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Old March 24 2011, 10:33 PM   #1
david lowbridge
Lieutenant Commander
 
Location: Somewhere in the future
Star Trek: Nightingale

The adventures of the USS Nightingale have lauched. Here I will list the latest news.

Story One

Trial By Fire

http://www.adastrafanfic.com/viewstory.php?sid=984

Chapter One has been uploaded, more will follow, latest updates here.

Any comments fully welcome.
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Old March 25 2011, 12:56 AM   #2
Gul Re'jal
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Re: Star Trek: Nightingale

I think you'd get more comments if you actually posted it here too. A lot of people do that. It's kinda strange to comment something that isn't here and commenting here lets discuss things further--something that is impossible on AdAstra (only review--response and that's all).
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Old March 25 2011, 08:34 AM   #3
david lowbridge
Lieutenant Commander
 
Location: Somewhere in the future
Re: Star Trek: Nightingale

Gul Re'jal wrote: View Post
I think you'd get more comments if you actually posted it here too. A lot of people do that. It's kinda strange to comment something that isn't here and commenting here lets discuss things further--something that is impossible on AdAstra (only review--response and that's all).
I didn't know if that was okay as it is a lot of writing over the long term and might look spammy... but as its okay, here is the first chapter

Stardate 53104.8, USS Nightingale, Utopia Plantia

It took seconds for the transporter beam to completely remove itself from John's body. He wouldn’t look during transport, not after that one bad experience, but he swore every time he went through the damn contraception that he could still feel the energy swirl around him. As he slowly opened his eyes he saw the shiny transporter room in perfect clarity, he was safe. Stepping off the pad he walked down to the slightly bulgy man stood at the bottom. "Welcome aboard, Captain." John was greeted by him, in a warm friendly voice.

"Thank you Admiral," John replied as he smiled back. Admiral Jenkins had been an old commander on the Washington, when John was chief helmsman, and the two had built up a good working relationship during their four year service together. "I see you got the red carpet down in time," John joked to Jenkins referring to the lack of people in the room. Apart from the two men, only the transporter chief stood in the room, at attention.

"Well Captain, I didn't want to overwhelm you on your first day in command." Jenkins smiled. "How does it feel to have one?"

John walked round the room looking at all the fixtures, "A little strange to be honest sir," John replied hesitating a little as he strode around the room purposefully, "I never thought I would make it past Lieutenant, to be honest."

"Lucky for you, you have friends in high places." The admiral gave another cheeky laugh which John felt himself return instinctively. Jenkins stretched his arm out towards the door. "Should we proceed with the tour, there is a lot to show you John." John smiled and followed the direction of the arm.
Walking out on to a carpeted walkway, John felt the air tasted electric with freshly laid carpet and newly placed equipment, "Still have to take the sawdust off," Jenkins remarked as both the senior officers passed a couple of crewman working at a junction, "but she is a good ship, do her job well. She'll make warp 9.99 if you need to."

John touched his hand down one wall, "Oh she'll be fast alright," John said smiling, "didn't I hear the St Bernard broke Starfleet's record last week?"

The Admiral smiled and continued to walk down the corridor, "Yep the older sister certainly did do well for us. Captain T'lorek has done wonders with that ship." The Admiral paused at a turbolift junction and pressed the button, "of course Captain you'll want to make some changes." John smiled back before the admiral continued, "It's only natural for a new captain, put their mark on their ship and all that."

The turbolift doors opened and in walked the admiral and John, he was still felling slightly overwhelmed by looking at his command for the first time. The doors slide silently shut leaving the two men in the circular lift. "Bridge," the admiral commanded and the lift started a silky motion. "Wait until you see the bridge." The admiral gave another friendly smile.

It took just a few seconds for the bridge to appear before John, he stepped onto the bridge amongst a hive of activity, crewman and officers doing various tasks across the bridge and a loud clutter of noise, voices and tools at work.

"Captain on the bridge," shouted an Andorian woman stood next to a console to the right of the turbolift door. The room suddenly came to a standstill with the booming voice command, everyone was stood at attention. John looked round at the at the faces, some of whom seemed to be attempting not to stare at their new commander, John pondered for a moment on how long he could keep them all at attention, stiff in their uniforms.

"At ease," John said after his moment of cruelness had passed, he couldn’t gain their respect by being evil to the crew.

The Andorian approached the Captain and the Admiral, "This is Lieutenant Shrak," commented Jenkins, "your Tactical Officer." The young woman wore the insignia of a Junior Lieutenant and with her white hair it shone in the bright lights of the bridge. John had requested her on the crew, partly because of her ability as a tactical officer but also because she, according to her former commanding officers, spoke bluntly - something that John admired.

"It's a pleasure to finally meet you Lieutenant," John said to the blue skinned woman. Shrak had obvious aggressive tendencies just like any other Andorian, but John could feel an unnerving feel that she was more aggressive than the usual Andorian.

Shrak's antennae moved forward, a sure sign that she was paying complete attention to the two men that were standing in front of her. "Captain," she said politely but with a crisp, professional tone that held the aggressive undertones, "tactical systems are almost ready for departure."

"You solved that problem with the weapon control systems?" the admiral interrupted.
Shrak quickly turned her head in a sharp movement, her antennae straightened up, "Yes Admiral," she replied quickly.

"Very well Lieutenant," John wanted to end the conversation quickly, "you better get on with your work, there's still is a lot to do before we set sail." The Andorian nodded an almost salute like response and walked back to what John recognised as a small station for tactical and security.

John moved over to his chair situated in the centre of the bridge, far away from the ears of his tactical officer, "A bit aggressive?" John asked in a low voice.

"The Andorian way," the admiral whispered back, "they like it." Jenkins smiled again.

John looked at the chair and felt the arm rest before he carefully slid himself into the furniture. The warmth of the cover and design of the bridge made him feel as if the ship was hugging him at that moment, a true bonding session between Captain and ship. "Best view in the house," John said smiling.

"Always is," Jenkins replied, amusement ripe on his face. "The St Bernards class vessel is unique in the way that we've made space for the captain's office and quarters on the same deck as the bridge, as well as the executive officer's office and quarters." The Admiral had a sense of pride in his voice; he had been the lead designer in the team that had designed the St Bernards class vessel and felt pride in his accomplishments with the class.

"This entire ship has been designed in order to improve response times on crews in an emergency," the Admiral paused as he walked towards the helm station at the front of the bridge where a woman was working on the under panel, "you know it can take some crewmembers ten minutes to reach their stations on the Galaxy class ship?" the Admiral asked John, "this ship John, the most it would take a person to reach their duty station is two minutes."

"I did read about the interesting design," John commenting, "Most crew on the deck where their duty station is, the medical deck has its own transporter and is easily accessible from the shuttlebay."

The Admiral pointed to a door on the port side of the bridge; there was another on the starboard section almost a mirror reflection. The port door read Captain's Ready Room and the starboard read Executive Officer's Office. It was not hard to tell which was which. "We've also installed a new type of command and control room just behind the bridge," the Admiral pointed to a door in the corner, "it has the processing power to direct and control a fleet of over a thousand ships."

John imagined what it would be like to be in a fleet that size, even in the Dominion War, which only weeks before had ended, fleets of that size were rare.

The admiral walked around a bit as John took a look around his bridge from the comfort of his chair. From that position John could see nearly every station, tactical was behind him to his right, with an operations post to his left behind. One helmsman sat directly in front of John while science was to his left and an additional couple of posts were to his right. Directly on his right was a space for the executive officer to sit. It was a nice looking bridge, he thought to himself, small, it seemed as if they had attempted to mix the bridge of the Intrepid class vessel into something as small as the old NX class vessel. John stood up and walked over to the door that stated it was his ready room and walked in.

Jenkins had followed him in. John stood in amazement as he could barely move before he hit the chair in front of his desk, which had barely enough room for his chair on the other side. The admiral attempted to squeeze in next to him. "Believe it or not, you could have a meeting with three people in here?" Jenkins remarked, "I tested it last week."

"What did you have, someone hanging on the ceiling?" John asked with a slight hint of sarcasm in his voice. "There's barely anything in here," John asked pointed a table which was just big enough for a couple of padds and the small computer terminal already on the desk.

Jenkins smiled back and pressed a button on the side of the room, it opened out in to what John thought was nothing more than a cupboard. In it was a small bunk bed, a couple of draws and a small table, it was his quarters. "You think this is impressive?" John stated quickly, rubbing his hand down the left wall that had nothing but a small fold up table against the wall and a small replicator.
"We've had to limit some personal space in order to design the St Bernards class exactly as we wanted it." The Admiral stated, "In order to get the evacuation limit up to what we needed, something had to go, we've already compromised on weapons, shields need to be high spec and the science labs are minimum to say the least."

"So that left crew relaxation," John stated looking up at the ceiling.

"You've got a holodeck, more than on the defiant class," Jenkins said moving out of the quarters with John following. Walking on to the bridge John smiled at the busy work that going around the whole bridge.

