough battles to fight here without worrying what happened to that 'woman.' Decided Cat.
" Visiting hours" by Ensigns Bolitho and O'Connell - Security
Neil had been in sickbay two days now and was feeling much stronger, thanks to 24 century medical technology he had survived an assault from a Jem'Hadar blade and a energy rifle blast. Both Dr Khatroweena and Dr Luck had said he was extremely lucky to have survived both, with the anti-coagulant in the phased energy of the Jem'hadar polaron weapon added to the stomach wound had almost caused him to die over their on the freighter from the loss of blood.
Thanks to his timely reminder to Anna while she was busy screaming at him on the deck of the Latinum Prince. The Dr's on the Galaxy had put him together again. But they told him the healing process wouldn't be a quick and straightforward one.
Sickbay was generally empty, the only two people occupying bio beds were himself and Gary Trubuco who himself was slowly recovering from the same energy last wound. Neil looked up at the opening sickbay door's and shuddered at the sight of the medical emblem. Neil turned his attention to the entering figure.
Neil broke out into a broad smile as Tim O'Connell sauntered over to his bed.
"Neil what the hell are you doing lounging around in sickbay?
"Lounging? laughed back Neil, before putting his hand over his stomach and grimacing. Continuing Neil smiled and said " If I wasn't in here I would be kicking your butt with the Bat'telh, be grateful for the respite and practice hard!"
"Ahh hell in your current condition one of those Ferengi could wipe the floor with you but I have been practising I owe you an ass whooping when you get out"
O'Connell sits down and asks "So when will they let you out of here?"
"What! You try get a straight answer out of these medical spoof's, you could think that you were asking for command privilege information, the way they carry on."
Glancing around the sickbay to see if anyone was in hearing range. Neil beckons Tim to come closer Pulling Tim a little closer by his shirt, Neil whispers with a hint of desperation in his eyes. " Tim you know how I feel about this place.... please get me out!!!"
O'Connell tries to extricate himself from his roommate's grasp. "don't worry you'll be back before too long. now let go of me"
Neil finally let's go of his roommates shirt, but nods and finally smiles "Your a big help, well ok but try get me so decent food , all their doing here is feeding me gruel!"
O'Connell listened and removed a Jem hadar knife stained with blood, " A gift and the blood is yours."
Neil winced at the sight of the knife, hesitantly he reached out for the blade before withdrawing his hand again. Looking up at his friend. Tim smiled back at him encouragingly. Licking his lips, Neil again reached out for the knife, he could make out the rusty red tinge on the otherwise shining blade. quickly he reached out and grabbed the blade with his hand. Blood instantaneously poured out from Neil's hand and began dripping on the floor as the ever so sharp metal cut deeply into Neil's hand as he squeezed as hard as he could.
O'Connell visible blanched at his friend's injury, "damn Neil I thought the first thing they taught you about Klingon combat was no to touch the sharp part. "
Neil ignored his concerned friend's jibe remark and concentrated solely on he weapon that almost ended his life, relieving the painful memories.
" Neil!, Neil! whispered Tim fiercely glancing around the sickbay not wanting to catch the attention of the medical staff. O'Connell moved to Neil side and although he knew Neil was still quite weak from his ordeal, he battled to pry his hand from the blade.
Once the blade was in his hand again Tim grabbed a dermal regenerator off he medical table and began running it over Neil's hand. "It's a good thing mom kept a couple of these around the house and I've patched up a few cousins, brothers, and fellow cops so I can do this." He continued healing the wounds. "there all better now I'll go put this back in our quarters" He smiled and said, "at least you really hurt the guy I took it off his cloak went off line right in front of 4 Starfleet security officers with compression phaser rifles; at least they might have been right about one thing... victory is life and he lost, how's your partner?"
Neil was still sitting there going over the painful nightmare, when Tim's mention of his partner brought him round.
"Huh, oh yeah, where is Anna I thought she would have come to see me by now?"
O'Connell shook his head in disbelief " You mean you don't know?"
Neil's head whipped around and starred into his friends eye's. "Know what?" questioned Neil.
O'Connell starred back at his friend knowing that he owed him the truth at the very least
"Gartner's been relieved of duty and she's currently sitting in the brig." said Tim quietly.
"What!" bellowed Bolitho loudly." The brig? How?...Why?" Stammered out Bolitho very confused
O'Connell gestured with his hands for Bolitho to calm down, while looking round sickbay to see what interest Neil's shouting had caused.
"Neil calm down, you getting very excited and getting angry in your current condition will only force the Dr's here to keep you here longer!"
O'Connell's reasoning was pretty sound, Neil forced himself to calm down and waited for Tim to tell him what happened.
"When she beamed the two of you back from the freighter, Gartner lost it when the medical staff took you away from her. She insisted that she stay with you because you were her partner. They thought otherwise. She went berserk and finally after beating up a few med tech's she had to be sedated. Commander Casey is now involved and he is leading an investigation into the incident along with Commander Sunder.
"She beat up our own people?" said Neil incredulously.
"Yep, almost concussed some poor medic I believe." continued Tim "Look I have to go duty calls, I will check in on you later and see if I can smuggle some decent food in here for you. "
"Yah, ok Tim I'lll see you around." replied Neil his thoughts tied up in his own internal conflict with his feelings regarding Anna Gartner.
"Security officer Bolitho's duty log -Stardate ....." By Ensign Neil Bolitho
The door swished open Neil sighed as he walked into his own quarters.
"Home!" Neil smiled to himself , he never thought he would be so happy to see his quarters again even if it had all of Tim's barbell's and clothing strewn all over the floor. Dr Vernon Luck had finally agreed that he could be released as long as he took it easy for a while. Neil knew Lt.Cmdr Sunder would be advised of his progress and he would be restricted to administrative duties only. Which was fine as he had "The meeting" to attend anyway.
He eyed the computer terminal knowing full well what he now had to do and with him being confined to sickbay it was well overdue! Moving across the room, Neil seated himself comfortable at the seat in front of the terminal.
"Computer open duty log of Ensign Neil Bolitho"
Neil calmly waited for the answeing chirp and the femine voice confirming that it was open.
"This report is a factual account of the Bravo 2 boarding team aboard the Ferengi vessel 'Latinum Prince' of which I was in command so placed by Lt. Matthew Albrecht Assistant Chief Security officer."
Bolitho paused licking his lips and trying mentally to get the facts straight.
"Bravo two consisted of Ensign's Salt, Torricle, Gartner and Bolitho. Our primary objective was to secure Engineering, secondary objectives were to find any surviving Ferengi and transport them back to the Galaxy for questioning. En-route to engineering we engaged 2 Jem'Hadar in hand to hand combat Myself and Ensign Gartner were responsible for ......." Neil momentarily hesitated looking for the right word that would describe the killing of the Jem'Hadar.
"...disposing of the said Jem'Hadar. Continuing en-route to engineering we found that the entrance door had been jammed. I ordered Ensign Gartner to enter the Ferengi vessel's jefferies tubes and see if she could find an alternative entrance to engineering from which she could attack from while myself, Salt and Torricle would blow the door with a small anti-matter charge and enter from the front in a two pronged attack.
Ensign Gartner found a way into the jefferies tubes surrounding engineering and saw that a trap had been prepared, in the form of a Jem'Hadar waiting to fire his energy weapon into the warp core surrounded by additional explosives, when someone attempted to enter engineering. The ensuing explosion would have destroyed the 'Latinum Prince' and all aboard her. Ensign Gartner acted immediately with no concern for her own safety and engaged the Jem'Hadar saboteur in fierce hand to hand combat, which prevented the Jem'Hadar from carrying out his plan. The Jem'Hadar was finally killed in the explosion that blew the main door into enginering.
As Ensign Anna Gartner acted completely unselfishly and placed her own life in immediate danger to prevent the further loss of life . I, Ensign Neil Bolitho, section leader of Bravo2 respectfully request that Ensign Gartner' be awarded a commendation for her actions above and beyond the call of duty aboard the Ferengi freighter 'Latinum Prince'.
"Computer end duty log."
"Computer please file and encode with standard security encryption level 1 and send through to Lt.Cmdr Sunder, Chief Security officer and Lt. Albrecht, Assistant Chief Security officer.
Scene: Quarter's of Ensign Rotan Heratta
A Few Moment's after the end of Delta Shift..
Rotan reviewed the data for the hundredth time, wondering what it all meant. According to the computer's monitoring log, a group of Security Officer's had met within the secure confines of one of the Brig's. Rotan snarled to himself, stretching his mouth fangs in a gesture of impatience as he looked for clues.
Inserting a disk into the workstation's data recorder, his large hands moved deftly over the controls. "Computer download all monitoring data from My private voice file to datadisk one." His tone was a low snarl as spoke.
"Working." Came the neutral female reply.
Reaching out, he picked up a second disk and inserted it into a free node. The disk was red in color and marked with a Nausicaan glyph. "Computer, encode disk one with Nausicaan Encryption algorithm's taken from disk two. Once copied, activate encoding scheme's."
"Task complete." Came the Computer's reply.
Removing both disk's, he placed one of them into his security locker near the bed. Taking the original disk, he placed it into a carrying case and connected it to his belt. Getting up, he turned to leave his quarters...
