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Old March 23 2013, 03:59 PM   #16
Big Tom
Ensign
 
Location: Watertown, NY
Re: ST C.O.E. Mission to Bajor, Book One, The Monarch

Book One - Chapter Eleven

Off to the Moon.

Day Eight

Ron and his crew took their time cleaning shuttle number two, and getting it serviced.

It was around six PM when Ron and his crew finally showed up, somber, but satisfied with the results.

Compared to what it looked like when I first saw it, the old girl almost shined. I praised the salvage crew for their efforts; they all did a great job.

The rest of the crew came over to take a look at it, so I put them all to work stowing Mr. Ogs’ supplies and equipment, plus some of their personal gear.

It took about another hour to load up the shuttle with all the supplies and personal gear of the Salvage Team, plus moving Mr. Og, and his crew.

It was a little tight, but they all had a place to sit.

My two stewards loaded on a portable food locker, and a water cooler for the lunar trip.

There was a small portable head installed with a modesty screen only, but it would have to do until we got to the Moon.

Any further upgrades would have to wait. Most would come from our salvage materials at the Bajoran recovery site.

I had the shuttles secured and dismissed the crew until 10 AM the next morning. I wanted them all to get a good nights’ rest in the rooms Be’nen had already secured for them.

I also scheduled a meeting at the hanger facilities, in prep for a noon launch.

I wanted all personnel to note that it might take us up to twenty four hours, traveling at sub-light before we landed on Luna ports’ Alpha Base, and to pack accordingly.

“Section leaders, including Mr. Comet can prepare points of discussion on the way there; they can be discussed in flight through regular communications channels.”

“I want both shuttles to travel together, land together and meet Commander Hayes, and our Klingon friends, together. Have a good night.”

Be’nen, Staunn and I, along with Og and his crew, waited for the return of the base shuttle bus to take the crew over to their quarters.

We then rode over with Og in his car.

It was getting late; I was glad the mess hall was open twenty four hours a day.

When I went to my quarters I was not surprised to find that Be’nen and Staunn were right next door to me.

Be’nen had vacated her VIP quarters.

I dropped off my travel kit and then invited them both to dine with me in the mess hall. We all went down together.

I had a big veggie burgher with fries and cucumber salad with two beers.

Be’nen had her plate of vegetables and rice. Staunn had shrimp, tuna fish salad with spinach, and mashed sweet potatoes, along with some kind of Ferengi drink that Og found.

When Ron and his crew came in they were all wearing burnt red work shirts that they had found somewhere, they looked nice.

I haled him and told him that those shirts didn’t look so bad and asked where he got them.

“I got them at the Base Exchange,” he said with a big grin.

“I guess there wasn’t a big demand for them on the base, even though they were required to stock them."

"They had lots of them so I got a good price; and I thought that the crew deserved it after they worked so hard on number two shuttle.”

“Well they look great on you all and I think that should be your semi official work uniform from now on Ron."

"It will be distinctive for the recovery section to all our friends and allies, and if they have any questions about salvage and recovery, they can ask a “red shirt”.”

“Thanks Mike, I’ll tell the crew. I’m sure they will agree with you.”

He then went over to his crew tables and had his dinner. A few waved to me and pointed to their new shirts smiling at me. They were now a proud crew, I liked that.

I told Be’nen I thought it was a great idea to have the rest of the crew dressed the same way.

“I should put out a policy memo to that effect and have Og order shirts for all, including me. That way I can allow an alternative to their present uniform status and it will save them from having to wear those maintenance coveralls all the time.”

“Yes captain it will be done,” Be’nen replied.

Staunn asked; “I have some red under wear packed somewhere, what crew does that put me in?”

I told her it would probably be in the hot house crew, on the Grayson, if they have a botanical garden.

“O goody,” she said, “then I’ll be able to wear a fig leaf for you in your room later.”

I shut up after that. Be’nen just rolled her eyes and Staunn started her huff huffing again.

After dinner I was ready for bed.

We all went straight to our quarters and we all said good night to each other; and that was it. No kissing, no nothing; just off to sleep in my own room.

I was really tired; I think I went right to sleep.

While I was in dream land something woke me up, it was Staunn, naked as a jay bird.

“What are you doing here,” I asked? (Silly question)

“It’s my turn,” she said. “Mother said we’re not supposed to gang up on you, so it’s just me this time. Besides that lover, remember we ordered the rooms, and the extra key.”

How could I resist, after all she was only wearing her cute, mischievous smile; so I pulled back the sheets and let her into bed.

She really liked making love to me. I could almost smother her, but boy, sex with Staunn was great. She was so passionate loving and sweet, as I held her in my arms.

I really wanted to give her all the love she deserved.

I went to sleep hoping I wasn’t cheating on anyone.

Day Nine

When I woke up the next morning I was being cradled in someone else’s arms. Arms that were connected to two beautiful breasts, and a long leg, that was draped over me.

Be’nen was that easy to recognize. I didn’t know where Staunn disappeared to, but if it was duty calling with Be’nen, I was ready.

“Quit playing Michael,” she said, “It’s time to get up. Come on and let’s take our shower.”

She kind of dragged me out of bed and into the shower. I tried again to make extra sure I didn’t miss any spots on her.

When she saw that I was getting frisky, she look at me and said; “You know Michael, since we are now connected, you really radiate desire”.

“Your satisfaction in having sex with me is also having a satisfactory effect on me. I wonder if our sexual linkage will continue after my pon farr subsides”?

“It is a course that I wish to pursue with you after we are wed, but not now”

It was a good bath and an equally good brush off.

After breakfast in the mess hall with Be’nen, and a smirking Dr. Tehk, with her restorative cocktail for me, I was ready for action.

So was everyone else it seemed.

The word must have gone out about the Recovery section wearing their new red shirts and the rest were asking where was theirs.

Most of my flight crew was still garbed in standard Star Fleet engineer red tunics, with their ranks removed.

Aside from the Dabo girls, who seemed to dress in different color body suits, and Staunn’s whites, we looked like the crew of a civilian cruise liner.

This being, I figured, my last hitch in Star Fleet, as an instructor, the civilianized suit I was wearing, fit the part of a tour guide.

Be’nen passed out the ID badges and our comm. pins.

They were the civilian button type Badges, with the engineering logo with Star Fleet, Corps of Engineers around the circlet.

It kind of reminded me of a bulls’ eye. I hoped it wasn’t an omen.

We all waited for the shuttle bus and then followed Og over to the ground shuttle car pool, for him to turn in his car; and then off to the launch area, and the shuttles.

Larry, and Nichelle, came up to me and told me that they had comm. badges for the Klingons.

Larry was smiling too; I kind of wondered what he was up to, but I kept my mouth shut.

For my ten o’clock meeting there wasn’t much of a discussion.

Don Murdoch, and Pete Murray, had a few questions about having to work with Klingons, and how to deal with them; because most of us had little or no contact with them, and most of those dealing were negative.

I told them that it was new ground for all of us, but they were now our allies and we had to keep that in mind.

“What I’d seen of their leader, they were still big, ugly, and combative, so be careful.”

“I know nothing about their women, and for that I will work through Ms. Tash, if needed.”

“As far as I know they are a family, or clan. I assume there will also be children on board. I’m also assuming that they are in flight to avoid prosecution from Klingon authorities. I could see no other reason why they are in Earth space”

“I expect we’ll find out if they were commerce raiders, or pirates, who for some reason had their raiding vessel confiscated.”

“That Monarch they are living in was probably stolen; I doubt they will have any papers at all.”

“I plan to use that information as leverage to get them to cooperate with us.”

“If they want to operate as a leased vessel, but without legitimacy, their ship can be impounded and the crew confined until Klingon authorities decide what to do with them.”

“I think they will cooperate with us, so hang in there. If you have any problems let us know. Just remember Ms. Tash has been around, and so has Larry. I think we can stay ahead in this game.”

“The end results are; to get that Monarch and the Grayson to Bajor, and start to clean up their mess.”

When we exited the hangar there was about twenty or thirty people waiting for us with cameras and microphones.

They all made a bee line for Be’nen. They all seemed to be asking questions all at once.

I shouted out, “Hold it everyone what is this all about?”

One of the reporters said, “We want to know what’s going on with Be’nen Tash”.

“She seemed to have dropped out of sight about a month ago. Nobody would give us any information. We didn’t know if she was fired from the Vulcan Embassy, returned to Vulcan, or what.”.

“All of her appearances were canceled, and we want to know why.”

“What is she doing here anyway? She’s a celebrity for gods’ sake. By the way who are you and who are these people with Ms. Tash?”

I looked over at Be’nen and asked her if she was alright with all this.

She said she would answer questions if it was alright with me.

She said it might be better if I gave them an outline of what the mission was first.

I turned around to the crew and asked them to hold off going to the shuttle for a second so I could introduce the crew and give these reporters a mission outline.

They sort of bunched together around me, and Be’nen and I introduced myself.

I then started telling the reporters that we were a Star Fleet Engineer Assistance and Advisory Group for Bajor and that our mission is to assist the Bajorans in clearing out their shipping lanes of debris left over from the last war with the Dominion.”

“We would be salvaging what materials we could for the benefit of the Bajoran government.”

“The principle members of my team are Ms. Tash, as my administrative assistant, Dr. Tehk, as my medical tech, Peter Murray and Donald Murdoch, my principle flight personnel, Ron Thornton, my salvage crew chief and Larry Comet, our senior Communications advisor.”

“We are on a three year mission, and today we are on our way to the moon to pick up one of our principle operating vessels.”

“Now if Ms. Tash is ready she will answer as many questions as she feels fit to answer, and believe me she was not shanghaied for this mission.”

That got only a few laughs from the crowd before the questions started flying.

“One at a time, please,” Be’nen asked. “How about you Gloria, what is your question.”

“Ms. Tash, where have you been? You are a popular celebrity and this salvage operation is so far out of character, we are all mystified as to your reasons why”

“Did the Vulcan Embassy send you on this mission for some special reason, or are you being punished?”

“No Gloria, it's no special mission. This was my decision along with my daughter.”

“Ms. Tash you have a daughter,” Gloria interrupted?

“Yes, Dr. Staunn Tehk, is my daughter.”

“Many of you knew her as my personnel assistant, but for professional and personal reasons we kept it quiet. We both felt it was a time for a change.”

“I am a Vulcan Science Academy graduate and a qualified flight officer in the Vulcan Militia, I have never served on a deep space mission. This is my opportunity to do so with my daughter.”

“Staunn has supported me faithfully here on Earth and we have really enjoyed our stay, but I have been here for twenty years, and am due for recall as an ambassador”.

“It might not have to happen, but we felt it was time for her do the job she was trained to do, being a doctor, a space medicine doctor. I am very proud of her.”

“How about you, Howard?”

“Ms. Tash,” Howard asked, “an administrative assistant? That’s got to be quite a comedown for you isn’t it? I mean after all you had to be up there pretty high at the Vulcan Embassy, your presence in their regard seemed to be everywhere.”

“Well Howard this is only a three year mission, I hope you all don’t forget me if and when we return.”

“I’m sure Mr. Thomas will allow me to fill you in with highlights of our operations when we get to Bajor. Besides that, Bajor is supposed to be a beautiful place. I might invest in some real estate there.”

That got a few laughs, while Be’nen turned and cocked an eyebrow to me.

“Time to go to the shuttle”, I announced to everyone.

To the reporters I suggested that they could keep in contact with Ms. Tash, about our mission, through the Star Fleet Engineer Information Net.

“I am sure she would be glad to answer any and all pertinent questions, and keep in touch with you all.”

“Thank you for all your interest.”

I took Be’nen by the arm and escorted her to the shuttles.

Staunn came up to her and said, “ M’aith” and then followed a conversation in Vulcan I guess, because I didn’t understand a word that was said.

“It’s alright Staunn,” she had said to Staunn, “everything is out in the open now. Let them think what they want, we’re on our way to the moon.”

Og and the Dabo girls, along with the recovery section got into shuttle number two, while I hustled Be’nen and Staunn on to shuttle number one first, while the rest of my flight crew followed making sure we had no further questions to be answered.