"There is something that I need to speak to you about Captain," Jenkins' voice suddenly turned from the friendly one it had been before hand to one of more serious. "Do you know of the USS Brave?"
John paused for a moment, raking his memory for some sort of recollection of what the vessel might be for. "If memory serves it's an Intrepid class vessel that patrols near the Gorn border. Captain T'lock is in command isn't he?" John paused looking on the face of the Admiral, seeing if he was impressed with the correct answer, or disgusted by a wrong answer, there was nothing on the face that suggested either had occurred.

"It went missing," Jenkins said, "We haven't heard from it for about six days." Jenkins looked worried for a second that sent a chill down the spine of John, never before had John seen such emotion on the Admiral's face.

"You're going to tell me that we're going out there aren't you?" John said concerned, "Sir with all due respect, you said yourself, the sawdust is still on the ship, Lieutenant L'ras said to me yesterday that we've got a week until we're fully operational."

"You'll have to make some of the amendments on the way."

John wanted to push that, he knew he needed more time, he knew the ship needed more time, but if Command had made a decision that was it, he went. "Some of my senior crew aren't even in the system yet, my Operations officer, helmsman." John said turning round looking at the bridge crew who were still at work.

"I've reassigned Lieutenant Junior Grade Chloe Visitor as your helmsman," Jenkins smiled, "she is darn good pilot John, you're lucky to have her." Jenkins paused, "But every good turn has a bad one, I've assigned Ensign Torlik as your senior operations officer."

John quickly turned round and looked at Jenkins; Torlik was a well known Denobilan who held a Starfleet record, the longest serving ensign. Nothing on his record said what had happened or why he was so hated by his previous commanders, but he had been an ensign for twenty years, he had to be doing something wrong for that to happen.

"You'll leave at twenty hundred hours Captain." Jenkins ordered, "Good luck Captain." Jenkins suddenly left the bridge leaving John stood at the side of the bridge.

John looked round the bridge at his command; he felt a strange mix of emotions; excitement, fear and nerves. This was his first command and he was being thrust into the abyss of space with a vessel that wasn't completed yet. "This is not a good idea,"he thought to himself as he walked into his office, he needed to get a few people to the ship and fast.
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Old March 25 2011, 10:17 AM   #4
Gibraltar
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Re: Star Trek: Nightingale

It appears as though this new captain has his work cut out for him. Get a new ship up and running smoothly, assemble a crew, and get thrust into action looking for a missing starship along a potentially hostile border.

I like the time period you’ve elected to explore here. The aftermath of the Dominion War is rife with story potential.

An interesting start, and I’m looking forward to more.
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Old March 26 2011, 07:35 AM   #5
david lowbridge
Lieutenant Commander
 
Location: Somewhere in the future
Re: Star Trek: Nightingale

Chapter two is up

Stardate 53105.0, USS Nightingale, Utopia Plantia


John sat on the scratchy metal chair that had been placed in his office, shifting his bum side to side in annoyance at the uncomfortable furniture. Even being the office space for the commander of the vessel, the space in the room was barely adequate. John was by no means big, yet he struggled to get in and out of desk and comfortably sit down. The furniture as well was of the most basic materials and design, more for practical reasons than anything else, there was no room for a flash desk on this ship.

A chirp at the door signalled a guest had arrived and wanted to speak to the captain, John put down the report he was reading and signalled for the guest to walk in. Commander Hawke strode through the door with a swagger that gave John the fondest memories of his executive officer. "Dan," John piped up, "how good to see you again."

"Commander Hawke reporting for duty, sir!" the man replied in a formal reply.

John hated the formal introduction that Dan had given him, he felt a cold shiver down his back at the thought of being called 'sir' all the time. "Dan please," he uttered, "In my ready room, it's John."

"And what do I say on the bridge?" Dan replied, he had come to full stop now, waiting at the front of the desk at attention.

"Captain will do fine." John stood up and shook Dan's hand hard, "Please take a seat," John threw his hand towards one of the two empty, which Dan quickly took. "You got here in good time," John commented, he had only finished meeting with the Admiral two hours before hand and had sent a message to Dan about the deployment moments afterwards.

"New Berlin and Mars Plantia aren't exactly the opposite ends on the galaxy John," Dan pointed out, "I borrowed a runabout."

"The exact orders have come through." John paused as he grabbed another report that was laid out on his small non-descript desk. "Nightingale is to proceed to Starbase one-one-two for collection of Mission Advisor before making towards last known location of the USS Brave," John read out from the padd in his hand, his voice carried an almost computer like sound to it.

"Mission advisor?" Dan queried, he ran a hand through his thick black hair and down the back of his neck.

"Lieutenant Commander Hans," replied John quickly, still looking at the padd, "The most senior Geckonian in Starfleet, the USS Brave went missing after it responded to a distress call in Geckonian space about three light years from their position along the Gorn border." John knew what the implication of the situation was; Starfleet obviously felt that the Geckonians were somehow responsible for the disappearance of the USS Brave, but being so close to Gorn space, John was not so willing to jump to conclusions.

"The Federation heavily trade with Geckonia," Dan replied, "has the Federation Cargo Authority reported any unusual activity?"

John shook his head, "they haven't a scheduled run for the next several weeks to Geckonia," John paused to look at something on the padd, "the last one entered Federation territory two days before the distress signal."

Dan shook his head, "didn't runs use to happen every couple of days?"

"That was before the Dominion War." John had considered joining the Federation's fleet of cargo ships just weeks earlier, before he had gotten news of his command. "Most of the cargo ships were used to ship materials to the front lines, a lot of them didn't make it out of the war," John gave a deep sigh of sympathy, "they are just too stretched at the moment to make all the runs they use to."

John sat back in his chair, his mind went back to the Dominion War, how as an Executive Officer on the Ark Royal he had seen so many young men and women die for the Federation in Starfleet. At least they had a chance of fighting back, the Dominion's targeting of freighters was indiscriminate and cruel, there was no chance that a freighter had against the might of a single Jem'Hadar attack ship, let alone the three to four that were often seen attacking them. John had felt really sorry for the men aboard those craft, but also admired their bravery.

"If they think this could be a combat situation John," Dan paused, "why are they sending us? We're not a combat ship; we have minimal, basic weapons; barely a full crew and we haven't even tested the ship."

John raised his eyebrows, he had never known Dan to be so outspoken. "We have enough to defend ourselves Dan," John replied encouragingly, "besides, it search and rescue, it's what this little craft has been designed for."

"With all due respect Captain," Dan's tone on the Captain was formal, John felt it was a warning with what he was going to say, "A sovereign class vessel is just as capable of taking care of injured crew as we are."

John leant back in his chair, "The sovereign class can't carry four hundred and fifty casualties; it can barely care for fifty."

John picked another padd on the desk. "We've only got a few hours until we are supposed to depart, we've got a lot of work to do before then." John threw a padd at Dan, who almost dropped it before grabbing it confidently, "I would like you to take care of the bridge functions and science and I've got weapons, engineering and medical."

Dan looked at the list; John could hear his thoughts almost, despite not being a telepath. "You think we'll be ship shape?"

"We'll be good to go Dan." John said. Even as he said those words, John felt something strange in his stomach, apprehension, John wanted to believe what he had said, but he truly did not know if his ship would be right.

Dan stayed in his chair motionless, John knew he had probably more to say on the subject, but he didn't want to hear it. "Dan you're dismissed, see to your orders."

Dan got himself up and walked out of the room. John's stomach clenched as his old friend left the room, as if something about their relationship was now about to change irreversibly, something that neither of them could control. John had the feeling that Dan was right about a few things, the Nightingale was no combat vessel and a Sovereign class vessel could effectively take many injured crewmembers to the nearest starbase. The Brave only had a crew compliment of one hundred and fifty people; most ships could convert a cargo bay into a temporary hospital.

John looked at the fleet deployments in the computer, he looked at the list of ships in the area, many of which were top, ship of the lines, the USS Hood, USS Surek and the USS Ambassador were three such ships that could probably do just as good a ship as the Nightingale in the state she was in.

Turning off the map of ship deployments, John took in the reality, it was his mission, his ships job to rescue the one hundred and fifty people on the ship. He had to accept that and do a damn good job about rescuing the people who could be trapped inside Geckonian space.

John had hardly heard of the Geckonians, other than the general knowledge passed out at the Academy, and he had never met one. Starfleet's own database confirmed that twenty four Geckonians served in Starfleet, but no personal information was ever divulged to Starfleet and the Anthropologists at the science department barely touched on the subject. What was known was the Geckonians were highly territorial and the idea of trade with Federation had taken years to negotiate.

The Gorn on the other hand were well known to Starfleet, from the first contact with them in 2267 when a Gorn vessel attacked and destroyed the original Cestus III colony. The matter was down to the diplomats soon after James Kirk had defeated their commander in some sort of hand to hand combat contest. A treaty in 2281 allowed the reformation of the colony. That system and several others were the border between the Gorn and the Federation.

