Star Fleet Corps of Engineers, Mission to Bajor
By T.M. Flavin
Book One – The Monarch
Chapter Fifteen - Introduction to Klingons and security.
After making “peace” with the Klingons I changed my clothes and went directly to our shuttles to make myself as inconspicuous as possible with the Luna port staff.
Luckily Ron had found my red shirts and purchased the ball cap I wanted. So I went directly in to shuttle number one and changed my clothes, again.
Be’nen and Staunn followed me in. I knew they had issues that they wanted to talk about, but I beat them to it.
“Is everyone present and accounted for, I asked?”
“Yes,” they both replied.
“Are you all packed up and ready? As soon as the Klingons get here I want to be ready to go.”
“Yes we’re all packed, but how do you want us to travel up there with only two shuttles? Are we riding with the Klingons,” asked Be’nen?
“No not necessarily. They have their own shuttle; I will travel in that, along with the security team that Hayes promised us.”
“But that thing is not suppose to be able get off the moon on thrusters, from what we hear. You’ll get yourself killed,” Be’nen stressed.
“I’m going to have our maintenance team look at it first, don’t worry.”
Those were wasted words by the look on both of their faces.
“I want you and Staunn to stay with shuttle number one, and Og and his crew will stay with the other."
"We won’t be leaving until our mechanics say it’s alright."
"I love you both and I promise I won’t let anything happen to me, okay?”
I went to give them both a hug and kiss.
Be’nen was cold and stiff, Staunn latched on to me like I was leaving forever. I kissed Staunn on her forehead and looked back at Be’nen.”
“Be’nen,” I said, “quit scaring the children.”
I saw Be’nen struggle, but I exited be for she decided to slap me.
Out on the landing pad the Klingons were starting to gather.
As I passed shuttle number two I told the crew to stand by the shuttles. If I needed them I would call.
I walked over to Kahlest and greeted them, only Kahlest had a translator so they were all silent until he told them all to say “hello”. Then it was one big chorus.
He then explained to me that his shuttle was on its way.
The shuttle when it arrived, through the atmospheric barrier, at the module, flew in an erratic behavior.
It was acting like the pilot was on the verge of losing control. It seemed to wobble all over the place. In fact it acted as if couldn’t hover at all.
It circled the module and then skidded in for a landing like an aircraft, landing on its engine nacelles, and screeching to a stop near us, close enough to make me shiver.
‘Oh brother’, I thought.
Commander Hayes said it was a lash-up, but that didn’t do it justice.
It was the oddest thing I had ever seen.
It looked like a big fat beetle with a horn sticking out of its’ head.
It was about the same length as a Type 9-B shuttle, about ten and a half meters long.
It was about the same height, but it looked like a flying tank.
Even the three crewmen that came out of the back hatch seemed to wobble around.
I think they did all they could not to kiss the ground after they landed.
Captain Kahlest had a big grin on his face and asked me, “What do you think of it. We made it ourselves.”
“I can see,” I replied.
He then proceeded to show me around, pointing out that the main part of the shuttle was a salvaged nose section from a older type Berel Class Bird of Prey.
They had cut away the lower torpedo launch section, up to the bridge armor plating.
On the top bulkhead they had gouged out a section to mount a wing mount phaser cannon.
It didn’t make it any higher, but it must have been a lot of duct work and wiring rerouting to fit it in there properly.
At where the bridge neck was supposed to be, there was a federation style docking and access hatch, maybe from an old Model 12-B shuttle, or a travel pod.
The engine nacelles were from a shuttle the same size as on our 9-Bs, type unknown.
You could see a lot of plasticizer was used instead of bulkhead replacement materials, yep, definitely glued together.
Kahlest asked me if I wanted to take a short trip around in it.
“It was perfectly safe,” he said.
I told him not right now, but if he didn’t mind I would like one of my mechanics take a look at it.
He kind of grumped a little bit but said; “Sure look all you like.”
Without further a due, I want back to my own shuttle.
The first thing I did was, asking Be’nen to contact Captain Smith and ask him where those security people were, and tell him to get some big ones.
He should make sure they are authorized to perform routine security, and customs inspections, on all ships leaving Luna port.”
I then called for Pete, and Don, and told them that the Klingon shuttle had Federation parts on it, and I wanted one of our engineer mechanics to give it an inspection.
“I don’t trust its flying abilities just yet, and I think it’s only set up for thrusters. Like it was only used for ship to ship hops, at short distances in space; like for a raiders boarding shuttle.”
