First Mission: A Question of Time/The Quest
Narrative Compiled by The Singin' One
Gamemaster, USS Kitty Hawk Roleplaying Campaign
Chapter Two-B: The Crew Begins to Arrive
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.
Phocas finally made it down to sickbay where he quickly located two officers doing what seemed to be an inventory. He realized, with a certain dose of pleasure, that one of them was Vulcan.
"Excuse me, Doctor. Can you tell me if the marines sent here today have been returned to duty?"
Rogers was nearing the completion of her work on the equipment inventory when she heard the door *whoosh* open. She looked up and instantly recognized the man who entered Sickbay. Her first reaction upon seeing him up and around was relief. It had been a close call when he had been so heavily phaser stunned.
Then, her smile changed to a frown because she remembered that he was the one who was responsible for putting the security guards she had treated earlier that day in Sickbay in the first place.
"Lieutenant," she said with a bit of frost in her voice, "May I help you?"
"I'm here to check on my men," Phocas said, glancing around as he spoke.
"All of them were released, but I have taken two off of active duty for 24 hours to allow them additional rest."
Phocas nodded and replied, "Quite logical. Thank you doctor." He turned to leave.
"Since you are here, I'd like to check you over again. When I last saw you, you had been stablized, but a stun that heavy might have side effects."
Rogers was about to guide Phocas to the examining room when she received a call from the exobiology lab. "I'm sorry," she said, "This is something I need to attend to. Mayreeka, would you handle the examination?"
Mayreeka nodded and led Phocas to the examination room. She then began her scan.
"Well there doesn't seem to be any permanent damage, but I would suggest that it would be prudent for you to remain in your quarters and rest. You seem to be mending well, but you still may have a few side effects later. Are you experiencing any lightheadedness or dizziness?"
"Doctor," Phocas tried to modulate his voice for complete calm, "This ship is about to leave spacedock in a few hours. I don't have time to rest. And, no, I am not dizzy." That was still a little rough. "Thank you for your concern, but I have a meeting scheduled in less than twenty minutes."
"Very well. Should you experience any difficulties, report them immediately.
Phocas turned for the door. He turned his head towards the ensign, extending his hand in the formal Vulcan salute. "Peace and long life."
After the doors had closed behind, Mayreeka could not help being a little curious about the shortness in Phocas' voice. With a mental shrug, she went back to her inventory without giving the matter another thought.
Cain turned sharply and stomped out of the Officer's Lounge. He made his way to the transporter room and, surprisingly, found it empty.
"Cain to Transporter Chief," Cain said into the nearest comm panel. "I'll be needing transport back to the Kitty Hawk, asap."
"Sir, this is Star Base Communications Officer Ryan. Due to an increase in solar flare activity, transporters have been temporarily taken off line. Please report to shuttlebay seven, Shuttle 7 still has a seat open."
Cain arched an eyebrow. [ Solar flares? ] He began to step down the hall, pondering. [ That comm officer was lying, I know it. Something is up. ] Cain fingered a dagger he kept under his tunic. It made him feel a little better.
He stepped into Launch Bay Seven, and only one shuttle was still there. He looked down to his chronometer. [ If this is Phocas' revenge, he's in for a ruder awakening. ] Cain stepped up into the shuttlecraft and the door closed behind him. The shuttle was an executive model and compartmentalized so that the pilot could not be seen; there also wasn't anyone else on board, which made the little hairs on the back of his neck stand on end.
The craft slowly lifted off of the launch pad and began an overly slow journey to the Kitty Hawk.
"Pilot," Cain shouted into the Comm panel next to his seat. "I'm late for a meeting, can you please try to expedite matters?"
No sooner had he finished his sentence, was Cain thrown from his seat by sudden acceleration. The inertial compensators took a moment to return the gravity to 1G. Cain reached up to the comm panel when he discovered that they were travelling at twice the regulated speed. The Kitty Hawk's chief of security smiled to himself as he touched the button on the Comm panel.
