Book One - Chapter Seven
Who needs who and what?
Returning to my office the next morning I was still a little blurry eyed from a troubled sleep.
After the dinner last night with Mr. Og, and company, I had a conference call with my crew to discuss all that was happening.
Like trying to get my personnel to the depot ASAP; I told them I wanted them all here by tomorrow, so we could get a large shuttle or runabout, serviceable and ready, to go to Luna port.
I informed them that I needed them to be prepared to make a certain Klingon freighter serviceable enough to get it into Earth orbit, so we can start loading personnel, and equipment, for the Grayson.
They all let out a howl about the working with Klingons.
A lot of them hated the bastards.
I told them we would all have to cooperate with Commander Hayes, of Luna port, in this matter.
He had assured me that he would make sure the Klingons cooperated with us quietly, or they would all go back to the brig.
I promised the crew that I would see if Commander Hayes could get us additional security to make sure there was no trouble.
I emphasized that he wanted them off his base soonest and he would do what he promised.
Most of the crew was still skeptical.
I told them, “Look people you know this is a shoe string operation. That freighter will save us a lot of grief."
"She can act as a tug and it will be a lot safer than trying to handle all the parts and pieces with shuttle craft."
"She has the mass to do the job”.
“This way we can separate the Grayson’s’ repair section, and use it as home base for our shuttle craft and collection point, while the Grayson main section helps collect the damaged ships”.
They were still grumbling, but nobody quit.
“I told them that the refit was on the Klingons credit sheet, and that I wanted to keep them around a long time paying off their debts”.
“You hear that Mr. Og,” I emphasized?”
“Yes sir, I hear,” was his reply.
“This is an opportunity to make our jobs a little easier people”, I continued.
“It’ll be stinky, but I want us to travel to Utopia Plantia, on Mars, in that heap with as much supplies and people as we can carry.”
“I also don’t want you to worry about the additional help, just leave that to me."
"I’ll have to start some fires around here to get what we need by the time that freighter is ready, and in Earth’s orbit.”
They were all still grumbling but said “Okay”; they also said they would be in by the close of the day tomorrow, and signed off.
Then there was another hour and a half hashing out the details with Mr. Og.
He seemed to be in Og heaven with the idea of billing the Klingons.
I had to make sure he was billing, and not bilking, them. If he made them too angry, they would break his scrawny neck before I could stop them when we met.
I made sure he was to find the current Star Fleet refitting specs for a Monarch class freighter.
He also had to make sure she had adequate food packs, and crew comforts, regardless of species, on his list.
I didn’t know what the Klingons ate, but he would have to do his best with the information that Luna port had on them.
I knew one thing the Klingons never stole food stuffs from their prey.
I then decided that Tea was to assist Og in his supply doings, and Sunbeam was to stay in my office to help me with the logistics coordination here at the depot; that upset everyone concerned, but I needed the help in the office.
Og informed me that he heard that there was a serviceable Type-9B Cargo shuttle available that we could use. It was a recent turn in.
He didn’t know if we would be able to keep it, but we could sign for it temporarily, and use it until the Monarch was up and running.
I told him to get right on it with depot supply, and then send some of our people over as soon as they arrived, to claim it before anyone changed their minds.
I then rejected the proposition of Sunbeams full body massage to relieve my obvious tension.
I escorted them all out of my door, and found a drink.
After I had reported my actions to the Bajoran embassy, and Star Fleet headquarters, my second drink was in my hand when I fell asleep at about three in the morning.
So by seven o’clock when the alarm went off, I awoke and stared at the ceiling wondering when the next hammer would fall.
I didn’t have to wait too long.
I was sitting at my desk alone with my feet up in the air when in came two interstellar beauties.
One was my old acquaintance Be’nen Tash, and with her was a pixie type female with a fairly large head that couldn’t have been over five feet tall.
Compared to Ms. Tash’s six foot plus in heels they made quite a pair.
Ms. Tash was dressed in what looked like a retro costume of a Star Fleet uniform of about fifty years ago.
You know the type with the real short blouse/skirt that showed a lot of leg, which she seemed to have plenty of.
I must have been really ogling her, because the material for her uniform was almost transparent.
Her partner was dressed up in a cute little maid type dress.
Again, in the presence of Ms. Tash I was a little dumb founded.
I am no prude but I felt that somebody just delivered the biggest strawberry short cake I’ve ever seen.
