Star Fleet Corps of Engineers, Mission to Bajor
By T.M. Flavin
Book One – The Monarch
Chapter Seventeen - Making do with the Monarch mess.
I went up to A deck, and set my pers-comp on Be’nen’s desk.
She was just sitting there with her hands folded with her usual amused look on her face.
“Did you get a chance to get a call out to Bajoran Embassy yet,” I asked.
“No, Sir, the computer is still not working properly yet. I’m just waiting for directions from my lord and master.”
I stuck my tongue out at her and walked over to the infirmary to see how Staunn was making out.
“Come in Michael, come in. You can lock the door behind you so we won’t be disturbed.” she yelled out.
“I got the examination table all wiped up for you daily exam.”
I told her I had to check out the personnel transporter down the corridor, and ducked out of there fast.
She thought that was funny, and actually called me a coward when I scooted down the hall.
The transporter was not working because it wasn’t even turned on, so I looked around for the area lights and startup switches.
When the transporter started to warm up it started flashing warning signs, and talking in Klingon.
So I spoke out; “Computer, I do not understand Klingon.”
There was a slight pause then the computer spoke in Earth Standard: “Warning, malfunction, this transporter will not transport with in required parameters for living personnel.”
Then it kept repeating the message.
“Computer,” I asked. “Can this transporter be used for inert materials, for example, emergency food packs, liquid containers, and tools?”
'Working; that is affirmative.'
'This transporter is primarily for living personnel.'
'The shipment of supplies, and cargo, should be done at the B deck station.”
“Computer: this is Michael Thomas of Star Fleet Engineers Advisory and Assistance Group – Bajor, the lease holder of this vessel, commanded by Captain Kahlest”.
“I ask for an override of normal operations to permit transporting of food stuffs, liquid containers and tools; no personal transport override is requested. Acknowledge.”
“Working: Procedure is authorized, by your authority.”
“Computer: establish coordinates for transporter operations at Luna port, General Services and Supply; Tycho City and New Berlin, central terminals on planet of the Earths’ satellite moon; in preparation to receive shipments.”
“Working, all sites coordinates registered.'
'Recommend orbital instead of stationary rotation for prevention of transporter loss through transmission error, due to age and state of repair of this transporter.”
“Acknowledged; Flag a message to Captain Kahlest recommending he request a move from stationary orbit to rotational orbit for transporter efficiency.”
“Acknowleged, flagged message sent as requested.”
I then walked over to the security section and told Carney that I wanted to take one of his monitors over to the infirmary.
Be’nen informed me that as the computer is now working, she had sent out a communications file to the Bajoran Embassy, but it would probably take an hour to get a reply due to the obsolete subspace transceivers on the ship.
I acknowledge the information and said; “Okay, let me know what they think.”
At the infirmary I hooked up the monitor to her console and asked Staunn to sit beside me while I tried to order medical supplies for her.
Then we started off.
“Computer: state ships origin and last known federation registration number.”
“Working, ships classification is Monarch P, class IX.”
“The USS Monarch, manufactured star date 2279, at Monarch Industries Sol IV assembly station, Mars, Sol system, registration number USS 3574, for the Alpha Centauri Mining Consortium, Moinmar.”
“Computer: search for human medical records.”
“Working: There are three hundred fifty six complete, and fragmentary, records available.”
“Computer: establish an historical file of all the records of human medical records.”
“Establish a new database for current on board personnel, to include Human, Klingon, Vulcan, Ferengi, Dabo and Bajoran, per initial input by Dr. Staunn Tech, acting medical Officer.”
“Working: historical file established. Input current data.”
Staunn then plugged in her per’s comp and downloaded her files.
“Computer: inter face with diagnostic examination table; give capabilities for accurate diagnosis for all races currently on file.”
“Working: Human 96%, Bajoran 90%, Ferengi 86%, Vulcan 86%, Klingon 75%, Dabo 50%”
“Computer: run class one medical equipment diagnostic, post errors and recommended modifications for repairs and service, match and compare with diagnostic table at Luna port dispensary, allow for current tables' obsoleteness.'