"Hello, Ensign McCavendis."
"That's Lieutenant, Junior Grade to you, Bub," the cocky voice of his favorite pilot called through the Comm.
"Oh?" He asked, as he had not already known. "Congratulations, Terry."
Cain groaned to himself, feeling his age. He had trained Theresa McCavendis in the Academy, and she was already a lieutenant, JG. "You know, if you don't slow down, you might lose that--" he stumbled over his words as the shuttle lurched even faster again. He smiled and sat back, enjoying the ride.
When they reached the Kitty Hawk, she finally slowed the craft to a reasonable speed; mostly to avoid hitting technical craft still buzzing around. As a final show of her expertise, she brought the shuttle into the bay and landed without using the bay's guidance systems. "The crew thanks you for flying the friendly skies," she announced to Cain as the shuttle gently touched down.
Terry hugged him when he stepped out of the shuttlecraft. Her blonde locks were completely gone, with her hair buzzed, showing her scalp in parts. She also looked even more wiry than he remembered. When they pulled back from the embrace, Cain held her by the shoulders and looked at her; suddenly, he felt like a father-figure, and that scared him. He dropped his hands.
"Come with me, Lieutenant," Cain quipped.
"Yes, Sir, yer Lordship, Sir," she quipped, but in quite a different tone. Cain had to give a nearby engineer a sinister sneer to keep the chuckles down until he was out of earshot.
After the door had swished shut, he gave her the "serious" look. "Listen, Terry, I've been having some discipline problems around here."
"Really? You?" She actually seemed surprised. "How many bones did you break?"
McCavendis stopped in her tracks and watched her old prof walk down the hall, frozen in awe. Cain suddenly became distracted by an officer walking around in blue pastel pajamas; then realized he was walking alone and stopped.
"Things just aren't like they used to be, alright?" Cain looked into her metallic mirrored sunglasses. "I can't afford to let things get out of hand." He took her by the shoulder and led her down the corridor. "You've got your whole career ahead of you, Terry. Mine's coming to a close, and I'm not going out with a black mark. So you need to be on your best behavior; I personally requested you be assigned to this vessel, because you've got skills I need. Understood?"
"Okay, Nic, I'll be a good little girl," she teased.
"Thanks." Nic stopped, and noticed another officer walk by in tan pajamas. His eyebrow furrowed a bit. He looked to McCavendis, who shrugged.
The two continued to the meeting.
Phocas walked out of sickbay and decided to proceed directly to the officers lounge. Getting there, he found a quiet table in a corner and waited for his officers to arrive.
A long table in a corner was slowly being filled by a number of people in red uniforms. Phocas reminded himself to ask when the new uniforms were supposed to be issued. He identified each of the men and women by what he remembered from the service records he had reviewed prior to coming onboard and waited to see the outcome of the spirited debate now taking place among them...
"I'm telling you that man is mad!"
"You don't even know him." That was Ensign Budge.
"I don't need to know him. Just look at what he did today. I mean, who else would actually climb onboard a starship, knock down fifteen security guards, break in the armory -making sure everybody knew-, be stunned, put in the brig and then go on and request permission to return to duty?"
"You seem to know a great deal about Phocas. Did you meet him before?" A new voice in the crowd asked.
"Yes," Budge paused,"he was my instructor last year at the marines school."
"An instructor!?" Everyone looked startled.
"And a damn good one too. I've never seen a man to be so dedicated to his trade. They say he was raised on Vulcan, but he never talks about it. He is generally gruff and to the point, but he's smart, with an excellent grasp of tactics and strategy. His inspections of equipment and dress are greatly 'feared by his men."
"Feared?"The voice sounded perplexed.
"Feared." Budge gave no opening for further comments. "They say he was raised from the ranks after saving a ship from a Romulan warbird."
"But, how did he ever get to be an instructor?"
A new lieutenant joined the group.