Since the treaty the relationship between the two powers were more or less amicable, but not much better than that. John recalled several incidents in history where Starfleet and the Gorn had come to blows over matters in their early relationship. The more interesting one being about a space dwelling organism called Mimics which had resided in neutral space and were used by the Gorn as entertainment. If it wasn’t for the relocation of the organisms to Federation space, aided by the USS Ranger in 2330, the Mimics would now be extinct as their captivity was fatal to them.

However, John could not remember anything in the last fifty years that had stated any bad blood between the Gorn and Starfleet, in contrast there was signs of an improving relationship. The Gorn had helped Starfleet in the Dominion Wars providing a fleet that protected the area from the Dominion advances and even participated in a limited capacity in the Battle of Cardassia. Starfleet and the Gorn had even launched a few joint missions during the war, when a Gorn world was overrun by Jem'Hadar troops.

John thought about the possible scenarios, had the Brave been attacked by the Geckonians, an otherwise peaceful race who was more Xenophobic than aggressive. It seemed unlikely that the Geckonians, who had otherwise been polite neighbours had anything to do with the disappearance, but the distress signal had come from their territory, but it was not know if it was one of their ships that had sent the signal.

Perhaps the Brave had been attacked by the Gorn, an aggressive race that was known in the past to distrust the Federation, but had in recent years learned to get along with them. Intelligence reports from the Gorn homeworld, now secretly hidden under the pile of padds on John's desk, showed no sign that Gorn wanted to attack the Federation. In addition, despite the losses suffered to the Borg and the Dominion, Starfleet was by no means unable to defend itself from the Gorn, who in comparison still had a relatively small fleet.

Then there was one last option that no-one had yet mentioned, perhaps something else, something natural had happened to the USS Brave and her crew, a subspace phenomenon, a natural occurring disaster, which had disabled her. Perhaps it was nothing to do with the Gorn or the Geckonians. Maybe what had happened to the original sender of the distress signal had happened to the Brave.

Whatever the cause, John knew he wasn't going to get the answers sitting at his desk with his ship in spacedock. He stood up, pulling his shirt down and moved out of the room with a steady and speedy motion, he was off to find the V'ras, the Vulcan Chief engineer.
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Old March 26 2011, 10:17 AM   #6
Gibraltar
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Re: Star Trek: Nightingale

It looks as though Captain ‘John’ (what is his last name, anyway?) is having some doubts as to the parameters of the mission, doubts clearly shared by his XO. I also wonder if having a close friend assigned as your first officer is the best idea, under the circumstances. Can your XO really be objective when he’s that close to you?

Sounds like there are lots of possibilities involved in the disappearance of the Brave. Here’s hoping this new and untested crew can solve the mystery.
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Old March 26 2011, 07:47 PM   #7
david lowbridge
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Location: Somewhere in the future
Re: Star Trek: Nightingale

I do always like to respond to those who take the time to write a review

Gibraltar wrote: View Post
It appears as though this new captain has his work cut out for him. Get a new ship up and running smoothly, assemble a crew, and get thrust into action looking for a missing starship along a potentially hostile border.

I like the time period you’ve elected to explore here. The aftermath of the Dominion War is rife with story potential.

An interesting start, and I’m looking forward to more.
Thanks for the feedback. Yes I do like to be very cruel to my characters, especially my lead characters. The time period is one which I think could have been explored in so much detail, yet has been left out of ST since DS9 (VOY had no mention of it really and Nemisis made only a brief mention of the war itself). I'm certainly going to be delving into the rich backdrop and exploring some of the loose threads that were left - in this story and in others I have planned.

Gibraltar wrote: View Post
It looks as though Captain ‘John’ (what is his last name, anyway?) is having some doubts as to the parameters of the mission, doubts clearly shared by his XO. I also wonder if having a close friend assigned as your first officer is the best idea, under the circumstances. Can your XO really be objective when he’s that close to you?

Sounds like there are lots of possibilities involved in the disappearance of the Brave. Here’s hoping this new and untested crew can solve the mystery.
John's surname is Wilcox, its in the synopsis, but not in the story (yet) as he will mostly referred to as John when it's his viewpoint we are looking at. Being friends with the XO is a dodgy ground, but the premise of the story is all about this messed up launch. Then again, Spock and Kirk, Janeway and Tuvok, Sisko and Dax, sometimes the captain does have that friendship. I'm looking forward to showing the story - the mystery of the Brave was never going to be easy, but that is what I like.
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Old March 28 2011, 09:31 AM   #8
david lowbridge
Lieutenant Commander
 
Location: Somewhere in the future
Re: Star Trek: Nightingale

Chapter three is ready

Stardate 53105.0 USS Nightingale, Utopia Plantia, Lower Engineering

V'ras stood at the console looking at the readout, his head slightly tilted to the right side and his left eye brow raised ever so slightly. The computer readout was puzzling him, if he were human he would probably say it annoyed him, but that would be an emotional response, and V'ras would not succumb to such basic primal instincts.

"Lieutenant, the readout still says not enough power isn't reaching the reactor," an ensign shouted from another console.

V'ras turned his head and starred a blank look at the ensign, of course he could see what the readout said, he was looking at the same readout, it was obvious; the question was why. V'ras wanted so much, he wanted to serve on a Vulcan only ship, like the T'Kumbra or the Soval, he wanted to stop being assigned to human teams; they were always so chaotic and he wanted to not have to listen to any more obvious points, that humans so often stated.

"Ensign, I want you to replace all the isolinear circuits in junction forty four alpha," V'ras ordered to the young man, there was no need to replace those circuits, they had nothing to do with the reactor, but it was a way in order to get him out of Engineering and away from him. As the ensign left he was glad that at least on this assignment he was the most senior officer in engineering, having been placed in charge of the engineering team building of Nightingale after the completion of the USS St Bernards and USS Hippocrates, which he had been a team member of both.

V'ras knew the ship like it was a member of his family, and he felt the same appreciation for the ship as he did for his parents. It was only logical that such an intimate bond had occurred; as for six months, he had lived and breathed this vessel and nothing else. Now he was going to be the chief engineer on the vessel, which as he had said to Admiral Jenkins was only logical.

As V'ras stared at the computer screen as it gave him readouts of the warp reactor. Something was stopping most of the power from getting to the reactor, something that should be a simple problem, but V'ras, despite his vast knowledge of the ship, had no knowledge of what was causing the slight drop in power. V'ras knew he was against the clock, the ship was due to leave in just a few hours and he could have more work to do than was possible in that time.

"Lieutenant, what is going on with my engine?" asked a male voice from behind V'ras. V'ras turned round to see Captain John Wilcox coming towards him, his strides were well placed, purposeful with each hit on the ground.

"Captain, sir," V'ras replied, "the reactor is not accepting the entire power that we are trying to draw into it." V'ras brought up a schematic of the reactor with lines showing the flow of power and pointed to the two different figures, one that stated the amount that was trying to be pushed into the system and the other what the reactor was taking in.

"What is the cause?" the Captain responded as he leaned over the control panel to look at the brightly coloured diagram, his eyes shifting left to right studying the screen with a passion. V'ras wondered if Captain Wilcox understood what was on the screen or whether he was pretending to be an all knowing Captain.

"I have no idea," V'ras had to admit that, it was not what he wanted to say, but as a Vulcan he could not lie, "I have taken the power intake apart and put it back together."

The Captain seemed to ponder at the situation for a moment; V'ras wanted to tell the Captain that this meeting was wasting his time, which considering the need for speed was illogical to say the least, but that was something fascinating about the way that the Captain reacted to the problem.

"Perhaps you've sprung a leak Lieutenant?"

"A leak sir?" asked V'ras, surprised by the suggestion made by the commanding officer, "what do you mean by a leak?"

The Captain started tapping on the controls and brought up another group of statistics, on the screen showed the power distribution, represented by a red to green scale of how much of the power was present all over the system. "It seems to me, something in the system is draining the power, drawing power from the system when it shouldn't be."

"That would seem to be like a leak and the problem that we have," V'ras suggested, it was another obvious human point, but said in a new way that made it seem different, "but where?"

"Well that is now the question," Captain Wilcox sighed as he looked at the readout, "I was hoping for something more concrete on this readout, but I'm not the expert," he replied as he stood up straight giving V'ras a look that made the Vulcan feel uncomfortable, "you are."

"My position as chief engineer was assured as I have overseen the engineering team on this vessel," V'ras was proud of his position, he had only been in Starfleet for a few years, and at a tender age of twenty six he was already a chief engineer.

"What's the bottom line?"

"The bottom line sir?" another human expression that confused V'ras had popped up from the Captain.

"What does this mean? How fast can we go?" the Captain asked V'ras, his voice now strained.

V'ras considered the question, tilting his head to his right again, "Warp seven," he replied quickly.

John didn't look happy at the answer, V'ras was wondering if his primal instincts to tear up equipment would come out of the calm persona that humans like to portray, yet have yet to manage. "Try to do what you can at this stage," Wilcox replied, "but I want this ship ready to go by the launch time, you'll have to make any further changes at our next stop."

V'ras nodded in agreement, for a human he made sense, "These orders sir," V'ras started to say, "They seem illogical to send a barely functional ship out on this kind of mission, if you don't mind me saying sir?" Although it was not the Vulcan way to question orders, V'ras felt an unnerving urge to point out the illogical orders that they had been given.

