Star Fleet Corps of Engineers, Mission to Bajor
By T.M. Flavin
Book One - The Monarch
Chapter Nineteen - Dealing with pon farr, a Ferengi shuttle, and an antique food re-sequencer.
Heading down to my shuttle after my shift, I looked in to see if Be’nen and Staunn had arrived at their stations yet.
They weren’t there so I continued down to the shuttle to see if there was a hold up.
In a way there was.
Be’nen was sitting at the lunch table with Be’nen clothed in only one of my Tee shirts, panties and socks.
Staunn was fully dressed, with a full glass of her orange juice cocktail, the restorative she usually gave to me after I had a strenuous bed room exercise with Be’nen.
“Good morning,” she said, “you better drink this now. Mother wants to “talk” to you.”
“Say goodbye Staunn, I think you have some work to do,” Be’nen told her daughter.
“Michael I need to talk to you, right now.” She headed for the bed room cubical.
“What’s up Staunn, your mother seems a little upset about something,” I asked?
“Pon farr,” Staunn whispered. “You better hurry up and drink this now because I think you are going to need it. She is a little agitated.”
“Michael would you please come in here, I need to talk to you, right now,” Be’nen shouted from the bed room.
“Staunn go to work.”
Wow, I never expected this reaction from Be’nen, it sounded real serious.
So I drank my cocktail, kissed Staunn and showed her out the door; “Good luck” she said, then I headed for the bed room.
Be’nen was standing there waiting for me.
She then took off the tee shirt and demanded that I kiss her.
Now Be’nen is a very good looking woman, Having to kiss her is a pleasure, and I told her so; “with pleasure my dear.”
“Yes with pleasure,” she said, “do it with lots of pleasure.”
This was not the first time that she would show to me a little bizarre behavior.
But what the heck did I know, I wasn’t Vulcan.
I figured was just a guy along for the ride until her pon farr was over.
This also was not the only time in the next few months that she literally asked me to kiss her ass.
It usually started with; “Michael I need to talk to you.”
Most of the time we made it back to our bed room, sometimes not.
She would get testy at times with Staunn too.
A few times after I spent an evening with Staunn, Be’nen would corner me some place and sniff me all over and even lick me on spots that I’m sure she suspected a trace of Staunn odor, even after I had taken a shower.
Responding to Be’nen’s attention was not hard to do, I knew then that Staunn had really slipped me a Mickey.
Be’nen even started to smile and said; “I see now Michael, you can properly mate with a Vulcan.”
Sex with Be’nen, when she is in pon farr, is usually serious business.
She is definitely the dominate partner, not like Staunn who almost seemed like an eager submissive.
Be’nen tolerated my loving caresses and kisses, I think she liked them.
I know I liked caressing and loving her beautiful body.
She usually tried to hold on to my hands, but because I wasn’t a Vulcan, she would hold on to one of my hands, and place her other hand at the side of my face.
The only time she would give me a passionate kiss was just before I climaxed.
I don’t know if she did it to stimulate me, or stimulate herself, with our close connection, because we usually came together.
One time she declared that I was her mate and she would protect me.
Believe me I then felt as safe as a babe in his mother’s arms.
Today was different.
Be’nen acted like a pole dancer; the way she was moving and enjoying herself.
That and the ongoing commentary of oh’s, ahs, and the chuckling, and the smiling, she was having a good time.
Whatever Staunn gave me was hitting the spot with Be’nen.
Pon farr, or not, this gal was really into it.
The strenuous sex with Be’nen seemed to drain me.
I managed to say; “I love you Be’nen.” and her reply was, “It gives me great satisfaction that you are so attracted to me.”
Be’nen rolled over to my side and held me close.
I was sweating pretty badly, but she kissed me and moved her hands through my hair, and said; “Staunn was right, she said she could make a more Vulcan like lover for me, but we are going to have to work on your stamina a little more.”
“Jesus Be’nen what is this all about,” I asked? “Why go through all this?”
