=From Main Science to 10-4=
Title: Politics in the Science Labs
Thread: Sullax is returning to Fed space
Jake Olson was watching Scott develop some attitudes that would not go over well in many quarters of the Galaxy's population. One, he had a dislike of his CO. Sullax was very much the perfectionist and loved science with a passion. Scott was luke warm at best on the subject and would slack any chance he got. Olson didn't poke his head up out of his own or his subject's affairs very often to mind those of other people, but he saw the trend. He noticed that others in the lab didn't care for Scott's lack luster work, and it has started to show now that the proverbial cat was away. As Jake worked a different department, Scott was demoted to Ensign just before Sullax left, there wasn't much Jake could do to even advise him.
Bruce Maxwell had developed an instant dislike of Scott in the holodeck. "Just some bright eyed puppy ensign," Scott dismissed as Jake's eyebrow went climbing. "Not real cognizant of the real world." Jake had his hands full of a small furry creature. "Bruce Maxwell?" Jake had to make sure he knew whom Scott spoke of. "Helmsman right? You two had to do the exercise in the holodeck regarding dangerous and beneficial plants?"
"Yea," Scott moved slowly, cleaning the microscope but clearly his mind was on the discussion instead. Jake wasn't 'clean up' any more, as he was in charge of animals and botany more or less.
"I see," Jake murmured, tagging his little charge. What ever Maxwell was, he was not some 'puppy eyed ensign'. Ensign yes, but puppy? Jake clearly remembered seeing him with out a shirt, and he looked like a road map of scars. There was a darkness about his eyes. Of course, none of this Jake shared with any one, as Jake felt there wasn't a need.
"So, how's T-Prea?" Scott asked, changing subjects.
"Better, it comes and goes. She's more or less on bed rest, but she isn't in danger any more. We're hoping she'll be able to carry at least another month." Jake answered, a bland non communicative little remark.
"Don't you ever get sick of it?" Scott asked.
"Sick of it?" Jake asked, hoping that Jake didn't mean what he thought.
"Her, I mean she..." Scott did mean what Jake thought.
"No, but then, I don't expect others to understand." Jake said for something to say, he was so flabbergasted by Scott's immaturity and insensitivity, it was mind blowing that they were the same age.
Jake cooled off by placing his furry back in it's cage. Scott was an insensitive child in a man's body. "Log 4542, Science project 47B, subject 12 tagged." Jake spoke into the tricorder in a calm even tone, wondering vaguely if another crewman heard that nasty remark.
"What are you doing here?" Lt. Brook came out of a small side room, thankfully she hadn't heard the nasty comments. It was in the middle of graveyard shift, and Jake worked Alpha shift normally.
"I slip out and do my lab work when T-Prea's sleeping. Most of the paper work and such I can do in quarters, I have a lot of projects in there too, but Fuzz back there," Jake tossed his head, "Needed some thing that had to be done here. I've been keeping weird hours, but no one minds, I get the job done." And in spades, which was the opinion of most in the lab. An admitted workaholic, Jake was given liberties not often given because he was so dedicated.
Jake slipped his tricorder on and headed for a quick bite in 10-4.
The ship seemed deserted. Jake moved down the hall, a familiar figure even at this hour, as he didn't have a set pattern to his sleep habits. Scott caught up to Jake. "Hey, wait up!"
Still annoyed, Jake didn't slow, but made the other catch up.
"Why are you so nasty to Gail Buckman, did you get a load of..." Scott clearly had forgotten his bad taste earlier.
"Who hasn't?" Jake snorted, the woman was not one of his favorite people right now, although Scott didn't get why. "Her blouse is always half undone. I'm sure every one on the Galaxy has gotten a load of."
"Come on, you can't tell me she doesn't do anything for you?" Scott smirked.
"There's more to a relationship than physical attraction. Lot more, the sooner you realize that the better off you will be."
"Jake, why do you insist on treating me like a child? I've noticed that lately, you lecture all the time!" Scott whined.
Jake didn't answer, but the block head was just noticing that? Good God, Jake thought.
Scott was off, chasing Buckman down a corridor, hoping to get some time with her. Jake vaguely wondered if he wasn't chasing after the clap while at it. He wondered briefly how Susan was coping, or if she realized what was going on, and that it was only a brief mean-nothing infatuation. Ahh well, it didn't mean anything to ~him~.
Sandy Rene = AIM
Craftycorner = ICQ #36247063
"The sickbay kindergarden"
Brooke practically ran to sickbay so she could tell them the news of what she found.
=/\=Dr. O'Connell to Ensign Shinta. Meet me in sickbay. I have the results.=/\=
Brooke hadn't gotten a cure for Gavin's allergy but at least she knew what was causing it. It was so simple. Shinta almost ran into sickbay a moment later, it wasn't too far from her own counselor's office.
"What is it?" She asked out of breath.
Brooke looked to see if the CMO's office was empty. "Come in here and have a seat." She motions for her to sit, "Okay, I have worked on this thing all day yesterday. Something happened last night and it all of the sudden it hit me when I sneezed after throwing my uniform on a chair...clothing. I know it sounds far fetched but I ran it through the computer and the data agrees with it. Our uniforms are made of synthetic materials and that is what is causing his allergic reactions. Once I can give him something for it, it should take care of his fatigue too. I'm...."
A lab tech walks in and hands her a PADD. Brooke smiled at the results. She could see Shinta getting antsy.
"Bring Gavin in and I'd like to start treatments immediately. I have several we can try. One of them has to work."
Shinta smiled at Brooke. "Whoah, slow down a bit first okay. You are so exited now that you'd likely forget how scared he still is."
Brooke had forgotten about Gavin's fears and she would have to handle this in a way not to scare the kid. "I'm sorry. I am very excited but I think once it is explained to him that he will start to feel great once we find the right medicine, he'll want this as much as we do for him." She takes a breath, "I promise, I'll handle this as carefully as I have been."
Shinta nodded. "Then it's okay with me. While you calm down, I will go and get Gavin."
She was back thirty minutes later with the boy in tow. Gavin looked a bit pale again. His mum had explained to him that this time he was actually going to sickbay to get medication. He looked at the doctor a bit scared again.
Brooke could see the look in his eyes. "Hi there Gavin. You know what? I think I found out what you are allergic to but in order for you to get better, I have to give you medicine with this." She holds up a hypospray which seemed to terrify him more. He backed up a little and Brooke had a feeling this would happen.
"This is another one of my toys. In fact, I'm going to let you play with it."
She spoke to a medic and he brought her another hypospray. She handed it to him. He was a little apprehensive but then he shyly took it. Brooke showed him how to work it and then she told him that he could administer what was in it to her. She looked up at a shocked Shinta, "Don't worry, it's just my prenatal vitamins."
Gavin looked at his mum and she gave him the go ahead. "Okay, give Brooke the shot, love and be gentle to her, okay?"
The boy needed eagerly. He went up to Brooke and very gently to her arm and pressed the hypo to it. Then he pushed ever so slightly.
He looked at her with big concerned eyes. "Did that hurt?"
Brooke laughed so hard that she got a pain in her abdomin. "No, it didn't hurt. You just feel a little pressure but it doesn't really hurt."
She goes to a collection of things and pulls out a syringe, "Now, back in the old days, they'd use this and that hurt." Puts it away, "So see, our technology has come a long way. Now your turn."
Before he could protest, it was done, "See, now that didn't hurt, did it?"
Brooke smiled but she was feeling kind of strange with little twinges here and there. She ignored it and continued to reassure Gavin that they would find a cure no matter how long it took.
Shinta looked at her. "Are you okay. You look a bit pale, Brooke. Have one of the docs check you out. You should be carefull once you are in the last stages." She patted the other woman on the back. "I will take my monster home. Anything I should watch out for?"
"Yeah, just anything out of the usual. Blurred vision, confusion, dizziness, nightmeres or ringing in his ears...things like that. If not, I want to see him tomorrow. If this doesn't work, I have a few more possibilities. And thanks for the advice, maybe I will. It's probably nothing though." She puts her hand on his shoulder, "Gavin, thanks for being so brave. Just think, if this works, no more doctors."
He grinned at her. "I don't mind so much seeing you."
"Well, I don't mind seeing you either. So I WILL see you tomorrow.
Lt Tim O'Connell
Dr Brooke O'Connell
Dr T'Prea (guest appearance)
Liam James O'Connell
Brooke forced a smile and said her goodbyes to Gavin and Shinta. She figured that it was just those false birth pains that her patients complained of so many times. She went back to cleaning up some things when the pain became stronger. Brooke started timing the contractions when Nurse Opal noticed Brooke in a lot of discomfort.
"Dr. O'Connell, I think you better get your husband here." she suggested.
Brooke knew she was right, "Find T'prea fast."
=/\= Lt. O'Connell, report to Sickbay..immediately=/\=
Tim had fallen asleep on the couch looking over information on the holodeck, and he woke up at the sickbay summons. What the.... was this a situation....another holodeck inicdent, or was it...Brooke. Now?? He jumped up and ran to the nearest turbolift and down the hallway and in to sickbay.
Brooke was arguing with the EMH2, Dr. Martin. "Damn it! I am a doctor. I don't need you to tell me what to do. Now just leave me alone until T'prea gets here."
"I don't care if you are a doctor. I never can understand why doctors make the worse patients. Now lay down here and let me see how things are progressing."
Brooke was stubborn and very argumentative, "I don't want to lay down. I'd rather sit up." The EMH2 was getting annoyed if at all possible.
Tim ran over still out of breath from the run from his quarters, "how long have you been in labor?" he asked her.
"Long enough." The EMH2 starts to scan which is quite aggravating to her, "Look Dr. Martin or whatever your name is...I don't want some stupid hologram to deliver my baby, I want T'prea."
"I'm here and the Dr.T'prea is not, need I say more." The EMH looks to "Maybe you can talk some sense into that thick skull of hers."
Tim spoke gently, "Brooke, relax, Dr Martin can handle this. I'll be here, just relax."
"Relax? You have the baby and we'll see you relax." The next contraction was worse than the last one and Brooke wasn't afraid to let the whole sickbay know it. The EMH2 was able to scan her and the baby's vitals.
"Your blood pressure and pulse rate is elevated." Dr. Martin observed.
Brooke, who was getting grouchier by the moment, snapped, "Yours would too if you had someone annoying you." Brooke looked at Tim, "This is all your fault."
She wasn't making much sense but Brooke never did when that temper of hers flared up.
"I think this was a joint venture." Tim tried humor to defuse the situation. "I seem to recall you were there also."
Brooke glared at him and then with a sigh, she laid down. Nurse Opal tried to make her as comfortable as possible by rubbing her back among other things. The nurse looked at Tim, "I'm going to see what is holding up T'prea. Just keep doing what I did and you'll be fine. Just watch out for flying fists." She joked a little, knowing Brooke and seeing that Tim looked lost.
Tim grinned, "I always watch for flying fists." He took Brooke's hand and sat next to her, "hey you."
Brooke had calmed down somewhat thanks to the EMH suggesting pain killers. That was one thing she didn't believe in when it came to being pregnant. She looked up at Tim, "Hey yourself" was the only thing she got out when another wave of contractions hit. The grip on his hand grew tighter. She could hear herself giving advice once to someone in labor, "Go with the contractions." She thought to herself how stupid that advice was.
The pain grew closer together and before Dr. Martin could announce that it was time, T'prea came in, calm as could be. "I hear someone is having a baby." Brooke didn't say anything.
The EHM2 was glad to see her. "It's time Dr. T'prea."
T'prea looked at Tim, "Are you ready to be a father."
"I guess so." Tim grinned and then moved his hand, "Ow Ow Ow, hand ......crushing...very painful."
Preparations for the childs entrance to the world was done quickly, everything running smoothly. T'prea talked to her in a very calm voice, "Brooke, you've gone through this with some of your patients so now it's your turn."
Brooke looked up at Tim for reassurance.
Tim smiled reassuringly and brushed her hair out of her face, "You're doing fine Rocky."
Everyone cheered her on as she pushed. Finally, that joyest moment arrived. T'Prea announced, "Congratulations you two. You have a healthy little boy." The newborn infant was whisked away and after few moments, was bought back to them.
Tim kissed his wife gently, "We have a child Brooke." His smile was beaming, "A son." UEymorgMe2: Brooke was tired and excited all at the same time. Tears of joy streamed down her cheeks. "I can't believe it. He's beautiful Tim." She couldn't stop looking at him. T'prea started to walk off but then turned, "Oh, what is his name? I need it for the birth certificate."
Tim whispered to Brooke, "Liam James O'Connell. After my great uncle."
Brooke nodded, "I like that." She smiled at her child and spoke to him, "Well hello Liam."
Tim then kissed his son and wife, "he's beautiful, if a little early."
T'prea assured them that the baby was fine. She left them alone with the baby and each other. Brooke couldn't get over the fact that they were now officially parents.
Tim kissed her forehead again, "thank you Brooke."
Brooke's humor was starting to return, "You're welcome. You owe me big time."
"Hey remember that time you kicked me in the crotch...we are even." Tim grinned.
"Oh yeah, I guess I did. Here daddy, want to hold your son?"
Tim reached for the child, and gently took his son in his arms." Hey little guy, how are you doing today?"
Brooke loved watching Tim. She always knew that he would make a wonderful father. It looked so right, father and son together for the first time.
Rocking his son genty he watched his little hands move out to grab Tim's combadge, "hey daddy needs that." Tim said with a small smile.
Brooke let out a small laugh. She continued to watch them. "You're a natural." patrickb01: Finally the baby cried. "I think he's hungry and that is not my department." Tim said handing him back to Brooke. UEymorgMe2: Brooke took him back in her arms, watching as nature took its place. She couldn't believe that little bundle of joy was theirs. They were now truely a family.
Tim kissed her and situated himself, "I'm gonna take a few days off to help you get settled."
