UNEXPECTED

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Sgt_G, Mar 22, 2020.

  1. Sgt_G

    Sgt_G Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
    Location:
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    This is another in a series of stories I'm writing based on the Federation Police Force. Think of them as to Star Fleet as the Coast Guard is to the US Navy. The era is TOS, after BALANCE OF TERROR and before ERRAND OF MERCY.

    At this point of my writing, there is a Police Cutter scheduled to go back into service after spending a year in mothballs (due to battle damage), so I'm still introducing crew members and how they got assigned to the ship.
     
  2. Sgt_G

    Sgt_G Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
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    Location:
    USA
    UNEXPECTED

    T’Fae dutifully met her husband of 45 years at the door. One look told her Stoan led his troops though the obstacle course again. His police tactical uniform was ripped and torn and covered in dirt and mud. His rank insignia for Senior Chief Master-at-Arms was missing. He reached up with two fingers extended; she place an open hand on his chest. “You are not walking through this house like that,” she ordered. “Go through the back door and straight to the shower.”

    “As you wish,” he replied, wisely not trying to argue that the cleaning bots would take care of the floors. He walked to the rear of the house with its fenced yard. After all the time he had spent with humans, he still did not understand the logic of what they did sometimes. The previous occupant built the dwelling outside of the town, well away from the nearest neighbor, and then promptly installed a privacy fence. Stoan peeled his uniform off and inspected the damage. It was beyond mending, so he deposited it in the recycle bin. A cleaning bot took his boots away.

    Wearing the bare minimum to protect his modesty, he entered the house and walked straight to the master bedroom. T’Fae was laying a fresh set of clothes on the bed for him. “That is most thoughtful,” he commented as he stepped into the shower. She looked at him and raise one eyebrow. Theirs was an arranged marriage, yet she could appreciate that he was a superior specimen of the Vulcan male, and at 68 years of age was still in the prime of his life. She disrobed and joined him in the shower.

    “That was unexpected,” Stoan commented as they were getting dressed.

    His wife replied simply, “I presumed you needed help scrubbing your back.”

    “Ah, very thoughtful,” he gave his wife a sideways glance. “And the rest?”

    “Speaking of unexpected,” she changed the subject, “we received messages from two of our children today. T’Sing sent an announcement that she is expecting another child. The last part of the message was rather strange; she said that they don’t need anything for the baby. I fail to understand what she meant by that.”

    “I would suspect she sent the message to a group of people, including her colleagues some of whom are humans. There is an Earth custom called a ‘baby shower’ where friends and family will give gifts to expectant mothers, to help defray the costs of a newborn.”

    “Both thoughtful and logical,” T’Fae nodded. “Shaw left a message requesting that I call him, which I did just before you came home. He is traveling to Vulcan with a young lady, with plans to meet with her family and ask for their blessing to court and possibly marry.”

    “That is another Earth custom, although one that seems to have fallen out of favor among humans,” Stoan said.

    “Yes, I know,” T’Fae rejoined, “and it is becoming more popular on Vulcan as our people move away from arranged marriages. It is a most logical system. I haven’t met Shaw’s intended, other than the short conversation today via video-comms, but I do know of her family. They are well respected, and her older siblings appear to have prospered. I offered my approval and wished them good fortune.”

    Stoan turned to his wife, “As always, I trust and defer to your judgement on such matters.”

    A chime sounded in the other room indicating an incoming message. Stoan walked to his small office and activated the comm unit. Lieutenant Commander Debra Estrada’s face appeared. “I apologize for the after-hours call, Senior Chief, but I just received a message. Your presence is requested and required on Star Base by noon tomorrow. I tried to delay it for a day or two, but they were adamant. Given the flight time, you’ll need to catch the red-eye tonight.”

    “I shall comply,” Stoan answered. “May I presume I am to report to Captain Bell? He has been trying to talk me into moving to District HQ.”

    “No, Senior Chief. The order came from Star Fleet,” Estrada explained. She took a deep breath and continued. “Look, I don’t know what’s going on, but whatever it is, I don’t think you’re going to like it. I sure don’t. They asked, insisted, that you bring your wife and family. There are five other Vulcans on planet right now, and they have all been called to Star Base as well.”

    Stoan absorbed this information. “I could speculate, Ma’am. If I am correct, please consider Chief Varco as my interim replacement. Please excuse me; I must go and inform my family.”

    Estrada nodded, understanding what he meant. “In case we don’t get a chance to speak again, it’s been nice working with you, Senior Chief. I know we butted heads at first, but I learned a lot from you.”

    “If I may be blunt, Ma’am ...”

    “You always are.”

    “It is true, I did not believe, at first, that you were the right person for the job. I did not think you had it in you to command effectively. You proved me wrong.”

    “No, you were right; I wasn’t fit for the job. You made me a better leader, a better person. I thank you for that.”

    “I am grateful that I was able to provide some small measure of assistance.” Stoan lifted his hand in a V-shaped salute. “Live long and prosper, Lieutenant Commander.”

    “Likewise to you and your family, Senior Chief.” The screen went dark.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
     
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  3. Sgt_G

    Sgt_G Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
    Location:
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    The express ship arrived at Star Base Twelve with time to spare, and was met by four Star Fleet security personnel who led the Vulcans to a waiting room. They were offered refreshments but no explanation about the situation. Besides Stoan, there were two other Vulcans from the Sebelia Police Station, one a forensics technician and the other the commander’s administrative yeoman. Another Vulcan from the planet was a Star Fleet medical officer, and the last two were civilian merchants. Stoan and T’Fae had three of their children with them, of course, and the merchants had two offspring.

