First Mission: A Question of Time/The Quest

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

Chapter Three-A: The Inspection

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.

An agonized moan came from the disheveled body lying sprawled upon the bed. He tried to rise to a sitting position, but the cannons blasting away in his head proved to be adequate incentive to remain still.

"Lights, quarter normal intensity, gradual," his voice rasped. As the room slowly brightened, he focused on gathering his scattered thoughts. He could not remember the last time he had gotten this drunk. Where was he anyway? These were not his quarters.

The door slid open, assaulting his eyes and brain with the normal-intensity light that came from the outer room. He groaned in pain and pulled the bed's cover over his eyes.

"Ah, you're finally awake. Never could hold your liquor, could you? Well, get up, Sleepy Head. You've got to get dressed." The speaker's voice was too loud and nauseatingly sober. Speaking of nausea....

Fifteen minutes later, he dragged himself out of the bathroom. His body had rather forcefully ejected the achoholic poisons still in his system (ooc: a nice way of saying he threw up), and he had barely managed to steer himself into the shower. He did not know when, during the private party, they had decided to sample most of Reese's private stock, but now he felt incredibly foolish about the whole thing.

He re-entered the bedroom that had been the scene of his downfall, and was surprised to see that it had been completely cleaned. There was a servitor gathering a bundle of dirty bedcoverings into his arms. "Good afternoon, Sir," the servitor said. { Afternoon? }, he thought, { How long have I been out? } "Good afternoon," he replied, and walked over to the closet to look for his clothing.

By the time he found his things, the room was again empty. He dressed as quickly as he could manage, then he stood before the full-length mirror on one wall. Though he was now impeccibly garbed, he still "looked" almost as sick as he felt.

He walked out to the main sitting room to find Reese and the spaceport commander seated and enjoying what smelled like fresh-brewed coffee. "I don't suppose you have any of your great-great-great-great-granny's concoction, Artie?"

Reese smiled and pointed to a glass of brownish liquid he had affectionately called "cure or kill" setting on a nearby counter. The guest picked up the glass, pinced shut his nose, and downed the mess with a few quickly swallowed gulps. The concoction hit the pit of his stomach, and for a moment, he was certain that his days were numbered. His eyes watered, and his skin coloring changed from its sallow tint to blush red.

He was just about to head back to bathroom, when the medicinal and nutritional qualities of the mixture kicked in. He sighed as his body finally gained some relief.

"Artie," he said, "Your great, great, great, great-granny was one of the finest biochemist of her era. Why did she make this stuff look and taste so awful?"

"She said that anyone stupid enough to get drunk enough to need her mix should get no pleasure from it." He lifted a third bone china cup. "Coffee?"

"Yes," the guest accepted the cup and sat down on one of the nearby chairs and sipped the beverage gratefully. "What time is it?"

"1430 hours," Reese replied. "Almost time."

"Good," the guest replied. "He still doesn't know I'm coming, does he?"

"No way. It should be quite a surprise."

The three former Starfleet classmates chatted for a while. At their agreed upon time, they rose and headed towards the Kitty Hawk's berth.

Chance retired to his quarters on starbase after a light lunch. The inspection tour and transfer of command would take place shortly, and he wanted to make sure he didn't leave anything behind when they left dock.

He noticed immediately upon entering that someone else had been in the room. A set of clothes were sitting on the bed. Chance went over and gathered them up. It looked like a uniform; there were Captain's stripes on the sleeves. But that's where the similarity ended. For one thing, the uniform was in a horrible blue-grey. Over the left breast was an arrowhead insignia over a white circle; Chance had heard that Star Fleet was considering using the Enterprise insignia as a common standard throughout the Federation. At the abdomen was something that looked like a cross between a belt buckle and a Type I phaser.

As he inspected the clothes, he noticed the computer terminal was flashing. He had a message waiting. Activating the terminal, Chance started to read the readout scrolling across the screen. It was a notice about the new uniforms, signed by Admiral Nogura.

"You've got to be kidding." Chance said aloud, still staring at the screen. He looked back at the clothes. "This looks like something I'd wear to bed!"

