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Old August 22 2013, 10:15 PM   #31
Lieutenant Commander
Sgt_G's Avatar
Location: USA
Re: ST:TOS-era story: EVACUATION

~~~ ~~~~ ~~~

“Okay, buddy, hands were we can see them,” the man ordered Sergeant McKendrey. “This is a restricted area.”

“Whoa. Take it easy, Petty Officer,” he couldn’t read the name tag, “I’m part of the security detail. I have full access to the entire ship.” He could see the man’s phaser was set to heavy-stun. Good. He was afraid they had shoot-to-kill orders.

The man laughed menacingly, “Not any more, you don’t.” He looked at the woman, “Tell the boss we got the last one.” With his free hand, he began to pat the Marine down for weapons. His partner made a rookie mistake and lowered her weapon to pull out her data PADD. McKendrey made his move, and almost immediately made a huge mistake of his own.

He grabbed the man’s right wrist, forcing the phaser down and away, and turned to elbow him in the solar plexus. His next move would have been to twist the weapon hand up, around, and behind his opponent to disarm him. The problem was, he realized a moment too late, the man was an ethnic Orion. Contrary to popular belief, the vast majority of Orions live and work an honest life, and many serve honorably in Star Fleet and even the Police Force. They must pass a rigorous back-ground check, of course, but so does anyone from any other planet. The immediate problem at hand is Orion anatomy. Unlike humans, a blow to the gut will not stun an Orion.

The Orion was also much stronger than he looked, as the Marine discovered by being wrapped up in a bear hug. In an attempt to move to Plan B, he tried to drop to his knees and body-throw his opponent. He found himself being lifted high in the air and expected to be slammed to the deck. McKendrey threw his head back and heard a satisfying snap of teeth breaking, and kicked down and back with both feet hard into the man’s left kneecap. His left arm slipped loose from the vice-grip hold. It was an awkward move, but was able to punch the petty officer once, twice, three times in the side just below the ribcage. That is how you stun an Orion: in the side, not the gut.

McKendrey broke free and landed on his feet. He turned and swung a haymaker of a punch, only to have his hand caught inches away from the target. This guy was a brawler. He smiled a bloodied smile and began to crush the Marine’s fist in his. Out of the corner of his eye, McKendrey saw the woman had recovered from her surprise and was pointing her phaser at them, waiting for a clear shot. As the Marine was free from her partner, she fired. And missed. McKendrey dropped to the floor as she pulled the trigger. The energy beam brushed the seat of his pants; it felt like fire and electricity at the same time. By dropping out of the way, he allowed her shot to hit her partner in the lower torso, making him wonder if she aimed low on purpose.

The Orion’s phaser fell conveniently close to the Marine’s non-dominate hand. He grabbed in and rolled behind the command chair as she fired again. He reached around the chair and took a blind shot at where he thought she was. The thud told him it worked. Quickly, he checked to make sure they were still breathing. He rolled the man on his side so as to prevent him from drowning in his own blood. As he scooped up the second phaser and the woman’s data PADD, he heard or rather felt the approaching turbolift cars.

That was another thing about the Gendarme; the turbolifts were noisy. His quarters on the Magnum shared a bulkhead with the main turbolift horizontal corridor, and he never felt it. He could feel the Gendarme’s lifts practically anywhere on the ship. This felt like two cars, both moving towards the aft of the ship. He had to move fast.

~~~ ~~~~ ~~~

The bridge of the Magnum was in total chaos. As Ensign Tillman was pulling the sensor tech to the floor, the three Marines sprang into action, more due to trained reflex than conscious thought. Lieutenant Zychowski grabbed the ship’s captain, pulled him from his command chair, and moved him to the far side of the bridge. Likewise, Gunnery Sergeant Hawthorn pushed Lieutenants Kingsley, Maida, and Dupree through the door and into the corridor. Private Dewitt was actually the first to move, placing himself between the two women and the helm station. He had his cuffs out before McAllister hit the floor.

Tillman grabbed the back of the unconscious woman’s collar slowing her fall to the floor. Instinctively, she reached to wipe the spittle off her face but stopped herself. She moved to the now-vacant command chair and stopped it from spinning. She jabbed at the control panel on the arm. “Medic to the bridge! Medic to the bridge! Bring a combat kit!”

Lieutenant Bin-Yi Xiong, the intelligence office and thus McAllister’s immediate superior, exclaimed, “What the hell, Ensign? Have you gone mad?” He started to move towards the women, unsure whether to attack the crazed officer or to render aid to her victim.

Private DeWitt blocked his path. “Don’t touch them, sir,” he ordered.

“Did she spit on anyone else?” Tillman asked as she began pulling her uniform shirt off. Subconsciously she was thankful that she had a tee-shirt on underneath, but at the moment it wouldn’t have mattered if she hadn’t. Using the shirt as a blotter, she dabbed the spit off her face and neck. It burned. She had to be careful not to wipe and thus spread it. “Did anyone else get spit on?” she demanded. Her hands began to shake. Everyone else indicated they had not.

The door nearest her opened, and Corpsman Earnest Jefferson entered briskly. He had the medical scanner in his hand; Tillman snatched it away and ran it over her face and arms. Her vision was starting to get blurry, but she could still see the indicator lights. Just as she suspected. She tossed the device away with a flip of the wrist; Private DeWitt caught is easily. The ensign grabbed the corpsman’s go-bag and clawed at the flap. She pulled a smaller bag out and ripped that open revealing several cylindrical objects. Using her teeth to pull the protective cap off one, she jammed the end into the back of her thigh. She clinched her jaw as the needle sank deep into muscle tissue. She rolled McAllister face-down and administered two auto-injectors, one into each check of her buttocks.

Sinking to the floor, she pointed at the drool and vomit McAllister had deposited on the deck. “Don’t touch that,” she panted. “Get a Haz-Mat clean-up kit.” As she leaned over and added her own vomit to the mess, she heard Isenberg order the bridge cleared and transfer to Auxiliary Control. She tried to sit back up, only to fall over to the other side. Darkness took her.

~~~ ~~~~ ~~~

Sergeant McKendrey knew he couldn’t go back out towards the stairs, not without confronting whoever it was on the turbolift. His only option was to turn left as he exited the Emergency Bridge and move further aft. There was only one more compartment that direction, the impulse engine bay. It wasn’t a dead-end for someone who had studied the ship’s layout. He entered, looked around to see nobody inside, and looked up to see no one above on the perforated floor on the second level.

Quickly, he climbed a ladder and lifted a trap door, pulling himself up to Deck Four. He entered a man-lock that separated the impulse engine bay from the main engineering control center. There in one of the lockers he found an engineer’s thermal jacket, which protected the wearer from heat as well as cold, and put it on. He opened the door and crossed the control room as if he belonged there. McKendrey noted that there were only two technicians on-duty, neither of which looked up as he walked by. He exited and turned to climb another flight of the spiral staircase. This brought him out near the brig. Above him, he heard someone entering the stairs. “Move it!” a voice demanded of its prisoner. From around the corner, the Marine heard another unfriendly voice. Again, he was caught in a pickle. And once again, his knowledge of the ship allowed him to escape.

He moved quickly the two meters that left him exposed to view and entered the air conditioner systems compartment. He maneuvered under the ductwork and crawled into the vertical shaft that ran alongside the staircases. By regulations, he should have had a safety harness on. Oh well. He climbed up to the Deck Two and found an inspection panel. He opened it just a crack, and could see into the gymnasium. There were about forty crewmembers sitting or lying on the floor, their hands bound behind their back.

Briefly, he considered shooting the guards, but there was no way to guarantee he could get all four of them before one shot him back. It was a long way down to the bottom of the shaft. Even if he could get them all, there was no easy way out of the shaft to the gym; he’d have to go up yet another level to get out. Time for Plan B. He started climbing back down the shaft. Or maybe it was Plan F. He was running thru the alphabet and didn’t want to think about what happens when Plan Z failed.