"I think I can help you there, gentlemen." he sat down.
"Thank you, sir." said Budge.
"No prob." He looked at the guards sitting around the table. "For him, becoming an instructor was a punishment."
"Don't believe me if you wish, but Phocas was sent back to Earth because he was considered too dangerous." The speaker waited for his audience to calm down. "Let me tell you what happened. A few years ago, he was guarding an experimental shuttle store on a starbase. An admiral walked to where he was posted and asked him what he would do if he tried to get close to the craft. Phocas answered he would have to call in for help. The Admiral laughed and advanced while telling him he was a poor excuse for a marine.
Phocas punched him in the face and called for help...to drag the admiral's body to the brig."
"Surely that wasn't enough to get him in serious trouble?"
"No. Did any of you know about the 'Excalibur run'?"
"Wait a minute," said Budge,"wasn't that the incident involving a stolen starship about two years ago?"
"Really good, Ensign! That was Phocas. You see, he believes you can only know if a security system is good if it is confronted to an actual challenge. They said no one could storm the Excalibur. That was enough for Phocas." He stopped to take a drink of water. "He knew the ship security was tight, so he went after the entire crew. He programmed to starbase computer to release a powerful sedative into the air. He, then, just walked into the ship and took her out for a ride. When he came back, he was promptly arrested and supposed to be court-martialed."
"How did he manage to avoid it?"
"Phocas was rescued by an admiral he once saved. He was finally assigned to the Marines Branch School where he was always closely supervised and the promotion to lieutenant commander he expected was cancelled."
Everybody was silent for long minutes after that. Phocas stood up when he saw most of his staff was there. He was standing right behind the brash young lieutenant when...
"I still say the man is mad. Not only mad, but also stupid, vicious, and totally useless on a starship." The man stopped as he saw the scared looks from his friends. "He's standing behind me...isn't he?"
Phocas grinned and said, "He is."
At that moment, a human woman, dressed in a sharp business suit, stepped into the room. Her features were sharp, and somehow alluring, though visibly very normal. Her most visible and shocking feature was that her long, brownish hair was shaven on the left side of her head. Stepping forcibly across the room, she made a beeline for Phocas.
"Lieutenant," her voice was as strangely alluring as her appearance, "I am Lieutenant Commander Andrea Boyle, Star Fleet Intelligence." She extended a hand to Phocas.
Phocas hesitated, then took her hand.
"Nic requested that I join his Hostile Rescue Team aboard this vessel." She sat in the chair next to where Phocas was standing. "So you're the one these young men have been talking about since I stepped off the transporter pad? I heard them mention what you did when you came on board. I imagine Nic got a good laugh out of that..." She sighed during her questioning, and lifted her feet onto a nearby table, relaxing, as if from a long day's work.
Phocas looked at her for a moment before examining his chronometer again. Five minutes to go and she was the first officer of Cain's HRT to report for the meeting. Phocas made a mental note to make sure it never happened again.
Phocas found a chair at the table and waited for Cain to arrive.
By the time Rogers returned to sickbay, Phocas had departed, and Mayreeka was again working on her part of the inventory.
With both women working on the inventory, they finished within two hours. Rogers considered the idea of inviting Mayreeka to join her for a well- deserved break, but the impressions she got from the Vulcan made her decide against it. She was just too tired to hold both sides of a conversation.
"Mayreeka," she said, "I'm going off duty. Sickbay is yours. If you need me, I'll either be in the lounge grabbing something to eat or in my quarters resting."
"That will be acceptable. I do need to say that you have done a good job, and I have not been myself the last couple of days. I know I don't appear to be talkative, but I do have a lot on my mind. I hope you rest well."
"Good night." With a friendly wave, Rogers left Sickbay.
Mayreeka glanced around the nearly empty sick bay. Most of the medical staff had gone off-duty, their work done for the evening. She took the opportunity to aquaint herself further.
"Computer? What time is the sickbay inspection?"