He gave a sigh, and decided to give up trying to understand the mindset of the upper echelons of Starfleet Command. He took off his gold shirt, and laid it on the bed next to the new uniform. He touched the gold braids on the sleeves.

{ I hadn't even gotten used to the rank, yet. } he thought.

He changed into the new outfit. It looked and felt weird. This was definitely going to take some getting used to. He gathered up his old uniform, folded it, and set it in his travel bag, deciding to keep it for nostalgia's sake. He picked up his communicator and did the same. The new wrist unit was more convienient, but he doubted it would ever replace the hand-held version.

After ensuring he had everything, he checked out and headed for Kitty Hawk, found his quarters, and (after overcoming his shock at how large it was) put away his belongings. Then he decided to take a stroll; Admiralty be d*mned, he was going to see his new ship.

Zakal was about to go to his quarters to try his new uniform on when his station signal chimed. He moved to the Science Station and answered. "Zakal here."

The face that popped up was that of the transporter chief.

"Yes, Chief?" replied Zakal.

"Uh.. Sir, the Captain is aboard. He didn't announce himself, or anything, but he's on board and is headed to his quarters. I... just thought that you should know."

"Very well." says Zakal wearily.

"Um...Sir, does this mean that the inspection schedule has been moved up?"

"No Chief. I have no information indicating a change of schedule. I'm sure the Captain just wants some time alone with his ship."

"Yessir. Of course, Sir."

"Anything else, Chief?"

"Nosir."

"Well get into your new uniform before the inspection, is that clear?"

"Yessir! Uh... have you SEEN the new uniform, Sir? It's kinda...well..."

"Ugly, Chief?"

"Great description, Sir, couldn't have said it better myself."

"I know. I only thank the saints that I'm slim."

"Yessir...I wish I was, Sir." the transporter woman says wanly as she signed off.

"Zakal out."

Zakal activated the comm once more.

"Captain? This is Zakal."

Chance's wrist beeps. "Yes?" he says.

"Sir what in blazes are you doing on this ship? You know you should be base-side awaiting the trumpets and fanfare.

"I got tired of sitting around waiting for them to polish their medals. Besides, I want to be familiar with the ship before departure. It wouldn't do for the new captain to get lost on his first day." Chance replied.

"This is kind of like the groom seeing the bride before the wedding isn't it, Sir?"

"Interesting analogy, Commander. She certainly is attractive. However, I don't believe I'm going to jinx things by looking around. Let me worry about the brass."

"I think you're just trying to curl Admiral Nogura's hair for making us wear these new uniforms. He's going to be fit to be tied when he learns that you're aboard Kitty-hawk."

"I sure he could use the diversion. And someone needs to be punished for thinking up these so-called "uniforms". I'm not the first captain to sneak a peek at his first command, and I won't be the last. Don't concern yourself with me, Commander. You've got a ship to get ready. I promise I'll keep out of everyone's way." He smiled at the thought, signed off, and continued his walk.

"Aye, Sir. Enjoy yourself." Zakal says chuckling.

After everthing was in place and she had showered, Mayreeka stood in front of the mirror examining at her uniform. A slight smile appeared on her lips. She liked what she saw even if these uniforms were not what she expected. She took one last look at herself and walked out of her quarters. A few crewmen were in the hallway, but really no one of great importance. Mayreeka turned toward the turbolift. The doors open, and she entered.

A human male was inside. He was tall, with piercing blue-grey eyes and raven-black hair sharply contrasted by a single silver stripe running through its length. His rank insignia told her it was Captain Chance.

Mayreeka quickly surveyed the situation. Even though she had been around a lot of brass in her young life, she suddenly realized that this is HER captain, and she was meeting him in a turbolift!

Chance glanced at the young Vulcan woman and smiled. Attractive, he thought to himself off-handedly. "Good morning." he said.

"Good morning, Sir," she replied calmly.

"Ensign Mayreeka, isn't it?" he asked. "I heard your conversation with the Commander. I don't have any problems with giving authorisation for access to my records; I'll have the Commander take care of it."

