Tales of the Border Service: "Above and Beyond"

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by TheLoneRedshirt, Mar 17, 2010.

  1. TheLoneRedshirt

    TheLoneRedshirt Commodore Commodore

    May 22, 2007
    Here and now.
    Tales of the Border Service: “Above and Beyond”

    (Note: the character, Lt. Commander Kelendi Nor Huren is the sister of Commander Katari Nor Huren in "Dragon's Slayd")

    Stardate 53836.36 (2 November 2376)
    USS Pamlico NCC-T101
    Sector 04340, Near the Molari Bandlands

    “Okay Sage – try it now!” shouted Lt. Commander Kelendi Nor Huren, C.O. of the buoy tender Pamilco. Nor Huren was wedged awkwardly into a tight crawl-space between a bulky graviton field generator and its adjacent cryogenic coolant pump.

    Chief Petty Officer Sage Anderson shoved the isolinear chip back into its slot. The renewed humming of the coolant pump and subsequent green indicators on the control panel caused her to break out in a grin.

    “That did it, Skipper! Starboard tractor beam is back in service.”

    “Good! I was starting to get a muscle cramp. Now let’s see if I can get out of here!”

    With a few choice Rigellian curses, Nor Huren began the tedious process of extricating her tall frame from the crawl-space. In a few moments, Anderson watched as her C.O. wriggled back through the small access hatch, dragging her tool pouch along behind her. Nor Huren stood and stretched, working the kinks out of her muscles.

    “Thanks, Skipper! I appreciate the help,” said Chief Anderson with gratitude.

    The Rigellian smiled at the strawberry blonde CPO. “No problem, Sage. Maybe the ‘tractors will hold together long enough for us to finish our run.” She wiped oily coolant from her face and onto her grimy cover-alls. “Do me a favor – call the bridge and ask Lt. Tien to take us on to the next buoy. I’m going to get cleaned up.”

    “Will do. Say, Skipper – would you mind giving me a hand checking out the number two impulse manifold tomorrow? She’s running a little hot.”

    Nor Huren grinned. “Sure! Sounds like fun. Beats the dreglorn out of writing reports.”

    Lt. Commander Nor Huren tossed her tool pouch over her shoulder and headed toward a ladder alcove en route to her quarters. Her command, the USS Pamlico, was a converted Oberth-class ship, formerly the USS Gordon Cooper. Mothballed for years by Starfleet, the Border Service acquired the vessel in the 2360s. All of the labs and scientific equipment were stripped out, the weapons and many of the amenities removed, while two heavy graviton beam emitters and storage for subspace and navigational buoys were added, along with the necessary repair bays. Now, the little ship and its crew of 30 spent the days tending to the numerous navigational buoys and subspace relay stations in the Borderlands sector.

    Once in her quarters, Kelendi stripped out of her grungy coveralls and tossed them in the ‘cycler. She took a quick sonic shower before putting on a clean jumpsuit. Looking in the mirror, she ran her fingers through a shock of course, brass-colored hair. Satisfied that no grime remained on her iridescent bronze skin, she paused at the replicator for a cup of hot, spiced Gwynt-ja tea before heading toward the bridge.

    Kelendi Nor Huren was a native of Rigel VII, the least crowded world in the densely populated Rigel system. Although Nor Huren was primarily humanoid in appearance, her skin and exotic yellow-green eyes hinted at her distant reptilian ancestry.

    At an early age, she learned to work with her hands, helping maintain the harvesting equipment that serviced her family’s Bunatma orchards. Strong academic scores helped her earn an appointment to Starfleet Academy, where she majored in engineering. She transferred to the Border Service a few years after graduation – intrigued by the challenge of keeping their fleet of vintage ships in operation. Never one to shrink from a challenge, she jumped at the opportunity to command one of the old buoy tenders, a billet usually seen as a career dead-end. Yet, on the Pamlico, she found her niche: an opportunity to exercise her leadership skills while managing to keep her hands dirty with repair work.

    She loved her job and her little ship.

    Still, there were times that the routine work of locating damaged buoys, tractoring them on board, patching them up and setting them back out, became somewhat tedious. After all, there were just so many things to repair on a buoy. Sometimes she wished that something might happen that would break the routine.