The Captain seemed to bite his lip, V'ras had an urge to try to sense the Captain's thought at this moment, it would be fascinating, but that would be an intrusion of privacy and that wasn't the Vulcan way.

"Orders are orders Lieutenant," the Captain responded, "they don't have to be logical, we just have to follow them."

"Aye sir," replied V'ras.

"Lieutenant V'ras where the hell is that damn engineer that is assigned to sickbay?" shouted another voice from behind the Captain. The Captain turned round to see who was shouting. "My apologies Captain, I didn't realise you were here," the voice continued, a slight reddish around the cheeks of the woman dressed in a science uniform, V'ras instantly recognised that she was embarrassed.

"Not a problem Doctor," replied Wilcox, he seemed half amused by her embarrassment.

Lieutenant Commander Rachel Burton was the chief medical officer on the Nightingale, from what V'ras had gathered she was a competent doctor, but was outspoken and demanding. An engineer was supposed to be stationed to work on the sickbay equipment permanently, but in the need for the ship to be ready in time for the departure, V'ras had reassigned the ensign to work on the dilithium matrix.

"I've had to reassign them," V'ras said, "I need every engineer able to work on the engines until we leave space dock."

"I don't care," Burton's voice rose with anger embedded into the words, "I need the imaging chamber up and running, who knows what injuries I could be facing from the Brave."

"The imaging chamber will not help this ship out of space dock Commander," V'ras voice was calm, collective and Vulcan, it seemed only to annoy the doctor more, "It is only logical to work on the systems that we need first before working on other."

The Captain had seemed amused by the small disagreement that had erupted in engineer, "Doctor," the Captain interrupted the conversation before it got out of hand, "It will be several days before we reach the Gorn border, you'll have plenty of time with the engineer in order to get the imaging chamber working," the Captain paused, "until then, I am sure you have other preparations in which you can be getting on with."

Rachel Burton nodded in agreement.

The Captain gave a nod to both the engineer and the doctor and walked out of the room with a commanding yet unsteady stride. V'ras raised an eyebrow for a second, contemplating about what sort of a commander the Captain was going to make, at the moment he didn't seem all too comfortable with the role.

"Is there anything else Doctor?"

"No," the Doctor hastily replied and also walked out of the room.

Stardate 53105.1 USS Nightingale, Utopia Plantia, Chief Medical Officer's Office

Rachel stormed into her office, if there were still manually opening doors she would have slammed it shut to show her annoyance at the situation. Instead she had to make do with just throwing herself down in defiance on the chair that sat behind her small inconvenient desk.

She was made to succumb to a Lieutenant; she needed that ensign to repair her equipment; that was his job not some dilitium matrix. She would have to make a point of this to the Captain at some other time.

Nurse Williams approached the office door from sickbay, popping her head round the corner and giving a broad, apprehensive smile, "Not a good time doctor?" she asked.

"What is it Williams?" Rachel found herself saying, she didn't want to deal with anything, she wanted to lock herself in the office and complete the paperwork that she had flung across her desk before they left space dock.

"The last of the medical supplies have arrived sir," Williams announced with a smile on her face, something that Williams was adept at doing, despite what trouble there was, she smiled through it all, especially to patients. Rachel had seen her work during the Breen attack on Earth, and some of those who had died from injuries her care had done so with a smile from a comforting beautiful face.

"Cargo bay three, that's out designated storage compartment." Burton said, a stinging tone to her voice, it wasn't Williams fault that she hadn't got her way, but for some reason Burton found herself taking it out on the poor head nurse.

"Its full sir," Williams replied.

Rachel threw down the padd that she was working on, she had no authorisation to place any medical equipment in any other place, and none of the other cargo bays were secure enough or had the right storage setup. Burton thought about how much medical equipment that they must be carrying for there to be too much for the large cargo bay to be full, it started to boggle her mind.

"Start to take some out of storage then," Rachel replied, "Put some of the most used equipment in the right areas of the medical bays," Rachel looked up at her chief nurse, "anything else?"

The nurse entered the room fully and sat down in front of the desk, still giving her bright, cheerful smile, "Couldn't get the young ensign back?" she asked.

Rachel shook her head, the anger she felt about the situation was rooted in her thoughts at the moment.

"It's okay," Williams replied, "It'll be more than a few days until we need it Doctor," she continued, "And I'm far too busy to keeping an eye on some grease monkey to make sure he calibrating it correctly."

Rachel found a tickle in the back of her throat, it was the beginning of a laugh, she didn't want to laugh, but her head nurse sometimes made some funny comments. "Alright, I'm overreacting," her head nurse also had a unique way of making a point, without actually saying a word, "I just want my medical deck working before we leave."

"Well that was never going to happen now we're leaving early was it Doctor!"

Rachel realised that now, she just didn't want to admit it; perhaps she wouldn't speak to the Captain later. Rachel noticed that Williams was still wearing her warrant officers rank, "Where's your ensigns badge?" she asked, changing the conversation away from her and to her nurse.

"My commission isn't official until next week," Williams replied, her voice for once showing disappointment.

Rachel nodded, "I'll speak to Medical, we'll get it moved forward."

Williams gave another trademark smile and nodded to Rachel who at last smiled back. Her job seemed done; Williams left Rachel alone, Rachel was glad of that.
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Old March 28 2011, 09:32 AM   #9
david lowbridge
Lieutenant Commander
 
Location: Somewhere in the future
Re: Star Trek: Nightingale

Chapter three is ready

Stardate 53105.0 USS Nightingale, Utopia Plantia, Lower Engineering

V'ras stood at the console looking at the readout, his head slightly tilted to the right side and his left eye brow raised ever so slightly. The computer readout was puzzling him, if he were human he would probably say it annoyed him, but that would be an emotional response, and V'ras would not succumb to such basic primal instincts.

"Lieutenant, the readout still says not enough power is reaching the reactor," an ensign shouted from another console.

V'ras turned his head and starred a blank look at the ensign, of course he could see what the readout said, he was looking at the same readout, it was obvious; the question was why. V'ras wanted so much, he wanted to serve on a Vulcan only ship, like the T'Kumbra or the Soval, he wanted to stop being assigned to human teams; they were always so chaotic and he wanted to not have to listen to any more obvious points, that humans so often stated.

"Ensign, I want you to replace all the isolinear circuits in junction forty four alpha," V'ras ordered to the young man, there was no need to replace those circuits, they had nothing to do with the reactor, but it was a way in order to get him out of Engineering and away from him. As the ensign left he was glad that at least on this assignment he was the most senior officer in engineering, having been placed in charge of the engineering team building of Nightingale after the completion of the USS St Bernards and USS Hippocrates, which he had been a team member of both.

V'ras knew the ship like it was a member of his family, and he felt the same appreciation for the ship as he did for his parents. It was only logical that such an intimate bond had occurred; as for six months, he had lived and breathed this vessel and nothing else. Now he was going to be the chief engineer on the vessel, which as he had said to Admiral Jenkins was only logical.

As V'ras stared at the computer screen as it gave him readouts of the warp reactor. Something was stopping most of the power from getting to the reactor, something that should be a simple problem, but V'ras, despite his vast knowledge of the ship, had no knowledge of what was causing the slight drop in power. V'ras knew he was against the clock, the ship was due to leave in just a few hours and he could have more work to do than was possible in that time.

"Lieutenant, what is going on with my engine?" asked a male voice from behind V'ras. V'ras turned round to see Captain John Wilcox coming towards him, his strides were well placed, purposeful with each hit on the ground.

"Captain, sir," V'ras replied, "the reactor is not accepting the entire power that we are trying to draw into it." V'ras brought up a schematic of the reactor with lines showing the flow of power and pointed to the two different figures, one that stated the amount that was trying to be pushed into the system and the other what the reactor was taking in.

"What is the cause?" the Captain responded as he leaned over the control panel to look at the brightly coloured diagram, his eyes shifting left to right studying the screen with a passion. V'ras wondered if Captain Wilcox understood what was on the screen or whether he was pretending to be an all knowing Captain.

"I have no idea," V'ras had to admit that, it was not what he wanted to say, but as a Vulcan he could not lie, "I have taken the power intake apart and put it back together."

The Captain seemed to ponder at the situation for a moment; V'ras wanted to tell the Captain that this meeting was wasting his time, which considering the need for speed was illogical to say the least, but that was something fascinating about the way that the Captain reacted to the problem.

"Perhaps you've sprung a leak Lieutenant?"

"A leak sir?" asked V'ras, surprised by the suggestion made by the commanding officer, "what do you mean by a leak?"

The Captain started tapping on the controls and brought up another group of statistics, on the screen showed the power distribution, represented by a red to green scale of how much of the power was present all over the system. "It seems to me, something in the system is draining the power, drawing power from the system when it shouldn't be."

"That would seem to be like a leak and the problem that we have," V'ras suggested, it was another obvious human point, but said in a new way that made it seem different, "but where?"

