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~ Star Trek: Grissom

Chapter 7:

“One Moment of Humanity”

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- Chapter 7 -

“One Moment of Humanity” Written by Seán Paul Teeling Story by Nick Cook, Seán Paul Teeling, Bodo Hartwig Edited by Rick Pike Star Trek: Grissom created by Seán Paul Teeling and Melissa D. Wilson


~ Star Trek: Grissom

Chapter 7:

“One Moment of Humanity”

Previously on Star Trek: Grissom… Following the recent Excalbian-orchestrated Klingon/Federation conflict, Space Station Epsilon Five picks up a number of ships attempting a crossing of the Neutral Zone from Klingon space. Starfleet determines they are not warships, but small merchant vessels. One vessel makes it across the Zone. A luxury starliner, the S.S. Arcadia, diverts to the merchant vessel when distress calls are received. Grissom is ordered to investigate the situation and mediates a hostage situation aboard the Arcadia caused by Ch’ramakai refugees, who are Klingon in appearance. Just prior to the Grissom undertaking this rescue mission, Captain J.T. Esteban dispatches a shuttlecraft to collect Dr. Michael Liebmann from Pacifica, to eliminate any further delay in the Grissom’s departure for the Genesis Planet. After an altercation with the Klingon forces of Commander Kuri on Pacifica, and the treachery of the Klingon’s Caitian agent, M’Pursong, Dr. Clive Saunders leads the Grissom landing party with Dr. Liebmann to safety back aboard Grissom. But other forces in the Alpha Quadrant have been observing the events unfolding in the Mutara Sector. The Tholian Assembly mines an area beyond their border, ensnaring Grissom in order to capture Genesis Project data. Thanks to the quick thinking of Commander Stephanie Ottair, Grissom escapes, and the U.S.S. Enterprise, enroute to rendezvous with the Grissom to transfer Lt. Saavik and Dr. David Marcus, chases the Tholians off. With Lt. Saavik and Dr. David Marcus transferred onboard from the Enterprise, Grissom has finally resumed her mission onward to the mysterious Genesis Planet …

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~ Star Trek: Grissom

Chapter 7:

“One Moment of Humanity”

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Klingon D7 Battle Cruiser, Federation Space, Vicinity of the Planet Pacifica Valkyris stepped from the transporter pad and moved swiftly past the assembled warriors who had gathered to see her arrival. She was the newly chosen leader of a great House, younger sister of Kiosan, and a renowned beauty among what passed for Klingon society. Unfortunately, Kiosan had dishonored their House and Valkris was forced to disown him. But Valkris had beauty and brains. She was one of the Klingon High Council’s most formidable operatives, and although many had heard of her, none had seen her in years. Hence, the expectant warriors who had made it their business to ‘view’ her. Valkyris pushed aside two warriors and entered the command chamber of General Karg. She had worked with Karg before, and the Empire had profited handsomely, as, had their respective Houses. “So General,” she said, as she entered, bowing her head slightly in respect of his rank. “Has Commander Kuri retrieved my agent and the Genesis data?” “His vessel has communicated that they have left Pacifica and will report to me directly,” replied Karg. “You look well, Milady, as ever,” and Karg stepped toward her, with hardly veiled intention. Valkris laughed. Flirting with her superiors was one of the ways in which she had advanced in Klingon circles. She knew how to manipulate warriors and generals alike. “My General, you flatter me.” She moved to pick up Karg’s dagger from a nearby console. “But you understand that to look is fine, to touch is to die.” Karg now gave a hearty laugh. “Your skill with a dagger is legendary, Milady. Your honor will remain intact with me. But now, let us proceed to the Bridge, for the hour of Commander Kuri’s arrival is upon us.” As Valkris and General Karg entered the Bridge, the Bridge crew, including a striking female warrior, turned to look at Valkris. Valkris stood tall and proud, and let them drink in her nobility. Karg sat in his command chair. “I am most anxious to restore the honor of the Empire. The cursed Federation has once again interfered in the plans of the Empire, harboring Ch’ramakai vermin. Your discovery of this ‘Genesis’ weapon will aid our retaliation!” “General, we are hailed,” said the communications officer. “It is the Kahless.” As they looked at the main viewer, a Klingon K’Vortclass warbird, Kahless, uncloaked in front of them. Karg spoke. “Kahless, you are punctual as ever. Report, Commander Kuri.” A visage of a Klingon warrior appeared on the main viewer, but it was not that of Commander Kuri. The warrior spoke. “General Karg, I am former Captain Kuri’s officer, Reshtarc. I took the opportunity to take command of this vessel following Commander Kuri’s failure to secure the Genesis data or the Federation scientists at Pacifica.”


~ Star Trek: Grissom

Chapter 7:

“One Moment of Humanity”

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Nobody on the Bridge spoke. All knew that Kuri was dead. Ascension to Captaincy was ever so in the Klingon fleet. Karg leaned forward in his chair. “Report,” he said coolly. “The Caitian agent of the Empire, known as M’Pursong, betrayed us at the penultimate moment of our ambush, General, and Commander Kuri chose to flee rather than fight to secure the scientists. Karg exploded. “Ghay’cha!” he shouted, and paced around his Bridge. Warriors on duty kept their eyes averted, knowing one wrong word or glance could be their last. The calm voice of Valkris broke the silence. “Captain Reshtarc, what of the alternate plan? Has the ‘Hand of God’ been activated?” Reshtarc nodded. “Indeed, Milady, the agent was inserted on Pacifica, not as planned, but he was inserted.” Valkris turned to General Karg and bowed her head again. “General, the ‘Hand of God’ is activated. Our other agent is in place. Securing the whereabouts of the Federation Starship Grissom is now certain. I also am sure that I know to where the Caitian agent has fled, she is a creature of habit.” Karg whirled around to face the viewer. “Reshtarc, you will be joined by Lady Valkris, and follow her direction. You are the Captain, but she will guide you.” He turned and growled at Valkris. “Your agent’s actions mean delay not only for the Empire, but the risk that she may sell information on this Genesis weapon to the baktag Romulans.” Valkris did not speak, she knew it was a dangerous moment. “Captain Reshtarc, Lady Valkris, your mission is twofold,” said Karg, finally. ‘Secure the Caitian agent and silence her. Contact the ‘Hand of God’ and ensure we know where the Grissom is at all times.” “Understood,” said Reshtarc. “We await the Lady.” and he closed the channel. Valkris turned to leave the Bridge and Karg followed. He pushed her up against the wall of the corridor roughly and hissed at her, “Fail me this time, Milady, and your dagger will not save you from my wrath, or my urges! Understood?” Valkris bowed. “Understood General.”

U.S.S. Grissom, Main Bridge (2 days after the encounter with the Tholians) Dr. David Marcus stood beside the main science station, listening to Lt. Commander Christopher Chattman, who was briefing both he and Lt. Saavik on the peculiarities of the Oberth’s science consoles and configuration. As Chattman spoke, Marcus was only half concentrating. He kept taking sly glances at Lt. Saavik, his secret lover, with whom he was finally reunited. “God, but she was beautiful,” he thought. If Saavik noticed David’s glances, she chose to ignore him. When it came to work, she was every bit the professional her mentor, the late, lamented Captain Spock had been. “And that is basically it in a nutshell,” concluded Chattman “I’m delighted to hand the position of Science Officer over to you, Lt. Saavik. I hope you find everything in order.” Saavik, being a logical being, was brutally honest. “I think your explanation of your work to date was very circumlocutious, Lt. Commander, but, I have understood the message you were trying to impart.”


~ Star Trek: Grissom

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“One Moment of Humanity”

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Chattman blushed furiously. “Oh, I’m sorry Lieutenant, I didn’t mean to drone on.” “Ignore her, Lt. Commander Chattman. She’s just being… Vulcan,” laughed David Marcus. “I, for one, found your briefing to be very clear.” Saavik looked at David Marcus and then looked back to Chattman. “I shall assume my station then, Lt. Commander, if you’ll excuse me,” and with that she took the seat at the science station. Chattman and Marcus walked away from Saavik. The Bridge was quiet. Bacari Jata was in the command chair for the night shift, and relief Bridge crew were in place. Jata turned to Chattman in the chair. “Calling it a night then, Lt. Commander?” Chattman yawned. “Not just yet, Bacari. I think I’ll stop off in the mess for a nightcap.” He turned to David Marcus. “If you’d like to join me, Dr. Marcus?” “I did want to talk to Lt. Saavik, but I can see she will be here for some time yet,” replied Marcus. “So that sounds good.” “Enjoy yourselves, you two, and have one for me,” laughed Jata. “The way I’m feeling, I may just do that,” said Chattman as he and Marcus left the Bridge. Marcus spared a last glance at the science station, but Saavik was already buried in her work and did not return his glance. Marcus had hoped to share quarters with Saavik aboard Grissom, but Captain J.T. Esteban was a man of protocol and as a Starfleet Officer, Saavik could not share her quarters with a civilian. She had been assigned to share officers’ quarters with Lt. Rebecca Sato, the Grissom’s helmsman. Marcus himself had been assigned quarters with Bacari Jata, with whom he had established already, in a very short time, a warm rapport. “I meant to ask how your friend, the Deltan boy, is doing. Is he recovering well?” queried Marcus, as he and Chattman walked toward the Mess Hall, which was, like the Bridge, located on Deck 1. “He is still in Sickbay, under the care of Dr. S’Raazh, but he is improving daily. Thank you for asking, Dr. Marcus,” said Chattman. Marcus was curious. “Is he your… I mean, are you two together?” he queried, hastily adding “Sorry if I’m being nosey.” Chattman cleared his throat, blushing furiously, but he answered. “No, we haven’t been and we aren’t ‘together,’ at least, not yet.” Now Chattman reddened even more. “But we are very close since Aabin’s injuries, and, well… I think I’ve said too much.” Chattman stopped talking abruptly and moved ahead. “And here we are, Dr. Marcus, the Mess Hall, what’s your poison?”


