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Old August 19 2015, 06:25 PM   #1
Dingo
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ST: DS9 Relaunch, New Blood

Greetings. I decided to repost my old DS9 Relaunch fanfiction since I've done a bit of reworking to it on An Archive of our Own.

The original text is here for the curious. Original Relaunch.

Disclaimer: I don't own Star Trek: DS9 or Star Trek: The Next Generation. The characters of Commander Gerald Strickland and Lieutenant Carl Draper are my creations, as is the Starfleet Asymmetric Warfare Group.

Commander Strickland was inspired by James Tolkan's character from Back to the Future. I wondered how Mr. Strickland would be as a Starfleet Officer and he was the result.

Summary: After the events of What You Leave Behind Deep Space Nine gains new crew members and faces the challenges of the Post-Dominion War Alpha Quadrant. The timeline is two weeks after the end of What You Leave Behind.

--

Deep Space Nine
June 2375

Captain's Log, Colonel Kira Nerys, Bajoran Militia.

It's been barely two weeks since Captain Sisko disappeared along with Kai Winn, Constable Odo returned to the Gamma Quadrant, and Rom was made Grand Nagus of the Ferengi Alliance.

The USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-E) docked two days ago and disembarked some new personnel. Our new first officer for one. Commander Gerald Strickland, formerly from the USS Sentinel. He's every bit the stern authoritarian, very by the book from my first impressions.

I've already spoken with Lieutenant (j.g.) Nog about the matter, and he didn't seem to mind the lateral movement to Chief Engineer. Lieutenant Robin Lefler was sent to the station from Jupiter Station to be the Chief of Operations. She seems a very sociable young woman, almost the polar opposite to her husband, Lieutenant Carl Draper, formerly from Starfleet's Asymmetric Warfare Group, some sort of Starfleet counter-terrorism/counterinsurgency think tank. He seems like a pretty solitary sort of character.

Lieutenant (j.g.) Adam Martoni, formerly of the USS Sentinel, is replacing Constable Odo as Chief of Station Security, his first day on the job is today as a matter of fact.

I've already scheduled interviews for each of the new crewmembers...

Colonel Kira Nerys took a sip of her raktajino as a bald fellow standing five and a half feet tall, stocky and powerfully built.

"Commander Gerald Strickland reporting as ordered, sir," The man said, coming to attention.

"At ease," Kira said.

Strickland popped his hands behind his back, feet spread about shoulder width apart, a drillfield perfect parade rest.

"Have a seat," Kira said.

"Yes sir," Strickland replied.

Kira thought. Ok, start with the basics.

"So where are you from originally?" Kira asked.

"Syracuse, New York," Strickland said.

Kira glanced at her PADD, sipping her drink, and looking over a couple details from Strickland’s service record.

"Admiral Ross speaks very highly of you from your last posting on USS Sentinel. Can you describe your work there?" Kira asked.

"I worked as the Executive Officer," Strickland said, "I had a very simple maxim, Never tolerate slackers."

Kira glanced over the PADD's content again, words such as authoritarian, hard nosed, and sharp eye for detail repeated themselves with the comments on Strickland's leadership style.

I wonder if he has children at all. He doesn't look like he would.

"I'm a very firm believer in running a tight, efficient ship," Strickland continued, "That way you have less to worry about."

---

“And we are officially moved in,” Robin Lefler said as she raised a large vase up onto the shelf.

Carl Draper raised an eyebrow saying, "And the last thirty-six hours don't count because of?"

"Because, we've just unpacked the last box," Robin replied.

Carl headed over to Robin, smiling, before he kissed her. "Well, that is certainly grounds for celebration..."

"Hmm, I love how you think." Robin said, smiling, closing her eyes, sliding her arms around the back of his neck.

Carl wrapped his arms around her waist, pulling her closer to him. He felt Robin's mouth open as his tongue met hers and...

A bark could be heard from the next room as their two year old Alaskan Malamute trotted into the room.

The couple parted and Robin sighed, "Great timing, Goliath."

"Yes dear, I'll take him for walk," Carl said as he kissed his wife yet again before putting the leash onto Goliath's collar.