'Flagg results to Chief Engineer Hon’Tihl and Comm. Tech Comet.”
“Computer: search for last inventory of infirmary supplies and medications.”
“Working: no records available.”
“Computer: Search records of Luna port, Tyco City, and New Berlin for initial issue of medical supplies and medication for a Star Fleet vessel manned with approximately fifty personnel, example: USS Defiant class. Record and file.”
“Working: (it took about fifteen minutes to get it) Search complete and record on file.”
“Computer: request immediate order and shipment, by medical priority, of an initial issue of medical equipment, plus medication and supplies for thirty days, for human and non-humans on record, thru Luna port General Supply office, on my authority, with remarks: current account is with USS Daisy (shuttlecraft), USS Dandelion (shuttle craft)."
"Attention: Add: USS Monarch 3574 (Leased Vessel) with shuttle craft “Rhino”."
"Supplies may be received at A deck transporter in containers not larger than 1m x 1m x 1m, and not more than sixty kilos each container.”
“Working: message was sent as memo as it was outside regular Star Fleet requisition procedures.”
“Would you like correct procedures and programs copied and filed for future use?”
“Affirmative; inform myself, or Dr. Tehk, when materials are ready for transporter shipping."
"Flagg Captain Kahlest, and the designated Purser on record, of the actions taken.”
“Computer; this is an emergency supply request to Luna port General Supply office, on my authority."
"Request emergency, or field rations to include breakfast, lunch and diners for all assigned personnel for a minimum period of twenty four hours”.
“Routine orders through regular supply requisitions are to follow, for approximately thirty days, to include water and normal side beverages.”
“ATTENTION: this ship has no replicators and has no potable water on board at this time, it also has three Klingon children, including one infant on board.”
“Inform by note of this action to the Captain, and the designated Purser.”
By the time I finished all of my initial orders, Staunn had came over to where I was sitting at least three times to hug me and kiss my neck.
She was genuinely happy to be setting up shop in this little rat’s nest of an infirmary.
She was actually humming while she rubbed, and scraped away at, of at least twenty five years of grit, and grime.
“Well doctor,” I said to her, “I have to leave you now to go over and pester your mother for awhile”.
“I asked that the Dabo girls come up and work in the common room, so if you need any help with your supplies, they can assist you.”
“This place is pretty stinky,” she said.
“I’ll get it cleaned up."
"I don’t want to hang up my name plate on a dump."
"I was really worried about our supplies, especially having no water on board, thanks for getting things started.”
I told her to keep working with the computer for any supplies she needed, while setting up shop.
“All the supply requests from now on would have to go through the Purser, and remember that they probably won’t have a good looking doctor working there at Luna port, but an in house Med Tech; so keep it as simple as you can get.”
Once her inventory is on the record, her computer would do the hard work of reordering for her.
“Yes Michael, I almost forgot that we have another ship to set up.”
With that and a hug and a kiss, I went over to see her mother.
Be’nen was talking to the two Dabo girls.
They both asked me what they were supposed to do.
I asked them to see if they can start cleaning and organizing the common room as a fit place to eat.
I informed them that I had ordered emergency rations and medical supplies for the ship, and that the materials would be coming in on the personnel transporter, on this deck.
They were to call me when they started coming in and Officer Carney, and I, would give them a hand with receiving the packages.
They said okay and started looking for something to clean with; rags seemed to be the only things in good supply.
I went over and sat on the edge of Be’nens’ desk.
She still sat there with her hands folded with her amused grin on her face.
“Would you still marry me if I was poor, and in debt,” I asked?
“Are you expecting the Bajoran government to pay for all the materials you just ordered for this disaster we are flying in,” she asked?
“If they don’t, you wouldn’t let me sink in it, would you, lover?” I replied.
“Hmm,” she thought. “No. I would hire you as a servant so you would be able to work to pay off all your debts,” she retorted.
