While The Captain's Away

~ Events Run Concurrently with The Megiddo Regatta - Yesteryear ~

USS Hawking
Main Security
Deck 14

“It is time to go hunting!” the ebullient exclamation entered the office just ahead of Lieutenant jg Fehr, nominally in charge of Security during Tenanji’s absence.

Zal Govan, Dramm Pal and Ensign Jereen blinked back at the Elosian, who was rubbing his hands together in what looked to be gleeful anticipation. It seemed he had finally gotten past being left out of a mission which would have placed him in the immediate vicinity of female Starfleet Officers dressed in next to nothing, by modern standards.

Jereen recovered, first. “Hunting what, Sir?” she asked with her habitual calm.

“I have no idea,” the response was no less effervescent, “but whatever it is, it is keeping our phasers off-line. The diagnostics have returned inconclusive too many times,” he strode about the room very like a general addressing his troops prior to a key battle and his native dialect thickened with his passion for the subject. “It is time we had a look at the issue, first-hand.”

The three looked at one another, then back to their superior. Dramm cleared his throat, “You wish to check the strips…”

“By hand, yes. Everyone suit up… we are going for a walk!”

Zal and Jereen immediately made for the door but…

“There is a problem, Mr. Pal?” the friendly tone and bright smile of the lieutenant turned to the frozen Xepolite.

Pal’s mouth worked a moment before anything actually came out, “I… just… that is… I’m not that… comfortable with working in…” he pointed generally towards the hull.

“Ah,” Fehr placed his hands behind his back and strode up to the nervous crewman, “Working in space is not for you? Strange then, that you would accept a posting on a starship. Have no fears,” he clapped the taller male on the shoulder before turning away. Govan noticed a sly smile beginning to form on Pal’s mottled face but then, “I shall have your transfer to a more suitable station in place by end of shift,” Fehr whipped back in time to see the smile dropping like a dead leaf. “That is what you wish, is it not?” his tone was conciliatory in the extreme. “I had only thought, with your switching shifts to cover the brig for three full cycles… perhaps the rigors of starship duty stations were too much…”

“No, no, Sir,” Dramm pulled back from the abyss. “I, I only thought to spare the others from the tedium of the brig. No sir, I can… and will yes, will be happy to take the walk… yes… indeed…” Continuing to utter a series of banal reassurances, the Xepolite exited the office. Govan, after exchanging one long look with Jereen, followed.

Jereen decided to wait a moment, curious about something. “Could you have had him transferred, Sir?” the Denobulan tilted her head inquisitively.

“Not without a sign-off from Tenanji, at the very least,” Fehr admitted. “But given what I have already seen of Mr. Pal, I felt it necessary to put the fear of the gods in him.” Gesturing towards the door, he followed the ensign into the corridor. The EV access airlock was on deck ten, and the other two should be well on their way by now. “If that fear does not suffice, then it may be I shall have to raise the issue of Crewman Pal's suitability to Lieutenant Tenanji.”

Around the bend in the corridor, Dramm Pal, who had made an excuse to go back to his locker, counted to thirty before following his ‘superiors’ to the lift. He’d been trying for a starship since joining the ‘Fleet. A mobile post was a dream for one of his nature… after all, who knew what unique treasures a vessel of exploration might come across, or what profits an enterprising crewman might glean from them.

But to get to the goods, he had to keep the job and to keep the job, it looked like he’d actually be expected to work.

For the present, at least. Judging enough time had passed, it was a determined and thoughtful Dramm Pal who made for the turbolift.

Post Featuring: Lieutenant jg Fehr; PO1 Zal Govan; Crewman Dramm Pal and Ensign Jereen
** Originally Posted 4/7/08 by Harry Finn **

USS Hawking
Briefing Room Deck 1
Stardate 61116.70 (February 12, 2384)

“You found what?” Alex Gorsky, mid-table, leaned around the height of Mustapha Ibrahim, uncomfortably aware of Ensign Rotaran on his right. On the other side of Ibrahim was Lieutenant jg Fehr, currently keeping tabs on Security and it was Fehr who’d just uttered the fatal words…

“Nanites. Not many, considering the proclivity of the beast but nonetheless…”

“In the phaser strips…” Gorsky pressed.