    Several minutes passed, and eight more adult Vulcans were ushered into the room, along with four more Vulcan children. A female Star Fleet ensign entered the room. “Perhaps the children would be more comfortable in the recreation center. We have games and videos and computer terminals.” The parents agreed but only if T’Fae and two of the other mothers could accompany them.

    Before leaving, T’Fae asked, “Do you know what’s going on?”

    “I do not, and even if I did, I doubt I’d be allowed to say,” the ensign answered apologetically. Her PADD beeped softly; she looked at it and said, “The rest of your group is arriving now.” She escorted the mothers and children from the room.

    The security personnel returned and led the Vulcans to a nearby auditorium where several more Vulcans were already seated. Three more Vulcans, all three Star Fleet officers, entered after Stoan and the others took their seats. Two wore medical badges, and the last was in a blue science officer’s uniform. The stripes on his sleeve denoted that he was a full Commander, so Stoan instantly knew who he was. He took a seat in the second row, confirming he wasn’t to be the one who would brief them.

    Stoan’s PADD beeped softly, indicating an incoming message. He looked at the screen. How strange. The name on the message was someone he hadn’t spoken to in years, someone he thought he’d never hear from again.

    Twenty seconds later, three men, all humans or at least near-human, entered the room. The first was an enlisted yeoman, the second was in civilian attire with a Federation Diplomatic Corps pin on his lapel, and the third was a Star Fleet Lieutenant Commander in a command-gold uniform.

    “Good afternoon. I am Commander Gallo, and this is Mr. Blake.” He didn’t bother to introduce the yeoman. “We have been sent here by the Federation Assembly. There is concern amongst some members of the government, given recent events, with your continued presence in this region of space.”

    The commander in the second row interrupted, “If by ‘recent events’ you mean the war we just fought against the Romulans and the revelation that they are related, distantly, to Vulcans, there is ample evidence that we Vulcans are nothing like our Romulan ‘cousins’ and thus pose no danger to the Federation. The initial suspicion was understandable, even logical, but it was my understanding that such fears have already been addressed.”

    The interruption caught Gallo by surprise. “Yes, well, be that as it may, said assurances have not completely erased doubts for many, to include those at the highest levels of government. Therefore,” he motioned for the yeoman to begin handing out hard-copy pamphlets, “the president has signed travel restriction orders. It’s only temporary.”

    “Temporary things have a habit of becoming permanent,” the officer in the second row retorted.

    Stoan scanned the document in his hand. It required all Vulcans to immediately exit the region along the Romulan neutral zone within twenty-five hundred parsecs of the border. A provision allowed five days to close out ones affairs, all the while being escorted by Star Fleet security personnel. The travel ban was set for ninety days, with a provision to extend it ‘if security threats still exist’. There were other requirements, such as checking in at one of several specified Star Fleet facilities.

    Stoan looked at Gallo and flatly stated, “I find all of this to be rather insulting.”

    “Well, that was an emotional response,” Gallo quipped.

    “One need not have nor display emotions to know when an insult is offered,” Stoan countered. “I have served in one uniform or another longer then you have been alive, Commander. How would you react if I were to question your loyalty after so many years of faithful service?”

    Before Gallo could answer, one of the medical personnel spoke. “If the fear is that one or more of us might be a Romulan masquerading as a Vulcan, my colleagues and I were sent here to examine the evidence and attempt to develop a methodology to determine one’s true ethnicity, be it Vulcan or Romulan. These orders are a direct contradiction to our mission. What is that saying, the one about the left hand not knowing what the right is doing?”

    Gallo and Blake conferred for a few minutes. Finally, Gallo informed them, “I’ll have to verify your orders, but I believe we can request an exemption for your team.” The yeoman handed three pamphlets to Blake. Gallo looked at him and asked, “Are we missing someone?”

    “Yes, sir. The Hiawatha, a destroyer, hasn’t reported in yet. There are three Vulcans assigned to her crew.”

    Stoan’s PADD beeped; the screen indicating another message from the same person. He stood up, preparing to leave the room. “I haven’t dismissed you yet, Chief,” Gallo snapped.

    “The title is Senior Chief, sir, and the thing about not being in Star Fleet is I don’t answer to you. We have all the information right here, yes?” he waved the pamphlet. “What more is there to tell us?” Gallo didn’t say anything. Stoan held up his PADD, “I have an important call I must take. Police business.” He turned to walk out of the room, stopped and turned around. “Tell me, Commander, has the Vulcan High Council been notified of these developments? Or at least the Vulcan ambassador to the Federation?”

    “Not as of yet,” Mr. Blake replied. “They will be apprised once we have contacted all Vulcans in the restricted zone.”

    Stoan glanced across the room and suppressed a desire to smile. “I suspect they will be informed within the hour.”

    The Star Fleet science officer stood and began walking towards the door. Gallo stepped halfway in front of him and repeated, “I haven’t dismissed any of you yet.”

    The science officer looked at him sternly and raised one eyebrow. “You forget your place, Lieutenant Commander.” He added a hint of emphasis on the word ‘Lieutenant’. Stoan stepped aside to allow him to exit first, and then followed him out. The rest of the audience also stood and filed defiantly out of the room, leaving Gallo and Blake in stunned disbelief.
     