    Something out of the ordinary.

    She should have remembered the old Rigellian proverb, be careful what you wish for.

    * * *

    Lt. Kep Tien stood smartly from the command chair as Lt. Commander Nor Huren stepped onto the bridge. The diminutive Asian woman announced, “Captain on the bridge.”

    “Kep, please stop doing that,” chided Kelendi gently as she settled into the chair. “It’s really not necessary, particularly considering there’s only one other person on the bridge.” She referred to Petty Officer Andrew Pelham, who was grinning to himself as he piloted the Pamlico. He had heard this conversation many times.

    “I’m just following standard procedure,” replied Tien, unperturbed. The executive officer / operations manager handed her C.O. a PADD. “My shift report, Captain. We’re running a bit behind schedule due to the time allotted for the tractor beam repairs. I instructed Mr. Pelham to increase our speed to warp 6 to compensate.”

    Nor Huren overlooked the note of disapproval in Tien’s voice. Tien never liked to be behind schedule. It offended her strict sense of duty. The X.O.’s somewhat obsessive-compulsive behavior is what ultimately landed her on the Pamlico. Tien’s cool demeanor and inflexible by-the-book attitude, while laudable to a degree, tended to irritate her superiors. When she finally got on the nerves of the Captain T'San, the Vulcan C.O. of the USS Growler (no small feat), Admiral Bateson sent her to Nor Huren and the Pamlico.

    For her part, Kelendi Nor Huron was the polar opposite of Lt. Tien. She was tall, out-going, laid-back and rarely gave regulations a second thought. She seldom waved her rank around and called subordinates by their first name. Yet, despite their differences in personality and leadership style, Nor Huron and Lt. Tien worked quite well together. The Rigellian C.O. was probably the closest thing to a friend that Kep Tien had in all of the Border Service.

    “Thanks for keeping us on-schedule, Kep,” said Nor Huron without reading the PADD. “What’s our next pick-up?”

    Lt. Tien refrained from sighing as the requested information was plainly on the screen of the neglected PADD. “A Clarion-class subspace relay is transmitting code Epsilon 773 – a power fluctuation in its reactor.”

    Kelendi grimaced. “Frak!” she muttered, “That’s going to be dicey – those brutes are too big to beam on-board. We’ll need rad suits and limit work crews to two-hour shifts.” She absently ran her fingers through her unruly hair. “The Clarions ought to be replaced outright. That series is older than this ship.”

    “No doubt you are correct, Captain. However, considering our current political context and budgetary constraints, it’s unlikely that a replacement for a series of sub-space relays is high on the priority list.”

    “Maybe not,” conceded the C.O. “but if a few more of those beastly relays go down, we’ll lose subspace communications over a third of the quadrant.”

    * * *

    Three hours later, the Pamlico dropped out of warp near the Molari Badlands and approached the ailing subspace relay.

    “Ahead dead slow, Andy,” ordered Commander Nor Huren. “We don’t want to spook that kludge of a relay into doing something rash.”

    Petty Officer Pelham chuckled and tapped the helm controls. “Aye, Skipper. I’ll try to sneak up on it.”

    The turbo-lift door slid open and CPO Peter McManus stepped onto the bridge. The gray-haired Chief of the Boat paused to consider the massive relay station that filled the viewscreen. He shifted his gaze to the C.O.

    “Och, please tell me its nae the reactor,” he said in a thick, Scottish brogue.

    Nor Huren gave the veteran NCO an apologetic smile. “Sorry Pete.”

    “Bollocks!” he muttered as he moved around to what had once been the tactical station, and now housed the tractor beam controls. He settled his ample frame into the chair, which squeaked in protest.

    Peter McManus would never win any beauty contests. Gray, close-cropped hair covered a large head that had seen its share of fights. His nose was misshapen from being broken numerous times, and his ears were too small for his skull. Muddy brown eyes peered from under a prominent brow. His weight was a tad beyond the acceptable range for the Border Service. At one time, McManus had held the coveted rank of Master Chief Petty Officer, but a fiery temper coupled with a propensity for heavy drink and brawling had seen him busted back to CPO. Only the recent war and his impressive list of citations for bravery had allowed him to remain in the service. Banished from cutter duty, he was destined to finish out his career on the Pamlico. Still, McManus was grateful for what he saw as a second chance, and had worked hard on the tender. He liked Commander Nor Huren, who he saw as a no-nonsense, hands-on C.O. For her part, Nor Huren was glad to have the Chief’s experience and ability to deal effectively with the few enlisted crew members.