~~~ ~~~~ ~~~
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Old August 23 2013, 10:13 PM   #32
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Re: ST:TOS-era story: EVACUATION

Jeez, what's going on here? Did the Orion Syndicate infiltrate Federation police and take over an entire cutter? Or is this something else.

And there is obviously more to Tillman than meets the eye. I'm getting a Section 31 or some other intelligence outfit vibe from her.
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Old August 24 2013, 12:58 AM   #33
Lieutenant Commander
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Location: USA
Re: ST:TOS-era story: EVACUATION

Hush. You're giving away the plot. I still have a few surprise twists planned.

You're reading more into Tillman than I have in mind. Yes, I do have an explanation for some of her education.
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Old August 24 2013, 01:09 AM   #34
Lieutenant Commander
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Location: USA
Re: ST:TOS-era story: EVACUATION

~~~ ~~~~ ~~~

From her desk in the Assistant Engineer’s corner office, Mary Donovan saw someone exit the impulse drive bay. It wasn’t any one she recognized, but whoever it was, they were out of uniform. It was one of the ensign’s pet peeves; the chief engineer might not give a flying-flip about that sort of stuff, but to a Star Fleet brat like Ensign Donovan, a well-run ship began with a self-disciplined crew. Until two days ago, she wasn’t getting the support she needed from Chief O’Hara. Thank God, she rejoiced, they finally had someone deserving in the center seat. It was going to be a long road, but she was sure the new commander would turn things around on the ship.

Donovan got up and walked to the open door. Her first question in her head of ‘who was that’ was replaced with ‘where is everybody?’ There were only two engine techs on-duty. She expected a half-dozen or more Boatswains and specialists working on various routine maintenance issues. Lord knows, there was enough to do. Before she left, Commander Gonzales let a lot of things slide, including requests for spare parts and other supplies. While at Star Base, Donovan filed emergency requisition forms to fill a six-month back-log. The exec wasn’t happy the way she jumped the chain of command, but she was too used to his wrath to care.

She walked out into the control room. Looking around, she saw a small repair project scattered about on the table, and some of the tool lockers were not closed properly. What a mess. She began to ask the petty officers what was going on when she noticed the bridge relay screen. “We’re off course,” she stated. Then she noticed something else. “We’re being followed.”

As the ensign reached to the intercom button, she failed to notice one of the petty officers had removed his gloves. He was a member of a minor species within the United Federation of Planets, a people that was known for two things: they are considered rather unattractive by most other humanoids, and their ability to generate an electrical discharge, much like some eels on Earth. Before she knew what happened, he grabbed her by the forearm with one hand and the back of the neck with the other. Her eyes rolled back into her head as she slumped to the floor.

~~~ ~~~~ ~~~

McKendrey found that going down the tight shaft was not as easy as going up. It was made for plumbing, electrical conduits, and ventilation ductwork, not for people. There were no lights, and the ladder was intended only for crew performing repairs with proper safety equipment. As he moved down past main engineering, he heard a short yelp of pain. He continued climbing down. He had three viable exit points. The easiest was on Deck Seven, into the trash compactor near the mess hall. A funny thought popped into his head: he didn’t have a little robot friend to get him out of trouble if someone should activate the press. It was an antique, but he loved that movie. Stephanie Tillman introduced it to him and his troops.

His foot slipped. He had to force stray thoughts out of his head, but not before wondering why he thought of her as by her first name and not as ‘Ensign.’ He reached Deck Six and wiggled his way out, being extra careful not to put any weight on the plumbing leading the bio-waste treatment system. The engineer’s jacket he was wearing was filthy, so he stripped it off and left it behind. Quickly, he retraced his steps back through the still-vacant common areas to the next-forward set of stairs. He climbed up one flight to Deck Five. He felt the turbolift cars moving.

He poked his head around the corner and saw the corridor was clear, then sprinted the thirty meters to the public restroom near the ‘neck’ of the ship where the forward and aft hull sections joined. It felt like the turbolift was going to stop just a couple meters ahead, so he ducked into the restroom. He heard the turbolift door open, followed by a gruff voice say, “Don’t worry, boss. It’s only one guy. We’ll get him.” Whoever these guys were, they weren’t cops.

The police force only had two classes of ships: a few hundred cutters and several dozen flagships. There wasn’t a cop in uniform that hadn’t served on a cutter. Cops knew their ship better than the backs of their own hands; they trained constantly in various emergency scenarios, mainly dealing with escaped prisoners and repelling boarding parties. Whoever these guys were, they didn’t know standard search procedures.

McKendrey waited until he heard them enter one of the crew quarters before making his move. It was fifteen meters to the forensics lab, and another fifteen meters to his goal, the astrophysics lab. He heard the search team behind exit a room behind him, so he was forced to stop for cover in the forensics lab. There was one person, a Rigellian female wearing an Ensign’s uniform, in the room. “Who are you? What’s going on?” she demanded.

~~~ ~~~~ ~~~

Chief Engineer Sammilaarote, otherwise known has Lieutenant Sam to the crew, stepped out of his office just in time to see his assistant approach the duty technicians. He knew by the now-too-familiar look on her face that she was ready “to rip somebody a new one,” to use her own words. Inwardly, he sighed. His people, for the most part, did not believe in direct confrontation. He tried to teach her the power of quiet persuasion. Before he could interrupt her, she said something, and then one of the enlisted used his electrical powers to knock her out. Sam back-peddled into his room and hit the lock button as the door closed.

He hit the alarm button, but nothing happened. He grabbed the mechanical locking bar and forced it into place. Next, he moved to his desk and tried the intercom, only to find that it too had been disabled. He could hear someone attacking the door with power tools. It was only a matter of time before they forced their way in. He would have to surrender. But first, he had to protect the ship.

Sam moved the keyboard to the side of his desk, reached under the desktop to press in a certain spot a certain way. A panel opened to reveal a little lever. He pulled on it, and a panel opened where his keyboard had been on the desk top. He removed a chain from around his neck. He took the command key and inserted it into the slot. He twisted it one-quarter turn to the right, then typed a six-digit code on the small keypad, and then pushing down hard he twisted the key one-half turn the opposite direction. It clicked. He typed in another six-digit code. A discreet yellow light winked on beside the intercom. Sam closed the lid, replaced the keyboard, and pushed the chair back under the desk. The Gendarme’s chief engineer walked to the door and opened it to accept his fate.