Be’nen took the pilots’ seat, Staunn the co-pilots’ and I sat in the Cargo Mates’ seat.

I then switched with Pete Murray; after all he was a Flight Engineer. I then took a seat in one of the passenger recliners.

Og, along with Ron and Jenny Thornton, were piloting the other shuttle.

It took about a half an hour to finish getting all our personal gear stowed, and do a musical chairs with the seating arrangements, prior to clearing all preflight operations, and before we got permission to take off.

The flight from Nellis, to Earth Space Dock, was smooth.

We only had to make two orbits around the space dock before we were cleared for moon trajectory.

With Be’nen, and Og, as pilots, the flight was as smooth as silk.

I sat back and tried to relax, but I kept thinking of what I was going to say to the Klingons.

That and trying to figure out what they had for crew on board, how to match up their skills with ours.

The Monarch class freighter was a big ship almost as big as the Grayson.

It was more like a passenger/freight liner.

I didn’t really know how the Bajorans and Klingons would get along either.

The only information I had was what I had gathered from news broadcast about Deep Space Nine, and that seemed to be mostly about turmoil.

‘Well smart guy’, I said to myself, ‘you volunteered for this, now you have to pay the piper’, or something to that effect.

‘Lets’ see you sweet talk the Klingons into cooperating. It will be more like horse trading and arm twisting with an arm that’s about twice your size’.

Harrumph. Next stop Moon Base Alpha.
Big Tom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 25 2013, 06:07 PM   #17
Big Tom
Ensign
 
Location: Watertown, NY
Re: ST C.O.E. Mission to Bajor, Book One, The Monarch

Book One - Chapter twelve

The Monarch; a pig in a Polk?

Day Nine

During our flight to Moon Base Alpha I had another little meeting with the crew to be prepared for our meeting with the Klingons.

I asked Dwayne Barkley and Mona Freeman to take the pilot seats so Be’nen, and Staunn could participate. Don, Pete, Larry and the people with Mr.Og, in shuttle number two, were all included through our ships’ transceivers.

The first thing I asked was; “Does anyone speak and understand Klingon?”

Be’nen said that she could read some Klingon, and understood limited phrasing, like hello, goodbye, and certain other expressions regarding rank, and personal greetings; but she had only limited contact with Klingons, through their Federation Assembly staff.

Staunn said she also understood some of those phrases too.

Her present medical information she garnered from the Nellis dispensary, of Klingon physiology, was mostly done in Earth Standard English, with Klingon translation notes on their biology.

With her duties as Be’nen’s personal assistant, she had even less personal contact with Klingons than her mother.

Larry added that he had been monitoring Klingon transmissions, off and on, since his run in with the pirates that raided his supply ship.

He especially monitored transmissions while he was in the commercial service.
It was not his job, but he did it anyway. He thought Nichelle did too.
Through paranoia, or self awareness, call it what you may, he understood enough Klingon to give a fair translation; but he has never really seen, or spoken to, a Klingon.

Og said he had dealings with the Klingons, but had only used translators, sometimes with grave consequences. “The Klingons do not properly interpret the true meaning of Ferengi words.”

“I’ll bet,” I said.

Nobody else in the two shuttles had any clue about Klingons other than what they saw on the videos.

I asked Og to secure some hand translators, at least twelve for the principle crew, when we reach the moon.

I wanted Larry to see what he could do with our onboard computers so our com badges would work within the Klingon security protocols.

When we were granted permission, by the Klingons, to upgrade the Monarchs’ communications, he was to make sure a Federation translator was installed.

I didn’t want to have any misunderstandings, like our Mr.Og, and his Ferengi trading partners had.

Larry put a big smile on his face and said; “Don’t you worry about a thing, Mikey. Nichelle and I are way ahead of you on this. By the time we get to Bajor that computer will be spouting Klingon, Earth Standard, Bajoran and Cardasian, like a Harvard graduate.”

Staunn piped up, “Hey, I graduated from Harvard, will it sound like me?”

That got us all a small laugh.

Larry countered with; “Well I could make the food replicators sound like you if you want, and yes, we will include Ferengi too.”

We were still laughing at Staunn’s expense because of her recent expressions of exasperation at not getting satisfactory meals, or snacks, from the shuttles’ small on board food replicator.

She had a hard time getting replicated food that would meet her Ferengi taste.

When things calmed down a bit I asked Og to see if he could procure some Ferengi food replication programs from the trading stations on Luna port, or Tycho City.

That pretty much ended our intra shuttle meeting.

· * * * * * * * * * * *
Day Ten

About eighteen hours into our lunar flight, we were on lunar approach.

I asked Be’nen to request permission for us to orbit close to the Monarch so we could get a fly by inspection of the ship.

Permission was granted and we were given the coordinates of the ship’s present position.

An hour later we got our first look at the Klingons’ Monarch freighter, it wasn’t pretty.

The outer shell was showing at least a dozen patched over weapons hits.
Most of them were shaped to cover what looked like blast grooves in the outer hull. It indicated that an attack came from low on the port side.

The impulse cooler fin was half gone and just a little forward of the fin at amidships, you could see another big patch job.

That hit must have disabled the engine room, and probably wiped out the whole engineer crew.

How these Klingons got this ship to Earth space I couldn’t guess. I have to give credit to Kluge and his crew, I don’t think I would have tried to travel from here to Klingon space in a ship as bad as this looked.

The looks on Don and Pete's face told the same story to them too.

This ship wasn’t stolen from any active Klingon depot, or even from a decommissioning depot on it’s way to a reserve fleet station, she was procured when it was headed to the scrap terminal.

I directed both shuttles to make as many passes as they thought necessary to get a superficial scanning of the work that needed to be done.

There wasn’t a light showing on her. Luna port must have been the one who installed exterior marker signal lights and derelict beacons on her.

She was in bad shape and I felt like I had been sold a lemon.

When all the scanning was done we called Luna port and requested permission to land.

Permission was granted.

I then asked Be’nen to request temporary quarters for the whole crew, and a work site that we could use to park our shuttles in.
I also requested a meeting with Commander Hayes.

Be’nen then called me to her station and asked me to look at one of her scans of the Monarch.

There was a series of barely discernible numbers that she had found, and the tops of what looked like two S’s, on the one side of the liquid cargo shields.
On the opposite side were numbers that looked like 'i\iv'.

She showed me a close up of what she was looking at, pointed it out to me and the others.

I asked Be’nen what she thought it meant.

“I think Michael,” she explained, “those markings are what are left of a Federation Registry number.”

I surmise what we are seeing now on the side of the ship is SS _______ RIV XXXX.”

“I believe that is what is left of a contract Federation merchantman number; a ship manufactured at the Rigal IV, Merimar manufacturing facility, not a Klingon manufactured vessel”

“I also speculate from the other scans; the ship is a passenger ship or troop transport, maybe even a colony support vessel."
"You can see here on the interior scans that the top cargo hold was reconfigured for passenger quarters; at least most of the bulkheads are there.”

“Jesus, Mary and Joseph,” I said.

I looked around and Don and Pete were nodding their heads yes.
Nichelle turned white as a sheet when she heard that; and Larry was livid.

“Staunn, look to Nichelle quick,” I said. “Larry, are you alright?”
Nichelle had almost fainted, she went limp. Staunn had her sit down and gave her a stimulant.

“You got something to drink Mike,” Larry asked? “I could sure use one right now.”

“Okay everyone I need a crew confab right now,” I ordered.

“Dwayne, take the pilots’ seat and get Og on the transceiver. Be’nen, Don, Pete, Larry take a seat at the tables.”

Everyone shifted seats. I asked the table two questions; “Can we save the ship, and if so is it worth fixing, or should I just abandon the project?”

“She’s in rough shape, but the Klingons got her here”, Don suggested.

“She probably has only impulse drive, now. I bet she has no dilithium crystal left for her warp drive, and that we would have to procure one back on earth.”

“We do have to go back to Earth to pick up the extra crew, and shuttles, for the Grayson”, Don continued.

“It would be a lot easier for her to carry us all and our equipment, in one trip instead of shuttling stuff between Earth and Mars.”

“If we get a waiver for the flight to Earth, I think we could fix her up. Remember we're on a salvage and recovery mission; guess what our first project is going to be, boss.”

Pete agreed, but added the caveat; “We’re still going to need the Klingons to help. I don’t think we could do it by ourselves, and I don’t think Luna port is going to be big on support either.”

“In my opinion if we don’t move her, they will condemn her, and then send her on a one way trip to the sun, they won’t even try to scrap her.”

Larry looked at me intensely and said; “Nichelle, and I, can fix anything in our department, on that tub, Mike.”

“As far as I’m concerned that ship is ours, for the taking. I bet the Klingons have no papers at all.”

“When I get through digging around their computer, I’ll have her complete history right down to the draftsmen who designed her."
"I’ll get the electrical parts to repair her if I have to get Og to steal the lights from Tycho city.”

“Just you get me back to Nellis again, boss, and we’ll fix her well enough, that you would think like she was re-fitted in a space dock.”

Larry concluded with, “I say try it out, and make it work for us.”

Be’nen was sitting stoically with her hands folded on the table in front of her. I could almost hear the gears working in her head.

Be’nen started off; “Mr. Murdoch is right, and I’ve seen worse ships in my time, when I was with the Ferengi.”

“The problem with this ship is it is almost twice as large as a J-Type merchantman, it will involve a lot of work; that means labor”.

“I think it could be waivered to travel to Earth, once we have made a thorough on-board survey.”

“I think Mr. Murray is also correct. Michael, you will have to persuade the Klingons to assist us.”

“I also agree with Mr. Comet and believe they have no papers. Without papers they are thieves and pirates; confiscation of their ship is a real possibility. I think you will have the leverage you need if it comes to that.”

“I am surprised that the Luna port officials haven’t taken any action yet. I think they just want the Klingons off their base, along with their ship."
"I think they are happy that you are getting rid of their problem. After all you did offer to lease the ship sight unseen.”

That brought on a few whoops from the crew.

I got the impression that Be’nen was a little ticked off at me for a poor choice in judgment in this matter. Well se la vive.

“Okay, okay, every one let’s see what Mr. Og and the rest of his crew have to say.” I said

There wasn’t much discussion with them; I was just reminded that the recovery section had no work bees until we got to earth.
Getting repairs done on the exterior of the ship could be a problem.

They all agreed they wanted to try and get the Monarch up and running again. Professional pride I guess; that made me feel a little better.

Mr. Og said; “The Dabo girls were upset that I might have to go out and steal things to fix such an old ship, but I told them a Ferengi doesn’t have to steal anything, if he gets his bargaining chips in order.”

I replied.” Amen to that.”

I then ordered the shuttles to start their landing procedures for Luna port.

We were given permission to land at module number three.

That wasn’t too far from the headquarters section; it was connected to it in fact.
Evidently they didn’t have much repair service, or customs work, to do, for that matter.

I now had to get my ducks in a row, first to meet Commander Hayes, to discuss the status of the Monarch and then to meet the Klingons, to see if they wanted to cooperate.

One tough nut at a time.

When our shuttles were secured in the Luna port hanger module, we all took our personal overnight gear to the monorail, for transit into the headquarters module and the transit lodging area.

As to our quarters, luxury still wasn’t an option on the moon. All the rooms were ten by ten.

I called in to HQ and asked Commander Hayes’ office for an appointment and was told to come right over.
We were expected.

I asked Be’nen, Larry, Ron, Pete, Don, and Og to join me.

It was just a short trip on the tread way, with an elevator ride to the fourth floor.

Commander Hayes met us at the door and directed us to a meeting room.

He introduced his Adjutant Lt Darnell, his Chief Maintenance Officer, Lt. Commander Olaf, and his Chief of Security, Marine Captain Smith.

When we were seated , he asked is what did think of the Monarch?

‘It looks like a piece of crap,’ I thought, but I started with: “She’s in ruff shape, Commander. Just with our own scans, she looks like she’s ready for the scrap heap."
"What was your assessment when your own personnel boarded her?”

He replied; “Almost the same as yours. The hull has been crudely repaired, but it’s safe enough.”

