First Mission: A Question of Time/The Quest

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

Chapter Three-B: 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.

"Sorry to keep you waiting, gentle..." Chance said as he entered the transporter lounge, his voice trailing off as he saw who was there. A smile started to form on his face.

"Bob Wesley. It isn't!" He took the commodore's hand and shook vigorously. "What are you doing here? I thought you'd still be at Starbase 72, overseeing repairs to the Lexington."

Commodore Robert Wesley returned Chance's enthusiatic handshake and smiled broadly. "Chance. Good to see you! When Artie told me that you were getting the Kitty Hawk, I just had to come and make sure Starfleet hadn't completely lost its senses." Then he turned more serious. "Really, Chance, you are one of the best officers to ever serve under me. I had the opportunity to be present at your transfer of command ceremony, so I came. Crosby (ooc: Lexington's current first officer) can oversee things at Lexington for a couple days."

He glances at the others. "Forgive me, Sirs." he says, greeting them. "This was all pretty unexpected. Pleased to meet you, Admiral Reese."

"Good to finally meet you, my boy," Reese replied. Wesley spent half of last night talking about you." Reese's eyes glowed with amusement. "He told us about the time you... *humph*" His story was interrupted by a well-placed elbow from Wesley.

"Perhaps another time, *Admiral*, Wesley said.

"Alright, alright," Reese replied, laughter still in his voice.

"Well, I suppose you want to get started with the tour..I mean, the inspection." Chance interceded.

Abruptly, the admiral was all business. "Yes, Captain Chance, let us begin the inspection."

"Sir." says Zakal, "I have scheduled us to begin the inspection on Deck 17. I assume that since the crew knows this, that you will wish to start the inspection elsewhere?"

"Commander," Reese said, "We will follow your inspection schedule. The times will simply be earlier. Now," his voice carried, for the first time, a trace of impatience, "Shall we get underway, gentlemen?"

Zakal nodded. "Very well. If you gentlemen will follow me..." He led the group to the turbolift. When they had all entered, he said, "Deck 17." The turbolift hummed as it moved down into the the bowels of the starship. When the doors opened, Zakal let everyone exit before him.

"If you gentlemen will turn right, we'll go down the cooridor where we can inspect the anti-matter storage chambers." The group moved to a large room with several huge containers held in magnetic fields there was one technician there. He was surprised to see so many officers in this remote location. He hastily straightened his new uniform and snapped to attention.

Val could feel a trickle of sweat run down her back as she closed the comm channel at the center seat.

{ Oh, Joy, } she thought as the news of the big brass' early arrival had sunk in. What to do what to do. She felt certain that she'd be relieved hours ago!! She was somewhat convinced that the XO's placing her in charge was all some sort of sick joke. Or maybe not. { Maybe he just expected Lt-grade officers to be able to handle a starship command--at least while said command was docked, } she thought wryly.

"Well, boys and girls," she announced cheerily, "It seems our inspection tour has started early. Luckily we're the last stop on the scheduled tour...IF they stick to schedule...so we should have an hour or so to settle in. But please everyone get your stations shipshape as quickly as possible. Prepare your consoles for inspection. You! Yes, you...get those coffee cups outa here. Thank you."

Hmmm. One vacant chair. What to do???? Val sat in anguish for a few more moments. Should she call the commander back to the bridge or should she actually make a decision herself?? hhhheeemmmm hhhhaaaaawwww. oh, what the heck!

"Computer, who is the weapons officer, and where is his or her present location?"

[ THE WEAPONS OFFICER IS LIEUTENANT, JUNIOR GRADE, IRENE BOROQA-AMAZONN. SHE IS CURRENTLY IN HER QUARTERS. ]

Val touched a control on the center seat arm rest. "Weapons Officer, report to the bridge, immediately." She ordered.

She ordered? She didn't really do that did she. Who the hell was she to be giving orders to anyone. Oh, sheesh. I want my daddy!

On Deck Four, LT-jg Irene Boroqa-Amozonn was dictating her personal log:

Security meeting was too short. I didn't catch everyone's name. I'll have to match the faces with the records. Oh, well, it doesn't matter. Things will flow together."

Flashes of images floated around in her mind....Sister Daz-nickname, was competing in the annual weapons' competition and doing quite well. Parents are watching and sitting calmly in their royal booths......Irene talking to Camdr. Cain....Inspection completed and passed--Someone comments on Irene's unusual looks, in the turbo lift. The images end.

