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Old October 3 2014, 05:02 PM   #1
TheLoneRedshirt
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Location: The void between my ears
Star Trek: Four Years War - Saratoga "Interlude"

Star Trek: Four Years War - Saratoga "Interlude"

“Everyone stops bleeding, eventually.” - Unknown

Stardate 2242.39
USS Saratoga

The Saratoga and Pegasus continued on course to Starbase 12, their transit time allowing for a brief respite from the war and a chance for the crew to rest and lick their wounds. The losses of Theta Hyronis, Archanis, New Tokyo, and the destruction of Starbase 10 and dozens of starships weighed heavily on their minds, thus the crew sought distraction from the war through the comfort of routine activities.

Mess Hall

Ensign Montgomery Scott considered his options at the food processor, selecting three fried eggs, a rasher of bacon, toast, marmalade, and a strong, hot cup of tea. He was glad to be out of Sickbay; the medical staff’s idea of nutrition tended to be soft, bland and tasteless.

The processing lights flashed in sequence and the food slot door slid open, revealing his breakfast. Taking his tray, he made his way through the crowded mess hall to his usual table where two of his cabin mates were already seated.

“Scotty! Welcome back to the world of the living!” cried Ensign Silas “Sonny” Parker, a stocky, broad-shouldered Human from Centauri III. Parker was working on a beef-steak the size of a tri-corder. Coming from a high-gravity world, his dense musculature and high metabolism required a lot of calories, or so Parker claimed.

“Silas,” Scott grumbled back in reply as he set down his tray. He did not care to be called, “Scotty,” and refused to use Parker’s own nick-name as a silent protest. Despite this, they were good friends and got along well.

“How are you feeling, Montgomery?” asked Samuel Okimbe, a tall, ebony-skinned Ensign who was the polar opposite of Sonny Parker in nearly every regard. Yet he, too, got along well with the good-natured Centauran.

Scott loaded a fork with egg and crunched on a piece of bacon. “Fine, Samuel. Skin’s still a bit tight where they put on the re-gen slime, but outside of bein’ famished, I’m right as rain.”

“Do you juniors mind if I sit here? Seems that everyone on the ship got hungry at the same time?” Lt. Bryce Allender stood with his food tray, gesturing at the empty chair.

“Have a seat, Lieutenant,” invited Parker. “Hope you’ve had all your shots, I’d hate for you to catch something from us junior officers.”

“Thanks,” the Canadian Flight Control Officer replied, “And not to worry, I’ve built up an immunity to ensigns. I was one once, you know.”

“Was that before or after Zephram Cochrane broke the warp barrier?” Parker asked.

“Careful, Mr. Parker. I’d hate for you to pull a double-shift in auxiliary control,” the Lieutenant warned with a grin.

“That’s right, mind your elders,” added Scott. Lt. Allender was a good natured officer and was used to teasing about his boyish looks. A fair sprinkling of freckles across his nose made him look more like an Academy cadet rather than a senior lieutenant. The Mess Hall was one area on the ship where the differences in rank blurred and interaction was more informal.

“Good to see you out of Sickbay, Mr. Scott,” remarked Allender, stirring cream into his coffee. “Damned shame about Lt. Sh’Var, though. We were at the Academy together. Very likable fellow, especially for an Andorian.” The Lieutenant shook his head. “Just a damned shame,” he repeated.

Scott felt his throat tighten and he set down his fork. “Aye,” he rasped, “If not for him, I wouldna be here today.”

The four men were quiet for a moment, the reality of the war intruding on their brief interlude. Ensign Parker broke the awkward silence by raising his glass of orange juice.

“To Lt. Sh’Var, an exemplarily Starfleet officer. May he rest in peace.”

“Hear, hear,” agreed Allender and the four all raised their mugs and glasses.

“Lieutenant, why are we going to Starbase 12?” asked Okimbe, changing the subject to a less maudlin topic.

Allender took a sip of coffee before answering. “I’m not sure, Mr. Okimbe, other than the Klingons blew away Starbase 10 and we’ve received orders to divert to 12. Maybe because 12 is one of the best defended bases in the Federation?” He shrugged.