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  4. Sgt_G

    Sgt_G Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Stoan used his PADD to message his wife. He suggested she make lodging arrangements for the night. He made his way to the on-base police station. He showed his credentials and requested access to a communication station. Chief Boatswain’s Mate Arnold Graff offered the use of his private office.

    Stoan placed a call to Police Station Cygnus. The first attempt indicated a time-delay of over five minutes. A second attempt said the delay would be nearly half an hour. The third attempt failed to connect at all, as did the fourth. Finally, the fifth attempt connected with a fifteen second delay. It wasn’t ideal, but Stoan figured it was probably the best he could hope for, given the distance and number of relays the signal had to travel.

    After the initial delay, a face appeared on the screen, a blue-skinned policeman named Senior Chief Thrace. The Andorian placed his left hand on his chest and leaned forward in a little bow. “Greetings, my old friend. I trust you are well. Please do pass on my regards to your wife and family. I heard you refused to allow your commander to put you in for Master Chief. Again. You cannot avoid it forever, my friend. I know, I know, get to the point. Remember how I said I’d like to be able to handpick our entire team? Well, such an opportunity has come up, to build not just a Tac-Team but also the entire ship’s crew. Alas, with my family obligations, I am unable to take advantage of it. I thought, perhaps, you would welcome the prospect.” He sat back and sipped a cup of Andorian tea, obviously waiting for the time-delay response.

    Stoan tilted his head forward to return the bow. “Greetings. I admit I am surprised to hear you call me ‘old friend’, considering how things ended the last time we spoke. Yes, I am well, and my family continues to prosper. In fact, I just received word my daughter is expecting another child. Speaking of family, I had understood you were tied to Andor to fulfill obligations to your family. I do not understand why you are on Cygnus. As to Master Chief, there is a human saying about pots and kettles, old friend, pots and kettles. I am intrigued by the scenario you spoke of. The timing could not be more fortuitous, for it appears that I may be available for an immediate transfer. Please, do tell me more.”

    Stoan waited a full thirty seconds for the signal to make the round trip with the reply. “I am here as part of the IG team on a routine readiness assessment,” Thrace explained. “This duty affords me with a welcome distraction from ... my domestic concerns. My team leader, Lieutenant Devon, was contacted and asked to serve as the operations officer on a patrol cutter. It will be assigned to the Third District. The ship’s captain will be Commander Robert Weatherford. I know him from ten years ago when he was a staff officer at HQ. He has selected a man named Dennis Hammerstrom as his second. I only know of his reputation. There are ... conflicting stories about him. As to the ship’s crew, Lieutenant Devon told me HQ will open it up to volunteers next week. Ergo, if there are people you want in the crew, you call them and ask them to apply, and then you approve those you want first. Commander Weatherford wants to fill the Chief of the Boat slot before the official announcement is made.” He raised his teacup in a salute, an unspoken suggestion that Senior Chief Stoan should be that COB.

    Stoan nodded. “Yes, this is very intriguing. I have heard the name Weatherford before. What sort of impression did he give you? How hands-on will he be? Should I be concerned about Lieutenant Devon? I don’t think I have to remind you how stern some junior officer become after serving with the Inspector General’s office. I do know enough of Mister Hammerstrom’s background to say that the negative rumors are unfounded.”

    As he waited for the reply, he called up the official biography for Commander Weatherford. It appeared, on paper at least, that he was well qualified to captain a police ship. Perhaps over-qualified for a lowly cutter, which begged the question why he wasn’t in command of a frigate. Thrace’s reply began, “The one event I recall about Mister Weatherford was how he went out of his way to protect a junior officer and get her a better assignment, all at the risk of his own career and personal reputation. He seems to understand that loyalty is a two-way street.”

    Thrace looked off-screen for a moment before continuing. “Miss Devon has the same kind of moral compass. She has allowed me free reign to run the team as I see fit, for the most part. On the rare occasion we disagreed on points of leadership, she listened to my arguments. On some, she conceded graciously. There were a few times she would say, ‘Maybe you’re right, but let’s try it my way. If it doesn’t work, you can tell me you told me so.’ The one time I refused, she reminded me, very politely, of exactly how the chain of command works.”

    He paused to take a sip of tea. “When it comes to the troops, if there’s a problem, she is quite willing to step in if she needs to, and yet she knows to stand back when she should. I believe she learned that from her time serving with Senior Chief Rinehart. There is another young officer stationed here, Lieutenant Christensen, who also served with Rinehart. I am very impressed with her. She and Miss Devon seem to be a lot alike, carved with the same knife. I was told that she may apply to be Weatherford’s intelligence officer. I would introduce you, but they have gone out to check on a situation with one of the patrol teams.”

    Thrace looked off-screen again and said, “Wait one.” He walked away out of view for a long moment and then returned. “Apologies, my friend, there’s been an incident, and I must go see if I can be of assistance.” He closed the session without waiting for Stoan’s response.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2020
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  5. Sgt_G

    Sgt_G Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Stoan reread his potential new commander’s biography again, and also those of the other three officers named in the conversation. He signed off the computer and left to locate his wife. She too had been informed of the president’s travel ban orders and so had made arraignments to have a trusted friend gather a few personal items from their house and send them to the base. Stoan recounted his conversation with Thrace, of the possibility of going back out to space on ship-duty. T’Fae simply replied, “You should do it.”