"Time to go eat and watch. I'm not much for socializing and any way most people find me a little to truthful to suit them."

There goes my beeper. End recording." She activated her wrist comm. "Weapon's Officer here...."

She listened to the order to report to the bridge and replied with no lack of excitement, "On my way. Boroqa-Amazonn out."

A few minutes later, she arrived via the starboard turbolift. "Lt.jg Irene Boroqa-Amazonn reporting for duty. Sir," she amended.

{ Wow. What an attractive looking young woman, } Val thought, and then quickly dismissed the thought as unprofessional.

"Greetings, Lieutenant," she replied. "Welcome to the party. Have a seat and don't you dare use that Sir nonsense around me again. Call me Val. I'm the Comm officer and have been given temporary command of this vessel as part of an evil, sinister plot by our XO."

She thought a moment as Irene settled in. "Oh, and get your console ready for inspection. Make sure your photons aren't where your phasers should be and all that. The brass are on an inspection tour and will be here any second."

"Sure thing. Val." BA set right to work.

The inspection group of Captain Chance, First Officer Zakal, Commodore Bob Wesley, and Admirals Charles and Reese made their way through the ship, starting at the lowest deck and moving up.

Personnel snapped to attention as they passed, and Chance swore he could hear their spines cracking like knuckles. He never liked such rigid formality as a junior officer, and he had vowed never to hold anyone else to it when he gained a command of his own. Once the Admirals were gone, he'd make sure to know they didn't need to suffer that with him.

Telic was still in the photon tropedo launch center, watching the vents as the simulation took place. Physically everything reacted fine; however, they had not found the cause for the aberrations.

He then went to check the firing computer sensor leads into the torpedo system. Perhaps there was something with the sensor relays causing the problems.

Telic tapped a comm panel on the engineering system. "Bedru, start a photorp simulation, I want to watch the vents as they open and close"

"Aye, Sir," one of the young engineers who assisted him. A few moments later, he called back. "Beginning simulation."

They had just finished another unsuccessful test when the inspection team entered Main Engineering. Almost immediately, cadets began lining up along the vertical axis of the warp core, backs rigidly at attention. They looked uncomfortable, and Chance felt the same discomfort watching them. At the end of the line, the Chief Engineer was waiting.

"Chief." Chance acknowledged.

"My consoles are all ready for inspection and my photorps and phrasers are all in their appropriate places. Sir."

Upon the assignment of tasks by Lcdr. Telic, Darkell took a team to the diagnostics center. He knew that the inspection had begun, and that it was important not only for the ability of the Kitty Hawk to perform in battle but also to the inspection itself, that the photon system be working properly. The stress and pressure invigorated him, and he began to work at a furious pace.

"Ensign, prepare to start simulation sequence for firing of torpedos" Darkell barked.

"Yes, Sir!", the ensign replied.

"Monitor vent emissions and performace of vents themselves."

After several minutes, Darkell looked at the results and could not contain his frustration. "Darnit!!.."No, no indication of failure...Ensign adjust sensitivity of diagnostic sensors, level five."

"Aye, sir.."

Darkell hesitated, then with a sudden spark of inspiration, "Belay that order, Ensign, I want you to run a full diagnostic sweep of the diagnostic sensors."

"Aye, sir..."

Just then Telic entered the photorp area, guiding the team.

Darkell and his team were again running diagnostics on the sensors, when he turned to greet Telic. Suddenly, there was a blinding flash from the console where he was working. Darkell was frozen for several seconds in the electrical discharge, then he collapsed to the floor.

After seeing her things to her quarters, Doctor Kathren Thomas dressed in her uniform and set off for sickbay. She was not sure whether or not the inspection would still be engaged there... she hoped so.

Hurrying down the corridors, she berated herself for being so late. She should have been onboard to personally oversee the preparations for sickbay. Although she had not met her medical specialist, Myreeka, yet, she had heard nothing but good things about the vulcon's competence. Kathren was sure that nothing would have been overlooked.... Still, she hadn't gotten where she was by being slack.

Almost there.

Kathren stepped into sickbay, shedding the last of her trepidition. She took a quick look around, reminded herself to double check the equiptment later, and prepared to get acquainted with her new staff.

"Mayreeka? Hello, I'm Dr. Kathren Thomas. It's nice to meet you." she said, extending her hand.