“Ow, that is harsh, what would you have me doing; work as a hired gigolo maybe?”
She harrumphed; “I would buy this wreck and make you clean it all up all by yourself.” She replied.
“All by myself,” I said. “Aren’t you and Staunn coming with me?”
“No! I would send you into orbit so you would only come back every seven years to meet your familial requirements.”
“Well I would be very happy that you would forsake all others for me at pon farr."
"I am honored to be so beloved, I would miss those daily baths though, sweet heart.”
“Yes you would, because you are something of a stinker.”
“I love you too, Be’nen,” I said and I embraced her and gave her a peck on the cheek.
“You’re supposed to act professional while on duty, can’t you wait until we get back to our shuttle?”
“No, but I’ll try my best,” I replied.
At that time Mrs. Kahlest arrived with her husband the Captain.
“You wish to see me Commodore?” asked Mrs. Kahlest through her translator.
“Yes Mrs. Kahlest, I would like to discuss with you, and your husband, the ongoing conversion of your present crew from a refugee vessel, to a working merchantman.”
“Your contract calls for a three year mission of salvage and recovery."
"I think if we work together we can set up crew manifest that will be efficient and manageable, while still retaining your family’s identity.”
“I am not sure I understand what my role is, that you are asking me to perform," she asked.
"I will not disrespect my husband.”
“I am only suggesting that you only assist your husband in the operation of this ship."
" The Captain, your husband will be responsible for running this ship.”
“The position I’m suggesting that you take is that of the ships Purser. In essence you would be the chief administrative officer, answerable only to the Captain.”
“The Purser would be responsible for administrative actions concerning the hiring of personnel, maintaining the crew roster, with the Captain; records keeping, ships financial and information operations, plus the pay and welfare of all personnel.”
“It is an important job, and it takes the mundane operations off the back of the captain, so he can run this ship and do his mission.”
“You ask a lot of my wife, Commodore,” said Kahlest.
“Captain Kahlest, my guess is that you are used to working with a twelve man crew. Like for a small B’rel class Bird of Prey, this ship is a lot different.”
“You managed to get it here to Earth space, but now you have a different mission in a family type commercial operation."
"You and your crew must adapt.”
“I will work with your wife, to at least find proper positioning of your family, and crew, within the ship, to support you in performing your mission.”
“You have to remember that with a projected crew of about fifty personnel for a ship this size, it will have to include Bajorans, you can’t do it all yourself.”
“Now your authority to delegate is magnified by four."
" You need to keep your family in the picture, to keep a handle on things.”
“D’Gor, I will do this, my husband,” interrupted Mrs. Kahlest.
“Commodore, my husband must return to the bridge, he has more important thing to attend to.”
“I agree,” I replied.
Kahlest took a long look at his wife, then nodded and said something that translated as; ‘beloved’, and walked off to the bridge.
“Be careful how you speak to my husband, Commodore, he is not happy with our situation."
"He has been a warrior a long time."
"If it were not for me and the children he probably would have killed you and taken a ship and escaped.”
“I am aware of that Mrs. Kahlest."
"In fact I’m sure of it."
"That is one of the reasons I want you to be the Purser on this ship."
"He will learn to run this ship, and you will know the why it runs.”
“This mission is large, important and I hope profitable for all concerned."
"If he wants that ship I promised, you will all have to work for it, and it won’t be easy I assure you.”
“Are you challenging us Commodore,” asked Mrs. Kahlest?
“Yes,” I replied.
“Ha,” she said. “You weakling humans dare challenge a Klingon?"
"Why, with my master at the helm, I can even make you wealthy. But remember even a Klingon woman can twist the neck of any one of you aboard, if we felt like it.”
Then she looked to Be’nen and said, “Present company aside, Madam Tash.”
Be’nen’s smile tightened a little bit as she just nodded her head.
“Well let’s get started,” I said. “We’ll need a few more chairs.