~~~ ~~~~ ~~~

“It looks like a mutiny, Ma’am”, McKendrey told the ensign. She looked panicked. “They have half the crew tied up in the gymnasium. I didn’t see any of the officers, though. How did you escape?” He didn’t trust her. How could he?

“Escape? I’ve been here all morning, catching up on reports,” she indicated to the computer screen on a desk. “What do we do now?”

McKendrey walked over to a control station in front of a large wall-mounted view screen. “Do you have full access to the ship’s sensors from here like they do in the astrophysics lab?”

“No, not really. We can do some of what they do. Why? What do you have planned?”

“I’m going to send a message,” he explained, “and I should be able to access the internal sensor grid to locate everyone. Maybe I can still send the ....” Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the object she held, some sort of pry bar. She wielded it like a bat aimed for his head.

The Marine had just enough time to reflexively raise his shoulder to take the brunt of the attack. Still, she rang his bell pretty good. She reared back for another go, but he was faster. He grew up being taught to never hit a lady, but if she was trying to bash his brains in, she was no lady. He hit her with a right-cross to the jaw, followed up with a pair of quick jabs with the left, and finished with another right fist that smashed her nose. She dropped to the floor in a heap. He staggered to the controls, shook his head and felt for blood. He had a goose-egg of a lump, but no blood. Stupid. He knew he couldn’t trust her.

He looked the control panel over and tried to recall the demonstration that Lieutenant Dupree and Crewman Page gave him and his team. It took about two minutes to figure out how to do what he wanted. He set the command on a sixty-second time delay and exited the lab.

Hearing footsteps down the hall, he ran to the astrophysics lab. There he accessed the ship’s internal sensors. Whoever these people were, they didn’t have a sensor tech amongst them. If they had, he would have been captured before he crawled out of that plumbing stack. Good fortune had smiled on him thus far. According to the sensors, there were people approaching the lab from both the port and starboard corridors. Both exits were blocked. There was a third way out, but it was almost never used.

~~~ ~~~~ ~~~
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Old August 24 2013, 09:48 AM   #35
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Re: ST:TOS-era story: EVACUATION

This is starting to remind me a lot of those action movies like Die Hard or Under Siege. One man, against a horde of bad guys.

My money's on McKendrey.
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Old August 26 2013, 01:41 AM   #36
Lieutenant Commander
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Location: USA
Re: ST:TOS-era story: EVACUATION

~~~ ~~~~ ~~~

The man wearing a police force lieutenant’s uniform sat in the command chair, contemplating the morning’s events. He pulled at the uniform’s collar for about the tenth time; finally he had enough and yanked the top two fasteners open. He wore it for ten years now, but over the past four years he felt less and less like wearing it. He had come to see the hypocrisy of the United Federation of Planets and could no longer enforce its rules. Mayra had shown him the path to enlightenment.

Sweet Mayra. He closed his eyes and remembered her face, her smile, as they lay basking in the afterglow of their passion, her green skin glistening in the moonlight. She told him stories about how the ruling elite had subjugated her people, and many other peoples they deemed inferior. The Federation prevented whole world from fulfilling their potential, their destiny. At first, he resisted. He was an educated man and had studied history and sociology in college before applying for the Star Fleet condensed academy. As fate would have it, his first posting was a cross-service assignment to a police cutter. He felt he had a purpose in life, a true calling, so he switched services. For six years, he did his job well, did it proudly. And then he met Mayra.

His team boarded her ship and rescued thirty young women, some only ten or twelve years of age, just budding into adults. Mayra was one of them. Later, much later, she admitted to him that she was the captain of the ship and hid among her passengers for safety. She said they weren’t slaves, as the Federation prosecutor claimed, but rather she was saving them from a life of misery and starvation. She was taking them to a better place, where they would be housed and feed, given the best clothing to wear, and provided with medical care.

Dear sweet Mayra. For three years, they would get together whenever they could, clandestinely of course, and in her arms he felt more alive than he’d ever thought possible. She taught him that what he learned in school was not the truth. Once his service commitment was up, they could be together forever. He had everything planned to the last detail. All that changed eight months ago. With her guidance, he had used his position within the Federation Police Force to protect her ships. Over time, he recruited others into his organization, and expanded his cliental. Mayra brought other ship masters to seek his aid, and they paid handsomely for the service. With his assistance, free trade prospered, proper free trade unencumbered by excessive taxes and tariffs without artificial limits of what was deemed to be contraband.

He found powerful friends in high places within the government. Mayra fought him on this, accusing him of working with the ruling elite she loathed so very much. He explained that in order to bring change, real change, to the Federation, they would need people inside the General Assembly. He came to regret that discussion, for they asked more of him than he could deliver. To make their point that they could bring his organization down any time they wanted, they compromised some of his people and had them arrested. It was touch and go for a while, but then he recruited that Norwood woman about a year ago. She taught him how to protect his people, how to communicate covertly, and how to manage payments to them. Pity she got greedy, demanding to be cut into the dealings with his government benefactors. He hating having to kill her, but part of him wished he could have pulled the trigger himself.

Poor dear sweet Mayra. Eight months ago, another of her ships was raided. As she had done before, she blended in with her passengers. Only this time, one of the women betrayed her trust and informed the tactical team leader of her presence. Mayra killed that little wench and four policemen making her escape. She was gunned down like a rabid animal. Renee Norwood was on that raiding action and should have protected Mayra. Norwood told him one of the passengers took up the officer’s weapon and murdered Mayra in cold blood.

Somehow, he always felt there was more to that story. He recently heard that it was Norwood herself, and not some nameless harlot, who fired the fatal shot. No matter. Senior Chief Renee Norwood paid for all her crimes. The Federation Police Force would soon pay for theirs.

The soon-to-be ex-lieutenant opened his eyes and brought himself back to the present. He had waited three days until he could make his move. Commander Christensen didn’t see fit to abide by a set schedule. If she wasn’t out wandering the ship, her lap-dog Chief O’Hara was. He started to make his move yesterday, but his third nemesis kept hanging around the bridge after his shift ended. Oh, but it was fun to watch him and Christensen butt heads yet again. That alone was worth the delay.

Finally, about an hour ago, the Queen, her least favorite officer, and the ship’s doctor went into her office for a closed-door meeting. O’Hara went to her office to ‘mentor’ a petty officer that failed to report to his duty at the scheduled time, yet again. It was such a simple matter to quietly round up the rest of the crew. First, he had all the Marines picked up one-by-one and locked away in the brig. Next, his people herded the crew into the gym. Soon, he would have full control of the ship.

“Hey, boss,” the man at the communications station interrupted his meditations, “I think we have a problem.”

“Now what?” the man in the command chair snapped.

“I watched that transmission again. There’s something you need to see.”

The man angrily stormed over. “What? So some grunt knocked up his girl and is in trouble with his platoon leader? It happens all the time.”

The comm tech replayed the message and paused it when the girl held up a pin of some kind. “Look familiar?”