"I'm going to read a bit before we meet up with Commander LaForge, Commander Riker, and Counselor Troi tonight at Quark's," Robin said as she walked over to the couch with her padd and lay on her side.

"I'll see you there, honey," Carl said as he walked out the front door, with their leashed dog in tow.

---

"Come to Quark's, Quark's is Fun, Come Right Now, Don't Walk, Run!" The advertising jingle ran over the sound system of the Security Office as Adam Martoni rolled his eyes.

Great, Strickland's gonna come a calling...

True to form his comm badge chimed and he heard the New York accented voice of Commander Strickland, "Lieutenant, care to explain this?"

"Sir, I'm on my way to Quark's right now to let him know that he's supposed to clear advertising campaigns of any kind through Security and Ops," Adam replied.

He headed over to the replicator and said, "Raktajino."

The replicator brought the beverage out and Martoni groaned when he saw what it came in.

"Are you kidding me? I just hope Strickland hasn't ordered anything to drink right now," Adam groaned before grabbing his mug and drinking from it. No point wasting a perfectly good raktajino.

He took a sip, heard the advertising jingle again, and quickened his step towards Quark's. Stickland's going to explode.

As he speed walked towards Quark's he thought, Well, at least his advertising is ironically making me run over there.

As he arrived, Quark was busily talking to a large alien, Morn, he remembered his name was. The Ferengi turned and said, "Good morning Lieutenant, what can I do for you?"

"I assume you have a permit for your latest advertising campaign?" Martoni said.

"I thought I'd cleared that with Security months ago," Quark said.

"Interesting," Martoni said, "Given that records for Security and OPS show not a single record of you having any sort of permission to advertise anything."

"Oh, I'm sure records get misplace all the time and..." Quark said.

"You might want to make sure those records are recovered or appear, if they even do exist," Martoni said, "Namely because I've been getting reports that practically all the Station's internal comm lines have your little advertising jingle playing on a loop. As well as replicated cups that play it whenever one intends to drink anything."

Talk about irony. Being known for pranks at Starfleet Academy, and now I'm having to be the equivalent of a prank buster. Adam thought.

"Oh, you must be Lieutenant Martoni, the new Security Chief," Quark said, "Pleased to meet you. Can I interest you in a late night session on the holosuites with an Orion harem."

"Tempting, however, the matter of your advertising campaign needs to be resolved," Adam said, "Namely by removing it from the station computer system."

From nearby Dr. Julian Bashir couldn't help but chuckle as he commented, "The more things change, the more they stay the same."

"Fate does have a sense of irony," Ezri remarked.

"How so?" Julian said.

"Well, Julian, Adam Martoni was notorious for practical jokes of various kinds. For instance he was the one who engineered the great prank where the entire internal communication system played an old Earth tune. I believe it was It's a Small World After All. It was almost exactly similar in programming language to Quark's advertising campaign," Ezri replied.

"Oh, that was him?" Bashir replied, "I do remember having heard of the prank, but I had no idea he was the perpetrator."

---

"Come here often?" Carl Draper said, as he saw his wife heading over to him.

"I'm only stationed here," Robin replied.

Carl moved his left arm, offering it to Robin to walk with her. "So what prompted the change in plans? Not that I'm complaining, just curious."

"Well, I ordered a cup of tea from the replicator to relax," Robin replied, putting her right arm around Carl's left arm, "However when I went to drink it I found it started to sing."

"A singing tea cup?" Carl said.

Robin laughed lightly, "And then when I turned on the computer monitor I heard that same jingle."

"You mean this one?" Carl said, pointing at the information kiosk on the Promenade which was currently blaring Quark's advertising campaign.

"I guess this is karma's way of getting back at Adam Martoni for the It's A Small World incident," Robin replied.

"Come again?" Carl replied.

"It was after you graduated from Starfleet Academy. He created this particular program to play It's a Small World on all the Academy's systems. He meant to just hit the dorms, but he inadvertently put it on every internal communication line," Robin replied.

"Oh, right, I remembered hearing about that one deployment," Carl replied, "I'm surprised you haven't gotten called to Ops over this."

"Nog assured me he could handle it, and he told Strickland the same thing," Robin replied, "Besides, he's on duty at the moment."

"I wonder if Strickland is on the verge of a heart attack right now," Carl replied.

