Posts of The Month 2006:

September 2006

Debacle #41 “Training is a Blast”

By: SGT Owen Hatch and SGT Hudson

 

On:

== USS Swiftsure, During arrival at Balin System ==
== Class Room, Marine Barracks Area, Deck 34 ==


The training for Marines wasn't restricted to fire and maneuver or
search and rescue. Just as common, were classroom sessions to cover
familiarization with weapons, equipment or general military knowledge.
After the brief friendly firefight between 1st and 3rd squads in the
holodeck, 1st and 2nd platoons were sent into the classroom, while the
others did their ongoing training in the holodecks and corridors of
the ship.

The class room was set up with rows of portable tables, parallel to a
slightly raised stage area at the front of the room. This allowed for
maximum use of the space. The marines, approximately eighty of them,
were sitting behind the tables facing the stage waiting for the
instructor to begin. The squad leaders remained standing so as to be
able to move about the room and provide additional instructional
assistance. The Gunnery Sargeant, or Gunny for short, in charge of 2nd
platoon took the stage.

"Good afternoon!" he said to the assembled marines. The response was
staccato of `Good afternoons' and mixed volumes.

"I said, Good Afternoon!!" the Gunny said again. This time the reply
was in unison and loud.

"Good afternoon, Gunnery Sargeant!!" the group answered.

"I thought you all were Starfleet crewmen for a minute," the Gunny
said. "Okay, listen up!" he said, starting off in the familiar loud
instructional tone made famous by NCO's through history.

"This class will cover the overview and familiarization of the Mark
13A2 Charge, Demolition Plasma and the Mark 6 Detonator, General
Purpose with it's companion piece, the Mark 6RS, Switch Remote!
Demonstrator, post!" One of the Squad leaders trotted up onto the
stage, came to attention, then did an about face to face towards the
class. "Demonstrator, at ease!" The Gunny ordered, allowing the squad
leader to assume that more relaxed position.

"Now, with the help of my demonstrator, we will conduct the overview
portion of the training. Demonstrator, secure the demolition charge!"
The squad leader complied by picking up the satchel on a small table
on the stage.

"For this section of the demonstration, you will not need to perform
any tasks except to watch myself or my demonstrator!" The Gunny
instructed. "This is the Mark 13A2 Demolition Charge! It is personnel
portable," the word personnel replacing the old term `man portable',
"and will produce a point four seven five isotone explosion of kinetic
and thermal energy! It is used for the destruction of military
fortifications or structures, transportation systems such as roads or
rail lines, vehicles or equipment or essentially anything else you
want to blow up! In short, it will ruin somebody's day."

The demonstrator held the satchel out for the class to see, even
though they one similar to it on their tables. "On the tables in front
of you, you have the Mark 13A2T training device. In other words, yours
will not produce a point four seven five isotone explosion! But it
does have a flash bang simulator in it, for training purposes!"

The Gunny continued his instructions as Sgt. Hatch moved over to where
Sgt. Hudson, the 3rd squad leader, was standing.

"One, three, this is one, one, duck, over," Owen said with a grin.

"F#@^ you, Hatch," Sgt. Hudson replied good naturedly. "But we had you
guys dead to rights."

"Considering I was doing a walk through without a programmed enemy,
you guys did okay," Owen replied.

"Pansies," Hudson chided.

Owen looked away from Hudson for a moment when he noticed a marine
picking up the detonator on the table in front of him. Owen leaned
down over the marines shoulder.

"Did anyone tell you to pick that up?" Owen said hushed, but forcefully.

"No sargeant, but I've worked with these before," the marine replied
in his own defense.

"I don't care if you invented the damn thing, put it down," Owen
answered. The marine did so. "Now pay attention."

"Yes, sargeant."

== 1 hour later ==

"We will now begin the familiarization with the Mark 6 Detonator!" the
Gunny said. "What is the first function mode of the detonator?!" He
held up one finger.

"Timed!" came a response from the class.

"Second?"

"Proximity!" the class responded.

"Third!?" the Gunny asked.

"Remote,"

"Fourth?!"

"Manual!" the group replied, except for one marine, the one Owen had
spoken with replied with "Hero!"

"Knock it off," Owen told the young marine.

"Alright, where's my smartass?!" the Gunny asked. The marine
sheepishly raised his hand. "Yes, another term for that mode is `Hero'
mode. That is because when you operate the detonator and charge in
that mode, the only thing that will be left will be fond memories of
your heroic self sacrificing deed. This is because you will be well
within blast radius of the point four seven five isotone explosion."

"Safety reminder! Do not transport the demolition charge with the
detonator attached! Can anyone tell me why?!"

A few marines sounded off with, "Preventing accidental detonation."

"Correct! To prevent accidental detonation! If you were to have an
accidental detonation it will ruin your day and that of the marines
around you. They will not like you and they won't invite you to their
social gatherings and parties anymore!"

More training on the detonator continued.

== 45 minutes later ==

Suddenly the ship's loud speakers came to life.

<All hands, brace yourself!>

The ship rocked, knocking almost everyone to the floor also scattering
tables and training devices. There was a suddenly bang in the area
near Hudson and Hatch. As everyone in the class got to their feet, the
young marine that Owen had scolded, stood up. His uniform shirt was
shredded and smoking from the flash bang device that had gone off
under him. His face had stunned look on it as he slowly felt his chest
and arms for any injury.

Sgt. Hatch quickly got to the marine to see if he was injured. Owen
looked down at the training charge and saw that the detonator had the
manual mode safety tab removed from it. Owen picked up the device from
the floor.

"And that's why they have a Safety Tab on the manual switch, so you
don't do what you just did!"

"Come on, let's get you up to sick bay," Hudson said in a perturbed tone.

Off

Sgt. Owen Hatch
1st Squad Leader/1st Platoon
Marine Detachment
USS Swiftsure

&

Sgt. Hudson (NPC)
3rd Squad Leader/1st Platoon
Marine Detachment
USS Swiftsure

August 2006

Debacle #6 “War”
Written By: COMmodore Matthew Wayne

 

ON
==Bridge, USS Texas==
=Klovan System, Following Post #5=

"Keyworth Green Leader to group," crackled the Bridge
speaker again. The interference in the communications
relay was from the same solar fluxuations that were
plaguing Tom's sensor suite. "Here they come."

"Ten seconds to engagement range," said Commander Bixton
quietly. The Bridge of the Texas was deathly silent as
everyone focused on the visual display on the Main View
Screen. At this range the fighters appeared as small
dots approaching each other. The Federation ships were
easier to spot, their grey hulls reflecting the nearby
system primary's rays. The Vanderian fighters were a
dark brownish green and only their wall like formation
made them visible. Tom found himself dry mouthed and
nervously checking and rechecking his readouts. Admiral
Hill watched silently with Captain Pavlenko standing
next to him at the center of the Bridge. Both men had
faced combat before, but neither of them had been present
when the hostilities had started.

