Shtik paced the windward side of the quarterdeck as was his right as master and commander within the holo-scenario he was playing out. The Vulcan was forced to admit to himself that he was enjoying the complex mathematical calculations necessary to keep the square rigged sailing ship moving through the sea in the most efficient manner. The ratio of wind speed to area of exposed sail was in constant fluctuation when compared to the ships heading and wind direction. The ship's heel and center's of balance were also variables in this complex equation. Even the task of navigation was an interesting challenge: even though it was only across a two dimensional surface, rather than the complexities of space travel, it was given a certain charm by forcing the Vulcan to work out all of the details within his head, without the aid of any computer assistance.
All of this could prove to be a fascinating exercise if not for the danger they were undoubtedly heading toward. As the senior ranking officer, it was up to Shtik to find a way to defeat the Natividad, a Spanish ship of the line. In addition to being hopelessly out gunned, Shtik's knowledge of naval combat was sadly anachronistic. Although he could work out many of the most local implications of two dimensional nautical combat, he lacked the instinctive reactions to the subtle variances a captain of this time period would make use of.
He looked out among his crew as he analyzed his sense of responsibility to them. Granted, most of them were really lifeless holograms who were simply a part of this scenario he was trapped in. But one of them, Ensign Han, was actually a fellow crew member who would be in just as much danger as Shtik himself in the upcoming battle. It was his presence that helped force Shtik into the search for a solution to the battle.
Ensign Han, in the persona of first officer, Lt. Bush, was currently teaching one of the gunners some simple karate moves. Shtik thought about the young Asian human and how they might get out of this current dilemma. Unfortunately they had been cut off from the computer that controlled their holoprogram, therefore reprogramming the simulation was impossible... Or was it?
Shtik looked down again to the waist of the ship where the gap toothed British sailor was experimenting with a high kick under the direction of Ensign Han. He fell into a pile of rigging as the rest of his crew mates laughed and jeered. None the less, Shtik raised an eyebrow in fascination. Perhaps there was a way to reprogram the simulation...
Lt Tim O'COnnell
Ens BRooke Ames
NRPG: This takes place before part one of the Galactic food chain post series and warning this one is LONG
Brooke sat on the couch, looking around the place. She couldn't believe that she really moved in with him. She fell asleep on the couch waiting for Tim.
Tim walked in and saw Brooke asleep on the couch he knew one way to wake her up. He leaned over her and began to plant small kisses on her face, "wake up Dr Ames." he whispered.
She woke up with a smile. "Hi, I must have fallen asleep."
"You must have, did you get my note about meeting with the XO." He curled up with her on the couch.
"Yes, I did. So, what did he want with you? Nothing too serious I hope."
Tim smiled, "well not exactly just more work and all. His wife is going to earth for medical reasons and I'm taking her job." He got a wicked smile, "well her starfleet job that is."
"Well that's great. Looks like you're moving up in the world of Starfleet. I guess congratulations are in order." She kissed him.
Tim kissed her back, "you are now sharing a quarters with the acting chief of shuttle operations."
"That's nice, I'm happy for you. We really should go out and celebrate this promotion."
Tim kissed her again, "Very well, where too." He smiled gently caressing her cheek.
"I don't know. It's your promotion. Where would you like to go?"
Tim looked at her with a wicked grin, "well....I'd say bed, but I prefer to have a nice meal with you, maybe 10 foreward, someplace casual."
"10 forward is fine. I just need to freshen up and then we can go." She goes into the restroom. "So Chief, how does it feel to know that you are now the head hauncho in your department?" She teased.
Tim follwed and smiled, "Well it's no biggie I just sign padds, The bay runs itself all this means is I get an office." He chuckled and watched what she was doing, "so what are you going to wear, that miniskirt I like?" he grinned to show he was teasing her.
"You wish." She sticks her head out, "Actually, I wasn't going to change my clothes but if you think I should, be my guest and pick something out for me."
Tim smiled, "Naah you're fine since you won't wear Ferengi standard female dress." He exteneded his hand, "Let's go Food awaits my beloved."
"You'd love that, wouldn't you?" She took his hand and they headed out. "Just think, you get to give the orders instead of taking them."
Tim smiled as they walked to the turbolift, "Give order please, last time I gave an order I think I tried to give one to Neil he just looked at me like I was insane." Tim smiled and draped his arm around her shoulder.
"Yeah but that's Neil. I don't think you'll have any problems. If you do, just send them to me, I'll take care of them for you." She joked.
Tim gently kissed her again, "does this mean I can give you orders?" He had a look on his face like a kid on christmas but his eyes were twinkling.
She laughs, "I think they've created a monster." He was pushing it now. "No, you can't order me around" she thinks for a moment "of course, technically, you do outrank me."
Tim smiled, "that's right I do." He thought for a second, "well then I order you to love me and be marry me." he grinned.
"I think I can obey that order. Loving you, that's easy. you don't need to order me to do that. And marrying you already goes with the loving you. What did I tell you. Your first orders and look how easy that was." she cotinued teasing him.
The elevator stopped at the 10th floor. They get out and begin to walk down the hallway to the bar Tim looked at her and smiled, "So now you have your orders Brooke." Before they got in he decided for one last kiss before they walked in he wrapped his arms aroundher waist and held her close to him. He gently brushed his lips against hers for a warm tender kiss.
"Maybe taking orders from you might not be so bad." She smiled at him. "Shall we go in?"
"Before we draw a crowd." They walked in and took their usual table, "What are you in the mood for tonight?" He checked the menu while he asked her.
She looks on the menu, "Hmm, I don't see anything here saying Tim O'Connell a la carte so I'll settle for the chief salad, I mean, the chef salad."
Tim looked at her, "I'll take a Chicken ceaser salad as for Tim O'Connell a la carte, just wait you can have that too."
With a flirtatious look, "Oh, I know thatbut I always save the best for last."
The flirting beteween them was only interrupted by Electra delivering their meals she gave the 2 of them a look and smiled, "Careful over here or I'll turn a hose on Tim there."
Tim just smiled.
"I don't think a hose would be enough to cool him off." she told Electra.
Tim just blushed. Then he began to eat his salad while the bartender walked away to tend to other patrons. "After dinner we should go to the arbouretum."
"Oh yeah, that will be nice." She to began to eat her salad. "So, when are you supposed to go back to work?"
"I gotta do a milk run with Neil Anna and Kalln tomorrow, won't be too bad." He smiled, "No worries love." Tim dug in to his salad and kept eating. "I'll be back before you miss me."
"A milk run? I'm not worried. And as for me missing you, I always miss you no matter how long you're gone." she smiled back.
"I'll miss you too, but it will be 9 10 hours max and when I get back I'll wake you in a very..." he lowered his voice, "...special way."
"I bet you will." She finished her meal and waved Electra over. She ordered a glass of wine. "Well, don't have too much fun, okay?"
"I'm going to spend 9 hours on a shuttle with Neil and the lovebirds belive me I will have no fun."
"Uh oh, the third wheel syndrome. I've seen that before." she teased.
"Well Neil and I are going to be the wheels on this one," He snickered, "But maybe we'll have them over for dinner some time."
"Yeah, maybe. Then we can show them two great lovebirds."
"Oh I think Anna will disagree." He smiled, "But you haven't met Mr Kalln yet have you?"
"No, I really haven't met anyone. You'll have to introduce me sometime." Brooke finished her wine.
Tim smiled, "You'll love him a 7 foot lizard with an attitude that I swear he must have run a sector car to get." He stood and took her hand, "C'mon the arbouretum awaits."
She walked along side Tim, holding onto his hand. This felt so familiar but htis time, they were engaged to be married.
They got in to the turbolift and it whirred, "so...what do you want to do now?" he asked her with a smile.
"Anything, as long as it's with you." She would never get tired of being with him.
"Then want to stay in tonight, We could pop some popcorn watch a movie and see what happens." He looked at her in a way which said you know what's going to happen.
She kidds with him, "Why bother putting a movie on? We both know what is going to happen, don't we?" She moved closer to him. "Clothes strewn all over the place, us in bed, and making mad, pasionate love."
"Have you ever complained?" He grinned."Besides ever seen Predator 4 possibly the worst film ever made." He wrapped his arms around her waist and squeezed her close.
"Yeah, I've seen it and I agree. I guess there is something about a bad flick that makes us horny as hell. And no, I have and never will complain about it."
Tim looked at her and laughed, "I'll make a list of bad films then." He kissed her softly, "but ask yourself, is it bad movies or just us..."
"Just us. But we can't help it that our desire for each other is strong. I don't know any other way to show you how much I love you. Giving ourselves to each other is the best gift we can give each other. Of course, you having a very desirable body helps."
Tim looked her up and down, "well your body is something I desire more each day." He kissed her softly, "Now let's get out of this turbolift before I just stop the thing and see if we can before engineering shows up."
"Yeah, we'll save that for another time when we need a little adventure in our love life."
"Like we ever need adventure."He grinned and hugged her close, "We're already pleanty adventerous."
They get off the turbolift and get to their quarters. Brooke planted one more kiss on his lips before they went in. "That's because I can."
He kissed her back, "You can whenever you want." They walked in to their quarters and he sat next to her on the couch "Wanna see a bad movie. Or just skip to the end result."
"Oh go ahead and put the bad movie on. I'm going to get comfortable, very comfortable."
Tim smiled and sat down on the couch beginning to select a movie he waited for Brooke to reappear in her comfortable clothing.
Brooke came out in a nightshirt and a skimpy pair of panties and sat down on the couch. She rubbed her hands into her short hair and leaned back against the couch, making herself comfortable.
Tim dropped his hand down to her shapely thigh beginning to trace a pattern along the smooth skin while the movie unfolded, It was lousy, but he continued his soft caresses to her.
Brooke slid down and put her head on his lap. "The movie may be lousy but the company is wonderful." She laid there, face up, looking at Tim and not the movie.
Tim's hand moved over to her face and soft hair gently gliding his hands around to enjoy the softness of her hair. "I have no complaints about the company." He smiled softly, "As a matter of fact I love the company."
"I'm glad. You know what? I think that we should turn off this movie and make our own."
"No movie might get out, but I will act it out with you." He grinned, "besides some things I like to keep private."
She rolled her eyes and shook her head. "Cute." He was so irrisistable to her. She sat up and turned to Tim, kissing him as she took his hand and brought it up under her nightshirt.
Tim began to caress her soft skin finding the areas he knew she liked, he was able to know her body as well as he knew his own, His second hand went under the shirt as well. Soon he slowly slipped the shirt over her head and began kissing a slow tantalizing trail over the exposed skin.
She whispered arousing things in his ear, telling him what she wanted from him and how.
Which after getting them to their bedroom and leaving parts of his uniform along the way he complied, never let it be said he wasn't one to obey orders. Especially when he enjoyed making love with Brooke as much as he did.
Brooke whispered some more things to him. She loved the feel of her breast against his chest, the feel of his back as her nails scraped across it.
The evening was pretty much determined as they continued to make a firey love that never could be extinguished, an intense and passionate affair that sealed their commitement to each other each time they joined their souls spirits and bodies.
Afterwards, Brooke looked into his eyes. "That is how much I love you." Tonight, she had given her all to him.
Tim gently brought her hand to his lips and kissed it, "I love you more then that." he smiled, "But this isnt' a contest. Just seeing you smile and making you happy and knowing that every day when I come home I'm gonna be with you shows me how much we love each other. Even if we never made love again." He smiled, "but we both know that will never happen."
Smiling back at him, "Most definately."
Tim nuzzled her neck and kissed it, "Besides every day I get to spend bathing in your beauty is a good day."
She got smug look on her face, "Then I guess you'll never have a bad day."
Tim planted small kisses on her neck and collaer, "As long as you are there, no."
'You always know how to make feel good about myself." No one else ever did that for her. "I try my love." He hugged her close and continued to plant kisses on her body in random places, she had no clue where he'd go next.
"You sure do." The anticipation was driving her crazy. Once in awhile, he'd get a laugh or two out of her or some other reaction from her.
Tim continued his random pattern of kissing and nibbling on her body focusing on what he knew she;d like.
"Enough!" She laughed, "You are making me crazy." He was arousing her again. He had a habit of doing that. to her.
Tim stopped and looked at her, "Am I making you nuts again, Good."
"Like you didn't know. Taking advantage of a woman madly in love, shame on you."
"Well you have a male madly in love too." he continued to nibble on her neck.
She teased, "I give up. Take me. I'm yours to do with what you may."
Tim looked at her a wicked glint in his eyes, "then I choose to...." He contiuned to kiss her and began to caress her softly.
She knew that look. "I think that this doctor agrees with your choice." She gave in, loving every minute with him.
Tim continued his caressing, "Does this mean you want to play doctor?"
"Sure but I want to be the patient this time." She playfully pouts, "I never get to be the patient."
Tim grinned, "then I believe you need a very....thourough...examination."
"Yes, I think so too. So Dr. O'Connell, where do you want to begin?"
Tim gently began to caress her body around the neck and cheek."we'll start with a full p
hysical then we'll do it again and again."
"Again and again? Then it looks like we are going to be here for a very, very...long...time."
He gently moved his hand down her frame, "I guess we are," he whispered.
She leaned up and kissed him. "I can really get used to this."
He kissed her back and rolled over so she was on top of him, "I don't want you to get used to me."
"Don't worry, everytime we make love, it will be as if the first time." She couldn't help but kiss him this time with more intensity.
He returned her kisses, "Every time I see you with me it's like that first time." He continued to kiss and caress her knowing exactly what excited her and how to arouse her.
Her breathing became heavy as she whispered, "Make love to me again."
Tim began to make love to her again Firey and intense as everytime beteween them is, The lovemaking came from his soul.
Just when she thought that it couldn't get more intense, it did. She was brought to a higher level of ecstacy.
After they finished Tim held her close as they basked in a a warm glow, "I swear Brooke it gets better each time."
"I know it gets better each time. You are so incredible when it comes to making love." She smiles, "Are you sure that you haven't been taking lesson?" She was kidding with him, of course.
Tim grinned, "A few lessons in love. But I am only as good as my current lover. The one I am with forever."
She continued to kid, "Hmm, I wonder who that could be?"
Tim looked at her, "A blonde about 5'9 twinkling blue eyes and a body that does not quit." He grinned, "She's a doctor or something.
"Gee, I just can't figure out who that could be." Brooke again played the part of a dumb blonde.
Tim looked at her and stuck his tongue out,"Forget it Ames you don't play the dumb blonde well."
"I don't know whether to take that as a compliment or an insult."
He scooped her on to his lap, "Considering I love your mind more then your body I'd take that as a compliment."
She kissed him, "Nice save Mr. O'Connel."
Tim kissed her back, "Not a save the truth."
"I love you. That was so nice."
HE looked at her and cocked his heead with a grin, "what my words or the sex?"
"Actually, both. Just like I said before, you're incredible."
Tim gently reached out and caressed her nose, "I am only as incredible as my lover. You are incredible too, you know I know what I like."
"Okay then, we're both awesome and we fulfill each other in everyway, how's that?"
"Fine." He gently kissed under her chin, "But I must say is this is a nice evening for the both of us, do yuo want to finish that movie now?"
"I guess so. This time we should be able to get through it." She joked.
Tim snickered, "we hope." He got up and shrugged on a robe, "Or maybe our mutual lust will step in and we'll end up back in here."
"Don't count on it. I don't think that I could."
Tim laughed, "Oh I think I could convince you."
She snuggled up close to him. "Probably."
Tim got her a robe and tehy sat on the couch this time he selected a better film and they relaxed to watch it.
"Much better." She added.