"How do you know so much about Strickland?" Robin asked.

"First off, everyone in the 10th Fleet knows Strickland's reputation for being the most high strung XO in Starfleet. His intolerance for slackers is legendary," Carl replied.

---

"Strickland to Martoni," Strickland said, holding his coffee cup in one hand. He was taking it with bigger sips than he normally drank namely because that damnably annoying advertising jingle would play the second the cup broke the vertical plane.

"Yes sir," Adam Martoni's voice echoed over the comm badge.

"Any headway on this situation, Lieutenant?" Strickland replied.

"Sir, I'm working on computing the bill for Quark for every second lost on the internal communication lines," Martoni replied.

"Status report, Lieutenant Nog?" Strickland said, walking into the Pit.

"Sir, the subroutines of Quark's advertisement are proving quite complex," Nog replied.

The comm channel was still open and Martoni said, "Sir, I'm on my way up to Ops at the moment, I believe I can handle the situation."

A few minute later the turbolift opened and Adam Martoni made for the Pit with long strides. Strickland stalked over to him and said, "Lieutenant..."

"Sir, I do believe I may know how to deal with this latest crisis," Martoni said as he climbed down into the Pit and went to the nearest computer terminal beside Nog.

"Deal with it, and I want a thorough report immediately afterward," Strickland replied.

"Yes sir," Martoni replied before he turned to Nog, "Try the tertiary subroutine. That sixth line of code. That should do it..."

Nog complied and the advertising jingle stopped all over the station.

"Very good, Lieutenant, now would you mind explaining how you knew how to deal with this?" Strickland asked.

"Eh-heh heh," Martoni replied, "Sir, I designed a similar program at Starfleet Academy."

"You mean you played a prank like a slacker?" Strickland said.

"Uh..." Martoni replied.

"Well, in that case, I shall be extremely interested to hear about that as well," Strickland replied.

This is going to be a long report. Martoni thought to himself.

---

To be continued...

Last edited by Count Zero; August 20 2015 at 08:16 PM. Reason: added link at OP's request
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Old August 20 2015, 09:22 PM   #2
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Re: ST: DS9 Relaunch, New Blood

I missed this the first time round, but have to say its a very nice introduction to your relaunch, slipping in the newbies in a natural manner.

I now have Quark's jingle in my head...thanks for that
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Old August 21 2015, 03:22 AM   #3
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Re: ST: DS9 Relaunch, New Blood

"So are you settled in alright, Robin?" Geordi LaForge asked as he sat at the table at Quark's with Robin Lefler, Carl Draper, William T. Riker, and Deanna Troi.

"Yes, in fact we're officially moved in," Robin said with a smile.

"You can officially move in? How does that work?" Riker asked.

"Well it's when you unpack the last box," Robin replied.

"I just wonder if my dear wife is going to transcribe that into a Lefler Law," Carl remarked as he took a sip of his ale.

"No, it isn't," Robin replied as she cradled the tea cup from the replicator.

"Why is that?" Geordi asked, "I thought you wrote laws down all the time. You had over a hundred on the Enterprise."

"It was already a law," Robin replied, "Lefler's Law Number 7: 'A move isn't official until you've unpacked the last box'."

"And how many laws have you come up with now?" Geordi asked.

"One hundred and thirty," Robin replied.

"Fifteen of them relating to Goliath," Carl replied.

"Fifteen laws pertaining to a dog?" Riker asked.

"Clearly, sir, you're unfamiliar with dealing with Malamutes," Carl replied. Goliath barked from next to Carl, who reached down to pet his dog.

"Well the first one, was law number one hundred and five: Puppies and uniforms don't mix," Robin replied.

"Lefler's Law Number one hundred and six: Nothing sheds fur like a Malamute blowing his winter coat," Carl remarked, "I still remember the day we both went to work covered in tufts of fur after Goliath was shedding his winter coat."

The group at the table laughed and Riker remarked, "I just wonder what laws you'll come up with places like Quark's here on Deep Space Nine."

"Speaking of Quark's, are you going to reclaim that refill?" Carl remarked.

"Of course I will. After all it did surprise me when it started to play that jingle..." Robin replied.