~ Star Trek: Grissom

Chapter 7:

“One Moment of Humanity”

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As they entered the Mess Hall, they could see it was sparsely populated, as it was, by Earth standard time, after midnight. But in the corner, they saw Lt. Rebecca Sato and Dr. Clive Saunders sitting together talking. Saunders looked up over Sato’s shoulder as Chattman and Marcus entered, and beckoned to them both. “David, Mr. Chattman, come join us.” As they approached, Saunders stood and hugged David Marcus hard, patting him on the back vigorously. “Just like old times Davey baby, me and you, drinking and playing cards when your Mom ranted at us for time wasting.” Marcus took a seat. “I think I did the card playing, when you did most of the drinking, Clive. Lt. Sato, good to see you,” he nodded at Rebecca Sato. “I hope Lt. Saavik isn’t proving too much of an inconvenience to you, sharing your quarters.” Sato smiled. “Not at all, I am finding her presence to be most calming, actually.” Saunders reached for Sato’s hand across the table, but she withdrew hers quickly. This was noted by Chattman. “So Rebecca, tell us, how will Robert take the news of your pregnancy? I’ll bet he will be delighted.” Sato grimaced. “Christopher, I haven’t told the Captain yet, but it seems I’m going to have to, as my ‘condition’ is becoming universal news, thanks to you! Gerber stopped me today to ask me when is the happy event. Which of you guys is talking? Well?” David Marcus answered. “I think the thing is, Lieutenant, or Rebecca, if I may call you that, is that you are starting to ‘show’ as they say.” Clive Saunders piped up. “And let’s face it, sweetheart. Those uniforms you wear accentuate your curves in all the wrong places, so any weight gain is blatantly obvious.” “Clive! Do you have to be so personal? Really, you can be so rude!” exclaimed Sato. Saunders sat back in his chair and put his arms behind his head in a relaxed manner. “Hey, did I say I was complaining about the curves? You look pretty hot from where I’m sitting.” Chattman actually laughed aloud. “You are incredible, Saunders. Half of the female crew are in love with you, and you not only know it, you love it.” Saunders laughed now. “Probably half the male crew too, if I’m not being too vain, wot?” and he winked at Chattman. Sato finished her drink. They were all now laughing. “God, it’ll take me a week to get over all the testosterone flying around in here. SINCE you asked, Christopher, I’m sure Robert will be delighted.” And she looked at Saunders now. “I can’t wait to see my wonderful husband again.” She stood. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, gentleman, my bed beckons. And not another word about my ‘condition.’ I’ll be meeting the Captain in the morning to discuss this with him, but only because I want him to hear it from me, and not anyone else!”


~ Star Trek: Grissom

Chapter 7:

“One Moment of Humanity”

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U.S.S. Grissom, Sickbay Dr. Vindi S’Raazh finished taking handover from Dr. Elizabeth Seipeál, and bid her colleague a good night. Although as CMO, S’Raazh was not expected to sit a night shift, she was nothing if not equitable and fair and elected to rotate her shift patterns along with her colleague. Muggle was safe in her quarters, fed his usual replicated ration and well watered. Cadet Kara McLoughlin would be walking him at 0600. Vindi turned to the Nurses Station, where her colleague, Seán Murphy, sat completing some paperwork. “Murphy, you’re burning the midnight oil, aren’t you? I thought you had an assignation planned with Ensign Gerber for this evening?” Murphy looked up at S’Raazh through bleary eyes. “Christ, is it that time already? Sorry Doctor, I lost track of time. I noted that, in all the recent confusion, Ensign Wood has managed to miss two of her scheduled physicals. I’ll have to get her in here shortly.” S’Raazh laughed. “Ah, Murphy, nobody can ever slip through your net. I would say you are as tight as a Tholian web, but given the death of Ensign DeLonghi, it’s really poor taste.” Murphy nodded. “For a science vessel we’ve had such heavy losses lately. Hewson, Solak, DeLonghi…” he trailed off. S’Raazh saw it was time to lighten the mood. “How is our patient doing then? He seemed much improved this morning?” Murphy stood and looked at the ICU bio bed in the nearby alcove. “Aabin is much better, more alert since you woke him from the induced coma. He’s been asking for Chattman, but apart from that, just resting.” S’Raazh smiled. “I’ll go take a look at our young friend. Why don’t you go get Gerber and go enjoy yourselves.” “On this ship?” said Murphy, sarcastically, but he grabbed his jacket and made to leave. “Goodnight, Vindi.” “Goodnight, Murphy,” said S’Raazh. S’Raazh entered the ICU alcove and stood beside Aabin. The young Deltan obviously sensed her presence, because he opened his eyes and looked at her clearly, then smiled thinly. “Doctor, how good to see you. I am feeling much stronger. How long must I stay here?” S’Raazh sat on the corner of the biobed and adjusted Aabin’s sheets. “Just as short while longer Specialist, another day or two should suffice. Your thoracic wound was worsened by the crystalline nature of the Tholian weapon. It wasn’t a clean wound so much as an explosion internally. You are lucky to be alive, my young friend.” Aabin settled back into the biobed. “Doctor, tell me, I have been asking for Christopher, I mean, for Lieutenant Commander Chattman, but he has not come. Do you think he hates me now?” S’Raazh spoke quietly. “Aabin, for the last two days, Christopher Chattman has been glued to your side, like a limpet.” She touched Aabin’s hair lightly. “The only reason he is not here now is because Nurse Murphy threatened to throw him out.” Aabin broke into a broad grin. “I see. Thank you, Doctor. I am relieved. I feel great joy and gratitude.”


~ Star Trek: Grissom

Chapter 7:

“One Moment of Humanity”

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S’Raazh stepped away. “You get some sleep now, and we’ll see how you’re doing in the morning.”

U.S.S. Grissom, Main Bridge Lieutenant Saavik would never admit it to herself, but she was actually happy, happier than she had been in a long time. The loss of Captain Spock, her mentor and friend, had left a void in her that she felt would never be healed, and yet her developing, covert relationship with David Marcus had taken her to heights of pleasure she had never thought she could experience. Here she was, on the Bridge of a science vessel, as Science Officer, and serving with the man she loved. Loved? Yes, she could admit that too, now. Perhaps she should let David know this, too. Saavik was broken from her reverie by a proximity alert. She quickly scanned the sensor readings and reported her findings to Mr. Jata at once. “Mr. Jata, sensors are detecting weapons fire in the vicinity of a nearby planet. I am detecting two ships. One civilian freighter and one… Sir! Sensors confirm, one Orion privateer, an older model.” Bacari Jata was highly favored by J.T. Esteban due to his ability to keep his calm in almost any situation. He turned to Saavik. “Raise shields. Conn, plot a pursuit course on the Orion vessel.” He activated the internal comms unit on the command chair. “Jata to Esteban. Sir, we have a situation which requires you immediately.” J.T. Esteban arrived on the Bridge swiftly, adjusting his uniform coat as he did so. “Status, Mr. Jata?” Jata stood and vacated the centre seat. “Senior crew are already on their way to the Bridge, sir. We have detected an Orion privateer pursuing a civilian freighter in the vicinity of nearby Quazalu VIII.” A sleepy looking Rebecca Sato exited the turbolift to the Bridge and took her place at the helm. “Lt. Saavik, what is the status of the civilian ship?” asked Esteban as he took the centre seat. Saavik concentrated on her viewer and replied, “Sir, the freighter appears to be a modified vessel, with enhanced shielding, but, currently her shields are at 15 percent.” Esteban said nothing for a moment. “Red Alert. Plot an intercept course. Lock all phaser banks and prepare a photon torpedo spread. Main power to shields.” Jata had assumed the navigator’s position. “Sir, I can put us directly behind the Orion vessel.” Esteban shook his head. “Negative that. Put us directly between the Warbird and the freighter, Mr. Jata. Lt. Sato, increase speed to Warp Factor 4. Lt. Saavik, prepare to extend our shields around that vessel. Childers, hail the freighter and advise them of our plan. Then contact Starfleet Command and update them on our sit rep.” The Grissom leapt toward Quazalu VIII, quickly closing the distance between the Orion ship and herself. “Sir, should we not also hail the Orions?” queried Childers. “The freighter’s shields are down, she is vulnerable to the Orion attack,” said Saavik. Orion disruptors poured enough energy across the void between the Warbird and the freighter and would soon completely end the civilian vessel’s flight. At the last moment, the Grissom flew between the two vessels,


~ Star Trek: Grissom

Chapter 7:

“One Moment of Humanity”

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her shields taking the brunt of the disruptors” force. Her shields crackled with blue and yellow energy, as it writhed around the vessel, but they held. “Well done, Sato, nice flying. Bring us about, contact the Orions now.” “Sir, the freighter is caught in the atmospheric gravity of Quazalu VIII. It is inevitable she is going to crash,” said Saavik. “But the Orion vessel is retreating.” “Sir, we should pursue the Orions, find out what they were doing here,” said Juan Casas, who had quietly taken his station upon entering the Bridge. Esteban hit the command chair hard with his left hand. “We have to assist that freighter Mr. Casas. Saavik, lock onto the freighter with a tractor beam.” “The vessel is already in the upper atmosphere of Quazalu VIII, sir. The tractor beam is not an option.” Esteban stood up abruptly. “Saavik, track the freighter’s descent. Sato, get us into orbit of Quazalu VIII. Childers, update Starfleet Command on our situation.” Esteban hailed Engineering. “Commander Ottair, how are we holding up?” “Despite our sudden race and the Orion’s disruptors, the Grissom is fine sir. Shields are at 75 percent and should be recharged soon. I’ve ordered repair crews to check all decks as per standard procedure,” she replied. Esteban was confident in Ottair’s prognosis. “Thank you Commander. Assemble a landing party and meet me in Transporter Room One. This mission is yours.”