I went and got two from the security room, and we all sat around the terminal.”
Before we started the two Dabo girls came over and requested assistance with two locked doors in the common room.
They couldn’t get in, so I asked Carney if he could help them out.
He said okay and grabbed his tools.
“At the computer terminal I asked for a copy of the last crew manifest on record."
The computer only displayed the standard twelve man crew for the J class merchantman.”
I then asked for a display Cle Dan Class Repair Tender, and to search Luna base if necessary.
That took about fifteen minutes.
The tender’s crew manifest normally had twenty four crew members.
Next I asked for a display of the present Klingon crew, and family members, with possible qualifications for crew assignment, flag incompatible status.
I got about ten flags.
I then asked for a cross match on the two manifest.
It was a little better only about six flags, three of them for the Klingon children.
“Computer, establish family, and extraneous crew, positions to manifest and place all underage personnel in it.”
That left only three flags.
“Computer, establish four Recovery Section shuttle craft permanent crew positions, with pilot, navigator and engineer mate.”
“Computer, establish Loadmaster position.”
“Computer, establish Cargo position with three permanent positions as handlers, plus cargo transporter operator.”
After a little tweaking I got the combined manifest down to forty five personnel.
I then asked Mrs. Kahlest to fill in the vacancies in the way she thought Kahlest would approve.
It didn’t look to bad; at least all the adults had a job.
I then got to thinking about our mission and how it was on the last recovery mission I was on at Wolf 359.
It was all the bodies we recovered, and had to deal with, that brought back some disturbing suggestions, and the battle sites between Cardassia and DS-9, was probably double that; I was starting to feel real sad.
I told Mrs. Kahlest she had better add a three person mortuary team, and maybe a Bajoran Chaplain.
“Why would we need that,” she asked? “What is a mortuary team? Why would Klingons want to have a Chaplain on board? I don’t understand.”
“To take care of the dead KaLitra, to take care of the dead, that’s what we will do as part of this mission.” I said
Suddenly images flooded my brain, the thousands of casualties that we Engineers had to deal with.
Some were in the destroyed ships, some were floating in space like frozen litter.
They had to be gathered in, identified, and sent into the nearest sun in torpedo shells.
Now I was heading into the same situation.
I looked over at Be’nen and repeated,” To take care of the dead”.
I started to tremble. I had to get away.
“I need to take a break,” I said.
I got up and headed for my shuttle.
I was losing it, and I needed to get myself back together.
I heard Be’nen say, “Michael, Michael, what is wrong, where are you going?”
I scrambled as fast as I could to the Shuttle avoiding all who waved to me, or said Hi.
Inside the shuttle I paced up and down for a few times, then went in and laid down on one of the bunks.
I couldn’t believe this was happening to me after all these years, but the images wouldn’t stop.
I had my head in a pillow when Be’nen came in and sat next to me on the bed.
“Michael what is wrong,” she asked?
“I don’t know Be’nen, I guess the thought of our being caught up in a situation again, with all that death, and bringing you and Staunn into it, it just got the best of me.”
“Wolf 359 was a long time ago; I never expected it to affect me like this."
"Am I doing the right thing Be’nen?”
Be’nen leaned over and started stroking my hair.
“Maybe you should have been born a Vulcan; those memories would be controlled better,” she said.
“Don’t ever say that Be’nen,” I said; “if I was a Vulcan I could never really love you, as I do.”
Be’nen looked seriously at me for a second, then she said;
“Captain, I think you need some rest.
She then leaned down and kissed me, and then the lights went out.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Be’nen looked down at her unconscious lover, the man she, and her daughter, planned to wed.
I can’t allow this to happen again’, she thought.
She saw some of his terrors when she first melded with him, but she assumed he held them in check.
“Not completely in check are they Mr. Thomas,” she spoke softly to him.
“I will fix this Michael, even though it is without your consent. It is the least I can do for you.”
“You will remember what you did at Wolf 359, but you will no longer feel the pain. I am taking it away from you.”