    “I thought you preferred me having a job that allowed me to be home most nights,” Stoan said questioningly.

    “I do,” his wife confirmed.

    “There are plenty of other ground stations I could go to,” Stoan stated, “many closer to Vulcan. They are expanding First District, so perhaps they need me to help build a new precinct. Or maybe it’s time I accept promotion to Master Chief and take a position at headquarters like they’ve been asking me to do.”

    T’Fae gave her husband a knowing look as only a wife could. “You had a job at headquarters and you loathed it. Do not deny it,” she added before he could object. “This is your second ground assignment in a row, five years of living on planet. You’re getting restless. You need to do this. Called Mister Weatherford and take the job.”

    “There are many unknowns. For instance, why is a full Commander on a cutter? What mission could possibly justify that? Besides, he may not offer me the position.”

    “That is for him to decide. Do not take the option away from him.” She waited but he said nothing. “Call him, if for no other reason than to satisfy your curiosity about those unknowns.” When it looked like he might resist, she suggested, “It may give you an opportunity to find another project.”

    He looked at her blandly, “I have no idea what that means.”

    “Of course you do. You have always looked for young, impressionable troops you could mold and mentor. Here is an opportunity to mentor an entire ship.” He looked away, so she continued. “Need I remind you? David Rice, Rose Calhoun, Bill Grimm, Sheelan, T’Pia, Ruko’Noor, Charles Darkskies, Susan Ortiz....” Her husband raised his hands in surrender. She was right, of course, and he could not deny it. He told her he would go make the call.

    Senior Chief Stoan returned to the police station and was allowed access to a communications terminal. He placed a call to Commander Weatherford only to receive an automatic reply that he was in class and what time he would be available. Stoan started to leave but had a sudden idea. He reviewed Weatherford’s record and then placed a call to his former commanding officer, Captain Isabelle Saito. He remembered her from when she was a junior-grade lieutenant.

    She remembered him as well, so after exchanging pleasantries, she said she could spare five minutes for him. He explained why he was calling, and the discussion lasted nearly fifteen minutes. Saito described the ship’s mission statement, that as a roving squadron leader and reinforcement for hot-spots. No, they didn’t put a full commander in the center seat for some sort of super-secret operation. That alone alleviated Stoan’s concern about the assignment. She confirmed what Thrace had told him, how they could hand-pick the crew, more or less, by asking preferred troops to volunteer for a short-notice transfer.

    Saito spoke at length of the Weatherford’s strength of character and how he excelled as an operations officer and later as the Exec, although she expressed concern that as this would be his first command, he might not make the adjustment he would need, to know when to delegate to his subordinates. She suggested that he would need a strong Chief of the Boat, someone like Stoan.

    Stoan thanked her for the information and closed the connection. Before he could leave the facility, an urgent all-stations message came in from planet Cygnus. Early reports said a patrol team was ambushed, resulting in injuries to several police personnel including two junior officers. More distressing was that one policewoman was missing and presumed kidnapped. Two suspects were named; Stoan recognized them immediately, for they had been on the most-wanted list for several years. He send a text-message to Thrace asking to be updated on developments.

    Stoan departed and joined his wife for a meal. He told her of his conversation with Captain Saito and said he had decided that yes, he would take the ship-duty position, pending a discussion with Commander Weatherford. He received a text-message from Thrace saying that Devon and Christensen were both injured but expected to make a full recovery. As to the missing policewoman, the situation was still quite fluid.

    Stoan returned to the station to call Robert Weatherford. Dennis Hammerstrom was with him when he answered. Even with all that was going on, Devon found the time to relay Stoan’s name to them. And so began the requisite game of twenty questions. Of course, they had read his official biography, as he had theirs, and they also had access to read his service record. They asked good questions and gave great answers. Stoan knew within the first few minutes that he could work with these men; that they were someone he wanted to work with.

    Before accepting the position, Stoan asked about the crew selection process. Exactly how much free reign would he have? Did the commanders already have people in mind? Weatherford would, of course, select and approve all the officers, although he would entertain suggestions. He said he would ask Brenda Sinclair to be the Chief Engineer; Stoan found that to be a surprising choice but said nothing. Both officers had a few names of enlisted personnel they wanted, but agreed to allow the senior chief the option to review them first.

    Stoan asked who the commander had selected to be the Tactical Officer, the person in charge of the Tac-Teams and who Stoan would serve under operationally. Weatherford replied that he hadn’t contacted him yet, but he planned to ask Andrew Li. Stoan advised against that but couldn’t say why on an open channel, because he knew Li was under investigation and in all likelihood would soon be placed under arrest.

    Stoan countered with five names of qualified officers. Hammerstrom had a list of three names, and Weatherford had two alternates in mind. One name was on all three lists: Ted Flynn, a former enlisted man with a thick Texas drawl. Stoan was the one who had convinced Flynn to become an officer. Weatherford said he’d give Flynn a call and offer him the position.

    Commander Weatherford recorded Senior Chief Stoan’s official acceptance of the duty billet and sent it to Rear Admiral Gilbert Anoka, the Deputy Commissioner in charge of police personnel assignments. Ten minutes after ending the call, Stoan received a text-message from Anoka confirming his transfer. He had official written orders within the hour. Flynn called that evening to tell Stoan they would be working together again soon.

