First Mission: A Question of Time/The Quest

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

Chapter Two-E: 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.

Romulans are running everywhere. One man is down. Let's go! Out of the ten volunteers he had, only five are still standing. Not enough time... Going to have to blow the sucker up. Shaped charge. Six seconds delayed sequence. RUN! Six seconds,... five seconds,... four seconds,... three seconds,... two seconds,... one second.... That did the trick. But I've still got a problem: the situation here has DISINTEGRATED...I'm breathing flames. Finding an escape pod by sheer luck. It's going to...

Phocas screamed as he sat up in his bed. The Dream again. He glanced at the chronometer. 1100 hours. After working the Beta shift, he had hoped to get a few hours of sleep before the inspection. That was before the Dream.

"Well, I sure won't sleep again today." He left his room and cleaned up before looking at the new uniform someone had left on his bed. "It's about time we got them." Contrary to many others, Phocas liked the new uniforms. They were functional and close fitting. That was an advantage when fighting. "Nothing worse than having an opponent kick you down on your knees because of your stupid uniform."

He called up the itinerary for the inspection on his computer and made sure security would be visible during the entire visit. He then decided to get dressed.

First, he put on the uniform and the boots. The body armor is reinforced with plates beneath the padding. He slipped it on and felt at home now. The ritual is somber, never broken. Preparation must be thorough. Next came the wrist communicator and, finally, his phaser. He took one long deep breath. He was ready.

"Computer, inform Lieutenant Volterra and Lieutenant Farraday to report to me as soon as possible."

He took the small vine staff he had left on the chair and decided to make a final circuit around the ship to make sure everything was in order.

About ten minutes after Phocas's note, a voice came in over the comm system as he was walking down the hall. "Volterra to Phocas. Reportin' as ordered, Sir," a deep voice called out.

"Yes, Volterra. I'm on my way to the transporter room. Please meet me there in ten minutes. Phocas, out!"

"Yes, Sir!" the voice bellowed. Nine minutes later, Volterra entered the transporter room he guessed Phocas was heading to.

The Andorian was huge. Thick necked, thick armed, and just a bit too tall. His antennae brushed the top of the door as he entered. He stepped over to Phocas and tilted his head down a bit, but kept his eyes on Phocas. The position, necessary for Andorians to better receive sensory information into their antennae, was threatening even when coming from normal-sized Andorians.

"Lieutenant Meremus Volterra reporting, as ordered, Sir."

Phocas was talking to the transporter chief. He turned around and, slowly, looked up...up...up. His face split into a grin, "No `sir's' between us Volterra," Phocas was not friendly with anyone except a few veterans as grizzled as himself, "At ease, at ease."

Volterra thrust out as many yellow teeth as he could manage. Even the muscles in his face bulged with the action, sending some unsightly, but jovial, cracks across his temples. "It's good to see another leatherneck around. Especially one I can salute."

Volterra was obviously a lot bigger then expected. "I've called you here today in order to go over a few details." Phocas turned to the chief, "Can I have that report we talked about please?"

Phocas examined the datapad for a second. "Apparently, an Andorian lieutenant reported onboard yesterday night. Not only was he Andorian, but he was a marine and part of security," Phocas made an involuntary sound in his throat, "I wonder who that could be?..."

"Here's what I'd like you to do for me Volterra. Find that marine for me and, please, make sure he understand's the various rules currently in effect concerning proper respect, social behavior and insubordination. I will not make a case out of it, but I'd like this individual to know where the limits are. Do we understand each other?"

Volterra smiled, knowingly, and nodded. "Understood," he said, almost sounding like a chided child. "From what I understand, he had some problems with some Star Fleet who refused to beam up his favorite five-hundred year old set of Terran swords. He was having difficulty conveying his...thoughts on the matter. I'll have a chat with him, though, and explain why he can't shove around these Star Fleet .

"That will do very well, thank you." Phocas gave the datapad to the chief as he stopped at the door. "By the way, Lieutenant," the walls were back up, "I'm putting you on extra guard duty tomorrow. Report to the crew chief on Deck 7 at the end of your shift. You're dismissed." The doors swished closed behind him.

Volterra actually looked happy to get extra guard duty. He turned and lumbered down the hall.

"Phocas to Farraday. Where the h*ll are you!"

After a few seconds. "Farraday here, sir! I'm stuck in my quarters."

"You're what!"

"Yes, Sir. Somebody brought me one of those new uniforms and took my old," the voice sounded quite excited.

"So, where's the problem?"

"Sir! It's too small! And my personal items have not arrived from the starbase yet."

Phocas could not believe it. "Wait in your quarters. I'll see what I can do."

"Yes, Sir! I'm not going anywhere."