"I have a bad feeling about this," muttered Commander
Bixton from Tactical.

"Green six to Keyworth lead," crackled the bridge speakers
as they relayed the Fighter group's tactical frequency,
"they're locking us up."

"Hold formation," came the terse and tense sounding reply
from Commander Parks. "Steady…"

"Five seconds," said Commander Bixton. The silence on
the bridge of the Texas grew to intense levels as each
of the officers began the silent count in their heads.
Tom felt a bead of sweat run down his spine, despite
the best efforts of the Bridge environmental system.

=Klovan Space=

The two opposing fighter forces crossed into weapons
range. The Federation Peregrine Class fighters, their
pilots nervously handling their controls waited. Each
pilot ran through a last minute mental checklist. They
knew that the Vanderian fighters were about to open fire,
but they didn't know when. To a pilot, they all wished
that they were weapons free, however they were not and
for now had to play the role of sitting ducks. The
helplessness was not something any of them were used
to, but orders were orders.

The Vanderian pilots, with clear orders, depressed firing
buttons on their control columns. The dark vastness of
space was momentarily lit up by the near simultaneous
discharge of one hundred plasma disruptors. The beams
raced across the gap of space towards their targets,
death had been unleashed and the grim reaper waited
with a smile.

The only thing that saved the Federation Fighter group
was the distance between them and the Vanderians. The
Plasma Disruptor beams traveled at velocities near to
the speed of light, too fast for human or even most
species reaction times. The computers aboard the
fighters were not restricted to chemical impulses
however. Their processors worked at near light speeds
as well, and for some of them, were able to avoid the
incoming wave of death by initiating last minute evasive
maneuvers. Even with the computer's help forty of the
seventy Peregrine fighters disappeared in brilliant
orange blossom like fireballs.

==Bridge, USS Texas==

The bridge crew stared at the view screen in disbelief
as it suddenly lit up in a brilliant fireworks display.
Where the fighters had once been was now a convulsing
region of orange and yellow expanding and contracting
balls of fire. Their brain's tried to comprehend what
they had just seen and move on with their duties. The
surviving Peregrine Fighters broke formation and
desperately tried to evade the incoming wall of Vanderian
Fighters. Tom's jaw was wide open with a silent scream
as he stared in disbelief. On screen a small portion of
the Vanderian wall of fighters broke off to follow the
scattering Federation fighters while the rest continued
on.

"Stick with your wingmen and engage," crackled the
Bridge speaker breaking the silence. Someone had
survived the opening volley, thought Tom as he realized
his mouth was open. The voice sounded calm and collected,
the even reaction of an experienced combat pilot.
"Hothead close it up."

"Sweet Jesus…," uttered Commander Bixton.

==Keyworth Green Leader==

Commander Parks had indeed survived the opening volley
of the Federation-Vanderian War. He didn't know how,
but training immediately kicked in. He threw his fighter
into a series of violent maneuvers designed to throw off
targeting computers and took a quick glance at his status
panel. Where there had been seventy green emblems a
second earlier only thirty remained. He had to get his
fighters organized or they'd be wiped out.

==Keyworth Green Twenty-Three==

Lieutenant Junior Grade J'alen "Hothead" Gorner didn't
need to comprehend what was going on. His job was to
protect the aft, or six o'clock of Keyworth Green
Leader's fighter. He fought with his controls as he
tried to follow his Group Leader through a series of
evasive maneuvers. He didn't need to know that over
half of his Group had just been wiped out in a single
volley. All he knew was that battle had been joined
and that he wanted revenge.

==Bridge, USS Texas==

"Status report," requested a somber sounding Adian Hill.
He hadn't actually thought that the Vanderians would
attack. He gritted his teeth as he thought about how
they would pay for their arrogance. No one attacked
his Task Group and got away unscathed. When there was
no response to his request he turned to look at the
tactical station. Commander Bixton stood staring at
the main view screen, open mouthed with a look of shock
on his face. "Commander Bixton I said Status Report,"
he repeated, this time more forcefully. Bixton seemed
to shake himself out of his shock and looked down at
his status panel.

"Break Gonzo, break damn it," shouted an unknown voice
on the bridge speakers as the Fighter's tactical channel
continued to be broadcast. The speaker momentarily
screeched as a transmission was cut off, it's source
more than likely just having been killed.

"Uh…," stammered Bixton as he looked over his displays.
"Twenty four of our fighters remain and are engaged
with a like number of the Vanderian Fighters. Seventy
five Vanderian fighters inbound."

"They're going to attack us with fighters," stated
Adian Hill triumphantly as he slapped his leg. "What
are their frigates doing?"

"The main Vanderian fleet is holding its position,"
replied Bixton as he continued to try and get a hold
of his emotions. Two minutes until the Vanderian
Fighters are in range."

"Someone get that bastard off my six," yelled an unknown
voice over the bridge speakers.

"Sweet maker they just got Commander Parks," announced
another voice.

"Shut that racket off," demanded Adian Hill. He didn't
need to listen to the fighters anymore. The Vanderians
were making a tactical blunder sending in their fighters
without the frigates. He'd tear them apart before they
got into range.

==Keyworth Green Twenty-Three==

"Sweet maker they just got Commander Parks," shouted
Hothead into his helmet's communications pick-up. He
hadn't been able to move fast enough to cover his
leader's six and the Vanderian Fighter had roared in,
firing it's beam of death. Keyworth Green Leader's
Peregrine had shuddered then exploded as the beam tore
it nearly in half.

"Now you're mine you feathered bastard," cursed Hothead
to himself. He pushed his fighter into a side-slip and
turned to get on the Vanderian's six. Just as his
targeting computer was locking up the enemy fighter it
did something that no space bound fighter should have been
able to do. "What the hell?"

The Vanderian pilot instantly killed his velocity and
rocketed straight up, placing him squarely on Keyworth
Green Twenty-Three's six o'clock. Hothead cursed again
and put his fighter into a hard impulse turn. His
sensors screamed a warning as the Vanderian Fighter
locked up its weapon onto his craft. He suddenly
thought of home, and how he'd miss the planting season
on his father's hydro reef. It was the last thought
he'd ever have as the Vanderian's Plasma Disruptor beam
tore his fighter apart. There was a brief sensation of
intense heat and then nothing but empty blackness.

==Bridge, USS Texas==

"All ships this is Admiral Hill," began Adian after
opening up the fleet tactical communications net. "They
may have gotten our fighters, but we'll show them the folly
of their actions. All ships prepare to engage."

OFF
COM Matthew Wayne
CO
USS Swiftsure

With help from LCDR Moira O'Bannon.

