Star Trek: Full Speed Ahead

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Zefram_Cochrane, Jan 30, 2008.

  1. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

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    it was a slight exaggeration regarding the size of these posts - they are huge and they seem to go up pretty fast.
     
  2. Zefram_Cochrane

    Zefram_Cochrane First Faster Than Light Red Shirt

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    I write pretty fast. :) I have to keep up with the people who keep PMing me for more. ;)

    -- ZC
     
  3. Zefram_Cochrane

    Zefram_Cochrane First Faster Than Light Red Shirt

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    Act IV, ladies and gentlemen. Please enjoy. :)

    ----------------------------------

    Captain's Log
    Stardate 43233.1

    We have completed towing the disable Tristnor vessel back to the Kasui fortress, where it has been accepted with open arms by the Kasui Prime Barris. In exchange for the prize of war, Barris has gifted us with the Tristnor Alpha device we sought from the Tristnor facility. Additionally, Barris has declared a day-long celebration of this victory in their struggle against their oppressors.

    Meanwhile, Lieutenant Bartlet is overseeing Mister Saleb's sanctioned installation of the Alpha device into our navigational deflector systems. I'm certain that she will be keeping a close eye on him, considering the last time he made such a dramatic alteration to our deflector dish without authorization. It is my sincere hope that we might be able to deliver this device intact following our return, for Starfleet to use as an alternate means of propulsion.

    I've authorized the crew to utilize the fortress facilities for the day. I hope to get underway for home, tomorrow morning.


    ---- SCENE CHANGE ----

    "Half of me wishes we didn't have to go back," admitted Wilson. He sat at one of the tables closest to the viewport within the ship's lounge, sitting over a drink he barely touched. His right hand ran through his shaggy brown hair; the strands of his hair even more disheveled than usual.

    To his left, Ariel frowned. Her hand ran up his arm slowly as she told him, "You don't mean that."

    He looked at her with one of his eyebrows cocked up. "Of course, I don't."

    "You don't want to have to leave the ship."

    "Yeah."

    She sighed, dropping her hand to the table gently. Wilson's intent to become a part of Farragut's senior staff was cut short by Krystine's inexplicable decision to go with another officer. "Do you want me to talk to her for you?"

    Wilson shook his head. "No..."

    "Okay-"

    "Yes?" he said quickly. "I don't know."

    Ariel half-smiled. "Make up your mind, Willie."

    "I don't want you to talk to her, if you think she's going to think that I asked you to. The last thing I want to do is cause her trouble. On the other hand..."

    She nodded. "I know. And I doubt it would be much trouble to her if I pulled her aside and slapped some sense into her. I still don't know what she was thinking when she passed you over."

    Wilson waved her off. "She was thinking about the needs of the ship."

    "She told me she didn't want you tied to her career."

    "But you're here."

    She threw her hands up in the air. "That's what I said!"

    Neither of them said anything further for a moment, sharing nothing more than a grin as they fell back into their old conversational pattern on the Potemkin. Wilson broke the silence between them with a simple, "It's up to her."

    "Yeah," she agreed.

    "Don't get me wrong... I think she's a brilliant CO. Born to the captain's chair unlike any officer I've served with."

    Ariel snorted, "In some ways, that's literally true."

    Wilson gave her a sidelong glance. "I know she was born with a golden commbadge in her mouth, but she doesn't act like it. I've always liked her a great deal. All I wanted was to make sure I'd be there to see her make history."

    "Me, too," she said quietly; her eyes drifted down to the table.

    He reached out to cover her hand with his. He felt like a heel for having tread on sensitive territory. "You never told her?"

    Ariel shook her head and gave him a slight shrug. "What's the point?"

    Wilson squeezed her hand. "I've always admired your courage. But, at the same time, I wish you'd find your happiness."

    "I will, Willie." When he doubted her with a look, she placed her other hand over his. "I promise you. Don't worry about me."

    "I can't help it. You're a friend."

    "And you're mine."

    He smiled, unable to meet her gaze as she looked at him. "Thank you."

    "And as my friend, I'll speak to Krys about finding you a place, here. I think you've proven yourself more than enough these past few days." Ariel patted his hand, but released her gentle grip on him to reach for her drink.

    "What about you?"

    "What about me?"

    "You should be the new XO. Not acting."

    "Here, here," said a newcomer, standing over them.

    Gregory Aspinall gave them a large grin as he had apparently overheard the last part of their conversation. Off their looks of surprise, he dropped his grin. "Sorry. Should I leave?"

    Wilson deferred to Ariel with a glance. She smiled. "No... no, grab a chair."
    The lounge was mostly empty, due to the celebration on the fortress at full throttle. With a majority of the crew enjoying themselves, the darkened lounge would have been party central, but not that night.

    Greg slipped into a chair, placing his drink on the table. "Thank you, sirs."

    "Hey," said Ariel sharply. "There's no rank in this room. You know the rules. You're lucky there's hardly anyone here or else we'd make you buy everyone a round."

    "Right, right... sorry."

    "I don't know," said Wilson, "I think we should make him buy us a round, at least."

    Ariel chuckled. She gestured with her nearly full glass. "He can buy you one, but I'm still nursing this."

    "I'll consider it a rain check, then," replied Greg. "Anyway, you guys were discussing permanent assignments?"

    Wilson eyed Greg through the bottom of his glass as he tilted it back to drain the contents. "I was just mentioning that our captain should consider removing the word 'acting' from her title."

    "I couldn't agree more."

    "Aw, boys, you're making a girl blush over here, now," said Ariel, taking on a demure expression by bringing her chin in to her chest. Her raven hair fell over her cheeks to obscure her face, but not her eyes.

    That drew a snort from Wilson. "Hah! I'm sure you could tell us stories that would make a Risian blush."

    Greg could only nod slowly; his eyes never left the lieutenant commander as she worked her natural beauty before him.

    Wilson shook quietly with laughter. "Greg?"

    "Yeah?"

    "Put your tongue back in your mouth, son."

    "What?" Greg leaned back and looked down, while his hand moved up. "Oh... right. Sorry, Commander." He looked like he just committed an egregious sin against her.

    Ariel smiled warmly at the young helmsman. "It's quite all right, Greg. Believe it or not, I'm flattered."

    "No seducing the help, now," said Wilson, his voice also wavering a bit. For all the chastising he might've given Greg, he empathized with the lieutenant.

    With a guilty look, she gritted her teeth. "My apologies, gentlemen, for inadvertently attacking your Academy-instilled sense of discipline. Perhaps I should take my leave you both, and let you drink in peace?"