“Lt. Cdr. Olaf will confirm that the electronic and internal communication systems are at best only at twenty five percent efficient.”

“There is no dilithium crystal left in the warp drive. The impulse cooler fin needs to be repaired or replaced. You probably noted that it was half shot away.”

“Yes sir, we noticed,” I answered.

“Can we get her to Earth? Will we need a waver?”

“Honestly Chief, I don’t think you need it. The Klingons got it here; so you should be able to take her to Earth. She does look like crap, but she’s solid.”

“I had Cmdr. Olaf do a thorough survey before I called you. She won’t qualify for Federation service, because of her age; but like I said she could meet your mission requirements, and I don’t blame you if you don’t want to take her. She’s a piece of scrap.”

I looked at my people and asked if they had any input or questions.

I asked Ron Thornton to start off.

Ron stated that we had a Type-9 Cargo shuttle to work with, but no work bees. “Is one available?”

“Also most of the material we brought was for bulkhead radiation protection upgrades, will we need it?”

“Ms. Tash thinks that the Monarch is of Federation manufacture. Can we trade for parts here on the base?”

Hayes replied; “I have available as many work bees that you need. If the parts needed are of Federation issue; then a supply turn in, and issue in kind, should be no problem. If they are non issue items, you will probably have to trade with suppliers in Tycho city.”

“I don’t think you will need the bulkhead upgrade for radiation, we didn’t find any abnormal readings.”

Be’nen brought up the question about the ships papers and the fact that the Monarch may be a former Federation company’s property.
“Are not the present owners’ pirates then? Why haven’t the Luna Port authorities confiscated the ship, and put the Klingons in custody?”

Commander Hayes kind of squirmed before he answered.

“Look Chief I can’t prove a thing about piracy, and yes she doesn’t have papers.”

“If I impounded her you would have to deal with Star fleet, and the judiciary. You would never see that ship in your possession, at all.”

“Besides that it’s a family that brought it here, what do I do arrest them all, including the kids.”

“Cripes they have an infant on board. I would have to turn them eventually over to the Klingon authorities, if they figured they stole that ship from their decommission yard, is my guess.”

“You know what the Klingons do with their prisoners don’t you, death or Rorer Pinte, which is the same thing in my book.”

I nodded in agreement.

“I understand your point Commander. What exactly do you want me to do?”

“I want you to get these Klingons off my base, Chief. I’m asking for a favor in return for a ship that I know you can use.”

“I don’t want a bunch of stranded Klingons here either.”

“Who’s going to hire them? Their reputation is shot here on the moon. They need to get into space away from here, and away from the Klingon authorities.”

“If you fix their ship, they will be indebted to you, and the family will honor it.”

Be’nen interceded, “But they were raiders; how could we trust them not to try and retake the ship?”

“Ms. Tash,” Cmdr Hayes replied, “I’m sure the men of that crew were raiders. For some desperate reason they escaped from Klingon space.”

“What little I know of Klingon values they will do everything to secure the safety of their family clan. If it’s a family decision to make, they will honor it.”

“The Klingon are allies now. If this family breaks the truce, they break Klingon law, and if the Klingons prove the case for piracy; that would mean death to all.”

“I do not trust them Michael”, Be’nen remarked. “I recommend that the Klingons be taken into custody, and the ship confiscated. I am sure you could then secure the ship from Star Fleet.”

“Yes Be’nen”, I commented, “and be tied up here on the moon with an even more shorthanded crew, and in a legal proceeding that could take forever. I’m running out of time, and the Bajorans will be running out of patience”.

“I’m going to try and work with the Klingons.”

“Captain Smith what is your assessment of the Klingons, in regards to temperament and cooperation. Will I have to keep them under guard to have them work for us?”

“Well for one Chief, they have a marked contempt for authority, if not superior in rank.”

“The most common reply I get from them is: “I take orders only from my Captain”. Then the Captain will say, “I will take orders only from Commander Hayes”. Then I have to disturb the Commander to make a judgment call that will make them cooperate, or start up another Donny brook.”

“What about the agreement with the Bajorans, to buy or lease the Monarch, that I sent you,” I asked Commander Hayes?

“They haven’t signed off on it yet Chief,” Commander Hayes replied.

“What! Why is that Commander, I thought this was supposed to be all completed days ago? Did you know about this Be’nen?”

“No Sir. That was supposed to be negotiated with the Bajoran embassy. I was not informed of any difficulties.”

“I think the Klingon Captain was waiting for you, Chief,” Commander Hayes remarked.

“I think he wants to meet you personally and discuss a few things that I think you said to him, when I had him call you.”

“He didn’t leave my office a happy man. I think his words were to the effect that he was going to make you eat the contract, before or after he tore off your head."
"I don’t think my hand translator was close enough to get a clear message.”

‘Man oh man things were turning to shit real fast. How did I get myself into this mess’?

‘If I don’t convince the Klingons not to kill me, sign the Bajoran contract to control their ship; work off their debts; then go with me to Cardassian space to pick up salvage; everyone in the Corps will think me a fool’.

‘Jesus, I think I needed a good stiff drink now; and then look at Be’nen; she’s staring at the ceiling and wishing she was someplace else’.

She was not smiling now!

“Okay Commander, thanks to you, and your staff, for the briefing. If you don’t mind I have to do a little thinking before I meet Captain Kluge, and his crew.”

“We’ll do all we can to assist you Chief, just let us know how you make out after your meeting. Good Luck.”

I said, “Thanks.”

We all shook hands and then we all took a long silent walk back to our quarters.
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Old April 1 2013, 05:22 PM   #18
Big Tom
Ensign
 
Location: Watertown, NY
Re: ST C.O.E. Mission to Bajor, Book One, The Monarch

Book One - Chapter Eleven

Off to the Moon.

Day Eight

Ron and his crew took their time cleaning shuttle number two, and getting it serviced.

It was around six PM when Ron and his crew finally showed up, somber, but satisfied with the results.

Compared to what it looked like when I first saw it, the old girl almost shined. I praised the salvage crew for their efforts; they all did a great job.

The rest of the crew came over to take a look at it, so I put them all to work stowing Mr. Ogs’ supplies and equipment, plus some of their own personal gear.

It took about another hour to load up the shuttle with all the supplies and personal gear of the Salvage Team, plus moving Mr. Og, and his crew.

It was a little tight, but they all had a place to sit.

My two stewards loaded on a portable food locker, and a water cooler for the lunar trip.

There was a small portable head installed with a modesty screen only, but it would have to do until we got to the Moon.

Any further upgrades would have to wait. Most would come from our salvage materials at the Bajoran recovery site.

I had the shuttles secured and dismissed the crew until 10 AM the next morning.

I wanted them all to get a good nights’ rest in the rooms Be’nen had already secured for them.

I also scheduled a meeting at the hanger facilities, in prep for a noon launch. I wanted all personnel to note that it might take us up to twenty four hours, traveling at sub-light before we landed on Luna ports’ Alpha Base, and to pack accordingly.

“Section leaders, including Mr. Comet can prepare points of discussion on the way there; they can be discussed in flight through regular communications channels.”

“I want both shuttles to travel together, land together and meet Commander Hayes, and our Klingon friends, together.

"Have a good night.”

Be’nen, Staunn and I, along with Og and his crew, waited for the return of the base shuttle bus to take the crew over to their quarters.

We then rode over with Og in his car.

It was getting late; I was glad the mess hall was open twenty four hours a day.

When I went to my quarters I was not surprised to find that Be’nen and Staunn were right next door to me.

Be’nen had vacated her VIP quarters.

I dropped off my travel kit and then invited them both to dine with me in the mess hall. We all went down together.

I had a big veggie burgher with fries and cucumber salad with two beers.

Be’nen had her plate of vegetables and rice.

Staunn had shrimp, tuna fish salad with spinach, and mashed sweet potatoes, along with some kind of Ferengi drink that Og found.

When Ron and his crew came in they were all wearing burnt red work shirts that they had found somewhere, they looked nice.

I haled him and told him that those shirts didn’t look so bad and asked where he got them.

“I got them at the Base Exchange,” he said with a big grin.

“I guess there wasn’t a big demand for them on the base, even though they were required to stock them."

"They had lots of them so I got a good price; and I thought that the crew deserved it after they worked so hard on number two shuttle.”

“Well they look great on you all and I think that should be your semi official work uniform from now on Ron."

"It will be distinctive for the recovery section to all our friends and allies, and if they have any questions about salvage and recovery, they can ask a “red shirt”.”

“Thanks Mike, I’ll tell the crew. I’m sure they will agree with you.”

He then went over to his crew tables and had his dinner. A few waved to me and pointed to their new shirts smiling at me. They were now a proud crew, I liked that.

I told Be’nen I thought it was a great idea to have the rest of the crew dressed the same way.

“I should put out a policy memo to that effect and have Og order shirts for all, including me."

"That way I can allow an alternative to their present uniform status and it will save them from having to wear those maintenance coveralls all the time.”

“Yes captain it will be done,” Be’nen replied.

Staunn asked; “I have some red under wear packed somewhere, what crew does that put me in?”

I told her it would probably be in the hot house crew, on the Grayson, if they have a botanical garden.

“O goody,” she said, “then I’ll be able to wear a fig leaf for you in your room later.”

I shut up after that. Be’nen just rolled her eyes and Staunn started her huff huffing again.

After dinner I was ready for bed. We all went straight to our quarters and we all said good night to each other; and that was it. No kissing, no nothing; just off to sleep in my own room.

I was really tired; I think I went right to sleep.

While I was in dream land something woke me up, it was Staunn, naked as a jay bird.

“What are you doing here,” I asked? (Silly question)

“It’s my turn,” she said. “Mother said we’re not supposed to gang up on you, so it’s just me this time. Besides that lover, remember we ordered the rooms, and the extra key.”

How could I resist, after all she was only wearing her cute, mischievous smile; so I pulled back the sheets and let her into bed.

She really liked making love to me. I could almost smother her, but boy, sex with Staunn was great. She was so passionate loving and sweet, as I held her in my arms. I really wanted to give her all the love she deserved.

I went to sleep hoping I wasn’t cheating on anyone.

Day Nine

When I woke up the next morning I was being cradled in someone else’s arms.

Arms that were connected to two beautiful breasts, and a long leg, that was draped over me.

Be’nen was that easy to recognize. I didn’t know where Staunn disappeared to, but if it was duty calling with Be’nen, I was ready.

“Quit playing Michael,” she said, “It’s time to get up. Come on and let’s take our shower.”

She kind of dragged me out of bed and into the shower. I tried again to make extra sure I didn’t miss any spots on her.

When she saw that I was getting frisky, she look at me and said; “You know Michael, since we are now connected, you really radiate desire”.

“Your satisfaction in having sex with me is also having a satisfactory effect on me. I wonder if our sexual linkage will continue after my pon farr subsides”?

“It is a course that I wish to pursue with you after we are wed, but not now”

It was a good bath and an equally good brush off.

After breakfast in the mess hall with Be’nen, and a smirking Dr. Tehk, with her restorative cocktail for me, I was ready for action.

So was everyone else it seemed.

The word must have gone out about the Recovery section wearing their new red shirts and the rest were asking where was theirs.

Most of my flight crew was still garbed in standard Star Fleet engineer red tunics, with their ranks removed.

Aside from the Dabo girls, who seemed to dress in different color body suits, and Staunn’s whites, we looked like the crew of a civilian cruise liner.

This being, I figured, my last hitch in Star Fleet, as an instructor, the civilianized suit I was wearing, fit the part of a tour guide.

Be’nen passed out the ID badges and our comm. pins.

They were the civilian button type Badges, with the engineering logo with Star Fleet, Corps of Engineers around the circlet.

It kind of reminded me of a bulls’ eye. I hoped it wasn’t an omen.

We all waited for the shuttle bus and then followed Og over to the ground shuttle car pool, for him to turn in his car.

The next stopping point was the launch area, at the shuttles.

Larry, and Nichelle, came up to me and told me that they had comm. badges for the Klingons too.

Larry was smiling too; I kind of wondered what he was up to, but I kept my mouth shut.

For my ten o’clock meeting there wasn’t much of a discussion.