“Welcome ladies, what can I do for you?”
“Won’t you please have a seat and tell me what’s on your mind. If I had known you were coming I would have swept this place up a little better.”
“Would you like some of my coffee, its fresh from the mess hall?”
Ms. Tash, and her companion, both sat down sat down, smiled demurely, like she was preparing for a TV spot, and said;
“I have some orders for you Mr. Thomas, direct from Admiral Broderick. I am sure you have heard of him.”
I asked, “Who the hell is Admiral Broderick? Let me see those orders”.
She handed me the PADD she was holding, making sure I had a perfect view of what she was wearing.
Gee, I felt like a great big sucker, but she was right, she had a Star Fleet order, assigning her to the Grayson as a Yeoman first class!
I was incredulous; “What the hell is going on here I asked?"
"No way would you normally take an assignment like this."
"It has to be some kind of a joke, and who the hell is this Admiral Broderick?”
I didn’t wait for an answer. I shouted to the computer for an online profile of Star Fleet Admiral Mathew J. Broderick.
It didn’t take long for an answer.
Admiral of the Fleet; Mathew J. Broderick was the chief the intelligence branch of Star Fleet Security Services, with about five pages of stats on medals awards, and service positions.
I had to think seriously about this.
I asked Ms. Tash how she was acquainted with the Admiral.
She told me; “Well I did perform a few favors for him as an associate in the Vulcan embassy public relations department. He is just returning a favor to me on this.”
Favors my ass I thought, she is probably up to here eyeballs in espionage and has been compromised somehow. Not my problem.
‘What do we do now with a lady in distress,’ I asked myself?
‘Why we take advantage of it, of course!’
I put on my best smile, and said; “What is it with the young lady here, does she need an assignment too?”
“We were hoping so,” replied Tash, “This is my personnel assistant Stunn Tehk."
"Please Stunn give him your resume.”
Ms. Staunn handed me her PADD with a shy smile. Then something hit me, her smile.
I had seen something similar, like Og’s, a Ferengi smile, it was the teeth.
I took a closer look at Ms. Staunn and noticed the Vulcan type ears, with the fairly large head and guessed, she was a hybrid.
A tiny beautiful blond Vulcan-Ferengi, if it was at all possible.
Ms. Staunns resume was almost the same as Be’nen’s, except most of her education was here on Earth.
Ms. Staunn Tehk had degrees in linguistics, psychology, public relations, plus a degree in medicine.
She was a Doctor!
'What is she doing working as a personal assistant to Be’nen Tash’, I thought?
‘Except as a partner in crime. They were a Vulcan Intel team. Dam me’!
“Well, well, well,” I said. “Am I glad you two showed up, just what I needed; two over qualified pencil pushers?”
“I beg your pardon,” Be’nen asked, “is there something wrong with the orders, I’m sure if you call Admiral Broderick, everything will be made correct to your liking.”
“I’m sure he would Ms. Tash, but I’m not calling him."
"This is my bailiwick Ms. Tash."
"I say who gets hired for the crew, we're not a Star Fleet operation; we are Bajoran. I told you that."
"If you want on my advisory team so bad, it will be on my terms, not Star Fleets’.
“If I accept these orders you would be as a member of Star Fleet, and on your next order you would be working for Admiral Broderick, under his orders."
"I want personnel who are committed to this mission, sorry as it is. Do you understand what I’m saying?”
“Yes Sir. What are you proposing? We are prepared to join your mission, and assist you in any capacity you deem fit, if you please.”
“First of all Ms. Tash I need an administrative assistant, not a Yeoman First class."
"I need an assistant who can speak and interpret, Klingon, Ferengi, Bajoran and maybe Cardassian, without a voice translator, maybe an assistant with diplomatic immunity.”
”If you accept the position, I want you to apply for an Ambassadorial level Administrative Assistant position, on my team, through the Earth Federation Embassy, at San Francisco."
"If you need help with that, get Admiral Broderick to give you a hand, I’m sure he would be very willing to assist you."
"Do you accept those terms?
“Yes Sir,” she replied, “and what about my assistant.”
“Well, Miss Tehk,” I asked; “what position should you fill in this glorious mission?”
Miss Tehk wouldn’t take her eyes off the floor, so I rose out of my chair walked around my desk and leaned against the front.
I then reached down and lifted her chin so I could look into her face and asked her again.