    "No!" said Greg quickly, and a bit louder than he intended. He cleared his throat. "I mean, no... don't let us chase you away from the table."

    "Yeah, Ariel. You leave, now, and all I have to look at it his ugly mug," Wilson said, gesturing with his hand toward Greg.

    The helmsman rolled his eyes. "You're no prize, yourself."

    "All kidding aside," she told them, "I should probably see to the paperwork I've been letting go. We're heading back tomorrow, and no doubt, Starfleet's going to want all their reports in a nice tidy packet to transmit the minute we show up on their sensors."

    "About that..." started Wilson.

    Ariel tilted her head. "Yes?"

    "Do you think... I mean, is it possible that Starfleet might relieve the captain for what she's done?"

    She looked at Greg briefly, before giving Wilson a smile. "I doubt it. Too many people want her to succeed to let a little something like a three day trip to the Beta Quadrant stand in their way."

    Wilson released a held breath and nodded. "Good to know."

    "Even if they did send out someone from the Inspector General's office, I doubt they'd get too far the moment Admiral T'Cirya found out about it."

    "If they do," said Wilson softly, "you have to keep that temper of yours in check."

    Ariel drew her lips together sourly. "Do I have to?"

    "I'm sure it would help her cause if you did. No telling what happens, if you try to shove an IG agent out the nearest airlock."

    She pouted. "I guess you're right."

    Wilson eyed her. "This is one of those times, Ariel, when I can't tell if you're joking or not."

    Ariel showed off all her teeth in a large smile. "With any luck, neither will they. Good night, you two. Don't stay up too late."

    Both officers watched her leave, and then shared a worried look.

    Greg asked with a scoff, "She has a temper?"

    Wilson grinned. "You think I'm joking?"

    "Maybe."

    "If you think I'm lying, I could arrange a demonstration for you."

    "Really?"

    "Of course. I've been looking for an excuse to make popcorn."

    -----------------------------------

    Only one more act and they're home. I really enjoyed writing the banter between Ariel and Wilson. They had served together for four years, and I needed a good opportunity to show their excellent rapport. I'd spent a lot of time on the Leone/Ariel relationship anyway.

    Btw, in the original scene, Tommy O'Day joined them, too... but it seemed too much, so I cut him out. Not to worry, folks... Tommy'll be in the next episode for sure, because you all get to meet Lieutenant Atherton. ;)

    Night!

    -- ZC
     
  4. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

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    Interesting preview of what is to come. While I like Leone I do disagree with Ariel and think that the good captain does need a stern talking to about her obvious stretching of the Prime Directive. After all captains are suppose to put it before wellbeing of their ship and crew and she clearly made a different decision.

    Good thing she has friends in high places.

    Excellent banter and it looks everyone on board got the hots for the half-Orion. Well can't really blame a guy, can you?
     
  5. Zefram_Cochrane

    Zefram_Cochrane First Faster Than Light Red Shirt

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    "Milk Run" will hopefully satisfy you on that point. Starfleet's voice will be heard, in the form of one Lieutenant Commander Tricia Hargreaves.

    When I original sketched Leone, I realized that I had literally sketched a female version of Jean-Luc Picard. Without even thinking about it, because I was recalling TNG-era thinking and remembering how sterile it felt. I started changing certain things about her... like her personality, and her value structure. She's a child of privilege and politics override morality almost every time. While I think the Federation might have higher ambitions, there's always the lowest common denominator to deal with. A whole race doesn't just 'get enlightened,' otherwise there wouldn't be a need for penal colonies and well... that's where we found Tom Paris, right?

    Ariel's served with Leone on two occasions: Once on the Victory, once on the Potemkin. They've served almost 8 years together on two different ships and they're very much in tune with one another. Ariel's an adopted daughter of the Leone family, which I alluded to in the first part of DtT! when Leone mentioned that her mother missed Ariel. So Ariel knows that Mama Leone is actually Vice Admiral Angelina Leone of Starfleet Tactical. And 'Aunt Alynna' is Rear Admiral Alynna Nechayev of Starfleet Command. Those are just two of the friends Leone has in very high places.

    See above :)

    Ariel's behavior stems from an interesting focal point. We find out about that in "The Better Part of Valor," when I take you guys back to when Leone and Ariel met on the Victory. I seriously cannot wait to write that story.

    -- ZC
     
  6. Zefram_Cochrane

    Zefram_Cochrane First Faster Than Light Red Shirt

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    Here is Act V and final part of Damn the Torpedoes! Part III.

    --------------------------

    Ariel was right. She did spend more time in the ready room than she did in her own quarters, thought Captain Leone as she stared out toward the stars. She brought the cool glass of iced tea to her lips and took a long quaff from it. The heavy base of the glass felt good in her hand when she brought it back down to rest atop the smooth surface of her desk.

    Iced tea first thing in the morning helped shake the cobwebs of a deep sleep, she had discovered during her time as a lieutenant serving aboard the starship Victory. The smell alone woke her up, like a strong brew of fresh coffee. Coffee might have been the first choice of many captains, including her own mother, but it often left Leone with a sour stomach. Tea became her best-tasting alternative.

    By the time she finished with the one glass she allowed herself before starting her morning duty, she settled into the chair behind her desk and began to review the reports filed the previous night. Not all of them, of course, but the ones marked for her special attention by her acting executive officer. Every now and again, Leone's lips would curl up into a smile as she read some of the notations scribbled into the reports.

    Ariel's wit laced the reports of the chief engineer, who made unofficial accusations of Petra's scrutiny of Mister Saleb's completed alterations to the ship's navigational deflector seem as though she really had the hots for him, rather than contempt for what he had done to her ship. Leone laughed out loud a few times before she closed the file and pushed herself away from the desk to stride out onto the nearly empty bridge.

    "Good morning," said a too-cheery Greg, seated in the executive officer's seat.

    "Good morning, Greg," replied Leone as she sat next to him. "You know, when you have the conn, you can feel free to use my chair. It's incredibly comfy."
    Greg rose from the seat and stood to address her with his hands behind her back. "I'm sure it is, sir, but I wouldn't dare presume sit in your chair while you're on deck one."

    "My, oh, my... you are getting very good at this conn-sitting, Greg."

    "Sir?"

    Leone divided her attention between the right-hand console of her chair and him. "I mean, you outmaneuver three enemy ships with a tractor beam and fancy flying, and then you're acting like a respectful XO keeping a watchful eye on the ship while the captain's amusing herself in her ready room."

