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Old May 15 2007, 07:08 PM   #1
DavidFalkayn
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TOS Series Lexington: Meet The Lady

This is a project I've been working on in off moments and takes place in the same universe as my Sutherland series, but during the TOS era and involves Elizabeth Shelby's grandfather, Commodore Robert Wesley, and the USS Lexington. My prime focus remains with my Sutherland series and that series will have top priority as far as writing is concerned, so updates in this series will be slower. Please accept my apologies for that, but there's so much to do and so little time to do it in--something that Bob Wesley himself says in this part. Please let me know what you think of this introduction. Thanks again for reading!

Meet The Lady: Part 1

*********************************************

Striding off the transporter pad at McKinley Station, Captain Robert Wesley of the USS Ajax put on his most professional demeanor as he immediately recognized the silver haired man standing next to a rather nervous looking transporter crewman. Immaculately clad in standard gold shirt with black pants and boots, the wide gold stripe with narrow gold stripe above it on both his sleeves declaring to all that the wearer was an admiral. Can’t blame the crewman for looking like he’s about to deliver a litter of kittens. Bob chuckled inwardly, Must be hell having any admiral watching your every move—much less this admiral.

Knowing that the admiral was a stickler for regulations, Wesley came to attention before reporting aboard according to form, “Admiral Komack…permission to come aboard, sir?”

“Permission granted, Captain Wesley and welcome to McKinley Station.” The admiral responded with equal formality, and then, motioning towards the door, requested, “If you would accompany me, Captain.”

“Aye, sir.” Wesley acknowledged as he fell in beside and slightly behind the admiral. Crewmen and junior officers scrambled to clear the way for the prickly admiral and the ruggedly handsome captain walking beside him as the station intercom issued calls for various officers to contact others or to contact any of the numerous departments within the busy construction and maintenance facility. After several minutes of walking, the pair reached an office door that slid open.

“Come on in…” Komack said, motioning for Wesley to precede him. “Have a seat…” the admiral further urged as he moved towards a counter holding a bottle with two glasses. Pouring the amber fluid into the glasses, Komack brought a glass to the captain before taking his seat behind a large mahogany desk. “Draylaxian whiskey…” the admiral explained, “…take it easy…a little of that stuff goes a long way.”

Raising his eyebrows in surprise as he sniffed the fragrant aroma before taking a slight, tentative sip, letting the precious fluid coat his tongue, Wesley commented, “Not easy to get either, sir…”

“But appropriate for this occasion.” Komack replied as he took a data slate, handing it to the captain. “Go ahead…read it.”

As Robert read the slate, his eyes widened in surprise, glancing up, he took in the amused twinkle in the admiral’s eyes before setting the padd down on the desk. Sitting in stunned silence, Wesley barely heard the admiral’s next words.

“Congratulations…Commodore.” The admiral grinned. “Now…” he said, standing up, “…finish that whiskey, ‘cause I want to show you something special.”

Entering McKinley Station’s large Observation Deck, the two senior officers paused for a moment silently observing the hustle and bustle taking place all around them. Civilians from all over the Federation, mostly humans, but also Vulcans, Deltans, Tellarites, Andorians and others, gathered together at the central information kiosk, bombarding the yeomen manning the booth with a multitude of questions. Others, both civilians and Starfleet personnel, either sat or stood next to the transparent aluminum windows, watching and waving hello or goodbye as ships came and went. The Shikoku, one of the earliest of the new Miranda class vessels, moved in for docking as the destroyer Scipio, a Saladin class starship like the Ajax, slipped away from its moorings to begin yet another mission. Marietta’s ship… Bob thought, his lips turning up in a warm smile as he recalled the destroyer’s daring, sometimes to the point of recklessness captain, Marietta DeVeers, a relative rarity within the current Starfleet—a female ship captain. She’s probably patrolling the Klingon or Romulan borders, Wesley thought as his attention was quickly drawn to the majestic vessel sitting in a dock all to itself…very much the queen of her domain.

A Constitution class starship! The newly minted commodore noted with admiration as he took in the vessel’s pure, graceful lines…her twin nacelles housing the most powerful engines currently available to Starfleet…the saucer section melding seamlessly with the main hull. A ship of true grace and power, just to serve on one of these vessels was considered by many in Starfleet to be the high point of their careers. To command one of them was a dream beyond attainment for all but a select few. Only the best of the best could ever hope to sit in the center chair of a beauty such as this.

“Beautiful…isn’t she?” Admiral Komack remarked with an appreciative grin. “She’s just finished her refit and is almost ready to depart.”

“Yes, sir…she certainly is.” Robert enthusiastically agreed as he noted the ship’s registry number, NCC-1709. That’s the Lexington…Commodore Nogura’s ship, isn’t it?”

“Not anymore,” Komack answered back with a shake of his head, “Heihachiro just got his admiral’s stripe. He’s being booted up to Command.” Flashing a sly grin, the admiral stated in as emotionless a tone as he could muster, “The Lexington is yours…that is if you want it.”

Watching his subordinate in amused silence for several moments as the news slowly sunk in, Admiral Komack cleared his throat and then spoke in a clear command voice, “Well Commodore…do you want the ship or not…I don’t have all day!”

“Yes sir…Of course I want it.” Wesley replied, a wide grin on his face that quickly disappeared as his eyes met those of the stern admiral. “When do I take command?”

“The change of command ceremony will be in 72 hours.” The admiral replied in his usual stern tone.

“Seventy two hours?” Robert echoed, more than a little surprised at the quick turnaround time. “That’s awful short notice, Admiral. I’d have thought I’d have more time to get acquainted with the ship…”

“I know, Bob…” Komack interrupted with a sympathetic look on his face. “I wish we could give you more time to get to know her and to spend more time with your family.” Shaking his head sadly, he continued, “But the truth is…we need the Lexington out there.” Pausing for a moment to take a breath, the admiral explained, “There’s something going on in the Typhon Sector…we’re not sure what. We just know that we’ve lost contact with one of our scout craft, the Voltaire.”

“What do we have in that area?” Wesley queried as his eyes took in the form of the Constitution class ship.

“Right now it’s a lot like the Old West, Bob.” Admiral Komack answered with a slight smile. "Starbase 31 has just been activated and will eventually be the command and control hub for the sector, but at this time it’s more like a frontier outpost. The Scipio and a couple other destroyers will be assigned to that area on a more or less permanent basis and we’re planning on sticking a Miranda class there in the near future, but for now, we need Lexington to act as the territorial marshal.”