"Good, I'm glad. It's going to take some time getting use to having a little one. Looks like we won't be getting much rest."
"We're parents, sleep is not for us." He grinned and kissed her again, "Still Thank you."
"Just don't ask me to do it again real soon." She was getting very tired. Nurse Taggert just had to come over and see the baby. She could see Brooke fighting the urge to close her eyes, "You want me to take him so you can get some sleep?"
Brooke smiled at her, "Unless Tim here wants to hold his son a little longer."
"You can take him." Tim grinned, "Do the medical things you need to do."
Brooke watched as the nurse walked away with her son. She smiled at Tim, "I guess I should get some sleep."
"Yea got some sleep dear." He kissed her lips softly, "you've earned it."
"Thanks, I love you Tim."
"Love you too Brooke."
Totally exhausted, Brooke closed her eyes and was fast asleep, not hearing his reply.
"Hiding out with Ensign Mulich."
By Ensign Peter Lockhart
Peter sat down on Mark Mulich's small sofa and looked around. Mark's quarters where slightly bigger than his own, him being a better officer than Peter and him being on the ship longer. Mark was over at the replicator getting some drinks. Peter started the usual idle conversation.
"So I've got to see Ensign Shinta next week over my performance in Ten Forward." Peter said.
"Ummm Hu." Mark nodded. "Looking forward to it?"
"Not really. Not anymore. I thought I needed counselling back when I was in the brig, but now I think I'm okay." Peter said.
"You do need to go to that appointment." Mark said. "And to be fair, Pete, I'd be scared too if I could see the red mist and lash out like that." he continued, bringing over a cup of tea for Peter and placing a plate of sandwiches on the table. "You Brits drink too much tea."
"And you Americans drink too much coffee." Peter said, pointing at Mark's coffee.
Mark tried to emulate Peter's accent and put a stuffy note to it. "Of course sir. Here's your tea and a selection of sandwiches for you to sample."
"Thanks Jeeves." Peter said. "Now run me a bath."
Mark ignored him and sat down besides his friend. "So you are going to that counselling appointment?" he asked again.
Peter squirmed a bit, "Yes I am. I've got to really. Besides, I've got to make an effort from now on."
"What did your parents say?" Mark asked, sensing this was the reason Peter was probably going.
"They just said that they were sorry I'd been reprimanded. And you know what Mark?" he said rhetorically. "That hurt me more than anything, more than these bruises I've got, more than a tongue lashing by Albrecht, more than being assimilated by the Borg."
"You just really respect their opinion." Mark said taking a sandwich. "If you respect someone, you want them to be proud of you as well. Right?"
Peter nodded. "Yes. I think you're right. Am I getting better do you think Mark?" he asked honestly.
"No, you're still a lazy bum." Mark half joked, half didn't. "No, you're getting better. I believe you turned up to duty on time every day this week so far!"
"Yeah! Bloody surprised myself and gave Ensign Mason a stroke from shock. She couldn't believe it either!" Peter said, and took a sip from his tea. "Good tea." he said simply and took another sip.
"So being barred from Ten Forward. Rough eh?" Mark said.
"Don't want to talk about it. I have to ask the computer to warn me when any reporters are coming my way. Took me half an hour to get home yesterday cos those bloody leeches are everywhere. I had to divert through engineering." Peter said.
"Hmmm okay. So here about Ensign Scott Duncan?" Mark asked.
"Nope. What's he done and who is he?" Peter asked, then added, "In reverse order."
"Works in Science under Sullax. He's been demoted to Ensign for poor performance."
"WHAT?" Peter was shocked. No one got demoted for poor performance, not even him and he had to be the worst officer on the ship. "I can't believe that! Why isn't he appealing? You can't demote someone for 'poor performance' surely? You have to give verbal and written warnings first." Peter said, looking serious... then added. "I know, I checked it out."
Mark roared with laughter at that one. "And how far off being demoted are you?"
"I've had two verbal warnings and a written one. I've got one more, from the Captain, before I can be demoted." Peter explained. "Besides, if people really got demoted for poor performance, I'd be a crewman by now, and I'm not. Does Sullax really know what he's doing? I bet that thing with his kid is making him lash out, but he shouldn't take it out on his officers!"
Mark could only nod. He could see Peter working up into 'rant' mode and decide to let him blow off some steam.
"I'm thinking of going down there and knocking some sense into whoever decided to demote this feller, or else knock some sense into 'Ensign', and I do use the term liberally, Duncan into lodging an appeal."
"Why are you so worked up Peter? It doesn't affect you?" Mark asked carefully.
"It bloody does! If he can be demoted, then so can I! We've got to stop this now, before I'm next!" Peter answered honestly. "I might speak to Sullax about this when he gets back!"
"You do and you'll be crewman before your feet touch the ground..... after Sullax sends you flying from his office." Mark stated.
"Maybe, but I might have a word nonetheless." Peter said, more quietly. "So tell me what madcap scheme Albrecht has got you doing now all in the name of Lieutenant J.G?" Peter asked Mark. Mark start explaning as Peter continued drinking his tea.
"The other side"
By Lieutenant Commander Michael Jamson, Tactical Ops
"What do you mean NO?!" Jamson was furious.
"I mean NO..." the stubborn reporter said with a smile on her beautiful face.
"Computer...this is an emergency, stop the turbolift, use vocal authorization and identification..." Jamson turned to remarkable yet annoying reporter, Gail Buckman and her cameraman. "We had a deal!!!" Jamson yelled, staring at Gail as if she was a heart of Targ.
"No...means No...Lieutenant Commander" She raised an eyebrow and smiled, "I know it's hard for you 'Klingons' to understand what 'NO' means...".
Jamson was confused and surprised, how did she knew about his past? "I know a lot about you 'Commander, or should I say, ex-captain of the Ranger?".
"It has nothing to do with what I want" Jamson was mad, how could she do this to him, how could she deny this from him? he's been waiting for that for a long long time. While trying to figure what to say to Buckman to get her approval, she signaled her camera man to start recording. The next thing the cameraman saw was Jamson's fist followed by stars and a white screen.
"Are you attacking my associate? I guess this information is more important than I've figured..." Buckman stared at Jamson coldly. She then moved closer to him "I like strong men...especially ones with hot temper...why don't you tell me about it?". She gently used her finger to feel the angry man's face, not stopping but going down...
"I want what's mine..." he grabbed her hand when she reached his stomach.
She moved herself away from him "Then I can't help you".
"Can't? or don't want to? you promised to get me the information I wanted...I filled my part of the bargain, now it's your turn" Jamson moved to help the unconscious cameraman to get up on his feet again. "Computer...cancel emergency, deck 5".
"Something really bad happened there, right? how else would a Captain be demoted to the rank of a Lieutenant Commander, eh?" she kept snooping.
"Fill your part of the bargain or else-", "Or else what?" Buckam cut Jamson in the middle of his sentence. "I'm sure we can help each other 'Commander...".
"I need that information!!!" He grabbed her with both of his hands. "Ok...Ok...that specific information is hard to get! otherwise, I would have given it to you by now...now let me go, you're hurting me" she surrendered.
The turbolift reached it's destination, and the doors opened revealing several stunned Starfleet Officers looking at Jamson. He let Buckman go, and moved on "Sorry about your camera Ms.Buckman...I'll get you another one...".
"Friendships Begin and so does Life"
By Ensign Bruce MaxWell
Ensign Navarra Shinta
Shinta looked at all the cool drinks on offer, but finally decided on a soft drink.
"I'd like a bit of that blue stuff. I don't know the name though." She said to Bruce, while she slid into a quiet corner booth.
Bruce went over and talked to the bartender on duty. He came back carrying two drinks and sat down across from Shinta. He set her drink down in front of her and smiled. He mind and emotions didnt know what was going on. He liked it tho. The biggest mistake of his life has turned into the best.
"Awright Counselor what would ya like to know?" Bruce said with a smile.
"Anything, Bruce. I would like to learn a bit more about you. But most important, how do you feel now?" She said with a grin while she sipped her drink.
With a smile that depicted sheer nervousness Bruce said "How do I feel happy and maybe just maybe a little hopeful. How about yourself. And there has to be something you would like to ask or know?"
"Good." Shinta said. "Feeling good is half my work done, you know. Now you can set out making more friends and getting your life abck in order. Ehm, about me." She bit her lip. "Can you tell me how to be an officer. I feel so uptight around officers all the time. I feel like saluting the whole day."
"Well how to be an officer,Lass. Hmmmm.....Lets see be yourself dont worry about saluting and just do your job. I know what ya mean Lass tho, I was in the Starfleet Marine Corp before all of this. My Father is a Lt.Commander and my mother is always helped oout in the sciensce field. So it is awkward but dont worry anyone above you just kiss there arses and be happy. I guess OI should be sad so you still have alot of work to do counselor." Bruce stated with a shakey smile.
"You would make me happy if you are happy. That means I am doing my job well. You see before all this I used to be an NCO and in security. I am just out of training. I hope you don't mind not getting a 'real' counselor."
"A Real Counselor would only try to disect me, Shinta. You are actually listening and helping. Sometimes doing missions behind enemy lines especially during the war with the dominion seem to be easier than just doing a nine to five shift. You are my life saving angel, Shinta and I owe ya forever. I only hope i can my Beta shift back. So what is the report to the captain going to say?" Beuce said then took a sip from his scotch.
Shinta smiled. "The truth. That I don't think there is anything wrong with you but lonelyness and difficulty adapting to your new position. And that we are making grand headway there. I will advice the captain that it would be good if you continued to see me for a while, but that I think you are fit for duty."
"Well Hell Lass I dont have a problem with seeing ya. I just dont know, Hopefully everything will be okay. SO do Ya wanna get something to eat?" Bruce asked.
"Bet you everything will be okay." Shinta said firmly. "That was one of the reasons she still wanted to see him. There would be bad times again and he needed someone to talk to then. Whatever she told him about being green, she knew what made people tick. "Now for food. Hmmm, I worked out so I've earned something deliciously wicked, lots of calories. You pick." She said.
"Well.....I dont know any peticular tastes you have? Chocalate, thick and meaty or a scottish treat called Hagus?" Bruce asked with a smirk.
"I don't know anything about scottish food." Shinta said. "It sounds interresting and I am in for anything. Is it some sort of chocolate?" She asked.
"Um No Lass, No where near it, Just try it and see what ya think." Bruce asked. The waiter came over and Bruce put in the order. A few mibutes later she brought back a couple of plates and set them down. Bruce began to eat and then waited for Shinta's reaction.
Shinta looked at the food and then sniffed it so. She didn't dare tell Bruce that she thought the waiter had made some sort of mistake. This dish looked like it was well passed it's sell date. Very carefully she cut a small piece and put it in her mouth.
The taste wasn't at all bad, in fact it tasted rather good. Now she smiled at Bruce. "Not bad."
"I am glad you like it.........Not many People would like it. So counselor I was wondering and I dont mean to step out of line here I was wondering if you woulds ever join me for dinner Just Shinta and Bruce Not Ensign or helmsman and Counselor? Bruce asked with nervousness filled in his voice.
Shinta blushed. It had been a long time since she had shown interrest in a man after her last fiasco. But this guy was not her superior officer. He was a friend and a very nice man indeed. So she nodded shyly.
"Hand over your cameras or you'll be sorry"
by Lt Cmdr K'Eytyanna Samara - Chief Engineer
Walking out of her office, K'Eytyanna felt the hairs on the back of her neck standing up seconds before four cameras were practically shoved into her face along with a microphone held by a reporter.
The report quickly started with a series of questions that Kay ignored.
Growling, she grabbed one of the cameras and snapped it in two.
Bellowing loudly, she yelled,
"T'Zaq, why the fuck are these nucktu' Idrak's doing in here?"
Turning to the reporter, who had stopped suddenly, she snapped as she tapped him hard on the chest,
"Do you know that Main Engineering is a heavily-restricted area? There is equipment in here that is only allowed to be seen by Federation engineers and Allied forces, and we all know that your damn reports get broadcast to the Romulans."
"Now, Lt Cmdr, my name is Brian Whey and I was told we could film."
Out of the corner of her eyes, Kay spotted a cameraman heading for the main door and snapped,
"Computer, engineering quarantine, K'Eytyanna Gamma-Five-Nine."
Suddenly, level 2 force-fields snapped into force all around the Main Engineering deck.
"Sir, I think a situation is developing in Engineering. Lt Cmdr Samara just slapped a quarantine over it and I had a report from an engineer that some reporters will need medical attention if they don't hand over the equipment."
Barging past Whey, she headed over to the camera man, who had started going pale. Drawing her d'k takh, she held her hand out for the camera and waited.
Once the camera was given to her, she quickly stabbed her klingon dagger into it before smashing it on the ground. Turning around, she ordered menacingly,
"Now, everyone who has any sort of reporting device had better hand them over quick smart for immeadiate destruction."
Brian stepped forward, "We were told by Starfleet that we could film the crew."
"Outside of Main Engineering and any secured sections, yes. Inside, no way in hell. At the moment, I have a weapon and you don't. I could also snap your body like a twig without one. Do you want to still argue or are you going to tell your goons to hand over the material? You can keep the equipment as long as we can destroy the media and do micro-scans to make sure there is no more."
"Do you always show this much hostility while doing your job, 'Commander?"
Growling angrily, she stepped forward and felt a hand on her shoulder. T'Zaq had made her way over and trying to calm down Samara before things got bloody.
Whey stepped forward with his microphone, "Do you think your strong handed methods come from your Klingon upbringing?"
Grabbing the microphone, Kay threw it hard and heard it smash against the far wall. Spitting in his face, she spun away and ordered,
"Strip them of all recordings and force-march them to Security for trying to make illegal recordings of Starfleet equipment."
Brian was about to make another comment when an ensign spoke,
"I think the next action the Chief may do if you continue is stranglation."
Based on STAR TREK created by Gene Roddenberry
Story by Lieutenant Suder - Assistant Chief Engineer
"And so... The investigation begins..."