"Causing, I'm sure, a hasty uniform change on your part?" Carl asked.

"Why yes," Robin replied, with a slight blush.

Carl reached over and took his wife's hand, "Something tells me Adam Martoni might be somewhat more irate than you are."

"What makes you say that?" Robin replied.

"Well, as Chief of Security I'm sure Strickland's bootprints are all over the back of his uniform," Carl replied, taking a pull of his ale with his free hand.

"I'm sure the next staff meeting might have Strickland up in arms about it," Robin said.

"If Adam Martoni's body language is any indication, it probably was been blown entirely out of proportion by Strickland," Carl remarked, indicating Lieutenant Junior Grade Adam Martoni as he lumbered into Quark's.

From both he and Robin's position they could both lip read his words, "I'm here to claim my free refill. If nothing else, another raktajino is just what I need to start the night."

"I hope Quark doesn't try to get the new Security Chief hammered," Carl began, before he quickly ammended, "even if he is working for Strickland."

"From what I know about Quark, that's a distinct possibility," Riker smirked, "I just hope Lieutenant Martoni is as astute as his evaluations say. He'll need it to keep ahead of Quark."

"No easy task from what I've observed," Carl remarked.

---

"One hundred and fifty-six pages?" Kira said, as she stood up from behind her desk, the PADD held in one hand, "And twenty two said pages detailing an incident in Lieutenant Martoni's past where a similar encryption protocol was used?"

"Sir, station communication security was violated once and it's vulnerable to being violated again. I ask LT Martoni to assess this vulnerability and work with Engineering to see how we can strengthen the integrity of our internal communication system," Strickland replied.

"And you intend to read this report?" Kira asked.

"Yes sir. And you'll have a full report of my recommendations tomorrow morning," Strickland replied.

Does that man sleep in his uniform? Kira thought.

"You'll find, sir, I'm quite meticulous about the little details," Strickland replied, "To include knowledge that the flooring in my quarters slopes a degree and a half when one enters the kitchen. And the deck in ops has three quarters degree incline when moving counter-clockwise along the upper level."

I'll have to ask Julian if Commander Strickland shows any evidence of genetic engineering on his next physical.

"Good to hear," Kira replied, thinking, Ezri might well be getting some more visitors thanks to Strickland. I'll reign him in if I have to. But for now I'll wait and see.

"If there's nothing else, sir, I'm on my way to Quark's," Strickland replied.

"For?" Kira found herself asking.

Strickland held up the coffee cup with Quark's face on it saying, "I may as well collect on my free refill for all the aggravation his advertising campaign put me through."

---

To Be Continued...
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Old August 22 2015, 02:37 PM   #4
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Re: ST: DS9 Relaunch, New Blood

Jupiter Station
April, 2375

"Oh, Carl," Lieutenant Reginald Barclay said, as Carl materialized onto the transporter pad, "You just missed Robin."

Carl Draper checked his wrist chronometer, passing the flowers he was carrying in his left hand to his right. "Oh?"

"Yeah, a friend of hers' ship is in Earth Drydock and they went to meet up in San Francisco," Barclay replied, "She's coming back to Jupiter Station tomorrow."

Carl stepped off the pad, "When did this happen?"

"A little over two hours ago, but we just had gotten the communications array fixed half an hour ago. A lot of messages were delayed."

"That's okay," Carl replied, then a smile formed on his face, "Hey Reg, I'm gonna hop on the shuttle to Earth..."

"And surprise her, right?" Barclay said.

The klaxon sounding Red Alert drowned out Carl's intended reply.

Crewmen rushed to their posts. The lights dimmed and security personnel began to herd civilians into emergency shelters onboard.

"What the hell?" Carl demanded.

Barclay glanced at his PADD, seeing the Red Alert text message and then replied, "The Breen! Th-th-they're attacking Earth!"

Carl dropped the flowers he was carrying and barely felt the security officer bump into him as he rushed past him to his post.

"I've got to head to engineering!" Barclay said.

"I'll go with you," Carl replied, following his friend, the flowers forgotten as he raced over to Engineering to assist Barclay, "I'll be damned if I'm just gonna stand in some bunker waiting for the shooting to finish up!"