July 2006

ON

==Main Concourse, Starbase 285==

 

Anderson walked slowly around the Starbase's main Concourse.  He was enjoying the

brief leave that the Master Chief had given him.  The Starbase was crowded and the

concourse jammed with officers and enlisted.  He'd never seen such a spectacle before

and didn't think he'd see one again.  After a further several minutes of walking he found

himself standing in front of a tavern and decided to go in.  A slight pang of guilt crossed

his mind as he entered the busy estabolishment, it wasn't O'Mallys, but then they were in

port and Darby would forgive him for the transgression. 

 

He stepped into the Tavern and let his eyes adjust to the dimmer lighting.  Just like the

concourse the place was packed with off-duty personnel and seating was at a premium. 

A loud din pervaded his ears as he walked towards the bar, looking for a seat.  As was his

luck a bar stool become open as he approached and he quickly sat down. 

 

Bartender (NPC): *Walking over to new customer* What'll it be?

 

Tigert: *Looks over a bar taps* A pint of Detrian Lager please. 

 

The bartender nodded and a minute later there was a dark mug of foamy beverage

before him.  Anderson picked it up and took a big sip, savoring the strong flavor of the

brew as it hit his tastebuds.  The noise level of side conversations and chatter was

slowly increasing in volume and as he took another sip of his lager he made up his

mind to find someplace else to drink.  He finished off his beverage in a single gulp

and made to get up from the stool.  As he moved he bumped into some unseen

person behind him.

 

Tigert: *getting his balance* Sorry about that *sees pips on collar* Sir.

 

Officer(NPC): No problem... *looks at Tigert for first Time* Anderson?

 

Tigert: *Looks at stranger and smiles in recognition* Mike?  What are you doing

in an officers uniform? 

 

LT (JG) Te'mrel: They sent me to officer training after I made Petty Officer First. That

was a few years ago though.  *Looks at Tigert's rank insignia* It looks like you've

done well Senior Chief. 

 

Tigert: *scratches head* I thought you did like officers, that's why you enlisted. 

 

Te'mrel: I was wrong, and fortunately someone allowed me to overcome my error. 

Why haven't you gone to Officer School, they obvisouly think highly of you.

 

Tigert: I've never really thought about it.  *shrugs* Actually I kinda like where I'm at. 

So what ship are you on?

 

Te'mrel: The Franklin, and you?

 

Tigert: Swiftsure.  I'm not familiar with the Franklin, that part of the task force orbiting

around this place.

 

Te'mrel: Yeah, and if scuttlebut has it correct, then we'll be leaving soon and maybe

even seeing some action.  You going with us?

 

Tigert: I don't know, not high enough in the food chain for them to keep me apraised

of things like that. 

 

Te'mrel: Even officers get left out of the information chain.  I thought I'd be more in the

loop when I made grade, but if anything I'm more out of the loop now than before.

 

Tigert: The enlisted rumor mill you mean?  If I paid attention to that, I'd be a nervous

wreck by now. 

 

Te'mrel: Yeah, but at least you had an idea what was going on, especially if you were

good at finding the common threads between all of the gossip.  *looks at chronograph

on tavern wall*  Hey I gotta get back to my ship.  It's been great seeing you.  Maybe when

we get back we can get together and tell some tall tales about boot. 

 

Tigert: Sounds good to me. 

 

Anderson walked with his boot camp classmate and saw him as far as the closest

transporter pad.  The short walk allowed little time for any further conversation and

after a quick goodbye he watched his old friend disappear in the transporter beam. 

He turned and walked away, headed for O'Mallys. Something in his gut told him it

was the last time he'd ever see Mal'rek "Mike" Te'mrel, but he quickly put that feeling

aside and wished his friend a silent good luck.

 

OFF

SCPO Anderson Tigert

Security Guard

USS Swiftsure

 

June 2006

Yesterday’s Swiftsure #119 “Anatomy of a Murder”

By: LCDR Peter Jansen & LT Martin Paulsen

 

ON:

 << CMO's office >>

== continuing from Part 1 ==

 

 

Martin ordered a coffee from the replicator when he was finished dealing with

reports and noticed an odd sight. He had a multipurpose, non standard issue

PADD carried from his days before the Academy. It contained some of his favorite

reads, photos and short videos, and scientific data his cousin William had sent him.

This was a PADD he often took with him to his quarters or the Mess Hall. Now it was

lying on the ground, partly hidden under his desk, and active.

 

He bent with a frown to retrieve it and checked on the most recent entry. It was a video,

recorded that very day whereas he had not touched it since the last of their shoreleave.

His frown deepened. The considerable memory storage was full, as if someone had

forgotten it was on and the video had recorded until the PADD went on standby.

Wondering, he touched a few keys to set the visual interface and play the entry.

 

"Oh boy" Martin chuckled as he viewed the beginning of the video. Peter had been

stuck in his office for a while, and when he had slept off _some_ of the tranquilizers

Martin had shot him with, he had obviously grown bored and got hold of Martin's personal

PADD. This was about as bad as someone filmed on an evening out in a bar, and Martin

decided to save it for some later fun at Peter's expense. His thumb moved to stop the display.

 

Then he sat down slowly and watched, the smile fading from his face.

 

  <<Video record, CMO's office>>

 

*Chaotic views of Martin's office sometimes show on the visual interface as Jansen moves

around in fits of agitation alternating with long silences. For most of the recording, Jansen

speaks in Dutch. The only times he uses Standard is when his drug-induced drowsiness

leaves place to false lucidity*

 

JANSEN: "voice only over a music composed by Martin from Jupiter's radio noise" You know

mate, I don't mean this in a bad way but that music of yours is bloody painful... *laughter* Bloody...

awful if you get my drift... I'm drifting alright, right out at sea...

 

*Drowsy laughter and more silly comments followed by silence. A weird sound, like a wordless

complaint, or maybe a harsh sob*

 

JANSEN: *plaintive voice* I didn't mean to do this you know... She MADE me!

 

*The PADD is propped on the desk. He looks into the visual interface now, he stares hard

with a defiant look, then his face crumples again as his rubs his head repeatedly. It is a

gesture that reminds of penants of old, remitting themselves into another's hands for mercy.

The drug is lifting all previous inhibitions, leaving the door open to memories. His eyes start

shifting, left and right, ceaselessly. His voice rises again. He has a story to tell. And somewhere

in time, the story unfolds again.*

 

<<Xenobiology lab, several days ago>>

 

:::::::::: Savet finishes calibrating the new equipment in the Xeno lab. Jansen has been

hovering around her all along, obviously unhappy at the disturbance. Scientists, engineers,

you name them, keep asking for upgrades and can never wait for them to be finished. She is

a patient person but she can't help thinking, if it was Sharon, surely he wouldn't be so obnoxious.