“Notice the docking hatch at its rear; I’m sure it’s Federation equipment. Real convenient for a pirate wouldn’t you say?”
After a few choice cuss words, Don called out for Dwayne Barkley.
“Dwayne get your tool kit together and take a look at that Klingon rhinoceros over there would you.”
“Make sure you have a diagnostic computer with you. I have a feeling an engineering tricorder is not going to be enough."
"Ask a couple of the other guys to give you a hand.”
I waited for Dwayne to get his gear ready and to give him my opinion of what that “rhino’s” gear consisted of.
Dwayne was an old timer like me, and one of the few people you would see that still had to wear eye glasses.
We walked together over to the shuttle and made an inspection tour around the outside, both of us pointing out things of interest. Then we went inside.
The place was a mess it had the twelve seats of a command bridge section, but that was about all that looked functional in it.
There were loose wires all over the place. None of the station monitors were working and they had mounted a joy stick at the pilots’ station. The thing stunk of Klingon too.
“Do you think we can save her, Dwayne,” I asked?
“Well let’s see what our tri-corder says, Commodore.” I could see he was really getting in to the act.
He also brought in the diagnostic computer, plugged his tri-corder into it and then hooked on a tri-corder probe.
We then looked around for any and all outlets to stick the probe into.
The inspection included a few "hems", "oh oh"s and "let’s see here"s; at about a half dozen or more sites.
Then it was followed by crawling around under the ops station panels, and after looking into ceiling and floor hatches; we finally finished with the interior.
We then we lugged everything out doors.
Dwayne crawled underneath looking for access panels, especially around the engine nacelles.
That took a few "gotchas", "that’s good" and even a "that’s lucky". Finally it was; “I guess that’s it Commodore.”
“What’s your verdict Dwayne?”
“Well sir, do you want the good news or the bad news first.” He replied.
I said,” let’s start out with the bad news first, Dwayne”
“Well sir, as far as I can see she has at least three different circuits controlling her; all independent of each other, none of them integrated worth beans.”
“She is definitely set up as a shuttle pod with thrusters only.”
“That joy stick is the only navigation control that I can find that is active; all the other stuff is just not hooked up.”
“That cannon has its own battery and trigger mechanisms. In fact the whole shuttle is powered on battery energizers only."
"They must recharge them off the main power supply from the mother ship when docked, there’s not a generator on it at all.”
“No generator at all, how do you explain that, I asked?”
“Well boss as you know most shuttles are set up for either impulse or warp drive. So the different engines would be the main generators. Not on this one.”
“These nacelles came of a shuttle like our 9-B s over there."
"They have a combination drive and you can’t separate the different drive systems. I think when they tried to hook it up, it just didn’t work out.”
“I do think they tried to get the impulse system working, but there must have been some damage to the drive, plus they didn’t have the dilithium to make the warp section work. So they left it off and just used thrusters.”
“I imagine for what they wanted to use it for, that’s all they needed, until they had to land here on the moon."
"If they tried to land on the Earth with this rig, it would have made a great big splat.”
“I agree,” I remarked, “now what’s the good news.”
“She can fly! Those engine nacelles may not be at one hundred percent, but if we get power to them she’ll fly under impulse."
"With some jumper cables, and one of our shuttles’ power packs hooked up to her, I’m sure those engines will work.”
“Give me a couple of months to work on her to get all the circuitry integrated; I’ll have her flying, like a ruptured duck.
“Jeez Dwayne I don’t have a couple of months can you rig her to get her up to the Monarch today?”
“That’s a tall order Ch..Commodore. Let me talk it over with Pete and Don."
"I’m pretty sure we can get her to fly, but you will need a skilled pilot to get her to land on the Monarch.”
“What do you mean a skilled pilot we have a lot of shuttle pilots here, what’s the problem?”
“Well sir, she going to fly like a fighter; like one of those Earth Defense fighters, the one’s that need a runway."
"This thing has no hovering capacity as yet. I think the Klingons know it too, the way they brought it in here.”
“I see; what if we had a kill switch installed for the impulse engines, and just reverted to thrusters to land her?”
“Yea, that would work; I can get right on if you want Mike, Commodore; Sir.”
“Sure get started on it; I’ll get Kahlest to give you some help. They have to start cooperating some time.”
We both walked over to Kahlest and I explained what our inspection found and wanted his permission to start a few modifications and repairs on his shuttle.
I also wanted one of his crew to assist Dwayne, so the pilot operator would know what was being done.