Mayreeka jumped at the sound of her name. She turned away from the computer console she has been working on and saw the CMO's out-stretched hand. She shook the other woman's hand. "Dr. Thomas, it is good to see you. I know that you have been delayed, so Calinda...er...Dr. Rogers and I have finished all the bio-monitor calibrations. I have begun the crewmen's physicals, but I can go no further. I cannot perform physicals on the officers, but I have prepared for all physicals to the best of my ability. I'm ready for you to take over sickbay."

Rogers, hearing the voices of the two doctors, entered the room and intro- duced herself. "Dr. Thomas, I'm Calinda Rogers, exobiologist. Good to meet you. Have you had a chance to look things over?"

"No, I just arrived."

Rogers nodded. "I've been helping out here, but now that you're here, I can get to my lab. Your private lab and your office are on the other side of the examining room. Since Mayreeka now knows her way around here as well as I do, I'd better go." She turned to the Vulcan physician and continued, "Mayreeka, I'll see you around." She bided them farewell.

"Thank you Dr.Rogers for you help and I'm sure I will see you again soon since our quarters are so near." Mayreeka give Calinda a very small grin while her back is to Dr. Thomas.

Things quieted down as the medical staff waited for the inspection group to work its way to Sickbay. Suddenly, an alarm sounded at the nurse's station. "Doctors," said the nurse who was stationed at primary emergency unit console, "The bio-monitor for... Darkell, Lt. William, is showing a sudden fluctuation of life signs. Cardiac arrhythmia, respiration shallow and irregular. Condition, critical. Location... Photorp Room, Deck 12."

Zakal saw the electrical display envelop Darkell and immediately went to a comm and activated it.

"Zakal to Sickbay! Medical Emergency in Engineering Diagnostics section! Get someone down here, FAST!"

He moved to the console where Darkell had been working to make certain that the power to the station is off, then turned to see about Darkell. He says,"Cmdr. Telic, see what the problem with that console is, and get it under control." Under his breath he said, "New ships, new problems." He checked Darkell's heartbeat, and finding no pulse, began life-saving procedures with Telic's help.

As Telic began CPR--looking more like he was beating Darkell to death--he shouted, "Listen to me Lt. I am giving you an order! You will breathe damnit! We still have a weapon system to fix and I won't have my second-in-command sitting around on the job." He seemed to be working to reassure himself more than talking to Darkell, seeming how Darkell is unconcious. "Breathe, by Takosh!" He cursed in Andorian.

Zakal's message arrived in Sickbay within seconds of the bio-monitor's emergency signal on the nurse's main console.

Mayreeka went to the comm panel and acknowlegded the command. She then began grabbing her equipment before ever thinking that Dr. Thomas is the one in command. Mayreeka stopped and turned to Dr. Thomas after realizing that she is out of order.

"Doctor, I am sorry I won't let this happen again. Here is the equipment. I am sure you would need to take this case."

Grabbing the tramau unit from Myreeka, Kathren rushed toward the door. "Nurse, you're with me. Mayreeka, I want you here, prepared for the worst!" Sickbay doors were closing with a hiss even as she finished.

Dr. Thomas and her nurse finally reached the location of the accident. Kathren moved to the fallen man, dismissing the officers who were applying first-aid.

{ Human. Male. Full arrest, } she recited to herself as she quickly considered her treatment options.

Kathren prepared a hypospray and pressured its contents through the patient's clothing in a position directly above his heart.

The injection was ineffective, so Thomas started old-fashioned CPR as the nurse prepared the heavy-duty equipment. Her mind was racing; stabalize, immobilize, transport.

There was a pulse. Weak. Better than nothing. Kathren sent the nurse to the patient's head with the ventilator. Then she thumbed on the medicorder.

The medicorder showed extensive cadiac damage. There was nothing more that she could do for him there, in engineering. While preparing her patient for transport to sickbay, Kathren activated her communicator.

"Thomas to sickbay. Mayreeka, patient in transit. Prep surgery, and get into your scrubs. You'll be assisting."

"Mayreeka here Doctor. I have been monitoring his vitals signs through the bio-monitors. I have already attended to matters on my end. We are awaiting you and the patient."

"Mayreeka out."

"Thomas out."

Telic stood out of the way as the medical team worked on Darkell, as they start to take him away, "Darkell, I am giving you an order, start breathing for the doctor."