Suder stood outside of Holodeck Two. He was expecting the Chief of Security to drop by any minute now. In one hand, he held a data padd, in the other, his Engineering kit. He tapped in his command code and watched as the doors slid open. He then slowly stepped into the Holodeck.
He looked at the data padd and the information on the screen. He then looked around the Holodeck, just a casual look around for anything that might have seemed, out of place, or different in some way.
"Computer list, the number of personnel that have activated the Holodeck in the last three months." Suder requested.
There was several beeps from the computer as it pondered through the main computers of the USS Galaxy.
Suder placed the data padd on one of the wall panels and watched as the list was downloaded onto the padd.
When the download was complete, Suder pulled the padd off the wall panel and looked at it. It was a very long list of names, several hundred personnel, both Starfleet and Civilian had used the Holodeck.
"Computer, activate program, Suder-Alpha-Zero." he commanded.
An image appeared in the middle of the room. A familiar woman dressed in standard Engineering uniform turned to face him.
"The Holodeck," she stated. "I assume this is another test?" she asked.
"No." Suder replied to the Engineering helper. "If you download the information from file Suder-49285, you'll see why you've been, reactivated."
Suder said as he continued to go through the names on the list. After several seconds, Sophia looked around the Holodeck. "Children, dead, in the Holodeck?" she asked.
"That's the file all right." Suder responded.
"Two deaths. Four hundred and seventy three suspects. Sabotage suspected. Discovery made by Lieutenant Suder, Command personnel informed, investigation..."
"Is underway now." Suder finished off the un-finished sentence.
"We should narrow down our search to personnel who have Engineering and Security expertise." Sophia sugested.
"I just did." Suder said looking at a new list on his data padd.
Sophia was a hologram, and so downloaded the new list from the computer. "Just about the entire Engineering team have used this Holodeck. Several Security officers, a couple of the command crew. A lot fo people who might be able to trick the computer into thinking the safties were still on have used this Holodeck."
"The the next step is to figure out when the circuitry was altered. Then what programs have been run. That should narrow the list down quite a bit."
"Agreed." Suder said kneeling down. Placing the data padd on the floor, he opened his Engineering kit and grabbed his tricorder.
"I've just caught up on the latest information about the ship, it seems the crew are havign some trouble excepting the reporters." Sophia said, her eyes in a trance as she continued to download the latest information.
"I know what you mean. The reporters are being treated badly. Their giving the crew and this ship a very bad name. Only they can't see this of course. Until the reporters get back home and actually report everything that happened here. There's no excuse for the violence that has effected the reporters. Sure their nosey, but that's no excuse."
"Their not just giving the crew and ship a bad name, it's Starfleet, the whole federation." Sophia said.
"That's what I like about you, we think alike. You don't argue back." Suder joked as he scanned the Holodeck. "I'm sure you know what I found when I accessed that conduit, but take a look for yourself." Suder said pointing to a conduit on the far wall.
To be continued...
=/\= "Playing Nice" =/\=
by Lt Cmdr Matthew Albrecht
*** Chief of Security's Office ***
The holocamera operator lifted his leg up to rest his foot on Matthew's desktop. "Full of themselves, that's what I think," he opined. The reporter was late for his scheduled interview with the Galaxy's chief of security. As it was, several days had passed since the brawl in Ten-forward after which Matthew had agreed to be interviewed by the wolfpack of journalists.
Albrecht moved his eyes to the offending boot, and then wordlessly returned his gaze to the blue-collar fellow seated across from him. "Don't get me wrong, Vinnie. I'm not unhappy about this. I guess I just didn't anticipate being ignored after I promised to be available for interviews."
Vincent Genovisi spread his large hands and shrugged. "C'mon, chief. That science officer of yours freaked out and attacked a reporter. That's much more interesting. Especially considering the news about his kid and how the little guy defected to the Rommies." The cameraman was accustomed to the unpredictability of his subjects. He had been recording galactic events for the Federation News Network for seven years.
"Yes, that's true. And, my side of the Lee Price story is well known. I interviewed with better reporters than Ken Brocklin before leaving Earth," Matthew said, taking the opportunity to express his opinion of the team that hunted stories on the Galaxy.
Vinnie stretched his arms out behind his head while making a 'uurrrr' sound like a weightlifter. His wrist communicator began beeping as he brought his arms forward. "Excuse me, 'commander. Vinnie here, go ahead," he said to the device while pressing its surface with his index finger.
The communicator sounded a bit tinny, but Matthew could here the voice of another holocameraman he had met days earlier. "Vinnie, your interview has been cancelled. Get on up to Ten-Fore. Time to go over our new schedule."
Vinnie shook his head. "Sorry, chief. I'll catch ya next time."
Matthew smiled, relieved. "S'okay, man. Raktajino's on me next time."
"Chris Aaron? How can it be Chris Aaron?"
By Ensign Peter Lockhart
Peter entered main security in time for Gamma shift. He wasn't looking forward to this. Obviously, the fact that it was work was part of the reason, but the other was the smug grin of Chris Aaron's face as he walked in.
Peter stepped over to him and handed him the PADD. "110 credits Chris. Well done."
"Thanks Peter. I must agree, the betting pool was a good idea!" he replied.
"And how was I to know that Brooke would have her child a month earlier than we all expected! No one would've guessed a date this early!" Peter moaned.
"Don't worry Peter, maybe next time huh?" Chris said, reviewing the PADD. "This'll come in handy for Heidi's birthday present next month. It'll make her happy."
"Dick, dick, dick, dick, dick." Peter said, "That's all you ever think about. You and Heidi."
Chris looked him slowly. "Watch it Peter." he warned. "Besides, you don't understand, you've not got a girlfriend."
"It's not through lack of trying." Peter said, bemoaning the fact that he was still single.
Chris looked a little more sympathetic towards Peter when he said that. "Yeah, I'm sorry about Ensign Neg'Puj. Isn't there anyone else you like? What about Astrid?"
"Hey thanks Chris, but I'll find my own lady. It's me whose got to do it, not you." Peter said bluntly.
"Yeah, sure Peter. I'll speak to you later." he said, tapping Peter on the shoulder with his PADD and departing security on his rounds. As he left the office, Mark Mulich stepped in.
"Hey Mark!" Peter said, greeting him. "What you doing here? Beta shift has ended." Peter said, looking at the chronometer, then realising it hadn't. "Uhhh. Okay, you've got another twenty minutes left." he corrected himself.
"I'm here for Gamma as well Pete." Mark said. "Part of this training 'Commander Albrecht has put me on. If I pull double shifts, I'm more likely to get promoted." he said.
"Excellent!" Peter said, glad that his friend was on at the same time as Peter. "So you want to do a standard patrol of the ship. Avoiding reporters of course?"
"I've just done one. Nothing much happening, but we could." Mark said, before continuing more quietly. "Besides, it'll give us a chance to chat, and we haven't done all that much chatting lately, what with the reporters around and me on this extra training."
"Sure thing." Peter said, grabbing his phaser and holstering it. Peter then popped his head into the chief's office, where Seth Zonhieb looked snowed under with paperwork. "Sir, Mark Mulich and I are going to do a standard patrol, starting from deck 42 and making our way up the ship."
The Gorn just nodded in reply and Peter left smiling with Mark, as they began their patrol. "So, what news regarding 'Commander Sullax then Mark?" Peter asked...
by Captain Robert Edward Lee Price
"What do you think is going on Captain?" Lieutenant Commander Jamson asked from Ops.
Lee shook his head slightly. "I don't know 'mate, but let's do as they say and beam Ryak and the reporter on board."
Michael tapped the proper controls to beam Lieutenant Commander Sullar and the FNN reporter, Brian Whey, directly to sickbay. "We have them Captain. Locking onto the Shuttle Jupiter with a tractor beam."
"Bonzer job 'mate. You 'ave the conn. I'll be in sickbay." Lee stated as he got out of the command chair and exited the bridge.
Doctor Brooke Ames was attending to Ryak when Captain Price entered the medical ward. A nurse was treating Brian Whey's minor wounds. Captain Price walked right over to Ryak's biobed where Ames was treating him.
"G'day 'mate. Good to have you back on the Galaxy."
Ryak turned his head to look at the Captain; much to the Doctor's dismay as she was using the dermal regenerator on him at the time. "They wouldn't even let me see my son." He stated bitterly.
Lee's eyes flashed over to the reporter's. Brian was also being treated. They both looked as if they had a rough journey. "He's right Captain. They refused to let either of us in to see the boy. They detained us, threw us in a holding cell, and then escorted us out of Romulan space once they were done." Whey explained.
Captain Price nodded and looked back at the fidgeting Chief Science Officer.
"Stay still 'Commander or I may regenerate your eyelid shut. . ." Brooke scolded while grasping more firmly onto Ryak's jaw to steady his head.
"I'm afraid my news isn't much better 'mate. I spoke to Admiral Horwitz at Starfleet Command. The Federation is going to withdraw from the negotiations. The Romulans will not budge on returning Sullar and are just using all the media attention to spread their anti-Federation propaganda to their people."
"Then nothing is going to be done to return my son to me?" Ryak stated in monotone.
"Of course not 'Commander. The Admiral assures me that Starfleet will not forget about your son. And in a while, when this has all calmed down, they will negotiate a quiet settlement with the Star Empire to have Sullar returned to the Federation." Captain Price explained.
"That could take months, or even years Captain. It is not acceptable." Ryak stated bitterly.
"Stay still 'Commander!" Doctor Ames scolded again.
The nurse finished tending to the reporters wounds. Brian Whey quickly hopped up from the biobed. "If you gentlemen will excuse me, I have a broadcast that needs to be made to tell the Federation's side of things. . ."
Lee glanced at the Asian reporter and gave him a nod. "Thanks for helping out 'mate. Starfleet appreciates it, as do I.'
Brian have a slight bow, and then headed out of sickbay in search of the rest of his news team. If he was lucky he could have the lead off story for the six o'clock broadcast.
The Captain and 'Commander Sullax watched Whey leave before returning to their conversation.
"I am not willing to wait for the Federation Captain. If Starfleet will not do anything to return my son to me, then I will." Ryak stated.
The Chief Science Officer's tone was bold and defiant. It caused Doctor Ames to glance up at her patient as she moved the regenerator over Ryak's shoulder. Hearing someone speak to the Captain of the starship that way was unusual.
"Easy 'mate. You don't want to do anything rash. Given time, we will get Sullar back. Just be patient."
"This is my son Captain. And he needs his father. I can not wait two months or two years to get him back. He belongs here with me. I am not willing to wait while his grand parents and S'Tark poison his mind to everything good and descent I have taught him."
"Well, right now there is little choice in the matter 'mate. Starfleet has made their decision, and despite my best efforts at making Admiral Horwitz change their minds, it's the way it is. We will soon be finished with our resupply mission and sent on another assignment away from the Neutral Zone. I know it's hard 'mate, but you have to hang in there and trust that we will get your son back to you eventually." Lee explained.
It was obvious that Ryak didn't like what he was hearing. He seemed to get more agitated the more the Captain spoke. Doctor Ames picked up on it, and cut in.
"I need to run a couple of tests to make sure you are clear to be released to active duty 'Commander. If you will excuse us Captain, I need to take the 'Commander into the other room." Brooke explained.
Captain Price nodded. "Fair dinkum Doctor. I will be on the bridge when you are through 'mate. I'll expect a full report when you come to see me, and then we can continue this conversation then."
Ryak nodded at the Captain, not wishing to say anything while angry over his missing son. He knew how his people think. He knew that the Starfleet plan would not work. That waiting for the media coverage to die down would do nothing to persuade the Romulans to return Sullar to his natural father. All that would do is give them time to further brain wash his son against the Terrans and the Federation. Once he was released medically, Ryak knew he would have to convince the General of that, or take up matters into his own hands if he was ever going to see his son, Sullar Sullax, again.
Shinta thought she should give the captain a personal update because he had been the one to request she see ensign Maxwell in the first place. And then again she hadn't met him yet and Shinta was curious what her commanding officer was like. In her long career she had worked with many captains. She had hated some and respected most of them.
She entered the bridge looking around for the captain without finding him. Then she headed for the ready room. "Captain, this is ensign Navarre. Can you spare me a minute of your time, please?" She asked politely.
Captain Price regarded Counselor Navarre. Since the Ensign had come on board the Galaxy, he'd not had much of an opportunity to interact with the green eyed Bajoran.
"Certainly 'mate. Come on in and tell me what is on your mind." Lee smiled. Navarre had short brown hair which showed her trim neck line. The Ensign was in great shape. The Captain thought he saw a hint of a scar along her neck, but being polite, he didn't stare.
"I had a chance to speak with Ensign Bruce Maxwell. I thought you'd like an update on what I've discovered." Shinta explained while still standing at attention before her commanding officer.
"That would be bonzer 'mate. Please, why don't you have a seat and make yourself comfortable? Can I get you anything from the replicator Counselor?" Lee asked while moving there himself.
Shinta flushed. It made her nervous that the captain was fetching anything for her, she should have offered to do that. "Whatever you are having will do fine, sir." She said sitting ramrod straight.
Captain Price walked to the replicator. Out the observation window in his ready room, the world of Grainus 6 could be seen as they orbited above in the Galaxy.
Lee smiled and then activated the replicator. "Bajoran coffee and cream, extra sweet." A short whir later, a steaming mug materialized with it's thick cream frothing away. "I love these. Sometimes they are the only thing that keep me going."
Captain Price stirred his mug as he took his seat. After taking a sip, he placed the drink down and gave Counselor Navarre his full attention. "So Counselor, were you able to help Ensign Maxwell?"
"Yes sir. I think I have been.. Ensign Maxwell's biggest problem is adjusting to life here. And the different position and rank he holds. And he has difficulties making new friends. But he has been very open to me, and willing to work on his problems. I don't think he will be any more troube, sir. My recommendation is to let him return to work while he sees me twice a week to help adjust here."