“I see…” Robert vocalized, weighing his options as his eyes once again gazed lovingly on the elegant lady sitting majestically in her berth. On the one hand, he knew that Constitution class commands didn’t come around very often. Wesley understood full well that this might be the only chance he’d get to sit in the center chair of a Connie—that the odds of Komack giving him another opportunity should he spurn this one would be slim at best. In fact, he would be lucky to get another ship command at all. Knowing the stern admiral beside him as well as he did, Bob realized that, should he refuse this command, like as not he’d be pigeonholed in command of a minor star base…or even worse, they’d shove him off to one of the ‘K’ Class Deep Space Stations to be forgotten…to become just another data slate-pushing bureaucrat.

On the other hand though, he’d be able to spend more time with Virginia and Katie and he’d be able to take them with him to whatever Starbase or Deep Space Station he’d be assigned. But…he then considered…would his wife and child be happy there—out on a starbase away from friends. Virginia would have to give up her position at the University of North Carolina; Katie would have to uproot her life…say goodbye to all her friends. Would it fair for him to ask them to give up what they have here? Either way this was a rough call, the former Academy boxing champ realized.

“You still want the job, Bob?” Admiral Komack’s stern voice, now tinged with a rare grandfatherly tone, asked as he regarded the newly minted commodore.

Seeing the admiral’s appraising gaze, Wesley made his decision, “Yes, sir…” He said definitively, “I do.”

“Good. We need you out there.” The admiral remarked with a single nod of the head and then flashing a warm smile, advised, “Go on home and spend some time with Ginny and Katie and then take care of any business you need to on the Ajax.” Pausing for a moment, Komack asked, “Do you have any more questions?”

“No sir…” Commodore Wesley responded in a low voice as his eyes once again found the Lexington.

His lips turning up into yet another grandfatherly smile, Admiral Komack quipped before turning away, “Well…I’ll leave the two of you alone to get acquainted. See you later, Bob.”

As the door slid shut behind the stern faced admiral, Bob Wesley turned his gaze back towards the Lexington. His lips turning up into a warm smile, Bob remarked in quiet voice, “Hello, Lady Lex…”

**********************************************

As soon as the turbolift doors slid open, Junior Lieutenant Cilla Oudekirk, the alpha shift communications officer, her blonde hair done up in the current fashionable beehive and wearing the new Standard female uniform for her position, a red minidress, the left breast bearing the Lexington’s insignia, the same embroidered sunburst used by Fleet Command, stomped out of the turbolift towards the only other female currently on the bridge, a tall, statuesque Andorian woman still wearing the old uniform, blue blouse bearing the rank insignia of Lieutenant Commander, along with black pants and boots.

“Like the new look, Cilla!” The helmsman, Junior Lieutenant Terrence Lawford jibed, his lips turned up into a boyish grin as he swiveled his chair around to get a better look at the Dutch communications officer.

Studiously ignoring the impudent helmsman, Cilla glared at the Andorian woman, “Well?”

“Well what, Lieutenant?” The Andorian, chief science officer Talana Zha’Thara asked, her lips turned up in a playful grin.

“Well…this!” Lt. Oudekirk exclaimed, pointing at her minidress. “I want to know who the genius dirty old man was who came up with this…this…uniform!”

“I don’t know about you…” Talana smirked, her antennae twitching in amusement as Lawford tried vainly to stifle his laughter, “…but I kind of like the new look.”

“Well I don’t see you wearing yours!” Cilla pointed out, a triumphant grin on her face.

Shrugging her shoulders, the Andorian replied, “I just haven’t had time to change as yet.” Looking thoughtful for a moment, she quickly added, “I’m afraid the light blue color they’ve decided on for the sciences might not match my skin though…what do you think, Cilla?”

“Oooohhhh…” The Dutch lieutenant cried out in frustration as she quickly turned about, going back the way she came, sparing yet another harsh glare for the English helmsman as she took her station.

Addressing the Andorian science officer, Terrence deadpanned, his Public School English accent giving an extra layer of dryness to his understatement, “I think she’s angry, Commander.”

Smiling in amusement, Talana responded, “She’ll get over it. Right, Cilla?” Ignoring the glare sent her way by the temperamental communications officer, Talana’s smile vanished as she warned Lawford, “You better get back to work, Terrence. If Commander Kuznetsov comes through those doors and finds you goofing off…”

“I know…I know…” Lawford acknowledged, his smile vanishing as he returned to his console, “The Bear will have me cleaning out the Jeffries tubes with a toothbrush for an entire month.”

************************************************** *

As Commander Alexei Kuznetsov, the Lexington’s first officer, made his rounds on the Constitution class starship, a young woman, attractive with red hair and wearing the new red minidress struggled to keep up with his long strides. “Yeoman…” Kuznetsov called out, his deep, rumbling voice one more reason for his nickname, the Bear. “Take this down. I want the crew in the new uniforms by the next alpha shift.” He stated as he noted several crewmen wearing the older uniform. “There will be no excuse for anyone wearing obsolete dress.”

“Aye, sir.” The yeoman dutifully recorded.

“Also…” The Russian dictated, “I want status reports from all section heads no later than 1600 tomorrow. There will be a ship-wide inspection 0800 the next day. The new captain will be taking command in seventy two hours and I want everything spotless when he arrives.” Kuznetsov’s alert eyes spotting a pair of crewmen wearing the loose fitting red jumpsuits of support services standing and laughing next to an opened access panel, he growled as he approached the pair. “Crewmen! What are you doing here?”

“Commander G’arv …” One of the enlisted ratings, replied, referring to the Tellarite chief engineer, “…wanted us to check the power transfer grid in this section, sir. We just completed our diagnostic on this circuit and we were just getting ready to close up and go on to the next.”

“Then I would suggest that you do so instead of standing around acting like a pair of fools!” Kuznetsov spat out to the two crewmen as the yeoman gave them a sympathetic look. “Or I’ll make sure that Lieutenant Commander G’arv finds some other type work more suited for you…such as cleaning out the waste recycling units.”

Observing as the hapless crewmen practically jumped to their task, the first officer, nodding his head in satisfaction, turned his attention back to his yeoman as he resumed his rounds. “Where were we, Yeoman? Ah…yes…the new crewmembers…they should be beaming aboard soon. Accompany me to Transporter Room One, if you please.” Flashing an amused grin he remarked, “Let’s see what the new Academy class is made of, shall we?”