During the fight everything was down to training and reflex. It wasn't skulking around behind Dominion Lines, sure, but Carl Draper knew enough about a space station's engineering to lend a hand. As it turned out the Breen weren't going for Jupiter Station, but Earth.

He tapped his comm badge, "Draper to Squadron Lines, I'm currently stuck on Jupiter Station. I'll report back as soon as I can."

Running to the transporter room and getting onto the pad, beaming to Mojave Installation where the Asymmetric Warfare Group was based.

Poring through casualty list after casualty list. B Squadron, Asymmetric Warfare Group, had just been coming off the line for refit of a few months before going back into action again. But action had found them when the Breen had hit Earth.

"Draper," Lieutenant Commander Danilov, 2 Troop Commander, said, "Accompany the Advisory and Assessment Wing guys heading for San Francisco."

"Aye sir," Carl replied, heading for the transporter pad, not needing much of an excuse to get to San Francisco. As he did so he set his PADD to alert him if Robin's name appeared on any casualty list, hoping that he wouldn't hear the distinctive chime of an alert along those lines.

No news is good news, it is said. But Carl Draper couldn't help but worry if she was a casualty, pinned in the rubble of a collapsed building...

Relief. Walking by the ruins of Starfleet Headquarters he saw her. Her uniform was covered in dust, her normally neat light brown hair disheveled. Blood flowed from a small cut on her forehead. A corpsman escorted her to where other wounded were being triaged.

The man gently guided her to a sitting position on the grass in front of the wrecked Headquarters building. And as the corpsman went to treat her she saw him.

Carl sprinted over to her as she stood up, taking her in his arms. Feeling her burying her face in his shoulder and feeling her body shudder with sobs.

Deep Space Nine,
June 2375

Carl Draper sat up in bed, he turned over and looked at his sleeping wife. Robin was curled up to one side, her back to him, the blankets having slid down her shoulder a bit.

He gently slid the covers up to under her chin, seeing her smile serenely in her sleep.

"Hmm, someone's awake..." Robin muttered, eyes still closed.

"Sorry if I woke you, sweetheart," Carl said.

"You did sit up violently just now," Robin replied, turning around and propping herself up on one arm, blinking, "Do you want to talk about it?"

Carl looked down, seeing the worry in Robin's eyes. "Another nightmare. It was the Breen attack on Earth. The day I was terrified I lost you."

Robin sat up, throwing her arms around him, "I remember seeing you that day and just how relieved you felt..."

"Honey, relief barely scratches the surface how I felt when I saw that you were ok," Carl said, as he held her close to him.

"You know how I felt too, every time you deployed to some place. How much I worried until you came home," Robin replied, "Especially when you got into the Asymmetric Warfare Group, and all those taskings you went on."

"I could have chosen to go back to the Engineer Branch," Carl said, "You just needed to say so."

"Carl, I love you enough to know that you love what you do in the AWG," Robin said, her head against his chest.

"I told you before that no Starfleet goal is worth you," Carl replied, his arms around her as he just held her.

"I could never ask you to leave something that you love to do. I love you enough to know that," Robin said as they both moved back to lying down, facing each other.

"Robin, I honestly wouldn't be able to do what I do without you. You mean the universe to me, and I don't think I can tell you that enough times," Carl said, "And that's why I moved towards the Assessment and Advisory Wing side of the fence. It's more analysis less direct action."

"You are pretty talented with analysis. And you do enjoy it," Robin replied.

There was a slight woo-woo sound from the foot of the bed and Carl remarked, "Looks like our four footed furry one decided to get up."

"I've got him this time," Robin said, stepping out of the bed to tend to Goliath.

---

To Be Continued...
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Old August 25 2015, 07:22 PM   #5
Bry_Sinclair
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Re: ST: DS9 Relaunch, New Blood

A lovely couple of chapters that look at these new characters and what brought them to where they are now. Carl definitely has some dark and difficult times to work through, but with Robin by his side he has a source of strength, support and love to lean on.

I like the little flashback to the Breen attack on Earth. That in itself could've been spun out to make a very tense, engaging and gut wrenching story in its own right, as Robin is in the midst of a planetary bombardment and Carl's desperate attempts to find her whilst also abiding by his sense of duty.
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Old August 26 2015, 02:28 PM   #6
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Re: ST: DS9 Relaunch, New Blood

"What brings you over this way?" Adam Martoni asked as Carl Draper walked into the Security Office.