    "I guess so, sir."

    "I meant it as a compliment. You've done really well for yourself since you got here."

    "I appreciate that."

    "I'm sure you do. So, let me ask you a question."

    Greg tilted his head, but nodded. "Of course, sir."

    She sighed. "You have four years' service in Starfleet since graduation... why haven't you put your name forth for consideration for promotion to full lieutenant?"

    He reseated himself next to her, not wanting the conversation to drift to the operations station, where a chief petty officer sat watch. Lowering his voice, so as not to raise the ears of their comrades, he nearly hissed at her, "Kryssie, why're you bugging me about my career?"

    Leone leaned over and smiled as he used her rather ancient nickname from when he was a child. "That's 'Captain Kryssie' to you, young sir." Off of his pained expression, she chuckled softly. "You don't think I'm not going to hear it from your mother?"

    "God, leave her out of it."

    "Tell her, that. It'll save me a lot of trouble."

    Greg raised a hand to his forehead. "I'm not asking for any special treatment, now. I'm just doing my job."

    "And doing it really well, Greg. I entrusted you with the ship, and you didn't let me down."

    His cheeks warmed and colored red as she praised him. "Do me a favor, please... don't put that in your report. Next thing you know, I'm going to be expected to do that on a regular basis, and I don't think I could handle that kind of pressure."

    Leone smirked. "Oh, Greg... if you didn't want that kind of pressure, you're in the wrong place, my friend."

    "With all due respect, Captain Kryssie, I think we're all in the wrong place, right now."

    ---- SCENE CHANGE -----

    They said their goodbyes, in spite of their slight bitterness that they would leave them behind to take care of their own war. Prime Barris expressed his sadness to see Ariel leave there part of the Beta Quadrant behind, but she assured him that he would find someone in the future to see his considerable needs. That exchange drew an amused glance from Captain Leone.

    When it came time for Saleb and Belkis to bid them farewell, they offered to provide Farragut with extra personnel to see them through the long journey home, but Leone refused. She saw through the obvious ploy to convey refugees safely into the Federation, but enough regulations had been mangled for one excursion.

    Barris shook hands with Leone. "While I can't say this for certain, Captain, I sincerely hope this isn't the last time we'll meet."

    "With all due respect, Prime," she replied, "we've got our own problems to handle back at home. But, thanks all the same, for your generous hospitality."

    "If you should ever pass this way again..." start Saleb.

    "We'll be sure to look you up," promised Leone.

    ----- SCENE CHANGE -----

    Petra maintained a vigilant watch on the quantum field generator attached to the deflector. She personally reconfigured her engineering console to provide her with real-time data from the subsystems affected. By the time she finished, the engineering station looked nothing like a standard matter/anti-matter reaction chamber-driven propulsion monitor, as it would under normal operating conditions.

    Captain Leone ordered the ship to a safe distance from the fortress, but not too far outside the defense perimeter, in case they should fall under attack by wayward members of the Tristnor Hegemony. In spite of Mister Saleb's constant assurances that the field wouldn't harm the fortress, she did not want to take any chances.

    After a small period of system adjustment, Petra announced her satisfaction, "Ready, here, Captain."

    "Thank you, Petra," replied Leone. "Wilson, take us to general quarters." She wanted everyone to be alert and ready, in case the worst happened. However, being that they would be inside a quantum field, she wasn't sure if a typical abandon ship order would be carried out while the ship was in a state of quantum flux.

    Wilson nodded. "General quarters, aye, sir." The computer made the appropriate announcements and the klaxon wailed twice before silencing.

    "Let's get this circus on the road," muttered Leone. "Petra, activate your new toy."

    "It's not my-"

    Leone raised a hand. "Don't care. Let's go home."

    Petra called out, "Aye, sir. Engaging reinforcement of the structural integrity and inertia dampening fields, now. Stand by for quantum field generation."

    "All stations secure for quantum field entry," ordered Ariel from the operations console. "Captain, the hatches have been battened down."

    "Device online. Quantum field generating from the navigational deflector," reported Petra.

    Wilson added, "Confirmed. Deflector dish outputting quantum field, slowly."

    "Acknowledged," said Leone with a nod.

    Ariel said, "Field stabilization rate at twenty-five percent and rising."

    Leone flexed her fingers on the edges of her armrests. "What's our entry point?"

    "Ninety-seven percent, Captain. Mister Saleb's instructions were quite clear."

    "Call out the rates, Ariel."

    "Aye, sir." Ariel's voice continued their count, "Thirty-six percent. Forty-seven."

    When the field rose in stabilization to eighty percent, Leone called out, "Here we go, people. Hang on to your asses."

    "Field entry in five seconds," said Petra.

    Farragut entered the field, losing sensors as it did the first time. The viewscreen deactivated without any relevant data being fed to it, and the expert handling of the ship's systems made for a smoother ride within the field. Leone barely felt the vibrations through the deck of the ship, allowing her to maintain her composure. She waited patiently for the ship to either be destroyed or depart the field.

    The field outside the ship dissipated, allowing the sensors to get clear reads on the local region of space. The viewscreen image returned to show stars once more. "Ariel?" she asked, quietly.

    "One moment, Captain. I'm scanning," replied Ariel, her eyes moving over the display.

    "I just got a Federation timebase beacon," announced Wilson happily.

    Ariel nodded, "The computer has confirmed the present star positions as Federation territory. We're three million kilometers away from where we left." She whirled around in her chair, a large grin on her face.

    Leone rose from her chair, unable to hide the joy from her face or her voice. "Wilson, all hands, please."

    "Aye, sir." Wilson sounded the boatswain's whistle to call the attention of the crew.

    "All hands, this is the captain." Captain Leone stepped forward and placed a hand on Ariel's shoulder. She squeezed her gently as she informed her crew, "We're home."

    ----------------------------------

    And there you go. I hope this pilot was enjoyable for you all. Stay tuned for the teaser for "Milk Run."

    -- ZC
     
  7. Zefram_Cochrane

    Zefram_Cochrane First Faster Than Light Red Shirt

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    As promised, I've already written the teaser for the fourth episode of Star Trek: Full Speed Ahead.

    -------------------

    Star Trek: Full Speed Ahead
    By Michael D. Garcia

    Episode Four: Milk Run

    Starbase 310
    Near the Cardassian Border
    Stardate 43239.47
    Observation Deck

    With its proximity to the Cardassian border, Starbase 310 served as the way station for civilian and military traffic to all the colony worlds within the sector. Additionally, the Border Patrol ships operating nearby used it as a either their home port or a port of call. Folks were a little more apt to pull out their weapon than to ask questions out here in the frontier of Federation territory, and the type-two phaser sidearms of all the security officers patrolling the starbase made that absolutely clear to everyone visiting.