“Aye, sir…” The yeoman responded, her lips also turning up into a wicked grin as she pictured the fresh faced ensigns about to beam aboard getting their first introduction to real starship duty from the giant Russian.

Waiting until they were sure that the burly first officer had completely disappeared out of earshot, the first crewman turned to his companion, “Damn! Is he always like this?”

The second crewman, his lips turned up into a sardonic grin, quipped in response, “You should see him when he’s really pissed.”

************************************

After beaming down at Starfleet Command in San Francisco, Robert, now sporting the new gold uniform top, its sleeve proudly displaying the single broad embroidered stripe of a commodore looked on appreciatively at the Golden Gate Bridge. A world treasure, it had survived the long years of warfare which marked the twenty-first century with over half its structure amazingly almost intact, even though the city itself was devastated thanks to a terrorist nuke. They really did do a good job. From this distance…the commodore thought as he cupped his chin, you can’t tell where the real bridge ends and the reconstruction begins.

As he gazed upon the monument, Wesley shook his head sadly as his mind went back to his early Academy history classes. The rebuilding of monuments such as the Golden Gate Bridge, the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, and the Vatican as well as the cities that hosted them, along with the cleaning up of the radiation and other toxic residue left by the wars, was the culmination of years of hard work on the part of humanity and its new allies, the Vulcans. The reconstruction work took the later years of the disastrous twenty-first century all the way through the middle of the twenty second to complete. But even with all that hard work, so much was lost. Much of the Middle East was devastated with very little remaining from the pre-war years—many of its cities—Mecca, Jerusalem, Tehran, Cairo, Tel Aviv, Damascus, and so many others—nothing more than glass craters. No amount of reconstruction could rebuild those cities in their original locations.

Europe also suffered grievously as civil war wracked the continent. On all continents, artwork, monuments, and buildings were smashed. The Sistine Chapel, Notre Dame, St. Sophia’s, the Kaaba, the Wailing Wall, the Mosque of Omar, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Sphinx, the Lincoln Memorial, St. Basil’s, and many other treasures of humanity were completely destroyed with virtually nothing of the original structure or work intact. Libraries and museums—and their precious collections—were ruined in the chaos. Entire ethnic populations of humanity were very nearly rendered extinct in the global bloodletting as the human population had dropped from its pre-war high of over six billion to a post war number of just under three billion souls. Humanity very nearly played out its string…Wesley morosely thought until his reverie was disrupted by a lyrical female voice.

“Commodore?”

“Huh?” Turning towards the origin of the voice, Robert saw a young dark skinned woman wearing the new red minidress approaching. “What is it, Yeoman?” He asked somewhat testily, irritated at having his contemplations disturbed.

“I’m sorry, sir…” The yeoman apologized, “But I thought you should know that your shuttle’s ready.”

“Oh…” Wesley exclaimed and then gave the pretty crewman a friendly smile, “Thank you.”

“Your welcome, sir.” The yeoman replied as her lips also turned up in a smile. “The pilot says that you should arrive in Charlotte in a couple of hours, sir.”

“Excellent!” The commodore replied cheerily. “That should work out just about right.” Great! Wesley’s mind raced as he made his plans, That’ll give me enough time to pick up some flowers and make it home in time for us to go out for dinner at The Pit. I can’t wait to see the look on Ginny’s face! Addressing the yeoman once again, Robert grinned as he motioned with his hand, “Lead the way.”

*****************************************

“So…what do you think it’ll be like…serving on a starship?” Ensign Jennifer Whatley, now wearing the pale blue minidress of a science specialist instead of the black and yellow Academy togs that she’d worn for four long years asked as she brushed back a strand of dark hair that had slipped out of place.

“It’s an assignment.” The auburn haired Ensign Aliz Bathory, wearing command gold, answered in her rich Magyar accent. “Nothing more…”

“Come on now…” The olive skinned Whatley replied, refusing to let her companion’s phlegmatic outlook ruin her enthusiasm. “This is the USS Lexington we’re talking about…a Constitution class starship. You know there aren’t a whole lot of them in the fleet right now.” Cracking an evil grin, she teased, “Would you rather be serving on a Ptolemy class tug or something like that?”

“All right…all right…” Aliz sighed in resignation as her lips turned up into a smile as she fingered the medallion around her neck. “Yes…I am glad to have gotten the Lexington and I am looking forward to sitting at the helm.” Her smile growing wider, she said, “And I have to admit to a certain…anticipation…at piloting her.”

“I knew it!” Jennifer cried out triumphantly and then, pointing at the pendant her Hungarian companion was holding in her hands, asked curiously, “That’s an interesting design…what is it?”

As Aliz stared down at the silver figure of a young beautiful woman, she answered in a low voice, “It’s a family heirloom…dates back from the fifteenth century at least. It gets passed on to the first born female in our family once she reaches puberty.” She then flashed a slight smile, “It’s supposed to be a good luck charm.”

“Oh…ok…but…” Jennifer replied and then warned lowering her voice in a conspiratorial tone, “…if you want to keep on wearing it, you better make sure it stays under your dress. From what I hear the first officer on the Lexington is a real a—hole.”

“I’ve heard the same.” Aliz acknowledged morosely as she slipped the medallion back under her dress. She then remarked with a smirk, “But what else can you expect…he’s a Russian.”

*************************************************

As the two women materialized in the Lexington’s transporter room, along with four other new transfers, they found that their earlier suspicions about the starship’s executive officer were indeed correct. The moment they had reported aboard, Commander Kuznetsov had them standing at attention in line. Following a blistering speech in which The Bear had made it quite clear to the new additions what his expectations were; he walked down the line, inspecting each transferee, noting the slightest flaw in dress or carriage. Reaching Aliz, he spotted the slender chain around the ensign’s neck.

“What is that, Ensign?” He demanded, his face inches from the young woman’s.

“Family heirloom, sir.” Aliz promptly replied. “Acceptable under Starfleet Uniform Regulation 44B: Neck jewelry is permitted provided it is unobtrusive and lockets or pendants are covered by clothing.” She recited with a slightly defiant and triumphant tone to her voice.

“I know what the regulations state, Ms. Bathory!” The Commander spat out. “Just be sure you do…I’ll be keeping my eye on you.”