Lee nodded, "That sounds right then Counselor. I trust your recommendation." Activating the computer on his desk, the Captain stated, "Computer, reinstate Ensign Bruce Maxwell to active duty starting with tommorow's rotation. Notify Lieutenant Pailaka of the Ensign's change of status."
The computer acknowledged the Captain's order. ["Sending notification to Chief Flight Control Officer Lieutenant Mikala Pailaka."]
Lee glanced at Counselor Navarre, "I trust you can let Mister Maxwell know about the weekly counseling sessions 'mate?"
"Oh yes, sir. He already knows. And I don't believe he minds very much." She got to her feet. "That's about it. Thank you for your time, sir."
Lt. jg T-prea
T-prea sat down in the darkened office of sickbay. The EMH2 Martin was insulted by the lack of his need and skill as a doctor despite the fact he was a hologram image, he seemed to have feelings unlike the last EMH sickbay had.
But Brooke wanting the care of another warm touch to deliver her baby and the trust between them that had developed made sense of what was a sensitive situation.
T-prea sat back and put her swollen and aching and legs up on the desk, closing her eyes she listened to the cries of the newborn babe that had just entered into the world.
As she tried to relax she could feel tightness with pain in her lower back making her uncomfortabe. She brought her feet down from the desk and sat straight up. When she did she felt a gush of warm fliud flow from inside her. She stood worried knowing what it probably was. When she did the warm fluid trickled down her legs.
Now concerned, T-prea called on Martin, but there was no answer. That was strange...Martin was programed to answer when called. His feelings must have been really hurt she thought.
Trying to keep her cool she ordered a change of maternity pants from the replicator, changed, still trickling fluid. And slowly walked out of sickbay. No one noticing as all were focused on the new arrival.
T-prea figured she had plenty of time......walking down the corridor...
"Computer...location of Jake Olsen" She asked.
"Jake Olsen is in 10-forward on deck..." The computer stated as T-prea cut it off abruptly as a contraction engulfed her...
"I know where 10-forward is..."
T-prea tried to keep her calm as she walked towards 10-forward, not wanting to let on what was happening.
As the doors to 10-forward opened T-prea walked in. By now her pants were showing signs of the trickling fluid that was coming from within.
Spoting Jake sitting at the bar...T-prea walked over to him, but he had noticed her the minute the doors swooshed open. There wasn't much that slipped past him.
He turned in his seat to face her...
"T-prea....what are you doing here...you are suppose to be resting?" Jake asked concerned.
"I was called to sickbay on an emergency...I just delivered her baby." She explained as she felt another whince of pain hit her back and travel around to her abdominal area.
"That's great...what did she have...?" He asked noticing that T-prea seemed to be in pain...but knew she was having alot of that lately with all the problems.
"She had a boy...and mother, baby and father are all doing well." She told him.
"Well...that's good....but...." Jake was saying but before he could finish...
"Jake I need to talk to you...." She looked around "alone." She said.
"Sure....let's go back to our quarter's....." He responded as they were walking down the corridor.
"No...we can't." T-prea said as she then doubled over in pain.
"T-prea....is something wrong...?" Jake asked as he reached out for her afraid she would fall.
"Yes....it's the baby...." She told him as he looked down and noticed that T-prea's pants were stained with a combination of blood and wetness.
He quickly tapped his combadge...."Computer...2 to transport to sickbay..."
He held T-prea the best he could as the transporter took them from the corridor to inside the confines of sickbay.
Once inside, Jake hailed the nurse who quickly came to help place T-prea on a bed.
"This can't be happening....the baby isn't due for another 8 weeks.... Jake....I'm freightened.
The nurse hailed the EMH2...this time, after having time to sulk he appeared...seeing that there was a real problem...
He moved by her bedside and began to scan....
"Seems we are going to have two births today...." He stated trying to keep T-prea calm knowing that there could be a problem with the baby so tiny....
He pulled Jake aside and began to explain....
"Encounter in Sickbay"
Lt. Jg Seth Zonheib &
Lt Tim O'Connell
Digging through the reports Seth turned up yet another brawl. This time in Engineering. A couple reporters where escorted to sick bay. The gorn got up and left the security office to go arrest the trespassers.
Tim had decided to use the time to check on his son. This was a big deal for him, having a baby now. Made everything good. After the Nurse helped him get Liam set he just sat in a rocking chair and watched him sleep.
A moment later the sick bay doors opened and filled with green scales as the gorn security guard entered. Seth noticed a fellow security officer holding a small bundle. "Lt O'Connell I was unaware you where sent to arrest the reporters." He reported to the superior.
"Actually Seth I'm not.... I am here to visit my son." Tim commented. The gorn looked around. "Where is he?"
Tim smiled, "Seth, I'm holding him." He kind of indicated the small bundle, which upon the Gorn's closer inspection held a pink faced infant human.
"Awfully small." The gorn commented. "Doesn't look like he could eat another hatching."
Tim smiled, "Well he doesn't have to. We just had him yesterday, I was this size once you know." Seth regarded the Lieutenant in a new light then looked down to the baby. "I don't know how you survived."
"My parents helped me, much like Brooke and I are gonna help him grow up. That's our job." Tim explained. The gorn looked slightly confused. "I thought your job was security?"
"Let's just say we got a second assignment," Tim said standing with his son, "I'm still gonna do security and Brooke is still gonna be a doctor, but we also have this guy to look after." At that the baby's eyes opened and he reached out to Seth's chest for his shiny com badge.
The gorn looked at the tiny little arm knowing it couldn't possibly hurt him. "May I ask you a question?"
"Sure." Tim said looking at the larger officer, "What do you want to know?"
The gorn looked a little awkward then blurted out his question. "Is it true earth hatchlings are born with tails?" Tim raised his eyebrow, "Tails?" he asked, "not that I noticed."
"Academy joke on me." Seth explained then considered the small bundle again. "How long until it leaves the nest? so to speak."
"Quite some time actually, terran children take 18 years to mature, and some would argue they aren't fully mature even then."
"Like Ensign Lockhart." Seth piped in. Tim nodded, "exactly, like Ensign
Lockhart." He then smiled, "But we'll let that be our secret."
The gorn put his large hand up to prevent the baby from activating his com badge. The infant grabbed his claw and held on. "Liam, now let's let
Lt Zonheib here deal with those annoying reporters I told you about." Tim said to the infant, "Besides, if you take that he can't talk to anyone." Then he looked at Seth, "He likes shiny things."
"Yes I see." Seth commented then carefully broke the grip with out scratching the baby. "Perhaps I will take him hunting one day."
"Perhaps, but let's at least let him start to crawl first, he'd be a lousy hunter in this shape." Tim grinned, "so what did the media creatures do now?"
"They where in a restricted area again." Seth reported, then he added. "This time I say don't let them out of the brig."
"No argument from me." Tim said, "what restricted area did they get themselves in to?"
"Engineering." the gorn filled Tim in on more particulars about the chief beating a couple. "That's why they are here."
Tim laughed, "If that's the worst Samara did they got off lightly, they should be thanking their stars she wasn't in a bad mood."
"Her bad mood isn't that terrible." Seth slipped.. "It's also a good thing they haven't gotten under my feet."
"Good thing for them, I heard Media is a bear to get out of carpeting." Tim said. The gorn looked confused again. "Bear in a carpet sir?"
"An expression, if reporters get under foot you'll handle it and then that would be a problem getting the stain up."
"Oh yes. Bloodstain can be quite bothersome." The gorn admitted. "It is specially hard to get out of tooth and claw."
"I bet." Tim said with a chuckle and dismissed the gorn so he could arrest the reporters.
"Shuttle Plus Grainus 6 Equals Joyride"
Lieutenant Michael McDowell
With unauthorized cameo by Lt. Commander Michala Lynn Casey
*** On board the Shuttle Achilles ***
*First, there was that transporter accident which combined 4 beings into 1 (or was it 3?). Second, we did a full level 1 diagnostic of all personnel transporters and found nothing of interest, except for that one that had caused the accident. And third, from one moment to the next everything was solved. It just doesn't make sense.*
Michael sighed and shrugged. He'd been thinking about the miraculously solved transporter malfunctions for the last 10 minutes or so. He couldn't explain it and the longer he thought about it, the more he suspected sabotage.
*But who would do such a thing...and who would benefit from that? Nobody, right?* Michael thought.
This time he shook his head and gave up. Later, when he was back from Grainus 6, he would ask Ethan about this. Maybe he could figure it out.
Once more Michael made it himself comfortable in his chair that was near the co-pilot's chair. This was one of those rare moments that he didn't have to do anything but watch how the woman in front steered the shuttle and enjoy the beautiful scene outside. And he had to admit that he liked it.
But it wouldn't last for long. Once on the surface of Grainus 6 there would be a lot of work waiting for him. Patching up a Romulan Scout ship wasn't exactly daily routine, so to speak. But what mostly troubled Michael was the artificial singularity. It appeared to be malfunctioning, causing powerful graviton pulses at irregular intervals. At this moment he had not really an idea on how to fix that, which was nagging him. But he couldn't do anything yet, except for speculating on how bad things were with the Scout ship. All Michael could do was hope for the best.
*** A few minutes later ***
When the Shuttle entered the atmosphere of Grainus 6 it felt like they hit a brick wall. At least, it felt like that to Michael. Luckily he, Dr. Gakor, and Lt. Commander Michala Lynn Casey, had all strapped themselves tightly to their chairs. But, despite that fact, it was still a very uncomfortable ride.
"You might want to brace yourselves," 'Commander Lynn Casey said, "because it's not going to be a perfect landing."
*Can it get any worse than this?* The thought flashed through Michael's mind when he commented on the 'Commander's statement.
"Surviving this trip will be enough for me, sir."
The 'Commander's words couldn't be more true. The actual landing proved to be a very bumpy one, giving Michael quite a few bruises in the process. It took her a couple of times before she safely landed the shuttle, but that alone was almost a miracle in their current situation.
Once the shuttle was on the ground, a moment of silence dawned on the three officers. Michael, relieved that it was all over, took a deep breath and grinned.
"Well, one thing is for sure. I'll never forget this 'Joyride'."
by LCDR Endris Gakor, CMO
with LCDR Michala Lyne Casey, Multi-talented,
and LCDR Matthew Albrecht, Security Chief,
and Lt Michael McDowell, Engineer.
reviewed by LCDR Sullax and Captain Price
*** Surface, Grainus 6 Mountain Region near Romulan vessel crash site ***
Michala scanned for gravimetric readings with her tricorder. She located the most likely direction to find the crashed Romulan ship. Before pointing it out to the group, the Doctor part of herself suggested breaking out the mountaineering safety gear, as the cliffs around them were obviously not simple to climb. Meanwhile, Lt McDowell started the low-grav generator and erected a transport site using pattern enhancers. By the time the Tellarite CMO completed her more detailed scans of the water contamination, the whole group was ready to move to the Romulan vessel.
"Be careful, this entire region is tectonically unstable. I suggest using the rope and pinions we brought", Michala said in her pleasant voice. "I would also suggest that we pair up, maybe even a safety line between pairs."
Even with the equipment to lower gravity in place, Endris felt like she had eaten a particularly heavy meal that did not want to be digested. It was hard to move her limbs. As a precaution, she injected the away team with a hypo of tri-ox compound, and their respiration became more normal. People took turns driving spikes in the rock face so no one would exert themselves too much.
As she agreed with her husband, Gakor called up to the Galaxy as soon as the transport site was tested and pronounced available. Matthew had been rather stern with the sometimes debating Oinkus lady. Star Fleet had strict regulations about recovered alien salvage, especially from races known to be hostile to the Federation. In no uncertain terms, he made clear his intention to beam down as soon as pattern enhancers made such activity possible. Loosing the argument to keep him safe, Endris started to pout. But Matthew had other ideas, and soon engaged in activities to cheer his wife up. Before leaving, she made sure a sitter was available for Adam and took care of feeding Gandalf. Plus she put the aquarium in Sick Bay on autofeed.
The transporters seemed to groan, as if they were abnormally strained. Even with enhancement, the high gravimetric currents were not easy to beam through. In seconds, Matthew coalessed into himself. The jolt of high gravity made him stagger a bit, and his spouse was there to steady him with a most lavish kiss. Then she snuck in a helpful hypo of tri-ox compound that the others had taken eariler.
*** Our team reaches the crash site ***
Since Michala was versed in several different disciplines, she volunteered to lead the team up the hill. Mountain climbing was one of the hobbies that she had a vivid memory of and she was continuously scanning for unstable footholds and other dangers. At one point, she used a pocket phaser to neutralize a venomous snake before it could sneak out of its coiled concealment.
She had sensed the reptile before she even saw it. It's body was long and green. Down it's back was a vivid orange stripe that made it easily visible to the humanoid eye. It's head reminded her more of the terran alligator and somewhere inside, she knew it was lethal. She made sure that everyone knew to watch out for the dangerous indigineous creature.
The weird thing about this was she didn't know what part of her first recognized the presence of the reptile. Perhaps in time Michala would learn to recognize what actions came from her various component parts. This constant strain to remember and use skills from her less dominant counterparts was creating another killer headache.
The quick centrifugal movements that caused Grainus's high gravity also meant the world had short days. It took a full two hours for them to reach the crash site, and by that time the sun was high overhead. It would be noon anywhere else! It was obvious the Romulan pilot must have lost control of the craft before its landing. The shuttle was much to big for the narrow ledge it rested on. Part of the nose of the ship had burrowed its way into the hill. Once the trained Galaxy crew saw the Romulan ship, it was obvious that the gravity waves it omitted were bolixing up the sensors. This was obviously a 6 man shuttle craft! The hikers must not have approached close enough to see the ship's true size, or just did not know how to identify the fallen object.