“Yes, I believe I said that.”

“Well, crap,” was the young scientist’s take as he ran the data provided by Fehr and his team, who’d taken the walk on the hull and found, first hand, what the sensors had missed repeatedly. “They shouldn’t be here. All the nanites we inserted into the systems during the… crisis,” easiest to refer to the debacle created by Janus in non-specifics, “had a life span of only ninety minutes. They would have croaked long before now…”

“Unless,” Koz Rotaran’s musical voice inserted, “they were affected by the multi-dimensional code,” when the others looked his way, and it was always amusing to Koz how much work it took males of other species to meet his eyes, “We were never able to fully assess the scope of Janus’ code’s abilities. It was operating in multiple dimensions and if even one of Alex’ nanites were in the path of a dimensional rift…”

“The nanite may have been mutated…” Mustapha inserted.

“By whatever brane of reality it touched…” Alex added.

“Before the rift closed down.”

Fehr took a deep breath, which he found helpful when faced with the combined intellects of science and engineering. Looking towards the end of the table, where Master Chief Jackson sat, eyes narrowed as he, too took in the brain trust’s summation he filled the conversational void with, “And that is all very interesting but, in the meanwhile, we have no phasers.”

“Nope,” Jackson leaned back in his chair and studied the ceiling, “n’ I’d be willin’ to bet my last plug of tobacco them nanites did for the sensors, too.” He blew at his mustache before looking back at Gorsky who felt himself blushing under the Chief of the Boat’s attention. While the captain and much of the senior staff were off to the races, Hawking was under the nominal control of Admiral Kaz, to be used at her discretion but day-to-day operations were under the oversight of William Jackson.

“I’d like to remind everyone we were kind of under a lot of pressure at the time…”

“Not blamin’ you, son,” Jackson tossed off the kid’s protest, “but question is, what do we do about them, now?”

“If there are mutant nanites running amok in the systems,” Koz threw in, “the most effective method of treatment is to immerse the Hawking in a sustained burst of gamma radiation.”

Dead silence.

Then, “Ah’ll get in touch with Captain Kaz and the OD at Taylor-Kane,” Jackson said, “Fer now, you lot assume we’re a go on Rotaran’s suggestion and start gettin’ yer people packed up.” It’d be a bitch and a half to get done but if evacuating the Hawking were the best way to get her runnin’ straight again, Jackson was more than ready to go there.

He just hoped the folks at the station would be more than ready to take on the remaining crew of the Hawking for the duration.

Post featuring NPC's Lieutenant jg Fehr, Ensign Koz Rotaran, Master Chief Jackson plus -
** Originally Posted 4/15/08 by Harry Finn **

USS Hawking
Holosuite 2

"Do we really have to do this?"

"Yes," Del replied, "favors are good but they won't buy us any freight down at the Outpost."

"Right you are human but surely there is some other way to raise seed money?" Dom's face took on a thoughtful look. "Perhaps a game of chance, I am an excellent dabo player!"

"Didn't you say that was because your father rigged the table?"

"Ah yes," Dom replied, looking crestfallen. "Why is acquiring start-up capital so difficult?"

"It won't be if you do everything like I told you. We're golden. We have this contest wrapped."

"I am not so certain. Ferengi are not known for their singing ability, perhaps.."

"I'm starting it."

Dom fumbled with the eyewear that Del called 'shades'. They had been modified to fit on his face but he still had trouble attaching them behind his ears. The human music began playing, the tune was simple by Ferengi standards but had something in it that sort of called out to misfortunates. And we qualify there. Dom thought. A little piano, wait for it. he thought as he and Del fell into step, snapping their fingers in rhythm as they moved back and forth in step. Their matching suits and 'shades' looked ridiculous to Dom, but Del had assured him they would look 'cool'. Dom had responded by arguing that he liked his body temperature at its regular state.

Dom nearly missed his entrance. Drums..start!

"Why do you build me up," Dom screeched.