Don Murdoch, and Pete Murray, had a few questions about having to work with Klingons, and how to deal with them; because most of us had little or no contact with them, and most of those dealing were negative.

I told them that it was new ground for all of us, but they were now our allies and we had to keep that in mind.

“What I’d seen of their leader, they were still big, ugly, and combative, so be careful.”

“I know nothing about their women, and for that I will work through Ms. Tash, if needed.”

“As far as I know they are a family, or clan. I assume there will also be children on board."

"I’m also assuming that they are in flight to avoid prosecution from Klingon authorities. I could see no other reason why they are in Earth space”

“I expect we’ll find out if they were commerce raiders, or pirates, who for some reason had their raiding vessel confiscated.”

“That Monarch they are living in was probably stolen; I doubt they will have any papers at all.”

“I plan to use that information as leverage to get them to cooperate with us.”

“They want to operate as a leased vessel, but without legitimacy, their ship can be impounded and the crew confined until Klingon authorities decide what to do with them.”

“With that information, I think they will cooperate with us, so hang in there."

"If you have any problems let us know. Just remember Ms. Tash has been around, and so has Larry. I think we can stay ahead in this game.”

“The end results are; to get that Monarch and the Grayson to Bajor, and start to clean up their mess.”

When we exited the hangar there was about twenty or thirty people waiting for us with cameras and microphones.

They all made a bee line for Be’nen. They all seemed to be asking questions all at once.

I shouted out, “Hold it everyone what is this all about?”

One of the reporters said, “We want to know what’s going on with Be’nen Tash”.

“She seemed to have dropped out of sight about a month ago. Nobody would give us any information. We didn’t know if she was fired from the Vulcan Embassy, returned to Vulcan, or what.”.

“All of her appearances were canceled, and we want to know why.”

“What is she doing here anyway? She’s a celebrity for gods’ sake. By the way who are you and who are these people with Ms. Tash?”

I looked over at Be’nen and asked her if she was alright with all this.

She said she would answer questions if it was alright with me.

She said it might be better if I gave them an outline of what the mission was first.

I turned around to the crew and asked them to hold off going to the shuttle for a second so I could introduce the crew and give these reporters a mission outline.

They sort of bunched together around me, and Be’nen and I introduced myself.

I then started telling the reporters that we were a Star Fleet Engineer Assistance and Advisory Group for Bajor and that our mission is to assist the Bajorans in clearing out their shipping lanes of debris left over from the last war with the Dominion.”

“We would be salvaging what materials we could for the benefit of the Bajoran government.”

“The principle members of my team are Ms. Tash, as my administrative assistant, Dr. Tehk, as my medical tech, Peter Murray and Donald Murdoch, my principle flight personnel, Ron Thornton, my salvage crew chief and Larry Comet, our senior Communications advisor.”

“We are on a three year mission, and today we are on our way to the moon to pick up one of our principle operating vessels.”

“Now if Ms. Tash is ready she will answer as many questions as she feels fit to answer, and believe me she was not shanghaied for this mission.”

That got only a few laughs from the crowd before the questions started flying.

“One at a time, please,” Be’nen asked. “How about you Gloria, what is your question.”

“Ms. Tash, where have you been? You are a popular celebrity and this salvage operation is so far out of character, we are all mystified as to your reasons why”

“Did the Vulcan Embassy send you on this mission for some special reason, or are you being punished?”

“No Gloria, it's no special mission. This was my decision along with my daughter.”

“Ms. Tash you have a daughter?” Gloria interrupted.

“Yes, Dr. Staunn Tehk, is my daughter.”

“Many of you knew her as my personnel assistant, but for professional and personal reasons we kept it quiet. We both felt it was a time for a change.”

“I am a Vulcan Science Academy graduate and a qualified flight officer in the Vulcan Militia, I have never served on a deep space mission. This is my opportunity to do so with my daughter.”

“Staunn has supported me faithfully here on Earth and we have really enjoyed our stay, but I have been here for twenty years, and am due for recall as an ambassador”.

“It might not have to happen, but we felt it was time for her do the job she was trained to do, being a doctor, a space medicine doctor. I am very proud of her.”

“How about you, Howard?”

“Ms. Tash,” Howard asked, “an administrative assistant? That’s got to be quite a comedown for you isn’t it? I mean after all you had to be up there pretty high at the Vulcan Embassy, your presence in their regard seemed to be everywhere.”

“Well Howard this is only a three year mission, I hope you all don’t forget me if and when we return.”

“I’m sure Mr. Thomas will allow me to fill you in with highlights of our operations when we get to Bajor. Besides that, Bajor is supposed to be a beautiful place. I might invest in some real estate there.”

That got a few laughs, while Be’nen turned and cocked an eyebrow to me.

“Time to go to the shuttle”, I announced to everyone.

To the reporters I suggested that they could keep in contact with Ms. Tash, and follow our mission, through the Star Fleet Engineer Information Net.

“I am sure she would be glad to answer any and all pertinent questions, and keep in touch with you all.”

“Thank you for all your interest.”

I took Be’nen by the arm and escorted her to the shuttles.
Staunn came up to her and said, “ M’aith” and then followed a conversation in Vulcan I guess, because I didn’t understand a word that was said.

“It’s alright Staunn,” she had said to Staunn, “everything is out in the open now. Let them think what they want, we’re on our way to the moon.”

Og and the Dabo girls, along with the recovery section got into shuttle number two, while I hustled Be’nen and Staunn on to shuttle number one first, while the rest of my flight crew followed making sure we had no further questions to be answered.

Be’nen took the pilots’ seat, Staunn the co-pilots’ and I sat in the Cargo Mates’ seat.

I then switched with Pete Murray; after all he was a Flight Engineer. I then took a seat in one of the passenger recliners.

Og, along with Ron and Jenny Thornton, were piloting the other shuttle.

It took about a half an hour to finish getting all our personal gear stowed, and do a musical chairs with the seating arrangements, prior to clearing all preflight operations, and before we got permission to take off.

The flight from Nellis, to Earth Space Dock, was smooth.

We only had to make two orbits around the space dock before we were cleared for moon trajectory.

Be’nen, and Og, as pilots, were as smooth as silk.

I sat back and tried to relax, but I kept thinking of what I was going to say to the Klingons.

That and trying to figure out what they had for crew on board, and how to match up their skills with ours.

The Monarch class freighter was a big ship almost as big as the Grayson. It was more like a passenger/freight liner.

I didn’t really know how the Bajorans and Klingons would get along either.

The only information I had was what I had gathered from news broadcast about Deep Space Nine, and that seemed to be mostly about turmoil.

‘Well smart guy’, I said to myself, ‘you volunteered for this, now you have to pay the piper’, or something to that effect.

‘Lets’ see you sweet talk the Klingons into cooperating. It will be more like horse trading and arm twisting with an arm that’s about twice your size’.

Harrumph. Next stop Moon Base Alpha.
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Old May 13 2013, 04:07 PM   #19
Big Tom
Ensign
 
Location: Watertown, NY
Re: ST C.O.E. Mission to Bajor, Book One, The Monarch

Book One - Chapter Thirteen

How to con a Klingon.

Day Ten

When we arrived at the transit lodge lobby, I asked Be’nen to stop by my room for a second.

When I closed the door to my room Be’nen would not look at me.

She kept facing out the small window of the room, and didn’t turn around when she spoke to me.

“I will not endanger my daughter by working with Klingons, Michael. None of us signed on for this.”

“Must we all be armed? Must we take on security personnel? Where will we keep the Klingons when they aren’t working, in the ship’s brig?”

“I don’t like It Michael. I can defend myself against one Klingon, but not against twenty five or so.”

She then turned around with folded arms, glared at me and told me outright: “You must rethink this situation it’s too risky for us.”

I went over to my room desk and sat down. I didn’t know what to reply to her and needed to think all this out.

We were just glumly looking at each other when there was a knock on my door.

“Yes, who is it?” I asked.

“It’s just me and Nichelle, can we come in?” It was Staunn.

She ran over to me and gave me a big hug and a kiss, and then greeted her mother a big hug. She was definitely excited about something.

“We got a present for you, lover.”

“For me; It’s not my birthday, what’s it for?”

“We got you a nice jacket. We thought that your old sport coat was getting a little ratty looking. We thought you need something to make you look more distinguished.”

“You bought me a new jacket? Where did “we” get it?”

“We went shopping while you were at the meeting. Nichelle picked it out. Isn’t it nice?”

Nichelle was blushing.

“Well lets’ see it,” I said.

Nichelle then handed me the package and when I opened it I saw that it was a real nice navy blue double breasted blazer. It must have cost them a fortune here on the moon.

The cut and material reminded me of one my old marriage tuxedos.

“How much did this cost Staunn?”

“It must have cost you both a fortune; this style of coat doesn’t come cheap on the moon.”

“We got it at a second hand store. It only cost me fifty credits,” Staunn continued.

“The clothes from the regular stores were really expensive.”

“Nichelle said that you would like it.”

I looked at Nichelle she was wearing her blue colony cruise ship suit; she was really blushing now.

Evidently she had no real civilian clothes either.

“I see,” I said. “I thank you both very much; here let me try it on. How did you know my size Staunn?”

“Really Michael I am the doctor you know,” she said with a great big smile, “I know the size of everything on you.”

Nichell put her hand to her mouth and twittered.

It fit real nice. It even had braid and stars on the sleeves.
Just for curiosity’s sake I opened it to take a look at the label. It read Yacht Club with a Third Fleet symbol.

I looked again at the sleeves again, and a closer look at its buttons. They had a naval type logo on them.

Something jogged in my memory when I tried to remember what this jacket was used for; with three stars on the sleeve.

Then it hit me; and I immediately went over to Nichelle and gave her a big embrace and asked her: “Do you know what this jacket is Nichelle?”

“No sir, I just thought you would like it.”

“Staunn, does anyone else know about this jacket?”

“No, I don’t think so Michael, what’s got you all excited all of a sudden?”

“Because it’s a Commadore‘s Blazer, from the Third Fleet Yacht club, Staunn; from Earth.”

“It’s a social club for officers of the Third Fleet, especially for captains with private shuttles on their star ships.”

“Staunn, You and Nichelle have given me a great idea for dealing with the Klingons”

“Now if I can get Commander Hayes to go along with me; I think our problem of command and control with the Klingons can be solved.”

Be’nen looked askance at me and asked; “I don’t understand what you are saying, Michael. Please explain to me what you are talking about?”

Staunn and Nichelle just kind of gapped at me.

“Look Be’nen, you heard what Commander Hayes and Captain Smith said, “The Klingon have little or no respect for people of lesser rank;” Well a Commodore out ranks a Captain, right?”

“Yes Michael, I know that, but you are no Commodore.”

“I know that, but the Klingons won’t.”

“When I go into that meeting with orders in my hand and a commission handy, they won’t know the difference; especially with me wearing this uniform jacket.”

“They know Commander Hayes would arrest me if I was impersonating an officer, but in this case a civilian can be a commodore and is entitled to a nominal command position over two or more ships and be addressed as a Commodore.”

“It’s stretching it a bit, but it may work.”

“Be’nen I want you to call your friend, Admiral Broderick and tell him about everything that is going on.”

“Tell him all about your misgivings, and then ask him if he can get me commissioned as a Commodore in the Yacht club. For that, I promise I’ll buy the club a keg of beer when I get back to Earth.”

“Okay Michael, I’ll do it, but I still don’t understand. Admiral Broderick won’t think this is a fools’ errand will he; he’s a busy man?”

“Look Be’nen, just try to go along with me on this and let me know what he says.”

“Staunn, Nichelle, mum’s the word on this okay? I have to keep this quiet for awhile.”

“Your gift of this wonderful jacket has probably saved my bacon, thank you very much.”

“Sure Michael we can do that,” Staunn replied. “Are you having dinner with me tonight?”

“Why sure Staunn, you know if this was a fancy hotel I would order room service, but I guess we can all walk down together to the food court; it’s on me.”

“By the way what do you want for desert?”

Staunn started her huff huffing laugh again, and then taking her mother’s hand, we went arm and arm, with Nichelle in tow, down to the food court.