“It’s about procreation Michael,” she replied softly. “We want to get pregnant.”
“We are in our seven year cycle Michael, and we need you to father our children.”
“We will talk about it later. I have to get to work.”
I was about to say something of a retort, but the lights went out.
I wish she would quit doing that.
Waking up at about 1400 hours EST, I did manage to roll out of bed, but straightening up was another problem.
Like the other time they drugged me, I felt like I was recovering from a wrestling match.
The bed was a mess; I had to take the bed sheets in to the shower with me because there was no laundry service any where ready on board the Monarch.
There was no clothes dryer on board either that I knew of, so I wrung the sheets out and hung them over the back of the con chairs.
Where was a piece of rope when you needed it?
I got dressed in my “Commodore” red shirt, civilian kakis trousers and the baseball hat to hide my droopy eyes.
Afterwards I headed for the common room to get something to eat.
On C deck there was a lot of people working on the ‘found on board’ shuttle crafts.
Kahlest must have taken my advice and assigned his own operation and recovery crews to work them.
The shuttles were all slaved cabled to the ship for power and all had lights on. That was a good sign.
I went over to the Ferengi shuttle to see what was going on.
Looking inside there were three rear ends showing, with the crews’ heads stuck down inside a floor bulkhead, trying to repair something.
I said “hello!”
They all popped to their feet and were almost dancing with glee.
Mr.Og was bobbing up and down, I thought for a second he was going to genuflect and kiss my hand.
Both girls were hugging and kissing me, telling me that they were so happy that I was buying the shuttle for them, and how Mr. Og was going to take them on visits to New Berlin, on the moon and to Las Vegas, Earth, in his new shuttle.
“Whoa slow down,” I said, “until this thing is fixed properly, nobody’s going to take this shuttle to Earth, Mr. Og.”
“Do we understand each other Mr. Og?”
“This will be one of the Grayson’s shuttles.”
“Not anyone’s personal shuttle, get it Mr. Og.”
“The shuttle is for ships business only, if only for Ferengi personnel.”
“You mean we can’t go to New Berlin?” both of the girls whined.
“Yes you can when your crew rotation comes up, and when you go down there together, I want you all to come back together.”
“Dr. Tehk will probably be going with you and I want you, and her, all back here safe and sound; is that understood too, Mr. Og?”
Mr. Og looked pretty glum.
I wouldn’t have been surprised if he didn’t try to skip out to Las Vegas just to show off to his former creditors his “newly acquired shuttle”.
“We can go to New Berlin?” both girls asked again.
“Yes you can girls; I want you to go as soon as Mr. Og gets this shuttle fixed.”
“He will probably have to take it to Luna port and see that it’s properly inspected.”
“Then he can take you all, Dr. Tehk included, for some shopping and a little fun.”
“Just make sure you bring this old reprobate back with you to do his job.”
“Come to think of it if I could fit in to this thing I would take you myself.”
That set off the debate between the two Dabos as to who was to be left behind so they could have a “good time” with me.
Mr. Og and Staunn didn’t seem to figure into their scheme of things.
I asked Og how long he thought it would be before the shuttle was ready.
“Maybe another twenty four hours,” he said.
“It mostly needed the recharging of everything like the batteries and the oxygen cylinders etc.”
“Mr. Comet also wanted to check out the computers system to make sure that it was up to date.”
“The shuttle is about ten years old.”
“I personally want him to check, and record, its history, and send it to the Ferengi representative, at the Federation Counsel.”
“Salvage or not, I am concerned about a clear title.
“Luna port would also have a better diagnostic service than we can provide here. I plan to have them check it out too.”
“I really could use some good grass hoppers, and shrimp to eat, so I won’t be wasting my time; right girls.”
“Oh yes, Mr. Og,” they replied gleefully.
“When we get the shuttle running properly we will take you on a special trip around the moon, Captain.”
I smiled at them and said, “Ladies, I am looking forward to it.”
“Excuse me for now, I’m going to get some breakfast.”