After the doctors left, Telic started kicking the computer that overloaded. "Tugal ish damn machine" His speech started mixing between Andorian and Galacta. After a few moments he got a grip on himself and pressed his wrist communicator, " Ensign Jones, I want a read out of all systems activity in Photorp Control Room and I want it yesterday!"

Aye, aye, Sir," came a youngish voice in reply.

"Damn machine" he said as he hooked up his portable diagnostic computer on the machine to analyze whether the power surge came from within the machine or if it was passed down the line from something else. He seemed oblivious to departure of the flag officers, the captain and Commander Zakal.

Back in sickbay, Kathren's heart was pounding as she virtually JUMPED into her scrubs. Mayreeka had the OR in perfect order and was waiting when she had returned to sickbay with the patient, still stimulating his heart and providing artificial respiration.

"O.K. Prepare to open up. We know there's extensive cardiac damage, we'll see how bad bad is and attempt repairs. I'm also concerned about nerve damage, specifically around the heart."

Taking up the laser-scalpal, Kathren took a steadying breath. "Nurse, stay on those vitals and that respirator," and nodded to Myreeka.

"Doctor, I'm getting some very strange brain waves here."

Kathren was about to say something to the nurse when the microdiagnostic unit beeped.

"Foreign objects. A lot. Crystalline forms are attached throughout the skeletal system! First things first." Looking up at Mayreeka, "We've got a ruined left ventricle here. I'm going to need to replace the tissue."

"Mayreeka, please prepare the Stasis Unit. He'll have to remain in stasis until we've grown a sample of his cardiac tissue.

"And after all of that's done, we'll need to put in some extra hours trying to puzzle out how these crystals and odd brain waves fit into everything."

"Doctor I have studied this patient's medical records. He was in a wave- based reacter explosion years ago. The outcome of this incident was that his skeletal structure was laced with the crystaline structure, and his brainwave were altered. None of the doctors could find the reasons for these irregularities."

Kathren nodded. "We'll deal with that later. Right now, he's got bigger problems."

Mayreeka hurried off to prep the stasis chamber to receive Darkell.

Shadow looked up from his equations and realized the bridge might end up disturbing him on trivial grounds. He hit the nearby intercom and said, "Science Officer Shadow to bridge. I am in my lab working on some very critical experiments. DO NOT disturb me unless absolutely necessary! Shadowout."

On the bridge, Val Larson jumped at the sound of the comm panel's chirp. She had just been in a deep reverie.

"Acknowledged. Larson out." she managed.

As she looked around the bridge and saw the multitude of species and sub-species all working harmoniously together, she could not help but think of how tragically sub-species on her homeworld used to treat each other. Thanks in large part to the efforts of humans such as Martin Luther King, Jr. in the mid twentieth century, most of that nonsense had been ended. But still it took almost a century to pass after his death for the worst of it to be purged. While the Federation was more or less united in harmony she thought to how sad it was that sentient beings still found ways to hate each other because of special and cultural rifts. Ah, well.

Val spun her chair around as the lift doors behind her swooshed open. The bigwigs are here at last! She prepared to jump out of her chair and call the bridge to attention. (She'd been waiting to give that order for over an hour now--mulling over in her mind exactly what she needed to say, and how to say it.)

Instead she was confronted with an eagle-like gaze of a Lieutenant grade security officer. Oh, dear. Her mind raced back in time to her command class at Star Fleet. Ack! It's been SO long. What did protocol call for?? This gent did outrank her, but he was part of the ship's security detail...so what did that add up to? Should she turn command over to him? Was he here to finally relieve her?? Then again security personnel weren't really in the line of command were they? Or WERE they? Argh! she Could Not Remember. And what was worse, she decided is that she had now hung in mid-air with her bottom half in and half out of the command chair. She thought that this must look like quite a foolish position, so she glanced up at the Lt. and, with her eyes and other body language rather than vocally, tried to offer the center seat to the stranger. As she continued to stand and glance pleadingly between the Lt.'s face and the chair, she managed to grunt out a, "Lieutenant?" And continued to gaze hopefully at him.

Phocas saw Larson and her unspoken question. "You still have the Conn, Mister," he said gruffly.

Phocas advanced on the Bridge and quickly identified the various command positions from memory. The only empty station was security since Cain was on Deck Seven, waiting for the inspection party. However, that was not a problem since the Weapons Officer was present.