When a handsome young ensign appeared on the bridge he smiled and marched over to her station. "Hi!", Val said, "I'm you're new boss." The ensign grinned and introduced himself. She stood up and turned the console over to him. With a bounce in her step, she entered the turbolift and directed it to the Officers' Lounge on Deck Three.

After an enjoyable lunch with her staff, she then headed for her quarters, where she finished unpacking, setup house for her cat, and dressed in her formal getup for the afternoon's official review.

The starbase called to the transporter chief that one of the crewman wanted to beam over. Before the transporter chief could blink the pad flared to life, and Lt. (Dr.) Jack Shadow materialized. He was about six feet tall, with reddish blonde hair and an intense but interesting looking face (think of British actor Kenneth Branagh). He appeared about 30.

"Blasted thing!" he snarled to himself. "Bloody ineffiecient too! I'll have to try to upgrade these buggering transporters!"

He seemed to notice the crewperson. "Oh yes, permission to come aboard."

Before the chief could respond, Shadow was out the door and in the nearby elevator.

He strode onto the bridge "Who's in charge?" Jack says bluntly.

Zakal turned abruptly to look at the intruder. He recognizes his old friend. "I'm in charge, you old pirate!"

Shadow grinned when he saw his old student, Zakal, was the XO of the Kitty Hawk.

"Zakal! So they dropped the charges! How nice!"

Zakal got a look of mock-panic on his face. "Please Doc, not in front of the crew, you'll give them a bad impression of me. I have them convinced that I am a regular Fletcher Christian."

Shadow laughed at the joke, then he looked around at the bridge for several seconds. "I've been assigned as the science specialist. You know my rules. No interuptions when I'm working, and everyone is to drop my military title and call me Doctor. I'll need a xenobiology and chemistry lab for my personal use. And if you're wondering, no I haven't gotten any sweeter since I gave you the B+ in advanced physics."

"It was a B, not a B+." Zakal said sardonically. "And there are more surprises for you, LIEUTENANT COMMANDER."

He watched the look of puzzlement cross his mentor's face. "That's right, Lieutenant Commander." Zakal laughed openly at the look on Shadow's face. "The word came down last night from Nogura thru channels. Your promotion is to take effect immediately, AND you are now the SENIOR Science Officer. I guess the brass finally realized that taking care of a captain, crew AND ship is a full-time job, and it's the one I've been ordered to take. I told them to let me be the one to inform you."

Zakal's face broke into a large grin. "Surpriiiiise!" he says half singing the word. "I guess this is SF's way of saying you're forgiven, huh?"

Shadow was visibly rocked back by the news of a promotion. "Obviously the entire top brass has been blown up!" he finally exclaimed. "I know of at least three Admirals and ten Captains who have sworn for my hide!"

"Is that right? Perhaps that is why you're shipping out---to keep them from committing homicide," Zakal replied with a chuckle. "Come on. We'll talk while I show you to your new quarters. They are right next to mine, Deck E, or Level Five. The computers accept either designation."

Zakal turned to Larson. You have the Bridge, Lieutenant. Follow me, Doc."

Val Larson spun around to stare, mouth agape at the retreating back of the first officer. As the turbolift doors swooshed close, she tried to speak, realized that she needed to close her mouth and swallow, then tried again. "Aye, Sir," she chirped.

She stood, adjusted her uniform tunic, then marched confidently to the center chair where she sat down. A blinking light on her arm rest reminded her to make the appropriate note in the ships log, which she did by a keypress. She then surveyed the bridge. She couldn't believe it! On board for less than five hours and she had just been given effective command of the most powerful ship in all of Starfleet. She quickly shook that thought out of her mind.

{ Val, get a grip, } she thought to herself, { The commander is four decks below you, and you're sitting docked to a space station. } Still she could truly feel the weight of command bearing down on her. So this is what they meant in Command School.

After all, she decided, Zakal put you in command simply because you are the ranking officer on the bridge. Which really wasn't saying much as she completed her scan. There was no one at science, no navigator, the helmsman was crawling around beneath his station adjustin something, there was a technician hovering on a hoverpad near the weapons station, and there was no one at communications. No one at communications! Ooops!

She skittered back to her more familiar comm console where she pulled up a roster of relief comm specialists and summoned one to the bridge. She then walked back to her chair and sat, hoping no one had noticed her faux pas. Apparently no one did.

Gee, I wonder what I'm supposed to do now? Shouldn't I give an order or something? No, Val, let's just sit here quietly and not move. Hopefully we won't break anything that way.

Jack Shadow chuckled and followed Zakal into the elevator. "Have you met the captain and the other senior officers? Any other of my students aboard?"