***** A brief time later - The Captain's Readyroom *********
The moment's passed one into the next as Captain Price stood gazing out into the blanket of Star's beyond the viewing port. A vague feeling of discomfort was nagging at him, something that he couldn't quite place.
The buzzer to his door sounded once to let him know someone requested entry.
After a moment, he turned and walked over to the desk. Taking his seat, he looked toward the door as he spoke.
"Come." His voice was full of the strength he at that moment didn't quite feel.
The huge form of Rotan Heratta could be seen silhouetted in the doorway, for an instant taking the Captain off guard before he could see who it was.
"Captain, Permission to enter?" The booming voice of the Nausicaan was rich with layered strength.
"Come in Mate." The Captain smiled and made a small gesture to indicate entry.
For an instant, Rotan gauged the Captain as he approached his desk. Terrans always amazed him, in there diverse strength. This man was a rare example of there ability to create a true warrior. All of Rotan's hesitation faded away as he realized that he stood in the presence of a kindred spirit.
"Captain, I have concern's about event's taking place within the Security department. It is perhaps that I am new to the ship and not familiar with all the necessary customs. Or perhaps...it is worse."
The Captain let a look of concern show in his face. "All right Mate, I'll bite. What seems to be the trouble?"
"I have noticed several strange attempt's to monitor the movement's of Lieutenant Albrecht. After witnessing the unusual behavior, I implemented security protocol seven. Along such guidelines, I ordered the computer to track the movements of key Security personnel. The result's were immediate. A secret meeting took place in the confines of Brig G-2. The Officer's involved in the meeting run..to the highest level."
Rotan removed the datadisk and offered it to the Captain. I have encoded the data onto this disk for your review. It is protected by Nausicaan encryption codes. The codes can be deactivated by typing the following coded sequence." Rotan picked up a PADD laying on the Captain's desk and typed in the necessary access code. Placing it back where the Captain could read it.
"Bonzer job, Mate. But I don't think you have any need to be concerned." The Captain couldn't help but offer a small smile.
"I don't understand Sir?" Rotan replied.
"Well Mate, this falls under the purview of customs you may not understand. The Security crewman are trying to surprise Lieutenant Albrecht." The Captain's smile got a little bigger as he said the last.
"Surprise him?" Rotan's fang's move out in a snarl of frustration.
"It's a long story Mate. Suffice to say your concern's, while well intended are unfounded." The Captain looked up at Rotan with a bit more seriousness.
"I will trust your judgment Sir." Rotan could only reply.
"I appreciate that Ensign. And I appreciate your commitment to duty. I think that you will do a Bonzer job here on the Galaxy." The Captain offered the last to console the large Nausicaan.
"Thank you Sir." Rotan nodded once before turning and abruptly leaving the readyroom.
Only after he had gone, did the Captain allow himself a broad smile as he turned the PADD on his desk toward him....
=/\= "The Announcement" =/\=
by Lt Matthew Albrecht
** Alpha Shift, Lt Albrecht’s quarters **
The young lieutenant was sitting at his desk, dictating a message to the computer. The message was his weekly letter to his parents, whom he had not yet told of his engagement to Endris Gakor, the Tellarite doctor. Matthew’s parents had lived on Tellar for decades, where they had raised Matthew and a house full of cats among the ‘upper crust’ of Tellar’s society. "…during the fight, Gary was shot by one of the enemy. Now, don’t panic, Gary is alive, and recovering in Sickbay. The wounds were severe, and he suffered severe damage to his nervous system as well as burns all over. But, we have some great doctors here on the Galaxy, Mom! They say he will eventually recover completely, and will be able to function fully, though it may require extensive physical therapy."
Albrecht swallowed; he was nervous about what he intended to say next. He had often dated non-humans in high school, and his parents were very supportive of the kinds of girls he would bring home. On several occasions Matthew had taken Tellarite belles out to dances or joined their families for long trips into the equatorial jungles. He had even painted the town in the company of a young lady from the first family of Tellar. But lately he wondered if they would be so accepting of a non-human woman as the daughter-in-law of Earth’s ambassador to Tellar.
He continued, "And, speaking of doctors: Remember that doctor I was telling you about, doctor Gakor? Well, we’re still dating after all this time. In fact," he prompted, wondering suddenly if he should wait until a subspace link was possible to his home. He shook the thought from his head; his parents were away from the house, guests of an Andorian diplomat at his estate. "In fact, yesterday I presented her with an engagement ring. Mother, Father, Endris and I will be getting married!" He pushed all the positive energy into the sentence that he could muster. To complete the effect, he jumped up and lifted his fists into the air. The body language was wasted on the audio-only pickup.
He cleared his throat to continue. "Really, it’s true. She said yes and we are engaged-even ate the fruit, dad!" he mentioned, to his father who was the better student of Tellarite culture between his parents. "So, I wanted to tell you right away. That’s why I chose to send this to you this way. But, relax. I know what you’re saying to this message right now. Mom, I will attempt to stall all planning until the four of us can get together, at least by subspace. You both have got to meet my fiance! There is much to do, hopefully we can take a leave together and visit the estate on Tellar. I’m sure Gakes has many family members to visit with, as well."
"We do know that we want to assemble a large wedding. Guests from all over! Perhaps held on Tellar, one of its moons, or on the Galaxy herself-she’s a huge ship!" he offered, deciding right then to stop giving details for his mother to fret over.
Pleased that the message had gone so smoothly, he frowned at the realization that his parents still did not know there was a baby on the way. He decided that he would tell them that live, via subspace link. "Um, there is another thing, but it can wait for our next talk. I’m attaching an image of the ring, I’m sure you’ll approve of the sapphire cut! Thanks folks, I know you are happy for us! …your loving son, Matthew Albrecht"
The lieutenant ended the recording session, and sent it away to the relay network. Sighing, he decided to go out to Security and join Alpha shift about midway through. He reasoned that with ‘commander Sterner’s party that night, he might have wanted someone to come in early and take over for him.
He changed into his uniform, gathered up a few PADDs, and headed for deck 38 to recruit favors.
"The security officer sitting by himself"
by Ensign Christopher I. Campbell
Security Officer - USS Galaxy
Most people that came to Ten-Forward often when they were off-duty had noticed this one officer in a security-gold uniform a number of times just sitting by himself and having a drink, usually appearing to be thinking about something.
No one thought much of it. The security officer seemed content with the situation, and since there was always someone else to talk to, the security officer was left alone most of the time.
"Didn't he do his cadet-cruise aboard a number of years ago?" or "He looks a little familiar. "Someone would remark from time to time.
Eventually someone of the Ten-forward regulars had recognized him as Ensgin Campbell. And shortly after that someone had remembered hearing something about an Ensign Campbell being prosecuted for smuggling and enrolled in some criminal rehab program; serving his sentenced time as a Starfleet officer.
"A disgrace." or "What happened to that young ambitious Cadet?" someone would remark now and then to the person next to them shaking their head. Still, this didn't change much for the security officer. He was left alone and he left others alone.
Like today; he was sitting alone at a corner table facing the wall sipping on a glass of orange juice. No one bothered him (well, there was of course the occasional shake of a head refering to him), so all in all he was pretty content about today.
It was something strange about the Security Department, Ensign Christopher Campbell decided as he raised his glass to closer study the contents of it. Or rather, some of the people in the security depratment. He couldn't tell exactly what it was, but he sensed a general feeling of excitement.
For example, Ensgin Ral, had been... different, absent somehow. During last Delta shift it was like she had something else on her mind.
Not to mention Ensign Heratta. Chris didn't know him that well yet, but lately he'd seemed very tense. Almost like someone that feels like they can't trust anything or anyone.
But it wasn't the small irregularities in the behavior of certain crewmembers that made Chris sense this atmosphere of excitement, it was more "the group conciseness" that made him aware of it.
Anyway, Chris figured as he emptied a glass of orange juice, it really wasn't any of his buisness, nor was it of any interest either for that matter.
Chris stood up to leave the table but halted his movement as pain flashed through his back. He winced.
During the away mission on the Latinum Prince a crate had fallen over him as he'd dodged Jem'Hadar fire. It had just hurt a little yesterday. And because sickbay had been really busy lately he hadn't seen a doctor about it.
Chris had always frowned on the kind of people that see a doctor for any small problem; like a bruise or a wart. It wasn't good for people to have everything healed, it makes them feel immortal somehow.
Like this last away mission, for example. It seemed like a lot of the security officers had just beamed over to have some fun. Kill some Jem'Hadars, have some action. Chris wondered if they didn't even consider the possibility of death. Did they think the doctors could patch them together no matter what?
Another wave of pain surged through his back as he slowly straightened himself up. "Sickbay here i come." He thought as he sacrificed his principal in a few microseconds.
"The Weight of the World"
By Bradly McCree, Bartender, Uss St Louis
Bradly stroked Alex's forehead as he laid on the biobed. Watching him lie there made her feel like Atlas, as if she had the weight of the world on her shoulders. 'No' she decided, it was worse.
Brad hadn't left his side since she arrived in sickbay to see his pale face dripping with sweat of fever, his body racked with tremors of the cold. At that instant she felt her world come crashing down around her. She vaguely remembered a nurse finding her a chair to sit in, allowing her to stay by her friend, confidant, and fiancé's bed side.
