First Mission: A Question of Time/The Quest

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

Chapter Two-C: 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.

WARNING! There is adult language contained within this chapter that the compiler has not modified.

Val checked her uniform one more time before stepping up to the door. The sensors immediately detected the presence of one female human seeking entrance into Admiral Lambert Larson's personal office. The door knew better than to let just anyone into the now famous designer of the Larson class Destroyer, but the door also had special instructions regarding this particular human and so whooshed open.

"Valerie!"

Only Admiral Larson consistently used the formal form of his daughter's name. Val beamed (as she automatically did) when she saw her father drop the PADD he was working with and ambled over to her. After the requisite hugging was concluded she was able to step forward into the room, allowing the door to close behind her.

"Sit! Sit. I have wonderful news: You are now going to get that starship I promised you."

Her eyes glanced over to the holoimage of the menacing destroyer that bore her family name. One of her earliest childhood memories was of standing at her father's side, her hand wrapped around his index finger, as he stood with a gleam in his eye at the christening ceremony of the USS Larson. That was the highpoint of his career. Since then, as she followed her father from project to project, he had tried to recapture past glories. After leading the design team for the Larson Class he was promoted to the admiralty, where now he monitored the progress of new brilliant designers working on their projects. She knew she should try to get out from behind her father's shadow, and after one boring assignment after another she had managed to make it as far as Deep Space 2. (The highpoint of _her_ career.)

But after just a few months she felt homesick and was immediately placed once again at her father's side; this time as his personal liaison, whatever that meant. She could see a vast improvement in the Admiral's outlook on life since he was given the job of planning the new Utopia Planetia ShipYard in Mars orbit. Even though that project was far behind schedule, she had confidence that her father could bring it online in time for the next new starship implementation. The challenge was just what he needed. But not necessarily what she needed. She knew that intellectually anyway and so did he. They'd talked for years now about how someday she would be the Chief Communications Officer of a starship. (What daddy called "my ship" she thought to herself.)

"Oh? My ship has finally come in?", she quipped.

"Yes. The Kitty Hawk," he tossed back. "She's about to leave Spacedock One. We're gonna send you there by transport.

"You're serious?"

"Yes. Yes. Dammit. Why don't you ever believe anything your old father tells you?"

"But, Daddy, I mean...it's so sudden. I'm only an ensign--"

"A Lieutenant," he interjected. "Here are your orders."

She quickly scanned the standard order form. "It says I'm a Lieutenant--Junior Grade here..."

"Technicalities!" He bellowed.

"...And to report as chief of Communications USS Kitty Hawk immediately. Don't they have a chief comm officer?" She asked.

"They were going to have to leave without that position filled. No doubt waiting for the perfect choice. Well, now they have it!" He blustered.

"Daddy. Look. I can't leave you here. And anyway, I'm not qualified to be on a Constitution class starship...and..." she faltered.

"Daddy took care of all that. You just pack your bags. " He condescended.

"Harrumph! Someday I'm gonna quit letting you push me around." She smiled.

"Hmmm. Not likely. And, beside, Daddy isn't gonna need you here anymore because the way things are going, Daddy won't be here much longer," he confided grudgingly.

"What!?"

"Look, this project is way behind. Its gonna take me much longer than I thought to get this facility ready."

"Daddy! They'll wait for you...you're the..." she stumbled.

"Honey. They took her back. The Excelsior." His eyes shone. "They took the whole damn thing back. She's not going to be built here. They're clearing space back at Spacedock now to construct the first test model."

"But they moved you here so that..." her voice rose to a squeak.

"I know. I even think they gave me this project, along with the Excelsior carrot, just to give me something to do. I don't know." He eyes were downcast. Looking bad in front of his daughter was the worst part of this whole thing. She moved her hand onto his.

"Anyway, I need you on this ship," he said.

"What?" She asked.

He came around his desk and began leading her out the door. "Look don't worry about that, let's just say I called in a few favors and now I've got you placed where I need you.

Once you get aboard I'll contact you...but for now you just trust your daddy to know what's best." They made it to the door.

"For me?"

"For both of us."

Val Larson contacted the USS Kitty Hawk officer of the watch.