Tim smiled, "we've watched enough crap, I figure an Oscar winner is called for." He looked at the screen, "Rocky, the first one. A great film."
"It is certainly that. She leaned her head against his shoulder, making herself comfortable."
He looked at her, "and the film I named you after, we saw this, when we made the decision to be serious." He looked at her, "It was a nice evening. We almost made love that night."
"I remember. Do you ever wish we had made love that night?"
"Sometimes I do, I mean it was the first time I saw you with out clothing, and the first time you saw me. But then I went to the academy. It would have made out break up harder."
"I don't know. Maybe we would have never broken up and then you wouldn't have..." She pauses for a second, "I guess we'll never know."
Tim sighed, "Who knows what would have happened, you and I could have come back togethre adn you had your husband and children or somehting." he kissed her softly, "but we're here now and together."
"We are. I'm sorry. Just when I think I have accepted the things that happened, I find that it still bothers me. I don't mean to...damn, I can be such an idiot sometimes."
Tim looked at her and embraced her, "we're here now, the past shapes us and we are part of it, but I knew one thing, you always looked good naked," He grinned.
He managed to make her smile. She shook her head, "Thanks a lot."
"Brooke, when you first saw me, well undressed what was your first thought?" he always wondered what she thought on that night.
She nervously laughed and felt herself blush, "Tim, what a thing to ask me. This is so embarrassing. Okay, my first thought was that I died and went to heaven and then I thought that you had a great ass."
Tim looked at her, "A great ass, me?" He chuckled, "I thought you had nice well....." he actually blushed. "But you still do."
She was tickled by it. "Hey, so do you. In fact, I think yours is even better now."
Tim smiled, "well thank you Brooke you still know what your best features are?"
"Should I be afraid to ask?" She laughs, "Nevermind, okay, what?"
Tim looked her up and down theatrically, staring at her legs her chest then her face. He screwed his face up in to a theatrical pose of deep thought then spoke, "Your......eyes." He smiled, "what did you expect me to say?"
"I don't know, my nice, firm breasts or something like that. That's usually what most guys look at first besides their face."
Tim smiled, "I'm not most guys, he then looked at her chest and peeked in her robe, "but tehy are nice."
Smugly, "I know they are." She closes her robe, "And, yes, you are not most guys. There is only one of you, and you're all mine."
Wrapping her in his arms he slips his hand inside her robe caressing one of her breasts, "You got that right and there is only one of you and you are all mine."
"Okay, I'm glad we got that settled. " She gave him slow and tender kiss.
Tim's hand continued his caress as he returned her kiss, "It is settled then."
She snickered, "Didn't I just say that?"
Tim gently caressed her his hands covering the exposed parts, "you did I was agreeing with my beloved fiancee and some day mother of my children."
The movie was still playing. "Isn't this just like us. We put a movie on and don't even watch it."
"It's because I can't keep my eyes off of you or my hands eitehr." He gently kissed her neck.
"I see that. I don't mind or anything."
"I love to be with you no matter what we end up doing." He held her close both their robes had opened by this time exposing their chests. Tim gazed down now and then her beauty distracting him from the movie.
I t was distracting her also. "I don't know about you Tim. Haven't you had enough? You're going to wear me out before we get married."
Tim chuckled "and the birth control is effective 99 times out of 100 we can't compete with those odds, I'm sorry Brooke." he said seriously, "I just can't believe this is happening, us getting married."
She pinches him, "Can you now?"
He pinched her, "yea I can but I should stop grinnin like this I feel stupid."
She laughs, "I could say something but I won't Mr. Cheshire Cat."
"I know I know I looked at some padds and I swear I saw your face." He gently caressed her cheek, "It must be love."
"Must be." She too found herself smiling.
Tim wrapped her closer, "so for the weddign Betazoid dress?"
"No way. I don't fancy showing off my body to everyone. Don't you see the words on me, "For your eyes only? So, that's out."
His eyes got bright, "Maybe a tattoo, property of Tim O'Connell." He had a grin to show he was teasing her.
"Seriously, I think a traditional wedding would be fine."
Tim thought, "Federation standard, no Klingon traditions?" he was teasing her, "seriously yea traditional wedding white dress me Full dress uniform." He looked at her, "I'll start introducing you arond as my fiancee. I want you to have a lot of friends I'll introduce you to the love birds anyway."
"Okay, that would be great." He was right, she didn't know anyone yet.
"Maybe Lex and James my friends and all." He looked at her, "I want you to know all my friends."
"Good. Then I can find out more secrets about you." She grinned.
"I should say oen thing about Lex..." He looked at her, "did I tell you I asked her out. She said no, but I figure I should tell you."
"No, you didn't but that's okay. I'm glad she said no. It would have proved to be uncomfortable."
"Why, even if I had've had one dinner with her so what? I wouldn't have had a chance." HE looked at her, "She and James are like us."
"You had dinner with her?" She thought she'd give him a hard time.
"Yea I also had dinner with Anna Gartner," He knew she was teasing him so he had some fun back.
"Anna Gartner, who's that?"
"Anna, she's the one dating Kalln." HE looked at her with a smile.
She laughed, "Sounds like some sort of old soap opera."
"Hardly I never dated either of them, they are good friends. Hell I know you'd get along great with Lex."
"Well see. I'm sure I'll have no problem fitting in. Afterall, I did win Neil over."
"You did and you won a very important part of me."
"Every part of you is important. I just wished that I had realized that earlier."
"I was talking about my heart." He kissed her again a long slow tender kiss.
"Oh, your heart. Well that too."
He smiled then kissed her again. "Well I love you and I always will." He untied her robe and held her close, "I know I wore you out but can I hold you close."
"Always." She embraced him as well.
"This is nicer then making love to you, I like making love to you but just feeling your heart with mine is a wonderful feeling."
"I agree. I could stay like this forever."
"Maybe we could stay here forever."
"I wish but that four letter word comes to mind, well, actually two....work and duty."
"Not the one I was thinking of." He kissed her cheek and held her feeling her heart beating next to his. "But youre right I have to work tomorrow and so do you Dr."
"Well Chief, I guess then we should probably turn off the movie and get some sleep."
"No let's sit up and maybe even try for a third time." HE grinned to show her he was teasing her.
"I'm glad you're kidding. At this rate, I'll have to take vitamin shots to keep up with you."
Tim grinned, "I think you can do it." He smiled, "But I need my rest.I'm tired."
"Well, then let's hit the sack and get some shut eye, Doctor's orders."
"Do we have to put on clothing?" He smiled.
"No you don't. Anyway, I love feeling your naked body next to mine."
"I love it too." They climbed in to bed and Tim wrapped her in his arms holding her close to him, "I love you Brooke."
"I love you more" she said with a smile.
"Oh really? I love you more then tehre are stars in the sky."
"More like the stars in the universe."
"Well that too, Now if we get any sweeter we're gonna come down with sugar overload." He snickered.
"Okay, good night."
"Not that I'm complaining." He gently kissed her lips.
"I know." She kissed him back with the same gentleness.
"you know we are going to get married and have lots of babies together."
"Lots of babies. I hope so."
"10 or 20 babies Little babys running around." He kissed her again, "we are gonna be together forever."
"I'm counting on that. But 10 or 20? I don't think that the human body could handle that many, would you settle for 7?"
"Well we can try for as many as possible." HE grinned, "But I'l settle for 2 or 3."
"Oh good, I can handle that."
"But even if we stop at 3 can we still make love?" he grinned.
"You've got a one track mind. Yes, all the time." She was getting really sleepy. "Now go to sleep."
"My mind isn't that one tracked." he closed his eyes and started to drift off, "I don't want to miss a thing." he said softly as he drifted off.
Brooke whispered goodnight and cuddled closely with him, falling asleep herself.
by Captain Robert Edward Lee Price
*** Risa ***
Captain Price was hip deep in the quietly flowing creek. The water gently flowed around his insulated rubber pants while he carefully cast out his fly fishing line several times in an attempt to get the fist to bite. A few meters away, Yeoman York was sitting on a rock near the shore. She was having trouble untangling her own line. Her long, decorated nails made handling the thin, nearly translucent fishing line nearly impossible.
"Isn't this great 'mate? All the fresh air and quiet. None of the worries of Starfleet Command rolling around inside your head. It's just us and good old mother nature out here." Lee beamed. "No worries, no interuptions. Just you, me and the fish."
"Yeah, it's just wonderful all right. . ." Jamie sniped sarcastically from her rock. She wasn't exactly the out-of-doors type. Not that she didn't look the part with her tan fatigues and pale olive green t-shirt that was tied off in a knot and showed her tight abdomen. But it was obvious from her tone that she wasn't enjoying the fly fishing nearly as much as the Captain.
Lee glanced back and could see Jamie was having problems getting her line squared away. "Having a bit of trouble there 'mate?"
Raising her hands, which were so tangled in the fishing line it looked like she was playing cat's cradle, she rolled her eyes, "Whatever gave you that idea? No duhhhh. . ."
Lee smiled. reeling in his line, he secured it and waded through the water until he reached the rocks at the shore where Jamie was sitting. "Let me give you a hand there 'mate."
"I've tried. I'm stuck. The line is all tangled up in my fingers and I don't want to stick myself or break a nail." Jamie explained.
Lee suppressed a grin. "Well then, I guess you do have a problem. I guess you'll be stuck like that for the rest of your natural life. . ."
"Lee!, Get me out of this." Jamie demanded playfully but sternly.
"Okay, just sit there and relax a moment." the Captain stated. Pulling out a knife, he began cutting the tangled line away, freeing the Yeoman's hands. "There, that should be better 'mate."
Jamie immediately threw her arms around the Captain's neck. "My hero!" she declared as she pulled herself off the rock and forced Lee to catch her. The Captain took a step back to steady himself as he held Jamie in his arms. She'd taken to kissing his face all over teasingly while Lee struggled to hold onto her and put the knife away at the same time.
"Hey, cut that out. You'll make me drop you." Lee declared.
"You wouldn't dare!" Jamie smiled kicking her legs playfully as she sat in the Captain's arms.
Lee took a few slow steps deeper into the creek, being careful not to loose his footing. When Jamie saw what he was doing, she began to grow a little concerned. "Hey, bring me back to the shore. You are going to drop me if you are not careful. You don't want to scare the fish do you?"
Lee stopped when he was sufficiently deep enough into the water to where if he dropped Jamie, she would be thoroughly soaked. "Hum, you have a good point. . ." the Captain paused as if he was thinking about it. He then shrugged his shoulders, "Then again, they aren't biting this late in the day anyway."
Jamie hit the water with a large "Ker-splash!" The cold creek water, which was a run off from the melting snow base high in the Risan mountain range, caused the Yeoman to dart to her feet dripping wet and let out a screaming roar. "Augh! How could you do that to me you rotten lousy bastard!"
Lee leaned back and chuckled. His laughter only helped to infuriate Jamie more, though it did take the edge off a little.
"Think that was funny? Then you'll love this!"
she called out as she body tackled the Captain, sending them both under the chilly, waist deep water for a spell.
When they came to their feet, Jamie was slapping and hitting the Captain's arms expressing her dissatisfaction at being drenched in the icy water. Lee just kept smiling at the Yeoman. Jamie looked even better dripping wet.
"Don't you smile at me like that you jerk. I don't think that was funny." Jamie protested trying to still sound angry.
"Hey, I'm all wet too you know." Lee pointed out.
"As you should be. You started this whole fishing expedition adventure in the first place. Then for my trouble you dunk me in the creek?"
"Sorry 'mate. I shouldn't 'ave done that." Lee said quietly glancing into Jamie's eyes.
It took her off guard. The Yeoman held the Captain's gaze for a moment before pulling at her wet t-shirt and wringing it out a bit. With a sigh she stated, "We are soaked and don't have any spare clothes except back at the resort."
Lee nodded. "Aye. Best bet is to take 'em off and let the sun dry them out before we catch our death of cold." the Captain stated removing his own shirt and wringing it out.
Jamie raised an eyebrow and watched as Captain Price waded back over to the rocks where she had earlier been sitting and laid his shirt upon the granite surface. The sun was warm and would likely make short work of drying everything out.
"So we are just supposed to strip down to our birthday suits and wait for our clothes to be dried by the sun?"
"That's right 'mate." Lee stated dropping his drawers and tossing them over the rock. He then turned around and faced Jamie who was just standing there knee high in the creek.
"That sounds like something I'd of come up with. . ." she smiled before pulling her own wet t-shirt off and sliding out of her fatigues. wading over to the rocks, she laid her clothes across them and spread them out so the sun could do it's work.
"Well, I'm glad that's settled." Lee smiled.
"So what are we supposed to do while we wait for our things to dry in the sun?" Jamie asked teasingly.
"Oh, I think I can come up with an idea or two about that 'mate." Lee said, taking Jamie into his arms and holding her close. Tiny goose bumps had formed on her skin from the cold water that glistened in the sun light.
"I figured you might. I had no idea that 'fly fishing' could be this much fun. . ." Jamie stated before giving Lee a passionate kiss.
Captain Price returned the gesture for a long minute before whisking the Yeoman up into his arms and carrying her to the picnic site they'd prepared earlier where a lunch and blanket already was laid out and waiting for the vacationing couple. When Lee reached the site, he kissed Jamie again before gently placing her down upon the red and black plaid blanket where he joined her. They each began to express their passion with each other, cuddling and kissing on the blanket while their clothes baked in the Risan sun.
Based on STAR TREK created by Gene Roddenberry
Story written by Lieutenant Suder - Engineer
Also appearing Lieutenant Paul Gillings - Engineer
Suder and Gillings strolled down a rather empty corridor on the Galaxy. It was the first time Suder had seen his friend since just after the war started. They were good friends. In fact, Paul Gillings was Suder's best friend back in the Academy, and even now.
"Armstrong." Paul said.
"Defender." Suder replied.
"Lakota." Suder countered.
For some strange reason, a conversation about strategy in the Dominion led to a game of ship listing. A list of ships they had both been on during the war. Even if it was briefly.
"Gorkon." Paul continued.
"Galaxy." Suder said as they turned right and walked into Engineering.
"Farroth." Paul replied.
Suder was about to name another ship when an Ensign walked up to him and handed him a padd.
"Sir, all main systems on Decks Six through to Eleven have been checked." the Ensign reported.
"Good job, Ensign. What rae you doing now?" Suder asked.
"I was about to continue checking ship systems on all decks."
"Carry on." Suder said.
The Ensign walked off and Suder turned to Paul. "As you can see, this is Engineering. I know it's empty, but a lot of people needed a break, R&R." Suder explained.
"What about you?" Paul asked.
"Me, I'm fine. I'm quite content to stay here and make sure everythings in working order.
"Come on Suder, you haven't taken leave for a long time. I can't even remember when you last took leave." Paul replied.
"You know the story, I go away, relax, and what thought comes into my head?" Suder asked.
"Dawn." they both said at the same time.
"You know me too well." Suder replied.
"Good friends are supposed to know their friends." Gillings replied. Suder nodded in agreement. Although he had heard what Paul had said, his mind was far away. Anyone would be able to tell that just by looking into his eyes. He was looking at something distant. Time. Memories.
"Hey, you still here?" Paul asked.
Suder snappe dout of his trance and nodded. "Yeah. Now, how about I show you the rest of the ship, we'll continue with Ten-Forward." Sder said as he turned around and walked out of Engineering with Paul following.
"Look, it's been a long time, I don't think anythings going to happen between you two." Paul said.
"I didn't say anythign was." Suder replied.
"How come yo haven't gone for anyone on the ship?" Paul asked.