His beautiful face looked distorted through the visor of her biosuit. He had woke up several times but hadn't said much. When she first came in there was a mumbled apology about the date he had missed. She assured him that he could make it up to her later. If there was a later.
Bradly closed her eyes against the sudden onslaught of tears and pain. The hot, blinding tears swelled up until not even her will could hold on to them. She laid her head down upon the bed. Her head lying close, yet not close enough to his.
Ltjg WhiteSong to-Ennine CMO
USS St. Louis
WhiteSong couldn't believe this was really happening. Her first time as CMO and there was a good chance no one would live through this. She had never felt so helpless in her life. The QU from the USS Caduceus were sent over to try to isolate the virus.
From all the information WhiteSong had compiled this virus killed within 24 hrs of infection. "Computer, estimate the time that Ensign Alexander Oleksandreko was infected" WhiteSong ordered [approximately 16 hours] That meant Alex had 8 hrs or less left, before...... WhiteSong shuddered, looked over at Alex, and got down on her knees. She started praying to the Sivaoan Gods of Health. WhiteSong figured nothing els was working, this couldn't hurt.
Alex moaned, WhiteSong got up and went to his side. She noticed a drop of blood by his nose. She uncovered him. His stomach was starting to distend! His eyes were practically bugging out of his head. His whole body was shaking. She was preparing another hypospray of morphine when he started howling like an animal.
"AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!" Alex was shrieking. WhiteSong couldn't even imagine the agony this poor soul was going though. She put the spray to his neck and injected him. In a few seconds he started to calm down. She looked up at the nurse who was assisting her with a tear in her eye and said only one thing "Stage 3" She then looked at Bradly McGee who has been at his side since he first was infected. "I'll leave so you can have some privacy. All we can do now is make him comfortable, I'm so sorry" She was on her way to the lab to check on the progress Deryn Valendras was making if any.
"The Logistic's report" By Ensign Bolitho- Security -USS Galaxy
starring Ensigns O'Connell, Ral and Lt Cmdr Sunder
Exiting sickbay, Bolitho out of habit moved to adjust the phaser that rode in its holster on his hip, except it wasn't there..... Administrative duties didn't require him to carry one. He almost felt naked without it being there, like part of his anatomy was missing. Well Dr Luck had said everything was fine but made it quite clear no jaunts on the holodeck, nothing more strenuous then a walk around the ship and punching some padd keys, otherwise he would haul me back into sickbay.
'Yes Dr , No Dr three bags full Dr'. Neil would have done anything to make sure he was allowed out of sickbay as it was coming back for a daily check-up was bad enough. Bolitho shuddered as long as no hypospray's were used he should be ok. He was just feeling extremely stiff and he had a little problem eating solids, which Dr Luck said would change in time.
Heading into the Turbolift, Neil called out the customary deck 38 where security operations was based. walking out of the turbolift Neil greeted his fellow officers, before seating him self down at one of the terminals. Tin waltzed over with a broad grin on his face balancing a whole pile of padds in his arms.
Stacking the padds on Neil's desk, Tim plonked himself down next to them.
"Compliments of the Chief, Neil." Smiled O'Connell.
About a dozen swear words passed through Neil's mind at the moment most of them Klingon. Neil was about to utter the worst Klingon profanity he could think of, when Lexanna Ral appeared and punched him playfully on his arm. Neil swallowed his complaint and Lex sat herself down on top of desk opposite Tim.
Bolitho now found himself seated at a desk between Lex and Tim who both wore silly grins on their faces, beaming at Neil.
"What ?" exclaimed Neil looking up at both of his friends.
" Well.." started Tim. "Its good to have you...." Continued Lex." Back!" finished Commander Sunder. Appearing from nowhere the Chief of Security's imposing figure now hovered over Bolitho.
Neil sprang to attention and then wished he hadn't as the pain arose from within him.
"I believe I've mentioned it before Ensign. No embolism's!" deadpanned Sunder. raising an eyebrow.
" Aye... Sir " replied Neil sinking back into his chair.
"Here is your report on that .....that "
"logistics' survey sir. " Interrupted Neil seeing immediately where this was going.
" Right.' nodded Cmdr Sunder a little uncomfortable " The ......logistics' survey, now I do appreciate the effort, thought and imagination you put into this work. But Ensign Ral had a concern regarding the...the ...surprise package from which an Onarian may pop up. Something about being cooked! Am I right Ensign? Deferred Cmdr Sunder to Ensign Ral
"Aye sir, Onarians are definitely unwelcome at Logistic seminars, they prove to be an unwelcome distraction." Replied Lex.
"Unwelcome, I understand Sir I will amend my report to exclude any Onarians!"
"Good. I believe you two have assignments Ral, O'Connell?"questioned Sunder "Mr Bolitho has indeed a lot of paper work to keep him busy. "
Commander Sunder then turned and headed back into his office. Tim with a wave and a smile headed out the security office. Lex and Neil stood together. Neil leaned forward over his desk and picked up the first padd from the pile and mumbled softly so no one other than Lex could hear.
Lex flashed one of her legendary smiles before her face suddenly turned down and she was all business again.
" Neil, Anna's in cell D13, she asked to see you when you reported in!" said Lex a little awkwardly.
"Thanks Lex." nodded Neil
Lex nodded back before turning and exiting security
“Time To Party”
Commander Deiran Casey, First Officer
*** Main Bridge, Start of Beta Shift ***
Deiran sat down in the command chair and hiding a smile. He knew that all the junior officers hated him. He didn’t understand why that was. He was always nice, polite and kind to anyone who showed him the same. But, people talk and people judge and that’s how misunderstandings come about.
Yes, Casey was a tough, egotistical SOB. That didn’t mean he wasn’t nice. He was just misunderstood. So, Deiran decided to give his shift’s crew a treat. A present and token of his esteem.
“Ensign Brandis, please announce to all members of Beta shift that they are cordially invited to Commander Sterner’s going away party at 1700 hours. As of now, all back-up personnel are required to report to duty stations. All Galaxy personnel are invited to the party. The back-ups can be relieved for an hour or so to attend the party at their leisure. Let every department head know the details and send this to everyone but Mr. Sterner, he’s not aware of the party yet, make sure it stays that way please,” Deiran watched as everyone’s jaws dropped in surprise. Then the smiles came.
Everyone stood up, allowed the back-ups to take their stations and headed for the lift. They were getting a whole shift off to attend a party. Being on the same shift as the XO had its advantages. Deiran walked to the Ready Room door to inform the Captain.
“Come,” Lee replied as he heard the chime.
Deiran entered, grinning from ear to ear. “It worked sir, everyone was quite surprised. It was actually fun seeing Beta’s jaw drop collectively. I just wanted to let you know that I’ve set the party for 1700 hours sir. If you could escort Joerg to holodeck one he will be very surprised.”
“Aye ‘mate. He’ll be there on time. We have his going away present all set?” the Captain asked.
“Aye sir. It’s in it’s case and as shiny as a silver dollar,” Deiran replied.
“I thought I’d go and tell Miran the news about the party. Persuade her to join me and then run some errands for the party. Is there anything you need sir?” Deiran asked.
“How is Ensign Gartner coming along?” Lee asked.
“She’s in the Brig. I figure she should stay there for a few days and then I ’ll have her confined to quarters. About a week from now we can have her serve a bit of light duty. I want her head back in the game before I have Sunder assign her to full duty, if that’s to your liking sir?”
“Aye ‘mate, can’t be too careful. Just don’t give up on her ‘mate,” Lee said.
“I care for her well-being sir. Contrary to popular belief on this ship, I have a heart and it’s not made of ice,” Deiran smiled at his Captain. Lee returned the smile with one of his own.
*** Casey quarters ***
Deiran walked into his quarters and saw Miran laying down on the couch in the living room. ‘She looks beautiful. That glow is like a sun.’ Miran was shining like a star as she laid there and looked up to see Deiran enter.
He walked over to her, sat next to her and gave her a long, hot kiss on the lips.
“You stay right there,” he told her as he walked into the bedroom.
He returned with a clear bottle and a bag of herbs. “I need you to go with me somewhere okay? It’s a party for Joerg. We’re having it in about an hour and a half. I’m going to make sure you’re ready though.” He walked over to the replicator, “Give me a cold fruit juice please.”
Milliseconds later in a blue haze, the fruit juice appeared. Deiran opened the bag of herbs, inside were Takeo herbs. He put the required amount in the drink and stirred them until they dissolved into the drink. He went back to Miran and sat down next to her on the couch.
“Drink this please,” Deiran smiled and kissed her again. Miran knew what it was. It was to keep her ankles from swelling. She drank it like a good girl and he kissed her again. He took the bottle of Kadijla ointment, something that Cat had prescribed for her that was an old remedy from Bajor.
Deiran took Miran’s feet and applied the ointment to her lower legs. Miran was smiling the whole time. Deiran knew she liked the attention. He took care of her and he enjoyed it. Then after he finished with the ointment he gave her a foot massage. A very, sensual, erotic foot massage. At least Deiran enjoyed it.
“Feel better?” he asked her.
Miran shook her head, she looked like a little girl with a new toy. She gave him a hug and another kiss, “Thank you.”