"This is ensi...er..Lt. Val Larson. I'm, uh, supposed to report for duty. I'm at New Utopia, Mars right now. Um... do you want to pick me up? Or should I catch a transport back to Earth? Hmmm, well, whatever is easiest for you. Let me know. Oh, when exactly is Kitty Hawk scheduled to depart? I've got some things to wrap up here...but um...if you need me right away, I guess, um... I could rush over. If you want me to, that is. Um, well let me know. What's that? My duty station? Umm.. oh. I'm the Chief Communications Officer."

The officer shook his head and replied, "Lieutenant, stand by." He located and contacted the first officer, Zakal. "Sir," he said, "Our communications chief is on the line. I, uh, think you ought to speak with her, Sir."

Zakal was on G-Deck after leaving Mayreeka at Sickbay. "I'm on my way."

Zakal made for the bridge. When he arrived, he saw that the lieutenant was still on the screen looking very nervous. Zakal smiled broadly.

"Lt...Larson is it? Let me put it to you this way... It is now 2000 hours. A shuttle can get you from Mars to Earth in about two hours. We have an inspection of this ship that begins at 1600 hours tomorrow. At precisely 1810 tomorrow we shall inspect the Bridge stations and have a dress review of all senior officers. You are one of those senior officers. Now... Do you think that the captain would want you to be here for that inspection?"

"Well, Sir, uh Commander, Sir," She stammered, taking notice of the rank insignia on the stranger who had just crowded onto her comm screen. "Hmmm. Well, I suppose if the captain wants me there..."

"That is what I think too, so why don't you see to that you shag your butt on over here and pay your respects to your new commanding officer! I expect to see you first thing in the morning and will personally go over the Communications systems with you before the Captain arrives. Is that clear?"

"Well, yes, Sir." She replied somewhat sheephishly. "I'll do my best to be there as soon as I can." She thought for a moment. "Is there anything I can do to prepare myself on the trip over. Hmmm. For instance, would it be possible to inquire _who_ the captain of the Kitty Hawk is? Or...is there anything else you'd like me to do before I arrive?" She added hesitantly, hoping to please.

"The captain's name is Traydon Chance. If you look at your orders---I assume you do have orders--- his name appears on the line that says 'Captain'. It is right above mine." Zakal laughed out loud. "Lt. Larson, please. Try to calm down. I know that this is your first space assignment, but you come highly recommended, and I admire your father quite a lot. So stop all this nervous foolishness and get here---or I'll tell your father you've been a bad girl." he added, a smile creasing his Vulcan-like face. "Very well, Lieutenant? Zakal out."

The screen went blank, and Zakal chuckled out loud and turned to the young officer at the Comm.

"I'll bet your department head is here before shipboard midnight." he says laughing. I couldn't help myself. She looked so nervous..." Still chuckling, Zakal moves to the science station and begins an on-board sensor sweep to see if anything was amiss.

The screen faded to black before Larson could even respond. { Well! Wasn't he the stuffy sort. The kind Daddy warned me about. *sigh* Oh, well. We'll just have to get used to this sort of discomfort if we're gonna please Daddy. }

Val thought to herself, { Hmm. inspection tommorow afternoon...well that gives me plenty of time. I can pack. Say goodbye to some friends. Tidy up things. Collect my cat, Dusty, and catch a shuttle early tomorrow morning. }

Cain tossed a bit in his sleep. By 0200, he was wide awake. He stood, opened his closet and discovered someone had replaced all of his uniforms with pajamas. Scratching his forehead, he walked over to his computer console and saw he had a message awaiting him. He read the message, concerning the new uniforms.

Groaning, he put on the ugly tan outfit. The shirt seemed to outline exactly how wiry he looked. He moaned, thinking suddenly that he looked like his father. Moving to the door, he walked out and to his office.

The security staff meeting went well, Cain thought to himself as he sat at his desk later and studied pareparedness reports. The Bridge communications officer piped a call down to him.

"Lcmd. Cain?" said the deep male voice, "This is Cmd. Compton, Spacedock quartermaster. I'm calling about the supplies you ordered."

"Thank you for your prompt response Commander. Please continue."