“I bet we’re putting together a task force,” opined Parker. “Time to give the Klingons some serious payback!”

“Nae, Silas, we’re looking at two weeks, minimum, in space dock,” retorted Scott. “We have to replace the port side deflector dish and I’d wager we’ll receive upgrades to the warp drive when we repair the intercoolers.”

“Not to mention we will have to restock our weapons’ stores. Perhaps we’ll receive a fighter wing,” suggested Okimbe. “We’re set up for it and fighters would have given us an edge at Theta Hyronis.”

“Bucking for the Tactical Officer’s billet, Mr. Okimbe?” Allender shook his head. “Gentlemen, you can speculate until the Captain grows a long, gray beard, but all of this is way above my pay-grade. I don’t know any more than you. I doubt if even Captain Robau knows what’s in store for us. The brass would hardly broadcast their plans over subspace, even through a scrambled signal.”

As the four debated and speculated, Lt. Commander Jasmine Smythe walked by with her breakfast tray. “Gentlemen,” she greeted with a demure smile as she passed their table.

Ensign Scott sighed and shook his head, marveling at the lovely Second Officer. “Have you ever seen such a vision of loveliness?” he murmured.

Parker snapped his fingers. “Saratoga to Scotty, come in please.” He turned to the other two officers. “Geez, I thought Scotty was only interested in things that ran on Deuterium or anti-matter.”

“Commander Smythe is certainly easy on the eyes,” agreed Lt. Allender, kindly “but speaking of being over your pay-grade, Mr. Scott . . .”

“Och, I know. But a man can dream, can’t he?”

* * *

Commander Smythe scanned the tables before spotting her target. The demure smile widened as she moved toward her goal.

“May I join you, Mr. Kirk?”

George Kirk was still chewing on a bagel, so he merely gestured to the empty chair across from him. Managing to swallow, he answered. “Sure, have a seat.”

Smythe gracefully seated herself and began to cut the melon on her plate into bite-sized pieces. Kirk noted the expression of longing on Ensign Scott’s face and grinned.

“Seems that Ensign Scott has a thing for you, Commander,” he teased.

“That’s very sweet, of course, but it would never do.”

He nodded. “Difference in rank.”

“That, and he’s from Aberdeen and I’m from the Isle of Wight.”

Kirk frowned in puzzlement. “Last time I checked, those were both on the same planet.”

“In your universe, perhaps,” she replied as her communicator beeped. “Excuse me.”

She flipped open the grid. “Smythe here.”

“Lt. Kenjo here, ma’am. Sorry to interrupt your breakfast, but you asked to be notified when we finished the decryption of the Klingon signals from Theta Hyronis.”

“Thank you, Lieutenant. I shall be there momentarily, Smythe, out.” She flipped the communicator closed and stood.

“Duty calls,” observed Kirk.

“Indeed it does. Sorry to eat and run.” She glanced back at the table where Ensign Scott and his comrades were again engaged in lively discussion. “Besides . . .”

The First Officer’s brow creased. “Besides, what?”

She fixed him with an appraising gaze. “I prefer a challenge.” She winked, “Until later, Commander Kirk.”

George Kirk watched as she departed, his coffee cup midway to his lips, momentarily forgotten.

“What just happened?” he asked.

END

More Four Years War stories to come . . .
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Old October 4 2014, 03:00 AM   #2
DarKush
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Re: Star Trek: Four Years War - Saratoga "Interlude"

Nice character work. I think you've created quite the dilemma for Commander Kirk.
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Old October 4 2014, 09:38 AM   #3
CeJay
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Re: Star Trek: Four Years War - Saratoga "Interlude"

Nicely done. Loving the Sonny cameo. So this is what he was up to before joining the Border Service.

Great character work all around here. It's good to have bit of a break from the war, for these characters and the readers alike.
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Old October 5 2014, 09:07 AM   #4
Bry_Sinclair
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Re: Star Trek: Four Years War - Saratoga "Interlude"

Some great character work, TLR.

Can't wait to see how the family man Kirk handles Smythe's advances, after all we all know what his youngest son would do in the situation.
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