    Commander Jesse Kincaid folded his arms as he stood on the large observation deck of the starbase, watching the ships dance in a traffic pattern around the station. Since his arrival nearly two weeks ago, he waited for the day that his ship would come in with patience and composure, in spite of the opposite feelings he felt bubbling up inside of him.

    How could a ship get lost like that? What the hell kind of captain lets something like that happen aboard her ship? He had not yet met Captain Leone, but he knew that she must be one hell of a captain to earn a captaincy in under fifteen years' service in Starfleet. He had only thirteen years' service and barely made commander less than a year ago, while serving aboard the Valdemar.

    Scuttlebutt on Leone was she'd been born into Starfleet wearing admiral's pips on her collar. Her mother held the rank of vice admiral, and considered most of the admiralty family, if not close friends. His appointment as Farragut's new executive officer would not be without its opportunities, but also a hell of a lot of pitfalls if he should run afoul of a well-connected captain like Krystine Leone.

    A soft, feminine tone brought him out of his thoughts. "Commander Kincaid?"

    "Yes...?" he turned to look at a strikingly beautiful Starfleet officer, wearing a tight, wine red jumpsuit over a lithe, but curvy form. "Lieutenant Commander...?"

    "Tricia Hargreaves," she replied with a smile. She offered a pale-skinned hand to him, which he accepted lightly to shake it twice before releasing it. "A pleasure to meet you, sir."

    "Likewise, I'm sure." Something about her did not sit well with him, in spite of her curled brown hair and deep blue eyes. "Is there something I can do for you?"

    Hargreaves shook her head. "No, sir. I just wanted to come down and introduce myself to you. I'm also waiting for Farragut to arrive."

    Strange. He didn't recall seeing the name Hargreaves on the list of senior officers serving aboard ship. Certainly, a lieutenant commander would warrant a division officer's position, if not at least a department head. "Forgive me, Commander, if I seem a little confused. Are you also part of the crew?"

    "No," she said strongly, almost blanching at the suggestion. "No, sir, I'll just be a passenger for a while."

    Kincaid offered no response to that, at first. He tried to read her and failed. She offered him nothing but a pleasant smile and those eyes that hid her true intentions from view. "I take it you wanted to introduce yourself to me, because...?"

    "I thought it was the kind thing to do, to meet my future beneficiary."

    That was a hell of a thing to say to him. "I beg your pardon?"

    She did not say anything to that. Instead, Hargreaves' eyes moved away from him and out toward the stars. "How well do you know Captain Leone, sir?"

    "Not very well," he said, honestly. "I was selected by subspace communication. And you, Commander?"

    "Oh, I know her very well, sir. But, we've never met."

    Kincaid decided to probe her for a little more information. "I hear she's quite an officer."
    Hargreaves' smile lessened only slightly, but enough for him to notice it. "If you say so, sir."

    "I take it from your tone, Commander, that you don't like her very much?"

    "Far be it for me to speak out of turn about a superior officer, sir."

    With a wave of his hand, he affected a magnanimous as he could muster, "Consider this permission to speak freely, then. You can start by telling me what you meant by calling me your beneficiary."

    Hargreaves winced under his direct scrutiny. "I only meant, sir, that Captain Leone's days in command are numbered. You'll most likely assume command by the end of my trip."

    He chuckled. "Is that so? You planning on staging a mutiny while you're aboard?"

    She shook her head and continued her smile. In spite of that smile, she spoke to him seriously, "No, sir. I'm an investigator with the Inspector General's office. I suspect that the moment I file my report, Starfleet Command will have no choice but to relieve her of her command and take her into custody."

    ------------------

    Cue evil music. Yeah, folks... we get to see Leone under scrutiny. :)

    -- ZC
     
  8. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I finally got caught up! WOOHOO! Loved the story, liked your character interaction a lot. Your two young guys are funny stuff when they're bantering. re Milk Run-just a glimpse and I dislike the IG agent already. Maybe Ariel ought to stuff her out a lock.
     
  9. Gibraltar

    Gibraltar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Great finish to a fantastic pilot! You’ve established a very credible palate of characters, imbuing each with a lot of personality. And now, a mystery about this investigator who certainly appears to bear Leone some malice. Looking forward to more. :bolian:
     
  10. Zefram_Cochrane

    Zefram_Cochrane First Faster Than Light Red Shirt

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  11. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

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    Sadly I have to say that I do think that Leone's scrutiny is overdue. However this Hargraves (sp?) characters seems like a mean b. to me.

    She might not try to instigate a mutiny but I'm sure she can expect some serious resistance once she tries to break up our close-knit Farragut heroes.

    Also good job on the 'Torpedoes' conclusion. Lookin forward to see how this develops.
     
  12. Zefram_Cochrane

    Zefram_Cochrane First Faster Than Light Red Shirt

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    I just wanted to mention that a PDF of Damn the Torpedoes! 1-3 is now available at Lulu.com for free downloading. If you want to buy a print copy, you can do so there, as well. It's at cost (meaning my profit is ZERO), so you only pay for the printing and the shipping. $6.41 for the book itself, plus $3 for shipping.

    [​IMG]

    PS: Some of you are in the acknowledgments. :)
     
  13. Zefram_Cochrane

    Zefram_Cochrane First Faster Than Light Red Shirt

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    Hargreaves has a history with Leone, which you'll find out in Milk Run. There's a reason why she's there and furthermore, why she's intent on breaking Leone. It's not simply because she bent regulations.

    You have no idea how much it pleases me to hear you say that. I was so worried about making the ending contrived. I was running out of word count there (I'm limiting each episode to 10,000 words: 45 minutes episode-length in screenwriting terms), so as I was coming up on 9k, I realized I had more content than word count, so I had to do a quick switch. Besides, in the end, I made them work hard for the solution... dragging it out solved nothing.

    -- ZC
     
  14. Zefram_Cochrane

    Zefram_Cochrane First Faster Than Light Red Shirt

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    And now, Act I of "Milk Run."

    -------------------------------------

    Lieutenant Wilson Nieves grinned. "Thirty-five."

    "Crap, I only had twenty," said Lieutenant (jg) Gregory Aspinall in disgust.

    "Forty-two," said Lieutenant Petra Bartlet gleefully.

    "Forty-seven," added Doctor Sovera.