"Build me up," Del echoed.

"Buttercup baby, just to let me down," Dom continued.

"Let me down."

"And mess me around, and then worst of all."

"Worst of all," Del added, changing the direction of his step so that Dom lost his concentration on the words scrolling across the viewscreen.

"You never..*mumble* *mumble* you say you will," Dom said.

"Say you will," Del sang glaring at Dom.

"But I love you still!" Dom sang with a wide grin.

"Don't sing it to me! Sing to the crowd!" Del said pointing to their group of holographic characters that made up the 'audience'. Neither of them were holosuite savvy so they had used characters from other adventures as their test audience. A couple of Orion women from some crewperson's fantasy swayed in time to the music. "Love it baby, love it!" a person in a sequined jacket shouted, "Awopbopaloolopawopbamboom!" Four Jem'Hadar soldiers sat together looking a little lost, although one had begun to tap his foot.

"Zee problem is, his mother is his buttercup so he cannot sing the song.." an elderly gentleman with a strong German accent proclaimed.

"Shut up Freud!" Del yelled.

"Und you have a problem with your father," Freud whispered scandalously. "Or it could be that he is not engaging in regular, healthy sex," suggested a short woman who was sitting near Freud.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident," a skinny, bearded fellow in a crumpled jacket suddenly said, "your performance is lacking."

"I concur." The Vulcan sitting beside the scarecrow agreed.

"You know what ya'll fellows need? Ya'll need me to accompany with my sax.."

"What they need is some soul, now I can sing.."


** Originally Posted 4/18/08 by Javier Costala **

OSS Taylor-Kane
Command Module, Conference Room
Stardate 61117.00 (February 12, 2384)

“Ensign Gorsky, reporting as ordered,” Alex stood uncertainly in the entrance of the conference room, where he’d been called almost the second he Purcell had beamed over to the station, last of the crew to vacate the Hawking prior to bombarding her with gamma radiation. The bug-out had gone fairly smoothly: with a fifty crew gone to the Constellation and another good chunk on the ground taking leave, there weren’t a lot of bodies to move.

The food, plants and various and sundry biological experiments were another matter, to say nothing of the dog. It was a bit horrifying how much stuff there was on a starship. Still, Hawking was clear of all life but the mutant nanites so he figured he could hang on the station or maybe hit the planet and see what there was to see. Not that he was thinking of looking for Finn. Farthest thing from his mind. Really.

Not that it mattered because he’d materialized and been ordered here, to this room where one man waited.

“Ensign,” the guy, who looked to be a Human/Romulan mix, greeted. “Commander Rev S’van, Starfleet Research and Development.”

And here it was. “Sir,” even Alex, possibly one of the least formal members of the Hawking, knew when to play the part. Especially now, when he knew what the commander was after.

“I understand you’ve been holding something that belongs to us.”

Alex surprised himself by wishing Torrik were here, or even that new Science officer, the scary chick, O’Keefe, dealing with this instead of his own irreverent ensignness. “I’m sorry, sir?” he asked, playing the ignorance card early.

“The… item… which was used to sabotage the Hawking, it came from our division. Not the control device itself, which, from the reports I’ve seen is far more transportable than the prototype we were working on back in ‘78, when we first realized that our systems had been compromised.”

“Starfleet R&D was working on a device which could imprint one sentient’s personality on another subject, subverting their will and rights as an individual and, oh yeah, drive them apesh… render them completely insane in the process?” Okay, maybe not so perfectly ‘Fleet. “Sorry, we never got hold of that particular ‘item’.”

Eyes narrowed, S’van remained impassive, “I understand a certain level of bitterness might be expected after such an… unpleasant affair as the Hawking experienced. However, the Engramatic Cloning Device, which, for your information, was in development and, apparently, stolen, before my time, is not my concern.” He turned to the table and lifted a PADD, which he studied as he continued, “I am speaking of the control device Lieutenant Hawthorn made use of to subvert the ship’s systems.”

“Oh, that stolen device.”