She seemed to be in a slight panic and I had to figure out why.
“Miss Tehk do you really want to go on this mission,” I asked? “You don’t have to if you don’t want to, you know.”
“Yes sir, I want to. I prefer to serve with Ms. Tash, if that is permitted,” she replied.
I dropped my hand from her chin, leaned back and folded my arms and looked straight at her.
“If I take you aboard Miss Tehk, you will work for me, not Ms. Tash; she won’t need a personal assistant, to be my assistant.”
That brought about a good exchange of looks between the two of them.
“You are a Medical Doctor are you not?” I asked.
“Oh, yes sir, you saw my resume.” She replied.
“Are you a licensed practitioner, Miss. Tehk,” I asked?
“No sir, I never went into private practice, I only served Ms. Tash’s needs,” was her answer.
“I see, you know you can be a very valuable asset to me if you feel up to it Miss Tehk."
"It will be as valuable a tasking as Ms. Tash’s. Are you interested; do you feel up to it?”
“Most defiantly sir, anything you and Ms. Tash would like me to do, I can do it.”
I circled my desk and sat down and began my spiel.
“Miss Tehk, I want you to be our ships doctor, or at least the assistant to the doctor that the Bajoran assign to the Grayson.”
“Really sir, but you know I’ve never been in private practice, is that logical?”
“Hear me out Miss Tehk, then you can judge if it’s logical, or not."
"I can’t appoint you an officer of the Grayson, that’s up to the Bajorans. You will have to apply for the position, if and when, you become qualified to do so.”
“What I can do is appoint you as my civilian staff medical technician."
"You will assume all medical duties as assigned by me until you are accepted as a physician by the Bajoran government."
"Are you willing to accept these hiring conditions?”
There was another quick exchange of glances between my two ladies.
Ms. Tash had somehow now lost her whimsical smile, and had a genuine look of concern.
A surprising confident reply from Miss Tehk was, “Yes sir Captain I will do my best.”
“Okay then you will work with Ms. Tash to get you a license to practice; I don’t care where it’s from as long it is acceptable to Star Fleet."
"You will probably have to intern with a Bajoran Doctor.”
“Ms. Tash your first task is to see that Miss Tehk fills out the proper application as a medical technician, grade 5, and enter her on the rolls and see that she is to be properly paid."
"In fact you will have to contact the Bajoran Embassy and find out how we all are to be paid; I’m not even sure myself.”
I sat down at my desk then and looked around the room;
“We will need a bigger office."
"In fact you need to go and check in with base lodging and get your selves into quarters commensurate with your rank."
"That means living separately, Ms. Tash.”
“I have to go now, and check out a Type-9B Cargo shuttle that Mr. Og, who is a Ferengi, if that matters to you Ms. Tehk, was talking about last night."
"I want you both to be prepared to move into it as soon as I acquire it, and can get an authorized ground feed to it."
"We will work out of it there if possible."
"It’s been almost ten years since I’ve been in a ship of my own and I need to get the feel of things again.”
“Miss Tehk once you get settled into your quarters, I want you to report to the base clinic and get their assistance any way you can about getting the things you will need for an updated dispensary for a Grayson class repair tender, and also a Monarch class freighter, that some Klingons own, that is now orbiting the moon."
"The shuttle I mentioned will probably need supplies too."
"Start collecting data chips for all races we will be dealing with, and don’t forget your own personal medical kit."
"Remember you’re the Doctor until we get to Bajor.”
“Ms. Tash I would also like you to see if you can find the last manning chart for the Grayson on line, so we can figure out who will go where and what their proper pay grades should be.”
“Yes Sir, is there anything else, Captain?”
I got up out of my chair, went around the desk to Ms. Tash, took another real good look at her and offered her my hand.
“Just this, Miss Tash;” I said, “Welcome aboard, to the both of you. You couldn’t have come aboard at a better time.”
I was still holding her hand as she rose, and I continued with a grin; “I really like your outfit Ms. Tash, but I don’t need half of the male population of the base following you around in it. It would just slow things down.”
“I suggest that you investigate what they wear at the Star Fleet Ambassadors Office, Something in a pinstripe suit I should imagine.”
"I don’t really want you to throw this thing away. Just keep it, so maybe one day I can see you in it privately.”
“Yes sir, I will change immediately.”
I turned to Miss Tehk to shake her hand too, but she surprised me and gave me a great big hug.