“I have to get to the holodeck early to make sure Gakes has everything set up. She did a great job on the food. Wait till you see the display.” Deiran walked over and picked up Lara. “Come on princess, let’s go visit your little friends.”
Lara giggled and loved being in her father’s strong arms. He helped Miran up off the couch, switched Lara to his left arm and held Miran’s hand with his right. They were the perfect picture of happiness. Deiran didn’t care what people thought, he’d experienced the pain and hell and he would much rather have the happiness.
*** Ship’s Nursery ***
This was something both Deiran and Miran hated. Lara didn’t like being left by her parents, but she was getting used to it.
“She’ll be fine Commander, she cries for a few minutes but she sees the toys and soon forgets the tears and is smiling and playing,” Rachel, the nursery attendant, told Deiran.
Deiran picked up Lara again so Miran could give her a kiss. Then he set Lara down. He knelt down to the little girl’s level, turned her around so she could see the toys in the room. “Look at the toys princess, you want to play with the toys?” he asked.
Lara’s eyes lit up like diamonds, as usual. Deiran gave Lara a kiss on the cheek and a quick hug and watched as Lara waddled over to the toys. When she turned back towards the door her parents had vanished. She started to cry but only for a while. Soon she was having a blast and forgot all about her parents.
*** 1610 hours, Corridor, Deck 11 ***
“This party was more difficult to set up than the Christmas party. I had no idea what to design. So I decided on something unique for parties. Something memorable. I hope you and everyone likes it,” Deiran said to Miran.
“Of course everyone will enjoy it,” she smiled back at him.
“Joerg will love his present. I was talking to him a few weeks ago. He was showing me his weapon collection and telling me he didn’t have a certain item. You’d be surprised what a Ferengi can find on short notice. This Ferengi doesn’t know Toog,” Deiran spoke as if he were keeping a secret from his own wife. He was just being careful. He didn’t want anyone to know the specifics until the party.
Miran had her arm around Deiran’s as they walked down the corridor. Passersby nodded a greeting or said a quick hello. Pretty much everyone knew who the Casey’s were.
“After the party, I have to deal with an issue of importance. Ensign Gartner ’s been causing problems. She caused trouble in sickbay, hurt three people. She snapped. Pray to the prophets for this woman Miran. She’s pretty screwed up. Lee has put her in my ‘capable’ hands. I have to find a way to help her,” Deiran commented as they were just arriving in front of Holodeck One.
“Well, you’ll find a way honey, you always do. I will pray for her,” Miran replied in a concerned tone.
The doors of the holodeck opened.
Deiran led Miran inside. The scene of the party would take place in a Austrian castle. The party would be in the main hall that held six hundred people. At the back of the hall was a doorway that led to a beautiful garden designed to handle the overflow of people. The main hall was decorated in a red and blue motif. Banners, curtains with the Sterner heraldry adorned the walls. There was a gold throne at the right side of the hall. This was where Joerg would sit when the Captain and Deiran presented him with his gift.
The room wasn’t as dark as normal medieval rooms and architecture. Deiran had made sure that it was well lit. The entire room was decorated in an ancient form of architecture known as Gothic. Everything from the candle holders to the tapestries on the walls. It was plain to see looking at those tapestries that this was a castle where many battles had been fought. They depicted warriors fighting with ancient swords and shields, some on horseback and others with bows and they were on foot. It was a beautiful room. Joerg would appreciate it as he loved medieval battles and history.
The garden was the highlight however. The sun was shining, the flowers were in bloom. The program made it look like the garden was at least twenty acres. It had every kind of flower known in the Austrian region. Deiran spent a long time researching a list of flowers only found in Austria.
The special touch was in the center of the garden, a heraldric design showcasing Sterner’s family crest. It was all done with flowers, almost like 20th century decorations on floats in the rose parade, an ancient Terran tradition on New Years day.
On the left side of the main hall was the food display. A long table full of delicacies from all over the Alpha quadrant. Gakes spared no expense. Everyone would be able to find at least a few entrees to their liking. No one would be able to resist the desserts.
“Everything looks wonderful Gakes!” Casey said to the Tellarite doctor.
Gakes turned to greet the Casey’s, “Oh welcome Commander, Miran! Thank you.”
“Gakes, where is that special entrée you’ve prepared,” Casey asked and gave Gakes a wink.
She pointed it out to him. “See where she’s pointed? If you don’t want to eat skunk, don’t even go near that,” Deiran was only going to warn one person and that was his wife.
“I think Joerg will like it,” Gakes replied.
“Nothing personal against your culinary skills Doc, but no human will ever like eating skunk. It’ll be a great prank though,” Casey replied, laughing after the last word was spoken.
“Can we pull a prank on a new Captain?” Gakes asked.
“Technically Joerg’s a civ. As long as he’s on the Galaxy, he’s been relieved of duty until he arrives on his new ship,” Casey replied. “There’s nothing he can do. He’s an ordinary joe, pun intended,” Casey laughed and Gakes squealed. Miran just smiled.
“I still don’t understand what is wrong with my skunk Deiran,” Gakes asked.
“Doc, let’s wait until the end of the party. After we give Joerg his present, I’ll announce what everyone has been eating. When the Terran guests find out it’s skunk, watch their reaction. When you see how they react, you’ ll have a better understanding. Trust me Gakes,” Casey replied and laughed again. “I still can’t get the taste out of my mouth.”
*** 1655 hours ***
Many people arrived early. Some started eating, others took a stroll in the garden. Some of the first guests decided to just remain in the Great Hall to see who would be arriving. Deiran had been getting everything ready for the past hour, not to mention the last few days of planning and preparation.
He had replicated a chair for Miran to sit in while he continued to work. He checked on her from time to time until D’tarna and Ronni arrived and kept her company.
There were two court attendees at the entrance. Their horns would only be announcing the arrival of the guest of honor. It wasn’t too much longer when the Captain and Joerg arrived. When Sterner walked in, the court attendees lifted their horns and blew a majestic tune. All the guests who were there turned to see the guest of honor and the room erupted in applause.
“The Honorable Captains, Robert Edward Lee Price and the newest Captain in Starfleet, Joerg Sterner.”
Now that the guest of honor had arrived, the party could officially begin.
By: Lieutenant Jg. Adrianna
Engineering Technical Specialist - USS Galaxy
With a profound appearance by Lieutenant Jg. Suder.
Adrianna leaned forward in her chair and poured smiled at Ethan as he refilled there glasses. As the smooth blue liquid swirled into the tall fluted glasses, all she could look at was him. He had been so incredible this last week, seeming to know what she wanted before she did. It had reached a point where she knew that without him, she would seem lost.
"Thanks Ethan." Adrianna gave him her warmest smile.
"I've never tried this..uh, Necktarwater before. Are you sure it's safe for non El-Aurians?" Ethan asked as he picked up his glass and watched the delicate blue liquid swirl in a tiny whirlpool within.
"I don't know, I don't recall ever sharing a drink of this stuff with a non El-Aurian." Adrianna teased. "Why don't you be the first and let's see what happens." She couldn't help but smile at the look that brought to his face.
"I really have been thinking about you a lot the last few days." He offered, setting down the glass without drinking.
"I've felt the same way about you." Adrianna offered as she took a small sip of the Nectarwater. "I'm aboard the Federation's finest Starship, with the Star's all arround me, and with..You." Adrianna looked into his eyes and realized how easily it would be to get lost there.
Ethan didn't say anything in reply. All he could think about is how beautiful she was. Taking his glass, he finally smiled and risked a sip of the bluish liquid. The effect was surprising. It half evaporated and very much tingled as the liquid warmed him. It tasted faintly like blueberries and was strong as far as achohol went. A few glasses of this and who know's what He would be saying.
"Ethan, it's been a long time for me. A long time since,..I've been involved with anyone." Adrianna offered as she watched him drink. "I just want you to understand, that this is all new. In a big since its overwealming. Without You I know it would have been a lot harder. On top of it all, I haven't really cared this much about someone so fast..ever." She picked up her own glass and took a long swallow.
Ethan had dreamed of hearing those word's from her. "You don't have to worry about anything, we can take this as fast or as slow as you want." He offered her a smile of his own, from deep inside. To him, it felt like a barrier He had built up in fear to hold back some part of himself was no longer needed. So many times he had been affraid to say anything, and now She had said it.
Adrianna turned to look through the viewport and out at the Stars. She realized they seemed to have an all new beauty this time. A new luster that a second before they had lacked....
"Kalln's big day... ish."
By Ensign Gordall Kalln, Science OFFICER, USS Galaxy
***USS Galaxy, yesterday***
FROM: Lieutenant Commander Erikson
TO: Ensign Kalln
SUBJ: Your 'project'
BODY TEXT: Yes, Kalln, if you really need to you can miss the first two hours of your duty shift tomorrow to get this finished. But next time, give me a little more warning, huh?
***USS Galaxy, today, 1650 hours, Kalln's quarters***
Kalln tossed the last padd of the project onto the pile on his desk in his small quarters. That was that over with, leaving him just enough time to get into uniform in time for his delayed duty shift.
***USS Galaxy, today, 1655 hours, Science deck***
'What?' asked Kalln incredulously.