Day Eleven

The next morning when I woke up I was again the peanut butter in the love sandwich.

The variation this time was that I had my arms around Staunn, and Be’nen had her arms around both of us.

How she found her way into bed behind me without waking me, I couldn’t figure out. Especially as these Luna port room beds were little more than cots.

When we got out of bed Be’nen said she had some business to attend to and she would see us when we stopped by her room on our way to breakfast.

She put on her bath robe and went out the door.

Staunn look at me and smiled mischievously; “It looks like it’s my time to make sure you have a good shower.”

The shower with Staunn was a lot of fun. There were a lot of laughs, giggles and play, but nothing more; not that there wasn’t a lot of teasing.

When she ran out of the shower you could have hung a towel anywhere on me.

We finally got dressed, and went to Be’nen’s room, knocked on the door and entered when she said come in.

Be’nen was dressed and holding some papers.

“These are yours,” she said, “they’re from Admiral Broderick.”

There were four sheets of paper in the file folder she gave me to look at.

One was a memo from Admiral Broderick. The second was a printed order for my appointment as a Commodore. The third was a wire copy of a Commission Certificate and the forth was a certificate of ownership for two shuttle craft named, Daisy and Dandelion, NCC 2010 and NCC 2011.

The memo from the Admirial read:

For: CWO Michael Thomas, Luna Port
From: ADM M.J. Broderick

Enclosed are the documents you requested, good luck.
The requirement for the club was that you must own at least one “Yacht” and have control of at least three vessels to retain the rank of Commodore.

The Bajoran Embassy was helpful by transferring temporary title of the two shuttles now in your possession, to you.

The third vessel you must obtain control by your own devices to retain your rank as Commodore.

P.S. the total expense of one hundred credits, reimbursable to me, was for the commissioning ceremony at the club as required by their bylaws.

He did it and didn’t ask for my recall. I immediately went over to Be’nen and gave her a great big 'Thank You' hug and a kiss.

“Be’nen you are absolutely wonderful. How did you pull this off?”

“I don’t understand it myself,” she said. “When I briefed Admiral Broderick of our situation by subspace video, he listened intently.”

“When I explained your solution to the problems I thought he had a heart attack. He said “What did you say?”, and then he disappeared from the view screen and when he returned to the view screen he was laughing, hard."

"I don’t think I’ve ever seen him laugh. It looked as if he had to wipe tears from his eyes.”

“I asked him to explain to me what was so amusing, but all he said was; “Never mind Be’nen, I’ll take care of it, and I’ll make sure Mr. Thomas gets the bill.”

“What did he mean by that?”

“It’s a long story Be’nen, I’ll explain later,” I said. “After breakfast we have to go shopping again, back to the store Staunn bought the jacket at.”

After breakfast I had Staunn take me, and Be’nen, to the second hand store where she had shopped at.

Second hand stores were more plentiful than your everyday retail stores on the moon, because of the shipping cost to get goods to the moon.

Here people in transit would trade in their possessions for credit, or cash, and then the store owner would resell them.

The store was filled with all sorts of odd materials; half of it didn’t look like it came from Earth at all.

I needed a shirt to match my new jacket, a white one.

The only one I found looked like it was for a tuxedo, the type without a high collar for a tie, it would have to do.

I needed a pair of trousers too; and ended up buying two pair. One pair was the right Navy color that matched my jacket and a pair of Fleet Marines trousers, with their red stripe.

I got the shop owner to sew a red strip on the Navy blue trousers to make them match and make me look very official.

While rooting around I found a blue saucer cap. It looked like an SF Academy instructor’s cap, or one of the cruise line attendant caps; at least it fit.

When I put the cap on and walked around modeling it, both girls just looked mystified as to what I was doing.

I took it over to the Ferengi that owned the store and asked if he could get some embroidery work done for me.

“Sure, what you want,” He asked.

I drew him a diagram of the three star pattern, similar to the one that was on my jacket sleeve, and asked him to embroider the emblem on patch material; and then sew it on front the saucer cap.

I then walked around until I found a pair of Star Fleet standard earth issue black Wellington boots, all my shoes seemed to be brownish.

That completed my “uniform” shopping.

I asked the owner what time I could pick up my goods, he said he could deliver them if I just leave my address.

I thanked him, paid my bill, and then escorted my two doubtful looking companions back to the Luna port lodge.

Back at the Lodge I asked them both to come to my room. I wanted to do some explaining.

I needed them both to understand what I was doing.

In my quarters I started off with; “Look Be’nen, I am going to try and pull off a ruse.”

“I’m going to try and get the Klingons to think they are dealing with an officer of superior rank."

"The papers and the fake orders that Admiral Broderick gave me, along with the jacket that Staunn and Nichelle picked up; will help me be dressed for the part.”

“I am now a Commodore, think of it as an honorarium.”

“Are you both with me with me on this, because I don’t want you to have to lie about it.”

“We have seen the orders Michael”, spoke up Be’nen skeptically, “Admiral Broderick would not lie to us.”

“I am just a little confused about the clothing,” commented Staunn. “It is an unusual uniform for any Commodore I have ever seen.”

“Well you have seen Larry and Nichelle in their uniforms haven’t you? It’s the same kind of style.”

“Oh,” they both said! “You want to look like a Merchant Marine Commodore.”

“Yes, that’s it, kind of,” I said. “Now we must try and convince the Klingons that I out rank them and can be their commander, it’s a military status thing.”

“With this “promotion” in hand, it will be easier for them to accept my position, and follow my orders, at least until we get to Bajor."

"Now do you get what I’m trying to do; do you have any more questions?”

“No Michael,” Staunn replied slyly. “It’s very clear to us that you are trying to trick the Klingons into working with us, and signing that Bajoran contract."

"Isn’t that right mother?”

“Yes we understand perfectly. It’s something we are familiar with, lying and working with liars.”

“But you are a Vulcan, I thought they can never tell a lie.”

“Michael, Michael you are so predictable at times,” explained an exasperated Be’nen.

“We both understood what you were trying to do, but I must say we are both doubtful if you can make it happen”

“We will do our best to assist you; and the fact that Admiral Broderick made you a Commodore, is all we need to know; am I right Staunn?”

“Yes mother and I think he will look real nice in his new uniform.”

That thought made me feel a lot better. I knew I’d been preaching to the choir, so to say, but I felt a lot better knowing that they didn’t think I was crazy.

At least I think they didn’t.”

Later when my trousers and cap were delivered I asked Be’nen to schedule an appointment with Commander Hayes in regards to having our first meeting with the Klingons.

I also asked Be’nen to wear her blue business suit, and asked Staunn if she could wear an official medical something, that she would wear on duty, on our ship.

They both kind of rolled their eyes at me, as if I doubted their ability to play their parts.

I then put a call out to Larry Comet, and Og, and asked them to come with us to headquarters to meet the Klingons.

I told Larry I would like him to wear his old civilian service blue uniform, the one that matched Nichelles’.

I also requested that Og to find something in “official looking blue”, to wear to the meeting.

I would call them back as soon as I heard from Commander Hayes.

It was a short time later we got a call from headquarters that the port commander was ready to see us.

I promptly notified Larry and Og that were going to the meeting, and then called Ron, Pete and Don and told them that we had a meeting at headquarters scheduled to meet the Klingons; and if they would round up the rest of the crew and be ready for a meeting, in say about thirty minutes from now at the headquarters, I would appreciate it.

I then gathered up all my new uniform bundles and had Be’nen carry my new “promotion” papers.

We were off now to see Commander Hayes to ask him for permission to pull the biggest con he will probably ever see on the moon.
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Old May 13 2013, 04:49 PM   #20
Big Tom
Ensign
 
Location: Watertown, NY
Re: ST C.O.E. Mission to Bajor, Book One, The Monarch

Book One - Chapter Fourteen

How to con a Klingon, part two.

Day Eleven

Be’nen, Staunn, Larry, Og and I, met in the lodge lobby and then made our way to the Port Commanders Office.

They were all wearing the navy blue uniform style clothing that I asked them to. That would have them match my new made up uniform.

I was the only odd man out; still in sport coat and brown shoes.

At the headquarters Commander Hayes invited us all in and asked us what was the meeting all about.

I asked him to please call in his adjutant and Captain Smith, because they needed to be in on my plans for a solution to the Klingon problem.

He said, “Well enough,” and asked both officers to come in to his office to hear my presentation.

When they both came in and were seated he asked, “Okay Chief what’s the good news?”

I asked Be’nen to give him the folder that we bought.

Commander Hayes started to read the documents, then he started to chuckle, when he finished he was trying not to laugh out loud when he gave the folder to Captain Smith.

Captain Smith’s eyes seemed to kind of bug out and he began to shake. He could hardly hand it over to Lt. Darnell when both he and Commander Hayes started laughing out loud.

Commander Hayes started slapping his desk and Captain Smith stated that he was probably going to piss his pants.

Lt. Darnell was having a hard time staying seated in his chair.

We of course sat their stoically. Og and Larry were wondering what was going on.

“What the hell does this mean chief,” Hayes asked? What the hell am I supposed to do with this…this poop sheet?”

“Well sir,” I replied with a straight face, “I want your permission to con the Klingons.”

That started them off into more laughing.

When Commander Hayes recovered enough and wiped the tears from his eye he said, “I’m sorry Chief it must be all the pressure of this job."

"I haven’t had a laugh like that in I don’t know in how long."

"You had better start at the beginning.”

I explained to him the story of how I got the idea from a jacket that I received from Dr. Tehk and My Computer Tech, Nichelle; she had a fondness for her colony ship uniform, similar to what Larry Comet, my comm. officer, is now wearing.

“I contacted Admiral Broderick and explained my problem to him, and my solution. After he had his fit of laughter, he recommended I give it a try; and now I owe him a hundred credits.”

“You see Commander” I further explained, “if you support me in making the Klingons think that I out rank them, like you do, we could get them to cooperate better."

"By the time they find out what is happening they’ll be in Cardassian space.”

“I don’t know Chief;: he replied, “technically you would out rank me. I don’t think we could keep it quiet enough to make it work."

"The moon is just too small a place to keep a secret.”

“Let me ask you another question, Sir,” I asked.

“Okay fire away,” he replied.

“Do the Klingons have a way to get off this moon quickly?” I asked?

“Do they have their own shuttle?”

“Yes, they do have a shuttle craft,” was his reply, “but I wouldn’t trust it. It’s the biggest lash up I have ever seen."

"It landed here, but I don’t think it can take off again. It looks like they threw it together from the same salvage yard they probably stole the Monarch from.”

“I see.” I said, “Look Sir, as soon as I get them to accept the contract and they accept me as their acting commander, we can be out of here in less than an hour.”

“We are already packet up and ready to go, all we have to do is check out of the port lodging.”

“I promise you I will work from the ship. If I need anything I’ll send my shuttle down with my crew only, or use the transporters once they are repaired.”

“You’re sure about your crew,” He asked? “We’re both taking a big risk here. I’m liable to be laughed out of my post if this blows up in our faces.”

“I see no alternative Commander,” Be’nen interjected. “I am sure that the Monarch is a pirated federation vessel.”

“If Chief Thomas does not take possession of it, you will have to impound it and arrest the Klingons.”

“If the Klingons don’t accept “Commodore” Thomas, you know they will be deported to the Klingon Empire."

"I think the Klingons will accept our proposal. Even if they find out later about the ruse they won’t say anything."

"Obeying a senior officer satisfies their sense of order, up to a point.”

“What is that point Ms. Tash,” asked Commander Hayes?

“If they decide to kill Mr. Thomas,” she replied, “and take command of the Monarch for themselves; it is a known Klingon practice.”

“What do you say to that Chief,” he asked, “do you still want to take the risk?

“I do sir,” was my answer, “they have no ship that can serve as a weapons platform, or as a raider.”

“They essentially have no place to go until they can redeem themselves in their fellow Klingon’s eyes; and Klingons don’t like failures.”

“They need us to bargain with to get them a warship, and be accepted back on their home world.”

“Okay Chief, I guess it’s your neck and my reputation; I’ll turn a blind eye, but I want you off Luna Port within twenty four hours “Commodore”; one way or another, understand?”