“Yes, that one. We want it. The modifications made to the signal-emitter will prove invaluable in our understanding…”

Ping! “Understanding?” Not that Alex and Linc hadn’t been thinking along these lines but, “The brains of R&D designed this tech… Commander… how limited can their understanding of it be?”

“Amazingly, that is not your concern. Your only concern… Ensign… is that we want it. Upon receipt of these orders,” he offered up the PADD, “you are to deliver the device to my hands, immediately, for transport back to Earth.”

Alex accepted the PADD, read the directive carefully, “Well, Sir, these orders are certainly all… in order,” he shook his head, “But immediately is going to be a problem,” even as that perfectly groomed eyebrow started to arch, Alex continued, “See, since the device in question messed so severely with the Hawking’s systems, we’ve just evacuated the ship in order to bombard her with ohh, about fifteen Ci’s of gamma radiation per cubic meter so we can kill off the mutated nanites which were an indirect side effect of the tampering. In fact, the bombardment’s going to be starting,” he checked his wrist chrono, “five minutes ago.”

The checked eyebrow dropped in a sulk. “Very well, how long until you can reboard the vessel?”

“Forty-eight hours, minimum, if we can take an accurate Bq measurement. If it’s all clear, I can get your device for you.”

“I shall be awaiting your contact. The USS Siq’ar will be rendezvousing with me within seventy-two hours, at the latest. I expect to be on board, with the package, at that time. You are dismissed.”

“Sir.” Gorsky made the sharpest turn of his entire Starfleet career and hot footed it out of the room, PADD still in hand. Yeah, the orders were probably for real, and that guy might even be Rev S’Van and he might even be a Commander in Starfleet, but no way was he an R&D geek.

Alex might not be able to get around giving up the tech but he’d be damned if he gave it away blind. He tapped his combadge once he’d gotten a good distance from the conference room.

=/\=Gorsky to Purcell=/\=

=/\=Purcell here=/\=

=/\=Can you find us an open terminal? I need to do some digging…=/\=

** Originally Posted 04/21/08 by Harry Finn **

OSS Taylor-Kane
En-route to Conference Room 3
Stardate 61121.6 (February 14, 2384)

“You’re sure we have to do this?” Gorsky was asking as Lieutenant j.g. Fehr set a rapid pace towards the same conference room in which the original meeting with Commander Rev S’van had taken place. S’van who, it turned out, certainly was a commander but, as Alex had correctly assumed, not with Research and Development.

”He’s Section 31,” Fehr had announced when he’d come to investigate why two of the Hawking’s scientists had appropriated a terminal in the Command Module and commenced to repel all comers, even those who worked at that station until Mr. Jackson had gotten a complaint and then sent Fehr to ‘deal with them brainiac kids’.

Never minding that Purcell, at close to one hundred years of age, was far from being a kid.

“You’re sure?” Gorsky, who’d been running through every personnel file he could find, legitimately or otherwise, looked at the security officer, “I mean, not that I doubt you but even Section 31 has files and so far…”

“I’m sure,” Fehr replied. “I have met with S’van before. Whatever it is he wants, you give it to him, without hesitation, without question. Just give him the device and walk away as quickly as possible.”

But come the day it appeared that Fehr didn’t trust Gorsky to follow those orders and was now escorting the ensign to his meeting with the half-Romulan commander.

“You are quite sure the device is as you found it?” Fehr asked for about the eleventh time since beaming over from the refreshingly nanite-free Hawking.

“Yes, it’s as-is…was, whatever,” Gorsky replied. “Look, I get the whole, Section 31 guys are darkside but, seriously, how bad can this guy be? I mean, say there were a slight maladjustment in the keypad-to-bioneural memory functions… I’m just kidding, there’s nothing, well we don’t think there is but… what, would delivering damaged goods be bad for my career?”

“Only if you consider breathing a necessary facet of career advancement,” Fehr replied under his breath, “And I am not kidding.”

By then the two had arrived and the doors of the conference room swished open and there was Commander S’van, waiting in exactly the same position he’d been in the first time Alex had seen him. “Ah, Mr. Gorsky,” the quietly satisfied smile set Gorsky’s teeth on edge, “Prompt, I see. And you’ve brought company.”