    "Sixty-one," Lieutenant Commander Ariel Elannis said proudly. "Pay up."

    Greg shook his head. "What about the captain?"

    Ariel frowned. "The captain doesn't count."

    "I'm sure she'll think differently," replied Sovera. "After all, this is quite a considerable pool you've generated."

    Wilson agreed with a nod.

    Ariel considered this, then replied with a pout on her lips. "Fine, but if she trumps twenty-six, then I'm going to scream foul."

    "She's going to trump sixty, guaranteed. She has all ours plus hers."

    "That's why I say she doesn't count."

    The doors to the observation lounge parted to admit Captain Krystine Leone, who took her customary seat on the side of the table, rather than at the head of it. "Good morning, everyone. We're all set for arrival, I trust?"

    With the exception of Sovera, all the other officers fixed a pointed glare at Ariel.

    Leone picked up on it instantly, choosing to join them in their scrutiny of her acting executive officer. "Ariel? Something going
    on?"

    Ariel scratched at her neck, looking away from the senior staff and muttering, "Not really."

    "Commander," said Wilson sharply.

    "All right," she hissed at him quickly. To Leone, she explained, "We've formed a little pool to find out how many questions were transmitted by Starfleet Intelligence upon each of our mission reports."

    A slow smile spread on the captain's lips as Ariel spoke. Holding her grin, Leone asked, "Who won?"

    "Right now, Ariel has the lead," offered Wilson helpfully. "However, we were waiting on your arrival to determine if she is the winner or not."

    "Sovera, I can't believe that you've consented to gamble."

    The doctor inclined her head. "I found the commander's proposition to be logical. Gambling is not without its merit."

    Greg snorted.

    Everyone turned to look at him.

    "What?" he asked with a shrug. "I just find it funny to hear that coming from a Vulcan."

    "If you got Sovera to gamble, it must be something worth gambling for," noted Leone. "What's the prize?"

    The officers all looked at one another, as though they shared an unspoken conversation. With a pointed glare from Wilson, Ariel relented, "The prize isn't money, per se... and I want to note that I don't condone slavery, but the prize was a set number of hours of work in winner's respective department."

    As the Federation didn't pay Starfleet officers, Leone often found herself fascinated by the fact that a modest economy did emerge on starships. In this case, it seems time was the commodity of choice. "I see," said the captain. "In that case, I believe that I'm the winner, and you're all the losers. Since my department is this ship, you're all to give me those hours in the course of your duties."

    Wilson let out a held breath. "Oh, thank God! I didn't want to have to be at Ariel's beck and call for eight hours."

    "Indeed," said Sovera with a nod. "Although I would have greatly benefitted from assistance in my laboratory, for certain."

    Greg's face contorted into an expression of distaste. "No offense, Doctor, but I'm glad you didn't win."

    "I'm sorry to spoil your fun," replied Leone, "but we're docking at Starbase 310 in a few moments, and I wanted to get you all in the same room to discuss a few things before we take on the rest of our crew."

    The jovial atmosphere within the observation lounge vanished as the captain brought some official business to the table.

    "First, I'm making a change to the senior staff. I've already sent word by subspace to Lieutenant Hunter that his services will no longer be required," said Leone as she settled her gaze upon their acting security chief. "Ariel's made it clear that I would be blind not to realize what an asset you were to us this last week, Wilson. If you want it, the job is yours."

    Wilson nodded as soon as she stopped speaking. "Absolutely, sir. Thank you!"

    "No, Wilson... thank you. You might not have been my first choice, but you are the correct one."

    Greg placed a hand on Wilson's back as he spoke with conviction, "I won't let you down, sir."

    Leone smiled. "I know you won't. Your transfer is made permanent, effective immediately."

    "Congratulations, Willie," Ariel said with a wink.

    Wilson chuckled. "Thank you, Commander."

    "Now that the good news is out of the way, here's some not-so-good news," said the captain. "As you're aware, the means of our return may have skirted a few violations of Starfleet regulations. Namely, the Prime Directive. As all of our official after-action reports required so many additional queries by Starfleet Intelligence, I have been informed that the Office of the Inspector General of Starfleet has directed one of its officers to come aboard as soon as we dock."

    Ariel narrowed her eyes at the news. "You can count on us to protect you, sir."

    "No, that's not what I'm asking, Ariel. I want to make it clear to all of you that you are ordered to cooperate with the investigating officer completely," she said quietly. "If I find out that you lied to protect me, or because you won't stand by and let them tear me down... then you'll find yourself with a transfer order off my ship. And that'll be the last time we see each other."

    Everyone except Sovera looked on in shock at the ultimatum.

    Leone continued, "If there are charges to bring against this crew, it needs to be clear that I will answer for them. As captain, I am alone responsible."

    "We followed your orders, Captain," said Greg as his hand came to lay flat against the table, almost reaching out for her. "You're not alone."

    The captain smiled softly at him. "Thank you, Greg, but the only thing I want to hear from you is acknowledgment of my order." She turned to look at everyone. "From everyone at this table, in fact."

    One by one, each officer complied with the order, albeit reluctantly.

    Except Ariel. She sat within the chair, staring out at the stars rather than look at her friend.

    "Ariel?" prompted Leone.

    Ariel still said nothing. Her gaze never left the viewports.

    "Ariel," Leone tried again in a sterner tone.

    "Krys..." replied Ariel with a shake of her head.

    The captain frowned. "Commander Elannis, I require you to acknowledge my order."

    Ariel looked as though she'd be slapped by Leone's stern tone. "Captain," she said finally, "I cannot, in good conscience, obey your order."

    Leone sighed, defeated. Silence hung within the lounge for long moments as the assembled senior staff traded looks of awkwardness with one another. The captain rose from her seat, seeing the expression of sincerity upon Ariel's face, and did not try to press her order any further. Instead, she left the room with a single word.

    "Dismissed."

    ---- SCENE CHANGE ----

    "What're you working on?" asked Ensign Yvonne Colby, as she tried to read over the shoulder of Ensign Iris Wu. Yvonne finished her shift within the ship's armory, cataloguing the arsenal of weapons for the now-permanent chief of security, Lieutenant Nieves. Farragut docked with Starbase 310 an hour ago, and already new faces began to show up within the ship's lounge within the forward section of deck ten.

    Iris looked up from her table with a grin. "Post-Academy qualifications. I've already completed the first assignment."

    Yvonne wrinkled her nose as she took the seat to the left of her. "Qualifications? You know, when we graduated from Starfleet Academy, there was this slim hope that they would stop assigning me homework."