Orion Privateer Romulan Sub-Commander K'net Mauri turned from the main viewer as he saw the Federation Starship Grissom fade into the distance, offering no pursuit. “Commander Pardek, they give no chase.” Commander Pardek stood from his command chair and turned to leave the Bridge “Come with me Sub-Commander K'net Mauri, we will discuss this.” He turned to a nearby centurion. “In the meantime, keep us out of their sensor range and set a course to circumnavigate the outer orbit of Quazalu VIII.” As he walked, Commander Pardek spoke freely to his sub-commander “It is important that our agents are allowed to carry out this portion of the mission alone. The Klingons have been attempting to gain information on this new Federation weapon technology for weeks now, with all the subtlety of an Orion Slave Girl dancing half


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“One Moment of Humanity”

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naked in a bar of slavering men. They know nothing of stealth.” Sub-Commander K'net Mauri nodded. “Yes, they have not the patience or the intelligence to play the longer game. Your plan is simplistic, but straightforward.” Commander Pardek was not impressed at this. “There is nothing simple about a strategic approach, Sub-Commander.” K’net Mauri bowed his head. “No offense was meant, Commander. I merely meant to praise your straightforward thinking.” They reached the door of his command quarters and Pardek stopped, grasping K’net Mauri’s shoulder. “Take the Bridge my friend, no offense was taken. Forgive my agitation. I am merely impatient to secure our retrieval of the Federation weapons data. Keep me informed and call for me the moment we hear from our agents.” K’net Mauri bowed again “Of course Commander.” Pardek had played a long and well thought out game. Using an Orion ship to feign pursuit of the freighter while the Romulan warbird Karzan remained cloaked in system. Now was the time to show both the Federation and the Klingon fools that it was unwise to underestimate the Romulan Star Empire.

U.S.S. Grissom, Transporter Room Captain J.T. Esteban stood at the transporter console beside Ensign Rachel Wood in Transporter Room One. Commander Ottair had assembled her landing party there, comprised of Ottair herself, Dr. S'Raazh, Lt. Commander Chattman, Cadet Kara McLoughlin, Lt. Lars Thorsen and two of Thorsen’s security team. Esteban continued his briefing. “…We have been unable to make contact with the freighter, although Lt. Saavik confirms the ship managed to make a fairly decent crash landing. Due to interference from the planet’s natural aurora, we cannot estimate the number of survivors, but given the landing, we anticipate that there will be some survivors. Commander Ottair.” Stephanie Ottair finished securing her field mission jacket, with its large pockets, arm patches, white ribbing, and a large white turnover collar as she spoke. “Thank you, Captain. The planet, as I included in your briefing notes, had a previous brief orbital survey carried out by the U.S.S. Lexington, and is snow and ice bound, no indigenous species known, and not due for further detailed Federation survey for a considerable time yet, maybe even decades. However, we will be prepared for any eventualities.” Ottair took her place on the transporter platform beside her colleagues. “We'll secure the area and report in, sir. In the meantime, keep an eye out for those Orions.” “Energize, Ensign Wood,” said Esteban. Esteban could not see the fiery glint in Wood’s eyes at the mention of the Orions. This was something she was not happy about, not happy about at all.


~ Star Trek: Grissom

Chapter 7:

“One Moment of Humanity”

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Quazalu VIII, Crash Site of Freighter With a shimmer of light and a high-pitched humming sound, Commander Stephanie Ottair and her landing party materialized on the surface of Quazalu VIII. They had materialized about half a kilometer from the downed freighter, in case any of the crew had hostile intent toward them. They stood in a low valley, with what appeared to be frost covering several natural terraces, with indigenous, snow-heaped trees growing along a nearby ridge. The ground was snow covered, but not too deeply. They were effectively screened from sight. “Ahhh, this is so bracing!” sighed Dr. S’Raazh. “It reminds me of the ice fields back home on Andoria, but you know, back home, it can reach 28 degrees below zero Celsius, in the summer.” Ottair ignored the Andorian doctor, activated her tricorder, and turned sharply right. “This way team. Thor, have your men take point and rear. Single file, please. I’ll scan for any crevasse formations we may encounter. Chattman, give me what you have on the freighter.” Chattman referred to his own tricorder database as they walked along. “The freighter is a Dublin class ship, designed in the late 22nd century by the firm of McKenna in Ireland. The Dublin Class was originally intended to enter Starfleet service as part of a then-ongoing competition to create a short-tomedium range transport lifter. Never happened though,” said Chattman. “The design languished in the McKenna and Starfleet databases for two decades or so until resurrected by an up and coming engineer named Michael Finnegan.” Ottair interrupted Chattman. “Chattman, can you avoid the history lesson and tell us some specifics please?” “Yes Commander, sorry,” said Chattman, somewhat flustered. He continued. “The vessel is an unusual design in its offset Bridge and crew areas and a large cargo capacity for its’ small size, and features a system based partly off the Vulcan separable drive sections used in their long range shuttles to create a similar system that could attach to vessels of a specified range of sizes and general configurations.” “The class is built around its ‘warp sled.’ a cradle-like hull section that interfaces neatly with the Dublin’s underside, linking the ship’s control and power systems to that of the horizontally oriented warp core inside the sled itself. The sled contains its own deuterium tanks, antimatter storage units, warp core and control systems, a set of station keeping and RCS thruster units, two small impulse units, and a small deflector dish that augments its parent’s shield grid when at warp velocities.” “In normal operations the sled is detached in orbit for safety while the Dublin makes planet fall, but does not inhibit the ship’s landing capacity were it to remain attached. That is often the case when docking at a Starbase or other space station. Normal operations crew is three man- Pilot, co-pilot/navigator, and


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engineer/loadmaster, however, we may expect more crew, as nearly the entire front half of this vessel is cargo bay, loading both from a set of massive bay doors in its bow, and from a auxiliary loading hatch in the ship’s ventral surface. That’s it sir,” concluded Chattman. As he had been speaking, the team had rapidly been crossing the snowfield. “Thank you Chattman, for that most comprehensive report,” said Ottair from afar. “If I ever run out of sedatives, Chattman, consider yourself drafted for Sickbay,” teased Vindi S’Raazh. Thorsen actually laughed at this, but then stopped as his own tricorder beeped. “Commander, my tricorder is picking up eight life forms ahead, all humanoid.” As they came over a ridge, the landing party came upon the Dublin class freighter. Whoever had piloted her, had done a good job, for despite the rough nature of an obvious crash landing, evidenced by the terrain, the ship was relatively intact. Men and women were milling around the ramp of the freighter, but turned as the Starfleet crew approached, and seemed quite happy to see them. One woman stepped forward. “Starfleet, thank you for coming to our assistance, we hoped you might. I am Shar-on Colgon, from Pacifica, first mate of the freighter Persephone.” Ottair stepped forward, noting that Thorsen and his men were securing the perimeter and also surrounding the little group as they did so. “I am Commander Stephanie Ottair of the Federation Starship Grissom. We plan to be of assistance, but why were the Orions pursuing you, and within Federation borders?” Before Shar-on could reply, a jovial voice boomed from the entrance ramp of the freighter. “My dear Commander Otter, was it? I can answer your questions and more, but please, come aboard out of the cold.” “OTTAIR” replied Ottair coolly, “and who might you be, sir?” “Who might I be? Who might I be? Why, my beautiful one -- for indeed, let us not mince words, you are beautiful, very beautiful -- my name is Cyrano Jones.”