I recommended that it be someone who would be assigned to operate it on a steady basis; and not have it conflict with his Monarch operations officer’s duties.
Kahlest looked over at his crew and then called out for “Kadra”, to come over and talk to us.
Kadra, who was sitting by herself, was a good looking female by any humanoid standards.
She got up, leisurely walked over and postured herself in front of Kahlest.
The conversation was off the translator so I didn’t quite understand what they were talking about, but she sure didn’t seem enthused.
She had her arms folded and called over her shoulder to ‘PagHal Hon’Tihl’, the Interrogation Officer, who was at our initial meeting.
What followed was a long discussion, more like an argument, with much gesturing and shouting on Hoh’Tihl’s side, and a lot of whining and pouting on her end.
In the meantime Kahlest told me her name was Kadra Unagroth, Hon’Tihl’s intended, and not part part of his immediate family.
“She is useless,” Kahlest scoffed, “I don’t know what he sees in her; but she can operate a shuttle.”
It was obvious to Dwayne what Hon’Tihl saw in Kadra. He was all smiles when he saw his new helper.
“Alright Dwayne”, I finally announced, “this is your shuttle operator you will be working with, so go over to Ogs' shuttle and get yourself a translator, and get Miss Unagaroth a comm. badge.”
“Also pass the word to Mr. Comet to pass out those comm. badges to the Klingons, and to let them know that they are tuned to our frequencies.”
“Inform Pete and Don of what you are doing, then head over to the hanger shop and get what you need.”
“If you need additional help, let Captain Kahlest know what you need, I’m sure he will gladly get someone to help.”
“Is that okay with you Captain,” I asked Kahlest?
“Um, sure Commodore, anything that we can assist you with, we will do.”
While we were talking the security team showed up. Nine people showed up, our mission must rate.
“I am Sergeant Clemmons reporting for embarkation inspection of your outgoing fleet, sir.”
“Captain Smith also said you were looking for recruits’ sir. That’s Officer Fleming, Officer Carney and Officer Flanagan, over there waiting to talk to you, sir.”
“Where would you like us to start, sir?” he asked.
“Start with our two shuttles first, then do Captain Kahlest’s rhino over there, and I hope you are prepared to embark with us; or do you have your own shuttle to take you to the Monarch freighter, we leased??
“After we inspect these shuttles we will draw our own department shuttle, sir."
"We would like to be the second shuttle to board the freighter, sir, if that’s convenient?”
“I have no problem Sergeant, do you Captain?”
“Err, no sir whatever you say, Commodore.” Kahlest looked a little perplexed.
I don’t know if it was that he wasn’t prepared to be deferred to on decisions, or there was something on the ship that would cause us some trouble.
Sergeant Clemmons went about his business, and Kahlest and I went over to meet our new security “recruits”.
Officer Fleming was about my height, but thicker.
Officer Carney looked like his pet monkey; I don’t think he was over five foot six with his shoes on.
He had the face and hands like a prize fighter and his two front teeth were missing.
Officer Flanagan was a stocky woman with huge breast, a pleasant smiling face and red hair that looked like she went to the same hair dresser as Nichelle Bushong.
“Greetings, Officer Flaming, Officer Carney,” spoke up Kahlest, with a big grin on his face. “Is there any trouble Officers?”
“Not yet Kluge, you ready to start some again,” answered Officer Fleming?
“No, No officers, I just wanted to say hello and tell you we are all now changed men. We are traders in commerce no less.”
“Well we aren’t in the market for any stock today Kluge, Thanks anyway."
"We heard you were on a pleasure cruise and we figure we would just tag along for the ride, if that’s all right with the Commodore here.”
“In that case I will leave you in his good hands, I will see you later.” The emphasis was on the will, from Kahlest.
“I gather you know each other,” I noted. “By the way his real name is Kahlest.”
“Kahlest! Yes sir, we’ve tangle a few times, haven't we Carney.”
“Yea the bloody batherds,” Carney replied. His missing teeth didn’t help is diction either.
“I had to get a few released from the brig, was it for fighting?” I queried.
“No sir, fighting with them is just our exercise,” spoke up Officer Fleming, “the cheap bustards wouldn’t pay their bar tab, or their meal tab, or their quarters cost, you name it.”
“If they didn’t like what they were being charged they would start swinging."
"It usually took two or three of us to get then under control enough, so Janie here could stun ‘em.”
“Yea the bloody batherds, if you fights one, you end up fighting’ them all, the bloody batherds,” interjected Carney.