Michala continued her scanning, and caught the ship's transponder signal. The vessel was the REC Jagor. While she was compiling known data on the Romulan Empirical Craft, the others helped the engineer set up another set of transport enhancers, so the Galaxy could beam parts directly to the site. Michala made a point of staying as far away from anything transporter related as possible.
"Computer, report origin of Romulan proper name Jagor", Matthew said relaying his request through his tricorder to the Galaxy mainframe. He wanted to make sure the investigation of this ship went by the book. He thought that perhaps a translation of the craft's name could give a clue to its purpose.
"Jagor is the name of a large predatory cat, similar to a Terran Jaguar. It is indigenous to the Gurual Fire Falls, and preys on lesser beasts or Romulan citizens that stray too close. Although shaped like the Jaguar, it has faster and has a strong musculature like a Cheetah, and the logical hunting instincts of a Vulcan Selat. Adapted to conditions on the Romulan home world, the cat has learned to be highly secluded. At one time in danger of extinction, hunted for its luxurious pelts, the Romulan senate in one of its few humanitarian gestures has moved an enclave of adults to a protected natural park. Already, 3 offspring have been produced.
Noting the first Pandas to be displayed outside of China were sent to San Diego, where the Center for Reproduction of Endanger Species is located, the renowned San Diego Zoo was selected for the first off world exhibit of these beasts. The female now at the zoo is expected to deliver the first Jagor born in non-Romulan space in a few weeks."
For a moment, there were several odd looks while the crew present reacted to this information. The news media was surely feeding on the Romulan 'Sullar' propaganda like a prediatory beast. Endris was amazed Ryak had taken it all in stride up to this point. Several others though the award winning Romulan scientist would soon 'crack' and choose to do anything it took to retrieve his son. But there were also other discussions going on. Lt McDowell was talking with Michala. Her engineering ideas were being polled to see what actions to take to repair the Jagor. Soon a plan of action was taken.
Lt McDowell, aided by Michala's sporadic but helpful engineering insights, began to requisition parts to contain the artificial singularity forming the Jagor's engines. A sparkling whine was heard, (which made Michala noticably wince). Structural supports were placed on the rock face as the shuttle was extracted from the mountainside. It was significantly dented on the front surface, but not so much that it wouldn't be flight worthy if the engine could be fixed.
Gakor scanned the engine compartment, and suggested a level 20 containment field might stop the graviton emissions. Consulting Mona on the ship, the Doctor found they had Yidium and Polymagniesum in the supplies. Both could construct the required barrier. The Magnesium compound could do the job faster, but would likely hold for a shorter period of time.
Michala mentally tried to access her Vulcan heritage, and pronounced it logical to attempt sealing the micro fissures in the engine with the Polymagniesum compound. It seemed to be getting harder for her to recall at will from the different personalities. However, it did indeed seem logical to use the compound.
Michael McDowell agreed with this consensus, and was soon spot wielding the substance into the gap. For a while, Matthew Albrecht was pleased seeing the work done on the Romulan shuttle. It certainly looked like they could recover the ship if this procedure was successful. Tricorders indicated gravity emissions were subsiding, and things were going as planed.
The security officer was confident the Galaxy crew was doing its best to repair the broken shuttle. Already, the engineer used modern tools to return the craft's nose to its original shape. Just when Albrecht was contemplating the pleasant distraction of Grainus's high gravitational pull, he received a call from the ship. It was from Mrs DeChance. Apparently the children were discussing Sullar Sullax, and Adam became agitated, convinced that his father was abducted by hostile aliens. Despite having a sitter after daycare hours, Matthew did the only sensible thing and beamed back to the ship to reassure the child.
His report would include the security scans they made of the crash and the interior of the shuttle. A dump of the computer core proved to be encrypted, but would be forwarded for study by Federation cryptographers. Scanning to see the pattern enhancers were in place and functioning correctly, the human beamed up to the ship after a quick but intimate (as possible in a public setting) goodbye to his wife. They agreed to meet for Oinkus as soon as possible on the ship.
Things continued to go well on Grainus 6, until the human engineer dropped the wielding device. The high gravity caused a momentary cramp in his arm. Unfortunately, the high temperature sodering iron fell towards the singularity, giving it one last burst of energy 10 times stronger than those that had contaminated the water supply.
Those who were not actively fixing the shuttle had descended the nearby crater to the lake, to help Doctor Gakor and Michala take soil and water samples to help with the decontamination. They were still tied to the ropes that helped them climb, when the gravity wave hit hard. The pinions barely held. Subsequently, the liquidized Polymagniesum sealed the Romulan engine, as the center of the gravity well pulled it inward to the cracks and fused them.
Lt McDowell was not so lucky. Needing to be free to work on the damaged engine, he ran from the Jagor when it looked like the engine might go critical. Strangely, the ground below the ship itself held secure. But cracks appeared below the engineer, as the gravity wave buckled the earth beneath him. Before he could say "Energize" the man was swallowed by a newly formed cave created by the fluctuation.
Michael was pummelled by small rocks and tumbling debris, but nothing appeared to be broken. Dusting himself off, he began calling for help. Several attempts showed no one could hear him, so he looked at the broken tricorder that had fallen to his side. If he could fix it, the tricorder would help him map a way out of the subterranean tunnels he found himself in. Fortunately for him, the labirinth of caves sloped downward, and he slid towards the base of the mountain at a farely slow rate. This took him away from the landslide and the possibilty of more severe damage, and closer to the colony domes in the flat lands below.
The Doctor and the others returned, only to find McDowell was gone, with no traces of life signs. Accustom to searches, Michala found torn portions of his engineering uniform moments later. The communicator was still attached, giving little hope of easy communication with the lost member of the party. Gakor sniffed. The air seemed suttley different, as if someone added a new spice to it. Then she noticed that a cloud of dust forming above them. "Snacks!", she screamed, pointing to the rock face, which was starting to move.
"Quick! Into the Jagor!", the Chief Medical Officer advised. "Its engines have been fixed, and it is the only thing fast enough to help us escape this new collapse! Knowing her husband wanted the opportunity to get security information from the Jagor, Gakor's other hope was to save the alien craft for study by Federation scientists.
People quickly strapped themselves in. Michala hoped her piloting skills would stay at the front of her memory as she moved the craft out and up. It didn't help that it was not what she was used to flying. Its subtle differences slowed her down, it whined terribly as she backed its nose out of the cliff face. It shimmied violently and lurched more than was comfortable but she still managed to get it up and off the ground in a somewhat efficient manner. The ledge it had been resting on was quickly consumed. It took mere seconds to fly back the distance that had taken two hours to hike. The group watched in amazement as the shuttle they came down to Grainus on was covered with rubble. There was no way that shuttle was going to fly again.
Endris was disappointed as her tricorder indicated the shuttle was now emitting toxic levels of Igger radiation. It would not threaten humanoids for short term flights, but she injected the remaining members of the team with a radiation antagonist just to be safe. Then she asked Michala to have the on board computers scan for a techtonically safe place to land on the outskirts of the colony. Michala nodded and turned the craft to the desired coordinates.
The Jagor landed, and the remaining members of the away team considered walking to the farm domes. But Endris told them to stay outside the shuttle. There was a slight chance the radiation could pose a hazard to the colonists. Gakor stayed behind to contact Captain Price.
[Captain Price, this is Doctor Gakor]
[Hello 'mate. Sensors report the gravity emissions from the planet have ceased. But it also appears you have had a landslide.]
[That is true Sir. Saving the Jagor was a costly process. Lt McDowell was swallowed by some type of final gravity wave released just before the Jagor's engines were repaired. I am officially listing him as missing in the line of duty, presumed dead. Please append a comendation to his service record. Without his engineering skills to mend the broken Romulan engine core, the gravity waves would have insured the water contamination was irreversible. His sacrfice made sure the colonists have a safe source of water for years to come.
Also, more of the mountain collapsed due to the last graviton pulse, burying the shuttle Achilles. From an overhead view, I personally saw that salvage will not be possible.]
Captain Price paused at hearing that one of the Galaxy away team had been injured, possibly killed. [As soon as it's safe to do so, I want a search party assembled to look for McDowell. I can send down a security detachment if you need assistance Doctor. Are the rest of you safe?]
[We reached a tectonically stable place outside the colony in the Romulan shuttle. However, repairing the alien craft with Federation parts had a side effect. The Jagor is now leaking toxic Igger radiation. That is why we can not return to the Galaxy straight away or even venture to the colony itself. I am officially placing the rest of the away team on medical leave until I have treated us for radiation sickness. Not all systems on the Jagor are functional, so thank Cuisine we managed to fly off a crumbling mountain! Michala is to be commended for her excellent piloting skills.]
[Understood Doctor. After you are certain all of you are well, proceed to the Colony. Now that they have parts, they have managed to fix the transporter enhancers they have at their main dome. How long do you expect to be in treatment?]
[Another 48 standard hours, maximum. And the security team is a good idea also. If necessary, why not drop off supplies at nearby sites and return here once you are finished? That way the Galaxy will not get behind schedule.] The Tellarite replied.
[Very well. I expect you all to return in two days time. I think you will be glad to hear Mona has located more Narvosette in a mislabled package. We vaporized it in the water table a few minutes ago, and Grainus now has clean water!]
[That is good news Sir! Have the colonists been informed?]
[I'll see to it myself 'mate. I expect you want to get out of that radiated shuttle as soon as possible.]
[Very good Sir. I'll speak to you in a couple of days. Gakor out.]
Bad Medicine, Good Medicine
by Dr. Brooke Ames O'Connell
Ens. Navarre Shinta
Shinta dropped Gavin off at the playroom, she had a dutyshift to finish now. She didn't feel too happy about it, she'd rather have stayed with the boy the whole day while he was on his new meds, but her shift was only another two hours.
*** Two hours later***
"So how are you feeling?" Shinta asked as she walked home with Gavin.
"Okay." He shrugged his shoulders.
At home she gave him milk and cookies. "After this you have to rest for a while, okay." Shinta said.
Gavin pulled a face, but didn't disobey for once and dutifully went to his room five minutes later.
Shinta was at work behind her computer when Gavin emerged in the dooropening. "Mummy I don't feel so good." He looked a bit dazed.
She was next to him in a heartbeat, his skin was hot and clammy to the touch. "Darling why don't you go back to bed. I am going to call Brooke and then come sit with you, okay?"
He nodded. Only after he had gone did she let her worries flow free. "Brooke" She hit her comm. "Please come right away, Gavin is ill!"
Brooke was asleep when she heard her combadge go off. She laid there, feeling panicky because she couldn't go to them. A doctor there picked it up and started to talk for her. Brooke yelled at him that he would be wearing her dinner if he didn't bring it to her.
Sounding very tired, "Brooke here." She anticipated that this might happen.
"Don't worry. I had a feeling that he would have a reaction to it. I would have never given it to him if I didn't have something to counteract the medicine. Bring him in. It'll give him a chance to meet a new member of my family."
Shinta was so worried about her son that she didn't even pick up on what Brooke had said.
"You think it is safe to bring him? He is running a fever?" She said very worried.
"Yeah, it's not like he's contageous or anything. Don't worry, he'll be okay."
Shinta picked Gavin up and wrapped the now petulant little lad in a blanket. Then she hurried him to sickbay.
Once there she was in for a surprise. Brooke was in bed herself and next to her was a little baby.
"Oh." Gavin said and even managed a smile.
"Brooke." Shinta got out. "You should have told me. Congratulations, it's pretty. I shall take Gav to one of the other docs."
"Don't you dare. We've come this far and I would never trust his care to anyone else here anyway." That same doctor brought her a pill and walked away quickly. She couldn't help but laugh. "Here Gavin, take this. I'm sorry if it made you feel worse. I hope this doesn't ruin our friendship." She smiled at him after looking at her sleeping baby, "I hope he is as good of a kid as you are." She tousled his hair.
Gavin was transfixed by the baby. He took the pill without any moans and swallowed it with a bit of water.
"I still like you." He said with a smile. "But I don't like feeling sick."
"I know and I'm sorry for that. There is an old Earth saying that goes, no pain, no gain. It sounds dumb but it's so true. So hang in there." She yawned, "I'm sorry. Come in tomorrow and we'll try the second one and if that doesn't work, then I have one more to try."
"Will...will that make me ill again?" Gavin asked with a frown.
But his mum picked him up. "Brooke is tired, hon. Don't bother her anymore. Hopefully it won't make you ill, but she can't promise, okay?"
"Your mom is right. I don't want to promise something and then to find out I wasn't right. So, I'll see you tomorrow."
The boy nodded solemly. "I will try not to cry when I get ill."
Brooke smiled at his bravery, "You know what Gavin? If you feel like crying, go right ahead."
Brooke hardly finished her sentence before she fell asleep.
"Wall, what wall?"
By: Lt/Cmd Ryak Sullax, Captain Price, Lt/Cmd Thomas, Lt/Cmd Gakor and Lt Olson
"Aha Mr. Sullax I know you're not in the mood for talking so I'll make this simple, let's go get your son back." Lt. Commander Thomas said.
Ryak looked over to the Lt/Commander and replied, "That is not a possibility. As stated by the Captain, Starfleet would not allow an incursion into their space to rescue my son."
"What do you recommend? I want to help out with this."
"I appreciate your loyalty to my son. There is only one way I can see this happening. I will take care of this myself." Ryak stood up from the bio bed and looked at Thomas.
"The only other way to get away with this is if you where on medical leave." Dr. Ammes stated as the door shut behind Ryak. Ryak unfortunately did not here this and was on his way to finish his talk with the Captain.
The corridors where filled with people who hushed as Ryak walked by. A few of them let Ryak know that they where on his side in the matter. This actually upset Ryak even more. He didn't want to be pitied. This was not going to solve anything.
The doors to the lift opened at the bridge and Ryak made his way down the ramp. As he reached the ready room the doors opened and the Captain was about to leave.
"Commander. Come in." Price said.
Ryak walked in and stood in front of the Captain. "Sir, I request another leave of absence from the ship."