"Not from my class, Doc, but you never know. When teachers get as old as you, they must run into their students everywhere." Zakal activated the lift. "Deck Five," he said, and the lift began its descent. "I think I have met just about all of the senior staff. The captain is a nice fellow. Firm, but fair. I think you'll enjoy working with him I know I will. The chief engineer is quite a card. You two will definitely hit it off---both of you are nose to the grindstone types.

The lift stopped and the doors opened. Zakal stepped aside to let Jack go first. "To the right, Doc," he said as they proceeded down the corridor.

"Our security chief is a bit intense, but he definitely knows his job and how to accomplish it. You've got to meet his assistant to believe him. His name is Lt. Phocas. Those two will definitely keep this cruise from being boring. I have not met the chief medical officer as yet, but her assistant, one Ensign Mayreeka is a very interesting woman---too young for you though, I think." Zakal added with a grin.

Jack Shadow laughed at Zakal's comments. "I may be older than all of you, but I still look younger!"

It was usually annoying when Shadow made this basic observation. Despite being almost 50 in human years, he had not aged a day since he turned 30. Maybe one day, researchers would discover why he no longer aged, but until then, he laughed at all of his former students.

"Ah, here we are." Zakal said, stopping at a door with a nameplate near the frame that already had Shadow's name and new rank and position. "Why don't you clean up and put on your new uniform, and be back on the Bridge in time to meet the Brass at 1600." Zakal started to move away and stopped.

"Doc, it is good to have you aboard." With that, he raised his right hand toward his friend with palm out. As his hand closed, he moved it over his heart. "Long life, Jack Shadow." he said in the formal Eltanin manner.

Waving off Zakal, he entered his cabin and stored his personal possessions with the speed and ease of a longtime spacer. He picked up the copy of the new uniform, disgusted at color scheme. Annoyed with Starfleet's lack of basic taste, Shadow decided it was time to take out his frustrations,... on others. More specifically, on his new science staff. Jack Shadow was a Starfleet legend among the science (and unfortunately command) sections!

He hit the wall comm switch. "Dr. Shadow to Science. Prepare my lab with the following items." He recited a list that would convert the normal head of sciences' lab into one that is worthy of a mad scientist.

"My inspection will comence in 15 minutes. Anything out of place and you'd better pray for devine intervention. Shadow out."

Nearby, at the Enterprise berth, Lt. William Darkell worked with his crew on the final component installation in the Enterprises main sensor array. Floating in the weightlessness of the Space Dock, four figures start giving high-fives.

"Alright, now it's time for that two week shore leave." said Ensign Griffith.

"I'm gonna lay in the sun on the beaches of the Med." bragged Ensign Henderson.

"Well, feast your ears on this, guys...I'm going to climb the mountains of Mars." exclaims Ensign Baldwin.

"What are you have planned with your leave Professor?" asked Ensign Yawn.

Darkell was apparently staring off at the Kitty Hawk, although from the look in his eyes, he could very well be staring beyond -- to the stars.

"Lieutenant? Hello?" followed by a jab from Ensign Baldwin that started Darkell into a rotation.

Darkell adjusted the jets using the control panel on his wrist and compensated, almost absent mindedly. "What?...oh...No gentlemen, I don't get a shore leave."

"Wouldn't you know it, they're bringing in another one and they probably want us to stay on for another six months." complained Ensign Henderson.

"No, gentlemen. I have orders" replied Darkell proudly.

"Well how 'bout that, we never got no orders before." said Ensign Griffith sarcastically.

"I'M the one who got the orders, and they're for the Kitty Hawk." said Darkell in a stern voice.

After the shock wore off, Darkell's crew quickly arranged a party for him. There were a lot of jocularity, sad good bye's, and well wishes. Soon it was time for the engineer to leave for his new assignment.

Saying his final goodbyes Darkell pushed off from the Enterprise and kicked in a small burst of the pressurized gases to catapult him across the dock towards the Kitty Hawk.

All around the ship pods, technicians, and supply shuttles buzzed. Darkell adjusted the jets to avoid the colisions. Unfortutely there's no way to control the com unit so that he could avoid the insults from techs rushing to complete their jobs before the Kitty Hawk launched. Flying in free fall like this was almost a sport to Darkell. Being free from gravity, Darkell thought this must be what a bird feels like.

Sweeping around Darkell lined himself up for approach to the shuttle bay.


"Hazardous" seemed to be a common word Darkell heard from the computer, of course he never saw what was so hazardous.

As he approached the shuttle bay, warnings shot up from the Kitty Hawk, Spacedock One, and the nearby USS Enterprise. "Turn around, my ass! With this mommentum I'll barely slow enough to make a safe landing, much less veer off." Darkell muttered to himself.