“Damn.” He noticed an indicator light on the console. “What’s that?” He pushed the tech out of the way and entered the command to display the text queue. It read, ‘Isenberg is on to you.’ He whirled around and looked at the tactical display. “Damn. Damn. Damn.” He threw himself into the command chair and barked out new orders.

~~~ ~~~~ ~~~

Science Officer Benjamin Franklin Dupree was the first to arrive in Auxiliary Control and immediately went to the sensor station. Chief Guzman followed quickly, taking the helm station. As Commander Isenberg walked in, Dupree informed him, “Sir, the Gendarme just jumped to warp nine point two five.” Just then, the icon for that ship winked out. “They just killed their transponder.”

“Chief, go!” Isenberg commanded. Guzman pushed the Magnum’s speed up to match. “Can you still track them?”

“At this range, barely, sir. I still have their warp signature, but there’s enough stellar mass between us and them, they might be able to shake us. If they change course and drop speed, we could lose them.” Dupree’s fingers flew madly over the controls. “Sir, there’s another contact. Looks like a stealth ship. It just matched course and speed to the Gendarme.”

“Great. This gets better and better. Ex-oh, contact the LaMagne and Mazza. Bring them up to speed on what we know. Dupree, open a channel to Star Base Thirteen, flash priority.”

~~~ ~~~~ ~~~
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Old August 27 2013, 02:18 AM   #37
Lieutenant Commander
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Location: USA
Re: ST:TOS-era story: EVACUATION

~~~ ~~~~ ~~~

Commander Yvonne Christensen regarded the two men sitting across the desk from her. In the course of the past hour, both of them had surprised her in vastly different ways. They were discussing the mission parameters and what the medical staff should expect. The police lieutenant actually offered constructive suggestions without his usual negative attitude. She noticed that his demeanor was completely altered during private closed-door session, and she grudgingly had to admit that for all his personality faults, he was a competent officer.

Doctor John Nikolaidis was another matter. She didn’t know which dismayed her more; his lack of field experience, or his blasé outlook on the upcoming mission. Not only was he not Police Force, being on loan from Star Fleet, he wasn’t even an officer but rather a civilian hired under a short-term contract. He had served on the Gendarme for six months and still didn’t seem willing to adapt to the military way of doing things. He was one of those people who said, ‘show me how once, and I can do it,’ and refused to see the benefit to repetitive training.

“Commander, we have it covered. The medical facilities on this ship are as big as on a Constitution-class cruiser. It’s not like a disaster relief mission; we’re just going to give a few people a ride home. Your training exercises are a colossal waste of time.”

Calm. Be calm. “Yes, Doctor, you have the beds, but not the staff of a cruiser’s sick bay. I’m sure you are an excellent doctor, as is your assistant. However, we need to make sure the crew are current in their first aid training. Trust me: you put eighty to a hundred refugees in the gym, and you will have medical issues to deal with. A common cold can sweep through the population like wild fire. And we have to be on guard for fights among them, even the possibility of a riot. These people will be scared, and scared people do stupid things.” She looked at the policeman, “I suppose you disagree.”

The lieutenant shook his head. “Not at all, Ma’am. If nothing else, it’ll keep the crew occupied. I’ll have Chief O’Hara pull a dozen crewmen to play the wounded and set up a no-notice exercise this afternoon.”

“Good. That’s settled.” She could see Nikolaidis was not happy with her decision, but at least he didn’t argue the point. “Doctor, did you take care of that other issue?”

“What issue would that be?” He acted like he didn’t know what she was taking about.

“Lieutenant Flynn. I asked that he be given a medical exam before we left Star Base.”

“No,” he replied defiantly. “He had a routine exam just four months ago, and I fail to see why he should need another. Besides, medical records are private and are of no concern of yours.”

As she was formulating a response, the other man interjected, “Only to a point, Doctor. If a service member has a medical condition that impacts his or her performance, the command staff may have limited access to that information. However,” he turned to the commander, “I am unaware of anything that would cause you to question Jake’s health, Ma’am.”

Christensen pursed her lips. “In the short time I have known Mister Flynn, I have observed radical mood swings, unwarranted emotional outbursts, and even statements that border on paranoid delusions. It is my belief that he is suffering from clinical depression, bi-polar disorder, post-traumatic stress, or perhaps some combination of the above.”

Doctor Nikoladis was unimpressed. “And from where, may I ask, did you receive your medical degree?”

“Personal experience,” the commander responded coldly. “My sister spent six months in a Klingon prison. That will break even the sanest person. This isn’t a request, Doctor. I want you to examine him today.”

“So you can drum him off the force.”

“No. So we can find out what’s wrong and fix it. If he has an underlying medical condition, you can treat him and help him get his career back on track.” Without looking, she pressed the button on the intercom, “Lieutenant Flynn, report to my office, on the double.”

Hardly twenty second elapsed when the door opened. Lieutenant Jacob Flynn entered the commander’s office with a Type-II phaser pointed right at her head. “What is the meaning of this?” Commander Christensen demanded. Even before the words were out of her mouth, she felt stupid for saying them.

“I believe the meaning is obvious, Ma’am. You are no longer in command of this ship,” Lieutenant Pierre Faucheux informed her calmly, still seated in his chair.

~~~ ~~~~ ~~~

“She’s coming around, Doctor,” Ensign Tillman heard as her brain climbed up out of a deep well of utter blackness. “Blood scans shows all traces of the toxins have been eliminated from her body.” That sounded promising. She opened her eyes, just enough to know it was too bright, and closed them again.

“Good. No, put that down. Use this,” she heard the doctor order. She felt someone hand brush against her lips and the tip of her nose. The pungent smell of ammonia exploded in her nasal system. She turned her head away, only to have the sadist give her another dose.

“Okay, okay, I’m awake,” she declared but didn’t open her eyes. She tried to sit up and fell back on the pillow as the world spun. She tried to raise her hand to cover her eyes, only find she was cuffed to the bed. “What the hell?” she exclaimed.

“You have some explaining to do, Ensign,” Lieutenant Ursula Maida informed her. “Starting with this,” she held up a stun grenade. “You dropped this on the bridge during your fight with Petty Officer McAllister.”

“No, Ma’am. McAllister had that,” Marine Private DeWitt interjected, “and this was in her pocket.” He held up a disruptor pistol, illegal to possess on a Federation starship. “Keep her sedated, Doctor,” he indicated to the other woman being treated in Sick Bay.

“Stay out of this, DeWitt” Gunny Thorns snapped, “The doctor knows what he’s doing.”

The private ignore his non-commissioned officer, a very dangerous thing to do, and told the Chief Medical Officer, “Trust me, Doctor Sullivan; you’ll want to keep her under until you do a complete body scan.”

Sullivan rolled his second patent over to remove the handcuffs. “Jefferson, why are her hands encased in plaster?”

“The Private did that, sir,” the corpsman explained. He waved a hand-held medical scanner over the woman’s hands and showed the results to the doctor.

Sullivan’s eyes went wide. “Keep her sedated and move her to isolation. Do a full body scan. And don’t cut that cast off her hands yet.” He turned to the Marine. “Good catch. How did you know?”

“Sergeant McKendrey has us read intelligence reports, sir. I remembered one that described how agents working for Orion Cartels often have multiple suicide devices implanted.” He looked at Lieutenant Maida and continued, “I was watching her all morning. I don’t know anything about how to work the ship’s sensors, but I could tell she was intentionally preventing them from working right. Every time Ensign Tillman had that sensor ghost locked in, Petty Officer McAllister would spin the knob the opposite direction.”