"I wish I could 'mate. Starfleet has made it clear to me that you are to stay on the Galaxy until deemed clear from mental stress."
Ryak could feel his anger build as he watched the Captain's lips move. "Sir, I am not going to sit on this ship while my son gets brainwashed!" Ryak's voice began to get very loud.
"Ryak, you have to understand my hands are tied. Starfleet has made it perfectly clear that I am not allowed to have you pursuing this matter. They said that they need this to cool down fast so they can get you son back after the media hype ends."
Ryak took a step back from the Captain and said, "Sir this is my final request for your help."
"I am sorry 'mate."
Ryak turned and slammed his fist into the wall, punching a hole right into it. Ryak turned to Price and grabbed his pips and his comm badge and slammed it onto his desk.
"Very well 'mate, clean out your quarters. I will have a shuttle ready to take you to anywhere you wish in Federation space."
Ryak walked towards the door turned to the Price and said, "aefvadh, Enarrain. y' lloann'na fvai!!!"
Ryak made his way onto the bridge and to the lift. As the doors closed he noticed that the bridge was a bit in shock as to what they could here from the ready room. The doors closed and Ryak was off to his quarters.
As soon as Ryak enters his quarters he changes into a Romulan Subcommander's uniform that was placed in his travel kit when he first went to get his son. Ryak looked in the mirror as he wore the uniform and knew it wasn't right but he had to do what he could to be with his son and if the Federation was going to abandon him then he was going to take his place at the upper ranks of the Romulan Military. Ryak packed his things and headed off to the shuttle bay. His trip was long and interesting. He could see that people where in complete shock over Ryak being in a Romulan uniform as well as the fear on some of the faces to how well he fit the role.
Right before he entered the shuttle bay Ryak saw Lt Olson come around the corner with Lt (jg) Scott. "Mr Olson. You have command of the science department. Jolan 'Tru. Before Jake could say anything Ryak turned and entered the shuttle bay.
Dr. Andree Dothan (Ensign)
Medical Dept. USS Galaxy
With addition by Dr. Endris Gakor
CMO USS Galaxy
Timeline: Prior to T'Prea Giving birth
Wondering what the Tellarite was thinking, Andree watied patiently for her response. Suffice it to say the Cuisine lover's response took him totally by suprise.
"Snacks!" the bulging Tellarite exclaimed. "That gives me an idea! Michala contains all of Miran's experiences as a helms person. When we get to Grainus 6, the gravity waves will make normal transports inactive. I will ask Michala to pilot a shuttle to the surface to supervise the decontamination effort. Being gone is a sure-fired way to insure the reporters won't bother her."
*I guess she thinks I was in the right, giving Brockman the cold shoulder* Andree mused to himself.
Gakor rolled her eyes, indicating she felt the contempt others had experessed about the reporter's story gathering habits. "And if any of the FNN reporters continue to jeapordise patient confidentiality, just pretend to notice something sickly about them and run your tricorder over them. Make tisking noises until the reporters notice and ask what you have found. Then prescribe 10mg Pota root tablets for them."
"But Doctor, Pota root is an inactive material.", Dr. Dothan objected.
"Yes, but it is also a potent Klingon laxitive vertially unknown in Federation space. Our reporter friends won't know that. Once they consume it in any quantity, they will be too busy visiting the restrooms of the Galaxy to bother anyone."
"Ah, an ingenious solution for a complex problem. The treatment will definately curb their inquisitive nature withot becoming a threat."
Satisfied that he had gotten this off his chest, Andree said goodbye to his boss but before leaving he took a butterscotch hard candy from the CMO's desk, and popped it in his mouth, knowing how tellarites always share confections.
Leaving the office, Andree reported in to T'Prea for the start of his duty shift
by Captain Robert Edward Lee Price
*** Captain's Ready Room, USS Galaxy ***
Lee had half expected Lieutenant Commander Ryak Sullax to request another leave of absence to go and try to rescue his boy. It was still hard telling him no.
"I am sorry 'mate."
Ryak turned and slammed his fist into the wall, punching a hole right into it. Ryak turned to Price and grabbed his pips and his comm badge and slammed it onto his desk, offering his resignation as Lee expected he would. It didn't come as a surprise to the Galaxy's CO, but it still was unsettling just the same.
"Very well 'mate, clean out your quarters. I will have a shuttle ready to take you to anywhere you wish in Federation space."
Ryak walked towards the door turned to the Price and said, "aefvadh, Enarrain. y' lloann'na fvai!!!"
Sullax was a passionate person. He was a good father and a fine officer. In this case, the latter was more important to him than the former. Lee had to respect that, and silently wished Ryak well in getting his son back. Thumbing the communication console on his desk, Captain Price ordered, "Commander Casey, report to my ready room straight away 'mate."
A short time later Deiran responded over the channel, ["On my way Captain."] Lee had been giving the First Officer a lot of slack on this mission because of the transporter accident with Miran / Michala Lynn, but Ryak's resignation and the likelihood he'd attempt to go to Romulus and break out Sullar by force required the Exec's attention.
Lee was pacing his office when Deiran arrived. The Commander looked haggard. He had dark circles under his eyes from the sleepless nights and worry; desperately trying to find a way to bring his Miran back, but knowing that with each passing moment that became more and more unlikely.
"You wanted to see me sir?" Deiran managed.
Lee stopped his pacing and faced his First Officer. "Lieutenant Commander Sullax has resigned his Starfleet commission. He's packing now to leave. I believe he plans on returning to Romulus to try and get his son back."
Deiran looked a little surprised to hear the news. He knew about Ryak's son, and the Romulans calling him a defecting immigrant seeking asylum; it was hard not to with all the media coverage on FNN, but he seemed a little shocked that Ryak would resign. Then on thinking about it, Deiran knew there wasn't anything he wouldn't do to protect his children or family. His efforts at 'rescuing' his lost wife Miran was an example of that.
"Did you want me to have a talk with him sir? See if I can get him to change his mind?" Deiran asked.
Lee shook his head from side to side. "No 'mate. Ryak has made up his mind. I can't say I blame him. Were it my son that was missing, I'd likely do the same thing."
"He is quite devoted to his family Captain, and stubborn as a Romulan. Did you want me to arrange for a shuttle to escort him to the nearest starbase?" Casey asked.
"No 'mate. Have Lieutenant Commander Mercury clear a shuttle craft for Ryak's use. He's an authorized pilot."
Deiran's brow rose slightly, "Isn't that a little dangerous Captain?. . . letting Ryak take a Federation shuttle all by himself after he's resigned? Aren't you afraid he might head straight into the Neutral Zone and go after his son?"
Lee shook his head again. "I don't think he'll do that 'mate. The Romulans would only pick him up like they did before and detain him. But even if he does, I think he deserves the chance to decide his own destiny for himself, and his son." The Captain's eyes found Deiran's and lingered for a long moment while unspoken words and thoughts were exchanged between the two Starfleet veterans. "I only wish there was something more I and the Federation could do, but officially our hands are tied because of the treaty between our two governments."
Deiran nodded. He caught what the Captain was saying without saying so. "I understand Captain. I suppose we will be leaving Granius 6 to continue our resupply mission along the Neutral Zone? We still have a half dozen listening outposts to stop at."
Lee nodded. "Aye. Soon as Doctor Gakor reports on the safety of the away team there, we will be breaking orbit. Endris mentioned that because of the radioactive contamination remaining, a small team may need to stay behind to neutralize the environmental hazards."
Now it was Deiran who was nodding. "Well I had better get busy then Captain. With Lieutenant Commander Sullax's resignation and a prolonged away team assignment, the active duty roster will require several changes. . . "
"I'm sure you'll come up with something 'mate. I realize this is all last minute. Don't worry too much about turning in the updated roster report on time, so long as every active duty shift is covered, the ship will survive." Lee explained, giving the Exec more leeway to fudge the roster.
"I'll take care of it Captain." Deiran said beginning to leave. When he got to the door, he stopped and looked back over his shoulder at the General, "If it was you Captain, and it was your son that was being held by the Romulans, what would you do?"
Lee looked Deiran straight in the eye and without hesitation replied, "Exactly what needed to be done to get him home safe 'mate."
Deiran nodded and then exited the Captain's ready room.
The doors swished shut behind the First officer allowing the Captain to sit back in his chair. Tapping his fingers together before his face, Lee hoped Deiran had picked up on his meaning about how to proceed with Lieutenant Commander Ryak Sullax. Officially there was nothing that could be done. But on the Galaxy, more things seemed to get accomplished unofficially than on any other starship in the fleet. Now all he needed to do was stall for time, hope Commander Casey could put things into motion, and keep the FNN news crew at bay.
*** Romulus ***
Little Sullar was once again in his play room, surrounded by all of the latest toys and gadgets the Romulan culture had to offer. The last several weeks had been a literal paradise for the young boy. He was surrounded by people that looked like he did, that spoke like he did and even children his own age to play with. Everyone was being so nice and treating him like some sort of celebrity. He was receiving thousands of fan letters and holo-messages each day from the Romulan people, saying how brave and proud they are of him. Sullar didn't really understand what they were talking about, or why. He did know he loved the attention, and he did manage to call for help in the shuttle craft after all.
But in all the excitement, and all the attention, and all the gifts and messages, Sullar wondered about his Father. Grandma and Grandpa had been sweet as always. And Sullar took a particular liking to Commander S'Tark, who treated him like an adult even though he was just a little boy. Sullar really liked that. He was trying to be the good little Centurion the Commander expected him to be. But Sullar was wondering when his little visit to Romulus would be over? When was his Father going to come to take him back to the Galaxy where they lived? When Sullar's grandmother entered the room with more cookie cakes and cream, Sullar asked.
"When do I have to go home Nana?" Sullar asked taking some of the cookies. They were now his favorite kind he discovered.
Myrtel T'Sel placed the tray down and poured the three year old a glass of milk. "Don't worry about that Nipkin. Just have your cookies and then return to your playing."
Sullar took a few bites of his cookies, splitting them apart and licking the creamy center. "What about Father? When will I see him? I miss my Father."
"Now Nipkin, that is a complicated matter. You shouldn't think of that right now Sullar." His grandmother said in a patronizing tone.
Sullar was only three years old, but he knew the difference between being spoken to honestly, and being spoken to as if he were a little child. "I want my Daddy!" he demanded.
Shaken a bit, Sullar's grandmother moved the tray of cookies, taking them away.
The boy's demand was loud enough to bring his Grandfather from the next room. He heard what Myrtel was saying.
"Your Father doesn't love you like we do Sullar. He's a bad, bad man. For all these years, he has been keeping you from your home here on Romulus, and your people. You like your new friends here, don't you Sullar?"
Sullar frowned. He crossed his arms when grandmother took the cookies away while she spoke. "Father is not bad!" the boy snapped back stubbornly.
Savek piped in. "Oh but he is Sullar. I know it is not a nice thing to hear or to say, but it is the truth. And you must know the truth about your father."
Sullar looked at his grandfather with the suspicious eyes of a three year old. "What truth?" he asked.
Savek kneeled near the boy, bringing him to eye level with the defiant, proud, pouting Romulan child. "Your father hates all Romulans. He has kept you away from Romulus and your people because of his prejudice towards our people. Do you know what prejudice is Sullar?"
The boy nodded. "Un-hu. We learned about it in school on the Galaxy. It's when you hate someone for no good reason other than they are different."
"That is true Sullar. But you can also hate people because they are the same. And that is the sickness your Father has. His mind has been poisoned to his own people. Inside, here. . ." Savek tapped on Sullar's chest with a finger, ". . . here where your father's heart is, he wishes he was not Romulan but Terran. That is why he hates our people and our way of life so. That is why he has taken you away from your home, from Romulus and your friends and family to live on a Terran ship, surrounded by the weak minded humans that don't understand what it is to be born Romulan."
Sullar was obviously disturbed and confused at hearing this. "No, my Father loves me!. . ."
"Of course he loves you Sullar. What Romulan wouldn't love such a wonderful young soldier like yourself? But that doesn't mean your father isn't sick. That doesn't mean he hasn't kept you from your people and home just out of his selfish hate of being Romulan."
Sullar looked away. He was no longer worried about the tray of cookies. He looked down at the ground and thought of his time on the Galaxy. It was tough being the only Romulan boy on a Federation starship. More than once the Terran children made fun of his pointed ears and slanted brow. It seemed unfair given how much smarter he was then the other children. "Father is sick?"
"Yes Nipkin." His grandmother stated. "We love him as we love you. But his hatred for his people keeps us apart."
"Can't we cure him? I miss my Father."
Savek rubbed the boy's head as he began to get up to his feet. "We can try. In time, maybe your Father will realize the error of his ways, and give up his hatred for Romulans. In the meantime, you are safe and here with your people, and your new home. Everyone loves you Sullar. Don't ever forget that."
"Even Father?" the boy looked up at his Grandfather with big, wanting eyes.
Savek was about to give in to the child, when he was interrupted by Commander S'Tark who came walking into the room, cape fluttering in the wind.
"Your grandparents mean well Sullar. But no. Your father doesn't love you. If he did, he would be here now, but he is not. He has sent you away because in the Terran Federation, you are a constant reminder to him that he will never truly be a Terran. I will only tell you the truth young Centurion. Your father, Ryak Sullax, has abandoned you. I know this is hard for you to hear. But it is the truth. I swear it." Commander S'Tark stated in an authoritative tone, giving Sullar the Romulan salute.
Sullar looked at his grandparents who both seemed to cower at learning of Commander S'Tark's presence. The boy mistook their reaction to mean his newest role model was speaking the truth.
Sullar straightened to attention and nodded. "I understand Commander." The boy saluted. "Thank you for telling me the truth."
S'Tark glanced over to Savek and Myrtel T'Sel, giving them a subtle smirk. "You are home Sullar, and with your own people and family that all love you. You will make an excellent Centurion one day. Possibly even a Commander like myself."