I wondered what that was all about.
Ms. Tash said; “She can be very affectionate at times. Are you ready Staunn?”
“Yes ma’am,” she replied and she seemed to be actually beaming, “I am ready!”
“Excuse me Captain before we leave, would you like to have dinner with us tonight, at say around seven, and we can give you our status report then,” asked Ms. Tash?
I said, “I’d be glad to, Ms. Tash, and if you have any further questions you know where you can find me. Until then, I’ll see you later tonight.”
When they left I went to my desk, and laid my head down on it, and hoped they won’t tell Admiral Broderick what I said about this mission being mine alone.
Any trouble with admirals can get you fired.
I took a short break.
When I woke up later from my cat nap I called Og, and his Dabo crew, and told him I wanted to see the warp shuttle as soon as possible.
I wanted to see if it was in good enough shape to get us to Luna port before the Klingons had a change of mind about their freighter.
He came by in a ground vehicle that he had “signed for”; God bless supply officers.
We then made a quick trip to the base space landing pad, and there she was.
The shuttle had only just arrived and the base maintenance crew was just completing their pre inventory inspection, it was a beauty.
The chief inspector said it was a “cherry” and I believed him.
It was a Type-9B Cargo shuttlecraft in great shape.
The inspector told us that he thought it was only turned because it was an obsolete model for active Fleet courier service, and had been used only by headquarters staff for ferrying around big time admirals, and high ranking politicos.
It was all spit and polish, and I knew if we didn’t snag it right away, it would be sold on the civilian market to be used either as a private yacht, or converted to a Type-9A model for local freight hauling.
I was almost drooling when I looked at the bridge and engineering section.
She still had the Star Fleet headquarters plaque mounted on her entrance hatch.
She was originally a troop transporter that was designed to carry up to forty troops with equipment, but was converted to something like a private yacht.
Along with her three crewman seats, she had two small sleeping areas, a tiny galley, a head, a small sonic shower, two table areas that could double as bunks, and four sleeper seats.
Evidently the previous owner liked to bring along his family, or staff, on his treks.
I told Og to go to Central Supply and get right to work acquiring this craft.
I then wanted him to immediately move into it, and take charge of it, to prevent anyone else putting a claim on it.
Og just gave me his toothy grin and rubbed his hands together like a pack rat with a new bauble.
“I’ll get right on it sir. I knew you’d like it sir, if you weren’t going to acquire her I was thinking of trying to buy her myself."
"I’ll be back sir. Come on girls, we have some work to do.”
He then made a beeline to the hanger office, and then got into his car and sped off.
I told the inspector that I was staying right here at the landing pad until they had to kick me off, if he didn’t mind of course.
The inspector Ralph, just laughed and said, “Dream on Chief. You can make yourself at home here until five o’clock, or when I see a signed requisition, whichever comes first."
"But I warn you Chief, these babies don’t last long around here when they are in this good shape, I don’t care how old she is.”
Ralph then asked me; “You are licensed to fly this thing aren’t you. I heard about you and your mission; and that Mr. Og character has been bugging everybody on the base about one thing or another.”
I told him that if my license didn’t meet the bill then I’m sure there would be at least three others who would fit the bill.
I’d have them all checked out when they arrived here.
While Ralph was standing there, I called Be’nen and asked her to check the validation on all the crew’s licenses, for all the craft we would be using, including the Grayson.
She said she would.
Ralph just laughed, excused himself to complete his inspection, and told me to make myself comfortable, at least until five o’clock.
I used the on board computer to make report calls to the Bajoran embassy, and to Commander Turner, on what I was trying to do with the shuttle.
I explained to them it was a verified surplus turn in, and it was to our advantage of using it to get to Luna port quicker, to assist the Kilingons with getting the Monarch moving.
They both agreed that it was a needed shuttle craft, and the Grayson needed eighteen just to operate as a beacon tender, so go for it.
I told them I was keeping my fingers crossed.
After the calls I read some of the ships logs and maintenance schedules, and took the grand tour.
When I found the VIP quarters I sat down on the cot and thought, how could this old gal be obsolete, it was like a shiny new penny to me.
All the service craft I served in, and those moon shuttle freighters never looked like this. If it wasn’t for the Grayson, I could live in this baby.
‘Yea sure,’ I thought. ‘Like Ralph said, dream on, but I promised myself that I wouldn’t scratch the paint if we owned her’.