You have no idea how the thought of that makes me feel tingly all over…the Hungarian ensign thought sarcastically as the first officer moved on to his next victim.

Upon finishing his inspection, Kuznetsov dismissed the new arrivals. Making a smart left face, the fresh faced former cadets exited the transporter room and the frowning first officer. However, as Ensign Bathory exited, the dour Russian’s lips turned up into a slight smile.

“Made an impression on you, didn’t she, Alexei?”

The New England twang of Lexington’s Chief Medical Officer, Lieutenant Commander Charles Vincent, attracting his attention, Kuznetsov grunted. “She has potential…”

“She stood up to you well enough.” Vincent rejoined, running a hand though his thinning sandy blond hair.

“Da…she did.” The Russian agreed and then cupping his chin, noted sagaciously, “The question is though…does she have the wisdom to know how to pick and choose her fights?”

“That, my friend…” The doctor replied with a laugh as he placed a hand on the shoulder of the larger man, “…is something you only learn after getting knocked on your ass a time or two.”

“Problem is tovarisch…” Alexei answered back as the pair walked out the transporter room together, “…in our business you often only get one chance.”

****************************************

As Robert climbed up the steps to the front porch door of the Charlotte, North Carolina home that he and his wife, Virginia, and their young daughter Katie shared, he smiled. It almost seemed to the long absent husband and father that the place hadn’t changed that much since he’d left with the Ajax over three years ago. His fishing rods were just where he left them leaning against the wall; Virginia’s plants were blooming in their pots, African violets, aloe vera, tulips…all doing well. Virginia always did have a green thumb. Wesley thought fondly as an image of his wife working in her garden, her hands dirty, but with a big smile on her face as she went from plant to plant, trimming here…watering there. It was all far too complicated a process for a man who lived and breathed starships and space exploration. He also smiled as he saw the Schmidt-Cassegrain optical telescope on the porch. While a professor of literature at the University of North Carolina by day, his wife was very much an avid amateur astronomer who preferred observing through the antiquated optical telescope rather than using newer, more precise instruments. Smiling with affection, he remembered her once telling him that she wasn’t interested in the numbers…it was the soul of the heavens that she wanted to explore. She would have made a perfect Starfleet officer, he thought as he continued his reverie.

However, something was missing. It took the absentee father a few minutes to place exactly what it was, but when he did stumble upon the answer, he shook his head sadly. The dolls that Katie used to play with on the porch were gone now. Things had changed. He’d missed three years of his daughter’s life. Katie wasn’t the ten year old girl she was when he’d left. She was now three years older—a thirteen year old girl beginning her adolescence. The protective father coming to the fore, Robert realized that it wouldn’t be long until his daughter started dating. And Virginia…his lovely Virginia…so patient and understanding…how would she take the news that in seventy two hours he would be going out into space again—this time on a five year tour with every probability that he wouldn’t be returning to Earth again for at least a year. Although he would never admit it to anyone else—not even Jim Kirk, one of his best friends—Wesley knew that Virginia wasn’t happy with the current state of affairs and, as his hand hovered over the door control, he couldn’t help but ask himself whether the news he was about to spring on his wife would end up being the proverbial straw that would break the back of the camel that was their marriage.

Squaring his shoulders, Robert opened the door. Entering his house, he called out, “Ginny? You home?”

“Robert?” A voice tinged with excitement answered back. “Is that you?”

“Ginny!” Wesley responded with a wide grin as he turned to face his wife. “You’re looking beautiful, today.” He complimented, sincerely meaning his words as he gazed on the lovely form of his wife.

“Heh…” Virginia snorted, “...only if you’re into dirt and sweat. I’m a filthy mess. I’ve been in the garden out back all morning…”

“You’re still the prettiest sight I’ve seen.” Robert declared as he hugged his wife close to him.

“It’s been too long, Robert.” Virginia declared as the pair reluctantly broke from their embrace. Giving her husband an appraising look, the chestnut haired woman remarked, “You’re looking as fit as ever.”

Cracking a wicked grin, Bob playfully flicked off a speck of dirt from his wife’s nose, “Nothing like zero-g calisthenics to get the blood flowing.”

Laughing, Virginia noticed the broad gold embroidered stripe on her husband’s sleeve. “You’ve been promoted!” The long-suffering wife exclaimed enthusiastically. “Does this mean what I think it means? That you’re going to be assigned to Command?”

Shaking his head, Bob almost winced at the crestfallen look his wife gave him as he imparted his news to her, “I’m sorry, Dear. I’ve been given command of the Lexington.”

“Oh…” Virginia responded, trying in vain to hide her discontent. Feigning enthusiasm, she inquired, “Isn’t that Heihachiro’s ship?”

“Yeah.” Bob replied, “He’s been booted up to the Admiralty and Komack personally gave me the news.”

“They must have really wanted you there if Wild Bill himself gave you those orders.” Ginny noted.

“I guess so.” Robert agreed. Looking deep into his wife’s eyes, he said in a low voice, “Ginny…it’s not too late…I can still turn down the command.”

“You’ll do no such thing!” Virginia retorted, her eyes momentarily blazing. “This is what you’ve wanted all your life…” Her fury abating as quickly as it flared, she added in a quiet, almost mournful tone, “…we both know that you can’t turn this down.” Putting on a brave face, she then asked, “So…how much time do you have before you have to report aboard?”

“Seventy two hours.” Bob replied.

“Well then…” Ginny responded with a forced grin, “…we’ll just have to make the most of it. What do you want do?”

“Well…” Bob replied with an equally forced smile, “I was thinking about waiting until Katie gets home and then we would all go to The Pit for some Bar-B-Que.”

“Sounds good to me!” The forlorn wife answered back as she gave her husband a quick peck on the cheek. “I’ll get showered and dressed. Katie should be back from school soon.”

“Ok, Dear.” Bob replied, watching his wife’s retreating form. Shaking his head, the rugged commodore sighed. Although neither spouse said it in so many words, they both knew that what had just happened was an important event. Turning about, Robert sat down on the comfortable recliner that he’d claimed many years ago as his chair. Picking up a data slate, the future captain of the Lexington read over the crew bios of his senior staff and the particulars of his new command. He had much to do and only seventy two hours to do it in. “Time…” Bob muttered morosely, “…there’s never enough time.”
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Old May 15 2007, 08:01 PM   #2
BrotherBenny
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Re: TOS Series Lexington: Meet The Lady

I like it. While I have to say I'm not enamoured with your Sutherland series which is good, but just not for me, I think this is great and I can't wait for the next installment.