"Yes Commander." Sullar replied. He enjoyed playing soldier.
S'Tark walked over to Myrtel and removed the tray from her grasp. Turning, he gave the silver platter to the young boy. "Here you go Sullar. Enjoy the rest of your meal, knowing you are with the ones that truly love you for who you are."
Little Sullar gladly accepted the cookie tray. He liked the way Commander S'Tark spoke to him like an adult and not a child. It reminded him of the way his father used to speak to him, before he abandoned him. . .
The brain washing had begun.
By Ensign Peter Lockhart
And Ensign Navarre Shinta
Peter stood outside the door to Ensign Shinta's quarters. He'd been able to put this off for a good long time, but finally, under pressure from 'Commander Albrecht, he'd been forced to make an appointment to see a counsellor over his recent actions in Ten Forward. Reluctantly, he pressed the door chime and a voice from within said, "Come."
Peter stepped inside as the doors opened and looked around. He spotted Ensign Shinta over sitting behind her desk. She didn't appear to have a notepad or anything, like Peter was expecting, but nonetheless, he was still wary of her.
"Take a seat please Ensign?" she asked, gesturing towards the empty seat opposite.
"Yes sir." Peter replied and wandered over.
"You don't have to call me sir Peter." Navarre said, hoping to get the man to open up. "We are the same rank aren't we." All those officers showing her deference it was alien to her.
"Well errrr... okay Ensign." Peter said again.
"Or Ensign. Try Shinta." she said with a grin.
"I'd prefer Counsellor then." Peter said stubbornly. He didn't like the familiarity of first names, at least not yet.
"Whatever you feel most comfortable with." Shinta said. "So, glad you turned up Peter. What can I do for you?"
"Well, nothing really." Peter said truthfully. "I'm just here because 'Commander Albrecht said so."
Shinta grinned. "Ah sent here by a superior. I am very sorry, but it's not a very original line, I am afraid, Peter. If you want to throw me out of sync, you will have to do better then that."
Peter thought for a bit, then decided to really throw her out of sync. "No Counsellor, you really don't understand. I was sent here by 'Commander Albrecht. He wanted me to see a counsellor because of what I'd did in Ten Forward. At the time, I agreed with his decision. Now I don't, but I promised him I'd come so here I am." Peter said. He then stood up slowly. "But if you don't believe me, I'll leave and we can both tell 'Commander Albrecht that I turned up for counselling and he'll be happy!" Peter finished hopefully, realising, unless Shinta was trying something, he might be able to get out of this one as well.
"Sit down." She said in her best drill sergeants voice. Hell she had used it enough in the past. Then she spoke a bit more friendly. "You misunderstood me Ensign, it happens a lot that people are send to me by their boss. And from your behaviour it seems like a good idea that you sit down again and tell me what's wrong with you." She gestured to the chair.
Peter slowly sat down and thought for a second. He didn't really know how best to answer. "Well errr... nothing is wrong with me really. I'm here to see you because I got into a brawl in Ten Forward and saw the 'red mist' and went mental with one of those reporters. If I'd been better at unarmed, the poor guy might have actually been really injured. As it is, all I did was bruise his ego I think." Peter said, explaining what had happened.
Shinta listened with interest. "Have you had this red mist before, Peter? You said you went mental, did you lose control completely, did you still know what you were doing?" She asked.
Peter thought for a moment before answering, "Well yeah. I have. When I was young, about 15 or so I got into a fight at school. Back then I was still a weedy kid so I couldn't really do anything. I went mad, tried to belt this guy and he just floored me. I didn't really have time to see the 'red mist' for very long or anything." Peter scratched his head for a minute, trying to remember the details of the fight more clearly. "As to whether I still knew what I was doing, I don't know. I remember what happened, but at the time, I just wanting to belt this reporters lights out. I can't say." Peter said truthfully, shrugging his shoulders.
"Did they have to pull you off?" Shinta went on. "Would you have killed your victim if they had not. And I do expect an honest answer out of you!" She had had this conversation many times but never as a counsellor. She had had it as a resistance fighter on Bajor and later as a security NCO on many ships. And on occasion she had had the same questions delivered to her as well.
"Yes. Lieutenant Elaithan had to pull me away." Peter said. He didn't like the line of questioning, but felt he had to answer. "And as to killing him, I don't know. I certainly think I would've hit him until he feel down." Peter wondered for a second. "That's all I know for certain. I would've battered him to the ground."
"Hmmm." Shinta sat back. "I don't like the sound of that, Ensign. So tell me exactly what brought that anger on. Why did you get into that fight?" She asked.
"I got into the fight because Commander Casey was being swamped by reporters. I went up to one of them and grabbed him by the shoulders, twisting him round to face me. I don't really know what I was trying to do. I'm not really into crowd control." Peter said, shrugging his shoulders again. "Anyway, he swung round and his holocamera came straight into my face. So I went mental and started hammering him. He dropped his camera and we got into a fight."
"I don't really know what I was going to do before the fight start Counsellor. I suppose I should've called for backup, but I just waded in fists a flying." Peter said. "Shouldn't have done it, but I was in a bit of an angry mood. I'd been ranting you see."
"That doesn't really sound like a reason to go mental to me." Shinta said. "Have you had a physical recently, ensign?" she said. "I'd like you to have a brain scan just to stay on the safe side."
Peter pulled a face as soon as Shinta said that. He didn't much like seeing doctors either, especially when he didn't think there was anything wrong with him. He didn't need a physical, so he couldn't really see the point. "I had a physical when I came on board Counsellor, back on Stardate 49910.18. That was about six months ago. I don't think a brain scan would reveal anything."
"But if you insist I'll make an appointment sir." Peter said, reacting more coolly towards Shinta now that she had suggested a physical.
"Look Peter, we are the same rank, don't sir me. I don't like it. Call me counsellor if you must. And about this scan, it's regulation. I have to have it ordered. Look I am qualified to do them myself, would you feel more comfortable with that. I am not trying to be your enemy."
"Okay Counsellor. I'll turn up for a physical. If you want to perform it, then that's fine to. Is that everything then Counsellor? We can arrange a time for the medical and I'll turn up." Peter said.
"How about right now?" She shot back at him.
"No time like the present Counsellor. Besides, if I put it off, I'm less likely to want to come, and then 'Commander Albrecht will have my guts for dinner." Peter stood up slowly. "I presume we'll need to go to sickbay? Lead the way."
Shinta nodded and led the way. There was some equipment counsellors were allowed to handle without supervision and this was one of them. "Hop on the bed." She told Peter. "It will only take a few minutes. Try to lay still, okay." She placed the scanner over his head. "And try to empty your mind."
"Okay then Shinta." Peter said. *Empty my mind* he thought. *Shouldn't be hard, it's never got anything in it anyway.* He then tried to clear his mind, thinking of nothing, not even the 'Stay Puffed Marshmallow Man'.
Shinta ran the scanner over his head, smiling that he had finally called her Shinta. "Okay you can relax now. Great job, Peter." She studied the readings some more. "You are in the clear in this regard, Peter. Everything looks normal." She smiled. "I am glad, now we can focus on the psychological side."
Peter looked up at her, "The psychological side? What's wrong? Okay, I'm an alcoholic, addicted to the holodeck, get into a brawl at a seconds notice and am bone idle, but hey, surely that doesn't indicate a problem surely?" Peter half joked. He really didn't want to continue this, but it seemed the counsellor had other ideas.
Shinta raised an eyebrow. "You are joking right?" Then she sighed. "Peter, I can't tell if there is anything wrong with you. I can't do that in one visit. That's why I will be wanting to see you over a longer period of time. I will give you a questionnaire with all kinds of questions about yourself that I want you to fill in before our next meeting and we will take it from there, all right?"
Peter pulled a face, but reluctantly agreed. "Yes sir." He liked the idea of the questionnaire however. He always liked expressing his views on this and that, part of the reason why he ranted to Ensign Mulich so much.
"Just a simulation"
By Ensign Ragnald Gustavson, helmsman
Ragnald began to set a course to point where the USS Sparta was expected.
“Course 240.73, mark 45. Distance 84 billion kilometers. We`ll have to hurry. Setting speed to Warp 7. Estimated time to arrival 7 minutes.”
“All phaser arrays ready and standby, torpedo launchers loaded.” said Hermedhie looking up from the tactical control panel. “Shields fully energized.” Then he continued searching for the USS Sparta. Suddenly he exclaimed:
“Here we are. USS Sparta ahead. Threat vessel at 10.5 mark 5. One Romulan Warbird approaching her. No signs of other cloaked vessels detected near them.”
“Changing course to a wide port turn to get behind that warbird. When distance lower than 10.000 kilometers reducing speed to full impulse. We`ll overtake threat vessel on her bottom side. Then I`ll adjust Galaxy`s speed to speed of threat vessel.”
Captain Price nodded. “Bonzer mate. So Tactical prepare Upper Main After, Port and Starboard Lateral phaser arrays to have a broad spectrum pulsed fire shot to blind their sensors. Then fire at your own decision.“ he ordered to Lt. Cmdr. Hermedhie.
The stars stopped rushing by. The Galaxy slowed down to sublight speed. Then suddenly the warbird appeared right in front of her less than 5000 kilometers away. It took another instant to pass by and set in front of the warbird taking away their sight to the USS Sparta. A flash brightened the bridge.
“Threat vessel performing evasive maneuver, turning starboard. USS Sparta status list: Port and Rear shields down other shields at 10%. Warp deflectors off-line. Hull damage on decks 3 and 4. ETA for her to reach Federation space: 15 minutes.” said Hermedhie.
Ragnald was relieved. Those Rommies seem to have the same will to survive as most other species have, too. A Jem Hadar fighter would have tried to ram the Galaxy disregarding that not only the Galaxy would be destroyed by the impact. Ragnald continued to maneuver the Galaxy to keep the severely damaged USS Sparta out of the warbird`s sight.
Next few minutes the Galaxy had to swallow several hits and of course the warbird had to, too. Several times, Ragnald had to roll the Galaxy to offer sections of the hull where the shield hadn`t already faded away. Ragnald grew nervous. *How much more hits was the Galaxy able to stand?* Short time after the question was answered. The bridge crew was shaken. Parts of the bridge`s wall panels flew through the room. Lt. Brandis was hit by one of the parts and sank to the floor. Captain Price tapped his combadge. “Price to sickbay. One man injured. All stations report damages!” he ordered.
[“Sickbay: Several departments reporting injuries. Most of them are cuts, bruises and fractures. Four crew members are dead, three others are not responding. Engineering seems to be hit hard. All we can get is some binary gibberish. Medical team is on it`s way.”]
- Warp engine .NOT. available = .TRUE.
- (Engineering crew .AND. .NOT. 1000101 .AND. .NOT. 1100000) available. = .FALSE.
- (deck 9 .AND. deck 10 .AND. deck 11) hull available = .FALSE.“ ]
[“Science: Hydroponic garden totally destroyed.”]
Ragnald reacted by applying some changes to his panel setup. “Transferring engine operation controls to flight control panel.” he explained. Ragnald was already sweating. He was near to loose the simulated battle. Was this real he would risking to kill more than 1000 people. What should he do? Trying to escape would surely lead to the Sparta`s crew having a sightseeing tour to Walhalla. Continuing the battle would cause him to shake Donar`s hand earlier than he planed to. Now, several additional controls were calling for his attention. Ragnald took a deep breath.
“Strike! Got them!” Hermedhie reported, hitting his panel with his fist. “Direct hit to threat vessel`s front section. Looks like a hull damage. Threat vessel retreating. Seems as if the battle is over.”
“Ok, mates, let`s limp home and lick our wounds.” Captain Price ordered relieved.
Ragnald laid back in his seat exhausted but content. “Aye aye, sir”
Title: Taking comand and control
Thread: Sullax leaves ship
Right before he entered the shuttle bay Ryak saw Lt Olson come around the corner with Lt (jg) Scott. "Mr Olson. You have command of the science department. Jolan 'Tru. Before Jake could say anything Ryak turned and entered the shuttle bay.
Jake listened to the command soberly given by the Romulan clad officer and nodded, as Scott next to him gaped in disbelief.
"He's nuts!" was heard by Sullax as he closed the shuttle bay doors.
"He is my superior officer, and I will do the best that I can be to take care of the science section. It's not the first time I've been tossed a curve ball, so it's time to catch!" Olson dismissed. Neither knew that Sullax heard the exchange.
Jake went about the task he was given, his nerves were not seen. He felt inside more like a babysitter than a commander. He did the job well. Scott was still razzing him.
"Well, if and when someone counters the order, I am not in command, until then, I am in command." Jake put his foot down. "I am really sick of you second guessing my orders given to me by Sullax. I don't care what you think of him, until someone tells US otherwise, he is OUR superior officer, not mine, and will receive respect. Excuse me, I have things to do."
Jake stormed around, leaving Scott gaping.
"Starting the search."
By Ensign Peter Lockhart
With three NPC's, Ensign Mark Mulich, Ensign Kornan Rios and Lieutenant J.G. Heather Sanchez.
The four security officers stepped up onto the platform as Chief Jensen operated the controls. Heather Sanchez, in charge of the team started barking orders as usual.
"Right chief, you've got the co-ordinates right? We'll be beaming down near to the last rockslide where the Jagor was." she confirmed.
"Yes sir." Chief Jensen said for the third time. "I've double checked the co-ordinates, there won't be a problem."
"Excellent. Ensign Mulich, run the checklist one more time for me. Mr. Lockhart, I want you to ensure that you've got *ALL* your equipment this time, because it's not going to be nice down there." Sanchez barked.