    The Star Fleet destroyer USS Hiawatha limped home the next day. She was crippled but still flying on her own power; the entire bridge bubble was missing, apparently crushed by a collision with something very large and heavy. Stoan was asked to stay on-station, much to Lieutenant Commander Gallo’s annoyance, to help interview the surviving crew for the accident review board’s inquiry.

    ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~
     
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  6. admiralelm11

    admiralelm11 Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    I like it so far. It almost has a feel of being similar to TLR's Star Trek: Bluefin series except it's in the 23rd century. Keep at it. I would love to read more, please.
     
  7. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Travel ban, eh? I wonder if the Federation president may have been a former entertainment personality and businessperson with debatable political skills.

    In fact, this is worse than just a travel ban, this is forced relocation. Pretty poor form on the Federation's part, especially since Vulcans are citizens.

    A lot of interesting character background here otherwise although you do tend to drop a lot of names the casual reader may be unfamiliar with.

    One question you may have already covered in previous stories but what is the relationship between the police and Starfleet in this universe? They clearly have a different chain of command. Are they different branches of the same service or is the police a local/planetary service like in real life.
     
  8. Sgt_G

    Sgt_G Commodore Commodore

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    I wrote this section months ago. Yeah, I dropped you right in the middle of the story. I'm tweaking earlier sections.
     
  9. Sgt_G

    Sgt_G Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
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    As to the number of "new" names that I drop ... this is a totally new set of characters. I don't use ANY "real" Trek characters. I wouldn't expect the reader to already "know" any of them.

    The Police Cutter normally has a crew complement of about a hundred, but as this one will be the squadron leader, I padded the size to 120. Yes, I already have names for most of them. No, I don't plan on including every last one in stories. But if I want to write a bit with two female techs complaining about their boss, I can quickly check my list and find Petty Officer Second Class Daisy Xiang and Petty Officer First Class Marilyn de Groot both work in the engine room.

    I already know I have four Vulcans on the ship: Stoan, Sovan, Sunal, and Jenna. I have three ethnic Orions who go by the names of Jacob Freeman, Ross Quinn, and Sasha Sparrow. I can tell you that the crew of 120 is 80 male & 40 female, and 90 Human/Alpha-Centauri & 30 non-Human. 95 of the crew are Police Force service members; the rest are on loan from Star Fleet or other services. There are three married couples: Doctor Winslow & Linda Holliday, Professors Hoffman & Tran, and Star Fleet IT2 Geovanni DeLuca & YN3 Suzette DuBois.

    Here's a list of all the officers, chiefs, and bridge crew:

    OFFICERS:
    Captain: Cmdr Robert Weatherford == Human (British) Male
    Exec Officer: LtCmdr Dennis Hammerstrom == Human (African-America) Male
    Ops Officer: LT Tara Devon == Alpha Centauri Female
    Intel Officer: LT Yvonne Christensen == Human (Swedish) Female
    Tactical Officer: LT-jg Theodore "Ted" Flynn == Human (Texan) Male
    Weapons Officer: Ensign Stanley Christov == Human (Russian-American) Male

    Chief Engineer: LT Brenda Sinclair == Human (Canadian) Female
    Engineer: LT-jg Kyle Miller == Human (Caucasian) Male
    Engineer: Star Fleet Ensign Jason Littleton == Human (Caucasian) Male

    Chief Shuttle Pilot: LT-jg Steven Eichenlaub == Human (American) Male
    Shuttle Pilot: Ensign Sheelan == Andorian Female

    Science Officer: Star Fleet LT-jg Thane == Andorian Male
    Civilian Scientist: Dr. Timothy Hoffman == Human (Jewish-American) Male
    Civilian Scientist: Dr. Laci Tran == Human (Asian-American) Female

    Doctor: Star Fleet LT Preston James Winslow, III == Human (American / Caucasian) Male
    Nurse: Star Fleet LT-jg Linda Holliday == Human (American / Caucasian) Female
    Nurse: LT-jg David Young == Human (American / Native American) Male

    CHIEF PETTY OFFICERS:
    Senior Chief Master-at-Arm Stoan == Vulcan Male
    Chief Signalman/Linguist Ethan Springer == Human (Causcasian) Male
    Chief Gunner's Mate Walter Armstrong == Human (Australian) Male
    Chief Warpdrive Reactor Ivan Blazek == Human (Russian-American)
    Chief Boatswain's Mate Grun Morgoon == Tellarite Male
    Star Fleet Chief Shuttle Technician Robert Carpenter == Human (Multi-ethnic) Male

    BRIDGE CREW (working rotating shifts):
    Helm
    QM1 Otis Gunderson, Sr == Human (Caucasian / South African) Male
    QM2 Caroline Wiggins == Human (Multi-ethnic) Female
    QM3 ???? == one of the non-humans that I haven't fleshed out yet
    Crewman First Class (QM) Albert Yazzie == Human (Native-American / Navajo) Male
    Navigation
    QM1 Amanda Carr == Human (Caucasian / Mars Colony) Female
    QM2 Tanya Bryton == Alpha Centauri Female
    QM3 Katchi'Dral == Cygnan Male
    Star Fleet Crewman First Class (QM) Lorelei Everhart == Human (Caucasian & 1/4-Japanese) Female
    Communications
    Crypto Tech CT2 Venessa Taylor == Human (American (NYC) Caucasian/Multi-ethnic) Female
    Star Fleet Signalman SM3 Daniel Levinstein == Human (Caucasian/Multi-ethnic) Male
    Crewman First Class (SM) Arthur Peterson == Human (Caucasian / Luna Colony) Male
    Sensors
    ST1 Taavrov == Andorian Male
    Star Fleet ST2 John Anuniaq == Human (Inuit / Eskimo) Male
    ST3 Jenna == Vulcan Female
    Crewman First Class (ST) Michelle Moretti == Human (Italian / Sicilian) Female