Keep it coming.
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Old May 16 2007, 03:25 AM   #3
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Re: TOS Series Lexington: Meet The Lady

Awesome opener to what I’m sure is going to become a new favorite series!

We don’t get enough TOS-era stories around here, anyway, and Lexington is a fantastic springboard for all kinds of fascinating stories to come.

I’m anxious to find out more about Bob Wesley and his quirky new crew. I appreciated his poignant homecoming, with his wife discovering they’d have only a seventy-two hour reunion before the commodore’s 5-year mission got underway. No wonder Starfleet started letting families aboard their vessels in the 24th century.

I’m liking the Bear already. Having a hard-ass exec always makes the captain look better (at the very least nicer) anyway.

I did find it a bit strange that Wesley seems to consider Jim Kirk a close friend, considering the age difference between the two men. I’d have suspected that many of the senior captains in Starfleet would see Kirk as a young upstart… prior to his earning his phenomenal reputation in the coming years. Most especially as Kirk received command of a Constitution-class ship prior to someone with Wesley’s experience.

Very much looking forward to more. :thumbsup:
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Old May 16 2007, 11:53 PM   #4
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Re: TOS Series Lexington: Meet The Lady

I'm looking forward to checking this out. I do enjoy the TOS-period and I agree with Gibraltar that you don't see enough of that time being covered. I know this is going to be a fun one.
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Old May 17 2007, 06:10 PM   #5
CeJay
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Re: TOS Series Lexington: Meet The Lady

I love that you have decided to try your hand on a TOS-era story. It does not seeem to be a very popular era to write for and those who do prefer an entirely different approch.

But I have to say that I was a little disappointed that you decided on such a well-tried opening for this series. I know it makes sense, the captain gets his ship, we meet the crew, the crew meets the crew ... and so on. But it is a formula that, I believe, could use a little variation.

Having said that, this is of course only the beginning, and you could go virtually anywhere from here.

I hope that you will be able to set this apart from more modern oriented fan-fic and perhaps even capture that classic, often campy feeling of the TOS era.

I am going to follow this with great curiosity.

Some questions:

Why do you call your ships destroyers? It sounds very militaristic and I didn't think TOS was.

Aren't Miranda class ships mostly associated with the movie era of Trek? I say that because I remember that their design was based on the movie-era Enterprise not on the TOS Enterprise. I might be mistaken on this one.
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Old May 17 2007, 07:35 PM   #6
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Re: TOS Series Lexington: Meet The Lady

Good opening. I shall continue to watch with interest.
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Old May 20 2007, 07:59 PM   #7
DavidFalkayn
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Re: TOS Series Lexington: Meet The Lady

Thanks guys, I'm glad you enjoyed this. Like I said, my first priority is with my Sutherland series, but I have some interesting things lined up for The Lady and her crew. A few hints: Klingons...Mogatu...Klingons...

cmdrxeris: I'm sorry you don't like the Sutherland series, but, I guess, different strokes for different folks. I am curious though as to what you don't like about it. Is it the writing? Characters? Setting? Story arcs? Please feel free to PM me with your views--I promise I don't bite.

Gibraltar: As to Jim Kirk and Wesley being friends--I recalled reading a novel discussing their friendship while Kirk was a younger officer and decided to go with that. Of course, I could be mistaken. In any event, I kind of see their relationship, at least at first, as being more of a mentoring one.

CeJay: Yes, it is a tried but true format for introductory stories. To be honest, this has been sitting on my hard drive for over a year so I decided to go with it. I do look to capture some of that good ol' TOS feel, while at the same time maintaining a sense of 'realism'. But yes, I do have some...interesting...plot twists for the characters. I dropped a real big hint as to one possible character plot twist...I'll let you all try to suss it out...

I called the Saladin class ships destroyers because that's how they're most often designated by the various sources I've run across and for simplicity's sake I decided to keep with that terminology. Also, their purpose is primarily patrol ops and not deep space exploration. The TOS 'verse actually does possess more of a military feel than TNG.

Miranda class vessels were actually introduced at about the same time as the Connies and serve a function similar to that of Nebulas with respect to Galaxies. Like the Connies, they were upgraded quite frequently throughout their service lives.

Again, I'm glad everyone's enjoying the story!
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Old May 21 2007, 09:28 AM   #8
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Re: TOS Series Lexington: Meet The Lady

I'm enjoying this so far. I haven't read any of your Sutherland series yet, but reading this is making me interested in checking it out. I like the mention of the Saladin, but not so much the Miranda; then again, I tend to subscribe to a different history of that particular class than the one provided by canon, so that's by no means a reflection on you. I personally prefer the classifications given in the Ships of the Star Fleet books, which is reflected in my own fiction.

Again, I'm liking your writing and I think you've got a good start to this story. Looking forward to more.
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Old May 22 2007, 07:31 PM   #9
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Re: TOS Series Lexington: Meet The Lady

Great beginning! I'm looking forward to more. Nice character development and an interesting bit about the "new" uniforms. I always wondered what the official Star Fleet reasoning was for the mini-skirts.
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Old May 23 2007, 06:51 PM   #10
tigerstyle
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Re: TOS Series Lexington: Meet The Lady

I've always enjoyed the atmosphere of the original series, if only because the world of TOS seems a lot less sterile than that of TNG and beyond. From its clunky technology to its ridiculous uniforms, the series gives viewers a real sense of character -- the sense that they're in a rough-and-tumble universe where discovery and danger are still meaningful terms.

So far, your story captures that feeling to a T. I enjoyed Wesley's wonder upon seeing the Constitution-class docked in the station, for instance, as well as Cilla's consternation at being forced to fit into a minidress for the first time. It's those little things that make TOS what it is, and I'm glad you've chose to include those little homages to the original series in what looks like a good start to a story.

My only criticism at this point is relatively minor. To me, it doesn't seem to make much sense that Starfleet would permit one of its most promising captains -- commodores, even! -- to be relegated to a desk even if he refused command of the Lex. However, given how much influence this Komack seems to wield, that might not be too big a stretch.