“I knew it,” Tillman muttered. “When I was talking with Arthur, with Sergeant McKendrey, I saw the indicator that someone piggy-backed a text message to the Gendarme. And then I saw McAllister pull the stun grenade out of her pocket. If you look, you’ll see that she has earplugs in. The entire command staff was on the bridge at the time, Ma’am.”

The operations officer considered this. After a long moment, she nodded, “Good job. Both of you, good job. I’ll have to check the video log to confirm your story, of course. So, Ensign, stay put.” She indicated to Gunny Thorns that she could remove the cuffs. On her way out of Sick Bay, she stopped and spoke quietly to First Lieutenant Zychowski for a moment.

“Private DeWitt,” the officer called. The enlisted man snapped to attention. “Please go to Petty Officer Foster and ask him to help you write up a report of everything you saw and did this morning.”

“Aye aye, sir!”

Gunny Thorns released Tillman from the cuffs. “Nice takedown, Ma’am.”

“Thanks,” she replied modestly. “My mom is a cop. When she was out of patrol, I’d stay with a foster family. A couple times, I stayed with Gunny Steele’s family; he has three daughters, and he taught all of us hand-to-hand.”

Doctor Sullivan came over to the bedside. “You’re lucky to be alive, young lady. We analyzed the toxin. It was a derivative of VX nerve agent. It looks like McAllister had a suicide device implanted in her mouth. I am curious, though, how you figured that out so quickly.”

Stephanie had a shiver run down her spine, and she rubbed her arms protectively. “When I was a kid ... when I was fifteen, we lived ... my foster family at the time ... we survived ... some of us survived the terrorist attacks on Derexis.” She closed her teary eyes; Linda Hawthorn cradled the younger woman’s head motherly.

~~~ ~~~~ ~~~
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Old August 27 2013, 08:27 PM   #38
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Re: ST:TOS-era story: EVACUATION

Leave it to a Frenchman to be the villain. Classic.

And Tillman is no super secret agent but a self taught survivor. At least I was half-right about the Orions being involved.

Now how are they gonna take back Gendarme? Looking forward to find out.
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Old August 30 2013, 02:17 AM   #39
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Re: ST:TOS-era story: EVACUATION

~~~ ~~~~ ~~~

The shipwrights who designed the police cutter included some features that rarely if ever were utilized once the ship was placed into active service. One such feature was a ‘dumb waiter’ leading from the astrophysics laboratory down to the probe launcher. The intent was that scientists could customize a sensor package and send it down to be installed in a probe. Of course, newer programmable probes were developed and made this dumb waiter pretty much useless.

Useless except when one is a Marine sergeant on an escape and evade mission. McKendrey entered the small chamber, closed and locked the door, and began climbing down the shaft. He didn’t want to risk being heard, so he didn’t try to use the power lift. Two rungs down, his pants leg caught on a bolt; shacking his foot free resulting in undoing the blousing strap and letting the pants leg fall freely to cover his boot top. How annoying, it bugged him to have one pants leg secured around the top of one boot and the other dangling free. He put out of his mind as he stepped off into the probe launcher bay.

He pulled out the ‘borrowed’ PADD and checked the relay. No luck. The bad guys might not have a sensor tech, but it appeared they had a comm tech, for they had shut off all intra-ship communication relays. McKendrey knew he couldn’t stay here for long. If someone figured out he was in here, all they would have to do is open the drop-hatch and out he would go. Even Marines needed air.

Quickly, he exited the launch bay. The next compartment forward housed the photon torpedo tube, which would do him no good, and ditto for the sub-space radio room nearby. He was only a Marine and therefore lacked the training that Star Fleet personnel received. Still, he was a combat Marine who had spent a lot of time thinking about how to defend a ship, and part of that process was to think of ways the enemy might try to capture the ship. It scared him how many different ideas came to mind.

The first thought was to get down into the navigation deflector pylon and disable the system. He knew that a starship needed the deflector to ward off micro-meteors that could slice the ship end-to-end like a vibro-knife through butter. He had no idea what would happen if he shut the deflector off, so his next option was to go to Auxiliary Control and see if he could take command away from the bridge. He opened the blast door and moved aft into the main corridor. Two steps in, on his left, was the forward stairwell. And someone with a Type-II phaser pointing right at his head.

“That’s far enough, Sergeant.” McKendrey noted the man’s rank insignia, Master-at-Arms First Class. Great. This guy wasn’t just any cop; he was a cop’s cop, the one who trained the rest of the crew in police procedures, including hand-to-hand combat. McKendrey’s team had sparred with the Master-at-Arms on the Magnum. These guys were good. Real good. “Cover me,” the man said, and a female petty officer slipped around him off the stairs. The Marine recognized her as the one he shot on the Emergency Bridge.

The cop relieved McKendrey of the phaser in his hand, and the second one in his pocket, and then put him on his knees with his hands on his head. After a quick pat-down, he took the stolen PADD and handed it back to its owner. He then put a handcuff on the Marine’s wrist and twisted his arm down to his lower back. The overhead lighting began to flicker. McKendrey smiled inwardly; at least that part of his plan was working. Before the man could bring the other arm down and cuff it, McKendrey slid his hand under the tail of his shirt. His fingers wrapped around the familiar object attached to his belt. There was the whining noise, and the Master-at-Arms slumped to the floor. Before the female petty officer could blink, McKendrey rolled and fired again. For the second time within half an hour, she fell victim to a phaser set to stun. The Marine almost felt sorry for her. Almost.

McKendrey replaced his personal-issue Type-I phaser in its holster on the back of his belt, recovered a Type-II phaser, and the keys to unlock the handcuff. After a moment’s thought, he handcuffed the two sleeping petty officers together on a rather compromising position. Later, he would come to regret that little indulgence and the precious time he wasted doing it. He took about five steps towards his goal, the Auxiliary Control center, when the door to the forward battery room opened.

The Marine saw two things before he could react. The first was a grin full of broken teeth, and the second was the fist the size of a ham-hock slamming into his jaw. The blow staggered him, causing him to drop his weapon. “Remember me?” the Orion asked menacingly. Sergeant McKendrey watched the other fist inbound, and all he could do, the last thing he did, was think, ‘This is going to hurt’.

~~~ ~~~~ ~~~

Lieutenant Dupree was trying, and failing, to maintain a lock on the Gendarme’s warp trail. They were only an hour ahead of the Magnum, but at this speed that meant there were over twenty parsecs between the two ships. Currently there were five stellar systems interfering with the sensor’s ability to track the Gendarme’s signature. Senior Chief Guzman made up some time by plotting a slalom course right through the heart of one such system, coming dangerously close to a gas giant. Ensign Daniel Littleton sat at his side and watched in total amazement; he wouldn’t try some of these maneuvers with a race shuttle. Guzman ordered the young officer to keep the navigation plot current. Too bad Tillman wasn’t here, the older man thought, because she would love this.

“Damn,” Dupree muttered. “Lost them. I think they jinked when they passed the binary star system back there.” He started to replay the sensor log to figure out which way they turned, when suddenly good fortune smiled on the Magnum’s crew. “They just went active. I don’t know why, but they just fired up active sensors. We got them now. Chief, a bit more to starboard.”

Memories and lessons from long ago popped into Guzman’s mind. “Are you sure it’s them, sir? Maybe they dropped a probe out on a lateral course.” Just the same, he altered course slightly. The next system was a little too soupy, so he didn’t try to cut through it.

“Valid point, Chief, but even if it’s a probe, they have to be over that in direction,” the science officer explained. “That’s strange.”

“What’s strange, Ben?” Isenberg asked. He immediately chastised himself for falling back into old, bad habits.

“It’s ‘Frank’, sir. I go by Frank,” Lieutenant Benjamin Franklin Dupree corrected his superior officer. “What’s strange is the amount of power they’re sending to the sensors. They keep this up, and they’ll burn out the grid. Take a look.” He put the signal up on the tactical screen, with sound.

Ping Ping Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping Ping Ping! Pause. Ping Ping Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping Ping Ping!

“It’s an S.O.S!” Guzman, Littleton, and Isenberg all exclaimed at the same time.

The ship’s captain looked over at the Marine platoon leader. “Your sergeant’s handiwork, I presume.” Zychowski nodded with a smug look on his face. “So, now we know where the Gendarme is. The next problem is: how do we stop them?”