    I have so very many story ideas rattling around inside my head and not enough time to get them down on paper. {sigh}
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2020
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  10. admiralelm11

    admiralelm11 Captain Captain

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    Keep at it, sir. ::salutes::
     
  11. Sgt_G

    Sgt_G Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
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    USA
    Okay, here's another segment. Obviously, the time stamp overlaps the story above.

    Backstory: Weatherford and Hammerstrom are attending the Star Fleet Institute of Advanced Studies on Star Base Three to earn their Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice. In the first story (not posted yet), they happen to meet right after Weatherford learns he lost his command slot for a Frigate. The next day, he's offered command of a Cutter, which is normally a LtCmdr (O-4) slot, but he's a full Cmrd (O-5). Hammerstrom explains why he thinks he'll never be given a command of anything, a result of one event that happened very early in his career, and even though it wasn't his fault it almost forced him off the Police Force until he sued the service. He feels that then-LtCmdr Gilbert Anoka, now a two-star Admiral, is responsible for keeping him out of the center seat. Weatherford read his service record and talked with people he served with, and then asked him to be his Exec Officer (aka First Officer). In the second story (not posted yet), we meet the two officers who Weatherford asks to be his Operations Officer (third in command) and Intelligence Officer, plus they run into a couple Bad Guys who will factor in future stories.


    CLEARING THE AIR

    Professor Caroline Higgins wrapped up her lecture in her typical fashion, challenging her students to consider alternative strategies that all parties may have used to change the final outcome. Higgins was a retired one-star Admiral who had served eighteen years as a JAG lawyer and another twelve as a military judge. Her lectures consisted of reviews of the more memorable cases she had presided over. She assigned reading homework and dismissed the class.

    Commander Robert Weatherford made his way down from the upper rows of the auditorium, looking for Dennis Hammerstrom and found him talking with the professor. He waited at a respectful distance until Higgins walked away. “Problem?”

    Lieutenant Commander Hammerstrom shook his head, “No, she just asked if I would mind if she presented my case. I told her okay. To be honest, I’d like to hear her perspective on it.” The big man gathered up his belongings. “Do you have plans for dinner?”

    “Not really. I figured I’d call out for some Indian chicken curry.”

    “Good. My wife is making barbeque ribs tonight, and you’re invited. Grace won’t accept ‘no’ for an answer.”

    “Sounds great. I just need to swing by my place first; I’m expecting a call. I spoke with Tara Devon and Yvonne Christensen during my lunch break. They’re both on board.”

    “Excellent!” Hammerstrom beamed. “You won’t be sorry.”

    “I’m sure I won’t. Also, I spoke with Devon’s senior chief, an Andorian named Thrace. He’s not available, but he gave me a few suggestions.” Weatherford looked at his PADD to recall the names, “Shawn DeSoto, Isabel Quinn, and Eva Kapoor. All good people, but not quite what I was looking for. Thrace had one more person in mind, a Vulcan, but he wanted to broach the subject to him first. Apparently he did, because Devon messaged me his name: Stoan.”

    Hammerstrom shook his head. “Can’t say I know him.” His PADD beeped.

    “Neither do I. He left a message, so I replied with a time for him to call me. Us, if you want to be there. My place in an hour.”

    “Yeah, sure,” he replied, distracted. “Excuse me a second.” He entered commands into his PADD and put it to his ear. “Hammerstrom here, you messaged me. ... Yes, I’m qualified, but you have a dozen instructors. ... What do you mean, ask for me by name? ... Did they say who? ... Okay, fine, I’ll be there in ten minutes.” He lowered the device with a confused look on his face, “I have to re-certify someone in hand-to-hand combat.”

    “Why you?”

    “I have no idea. Whoever it is, they’re waiting for me.” He turned and walked out. Weatherford started walking the other direction, but curiosity got the better of him, so he hurried to catch Dennis. The Falcon Fitness Center wasn’t far by turbolift, so they arrived in just a couple of minutes. Hammerstrom headed into the locker room to change.

    Weatherford walked into the gymnasium area and found Deputy Commissioner Anoka dressed in a standard-issue physical fitness uniform. The Samoan smiled brightly as he shook Weatherford’s hand. “Robert! How goes the man hunt?”

    “Fine, Admiral,” Weatherford answered. “Devon’s signed on, and I found an Intel officer, a Lieutenant Christensen currently assigned to the Cygnus Station.”

    “There are no ranks here, Robert. Call me Gilbert,” Anoka replied in a tone that said it was an order. “I’m glad you grabbed Yvonne because her name just came across my desk this morning. Her record looks good, on paper at least. What about the chief of the boat?”

    “I’m building a short list,” he replied and named five people he was looking at. “I received a strong recommendation for a Vulcan by the name of Stoan. I’m going to talk with him shortly.”

    Anoka nodded. “Yes, Stoan. Why didn’t I think of him? You can’t go wrong with anyone on your list. I was going to suggest Eva Kapoor. She’s ready.” He gave it a moment’s thought. “If I were in your shoes, I’d pick Stoan. He’s not your typical Vulcan.”