The Klingon crewmen said much the same thing about the two other shuttles that they would be using.
The emphasis was on the “Orion” shuttle because it had a planetary landing capacity.
Captain Kahlest wanted it for his primary use, along with his wife; can’t say as I blame him.
On B deck it was fairly quiet, we were over Luna Port at the time and a few packages were coming in, but not very much of our recycle material was going out.
Most of the recycle materials were being delivered to Thyco city, and New Berlin.
I also checked in on the security locker to see how that was set up.
Officer Fleming, and his two partners, had set up a nice little shop.
They had a few parts of older phaser pistols, and rifle parts, sitting on a bench, but nothing as yet locked up in what seemed to be a fabricated gun rack.
There was quite a small collection of knives in various stages of disrepair, being kept in a small cage.
Most of the knives I recognized as Klingon.
Somebody, who had lived previously on the Monarch, knew their small arms repair business, because the tools that they would normally use, were being accumulated, and organized, by the officers, in a good clean manner.
The little shop would come in handy when we were near Cardassian space.
I was glad they didn’t find any heavy ordinance on board.
From there I went up to B deck to see how Be’nen and Staunn were doing.
Both women were gone. I was informed by Mrs. Kahlest that they had taken a shuttle load of people down to Luna port, and weren’t expected back until around 2000 HRS.
With that information I headed for the common room to grab some breakfast ration packets, I was starving.
In the common room there were six technicians, who I was not familiar with, who were working on the old protein sequencer.
I sat down and started to munch on my breakfast biscuit when a very attractive young lady came over to me and introduced herself.
“Hello, Commodore Thomas I presume, my named is Angel Kuni, and I’m the lunar district manager of Coleman Industries; pleased to meet you.”
Ms. Kuni was as lovely a young lady you would ever want to meet.
She had the slim angular good looks similar to Be’nen, in about five foot four frame.
She also had the silky almost white blond hair that Staunn had, and she had Vulcan pointed ears.
Her other amazing traits were her intensely blue eyes, and the fact that she wore lipstick and makeup.
I only knew of only one Vulcan, Be’nen, using makeup, but then she has been a video personality for years.
We shook hands; I said “Glad to meet you.” and asked “Can you fill me in on what you are doing here?”
“We are hopefully restoring your Colman Industries food re-sequencer system.”
“Do you realize Commodore that you probably have the oldest Coleman food sequencer outside of the Starfleet museum fleet,” she replied?
“No, not really, but I knew it was old,” I replied.
“Calling you was just a shot in the dark, especially as now all of Starfleet is using the food replication systems.”
“True Commodore, that’s why my Earth corporate headquarters was so excited.”
“None of these food sequencers exist anymore. Most of these sequencers were replaced and scraped years ago.”
“Corporate headquarters is now negotiating with Captain Kahlest to purchase this model as a show piece for its own corporate museum.”
“I can’t say that it’s priceless, but it is at least worth a refit to a more modern food replicator system.”
“I’m here to see if it’s restorable and operational, which it seems to be.”
“It looks as if it was just been turned off and neglected, and not striped for parts.”
“As far as we can see, it just needs a good cleaning and servicing”
“Are you going to do that here and now?” I asked.
“How long is it going to take to do the change over, if Kahlest goes along with your deal?”
“Well Commodore we can’t do the actual exchange here at Moon base, it will have to be done at Earth Space Dock,” she explained.
“Most of the equipment we sell and service is for the shuttle craft trade, but we can upgrade a few systems to greatly assist your food re-sequencer and general recycling system.”
“They’re installing the two recycler pelletizers now.”
“Recycler-pelletizers,” I asked?
“Yes sir, if you have a minute I can show you.”
“They weren’t that hard to install, and with the recyclers installed with a suitable supply of our dehydrated food stocks for your food re-sequencer, it should be up and running by the time we leave here.”
“That should be when your shuttle returns from Luna port.”