"Well that is now the question," Captain Wilcox sighed as he looked at the readout, "I was hoping for something more concrete on this readout, but I'm not the expert," he replied as he stood up straight giving V'ras a look that made the Vulcan feel uncomfortable, "you are."

"My position as chief engineer was assured as I have overseen the engineering team on this vessel," V'ras was proud of his position, he had only been in Starfleet for a few years, and at a tender age of twenty six he was already a chief engineer.

"What's the bottom line?"

"The bottom line sir?" another human expression that confused V'ras had popped up from the Captain.

"What does this mean? How fast can we go?" the Captain asked V'ras, his voice now strained.

V'ras considered the question, tilting his head to his right again, "Warp seven," he replied quickly.

John didn't look happy at the answer, V'ras was wondering if his primal instincts to tear up equipment would come out of the calm persona that humans like to portray, yet have yet to manage. "Try to do what you can at this stage," Wilcox replied, "but I want this ship ready to go by the launch time, you'll have to make any further changes at our next stop."

V'ras nodded in agreement, for a human he made sense, "These orders sir," V'ras started to say, "They seem illogical to send a barely functional ship out on this kind of mission, if you don't mind me saying sir?" Although it was not the Vulcan way to question orders, V'ras felt an unnerving urge to point out the illogical orders that they had been given.

The Captain seemed to bite his lip, V'ras had an urge to try to sense the Captain's thought at this moment, it would be fascinating, but that would be an intrusion of privacy and that wasn't the Vulcan way.

"Orders are orders Lieutenant," the Captain responded, "they don't have to be logical, we just have to follow them."

"Aye sir," replied V'ras.

"Lieutenant V'ras where the hell is that damn engineer that is assigned to sickbay?" shouted another voice from behind the Captain. The Captain turned round to see who was shouting. "My apologies Captain, I didn't realise you were here," the voice continued, a slight reddish around the cheeks of the woman dressed in a science uniform, V'ras instantly recognised that she was embarrassed.

"Not a problem Doctor," replied Wilcox, he seemed half amused by her embarrassment.

Lieutenant Commander Rachel Burton was the chief medical officer on the Nightingale, from what V'ras had gathered she was a competent doctor, but was outspoken and demanding. An engineer was supposed to be stationed to work on the sickbay equipment permanently, but in the need for the ship to be ready in time for the departure, V'ras had reassigned the ensign to work on the dilithium matrix.

"I've had to reassign them," V'ras said, "I need every engineer able to work on the engines until we leave space dock."

"I don't care," Burton's voice rose with anger embedded into the words, "I need the imaging chamber up and running, who knows what injuries I could be facing from the Brave."

"The imaging chamber will not help this ship out of space dock Commander," V'ras voice was calm, collective and Vulcan, it seemed only to annoy the doctor more, "It is only logical to work on the systems that we need first before working on other."

The Captain had seemed amused by the small disagreement that had erupted in engineer, "Doctor," the Captain interrupted the conversation before it got out of hand, "It will be several days before we reach the Gorn border, you'll have plenty of time with the engineer in order to get the imaging chamber working," the Captain paused, "until then, I am sure you have other preparations in which you can be getting on with."

Rachel Burton nodded in agreement.

The Captain gave a nod to both the engineer and the doctor and walked out of the room with a commanding yet unsteady stride. V'ras raised an eyebrow for a second, contemplating about what sort of a commander the Captain was going to make, at the moment he didn't seem all too comfortable with the role.

"Is there anything else Doctor?"

"No," the Doctor hastily replied and also walked out of the room.

Stardate 53105.1 USS Nightingale, Utopia Plantia, Chief Medical Officer's Office

Rachel stormed into her office, if there were still manually opening doors she would have slammed it shut to show her annoyance at the situation. Instead she had to make do with just throwing herself down in defiance on the chair that sat behind her small inconvenient desk.

She was made to succumb to a Lieutenant; she needed that ensign to repair her equipment; that was his job not some dilitium matrix. She would have to make a point of this to the Captain at some other time.

Nurse Williams approached the office door from sickbay, popping her head round the corner and giving a broad, apprehensive smile, "Not a good time doctor?" she asked.

"What is it Williams?" Rachel found herself saying, she didn't want to deal with anything, she wanted to lock herself in the office and complete the paperwork that she had flung across her desk before they left space dock.

"The last of the medical supplies have arrived sir," Williams announced with a smile on her face, something that Williams was adept at doing, despite what trouble there was, she smiled through it all, especially to patients. Rachel had seen her work during the Breen attack on Earth, and some of those who had died from injuries her care had done so with a smile from a comforting beautiful face.

"Cargo bay three, that's out designated storage compartment." Burton said, a stinging tone to her voice, it wasn't Williams fault that she hadn't got her way, but for some reason Burton found herself taking it out on the poor head nurse.

"Its full sir," Williams replied.

Rachel threw down the padd that she was working on, she had no authorisation to place any medical equipment in any other place, and none of the other cargo bays were secure enough or had the right storage setup. Burton thought about how much medical equipment that they must be carrying for there to be too much for the large cargo bay to be full, it started to boggle her mind.

"Start to take some out of storage then," Rachel replied, "Put some of the most used equipment in the right areas of the medical bays," Rachel looked up at her chief nurse, "anything else?"

The nurse entered the room fully and sat down in front of the desk, still giving her bright, cheerful smile, "Couldn't get the young ensign back?" she asked.

Rachel shook her head, the anger she felt about the situation was rooted in her thoughts at the moment.

"It's okay," Williams replied, "It'll be more than a few days until we need it Doctor," she continued, "And I'm far too busy to keeping an eye on some grease monkey to make sure he calibrating it correctly."

Rachel found a tickle in the back of her throat, it was the beginning of a laugh, she didn't want to laugh, but her head nurse sometimes made some funny comments. "Alright, I'm overreacting," her head nurse also had a unique way of making a point, without actually saying a word, "I just want my medical deck working before we leave."

"Well that was never going to happen now we're leaving early was it Doctor!"

Rachel realised that now, she just didn't want to admit it; perhaps she wouldn't speak to the Captain later. Rachel noticed that Williams was still wearing her warrant officers rank, "Where's your ensigns badge?" she asked, changing the conversation away from her and to her nurse.

"My commission isn't official until next week," Williams replied, her voice for once showing disappointment.

Rachel nodded, "I'll speak to Medical, we'll get it moved forward."

Williams gave another trademark smile and nodded to Rachel who at last smiled back. Her job seemed done; Williams left Rachel alone, Rachel was glad of that.
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Old March 30 2011, 12:13 AM   #10
david lowbridge
Lieutenant Commander
 
Location: Somewhere in the future
Re: Star Trek: Nightingale

Chapter 4 is ready... again comments and feedback welcome...

Stardate 53106.08, Captain's Ready Room, USS Nightingale, Utopia Plantia

Captain Wilcox was sat at his desk looking over the crew manifest he had in front of him. The list of everyone on his ship was present plus the mission advisor that would be joining them at Starbase one-one-two. John checked the list against the crew he had originally requested for, there were several names on the list that weren't present, Jones his Operations Officer and Wongla his helmsman were his two missing officers and twenty one enlisted personnel were either missing or replaced.

What concerned John more than anything was the lack of security that he had on ship, he had a total of six personnel in order to maintain security, and they were all tactical officers not security officers. Although the departments were often interchangeable, there were still some delicate differences between the two, and not having enough of either seriously affected the combat efficiency and the security aboard ship. The persons he had were just enough to run the ship's weapons during combat, if they got boarded, there was no way effective way he could counter it.

John had contacted Admiral Jenkins, but he had been told that he had all the personnel that he could have and he would have to either deal with it, or find another way around the problem. John knew that the fleet was suffering from major man shortages but felt that his ship was given a low priority when it came to giving out personnel. His ship was designed to have a crew of sixty five; he had fifty five crewmembers on board, barely enough to fly the vessel let alone carry out its mission.

John also had serious doubts about some of the crew that were assigned to him. Lieutenant Junior Grade Chloe Visitor for instance had only graduated four months ago - how on earth she had obtained her rank so quickly was a stroke of luck. She had been piloting a shuttle in the Delphnic system with two admirals aboard, transporting them from a starbase to a nearby patrol vessel, when a Dominion task force attacked the system. She had piloted the shuttle to safety and disabled a Jem'Hadar attack ship in the process, the two admirals were so impressed by her skills they promoted her on the spot. It sounded as if she was a great pilot and surely someone who was good to have on the ship, but was she experienced enough to head up the navigational department, she would have responsibility for two other crewmembers, John doubted that her abilities was good enough to compensate for her lack of experience.

Then there was Ensign Torlik; he was something of a mystery. According to his record on his first assignment he was responsible for the death of sixty crewmembers when he fired the weapons to the ship too close to a Klingon Bird of Prey. The Klingon vessel exploded far too close and his vessel was severely damaged with hull breaches on nearly every single deck. However he had never had a bad word said against him on any of the seventeen posts he has had since that post. But it was hard to have a bad word said against you when your only responsibility is cleaning the waste disposal units. It seemed that his former commanders were just keen to get rid of him.