    "You can take up to two years to finish them."

    "And then what happens if you don't? You just remain an ensign forever?"

    "No, they take away your commission," said Iris with a smirk.

    "No way!"

    "Oh, yes. It's in the handbook. Didn't you read it?"

    Yvonne turned away from Iris, to hide her blush. "I was a little busy trying to figure out how to damage a ship made out of crystal."

    "I was there. I found time."

    "Good for you."

    "All I'm saying is, if you don't pass all twelve of them within two years, you'll be calling me 'sir' for the rest of your career," Iris said, entering in her responses on the padd. "If you pass them within six months, you earn your promotion automatically."

    Yvonne tsked. "I'd better get on the ball, huh?"

    "Good morning, ladies," said engineering Ensign Tommy O'Day as she strode confidently toward them from the entrance. "I see we're finally filling in the ranks around here, eh?"

    Yvonne rolled her eyes, but Iris gave the young man a wide smile. The latter gestured toward one of the two open chairs surrounding the table. "Would you care to join us, Tommy?"

    "Don't mind if I do."

    "And how are things down in engineering?"

    "Busy. We had at least five new people report to engineering within the last fifteen minutes of my shift," replied Tommy. "I love meeting new people."

    "Oh, yeah?" asked Yvonne slyly. "How many of your new people were women?"

    Iris stamped her foot. "Yvonne, be nice!"

    On the heels of her words, the lounge's ambient noise lessened noticeably as three new officers entered. One of the them was the captain, while the other was a male commander and a female lieutenant commander. All heads turned in their direction as they entered. The trio walked to an empty table in the corner and occupied it quickly.

    "Whoa," breathed Yvonne. "If the hunk is our new XO, I think I'm in love."

    Iris agreed with a quiet nod, appreciating the commander's form.

    Tommy sat back into his chair, folded his arms, and frowned.

    ---- SCENE CHANGE ----

    Krystine Leone was in hell. Across from her, wearing a sweet expression she knew to be thin, was Tricia Hargreaves. "I have had the... uh, fortune... of knowing Tricia from a previous assignment," explained the captain as Jesse asked the question into their shared background.

    Hargreaves feigned failing to recollect. "Oh, yes... it was aboard... which ship was that?"

    "The last one you served on," Leone reminded with a grin. "Victory."

    "Right," replied the lieutenant commander, through gritted teeth. "I remember now."

    Jesse watched the mental tennis match between the two officers with a thin smile on his lips. "Well, I would like to get to my duties, sir," he said to Leone. "Should I check in with your acting exec, Commander Elannis?"

    "That would be fine," said Leone with a nod. Her eyes never left Hargreaves, as they stared each other down. "She has the bridge, at present. Please let me know when you've caught up on our mission reports, and-"

    "Oh, I've already read through them, sir. At least, the parts that have been declassified by Starfleet Intelligence," said Jesse quickly. "If you'd like, I can relieve her right now."

    Leone broke off her eye contact with Hargreaves to shoot him an annoyed glance. It softened immediately as the focus of her eyes changed from someone of displeasure to someone who... wasn't. "Very well. Just... try to keep in mind that she's been handling that position with outstanding work. I would appreciate it if you would handle her accordingly."

    "I'll keep that in mind, sir. By your leave?"

    "Of course, Jesse."

    Jesse froze momentarily at being called by his given name. Then again, he knew Leone kept an informal relationship with her officers through some of the scuttlebutt he picked up. The problem was that his reaction to it was automatically negative. "Thank you, sir," he nodded. To Hargreaves, "I'll see you later, Commander."

    "Commander," Hargreaves said with a slight inclination of her head.

    As soon as he left, Leone fixed her gaze on Hargreaves again. "Cut the shit, Trish. Why'd they send you?"

    Hargreaves' expression turned icy, as did her tone, "I prefer to be addressed by my rank, if it's all the same to you."

    "I asked you a question, Lieutenant Commander. Need I remind you of the difference in our rank?"

    "Not at all, Captain. A reminder is not necessary," she replied, every word laced with her menace.

    Leone folded her arms and leaned back against the padded bulkhead. "I'm waiting."

    "I am an investigator with the Inspector General's office, Captain. I am the officer assigned to Starbase 310. I was ordered to conduct this investigation."

    "I would think, with your history, that you might consider passing on the assignment."

    "To recuse myself would be to deprive myself of giving you some payback... with eleven years' interest."

    The captain lowered her voice. "You made a mistake. I corrected it."

    "And in doing so, you sunk my career as a starship officer. I had to transfer to a staff assignment in order to stay in the service, and I ended up being passed over for promotion along with my classmates," hissed Hargreaves, though her tone matched Leone's. "Everyone in my class is either a captain or a commander. I'm the only one still holding a lieutenant commandership within Starfleet."

    Leone narrowed her eyes. "Sometimes, things work out for the best. You were a shitty starship officer."

    "Maybe so, Captain. But it's this shitty officer's hands in which your career now rests. And believe you me... you're in the deepest shit imaginable." Hargreaves shoved herself away from the table forcefully. "If I were you, I'd start packing my things. By the time this ship returns to the Starbase, I will see to it personally that you're dragged off of it in disgrace."

    As she turned to leave, Leone called out, "Commander Hargreaves?"

    Hargreaves turned around, wearing a self-satisfied smile. "You're going to beg me, now?"

    "Not at all. I was merely going to point out that you did not request my leave before departing my presence," said Leone calmly. "As befits protocol."

    The lieutenant commander's expression changed from shock to one of quiet amusement. "Fine. Enjoy it while it lasts, Captain." She nearly curtseyed as she asked, "May I have your permission to leave, now, pretty please?"

    Captain Leone stepped out from behind the table to stand toe-to-toe with the woman. She smiled for the benefit of the crew looking in their direction, and issued her order through clenched teeth. "Get out of my sight, Commander."

    -----------------------

    As promised, some more backstory into Hargreaves' story. And Ariel's refusal to carry out the order has some consequences for her later on.

    Thoughts? Comments? I'm anxious to hear what you think of this turn.

    -- ZC
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2008
  15. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    Between the candle and the flame
    Leone should have gotten that conversation on tape. Hargreaves should be dismissed from this assignment because of her personal bias. Doesn't Starfleet watch for stuff like that when dealing with Internal Affairs?
     
  16. Zefram_Cochrane

    Zefram_Cochrane First Faster Than Light Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    My friend, there is a purpose to everything. :)

    -- ZC
     
  17. Zefram_Cochrane

    Zefram_Cochrane First Faster Than Light Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    Damn the Torpedoes, Part Three is now up at HopeStation.net. :)

    Stay tuned for Act II of Milk Run.