“Captain Kahlest said that we had to vacate the shuttle bay upon its arrival, so we don’t over stress the re-pressurization of the shuttle bay.”
“I see,” I said, “I’m sorry that you have to go soon; there are a few people on board that I would like you to meet before you go.”
“Do you mean Be’nen Tash,” she asked?
“Well yes, I would certainly like to meet her.”
“The news that you had absconded with her, for this mission to Bajor, has certainly contributed to her mystery.”
“If she wants to drop by my office at New Berlin, tell her for me that she is certainly welcome.”
“We could have dinner together sometime maybe.”
“I will certainly relay the message, by the way I don’t want to be rude, but are you a Vulcan too?” I asked.
“It’s the ears isn’t it Commodore,” she chuckled.
“I get that question all the time, especially from Vulcans.”
“They think I must be some type of rare Albino or something.”
“No Commodore I’m as human as you are; I am a tribute child.”
“Tribute child, I’m unaware of what that means, Miss Kuni?”
“You were a member of Star Fleet weren’t you Commodore?” she asked.
“Yes, I am retired from active service and am now working in a strictly civilian capacity.”
“Do you remember your blood and DNA samples that you gave as forensics samples in case you were a casualty?”
“Yes,” I replied.
“Well my parents lives were saved by a Vulcan named Tembek.”
“He was a Star Fleet flight engineer about thirty five years ago when a run in with the Klingons meant conflict.”
“They were new to the ship, in fact they really didn’t know each other that well until the engineering section was hit, and Commander Tembek was literally throwing people under the blast doors.”
“He never made it out and was suffocated.”
“They found him wedged in a locker, dead. The emergency transporter system had failed.”
“His body was later transported to Vulcan for burial.”
“A few years later my parents were married and had heard of the tribute child program where people would use the remaining DNA stored at Star Fleet to have a child conceived from those who were casualties, lost in action, and had no living relatives.”
“I am even more special; my parents had to get special permission from Tembek’s widow and son to have the procedure done.”
“Even after permission was granted it took a special court order, you see it had never been requested by an Earther for a Vulcan tribute child.”
“My parent didn’t want a hybrid so they opted for a DNA compatibility screening and fertilization.”
“So in the end I look like Mr. Tembek, but genetically I’m human just like everyone else. I’m one half mommas’, one half papas’ DNA.”
She started chuckling.”It was a little embarrassing for my parents though.”
“See how I look, all blue eyed and blond, well my parents are ethnic Japanese.”
“My mother is from Japan and my father was from Hawaii.”
“And to top it off I ended up female, but they loved me very much and I have one brother and one sister who I think the world of.”
“My parents never tired of explaining my situation, that I carry the face of the person who saved their lives.”
“It is a beautiful face Miss Kuni,” I said.
“Well I thank the gods that Mr. Tembek was a handsome man,” she laughed.
“Are you married,” I blurted out?
“No I’m not Commodore, are you interested,” she asked coyly?
“Maybe thirty years ago I would have, Miss Kuni, but right now I’m sort of engaged.”
“I wonder if that involves Be’nen Tash, Commodore. Do you want to see those recyclers now?”
“Sure,” I said, “let’s go.”
We trooped down to C deck to the engine room and to the left of the entrance was one of the Coleman techs, with four of the engineering crew finishing up the installation of the recyclers.
You could see that they had spliced in to the eight inch fluid nutrient drain line, with what looked like a filter connection, with two shoe box sized elements, on either side.
From the filters section there was a pipe shunt that connected to a covering panel of six five gallon plastic buckets under it.
The other unit was spliced into a twelve inch trash disposal routing pipe; that normally went to the impulse engines for burn off.
It also had a shunt to a covering panel for six five gallon plastic buckets.
“What do you think Chief?” asked Mona Freeman, one of my advisers.
“Pretty neat huh, I’ve seen these rigs before at troop encampments, and in colony modules.”
“Mr. Delany here says we may even have showers soon.”