 

"There you go," she says lightly, "I'll leave you to work on your little beasties now." Her eyes

go over to a glass container prominently displayed in the lab that day. Frogs from Laeya III, he

said. She tries and get them to move, but they do nothing interesting she can see. "It must be

hard for you on a starship. Studying small animals all the time, I mean, there's no room for the

really interesting ones around here. That's too bad they didn't take you on the submarine the other

time."

 

Saying the wrong thing is almost second nature for Lisa. Jansen says something banal before

turning back to his frogs and she leaves the room, oblivious to his slightly stung expression. Her

shift is over and Sharon will likely be off somewhere having fun, as usual. Lisa seldom has much fun..:::::::::

 

 << Peter Jansen's quarters, on the day of the murder>>

 

:::::::::: Peter has been sitting in his quarters for ages it seems, dull pain throbbing under his skull

like a living thing, holding a medipad to his head. Nobody, not even Paulsen, seems to give a damn

whether he is alive or bleeding to death in his quarters. His thoughts drifts, gathering an angry edge

as all the slights endured in his existence seem to replay in his mind. The smallest of which has not

been Sharon waking up in this very bed and smashing his nose for thanks! Getting restless, he sheds

the medipad and leaves his quarters.

 

So trivial, that’s what she must have thought about his work. She must even have wondered what he

was doing aboard the Swifsture, taking up valuable space that could have been taken up by something

worthwhile, something that actually brought something positive to the ship. Well, no more. He is not

going to just stand around and accept her complaints. Who the hell is she, thinking she can talk to him

like that.  He knows her, he knows she dislikes him and will often say so to Sharon. He loves Sharon

and in time, he knows she will love him as well. He will see to it. He also knows Savet will disagree with

such a relationship. He knows she often tells Sharon there are far more suitable, far more deserving

candidates on the ship. Anyone but Peter... certainly not Peter. But that is going to change. Lisa Savet

has to be taught a lesson. Even if it doesn't work, it will bring immense pleasure to him. A game of

chance – after all, he is so very fond of them – albeit with higher stakes than usual: Savet’s life.

 

The idea is so simple, yet so brilliant. He feels good, for the first time in ages. He feels in control. The

toxin the frogs secrete present a perfect opportunity. He replicates a number of old-style Terran chewing

gum pieces. It is hardly used these days anymore, but often enough, such a nostalgic gesture proves to

be irresistible to most people. And he is certain it will prove to be irresistible to Lisa Savet.

 

He injects two of the pieces with the frog’s toxin. The odds aren't exactly fair, but that's not his problem. She

had this coming. He will show her how 'insignificant' he is. She will think differently if she realizes he has

her life in his hands... she will realize he is perfect for Sharon. And if she doesn't... well, then at least she

won't have the chance to stand in the way any longer.:::::::::


<<Lisa Savet's quarters, Murder minus 15 minutes>>

 

:::::::::: Lisa made sure Sharon won't be back for a while. She has had a shower, borrowed Sharon's

makeup for a few discreet touches, and now she is holding the dress at arm's length. It looks rather

innocent that way, but it clings tight enough not to allow any but the most flimsy underwear. Not the

kind she would buy for herself, but... who will know, if she tries it in her quarters? She closes Sharon's

closet and leaves her room, almost fleeing to her own.

 

She puts the dress on over bare skin and looks at herself in the mirror, from various angles, for several

minutes. It looks surprisingly good on her, and the woman in the mirror smiles back. Life could be a

different place for you, she seems to say. All it takes is the right dress.

 

The door chimes and her heart stops for a second. But it can't be Sharon. She walks to the door, no,

moves to the door as if the dress itself is confering her a different carriage. Her impromptu visitor

presses the chime once again. Lisa hesitates and touches the key, an embarrassed blush on her

face as she sees the man standing there. Watching her with a slight smile, Sharon's one-night date

is standing in the doorway. "Oh. Sharon is... Sharon is not here."

 

"I know" he says, and his eyes take in the sight. She is too troubled to be sure, but he looks

appreciative. "Can I come in for a moment? I realized I never thanked you for your hard work in

my lab. I won't be long." He takes one step, and Lisa takes a step back, her face warm, her heart

in a flutter. He takes another, moving into her quarters with perfect ease. The door shuts and Lisa

turns around, feeling the softness of the dress caressing her legs as she does so. Is this really

happening?

JANSEN:*in a low voice* That dress looks great on you, it really does. You look stunning. Are

you expecting someone?

 

Being well aware if isn't her dress, Lisa accepts the compliments gracefully, noticing she is

even blushing. Another would spin a convincing lie about an evening out or a date about to

arrive, but she is artless and doesn't even try.

 

SAVET: Not really, I... I was just trying it on. I’m sure Sharon will be back shortly. Is there any

message you want me to relay to her?

 

JANSEN: *smiling* I don’t think that’ll be necessary. I was about to bring her this *holds up

a small box* I know Sharon is a fan of nostalgic gestures. This is a box of old Terran chewing gum.

 

SAVET: *confused* What do you do with them?

 

JANSEN: *grinning* You chew on them, of course.

 

SAVET: And what’s the use?

 

JANSEN: They taste good... they taste oh so good. Seeing you’re obviously a woman of

good taste *gestures to the dress* would you like to try one?

 

SAVET: *waving her hand* I’m not sure. They’re for Sharon, aren’t they?

 

JANSEN: *nodding* They are, but it wouldn’t hurt you to try one. Come one, give it a try. *opens

the box*

 

He keeps his eyes fixed on her, the dress, her curvaceous figure. She notices him staring, yet

doesn't seem to be bothered by it. She acts so much different than she usually does around him.

A charade, he knows, but that doesn't matter. Not anymore.

 

SAVET: *picking up one of the pieces of gum* I don’t eat sweets usually, bad for my figure *jokingly*.

 

JANSEN: *smiling* I doubt you could do anything to waste such a naturally perfect figure.

 

SAVET: *smiling* I suppose I could give it a try. *bringing the gum up to her mouth, hesitating*

 

JANSEN: Go ahead.

 

SAVET: *shrugging and putting the gum inside her mouth, starting to chew* This doesn’t taste so bad.

 

JANSEN: *licking his lips* Does it taste as good as yourself?

 

SAVET: *accidentally swallowing the gum* You really are strange, you know that? *starts to cough*

Look what you made me do.

 

JANSEN: I have more if you want to try.

 

SAVET: *shaking her head and growing uneasy* No thanks, I’ve had enough... of the gum, and

of you. I think you should leave.

 

JANSEN: *smiling broadly* I think I’ll stay around a bit longer... the best part might yet be to come.

Lisa opens her mouth to answer but she can't say a word. She tries moving but loses her balance.

