First Mission: A Question of Time/The Quest

Narrative Compiled by The Singin' One
Gamemaster, USS Kitty Hawk Roleplaying Campaign

Chapter One: A Little Trouble Brews (And We Haven't Even Launched)! (Part C)

Before we begin, a bit of business. As always, Star Trek, its characters, events, etc., are the property of Paramount. There are also occasional references to characters or events created by authors of published Star Trek novels. Their influence is gratefully acknowledged.

However, the principal and non-principal characters created by the players and/or gamemaster of the USS Kitty Hawk campaign and the narrative created from their roleplaying are their exclusive property.

"What the hell?" Phocas looked around, "Damn!"

The Brig was just as he remembered except for the six marines looking at him from the other side of the field. He noticed his uniform on the floor along with his phaser and communicator.

"I suppose," he continued, speaking to the young ensign he recognized as one of his ex-trainees, "you have standing orders not to let me out?"

The kid was obviously caught between his loyalty to his old teacher and his desire to respect his orders.

"That was very...stupid, Sir."

"Hum,...Oh! That! Don't get yourself excited kid, it's not the first time. And get that uniform straight!" Phocas was getting irritable by the minute. "Ensign, what happened to the microtape that was in my pockets?"

"Your items were searched and the contents given to Lt.Cmdr Cain, Sir. He's the Chief."

"Well, why don't you call Lt.Cmdr Cain and tell him to take a quick look at the orders on that tape, assuming it's still intact, and tell him he will find all the required authorizations for what I did. These orders were issued directly from Starfleet Training Command Headquarters and he can easily verify them by calling Capt. Revelstone."

As the ensign was going towards the computer console, Phocas directed himself to the bed. "Caught with my pants down...I think I will have to change my opinion about the man..."

Cain stepped out from the corner in which he stood. He moved to the viewscreen where the ensign had punched up the orders:

TO CAIN, NICODEMUS, LT. CMDR., USS KITTY HAWK, NCC-1863.

LT. ALEX PHOCAS HAS BEEN AUTHORIZED TO CONDUCT A SIMULATED INFILTRATION OF THE KITTY HAWK TO EVALUATE SHIP'S SECURITY SYSTEMS AND PERSONNEL. YOUR COOPERATION IN THE EXERCISE WILL BE APPRECIATED.

SIGNED
PATRICE REVELSTONE, CAPTAIN
SECURITY TRAINEE COORDINATOR
STARFLEET COMMAND

"The ensign summed it up, I think. That was stupid. If we hadn't been in spacedock, those men would've had harsher orders than a heavy stun. I'm removing the reprimands you placed on those officers. You were their commanding officer, and a certain implicit trust must exist between ranks, or your entire infrastructure falls apart. You've destroyed that trust and will have to work very hard to rebuild it." Cain paused for a moment, looking again to the orders. "I know you've destroyed my trust, and I don't like that."

"I must admit your solution to the test was...unexpected, Sir." Phocas could tell the man would mean trouble. "However, it would have been illogical to inform you of it in advance. The results would have been flawed. My system may not be the best in the universe, but it gives me a realistic and objective performance evaluation." Phocas rubbed his right arm. "As far as trust goes, It is not given. It is earned. The test, on the other hand, was a success. IF we had been in space, Sir,that rope would have been a phaser set on kill. You would be dead along with more than half the security contingent. All that by a single man. Imagine what a professional boarding party would have done."

Phocas got up and walked to the field. He snapped to attention with immaculate precision. "Lt. Alex Phocas reporting for duty, Sir! You will have my full report on your desk as soon as I get out of here."

Phocas patiently examined his superior officer. Cain didn't blink.

"Just a minute, Phocas," Cain stepped up to the force field. He could feel the tingling of the protective shield. "If you had been a professional boarding party, you wouldn't have had security access due an executive security officer. The only results your test has yielded is the response of security to a Star Fleet officer during Space Dock preparations.

"If you had been a hostile, non-Star Fleet individual, you would have first had to find transportation to Space Dock, either by beaming or by shuttlecraft. Both of these methods would have been detected by Space Dock Security. Assuming you discovered a method to infiltrate Space Dock, you'd have to find a method of reaching the Kitty Hawk. This could be performed by transporting from within Space Dock or by shuttlecraft, launched from within Space Dock. Both methods would have been detected by both Space Dock Security and Ship's Security.

"Gaining entrance to the Kitty Hawk via shuttlecraft would have been impossible, without previous knowledge of certain codes. Assuming you had gained entry to the Kitty Hawk, all unauthorized personnel detected would've been apprehended at first notice by security.