I hadn’t seen them hook up all the pipe work, so they had to explain that the materials passed through a particle separator, a sort of miniature transporter beam, which was sent through the cover panels of the shunt, which then separated ninety percent of the particulates into little beads that were collected in the buckets.
The buckets collected the separated animal, vegetable, minerals, paper and detergent materials.
The recycler could be programmed to separate materials into whatever dehydrated edible material your menu required in the food re-sequencer.
The collected material was then used as a base material to be added to the flavor enhancers, and the desired food coloration, used it he the onboard food processors, of the food re-sequencer.
Once the mixtures were all combined with water within the food re-sequencer, and processed for texture; Walla, a hot meal was produced.
The trash disposal line did much the same thing, collecting and sorting the feeder components into the buckets, in bead form, to be stored for used as recycled base elements.
The food re-sequencer utilized recycled plastics for plates, cups and utensils.
In the original system, plastic powders had to be used to fill the re-sequencer hoppers, for making the utensils.
Now all we had to do is recycle what we used, after starting off with a base supply.
The metals were also beaded for storage.
This stored material could be utilized on ships with replicators for base materials.
It was especially useful as trading material at space stations and repair facilities.
Mr. Delany said he was ready to start up the recyclers as soon as he got the call from the common room.
The water supply that they had transported up in fifty five gallon drums was ready to be circulated through the food re-sequencer.
The engineers had shut off all other systems to isolate the food re-sequencer operations in to a self contained loop.
Miss Kuni stated that when the re-sequencer was cleaned and tested, the hoppers would be filled with their quality Coleman Industries dehydrated products for its’ first trial run.
“Thank goodness,” I remarked.
“Of course you will be billed for the food products you use Commodore.”
“The exchange deal is for only the food sequencer when you get to Earth,” she laughed.
“Yes I’m sure Miss Kuni; I will inform our purser that we are in debt to the Coleman Industries in more ways than one.”
Mr. Delany then asked if anyone had looked at the lavatories.
His point being that with this closed system for the food re-sequencer, the lavatories could be included in the loop with out to much difficulty, at least as a temporary measure until the main nutrient collection tanks were cleaned out, and our basic water supply replenished.
The filtration system that was still intact in the ship and with the new filters, it should insure clean potable water, within the loop.
After all these new Coleman recyclers were rated for two hundred and fifty personnel, and there were only fifty personnel presently on board, it should workout well..
“Can I see your schematic PADD, Ted,” Angel asked? “So the Commodore, and I, can take a look at it.”
“You continue working with the food re-sequencer.”
“I’ll have the Commodore call his engineers to give the okay on the opening up of the valves for the Laves when we are ready.”
“Mona, could you get some extra help to help with the rerouting?” I asked my crew.
All of the main piping is exposed as far as I could see.
“You should be able to get most of the rerouting done with no problem, and shut off the main feed to the nutrient dump.”
“Mr. Delany will give you the high sign to start feeding in the Lave’s dump, into the loop.”
“Sure thing boss, I’ll make some calls,” She said.
“Miss Kuni are you sure you want to make this inspection, those laves are really stinky?” I proclaimed.
“Well Commodore, I didn’t get this job on my good looks only, let’s take a look.”
“If I faint away you’ll just have to rescue me.”
We went back up to B deck, and into the Laves.
They were still stinky and dirty.
“Oh my God, you weren’t kidding were you?” she exclaimed.
She was holding on to her nose all through her inspection.
She poked into sections all over both of the two Laves; gagging when she had to use both hands to open a panel.”
“I see the soap lines are still intact, but the dispensers are missing; we can sell you those.”
“For now I’ll just shut off the water feed lines to them.”
“Those sanitizers don’t look in good shape either; we can sell you better ones, too.”
“Jeepers Commodore what have you been using for toilet tissue?”
“I don’t know. I use my shuttle.” I replied guiltily.
“Well I recommend you get a field, paper towel dispenser.”
“It uses the recycled paper beads that you’ll be collecting.”