I looked to Jane Flanagan, “I suppose you didn’t have to trade blows with any of them.”
“Oh no sir, I just tagged along to see that the Klingons weren’t hurt."
"When I saw these two starting to wheeze or their tongues hanging out, I figured it was time to quit their exercising, so I stunned them."
'You know over exercising will cramp up your muscles.”
“You’re only supposed to stun the bloody Klingons not us too, ya bloody cork,” mumbled Carney.
“I only did that one time,” she replied, “and it was payback for you stunning me.”
“You mean your own partners stunned you,” I asked?
“Yes sir, these two Galahads won’t arrest an unruly female so I have to do it for them, and those Klingon women are almost as bad as the men.”
“If the men are in a donnybrook they join right in, so I get stuck wrestling with the women, and dummy here (she pointed to Carney) zaps me instead of the Klingon."
"I was out for about fifteen minutes.”
“Well you bloody cork; I told you not to wrestling on the floor like it was a bloody love fest,” Piped Carney, “I told you it was a mistake. Tell her Flem.”
“You must excuse my partners here sir, their sort of engaged,” quipped Officer Fleming.
“We are not,” they both shouted. That parlayed another argument between the two “Lovers”.
“You see sir, this is what happens when you’re stuck in an escape pod for four days."
"We were Fleet Marines on the Paragon when she got destroyed during the return to DS-9.”
“I didn’t know any of those ships carried Marines.”
“Well you know they were hurting for crews, at that time, especially for the Centaur class vessels.”
“Almost half of the crew on the Paragon was marine volunteers like us. I was a cannon crewman, Barker was an armorer, and Janie was in communications."
"I first met them both when I dragged them to the escape pod when we had to abandon ship."
"We were lucky to get out alive.”
“Yeah, and that pod is only supposed to be for two people, not three. You should have thrown the little pervert out,” remarked Jane.
“Cripes all mighty Danny, why didn’t you pick a gal with less T&A, at least we could have played cards."
"We didn’t have enough room to shuffle a deck with her with us.”
“As you can see Sir, we’re a team,” remarked Officer Fleming.
“Okay my friends, do you see that lady with the blue suit on by that shuttle?” I pointed out Be’nen.
“Report to her and stand by, I have to get back to that Klingon shuttle, and see what is going on.”
I went over to check on Dwayne, and his Klingon pilot, to check on their progress.
“Commodore, when I plugged in that power pack the whole bridge lit up like a Christmas tree,” announced Dwayne.
“Kadra helped me out an awful lot, she’s real smart.”
Kadra kind of smirked and said through her translator, “He thinks I’m smart because I can read and understand Klingon.”
She was shaking her head, while Dwayne just kept grinning at her.
“Commodore, I would like your permission to download some federation specs, so I can get these Klingon computers to work more efficient with the engine nacelles,” asked Dwayne?
“I don’t think we can do that Dwayne. I’m sure it’s a violation of Star Fleet regulations to furnish federation technology to vessels other than the fleet."
"Let me call Mr. Comet over here to take look at what you have done, and see what he can do.”
I called over Larry on my comm. badge and asked him to bring his computer gear over and see if he could work out some of the bugs in the Klingons’ shuttle computer system.
Most people have a pers-comp about the size of an old style book.
Larry’s was the size of a good sized suitcase.
It was almost as big as the shuttle power pack that Dwayne had installed.
Larry plugged in his console into the power pack, then took out a standard looking engineer tri-corder, with probe, and asked Dwayne to re-probe all the sites that he tested in the command section.
After Dwayne hit all the sites Larry hooked up a jumper cable to the navigation console and started working through his display.
Larry then ordered, “Computer, download Mary Jane.”
‘Download complete.’ Exclaimed the computer’s voice.
“Computer this is Lawrence Morris Comet, identification number 17A29BZ, recognize voice print for maintenance and servicing instructions.”
‘Lawrence Morris Comet, identification number 17A29BZ, is recognized for maintenance and servicing instructions, you are cleared for processing.’
“Computer: main frame A-Z is off line, establish backup at Nav 1, Klingon.”
‘Insufficient space, information requires one quad GGB.’ The computer answered.
“Computer: transfer one quad GGB navigation schematics for other than Sol System into Comet Drive A.”
‘Working; download complete.’
“Computer: main frame A-Z is off line, establish backup at Nav1, Klingon.”
‘Backup parameters set, awaiting input.’
“Computer: recognize Eng 1, Klingon.”
‘Eng1, Klingon recognized.’