At the end of the day, John knew that it didn't matter; he was stuck with both of them for now in the roles that they had been assigned and they were due to call on him at any minute. John paused as he picked up the next padd in front of him, the engineering report, he was about half way down, probably about to get to the end of the techno babble that V'ras had written to find out the actual speed he thinks that ship could maintain when the chime of his office door went. John ushered the callers in.

John instantly recognised the young brunette as Chloe Visitor and behind her was a middle aged Denobulan, John presumed this was the infamous Torlik. John studied both of them carefully as they filed in front of his inadequate sized desk, both stiff at attention.

"Stand easy both of you," ordered John, both of the figure before him moved swiftly into a more relaxed posture, "welcome aboard the USS Nightingale." John smiled at both of them, hoping to create some sort of friendly atmosphere, some kind of rapport with these two officers. Deep down it felt fake.

"Thank you sir," the young helmsman replied in a soft excited girly voice. He gleaming smile portrayed as much as her voice; she was very happy to be on this assignment.

"Sir," the Denobulan replied, his tone was much more neutral, as if he was bored, as if he didn't want to be there, which would have made two in the room.

"It's good to have you both onboard," that was another lie, like his friendly smile, "you both have something to offer the ship, I expect a lot from my crew, don't let me down." John changed his gaze, holding each one of them by the eyes in a serious embrace. Neither of the junior officers seemed too fazed by the look, Torlik kept his bored expression and Visitor's earlier excitement had not completely disappeared.

"First assignment on a Starship isn't it Lieutenant Visitor?" John asked standing up to get to the same height as his two officers.

"Yes sir," replied visitor snappily, "I was assigned to Starbase four-one-two for three months before being assigned to Earth," she explained, neither post, to John's recollection, was anything special, especially to a young officer looking for adventure to the expanse of space, this assignment was probably the dream she wanted, flying a vessel, not sat behind a shuttle doing regular passenger runs.

John smiled at her, "have you met the rest of your department yet?"

"No sir."

"You're responsible for them on this ship Lieutenant, it's your department and I want navigation to run smoothly," John reminded the young girl. John switched his focus to Torlik, "What assignment number is this for you Ensign?"

"Nineteenth," the man replied abruptly.

"A lot of experience there to give the ship, there are a lot of people who could benefit from that," John said with the fake encouraging smile that he had held before.

"Can we just get on with it sir," replied the sour faced Denobulan, "just assign me to waste extraction and get it over with."

John bit his lip; he hadn't expected that kind of response from the ensign, it almost threw him back. It had certainly thrown Lieutenant Visitor who had turned her head and changed her expression from excitement to pure shock. "Lieutenant could you take your station please," John asked, "we'll be departing soon, I just want a word with Ensign Torlik before we leave."

Chloe nodded her head, stood to attention and walked out of the room. John let his office door slid shut before he returned to look at Torlik, which seemed like an eternity before they had finally closed.

"What on Earth was that?" John shouted.

"We both know what I'm doing here, what's on my record and what assignments I've been given for the past twenty years," Torlik sternly replied, his voice not raised, tempered by age and experience, yet speaking volumes of what he thought.

"For your information ensign," John began to say, his voice lowered, but anger penetrating each and every word, "I have no choice, I have to assign you to the bridge, as chief of operations. My only other operations officer is fresh out of the academy. He doesn't have the experience or respect to command the non-commissioned officers."

"In case you've forgot sir, I don't have anyone's respect."

John was about to speak again, but paused, his mouth half open. Quickly shutting it he sat down in his chair, dropping his rear on the seat like a lead weight in water, "I take it you don't like Starfleet very much." John made more of a comment than a question, it was an obvious statement, Torlik had obvious resentment against his assignments and Starfleet.

"It's hard not to resent an organisation that has persecuted you for twenty years," Torlik gave a look at John that slightly scared him deep inside, Denobulans weren't known for being a particularly aggressive species but Torlik seemed as aggressive as any Klingon.

"If you hate Starfleet so much, why don't you leave?" John asked, more curious than anything else, "I can't have an operations officer who doesn't want to be on that bridge."

Torlik's eyes filled with years of depression, something that John felt saddened to see, "Starfleet is all I have sir," he replied, "with my record no other ship would have me on their crew scrubbing plasma injectors or cleaning waste disposal units." Torlik held his head low, looking at the floor, a tear formed in his eye and dropped down to where he was looking at, "My wives won't have anything to do with me and my children have all disowned me," he announced, sadness filled his voice, "I haven't spoken to any of them for sixteen years now, you see Captain, I have nothing but the fleet."

John looked at his desk, his heart felt heavy and he started to sympathise with Torlik. Everything that he had gone through, everything he had lost and yet the very thing that had caused it, his career, was the only thing left to him and he clung to that like a bat to its' perch. "There isn't much detail in the records about the..." John paused for a second, he didn't know what the right word to say was, "incident," he finally came up with, "is everything in the report? Is it all accurate?"

Torlik's head rose slightly, his eyes still filled with tears, and yet anger still present within them, "To be honest sir," Torlik stopped in the middle of his sentence, his voice stuttered, then he composed himself, "it doesn't matter sir, it doesn't change anything," Torlik's voice started filling with the same anger that had saturated his voice earlier, "you said so yourself sir, if you had a choice, I wouldn't be on your bridge." Torlik snapped at John.

John stood up in anger, "With that kind of attitude ensign, my opinion of you won't matter," John walked over to his door and held a finger over the open button. "While on my ship you will serve as chief of operations and I will expect you to show some professionalism in that post" John paused, his finger poised to press the button, "keep that attitude in check mister, or you will find yourself off this vessel."

"Yes sir," replied the now completely composed and emotionless Torlik.

John pressed the door button and walked out onto the bridge, not giving the ensign another look. Torlik followed John out quickly taking his station at the operations enclave that was behind and to the left of the Captain's chair. John strode to his chair and sat down, on his right Dan Hawke sat comfortably in the executive's chair. He had a look of concern on his face, "everything okay Captain?" he asked.

John nodded, his face telling a different story than what he was trying to portray, "let's get going shall we?" he asked looking at Dan. Dan nodded and stood up, taking up the centre of the bridge.

"All hands, prepare for departure, clear all moorings and spin up the engines," Dan started to give the general list of items that were required to leave the dry dock.

John pressed a button on his command console next to his chair to open up a communications channel, "Space Control, this is the USS Nightingale, request permission to leave dry dock and proceed with mission."

"USS Nightingale this is Space Control, permission granted. Please remain at one quarter impulse until you have cleared the defence perimeter," the controller, a female voice replied to John's communication. John looked at Dan and nodded at him.

Dan turned round to the chief of operations; Torlik was stood at his station pressing random buttons on his console, looking like he was monitoring something, "are we free of the dry dock ensign?"

Torlik looked at another console, pressing a few more buttons, John felt a little uneasy in his stomach, as he felt the Denobulan was taking too long in the process, "the umbilical cord has been cut now sir," Torlik eventually responded, "we are completely free of dry dock."

Dan licked his lips, an excited movement John noticed Dan did from time to time, and walked up to Lieutenant Chloe Visitor at the helm station, who was smiling from ear to ear, "take us out Lieutenant, thrusters only until we have cleared the dry dock then one quarter impulse to the perimeter," he ordered.

John's stomach tightened as he felt the ship jolt forward, with the motion of the first firing of the thrusters, John decided to drag his thoughts to other matters. He pressed another button on his command console, "Captain Wilcox to Lieutenant V'ras."

"V'ras here," came the Lieutenant's Vulcan voice, so perfectly pitched so perfectly maintained and emotionless, "you can go to warp nine when you are ready sir."

John allowed himself a smile, "Commander," Dan turned round to face John, "when we have cleared the perimeter, maximum warp to Starbase one-one-two."

Dan nodded and turned back round to look at the view screen that showed the exterior view of the ship moving forward. "How long until we have cleared the perimeter Lieutenant?" he asked Chloe who was busy piloting the vessel, with not a look of concentration on her face, but pure enjoyment.

"Two minutes sir," she replied, "and at warp nine it will take us three days to reach one-one-two."

John was impressed by the young officer's thought of calculating the speed, and her ability to do so while trying to control the ship during a difficult manoeuvre.

Shrak, at the tactical station, seemed almost bored. John looked at the other crew on the bridge who all seemed to be thrilled to be on the move and enjoying the launch. John wished he could share the same feelings, but something deep down didn't make him feel excited about the launch, not with all the problems that were going on with the ship.

John was disturbed in his thoughts of the mission and the launch by Chloe, "We've cleared the defence perimeter," she announced, "course plotted for Starbase one-one-two, warp nine."

John looked at the screen, "engage," he ordered, standing up from his seat.

Chloe pressed a few buttons and the ship slid effortlessly into warp nine.
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Original fan fiction by David Lowbridge:
Star Trek Nightingale
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Old March 30 2011, 03:41 AM   #11
cathouse_joe
Ensign
 
Re: Star Trek: Nightingale

You need a few Binars for jacking into other vessels' systems and using them to contain the officers/crew of the enemy vessel (in order to buy you time for whatever you're going to do during/after a battle.)