"Doesn't work that way. I don't just chose who to fall in love with, it just happens. Besides, have you looked around lately. Everyone on this ship is with someone. I'd be surprised if there was a single women left. Hell, even the Captain's got a girl." Suder said.
"Well if the Captain can manage it, I'm sure you can." Paul said trying to encourage Suder.
"Look, the day I meet a women who takes my mind off Dawn, is the day I..."
"The day you what?" Paul asked.
"I don't know. I don't want to turn it into a bet or anything."
"Just let me know when you meet this women you want to meet." Paul replied as they continued walking down the corridor. They came to a left and stepped into a turbolift.
"Lexington." Suder said.
"Defiant." Gillings replied.
"Get out, you served on the Defiant?" Suder asked.
"Seven weeks. Seven weeks of combat and continued repairs. I was even on the bridge helping with repair efforts. Met the crew. Best time of my life."
"Excelsior." Suder replied.
"Your telling me you went on the Excelsior?" Gillings questioned.
"Yep. It was for a short time, but I did. It's hard to explain, but I met that famous crew as well." Suder said. The turbolift came to a halt and Suder stepped out. Paul thought for a moment and shook his head as he stepped out after Suder.
"Look it up." Suder said.
"Hey, dont' read my thoughts." Paul said.
They walked into Ten Forward and sat at a table. After they got their drinks, they began telling their stories of the past two years. It was the beginning of a long night. But Suder had stayed up countless times listening to peoples tales. Listening to the stories of hero's, legends, and his friends.
"Returning To The Galaxy"
Commander Deiran Casey
Deiran, Alexa and Admiral Casey were all glad to return to the Galaxy. It was a majestic sight, to see the grand Starship floating above the tropic planet of Risa.
They were standing at a window on the Latinum Prince, looking at the ship in orbit and happy to be back and alive. The family had accomplished many things over the years.
"It looks like it belong there, don't you think?" Alexa mused, her eyes centered on the great starship.
"Aye she is a beauty," the Admiral replied and turned away from the viewport. He took his bag and turned to call his children. Without even giving it a second thought they both followed behind their father and headed for the transporters of the Ferengi ship.
When they arrived, Daimon Moog was waiting impatiently.
"It is time to pay me for services rendered," he said sharply in his squeaky rat-like voice.
"We owe you something?" Deiran asked, mocking the greedy Ferengi.
Daimon Moog moaned in exasperation. "Pay up hoooo-mahn!" he insisted.
"I guess I will, might as well get you off my back," Deiran replied. He already had the six bars of latinum in his hand and counted them out as he placed them in the Daimon's hand.
"If we need to do any more business with you, we'll let you know. Don't call us, we'll call you I believe they say on your homeworld," the Daimon smiled, practically licking his lips as he stared at the latinum.
Deiran just laughed and stepped on the transporter platform. The rest of the crew had already beamed over to the Galaxy. Deiran smiled, began to wave and seconds later faded away through the yellow beam.
When he materialized on the Galaxy, the smile was gone. His bag was resting on his shoulder, he took off his belt and phaser, left the gear with Stone.
"You all did a fine job, I will put good words in all of your records. You're all fine officers," he told them. He then turned around and exited the transporter room.
"Deiran!!!" Alexa yelled after him. She finally caught him and started walking in step beside him.
"Why didn't you wait?" she asked.
"I have things to do," he said, his eyes downcast. Their father caught up to them as well, now all three Casey's were walking together.
"Well how about we have dinner tonight? All three of us in Ten Fore?" Alex asked.
"Sure sounds good," Deiran acquiesced.
"Wouldn't be anywhere else," Admiral Casey smiled in agreement.
"I want to go change, check in with Karyn and maybe say hi to Lucas. Actually I should say apologize to him. So I'll see you both at dinner," Alex informed them, giving her father and brother a kiss and hug and then she disappeared into her quarters.
"You'll be in room 0890 Dad. I'll schedule a meeting with the Captain for 0730 tomorrow. According to Tamolak it'll be a few days before the cloak can be installed into the Orion syndicate's ship. We all need sleep," Deiran said to his father, fighting the urge to rub his eyes.
"I'd like to meet with Lee tonight," Tom replied with urgency.
"Dad, the man is on leave, give him one night would you? Quite honestly I'd like a bit of a rest myself. We have awhile before we need to intercept that cloaked Orion. WE can at least get some rest tonight. Let Lee enjoy at least one night of his vacation," Deiran replied and looked at his father in the eye. "Night Dad."
Deiran walked away, leaving his father in the hall. He was tired and he was going to bed. He dreaded going into the big quarters and knowing Miran and Lara would not be there to greet him. He opened the door to his home, threw the bag into the doorway and watched as the door shut soon after. He didn't even want to go inside.
He turned and saw that his father had entered his temp quarters. Alexa was nowhere in sight. He decided to go to the holodeck and get away, this reality was too depressing for him.
"To Love And Be Loved In Return"
Commander Deiran Casey
To love, love is a word few truly understand and yet we all feel it in our own way. A powerful force, even hatred cannot overcome love. When you love so strongly and cannot receive that love back there is a void that cannot be explained or defined. Your soul just knows it is there and the heart cannot begin to fathom how to heal itself.
So you pace, you churn, your soul cries. As you begin to search yourself you begin to realize that the other heart may be feeling the same thing and sometimes even fear becomes a powerful force. Sometimes it can blockade that love. Some fear love, when fearing love is like having a fear of breathing, living, or fearing a sunset. Love is life. Fear is loneliness.
In Deiran's case, it was light years of fear that blockaded him from his one true love. There were few things he could not accomplish. But he knew that even he could not make a woman love him. Yet, he had found something so pure, so wondrous and it all took place when he looked into Miran's eyes. He knew she loved him unconditionally. There was no greater honor in this life, but to love and be loved by that woman. To love and be loved in return.
Nat King Cole sung a song that Deiran enjoyed called "Nature Boy." A song that spoke the phrase, "The greatest thing in all the world, is to be loved and be loved in return." Deiran could not think of a greater truth. For when he felt Miran's love he was complete. When he felt her hand in his, he was refreshed and confident. When he felt her heart beat, her eyes flutter, held her in his arms that was when he was most happy. He was himself in those moments. He did not have to hide from the world, he did not have to worry about the thoughts of others, he did not worry about command, regs or compromise. He only needed to concentrate on his lover's soul. In those moments he was content, the only time in his life when he knew contentment.
But without those moments, he began to sink into melancholy. The absence of his love seemed to rip his heart in two and he was incomplete. Deiran was career oriented, determined but he needed love as anyone needed love. He knew no one else could give him love as Miran did. His feelings were beyond sorrow and pain, was there a word for what he felt? Deiran could not think of one. Pain wasn't strong enough.
He just needed her love.
He remembered when Miran ran from him so many times, before they were married. She had lost Robert Stephin in the Voyager tragedy and was afraid to love again. But the powerful force inside him could not allow him to give up. Because he did not give up they found something so beautiful and sublime that he could not imagine his life without her. Here he was alone, he could not smell Miran's perfume or hear Lara's cute little chatter. He needed them more than he ever knew.
Their absence was becoming unbearable to him.
He had made mistakes, said the wrong things, had one fling which he sorely regretted. Lost his son, lost his dear and close friends in battle. He had experienced pain and sorrow. Going so low he attempted suicide. His love was that powerful. 'A life without love is not worth living after all,' Deiran thought.
The loneliness was getting to him. He was on a ship full of 1,000 crew and civilians, his sister and close friends were all around him. But still he felt alone. A gaping void like the depthless black of space encompassing his soul. He wasn't lonely for company, he was lonely for his true love. Miran was his true north.
"Where have I heard that?" Deiran wondered out loud. He could not remember at that moment. But that's what Miran was, his soulmate and true north, she was his world and his everything. She was all he needed.
Deiran smiled as he remembered how terrified Miran was of loving a man again for fear of being left by him as she was by Stephin, by her parents, by her brothers and all the other men he knew about. She had known only pain, been hurt by so many. But she took a risk, opened her heart to Deiran and neither one of them regretted it, nor would they ever. It taught them both a lesson, that sometimes you have to take risks in love or you'll never find it. Love is risk, just as life is a risk, as an adrenaline rush is a risk, getting up in the morning in this Universe is a risk. Love can be so easy. It is just a risk, like any other. We gamble our money, lives, we gamble our hearts as well.
"When you find something true and beautiful, never let it go," Deiran whispered, quoting one of his favorite writers and philosophers.
Deiran watched as the holodeck doors spread before him. He en
tered the holodeck and walked down the pier to where the programmed sailboat was docked. He hadn't remembered the last time he ran this program. But he needed to just sail. To just get away, to get out on the open sea.
Deiran wasn't the best sailor in the world, but Starfleet had a tradition where it's members would sometimes acknowledge Earth's past and go sailing, that is where his experience came from, his father believed in that tradition. Deiran wore casual clothes, the normal boat shoes, a strange looking hat that seemed to fit his face well.
The wind sweeping his face, feeling like a mint against his tongue. The water crashing against the boat, the smells and sounds, the ambience was so realistic. It was hard to realize he was in a holodeck. It looked like Cape Cod, smelled like Cape Cod and for the next hour in his mind it would be Cape Cod.
Deiran stepped onto the boat, undid the ropes tying the boat to the dock and then he slowly steered the craft out of the harbor. Once he was away from the docks, he unfurled the sails and let the wind take him where it would. He did not care where he went, he just wanted to get away, to brood in his loneliness.
To his mind and soul, he was alone. For his only love was not there, she was not there to hug him, to kiss him. He had not heard from her in almost a week. This program was his way of escaping.
He realized as the boat moved swiftly through the water and crashed through the surf, that he liked this. It was relaxing in a strange way. It was enchanting, like a dream.
"Computer, play Watermark by Enya, late 20th century," he asked. Who cares what people thought, he was alone in the holodeck anyway. He was alone out on these waves and could listen to whatever he pleased. The music did fit the scene, a cloudless day. Sun shining over the horizon, seagulls cawing, the water choppy. There was a stillness to it all, a perfect serene silence that did not take his pain away.
It did not take him away from his melancholy. It wasn't even a program that reminded him of Miran. He just needed to feel alone, to feel as he felt in his heart. He sat against the cabin's left side, he had rigged the sails to just go in one direction, he'd locked the steering to go that way as well and so the sailing part was almost effortless. He was here to exist, to get away, to escape the loneliness he felt without love.
He silently prayed that she would be okay, that she would make it through her tough times. That she would endure, that the child would be okay, their child. He wanted to be there for her, he wished he could have been. Sometimes duty was an enormous burden he wished he did not have to bear.
He buried his face in his hands and whispered, "I need you…" he couldn't even utter Miran's name. His sorrow was so intense, that he could not even say his lover's name. He knew that he wasn't worth her love and felt compelled to earn it everyday. 'A woman's love is the most cherished element in all creation, for there is nothing more pure, nothing more wondrous and nothing fulfills such as that love.'
He looked up into the sky, the piano notes of Watermark appeasing his grief to a certain point. Still staring up into the sky he silently prayed, "God, let this be quick, let this separation end." The wind played havoc with his hair, brushing against his face, giving him a chill through his body. He stood firm against the wind. All he could think of was how beautiful it felt to love, how precious and how priceless it was, how much he would suffer without her love.
by, Lt. Raesene Hermedhie,
Lt. (j.g.) Dierdren Mhistecai,
Lt. Yazron Beq,
Man of Best Honor,
Ens. Sela Grey,
Maid of Most Honor,
Ens. Darian McGee,
Lt. Comdr. Hunter McKenzie,
Giver of the Bride
Raesene stood at the front of the castle rampart, waiting to see the bride's entrance. And then she appeared. Clad in the most radiant gown, he had ever seen, with girls holding up the train as it wafted down the aisleway. Holding her by her right arm, was the stand-in for the Father of the Bride, Hunter MacKenzie. This was to be his last act before going on full leave of absence.
Yaz smiled as he saw the procession come down the aisle, it was a grand sight to see, especially in this setting. He leaned closer to Raesene. "You were right - this is definately something I will enjoy."
"Me, too... me, too..."
Yaz smiled. "Enjoy your day Raesene." With that he stood straight again and watched the Bride approach.
The procession slinked closer, taking some time to get around all of the obstacles that a rampart had. But seemingly in the blink of an eye, she was standing next to Raesene.
Sela fixed her train and then stood next to Dierdren. She had never seen her friend as happy as she looked right now. She caught herself daydreaming and she wondered why she never did the marriage thing. Reality came back into focus. An awful thought hit her...the rings. She felt her thumb where she was holding the groom's ring. Once she found that she didn't forget it, she felt better. "This wedding will be quite interesting" she thought to herself.
Captain Price then began the ceremony. The text had been supplied by Raesene and Dierdren, as Andu/Anuirean ceremonies were slightly different from Terran ones.
Darian stood in the crowd, watching as the bride wa led in, and up to the altar. Though he didn't know the two very well, weddings were always a thing of great pleasure and happiness to him, and he enjoyed being at them. As he watched the ceremony continue, he said a small prayer to bless their marriage.
The ceremony flowed like fine Elverquist. And though it was in point of fact a long cermony, it seemed to go by way too fast. But for Dierdren and Raesene, it went in slow motion. They were sure to remember this for the rest of their lives.
The highlight was the exchanging of the bracelets of the Andu magician. When the two were simultaneously placed on their wrists, a slight glow was said to be seen surrounding the two.
Then the ceremony was over, Raesene and Dierdren embraced and slowly made their way out, shaking hands as they went. They quickly departed to the reception, and would be there to greet the guests on Risa.
Luckilly for the Captain, they had made sure not to include one Andu/Anuirean tradition. For like 14th Century Europe, there was a duty reserved for the priest. He had to make sure that the marriage was consumated. But Raesene and Dierdren had decided to wait until that night to precipitate the act.
By Lt. Tim O'Connell - Head shuttle ops
and Lt. Neil Bolitho - Security officer
Bolitho leaned back in the co-pilots seat, as Tim plotted the course correction, and the shuttle warped off into the starry blackness. Neil glanced over at his friend Tim. " So you guys set a date yet?"
"Not yet, We're discussing it. We have a long time to prepare. Only thing we agreed on it won't be betazoid."
" Good thinking, because you'll never see me naked." Grinned Neil. " Your really doing it huh, you really love her?"
"I love her Neil, It's like there was a part of my life that I was missing and it's been filled with her."
" And Ishar never made you feel this way?"
"She did. But in a different way, I Told Brooke I loved Eshar too, and I always will have a special place in my heart, Neil if I didn't love her I wouldn't have married her."
Neil shook his head and shrugged." Its just ....its .....ahh its nothing forget it Tim!"
"Neil what's bugging you?"
Bolitho stared out into the starry expanse of space for a few seconds, while he summoned the courage the courage to speak to Tim about what he felt the problem was." You'll excuse me while I find all this hard to believe Tim, but its just a little difficult for me to swallow. Here is what I think the problem is."
Neil licked his lips and shifted uncomfortable in his seat. "Its not that I don't believe that you love Brooke, or her you, the problem I believe goes a little deeper. You never got the chance to say goodbye to Ishar before she was taken from you. Initially I believed that Brooke was a substitute for her. I mean you never once spoke to me let alone a counsellor about her death!"
Tim looked at his friend, "What do you want me to say, I miss her I loved her and when she died I tried to deny it as long as possible but when you disappeared it all hit me, I went to comfort Elaine when you disappeared she ended up comforting me."
Bolitho shook his head in disagreement."The grieving for a loved one goes on a little longer, than a couple of months and then onto the next flavour of the week!"
Tim's head turned slowly, "excuse me sir." he spoke with a brittle icy voice, "Flavour of the week, see you don't understand, and I don't think you ever will, I love her Neil, I want her as part of my life forever, and I don't want to ever leave her. If you won't be happy for me then piss off."