    As the Pamlico began its approach to the malfunctioning subspace relay, Andy Pelham gave a sudden double-take at his instruments and tensed visibly. The proximity warning light was flashing for attention.

    “Uh, Skipper? I’m reading another ship in close proximity to the relay.”

    Nor Huren leaned forward in the command chair, her gaze now fixed intently on the screen. “Kep – see if you can get an I.D. on that vessel.”

    “Scanning now.” Lt. Tien tuned the Pamlico’s scanners toward the mystery ship.

    “Andy, why didn’t we pick up that ship sooner?” Nor Huren’s voice was even but there was a hint of rebuke in her tone.

    “Sorry ma’am. It was hiding directly behind the relay – it didn’t show up until I began a slight turn to starboard for final approach.”

    The Commander nodded, more to herself than to the young helmsman. “Kep? Anything?”

    “Running scan through the ship registry database now. We should be able to get a visual.”

    “Maximum magnification on viewscreen,” ordered Nor Huren.

    The image shifted to reveal even more of the massive Clarion –class relay hanging in space. It was mostly in shadow, backlit by the Molari Badlands a few light years distant. And, sure enough, another ship was holding station practically on top of the relay.

    The ship was not large, smaller in fact than Pamlico, and was of a simple wedge-shaped design. It was a dingy brown color, with streaks of orange and gray streaming behind vent ports. In short, it was an ugly little ship.

    “Doesn’t look too dangerous,” commented Pelham from the helm.

    “Looks can be deceiving, Andy,” replied the Commander, dryly. “Kep? I’m not getting any younger – tell me about that ship, please.”

    “I have it now,” replied Tien. “Pakled vessel, registered as the Kordon. 35 thousand ton transport, typically unarmed.”

    “Typically?” asked Nor Huren, sparing an incredulous glance at her X.O.

    “The Pakled are notorious for avoiding safety inspections,” replied Tien. Her tone indicated she thought this a more serious offense than if the ship had been armed to the teeth. “Without an inspection, we cannot know if they are in legal compliance with interstellar commerce statutes.”

    “I suppose not,” replied Nor Huren, suppressing a sarcastic response.

    Chief McManus glowered at the Pakled ship. “What I want to know, is what they’re playin’ at and why they’re lurkin’ aboot one ‘o our relays?”

    “My question as well, Pete. Kep? Hail them, please.”

    “Aye, sir. Channel open.”

    Nor Huren crossed her legs and forced a friendly expression on her face – though truth be told, she couldn’t recall what comprised ‘friendly’ for a Pakled.

    “Pakled vessel, this is the USS Pamlico of the Federation Border Service. Do you require assistance?”

    A minute went by without a response. Nor Huren pursed her lips and was about to order Lt. Tien to try again when the screen shifted to the interior of the Pakled vessel.

    No better looking on the inside than on the outside, thought the Commander. The bridge of the small transport was dimly lit, revealing dingy brown control stations that appeared cobbled together from a variety of technologies.

    Three Pakled stood staring at the viewscreen. They were as dingy as their ship, wearing formless brown coveralls. All wore rather dull expressions on their round faces, their vertical bushy eyebrows gave the impression of perpetual sadness.

    “We are Pakled,” the one on the left said emphatically. Certainly, it lacked the effect of "We are the Borg," but it conveyed a certain cockiness. Nor Huren suppressed a smile.

    “Yes, we know. I am Lt. Commander Kelendi Nor Huren, in command of the Pamlico. Your ship is, ah, rather close to one of our subspace relays. We were wondering if you were in distress?”

    “No.” replied the Pakled spokesman, before closing the channel.

    Nor Huren was again greeted with a view of the subspace relay and the exterior of the Pakled vessel. She blinked in surprise. Andy Pelham snickered.

    “Not very conversational, are they?” Pelham opined.

    Nor Huren stood and crossed her arms. “Mind your station, Andy. Kep? One more time, if you please.”