    -- ZC
     
  18. Zefram_Cochrane

    Zefram_Cochrane First Faster Than Light Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    Sorry this took a little longer to write. Work was busy for me yesterday and I was sidetracked by the newest arrival from GameFly. I am so addicted to combat flight simulators on the Xbox 360...

    Anyway, here's Act II of "Milk Run."

    -----------------------------------

    Starfleet Lieutenant Abigail A. Atherton stepped through the airlock leading into the USS Farragut from the Starbase, along with many others looking to board for one reason or another. Since the ship departed the Antares Ship Yards with a little over a hundred of its crew, over seven hundred people awaited its arrival. She looked down the long line and idly wondered if all seven hundred were now trying to board at the same time.

    "I don't think all of them are trying to get on board." The voice came from behind her, and she found it to be soft and comforting. Abigail turned and found herself face to face with another lieutenant, also draped in the peacock blue Starfleet uniform.

    The other lieutenant gave her a warm smile and stared at her with large, brown eyes beneath the feathery-looking black bangs of her hair. "I'm sorry, Lieutenant. It was just difficult to stand behind you and not hear your thoughts."

    "You're Betazoid?"Abigail asked the obvious.

    "Kestral Otex, the new ship's counselor," replied the smiling woman. Abigail's eyes drifted down to take in the rest of her, and

    she noticed that unlike most other Betazoids she'd met in her short career, this one pushed the limits of Starfleet medical regulation. Although her face was lean-looking, her body was out of shape.

    She accepted the counselor's proffered hand and shook it gingerly. "Pleasure to meet you. I'm Abigail Atherton, science officer."

    "But you prefer Abby, right?"

    Having someone read your mind on a whim became unnerving in record time. With a wary tone, Abby replied, "Yeah."

    Kestral offered a guilty expression. "Sorry, it's hard to turn it off."

    "No, it's fine."

    "And lying doesn't help."

    Abby pressed her lips together and regarded Kestrel with a sidelong glance. "It's difficult to deal with telepaths."

    "Just say what's on your mind. And I'll try to filter out the rest."

    "So... are you a doctor?"

    Kestral nodded. "Of Xenopsychology, yes."

    Abby wondered, "Would you prefer to be called 'Doctor?'"

    "If you feel more comfortable with that, sure. But my friends call me 'Kestral,'" the counselor said while she gave a wry grin. "Otherwise, 'Counselor' will do. I haven't been called 'Doctor' since I graduated from university."

    "You joined Starfleet right out of the Academy?"

    "Of course. It was either that or set up private practice on Betazed... or teach, I guess."

    "I couldn't wait to join, either," admitted Abby. "I nearly enlisted, but my father talked me into staying in school and getting my degree so I could become an officer."

    Kestral smiled wistfully. "I'm sorry," she said, reaching out to grab Abby's arm gently. "How long ago?"

    "A year, now," replied Abby without thinking. "I was his youngest daughter, and he was beginning to show signs of Irumodic Syndrome..."

    Kestral said nothing, but nodded her understanding of the rest of the story.

    Abby recalled how her mother told her that her father opted to end of his own life, due to the onset of the debilitating disease. Rather than watch himself deteriorate in front of his family, or bring them pain, he took the family shuttle into space and removed the safeties in order to let the atmosphere leak into the vacuum. "It's been a while since I thought about it."

    "If you need to talk..."

    "I'll be sure to call on you," finished Abby.

    The line for entry began to move a little more briskly as more people were put on the airlock to process visitors to the ship. When Abby reached the front of the line, she saw that everyone was presenting orders to one of the commissioned officers standing within the Farragut side of the airlock.

    A security petty officer first class wearing her long blonde hair in a tight French braid nodded to her. "Welcome aboard, Lieutenant. Are you coming aboard to join?"

    "I am," replied Abby, already digging through her personal items for the padd containing her orders.

    "May I check your orders, please, sir?"

    As soon as the petty officer said it, Abby found the padd and pulled it from the duffel. "Here you are."

    The woman accepted it and scanned the display quickly. "Lieutenant Atherton, I have your name flagged by Commander Kincaid, the executive officer. He would like to see you as soon as possible."

    "Flagged, huh?"

    "Yes, sir."

    "I guess I shouldn't be surprised by that. Thank you, Petty Officer...?"

    "Master-at-Arms First, sir," corrected the woman. "My name is Laurence."

    "Of course," replied Abby with a grin. "Thank you." Time was of the essence for the both of them. As soon as the conversation deemed over, both women immediately turned back to their duty; the petty officer to receiving the next person, and Abby to find the location of Commander Kincaid.

    ---- SCENE CHANGE ----

    The Nebula-class multi-mission heavy cruisers exhibited different color schemes. Every ship within Starfleet made use of the full spectrum of color available to the naked eye to give each ship a sense of identity. Farragut's navy blue carpets carried the standard Starfleet taupe trim that spread out over the curved corridors of the saucer section. Unlike his previous assignment, the Ambassador-class USS Valdemar, the smooth black interface panels ran the length of the corridors in between the upper and lower portions of the bulkhead access covers.

    He fought the temptation to play with the LCARS panel and continued on his way toward the turbolift. With all of the new personnel coming aboard, the wait for the turbolift seemed longer than normal. On any other day, the lift might have arrived much sooner than the minute and a half he spent standing before the doors. Once the doors parted, the lift's car presented a full house, though he managed to squeeze himself in amongst the nearly a dozen people standing inside.

    "Main Bridge," he ordered, adding his destination to the queue. He could have used his new authority to override the queue and have the life take him to his destination, first. The problem with such selfishness, he decided, would be eleven sour opinions of the new executive officer spread out amongst a crew of eight hundred-fifty people. Even on a ship of this size, gossip travels faster than warp speed.

    Instead, he exercised patience and smiled at the people coming off, giving the departing officers a respectful nod as they came abreast of him. He lost track of time when the doors finally parted to reveal the aft stations on the bridge. The crowd parted for him, and he gave them his thanks for doing so before stepping out and leaving them behind.

    The design of the Nebula-class provided the sharing of modules with some of the other, newer classes of ship. The Galaxy-class explorer featured a bridge module similar to this one as he had personally seen aboard the starship USS Odyssey. Though, the Odyssey's colors had been a deep sea green with beige trim. Captain Keogh could be rather demanding that way.