Neil smiled wryly."No chance pal, I care too much for you as it is."Look Brooke is fantastic, nothing like the images of that Dragon lady I had drudged up after she dumped you the first time.." Neil smiled trying to ease the tension that had creeped into the cockpit. "Its just you were so in love with Ishar when she died. I have a sneaky suspicion, that if Brooke hadn't come along you would be in exactly the same position with another women!" Neil paused allowing the words to sink in." And I believe thats because you never really been able to lay Ishar to rest!"
Tim looked at his friend, "Look when I get back I'll schedule an appointment with Dallas and I'll talk to her deal?"
Bolitho raised his hands in a gesture of mock surrender."Thats fine Tim, but I don't want you to run of to Karyn because I want you to. You have to want to as well? Neil looked questioningly at Tim O'Connell his best friend." Do you want to Tim?"
"Do I want to, I need to Neil, I never got to say goodbye." he looks out the window, "I have to talk to someone, I'll set the appointment when we get back from handholding these scientists."
"Great!" Smiled Neil leaning over and thumping Tim on his shoulder. " Believe me Tim, Karyn will make you feel a lot better."
"I'd hope so. Oh by the way I got some other news."
"Yeah well are you going to keep me in suspense then you lunkhead?" Laughed Bolitho.
Tim grinned and handed Neil one padd he'd been studying, "I've been studying for the bridge command tests."
Neil groaned out loud." Tim promise you won't be killing any other bridge crew, if they mess up!" Teased Neil remembering Tim's mutiny back in the academy sim.
Tim laughed, "Neil this isn't the academy no mutiny here."
" You'll do well to remember that Tim" Neil shook his head and looked across in disbelief as he realised what this could mean." Tim you mean I could be taking orders from you?" Bolitho actually shuddered at the scary thought.
"You might be my friend, but on the other hand you could take the same test I am."
"Umm yeah, I guess I could, I always saw myself as being a meatruck, but with Gillian around, I may to consider a career change for her sake."
Tim looked at his friend, "I need a good coffee server in the shuttle bay."
Neil scoffed." I know someone already suffering from delusions of grandeur!"
Tim grinned, "no seriously I could use a good officer in the shuttle bay. "
" Something to think on Tim, thanks for the offer I will give it some thought."
"Or maybe you could be a counsellor." He grinned.
"Hey" Growled Neil. " Do you have my career mapped out for me already?"
Tim looked at him, "No just a slight joke about the reverse career path of this ship."
Neil chuckled." Hey could you see me counselling Lex?"
" No I'm afraid poisoning the XO is most definitely a court martial offence."
Tim began to laugh a loud and hearty laugh, "Because when she finds out what the hell Casey did to her she is going to kill him."
Neil laughed along with Tim. "Yep, now that you mention it,the last time I saw her she did indeed look a little ...off balance."
"Well Dr Bellen talked to Dr Hermidhe who talked to Brooke who well talked to me, apparently Casey is making her body think she's...well pregnant."
Bolitho erupted into laughter." Oh I don't envy Casey when she finally finds out."
Tim joined in, "if she wasn't standing with James I might have asked if those were new. But since I didn't desire Lt Chen to hand me my windpipe I decided silence was golden."
"I'm sure James was just as equally concerned by the unusual growth. Not that he was complaining."Smiled Neil.
"Oh I bet he wasn't complaining at all."
"What are you two skinnering about?" Came the distinct femine voice from behind them. Bolitho and O'Connel whirled in their seats to look up at Anna Gartner. Neil wondered for a second just how long she had been there listening to their jovial conversation.
Tim turned, "oh just wondering how Lex is going to Kill Casey when she finds out about exactly what he did to her." Tim then explained about the herbs and their side effects.
Bolitho kept his attention on the instruments as he listened to Tim explain to Anna. His line of sight was drawn to a flashing beeping console that indicated that they were ready to drop out of warp.
" Heads up Tim.' Interrupted Neil drawing O'Connell's attention to the console.
Tim turned to the console and began to consult readouts, "Coming out of warp." His voice was all business all traces of humour was gone from his voice.
"Coming up on deep space 14" Said Neil reading the stellarcartography console indicating they were indeed in the correct place. Expectantly the 4 crew members looked out the viewscreen looking for the first glance of DS14.
TO BE CONTINUED
"This Is Not A Date!"
by Lieutenant Karyn Dallas, Chief Counselor
Ensign Michael McDowell, Engineering Officer
Ensign Mike Crose, Engineering Officer, NPC
Door, Civilian Bartender, NPC
Julia Monsoon, Karyn's personal aide, NPC
NRPG: This takes place before "Return to Reality." by Lt. Karyn Dallas Chief Counselor
*** Main Engineering ***
Michael walked out Main Engineering glad that he had still three hours left, instead of one, before his dinner with Karyn. Lieutenant Suder was the one who had made this possible by allowing him to leave, although his shift wasn't over yet.
It was still a mystery to Michael why Suder had allowed it at all. And what about Suder's behavior? He had smiled all day long and made jokes about Michael daydreaming. That wasn't like Suder, at least not while on duty. So why was he in such a good mood? Michael knew that Suder was part Betazoid and thus had telepathic abilities. Did Suder know something he didn't know?
While still trying to find some answers on his questions Michael arrived at one of the turbo lifts at Deck 36. Just when he wanted to enter the turbo lift he heard someone shout.
"Hey! Wait,...hold that lift will you!?"
Michael automatically prevented the doors from closing and turned to see Mike Crose running toward him.
"You're in a hurry. Where's the fire?" Michael asked with a smile.
Mike slowed down until he walked and grinned, "No fire, I just wanted to catch this lift instead of waiting for another. I hate it when I miss one, knowing that I was only a few seconds late."
"Of course. I would've done the same." Michael replied and laughed, amused by Mike's answer, "Next stop?"
"Ten Forward" Mike said, "I'm dying to get something to drink. What about you?"
"Same destination, but not for the same reason." Michael answered a bit too eager and then stated their destination, "Deck 10".
The turbo lift began to move upwards with an ever increasing speed making sure that the two officers would arrive at Deck 10 in the smallest amount of time possible.
Mike had noticed the eagerness in Michael's voice, "You sound like you're really looking forward to something."
"What do you mean?" Michael said with an innocent voice.
"Well, just what I said." Mike said, "I know you're looking forward to something. I could hear it in your voice."
"Hey, it's quite normal these days that people plan things they like and I'm not the exception." Michael replied defensive.
"Yes, I know. You're right of course. But I suspect that you have something special on your mind." Mike replied and then added as if he suddenly understood it all, "Oh,...I think I now know...sorry if I was poking around in your private life."
Michael took a deep breath in such a way that Mike didn't notice it. "Never mind. I can't blame you for being curious after my answer."
The two changed subject and talked about their respective projects they were working on, about Risa, and what the next mission would be. Suddenly the turbo lift stopped and the doors opened.
Mike smiled. "Deck 10" he said and showed Michael the exit of the turbo lift, "After you."
"Thank you, sir. You're very kind." Michael said with a smirk and walked out of the turbo lift. He was already on his way to Ten Forward when he noticed that Mike didn't follow him. Michael turned and saw Mike walking in the other direction.
"What are you doing? Ten Forward is this way." Michael commented with a confused look.
"Oh, sorry. I forgot to say it to you, but I think I'm going to take someone with me to Ten Forward. As you well know, it's no fun in Ten Forward without company." Mike answered, "I assumed you have other things to do, right?"
A sigh. *Lucky me. At least he will not find out about the dinner I have with Karyn when I'm talking to Door." Michael thought, *No need to spread the word yet. Everyone will know soon enough.*
"Ah, I see. Two can make a lot more fun then one." Michael replied with a smile, "And yeah, you're correct. I have some things to do."
"Okay, I understand. Maybe we and some others could have a drink in the near future. What do you think about that?" Mike asked.
Michael nodded, "Sounds good to me. Let me know when and I'll be there."
"I will. See you in Main Engineering." Mike answered and turned to continue his search for a willing 'victim' that would join him for a drink.
Michael, like Mike, turned and walked in the opposite direction. He could already see Ten Forward where he hoped to find Door. Everybody knew that Door was a real judge of men; he knew people. So it was only logical that Michael was hoping that Door could help him with some of the ideas he had for tonight.
The doors to the most popular place on the ship opened and Michael walked straight to the bar. Door was busy mixing different drinks. Not a strange sight if you considered that the place was almost empty. Michael said nothing and waited, curious what would happen.
It didn't take long before Door looked at Michael with a big grin on his face when he added a orange colored fluid. The glass was now filled to the top. The contents of it consisted out of three layers. The top one was orange, the middle was transparent, and the one on the bottom was green.
"Watch this!" Door said excited.
As Michael watched he noticed that the orange fluid slowly made its way through the transparent one. The result was amazing when all the three liquids made contact with each other. There was a flash of white light that faded quickly. The flash was replaced by irregular green and orange circles.
"That's incredible!" Michael said and looked at Door, "What is it?"
"I call it a 'Supernova'. For obvious reasons of course; you can hardly miss the resemblance." Door answered and smiled, "It took me a while before I had it right, but it was worth it."
"It's great! I bet that it will be one of the most popular drinks on board in no time." Michael commented, "That is, if it tastes good as well."
"Oh, it does." Door replied, "Go ahead and try it. It's on the house."
Michael took the glass and carefully sipped the orange/green drink. He couldn't identify the flavor but it did taste real good.
"Oh yes, this is definitely going to be a number one." Michael said, already convinced that it would be a much requested drink once people found out about it.
"I hope so too." Door replied with an undertone of anticipation in his voice. Then, after a few moments of silence, he continued, "So tell me, are you here for a particular reason?"
"Why do you think that?" Michael asked.
"Well, you don't come here that often. And when you do then you have always a good reason for being here." Door answered, knowing he was right.
"You know me too well Door." Michael said and smiled, "You're right, I was going to ask you something."
Door looked at Michael while he took an empty glass that stood on the bar, "Go ahead. I'll be glad to help you if I can."
"You see, this evening I will have dinner with Karyn and..." Michael was cut short before he even could finish his sentence.
"You have dinner with Counselor Dallas!?" Door said, stunned by what he had heard.
Michael was surprised by the reaction. It gave him a feeling like he had done something wrong.
"...Is that a problem?"
"Oh no, on the contrary." Door replied hasty, "It's just that you're the first one in years."
"Come on Door! I can't believe that. You must do better then that to fool me." Michael replied, thinking Door was joking.
"I mean it." Door said, "As far as I can remember she hasn't been dating anyone since the time she came on board the Galaxy."
"We're not exactly dating yet." Michael commented quickly to straighten out the error.
Door bend over the bar and brought his face close to Michael's as if he was going to tell a secret. He revealed his thoughts with a low voice and smiled, "No, not yet. But this dinner might be a start." He then turned to get rid of the empty glass in his hand, "Anyway, you were trying to say something."
"Yeah, I was wondering if you had any nice ideas that I could use." Michael said and continued when he noticed Door frowning, "You know, things that will make this evening a special one."
"Oh, I get it. You mean candles, beautiful napkins, and that sort of stuff." Door replied.
Michael nodded, "That's exactly what I mean!"
"Well, I happen to know Karyn a little bit and what she likes or dislikes." Door answered, "Let's see what I can come up with. Just follow me."
Door walked to a table that stood in a corner next to one of the large windows. Michael followed him. About a quarter of the planet Risa could be seen in the lower left corner. It was a great view.
"This is the most romantic spot in Ten Forward at this moment." Door stated.
Michael looked first at the table and then out of the window, "Yes, and I can see why."
"All we have to do now is to use our imagination.", Door said and grinned, "And, of course, keep in mind what the lady prefers."
*** A little while later ***
Door began to put the finishing touches on the table which included soft crème colored candles in crystal holders. The table was covered with a midnight blue table cloth and then covered in flower petals native to Betezed. Door set the table with his finest set of Betezed china, which was decorated with the royal symbols of the Fifth House. Etched in the silverware were designs exactly matching those in the china. When Michael gave a quizzical look to Door, he answered, "Trust me, this is what she would want."
"But she never mentioned Betezed before, I didn't think she cared much for Betezed customs." said Michael.
"That's what everyone thinks. She's never said it to me directly, but I think she's homesick. She's told me about meeting Lwaxana Troi and then Deanna on the Enterprise and you can tell she misses them and home. I keep asking her if she wants some native cuisine, I even offered to get down the china for her on her birthday last year, but for some reason she doesn't want to be reminded of home. I think it's easier for her to keep those memories locked away than it is for her to enjoy them alone. Something is keeping her from going home, but you'd be hard pressed to get it from her." Turning away, he clapped his hands together, "now about the food..."
*** Karyn's personal quarters ***
For the fiftieth time, Karyn had changed her outfit and Julia, her personal assistant, was getting annoyed. She had just helped Karyn change into a pearl colored cotton dress with matching earrings. The dress was off the shoulder and was a little more tight fitting than Karyn would have liked, but Julia had insisted she try it on.
"Jul, in case you've forgotten this is the kind of outfit that got me into trouble last time. For gods sake I want to apologize for making such a fool of myself the other day, not flaunt myself again! Geez, talk about mixed signals!" Julia sighed a deep sigh, wondering why Karyn was so reluctant to believe that there were people in the universe that could love her and give their right arms to be romantically involved with her.
"Are you sure you didn't misunderstand him? I mean, he isn't the most forward of individuals, perhaps you're not seeing the big picture?"
"Trust me, this guy was NOT interested. He's probably just afraid to tell me, I being a superior. I can't imagine what he must be feeling right now. He's probably trying to think of a way to let me down gently and I don't intend to make it harder for him by wearing this gauzy...excuse for a dress." said Karyn, suddenly feeling more self-conscious about this "meeting" (She refused to call it a date, for that most certainly would be presuming too much.), than she had ever been in her life. She just hoped she didn't make too much a fool of herself before the night was over.
*I wonder what he's thinking right now...*
***Outside Karyn's quarters***
Michael activated the chime of Karyn's room and nervously waited for a response. He looked for the hundredth time at his black shirt and khaki colored trousers just to be sure everything was all right. All seemed fine. It would be perfect if Karyn liked the combination.
Just when Michael wanted to activate the chime again a warm voice called out, "Come in."
Karyn tried to keep the nervousness out of her voice, she cursed herself because now she wouldn't be able to change. Nervously, she touched her hair which Julia had styled into a French twist. She looked at herself in the mirror and had to admit, she cleaned up very well. She reminded herself that Michael probably wasn't all that interested in her appearance, as this was just a polite dinner between friends.
The doors parted and she was greeted by the young engineer, now suited in casual clothing. *I knew this was too formal! Crap, I can't go like this!* "Um...it seems I came a little overdressed, I'll just go change, make yourself at home." Karyn turned away before she could redden further. *Why I am so nervous? It's not like I've never been on a date bef- It's not a date!!* screamed the rational side of her. "Be right back," she said with a voice she knew was way too lilting and a smile that she knew was plastered on.
"No...wait. You look great..." He stumbled over the word. Was this a good word to use? Michael knew she wasn't interested so he quickly had to think of a word that would make her the most comfortable. *God, she looks incredible!* Michael had the sneaking suspicion Karyn had no clue how attractive she was. Perhaps that's what he liked most about her. Karyn didn't have to wear skintight outfits, wear mounds of makeup, or be incredibly outspoken to attract attention (although according to Security, he didn't want to cross her :-)) Karyn was Karyn. She was a source of strength for the rest of the crew...and there WAS that smile.