As he passed through the one way sheild he suddely felt like a bird with no wings. Tumbling to the ground he skidded right up to the feet of a shocked ensign.

Shaking his head and slowly picking himself up he pressed a button to open the face shield and with a grimace of pain said, "Ensign, Lt. William Darkell reporting to duty.

The ensign was stunned speechless and could only assist Darkell to his feet.

"Could you tell me where I might find Lcdr. Telic, Chief of Engineering?"

"uh-Sir, uh...he's uh...gee that looks like it on his way. He wanted to see what, excuse me Sir, 'fool' was his word, was trying to land in the shuttle bay without a shuttle. You want me to call sickbay?" the ensign was quite nervous right now and obviously wanted to get out before the chief engineer arrived.

"No, Ensign," Darkell replied with another grimace and a tone of irritation in his voice, "I'll be fine, it's probably just a cracked rib. Get them all the time. When you're my age the bones are more brittle."

And with that a door slid open and Telic burst in....

The transporter pad flared, and a figure materialized. A young man with a curious and excited look appeared on the pad.

"Excuse me, Can you please direct me to my quarter?"

"Certainly, you are ......"

"Watanabe, Kenneth Watanabe"

"Yep, here you are, Ensign, Deck 4, Junior officers' quarters"

"Thank you"

"You better hurry. The inspection is in a few hours"

After some searching through the ship's numerous corridors, and a few dead- ends ...

"Home-Sweet-Home", Ken looked around what would be his future home for the next several months. It was a medium-sized room with adequate space for his stuff.

When he started to unpack, he noticed the uniform lying neatly on the bed, "Aaaaarrrrrgh" was his first response. "Oh God, not the yellow color!! Oh well, good thing is, I am not the only one wearing this."

Ken took out a box, and opened it very carefully. A minute later, he was playing some 20th century Jazz music with his clarinet, or at least it was JAZZ music until he tried to play it. Luckily, nobody wass around to listen to it and endure the agony.

After a quick shower and uniform change, he got out from his room and headed for the bridge.

The turbolift doors opened. Ken Watanabe stepped unto the bridge. {So, this is the bridge, not so bad for a starship}.

{ Wait a minute, who's that gorgeous officer approaching my way, hmm, got to know her. } He thought to himself.

"Hi, I am Ensign Watanabe," he said aloud. "You can call me Ken."

The junior officer who had been at the engineering console introduced herself.

"Gee, I'd love to talk further," Watanabe continued. "We should get together sometime, okay? Excuse me, I need to find my station, I should be getting ready for inspection. I'll see ya later, bye"

{ So, let me find my station. Ah, there it is, let me try on the chair; yes, this feel comfortable. Okay, enough of captain's chair, now let's try MINE. Hmm, not too bad, it could be worse. }

While humming his favorite song, Ken try to familialize himself with the station. Since all the instruments are the new standard issue, which he had been thoroughly trained upon, Ken could handle the console blindfolded. But, no harm doing more practice.

Jack Shadow walked into the science section and began his personal inspection. He rarely had to raise his voice in anger; one look of annoyance was enough to send the entire science team into a near panic. Despite the ocassional bits of mess, the section was in excellent shape and could be made perfect by the end of the tour.

"I'm Dr.Jack Shadow, the head of the science section," he said to his staff. Those of you who have been my students or worked with me know how I operate. For those of you who have no idea who I am, I only have one simple rule. Get the job done. Forget military nonsense and accomplish what is needed, and I won't bother you. Do we understand each other?"

Shadow then entered his specially prepared personal lab and began his latest experiment to create a ship's phaser which would make the present models obsolete.

When they were both done, Rogers asked, "Mayreeka, do you want to dress first and come back?"

"Thank you Dr. Rogers. I would like a little time to prepare and dress. I must admit the our uniforms are not aesthetically pleasing, but we have our orders. After I finish dressing I will return, and we shall calibrate our own bio-monitors. Thank you for relieving me before the inspection."

Mayreeka turned and walked out of sickbay. After the door to sickbay closed, she looked both ways in the corridor. She saw no one and gave a giant stretch and yawn. She thought about the long shift she had just completed. She rubbed her neck and then began her walk to the turbo lift. The doors to the turbolift opened, and Mayreeka entered.

Mayreeka steps out of the turbolift and walked briskly to her quarters. After the doors closed to her quarters, she realized that she has not even unpacked. She then noticed the uniform that she would be required to wear.

Shaking her head, she began to unpack. It was illogical to think about the aethestics of the uniform, nor anything else, for that matter. The new captain would be on board soon, as well be the flag officers who would officially give him command of the Kitty Hawk.

With fluid economy of movement, she swiftly prepared herself for the inspection.

(End of Chapter Two)

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Live long and prosper!

The Singin' One

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