'I said, your shift has been cancelled. All Beta shift officers are being given special dispensation to attend Commander Sterner's leaving party. Now get going before the backup crewmen kick your ass!'
Oh, great, thought Kalln with a mental grin belying his mental tone, and just when I thought I was going to get some work done.
Tim Fletcher for:
Ensign Gordall Kalln, Science Officer, USS Galaxy
By Lieutenant (jg) Suder
It had been a long time since Suder had seen the stars this way. When he looked at them before, he saw th different worlds under attack by the Dominion, or nebula sucking up the vastness of space. But now, it had all changed. It was different.
Beauty. That;s what he could see, in the stars outside, in the women sitting opposite him. He had glanced at her a few times, trying his best not to stare, but he though Adrianna didn't mind. Then it hit him. The present! He had a present for Adrianna, but had left it in his quarters. It was just an old artifact from Betazed, but it was important to him and he wanted to share it with her. Maybe soon he would. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon!
"They say space is the final frontier, but, when I look at you, I see a whole new frontier." he said to Adrianna in his best suited voice. Not to posh, and not to common. He took another sip of the bluey drink that he held in his hands and then looked into the dazzling eyes of Adrianna.
(To be cotinued...)
By Ensign Yazron Beq, Tactical Officer, USS Galaxy
Yaz sat on the armchair by the coffee table, with a Bajoran herbal tea in one hand and a copy of "Les Miserables" in the other. He was, at last near the end of the novel when:
"All back-up personnel please report for duty."
'Just great' he thought. He had been assigned to Tactical back-up duty today on Beta shift. He got up of the armchair, placing the herbal tea and PADD on the coffee table.
"Lorraine!" he called through the bedroom.
"I heard, I'm on back-up as well you know!" she said coming into the living-area.
"Well let's get going then!"
They left together, heading for the turbolift.
***Bridge, USS Galaxy***
He relieved the officer on duty - Lt. Hermedhie, who seemed to be excited. It was then he wondered why the back-ups had been called on duty.
"Computer, what is the reason that the back-up personnel are currently on duty?" he inquired.
[Back-up Personnel are currently on duty to cover for the officers attending the leaving party of Commander Joerg Sterner]
A party, huh? He turned to Lorraine, who smiled. Well he might drop in on the party if he got the chance!
Ensign Yazron Beq, Tactical Officer, USS Galaxy
"A party of their own"
by Commander Joerg Sterner
Executive Officer, USS Galaxy
and Lt. Commander Kahn Nilani
Chief Medical Officer, USS Galaxy
******** Executive Officer, USS Galaxy ********
Joerg just finished another of his reports. While he was doing this he remembered the last few days being on board the Galaxy. Although officially he was still Executive Officer, he had spent most of his time with Deiran and the other friends on the Galaxy. With Deiran Casey, the ship's new First Officer after his leave, he had spent much more time, as he tried to help his friend prepare for his new assignment.
While this was all behind him, he also knew what the next big event was, a farewell party organized for him by his crew members and friends. Although he didn't know much about it, he knew that it would be a great party, cause his friend Deiran organized it. He already had tried to get some information on the event, but so far he haven't had any luck, and the party was about to start in some two hours.
Joerg was beginning to get nervous even when he thought what the party would look like. While these thoughts kept his mind busy, the work wasn't getting less. He then decided to control his thoughts and focused back onto the reports. Moments later a call came in for him on the comm system.
["Doctor Kahn to Commander Sterner."]
"Sterner here. What can I do for you Nilani?" he asked surprised.
["Please Commander, I have to see you. Let us meet on holodeck 5 in 10 minutes."]
"Well, alright, but why? What is it you want me to see?" Sterner asked, but the communication link has already been severed.
'Strange' Joerg thought, but he knew the Doctor well enough to tell that it had to be important, so he decided to meet her at the holodeck later. But in the meantime he tried to finish the report he had been staring upon for the last 15 minutes and which was still unfinished.
******** Turbo lift, USS Galaxy ********
Joerg entered the lift and ordered "Deck 11." The lift almost immediately closed the doors and was on his way to the deck where the holodecks were located. Joerg had a PADD in his hand, which included the schedule for the next few days, including the departure from the Galaxy. Although that was a sad occasion, the leave his friends and crew members behind, he also was very proud of his new assignment.
The turbo lift stopped and the doors opened on deck 11. Joerg stepped outside and down the corridor to towards the entrance to holodeck 5. Before he entered, he checked some details on the console. The holodeck was booked by Nilani for one hour, but currently no program was loaded. Then he pressed the button to open the door and he stepped inside.
At first he believed he was on the wrong holodeck, but after his initial surprise he realized he was right here. Inside the holodeck, beside the usual yellow grid on the black background, there was a woman standing dressed in all white. The woman turned around and it was Nilani, she was dressed up as a medieval princess. She smiled and pressed a button on a panel, the holodeck changed to show the room of a castle with a large bed. This was obviously the princesses room. Nilani moved to Joerg and kissed him on the lips, she broke away and smiled.
"Joerg I don't know what I'm going to do without you?"
"You have to understand that I have a very important job to do for Starfleet. If I see any other possibility, I would stay here with you, promised." he tried to explain.
"Well I suppose so then, only if you can keep in contact."
"I promise you to keep in contact with you. After all, if everything goes fine, you could become Chief Medical Officer on my ship." he added with a smile on his face.
Joerg kissed Nilani on the lips and laid her down onto the bed, they kissed each other for a while. Nilani got up and walked over to an old screen, she undressed her self to her undergarments and walked back out.
**** 40 Min Later ****
Nilani walked back out wearing her uniform, she walked over to Joerg and hugged him silently crying about his departure. They had gotten close ever since the Breen mission, secretly seeing each other as not to attract attention. Joerg stroked her hair and hugged her reassuring her that everything was going to be fine.
"Don't take it so hard Nilani. See perhaps they don't like my style of work back home and I'll get demoted again. Then I'll be back on the Galaxy in no time." he tried to cheer her up a bit.
Nilani looked at him and for a second a huge smile appeared on her face.
"See, there is always some way that we could get together again." he reassured her, talking about the position he could perhaps offer her on his new ship.
Nilani smiled and spoke "You better save that CMO's position then!"
Nilani tied her growing hair back.
"I hope to see you at the party Nilani?" he asked.
"You bet I wouldn't miss it for the world, but we have to be careful. I wouldn't want to cost you your Captaincy!" Nilani responded.
Joerg nodded in agreement and straightened his unifrom.
After that, the two approached the exit of the holodeck. To prevent being seen together on the corridor, Joerg decided that Doctor Kahn should leave the holodeck first and he would leave it about a minute later.
Before leaving him alone on the holodeck Nilani looked back a last time and hugged him again. It almost seemed as if she wouldn't let him go by keeping steadily hugging him. Joerg kissed her again and thus weakened her hug.
"You'll have to go now Nilani." he added.
"I know, I know. I will cya later I have somethings I have to sort out!"
"And thanks again for this present, I doubt that there could be anything like it on the farewell party." he honestly added.
Both smiled at each other again, but this time Nilani found the inner strength to approach the holodeck door and left Joerg standing alone inside.
While Joerg watched her leave and in the few moments after she was gone, he thought about the whole promotion business. 'If it wasn't for that damn Admiral, perhaps I would have gotten a chance to grow a family here on the Galaxy.' he cursed. But then again he was a Starfleet Officer and it was his job, and given the promotion he obviously did a great job.
After that he thought that enough time had passed since Nilani had left the holodeck, so he also could exit. He stepped outside and approached the turbo lift. He then went up to his living quarters to prepare for the upcoming farewell party and to check if something else had happened during his holodeck time.
"The Weight of the World"
By Bradly McCree, Bartender, Uss St Louis
Bradly stroked Alex's forehead as he laid on the biobed. Watching him lie there made her feel like Atlas, as if she had the weight of the world on her shoulders. 'No' she decided, it was worse.
Brad hadn't left his side since she arrived in sickbay to see his pale face dripping with sweat of fever, his body racked with tremors of the cold. At that instant she felt her world come crashing down around her. She vaguely remembered a nurse finding her a chair to sit in, allowing her to stay by her friend, confidant, and fiancé's bed side.
His beautiful face looked distorted through the visor of her biosuit. He had woke up several times but hadn't said much. When she first came in there was a mumbled apology about the date he had missed. She assured him that he could make it up to her later. If there was a later.
As she sat there she thought of all the good times they had had. Her mind pictured Alex as a scarecrow. The straw that filled his clothes falling around him as he walked. She saw him in the kilt her father provide in Caldous. Recalling these times remind her why she loved him so much. What was she going to do if he didn't get better?
Bradly closed her eyes against the sudden onslaught of tears and pain. The hot, blinding tears swelled up until not even her will could hold on to them. She laid her head down upon the bed, and slowly cried her self to sleep.
=/\= "Finding Work" =/\=
by Lt Matthew Albrecht
Security Officer, USS Galaxy
** Alpha Shift, USS Galaxy **
Matthew Albrecht was on the bridge, visiting Ensign Rios. Rios was steadfast in his refusal to cooperate with the lieutenant. "I will complete my shift, lieutenant. I have no need to, nor do I have any desire to leave my post early," he explained in his proud Klingon way.