"Since you had a rank and position of trust...in other words, you were authorized...you were not suspect of the actions you took."

"Yes, Phocas, trust is earned. You earned that trust when you became a Star Fleet Officer. I realize that your background has more than prepared you for certain specialized situations, but I also understand that you may not have received the training most officers of Star Fleet have. I intend, while you are aboard the Kitty Hawk, to monopolize on your talents and correct these faults."

Cain examined the orders again. "Needless to say, I don't approve of your, or Star Fleet Training Command's, actions. This is a test to see what my response would've been to a hostile intruder? Well, I'm not done being tested yet. You'll remain in the brig until I get this situation cleared up. Which means I have a talk with the Captain, and, with his permission, Admiral Reese, concerning the orders given to you by Star Fleet Training Command."

"I'm leaving now to talk to the Captain about this situation. You'll remain in the brig until your guards hear from me." Cain turned and left the brig, calm and collected. He stopped next to a comm panel and touched a button.

As Chance and Zakal made their way through the ship, Chance's communicator beeped. He flipped it open.

"Chance here."

He flipped open his comm grid again. "Cain to Captain Chance. Captain, the situation is under control. I am going to order a shipwide search before standing down from Red Alert." Cain began. "Our intruder was Lieutenant Phocas. He has been subdued, and I'm holding him in the brig. Any special orders, Sir?"

"Lieutenant Phocas, you say?" Chance replied, "A Starfleet officer is responsible for wreaking havok on my ship before it's even left dock?! Commander Zakal and I are en route to the Brig, Commander. I'll hear your full report then. Chance out."

"Cain out."

Zakal listened to the brief conversation and shook his head as Chance looked up from his communicator. "Looks like our Security personnel are a bit over-zealous and over-wrought. Phocus is Cain's Security Exec."

Chance shut the communicator forcefully, and replaced it on his belt. He was clearly not happy.

"Captain," Zakal continued, "I believe we should treat this as a departmental matter. I believe Mr. Cain should be allowed to handle his own personnel."

The captain's hard gaze fell upon his exec, then he walked briskly towards the nearest turbolift. With a quick ride up to Deck Seven, Chance and Zakal left the 'lift car and strode down to the brig.

Soon, they arrived at the Detention area. Cain was looking at a computer readout.

"Commander, " Chance said as they walked in, "what's the situation?"

Cain snapped to attention upon Chance and Zakal's arrival. "Sir, the situation is under control. The intruder, Lieutenant Phocas, was apprehended in the armory. The perpetrator was brought to the brig an, after a routine investigation, was found to be in stable condition. He was stripped of his clothing and bodily searched by security personnel. Among his possessions was this data file from Captain Patrice Revelstone, Star Fleet Training Command.

Zakal listened as Cain related his story to the Captain. As he listened, he rolled his eyes. [A damn simulation in Sper."]

Chance read the orders on the screen. "Patrice Revelstone. I should have known. She staged a series of surprise security drills while I was XO on the Lexington. Commodore Wesley was not amused. Neither was I."

Zakal replied, "I can certainly understand why, Captain. This situation is inane."

The captain went over to Phocas. "Lieutenant, before I release you, I want you to know that, orders or no, I will not tolerate such excessive measures from anyone under my command unless I deem they are warranted and necessary. Thanks to your little "demonstration", several of my security people are now in Sickbay. That will NOT happen again. Am I making myself clear?"

Chance's tone made it clear he was not talking strictly to Phocas, but to Cain and the rest of Security as well.

"I intend to have a little discussion with Captain Revelstone myself. In the meantime, you will assist Commander Cain and Zakal in doing whatever is necessary to get this ship ready for tomorrow's launch."

He punched the force field controls, and the field blinked out. "Dismissed."

The matter ended, Chance stormed out.

Zakal shook his head wearily. "Mr. Cain..." Zakal sighed. "Never mind. Prepare a report for me by the time we're ready for inspection." Zakal made his way to follow the captain to the bridge.

Cain tilted his head in perplexion for a moment at Zakal's stillborn sentence and then quipped, in a typical military tone, "Yes, Sir."

Cain watched Zakal leave and relaxed when the doors had whisked shut. He called after Phocas.

"Don't think this is over yet, Phocas. The Captain is going to deal with Captain Revelstone, but you still have to deal with me. Go get yourself cleaned up and report to my office in thirty minutes." Cain lifted his wrist to look at his chronometer. "Mark. Arrive no earlier, and no later. Dismissed, Phocas."

Phocas stepped out of the cell and picked up his uniform and equipment. Without a word, he started for the door.

