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Old March 4 2012, 11:46 PM   #23
MasterArminas
Commander
 
Re: Star Trek: Republic

Chapter Fourteen

Commander Shrak, report to the Captain’s ready room. Commander Shrak, report to the Captain’s ready room.

Chan looked up at the sudden announcement over the ship’s speakers and he saved the mountain of Star Fleet paperwork he was slowly grinding through. The cover story that Command had devised was playing havoc with getting torpedo reloads onboard—since all he could put in the requisition blanks that demanded to know why the torpedoes had been expended was LOST DUE TO DAMAGE FROM ION STORM. Three times, the requisition had been sent back, electronically stamped DENIED.

The last requisition came with a curt note all but accusing the Andorian of smuggling torpedoes away to be sold on the black market! And said in no uncertain terms, that there was no reason an ion storm warranted the expenditure of nearly three dozen Mk. 60s.

Chan walked through the bridge, and he took in the quiet efficiency of the crew with a nod of satisfaction. They had come together, and while there were still rough edges among them, they were acting and conducting themselves like real Star Fleet officers and crew should. He continued through the port-side door and into the short corridor that led to Turbolift 2 and the door to Captain Dahlgren’s ready room.

He stopped before the door, standing straight and pulling his uniform to wipe away any creases before he pressed the stud.

“Come,” the intercom broadcast.

Chan walked into the ready room—the day cabin that served Captain Dahlgren as his office. It was twice the size of his own Executive Office, and included not only a desk and two guest chairs, but a comfortable couch, several shelves covered with books and items the Captain had collected over the years, and three transparent aluminum portals through which the executive officer could see the frantic EVA activity of McKinley Station.

“You wanted to see me, Captain Dahlgren?” Chan asked.

“I will presume that you are well aware that our surgeon drugged me, since no one came to wake me for my shift—the shift that you covered.”

“I was.”

“And you approve?”

“Begging your pardon, Captain Dahlgren, Sir, but you needed the rest. The ship is getting ready for space, the crew are working hard—but none of that means jack if you are not as ready as she is when the time comes to slip away from our berth.”

Matt grunted, and then gestured to one of the seats. He began to open his mouth, but then the doors hissed open and Yeoman Sinclair walked in with a covered serving tray, which she carried across to the desk.

Matt sat back and frowned as the middle-aged woman set down the tray, a napkin, and a set of silver utensils, and then she whisked the cover off to reveal a china plate covered with hash-brown potatoes, scrambled eggs, strips of crisp bacon, sausage links, and two slices of hot buttered toast with a small open jar of red plum jam.

“Nancy, I don’t have time for breakfast . . .” Matt began before the yeoman interrupted him.

“Make time, Sir. Chef Watanabe will be rather upset that his real—not replicated—meal has gone uneaten, Sir. Would the Captain prefer juice or milk, this morning?”

Matt smiled, and his stomach rumbled as he inhaled the rich steam rising from the plate. “Milk, and . . .”

“Milk, 500ml, chilled,” the yeoman instructed, taking the glass that suddenly materialized into the replicator. “Iced tea, southern style, sweetened, no citrus, 750ml.” Taking the second glass as well, Nancy Sinclair placed both on the right side of the platter.

“Will the Captain be needing anything else this morning?” she asked.

“No,” Matt said as he placed the napkin in his lap. “That will be all, Nancy.”

“Aye, aye, Sir; I’ll be back for the plate in half an hour. And I will check the replicator disposal log to see if you actually ate it, Sir.”

Where upon she turned on her heel and exited the ready room.

“The entire bloody crew wants to treat me with kid gloves, Chan,” Matt mumbled as he scooped up a forkful of eggs and potatoes and took a bite. He patted his lips with a second napkin.

“Repair status?”

“On schedule,” the Andorian answered with his antennae twitching. "Commander Malik believes that the last hull plate will in place and molecularly welded by 1200 hours, after which we can repressurize the compartments opened in the breach. Our new industrial replicator has been installed in Holodeck 2, and should be operational within the next twenty-four hours.”