The assistant chief stood at the back of the bridge speaking to the Klingon officer. The heads of the other Alpha Shift Bridge staff (Mostly department heads) were stealing occasional glances at the pair. Two officers disagreeing on the Bridge was an uncommon occurrence. Lowering his voice still further, Matthew argued, "Ensign, you don't seem to understand. I'm asking if you will serve a few extra hours of duty tonight so that I can attend 'Commander Casey's party. In return, I am offering to fill in for you for the remainder of your shift right now." He spoke slowly, as if he didn't believe the other man had understood him the first time.
Kornan bared his teeth ever so slightly, revealing to Matthew that he felt slighted. He restated his position to Matthew quietly but forcefully, "Lieutenant, I will gladly relieve you of duty tonight. For this favor, I only ask one thing in return; allow me to resume my duties now. It will be my honour to perform both assignments, sir. I do not require quid pro quo, I am Klingon."
Albrecht realized that the young officer had understood him completely the entire time. It was he that was misunderstanding the Klingon. Feeling embarrassed, Matthew attempted to give the ensign some dignity back. He nodded his head and offered, "Thank you, Ensign. Your devotion to duty is commendable." With that comment, Matthew left the bridge.
He entered the turbolift, intending to find a duty station that required his assistance. He considered visiting Gary in Sickbay, but decided that his visit of that morning was enough. The doctors had warned him about spending too much time underfoot. Instead, he ordered the 'lift to deck 38.
When the turbolift doors opened to reveal deck 38, and the main chambers of the security department, Matthew was surprised to see how many officers turned to look at him as if he had turned blue! He even lifted his hand and felt his neck to make sure he hadn't sprouted gills and become Delphinian while on the 'lift. Cadet Corrigan appeared directly in front of him, as if to block his path into Security.
The cadet stood rigidly at attention, reminding Albrecht that he was just out of the Academy. Corrigan spoke, "Lieutenant Albrecht." He didn't say anything else.
Matthew inhaled, held the breath, then replied, "Go on, Cadet. What can I do for you?"
The younger man replied nervously. "Sir, I wonder if you have noticed the discrepancy in some of our holodeck training simulations." When Matthew lifted an eyebrow in the universal gesture of curiosity, the cadet continued, "Well, sir. You see, when we reviewed records and logs from the battle on the Latinum Prince, it appeared that our forces had a very difficult time in personal combat with the Jem'Hadar soldiers that were left behind on her. Um, well, … it seems that the Jam'Hadar simulations we fight against on the holodeck are much easier to defeat. You see?" The cadet maneuvered his superior officer onto the turbolift casually, and succeeded in distracting Matthew entirely from the Security Department.
The 'lift doors closed again, and Matthew chuckled slightly. "Well, that's no surprise, Cadet! Lots of our ship's complement of officers prefer to win their holofights, so they have programmed in fighting flaws, reduced the strength of their opponents, etcetera. Also, when fighting against holographic simulations, we have some advantages in that we are in our own element, and we don't suffer the psychological effects of being thrust into a situation not in our control." He thought for a moment about the reports of ensign Herratta's valor on the other ship. That must have been some sight!
Matthew ordered the 'lift to Holodeck control. "Why don't we go take a look at the standard Jem'Hadar holographic template, and see how many times it has been 'slightly altered' in the past two years, okay?" The cadet nodded his willingness to address the situation. Albrecht added, "We will, of course, have to fix any defects we find. Training sims aren't very effective if your opponent has been handicapped, I always say."
The lieutenant smiled, "In fact, I would wager you that most of our officers, if engaged in actual hand-to-hand combat with one of those killer clones, would not fare half as well as they do in the holodeck!"
by Lieutenant Commander Greer Erikson
Chief Science Officer - USS Galaxy
The office of the Chief Science Officer had been reasonably quiet for the last hour as Lieutenant Commander Erikson sat there and reviewed some logs. Before he could really begin to read them, the door chime to his office sounded.
"Enter." he said as he switched off the display screen. Looking over to the door he saw the Romulan scientist, Lieutenant Sullax, enter. "Take a seat Ensign." he said, changing the tone in his voice.
Ryak looked a little confused. He was a Lieutenant and not an Ensign. "That's Lieutenant sir. Don't you . . ."
changed to reflect his displeasure. "Well if it were up to me you would be shot back down to Ensign, Lieutenant Sullax. Fortunately that decision is not up to me."
The Romulan was not entirely sure whether or not he should sit down, but finally opted to. "This is about what happened in Stellar Cartography isn't it 'Commander?"
Lieutenant Commander Erikson picked up the the PADD which contained the security report which had been made not long after the science officer had been admitted to Sickbay. "Lieutenant Sullax, and I quote," Erikson said as he looked at Sullax, "the technician needed to be disciplined and chose the way he'd best learn. I taught him that he chose the wrong method." Placing the PADD down on his desk, the Chief Science Officer gripped the bridge of his nose and rested his head momentarily as he thought about how he should handle this situation. "Mister Sullax, as an officer of the rank of Lieutenant and a member of this ship you has disgraced yourself. Until this incident I would have described your performance as exemplary. That is, until now."
"I do regret the incident sir. Things did get a little out of hand . . ."
"Out of hand," the Lieutenant Commander said, interrupting the other officer, "the man in question needed to go to Sickbay. The proper course of action, if needed, is to report that officer to his superior officer or to me. Then his superior officer or I take the matter up with that officer or with the Executive Officer."
"I understand 'Commander. It shall not happen again." Sullax said as he genuinely seemed to be sorry what had happened.
Erikson's face became a little more relaxed. "Look Ryak, there are some things in life that are simply better to let you go by and then there are some things in which you should do something about. You have a son Mister Sullax. Is this the kind of message you want to be sending him?" Greer asked rhetorically. "Now, I cannot promise anything will happen since I am not sure how far this will go. However, I do not think that doing nothing is appropriate either, so, you will be required to attended a weekly counseling session. I have already discussed it with Counselor Dallas so starting from next week you will have been expected to have arranged an appointment."
The Lieutenant looked as if he wanted to sneer. "Aye sir."
"Then Lieutenant, you are dismissed."
Watching Lieutenant Sullax leave made Erikson feel a little uncomfortable. He thought that the Romulan was a good officer who had earned the respect of many officers he worked with, however, this incident was a little too severe to let alone. Turning around he tapped the desktop console and tried to concentrate on the logs.
Lt. Karyn Dallas, Chief Counselor
Lt Commander Kahn Nilani, Chief Medical Officer
Karyn sat in sickbay and waited for the rest of her staff to file in. She took the last few minutes before the meeting to collect her own thoughts. The last few days had been extremely stressful for both herself and the crew. The Latinum Prince situation was only the beginning,ever since her last talk with Endris, she couldn't get the Tellarite out of her thoughts. Both she and Matthew had a tough road ahead of them, even if Dumpling survived. Despite the odds, Karyn knew if Dumpling had one tenth the strength his mother and father had, he or she would be ok.
Then of course there was the situation with Astrid. She and Ruina had finally had a major breakthrough with Astrid, who finally decided to stop fighting them and admit she was having trouble coping after being shot on Sigma Iotia 2. She hated to make her relive the incident, but Karyn knew the time had come to fight fire with fire. They had succeeded. As much as anyone could possibly succeed in coping with a traumatic experience. No sooner had she dealt with Astrid that the situation with Gartner had popped up. The young security officer was now recovering after assaulting officers in sickbay. Karyn was going to be the one responsible for her emotional recovery, a task she wasn't looking forward to, especially since she felt guilty for letting her go on that ship in the first place. Karyn told herself her hands were tied, that she couldn't allow herself or others to treat Anna any differently, which included her completing any and all security duties. But at what price was Starfleet willing to pay to severely compromise a person's emotional well-being?
All these thoughts tumbled through Karyn's mind as she caught a glimpse of Nilani from the corner of her eye. The CMO was one of the few people who could truly understand what it was like to "patch someone up" only to have them go back out and risk re-injury. Right now the Bajoran was going through some difficult times of her own. The death of a co-worker seemed to open up many old wounds that would take a long time to heal, things that Karyn suspected were never really dealt with to start with. The knot in her back tightened as she recalled finding Dr. Kahn in sickbay, a few nights earlier.
***Three days ago, after Gamma Shift***
Karyn left the Bridge after filing her Bridge Report, regarding the incident with Daimon Toog. While she was in the turbolift on her way to her quarters for some much needed rest, she was contacted by one of the nurses and asked if she would come to sickbay. It seemed Dr. Khan was not acting like herself lately and the Medical staff was very concerned. Karyn knew they had just lost a very valued colleague that day, so she wasn't really surprised that grief had finally hit the medical staff.
What she saw when she entered took her completely off-guard. Nilani was sitting in the middle of the floor, knees under her chin. Her face was streaked with tears that were still flowing freely from her eyes. She looked up when Karyn entered, her eyes so full of pain it took all Karyn's strength and proffesionalism not to wrap her arms around the doctor, something that would definitely make the CMO uncomfortable and less willing to share her feelings. Karyn lowered her wheelchair to the ground so that she could look the grief-stricken doctor in the eyes.
"Rough night?" asked Karyn.