“Computer: recognize Com 1, Klingon.”
‘Com 1, Klingon recognized.’
“Computer: recognize Cmd 1, Klingon.”
‘Cmd 1, Klingon recognized.’
“Computer: recognize Env1, Klingon.”
‘Env1, Klingon recognized.’
“Computer: recognize all Def & Wep, Klingon.”
“Def, Klingon recognized; Wep, not on line.”
“Mike, you’ll have to hook up the weapons system later. For now let’s see if we can get those engines nacelle recognized.”
“Computer run Eng1, Klingon, diagnostics. Display and display errors on Comet1”
Larry’s console started displaying all the circuitry that the computer had access to.
When a connection error was displayed, Dwayne hurried over with a tester, and jumpers, to make all pertinent corrections.
Most of the error messages were of minor problems that could be corrected and finalized later.
The biggest error that couldn’t be corrected was getting the Nacelles to work at hover through the Klingon navigation console.
The nacelles would need more extensive repairs on the ship or in a space dock.
The operator would still have to cut the engines and land the shuttle with thrusters only. Other than that she was ready to fly.
Larry then asked the computer to download a language recognition program and then asked that it recognize all Klingon voice recognition protocol programs, Earth standard, and Bajoran.
He then asked Kahlest to follow up with himself, and his shuttle crew, with their personal IDs, to voice print on to the shuttles computer data base.
Kahlest’s only comment about the reprogramming was about having a female computer voice, he didn’t like it.
Larry told him why he downloaded the female voice parameters to it was because his designated shuttle pilot was female, they should get along a lot better.
Besides that most Star Fleet vessels used the same voice programming, so communications and idioms would conform better.
Kahlest was still dubious, but he accepted it.
“I’m done for now here Mike, do you want to help me with this stuff I have here?”
“Sure Larry,” I replied, “but first I want you Captain, to get the shuttle ready for embarkation.”
“We also need the get the customs people in here to do their inspection.”
“When they are done, I recommend that you take Mr. Barkley and only the people you need to restart the Monarch’s systems”.
“You can bring up the rest of your crew later if you have to."
"Will they need suits?”
“No Commodore,” he replied, “the environmental systems were left on, but at low power. We can access the bridge through one of the top hatches.”
“Okay then I’ll get our people loaded, and call me when the customs inspectors are ready to follow you up; we will be right behind you.”
Once away from the Klingons I asked Larry, “What was going on?”
“You know Mike those Klingon Birds of Prey are a lot smaller than our cruisers. I bet their computer core is about the same as on the Monarch, or even a J-Class freighter.”
“Those bridge stations are really stand alone computers that net work, not like a federation vessel that has a huge computer core with slave stations."
"What I just did was copy and down load all the computer files to my pers-comp here.”
“How did you do that? It didn’t sound like you were doing that to me.”
“That’s the way it’s supposed to happen. While you listen to me talking to Mary Jane nobody watches my key board."
"It’s an old school trick, but it works. And Mary Jane talks to me any time I want her to.”
“I have to get these data chips I copied over to Ms. Tash, I think her friend the Admiral might be interested in what was in those files. It will at least be an historical file.”
Larry was chuckling to himself now.
We walked togther up to Be’nen, and Larry gave her the chips.
“A present for your friends Ms. Tash,” he said.
She still wasn’t ready to talk to me. I had to ask her how she made out with our three new recruits.
“They are signed in, Michael, and Staunn is doing a preliminary scan now."
"Is that thing really going to fly? You aren’t going up in it are you, It doesn’t look like its’ safe to me.”
“No Be’nen, I will be traveling with you in my cozy Commodore shuttle”.
“The Rhino should be no problem, I’m confident of the work that Mr. Barkley and Mr. Comet did.”
“I think you should put in a general call for our people to start boarding. Then start your preflight operations with the Luna port tower."
"As soon as we get customs clearance we will be ready to go.”
Officer Fleming and Officer Carney elected to join Og’s shuttle.
Officer Flanagan would fly up with us.
Ever sense she met Nichelle, it was like one continuous conversation going on, like they were long lost relatives, maybe it was because of their matching hair styles.
I was sitting outside on the shuttle nacelles waiting for the customs clearance, when the customs shuttle showed up.
Staunn came out side and sat with me.
She didn’t say a word she just looped her arm through mine and leaned on my shoulder.
“It’ll be alright Staunn, we’ll get through this. Its’ all downhill from now on,” I told her.
Little did I know that the downhill run would be more like dropping off a cliff?