    The delay was shorter this time. Once more, they were greeted with the rather dull faces of the Pakled.

    “We are Pakled . . .” began the spokesman.

    “Yes, we got that. What is your name, please?” queried the Commander. The smile on her face was becoming strained.

    “I am Nogborstek,” he replied, blinking slowly.

    “Pleased to meet you,” interjected Nor Huren, quickly. She wanted to keep the conversation going, lest their reticent trespassers cut the channel again. “I must advise you, your ship has violated the exclusionary zone of our subspace relay. Please navigate to at least 50,000 kilometers distant – then we can continue our chat.”

    Nogborstek blinked then turned back to his compatriots. He turned once more to Nor Huren.

    “We are Pakled. We find things.”

    The Commander felt a slight twitch settle in near her left eye. “I’m sure you do. However, I must insist you move your ship away from the relay. Now.” The smile remained but her voice was tight.

    “We found this. It has cold stuff. We need cold stuff.” The Pakled said this as if it were the most obvious thing in the universe.

    Nor Huren frowned in puzzlement, “Cold stuff? What do . . .” Sudden realization hit her and she felt a cold knot in her stomach. “Nogborstek – are you taking coolant from the reactor?”

    “We need cold stuff.”

    The Commander heard Chief McManus swear. She couldn’t blame him. If the Pakled continued to siphon off coolant from the old reactor on the relay station, it would over-heat. The best case scenario would be a total shut-down of the relay. But considering the age of the old Clarion, she wondered if all the safeties still functioned properly. There original purpose in coming out here was to perform upgrades to the obsolete systems.

    If the safeties failed, the reactor would detonate. At this range, their shields would not help.

    “Nogborstek – we will be glad to supply you with cryo . . . with ‘cold stuff.’ But I must insist you stop taking it from the relay – immediately!”

    “Captain!” interrupted Lt. Tien from Ops, “I’m reading a critical spike in the reactor’s temperature.”

    Too late! thought Nor Huren. “Kep! Are there any Pakled on the relay?”

    “Negative. All the Pakled are on their ship.”

    She turned back to the main viewscreen. “Nogborstek! Get away from the relay station immediately! The reactor may go critical and explode – for your own safety, move your ship away!”

    The Pakled dull face took on a surprisingly calculating expression. “You can’t fool us. We found it first. You want to take it away. We are Pakled – we are smart!”

    “You’ll be dead if that that reactor goes!”

    Nogborstek cut the channel.

    “Frak!” muttered Nor Huren. “Pete! Get a tractor on that Pakled ship. I don’t care if you pull the paint off, but we’ve got to get their stubborn asses out of here!”
    “Aye! It’s as good as done.” McManus turned to the tractor beam controls. Nor Huren turned back to Lt. Tien.

    “How much time until the reactor goes critical?”

    Tien frowned and checked her board, running calculations. “At the current rate of pressure build-up, no more than 22 minutes.”

    The Rigellian C.O. paused in thought. “That should be just enough time.” She tapped her combadge. “Nor Huren to Chief Anderson.”

    Anderson. Go ahead, Skipper.”

    Nor Huren was moving toward the turbo-lift. “Sage - meet me in transporter room one - bring your tools and two rad suits. We’ve got a runaway reactor to bring under control.”

    Sage responded with a hushed, “On my way.”

    Lt. Tien stood from her station. “Captain! You can’t be serious!”

    “You have the bridge, Kep. Keep a transporter lock on us and be ready to pull us off in 20 minutes. Andy, as soon as Sage and I are back on board, be ready to jump to warp.”

    Chief McManus turned. “Cap’n – I’ve got a firm lock on yon wee ship. Got them caught tighter than a Ferengi’s purse.”

    “Well done, Pete. Wish us luck!”

    * * *
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2010
  2. TheLoneRedshirt

    TheLoneRedshirt Commodore Commodore

    May 22, 2007
    Here and now.
    Lt. Commander Nor Huren and Chief Anderson materialized on board the subspace relay. They stood on a catwalk of metal grating surrounding the old reactor. Yellow strobe lights flashed an ominous warning. Even inside their protective suits they could feel heat.