"I..I don't no what happened. All of a sudden I started thinking about...about her and..." Wrenching sobs overcame her and she was unable to finish her sentence. Karyn squeezed her hand. "I understand, and you have absolutely every right to cry, scream and throw things as much as you want. Someone you cared about died today, sooner or later it was bound to hit you."
"It's not just that, answered Nilani between sobs, "It's everything in my life. Lately, it's been a struggle just to get out of bed. The Captain says I've lost my passion for work and I'm inclined to agree with him. Everything is happening so fast, I don't know what to do. I'm so tired of fighting everything, including myself." Fresh tears rolled down her cheeks as she let go of something that had obviously been bothering her for a long time.
"Then don't fight it, answered Karyn softly, "feel it. Give into everything. You're hurting, and your body and psyche are trying to tell you something. I don't think you've dealt with a lot of things, Nilani, and you've owed it to yourself for so long. You don't have to deal with it by yourself anymore, there are people who can help, when you're ready." Nilani nodded and sighed heavily. "But I can't, I'm too scared...... I need some time to sort things out, maybe I should talk to you for a little while."
"That's an excellent idea, doctor. I think it would be a good idea to put you on light duty for a while, give you a chance to catch your breath. Cat and Endris can manage things in the meantime. I can set up an appointment for you, it'd be completely confidential of course ." Nilani agreed to some counseling. Both women agreed this would be a good time to train the counselors as nurses, since both Endris and Nilani would be on light duty for a while and they would be a little short-handed.
After drying her eyes, Karyn waited while Nilani informed Cat that she would be taking over for her while the CMO was on light duty. Nilani also mentioned the joint meeting between the two departments and Karyn's desire for the Counseling staff to be given some nurse's training. Before eaving, Karyn and Cat shared a knowing glance, as if to confirm that their superior and colleague would be ok, with help.
Karyn was jolted out of her reverie as Dr. Khan began the meeting. A quick glance around the table told her everyone was present, though everyone looked a bit perplexed as to why they were here.
"Ok, we're coming up to a time that we're going to run out of doctors pretty soon, Endris is pregnant and as of the end of this meeting I will be on restricted duty. So, the first big announcment is untill I am placed back on full duty, Cat will be the Acting Chief Medical Officer, Endris will take over as the Acting ACMO untill such time she is unable to perform those duties. Also I would like to announce that we will be training the Councelors in triage and first aid, we're making them into Nurses. I believe Cat and the Chief Councelor have a few words they would like to say!"
Cat rubbed her eyes as she picked up her PADD. "Ok, you'll find the details on the computer. Until something approaching normality, the roster will be, I'm taking Alpha and Beta Shift." Cat looked at Endris and Nilani, "Gakes and Nilani will both be rostered on to Alpha with reduced workloads." Cat looked at Geoffrey Harper, the civilian doctor, "Geoff, I'd like you to take on most of the civilian cases. You're on Alpha."
She indicated D'tarna, "D'tarna, I've got you on double shifts on Gamma and Delta." D'tarna just nodded her acceptance.
Vernon spoke up, "And my shift?"
Cat just looked at Vernon, "You're still on Beta. I'd like to talk to both you and Endris after this meeting."
"Personally, I hate the idea of this. The EMH will be active until everything can go back to normal. "Dr Grinch" will deal with the physicals, unless there is some special requirement. During Gamma and Delta, the EMH duties will be to support D'tarna." Cat grimaced at the thought of having the holographic doctors active for twenty four hours. "That's it. Ahh, I'll see you in my office if anybody want to discuss anything with me."
That being said, Karyn picked up her own PADD to discuss the latest changes. "Thank you all for coming today, I realize it's hard trying to get everyone here at one time, especially with all the recent developments. Before I continue, I'd like to introduce the latest member of the counseling staff, Dr. Khyan "Moses" Amenhotep. Most of you probably know him as Dr. Mo from your Academy days. I have to tell you, Dr. Mo, I never thought I'd see the day I would be commanding a former professor." Karyn gave a mischievious grin, as she rubbed her palms together, "talk about every officer's dream!" There were chuckles around the room. More seriously she added, "I and the rest of the staff welcome you, your guidance will be most appreciated." The newest counselor nodded his appreciation, it was not hard to miss the pride in his eyes.
Karyn continued. "By now you all should be getting used to the four-shift rotation. Though it seemed difficult at first, it has given everyone a chance to gain experience in all areas of the ship and counseling department. I'd like us, as counselors, to use this new opportunity to "brush up" and gain some new first aid and triage skills. Essentially, we'll all be trained as nurses, so that in emergency and Red Alert situations, we can help the doctors handle the injured as quickly as possible. For training purposes, we will each be assigned to a nurse who will teach a refresher course in first aid and emergency medicine. Part of your training will include spending at least an hour in sickbay each day, under the supervision of a nurse, taking care of patients with minor injuries. From this moment on, your new battlestations will be in sickbay. " Karyn pressed a button on her PADD to scan the rest of her notes, then continued.
"Since everyone has appointments at different times, I'll leave it up to you to decide when you come in. Use this opportunity to sharpen your skills and gain some experience. In emergency situations I'm hoping a few extra pairs of hands can be of some help. This will give us all a chance to use our skills when we're most needed and give us some insight into what the critically injured person goes through, even before they enter our offices. Are there any questions?"
Karyn looked around the table, ready to answer any questions. She did not discuss Nilani situation. She wanted to respect the doctor's privacy. Karyn knew control was important to Nilani and she didn't want to embarrass her. She figured Cat, Endris or Vernon would go to Nilani or herself, if they had any questions or concerns.
After her comments, Karyn turned toward Nilani to see if she had anything more to add...
Lt. j.g. Ordell Kincade
Ordell had just finnished up with helping out with the filters and had returned to the Caddy when Counselor O'Keefe stopped him. "Lieutenant, I was wondering if I could ask you a favor," she said. "Sure, Counselor," he replied, shrugging. "I, as well as the counseling staff of the St. Loius, need some help from those not reaserching the virus. We need them to go and just talk to the Ocero. Try to find out more about them, if you can. Find out about where they come from, what life was like on their homeworld, why they left, where they've traveled since leaving, who they've met in space. Not only that, help us to know the refugees individually. Have the refugee or refugees you interview tell you about their family, their path in life, their fears about the disease, their uncertainty over being so far from home and in such a strange place as the St. Louis. Primarily, just try to comfort them and try to get their minds off of their current situation."
Ordell considered it for a moment. "Well, if you really want me to. Remember, I'm an engineer, not a counselor. Are you sure I won't get court-martialed for counseling without a license?" Fiona laughed. "I'm sure. If anyone asks, tell them I pulled rank and ordered you to. Thanks for your help. Oh, the CMO of the St. Louis insists, and Dr. Jergensen and Captain Manion agree, that all those beaming over to the St. Louis will need to be in an E-suit, to prevent that bug from getting spread around any more than it already has." Ordell went off to help out.
Visiting the Prisoner
By Ens. Tim O'Connell and Anna Gartner
USS Galaxy deck 38
O'Connell entered the security office finding Anna Gartner sitting in the brig.
"Anna, I just came from Sickbay, Neil's fine how are you doing?"
"Yes." The little Ensign said, sitting on her bunk in the corner of her ceil. "I had a chance to see him before I was escorted down here but he as still out of it. As for me, I'm fine. It's boring but I pass the time by sleeping or zoning out."
"It's sort of a trance. I just focus on a point in space and just empty my head of conscious thought. It's a cool way to pass time, better than thinking."
"Why's is that?"
"Because sometimes I think of things I rather not." Gartner answered then pleaded. "Please... talk about something else."
Tim responded, " I brought you something." he set down a cupcake with a nail file stuck in the middle."the cake is chocolate and the file is peppermint." He turned to ens. Rogers who was doing brig control duty, "Jerry, drop the field." The field dropped and he placed the cake on the floor.
Anna waited until Tim backed away and the forcefield to her cell was reactivated before she got up to investigate his gift. Picking it up she giggled in delight. "I love chocolate Tim!"
Then she pulled the nail file out of the cupcake with a slight frown. "However besides keeping my nails properly groomed I don't think this is going to give me my freedom any time soon but I do appreciate the gesture. Thank you."
"Well, I doubt a peppermint file will cut through anything considering you're supposed to eat it."
Gartner smiled broadly. "Boy, you're working double time to cheer me up."
O'Conell sat down, " Anna, like I said in sickbay, my buddy likes you so you must be ok and I do enjoy spending time together, so if you keep getting locked up... who am I going to run that Klingon party scenario with?"
"You can always go with Neil but I'm much better looking wouldn't you say?"
O'Connell looks at the young ensign, "I would definately say you are much better looking then Neil, besides if I danced with Neil, how would it look?" He smiled sheepishly and continued, "besides you and I have the same evil sense of humor."
"How is Neil? I heard that he should be up and about soon?"
"When I left him he was awake and in good spirits, I don't know the exact medical term for that but he seems healthy. I cornered a Nurse and asked when he'd be out... She couldn't say but he's back in our quarters."
"Good." Gartner breathed a sigh of relief. "Now I only have to worry about myself... Oh! And my fern plant! I hope Lexana remembers to water the poor thing!"