"Ok, thanks, let me just get the jacket that goes with it." *At least I can cover up some.* Michael tried to keep his disappointment from showing too much. Michael deftly helped her with her jacket, then indicated she lead the way out of her quarters.
While in the turbo lift, the two were spared the first awkward moments, as there were others in the lift. She gave polite nods to each, who in turn gave their own knowing grins. *I've got to get out more. From the looks I'm getting, you'd think I'd never been seen outside my quarters with a man before!* When they were gone, Michael chose to fill the awkward moments. "I hope you like what I've arranged, I had some help with the table."
"I'm sure I'll love it." answered Karyn as neutrally as possible.
*Damn, she's being diplomatic. I've really deluded myself this time.*
They entered a busy Ten Forward, but were promptly taken to the pre-arranged table by the window. Eye brows raised as the two entered. Karyn wasn't sure if it was because she had been incognito in the previous days, or if it was because she appeared to be on a "date" with a junior officer. *THIS IS NOT A DATE!* she felt like screaming, but instead chose to smile and nod, which wasn't hard since she was trying to concentrate on making her way through the other tables to her destination. Most people graciously pulled their chairs forward, giving her smiles of encouragement along the way. She couldn't help but feel a little embarrassment, after all, the last thing she wanted to do was call attention to herself. She looked back at Michael sheepishly, expecting to see a face full of frustration, but was greeted by one filled with encouragement.
"This...." said the waiter, "is your table." He moved out of the way to reveal the most elegantly decorated table Karyn had ever seen. A midnight blue tablecloth covered the table, which was also covered with flower petals she recognized as being from Betezed. Her eyes teared as she recognized the china on the table. Unsure of what to say, Karyn stared at the table. Michael, seeing Karyn's apparent distress, said, "Door said we should use these. He said you've always admired them, but never seemed to want to use them. I thought you might want to be reminded of home, since you didn't get a chance to go there in person. I hope...this is ok."
"Yes, this is perfect. It's very thoughtful, thank you. It was very sweet of you to go to this much trouble. I don't deserve this, really." *He's trying to break it to me gently, he thinks if he does this nice gesture the 'let's just be friends' speech will be less painful. I have to put this guy at ease before we're both so uncomfortable, we can't look at each other again.* As Michael pulled her chair away from the table so she could pull up to the table in her wheelchair, she thought it best that she get right to the matter that was troubling him.
As he poured her drink (sparkling water with lemon - her choice over alcohol.) she said, "Look, Michael, I want to apologize for what happened the other night, I was completely out of line and I'm afraid I took advantage of the whole situation. I never meant to make you uncomfortable. I just hope you can forgive me, I'm not normally so forward."
She waited for Michael's response hoping she didn't sound as foolish as she felt.
Michael didn't know what to say at first. Karyn's to-the-point approach forced him to deal with the awkward situation right at the beginning of this evening. It came completely unexpected for Michael. He thought it would be brought up much later when dinner would be almost over. Now there was no turning back. Michael frantically searched for right words, totally unprepared to handle the issue so soon, but found none. This made him even more nervous then he already was and made it nearly impossible for him to talk normally.
"Karyn...you...I" Michael stammered, and sighed, knowing he lost control of the situation, "I was wrong, not you. I...I started the kiss, without even thinking of what I was doing. I'm the one who must apologize. That's why I asked you for dinner; ...to be able to make an apology for my behavior."
Karyn breathed a sigh of relief, greatful that this was what she'd expected, but somehow she couldn't help but feel a pang of...regret? *It's too late now.* thought Karyn. "Why don't we start over, I'm Lt. Karyn Dallas, Chief Counselor, and you are?" She stuck out her hand as if wishing to shake his.
When Michael understood what Karyn was trying to say, he first experienced a flash of what best could be described as pain. It was like a knife cutting away a piece of his heart. Then a feeling of utter despair, disappointment, emptiness, and confusion. He could live with the fact that Karyn wasn't interested in him, although it would be very hard, but to start all over again? That meant forgetting all about what happened, including the kiss, and that was something Michael knew he couldn't do. *I really screwed it up. She doesn't even want to know anything about me anymore, except at a professional level,...and there's nothing I can do about that.* Michael thought, *I can only agree with her offer.*
"Ensign Michael McDowell, Engineer." Michael answered, feeling more depressed with every word he said. He forced himself to smile when he continued, "You're right, let's forget the whole thing. Let bygones be bygones, huh?"
"Absolutely, I don't know about you but I'm glad we got that out of the way." She breathed a sigh of relief, but if you looked at her face, you might notice it was more a sigh of resignation and at the last moment things weren't going to change. No one was ready to pop out to say 'Just kidding.' "So, how are you going to spend the rest of your leave?"
The sudden change of subject made it clear to Michael that Karyn was glad that it was all over and done with. He listened to what Karyn was telling him and answered automatically when she asked his opinion, but much of the information didn't reach him. He couldn't concentrate on the conversation. His mind was somewhere else, miles away from where they were. Michael wondered how he could live on the same ship as Karyn, knowing that from now on he had to keep his feelings for himself. It would be a constant tantalization, seeing Karyn but not be able to do anything else then talk. You could compare it with being in a desert, completely dehydrated and unable to move, reaching for some water...only to find out that you're one inch short.
Slowly the minutes past. All went fine, that is, dinner proceeded according to the unwritten rules the civilized universe used when they had dinner in public. Seen from another one's perspective everything looked normal, except when they knew Karyn or Michael better. Then they would see the anguish, the forced smiles. They would notice two people being very uncomfortable.
*** After dinner ***
The trip back to Karyn's quarters was hard for both officers. They didn't know what to say or where to look. Finally it was Karyn who decided to break the silence.
"Are you still busy with the repairs?" She asked, referring to the damage the battle had caused to the ship.
Michael listened intently to Karyn's lovely warm voice. It was the only thing left for him to enjoy and he didn't want to miss a single word.
"No, not really. There are still a few things left that have to be repaired, but all important systems are operational again." Michael replied, "And how's counseling today? I can imagine that it can be difficult listening to all the problems people have."
Karyn closed her eyes for a moment. *Thank God! At least he still wants to talk to me.* "Yes, it can be exhausting. There are days that you have a concentrate on a number of difficult problems, like different phobias, traumas left over from the war, a person's love-li..." Karyn broke of her sentence when she realized what she was about to say. The link to their current situation was too close. Unable to look him, in the eye, she looked down at the floor.
*...life* Michael thought, as he finished Karyn's sentence, *Back to square one.* Once again the awkward silence returned only to be broken when they arrived at Karyn's personal quarters. A few seconds past before any of them said anything. Michael sighed. He never was good in saying goodbye.
"Well,...I better be going. I...I have some things to do before I can go to sleep. Must have it ready before tomorrow or Lt. Suder will have my head." Michael said and smiled nervously, "Goodnight Karyn."
Michael turned and walked away. *Oh yeah, great goodbye Michael! Couldn't you do better this time?*
He was leaving, why did that sudden action make her feel so lonely? It was obvious he was uncomfortable with her. Once the issue of their kiss was taken care of, they had nothing left to talk about. He was a million miles away at dinner, clearly bored by her conversation. He wanted a way out, but was unsure how to initiate a clean break. Still, she wanted to hold on to the moment for as long as she could, even if she would have to eventually face her empty quarters once more. "MIchael?"
*See, I knew I sounded to cold! Now she probably will ask what's wrong.* Michael thought and turned to face Karyn. "Yes?" he said, fearing the worst.
"I want to thank you for a great time tonight. I'm sorry if the conversation was a bit boring, but you really cheered me up. You didn't have to do it, but thanks for being the nice guy and taking me out for a friendly dinner." *There, I have presumed nothing! If this was a dinner between friends, I admitted it first and therefore will avoid looking further like an idiot!*
"Thanks. It was nothing, really." Michael replied and continued his way taking his broken heart with him, wondering if it would ever heal again.
Karyn watched as Michael, shoulders slumped, headed down the corridor. *Gods, poor thing, he even looks more relaxed now that he's rid of me!* Entering her quarters, Karyn once inside the door.
A curious noise could be heard from inside her quarters. Fortunately, (or perhaps unfortunately) passing crewman would dismiss it out of hand as being a 'don't ask don't tell' situation.
But as Karyn's head thumped against the wall for the fourth time...she realized anyone coming inside her quarters might find the situation peculiar indeed.
Jake Olson looked at his padd at the face looking back at him. It was Ferengi, and the two were exchanging a bit of gossip about business, the only topic about which either had interest in little else, especially the Ferengi, the Human was simply in business to better his life.
They chatted using a system that Jake invented and marketed successfully. It wasn't as clear or pretty as subspace nor was it as brutally expensive. It was nearly free and traffic heavy, a real boon and helped greatly in Olson's attending Star Fleet Acadamy, a horrifficly expensive venture for Olson and his near impoverished family.
"I am still the only creator of diecent souveneers, and I an cleaning up."
"On Risa? No! That planet offers so much competition!"
"Don't forget the women!"
"You are more Ferengi than Human!" The Ferengi laughed.
"The swim wear, or NOT wear! I saw a bunch of women who didn't bother with TOPS!" Jake giggled. "And oh, I can't begin to..."
The Ferengi giggled knowingly. Humons love to go with out *much* clothes on Risa!"
"There are lots of other things to have on Risa too! I bartered for a bag to show off the 'stuff' I make, and people wonder! I got it FREE and no latinum!"
Jake knew how to talk to Ferengi.
Lt. J. Lucas Brandis, Zea Toa
Chief Operations Officer
* * * * * Operations Department * * * * *
There he was; the picture of a determined mind, when distracted, go to work. Lucas was at his desk reviewing the latest software technical manuals for Galaxy Class starships. He remembered going through the manuals with Lt. Cmd. Thomas a few months past. They managed to do nothing. Thomas had been too distracted with finding his wife to really decide on a system.
There really was no reason to even be working on this project. It wasn't pressing. But, Lucas had nothing better to do. Yazron had a wife and a son, and well, a life. Deiran was out on Risa somewhere, presumably with Alexa.
Alexa, there was a complex issue. A woman, a goddess in Lucas' mind and he would have given her the universe. 'She never ask for it.' Lucas rolled the thought over in his mind. Alexa was not the type to go after position, power, or even wealth and more than that, she was so full of life. Lucas valued every moment he had with her.
But, now he was married, by all rights. He didn't know Zaria Kier Troi, only her family by name and that they'd been betrothed for the better part of 80 years, since before Lucas' birth, much less Zaria's.
The Troi's were actually a feuding family with the Heero's of Brandis' Royal lineage. In fact, Vicea still held competitions with Lwaxanna Troi, one of the Daughters of the 5th House and Zaria's aunt. There was a time where they competed over who could seduce the most handsome man. The Zea had won, by quite a few men.
Lucas was not happy with what his mother had done. She had changed everything in the blink of an eye. He wanted to tell Alexa, but she wasn't around. There was no one.
"I'm tired of it!" Lucas spat out, tossing the oversized PADD he held to the glossy black sheeth of his desktop. He walked out and headed for Risa.
ICQ # 15584849
by Captain Robert Edward Lee Price
The Captain and Yeoman Jamie York had spent the entire day, the better part of the night, and a healthy portion of the morning relaxing, taking it easy, and making love. There was something very therapeutic about Risa that melted away all inhibitions and made it easy to forget about the tensions of the job or saving the universe. All Lee wanted to do was be with Jamie. He was very happy they were able to take this shore leave together.
"We should get some breakfast." Jamie stated, lifting her head slightly while Lee nuzzled her neck. They were both laying in bed, or at least the Captain was. Jamie was sitting up somewhat with a sheet barely pulled up around her.
"Are you hungry 'mate? I know I am, but not for food. . ." Lee teased kissing the nape of the Yeoman's neck.
Pulling away and getting out of bed at the same time, Jamie pulled the sheet with her and wrapped it around her naked body. Smiling she scolded, "You are a beast Lee. An insatiable monster!"
Sitting up in the bed, the Captain feigned innocence. "Me? I wasn't the one who wanted to keep going all night long."
Jamie smiled. "You weren't complaining at the time."
"No I wasn't." Lee agreed with a grin, thinking back on their evening. Changing the subject, he asked, "Isn't there any fruit left in the nook?"
"No, we used it all last night. Along with the whipping cream. . ." Jamie let her voice rise in a insinuating fashion as she exited into the other room to get some fresh clothes to put on.
Captain Price glanced over to the floor and the discarded plate that held the lover's platter they had ordered from room service. Smiling widely, he got out of bed and slid on a pair of trousers. Calling out to the other room, "I guess you are right 'mate. Well let's go down to the boardwalk. I saw a cute little place just off the end of the run that looks nice. We can get some breakfast there."
From the other room Jamie called back. It sounded like she was getting dressed or working on her hair. "That sounds great Lee. Just give me a minute and I'll be ready to go. Are you hungry?"
Lee grabbed a clean shirt and slid it on, working the buttons. "Aye. Now that I think of it, I am a bit famished myself. A spot of food should be just the thing to restore the old energy cells."
"Oh great!" Jamie declared from the other room as she popped her head out and looked at the Captain, "Just what I need, a revitalized lover. . ."
"I didn't hear any complaints last night."
Jamie just smiled. "Who's complaining?" She finished tying up her dark hair into a pony tail and then declared she was ready to go. Putting on a pair of sandals, Captain Price and Yeoman York left their room to go down to the boardwalk. Out of habit, Lee grabbed his comm badge just as they left and slid it into his pants pocket. Just in case anything came up and the ship needed to reach him.
Captain Price and Yeoman York walked along the Risan boardwalk holding hands. To look at them in their civilian clothes, no one would know they were Starfleet officers or anything other than a couple in love.
"Here we are 'mate. Just like I said."
Jamie looked at the small eatery. It was quaint and quiet, and had several large windows that overlooked the beach where the ocean could be seen. "This looks perfect. Let's see if we can get a window table."
"Fair dinkum. After you." Lee stated, opening the door and allowing Jamie to step inside.
The Captain and Yeoman were seated and soon served their breakfast orders. Something about the fresh air, the natural sun and true gravity of the planet had seemed to heighten every one of the Captain's senses. His steak and eggs tasted extremely delicious, but that could also have been because it was real food, not replicated fare. Jamie had ordered a plate of sliced fruit, a danish and a cup of coffee to start her day. There was some small talk. Chit chat about what they wanted to do with the rest of the day, but mostly, the two lovers just gazed into each other's eyes and enjoyed the other's company.
At first Captain Price wasn't sure what the sound was.
Then he realized it was the muffled tone of his comm badge, signaling a hail from the Galaxy. Reaching into his pocket, he removed the silver and gold communicator pin and tapped it active.
"Price here. Go ahead Galaxy."
["Sorry to disturb your vacation Captain. . ."] It was the voice of Commander Deiran Casey, the Galaxy's Executive Officer.
"It's okay Commander. How did things go on Nerinda Minor 'mate?" Lee asked while glancing across the table at Jamie. The Yeoman was looking away, out the large picture windows at the breaking tide of the ocean. She knew if the Galaxy hailed the Captain, whatever it was must be important. Even if she'd just rather have Lee all to herself right now.
["They went well. The team from the Galaxy did an exceptional job at capturing the meeting and recording it."] Deiran explained with a pause, ["Admiral Casey wishes to speak with you sir. If you can beam back up to the ship?"]
Lee glanced at Jamie with a sorry look in his eyes. the Yeoman smiled, placing her hand over his and squeezing softly to indicate she understood.
"Very well Commander. Give me a few minutes and I'll contact the ship to beam me up."