Carl handed him a PADD, "My security assessments regarding the Cardassian delegaton due to arrive in a week."

"Thanks. I'm working on mine at the moment," Adam replied as he drank his raktajino. As he turned the cup to drink it the advertising slogan from the previous day continued to play.

"You kept that cup?" Carl asked, with a raised eyebrow.

"Yeah, might as well have a souvenir of my first day on the job. Especially because it probably will bug the hell out of Strickland," Adam replied, "And the free refill was nice. Even after Strickland turned up to claim his free refill."

"I looked through Odo's old database. The Constable was certainly quite a thorough fellow," Carl replied.

"No kidding. His files on Quark and Garak are his thickest. Quark's is only thicker by a grand total of seven pages," Adam replied.

Carl sipped his own raktajino and said, "Klingons clearly do not believe in anything other than strong when it comes to coffee."

"It's a great recipe, but its strength takes some getting used to," Adam said.

"First Minister Shakaar's delegation arrives in four days as well. I'm taking care of that assessment as well," Carl replied, "I'd like to compare notes."

"Definitely. I should have both my assessments complete in a day or so," Adam replied.

---

"Lieutenant, you have fur all over your uniform," Strickland remarked as Robin Lefler stepped from the turbolift into OPS.

"Thank you sir, I didn't notice. It's about that time of year," Lefler replied.

"You gather fur on your uniform at certain times of year?" Strickland remarked with a raised eyebrow.

"No, but our Alaskan Malamute sheds his winter coat around this time of year. Fur gets all over our quarters whenever he does that," Lefler replied as she brushed a few stray strands off her arms.

"You've got some on your back as well," Strickland remarked, "I'll give you a hand with that."

Strickland ran his hand down Robin's back, causing fur to fall to the deck. Robin felt herself going a bit red in the face, partially due to embarrassment and partially due to the fact that Strickland was clearly so obsessed with making sure every piece of fur was off her uniform that he barely realized he was drawing a lot of stares around OPS.

Talk about a memorable first shift, the First Officer looks like a pervert and I look like a fur factory thanks to Goliath. Robin thought. All I need now is for Carl to walk up here and see this and my embarrassment is complete.

"There, much better," Strickland remarked, and then his ears tuned in to a conversation in relatively low tones between a pair of male Bajoran technicians working on the ODN relay. They were a couple young men in their late teens to early twenties. Slackers. They look like slackers to me.

"That certainly was awkward," The first man said to the second.

"Definitely. All it would have taken would have been for Lieutenant Draper to show up at the turbolift," the second replied.

"Probably would've been an epic argument," the first said.

"I heard that Strickland used to be a boxer at Starfleet Academy from my sister."

"And Draper boxed as well. They're within a weight class of each other."

"That would be an epic fight..."

"Ahem..." Strickland said, as he stalked over to them.

The two Bajoran technicians turned to find Commander Strickland looming over them, with a glare in his eye.

"Gentlemen, I believe the ODN relay requires more attention than speculation of a fight between myself and Lieutenant Draper that would likely not transpire," Strickland replied, tucking his PADD under his left arm before continuing, "I was simply attending to a pet peeve of mine, I don't like slackers or traits of slackers in people that work for me. Good order and discipline is my job as the First Officer of this station. Lieutenant Lefler having fur from her pet on her uniform does not present the image of good order and discipline, hence my attending to the matter. So, get back to work on the ODN relay before I order Lieutenant Nog to personally attend to the matter."

"Yes sir," both technicians said, with an audible gulp.

And I thought Constable Odo was stern. one of them thought.

----

To Be Continued...
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Old August 30 2015, 03:20 PM   #7
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Re: ST: DS9 Relaunch, New Blood

Jake Sisko sputtered somewhat as he attempted to keep from spitting his raktajino all over the table at Quark's after Nog recounted the recent incident in OPS involving Commander Strickland and Lieutenant Lefler.

"So Lieutenant Lefler's face was as red as...as...what was that Earth fruit again that fell on Sir Issac Newton?" Nog remarked.