A good cry
Ltjg WhiteSong to-Ennine CMO
WhiteSong excused herself and trotted to her office. Once behind a closed door, she started to weep. She cried for Alex,he was in agony and she at a loss of how to help him. She cried for Bradly McGee, she was going to loose her intended mate. She would never again feel his touch, or laugh at his jokes. But mostly she cried for herself and that's what made her feel the worse.
She felt pretty selfish to be thinking about her own grief. Seeing Bradly McGee sitting at his side holding his hand brought back memories of the day GreyCloud died.She sat by his side just like that. She held his hand and when the end was near she sang Amazing Grace for him. It was an ancient Earth song that was sang when someone died. How could she think about herself now? She was ashamed of her selfishness.
WhiteSong took a deep breath, she had to compose herself. Alex needed her and she had to be strong enough to keep her personal feelings out of it. No matter how hard that would be.
Is there a Plasma Storm nearby?
by Lt Luke Claymore, Chief Engineer, USS Caduceus
reviewed by Captain Manion
*** Jefferies Tube 502-Junction Gamma ***
Something didn't feel right about the ship. Like some Terrans, who could reportedly sense changes in the barometer, Luke sensed that the ship was headed towards a Plasma Storm. Knowing this impression wasn't much to go on, Claymore had fetched a tool belt from engineering. Then he went to visually inspect the neural gel packs in the area leading to the computer core.
Although the siliconoid couldn't put a finger on it, the readings seemed a little odd, as if something minor was interfering with the coordination between the gel pack transmitters.
*Hum, this is interesting*, he thought. *The Nitrate levels are high. I wonder what caused this imbalance.* The bulky Lieutenant could barely fit in the narrow tube, so he slid out to a wider junction to consult a computer terminal.
Claymore read quickly through the manifest of the mixture 'fed' to the gel packs to keep them in balance. Nothing was amiss. Unless... Luke brushed his bald scalp and thought a moment. The fluids listed on the PADD were correct. Unless one of the containers of raw ingredients had been physically misnomered. That could surely have happened.
*There's now time to worry about that now, I have to find out what increased Nitrate levels will do to the computer*. Luke pulled some spare tricorders out of a storage locker and attached them to take continuous readings of the gel packs. Maybe there was a pattern to the nitrate spikes that would provide a clue. After attaching 5 tricorders to randomly selected gel packs, Luke left the diagnostic running and headed for the computer core.
If there was trouble brewing, it would probably hit there first.
*** Computer Core ***
"Rocks!", Luke exclaimed to himself. The Nitrate levels were even higher here. Nothing on the circuit boards claimed to be amiss. Meanwhile, Ensign Belod had collected a digital timing board and some other supplies the chief had called for from engineering. He walked in and swivelled on his hooves.
"Snacks! What's that odor?", he complained. Luke hadn't noticed an awkward smell, so he decided to query the Tellarite.
"I don't smell anything, but then my nose doesn't have your sensitivity, Ensign. Can you pinpoint the source of the trouble.",
"There", he pointed to the far wall with his furry arm. "It distinctly smells like Ozone."
Luke didn't like what he heard. The panel the ensign indicated controlled the interface from the computer to the main sensor array. If something was indeed burnt out and not registering on his instruments, the Tellarite's nose had just saved them allot of time.
The Chief engineer leaned up and pulled back the hinges from the sensor circuitry. The first 3 boards showed nothing wrong, but checking them took almost a quarter hour. There were a lot of minaturized parts which formed the interface board.
The fourth board, however, was a different story. A key transistor had shorted out, giving no resistance to current. It was the sensor that determined the amount of Nitrates to deliver to the gel packs.
*Of course the problems would be related. Sensor feedback determines how to adjust the functionality of the packs.*, Claymore thought.
The bridge wasn't going to like this. -/\-Claymore to bridge-/\-, he summoned. -/\-We have a burnt out part in the sensor interface. I can replace it, but sensors will be offline for about an hour while I make the adjustments. The repair must be done soon, or the gel packs will start to degrade when they saturate with Nitrates.-/\-
The bridge acknowledged the repair, and took the sensors offline so they could be fixed.
-/\-Claymore to Ordell-/\-, he tapped. Static erupted from the comm badge, indicating the current flowing through the circuit now exposed for repair was interfering with communications.
"Ensign Belod, please go find Lt Ordell and ask him to help you calibrate the main sensor array. It's going to drift out of alignment while it is offline", Thinking a moment, he handed a Padd with those orders on it to the Ensign to prevent any delays.
Luke bent down with a tool and extracted the broken circuit, then replicated a new one. Installation was going to take a while...
Just when Luke thought an extended repair time was needed, he noticed the circuits were less damaged than he originally estimated. The new part slipped into place without hassles, and he completed the repair in minutes.
After notifying the bridge that sensors were back on line (after only a 5 minute pause), he contacted Ordell and Belod. Somebody, probably a human ensign, was excited about the repaired sensor grid. Luke heard something he only suspected:"Hey, there's a plasma storm about 27 AU's away. It looks like we can steer clear of it with no problems....", the voice abruptly cut off from the bridge as the auditory circuit closed.
There was now no longer a problem with static, since the board was fixed. Luke tapped his comm badge to contact the others. -/\-Lt (jg) Ordell and Ensign Belod, this is Chief Claymore. There has been a change of plan. I have repaired the sensors from the panel in the computer core. Meet me in the Quarantine unit in 5 minutes. We need to check it out throughly, since this is the first time it has been deployed except in testing.-/\-
*** 15 Minutes Later, Quarantine Unit ***
"All the diagnostics check out Chief", Belod informed. The visual inspection continued, and all the parts were in perfect working order. Luke checked his link to the tricorders he had left in the Jefferies Tube. The Nitrate levels had descended to normal after the repair he had done to the dispenser circuit!
"Okay, Ensign. I have an easy job for you. Go to Jefferies Tube 502-Junction Gamma. Collect the five tricorders which have completed their diagnostics and return them to storage." The Tellarite did not look pleased at being assigned such a mundane task. He felt like complaining, but finally dismissed his agitation with a smile and waddled out the door. He could time things so he could complete the chore and still drop by 8-Forward for a Snack!
"Mr Ordell", the engineer addressed. "Things check out fine here. What would you suggest we do next?"
The Trill swallowed, not accustomed to his superiors asking for input. Rather than object, he rationalized advice was being solicited because he was a valued member of the staff. He paused briefly to compose a response...
Tim O'Connell sat at his desk running scans and checks on Rotan Herreta's files, A friend and former arrestee from his days on the force sent him some extremly powerful decryption software which he turned loose on the Naussican's files.
He scanned and re encrypted 2 personal logs, a letter from home and a file saved with a really involved encryption code plus it's in Naussican so he can't read it but what he can extract shows that Herretta has been monitoring our movements.
O'Connell smiled, "Ahh young Jedi you have learned well but I am still the master." Just then his alert chimed letting him know that Herretta was heading back to his quarters. O'Connell rapidly exited the system and begain to dictate a report to Comander Sunder.
===Classify as top secret eyes only Chief Security officer=====
To: Lt.Comdr Ursa Sunder COS
Fr; Ens Timothy O'Connell
Subj: Counter inteligance Ens. Rotan Herreta
Sir, I have monitored all detail and information on the actions of Ensign Rotan Herreta and discovered he is on to our planning and was tracked entering the Captain;s ready room. It is my recommendation that we fully brief ens. Herreta on the actual plans and keep him under strict silence. Failure to do so may result in possible discovery.
Ens. Timothy O'Conner
"Computer send this message to Lt.Comdr. Sunder text only authorization voice print and password authority only."
The computer responded "message sent" . O'Connell smiled satisfied at his accomplishment.
=/\= "Assisting the Injured" =/\=
Ensign Tarawn Seires
Medical Officer, USS Galaxy
Tarawn ran to the bedside of a slighty older ensign. He brought the medical scanner up and scanned the injury. He reached over to his tray of tools but not finding the one needed. "Two broken ribs and a fractured pelvis. I'll need a bone reconstructor," yelled the Ensign over the confusion of the packed sickbay.
Another doctor passed by, dropping the tool into Tarawn hand as she went. He immediately brought the device up and went to work on repairing the damaged bones. After several minutes he picked up the dermal regenerator from his tray and began repairing the skin tissue.
"Ok, you'll be fine now," said Tarawn to the unconcious ensign, but really more to himself. He sighed and looked at the chronometer, his shift had been over for almost an hour. Tired of the sight of blood he turned to the chief medical officer on duty. "I'm going off shift now," yelled Tarawn over the crowded room.
A little over twenty minutes later Tarawn sat in his quarters pondering. He sighed and pulled off his medical jacket, which was coated in a few places with blood. He removed his standard uniform and put on his dress uniform and combed his hair.
He whistled as he strode out of his quarters and towards a turbolift. He entered the lift and smiled at the Lt. next to him. "Computer, holodeck 1," said Tarawn, looking around the holodeck. The computer beeped and the lift began, sliding through the ship towards the holodeck.
He exited the lift and walked into the holodeck, right into the middle of the party. Tarawn slipped through the crowd, greeting the few people he had met thus far in the past few weeks. He also introduced himself to a few crew members he had yet to meet as he arrived at the refreshment table...