"Thank you for giving me the authorization. Dr. Rogers and I, along with the rest of the medical have almost finished the final calibrations on the bio-monitors. Everything will be in order for you inspection, sir."

The turbolift stopped, and Mayreeka stepped out. "Let me know if there are any other problems." Chance said.

"Thank you, Sir."

The turbolift doors closed, and Mayreeka continued to sickbay.

The doors opened, and she could see that Calinda Rogers was working at a computer terminal. In fact, sickbay personnel were working at every available computer terminal.

"Dr. Rogers. Is everything ready for inspection?"

Rogers looked up and replied, "Please call me Calinda, okay? Anyway, sick- bay's ready, but I wanted to make sure that everything with these bio-monitors was taken care of before I go back to my quarters to change uniforms. I was able to get all of the crew's personnel records, except Captain Chance's. We can deal with his later."

"Very well. Calinda, I think it would be prudent for us to contact Commander Zakal about the final calibrations for the crewmembers currently on board."

"That might be a good idea."

Mayreeka moved to the communication panel and pressed the button. "Mayreeka to Zakal."

"Zakal here. What is it, Ensign?"

"Sir, we in the final stages of bio-monitor calibration. We need your help with the final crew list. We need to be sure we are monitoring the right people. Will you come to sickbay or do you have another suggestion?"

"I cannot come to Sickbay at this moment, but if you cross-reference the crew's service number with names, you should have no problems. Contact me for anything further that you need."

"Very well, sir. Mayreeka out."

Admiral Artemus Reese, Spacedock's chief administrator, Commodore Christopher Charles, and the special guest entered the main transporter room on Spacedock. The special guest was saying as they entered, "Of course he's gone aboard, Artie. It's his first command, and knowing Chance, he won't be able to resist."

"Well, he wasn't in his quarters here, but on the ship? Not exactly procedure."

"Traydon Chance isn't exactly procedure," the guest replied with a laugh.

Charles went over to the transporter operator, who had come to attention upon the trio's entrance, and spoke quietly to him while the others waited. After a few moments, he returned to his companions and told them, "It seems that our missing captain left his quarters here some time ago."

The guest gave Reese that ages old "I told you so" look. Reess shrugged and said, "Well, let's get this show on the road." They took positions on the transporter pads and Charles said, "Three to beam to the Kitty Hawk, Chief."

"Aye, Sir," and within seconds the trio disappeared to reassemble on the Kitty Hawk's main transporter room.

The young ensign who was working the transporter began sweating profusely. He was subbing for the transporter chief while she had gone to her quarters to change into her newly issued uniform, and he was startled by the appearance of the Starfleet brass. He unconsciously wiped his palms against his no longer standard uniform. "S-s-sirs?"

"Permission to come aboard, Ensign?" Reese asked.

"Y-yes, Sir. "You're early, Sir."

"Yes, we know, Ensign," Reese said, smiling kindly at the man's obvious discomfort. "Is your commanding officer around?"

"Well, Sir, you are early. This way, please." He escorted them to the transporter room's waiting area, and once he had seen to their comfort, the technician stammered as he backed out of the room, "Excuse me, Sir, er, Sirs."

He returned to transporter's control pod and activated the comm unit. A bit breathlessly he said, "Main Transporter Room to Bridge. Admiral Reese and guests are here."

After a moment, a youth-filled voice replied, "What! They're an hour early! Contact Commander Zakal. Quick!"

Zakal was moving down the corridor on deck J when he was paged. "Zakal here."

"Sir", came a nervous voice "They're here, Sir!, They're here! An hour early, but they are here now in the lounge off the main transporter room!"

"WHO IS THIS?"

"Oh. Sorry, Sir, this Ensign Montgomery, transporter technician. I am transporter operator while the chief gets her new uniform on."

"Alright, Ensign, alright! Now calmly tell me what in the name Quadaar you are about!"

The excitable junior officer continued. "Sir, the Brass! All of 'em! They are here for the ceremony! An HOUR early!"