[ WORKING... SICKBAY INSPECTION IS SCHEDULED FOR 1725 HOURS, STARDATE 7262. ]
"Well I have from now until tomorrow to learn this sickbay. I really would like to see the science labs, but I think I will wait until I become more familiar.
She looks around the sickbay again. Her lips compressed and her eyes gleamed coolly as she remembered the earlier encounter with her fellow graduate.
"I shall remember that encounter for some time because I can't allow myself any pleasures on a ship where something like that could ruin me. I must remain logical and sedate. Calinda seemed nice, but I can't allow myself to become 'friendly' with any of the crew until I study each of them well. I don't want anyone to learn of my real mission."
A small tear came to eye as she remembered her mother. Her fists automatically formed fists. She shook her head to clear the vengeful thoughts and sat down at the computer monitor to get further information about the sickbay and her assignment.
[ Oh, my gosh! Sh*t, I'm running late! I've got to get to Kitty Hawk by noon. If I just leave half of my junk behind I can make it by eleven. Plenty of time to get to my room and run to my first conference meeting with Commander Cain. --I wonder if the commander remembers me? Probably not. ]
As weapons officer Irene Boroqa-Amazonn continued her journey to her new assignment, she had flash backs of stages of her life and career. First, she saw images of leaving her homeworld, Amazonde, and entering her first class at the academy. Then, graduation, and on to her first tour on the USS Lysander.
After two years of duty with an exemplary record, she took an extended leave to return home, participate in the coronation of her eldest sister and complete the mandatory two-year military service required of all second- in-line.
When Jadi became ruler, it became Irene's responsibility to secure Amazode's military stability until third sister, Danze, was old enough to take over. That time came, so Irene finally made arrangements to go back to Starfleet.
Irene was on her way to her new assignment when her ship received a distress signal from a Starfleet shuttlecraft. It had been forced to crash-land on the planet Ranu, whose bear-like inhabitants were known for their violent attacks toward unwanted visitors. Irene zoomed to the rescue. She fought off four Ranuons and saved the shuttle survivors, transporting them back to Starfleet.
For her heroic act, she was promoted and assigned to her next tour on the USS Traveler as weapons officer. The Traveler encountered Klingon vessels on numerous occasions and was present during numerous difficult missions.
With Irene's vision, she helped the USS Traveler survive attacks. At the end of the tour, Irene was given shore leave to recuperate from wounds received by a console explosion caused during their last Klingon encounter.
Adm. James Kirk, who followed Irene's career, recommended Irene for the Kitty Hawk. (He was, and still is, a close friend of the family. Kirk and Irene's father were old comrades. Another story for another time.)
After a month of rest, Irene received her new orders. She was a little bit puzzled on why she was re-assigned, rather than returning to the Traveler, but being the type of person she was, she decided to look forward to a new adventure.
Upon reaching Spacedock, Irene beamed up to the Kitty Hawk and asked the transporter officer for permission to come aboard. She had already seen plans of the ship prior to boarding and where everything was. She went straight to her room, deposited her bag and then proceeded to the conference meeting of all security staff with the commander.
--With 10 minutes to spare.
She made it! Irene began to evaluate each individual for physical and mental capabilities, mainly relying on instinct and first impressions. It also helped to have the computer skills to be able to review individual files on everyone present.
Cain stepped into the Conference Room, with McCavendis close in tow. Most of his officers were present, some obviously distressed that their chief would not show up on time. Cain glanced at his chronometer and saw that he was, indeed, late, by about half a minute.
"My apologies, Ladies and Gentlemen, for my tardiness," he began
Cain saw Boyle seated, in a crisp business suit. She flicked a stony smile at him and he felt something pang a bit in his stomach. [ I'm too damn old to get butterflies, ] Cain thought.