    Robert laughed, “Sir, I don’t think I’ve ever met a ‘typical Vulcan’. Then again, I’ve never met a typical anything.”

    Anoka joined in the laughter. “Neither have I, Robert, neither have I.” Hammerstrom came out of the locker room and saw the two men. He walked over with a look of confusion and annoyance. Anoka stuck his hand out, “Hi, I’m Gilbert. I need re-certification in hand-to-hand combat. I’m told you’re the best evaluator.”

    Dennis Hammerstrom hesitated before accepting the offered hand. “I’m sure there are other instructors you would prefer, Admiral.” He kept his tone neutral. He glanced over at Robert, who just shrugged.

    “There are no ranks here, Dennis. Call me Gilbert,” Anoka stated still smiling. “I picked you. Shall we?” He gestured towards the martial arts training area.

    Weatherford pulled Dennis aside. “This is not a good idea.”

    “I know,” Dennis agreed, “but you heard him: no ranks here. When will I ever get another chance like this?”

    Weatherford walked over to Anoka, “Sir, you don’t have to do this.”

    “Too late now,” Anoka countered with a grin.

    Weatherford just shook his head and walked over to the training area. A dozen Marines were paired up and sparring in mock fights. “These gentlemen need the ring for about twenty minutes,” he announced.

    One of the Marines, a Staff Sergeant, responded without looking, “You’re welcome to join us.”

    Weatherford stepped onto the mat and faced the sergeant. “The Admiral needs the ring. Now.”

    The sergeant looked at the police Commander and then at the two very large men behind him. He clapped his hands twice and bellowed, “Fall in for a three-mile run! Move!” The rest of the Marines cleared the mat in seconds.

    Gilbert Anoka and Dennis Hammerstrom walked to opposite sides of the ring. Weatherford noticed a small crowd forming to watch. “Beat it!” he yelled, dispersing the audience.

    The two combatants moved closer in a ready-stance. Dennis appeared to be having second thoughts. Anoka taunted him as he made some quick moves with his hands, “So, I hear you think I hold grudges.” Dennis glanced over at Weatherford. “No, don’t worry, Robert didn’t tell me that. I’ve heard it from many sources.” He made a quick grabbing move that Dennis slapped away easily. The two men began to circle. “I’d say you’re the one who holds grudges.”

    “Perhaps,” Dennis admitted, “but mine have no power behind them.” He made a grab at Anoka’s wrist; the admiral twisted out of the hold. “Do you have any idea how many careers you’ve ruined?”

    Anoka snorted. “I never ruined anyone’s career. I ended plenty that needed ending. People ruin their own careers. Everyone expected you to ruin yours. I had a feeling you wouldn’t.” Suddenly he snapped out a lightning-fast jab that connected, hitting Hammerstrom right in the nose.

    Dennis blinked twice in surprise. It wasn’t a hard hit, just enough to sting, but he never saw it coming. “What about Karl Wolfe? You kicked him off the Eliot Ness.” He blocked two more quick jabs and missed the one that hit him two inches above the belly button. That one hurt.

    “Wolfe’s move was already in the works and had nothing to do with the incident,” Anoka retorted as he tossed out a few more jabs, with one connecting on the big man’s chin, causing him to take a step back. “In fact,” he began as he stepped forward to throw another punch. Dennis evaded it and fired a quick flurry of punches in return. Anoka blocked or ducked most of them. The last was a haymaker that would have taken his head off. Anoka grabbed his opponent’s arm and attempted a judo hip-throw.

    Dennis shifted his weight and tried to reverse the throw. Anoka countered, and both men hit the floor in a tangle of arms and legs. Weatherford felt the impact in the soles of his feet. Anoka threw his elbow into the other man’s ribs and rolled to his feet. Dennis likewise kicked his legs and popped up on his feet. Both men displayed amazing dexterity for their size.

    “Not bad,” Dennis said. He snapped out a vicious kick onto Anoka’s thigh. The admiral responded with a kick of his own. Dennis expected it and grabbed his foot, putting Anoka on his back with another loud thud. Anoka rolled to his feet gracefully and faced his opponent. A moment later, it was Dennis’s turn to be thrown to the mat. He spun on his back and kicked Anoka’s legs out from under him. Both men sprung gracefully to their feet and traded more blows and kicks, each tossing the other across the ring several more times. If they keep this up, Weatherford thought to himself, they’re going to shift the star base’s orbit. The big men circled each other looking for an opening to attack. Anoka took two quick steps and feigned to his left; Dennis made a move to counter and was caught off guard. Anoka used a basic leg-hook to put Dennis on his back once again.

    Dennis rolled over and pushed himself up to his feet, a bit slower than the previous times. Anoka took the bait and stepped closer; Dennis whirled with a massive left hook that connected, sending Anoka staggering back. He didn’t fall, but his hands were down. He was defenseless. Dennis could easily have continued the attack, following up with more punches and kicks, crushing the man he blamed for crushing his career. He had years of pent-up anger, ready to unleash.

    He waited. He just stood there, crouched forward in a combat-ready stance.

    Weatherford walked between the two men. “Are you okay, sir?” he asked Anoka. The admiral nodded, shook his head to clear the cobwebs, and moved back to ready stance. “No, sir, you’re done,” Weatherford announced. He looked at Dennis. “Feel better?”