    “Sage – we’ve got to find the safeties and activate the manual overrides. If we can’t initiate shut-down, we need to vent the reactor vessel to space – zero degrees Kelvin should be enough to cool things down.”

    Anderson’s eyes were wide but she nodded in acknowledgement. The glow from her interior helmet lights made her look very young and very scared. “Understood,” she said in a strained tone.

    Nor Huren pointed to a bank of controls on the curved wall of the relay station. “Start over there – see if you can get diagnostics running. Maybe there’s a simple computer glitch. I’m heading up top – give me the tool bag.”

    Anderson complied then turned to move to the control panel.

    “Hey, Sage!”

    Anderson turned.

    Nor Huren tapped the suit’s wrist chronometer. “Fifteen minutes – then we’re out of here. Got it?”

    Sage Anderson lifted a thumb. Nor Huren returned the gesture, then began ascending the ladder. She tried to ignore the trickle of sweat that stung her eyes.

    “Warning,” announced the suit’s on-board computer. “Radiation levels increasing to dangerous levels. This suit will provide protection for 12 minutes, 23 seconds before levels become lethal.”

    “Shut the frak up,” growled Nor Huren.

    * * *

    Nor Huren was nearly out of breath when she reached the top of the ladder. The bulky rad suit, combined with the growing heat served to sap her energy.

    Anderson to Commander Nor Huren.”

    “Go ahead, Sage.”

    “No luck, Skipper. I can’t get the automated controls back on-line. You’ll have to shut it down manually.”

    “Acknowledged. Thanks for trying, Sage.”

    “I’m coming up to help.”

    “Negative. No time for that. Beam back over to the Pamlico.

    “But . . .”

    “NOW, Chief! Don’t argue – get your ass off this relay.”

    “Aye sir. Be careful!”

    Nor Huren merely nodded in reply. Her strength was waning. She looked around and caught sight of her goal – a yellow and black box mounted on the relay’s hull.

    It took several attempts before the balky cover would open. She cast it aside and peered into the box.

    The handle for the over-ride pump was missing. A note was left, the words almost illegible. She could make out – “handle broken” and “replacement ordered.” At the bottom, the name was smeared, but she could read, “USS Evergreen.

    She didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. At some point, over a century ago, some other Border Dog had left a note for her. Apparently, the replacement part was still on back-order.

    She quickly checked the tool kit. Rummaging though it, she found a prybar with a tapered end. Grabbing it, she jammed it into the slot for the missing handle. Not a perfect fit, but it would have to do.

    She began to work the prybar up and down. It lacked the length of the appropriate handle and thus provided little leverage. Gritting her teeth, Nor Huren gamely pushed the prybar up, then down.

    “Ten minutes until radiation reaches lethal level,” announced the suit computer, calmly.

    She let out a string of Rigellian curses, disparaging the ancestors of the Pakled, the designers of the reactor, the long-dead crewman who left the note, and the suit’s computer. It made her feel a little better.

    The heat was beginning to get to her. Her vision was getting blurry and she felt dizzy. Still, she continued to move the prybar up. Then down. Up. Down.

    It felt like an eternity. Her mind wandered, though she continued cranking the manual override. She thought about her triplet sisters – one now dead. She thought of the fragrant Bunatma orchards back home on Rigel VII. She thought of her child-hood pet, Z’chrr – the winged cat that loved to glide from trees and land on her shoulder. She thought of Zh’gon Rulin and wondered why in the seven hells he had broken up with her?

    The last thought spurred a reserve of strength she didn’t know she had. With a guttural scream, she increased the rate of her pumping. Down, up, down, up, do . . .”

    A klaxon began to blare and now blue strobe lights began to flash, dazzling her momentarily. Another computer voice, this one mono-tone and vastly amplified, began to thunder:

    Emergency shut-down commencing. Emergency shut-down commencing. Battery back-up is on-line. Battery back-up is on-line.”

    “About . . . frakking . . . time,” gasped Nor Huren as she slid to the grated deck and tossed the pry bar aside with a metallic clatter.

    * * *
    Stardate 53836.91 (2 November 2376)
    USS Pamlico NCC-T101
    Sector 04340, En route to Star Station Echo

    Lt. Commander Nor Huren leaned back in her desk chair and sipped a cup of tea as Admiral Morgan Bateson grinned at her across subspace.