He then asked his staff: “Any further problems here; Captain Smith, Lt Darnell?”

“No sir,” they both replied, “mum’s the word Sir.”

“Okay Chief what do we do next, have a meeting with the Klingons?

“No Sir,” was my answer. “We have to inform my crew of what is going on.”

“Could we have a meeting here? I also need to change into my ‘Commodore’ outfit and sir, if you would oblige, can we have a “promotion ceremony”.”

“Okay Chief, in for a penny, in for a pound,” he laughed.

“Call your crew together. I just hope they don’t injure themselves rolling on the floor over this.”

I changed my clothes in the men’s room while Be’nen and Larry directed my crew into the Commander’s conference room.

When Be’nen signaled that they were all inside, I went to Commander Hayes’ office and requested his presence in the meeting room.

Commander Hayes then hailed Captain Smith and Lt Darnelle and all four of us marched out of his office and into the meeting room.

At the head of the room Commander Hayes called; “attention to orders:”

To Michael Thomas

Greetings:

KNOW YOU, that from special trust and confidence reposed in your fidelity, courage, and good conduct, our COMMANDER, in pursuance of the authority vested in him by the Constitution and By Laws of this Society, doth commission you Commodore of the third Fleet Yacht Club of THIRD STAR FLEET Engineering Division of STAR FLEET COMMAND, to rank as such from the 9th day of December 2332.

Notarized seal

In Testimony whereof, I hereunto signed my name as Club Secretary, and caused the Great Seal of the Third Fleet Yacht Club to be affixed, this 9 day of July 2332.

Henry A. Wise

There was stunned silence for about thirty seconds when Ron Thornton shouted out: “The third fleet yacht club isn’t that a beer hall?”

Then Pete Murray shouted out: “What’d that cost you a case of beer?”

By that time everyone was roaring with laughter and calling out cat calls; except for Be’nen and Staunn.

I stood still at attention and saluted everyone, then asked them to quiet down a little bit because I didn’t want them to alarm the Klingons.

“What the hell do the Klingons have to do with this, “Commodore”?” Then they started laughing all over again, and I had to wait until they all got their breath.

I turned to Commander Hayes, shook his hand and thanked him, and told him I could take it from here.

I also asked him if he could also arrange an appointment with Capt Kluge and some of his officers.

I told him: “I would be accompanied by Ms. Tash, Dr. Tehk, Mr. Og, and Larry Comet and if Capt Smith could furnish a couple of security guards, I would appreciate it.”

He said; “Can do, call me if and when you get results.” He also reminded me that He wanted me of his base with in twenty four hours; “Commodore” or not.

When he left with Captain Smith and Lt. Darnell I asked that the crew quiet down so I could explain the situation to them.

I explained that dealing with Klingons, and their contempt for what they conceive of as being lesser ranking individuals, we all have to make them believe that I out rank them to get them to cooperate better.

I asked them all to cooperate in this scam and then I asked if there were any questions or input.

The first question I was asked was: “What if we don’t pull it off?”

My answer was: “We don’t get the Monarch, and we’re out of here within twenty four hours."

"We then head for Mars to pick up the Grayson, if it’s there like they told us.”

“If not, it’s off to the Qualor II Surplus Depot, by shuttle.; and you know what that means, we can look forward to a long, long trip crammed together in our shuttles, more delay and probably questions as to what are we really doing out there.”

That didn’t make the crew sound to happy.

The next question was; “What do you think the Klingons will do?”

Be’nen answered that for me. “I think we will get the use of the Monarch”, she said.

“The Klingons have no good options by staying on the moon”, Be’nen continued.”They are desperate but, I don’t want to minimize the dangers of working with them.”

“They culturally respect the chain of command, but they will be over bearing, but you must stand up to them and don’t let them pick a fight with you, you must out think them.”

“They are physically very strong and prideful; plus raiding ships of other cultures has been ingrained for centuries, but now we are allies.”

“If you are afraid of them don’t take this mission. If you want to stay and are fear-full, try to avoid them as much as possible; but you will be teamed up with them at least until we return to Earth and pick up the volunteer passengers and crew to Bajor.

“I do recommend that Mr. Thomas try to secure a security team to accompany us.”

That kind of put me on notice. “Are there any other questions”, I asked?

“Just a comment, Mike,” Larry interjected. “Folks, believe me when I say that the only people on board the ship, that will be manning that Monarch will be us, if the Klingons give us any trouble.”

“They will need the help, not us, because I can shut that Monarch down so that the only thing they will be able to do will be to send a rescue beacon.”

“Likewise”, a few others said.

“Okay everyone are we all agreed that I am the best “Commodore” that money can buy for a hundred credits, or not?”

“You were robbed, chief. I could have got you one of those commissions for a case of beer from the Bowery Yacht Club,” someone shouted from the back of the room.”

That set off more laughter, but I said thanks for playing along. I advised them to pack up and be ready to meet at the shuttles later this afternoon.

"One way or another we were out of here.

I asked Ron Thornton to see if he could furnish me one of those red work shirts that he found at Nellis supply store, and find a baseball style cap somewhere.

I wanted him to take them to the tailor and put the “Commodore’s” three star emblems on my collars and cap.

I couldn’t wear this good jacket to work in all day, on the ship.

When he said he would, I dismissed the crew and sent them on their way.

The I, with my negotiating crew, headed for Commander Hayes’ Office, to wait for a meeting with the Klingons.

Commander Hayes had put out the call for Capt Kluge and his officers to report to his office conference room.

He also gave me a roster of their names.

“Who are these people,” I asked?

“That’s Capt. Kluge’s real name,” he replied. “The Klingon Embassy on earth ID’ed them about a month after they got here."
"Evidently they could care less about these jail birds as long as they were in our hands.”

“Thanks Commander,” I said. (Somehow I felt like a sucker, Captain Kluge's name did not match the one listed on the roster)

We waited cooling our heels until a security officer showed up and told us the Klingons were here.

When we went into the room the first thing that hit me was a strong odor like two month old sweat socks. It was our guest.

The first impression of Capt “Kluge”, that I had received from our previous video conference, was that he was big, ugly and mean looking, and now I that saw those that were with him, they were not much better looking.

When we sat down and picked up the translators that Hayes had furnish, I glanced over at Staunn and Og, both had eyes as big as saucers.

I thought maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to bring Staunn in with us, but it was too late now, both were to be acting officers on our ship.

Commander Hayes introduced us to the Klingons; we all just nodded our heads in recognition.

The Klingons all had big smiles on their faces, or maybe it was a grimace; or an expression on a person who was just ready to bite into a rare steak.

When Cmdr. Hayes started to introduce their Captain as “Kluge” I interrupted.

“I don’t think we need to keep up this charade Captain D’Ghor Kahlest, if I am pronouncing it correctly. Maybe you could give us all your correct names.”

Before Cmdr Hayes said anything more he took it as a cue to make his exit, saying: “Well I’ll leave you now, ladies and gents. Call me if you need anything,” and left the room.

His two security officers stayed.

Capt. Kahlest and the rest of the crew kind of lost their smirk, but only for a second.

He introduced his Executive officer Tichar K’ehleyr, his wife KaLitra Kahlest, his Interrogation Officer Paghal Hon’tihl and his Chief Engineer Keedera Koboe.

He then put on his best intimidation face and demanded to know why they were summoned and what did I want.

“You will address me as Commodore, Captain,” I started off with. “Does this translate correctly?”

“Yes sir,” he said.

“I requested this meeting to verify if you, and your crew, would rather spend your time in the Luna Port brig, rather than join me in free association with the Bajoran recovery mission,” I started off with.

“That is outrageous’” he fumed. “What makes you think that I would ever consent to working with weakling humans and their pasty faced Vulcan collaborators and their vermin pet Ferengi who, I would in normal circumstances, pinch their heads off their necks like I would a gorch?” (Pimple)

I quickly restrained Be’nen. Staunn grabbed my arm and started hissing along with Og.

I thought Larry was going to have a hemorrhage, but he restrained himself.

“I would watch what you say around Ms. Tash, with talk like that,” I said sternly, “she may be inclined to kill you.”

“For your information Dr. Tehk is her daughter and she doesn’t take threats like that lightly.”

“You see she is not a true Vulcan, she is half Romulan and if she went after you, with what she knows about pressure points, you would be asleep while you died. Do I make myself clear?”

They all gave her a wary look when they all said, “Yes sir”.

Evidently they had had dealings with Romulans before, and I knew there was no love lost between the two races.

“And just to clarify matters here; if anything happens to any of my crew, as senior officer on this base I will personally see that they take a long walk moon side."

"Also I will let you know now that Ms. Tash, Dr Tehk and I are now in family negotiations for marriage and if anything happens to either one of them, I will have you all summarily shot.”

“Commodore sir, we meant no harm,” spoke Mrs. Kahlest.

“I don’t care, ma’am I am through talking.”

“I came here in good faith to offer you reasonable employment for three years, to refit a ship that is fit only for scrap, to give you some dignity in the face of your present exile.”

“As a Commodore of the Third Fleet do you really think I don’t know what your real status is?”

“The Third Fleet, that lost eighty percent of its ships defending Earth against the Breen in the return to DS9 campaign, an action that the Klingon fleet lost over twenty five of its ships off Cardassia, assisting Starfleet.”

“I thought at least you could assist us in recovering some parts of those ships and in the retrieving of the hundreds of Klingon warriors now floating, frozen in space."

"Well, you think about it.”

“Be’nen, leave the contracts, we’re leaving,” I said.

“It’s their choice, exile and maybe an extended stay in the brig here on the moon, or employment with me.”

“Inform Cmdr Hayes of your decision,” I told them, “we are going to lunch."

"Either way we leave the moon within twenty four hours.”

“You two security guards wait outside the door and don’t leave until they make their decision,” I directed.

We all marched out, walked over to Cmdr. Hayes Office where he offered to us to come in and sit down and wait for the Klingons' decision.

“Well how did it go.” He asked?

“I thought it went well,” I replied.

Be’nen leaned against the wall with her arms crossed and a scowl on her face.

“I didn’t realize how a big liar you really are Michael,” she harrumphed.

“Jesus Mike, I thought we were going to have to fight our way out of there,” Larry said as he collapsed in his chair. “I’m too old for this.”

Og wouldn’t sit down. He just paced back and forth mumbling to himself.

Staunn sat down for about two seconds and then went to me, and sat on my lap with her head over my shoulder.

She had been quite shaken up, so I just held her in my arms.

“So it went well did it,” Commander Hayes stated while he was shaking his head?

He then turned around at his desk and got busy on his computer.

About ten minutes later there was a knock on the door, and one of the security guards entered, dropped a folder on Commander Hayes desk and waited.

Hayes looked at all the papers and then said; “Congratulations Chief you did it. The Klingons are your problem now. What can I do now to get you all off my base?”

“Thank you sir,” I replied, “would you please release the Klingons you now have in the brig, into my custody?”

“I would also like to request a customs, or security team, to accompany us to the Monarch and stay there until we are ready to leave."

"Maybe some personnel ready to rotate back to Earth, or even some that would like to join us on our venture to Bajor?”
“You ask a lot Chief, but I will see what I can do,” he replied, “let me remind you that the Monarch is a piece of crap so get those transporters up and running first thing."

"I’ll pass the word to base supply to be ready for your resupply orders, anything else?”

“Not at the moment Sir,” I replied glibly. “I guess it’s time to go back and talk with my new Klingon associates.”

“Be’nen,” I asked, “would you please take Staunn, and inform the rest of our crew, to gather up their things and meet me at the shuttles.”

“W have to be off the moon as soon as I can get all the Klingons disembarked in their own shuttle."

"I will meet up with you there. See you later.”

Nobody said a word they just left the room and I went over to the conference room with the security guard.

When I entered the room they were all were sitting at the table looking very glum, even for Klingons.

I asked the security to wait outside.

I then went over to the place that I had left at the table opposite Captain Kahlest, stood before him and picked up a translator.

“I would like to say to all of you; ‘welcome aboard’.”

“Your personnel that are in confinement are to be released into my custody and I would appreciate it if you would please round up all your people and meet us by my shuttles in Luna Port module three."