"That is alright, Ensign. Please go to them, give them my compliments and tell them that I will join them in a few moments---and calm down!"

"Yessir! Yessir! I'm calm, I'm calm!"

"Uh huh. Zakal out."

"Yessir, me too!"

Zakal shook his head, laughing aloud as he made his way to the lift. He got off the lift on Deck G. He looked around. Most of the crew had donned their new uniforms. { Good. } he thought. Zakal caught a couple of the crew that had not yet changed. He ordered them to do so.

He made his way past sickbay and peeked inside. Mayreeka was hunched over her consoles. He did not disturb her. He then entered the transporter room and entered its passenger lounge. There he saw the high-ranking officer who would make up the inspection team.

"Good day, Sirs, everyone comfortable?"

The three men seated in the waiting area rose at Zakal's arrival. "Commander Zakal," said one, "I'm Admiral Reese, and this is Admiral Charles, Spacedock chief administrator."

"Hello Admiral, it is good to meet you." Then, to Charles, "Yes. The Admiral and I have met. It was at the funeral services for Commodore Decker. It is good to see you under more pleasant circumstances, Admiral."

Zakal turns to the last officer in the group. He recognized the man, but had not met him.

"And this is...?"

"Ah, let's just say that our guest is a visiting friend until we meet Captain Chance."

"Uh-huh. I'm sure he'll be glad to see you again, Sir."

"Speaking of Captain Chance,... he seems to have disappeared from Spacedock. You haven't heard from him, have you?"

Zakal keeps his face passive. Figuring that Chance left spacedock to avoid all this, he smiles and says:

"No, Sir. I'm sure he'll be here on time. I have yet to meet any officer who was late for his first command. Well, gentlemen, if there is nothing more that I can do for you, I have a million things to do in the next hour, so if you'll excuse me..."

Reese replied, before he could leave, "Actually, Commander, I think we shall begin the ship's inspection now, and let Captain Chance catch up with us." Although he spoke kindly, beneath it there was a steel-like strength that would not be bent to any other course than the one he intended. "Shall we go, Commander?"

Zakal stops short. "Sir with all due respect, I cannot allow that. To begin an inspection without the CO being pesent and/or notified, is against regulations, not to mention common courtesy. So if it alright with you, I'll notify the Captain now."

"Of course, Commander," Reese replied. "Be my guest."

Zakal walks to the console and activates the comm on the conference table. "Zakal to Captain Chance."

Chance responded. "Yes, Commander?"

"The inspection team has arrived and is waiting for you in Main Transporter's lounge."

"I'll be right there." Chance clicked off and headed for a turbolift.

While Zakal was making his call, Reese looked back at his companions and smiled. As he had guessed, the commander knew Chance was on board and was covering. Rather than being angry, however, Reese was pleased that the rapport, even at this early a stage, between the two officers had reached a point where Zakal was willing to, let's say,... fudge.

Mayreeka backed away from the comm panel and shoke her head.

"Calinda, can you believe what I have just done? I am so caught up in finalizing the calibrations that I forget to tell you that I met the Captain in the turbolift as I was returning to sickbay. I don't think it would be advisable to contact Zakal again, since he is so terribly busy. Will you please check the computer to make sure that the Captain has given the appropriate authorizations?"

"That's okay," Rogers replied. "There's so much going on, anyone, even a Vulcan, can forget. I'll check to see if we now have access."

Mayreeka simply nodded her head in acknowledgement of Calinda's response. She turned away and went to her computer console. { I'm going to have to meditate later to clear my head of confusing thoughts. I must not allow myself ANY feelings or emotions. } Mayreeka thought to herself, and she knew that her fists had begun to tighten. { I must be the *perfect* Vulcan. I cannot bring dishonor to my family. } Her muscles began to relax. She looked around sickbay to make sure no one has seen her emotional display. She breathed a silent sigh that no one was looking at her and went back to her work.