["I'll let the Admiral know you are on your way Captain. I also need to talk to you about Lieutenant' Rhys. I'll fill you in when you arrive sir. Galaxy out."]
Lee tapped his comm badge to close the channel.
"You couldn't manage to misplace that thing?, could you?" Jamie teased.
"Sorry love. One of the hazards of being Commanding Officer of a starship. You are always on call."
"Well, I guess it could be worse. You go ahead, I'll be fine here. It's not like there isn't anything to do on Risa after all."
Lee leant over the table and gave Jamie a kiss. "You are an angel 'mate." Then with a sudden, teasing frown he quickly added, "Just be sure to stay away from my Horga'hn!. . ."
"Now that's an idea I hadn't thought off. . ." Jamie teased taking a sip of her coffee.
Lee gave her a double look, then smiled and began to walk away. "No worries 'mate. Be back soon as I can. G'day."
Captain Price walked out of the restaurant while Yeoman
Jamie York watched. When he was gone she let out an uneasy sigh and began picking at her plate of fruit with a fork.
Across the restaurant, a man sat quietly in the corner reading a newspadd and enjoying his own breakfast. When Captain Price left, he looked up and his eyes followed the Starfleet commanding officer as he walked down the boardwalk. Lowering the padd, it could be seen that it was none other than Mister Potter, from section 31. After watching Captain Price leave, he quietly and discretely got up and left through the rear exit of the restaurant.
LtCmdr Alex Shepherd
First Contact Specialist/Science Officer
“Will there be anything else, Commander?” asked the enlisted crewman that had escorted Alex to his new quarters.
“No. That will be all, Crewman. Thank you!” Alex watched as the crewman nodded and left the room.
Alex paused for a moment and took a deep breath. The past few days had been fast paced. From receiving orders to arriving on Risa to now being posted to the Galaxy. He had pretty well given up being back on a starship…or even staying in Starfleet for that matter, setting his bag on the desk he walked to the replicator.
“Cocoa, hot…” Alex paused and glanced quickly around the room. “…with marshmallows.” Grinning slightly, he retrieved the cup from the alcove, the soft whine of his hand servos barely audible “Been an operative, too long, Shep.” He thought as he walked to his desk and slid behind the terminal.
“Computer, list all pending messages.”
“Unable to comply. Please verify voiceprint ident code”
“Shepherd, Alexander. Zeta-Bravo-324-Sierra” he repeated automatically.
“Voice Ident confirmed. Welcome aboard Commander Shepherd,” answered the generic voice of Starfleet. “You have 4 messages pending.”
“Play messages in order of receipt and summarize.” Alex leaned back in his chair and sipped his cocoa.
“Acknowledged, retrieving messages. Message one from LtCmdr Gakor. Please report to Sickbay for complete physical, per Starfleet medical regulation A645…”
“Got it!” he interrupted, “Next message.”
“Message two from Chief Counselor Dallas. Please schedule arrival-counseling session at earliest convenience. per Federation Counselor regulation D45…”
“Next message.” ordered Alex between sips.
“Message three from Ambassador Shepherd at Starbase 312…”
“Delete message.” sighed Alex; he definitely wasn’t in the mood for one of his father’s patronizing speeches. “Next message.”
“Unable to summarize final message.”
“Who’s the sender?” asked Alex. “Play message”
“Sender unknown. Message is text only”
Alex sat up and adjusted the screen. “Display message.”
The cup shattered in Alex’s mechanical hand, showering the desk with cocoa and half-melted marshmallows. Alex stared screen as it flashed repeatedly a single word.
“CEREBUS,” whispered Alex, his throat suddenly very, very dry.
LtCmdr Alex Shepherd, Science Officer, USS GALAXY
"Chance of a Lifetime"
By Ensign Mike Pailaka, Helmsman, USS Galaxy
***Main Flight Deck, Starbase 271***
"Hey Mikey, are you coming along?"
Mike rolled out from under the belly of the Shuttle USS Wabash and wiped the sweat from his brow with the sleeve of his utility jumpsuit. He shoved the phase calipers he had been using into his belt and got to his feet. Lieutenant Commander Metcalf, along with Lieutenants Conrad and Nash waited expectantly for his answer.
Mike thought about it for a few moments, then smiled sheepishly and shook his head. "I don’t know, guys. Top Flight is really a senior officers club. I'd just be in the way."
"Oh, no one is going to care." Said Nash. "Besides, you have anything better to do?"
'Not really.' He thought. But then the idea of going to yet another end of the war celebration and mingling with dozens of ranking officers who didn’t know his name really didn’t appeal to him. Not that he had anything against ranking officers. He was friends with more than a few. But now was not the time.
"I want to finish up on the Wabash and then go over some things on the Avalon." Mike replied.
"That's what the engineers are for, flyboy." Suggested Metcalf.
"Maybe on a big ship." Said Mike. "But when I'm flying one of these little manus, it puts my mind at ease to have gone over everything myself. Besides, with all that has been going on, I haven’t had the chance to hit the gym in two days. I'm going to shrivel up if I don’t get some exercise!"
Nash looked Mike over from head to toe, appraisingly. At 6'4" and 275 pounds of solid muscle, she thought that shriveling was the least of the handsome pilot's worries. She might have to invite him to dinner sometime, before her sister over in station operations caught on and jumped the claim. "Suit yourself" she said. Perhaps we can meet up for drinks later on the promenade?
"Maybe so." Agreed Mike with a smile. The trio of officers exited the shuttle bay. While the party might not have appealed to him, he was looking forward to a brisk workout. No need to go for a "max-out" after two days off, just some steady repetitions would be fine. But before he could peel himself out of his grungy jumpsuit, there was another two hour's worth of inspections to do on the Wabash and Avalon.
The two hours passed quickly. Mike wrapped up his work and headed back to his quarters, where he traded in his uniform for a loose fitting tank top and a pair of workout shorts. He caught the lift down to Deck 46 and strolled into the gymnasium. Fortunately, it was not all that crowded. There was a martial arts class going on over on the mats, with about six students and an instructor. Mike did not recognize the style but thought it might be some form of Tai Chi. 'I wonder what they would make of Lua?' he smiled to himself, thinking about the nearly extinct form of combat training he practiced. But that was not the kind of workout he was looking for.
He made his way over to the weights. That part of the gym was nearly empty. There was a Yeoman using the treadmill and a young, pretty Ensign using a set of dumbbells. Mike headed directly for the bench press. The gym was equipped with both free weights and gravimetric weights. Back home, Mike would have used the free weights, but the gravimetric weights were better in his current environment. It would make things less obvious to others in the gym. After all, he wasn't trying to show off. He grabbed a metal weight bar off the rack and checked the setting. It was currently dialed for 250 ponds. He smirked and carried the bar to the bench where he lay on his back and braced his feet. With his thumb, he dialed the bar up to 450 pounds, a comfortable weight for good 40 repetition opening set. Later, he might dial things up some more for a few quick power sets.
Mike was about halfway through his first set when he heard a loud thunk and a cry of pain. He turned off the weight bar and got to his feet. Looking around, he spotted the Ensign with the dumbbells wincing as she tried to flex her shoulder. Mike was quickly at her side.
"What happened?" he inquired. "Anything I can do to help?"
"Oh." Said the Ensign, looking up and noticing Mike for the first time. "I guess I just overdid it there. Managed to wrench my shoulder something fierce."
"Sorry to hear that." Said Mike sympathetically. "Would you like me to take a look at it?"
"Are you a doctor?" she asked.
"Nope." He replied. "But I was a licensed physical trainer back home and I've fixed my fair share of dings."
The Ensign smiled. "Sure, what could it hurt?" She turned on her bench and faced her back to him. "It's the right shoulder that's bothering me." She said. "By the way, my name's Caitlin Gardner."
"Pleased to meet you. Mikala Pailaka. Friends all me Mike." He gently placed his hands on her shoulder and neck and began probing with his fingers, carefully observing her reactions. "Let me know if this starts to hurt." He advised.
Caitlin closed her eyes as Mike's fingers and palms began deeply massaging the tissue around the injury. "Hmmmm. It's sore to the touch, but who cares? That's wonderful! Is that Shiatsu?"
"Not quite." Mike chuckled. "It's called Lomilomi. It's Hawaiian."
"Funny." Said Caitlin. "You don't look Hawaiian."
"I get that a lot." Admitted Mike as his fingers continued their magic. "My dad's Kama'aina, a native Hawaiian, but my mother is from Sweden. Guess I have her Nordic influence in my genes."
"Well whatever you are." Smiled Caitlin. "Can you do both shoulders or only one at a time?"
"That's going to at least cost you a round of drinks." Mike suggested.
"You got it." She replied laughing. "How about we head up to Top Flight. I'll buy."
'I guess there's no escaping Top Flight' Thought Mike. "Sounds good to me." He replied. "Just let me finish up in here and I can meet you in about an hour?"
"That would be great!" said Caitlin. She stood up and flexed her shoulder.
"That shoulder should be feeling better now." Said Mike. "I'd say the problem wasn't the amount of weight. That would have hit you a lot earlier in your set. You just need to relax and unlimber more. Your back is all tied up in knots."
"Well." Said Caitlin with a wink. "After those drinks, you can do the other shoulder and the rest of my back if you like."
Mike was more than happy for the invitation. Caitlin was an attractive young woman. 'Don’t get too ahead our yourself here.' He mentally reminded himself. 'It could be nothing.' He smiled and gave a short bow. "I'm at your service." He said.
"Fantastic!" she said. "One hour then?"
"One hour." Agreed Mike with a smile. "See you then, Caitlin."
After she left, Mike picked up his weight bar and continued his workout. "Holosuites indeed." He said under his breath. "You're not going to get an invitation like that locked away in a small room by yourself!"
A half hour later, Mike was back in his quarters, toweling off from a brisk shower and deciding on his evening wardrobe when his desk console started chirping. He tapped the console and the image of his commanding officer, Lt. Commander Metcalf, came onto the screen. Mike inwardly groaned, trying to imagine what perceived emergency might be dragging him back to the flight deck during his off duty hours. Probably some Commodore in need of a pilot he imagined. He knotted the towel around his waist and plunked down in his desk chair, facing the console. "What can I do for you sir? I thought you were at the party."
"I was." Said Metcalf with a smile. "But I just received some news you might want to hear. It's something you have been waiting for."
Mike's heart skipped a beat. Could his request have finally gone through, after all these months? "Sir, is it…"
"Congrats, Ensign!" said Metcalf, beaming like a proud father. "No more dinky shuttles and runabouts for you. Welcome to the big leagues."
'Yesss!' Mike was as happy as he had been in months. Finally, a chance to get off the station and see some more of the Quadrant. "Is it the Gilroy, sir? She had an opening." The USS Gilroy was just a humble Oberth class science vessel, but to Mike, a step up to any real starship was the answer to his prayers.
"You obviously didn't here me correctly, Mikey." Replied Metcalf with a twinkle in his eye. "When I said the big leagues I meant the big leagues! You're being assigned to the USS Galaxy."
Mike sat in stunned silence for a few moments. "USS Galaxy, as in Galaxy-class? As in the biggest ships in the fleet? Awue! You're not jerking my chain here sir?"
"Not at all." Said Metcalf. "Sometimes the dice just roll in your favor. Congratulations again!"
"Wela ka hao! How soon until I have to leave and where am I going for the rendezvous?"
Metcalf smiled broadly. "This is where it gets really good. The Galaxy is currently on a months shore leave in orbit around Risa. They want you to report to the ship within three days, but after that, it's going to be a couple weeks of short quiet shifts followed by hours of sun soaked debauchery."
"I doubt I'll have much time for that." Said Mike. "I haven’t flown anything as big as a Galaxy class since my academy days, and that was only a simulation. These Galaxy's are big girls. It's going to take a while to get properly introduced."
"Well, just remember to enjoy yourself while you can." Suggested Metcalf.
Mike rolled his eyes and slapped himself on the forehead. "Which reminds me… I have a date in around ten minutes. I need to finish getting ready!"
"Took Lieutenant Nash up on her offer, eh?"
"No, someone else I just met." Mike answered, his face turning slightly red.
Metcalf shook his head and chuckled. "You are a piece of work, Ensign. I'm going to miss having you on the flight deck team."
"Thank you sir." He replied, fidgeting in his chair.
"Well don’t just sit there, get dressed already! Metcalf out!" The screen went dark
Mike sprang from his chair and let out a whoop and did a happy dance across his living quarters. He had so many people to tell.. And so much to learn! At least there was very little to pack. 'But first things first'. He reminded himself as he reached for his clothes. It was bad form to keep a lady waiting, and Caitlin was one lady he did not want to let off the hook, even if he had less than a day to get to know her.
"The Galaxy!" he said out loud. "Amazing!"
Ensign Mike Pailaka
Helmsman, USS Galaxy
"A final goodbye"
Lt. JG Elaine O'Hare
Darkness surrounded her form as she gently stirred from her resting position on the bed. Sighing, she decided right then and there that it was time to put the past in the past and move on with her life on board the U.S.S. Galaxy. Although, the physical signs of what had transpired on the planet had disappeared, the images of the rest of the security team that perished still plagued her mind.
She had been feeling sorry for herself way to long. It was shore leave, a time to relax and attempt to prepare for the next mission. It was not fair of her to downtrodden her fellow officers with her depressed mood. She was prescribed anti-depressants, but they only made her more drowsy and incoherent at times.
Swinging her legs over the side of the bed, the Lt. Made her way to her feet. Her legs felt heavy and wobbly. Life these pasts few weeks was not anything like she envisioned it to be. Taking a while, she grabbed a shower. It helped her clear her head and try to convince herself that it was time to go back to normal life, back to duty, back to being the outrageous woman that she was.
Her daughter was taken care of in the nursery, her fiancée', busy with the security department. She was all alone so she decided to make the best of it. Pulling her uniform on, she forced a small smile as she looked at her reflection in the mirror. She was thinner than she had been in a while, but, once she did what she had to do, she was sure that the weight would come back.
Walking over to her desk, she warmed up the monitor and proceeded to type out a letter to a friend that she didn't get to say good bye to.
Hey you. I know that you will never get this, but, it's hopefully going to help me get over you. Hell, I doubt I'll ever get over you. I remember all the good times we had together. I think what I'll miss most of all is seeing you parade around buck naked. Don't tell Neil that, he'd have a major fit. It was freeing seeing someone that had that certain amount of freedom with the things they did.
I miss you. I miss talking to you, or, not talking to you. It was comforting to have you around, especially when I didn't have the strength to say what I had to. I'm smiling right now, recalling all the things we did together. We had a friendship connection that was strong, and I'll miss that.
Oh, these past few weeks have been difficult. I wish you could see her. I wish you could see Gillian and hold her in your arms. She's so tiny, but she has fight to her. It's undetermined yet if she'll have any problems from being born so prematurely, it's too soon to tell. I would have loved to have her follow you around, in fact at times, I can almost picture it in my head.
You were and always will be my greatest friend and confidant. Where ever you are, I hope that you are happy, free, and having an incredible amount of fun.
Love always, Spud
Transfering the data to a PADD, she lowered her head and was silent for a moment. Making her way down to the holodeck, she programmed her favorite program. Hearing the computer give her permission to enter, she entered.
The sun was starting to set below the horizon and the grass was starting to get dewey as she stood at the end of the long run way. The two jets sat silently next to each other as O'Hare made her way over to the black jet that was nestled close to hers. Placing the Padd into the cockpit of the black jet, she sighed. Reaching in, she extracted the tape of the music that her co-pilot always played. Walking over to her red jet, she boosted herself into the cockpit and placed the tape into the player. Music flooded her ears as tears stung her eyes as she warmed up her jet. Taking off, the sun dipped into the sky, surrounding her with darkness once more. Flying around the expanse of the sky for a good hour, she let all her emotions escape and started to feel like her old self again.