    “Well Kelendi, seems you’ve had an interesting run.”

    She nodded. “Interesting hardly describes it sir. Terrifying is more like it.”

    “All’s well that end’s well as the old saying goes.” His expression became more somber. “But that was a foolish stunt you pulled, Commander. Brave as hell, but foolish.”

    Nor Huren shrugged – a gesture she picked up long ago from her human friends. “Maybe so, Admiral. But if we had lost that relay . . .”

    “We would have replaced it with another one,” interrupted Bateson. “Commander . . . relays are replaceable. You on the other hand . . .”

    “With all due respect, sir. Isn’t our creedo, ‘we have to go out – we don’t have to go back.”

    “That may be true when you’re saving lives, Commander. Not when you’re trying to salvage an obsolete subspace relay.”

    “Admiral – my ship’s job is to tend to those ‘obsolete relays.’ I take my job seriously.”

    Bateson allowed himself a chuckle. “You do at that, Commander. I suppose since you managed not to kill yourself I ought to add a commendation to your file – and I will, BUT! If you ever pull a dangerous stunt like that again, the biggest ship you’ll command will be a run-about. Clear?”

    “Loud and, sir.”Nor Huren took a sip of tea to hide a smile. She knew Bateson wasn’t mad but he had to give a decent show of bluster.

    Bateson seemed to read her thoughts. “Kelendi, I’m serious – you, your crew – they’re more important than all the relays and buoys in the Borderlands. Think about that, okay?”

    She nodded, feeling somewhat chagrined. “Yes sir. I will. What about the Pakled we have in tow. What will happen to them?”

    “The usual. They’re not Federation citizens, so the diplomatic corps. will express their ‘concern’ over the ‘misunderstanding.’ They’ll pat them on their heads, top off their cryo-tanks, and send them on their way. I just hope they can ‘find things’ in some other sector, next time.”

    “You and me both, sir.”

    Bateson nodded. “Get some rest, Commander – you look all in. I suppose I need to work on your commendation – how ‘bout ‘relay repair above and beyond the call of duty?’”

    Nor Huren snorted. “Could we just forget the whole thing, Admiral?”

    “Nonsense! I may recommend you for the order of the pry-bar, first class.”

    She rolled her eyes. “Message received, sir. I promise to behave.”

    Bateson guffawed. “Suuure you do. Come see me when you get to Echo and I’ll buy you a cup of coffee. Bring that note you found – I may remember the scoundrel from Evergreen that left it.”

    “You got it, sir,” she replied, stifling a yawn.

    The Admiral smiled. “Later, then. Bateson, out.”

    Nor Huren stood and stretched. Her shoulder was still sore from pumping the prybar. A rueful smile formed on her face as she thought back to earlier in the day when she had wished for some excitement. She turned to her bunk and fell backward on it in a sprawl.

    “Be careful what you wish for,” she murmured, as her eyes closed and she surrendered to sleep.

    Last edited: Mar 17, 2010
  3. The Badger

    The Badger Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Dec 11, 2008
    Im in ur Tardis, violating ur canon.
    A marvelously well written and entertaining piece. Despite it's short length, the characterization is excellent.
  4. CeJay

    CeJay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Feb 5, 2006
    Oh this was awesome. I love to read about scruffy border dogs who don't get to share in all the glory and excitement of their regular fleet colleagues. Even though if Kelendi looks anything like her sister, scruffy is probably the last thing you would wanna call her.

    And I know you've got a lot of stories going but now I really yearn for more Pamlico adventures. Maybe they could make an appearance in another story? I would certainly like to meet Nor Huren again.

    Well done!
  5. Count Zero

    Count Zero No nation but procrastination Moderator

    Mar 19, 2005
    European Union
    A nice little story. Loved the bit with the note left where the handle used to be. :lol: I agree with Bateson, though, that Nor Huren took too much of a risk here.
    I have one minor complaint, though: there isn't 0° Kelvin anywhere. It's impossible to reach that point. You can get infinitely close to it under lab conditions but it's a theoretical starting point of that temperature scale. In space, it's always 'warmer' than that, depending on how much matter is around. There's always at least the background radiation, which keeps things at a cosy 3° Kelvin. That's actually a good thing because close to 0° you get very curious effects like superfluidity and superconductivity.
  6. TrekkieMonster

    TrekkieMonster Commodore Commodore

    Jul 9, 2001
    The Hub of the Universe
    Nicely done ..., as always. I loved getting this little sneak peek into the lives of other members of the Border Service. I continue to be amazed at how, in just a few short pages, you can flesh out these characters and their lives so that, by the end, we truly feel like we know them.