U.S.S. Grissom, Conference Room J.T. Esteban sat at the head of the conference table. Beside him sat Lt. Juan Casas, shipboard Chief of Security. On the desktop viewer, the image of Commander Stephanie Ottair stared back at them. ‘So Captain, Mr. Jones advises that he and his crew had an altercation with the Orions while caught thieving from a docked Orion freighter at Outpost 18. I must say, it seems rather ill thought out and foolish to me. Apparently, the Orion syndicate pursued Jones right across the quadrant. If this Jones is the person I believe him to be, then there is more to this than meets the eye.” Casas nodded to himself. “Yes Commander, I believe that this is none other than the infamous Cyrano Jones, with whom Starfleet, specifically, Admiral Kirk, has had two documented encounters. According to the database, on Stardate 4523.3, then-Captain James T. Kirk and his crew were called to Deep Space Station K7 by a Priority One distress call. The station was near the disputed Sherman’s Planet, a world in a sector of space disputed between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. Under the terms of the then active Organian Peace Treaty, Sherman’s Planet would be awarded to whichever side demonstrated that it could manage it most efficiently. Jones’s inadvertent smuggling of Tribbles aboard


~ Star Trek: Grissom

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“One Moment of Humanity”

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the Enterprise actually alerted the late Captain Spock to a Klingon plot to poison the grain. However, his good intentions were inadvertent.” “This episode is familiar to me,” said Esteban. “Jim Kirk told me about it himself. The Enterprise had a further encounter with Jones involving Sherman’s Planet and grain, and yet again more poison, in this instance, poisoned quintrotriticale grain. So, looks like we have a tricky character on our hands. Think you can handle him, Stephanie?” Ottair remained cool. “Oh, I don’t anticipate any problems, Captain. We’ll finish securing the area and then report back.” “Agreed,” said Esteban with a nod. “Esteban out.” He turned to Casas. “Ask Saavik to continue wide scans of the system for any further activity, specifically Orion. I’d like you to continue to look into Jones and any records of his recent activity. And liase with Thorsen. Get him to “interview” the freighter’s crew for any discrepancies in their stories. “I’ll get right to it, sir,” replied Casas, as he got up and left. With Casas gone, Esteban turned back to the communications unit. “Childers, get me Admiral Morrow at Starfleet command, scramble the signal and encode the frequency.” Lt. Brian Childers responded from the Bridge. “Aye, sir. I’ll hail Starfleet Command now.” Moments later the image of Admiral Harry Morrow appeared on the viewer. “Jonathan, I heard of your altercation with the Orions. What is your update?” Esteban leaned forward. “Admiral, we’ve intercepted an Orion privateer, chasing down a civilian freighter. We are currently in orbit of the planet Quazalu VIII, with a landing party checking out the downed freighter.” Morrow sighed, his brow was visibly furrowed and he looked tired. “I’m not happy about this at all Jonathan, not at all. Apart from the fact that it’s another delay, Orion activity in this area of space is limited. This isn’t their usual patch, so to speak.” Esteban nodded. “I concur. Also, the captain of the freighter is Cyrano Jones.” Morrow looked incredulous on the monitor screen. “Now I am worried! Cyrano Jones and trouble go hand in hand. More importantly, Cyrano Jones and Klingons go hand in hand. Secure the crash site, but watch Jones and his crew carefully. The Enterprise was in your sector, but is on her way home to Earth Spacedock for decommissioning. The U.S.S. Tempest is still in your area. I’ll have her assigned to this case. Hold position until Captain Fraser arrives. Morrow out.” Esteban closed the channel and hailed Casas again. “Lt. Casas, report.” “Casas here, Captain,” replied the young Spaniard over the comm. “Long range sensor scans of the system note no further sign of the Orion privateer, but we are continuing to scan.” “Bring the ship to Yellow Alert, Mr. Casas, I want all emergency teams on standby, and cancel any scheduled off duty time until the alert is over,” said Esteban, before adding “oh, and Mr. Casas, visual Yellow Alert only, no klaxons required!”


~ Star Trek: Grissom

Chapter 7:

“One Moment of Humanity”

page: 14 ~

Starfleet Headquarters, San Francisco, Earth As the image of J.T. Esteban faded from the viewer, Admiral Harry Morrow turned from his desk to look out over Starfleet Command from his window. The view that once had so impressed him and given him solace in moments of worry now did little to alleviate his concerns. And he was concerned. Earlier, in a meeting with Grand Admiral Stephen Turner, he had been specifically told that the Enterprise was not to assist Grissom, and she was now not just rumored to be, but was definitely for decommissioning. Morrow had suggested sending an escort of some sort to flank Grissom, given the recent incidents with the Tholians and Klingons, but Turner was adamant that an unescorted small Oberth vessel would still attract less attention to itself. Morrow had argued against this. Grissom was already attracting too much attention. And now this nonsense with Cyrano Jones. Morrow knew he would have to take action into his own hands. He activated his desktop viewer once more and his secretary appeared. “Yes, Admiral Morrow?” “Ah Celesta, get me Admiral Stoneridge please.” Within moments, the image of Admiral Elias Stoneridge, an older man, greying at the temples, appeared on the viewer. “Harry, to what do I owe the pleasure?” Morrow replied, “Elias, as you know, I’ve been coordinating and leading on the Genesis mission. You were at my briefing to the site Admirals.” Stoneridge looked serious. “A business call, eh? Yes, I have to admit I was quite impressed by the detonation of the Genesis torpedo, if not the circumstances of its happening. So, what can I do for you?” Morrow sat down. “Turner won’t let me send any backup to the Grissom on her mission. Recent circumstances lead me to believe this is a mistake. I understand you have a ship ready to launch, and looking for a mission?” Stoneridge and Morrow were old friends, and could chat as such. “The Hathaway is in Spacedock in lunar orbit, berthed off Copernicus Yards, but should shortly be ready to launch, Jeffrey Pierce is her commanding officer.” “Interesting, interesting,” said Morrow almost to himself. “Pierce is a former acolyte of J.T. Esteban, Grissom’s commanding officer. He can be trusted with the Genesis information, I think.” “But Harry, we both know that the Mutara sector is off limits to all ships bar your own Grissom mission. Grand Admiral Turner made this very clear. You’ve been enforcing the edict yourself!”


~ Star Trek: Grissom

Chapter 7:

“One Moment of Humanity”

page: 15 ~

“I know, I know. However, if I can’t send a ship to Genesis directly, I can put one somewhere in the vicinity.” Morrow smiled to himself. “I believe, for example, Dr. Carol Marcus, at Space Station Regula One, requires assistance at the moment.” Admiral Stoneridge smiled knowingly. “Indeed. I believe the Hathaway should shortly be in a position to launch and assist Dr. Marcus. Shall I prepare Jeff Pierce for this?” Morrow stood. “Yes Elias, don’t tell him yet, let him keep getting Hathaway ready for launch. And organize Alpha Level clearance for Pierce, he’ll need briefing.” “Will do,” replied Stoneridge. “And I’ll keep this one quiet, Harry.” “Thanks Elias,” said Morrow, “I think that’s best right now.”

Quazalu VIII, Crash Site of Freighter Persephone Stephanie Ottair and her team had quickly secured the crash site and discovered that, apart from superficial damage, the Persephone would indeed fly again. Ottair had already assigned Kara McLoughlin to get the engines back online, and had brought Lt. Charles planetside to supervise her on this work. Dr. S’Raazh had advised that the crew had all been injury free. A temporary encampment had been established beside the freighter, using Starfleet standard issue shelters, while work continued on the ship. Ottair now stood looking out over the frozen tundra, at the stark, white beauty of Quazalu VIII. She turned when she heard a movement behind her. “Ah, Mr. Jones, you can see my crew have everything in order. We should be able to get you space worthy shortly,” she said. Cyrano Jones beamed a set of cosmetically enhanced teeth at her, over a double chin, and attempted to take her hand. “My dear Lady, my dear, dear, Lady Otter, you are all simply wonderful, simply wonderful. If you hadn’t chanced along, who knows what might have happened.” Ottair shook off Jones' hand as one might shake off a wasp or a fly. “O T T A I R,” she annunciated, “it is Ottair. Can you please refrain from calling me OTTER? I bear no relation to a small, furry aquatic earth mammal.” Jones merely laughed gaily. “Come, come, Lady… Ottair. Like the otter, you are a thing of beauty. Lithe, graceful and appealing to the eye.” Ottair walked back towards the Persephone. “Enough of the humor, Mr. Jones. Can you explain to me, again, why the Orion privateer was chasing you and your crew?” Jones struggled to keep up with Ottair as she marched across the frozen terrain. “I explained to you, my crew and I purloined some Orion brandy stocks from an Orion vessel docked near to us at Outpost 18, and they really overreacted quite terribly, quite terribly.” “You mean you ‘stole” their Orion brandy, don’t you? That seems to me reason enough for them chase you. You know the Orions don’t take kindly to being cheated.” Jones protested. “But Lady Otter… pardon me, Ottair. They had such a surfeit of it in their hold, and it seemed we were almost doing them a favor to take it off their hands.” Ottair smiled despite herself. This man was incorrigible. “Quite, Mr. Jones.”