“Holodeck 2?”

“The power supply there meets the needs of the unit better than the cargo bay. Or so Lieutenant Vasa assures me.”

“No great loss; have you . . .”

“Captain, please. All scheduled activities have been moved to Holodeck 1 and rotation assignments have been posted. I’ve also scheduled a close-quarters combat drill for security at 1900 hours tomorrow.”

Matt sprinkled some pepper across the steaming eggs, and then he began to mix them into his potatoes. “Let’s plan on a fire drill for tomorrow afternoon—we’ve got a lot of new people onboard and some exposed conduits and circuits. Get a feel at least for how they respond.”

“I’ll schedule it, Captain Dahlgren,” he said as Matt lifted a strip of bacon and bit off a piece.

“There is the slight matter of our torpedo reloads, however.”

“Oh?”

McKinley’s ordnance section doesn’t seem to want to believe that we expended thirty-four torpedoes in an ion storm. He denied our request for reloads.”

“I’ll speak with Commodore Sampson—I have a video conference with him in forty minutes anyway. But we’ll get those torps, Chan.”

“Indeed, Captain Dahlgren. I was quite ready to send Senior Chief Callaghan and some torpedomen over to obtain them.”

“Chan,” Matt said as he shook his head with a grin. “That is not how Star Fleet officers are supposed to operate. I’ll speak with Sampson—and Sampson will deal with that dunderhead. But have our torpedo crew stand by to check the reloads before they go into the magazines—he might try to pawn off damaged goods on us.”

“Of course—and if he does?”

“If he does, then inform the Senior Chief and grant him forty-five minutes of station leave,” Matt answered with a humorless smile as he lifted one of the sausage links. “Anything else I need to know from my hibernation?”

“No, sir.”

“Alright, Chan. We’ve got four hours to finish as much as we can, and then we are out of here. So crack the whip.”

“Aye, aye, Sir,” Chan answered as he rose, Matt spreading jam across one of the slices of toast as he turned to leave.

“And Chan?”

“Yes, Captain?”

“Thanks for keeping things running smooth in my absence.”

The antennae twitched again. “Indeed. I didn’t even need to threaten a flogging—you’ve scared the crew into jumping to obey my instructions. You pink-skin tyrant, you.”

Matt chuckled. “Miss Tsien has the conn?”

“Yes, sir, she does.”

“Fine, I’ll be out there after my talk with Commodore Sampson. Let’s get the old girl ready for space, Chan.”

“Ready or not, we will leave the station on schedule—you have my word, Sir.”

“Of that, Commander Shrak, I have not the least doubt.”

Chan half bowed as Matt took a deep sip of the cold milk and then another hefty bite of potatoes and eggs. And then the doors slid closed behind him.

************************************************** ********

Chan stepped out of the turbolift onto Deck 8 and he briskly strode down two corridors before the reaching the Logistics and Supply Office. He walked into the small and cramped compartment and then stopped in his tracks. Rather than the utilitarian décor he had expected, the LSO had dimmed lights, the bulkheads adorned in Tellarite tapestries, with carved vases adorning wooden cabinets. He could hear the gruff snoring and grunting from deep within the chest of Pok Khar’tess, the Lieutenant in charge of this vital department.

The Tellarite sat in his chair, his feet propped up on the desk, and the chair leaning back against the corner, braced by two bulkheads. Asleep. He was asleep.

The two ratings working at their consoles snapped to their feet as the Andorian had stormed in, but Pok still slept.

“Lieutenant,” Chan said. “LIEUTENANT!” he bellowed a second time. Causing the Logistics officer’s eyes to snap open and forcing him to flail to his arms to regain his balance, before sitting up.

“Ah,” he squinted, taking in his surroundings. “Ah, Commander Shrak. Welcome to Supply? Do you need additional refrigeration units attached to your environmental system controls?”

“Lieutenant Pok, you called me and requested a meeting.”