Either way, however, it doesn't matter: Wesley's taken command of his new toy, and I'm looking forward to seeing where his adventures take him!
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Old May 31 2007, 07:19 PM   #11
DavidFalkayn
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Lexington: Meet The Lady Part 2

First, I want to thank everyone for their kind replies to the first part of this story. It's a lot of fun writing in the TOS era and I encourage other writers to give it a whirl. Here's the second part, I hope you don't kill me for ending this part the way I did...

************************************************

MEET THE LADY: PART 2


As the two pugilists carefully circled each other, Alexei smiled inwardly as he spotted the slight opening his opponent had left him. Dropped your guard, Tovarisch! The burly Russian thought as he launched a powerful right cross at the chin of his sparring partner, only to come up empty as his opponent, easily dodging the blow, launched a right hook of his own. Staggering under the impact of the gloved fist on the side of his jaw, the Lexington’s executive officer shook his head as his opponent retreated to the opposite corner. Taking off his gloves, Alexei worked his jaw with his left hand as the other man tossed him a towel. “Good feint.” Kuznetsov remarked, a big grin on his face as he wiped the sweat off. “I thought I had you there. I can see now why you won the Academy boxing tournament.”

“As I recall, you didn’t do so badly yourself,” His opponent, Commodore Robert Wesley, complimented as he removed his gloves and headgear. “Seeing as you finished in the final four in your class tournament.”

Shrugging his shoulders, the big Russian wiped some blood off his chin. “Da. But I lost in the semi-finals.”

“Nothing to be ashamed of, losing to Dodge.” Bob exclaimed, referring to the current captain of the USS Hood, as he slapped his first officer on the back. “He still packs a mean punch,” the commodore quipped as the pair, after slipping out between the ropes of the tiny boxing ring, began to walk through the ship’s gymnasium. Noting approvingly the large number of crew availing themselves of the starship’s exercise facilities, Wesley remarked, “Busy place. I like it this way.”

“Commodore…excuse me, I meant Admiral…Nogura’s standing orders were that all members of the ship’s crew—senior command staff included—had to spend a minimum of ten hours per week in the gym.” Alexei explained and then added pointedly, “There were no exceptions.”

“I see no reason to alter those orders…” Bob replied, drawing an even wider grin from his executive officer. Then, noticing a petite auburn haired woman wearing gymnast’s togs on a balance beam carrying out a near perfect routine, the commodore nodded his head in appreciation as the youthful officer moved smoothly from a handstand and then executed a flawless back-flip.

“Not bad…” Wesley remarked, clapping his hands appreciatively as the gymnast executed a near flawless dismount. “Not bad at all…” As the young woman draped a towel around her shoulders before walking away, Bob inquired of his first officer, “Who is she?”

“Ensign Aliz Bathory.” The burly Russian replied with a grunt. “Helmsman. One of the new transferees from the Academy.”

“Must be pretty sharp…” The commodore noted as the two officers walked towards the exit, “…to get this ship as her first assignment.”

“Da.” Kuznetsov nodded his head. “Very high marks from her instructors. But…” The executive officer noted, “...she also possesses a very stubborn and willful streak that got her into trouble with more than one of her instructors.”

“Insubordination?” The commodore asked with a note of concern in his voice. “I don’t mind my officers expressing their opinions…” Bob declared, his eyes taking on a steely look, “…but once I’ve settled on a course and have issued orders—I expect them to be obeyed promptly and without static.”

“She was never insubordinate.” Alexei answered back, somewhat alleviating the commodore’s concerns. “It’s just that she was very…forward…in expressing her views in class and very…very stubborn as regards maintaining her position.” Laughing, the Russian executive officer recalled, “After she got my attention when she reported aboard, I checked with her instructors at the Academy. I don’t like loose cannons, they get people killed and ships destroyed needlessly.” The Bear explained before continuing his narrative. “Her instructors all say the same thing—that she’s bright, independent, and incredibly stubborn when she thinks she’s right or when she’s encountered with a difficult problem. Her tactics instructor, Commander Reynolds, told me that she insisted on repeating the Kobayashi Maru test over and over again for three days straight. She kept on insisting that her solution was the right one.”

Chuckling wryly, Bob quipped, “Wasn’t she told that there was no correct solution that would save both the merchant ship and her vessel—that the whole point of the exercise was that it was a test of character?” Shaking his head, Wesley grinned, “Jim Kirk’s the only one who ever beat that test—and he cheated!”

Shaking his head as well, Alexei answered back. “Da…Elliot told her after she spent twenty four hours in the simulator that there was no solution—but she wouldn’t accept it. She argued and argued that there had to be a way to solve the situation.” Laughing, the Russian first officer recounted, “After three days, she finally accepted that there was no good solution, but not before trying every possible tactic—standard and crazy.”

“Doesn’t like to give up, eh?” Bob remarked nodding his head sagely.

“No.” The Bear replied. “As I said, she’s very…very…stubborn and willful.”

Laughing as the door to the gym slid open, Bob remarked, “Some of the best officers I’ve known could be described as stubborn and willful. One of them at least…” he quipped, “…commands a starship of his own. I like an officer with fire in the belly.”

“Fire in the belly is good.” The Russian responded, adding sagely, “But so is a clear head.”

“Agreed.” The commodore conceded, “We should know soon enough whether she has that or not.” As the pair reached the turbolift, Wesley pointed at the cut on his first officer’s chin, advising, “You might want to let the doc have a look at that, Alexei, before you report to the bridge.”

“Aye, sir.” Kuznetsov acknowledged as the turbolift door whooshed open, “I’ll see to it after I shower. Speaking of which, sir…” The Bear ribbed, flashing a toothy grin, “…you might want to see about a shower yourself before you report to the bridge.”

Laughing as he gripped the elevator control, ordering it to take the pair to deck five where the senior officer’s quarters were located, Wesley riposted, “I’ll take that under advisement, Commander. After all, we can’t have a biohazard alert go off on the bridge now, can we?”

*********************************************

“Hey, roomie!” Ensign Jennifer Whatley called out to her roommate, Ensign Aliz Bathory, as the door to their quarters whooshed open, revealing the petite Hungarian helmsman, still wearing her gymnast’s togs. “Have a good workout?”

“Not bad.” Aliz replied in her rich Magyar accent as she stepped out of her sweaty leotard. “Had the commodore and the Bear as an audience while I did my balance beam routine.”

“Oh?” Jennifer teased as, sitting down before the vanity mirror, the olive skinned ensign beginning the process of brushing and rolling in order to fix her lovely brown hair into a bouffant style. “So…what was their reaction?”