"I understand you have your own shuttle craft?”

“Yes Commodore, it is one that I had constructed and it is sufficient for all of us,” Kahlest answered.

"I see," I replied and asked, "Could you also have your shuttle sent over to module three first?"

"I would like to examine it, I’m sure it will be an asset, especially as you are familiar with its handling qualities."

"Do you have any further questions?”

“Yes Commodore, I do,” he asked.” What happens to our families while we are working on this mission, are they to remain here and restricted as they are now, at Luna Port?”

“I don’t understand what you mean by the question, Captain,” I asked?

“Our families Commodore,” he said emphatically? “What happens to them? You have hired my crew of Klingon men. Klingons do not have women or children as part of their crew.”

“I am sorry for the misunderstanding, Captain,” was my reply.

“This is not a combat mission and my understanding of your situation was that the Monarch, and its’ crew, was a family ship.”

“As this is a joint Federation and Bajoran mission, your family members, men, women and their children are not restricted, but welcome to participate, within reason.”

“What reasons Commodore, “asked the emphatic Kahlest?

“You must school your children, Captain,” I stated. “Your curriculum can be Klingon, but will have to meet Federation testing standards. And as crew members, they must meet minimum age requirements for operational certificates as part of your crew, otherwise there is no problem.”

That brought on many a sigh of relief, especially from Mrs. Kahlest, and brought on much discussion that my translator didn’t catch.

“Are the women paid too,” Kahlest asked?

“Yes they are captain, if they are your crew, you pay them,” was the answer.

“It’s in the contract. Are you ready to go to work now?”

Kahlest looked at his party, then turned and said, “Whatever you say, Commodore.”

“Good!” I said, as I reached across the table to shake Kahlest’ hand.

“What is this,” He asked?

“On Earth, where I am from, it is a gesture of good will that is sometimes a greeting, sometimes a show of trust, especially between men to show agreement, and friendship."

"It can be also a mutual sign of honor and commitment, do you take my hand?”

“Yes,” he said as we shook hands with a fist that felt like he was crushing walnuts, “and we Klingons say, Klapla,” (Success).
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Old Yesterday, 04:22 PM   #21
Big Tom
Ensign
 
Location: Watertown, NY
Re: ST C.O.E. Mission to Bajor, Book One, The Monarch

Star Fleet Corps of Engineers, Mission to Bajor
By T.M. Flavin
Book One – The Monarch

Chapter Fifteen - Introduction to Klingons and security.

After making “peace” with the Klingons I changed my clothes and went directly to our shuttles to make myself as inconspicuous as possible with the Luna port staff.

Luckily Ron had found my red shirts and purchased the ball cap I wanted. So I went directly in to shuttle number one and changed my clothes, again.

Be’nen and Staunn followed me in. I knew they had issues that they wanted to talk about, but I beat them to it.

“Is everyone present and accounted for, I asked?”

“Yes,” they both replied.

“Are you all packed up and ready? As soon as the Klingons get here I want to be ready to go.”

“Yes we’re all packed, but how do you want us to travel up there with only two shuttles? Are we riding with the Klingons,” asked Be’nen?

“No not necessarily. They have their own shuttle; I will travel in that, along with the security team that Hayes promised us.”

“But that thing is not suppose to be able get off the moon on thrusters, from what we hear. You’ll get yourself killed,” Be’nen stressed.

“I’m going to have our maintenance team look at it first, don’t worry.”

Those were wasted words by the look on both of their faces.

“I want you and Staunn to stay with shuttle number one, and Og and his crew will stay with the other."

"We won’t be leaving until our mechanics say it’s alright."

"I love you both and I promise I won’t let anything happen to me, okay?”

I went to give them both a hug and kiss.

Be’nen was cold and stiff, Staunn latched on to me like I was leaving forever. I kissed Staunn on her forehead and looked back at Be’nen.”

“Be’nen,” I said, “quit scaring the children.”

I saw Be’nen struggle, but I exited be for she decided to slap me.

Out on the landing pad the Klingons were starting to gather.

As I passed shuttle number two I told the crew to stand by the shuttles. If I needed them I would call.

I walked over to Kahlest and greeted them, only Kahlest had a translator so they were all silent until he told them all to say “hello”. Then it was one big chorus.

He then explained to me that his shuttle was on its way.

The shuttle when it arrived, through the atmospheric barrier, at the module, flew in an erratic behavior.

It was acting like the pilot was on the verge of losing control. It seemed to wobble all over the place. In fact it acted as if couldn’t hover at all.

It circled the module and then skidded in for a landing like an aircraft, landing on its engine nacelles, and screeching to a stop near us, close enough to make me shiver.

‘Oh brother’, I thought.

Commander Hayes said it was a lash-up, but that didn’t do it justice.

It was the oddest thing I had ever seen.

It looked like a big fat beetle with a horn sticking out of its’ head.

It was about the same length as a Type 9-B shuttle, about ten and a half meters long.

It was about the same height, but it looked like a flying tank.

Even the three crewmen that came out of the back hatch seemed to wobble around.

I think they did all they could not to kiss the ground after they landed.

Captain Kahlest had a big grin on his face and asked me, “What do you think of it. We made it ourselves.”

“I can see,” I replied.

He then proceeded to show me around, pointing out that the main part of the shuttle was a salvaged nose section from a older type Berel Class Bird of Prey.

They had cut away the lower torpedo launch section, up to the bridge armor plating.

On the top bulkhead they had gouged out a section to mount a wing mount phaser cannon.

It didn’t make it any higher, but it must have been a lot of duct work and wiring rerouting to fit it in there properly.

At where the bridge neck was supposed to be, there was a federation style docking and access hatch, maybe from an old Model 12-B shuttle, or a travel pod.

The engine nacelles were from a shuttle the same size as on our 9-Bs, type unknown.

You could see a lot of plasticizer was used instead of bulkhead replacement materials, yep, definitely glued together.

Kahlest asked me if I wanted to take a short trip around in it.

“It was perfectly safe,” he said.

I told him not right now, but if he didn’t mind I would like one of my mechanics take a look at it.

He kind of grumped a little bit but said; “Sure look all you like.”

Without further a due, I want back to my own shuttle.

The first thing I did was, asking Be’nen to contact Captain Smith and ask him where those security people were, and tell him to get some big ones.

He should make sure they are authorized to perform routine security, and customs inspections, on all ships leaving Luna port.”

I then called for Pete, and Don, and told them that the Klingon shuttle had Federation parts on it, and I wanted one of our engineer mechanics to give it an inspection.

“I don’t trust its flying abilities just yet, and I think it’s only set up for thrusters. Like it was only used for ship to ship hops, at short distances in space; like for a raiders boarding shuttle.”

“Notice the docking hatch at its rear; I’m sure it’s Federation equipment. Real convenient for a pirate wouldn’t you say?”

After a few choice cuss words, Don called out for Dwayne Barkley.

“Dwayne get your tool kit together and take a look at that Klingon rhinoceros over there would you.”

“Make sure you have a diagnostic computer with you. I have a feeling an engineering tricorder is not going to be enough."

"Ask a couple of the other guys to give you a hand.”

I waited for Dwayne to get his gear ready and to give him my opinion of what that “rhino’s” gear consisted of.

Dwayne was an old timer like me, and one of the few people you would see that still had to wear eye glasses.

We walked together over to the shuttle and made an inspection tour around the outside, both of us pointing out things of interest. Then we went inside.

The place was a mess it had the twelve seats of a command bridge section, but that was about all that looked functional in it.

There were loose wires all over the place. None of the station monitors were working and they had mounted a joy stick at the pilots’ station. The thing stunk of Klingon too.

“Do you think we can save her, Dwayne,” I asked?

“Well let’s see what our tri-corder says, Commodore.” I could see he was really getting in to the act.

He also brought in the diagnostic computer, plugged his tri-corder into it and then hooked on a tri-corder probe.

We then looked around for any and all outlets to stick the probe into.

The inspection included a few "hems", "oh oh"s and "let’s see here"s; at about a half dozen or more sites.

Then it was followed by crawling around under the ops station panels, and after looking into ceiling and floor hatches; we finally finished with the interior.

We then we lugged everything out doors.

Dwayne crawled underneath looking for access panels, especially around the engine nacelles.

That took a few "gotchas", "that’s good" and even a "that’s lucky". Finally it was; “I guess that’s it Commodore.”

“What’s your verdict Dwayne?”

“Well sir, do you want the good news or the bad news first.” He replied.

I said,” let’s start out with the bad news first, Dwayne”

“Well sir, as far as I can see she has at least three different circuits controlling her; all independent of each other, none of them integrated worth beans.”

“She is definitely set up as a shuttle pod with thrusters only.”

“That joy stick is the only navigation control that I can find that is active; all the other stuff is just not hooked up.”

“That cannon has its own battery and trigger mechanisms. In fact the whole shuttle is powered on battery energizers only."

"They must recharge them off the main power supply from the mother ship when docked, there’s not a generator on it at all.”

“No generator at all, how do you explain that, I asked?”

“Well boss as you know most shuttles are set up for either impulse or warp drive. So the different engines would be the main generators. Not on this one.”

“These nacelles came of a shuttle like our 9-B s over there."

"They have a combination drive and you can’t separate the different drive systems. I think when they tried to hook it up, it just didn’t work out.”

“I do think they tried to get the impulse system working, but there must have been some damage to the drive, plus they didn’t have the dilithium to make the warp section work. So they left it off and just used thrusters.”

“I imagine for what they wanted to use it for, that’s all they needed, until they had to land here on the moon."

"If they tried to land on the Earth with this rig, it would have made a great big splat.”

“I agree,” I remarked, “now what’s the good news.”

“She can fly! Those engine nacelles may not be at one hundred percent, but if we get power to them she’ll fly under impulse."

"With some jumper cables, and one of our shuttles’ power packs hooked up to her, I’m sure those engines will work.”

“Give me a couple of months to work on her to get all the circuitry integrated; I’ll have her flying, like a ruptured duck.

“Jeez Dwayne I don’t have a couple of months can you rig her to get her up to the Monarch today?”

“That’s a tall order Ch..Commodore. Let me talk it over with Pete and Don."

"I’m pretty sure we can get her to fly, but you will need a skilled pilot to get her to land on the Monarch.”

“What do you mean a skilled pilot we have a lot of shuttle pilots here, what’s the problem?”

“Well sir, she going to fly like a fighter; like one of those Earth Defense fighters, the one’s that need a runway."

"This thing has no hovering capacity as yet. I think the Klingons know it too, the way they brought it in here.”

“I see; what if we had a kill switch installed for the impulse engines, and just reverted to thrusters to land her?”

“Yea, that would work; I can get right on if you want Mike, Commodore; Sir.”

“Sure get started on it; I’ll get Kahlest to give you some help. They have to start cooperating some time.”

We both walked over to Kahlest and I explained what our inspection found and wanted his permission to start a few modifications and repairs on his shuttle.

I also wanted one of his crew to assist Dwayne, so the pilot operator would know what was being done.

I recommended that it be someone who would be assigned to operate it on a steady basis; and not have it conflict with his Monarch operations officer’s duties.

Kahlest looked over at his crew and then called out for “Kadra”, to come over and talk to us.

Kadra, who was sitting by herself, was a good looking female by any humanoid standards.

She got up, leisurely walked over and postured herself in front of Kahlest.

The conversation was off the translator so I didn’t quite understand what they were talking about, but she sure didn’t seem enthused.

She had her arms folded and called over her shoulder to ‘PagHal Hon’Tihl’, the Interrogation Officer, who was at our initial meeting.

What followed was a long discussion, more like an argument, with much gesturing and shouting on Hoh’Tihl’s side, and a lot of whining and pouting on her end.

In the meantime Kahlest told me her name was Kadra Unagroth, Hon’Tihl’s intended, and not part part of his immediate family.

“She is useless,” Kahlest scoffed, “I don’t know what he sees in her; but she can operate a shuttle.”

It was obvious to Dwayne what Hon’Tihl saw in Kadra. He was all smiles when he saw his new helper.