“Ah. Ah, yes, I did, didn’t I,” the Tellarite chuckled. “It takes a while for the brain to wake up from a deep REM sleep—didn’t they tell you in the Academy that waking a sleeping Tellarite is not a wise thing, Commander?”

“Sleeping on duty on this ship, Lieutenant Pok, is the definition not a wise thing.”

“On duty, off duty, someone always needs something from Supply, Commander. I all but live in my office these days—haven’t eaten a full meal in days, just snacks. I shall waste away before long!” he chuckled as he slapped his round belly.

“But now I remember why I asked you to pay us a visit. Come, come!” Pok said as he walked out of the office—and then stopped, looking back through the door at the ratings. “And those requisitions had best be complete when I return or I’ll have you doing calisthenics with Beck’s Marines!”

The Tellarite waddled down the corridor to Cargo Bay Three, where he entered a complex code into the door access, and it whistled open. “Here we are, Commander!” he said as he entered, waving a hand over the cavernous hall filled with crates full of supplies and spare parts.

“What am I supposed to the looking for, Lieutenant?” the Andorian asked, his antennae retracted and his face tight.

The Tellarite threw up both hands and shook his head, walked over to the stack of machinery covered with a tarp and ripped away the concealing cover. To unveil photon torpedo casings stacked upon two pallets.

“Voila!’

Chan froze. He stared at the photon torpedoes, and then he turned his gaze on the Tellarite and then he went back to staring at the torpedoes. “How did . . .”

“You don’t want to know, Commander. Really. But trust me, Endeavor doesn’t even know they are missing from her magazines. I did leave an . . . anonymous note so that they could replace them before that ship leaves dry-dock. It’s on a timer in their main computer—to be opened after we are well away from Sol,” he finished with a wheezing chuckle. “I know Lt. Commander Adrian of the station—we were in the same class at the Academy. He won’t give you the torpedoes Republic needs—not without a direct order from Star Fleet Command! Hah! There are many ways to skin the vort, though!”

The Tellarite squinted again at the executive officer. “Unless you want me to give them back?”

“No. No, Lieutenant Pok, I think we’ll go ahead and keep them,” Chan slowly said as he tapped his comm badge. “Commander Shrak to Torpedo Control—we’ve received a shipment of Mk. 60s in Cargo Three. Set a work crew down to inspect them before storing them in the magazines.”

Aye, aye, sir,” came the quick answer.

“And Pok?”

“Ah, yes, Sir?”

“I think you and I are going to have a little talk about what else you’ve managed to acquire off the books.”

Pok’s face fell and he began to wave his furry hands, stuttering at the back of the Andorian who was walking out of the cargo bay.

“A discussion and perhaps even a full audit,” Shrak’s voice trailed off and the Tellarite quickly waddled after him.

"A full audit?!?" the Tellarite wailed, wringing his hands.

Chan stopped and turned around. "Which will only be necessary if you are not completely truthful with me, Mister Pok. Now, what else have you managed to acquire?"

"A few odds, a few ends," sputtered the Tellarite. "I have a manifest in my office, of course."

Five minutes later, Shrak's eyes grew wide as he stared at the monitor screen. "Pok, you didn't . . . ?"

The Tellarite beam a smile. "I learned in the Cauldron, Commander, there is no such thing as too much firepower when fighting a Klingon battle cruiser. McKinley shouldn't miss them for at least a day; by which time we'll be well away from here. Besides, Adrian is a stuffy asshole, even by human standards; I think they call him a prick."

"You do realize our tubes are not rated to handle quantum torpedoes, Mister Pok?"

"Commander, I didn't ste . . .; ah, I mean acquire the entire torpedoes! I only took ten warheads. Surely our engineers can make them fit in a Mk. 60 case; even if we lose a bit of range the bigger bang is worth it. Yes?"

"Oh, yes," mumbled Chan, shaking his head.

Last edited by MasterArminas; March 5 2012 at 05:23 AM.
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