    And I have to say again, it's amazing to me how you've taken a character who had maybe half a dozen lines of dialogue in one episode and fleshed him out into a full, complex and completely believable character. That would be Bateson. Among other things, your word choices in his dialogue are spot on. Every time I read him, I can clearly see and hear Kelsey Grammer in that role.

    Thanks again for another fun glimpse into the future. :techman:
  7. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 5, 2007
    Between the candle and the flame
    Ah, vintage Red Shirt-even if it is new! A great story-and , you know, you left me curious-I'd like to see the scene where Bateson reads the note left behind...

    for the record, the opening of the story I'm writing for the Challenge this month opens in a similar fashion to this-but I already had it written when I read this, ok?;)
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2010
  8. BrotherBenny

    BrotherBenny Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Aug 3, 2005
    I loved it, but I have a question. What "grated deck" did she slump onto and where was the "aside" that she tossed the prybar, i thought she was in a rad suit in the vacuum?
  9. TheLoneRedshirt

    TheLoneRedshirt Commodore Commodore

    May 22, 2007
    Here and now.
    Thanks for the comments - I enjoyed writing this.

    Badger - Thank you, I had fun with these characters.

    Cejay - Yes, you will likely see more of the Pamlico. Their first appearance was a cameo in the Bluefin story, "Stand-off!" I'm trying to flesh-out some of the other Border Service crews in short-story form.

    Count Zero - Nor Huren was under quite a bit of stress and not overly concerned about 3 degrees Kelvin. If Lt. Tien had been with them, no doubt she would have pointed out the Commander's error. ;) Glad you liked the story.

    TrekkieMonster - Thanks, I try to keep Kelsey Grammar in mind when writing Bateson. Watching all those episodes of Frasier probably helped. :lol:

    Mistral - Unfortunately, the note was too deteriorated to identify the Evergreen crewman. Ensign Bateson knew several of them and the Admiral may have an idea who would have pulled such a stunt back in the 23rd century.

    BrotherBenny - Nor Huren and Sage Anderson were inside the relay (it's rather large). It has a sustainable (though likely stale) atmosphere for the infrequent maintenance crews. The rad suits were for radiation protection, not vacuum.
  10. Galen4

    Galen4 Commander Red Shirt

    Oct 27, 2007
    Sol III, within the universe of United Trek
    Great piece! Can't wait to read more border stories.
    For the record, Bateson was correct: Huren should not have risked her life for a relay station, in my view.
    And speaking of Bateson, I agree you nailed the character! I always likes this guy and I'm happy to see him kicking around the UT universe.
  11. mirandafave

    mirandafave Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Apr 26, 2008
    Terrific border dog world building. I love how not only do we get great expansion on characters only briefly met before such as Nor and of course that great recurring Bluefin figure of Bateson; but it the large canvas that is painted of life amid the grimier less glamorous aspects of life in the Fleet. Maintaining buoys is hardly headline worthy stuff but you prove it can be a thrilling read and a great character piece. Look forward to more such exploration of Border Cutter crews.
  12. TheLoneRedshirt

    TheLoneRedshirt Commodore Commodore

    May 22, 2007
    Here and now.
    Galen4 - Thanks you! Yes, Lt. Commander Nor Huren needs to get her priorities in order. Will she heed Admiral Bateson's counsel? . . . :shrug:

    MirandaFave - Thanks! I enjoy writing about the grubbier side of 24th century life. ;)
  13. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Nov 18, 2005
    Very entertaining story. I echo everyone else's compliments. In a short space, you created some pretty interesting characters. I liked what you did with the Pakled too. Very much in character from what we've seen from them on TNG.
  14. BrotherBenny

    BrotherBenny Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Aug 3, 2005
    [Pakled]I like written things[/Pakled]