~ Star Trek: Grissom

Chapter 7:

“One Moment of Humanity”

page: 16 ~

They came nearer the encampment where Dr. S’Raazh and Christopher Chattman stood at a survival heater, talking to one of Jones’ crew. S’Raazh looked up as they passed. “Ah, Commander, isn’t this cold quite magnificent? I am really finding this a most pleasant diversion.” “Bloody freezing, I am,” said Chattman, looking and sounding not the least bit impressed. “Commander!” exclaimed Lt. Lars Thorsen, his voice coming from a short distance away. “I was scouting the interior of the ship, when I came across several crates of these in the cargo bay.” “What is it, Thor?” queried Ottair, moving to see what he had in his big hands. Thor replied, matter of factly, “A Tribble, sir.” From the aft storage ramp of the freighter Persephone, Shar-on Colgon, erstwhile first mate of the Persephone, stood watching the scene with her male colleague, a man known to the crew simply as ‘Ash.’ “So, the mission is proceeding according to plan, Ash.” she stated quietly. Ash seemed irritated by this. “Do not call me by that human nomenclature, S’Veralis; you know how I hate it. My Romulan blood should not be tainted so.” Shar-on hissed at him in reply. ‘Silence, Sukhar! Do you not think it sickens me to taint my family name with this human one? But for the Romulan Star Empire to prosper from this situation, we must get aboard the Grissom, and I will call myself anything or be anyone necessary to achieve our goal.” Ash/Sukhar bowed his head. “I am chastened by your words. Forgive me, S’Veralis. From now on you shall only be Shar-on Colgon, as by the order of Commander Pardek.” “Good, now watch Jones carefully, while I get to work on the humans. I think the young man by the fire is my target, but we shall see,” said Shar-on/S’Veralis grimly. A short time later, Christopher Chattman was concluding interviewing the three members of the freight crew, to elicit any information that Jones might have failed to provide. Commander Ottair had been quite emphatic that he should do so, as the freight crew were workers for hire, and would probably have no particular loyalty to Jones. The three freight workers provided no new insights. They had been in the cargo bay, securing the Orion brandy and checking on the Tribble crates, when they had felt the attack of the energy weapons. “Excuse me,” came a sultry, female voice, disturbing Chattman from his thoughts. “Might I have a word?” Chattman looked up to see it was the first mate, Shar-on. “Oh, yes Miss, and what can I do for you?” queried Chattman. “I have never had the opportunity to board a starship before now and was wondering… Could you give me a tour of your ship?” “Sorry, Miss, but the only reason to be aboard Grissom would be in the case of requiring medical intervention at this stage. I’m afraid that the Captain is most exact on this matter.” Before Shar-on could reply, Chattman ventured, “Are those Tribbles you have neutered? It’s just, I know someone who could really use something to cheer him up, and well…” he tailed off.


~ Star Trek: Grissom

Chapter 7:

“One Moment of Humanity”

page: 17 ~

Shar-on smiled. “Well, only Captain Jones has the keys to the crates, but I am sure he will give you one. Is this person your lover?” Chattman blushed. “No, at least, not yet. It’s, it’s complicated.” Shar-on smiled again. “Trust me, ask Captain Jones and a Tribble shall be yours.” Chattman seemed uncertain. “Are you sure?” Shar-on smiled more broadly. “Oh, I can practically guarantee it.” Chattman walked off toward the Persephone, and as he did, Ash/Pardek emerged from the Starfleet standard issue shelter, where he had been listening. “What now Shar-on?” he queried. “How will we get aboard their vessel?” Shar-on turned to her fellow agent. “It looks like you’re going to have a little accident, Ash.” Ash visibly blanched.

U.S.S. Grissom, General Cargo Hold Two, Deck 3 Ensign Rachel Wood had been temporarily assigned to assist Dr. David Marcus and the science team with getting their equipment together and preparing facilities. These were needed for the team to begin their planning for Genesis Planet exploration. This suited Wood only too well. Her goal, since coming aboard Grissom at Pacifica, had been to gather as much information as she could on the Genesis Project and the team involved with it. For Rachel Wood was, in fact, not whom she seemed. Rachel Wood was, in fact, dead. She had died on Pacifica at the hands of the Klingons. The being now masquerading as Rachel Wood was a Chameloid, able to assume any shape or form at will. A Chameloid called N'annerd. It was Wood/N’annerd who had come aboard after Pacifica, who had gained Specialist Aabin’s trust, and who, when the Tholians had boarded, had eviscerated their boarding party on deck four, after taking the form of a Mugato. Yes, Wood would gather as much information as possible, and then, when the time was right, she would contact them, and alert them to Grissom’s location. When the time was right. But for now, she must turn her attention to the duties of Wood. Captain J.T. Esteban had allocated General Cargo Hold Two to the Genesis Project. It provided enough space for open plan office configurations, meeting space, and importantly, large areas for simulated field tests. Esteban had shot down the protestations of Lt. Graav, Chief of Operations, and the Tellarite had been prowling the remaining cargo bays, complaining and barking at anyone who ventured there, since. Today, in Cargo Hold Two, another meeting was taking place of the science team. Ensign Wood was taking the minutes of the meeting. “Well as we are all here, can we at last begin?” asked an irate Dr. Michael Liebmann. Liebmann’s mood had disimproved since Dr. David Marcus had come aboard. Marcus and Clive Saunders were tending to side together to overrule any of his own suggestions.


~ Star Trek: Grissom

Chapter 7:

“One Moment of Humanity”

page: 18 ~

Saunders sat back and put his feet on the table, taking out the butt of a cigar and lighting it, before inhaling deeply and exhaling with a satisfied sigh. “Really Saunders, your smoking of cigars is bad enough, but must you do it when we are meeting?” complained Liebmann. “I find your lack of manners most annoying.” Saunders took another drag. “Relax Libby, when I start smoking in our quarters, then you can complain! Besides, I don’t see a ‘No Smoking’ sign.” “StarFleet Command Regulations do not stipulate ‘No Smoking’ signs, because in the 23rd century most humans are enlightened enough to know the dangers of smoking, Dr. Saunders,” came the voice of Lt. Saavik from where she sat at the meeting table. “However, I think you will find that smoking is not permitted in a place of work.” David Marcus broke up the conversation. “And working is what we are meant to be doing here folks, so can we please have a little attention, people?” He turned to Clive Saunders. “Clive, please, do me a favor and stub the cigar, or we’ll never get started.” Saunders took his feet off the table, stubbed the guitar out and put it in his shirt pocket. “Okay, Davey, on this occasion, but only because I can see you’re anxious to get started.” Liebmann smiled broadly. “Thank you, Doctor Marcus, that is much better.” Saunders winked at Liebmann. “Guess I’ll just have to smoke in our quarters then Libby, wot?” Before Liebmann could reply, David Marcus spoke. “Okay then. Well, Lt. Chattman was meant to be on the team, as per the Captain’s orders, but he’s planetside at the moment, so I’ll begin.” Marcus pointed to a star chart spread out on the middle of the table. “The effect from the premature detonation of the Genesis torpedo resulted, as you know, in large parts of the Mutara Nebula disappearing. However, some of the nebula remained, and much of it was integrated into the structure of the new Genesis Planet. While aboard Enterprise, we saw the planet forming, and indeed initial scans indicated it is tectonically stable and perfectly formed.” “It was a most fascinating sight,” said Saavik, before reigning in her enthusiasm and saying more stoically, “as these things go.” “What I would like to know,” said Liebmann slowly, “is how you and your mother stabilized the matrix. From what I heard of your research, this was proving to be an impassable block in your further studies. And yet, voila, here is Genesis, complete.” Saunders spoke up. “I’m interested in hearing how you did that myself, David. You might elaborate.” David Marcus became rather flustered. “I’ve told you before, let’s just concentrate on the planet itself. I can fill you in on all the details of the actual project later. I mean, the data is freely available to you from my records.” “I have thoroughly perused your data over the last two days, and still find gaps in your equations which are, to be frank, puzzling,” replied Liebmann in a bewildered tone.


~ Star Trek: Grissom

Chapter 7:

“One Moment of Humanity”

page: 19 ~

It was then that Clive Saunders got serious. He noticed that David Marcus had reddened notably, was sweating, and he was uncomfortable. “Good Lord!” he thought. “Surely Carol Marcus hadn’t sanctioned the use of protomatter?” Saunders spoke. “Look Libby, of course there are gaps, there would be to anyone of your limited knowledge. Let’s just get on with planning our planetary scan, and we can sort the data together, later.” Liebmann backed down. “As you wish, Dr. Saunders. Perhaps later we can get to the bottom of this mystery, together.” “Great, great, whatever…” said David Marcus, impatiently. However, he was agitated, and even more so when he saw the look Clive Saunders gave him. He knew that Saunders was nobody’s fool and that he wouldn’t let this drop.

Quazalu VIII, Crash Site of Freighter Persephone The howls of pain coming from the aft section of the Persephone’s exterior could be heard echoing over the icy plains of Quazalu VIII, carried on the bitter winds that had sprung up. Vindi S’Raazh was first on the scene with Lars Thorsen, and they found Crewman Ash of the Persephone lying prone on the ground. Shar-on shouted from the top of the freighter, about 30 meters above, “We were working on the sensor array and he slipped!” She abseiled down the side of the freighter to land amid the growing crowd. S’Raazh worked methodically and efficiently. “Ruptured vertebrae, but amazingly no other injuries, I’m surprised by that, but luckily he fell on to the packed snow.” Ottair arrived, with Cyrano Jones by her side. “Doctor, what can we do to assist?” Vindi looked up. “The rupture will be simple to treat, but not here. I’ll need to get him to Sickbay.” “Very good, Doctor” replied Ottair. “Thor, if you’ll assist Dr. S’Raazh.” With much yelps of pain, Ottair and Thor stabilized Ash, then disappeared as they transported directly to Grissom. “Tell me, Commander Ottair,” enquired Cyrano Jones, “is there no trace of blood at the site of the fall?” Ottair walked over to the area. The other crew of the Persephone were back about their business, making repairs. “No, there appears to be no blood.” Jones spoke lowly. “Pity that. You can tell a lot about a man by the color of his blood.” Ottair turned and looked at Jones quizzically. “Are you being cryptic with me, Jones?” Before Jones could answer, Shar-on Colgan, the first mate reappeared. “Captain Jones, I need to talk to you immediately!” Jones sighed wearily. “Of course, Shar-on, just coming.” As he walked to join Colgan at the freighter, Ottair took out her communicator. “Ottair to Grissom.” The voice of Lt. Brian Childers responded immediately. “Grissom here, go ahead Commander.”