Jansen catches her shoulders and supports her failing body. She cannot breathe, cannot cry for

help as he takes her up in his arms and moves across the room without a word. It dawns on her

that he did this to her. Drool slowly gathers in her mouth. In the midst of the horror and panic that fill

her mind, she has the time for one last thought as he puts her on the bed. Why is this happening to

her? Then a dark veil descends on her eyes. Lisa Savet is no more.

 

Jansen waits a moment more to be sure, looking upon her with a smirk. At least she had an

interesting death, and that was more than she deserved. His eyes go down the blue dress. He

remembers it all too well, and a certain evening when too many men were watching Sharon. She

will wear it again, he thinks, but this time I will be the only one she cares about.

 

<<Video record, CMO's office>>

 

JANSEN: *tired voice, still so slurry that it is difficult to get his words sometimes* I... I put her on

the bed and of course I knew the dress was Sharon's. I removed it and I put it back in her closet.

I had to move quickly, I wasn't sure she wouldn't be back early. And then I left. I thought I'd feel so

good but instead I had... this horrible headache and after that it was... I couldn't remember a thing,

I had this weird feelings that something terrible had happened... And I couldn't remember a thing...

 

*He puts his face in his hands with a harsh sob. Slowly, his stance changes to that of a man

overcome by sleep. He folds his arms on the desk while his head goes down to rest on them.

The PADD records its own clatter on the floor, confused images as Peter moves his legs to be

more comfortable and the PADD slids under the desk. The recording from that point is all heavy

breathing and darkness, while Peter's mind skillfully buries once again the unbearable memories.*

  

<<CMO's office>>

== present ship time ==

 

Martin was hunched forward on his seat, arms resting on his thighs, holding the PADD and staring

blindly at it. He was particularly aware of how close his thumb was from the DEL key. There was

no end to the human misery buried beneath the surface, he thought gloomily. Lisa Savet had been

another casualty of their misadventure. Her agony had been terrible but brief. One way or the other,

Peter would suffer greatly in the years to come. Suppression of traumatic memories came with a

price. Martin moved his thumb away from the key. People don't have a "RESET" button.

 

But what about time?

 

His eyes widened slightly, and he straightened up on his chair. They WERE going back in time

after all. How would it affect the timeline... their timeline? There was a chance, a tiny chance

maybe that none of this would ever have happened. There were also definite odds stacked 

against the Swiftsure surviving the trip. In which case there was no purpose in dragging Peter

through such an ordeal - again.

 

But if they did make it, to a time and place where Lisa Savet had been murdered...

 

"Computer," Martin said while opening an uplink between his PADD and the console.

"Begin recording. Medical log, CMO Martin Paulsen. Encoding: confidential patient data.

Stardate..."

 

He went on talking while transferring the video and encoding it as well. When he was done,

he purged the PADD and threw it aside. He needed a shower on the Antartica side of "cold",

a fresh uniform and finally to attend to his general duty of ensuring they all remained sane

long enough to push the button marked "home".

 

OFF

 

A Joint Post by

LtCdr Peter Jansen

Xenobiologis

&

Lt Martin Paulsen

CMO

USS Swiftsure

 

May 2006

“Devil in a Blue Dress Part 2”

By: LCDR DJ Nelson

 

DECK NINE
USS SWIFTSURE
After Post #96

Chief Drake briefed Commander Nelson on the failed mutiny, the
firefight with The Wayfarer and the strange behavior being observed
among the Swiftsure crew. Coupled with a possible murderer running
around loose on the ship, and the unknown state of the Federation
years in the future definitely posed serious security threats to the
Swiftsure.

Nelson stepped from the turbolift onto deck Nine and turned to face
Drake. “Schedule a meeting,” Nelson ordered. “Section leaders only.”

The chief of the boat gave a small nod as the turbolift doors closed.
Daniel had just ordered a meeting between himself, Drake and Chiefs
Tigert and Blakesley, the senior enlisted within the security
department. This type of meeting was usually an informal session
where the senior NCOs bitch about things to Nelson while he clarifies
specific orders and issues. Since the NCOs had the pulse of the men
and considering the chaotic nature of what was going on, such a
meeting would help stabilize the security department. He would fill in
the officers later. Daniel had young ensigns and junior grade
lieutenants in his department and had no delusions about who really
ran things.

The out of place piece of the puzzle from his meditation trance led
Daniel back to Lt. Savet's quarters. The doors closed behind him
leaving him in the semi-darkened common room barely lit by passing
stars. The couch, which earlier held a lifeless body, looked larger
and ominous from the play of shadows. Pictures on the walls held no
details but seemed a mush of black, white and gray.

After waiting a few more seconds for his eyes to adjust to the dim
light Nelson made his way to the living area, softly bumping into a
chair or table on the way. Turning on the light ask he entered the
bedroom of Lt Macintosh the squinted his eyes from the light as he
took in various articles of clothing strewn everywhere. Apparently
Macintosh grabbed some personal items and is staying someplace else.
Having your roommate and friend to die within these walls, I don’t
blame her, thought Daniel. According to her file Savet had been a
laid back, quiet, bookish and generally well like and easy to work
with. In contrast Macintosh was engagingly talkative, intuitive and
exuded a quiet sexuality that seemed to interfere with most men's
ability to think straight. Daniel found himself staring at several
articles of racy undergarments and wondered how long he had been
daydreaming. He became angry with himself for not keeping a level head.

Nelson left Macintosh's room and crossed the short hallway to Savet's
room aided by the faint light from across the hall. Turning on the
light revealed a spotless room completely devoid of any personal
items; the bed tightly made with a standard Starfleet blanket with
hospital corners. "Damn" Nelson mumble to himself. He had forgotten
that the science teams had packed Savet's personal effects. Knowing
the closet would be empty Daniel stepped into the room and opened the
closet door. None of the duranimum hangers held a blue evening dress.

Daniel sat on the bed and thought things over. He knew that he has
seen the dress in the crime scene recordings, but the dress did not
seem to fit the personality of Lisa Savet. With a low back and a slit
clear to the ceiling it seemed something that Macintosh would wear.
Since he never really stepped into Macintosh’s room, Daniel decided to
look for the dress in her closet.

Stretching as he stood Nelson palmed the lights off and walked into
the hallway where he stopped when he met total darkness. Knowing that
he left the light on in the room he stood for several seconds puzzling
over the matter when he was suddenly pushed back into the wall, the
back of his head thudding against the bulkhead. As he crumpled to the
floor Nelson felt the movement of air as someone ran past him.
Shaking his head to clear the stars in his eyes Daniel saw a shadow
moving into the common room. Adrenaline took over and he was up on
his feet in no time. After a few running steps he leaped at the
shadow, but instead of catch a waist or a shoulder Nelson's arm got
tangled in legs.