Straightening out from a low dive, the jet barely touched the ground as she flipped the cover and placed her finger around the red colored trigger.
"Goodbye Dagger." She stated softly as the atmosphere rang out with sounds of a massive explosion. Pulling her jet straight up into the dark sky, she looked down mournfully and viewed the fireball that enveloped the damaged jet.
Based on STAR TREK created by Gene Roddenberry
Story written by Lieutenant Suder
Starring Lieutenant Paul Gillings
Engineer - NPC
"Same Old Places, Different People"
Suder and Gillings were in the turbolift discussing the Engineering Hologram.
"Even after the Captain denied me permission to begin the project, I continued to work on it. After a while, Adrianna came aboard the ship. She was very interested in the project and asked the Captain if we could begin the project. The Captain gave her permission and we began. There were a few slight glitches in the matrix, but we sorted that out straight away." Suder explained.
"What about test results?" Paul asked.
"We ran more than a few dozen tests. They all had the same problem. After a couple of weeks, we corrected the problem. Then the program ran fine. Even before we activated the program, we ran two hundred and four test simulations on the holodeck."
The turbolift came to a halt and after the doors slid open, an Ensign walked in. Suder and Paul didn't pay much attention to the Operations officer. They were too into the conversation.
"What was the program like in particular situations?"
"It was fine until the last battle broke out. All systems were running fine."
"What about the EMH?" Paul asked.
"A while back, I began a project on the EMH that would extend it's "life span" Cat had received a message, I can't remember what it said, but she asked me to work on it. I began the testing stage and then when everything worked out fine, we began the first stage."
"Activation of the hologram, who is this "Cat"?"
"She was the Assistant Chief Medical Officer." Suder replied.
"How long did it run for, the program I mean?" Gillings asked as the turbolift came to another halt. The doors slid open and the junior officer stepped out. Suder and Gillings then followed. Suder hadn't been to the Bridge in a long time. He had avoided it for a long time. That being one of the two main reasons.
"As far as I know, there were several fluctuations over a lengthy period, about a couple of weeks. After that, it ran fine for a while. Then we went into battle for the last time against the Dominion. We lost a lot of good people and the project was put on hold for a while." Suder explained.
"On whose authority?"
"Mine." Suder replied.
They walked over to the Engineering station and began recalling data. Suder opened all the files that held information on the Emergency Engineering Hologram. As Paul read the files, Suder stepped aside, allowing Paul to sit down. Suder looked around the Bridge.
Suder had never liked to change. But it was one thing that he had to get use to. Adapt, improvise and overcome. But this time it was different. He had served on ships and people had died before. But it wasn't same here. Maybe he was getting to old!
The main difference Suder noticed was the Helm and Security station. Commander Bancroft used to be seated there. Suder could remember being on the bridge once and seeing the Commander in action. She was cool under pressure and she got the job done. Then there was Security. Lieutenant T'Kal had once served there. Suder regretted never talking to him. T'Kal had known things, things about his brother. Suder would have liked to hear what he had known about Lon Suder. Now that he had found out his brother had died on the USS Voyager.
"Hey, you here?" Paul asked.
"What?" Suder asked turning to face Paul. His attention had obviously faded away.
"I said, it looks like there was a energy surge in the EMH and the EEH at the same time." Paul said.
"Three point four seconds out." Suder corrected. "That wouldn't explain what happened. Power surges can do that, but I've gone over that possibility. I've changed a few command protocols and tried to recover any information that may have stopped the program from running, but... Nothing." Suder said.
"Right, let's make a quick stop at Sickbay and check on the EMH, and then back to Main Engineering." Paul said.
The turbolift doors open and Suder and Paul walked out still discussing possibilities as to why the Engineering Hologram was not working. Suder had also just about finished giving background details on the program. They turned to the right and entered Sickbay. Paul went straight to the computer console and Suder walked to the middle of Sickbay and looked around. It was quiet. Empty. No Chief Medical Officer joking around with her Catian friend, and no Catian Officer checking up on Suder's progress. Instead, there were two Junior Officers going about their business in the main office.
"The EMH was shut down a while ago. It looks like everyone still thought of it as a short-term Hologram." Paul explained as he read the databank files.
"Computer, activate the EMH program." Suder ordered.
"Please state the nature of the medical emergency." a familiar voice asked. the Doctor turned to see Suder and Paul looking at him. "Ah, glad to see you came back. Did you forget about me?" the Doctor asked sarcastically.
"I haven't had much time, between ship repairs and sleep, I haven't had much time." Suder explained.
"You could have got one of the other Engineers to take a look at me." the Doctor snapped back.
"Just about all the other officers are on leave." Suder said. "Now, why was your program shut off?" Suder asked.
"They said I wasn't needed. I was about to explain the whole project to the Medical staff, but they turned me off before I could." the Hologram said.
"You seemed to last a long time on the first test, so we're going to keep you on-line again. If they try to turn you off, explain to them what is going on and if that doesn't work, get them to talk to us." Paul said.
"What if they turn me off before I get a chance?" the Doctor asked.
"We'll check on you once or twice a day just to make sure." Suder assured him.
"Very well." the EMH replied.
"Well, the EMH is working fine, now, to Main Engineering." Paul said. He turned and headed for the exit. Suder took one more look around Sickbay, remembering the times he had spent here when he was working on the project. Then he walked out and followed Paul.
Within several minutes, they reached Engineering. As they to their usual stations, Suder again noticed the missing personnel. There were two Junior Officers that he was training, but they had been killed in the initial attack. Then there was Lieutenant Adrianna. She had been killed before the fight for Cardassia. She had died when the Galaxy had attacked the USS St. Louise. Suder shook that thought out of his head. He didn't want to play that scene through his head again. It was just put him in a bad mood.
"I'm going to call up the last few seconds or so of the battle when the program went off-line." Paul said. The two Engineers sat back in their chairs and watched the scene play through.
They could see the explosions ripping consoles apart. The view of the scene was showing a lot of Engineering. Two officers had been thrown back by the force of several explosions. Then the Engineering Hologram came into view. She walked over to the warp core and looked at the front of it. She grabbed a tricorder, opened, scanned the warp core, closed the tricorder up and put it away in less than five seconds. Paul had noticed that and let out a "hmmm" of interest.
"That's a fast hand she's got." he noted.
"She was designed by the best. I thought the program should have the hands of a magician."
"Showing off your own qualities in your programs, I remember your style." Paul joked.
They then watched the Engineering Hologram, Sophia grabbed a tool and spin it in one hand and begin work on the warp core. She was no doubt the fastest worker in Engineering. After seven seconds of repairing, Sophia turned around and began heading for another console. As she took the third step away from the warp core, her image faded away quickly, letting the tools that she was holding fall to the floor. The display screen shut down and Paul looked at Suder.
"Let's go through the possibilities again." Paul said as he stood up.
"Where?" Suder asked.
"Ten Forward. I'm hungry, besides, we finished duty half an hour ago. Perhaps you should go get changed and shave off that goatee' of yours." Paul recommended.
"I'll keep that in mind, but I'd rather get something to eat and review the latest data first." Suder replied. With that last word, they headed off to Ten Forward with eight data padds.
"Battle for the Natividad"
"Shall we beat to quarters now, Captain 'ornblower?" The Natividad loomed before the Lydia as they barreled down on her. The huge ship of the line was directly ahead of them.
"Yes, Mr. Gerard. Please call all hands to battle stations." Shtik said from the quarterdeck. He was dressed in the finest blue coat and cocked hat he could find within his holographic quarters on board.
"Run out yer guns!" Gerard called out as the drums signaled their call to arms.
"Negative. Belay that!" Shtik called back. "Bow chasers only, armed with grape shot, if you please. All available hands to prepare for boarding."
"But sir? Ain't we gonna reduce sail and present 'er with a broadside?"
"No, Mr. Gerard. We are going to maintain our course with all possible speed. In fact, call all hands down from the braces and have them join the boarding party."
"But sir, Natividad will blow the Lydia to kindlin', if you take my meaning, sir." The sailing master was right. The careful balance of elements necessary to keep a large square rigged vessel moving at it's top speed would mean that evasive maneuvers would be impossible. And keeping all sails billowed would create a large clear target for the larger vessel. Lydia would not last long.
"The condition of Lydia will be inconsequential to us once we have captured the Natividad. Is that not so, Mr. Gerard?" Shtik watched as realization began to dawn on the sailing master's face.
"Ohhhhhh, aye sir. Aye aye." Gerard ran off to oversee his captain's wishes leaving Shtik to look over the crew gathering below him along the rails in the waist of the ship. Ensign Han had drilled with the crew for almost 24 hours straight and each one now wore a black painted rope belt around his waist. Although not exactly accurate for their skill level, Jian-fu pointed out that it would help with the crew's moral and self-esteem. Shtik chose not to argue that a holographic crew should not need boosts to their moral and self-esteem.
Suddenly, the Natividad erupted with an incredible explosion. A huge billow of smoke engulfed the ship of the line and quickly dispersed in the wind. The first broadside was heading toward them.
Several spouts of water exploded around the ship from missed shots, but the Lydia still trembled with the impact of those that hit. Bits of spars and rigging rained down from above and cries from below let them know they were taking on water. Another blast from the Natividad signaled the next volley to arrive before Lydia's small bowchasers were even within range. This broadside sent the foretopmast crashing to the deck and one of the nine pound balls came hurdling right down the center of the deck until it blasted into the jollyboat creating an explosion of deadly wooden slivers. With all hands crouched along the ships rails; there were surprisingly few injuries. The Lydia continued to plow her way toward the Natividad.
The Lydia's bowchasers erupted to life as they attempted to clear away the deck of the Spanish ship. Another broadside crashed into them. Braces, stays and tackle rained down from above. Small holes in the sails were quickly ripping and being blown into larger holes by the cannon fire. Soon, only tattered streamers would be left to propel the ship.
"Looks like the Don's'll slow us down fer us, eh sir?" Gerard grinned up at his captain.
"That was my intention, Mr. Gerard." Shtik remained calmly impassive as he stared at the approaching ship. "I will also request that you refrain from any racial slurs while aboard my ship, if you please."
"Aye, sir." Gerard looked at the pointed eared captain quizzically, but quietly returned to his duty.
The next broadside took the Lydia's foremast down completely. The ominous crackle of the splintering wood signaled the slow fall of the large oak beam. Trailing bits of sail and rope off the port side of the vessel, she was slowed even more and began to list to that side. More water was being taken on below. Another cannon ball whizzed past Shtik's head, knocking his cocked hat off his head, over the transom and into the wake behind the ship. They were now within the range of the Natividad's sharpshooters and small splinters of musket balls began to pelt the deck. Lydia's bowchasers continued to blast away at small groups of the Spanish sailors. Despite it all, the damage was surprisingly minimal. Obviously El Supremo's makeshift crew, while more numerous, were not as well trained as the British crew Shtik had been given to command.
"All hands to the starboard rail. Prepare to grapple enemy!" Shtik yelled down to his crew. The trailing mast turned the Lydia so that it was now parallel with the Natividad as they coasted together. With a loud thud, the hulls of the two ships collided. Grapple hooks flew out to link the two ships together.
Shtik tore off his coat and neck cloth and leapt onto the transom, grabbing a mizzen backstay to keep his balance. Drawing his sword he yell out his order for his crew to attack. There was a roar from the crew as they charged across the gap between the ships, some jumping, and some swinging from yardarms and some dropping planks to create small bridges.
Shtik watched for a moment as the Spanish crew reacted to the martial arts tactics used by the primitive British sailors, many of who responded with stereotypical karate yells. The stunned surprise gave the Lydia crew a distinct advantage as they plowed their way through the Natividad. Ensign Han himself was doing quite a job of taking out his fair share of opponents.
Shtik, doing a quick calculation, used his sword to hack away the bottom splice of the stay he was holding and used it to swing over to the quarterdeck of the Natividad. The large arc of his swing sent him sailing over the sea as Spanish sharpshooters took shots at him. He landed with a roll across the deck of the larger ship and quickly leapt back to his feet with his sword at the ready. Several Spanish officers turned to face him.
"Out of the way, he's mine!" El Supremo used his own sword to cut down a lieutenant who was between him and Shtik. "Capitaine 'ornblower. I shall keel you myself."
"I do believe I am required to simulate your death in order to end this scenario." Shtik stated calmly, "I shall therefore endeavor to do so." He took a defensive position with his sword before him as El Supremo did the same before him.
Meanwhile, across the rest of the ship, the crew of the Lydia was surpassing the odds by devastating the larger crew of the Natividad with their clumsy, yet deadly use of oriental martial arts techniques.
To be continued...
=/\="Waking Up on the Wrong Side of the Law Pt.1"=/\=
or: "What I did on my Summer Vacation when I wasn’t in Iowa"
by Lt Cmdr Matthew Albrecht
Matthew’s last memory was of stopping at the bar in the hotel lobby to get a drink on his way to the luxury suite he shared with his family. For the third night in a row, he had beamed down to Risa’s surface rather late. He remembered slapping the bartop lightly, smiling and cheerfully asking for a scotch and soda.
His eyelids popped open, though they met with resistance from the grainy accumulation that behaved like a glue. He blinked several times and squinted. The first thing he saw was a hand pulling away from his face with a small device gripped in its fingertips. The device had several blinking lights, and Albrecht recognized it immediately as a Synaptic Dampener. The contraband gizmos were favorite tools of terrorists and kidnappers.
The second thing he saw was the person to whom the fingers, hand, and presumably the Synaptic Dampener belonged. The face was familiar and brought back a flood of old memories...
*** flashback, three years. Starbase 117 ***
"Thank you, Cadet," growled the scruffy-haired officer seated at the long mahogany table. Commander Meier was a large man with brooding eyes and a three-day growth of beard. He lifted the glass of water to his lips with both hands and drank it down in two gulps like a man lost in a desert. He put the glass down and wiped his mouth with the back of one hand. The other hand lifted from the table as well, since he was handcuffed. The cable that ran between the cuffs made a scraping noise against the table when he was done.
Cadet Matthew Albrecht nodded a wordless acknowledgement, and refilled the glass for the defendant. He then glanced at the glass of the JAG, lieutenant Henry Lutonis. Lutonis was a tall, fair-haired Terran. Popular with the ladies, charming and confident always, the lieutenant was on a fast-track in Starfleet. In his position he had many opportunities to plead cases before the highest ranking officers in the sector. And, he rarely failed in his duty. Unflappable as always, Lutonis hadn’t touched his beverage yet. The JAG’s steel-blue eyes were calm and smug while he drilled the defendant yet again on the details of the case.
Albrecht was familiar with the specifics of the Court Martial pending against commander Alvin Meier. As Lutonis’s personal assistant, one of his functions was to research case histories and quiz his superior on the details. Meier was Chief Science officer on the research vessel USS Atanasoff. During a mission to study a recurring spatial anomaly, a shuttlecraft passed through a portion of the phased plasma bands of the anomaly. The two officers onboard the shuttle died, screaming, a moment later. The shuttle survived intact. Meier stood accused of ordering the shuttle mission to proceed despite evidence that the plasma bands were deadly in order to do away with ensign Shawn McCorkle. Reports suggested that Meier and McCorkle’s wife Jeannie were having an extramarital affair at the time.
Lutonis repeated his question again, "Commander Meier, explain the nature of your relationship with lieutenant junior grade Jeannie McCorkle. Were you lovers?"
*** the present ***
Meier growled, "Hello, Cadet. How was your nap?" The former science officer looked nearly the same as he did in Matthew’s memory. Except this time he was well-kempt and clean-shaven.