Calinda watched Mayreeka for a moment. Although the only outward sign was the Vulcan's clinching of her fists, she knew there was stress there. As a doctor, Calinda had encouraged the development within herself of her "sixth sense" as a useful tool in diagnosing patients. Even in this day, she believed a good doctor must be able to read her patients as well as she read the modern gadgetry available.

What she sensed from Mayreeka was incredible stress, mostly under tight control, but there nonetheless. For the moment, however, Rogers turned away so that Mayreeka would not know that she had been observed. But it was something the two of them would talk about. Soon.

Rogers checked her chronometer: 1503 hours. She had time to get some more work done before the VIP's were scheduled to arrive at 1600. Besides, she was in no hurry to put on those green pj's. She again tried to call up Chance's medical records.

After a few moments, Mayreeka realized that Calinda has not changed for the inspection.

"Calinda, why don't you now go get changed into your required uniform. The inspection is getting closer and we really can't afford to waste any time. I see that only a few bio-monitors are left to be calibrated. I can finish the few that are left. I need you back here to begin the crewman's physicals. I will need you and all the personnel on duty for these physicals. We will wait on the officer's physicals until our CMO arrives."

"You're right," Rogers replied, checking her chronometer again. "There's not much time left. I'll be back in a few minutes."

Mayreeka watches Calinda leave sickbay. She turns back to her console and begins preparations for the physicals on the crewmen and finishes the final bio-monitors.

Rogers took the turbolift up to Level Four and walked down the cooridor towards her room. For the first time, she noticed a wall plaque identify- ing Mayreeka as the person assigned to room adjacent to hers. Calinda knew that other medical services junior officers were located nearby, but she hadn't realized that the Vulcan's room was so close.

Entering her quarters, Rogers pulled off the brief skirt and boots of the old uniform for the last time and slipped the new uniform on. Looking at the results in the mirror, she decided that she was going to find some way to appreciate it. She might as well, after all they were stuck with them.

Shrugging her shoulders in resignation at her image in the mirror, Rogers took one last look to make sure her quarters were in order, then she headed back to Sickbay.

Darkell rushed back to his quarters forgetting about the slight pain and the chewing out he got from Lcdr. Telic. "Exec of Engineering for the Kitty Hawk!" He repeated to himself as he quickly dressed. He repeated it again. Snapping on the bio-unit, he was thrilled that he got such a position, expecially after the stunt he pulled.

Looking in the mirror he straightened his uniform. "Hmmm....need to lose a few pounds. The old uniforms you could hide it, but not these." Picking up his check list, he rushed outside and issued a lock command. With his personal items delivered, Darkell wanted to make sure one particular item was locked away.

He started down the hallway at a brisk pace and noticed others in the strange, new uniforms. Almost like...nahh..... Oh well, he hadn't been to a slumber party since he was little.

Entering the turbo shaft he said, "Deck 17, engineering."

Suddenly he remembered what the uniform he saw in the mirror looked like. Then he remembered what others were wearing in the cooridor...

(*flash to a view outside the turbo elevator on deck 15*)

"Aiiiiiieeeeeggggg!!!!!!"

"Run a phaser diagnostic with the backup firing computer, does it show similar signs?"

Telic was still working on the torpedo problem. He had heard scuttlebutt about the brass being on board already. "Right now folks, I don't care about brass. I *do* care about getting this ship ready so we pass their inspection, so snap to it!" This was the first time he hade raised his voice in a long time.

"Ok, folks. First, I want a diagnostic run on the backup firing system. Secondly, check the diagnostic program itself. Thirdly, lets check out the gas venting system."

Telic went with the group to check out the gas venting system.

He physically inspected the gas release vents for the torpedo system to see if anything is wrong with the vents themselves.

The physical inspection showed no damage or defect related to the vents.

Phocas had inspected most of the ship when he realized he still had to visit engineering. Smacking his small vine staff in his hands, he found the nearest turbolift. He looked up.

"Engineering," the turbolift swiftly went down,"Phocas to Zim. Send someone to meet me in Main Engineering immediately. Phocas out."

(End of Part A)

To get more information about the game, contact the gamemaster.

Live long and prosper!

The Singin' One

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