~ Star Trek: Grissom

Chapter 7:

“One Moment of Humanity”

page: 20 ~

“Is the Captain on the Bridge?” “No Commander,” replied Childers. “He has joined the science team on Deck 3. Shall I hail him?” Ottair hesitated. “No. No need. But have Lt. Casas visit Sickbay and talk to the injured man who just beamed aboard with Dr. S’Raazh. And have Lt. Thorsen beam back down here ASAP.” “Understood, Commander. Grissom out.” Aboard the Persephone on the Bridge, Cyrano Jones cowered under the wrath of Shar-on/ S’Veralis as she shouted at him. “Don’t think I don’t know what you are up to Jones! The Tal-Shiar has been following your smuggling of Romulan ale for years. Be aware, failure to carry out your part of the deal will mean spending a very long time in the mines of Remus! I will take great pleasure in delivering you there, personally!” "S'Veralis… I mean, Shar-on. I did nothing wrong, I was merely talking to Commander Ottair, putting her mind at ease.” “You lie,” said S’Veralis. “I heard your taunts of blood. But enough! Remember, I am watching you constantly, and don’t forget the warbird Karzan is cloaked in-system, as well as our captured Orion privateer, so no attempt to flee will succeed.” Jones sighed. “What do you need me to do, my dear S’Veralis?” S’Veralis/Shar-on took Jones by the cuffs of his collar and pushed him against the bulkhead. “Ash is aboard Grissom in the Sickbay. He requires a distraction to get to the computer core. It so happens, the Chattman individual has a friend in Sickbay who requires a gift. He asked me for a Tribble, a neutered one.” Jones pushed S’Veralis hands away from his neck and beamed broadly. “And of course, you want me to give him one of the non-neutered ones from the special containment hold.” S’Veralis relaxed her grip on Jones somewhat. “Exactly. A Sickbay overrun in Tribbles will provide ample distraction for Ash to act.” Christopher Chattman stood atop a bluff looking out over the frozen landscape. Even in his away jacket, he could feel the cold. Nevertheless, he felt good, refreshed even. Glad to be away from the Grissom for a short time. He liked having the time to think about his life, where it was going. And, if he were honest with himself, time to think about Aabin. Thinking of Aabin he now found made him feel protective, and, God forbid, but it was true, aroused. He wasn’t sure if this was pheromones or his own emotions, despite what Dr. S’Raazh said, but he realized that, having nearly lost Aabin to the Tholians, he had to explore these feelings. Fully. Wherever that journey might take him. Chattman heard a sound behind him and turned to see Cyrano Jones, beaming a smile like a lunatic. “Oh, Captain Jones, can I help you somehow?” Jones merely beamed back more manically. “My boy, my boy, it is what I can do for you. I believe you have a friend who is sick? Well, I have something delightful here which will cheer him up.”


~ Star Trek: Grissom

Chapter 7:

“One Moment of Humanity”

page: 21 ~

Jones held out a small knapsack and Chattman, seeing its contents, broke into a broad smile.

U.S.S. Grissom, Transporter Room As he materialized in the main transporter room, Chattman kept his field jacket closed, and prayed to God that the Tribble would not be heard cooing. Dr. S’Raazh was mounting the transporter pad alongside Lars Thorsen as he exited. “Is everything all right, Lt. Commander Chattman? Why have your returned to Grissom?” questioned Thor. “Everything is fine Thor. I just needed to retrieve some materials from the machine shop requested by Shar-on. I’ll join you both back planetside shortly.” S’Raazh smiled. “And you should take time to visit Aabin while you are aboard. I’m sure the Captain won’t mind” and then she and Thor disappeared into the vortex of the transporter light effects. Chattman hurried from the main transporter room, so fast that he ran directly into Cadet Rachel Wood. “Ouch, sorry Wood. Apologies. Need to get to Sickbay quickly and check on that chap we brought aboard, the injured guy.” Wood grabbed Chattman’s arm. “You brought one of the freighter crew aboard? I think I might accompany you.” Chattman was confused. “Ensign, you will report to your assigned duties and not to sickbay, this is no concern of yours, understood?” Wood looked livid. “But Chattman…” Chattman turned to go. “That’s Lt. Commander Chattman, Ensign. Now get going.” Chattman rushed away. Wood seethed. She would wait until Chattman finished his business in Sickbay, and then she would personally ‘take care’ of their visitor.

U.S.S. Grissom, Sickbay Nurse Seán Murphy turned from his patient as the Sickbay doors opened. It was Christopher Chattman, looking flustered. “How is our patient?” asked Chattman. Murphy laughed out loud. “To be sure now, Chattman you’ve an interest in Ash here’s wellbeing? Well, Dr. S’Raazh carried out non-invasive laser surgery and fixed the rupture in no time, so he’s just resting up before he goes back down to the surface. In an hour or so. Nothing major.” Chattman waved over at Ash, who awkwardly waved back at him. “That’s good. I, I might just pop into your ICU and see Aabin, since I’m here. I won’t take long.” Murphy laughed again. “For Jaysus sake man, will you go see the lad and stop fustering around out here?”


~ Star Trek: Grissom

Chapter 7:

“One Moment of Humanity”

page: 22 ~

Aabin was dozing in bed, half propped up on the bio bed, the rhythmic bounce of its scanners lulling him to sleep. He was tired, but he felt so much better. The door slid open and a brighter light lit the room, silhouetting the figure of Christopher Chattman. “Lt. Commander, you have come to see me.” Chattman entered the room and the light dimmed again. “Of course I have, Aabin. Nothing could keep me away.” Aabin shifted on the bed uncomfortably. “Sir, you shouldn’t say such things just to make me feel better. It is cruel. But, thank you. Thank you for your visit.” Chattman rushed to Aabin’s side, taking his face in his hands and kissing him passionately, but tenderly. Chattman and Aabin both felt a jolt at this connection, but neither pulled away. Chattman’s mind was suffused with a kaleidoscope of colors, sensations, and feelings, and he pulled away. “Sir, I… I don’t know what to say. I am overwhelmed.” Chattman steeled himself, and then took Aabin’s hand in his own. “Come now Aabin, don’t you think it’s time you called me Christopher?” Aabin said the name as if he was caressing it. “Christopher.” And he broke into a smile. “You should let go of my hand, now. I don’t wish to overwhelm you.” Chattman complied. “Look Aabin, look what I have brought for you.” He opened his field jacked and Aabin heard a cooing noise, then exclaimed in wonder, “Ohhhh, a Tribble!” A short time later, a much more relaxed and happy looking Christopher Chattman exited the ICU bay. Seán Murphy looked up and smiled at Chattman from his desk, noting the tossed hair. “Well, I don’t know about Aabin, but you certainly look better. You’d better be on your way though, I know you’re meant to be planetside.” Chattman grinned like a schoolboy. “Sure thing, Murphy. Look after Aabin for me.” The speaker in Sickbay sprang to life. “Esteban to Sickbay. Murphy, have you seen Lt. Chattman? He’s supposed to be getting spare parts for the Persephone, but he seems to have disappeared.” Chattman looked at Murphy imploringly. “Ah Captain, sorry, no, haven’t seen him, up to me oxters here with our new patient and Aabin, and there’s so much paperwork, sure I’m getting headaches from the viewer.” “A simple ‘No’ would have sufficed, Murphy,” said Esteban. “If you see Chattman, tell him to get himself back on duty ASAP.” Murphy coughed. “If I see him, I’ll be only too glad to. Sickbay out.” “Thanks Murphy, you’re a lifesaver,” said Chattman, as he turned to leave. For the second time that day, he bumped into Wood, who was entering Sickbay.