Cain looked around him after Phocas left. "Good job, gentlemen. Response was quick and efficient. Return to your normally scheduled duties. You," Cain pointed to an ensign who was preparing to leave. "What is your name, son?"

The young man snapped to attention. "Ensign Budge, Sir," he quipped.

"I want you to see to it that the weapons and armor are returned to the Armory. Then, I want a visual accounting of all equipment in the Armory." Cain turned to leave. "If you need me, I'll be in my office, but I wouldn't suggest calling me," Cain looked to his chronometer again, "in twenty eight point four minutes, unless another officer decides to introduce himself from behind brig shields."

With that, Cain left the brig behind and stepped down the corridor to his office. Cain sat next to his computer terminal and pressed a button. He spoke his personal log into the terminal and, after checking his chronometer again, sat back and waited for Phocas to arrive.

Chance went to the nearest intercom. "Captain Chance to Bridge. Get me Starfleet Command on subspace, specifically Captain Patrice Revelstone of Security. I'll take the call on the Bridge. Chance out."

Zakal caught up with Chance just as the 'lift doors opened to admit him. He stepped in beside the captain. Now that the security matter was resolved, he could appreciate the ship and its new design. "Nice, eh? Wait 'til you see your Bridge, Sir. Much roomier and functional than most Constitutions--including the new Venture which was just recently commissioned, but has few of the upgrades this ship has."

Seconds later, the portside doors slid open.

The Bridge was a flurry of activity as technicians finished last-minute connections. Chance stood there a moment admiring the view.

Everything was new, sophisticated. The cutting edge of technology. Kitty Hawk was the forerunner for the new standard of starship. She would pave the way for all that was to come. A heady responsibility.

Chance stepped out and moved to communications. A young ensign was working there. She looked up at him. "I have Captain Revelstone for you, Sir."

"Put her on the main screen, please." he said.

Zakal moved to his Science station and watched his new CO carefully. He had read Chance's record and did not envy Capt. Revelstone at this moment.

The ensign flipped a few switches, and the face of Patrice Revelstone resolved itself on the viewer.

"Captain, I'm Traydon Chance, soon-to-be captain of the Kitty Hawk. My chief of Security has just apprehended one of my junior officers sneaking through the ship, disabling our security men, under your orders. I'd like to know why." he said.

[Wouldn't we all.] thought Zakal, staring at the image on the screen.

Everything was new, sophisticated. The cutting edge of technology. Kitty Hawk was the forerunner for the new standard of starship. She would pave the way for all that was to come. A heady responsibility.

Chance stepped out and moved to communications. A young ensign was working there. She looked up at him. "I have Captain Revelstone for you, sir."

"Put her on the main screen, please." he said.

She flipped a few switches, and the face of Patrice Revelstone resolved itself on the viewer.

"Captain, I'm Traydon Chance, soon-to-be captain of the Kitty Hawk. My chief of Security has just apprehended one of my junior officers sneaking through the ship, disabling our security men, under your orders. I'd like to know why." he said.

"Captain, Lt. Phocas has authorization to participate in an evaluation of the Kitty Hawk's security system," Revelstone replied.

[Here it comes.] Zakal says to himself.

"With all due respect, Captain, this ship doesn't even have a full command crew aboard, yet. And, I don't think it was a fair test, considering that we're sitting in the best defended starbase in the Federation. If Lt. Phocas HAD been an enemy saboteur, I think it would say more, or should I say less, for Starbase security than Kitty Hawk's. Until she's ready for launch, this ship's security is Starfleet Command's responsibility." He smiled. "I'd say you dropped the ball, Captain."

"I will be lodging a formal complaint with Command, along with a on suggestion that they review their Starbase security. Good day, Captain." He reached over and cut the channel. The viewscreen went dark.

He glanced at Zakal. "I'll be on the starbase if there's anything else. It'll probably be the last chance I'll have to get some rest."

"Captain, I think I'd better stay here unless you need for something base-side."

Chance shook his head. "Good night, Commander."

Zakal watched the captain leave the Bridge. He hit the comm switch. "This is Commander Zakal. All senior officers and department heads are to turn out for Captain Chance's transfer of command ceremony tomorrow. Details will be forwarded to you via computer before Beta Shift. I want this ready to fly three hours before that time. Anyone having problems meeting this deadline report to the First Officer. That is all."

Zakal checked his science station thoroughly.

Finding all well, Zakal took the center seat and sighed once more. "What a life." he said to himself, his mind on his wives and children.

Phocas walked down to the turbolift. He stated his destination to the computer and waited for the doors to open.