“Alright Dwayne”, I finally announced, “this is your shuttle operator you will be working with, so go over to Ogs' shuttle and get yourself a translator, and get Miss Unagaroth a comm. badge.”

“Also pass the word to Mr. Comet to pass out those comm. badges to the Klingons, and to let them know that they are tuned to our frequencies.”

“Inform Pete and Don of what you are doing, then head over to the hanger shop and get what you need.”

“If you need additional help, let Captain Kahlest know what you need, I’m sure he will gladly get someone to help.”

“Is that okay with you Captain,” I asked Kahlest?

“Um, sure Commodore, anything that we can assist you with, we will do.”

While we were talking the security team showed up. Nine people showed up, our mission must rate.

“I am Sergeant Clemmons reporting for embarkation inspection of your outgoing fleet, sir.”

“Captain Smith also said you were looking for recruits’ sir. That’s Officer Fleming, Officer Carney and Officer Flanagan, over there waiting to talk to you, sir.”

“Where would you like us to start, sir?” he asked.

“Start with our two shuttles first, then do Captain Kahlest’s rhino over there, and I hope you are prepared to embark with us; or do you have your own shuttle to take you to the Monarch freighter, we leased??

“After we inspect these shuttles we will draw our own department shuttle, sir."

"We would like to be the second shuttle to board the freighter, sir, if that’s convenient?”

“I have no problem Sergeant, do you Captain?”

“Err, no sir whatever you say, Commodore.” Kahlest looked a little perplexed.

I don’t know if it was that he wasn’t prepared to be deferred to on decisions, or there was something on the ship that would cause us some trouble.

Sergeant Clemmons went about his business, and Kahlest and I went over to meet our new security “recruits”.

Officer Fleming was about my height, but thicker.

Officer Carney looked like his pet monkey; I don’t think he was over five foot six with his shoes on.

He had the face and hands like a prize fighter and his two front teeth were missing.

Officer Flanagan was a stocky woman with huge breast, a pleasant smiling face and red hair that looked like she went to the same hair dresser as Nichelle Bushong.

“Greetings, Officer Flaming, Officer Carney,” spoke up Kahlest, with a big grin on his face. “Is there any trouble Officers?”

“Not yet Kluge, you ready to start some again,” answered Officer Fleming?

“No, No officers, I just wanted to say hello and tell you we are all now changed men. We are traders in commerce no less.”

“Well we aren’t in the market for any stock today Kluge, Thanks anyway."

"We heard you were on a pleasure cruise and we figure we would just tag along for the ride, if that’s all right with the Commodore here.”

“In that case I will leave you in his good hands, I will see you later.” The emphasis was on the will, from Kahlest.

“I gather you know each other,” I noted. “By the way his real name is Kahlest.”

“Kahlest! Yes sir, we’ve tangle a few times, haven't we Carney.”

“Yea the bloody batherds,” Carney replied. His missing teeth didn’t help is diction either.

“I had to get a few released from the brig, was it for fighting?” I queried.

“No sir, fighting with them is just our exercise,” spoke up Officer Fleming, “the cheap bustards wouldn’t pay their bar tab, or their meal tab, or their quarters cost, you name it.”

“If they didn’t like what they were being charged they would start swinging."

"It usually took two or three of us to get then under control enough, so Janie here could stun ‘em.”

“Yea the bloody batherds, if you fights one, you end up fighting’ them all, the bloody batherds,” interjected Carney.

I looked to Jane Flanagan, “I suppose you didn’t have to trade blows with any of them.”

“Oh no sir, I just tagged along to see that the Klingons weren’t hurt."

"When I saw these two starting to wheeze or their tongues hanging out, I figured it was time to quit their exercising, so I stunned them."

'You know over exercising will cramp up your muscles.”

“You’re only supposed to stun the bloody Klingons not us too, ya bloody cork,” mumbled Carney.

“I only did that one time,” she replied, “and it was payback for you stunning me.”

“You mean your own partners stunned you,” I asked?

“Yes sir, these two Galahads won’t arrest an unruly female so I have to do it for them, and those Klingon women are almost as bad as the men.”

“If the men are in a donnybrook they join right in, so I get stuck wrestling with the women, and dummy here (she pointed to Carney) zaps me instead of the Klingon."

"I was out for about fifteen minutes.”

“Well you bloody cork; I told you not to wrestling on the floor like it was a bloody love fest,” Piped Carney, “I told you it was a mistake. Tell her Flem.”

“You must excuse my partners here sir, their sort of engaged,” quipped Officer Fleming.

“We are not,” they both shouted. That parlayed another argument between the two “Lovers”.

“You see sir, this is what happens when you’re stuck in an escape pod for four days."

"We were Fleet Marines on the Paragon when she got destroyed during the return to DS-9.”

“I didn’t know any of those ships carried Marines.”

“Well you know they were hurting for crews, at that time, especially for the Centaur class vessels.”

“Almost half of the crew on the Paragon was marine volunteers like us. I was a cannon crewman, Barker was an armorer, and Janie was in communications."

"I first met them both when I dragged them to the escape pod when we had to abandon ship."

"We were lucky to get out alive.”

“Yeah, and that pod is only supposed to be for two people, not three. You should have thrown the little pervert out,” remarked Jane.

“Cripes all mighty Danny, why didn’t you pick a gal with less T&A, at least we could have played cards."

"We didn’t have enough room to shuffle a deck with her with us.”

“As you can see Sir, we’re a team,” remarked Officer Fleming.

“Okay my friends, do you see that lady with the blue suit on by that shuttle?” I pointed out Be’nen.

“Report to her and stand by, I have to get back to that Klingon shuttle, and see what is going on.”

I went over to check on Dwayne, and his Klingon pilot, to check on their progress.

“Commodore, when I plugged in that power pack the whole bridge lit up like a Christmas tree,” announced Dwayne.

“Kadra helped me out an awful lot, she’s real smart.”

Kadra kind of smirked and said through her translator, “He thinks I’m smart because I can read and understand Klingon.”

She was shaking her head, while Dwayne just kept grinning at her.

“Commodore, I would like your permission to download some federation specs, so I can get these Klingon computers to work more efficient with the engine nacelles,” asked Dwayne?

“I don’t think we can do that Dwayne. I’m sure it’s a violation of Star Fleet regulations to furnish federation technology to vessels other than the fleet."

"Let me call Mr. Comet over here to take look at what you have done, and see what he can do.”

I called over Larry on my comm. badge and asked him to bring his computer gear over and see if he could work out some of the bugs in the Klingons’ shuttle computer system.

Most people have a pers-comp about the size of an old style book.

Larry’s was the size of a good sized suitcase.

It was almost as big as the shuttle power pack that Dwayne had installed.

Larry plugged in his console into the power pack, then took out a standard looking engineer tri-corder, with probe, and asked Dwayne to re-probe all the sites that he tested in the command section.

After Dwayne hit all the sites Larry hooked up a jumper cable to the navigation console and started working through his display.

Larry then ordered, “Computer, download Mary Jane.”

‘Download complete.’ Exclaimed the computer’s voice.

“Computer this is Lawrence Morris Comet, identification number 17A29BZ, recognize voice print for maintenance and servicing instructions.”

‘Lawrence Morris Comet, identification number 17A29BZ, is recognized for maintenance and servicing instructions, you are cleared for processing.’

“Computer: main frame A-Z is off line, establish backup at Nav 1, Klingon.”

‘Insufficient space, information requires one quad GGB.’ The computer answered.

“Computer: transfer one quad GGB navigation schematics for other than Sol System into Comet Drive A.”

‘Working; download complete.’

“Computer: main frame A-Z is off line, establish backup at Nav1, Klingon.”

‘Backup parameters set, awaiting input.’

“Computer: recognize Eng 1, Klingon.”

‘Eng1, Klingon recognized.’

“Computer: recognize Com 1, Klingon.”

‘Com 1, Klingon recognized.’

“Computer: recognize Cmd 1, Klingon.”

‘Cmd 1, Klingon recognized.’

“Computer: recognize Env1, Klingon.”

‘Env1, Klingon recognized.’

“Computer: recognize all Def & Wep, Klingon.”

“Def, Klingon recognized; Wep, not on line.”

“Mike, you’ll have to hook up the weapons system later. For now let’s see if we can get those engines nacelle recognized.”

“Computer run Eng1, Klingon, diagnostics. Display and display errors on Comet1”

‘Working.’

Larry’s console started displaying all the circuitry that the computer had access to.

When a connection error was displayed, Dwayne hurried over with a tester, and jumpers, to make all pertinent corrections.

Most of the error messages were of minor problems that could be corrected and finalized later.

The biggest error that couldn’t be corrected was getting the Nacelles to work at hover through the Klingon navigation console.

The nacelles would need more extensive repairs on the ship or in a space dock.

The operator would still have to cut the engines and land the shuttle with thrusters only. Other than that she was ready to fly.

Larry then asked the computer to download a language recognition program and then asked that it recognize all Klingon voice recognition protocol programs, Earth standard, and Bajoran.

He then asked Kahlest to follow up with himself, and his shuttle crew, with their personal IDs, to voice print on to the shuttles computer data base.

Kahlest’s only comment about the reprogramming was about having a female computer voice, he didn’t like it.

Larry told him why he downloaded the female voice parameters to it was because his designated shuttle pilot was female, they should get along a lot better.

Besides that most Star Fleet vessels used the same voice programming, so communications and idioms would conform better.

Kahlest was still dubious, but he accepted it.

“I’m done for now here Mike, do you want to help me with this stuff I have here?”

“Sure Larry,” I replied, “but first I want you Captain, to get the shuttle ready for embarkation.”

“We also need the get the customs people in here to do their inspection.”

“When they are done, I recommend that you take Mr. Barkley and only the people you need to restart the Monarch’s systems”.

“You can bring up the rest of your crew later if you have to."

"Will they need suits?”

“No Commodore,” he replied, “the environmental systems were left on, but at low power. We can access the bridge through one of the top hatches.”

“Okay then I’ll get our people loaded, and call me when the customs inspectors are ready to follow you up; we will be right behind you.”

Once away from the Klingons I asked Larry, “What was going on?”

“You know Mike those Klingon Birds of Prey are a lot smaller than our cruisers. I bet their computer core is about the same as on the Monarch, or even a J-Class freighter.”

“Those bridge stations are really stand alone computers that net work, not like a federation vessel that has a huge computer core with slave stations."

"What I just did was copy and down load all the computer files to my pers-comp here.”

“How did you do that? It didn’t sound like you were doing that to me.”

“That’s the way it’s supposed to happen. While you listen to me talking to Mary Jane nobody watches my key board."

"It’s an old school trick, but it works. And Mary Jane talks to me any time I want her to.”

“I have to get these data chips I copied over to Ms. Tash, I think her friend the Admiral might be interested in what was in those files. It will at least be an historical file.”

Larry was chuckling to himself now.

We walked togther up to Be’nen, and Larry gave her the chips.

“A present for your friends Ms. Tash,” he said.

She still wasn’t ready to talk to me. I had to ask her how she made out with our three new recruits.

“They are signed in, Michael, and Staunn is doing a preliminary scan now."

"Is that thing really going to fly? You aren’t going up in it are you, It doesn’t look like its’ safe to me.”

“No Be’nen, I will be traveling with you in my cozy Commodore shuttle”.

“The Rhino should be no problem, I’m confident of the work that Mr. Barkley and Mr. Comet did.”

“I think you should put in a general call for our people to start boarding. Then start your preflight operations with the Luna port tower."

"As soon as we get customs clearance we will be ready to go.”

Officer Fleming and Officer Carney elected to join Og’s shuttle.

Officer Flanagan would fly up with us.

Ever sense she met Nichelle, it was like one continuous conversation going on, like they were long lost relatives, maybe it was because of their matching hair styles.

I was sitting outside on the shuttle nacelles waiting for the customs clearance, when the customs shuttle showed up.

Staunn came out side and sat with me.

She didn’t say a word she just looped her arm through mine and leaned on my shoulder.

“It’ll be alright Staunn, we’ll get through this. Its’ all downhill from now on,” I told her.

Little did I know that the downhill run would be more like dropping off a cliff?
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