He advanced toward the young Lieutenant sitting at the station. "Lieutenant, what is your status?"

Boroqa-Amazonn sat a little straighter in Phocas' presence. "All systems ready, Sir." she asked.

"Good," he replied and moved off to re-check the security console.

The Engineering crew was obviously concerned about Darkell, but they made a conscious effort to settle down so that the inspection could continue.

Zakal made certain that Telic was on top of whatever problem caused the injury to Darkell. He then turned to the Captain and the rest of the inspection party. "Perhaps we should leave Mr. Telic to his labors and continue the inspection tour. I thought that next we would visit Deck Seven."

Chance added, "Well, um, I was going to suggest Sickbay next, but they'll probably have their hands full right now. How about the Science labs?"

Admiral Reese nodded his consent, so the party moved thru the corridors to the turbolift and rode up to Deck Seven. When they emerge, he passed sickbay, where the CMO and Mayreeka were, indeed, still busily working on Darkell.

Chance asked the duty nurse to be keep them updated on Darkell's condition, then the group headed out.

"Please follow me," Zakal said. They moved to a smaller corridor and to a door that said, "Science Lab Three." The door did not open automatically when he neared the threshold. He touched the door chime. "C'mon Doc, open up, you have company!"

He turned to the inspection party. "I believe all of you know our Chief Science Officer, Dr. Shadow. He's probably up to his neck in some arcane experiment, so be ready for anything when he opens the door."

Reese lifted his eyes ceilingward at the mention of Shadow's name. Clearly, he had some knowledge of the science officer.

When no response was forthcoming, Zakal opened the laboratory door using his override. As the door slid open, a wave of heat hit them all.

There appeared to be a large fire in the center of the room. A human form seem to waver from the other side of the flames.

Zakal threw his hand up before his face and backed up three steps. "Whoa! Doc, what the devil is going on in there? Since the ship's alarms aren't ringing, I suppose that you're up to something. I'm sure the Captain and Admiral would like to know what that something is!"

Backing away from the heat until its intensity was tolerable, Admiral Reese exchanged looks with his companions. They said nothing, however, choosing instead to observe how Chance and Zakal handled the situation.

The huge flame suddenly dies out and revealed is a figure in the white protective outfittings of engineering. The figure pulls off the protective mask revealing a very annoyed Jack Shadow.

When Reese saw the notorious Dr. Shadow's face revealed, he nodded his head in understanding. He had come close to refusing the "mad scientist's" promotion, but he couldn't overlook the man's creditials. Besides, Shadow seemed to fit right into the Kitty Hawk's newly forming gestalt.

"Not that it's any of your business but what I was performing was Romulan proton welding. It's more delicate than our form and maybe the key to upgrading both transporters and warp engines. Now, why are you bothering me with inane questions?"

Reese again looked at Wesley and Charles. This had to be the most unusual inspection he had ever witnessed.

Zakal was surprised and annoyed that his mentor would try to embarass him in front of the ranking brass, not to mention the ship's captain.

"LIEUTENANT Commander Shadow, you will fall in and snap to for inspection of this lab and it's confines, and I do not mean in a moment, I mean now! This is an official inspection by Starfleet Command and your commanding officers. You will adopt a tone more in keeping with both my rank and station on this vessel."

Zakal's eyes are black ice he stares at his ex-teacher.

"Yes, Cmdr. Shadow, do explain what it is you're doing. I'm sure I and the Admirals would be quite interested." Chance said musically, a smile growing on his face.

Shadow looked at Zakal in a way that suggested a future reckoning on this point. He turned to the Capatin and replied, "I am working on revamping two important systems. First is warp drive technology and the second is the transporters. Through the use of the latest duotronics and my calculations, we could be on the verge of changing our every concept of warp speed."

Zakal nodded and entered the lab. "Doc, do you mind if I take a look at your data? This sounds fairly radical to me---not that anything coming from this lab would run-of-the-mill in any case. Besides, I always did have to check your addition."

There was no response for several breaths, then just as Kathren was about to order The Big Jolt, Darkell's heart came alive on its own.

"Good. Mayreeka, if you would like to close up and take him to recovery, I'll get started on the paper work. I want him in recovery for 24 hours and off duty for a few days." Almost as an after thought, "Oh, and ladies...you did good."

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

Live long and prosper!

The Singin' One

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