"Now, allow me to introduce myself. I am Lieutenant Commander Nicodemus Cain, Chief of Security. This is Lieutenant Alex Phocas, Executive Chief," he said motioning to the man, "and this is Lieutenant Commander Andrea Boyle, Third Chief of Security." Boyle arched an eyebrow in surprise at Cain, as did Phocas. "You can make aquaintances, if you haven't already, later."
He looked around at the crew assembled. Though many of his Hostile Rescue Team had not arrived yet, he was satisfied with what he saw. "As Chief of Security, I am the bridge between the body of the Security Department and the Command of this vessel. All reports are to be routed through myself, or whoever is Duty Chief at the time, and he or she will route it to Command, if necessary. Reports of this manner are necessary only if the reportee believes there is immediate necessity, such as a dangerous or deteriorating situation. You will never be officially reprimanded for reporting on a situation, so err on the side of safety."
"As for daily reports, I expect a log from every officer in security every 24 hours, at the end of their duty shift. These logs are to contain anything out of the usual that occurs during the last twenty-four hours, not only during the last duty shift. Reports submitted by Ensign grade personnel will be sent to their direct superior. These individuals will submit their own log as well as a summary of the logs of those ensigns under their command. This manner of log reports will be followed all the way up to the Duty Chief, who will submit a Log Summary as well as his own Log to the Executive Officer."
"Now, this vessel's primary mission is research and exploration. Though we have little to do with research, we will attempt to investigate various factors of security in various situations. Explorations, especially planetside explorations, are our purview."
"Of course, you know this, as security officers, this is elementary to you. However, we must find a way to train you for situations that can occur planetside, especially combat situations concerning our primary enemy in the area we will be operating in, the Klingons. Many of the officers present were chosen for their knowledge of the Klingon military forces operating near and in the Neutral Zone. Those of you who weren't will need to be trained to handle situations concerning Klingons."
"In order to facilitate this sort of training, the members of the Hostile Rescue Team will be doubling as trainers. Each member of Security will be taking a course from one of these members. The curriculum will be posted in the near future. This training will be in addition to physical training that each member of security will participate in. The training exercises will be intense, but this is necessary. Lieutenant Phocas will assist me in coordinating these classes."
This security department will be the best in Star Fleet, without question. We must be able to answer any threat at any time, both aboard and away from the Kitty Hawk."
"Now, once I've gotten a complete security complement, training will begin. This department will be a well oiled machine. As chief of security, I am a hard man, and I'll admit that. I will not tolerate any form of insubordination. A machine is only as strong as its weakest cog...there will be no weak cogs in this department."
"I'll take any questions or comments now, and speak freely, please, I want to hear your thoughts."
Cain sat back in his seat and watched his officers.
It did not take long for the few questions or reactions to be expressed. The brief meeting neared its end.
"Alright, dismissed. Be prepared tomorrow for inspection."
Cain stood, pushed his way out of the room, and walked back to his office. He sat behind his desk, sighing to himself. He pressed a switch to start the computer's recorder.
"Security Chief's Log, Stardate 7261.8. Today has been interesting. My executive security chief decided to introduce himself by utilizing his rank and clearance to break onto the ship and the armory. During this rampage, he assaulted five security officers and broke several Star Fleet regulations. He was apprehended and served several reprimands. However, he seems to be merely eager, and just may make a good officer. The Security department seems to be coming together well, but we'll see exactly how well once we've launched. End log."
"Personal Log, Stardate 7261.8. Today, Phocas introduced himself to me, and I introduced him to a few well placed phaser shots. He'll recover, but I don't know if his record will. I'll probably end up removing the reprimands. I was half hoping he'd fight me on the subject, and that might've saved him a little sooner. However, the battle will be uphill for him. I think it'll make a good officer out of him, eventually.
"The arrival of Andrea kicked me a little harder than I'd hoped. I know she doesn't have feelings for me, but it is hard not to still have feelings with her. I need to bury my feelings deep; tonight, I'll go to sleep reading a little Surak. End log."
(End of Part B)
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Live long and prosper!
The Singin' One
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