"Yes sir." Peter sighed. He'd volunteered for this mission hoping for a nice walk around some mountains. If he'd known that Sanchez would be leading the way, he might well have decided against it. Mark Mulich started rattling off a list of equipment that they all had, and Peter replied 'check' to each item. The team had enhanced science tricorders for extra scanning range, a type one phaser each, with three battery packs, a rucksack with survival and climbing gear (not that Peter could climb, but hey, maybe it'd be useful), a field medical kit each and plenty of field rations. They'd also had their communicators altered so that they could rely a signal back to the colony as well as the Galaxy, so that they were never going to be totally alone out there and Dr. Bellen had injected them all with a tri-ox compound to help them breath more easily. Finally, and most importantly, Peter had snuck a deck of cards amongst his gear.
"Right then Chief. When you're ready, energise." Sanchez said.
The familiar whine of the transporter started, and just before Peter was whisked away, he realised this was the first time he'd used the transporter since coming aboard. Then he recalled the recent accident with Casey Ti-Miran, and hoped to god that it couldn't happen again. Already images of him being merged with Sanchez where invading his thoughts...... as he remateralised in a landscape of high rolling hills, just by the side of a mountain.
Peter quickly felt his chest, and realising that he hadn't gained a pair of breasts (not that he wouldn't mind Sanchez's) breathed a loud sigh of relieve. Sanchez however, heard him.
"Tired already Ensign? It must be the fresh air and bright sunshine. We'll have you working up a sweat in no time."
"No sir. I was just glad I got here in one piece, after that recent accident with the transporters. I'd hate to have been merged with anyone sir." Peter replied.
"So would I Ensign." Sanchez said, giving Peter a glance.
*Don't try and be funny.* Peter thought, *that's my job.*
"Right then people, let's get this show on the road." Sanchez started barking once again, taking over total command. "Ensign Rios, you're with me. We'll search the west side of the mountain. Ensign Mulich, you're in charge of Ensign Lockhart and will search the east side. Try and make sure he stays out of trouble." Before Peter could open his mouth to file a complaint, she taped her comm. badge. "Lieutenant Sanchez to Grainus six colony. Please come in."
"Ryan Waterson here lieutenant. I'm in charge of communications here on the colony. I read you loud and clear."
"Excellent. Each of the members of my team will now test their comm. badge." she said. It took only a minute, and then they were ready.
"I'll be monitoring your comm. frequency at all time lieutenant. If you need anything, just shout. We'll be here." Ryan said over the comm. signal.
"Thank Mr. Waterson. Lieutenant Sanchez out." she said, and closed the channel.
"Right then people, you know what to do, and help is only a tap away. Ensign Mulich, get moving!" Sanchez said, as her final order for the moment.
Mark started to move away towards the east side of the mountain. It wasn't going to be easy going, and despite the pair trying to stick to paths, it was quite possible that they might have to climb. A mere ten minutes of silence had passed before Peter started chatting.
"Lovely day huh Mark. Shame it's so damn cold up here. The air is clear, Sanchez isn't here and so far we haven't had to do any climbing." Peter said, stumbling over loose rocks and gravel as the pair fought their way around the mountain.
"Yep. Well, keep an eye out Pete, and another eye on your tricorder. Scan for human lifesigns.... or failing that, human remains." Mark said morbidly.
"Sure Mark. Not a problem." Peter replied, checking his tricorder again. The pair continued their search, hoping to find some evidence that Lieutenant McDowell was still in the area.
"In The Blink Of An Eye"
Lt. Commander Karyn Dallas
Cadet Alexa Casey
"So many reports, so little time." muttered Karyn after returning to her office for the first time in three days. It really hadn't been her idea to be away so long. Unfortunately Starfleet Medical had chosen the last three days to be the perfect time to send a neutral third party to administer her final nursing boards. Endris had sent for someone over a month ago to come proctor the exam, but up until this point, Starfleet had not seen Karyn's advanced training as a priority. Naturally, once Starfleet Medical had been told an FNN news crew was going to be filming a documentary on the USS Galaxy crew, they were more than happy to expedite the process for someone who could bring and had brought so much media attention about the UFP.
The exams themselves were grueling. Karyn was allowed very little contact with any of the crew. Except for emergencies, Karyn was to be kept as secluded as possible so that she couldn't be influenced by outside parties. She had protested, insisting there had been some kind of mistake. Did they know she only wanted to be a nurse, not a member of the Tal Shiar? She demanded they allow her to keep in contact with members of her staff and the SFM rep, Dr. Gandy, reluctantly agreed. Never before had she been forced to administer such an exam while on a starship on active duty. Karyn could tell Dr. Gandy wasn't happy about it, but Gandy recognized good PR when she saw it, and was given little choice. Karyn wasn't sure where the woman was now. More than likely she was in some secret lab trying to manufacture false results! Karyn laughed. She couldn't worry about that now, she had to read the latest staff reports to be brought up to speed.
Karyn shook her head as she read the incident report about Peter Lockhart, Deiran and the FNN reporters. There was definitely a story there. Hell, she hated reporters too ever since she'd been betrayed by Brian Whey at the Academy, but still there was something else going on with him. She briefly wondered how Deiran and Michala were coping, as the only thing Shinta would mention was Michala's headaches. Now that things were business as usual, she was going to resume her counselling duties, but she was delighted at the way Shinta and Adrian had handled things in her absence - this would definitely go in their crew evaluations. Karyn was especially pleased at how well things were going between Shinta and Bruce Maxwell. Karyn had the computer arrange for a meeting between the two as soon as it was convenient.
Her door chimed. It was Alexa with latest news on the situation with Ryak Sullax and his son. The shuttle carrying Ryak and FNN senior reporter Brian Whey had not yet returned, so Karyn had decided to bring herself up to speed, without the benefit of the FNN version of events.
"You wouldn't believe the rubbish they're broadcasting. And to think we actually have members of FNN here," said Alexa with disgust, giving Karyn the information she asked for. "Here you go, Chief. There's not much there, but your BP would go through the roof if you saw the grozit the Romulans are pumping, and I didn't see it as a good thing seeing as how we just got you back."
"Thanks for running interference Alex. How are the reporters?"
"Don't ask. Brian has been searching all over for you. At least with 'Dr. Hitler' you were able to escape that aggravation."
Karyn nodded, not wanting to share just how much she hated Brian Whey. "Every cloud...have you heard from Michael? I was supposed to meet him for dinner but 'Dr. Hitler' kept me late.
Alexa nodded. "I saw him leave a message for you, he said something about an unexpected Away Team mission. As a matter of fact, I think..." Alexa activated Karyn's comm terminal, which was blinking indicating an unseen message. Karyn looked sheepishly at Alexa who smiled. "I can't believe I didn't see it."
Alexa replied, "I think I'll leave you two alone now." Alexa gracefully backed out of Karyn's office.
Meanwhile, Karyn had turned her attention to Michael's message. His smiling face appeared on her terminal, reminding Karyn just how much she missed spending time with him.
"Hi love, just wanted to let you know I'll have to cancel our dinner plans tonight. Dr. Gakor wants me to go on an Away mission to Grainus VI, we're getting some wierd gravity readings and it looks like we're going to have to decontaminate the water manually. I'm so sorry about this. I was really looking forward to seeing you tonight. Dr. Gakor assures me that after you 'wow' Starfleet Medical with your incredible nursing skills, they'll be plenty of time to celebrate. I for one am looking forward to some personal TLC when this is over...I'm tired of sharing you. Gotta go now hon, love you. See you soon. Oh by the way, I got some things for you...I wanted you to be in the right mood for our first holiday together. I think Samara is warming up to the idea. Miss you."
The screen went blank, and for a moment Karyn was sorry she had missed him. She grew wistful. Soon they could spend time together, just the two of them.
She was brought out of her reverie by the shout of alarm from Alexa. "You can't go in there! This is a restricted area, don't make me call Security."
Karyn emerged from her office. "What in the world?!?..."
Then she saw him. Brian Whey was trying to force his way past Alexa, to no avail. Upon seeing Karyn, Brian shouted, "Karyn! I've been looking all over for you!"
"I'm sorry I can't say the same. Alexa, notify Security. We have an intruder in our midst."
"No wait! I have important information. Please Karyn, can't we let bygones be bygones?" Alexa raised an eyebrow at this. Did Karyn know Brian from somewhere else?
She sighed. "Belay that Alex. If Mr. Whey isn't out of my office in five, send in Security." She nodded. Brian followed Karyn into the office. When the doors closed Karyn said, "You have five minutes to tell me what the hell you want."
"First of all, I am not public enemy number one and second of all, where the hell have you been?"
Karyn laughed bitterly. "That's none of your damn business. How dare you say you're not my enemy after what you did to me!?! You have four minutes.
"Just thought you'd like to know, Lizzie, that your Mr. Sullax is wacko...that he looked mad enough to kill when were on that shuttle and he was dumb enough to threaten to run if Price didn't give him a shuttle. I think he's going to run for it."
Karyn noticed the use of her nickname. Only Alan called her that. It was Brian's way of twisting the knife. She wasn't going to argue with him.
"Has stopped negotiating. Their plan is to wait until things cool down. Which should be in about two years from now." said Brian smugly.
"Dammit. I gotta get to the Bridge."
"Not so fast," countered Brian, "I want an exclusive with you. You know this crew like the back of your hand. I want an interview."
"I can't give confidential stuff and you know it."
"That's not what I'm asking for. I was promised full cooperation."
"Not by me." snapped Karyn.
Brian clucked his tongue. "Am I really the monster you think I am?"
Karyn's eyes narrowed. "You preyed on every move I made at the Academy. Every success, every failure. I couldn't get away from you. My personal crises headlined! And when Alan..."
"Cheated." supplied Brian.
"You had to rub it in. My god, the damn fight we had the night before was reported word for word!"
"You were Starfleet's media darling, one of the first disabled students to attend SFA. You were news. The public had a right to know...all I did was give them the information."
"You son of a bitch," hissed Karyn, "I don't owe you a damn thing."
"I could always tell the SFM rep. here what you two were drinking that night. I imagine the fact that a future nurse and Starfleet Counselor with a previous alcohol addiction won't look too wonderful."
"That was a long time ago. It..."
"Becomes news if you don't cooperate."
Karyn pushed her way past him, "accidentally" running over his toes. Watching the pain on his face actually satisfied her. "So sorry, gotta go now."
Brian could barely grunt out, "We'll be in touch."
*** Karyn moved out on to the Bridge and was about to see the Captain when she realized they were receiving a transmission from the planet.
["Captain Price, this is Doctor Gakor."]
["Hello 'mate. Sensors report the gravity emissions from the planet have ceased. But it also appears you have had a landslide."]
["That is true Sir. Saving the Jagor was a costly process. Lt McDowell was swallowed by some type of final gravity wave released just before the Jagor's engines were repaired. I am officially listing him as missing in the line of duty, presumed dead. Please append a comendation to his service record. Without his engineering skills to mend the broken Romulan engine core, the gravity waves would have insured the water contamination was irreversible. His sacrfice made sure the colonists have a safe source of water for years to come. Also, more of the mountain collapsed due to the last graviton pulse, burying the shuttle Achilles. From an overhead view, I personally saw that salvage will not be possible."]
Karyn could believe what she had just heard. The rest of the conversation fell on deaf ears as Karyn watched the Bridge begin to spin. From a distance, she heard someone whisper, "Oh my God," but it hadn't registered that the voice was hers. Deiran heard her and turned to see the pained expression on her face. He started to move toward her, but she held her hand up to keep him from moving any closer.
"Karyn? Are you ok?"
Karyn didn't hear him. Her mind was miles away. Hadn't they just been planning a vacation? She couldn't get the words 'presumed dead' out of her head. She felt sick and weak. She could barely breathe. "I...I can't be...here. I have..." Her vision blurred with hot tears and she raced into the turbolift before a sob could escape.
She cried for a full ten minutes before she was able to give the computer a direction. By the time she emerged from the turbolift, she was chilled and numb. When she entered her quarters, it was like moving through a dream. Her head felt a thousand pounds heavier. As she entered her quarters, she could see a vase on the table. Michael had left her a bouquet of Betazed roses, her favorite flowers. She couldn't bring herself to look at the card. Next to the flowers was a pale pink silk nightgown. She clutched it in her hands and brought it up to her face to wipe the tears rolling down her face. *Gods it even smelled like his cologne.* Was there any hope? Even Endris had seemed resigned to the outcome. "Please add a commendation to his record" hardly seemed optimistic. Karyn was so tired. Her tongue felt like sandpaper.
"I need a drink." she said to no one in particular. She moved over to her desk where in the drawer she kept a bottle of scotch. She really didn't know why she kept it. After everything she'd been through with her father, she detested alcohol. She'd always seen the bottle as temptation itself and as long as she could stare it down, she would be ok.
"I need a drink." muttered Karyn getting out the crystal glass that she kept as a'collector's item.'
The sound of the liquid pouring into the glass was the only thing that could be heard in her quarters. She stared at the liquid for a moment, anticipating the burning sensation she would feel as it traveled down her throat.
As she stared at the glass, the full reality hit her about what she was going to do.
She didn't hear the glass shatter as it hit the ground.
=/\= "Dallas to Suder." =/\=
She prayed that he was going to be there. She needed to be near someone right now. Someone who knew how she was feeling. Ethan was Michael's best friend. He had to know how this felt. She had to get out of that room NOW. She couldn't trust herself to dispose of the scotch. She just couldn't stay there.
=/\= "Suder here. Karyn, are you all right?" =/\=
=/\= "No, Ethan, I'm not. I'm afraid to be alone right now, can I meet you in Ten-Forward?" Her voice was shaking and she was on the verge of tears.
Sensing the urgency in her voice, and after just hearing the news about Michael, he knew something was wrong with Karyn. =/\= "I'll be there in five minutes." =/\=
Without saying goodbye, Karyn closed the channel. She was then able to barely get out the words to Alexa, who agreed to cancel her appointments for the rest of the day. After assuring Alexa she wasn't going to be alone, Karyn said she would see her tomorrow morning during her shift, whether they knew anything or not.
Karyn threw cold water on her face and left her quarters to meet Ethan in Ten-Forward.