"The items you requested should arrive within the hour. Some of that stuff is pretty exotic, especially the shuttles, so we had to contact 'Fleet security to get it. With their notorious habit of delaying deliveries, we had no real hope of getting them before your launch.

As Compton continued, his voice took on an almost reverent quality. "I have never seen them move this fast, even with Admiralty orders. Whoever put the bee under Pat Revelstone's bonnett must be someone special."

"I'd tend to agree, Commander," Cain commented, thinking of his captain and his confrontation with the station's security chief. "Can you give me an ETA on those shuttlecraft?"

"The shuttlecraft should arrive by 0900," Compton replied. "Anything else I can do for you?"

"No, Sir," Cain quipped, "Thank you, Sir."

"If there are any problems, you contact me directly. Compton out."

Minutes later, message flashed across his office computer screen, indicating an incoming electronic message. Cain noticed no urgency tag, so he continued reading the report from one of the officers injured by Phocas.

{ Damn them, they should've been ready, } Cain thought. { Phocas might've been crazy for what he did, but he showed what a crazy officer could do. I've always thought Space Dock security was too lax. Next they'll have a Star Ship stolen right out from under their noses. }

(OOC: Sorry, couldn't resist...:) )

Another message flashed across his screen. Still no urgency tag, so he ignored it. { I guess I'll have to beat some sense into these boys...I wonder if Phocas would make a good drill instructor? }

Another message flashed across the screen, still without an urgency tag. Annoyed, Cain flipped the button and read the first message. His eyes grew wide for a moment. He looked at his chronometer and winced.

"Shit!" he roared, pulling himself from his desk. He stormed out of his office and into the nearest turbolift, barely waiting for the door to complete its opening cycle.

"Level Seven!" he commanded the computer, with a voice that would've sent most ensigns scurrying. The doors whisked closed and took him down the five-floor trip to Level Seven, also known as G Deck. When the doors opened again, Cain stomped down the hall, sweat beginning to trickle down his forehead. As the door opened, he could see an immense Andorian balling his fists around the transporter chief's shirt collar. Before he could speak, the Andorian lifted the chief by the collar off the floor a good two feet, making the chief stare straight into his antennae.

"Where's my swords, you Star Fleet pussy?" the giant roared.

{ Shit } Cain thought to himself. "At ease, Lieutenant Volterra!" Cain shouted, mustering his best impression of a bull horn.

The Andorian actually halted, and turned his gaze from the trembling transporter chief. He looked down from his seven and a half foot height, his eyes still full of anger. When he saw Cain, however, they turned into a baby's eyes, filled with joy. The chief fell to the ground, wheezing more from fright than loss of breath.

The giant grasped Cain around the chest and pulled him tightly into him, lifting Cain up only a foot. Cain tried pushing away, feeling a little too much like a rag-doll.

"Nic, you son-of-a-bitch! Where ya' been ol' buddy??? I thought I was going to have to kick some Star Fleet ass there for a minute." Volterra dropped Cain, who found himself wheezing for air a bit. "This Star Fleet pussy," he said, pointing at the chief, "didn't beam up my fucking swords!" The Chief had hid behind the consol, not sure whether he should call for security or run for his life.

"Lieutenant Volterra!" Cain shouted, mustering a little danger to his tone. "You will address me utilizing standard Star Fleet procedure! You will request permission to come aboard this vessel from the highest ranking officer present at your arrival!

"You will NOT assault Star Fleet personnel, regardless of the personal offense they may have done to you..." Cain noticed the transporter chief beginning to feel safe again. "...unless order to do so."

Seeing the chief ducked back behind the console, Cain continued. "You will NOT HUG ME! Understood, Lieutenant?" Cain could feel the blood rushing to his face.

The giant had begun to look more and more sheepish, almost confused. "Yes, Sir, Ni... Lieutenant Commander Cain, Sir."

"That's better, Lieutenant. Come with me." Cain turned to the console, and the chief quivering behind it. "Chief, have Lieutenant Volterra's personal items taken to his quarters, and see to it that they are handled with care. I may not be able to rush to your rescue if you fail in these duties."