On the door of the Deck Four quarters, a sign was posted with his name and rank. It swished open to admit him. The room was probably no bigger than his living room back at the Marines School but that was the way with all starships. He found his chest on the bed. Opening it, he hesitated for a few seconds and decided he had made enough waves for the day.

"Time to play safe," he said as he quickly discarded his now torched marines uniform. "It won't do me any harm to wear a standard uniform until I get my hands on a new body armor."

He dressed in record time but still had to run in order to make it for his meeting with Cain. Arriving at the door, he checked his uniform to make sure everything was perfect and verified his chronometer. Ten seconds to go. Exactly 30 minutes after Cain's ultimatum, he pushed the bell button.

"Come in," Cain called from within. As Phocas entered, Cain looked to his chronometer. "That's more of what I like to see, Phocas." Cain turned back to his terminal. "Sit."

"Thank you, Sir." Phocas took the chair offered to him. As is old Vulcan teacher used to say: "If you can't win, be polite. Sometimes the small victories count more than the big ones."

Cain touched a button on the terminal. "Security Chief's log, supplemental."

"In response to your actions of today, Lieutenant Phocas, I am going to serve you with official reprimands." Cain looked up from his terminal.

"Illegal use of an extravehicular suit; one reprimand."

"Illegal entry to a Star Fleet Vessel; one reprimand."

"Failure to utilize proper boarding procedure; one reprimand."

"Assault on a Star Fleet Officer; one reprimand."

"Assault on a Star Fleet Officer; second reprimand."

"Assault on a Star Fleet Officer; third reprimand."

"Improper usage of security codes; one reprimand."

"Improper serving of reprimands; one reprimand."

"Assault on a Star Fleet Officer; fourth reprimand."

"Assault on a Star Fleet Officer; fifth reprimand."

"Improper usage of the computer; one reprimand."

"Improper usage of security codes; second reprimand."

"Unauthorized entry into the Armory; one reprimand."

"Improper usage of Armory facilities; one reprimand."

"Placement of mechanical ensnarements; one reprimand."

"Usage of said ensnarements against a Star Fleet Officer; one reprimand."

"Usage of said ensnarements against a superior officer; one reprimand."

Cain turned back to his terminal. "Total reprimands, seventeen. Do you understand these reprimands, as I have recorded them?"

"Yes, Sir. Thank you, Sir." The voice was like the purr of a jungle cat, but Phocas remained calm. After all, he had expected, even wished, a lot worse. Wasn't that the man whose record stated he liked to nearly kill his students in order to teach them to be cautious? He shrugged it off his mind and turned his attention back to the man sitting on the other side of the desk.

"End log entry." Cain looked up from the terminal. "I expect in the future, no more problems, Phocas. In order for security aboard this ship to run efficiently, such actions as you took today will not take place in the future. You created a situation not only dangerous to yourself, but to other members of the crew you will serve with.

"Phocas, this is the last ship I will probably ever serve on. I will not have my record tarnished by a loose cannon, understood? You pull a stunt like you pulled today, and I'll nail you. If it wasn't for the orders from Captain Revelstone, I'd have your rank and position. Regardless of your orders, you did not follow proper procedure, that's why you are receiving the aformentioned seventeen reprimands. Any questions, Lieutenant?"

"None, Sir." The purr again.

"While we're here, is there anything else you wish to discuss?"

"Yes there is, Sir. It is now," Phocas looked at his chronometer, "Seventeen hundred hours and I'd like to know if there's anything else you need before the eighteen hundred hours meeting. I need to go to sickbay and make sure no one was severely injured during the exercise and, of course, make sure that all the section heads have reported in for duty.

Cain thought for a moment. "No, Phocas, there will be nothing else."

Phocas left his chair. He hesitated a few seconds and, finally snapped to attention. "May I be excused, Sir?"

"Phocas, your behavior since you entered that door has been exlempary. If you can continue to prove to me that you are the exceptional Star Fleet Officer I need in the next two weeks, I will remove your reprimands from your official record. Don't think , for a moment, that I'll remove it from my own record of you, you've still got a way to go for that." Cain settled back into his chair and almost etched his wry smile across his face. "Report section head complement to me before seventeen hundred and fifty five hours.

"Dismissed, Lieutenant."

Phocas turned smartly and left Cain's office.

The ship returned to its former state of controlled frenzy. The story of Phocas' misadventure provided a moment of amusement among the arriving officers and crew and lifted the stress of final preparations, if only for a time.

(End of Chapter One)

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Live long and prosper!

The Singin' One

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