“They applauded, of course.” Aliz chuckled as she stepped into the tiny sonic shower. “They know a good thing when they see it.” Calling out from the shower, the Hungarian pilot, changing the subject, asked, “So…how was your day?”

“Eh…so-so…” Jennifer responded as she took out a set of large rollers from the vanity drawer. “Talana…my section chief…she’s a blast! She’s funny and loves to joke around. But…” the naturally bubbly science specialist qualified, “…it’s not all laughs. She had me and another new ensign—Frank Carstairs—working on a nasty xeno-microbiology problem.” Sighing, Jennifer continued, “I didn’t think we’d ever solve it.”

“But you did solve it—right?” Aliz inquired as she stepped out of the shower.

“Yeah.” Jennifer chuckled, “The answer was so obvious too—it was literally staring us in the face the whole while.”

“Well…” Aliz laughed as she slipped on her gold minidress and then fixed her shorter hair, “…sometimes that’s what happens. Other times…it’s hidden so deep that it feels like it’ll take forever to pry it out.”

“Tell me about it!” Jennifer exclaimed with another sigh and then added with a sly wink. “At least one good thing came out of the experience. I got a date with Frank for movie night tomorrow.”

Shaking her head, Aliz quipped as she made her way towards the door. “You and your men! Sometimes I wonder how you finished as high in our class standings as you did the way you got around!”

“You know what they say…” Jennifer riposted, returning her roommate’s good natured banter, “If you’ve got it…strumpet with a trumpet!”

Laughing as the door whooshed open, Aliz called back over her shoulder as she left, “Just don’t play that trumpet too loud! Our neighbors might not appreciate it!”

************************************************** *

“Hold the lift!” Junior Lieutenant Terrence Lawford called out to the sole occupant of the elevator, Cilla Oudekirk.

“Hurry up, then!” The Dutch communications officer shouted back as Lawford dashed towards the turbolift moments. “I’m not going to be late for my shift…” Cilla groused, “…because you can’t tear yourself away from that yeoman.”

“Jealous, Cilla?” Terrence jibed as he darted into the elevator moments before the door slid shut.

“About what?” Cilla fired back before twisting the lift control and giving the verbal command to go to the bridge.

Laughing, Terrence teased, “About the fact that I’ve got stuff going and you…don’t.”

“Yeah. Right.” Cilla snorted derisively as the turbolift transitioned from a vertical motion to a horizontal one. “As if I’d ever have anything to do with a hormonal Neanderthal like you.”

Before Terrence could utter another, this time much more biting, retort, the lift door opened. Stepping on to the bridge, the two officers immediately felt the gaze of the Lexington’s executive officer sitting in the center seat. “I’m glad the two of you decided to join us. Take your stations—Now.” The Bear growled as the two junior lieutenants sheepishly took their positions.

“You cut it awful close.” Talana, sporting the new minidress, quipped, her antennae twitching in amusement as she whispered into Cilla’s ear from her position over the Dutch woman’s shoulder.

“The idiot held me up at the elevator.” Cilla whispered back.

“You didn’t have to wait for him.” Talana teased as a rumbling sound that she recognized as Commander Kuznetsov clearing his throat gained her attention. “Yes, sir?” She inquired with a mischievous twinkle in her eyes.

“Lieutenant Commander…” The Bear grumbled, “Don’t you have more important things to do than gossiping with the crew?”

Mock pouting, the Andorian science officer walked over to the command chair and held out a data slate, “Already done. Here’s the report the commodore wanted.” As Kuznetsov reached out to grasp the slate, Talana bent down to whisper in his ear, “You know you can’t scare me like you can the junior officers with that bear routine, Alexei…” she purred, “I know you’re really just a big old…”

Unfortunately—or fortunately, depending on the point of view of the individual involved in the current conversation, Talana was unable to complete her jab as the door slid open, revealing Commodore Wesley. Reacting immediately on seeing the Lexington’s new commanding officer, the lieutenant commander snapped to attention, “Commodore on the bridge!” She called out, all traces of humor gone from her voice.

Nodding his head with approval as the bridge staff snapped to attention, Robert responded in a crisp voice, “As you were.” Striding towards the high backed center chair, Wesley relieved his executive officer. “Status, Commander?”

“We are on course towards the last known location of the Voltaire following the same course that it had sent to Starbase 31 before communications ceased.” Kuznetsov promptly replied.

Taking the data slate that his first officer had given him, the commodore perused it for several moments before turning his attention to the Lexington’s science officer, “Ms. Zha’Thara?” Wesley called out, immediately gaining the attention of the Andorian officer, her antennae pointing towards him as he spoke, “What’s your take on that nebula that the Voltaire reported seeing just before communications were lost?”

“Hmmm…” Talana vocalized as she carefully considered her answer. “The Voltaire reported an unusually high number of tachyon emissions coming from its core. Its captain went in to investigate and shortly after their last transmission, communications were lost.”

“I see…” Turning his attention back to his first officer, Wesley inquired, “This sector is pretty close to Klingon space—isn’t it?”

“Aye, sir.” Kuznetsov rumbled, “The Klingons actually claim a fair portion of it—including the region where the Voltaire had disappeared.”

“So…” Bob prompted, “…you think it was the Klingons?”

“Da.” The Russian replied simply. “Who else could it be?”

“It’s a possibility,” Talana reluctantly agreed, “The nebula emissions could very well have screened the presence of a Klingon ship waiting in ambush from the Voltaire’s scanners. It doesn’t take a Vulcan to see the logic in that.” She concluded, her lips turning up into a crooked grin as she delivered a barb at the recent Starfleet trend of relying on Vulcan science officers.

Exhaling, Commodore Wesley passed the data slate to the yeoman standing next to his chair. “Very well, then. Helm…” He ordered, addressing the two young officers sitting at their stations in front of the viewscreen, “Make for the last known location of the Voltaire, warp factor five.”

“Course laid in, sir.” Terrence Lawford responded, punching in a series of buttons on his panel.

“Engaging, sir. Warp factor five.” Aliz Bathory chimed in as the majestic Constitution class cruiser’s warp engines began to hum, the rounded fronts of the twin nacelles turning and glowing as the Lexington launched into warp space in a blur of lights and colors.