A sheepish "Yes sir," emitted from the console.

"Please express my personal apologies to your superior for the actions of this Marine and please accept the same to yourself."

Another "Yessir," quickly escaped from his lips finally halting their tremble.

Cain turned and walked out of the transporter room. He could hear his gigantic friend lumbering around behind him. Cain nodded at an ensign from medical as he walked past. He could hear the gutteral chuckle from Volterra behind him as she walked past.

Cain flipped Volterra a sharp stare, and he looked back with a mock innocent smile.

It wasn't until the door to Cain's quarters were securely closed behind them that Cain relaxed.

"Meremus, you cannot put your fist into every Star Fleet officer on board."

Volterra, still a bit confused by Cain's abrupt personality switch, etched out a quirky smile. "Don't worry Nic, I won't hit ya."

Cain sighed and looked at him the way his father had looked at him when his mouth had just gotten him even deeper into the proverbial manure. Cain flipped the switch on his food dispenser and two orders of Dreaak sizzled into existence.

"Here." Cain shoved the tray onto the table before Volterra.

"Mmmmmmm...Dreaak!" Volterra, ignoring the utensils, dove into his favorite Andorian dish.

"Listen, Meremus, you are going to be serving aboard a Star Fleet exploration vessel, with Star Fleet personnel giving you orders. You will be living with Star Fleet personnel, eating with Star Fleet personnel, and training Star Fleet personnel. You'll have to put your fists--"

"Cumpetet'v Nat'r," Volterra mumbled, a swirling noodle hanging from his blue lip.

"...your competitive nature aside and use a little more tact."

"Tact?" Volterra queried, seemingly ignorant of that particular word.

"Meremus..." Cain chided, as he would an errant child.

"Can I at least beat them up in training exercises, Nic?" the giant playfully begged.

"You can bruise them, but if you break one bone, I'll show you what this Star Fleet pussy can do."

"Yeah? Any time, any where, stoopid."

Cain and Volterra laughed, and spent the next hour re-hashing old times and exagerating battle-stories.

Telic was dreaming of his last wild trip on Threnas IV. One could get anything at Threnas IV. Then his alarm went off, or what he thought was his alarm. "Computer shut off alarm"

[ YOUR ALARM HAS NOT ACTIVATED. ] said the voice of the M-6 computer.

"Damn you, machine, turn off the alarm!" When had computers gotten a sense of humor?

[ ALARM STATUS VERIFIED. ACTIVATION IS NOT SCHEDULED TO OCCUR FOR ANOTHER 1.5 HOURS. ]

Finally, the source was revealed. "Commander Telic, this is Ensign Worly. Are you there"

Wiping dust out of his eyes and yawning, Telic hit the communications button, "I am here, what's the problem?"

"I have been running the diagnostics on the weapons systems and we can only get 85% out of the photons"

Telic looked at the chronometer. 0430. { Damn! } he thought.

"I'll be there momentarily, Ensign"

Telic grabbed a very quick sonic shower and jumped into his uniform and went to enginnering and looked at the readouts on the photon system.

The simulated repeated firings of the torpedos showed occasional aberrations in the ejection of generated superheated gases. It seemed to occur only when control was switched to the backup firing computer.

"Computer, reasons for gaseous ejections? "

[ ANALYSIS SHOWS THAT SUPERHEATED GASES GENERATED DURING FIRING OF TOPEDOS WOULD NOT BE ADEQUATELY CHANNELED THROUGH OUTER HULL MATRIX WHEN BACKUP COMPUTER IS USED. THIS WOULD EVENTUALLY RESULT IN DAMAGE TO PHOTON EXHAUST SYSTEM. ]

"I want a team up on the torpedo bay and one checking out the backup firing computer now," Telic called.

While he waited for their report, he tapped out a quick note to Lcdr. Cain:

Lcdr. Cain, I am not telling you how to do your duties, however being chief engineer I would like to request the prescence of security officers at the accesses to primary and secondary engineering, due to the sensitive nature of the engineering sections. Please feel free to contact me after the formalities of the command ceremony are complete so we can talk about this.

(End of Part C)

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Live long and prosper!

The Singin' One

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