“Sleep well Michael, be refreshed when you awake."
"I really can’t abide a troubled mind when I am in pon farr, I need you to keep your focus on me.”
‘And maybe a little on my daughter,’ she smiled at her afterthought.
When I woke up Staunn was sitting on the edge of my bed.
“Staunn, what are you doing here? What time is it?” I asked.
“I think I better get up and get back to work.”
“No, I don’t think so Michael. You will stay in bed, doctor’s orders."
"When was the last time you ate a meal?”
“I had breakfast with you, remember?” I replied.
“Yes I do, that was eighteen hours ago."
"I have your field rations for you now, so eat them and don’t worry."
"We are now on Earth standard time, and your watch is at midnight. So get some rest.”
“Well what time is it?”
“Its six twenty. Captain Kahlest adopted most of your crew roster, and set up the three shift watch schedule you recommended.”
My mother helped with the pairing of your crew with the Klongons, so all will be working with human, and Klingon partners.
“You have the 2400HRS to 0800HRS shift, for now, according to the Captain.”
“I’m on the eight to four shifts, so I’m off duty now.”
“Captain Kahlest daughter, K’Trelan is assigned as a Med Tech, to work with me, she’s on duty now.”
“She’s putting some of the med supplies you ordered, away now.”
“The only sick person we have is you. And you need special treatment, from me.”
She said that with a smile.
“Thank you, my dear little pixy girl.” I said. “I am hungry, let’s eat.”
After a meal of “mystery” meat in sauce and noodles, crackers, two cookies and a Hi-energy candy bar; I felt like a new man.
Just sitting and chatting with Staunn made me feel better.
Out of the blue I asked her; “Staunn do you think I’m a little weird about how I think about you in our relationship with your mother?"
"I sometimes do feel towards you as my daughter, do you think I’m a pervert for thinking that?”
“Why what a strange idea, what brought that on?”
“Well you know how much I love your mother, but when she isn’t under the influence of pon farr, I don’t know if I will be able to live with her.”
“But you my, sweet pixy girl, I thought first of as only her beautiful little daughter."
"We being lovers that night, kind of caught me by surprise. Am I confusing you?”
“No Michael you are not. I love you. You rescued me. I have lived in the shadow of my mother all my life.”
“I have lived with a woman who has controlled her emotions as a Vulcan."
"Do you know what that meant for me?”
“There was no real love, or affection; there was certainly concern and caring, but no love, as you would know it, being a human with human parents.”
“I am even less of a Vulcan than my mother, I can love my mother, but she was almost incapable of having a loving relationship even with her own daughter.
“You on the other hand radiate love, with all its’ hormonal lust that human males seem to have.”
“I was almost embarrassed at the way you reacted to my mother when we first met."
' I think she was trying to set me up for you only, but something backfired.”
“You see Michael I’ve never had a father, and when you looked at me I sensed your real kindness and affection for me, and I loved you for it.”
“You were supposed to be the safe cure for pon farr, from the isolation, the escape from embarrassment and of its adverse affects on me.”
“Somehow that is all changed; she had never tried seducing a man with me before.”
“She must have been deeper into pon farr than I imagined."
"The reflex to connect through the mind meld changed her; the flood of emotions she encountered within herself, broke down a lot of barriers.”
“She remembers her mother with affection."
"She has discovered that the passion within our relationship has changed her.”
“Mother said you radiated joy when you have sex with her, how is that?”
“How can she say she experiences joy, an emotion, in an act that Vulcan treat as little more that animal instinct, explain that.”
“She is a changed woman, Michael, and I predict that her pon farr syndrome will mellow out and the residue will last for about another fifty years at least, so be prepared.”
“As for me big daddy, you are my man and she is welcome to the leftovers when I’m through with you."
"Are you ready for bed now? I am.”
“Mother said she would be in here by eleven to give you your bath and a late breakfast, so we don’t have much time.”
“Come to papa, my little pixy passion princess,” was my answer.