Such as beam the enemy crew into space (using shuttle transporters,) or to the disabled Starfleet vessel and return to Federation territory in ~the enemy's~ ship, towing their own disabled (Starfleet) ship behind them with prisoners to interrogate at the nearest available facility.

Last edited by cathouse_joe; March 30 2011 at 05:33 AM.
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Old April 3 2011, 12:17 AM   #12
david lowbridge
Lieutenant Commander
 
Location: Somewhere in the future
Re: Star Trek: Nightingale

Chapter five - warning a small amount of violence in the chapter, but nothing an episode of Star Trek wouldn't have...



Stardate 33537.5 (Twenty Years Ago) Bridge, USS Victory

Torlik brushed the dust off his uniform as he stood up from the floor of the wrecked bridge, beams from the ceiling had come down and console screens were burnt out, the bridge had never looked so bad. He looked at the damage control panel on his command readouts, "shield's are off line and I don't think our hull integrity is going to hold for long," he said looking at the Captain who was sat in his chair.

"What about the Klingon ship?" the Captain asked, as if wasn't bothered by the damage report.

A dark man across the room replied hastily as he swept an arm across his head, wiping sweat from his brow, "The Klingons aren't in a good state," he paused for a moment looking at the readouts, "shields are down, weapons are limited, I would say we've knocked out one of the disruptors and their torpedo launchers."

Torlik noticed the Captain stand up and smile, just as a spark flew across the bridge, a reaction from a recent hit to the hull. "We're still in the fight then," he shouted across the bridge in a jubilant fashion, "Lieutenant Murray," the tactical officer rose his head from the panel of controls he had, Torlik couldn't help himself watching the Captain, "disable that klingon vessel," the order was short and blunt but it was simple. So far the Captain had been concentrating his fire on a defensive strategy, but now he was willing to be more aggressive.

Torlik watched the tactical officer fire the ship's only working phaser at the Klingons' weapons and engines. Monitored the power regulation coming from his own ship, he noticed that there was a slight rise in the stress that was being exerted on the ship's already taxed power systems, Torlik was worried about it. "We can't keep up the power usage sir," he shouted, "the power system is about the fail on us." If the power system failed, they would sitting ducks and the freighter they were protecting too.

"Tactical?" the captain shouted across the room.

"Just about finished," the Lieutenant replied, a manic smile coming across his face. "They've been disabled," he announced calmly. The bridge almost erupted in a cheer of joy, the Victory had been in a lengthy battle with a vessel that was more than a match for her, yet she seemed to have come out better. With the firing stopped the power systems returned to normal, Torlik was relieved.

"Ensign Torlik," the Captain turned to face Torlik, "begin rescue operations of the freighter, we'll offer the Klingons a ride after we've rescued the crew of the freighter," he ordered. Torlik was about to press his comm badge to call on a number of people to prepare for rescue operations when an alarm started beeping on his console, the Captain rushed over to Torlik as he read the sensor report.

"The Klingon ship's warp reactor is going critical," Torlik announced. His Starfleet training had told him not to be scared, to approach the situation with calmness and integrity, but he felt frightened deep down, "we're too close to the ship," he continued, some of the fear showing in his voice.

The Captain walked up to a walk bar that separated the bridge in two, "helm take us away from the Klingon ship, one half impulse," he ordered, calm still in voice, something that Torlik admired.

"The freighter is too close," Torlik said to the Captain, who turned his attention back to Torlik, "they don't have any engines left." Torlik looked at the stricken vessel and gave a thought for the one thousand people on board the freighter heading towards a new colony.

"Can we use the tractor beam to pull them away?" the Captain asked his tactical officer moving across the bridge, almost strutting like a peacock.

"Tractor beam is off line," Lieutenant Murray replied, Torlik noticed that his nervous habit of biting his lip and come up, he was obviously just as worried.

The Captain walked over to his chair and sat down, "we can't do anything about it then," he said calmly. There was a silence across the bridge as everyone made sense of the situation; Torlik himself had to make sense of the problem at hand.

"Captain," Torlik broke the silence first, "we could position ourselves between the Klingon vessel and the freighter." Torlik knew what he was suggesting was dangerous, but as Starfleet officers it was their duty to put their lives on the line for the freighters crew and passengers.

"Our shields emitters are burnt out ensign," the Captain replied, "we would be destroyed."

Torlik shook his head, "Not if we re-route power to the structural integrity field, we should be able to survive." Torlik was ready to press the buttons on the console in front of his to re-route the power to the necessary systems. Torlik knew it was a risk, but it was one he wanted to do.

"We would take excessive damage," the Captain stated, "we won't do it." The Captain stayed in his chair, looking at the view screen, away from Torlik. Torlik looked around the room, a few of the officers were looking at him, but none of them seemed too bothered about the Captain's orders, nor did they seem sympathetic to Torlik's idea.

Torlik thought for a second, he had to do something. He quickly thought of a plan.

"Captain," the helmsman said, "I've lost control of the helm," he announced slamming his hand against the panel in a vain attempt to make it work.

"How long until the Klingon ship explodes?" the Captain asked his tactical officer moving out of his chair to stand just in front of it.

"Forty five seconds."

"Will we be far enough away by then?" the Captain's voice suddenly dropped from his calm, pompous manner that he had before, to one of fear.

The helmsman looked at his readings, "we're moving in the opposite direction," the man announced astonished, "someone must have taken control of the helm remotely." The helmsman quickly attempted to regain control of the helm.

"Torlik," the Captain shouted, "move us away from the Klingon vessel," he ordered, his voice showing the stress through anger.

Torlik raised his head and shook his head, "we have a duty to those people," he replied, his voice now calm, fear had completely left him, he had a purpose and if he was to die, then it was a good way to die.

"Torlik," the Captain continued, "I am ordering you to stand down. Give up helm control"

"Thirty seconds," Murray quickly shouted from across the room, his voice now seemed fearful, Torlik noticed that most of the bridge crew had stopped their work and was now watching the drama unfold in front of them.

"We're directly between the Klingon vessel and the freighter," the helmsman announced aloud. Heads turned from side to side looking for one of the two, the Captain or Torlik to relent.

"Torlik, get us away from that ship, that's an order," the Captain seemed so small now to Torlik, he had respected his commander just a few moments ago, however now he saw the true colours of the Captain, he was willing to go only so far for those he swore to protect. "Murray take him out," the Captain shouted across the room to the tactical officer.

Murray grabbed his phaser that he stored under his console and aimed it at the young ensign across the bridge from him. Torlik saw the Lieutenant fire just in time and ducked as a burst of red energy passed above his head. Torlik sighed in relief for a second, Murray had missed; he grabbed his phaser and fired back at the tactical officer. The red burst of energy hit Murray on his right shoulder and he flew backwards hitting his head on a corner of the bridge, his limp body then slumped against the wall, almost lifeless.

The Captain stared at Torlik. Torlik returned the look, both had disgust in their eyes for the other, neither wanted to budge on what they in turn had done or wanted. The Captain turned to watch the view screen as the Klingon bird of prey started to explode from the inside, the debris and the explosion racing towards the USS Victory. Torlik barely reacted as the ship stations around his started to explode and flames raged around him.

Torlik noticed on his scanner that the freighter was completely safe because of the protection that the Victory was giving her. Torlik could see the damage being done to the ship that he had only just joined the ship. He could see the hull breaches erupting across the ship, he knew people who worked in those sections and he hoped that they would be alright, but at the end of the day he knew that he had done the right thing, the crew of the victory was only two hundred strong, yet the freighter was one thousand, he had to act to save them. Torlik felt a brief moment of personal pride but also hatred for the Captain who was willing to let all those people die for his own safety.

Torlik felt a hard object hit him on the back of his head. Then it went completely dark.

Stardate 53110.1 (Present Day), Torlik's Quarters, USS Nightingale

Torlik opened his eyes quickly and quickly refocused his attention to the here and present; it had been a hallucination of a memory. Torlik's breath was out of pace and uncontrolled. He had these 'dreams' nearly every day when he rested, going into a meditative state and when he had his yearly hibernation. Torlik could feel his heart beating very fast for him, something that he would have to try to control.

He paused for a moment, his eyes closed attempting to feel his heart and stroke it calm mentally. Feeling his body return to normal, he opened his eyes to look around at his surroundings. He was in his shared quarters with Ensign Paul Williams, the ship's Chief Science Officer. Torlik thought it was a joke assignment, even more than his own, as Ensign Williams only had two other crewmembers in his department and one small science lab.

Paul was due back at any moment, his duty shift would be over and he would want to 'hit the sack' as he would put it.

Torlik raised himself off his bunk and went to the cupboard that contained several personal items, Torlik pulled out a small brightly coloured blanket, holding it tightly he wanted to burst into tears. The pain of the blanket, his first child's night time comfort reminded him of his loss over the years from the incident that plague his career and his memory.