************************************************** *

“What you doing in here G’arv?” Charles Vincent, the Lexington’s Chief Medical Officer called out, a note of amusement in his usual New England twang. “Finally bust an artery from yellin’ at your people?”

“Hah! If they were any good, I wouldn’t have to yell at them!” The Tellarite Chief Engineer bit back, the toothy grin on his face revealing his enjoyment as the two officers renewed their traditional bickering. “Commodore Wesley’s had us going at a steady warp five for several days now…”

“Don’t tell me your engines aren’t up to the job.” Vincent smirked, knowing that the touchy Tellarite was especially sensitive concerning his engines.

“My engines are just fine!” G’arv fired back, “They’re doing better than your patients I’ll bet!”

“So…what’s the problem, G’arv?” Charles asked, finally getting down to business.

“When I woke up this morning…” The Tellarite grumbled, pointing at his abdomen, “I felt—bloated.” I ignored it, thinking it would go away, but the pain got worse and worse until I finally decided enough was enough.”

“I see…” Vincent vocalized as he ran a medical tricorder over the engineer’s body. “Hmmm…Ok, G’arv…have you been eating enough roughage like I told you?” Seeing the guilty look on his friend’s face, Charles shook his head. “What have I told you, G’arv? Due to the nature of the Tellarite digestive tract, it’s even more important than for most other races that you have enough cellulose in your diet.” Taking a hypospray, the doctor injected his patient’s arm. “That was a laxative. I’d suggest that you locate the nearest head as soon as possible.” Laughing, he called out as the engineer rushed out of sickbay, “Remember this next time you decide to pass on those greens!”

Unfortunately, Charles could not make out his friend’s caustic rejoinder as the hall lighting changed from its normal white light to an amber color as Cilla Oudekirk’s voice rang out on the intercom, “Yellow Alert…Yellow Alert…all decks go to Yellow Alert.” Almost immediately, the crewmembers first sauntering down the corridor, laughing and talking grew silent. Now, the corridor in front of sickbay was filled with crewmen and women moving with disciplined alacrity and purpose to their assigned stations. Muttering a soft, “Dammit,” Charles turned his attention back to sickbay and his staff. “All right, people. You know what to do.”

************************************************** *****

“All decks at Yellow Alert.” Cilla crisply reported from her communications station. “Damage control parties are ready. Phaser fire control reports ready…photon torpedo room checks in ready as well. Engineering reports all systems working nominally. Sickbay reports it is prepared as well.”

“Raise shields, Sir?” Kuznetsov prompted turning towards Commodore Wesley.

“Not quite yet.” The Commodore replied, shaking his head. “Let’s see what we’ve got first. But…” Wesley qualified, “Have emergency power routed to the shields. I want to be able to raise and reinforce them immediately if we have to.”

“Aye, Sir.” Alexei acknowledged, nodding his head approvingly as Cilla passed the commodore’s instruction on to G’arv in engineering.

His digestive problem suddenly forgotten, the Tellarite engineer immediately responded, his guttural voice coming through clear on the intercom. “Shields are ready when you need them.”

His lips turning up into a slight smile of approval at the professionalism of his crew, Commodore Wesley stared at the viewscreen, taking in the vista of the nebula ahead, blue and pink tendrils snaking out from a white core. Addressing his science officer who, at that moment, was hunched down over her scanning visor, the commodore inquired, “What are your scanners picking up, Ms. Zha’Thara?”

“Heavy tachyon emissions emanating from the core, sir,” the Andorian science officer replied, “Just as the Voltaire had reported. Hmmm…that’s interesting…” Talana vocalized as her antennae twitched.

“What, Lieutenant Commander?” Wesley asked, his ears pricking up at the change in his science officer’s tone.

“The tachyon readings picked up drastically shortly after I began my scans.” Talana replied.

“Any idea as to why?” The commodore asked, not really expecting a positive response.

“No, sir.” Talana answered back, “Not at this time.”

“Well…keep at it…” Robert drawled before addressing not just his science officer, but also his entire bridge crew, “And keep sharp, everyone. I don’t want any sudden surprises.”

Her head jerking momentarily jerking up from the scanning visor, Talana announced with just a note of tension in her voice, “Unknown ship approaching on intercept vector.” Bending her head down once again, the science officer spoke, now with a grim tone, “It’s Klingon.”

“I have it on the screen.” Ensign Bathory declared as a faint speck appeared moving amongst the stars.

“Magnify.” Wesley ordered as he inched towards the edge of his seat.

Following the commodore’s instructions, Aliz manipulated the viewscreen’s magnification controls, bringing the speck into sharper and sharper focus until the dot finally became an identifiable form. A shark cruising amongst the stars, the bulbous front connected by a long boom with a winged stern which housed the craft’s engines and many of its weapons immediately identified the intruder for what it was.

“A D-7 battlecruiser.” Alexei observed in a quiet monotone voice. “And it appears to be making an attack run.”

“Red Alert.” Commodore Wesley immediately ordered, “Raise shields and sound General Quarters.” As the ship’s internal lights turned red, the alarm klaxons blared, and the phaser targeting scanner next to Ensign Bathory slowly rose up to near eye level of the petite Hungarian helmsman, the commodore gritted his teeth as the Klingon warship grew larger and larger in the viewscreen, “It looks like we’re about to earn our pay.”

************************************************** ****
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Old May 31 2007, 10:42 PM   #12
Jamee999
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Re: Lexington: Meet The Lady Part 2

Damn you and your cliffhangers

Very nicely written though, and a brace of good characters.
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Old June 3 2007, 03:45 PM   #13
CeJay
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Re: Lexington: Meet The Lady Part 2

Cool stuff. The Klingons, eh? I bet there is more to this than meets the eye.

Looking forward to the next installment
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Old June 7 2007, 02:10 AM   #14
tigerstyle
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Re: Lexington: Meet The Lady Part 2

A fun installment, without a doubt. It's good to see the commodore and the Bear with their hair down for a bit, having at it in the ring. I'm particularly amused by your depiction of Whatley and Aliz, who strike me as a couple of college girls not willing to let their duties get in the way of their youth. And as far as the Klingons are concerned -- well, hopefully you don't scar the Lex so soon. =P
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Old June 7 2007, 04:34 PM   #15
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Re: Lexington: Meet The Lady Part 2

I like it too. About time the Lexington gives a piece of the action. Isn't there a Lexington fan series on trekfiction or another? Well I like this and good job on the beginning. Hope to see more.
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