~ Star Trek: Grissom

Chapter 7:

“One Moment of Humanity”

page: 23 ~

“Oh, Lt. Commander,” she said. “Sorry, I was…” she paused. “It’s okay, Wood. Come in. I’m leaving, and you NEVER saw me.” Wood entered Sickbay. There was Murphy and there was the injured man from the landing site. Wood hissed to herself. He wasn’t human, he was Romulan, and the scent was undeniable. Murphy approached her. “Do you really need to be here, Ensign? Can you come back another time?” Wood knew she would have to eliminate the Romulan, but not just yet. She could observe him for the moment. “Of course,” she replied. As she left, she literally ran into Lt. Juan Casas. Stupid humans! “Ensign, have you seen our patient from the Persephone?” inquired Casas. “Commander Ottair seems to think he needs watching.” “He does,” said Wood, taking Casas by the arm. “We need to talk, but not here.” Casas was intrigued and decided to follow Wood into a nearby storage room. In the ICU bay, Aabin listened to the singing and cooing of his Tribble. It made him feel sleepy again. And now, it seemed louder, more of a chorus. Aabin opened his eyes. There were three Tribbles on his bed now. No, there were five. But Christopher had told him that the Tribble was neutered. Oh dear. He hit the nurse call tag he wore around his neck. “Nurse Murphy, I think you had better come in here, we have a problem.” Sukhar, the Romulan posing as the humanoid Ash, watched Murphy leave the main Sickbay. S’Veralis had been correct. The injury he had received when she pushed him from a height had been minor, but required treatment. And now, the Tribble decoy plan was working well. He moved quickly from the biobed and picked up the Murphy creature’s data pad. He would utilize this to find his way around the ship, and to the central computer core. Once he had retrieved the ship’s database, he would contact S’Veralis, who in turn would contact the warbird Karzan and their captured Orion freighter. They would escape aboard the cloaked Karzan, while the Orion ship destroyed the Persephone on the surface. Grissom and Starfleet would blame the Orion syndicate. The Romulan Star Empire would have the Starfleet data. Moreover, Starfleet would not even know of the Empire’s involvement. Commander Pardek’s plan, as adjusted by S’Veralis, was working flawlessly. Several minutes later, Ensign Wood and Lt. Juan Casas re-entered sickbay. “What the hell!” said Wood, as she found herself knee deep in Tribbles. Murphy could be seen helping Aabin from ICU towards the door. “Jaysus lads, looks like the shit’s really hit the fan.” Casas leapt into action. “Wood, help Murphy with Aabin. Let’s get out of here. I’ll contact the Captain and we’ll seal off Sickbay.


~ Star Trek: Grissom

Chapter 7:

“One Moment of Humanity”

page: 24 ~

Quazalu VIII, Crash Site of Freighter Persephone Cyrano Jones beckoned Stephanie Ottair to sit down in his cabin. “Since we are here Commander Otter, er, Ottair, I thought we might as well take some of that Orion brandy I had… acquired.” He poured two generous glasses. Ottair smiled to herself. She knew Jones was a con artist, but he was very entertaining. “Thank you Captain Jones, that would be pleasant.” She held the glass in her hand, swishing its dark contents around. “So tell me, what exactly is going on here. Your ship made a remarkably smooth landing, considering the damage it took from the Orion vessel.” “All down to the wonderful Shar-on, a most talented first mate and pilot” said Jones. “Ah yes, Shar-on, never far from your side. You seem almost…” and Ottair looked him directly in the eyes, “…afraid of her.” Jones laughed. “I’m afraid of my own shadow, Commander. I’m a lover, not a fighter.” Ottair laughed heartily, but was interrupted by her communicator buzzing. She reached for it and flipped it open. “Ottair here.” J.T. Esteban’s voice boomed out over the speaker. “Commander, we have a Tribble situation aboard Grissom. We’ve had to close Sickbay and much of the surrounding deck. Get me Jones and his first mate, and get them to my conference room ASAP.” “Of course Captain. Ottair out” said Ottair, as she turned to look at Cyrano Jones. “Somebody has got a lot of explaining to do.”

Orion Privateer Romulan Sub-Commander K’net Mauri entered the quarters of his superior aboard the captured Orion vessel. “Commander Pardek, I can confirm that I have received a signal from Agent S’Veralis. Agent Sukhar is aboard Grissom and following the ‘Tribble Plan.’ She herself is being taken aboard now with Jones.” Commander Pardek turned to K’net Mauri. “Alert the Karzan to proceed to the orbit of Quazalu VIII and prepare to beam our T'al Shiar agents out. Have the helmsman set a course back toward the planet ourselves.” Pardek laughed heartily. “Time for this privateer to destroy the Persephone to make Starfleet point the finger at villainous Orions.” K’net Mauri bowed to his Commander. “Yes sir. At once.”


~ Star Trek: Grissom

Chapter 7:

“One Moment of Humanity”

page: 25 ~

U.S.S. Grissom, Conference Room J.T. Esteban stood up and grasped the smooth edge of the conference table between his hands. Which was preferable, at this stage, to placing his hands around Cyrano Jones’ neck. Cyrano Jones and his first mate Shar-on Colgan sat at the far end of the large conference table. Behind Jones and his first mate stood the threatening figure of Lars Thorsen. Stephanie Ottair sat near Esteban, and a sheepish looking Christopher Chattman sat near Jones. “Jones, we know you are the source of the Tribbles, but how exactly you got one aboard my ship is beyond me. You will explain yourself now, before I have you thrown in my brig.” Esteban was furious. They already had another delay on the Genesis mission coming to Quazalu VIII and now this Tribble infestation. Shar-on remained stony faced and impassive, but Jones merely beamed a broad smile. “Captain Esteban, my dear man, it is a mistake. I have only a little experience with Tribbles you see. One must have been unneutered, hence this problem. I assure you, I did not bring the Tribble in question aboard your ship.” “Little experience with Tribbles?” Lars Thorsen queried sarcastically. “We have all the accounts of your first encounter with the U.S.S. Enterprise at Space Station K7.” “K7, K7?” queried Jones. “Space Station R6, my boy, R6. I see you have done your research on me.” Lars Thorsen shuffled uneasily on his feet, and growled to himself. Ottair spoke. “Captain Jones, you and I both know this is a lie. It was Station K7. Several aspects of your story are lies. And, in addition, you yourself told me to watch one of your crew, the ‘Ash’ individual.” Before Ottair could speak again, the internal comm sprang to life. “Casas to Captain Esteban. We have beamed the Tribbles to Cargo Bay Three on Deck 3, erected a level two force field, and flooded the chamber with activarion gas. The Tribbles are dormant for now. Dr. S’Raazh believes they will remain dormant for an hour or so.” Esteban spoke. “Well done, Casas, now if there is nothing else?” Casas spoke “Sorry sir, but there is. When we evacuated sickbay, the crewmember from the Persephone, Mr. Ash, he has disappeared. I have security teams sweeping the ship as we speak.” Esteban looked in Thor’s direction. “Thor, get your own men and join Casas. I want this Ash found. Intruder alert status, as of now.” “Aye sir,” responded Thor, already exiting the conference room. Esteban now redirected his attention to Cyrano Jones. “Now Mr. Jones, start talking.” S’Veralis looked around the room. She was a trained operative of the T’al Shiar. Now that the hulking blond man had left, she could easily take out Chattman, Ottair and Esteban herself. She must be ready.


~ Star Trek: Grissom

Chapter 7:

“One Moment of Humanity”

page: 26 ~

U.S.S. Grissom Turbolift, Enroute to Main Bridge Rebecca Sato had had to leave the Bridge due to nausea. Her morning sickness was getting worse. Although it was hectic in Sickbay, Dr. S’Raazh, had given her a mild anti-emetic, which would not harm the baby. Even the motion of the turbolift was making her queasy now. The lift stopped at Deck 2. Clive Saunders was there as the door opened. “I’m on my way back to the Bridge, Clive,” she explained. “Perhaps wait for the next car.” “Nonsense, Becky” said Clive, as he hopped in athletically. The lift started ascending again. They both went to speak at once. “Clive”/ “Becky” came out simultaneously. They both laughed aloud, but Saunders stopped the lift between decks. Sato looked confused. “Clive, what are you doing?” Saunders moved toward Sato and embraced her fiercely. “This” he said, as he kissed her passionately. Rebecca Sato knew she should push him away, but the closeness of Saunders, his body heat, his smell, the feeling of his hands on her waist, everything felt wonderful. “Becky, I want you, and I know you want me too.” The moment was broken abruptly. “Yellow Alert, Yellow Alert” came the voice of Bacari Jata over the intercom system. The alert siren sounded and the yellow lighting came on in the turbolift panels. They both looked at each other “I guess we better get to the Bridge” said Sato.

U.S.S. Grissom, Main Bridge As Sato and Saunders entered the Bridge, Bacari Jata swung around in the command chair. “Ah, Sato, good.” The Bridge doors opened and J.T. Esteban strode in. “Status, Mr. Jata.” “Sir, I ordered Yellow Alert. The Orion privateer has re-entered the system and is making a course for Quazalu VIII, at Warp 2.” “This is all too fishy, by far” said Esteban, taking the centre seat from Jata, who took his own place at navigation. “Childers, have the transporter room beam all of the Persephone’s crew up from the surface, and our own teams. Have Thorsen assign a team to ‘escort’ the Persephone crew to the Brig, for their own safety.” Childers arched an eyebrow. “Of course, sir.” Esteban turned back to Jata. “Mr. Jata, plot a course to put us on the other side of Quazalu VIII., Maximum impulse, Mr. Sato.”


~ Star Trek: Grissom

Chapter 7:

“One Moment of Humanity”

page: 27 ~

Jata turned. “Are we running away, sir?” “They wouldn’t be coming back unless they knew they could outgun us. They must have something up their sleeve,” replied Esteban. “Trust me, son. Things aren’t always how they appear.” “That’s for sure,” said Clive Saunders. Esteban gave Saunders a steely glance. “I’m not even going to ask what you’re doing on my Bridge, Saunders.” The Grissom moved off at maximum impulse and Esteban turned to Childers again. “We should be out of any jamming range. Contact Starfleet Command and advise them of our situation.” “Yes, sir, I can do that,” replied Childers. “No jamming of our communications, yet.”