Albrecht sat up slightly and rubbed the grit from his eyes with the backs of his shackled hands. "Commander Meier," he replied simply. "How long was I asleep?"
The murderer tossed the Synaptic Dampener over his shoulder. He smiled and closed his eyes lazily for a second. "Oh... About four days. Welcome aboard the ‘Sunset Wanderer.’" Looking smug and self-satisfied, Alvin Meier added, "Oh, don’t you worry. Your wife thinks you are on Earth attending a wedding, hee-hee!"
Matthew closed his eyes and groaned. He could feel the vibration of a small warp power generator through the mattress on his bunk. He was sore all over, away from the Galaxy, and alone with a killer. What else could possibly go wrong?
more to come...
"Filling in the Captain, sort of. . ."
by Captain Robert Edward Lee Price
Captain Price materialized in the transporter room of the USS Galaxy. Transport operator Specialist Arielle Treudeux was manning the controls.
"Welcome back on board the Galaxy Captain." she smiled, "Admiral Casey is waiting for you in the observation lounge."
"Thanks 'mate." Lee nodded, stepping off the transporter pad and exiting the transporter room to head for deck one.
Arriving on the Bridge, Lee could see that Lieutenant Commander Mercury was sitting in the Captain's chair, no doubt filling in the command shift for the skeleton crew left in charge of the Galaxy while everyone enjoys shore leave.
"G'day 'Commander." Lee greeted.
"Captain." David nodded. "Deiran and his father, Admiral Casey, are waiting for you in the conference room." the Chief Engineer pointed.
"Fair dinkum 'mate. Carry on." Lee acknowledged, walking into the executive observation lounge off the rear of the Galaxy's bridge.
The doors swished open as Captain Price entered. At the head of the table, in his regular seat, sat Admiral Thomas Casey. Lee straightened his duty uniform with a tug and took a different chair. "You wanted to see me Admiral?"
Sitting down, Lee's eyes glanced at his Fist Officer across the long conference table, acknowledging his presence with a blink.
"Indeed Captain, I did. Things are worse than I had suspected. The meeting on Nerinda Minor was a meeting between the Romulans and the Orion Syndicate. The Romulans have developed a new weapon which they plan to sell to the Orion Syndicate and use against the Federation in a bid to take control of the Alpha quadrant." the Admiral explained.
"A new weapon? What sort of weapon Admiral?" Lee asked.
"It's a photon-torpedo that contains a phase cloaking device." The Admiral replied.
"A phase cloak? Like a cloaking device?" Lee asked glancing at Deiran.
"Sort of Captain. But not only does this type of cloaking device render the warhead invisible to sensors and visual detection, it also phases the torpedo casing, allowing it to pass right through solid matter until it reaches it's target." the First Officer explained.
Admiral Casey piped in to elaborate on his son's comments, "Exactly. So it effectively bypasses all known shields and armor present on any starship or starbase known to exist today. Equipt with such weapons, it would be possible for a warbird to be hiding behind a planet, fire it's weapons *through* the planet, and strike an unsuspecting starship waiting on the opposite side. And there wouldn't be a damned thing we could do to detect it until it's too late!"
Lee leaned back into his chair and let the info sink in. "That sounds like a pretty devastating weapon all right."
Admiral Casey nodded, "Through the course of the meeting we learned that this Romulan, Ambassador Tomalak, wants to strike up a deal with the Orion Syndicate to help them take over the Alpha quadrant. In exchange, Romulus will supply the Syndicate with the weapons it needs to run all of the illegal black market activities through out the quadrant. Drugs, gambling, prostitution. That sort of thing."
"Why would the Romulans agree to do that?" Lee asked.
"I don't know. But this Ambassador Tomalak was insistent that his government was willing to do so to secure the Orion Syndicate's help." the Admiral explained.
Interrupting, Deiran took the lead away from his father for a moment. "The Syndicate wasn't convinced Tomalak's claim was genuine, and have insisted on a demonstration of these new weapons. They agreed to have the warheads fitted onto one of the Syndicate's vessels along with a Romulan cloaking device in order to test out this new technology. They are going to attack a Federation listening outpost along the neutral zone, Outpost station 135. They are expected to attack it within the next 36 hours."
"Do we know if these weapons of the Romulans really work as they say? These phase-cloaked torpedoes as you called them 'mate?"
Deiran nodded, "They are definitely real Captain. Believe me, that outpost station doesn't stand a chance if it's attacked. There are just over one hundred Starfleet Officers stationed on that listening outpost. They monitor activity through the neutral zone and help to maintain the Starfleet early detection sensory net between the Romulan Star Empire and the Federation. It's one of the most remotely located listening outposts along that region of space. Which is likely why they choose that target."
"There could be another reason. . ." Admiral Casey injected, gaining both his Son's and Captain Price' attention. "That outpost station may have been chosen as a target because destroying it would open up a small area in the Federation detection grid. One large enough to allow a convoy of starships to pass through undetected between Federation and Romulan space."
"You think it is a preemptive strike precluding an invasion force from the Romulans? Admiral. . ., I don't think the Romulans are in any position to launch a full scale offensive against the Federation after their losses in the Dominion war." Lee pointed out.
"Maybe not. But we can not close our eyes that that possibility might exist. At any rate, with the recorded information we have already logged from their covert meeting at the Clairmont Hotel, I think it would be best to stop them before they destroy the listening outpost and nab them when they are at their most vulnerable point; while trying to load the weapons and cloaking device onto the Syndicate vessel. We know where they are planning to do that, just inside the neutral zone." Admiral Casey explained.
"What do you want me to do Admiral? I can recall the crew and have the Galaxy ready to get underway in a few hours." Captain Price offered.
Admiral Casey held up his hand, "Not just yet Captain. I need to report all of this to Starfleet Command first. Then, once they decide what they want to do, we may get our chance. Deiran just insisted that I brief you to let you know what was going on. Guess he was afraid I'd just up and take the ship away from you or something. Is that it son?" Thomas smiled.
Deiran shifted uncomfortably. That wasn't the reason at all. When he told his father he wanted to tell the Captain everything when they returned, he meant *everything*. That included the details of the covert mission the Galaxy was sent on under the command of Admiral Pressman, about Ambassador Tomalak and his theft of the phase-cloaked photon torpedoes Starfleet helped to develop with Starfleet Intelligence' help. He wanted to come clean on everything that he had been ordered to keep from Captain Price. But he could see now, that was not his Father's intention. He filled the General in on some of the details; just enough to allow the mission to proceed, but didn't come anywhere near telling him the whole truth. Deiran always hated that about his Father. He had always been that way. Mysterious. Cloak and dagger-like. Never offering anything more than what was asked for.
"I just knew the Captain would want to be informed Admiral. Nothing more." Deiran replied evenly.
"Very well Admiral. I'll let you report to Starfleet and I will stand by awaiting your orders down in ten forward." Lee responded.
"That would be perfect Captain. Thank you. Dismissed." Admiral Thomas Casey nodded.
Lee stood up and noted Deiran remained seated. Most likely to speak further with his father. The Captain thought nothing of it and exited the conference room.
"You could have told him the whole story dad." Deiran scolded crossly.
"Yes, I could have son. But your orders were to keep that entire mission top secret. Isn't that right?"
"Yes, of course. But this is different. . . He needs to know what we are dealing with, and whom."
"I'm just looking out for your career son. That order came from Admiral Pressman," Thomas said raising his hand in unison with the raising color of Deiran's boiling blood, "now before you go off, I know the man repulses me too son, but he is a Starfleet Admiral. You can't go violating orders from your superior officers and expect to get anywhere in Starfleet Command. It simply doesn't work that way."
"But you are an Admiral too. And you out rank. . ." Deiran defended, but was cut off.
"Starfleet doesn't work that way Deiran, you know that. We are a team on Starfleet. We all pull together and cooperate to get the job done. No matter what the circumstances, no matter what personality conflicts collide, no matter what. You can't have one Admiral countermanding the orders of another Admiral no more than you could have one Commander countermanding another. If that was common place, nothing would ever get done."
"Well, I disagree with you father. Sometimes you have to counter order commands to keep things on track. And I disagree with you not taking Captain Price into our confidence and telling him the whole story about the history of those torpedoes."
"Well, just like I am looking out for your career, I am looking out for my own as well son. Captain Price has recently upset a lot of high ranking officers back at Headquarters. I like the man, and know he is an excellent Starship Captain, but I am not going to jeopardize my career by briefing him on the details of a mission that another Starfleet Admiral went to great lengths to keep a secret."
"Even if that Admiral is Pressman? Your long time rival?" Deiran goated.
"Even if it was Pressman son. As I said, the man may make me sick to my stomach, but he is a Starfleet Admiral. If you want to make Admiral yourself, you'd be wise not to cross any of your superiors authority. Even if that includes someone like Pressman."
Deiran stood and looked out the observation windows. It was obvious he was upset, but his father's words were sinking in.
"Don't you have to contact Starfleet Command father?" the Commander asked while looking out the window at the planet Risa below.
"Aye." Admiral Casey stated, swiveling around in his chair and activating the communications terminal to hail Starfleet Command.
Queens and Pawns
by LCDR Endris Gakor-Albrecht
*** Risa ***
Endris survived the chess board and pushed a Rook 2 squares forward. "Check", she announced. Looking again, she added "and Mate". Adam crawled over and looked at the pieces. A pawn slipped off the board and the half-Tellarite child immediately examined it to see if it was edible. He spit the plastic man out of his mouth and pounced it "yuckie!!!".
Matthew was once again over do for his return. Endris had checked the passages for Earth and could not find him listed anywhere. And the bartender reported he took off without notice. It was starting to look like something sinister happened to the security officer.
She made some preliminary inquiries with the planetary authorities, who know listed him as missing. She also shared her fears with her shipmates. Knowing how resourceful her spouse was, Gakor was certain he would eventually break free of whatever was troubling him and make it home. The Tellarite began to reconsider her Corn based revenge scheme. Not everything was his fault.
She couldn't shake the feeling, that elsewhere someone remarkably like herself was assessing a prison. As if a wicked version of herself was mustering pawns and queens for her own tainted version of chess.....
JOURNEY HOME PT. 3
Lt. Jg. Mohammed Uhura
Asst. Chief of Operations
PERSONAL LOG: Lt. Jg. Mohammed Uhura reporting on board the Shuttle Yeager.
We are now one day into our entry into the Milkyway galaxy enroute to the planet Earth. Right now I have a guest. While on my way home I encountered a pod which was occupied by the man who is now my guest on my trip home. He was badly injured, especially his face which has been terribly disfigured by...by whatever happened to him. The only problem is...well I don't know anything about my guest. He rested for most of the trip after I rescued him and he hasn't spoken much..despite my attempts to engage him in a good conversation. I informed him that once we arrived at Earth I would see to it that he got to Federation authorities who could assist him. Meanwhile, I am only a two day journey from home. So far the baby has not arrived yet...she must be waiting for her daddy to get home.
Dr. Mohammed Uhura slowly awoke from his tortured slumber. Since he had been rescued from the escape pod he had been sleeping and going in and out of consciousness. He was in a great amount of pain and discomfort more than he had ever inflicted on any of his poor subjects back on the Behemoth. But his plan had worked far better than he could have ever dreamed. Not only did he enter the alternate universe but he was rescued by no one other than his own counterpart in this universe. He had been rescued by a member of the Uhura family and he would soon have this Uhura lead him right to the rest of the Uhuras and he would finish what he had begun....He would kill the entire Uhura family.
"Yessss." Dr. Uhura hissed as he looked at his bandaged face in the mirror. He touched the bandages gently. This Uhura had nursed him back to health and did his best to care for him. He even tried to fix his damaged and scarred face to no avail. For this kindness, He would make sure that his death was quick and painless. The fact that his face was so badly maimed and bandaged meant that his counterpart had no idea he was looking at himself from another universe.
"Yes. You will lead me to the others and I will kill them all...none will survive." The door chimed and Dr. Uhura laid back down in the bed. " Please, enter."
The door opened and in walked tall, handsome Mohammed Uhura. The sinister Dr. Uhura felt the bile of disgust well up as he looked at the man who had the face he once had. Who had the face that was now completely destroyed and disfigured. He wanted to kill him now but he couldn't. Right now he needed him....for the moment.
"How are you feeling?" Mohammed asked as he sat next to the bed.
"I am doing...much better...considering." Dr. Uhura answered.
"I understand. I just wanted to let you know that we have entered the Milkyway Galaxy and we will be arriving on Earth within the next two days. I know that you are having problems with your memory...but I have to call you something. Are you sure you can't remember your name?"
Dr. Uhura smiled. Oh yeah, I know my name and soon I will be the only one. "I understand what you mean. Then you can call me...Salassie."
Mohammed blinked. "Salassie? That's interesting."
"What is that, my friend?"
"My middle name is Salassie."
Dr. Uhura smiled again. "Yes, that is interesting."
"Well, Salassie. Would you like to join me for some Mozart?" Mohammed invited.
"Thank you my dear friend but no. I really just want to rest."
Mohammed nodded. "I understand. You rest and I will let you know when we approach Earth. Rest well...Salassie." Mohammed smiled and departed.
"Yesssss...and you rest well too...Mohammed for soon your rest will be permenant." Dr. Uhura said with a sinister grin.
To be continued.....
Jake Olson was, as was well known now on Galaxy, an expert at creating just your holodeck fantasy. For being just a new little ensign, Jake was getting pretty damned famous. He himself didn't rely much on holodecks, but he certainly knew how to cater to those whom did.
Despite his success, Jake was having a few concerns. For one thing, the Queen with whom he had a wondrous night had a son on the ship. Oh, God but Jake didn't know how to handle that one should he come across the 'kid' who outranked him!
The other problem was that giant lizard like guy Kall'n. That one looked like he jumped out of some butthead's worst nightmare! Nice enough, bit on the sarcastic side though. That one best not find out your personal business or you'd face wise cracks for the rest of your days. Any one whom said that Kall'n didn't bite never ran into one of his cutting remarks. Olson himself never had one shot his way but you can't be within proximity of that creature with out hearing a few.
Olson minded his own business with zeal, he didn't gossip. Unless you had something to buy or sell, Olson wasn't considered your great source for info.
Ens. Jake Olson
"Sights to behold" by:
Lieutenant (JG) Viara Rhys
Viara lifts herself up in the Galaxy's gymnasium, performing her Physical Therapy excercises, the Doctor had so nicely prescribed her. Viara lowers herself again, completing the set.
*Another month of this and I'm going to be as good as new.* Thought Viara to herself as she slide into her hover chair.
"I can't wait to get out of this damn chair..." Started Viara to herself as her attention shifted.
Viara raises an eyebrow, a slight smile crossing her face, Viara sees a sight that few have been able to see. Viara spots a young Blond God of sorts, moving his muscular frame, yet to the amazement of all including her, he was NOT a Security Officer.
*My word! What are things coming to when Helm Officers are more built than Security?* Thought Viara to herself, as she continued to watch the Blond God, wearing his under garments of his Star Fleet uniform, as he continued his regimen.
Another woman in the gymnasium, walks up to Viara and pats her on the shoulder.
"Isn't he amazing?" Said the woman to Viara, as Viara turned her head to face the woman.
"I wouldn't say amazing... impressive, but definitely not amazing." Said Viara in coy tone.
"I guess I'll have to settle for impressive then." Said the Blond God with a grin, who apparently had approached the two woman.
The woman blushed and walked in the opposite direction.
"Impressive is normally enough to impress most, I guess my standards are a little high." Said Viara to the young man before her.