“S’van,” the Elasian replied in a tellingly neutral tone. “Mr. Gorsky, please hand over the device and then give us the room.”

It said something about the sudden drop in temperature that Alex didn’t even think of hesitating. He simply handed over the case containing Janus’ slaving device and with a short nod, escaped.

He didn’t leave, however. He merely found a convenient nook in the corridor and waited, counting the beads of sweat forming on his spine until the doors opened and S’van exited. The Section 31 officer avoided Gorsky’s eyes as he turned and briskly made his way to the turbolift.

Moments passed and there was still no sign of Fehr and Alex was about to go and look for the body when the conference room doors slid apart once again and the pro-tem security chief entered the corridor, his dark eyes as calm as they had been upon entering.

“You’re still here?” Fehr asked, upon spying the lurking ensign.

“Yeah, I, ah, yeah.” Alex fell in with the other man. “Just wanted to make sure the… exchange…”

“I am touched by your concern,” the white flash of a smile didn’t quite reach the nearly-black eyes, “in a completely platonic sense, you understand.”

“Absolutely.” Alex kept pace for another moment before, “So, about you and S’van…?”

“An old story,” the short reply.

“How’d it end?”

Fehr turned his dark gaze upon the scientist, “It hasn’t… yet.”

There was no response Alex could make to that.

** Originally Posted 5/13/08 by Harry Finn **

USS Hawking
Ibrahim Quarters

“All I know,” Katie was saying as she stepped across the minefield of blocks and ‘fuzzy friends’ Eli and Lia were using to create a new planet, “is I’m not going to be able to handle them solo.”

“Where is Chris heading, anyway?” Baya asked, accepting the cup Katie offered as she inquired about the senior teacher’s plans. Chris Volek had been responsible for the eleven and up students.

“Going home, to Tara…” Katie began then remembered her non-Human audience. “Sorry, he got the homesick bug, wanted to spend some time on Mars, maybe catch up with his old flame, who wrote recently.” She turned an amused eye to the toddlers, “I can’t blame him but I really wish we’d at least made it back to Megiddo before he jumped ship. What kind of chance do we have of finding a teacher here?”

Baya sipped her tea, hoping it would sooth the queasyness which had been lasting longer each day. “I might be able to help with that,” she commented.

“Hmm?” Katie looked up from her study of the two kids, who were having a conversation in Standard, Portuguese and Toddler, mixed. “With what?”

“I might be looking to move away from archeology for a while,” Baya said, “since pretty soon I’ll be restricted from a number of the chemicals we use and, after that, I expect I’ll be toting the baby around with me every….”

Out in the corridor, Mustapha Ibrahim, coming home after a long shift, during which the normally collected engineer had actively cursed (well, internally) the absence of Javier Costala no fewer than five times, froze at the horrifying sound of his wife’s shriek. Racing into their quarters, fearful of catastrophe, he was completely nonplussed to see Katie, perfectly safe, lifting Edded Baya into a spinning embrace, to the applause and cheers of Eli and Lia.

“Oh, Katie, please,” Baya was saying, “the morning sickness…”

“Right, right…” Katie immediately ceased her happy dance and turned her gleeful gaze to her husband, “Oh, Mustapha, guess what?”

“Congratulations, Baya,” Ibrahim, quick on the uptake, smiled. “A new life is a joy to us all.”

“Oh, yes, well, that, too,” Katie bounced up and down a bit, “but Baya is going to apply for the position of secondary teacher, too! I won’t have to go begging to Starfleet! And we already know each other! And…”

“And it is all good news,” he agreed, wrapping an arm around his ebullient wife. “Now we need only get the rest of the Hawking’s family home from their race, and all will be very well, indeed.”

“To their coming home,” Baya agreed, raising her tea in a toast.

“Coming home,” Lia echoed happily, clicking blocks with Eli.

“Home,” Katie sighed, leaning into Mustapha and feeling settled for the first time in what felt like forever.

** Originally Posted 6/30/08 by Harry Finn **

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