This was just enough to bring the owner of the legs down on the floor
with Nelson, who was now being subject to kicks about the head and
face. Shielding his head with his right arm he frantically groped
around until his gripped a leg.

"Computer, secure this door, security authorization Nel-oooff!" A kick
caught Daniel square in the mouth. Sensing a loosening of grip the
shadows kicks now concentrated on the offending arm that bound its
leg. A few missed and pounded the top of his head.

The computer happily chirped. "Unable to comply with request. Please
Restate authorization."

"Damn it computer, you know who the hell I am!"

A thoughtful chirp this time. "Voice authorization verified, Nelson,
D.J., Chief Security Officer. Voice stress analysis shows distress.
A security team has been dispatched to your location."

Nelson thanked God for the computer wienie who added stress anaylsers
to security queries, but dissapointed that he had to get the brake
beat off of him for the damn thing to work. A reprieve in the boot
stomping did not surprise Daniel, figuring that the shadow heard the
announcement too. Taking advantage of the shadow's possible
indecision he was on his knees driving forward. Expecting to fall on
the shadow to smother him he was surprised to find that the shadow had
sat up. The top of Nelson's head caught the shadow's chin and his
head exploded with stars. Both combatants were knocked senseless,
spending the little energy and consciousness they had left crawling
away from each other. Daniel crawled behind a couch as blinding light
filled the room and the doors flew open and Chief Tigert, flanked by
several security guards swooped into the room.

Nelson spent a full ten seconds in a fetal position waiting for the
pounding in his head to abate. During that time he heard the sounds
of breaking furniture, grunts and the occasional phaser blast. Nelson
stood up and was quite surprised to see one of his men, the tall beefy
crewman Ryan Wynn, holding off Tigert and the security team using a
broken piece of glass as a makeshift shiv. With a crazed look in his
eye and drooling blood and spittle from the mouth Wynn waved the shiv
menacingly. “You can’t have her!” he screamed pointing the shiv at
on and then another guard. “She’s mine! Stay away!”

 
Tigert looked over to Nelson, as if a plea for help. Wynn was one of
his men and had come a long way from the big limbering kid who always
got lost during red alert. Both Drake and Tigert spent time mentoring
the boy. It was clear Anderson did not want to hurt Wynn even if he
was now a stark raving maniac. Nelson slightly shook his head to
indicate that there would be no quarter given. He spoke two words.

“Take him.”


The beating that ensued was horrendous. Feet hands and elbows lashed
out at the overwhelmed Crewman Wynn who was still in a fighting rage
but tiring quickly. “I’ll meet you in the infirmary.” Nelson called

out to anyone who cared. His head still pounding he staggered to the
door he and took one last look at the bull Ryan Wynn struggling on the
floor with two other security guards while the other pounded on him
mercilessly. Nelson was content to see peeking from Wynn’s torn
bloody mustard tunic the distinct sight of the hem of a blue evening
dress.

OFF

Part 3 to come in a day or two.

LCDR D.J. Nelson
CSecO
USS Swiftsure

February 2006

“Yesterday’s Swiftsure” – Setting the Stage

By: COM Wayne, CDR Wilde, LCDR Lynch

 

ON

==Bridge, USS Swiftsure==

=Enroute to SB 285=

 

"Captain on the Bridge," announced Tom as Matt stepped

out of the Turbolift and strode towards the center seat.

He shot Tom a questioning look at the sudden use of

protocol, and shook his head.

 

"As you were," Matt said with a dismissive wave of

his hand. His Exec was already standing to the right

of the Center Chair, and turned to face Matt as he

approached.  "What have we got Ex-Oh?"

 

"We began picking up a distress call roughly two

minutes ago," began Daren.  "We've located the source

of the signal and I was about to give orders to alter

course. We're the closest ship in this sector.  The

signal is pretty weak and distorted, but Lieutenant

Brown was able to filter it… somewhat."

 

"Let's hear it," said Matt as he sat down in the

Center Chair.  Daren turned and looked over at

Steve who instantly began entering in commands on

one of his station panels.

 

"Th… …s freig… …mar. Nee… …ediate assis…," began a

very staticy and frightened sounding voice over the

Bridge speakers.  The transmission went on to give

broken coordinates and then repeat itself. Matt

looked up at his Executive Officer.

 

"That's the best we've been able to get so far.

There is a lot of interference from something close

to the transmission's source, possibly an ionizing

radiation," offered the Exec with a quick look towards

Tom.

 

"Do we have them in sensor range," asked Matt, even

though he knew the obvious answer. His Exec would have

included that information in his report if he had it.

 

"No, not yet," answered Daren.  "If we alter course

now we can have them on long range in ten minutes.

We can be at their position in half an hour at maximum

warp."

 

"Send a message to them; tell them help is on the way.

Also send a message to Starfleet, inform them that we

are investigating a distress call and diverting," ordered

Matt.  "Helm alter course, maximum warp."

 

"Aye, sir," replied Moira.  Her fingers moved quickly

over her controls and the ship shifted course.  The

quiet hum of the engines increased as the ship pushed

her warp limits to the edge of tolerances.  Matt leaned

back and waited.  It would be several minutes before they

would know anything else.

 

The chronometer ticked away slowly as the distance between

the two ships decreased. The troubled freighter was not

replying to their messages and Matt had begun to fear the

worst.  He drummed his fingers on his armrests as he waited.

The fear of every spacefarer was to have an emergency and

be far from help.  In the early days this had occurred all

too often.  Even today ships disappeared without reason or

explanation. It was something they all lived with, a risk

they accepted.

 

"Coming into sensor range now, Captain," said Tom from the

Sciences station.  Matt stood and walked around to the back

of the Bridge. He stopped and peered over Tom's shoulder at

the displays as Tom worked to refine the incoming data.

 

Tom was intently working his controls, trying to glean every

last ounce of information from them. He knew the Captain was

standing behind him, but ignored his superior for now.  The

data was as garbled as the distress signal. He started

running variations of filters, anything he could think

of to undistort his information.

 

"What can you tell me," asked Matt as he continued to peer

over Tom's shoulder.  The displays, at least from his angle,

appeared to show the freighter in the center of some sort

of energy field.

 

"I'm having trouble resolving the freighter on our sensors,"

replied Tom.  His fingers continued to move across the sensor

controls as he spoke, his eyes never leaving the screens.

"If I had to forward a guess, and it is just a guess at

this range, I'd say that their ship is encased in some

sort of energy bubble."

 

"Energy bubble," repeated Matt questioningly.  The image

on the sensor displays did look like the Freighter was in

the midst of a `bubble' of some sort. The bad thing about

bubbles was that they had a nasty tendency to break at the

most inopportune of moments.

 

"I'll know more as the range closes and I can refine the

data, but," and Tom hesitated, "it almost seems as if the

Freighter is caught in some sort of temporal rift or tear.