~~~ ~~~~ ~~~

Commander Yvonne Christensen glared at her second-in-command. “If it’s any consolation, Ma’am, you weren’t supposed to be here,” Pierre Faucheux informed her. “That honor was intended for Thomas Isenberg; the plan was for you to get the Magnum back. Now, if you would be so kind, please hand over your command key. I believe you carry it in the left pocket of your pants. Stand up slowly, please,” he ordered.

She stood and removed the key, placing it on the desk. “Why Isenberg? I didn’t think he was a part of this.”

Lieutenant Faucheux picked up the key. “Oh, he isn’t. But he made some enemies, powerful enemies, who would like nothing more than to see him sit in jail for the rest of his life. They wanted him framed, to take the fall as the ring-leader. And if he should resist,” he shrugged; the meaning was clear. “Now, you, my dear, have also made enemies. I think some of them are all too happy for your situation. I, however, am not one of them. I had no desire to see you in the middle of all this.”

“No?” she asked, doubtfully.

“No. And that is the truth, not that I expect you to believe me.” He removed his own command key from the chain around his neck. “In fact, I wanted Chief O’Hara off this ship, too. I couldn’t just order her out, so I did everything I could to make her ask for a transfer. And it was working, until you came along and gave her the resolve she needed. You two are too much alike. I expected you to throw a wrench into the mess. As it is, I believe you cause the entire time-table to be moved up. We weren’t ready yet.”

“So glad I could help,” she replied sarcastically.

“Don’t be too proud of yourself,” he countered. He broke eye-contact with her for a moment. The second time he did, she followed he gaze to her desk top, when she noticed a small yellow light illuminated next to the intercom.

She hid her surprise by slamming her fists down. “You just couldn’t wait, could you? Was it worth it, throwing your career away? Well, the ship is yours, ‘Captain’, just as you wanted.”

Faucheux shook his head with a sad little smile. “Oh, but it’s not.” He handed the pair of command keys to Jacob Flynn. “I presume Captain Baku will want these. Please pass my complements along. Tell him, ‘Well played, sir.’ I didn’t expect him to make his move until after we left the border station.”

~~~ ~~~~ ~~~

The door to Sick Bay opened. “Oh, good, I’m glad you’re back, Doctor.” Ensign Janet Ferrari called out. “I wanted to ....” It wasn’t Doctor Nikolaidis, but rather Ensign Welck, the assistant science officer. The Rigellian’s nose looked broken. “Here, sit down. Let me take a look at that.”

“Just give me something for the pain,” she demanded, “I have something important to do.”

“No. I need to make sure the bone isn’t broken, too, that it’s only the cartilage. Otherwise, a sneeze could drive the shard into your brain. Do you want to give yourself a frontal lobotomy?” Ferrari used her best Doctor Nikolaidis impression. Janet was a first-year resident, having just graduated medical school. Technically, she could call herself ‘doctor’ but for now used the title of physician’s assistant. There were nurses, and enlisted corpsmen, who knew more about medicine than she did.

As she began scanning the woman’s face, four more people entered sick bay. To be precise, two men walked in, each carrying an unconscious person. One of the men, an ethnic Orion, looked like he had just gone three rounds in the boxing ring. The Marine he was carrying looked worse. The Petty Officer First Class looked a bit woozy, and the woman he carried was out cold. The new doctor rang a hand-scanner quickly over all four of them. The woman had signs of phaser burns, not once but twice. The two men also had signs of recently recovered from a phaser’s stun setting. What the *bleep* happened?

Ferrari went to the nearest intercom and pressed the button. “Doctor Nikolaidis, please report to Sick Bay.” She noticed a little yellow light by the speaker, and her blood ran cold. “Doctor Nikolaidis, report to Sick Bay. All corpsmen, please report to Sick bay.” She closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and let it out slowly. She had no idea what was going on, but it could not be good. She turned to face her patients. “Okay, put them over there,” she indicated to the row of diagnostics beds. “I’ll get to them in a minute. Ensign Welck, sit back down.”

As she examined the Rigellian, and yes the bone was cracked but not broken off, Ferrari couldn’t help but replay the conversation she had just three days ago. When she and Doctor Nikolaidis transferred to the police cutter, she was taken aside and given a classified briefing. Normally, they told her, the Chief Medical Officer would receive this information, but as he was a civilian, the duty fell to the highest-ranking military person on the medical staff. In this case, Ensign Janet Ferrari. Ergo, she knew exactly what that little yellow light meant, and what was expect of her.

~~~ ~~~~ ~~~

Last edited by Sgt_G; August 30 2013 at 02:31 AM.
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Old September 4 2013, 09:33 PM   #40
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Re: ST:TOS-era story: EVACUATION


I am far from caught up, but I'm thoroughly enjoying what I have read thus far. Great character work and detailed imagery. Plus, I'm a sucker for any story with a cutter involved.

A great read!
"You are beginning to damage my calm." - Jayne Cobb
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Old September 5 2013, 04:11 AM   #41
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Re: ST:TOS-era story: EVACUATION