    “Not really,” he admitted.

    “Good. Just so you know, I had nothing to do with this little experiment. I had no knowledge of it. I will say the results were interesting. Very telling.” He looked at Anoka, “Did you get what you wanted?”

    “Am I re-certified?”

    Hammerstrom snorted out a bark of laughter. “Yes, sir, you are. It’s been a long time since anyone has put me on my back.”

    “I’ll bet Senior Chief Stoan can,” Anoka quipped.

    Weatherford shook his head in disgust. “If it were up to me, I’d fail you both. I don’t know what fighting style you call that, but it looked more like a bar brawl than anything in the police manual.”

    Anoka laughed, “You can’t fight fair if you don’t know how to fight dirty.” He walked over and took two water bottles out of the cooler. He tossed one to Hammerstrom. “Look, Dennis, I know you’re still bitter after all these years,” he said as he rolled the ice-cold bottle on his check and jaw, “but the one you should be mad at is Tony Pratt. He screwed us both on his way out.”

    “Oh, right. You seriously expect me to buy that?” Hammerstrom snapped in disbelief. “From where I stand, you faired pretty well. Or did you expect to be the Commissioner by now?”

    “I expected to be retired by now,” Anoka snapped back. “The Eliot Ness was supposed to be my ship. And if it had been, I would have been able to protect you and the others. I never wanted this job. All I ever wanted was to be a cop.”

    Weatherford crinkled his brow. “For someone who didn’t want the job, you sure fought long and hard enough to get it. I was at headquarters when you transferred in, and I remember all too well the uproar you caused from the get-go.”

    “I did what had to be done for the greater good, Commander,” Anoka stated flatly.

    “Spoken like a true politician,” Weatherford replied dryly. “And there are no ranks here, Gilbert. Remember?”

    “Maybe there should be, Robert. I did a little more digging on you,” Anoka said angrily as he stepped closer to Weatherford. “I knew your father was political when I offered you the ship, but I didn’t realize exactly who he is.” He poked Weatherford in the chest with his index finger. “I need to know,” he began. He never finished that sentence.

    Weatherford grabbed Anoka’s wrist and used a three-point take-down move to put his superior officer on his knees. Anoka tried to twist and muscle his way out of the hold, only to find himself planted face down on the mat with his hands flex-cuffed behind his back. It was a textbook-perfect maneuver. Weatherford bent down close to the Admiral’s ear. “I may be my father’s son, but I’m my own man,” he said through clinched teeth.

    “Whoa, dude,” Hammerstrom exclaimed in complete surprise. “That wasn’t very smart. You do realize that he holds your career in his hands, don’t you?”

    “I could say the same thing to you.” Weatherford retorted. He removed the flex-cuffs and helped the admiral to his feet. “Something I didn’t get a chance to tell you ... and I wasn’t sure I was ever was going to tell you ... last night, when he offered me command of the ship, the Deputy Commissioner asked me to take you on as my exec officer. And that was before he knew we knew each other.”

    “Really?” he asked, dumbfounded. “No.”

    Anoka nodded. Weatherford continued, “Ask Captain Saito, if you don’t believe me. And you almost threw it away.” Hammerstrom’s eyes narrowed but he said nothing. “I told you it wasn’t a good idea to accept his challenge. I don’t need a hothead or someone who holds lifelong grudges as a second-in-command.” He shook his head and exhaled sharply. “The only reason ... the ONLY reason ... I haven’t changed my mind is because it seemed like you came to your senses. You held back and didn’t give in to anger before it was too late.”

    Hammerstrom looked down at the floor and shuffled his feet like a four-year-old caught taking cookies before dinner. “Well, thank my wife for that. Grace taught me that I need to let things go; otherwise, I can’t be a good father to our girls.” He looked up at Anoka, “What I don’t understand is why now, after you pulled the rug out from under me twice.”

    “What are you talking about?” the admiral demanded. “I’ve been trying to get you back on the right path for years. I got you in this school because Marcus Maxwell refused to take you as his Exec.”

    Hammerstrom tilted his head skeptically. “Marcus told me he was told to reject my orders. So did Aaron Janowsky, when I had orders to the Sayed Pacha.” He paused to watch Anoka’s reaction. “Both of them said the word came from your office.”

    Anoka considered this. “Well, now, that is interesting. Trust me, even if that came from my office, it didn’t come from me. This is the first I’ve heard of it. I’ll give Maxwell and Janowsky a call.”

    “No, sir, don’t to that,” Weatherford suggested, “not yet, at least.” Anoka looked at him curiously and motioned for him to continue. “How much do you want to bet that I’ll get the same word to reject Dennis as my exec, too? If and when I do, I’ll play along. It’ll give me an excuse to call Maxwell and Janowsky to find out what they know.”

    Deputy Commissioner Anoka nodded in agreement. “Sounds like a plan, Robert. Keep me in the loop but don’t contact me directly; go through Isabelle. If this leads where I think it might ...” he left the thought unsaid. “By the way, where did you learn that take-down?”

    “An Orion cop who goes by the name Keith Cringle, the dirtiest bar-brawler I know.” He looked at his PADD, “I have to cut this short, sir. I’m expecting a call from Senior Chief Stoan.” He turned to Hammerstrom. “You can shower at my place, if you want.” The three departed just as the Marines returned from their run.

    ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2020