It's as if the Freighter is holding open a singularity."

 

"Wouldn't it be crushed under the singularity's gravity field,"

asked Matt.  The images didn't make a lot of sense to him.

He had the basic knowledge, with years of exposure and

experience, but the finer points still escaped him.

 

"That's what's peculiar about this," replied Tom with a nod.

"The Freighter should be ripped apart, but it's not.  I can't

get any sort of refined readings inside that energy field."

 

"Keep me posted," said Matt.  "Time to rendezvous?"

 

"Fifteen minutes," answered Moira without turning around.

 

"Have Doctor Paulsen ready sickbay for any casualties, and

bring the ship to Yellow Alert," ordered Matt.  "Until then

we wait."

 

"Aye sir," answered Ethan as the Alarm Klaxon blared the

change in their operating status.

 

"Slow'n tae impulse," said Moira as she brought the ship

out of warp. The change in velocity drastically slowed the

rate of closure.  It would provide them with a larger

safety margin and allow Tom more time to analyze his

readings; which were still giving him problems

 

"Freighter in visual range," said Ethan. His fingers moved

over his controls and the viewscreen image shifted.  A

resounding inhale of breath went around the Bridge as

the crew absorbed the image.

 

The Freighter appeared to be an older design and it

appeared to be breaking up, but in extreme slow motion.

The image was blurred due to an energy field that shimmered

and pulsated around the Freighter.  The energy field gave

everything inside of it a bluish-yellow tint. Every so

often a tendril of energy would lash out and then retract,

pulled back as if on a leash.

 

"My god," Daren heard someone at the back of the Bridge

mutter. He felt himself nodding unconsciously in agreement

with the unknown speaker. The image was both awe inspiring

and frightful.

 

"I' be prettah if ther' wer'nt any'on o'er there," said

Moira as she stared at the image.

 

"It appears that they're caught in some sort of micro time

loop," said Daren aloud as he too stared transfixed at the

image. "Any life sign readings from that ship?"

 

"It's hard to say Commander," replied Tom from his Science's

station.  "There is too much interference from that energy

field.  I can tell you, however, that it's growing in intensity,

as if it's feeding off of something."

 

"Let's keep our distance," said the Captain.  "Moira hold us

back, say Twenty thousand klicks."

 

"Twen'y thousan' aye," she replied as she continued to slow

the vessel's approach.

 

"Getting some strange energy readings in the theta and eta

bands," said Tom aloud as he furrowed his brow at his

displays.  "The computer seems to think that it's some sort

of decay loop.  I'm cross referencing the readings with our

database, I have a nasty suspicion. The life form readings

appear to be in a state of flux, almost as if they are phasing

in and out of existence."

 

"Hold'n stat'n at twen'y thousan' klicks Cap'n," said Moira as

she brought the Swiftsure to a complete stop.

 

"What's your suspicion Tom," asked Daren and the Captain in

unison. Daren walked quickly to where the Science Officer

was busy reading his displays.

 

"The slow time decay got me to thinking about a recent article

I was reading," began Tom.  "We were going to be stuck for

awhile so I decided to get caught up on some of the latest

journals and…"

 

"Cut to the point Mister," interrupted Daren. They didn't have

time for a drawn out explanation.

 

"Sorry," said Tom running a hand through his hair.

"Anyhow a scientist in the Vrendezi cluster has postulated

that a plasma stream, when directed at a refined concentration

of Gallimide, can be used to create a disturbance or rift in

the cosmic fabric, thereby creating an event horizon and gravity

well. The graphic displays of that energy field out there

remind me of the ones I saw in the article."

 

"Uh, in Standard for those of us playing along at home," said

the Captain as he turned around and looked at Tom.

 

"If the Freighter was carrying a load of Gallimide ore and

their warp core breeched it could, in theory, cause the

formation of a black hole.  I think that's what we are

seeing here.  I'm having the computer compare the energy

signatures of our Freighter with those of the Vrendezi

Scientist's report," answered Tom.

 

"That doesn't explain the apparent slow motion breakdown

of the freighter," said Daren as his brain tried to

comprehend the scientific theory that was being put

forth.

 

"Or why they'd be carrying Gallimide ore," chipped in

the Captain.  "It's highly unstable and illegal in this

region of space."

 

"If it was right at the beginning of the event horizon,

then the strong gravity field could be warping time and

space.  It would in essence slow things down for them,"

offered Tom with a shrug as he waited for the Computer to

perform its analysis. "As for why they are carrying it, I

have no idea."

 

"Shouldn't we be trying to rescue the crew," asked Ethan.

His comment caused everyone to look his direction.

 

"A good point Mr. Spencer," said the Captain, "but if I

comprehend what our Science Officer is saying, we're

already too late to help them."

 

"Correct Captain," replied Tom as his computer chirped and he

smiled to himself.  "The computer confirms that we are seeing

a similar energy wave to the predicted Vrendezi pattern.  The

Freighter could have started breaking up several hours or

several days ago."

 

"Transporter Room is unable to get a positive lock on anyone

on the Freighter," reported Steve dejectedly and in answer to

Ethan's train of thought.

 

"Captain, I don't like just sitting here and watching this

happen," said Daren as he walked back to stand to the right

of his CO. "I have a bad feeling about this."

 

"Agreed Ex-Oh," said the Captain. "There's nothing we can

do for that crew, and I'm not about to jeopardize our

safety either. Helm move us back to a saf…."

 

"Energy spike," cried Tom as his readings began to go off

the scale. "Captain the bubble is expanding rapidly and

becoming unstable."

 

"Moira get us out of here," shouted the Captain.  "Get

the shields up!"

 

"On' it," said Moira as her fingers began to move quickly

across her controls.

 

"Bubble expanding rapidly, destabilizing as it expands,"

said Tom.  "We're going to be engulfed in a matter of

seconds," he said looking up.

 

"No' gonna mak' it," said Moira grimly as her fingers

continued to fly across her board. The image on the viewscreen

shifted as she put the ship into a hard turn, desperately

trying to get the ship outside of the expanding ball of

energy.

 

"The Freighter is detonating," said Tom.  Onscreen there

was a brilliant flash and a rapidly expanding energy wave.

It expanded with incredible speed, engulfing everything in

its path.

 

"Moira, get us turned back into the wave," shouted the

Captain.  The Bridge began to shake as the outer edge of

the energy bubble impacted against the Swiftsure's still

strengthening shields. The shields held and they were

engulfed within the bubble. Then the shock wave of the

Freighter's exploding warp core slammed into the

Swiftsure's shields.

 

Daren found himself being tossed to the floor as the

lighting on the bridge went out.  Everything seemed to

be happening in slow motion. He heard several yelps as

others were tossed to the floor.  He felt as if he were

floating.  The sensation lasted for what seemed like

several seconds before a sudden, hard impact with the

floor knocked him senseless.