"An apple."

"And then two of my technicians repairing the ODN array start gossiping about Lieutenant Draper's possible reaction if he were to have seen that incident with the dog fur."

"I get scary feeling if Quark hears anything about this it will be the racquetball competition between Chief O'Brien and Dr. Bashir from five years ago all over again."

"Only it will involve Commander Strickland and Lieutenant Draper going at fisticuffs," Nog replied, "Commander Strickland is more strict than Odo at his worst."

"Sounds like its been a rough couple days since Strickland came to the station."

"Cardassian overseers during the Occupation could take a lesson on how to be task masters from Commander Strickland."

"Oh just you wait," came a voice as Lieutenant Adam Martoni headed over to join Nog and Jake at the table.

"What brings you here, Adam?" Nog said looking over at one of his former seniors from Starfleet Academy.

"Just keeping an eye on your uncle. Given Quark's latest advertising campaign had Strickland breathing down my neck..." Adam replied, sitting down and adding, "My sympathies. Strickland means well but can occasionally drive you crazy."

"For once I'm grateful Lieutenant Lefler assumed the Chief of Operations post over me. At least she would be more likely to deal with Strickland directly than I would," Nog replied, and out of the corner of his eye he saw two Bajoran militia engineers, his two most junior engineers at that, Taran Bakis and Sito Kannu walking into the bar.

Nog let out a near sigh, and grumbled, "So much for my Uncle Quark not hearing about the incident in OPS."

"Oh, the 'fur on Lieutenant Lefler's back incident'?" Adam replied, before smirking, "Word travels fast around here. And why don't you want Quark finding out about this incident, might I ask?"

"Knowing my uncle, he would probably try to stage some sort of betting pool and..." Nog began as Bakis and Kannu seemed to be regaling Quark with the story of what had happened in OPS.

"Oh no he isn't!" Adam said, standing up.

"What's the matter?" Jake asked.

Adam turned around, calling out from over his shoulder as he pushed his way through the crowd towards Quark, "Strickland's gonna go ballistic the second he hears anything about a betting pool on this station."

Jake sat stunned for a few minutes, watching the scene unfold, before he turned towards Nog, "I thought he wouldn't mind something like that, based on the stories about Adam Martoni you've told me."

"He wouldn't, normally. But with Strickland running around he would mind," Nog remarked.

---

"So, gentlemen, tell me more of what you know about the stats of Lieutenant Draper and Commander Strickland in the area of fisticuffs," Quark said before noticing a very irate Lieutenant Martoni heading his way.

Before Bakis or Kannu could reply, Martoni stopped at the bar, glowering.

"Quark..." Martoni said, sternly, "We need to talk, now."

"Uhm, Lieutenant...." Quark began.

"Not. One. Word. First off you do know that betting pools are illegal on the station," Martoni began.

"Well...you know how bureaucracy can be and keeping track of the myriad of regulations can be somewhat trying," Quark began.

"Yes, however this regulation will be upheld," Martoni replied.

"Constable. May I call you Constable? In honor of your predecessor it seems only fair that I call you by his old title," Quark began.

"Quark, get to the point of what you were going to say," Martoni replied.

"Aren't you the least bit curious?" Quark said. Set the hook...as the old hew-mon fishing saying goes.

"About what, Quark?" Martoni replied.

"Well, about how a traditional Earth boxing match between Commander Strickland and Lieutenant Draper would go," Quark said, "I mean Commander Strickland was said to fight like a rampaging Andorian bull..."

Quark called up a videoclip on his PADD, showing a younger Strickland at one of his bouts at Starfleet Academy bulling into his opponent.

"And Lieutenant Draper is a known counter-puncher," Quark added, showing a second videoclip of Draper catching an opponent's jab and throwing a hard right over the top of it.

"Forget it, Quark. Fisticuffs between two Starfleet officers and betting are both illegal on the Station," Martoni replied, "I'm going to keep one eye on you, and I'll keep my other eye on all other business on the station, and I'll keep my other eye...nevermind. Let's just say I'll be watching you."

Martoni walked back across the Promenade, finding himself wondering what exactly a boxing match between Strickland and Draper would look like.

---

To Be Continued...
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