Sorry for the delay, folks. I didn't get as much done as I wanted over the long weekend. The other day, I had just opened the document when I received a call from a family member involved (as a passenger) in a car accident. Needless to say, that took precedence. I hope to get some typing done tomorrow, if only to take my mind off real-world stuff.
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Old September 7 2013, 01:24 PM   #42
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Re: ST:TOS-era story: EVACUATION

~~~ ~~~~ ~~~

Lieutenant Maida returned to Sick Bay and informed Ensign Tillman that the bridge video logs confirmed her side of the story. It was damning evidence against Petty Officer McAllister, who was still sedated in the isolation ward. Doctor Sullivan said that she had poison concealed in her fingernails, and a covert communications device embedded under the scar on her jawline. To top it off, her biological readings revealed she was one-quarter Orion.

The doctor turned to Tillman, “Speaking of scars, Ensign, I believe you have some physiological scars we should deal with.”

“I appreciate your concern, Doctor, but I’ve had all the counseling I can stand. It did help a lot, of course, but I don’t believe anything can make the nightmares go away completely.” She hopped down off the bio-bed and grabbed the nearest thing -- Gunnery Sergeant Hawthorn’s arm -- to stabilize herself.

Sullivan shook his head. “You’re going to be one of those stubborn patients, aren’t you? Okay then, I recommend you go to bed and stay there until tomorrow morning. But seeing as you’re going to ignore me, you’re cleared for light duty.” He waggled his finger at her, “Light duty only,” he repeated before heading for the isolation ward.

Tillman waited for the doors to close, and then turned to the operations officer, “I’m fine, Ma’am. I really am. I’ve been through this before.”

Maida gave her a look that said ‘In a pig’s eye!’ for a long moment. “Okay. I’m going to the emergency bridge with the exec. If you’re not going to take the doctor’s advice, report to Aux-Con and make yourself useful. Gunny, would you please go with her? We can’t have her passing out and falling down the stairs.”

“Yes, Ma’am,” the Marine replied and led the junior officer out of sick bay. “So, you and McKendrey? How long has that been going on?”

“It hasn’t,” the junior officer replied, not even trying to hide the dejection in her voice. “I dug out my antique movie collection for Arthur and his team once. The second time I offered to host movie night, he told me that we shouldn’t be fraternizing. Since then, he’s been ultra-formal, even for a Marine. No offense intended.”

“None taken, Ma’am. He is one squared-away troop.”

“I just don’t understand him. I don’t understand men in general, but Arthur is different somehow. Is he married, or have a girlfriend or something?”

“Well, I know he’s not married. I don’t know about a girlfriend, but I have seen him take a girl out for dinner once or twice. I doubt he’s into ‘or something’. He’s the type that’s married to the Corps,” the elder woman suggested. “However, you should know that officer-enlisted relationships are against regulations. Marine regulations, that is. I understand the police and Star Fleet merely ‘discourage’ such partnerships.”

“No! I didn’t know that,” Tillman was horrified. She could have just sunk his career. They walked in silence for several seconds. “But I know couples who are both officers, one or both in the Marines. So if .... Did you know that Sergeant McKendrey only has six credits to finish his degree? I shouldn’t say this, but he thinks a lot of you. I’ve heard him say he wants to be like you once he’s a gunny. But setting my personal feeling aside, and remember that I am a military brat and know what I’m talking about, I think he’d make a dang good officer. Have you thought about pushing him that direction?”

They reached the Aux-Con. Gunny Thorns give her an impish grin, “I’ll take that under advisement, Ma’am.” Maybe a two-pronged attack will push her NCO down the right career path.

As they entered the auxiliary control center, the first thing that Tillman notices was the speed of the passing planetary objects. There’s a gas giant -- blink -- it’s gone. Senior Chief Quartermaster Roger Guzman was putting all of his twenty-three years of experience to good use. He handled the ship like a finely tune sports car. The Callahan-class police cutter looked ungainly, but it was actually one of the most nimble ships ever built. About the only thing that could outmaneuver her was an Orion Privateer-class convoy raider.

“Holy Mother of God,” Ensign Tillman exclaimed in awe. “How fast are we going?”

“We’re maxed out,” Lieutenant Commander Isenberg answered. “Warp-factor nine point two five. As is the Gendarme.”

Tillman stared at the screen. “I’ve never been above warp eight, except in an express boat. They wouldn’t let us access the view screen.”

Lieutenant Zychowski did a little mental math. “This is, what, eight hundred times the speed of light?”

“Oh no,” Chief Guzman quipped, “closer to five-hundred thousand; about a light-year every minute or so.”

“Keep your eyes on the road, if you don’t mind,” Isenberg requested.

“I don’t understand,” the Marine complained, “nine cubed is seven hundred twenty-nine. Isn’t speed equal to the warp-factor cubed?”

“Yes and no, sir,” Tillman explained. “See, most people think of the warp field as being spherical,” she used her hands to demonstrate, “but in reality it’s shaped more like a football,” she stretched the imaginary ball in her hands.

“A football? Oh, you mean like a rugby ball.”

“American football, not soccer, you pagan,” Gunny Thorns said with a sarcastic grin, “I’ll get you to worship at the altar of Saint Lombardi yet.”

“Bite your tongue, woman,” he answered back, equally in jest.

Ensign Tillman stood frozen for a moment, her eyes darting back and forth between the two Marines. That was the first time she saw either of them act like normal human beings. “Right. So, at any rate, as the ship’s speed increases, the warp field becomes more elongated. That’s why an express boat is shaped like a ... rugby ball. The hull fits perfectly into the warp field all the way up to warp-factor ten, which is on the high side of a million times faster than light speed.

“There’s more to the math than speed equals cee times double-you cubed. There’s another variable that kicks in once warp-factor exceeds three point one four one five nine, or pi. It’s there at lower speeds, but is so close to zero,” she paused, “Or is it one?” she asked herself, ashamed that she forgot such a basic formula, “Whatever. It cancels out. Even at warp five, this variably is still fairly small. But it grows exponentially, so at warp eight or warp nine,” she pointed to the blur on the screen. “Right now, we’re going about ten times faster than we were at warp seven.”

“And burning fuel about thirty times faster, too,” Chief Engineer Robert Campbell’s voice come over the intercom. “Sir, you might want to think about doing a scoop and go.”

Commander Isenberg chewed at his thumbnail. “We’ll lose a lot of ground if we stop.”

“True, sir, but the Gendarme is burning her fuel just as fast. Either she slows down to scoop up some hydrogen, too, or she runs out of fuel,” Campbell pointed out. “We’re down to under half a tank. I know that’s good for a couple of days, but I say get it while we can, sir.”

“Okay. Mister Dupree, start looking for a suitable planet we can scoop from. Miss Tillman, please assist him.” Isenberg pressed a button, “All hands, we’re going to do a scoop and go in the next ten minutes or so. Get yourselves buckled in.” He released the button and turned to the Marines. “Even been on a scoop and go?”

Zychowski looked confused. “I don’t even know what that is, sir.”

The commander grinned an evil grin. “Take a seat and get strapped in. I hope you didn’t eat a big breakfast.”

~~~ ~~~~ ~~~

Commander Christensen, no longer the captain of the Gendarme, sat at her desk and glared at her no-longer first officer intently. Outwardly, she projected calm; she was seething inside. It took her a full sixty seconds before she could find her voice. “So, you expected a mutiny?” He tilted his head as an affirmative. “And you didn’t see fit to warn me?”

“Oh, no, of course not,” Faucheux answered. “If I had, you would have shut it down before I could determine who all is involved. I wasn’t a hundred percent sure Baku was the ring leader until just now.”

Flynn laughed. It wasn’t a pleasant laugh. “He’s been three steps ahead of you since the start,” he told Faucheux. “Did you really think your little undercover work went unnoticed?” He opened the door to admit three more people; Chief O’Hara led the way with her hands raised, followed by two junior enlisted armed with phasers. One of them shoved the chief to the couch. “Hey, no need for that!” Flynn yelled at the man.

“Always the gentleman, Jake,” Faucheux noted. “Can’t damage the merchandise, can you? Did Mayra teach you that?”