Right on cue Paul entered the room, looking tired after a night on the bridge, "Torlik," he said welcoming, "you ready for breakfast?" he asked cheerfully, "I'm going for a full English today I think." Paul had always seemed like a happy person, he never worried about what people thought of him, or what people thought of others, he seemed to give everyone a chance, which was a welcome break for Torlik.

Torlik shook his head, placing the blanket back in his storage locker, "don't you want to get some sleep?" he asked shutting the door and grabbing a few padds stored on the shared desk.

Paul smiled, "I can get some sleep later," he replied cheerfully, "you look like you need to get something off your chest and I like to listen."

Torlik pondered for a moment, for the past two days, Paul had done nothing but talk; in fact he had heard several crewmembers talking about the annoying amount of talking that Paul did. When Torlik got back from his shift yesterday, all Paul did was talk about the latest holo novel that he was reading, something that Torlik had no interest in, he hated murder mysteries. Torlik doubted that Paul knew how to listen or that either of his ears worked at all.

"I don't think that you would want to hear my problems," Torlik said, his sad voice echoing in the small cramp room.

"Come on," Paul replied, "you listen to me all the time," that much was true Torlik thought as Paul paused, "it would be nice to hear you say something for a time." Torlik had talked plenty to Ensign Williams; he had spoken to Paul for hours on the new transporter systems that were installed on the USS Nightingale on their first meeting and yesterday morning he spoke for half an hour on the problems he faced with the power regulatory system that didn't seem quite as good as it should be.

"I believe that my personal life would bore you," Torlik said walking out of the room.
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Old April 11 2011, 07:48 PM   #13
david lowbridge
Lieutenant Commander
 
Location: Somewhere in the future
Re: Star Trek: Nightingale

Stardate 53112.1, Infirmary, USS Nightingale

Rachel monitored the readouts as they came through to the monitoring station in front of her. Her mind was clear of the disagreement she had with Lieutenant V'ras a couple of days ago. V'ras had recently released the Biomedical Systems Specialist from the engineering section to her infirmary where his normal duty would be. The young ensign had just spent the last sixteen hours trying to get the Imaging Chamber up and running, yet there were still some problems.

"The resolution still needs to be adjusted," Rachel said as she tapped on the console, "I'm getting some interference."

Ensign Amanda Hodge pulled herself out of the small chamber that was tucked up in the wall. The latest Starfleet technology, the chamber was able to diagnose and treat a number of injuries and diseases. Rachel thought that the imaging technology was a great piece of ingenuity from Starfleet Corps of Engineers and Medical that during the Dominion War saved countless lives. However many other doctors thought the latest technology made them more redundant. Of course the technology was still limited; it could not heal phaser or disruptor fire injuries and internal injuries. Its main use is against burns and other skin disorders.

Amanda looked at the doctor and sighed, something that greatly irritated Rachel. "I can't bring the resolution any finer," she said, "not without burning the circuitry systems on the whole deck, it would bring the whole sickbay into problems," she explained, wiping some dust off her delicate cheek.

Rachel hit the console in front of her out of pure frustration, he hated being told what she could or couldn't do.

"Well hitting the console isn't going to achieve anything but giving me more work."

"I don't like being powerless," Rachel explained snappily.

"Nor do I sir," Amanda moved a hand onto Rachel's shoulder, "but this machine works fine at the moment, it just isn't perfect."

"Do you know what is wrong with it?" Rachel asked as she pulled her had away from the console and her body from Amanda. Her hand ached from hitting the console so hard, but she didn't want to openly admit it.

"We would probably need a new sensor array within the device," Amanda's first finger touched just above her upper lip as she pondered the possibilities, "the thing is with this machine, it's the first time I've seen one, let alone built or repaired one. I had to look at the instructions."

"I don't suppose that helped," Rachel replied mockingly.

"Sir, with all due respect," Amanda stated, "I dare not comment on your medical skills, please don't comment on my engineering skills."

Rachel swung her head from side to side in annoyance, the ensign was right; she should not have questioned his abilities. "I'm sorry," she said, pursing her lips together.

Amanda was about to say something when Commander Hawke walked through into the infirmary, his speed showing true purpose in his strides across the deck plating. "Commander Burton," his booming voice started, "I need to have a word with you in private."

Amanda was the only other person in the room and so excused herself, making a brief acknowledgement to the executive officer.

"What on earth is this Rachel?" Dan said holding up a padd in the air.

"I believe that is my request for a transfer sir," Rachel responded walking over to a bio bed switching it off, "I don't think that I can complete my duties."

"Why?"

Rachel looked up from the bio bed and at the Commander that stood in front of her, his posture a strange mixture of sadness and anger. "I can't hide my feelings for you Commander."

"Don't call me that," Dan said moving closer to her.

"That is what I am supposed to call you sir, you are my superior officer," she replied quietly, moving further away from his unwanted advances.

"I've always been a superior officer Rachel," he explained, "what has changed?"

Rachel almost seemed to break down, she shifted from foot to foot not knowing which way to walk or what to do, her mind confused, she didn't want to look at Dan. "Everything has changed," she replied, sadness in her voice, "I can't cope with the life I would have to live if we were still together, it isn't right, not when we face danger," she paused for a second, "what if something happened to either of us, would you copy with me hurt?"

Dan paused for a moment; he had not thought of that question himself and therefore could not answer straight away, "I would be upset," he eventually replied, his own sense of sadness embedded deep in the tone of his voice, "but I am just as upset as not having you."

Rachel felt the tears surge behind her eyes and tried hard to fight them off, at least for a little while longer.

"I don't think it is a good idea for us to be together any more Dan," she said, slipping up on the noun used for her former lover, hoping desperately that he wouldn't realise, "you'll have to cope with that sir."

Dan took at step closer to her, "I need you!" he whispered to her.

Rachel didn't want to hear that, she wanted to get rid of him and quickly.

Nurse Williams walked into the room behind Dan, Rachel thought it was excellent timing and placing her hands in a supportive manner behind her on one of the bio beds, she smiled at Dan, "I'm sorry Commander, at the moment I am very busy, but I would be happy to deal with my request at another time," she stated looking at him.

Dan nodded and walked out of the room, almost brushing past Nurse Williams on the way out.

"What was all that about?" Williams asked, "was he after something in particular?"

Rachel watched the door, hoping he wouldn't return quickly to finish off the conversation, "he wanted to discuss my transfer request," she replied, emptiness in her voice.

"You want to leave doctor?" Nurse Williams sounded shock, "may I ask why?"

Rachel looked at the nurse, giving her a cold, sharp, distasteful look before storming out of the infirmary into her office, where she sat down with the door locked behind her, crying.

Stardate 53112.1, Bridge, USS Nightingale

Dan stamped out of the turbolift as it reached the bridge, his head was full of angry, nasty words, that if anyone heard them they would surely be shocked. He didn't want to speak to anyone, but to get to his office or quarters he had to go through the bridge, something he felt was a minor flaw design in this particular class of vessel.

Shrak sat in the Captain's chair briefly stood up at the arrival of the Executive Officer, "would you like to relieve me sir?" she asked confidently.

Dan shook his head, "no Lieutenant, you continue with your shift," he said, "any idea when we will arrive at the Starbase?"

Shrak looked towards the helmsman who in turn looked at the computer readout in front of him, "six hours sir," the ensign announced.

Dan nodded, he had six hours to respond to Rachel's completely, pathetic request to transfer off the ship. She was needed on the ship, and she didn't have a clue on how important she was to the ship, the mission or even to him. It may have been a selfish thought, but he wanted her on the ship for him and no other reason was more important than that to him.

"Sir," Shrak interrupted his train of thought, "I was wondering if you had spoken to the Captain about the security team issues?"

Dan nodded, he had spoken to John about the problems, but as John had put it, he was unable to magically create the necessary crew. They would have to do without until they were able to get some. "I did Lieutenant," Dan replied, "you'll have to do with what you have," he continued, "we are pretty shorthanded as it is, just use your tactical officers while we aren't firing the weapons."

Shrak nodded, Dan wondered if the Andorian was being polite and didn't want to take the matter on any further or whether she was secretly plotting his downfall. Shrak returned to the captain's chair and took up a position sat in it. She looked uncomfortable, but the Andorian body had always found problems with sitting down, especially in human designed chairs.

Dan looked around the room to see that no one else was paying attention to him and he left the bridge to sit in his quarters, alone.
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Old April 12 2011, 08:19 PM   #14
OwN
Lieutenant Junior Grade
 
Location: Canada
Re: Star Trek: Nightingale

Nice Start, I like the time period also, little discussed in trek indeed
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Old April 14 2011, 12:42 PM   #15
Gibraltar
Rear Admiral
 
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Location: US Pacific Northwest
Re: Star Trek: Nightingale

Commentary on Chapter 3:

V'ras is an interesting fellow, and quite unconventional, even by Vulcan standards. Dr. Burton, however, seems all too familiar… a physician with little concern for anything that doesn’t immediately affect her or her department. Fortunately, she’s got Nurse Williams there to help keep her grounded and balanced.

I appreciated the interaction between V’ras and the captain, and the patience the engineer showed with the captain mucking about in his business. Good stuff.
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