“It has the capacity to make two rolls of paper towels and four rolls of toilet tissue per cycle.”
“I’m sure that Ferengi recycling company, at New Berlin will sell you one.”
“It would fit right in next to the recyclers. The paper won’t be pretty, but it’s better than what you don’t have here now.”
I made an immediate note to the Captain, and the purser, on my PADD, about the field towel dispenser, with a caveat that maybe Mr. Og could get us a deal.
“There shouldn’t be any leaks here Commodore; your crew has pretty well sealed off the unused showers, sinks and the missing toilets.”
“Are you sure no one has deserted yet?”
I was starting to squirm a little. “No, not yet, Miss Kuni,” I replied.
“You, and Captain Kahlest, must have excellent leadership qualities,” she stated.
“I wouldn’t have stayed here more than ten minutes in a pig sty like this.”
“Well Miss. Kuni, we are on a mission,” I said, “besides that I’m a veteran, I’m used to dealing with crap.”
She started laughing; “I see I’ve led a sheltered life Commodore.”
“Let’s see if we can get ourselves a cup of coffee from the re-sequencer shall we.”
We then went back to the common room.
The first thing we did was use about six handy wipes each.
“Well Howard, are we ready to go yet.” Miss Kuni asked of one of her techs?
“Yes Angel, you are just in time.” he said.
“All the water drums are hooked up.’
We ordered extra water to feed into the nutrient drain, to help energize the system, including the Laves.”
“Thanks Howard, call Ted and tell him to start up his recyclers. I’m ready for a hot cup of coffee.”
The first thing they did was pump a full 200 liter drum full of water down the edible food recycle bin chutes in the common room.
Then they shoved long pipes down both the food chute and the trash chute, to clear up any jams.
They banged away at each discharge chute for about fifteen minutes, after all there was probably about twenty five years worth of debris in the eight meter chutes.
Ted, in engineering, started giving us notices that things were being recycled.
Then one of Howards’ assistants said that there was water feeding up through the main feed to the food sequencer.
They had shut off the sequencers’ input valve, and bypassed the sequencer, to keep flushing out the system with a hose connected to the food recycle drain pipe.
A lab tech was making periodic water purity checks just to make sure it met standards, when it was time to run the purified water directly into the food re-sequencer.
After about a half an hour Howard asked us if we wanted a cup of coffee.
“Sure we do,” answered Angel, “with cream and sugar, How about you Commodore?
“I’ll have the same,” I replied.
Howard then had the drain hose shut off and the input valve to the re-sequencer opened.
After about two minutes of water, the component vats were filled.
He then turned the re-sequencer on that was filled with the Colman food supply base.
She lit up like a Christmas tree. Most of the lights were standby signals.
Then the hopper for the plastic plates, cups and utensils started to fill.
Everyone shouted, “Hooray.”
Boy did I feel pleased. Having the food re-sequencer on line really showed progress.
The Coleman people were just as excited as I was.
The old girl was at least seventy five years old and she still worked.
It was amazing.
Finally the coffee light indicated, ‘ready’.
Coffee with creamer, and sweetener tasted good.
But everyone knows it takes a while to break in a good coffee pot; but for now this would do.
When all the lights said ‘ready’, Howard had the input valve shut off, and re-set the drain hose down the edible food disposal chute.
“Okay Ted,” he said, “turn on the lave valves.”
“Oh wow, look at the stuff we’re getting now,” Ted yelled through the Coleman com link.
I got up and walked over to the men’s Lave.
Two men were in there checking for leaks, one was actually taking one.
“Just checking out the system Boss,” he said.
I just smiled and waved; then walked over to the women’s Lave.
I knocked and asked if everything was going okay in there.
“Sure come on in Chief,” someone shouted. “All we’re doing is waiting for water to hit the sinks.”
The sink was at a dribble, but the toilets were starting to fill.
We just didn’t’ have enough water on board yet.
I told the women of my crew, thanks for their help and understanding of this predicament we were in, but I was getting more water soon so we could take showers again.