 

To anyone viewing the scene from a distance the Swiftsure

appeared to be enveloped by an expanding bluish-yellow

ovoid ball of energy.  A sudden flash made the energy

ball and the Swiftsure vanish from view.  Sixteen years

later, in the exact same spot a sudden flash of light

marked the return of a ship Starfleet had written off.

The Swiftsure hung limp and powerless in space, listing

slightly to Starboard. Her running lights flickered

briefly as the emergency batteries tried to kick in.

 

A probe, which just happened to be in the region, detected

the event.  It had lain dormant for fifteen long and cold

years, but now its systems began to come alive.  The probe

confirmed its data and then began transmitting a signal

towards a prearranged relay beacon.  The relay took the

probe's signal and boosted its strength then sent it further

along to a prearranged address.

 

OFF

A Post By:

COM Matthew Wayne

CO

USS Swiftsure

 

&

 

CDR Daren Wilde

XO

USS Swiftsure

 

&

 

LCDR Tom Lynch

CSciO

USS Swiftsure

 

January 2006

ON

==Moira’s Quarters, Deck Five==

=Following Holodeck Party=

 

There was a trail of water following them down the

corridor.  Moira had walked in silence the entire way

back to her quarters with Tom walking quickly to keep

up with the petite red-head.  He had given up trying to

apologize and now tried to figure out how best to get back

on her good side.  It wasn’t something that he had ever

been able to figure out.

 

“Look,” said Tom for about the hundredth time, “how

many times do I have to say I’m sorry?”

 

Moira continued to ignore him and instead of answering him

stepped into her quarters and waited for him to follow her.

She was enjoying his groveling, well she had been, she told

herself.  Tom’s pleas were beginning to garner on pathetic,

but she’d string him out a little bit longer.  She entered her

bedroom and began to remove her soaked through uniform

and kilt.

 

“It was a joke,” repeated Tom as he watched her undress

from her bedroom doorway.  He was beginning to get the

impression that she was letting him wallow in his sense of

regret.  If she had really been mad at him, he wouldn’t be

standing here watching her. “I’m the one who went through

the window, remember?”

 

“Aye, an ya be deservin’ everythin’ ya goot,” she retorted.

She was down to her underwear and walked over towards

her dresser.  A new uniform and dry underclothes were

quickly in hand and she walked back towards the sonic shower.

“So wha’ shoul’ I try tae forgiv’ first?  Th’ pie or th’ fact ya tried

to mak’ me thin’ ya was droun’n?”

 

“It was a food fight, I was just having a little fun,” said Tom, glad

that she was finally talking to him.  “Look maybe the drowning bit

was a little over the top, but you have to stop throwing me around.”

 

“Aye, I’ll giv’ ya tha’ much,” she said with a nod as she stepped into

her sonic shower and removed the rest of her clothing.  “But ya nae

goot hurt this time.”

 

“Dumb luck if you ask me,” muttered Tom as his wet uniform

continued to drip onto her floor.

 

“Wha was tha,” she asked amidst the hum of the shower.

 

“Nothing,” said Tom quickly.  “Look I need to clean up myself, and I

doubt you have anything in my size.  So if you don’t mind I’ll be off.”

 

“Nothin’ in yer’ size,” she said with a laugh as the sonic shower

finished and she exited. “Did ya check?”

 

“No why, did I leave something here,” he asked wondering if he had

a spare uniform lying around her quarters that he’d forgotten about.

 

“I swear tha’ you canna be so dense,” she said with a shake of

her head as she got dressed.  “Och, me floor ya daft man, pu’ a

frigg’n towel under ya feet.  I nae wanna hav’ Loch Lynch in me

quarters.”

 

“Oh, sorry,” said Tom as if noticing the puddle forming beneath him

for the first time. “So do I have a spare uniform here or not?”

 

“Aye, tha ya do,” she said with a nod, “middle draw’r.”

 

“Thanks. You mind if I use your shower,” he asked without

taking a step forward.  He still wasn’t sure about her mood, but

it was better than when they’d left the holodeck.

 

“As if ya hav’ tae ask,” she said rolling her eyes as she pulled on her

uniform tunic.  She walked over to the mirror and opened the small

black box the Captain had given her.  Inside was a third pip to add

to her collar.  She reached down and picked up the gold and black

circle and stared at it a minute before attaching it to her collar.

Lieutenant Commander O’Bannon, it had a nice ring, and now that

she was equal to Tom in rank, he couldn’t attempt to order her

around.  He could try, but it would be even more difficult for

him now.

 

“Sorry, I’m just never sure about when I’m going to be tossed

into a bulkhead,” he said dryly as he began removing his costume.

“Do I even have to bring up the last time?”

 

“Ya canna quit rubbin’ it in,” she retorted as she turned to face him.

“No’ hurr’y up an’a get changed.  We’re a leav’n in under an hour.”

 

“Where’d you hear that,” said Tom as he stepped into the sonic shower.

 

“I swear ya ar’ daft, dinna ya overhear the Cap’n n’ Ex-Oh,” she asked.

 

“No, when was this,” he asked.

 

“I giv’ up,” she said throwing her hands into the air.  She walked

over to a small cabinet and pulled out a towel to put down and

sop up Tom’s and her own water puddles.  She laughed at the

memory of her ‘floating’ kilt and turned to say something to

Tom about it when she realized that he had already exited the

shower and was standing, naked, staring at her.

 

“So… you… uh….,” he asked eyeing her and then the bed.

 

“Is tha’ all ya thin abou,” she heard herself saying for the millionth

time.  “No, ya need tae get dressed so tha’ we can get tae th’ bridge.”

 

“Yes, and I haven’t gotten any messages saying that we’re leaving,

have you,” he asked slyly.

 

“No ya goot me…,” she paused as her desk terminal chirped.

“Get outta view,” she added as she activated the terminal.

The last thing she needed was for some poor watch officer to

see Tom in all that mother nature had given him.

 

“Commander O’Bannon,” she said to the image on the screen.

 

“Commander,” began the Lieutenant, Willis… or was it Wilkins

(She could never remember), “We’ll be leaving in thirty-five

minutes, ma'am.”

 

“Aye, than’ ya’ Lieutenant,” she replied.  The face on the

screen nodded and then disappeared.  She turned to find

Tom already half-way through dressing.

 

“Saved by the messenger, eh Moira,” he said with a devilish

grin as he tucked in his tunic and checked his appearance in

her mirror.

 

“Aye,” she said sounding a little disappointed.

 

OFF

A Joint Post By:

LCDR Tom Lynch

CSciO

USS Swiftsure

 

&

 

LCDR Moira O’Bannon

CCO

USS Swiftsure

 

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