    The standard watch while in port appeared to be maintained, he noted with approval. Three people at the key consoles, with the officer of the deck within earshot in case their attention was required. What was unusual was the chief warrant officer at the tactical station. There were not a whole lot of warrant officers serving within Starfleet, as many opted to attain commissions. He decided to make himself known to that person, as warrants were highly sought-after experts in their designated fields.

    As he stepped down toward the trio of command chairs in the center of the bridge, he noticed a strikingly beautiful woman seated in the center seat. Her two-piece mustard Starfleet uniform managed to obscure a majority of her curves, but not much. He doubted any garment she'd wear could hide her obvious sexuality from anyone with eyes. The two solid and one hollow pip on the right side of the neck told him that she might be the lieutenant commander he wanted.

    "Commander Elannis?" he asked, standing before her.

    Her heterochromatic eyes lifted up from the padd in her hands to peer into his soul. "Yes?"

    He momentarily lost his mental balance as the weight of her attractiveness hit him in full force. He recovered himself as quickly as possible, managing a charming smile of his own. "I'm Commander Jesse Kincaid."

    She knew that before he said; he could tell. Her eyes betrayed her recognition of his features before she returned them to her padd as he introduced himself. "I assume you're here to relieve me of my acting duties?"

    Though her tone suggested joviality, it was clear she held a little resentment at his presence. Their most recent incursion might have been classified, but it was clear that Elannis bonded with the position. Remembering the captain's words, he decided to take a gentle approach. "With your approval, of course," Jesse said with a grin. "I was hoping you could bring me up to speed, first."

    "I am aware that you accessed the declassified logs," she replied, rising from the captain's chair. "I'm sure you're as up to speed as you're going to get."

    No fooling her, he realized. "I suppose that's true."

    "Then I'm ready to be relieved, sir," she said, invoking the traditional phrase.

    "I relieve you, sir," he responded in kind.

    Ariel nodded. "I stand relieved. Computer," she called out, waiting for the acknowledgment sound, "note in the ship's log this Stardate, Commander Kincaid has assumed his position as executive officer."

    The computer's soft feminine voice responded, "Acknowledged."

    She handed over her padd. "Starbase Operations is fitting us with a tactical pod for our upcoming mission. Petra's assigned an engineering team to oversee the installation."

    As he accepted the padd, Jesse recalled the data from memory. "A tactical pod gives us eight torpedo tubes and an additional six phaser banks." His eyes drifted down to the latest ship's status report.

    "Yeah," she responded.

    He bristled at the lack of respect in her tone. There was no 'sir' or even a 'Commander' within her phrase. Captain Leone ran an informal ship, indeed. However, as the executive officer, he would be placed in charge with the overall discipline of the crew. He wouldn't chastise her in front of the other officers, but he made a mental note to bring this up at the next meeting of the senior staff.

    "All right. How long until they're finished?"

    "Three hours, and then another hour for the tactical systems test."

    "Four hours, give or take thirty minutes, I'm sure."

    The doors to the forward turbolift opened and out came Lieutenant Abby Atherton. "I'm sorry I'm late, Commander. I had to wait ages for a turbolift that didn't already have a herd inside..." Her eyes drifted over to Ariel in surprise. "Whoa," she breathed.

    Jesse's eyes lit up at the sight of the science officer. "No problem, Lieutenant. I'm glad that you made it at all." He gestured toward Ariel, "This is Lieutenant Commander Elannis, the ship's chief of operations."

    "Lieutenant Atherton, sir. A pleasure to be working with you," said Abby, extending a hand.

    "Likewise," replied Ariel. They shook hands briefly.

    With a light blush settling on her cheeks, Abby offered a sheepish apology, "Sorry about that just then..."

    The chief warrant officer at the tactical station reported, "Incoming communication from Starbase Ops, sirs."

    Ariel automatically responded, "Thank you, Mister Reynolds. On screen."

    The visage of the Vulcan commanding officer of Starbase 310 appeared upon the screen. The sheer size of the screen made Rear Admiral T'Cirya loom over the bridge as she gave the barest nod and greeted, "Good morning, Commanders."

    "Good morning, sir," replied Jesse quickly, hoping to cut off any response from Ariel. He needed to assert himself quickly. "What can we do for you?"

    "Your mission to join the starship Phoenix on patrol of the border has been rescinded until further notice," T'Cirya informed them, in what was almost a barely perceived tone of apology. "Complete the installation of the tactical pod, and stand by for a new assignment. Please, be sure to inform Captain Leone of this change in orders."

    "Of course, sir," said Jesse, but he got cut off by a question from Ariel.

    "Admiral, is something wrong?"

    "I fear that the preliminary reports from your investigator have abbreviated any tactical assignments for the time being. I am attempting to find more information from Starfleet Command, but there is a subspace delay to contend with."

    Jesse maintained his composure through his shock at the casual discussion being conducted before him. Admirals usually weren't given to entertaining questions from subordinate officers unless they were ranked captain or higher. Having a third-in-command lieutenant commander question the change in orders from such a senior officer was unheard of from his perspective. "Uh, we've taken enough of the admiral's time, Commander," he tried to end the conversation quickly.

    T'Cirya stared at him. "It's all right, Commander Kincaid," she said in a colder tone. "Commander Elannis' question was valid."

    He blanched at the reprisal. "I apologize, sir. I meant no offense."

    Ariel again talked over him. "I let Krys know, Admiral. Would you happen to know if we'll be utilized in any fashion, or are we to be content with cooling our heels in port?"

    "I will find a use for Farragut, Commander, rest assured."

    "Understood, sir."

    The admiral deemed the conversation completed with a simple nod. "T'Cirya, out."

    "I'll go find Krys and let her know," said Ariel as she started for the turbolift.

    "Commander Elannis," called Jesse quickly. When she turned to look at him, he pointed toward the observation lounge with two of his fingers. "A moment of your time, please."

    --------------------------

    Hopefully, a quiet day at work will help get this thing written. We haven't even gotten to the interrogation scenes yet ;)

    -- ZC
     
  19. Gibraltar

    Gibraltar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    Location:
    US Pacific Northwest
    Heh, very nice scene with Kincaid and Ariel. Do my senses mislead me, or can we expect a Riker/Shelby-esque,"...you do an end run around me again, I'll snap you back so hard you'll think you're a first year cadet again."

    This should prove highly entertaining. :devil:
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2008
  20. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    Between the candle and the flame
    What's with the Adm. operating in Vulcan Casual mode? One of those "high-placed friends" of Leone's? I did get a feel of a bustling ship prepping for departure from your prose. Well done.