“Mayra!” Flynn spat, “That flitx! Baku was welcome to her. She could have learned a thing or two from her sister about how a lady should act.”

“Sister? Mayra didn’t have a sister.”

“Irma,” Flynn answered sarcastically.

An enlightened look appeared on Faucheux’s face. “They weren’t sisters; Irma is Mayra’s daughter. So, how long have you been together?”

“Two years, as if it’s any of your business.”

“Ah, good. Another felony charge they can add to your list. Irma is only thirteen.”

Flynn’s face contorted in disgust. “She’s twenty-two. Besides, even if you’re right, she’s Orion. There is no age of consent.”

Faucheux grinned. “I’ll see your legal technicality and raise you one: she’s only half Orion. Her father is human.” He knew he was playing with fire. “At least there’s one charge you can’t be hit with. You’re not the first man she’s been with.”

“Shut up!”

“Or the second, for that matter. I’d bet you were number seven on the list.”

“Shut up!” Flynn took a step towards him, leveling the phaser at his head.

“I think her counter is up to nine or ten. Maybe twelve. Still pretty low for someone in her profession.”

“Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!” Flynn screamed as he jammed the phaser in the ex-first officer’s ear. “Not another word,” he warned, “or I will melt your brain.” The intercom came to life as Physician’s Assistant Ferrari paged Doctor Nikolaidis. Flynn whirled around and pointed his weapon at the doctor. “Don’t even think about it.”

“Jake,” Christensen spoke calmly, “nobody’s been hurt yet. Don’t make things worse than they are.”

Flynn sneered at her. “Things can only get worse for you, Commander. You’re in a lose-lose situation. Why don’t you ask Mister Faucheux the real reason he didn’t warn you of our plan? He had plans of his own.” He looked at the other man. “Didn’t you? Why don’t you tell her all about it?”

“There really doesn’t seem to be a point. You have the ship; it’s going to Mad Jack’s place. What more is there to talk about?”

“Too shy?” Flynn laughed. “He wanted to take this ship to Rio Verde.” He laughed at the surprised look he received. “Oh, yes, we know all about it.”

The intercom came to life again. “Commander Christensen, this is P.A. Ferrari. Sorry to bother you, Ma’am, but Doctor Nikolaidis isn’t answering the page. I have several patients up here and could really use a hand.”

“Don’t,” Flynn ordered.

“She’ll get suspicious if I don’t answer,” Christensen point out.

“What can she do? She’s only a doctor.” Flynn retorted snobbishly.

“She can quarantine Sick Bay, seal herself in,” Faucheux suggested. “I don’t know what other options she has, but I’d bet she has some. Why take the chance? Let the commander talk to her.”

Jake Flynn considered this for a moment, “Okay. But be very careful in choosing your words,” he backed his warning up with a wave of his phaser.

‘Oh, believe me, I will,’ Commander Christensen thought as she pressed the button. “Ensign Ferrari, the doctor is unavoidably detained. You may have to handle the situation alone. What is your status, Ensign?”

“Ma’am, I’ve done triage. Mostly minor injuries, classified as green, but I have one phaser-burn patient that might be a yellow case. I’m not sure what to do, Ma’am.”

Christensen put her hand up to stop Doctor Nikolaidis when he opened his mouth to speak. “Ensign Ferrari, you know that Doctor Nikolaidis and I have the utmost confidence in you. Remember our discussion the other day? I believe you have the ability to make life-or-death decisions. You have the potential locked inside you to be a great doctor. You just need to find a way to let it out. Trust your instincts, Ensign; I think you’ll make the right call.” She closed the connection.

“Very good, Commander.” Flynn backed away. He turned to his two henchmen. “Cuff them. I’m going to go talk to the boss and find out what he wants to do with them.” He marched out the door.

As the doctor was being handcuffed, he said, “I’m afraid I must concur with your diagnosis, Commander: an obvious case of bi-polar disorder, enhanced by extreme stress. Not much help now, is it?”

The commander smiled at him, “What was it you told me the other day? Where there’s life, there’s hope.” She stood up to be handcuffed. “Where there’s life, Doctor, there’s hope.”

~~~ ~~~~ ~~~

Janet Ferrari replayed the commander’s words in her head. She was sure the words were chosen with care. First, Christensen called her ‘Ensign’, and not ‘Doctor’ or by her first name. The ship’s captain told her that she felt that the title ‘Doctor’ commanded more respect than any military rank. Second, their conversation from the other day had nothing to do with her being a doctor or physician’s assistant, but rather had to do with the key hidden on her person.

Additionally, she knew that Commander Christensen was well-versed with triage codes: green, blue, orange, red, and black, in order of severity of the injuries. There is no yellow. She knew what she was asking of the commander, and she was sure the commander picked up on it. The commander said she had ‘potential locked inside’ and that she needed to ‘find a way to let it out’. How else do you let something locked up out than to unlock it? With a key, of course.

She had her orders, not as a doctor but as an officer in military service. She would comply.

When they gave her the command key, they briefed her on all its features. She knew that Commander Christensen was the only other person on-board who knew she had a key. She knew that the key was required for many of the ship’s functions, such as powering up the photon torpedo. She knew it had other functions, ones that only those on the command staff were aware of. They told her there are many key-slots hidden around the ship. One was in her quarters, and another in her office (and Doctor Niklaidis’s office, she confirmed). She couldn’t get to those, obviously. There were two more here in Sick Bay. One was too open for observation to be of any use.

Ferrari applied some quick-set to Welck’s nasal ridge and told her to lie still for ten minutes until it set the bone in place. She then moved over to check on the still-unconscious female, and applied a neural stimulator to her forehead. The patent’s vital signs were acceptable. She started walking towards the door when the Orion jumped down and demanded, “Where do you think you’re heading?”

“Nature call. Sit down. I’ll be with you in a moment.” She used her best drill sergeant voice, which wasn’t saying much.

Instead of doing as she said, he went to the door and inspected the restroom. Satisfied, he allowed her entrance with a gentlemanly wave of the hand. She turned to find him still standing there. “Are you going to watch?” He backed away, and she locked the door.

First, she took care of her biological needs and then watched her hands. Next, she twisted the ring where the grab bar mounted to the wall and at the same time pulled on the paper dispenser. It swung open to reveal a keyhole and a small number pad. She reached into her bra and removed the key. She examined it; what a neat little device. It had a built-in contact sensor that would verify the holder’s DNA signature and life signs, rendering it useless to all save the person it was issued to.

They made her memorize this process, all the while assuring her that it had never been used in over twenty years since the system was installed on all police cutters. She inserted the key and twisted it one direction, entered a six-digit number, push hard and twisted the key the opposite direction before entering a second six-digit number. She closed the compartment, leaving the key inside.

Ensign Janet Ferrari sat down and starting counting backwards slowly from fifteen.

~~~ ~~~~ ~~~
Sgt_G is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 13 2013, 07:26 PM   #43
CeJay's Avatar
Re: ST:TOS-era story: EVACUATION

Well, there certainly isn't any lack of excitement here.

Now, might Ferrari turn out to be a hero in the making here? Can't wait to find out in this metaphorical page turner.
Visit for original fan-fiction e-books for your preferred e-reader.

Now with a complete United Trek story archive.
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