U.S.S. Grissom, Computer Core, Deck 2 Ash/Sukhar had made it to the Grissom’s computer core. The schematic on the medical device of the Irish nurse had led him here, and the confusion of the Tribbles, along with the appearance of the Orion privateer once again, had allowed him to give the Grissom security teams the slip. He inserted his data padd into the port on the ancillary computer terminal. Just a few minutes, and then he and S’Veralis could beam out to the hidden Karzan. The Grissom’s shields would not last long against the Orion privateer’s weapons combined with a few sneaky shots from the Karzan. The door opened. He looked up. It was a human female, small, dark haired, what the humans might call pretty. “I’m afraid you have just made a fatal mistake, human,” Ash sneered at her. The human entered. She looked quite calm. “Tell me your name, female, so I may at least know the face of the enemy,” said Ash, moving menacingly toward the female. She now had a cold, thin-lipped smile on her face. “My name, at the moment, is Ensign Rachel Wood, but I am known in rumor as ‘The Hand of God,’ ” she said slowly. “However, I think you will find I can be a great many things.” Ash moved toward her, then stopped suddenly as her form seemed to flow before his eyes. “NO! NO! NO!” he screamed in terror, beholding the monstrous form of a Mugato before him. He had time for a last thought, hoping he would see his mother in the Halls of Erebus, the Romulan afterlife, and then, he was dead. A few moments later, Rachel Wood left the computer core, the Romulan’s datapad in her hand. Her contract was with the Klingon Empire, and she was not about to fail on this mission.


~ Star Trek: Grissom

Chapter 7:

“One Moment of Humanity”

page: 28 ~

U.S.S. Grissom, Conference Room Esteban had left to go to the Bridge, leaving Ottair alone with Jones and Shar-on Colgan. Shar-on stood up and paced the room. “I need to return to the surface, Commander Ottair. Why are we moving?” she queried. Ottair was about to reply when Jones spoke abruptly. “I really have had quite enough of all this nonsense, S’Veralis. I think I’ll throw my lot in with Starfleet on this occasion.” S’Veralis looked stunned, but so was Ottair. “Did you just call her by a Romulan name? Romulans on my ship?” She stood up quickly, but S’Veralis leapt across the table, landing squarely on Stephanie Ottair’s chest. Ottair fought back like a wildcat, but the strong Romulan had winded her. S’Veralis placed her hands around Ottair’s neck, to choke her. But then, the hands went limp, and the Romulan fell to one side. Cyrano Jones stood above Stephanie Ottair; the desk mounted video display in his hands, covered in green blood. “Let me help you up, Stephanie. I simply could not bear to think of anything untoward happening to you.” Ottair declined his hand, reaching for the comms unit on the table while still on her knees. “Ottair here, it’s Romulans, Captain. The first mate was a Romulan!” Esteban’s reply was one of incredulity “This just gets better. I’ll have Security with you immediately, Stephanie.” Jones pushed a seat toward Ottair. “Please, please, sit Commander. I sincerely like you, and sincerely offer my apologies for any personal hurt you have suffered.” Ottair hesitated, and then took Jones’ hand. “Get me some water, Mr. Jones.” The doors opened and Lars Thorsen and Juan Casas entered at a run. When Thor saw Ottair’s disheveled condition, his eyes widened in surprise. “Stephanie, are you alright?” asked Thor, anxiously, his composure slipping for a few seconds. “I’m fine Thor. Look out, she’s conscious!” S’Veralis/Shar-on had clambered to her feet. Thor covered her with his phaser “Don’t move Romulan, we have you covered.” S’Veralis laughed. “You are all fools, Starfleet. We moved amongst you undetected. And now I go to join my ancestors in the Halls of Erebus.” She bit something between her teeth and fell to the floor. Casas checked for a pulse. “Dr. S’Raazh can confirm it, but there’s no pulse. She’s dead.”


~ Star Trek: Grissom

Chapter 7:

“One Moment of Humanity”

page: 29 ~

U.S.S. Grissom, Sickbay Seán Murphy finished tidying the mess and settled Aabin back into the biobed. “Ah, Nurse Murphy, how are you now?” came a voice from behind him that Seán did not recognize. He turned. An ensign stood there, smartly dressed, quiet spoken, not somebody he had seen. Had Murphy not been so busy, he would have realized this was unusual on a small Oberth vessel. The ‘ensign’ had encountered Grissom before, once aboard the luxury liner Arcadia, while talking to Captain Ri'tarxx, and then subsequently in the aftermath of the Tholian attack, when he had spoken to Lt. Juan Casas. “Everything is fine, Ensign, thanks. What are you doing here? Dr. S’Raazh has been called to the conference room, but maybe I can help you?” The Ensign shook his head. “I believe a Romulan plot has been uncovered by Commander Ottair. If you get a Security team to check the computer core on the upper level, you will find something related to this.” Murphy was perplexed. “Sorry Ensign… what was your name again? How do you know this? Who are you?” The Ensign smiled gravely. “An observer, Nurse Murphy, simply an observer. I am so sorry I can do no more to help. What comes next is preordained.” The ensign moved quickly to the doors and exited. Murphy bolted after him. “Now just hold on here a minute…” he began, but the corridor was empty, and the ensign had vanished.

Orion Privateer Romulan Sub-Commander K’net Mauri looked at the readings before him. The implants on T’al Shiar agents Sukhar and S’Veralis had both winked out. This could only mean they were both dead, and the plot had been uncovered. No T’al Shiar operatives would ever let themselves be taken alive. He hurried to the Bridge of the captured privateer. “Commander Pardek, biodata has ceased on both Agent S’Veralis and Agent Sukhar.” Commander Pardek turned a glacial eye on K’net Mauri. “This is most unfortunate. Starfleet now undoubtedly knows of our own involvement. The subterfuge of this pretense of being Orions is now useless.” K’net Mauri wanted to retrieve the situation. “Commander, with the Karzan and this vessel we can still overpower the Starfleet vessel and take the required data.” Pardek turned on K’net Mauri viciously, as the Bridge crew kept as silent as the grave, for fear of sharing in his wrath. “And risk a diplomatic incident? Officially we are, if not at peace, not yet at war with the Federation. We are already knee deep in showing the hand of friendship to the Federation, with the Nimbus III project ongoing since 2267. We are under orders not to jeopardize this experiment with the Federation. No, we must slink back home, like a domesticated set'leth, and take what punishment the Senate sees fit to deliver.”


~ Star Trek: Grissom

Chapter 7:

“One Moment of Humanity”

page: 30 ~

Pardek sighed, relaxing somewhat. “Come, Sub-Commander K’net Mauri, we are not Klingons with their warped sense of honor. We live to fight another day.” He turned to the helmsman. “Set a course for the Star Empire, and order the Karzan to do likewise.”

U.S.S. Grissom, Conference Room A few hours later, Captain J.T. Esteban sat staring out of the wide windows of the conference room. Anchored just off the Grissom’s stern, he saw the freighter Persephone, not as badly damaged as they had been led to believe. Juan Casas and Lars Thorsen stood behind him as he turned in his chair. “So, Jones was an unwilling operative of the Romulans after all.” Casas spoke. “Yes sir, from what we have ascertained from Jones, using Dr. S’Raazh to monitor his vital signs as we interviewed him for signs of lying.” Thorsen spoke. “For the last few years, Jones had been making a comfortable living smuggling Romulan Ale across the border. The T’al Shiar had been aware of Jones’ activities, but had turned a blind eye to them, in the hope that he could be exploited at some point. That time came when the Romulans heard of the Mutara Nebula incident. At the T’al Shiar’s behest, Jones was arrested for smuggling, and faced a lengthy sentence in the dilithium mines on Remus.” Casas now continued. “However, the Romulans gave him a possible out, help them out with a little intelligence gathering, and the charges would be dropped. Jones is no traitor, but he’s also not stupid, and realized he had no choice but to agree. To ensure he cooperated, two Romulan operatives were placed aboard his ship and the fake Orion cover story was set up. If Jones had not cooperated, he and his crew would have been killed.” Esteban nodded. “And Commander Ottair assures me he did try to warn her on several occasions. Telling her to watch the agent known as Ash. Deliberately calling Station K7 Station R6. The agent known as S’Veralis watched him constantly.” Esteban paced along the windows, looking over to the Persephone. “What about the Romulan, Ash, that Murphy told you would be in the computer core? How the hell did Murphy know about him?” Thor spoke again. “I don’t know sir, but the Romulan had been slaughtered by hand, not by a weapon of any sort. Dr S’Raazh will be conducting an autopsy on the two Romulan bodies.” Esteban faced the window again and stood with his back to his men. “Casas, find out who brought that Tribble aboard my ship. You may go. Thor, stay a moment.” Casas left. Esteban did not turn around “Thor, Murphy knowing about the agent in the computer core, and this mysterious ensign story makes no sense. I want you to question Murphy about this. Personally.” “Am I permitted to detain him for the questioning?” Esteban did not turn. “You are.” “Very well, sir” said Thor. Esteban remained gazing out the window. “Dismissed.”


~ Star Trek: Grissom

Chapter 7:

“One Moment of Humanity”

page: 31 ~

U.S.S. Grissom, Transporter Room Stephanie Ottair stood in the transporter room with Cyrano Jones. Ensign Rachel Wood was at her original posting and stood attentively behind the control console. “So, given you were threatened by the Romulans, and that no Starfleet personnel were injured, the Captain has agreed to let you go” she finished saying. Jones beamed broadly at Ottair. “I heard from your Lt. Casas that you put in a good word for me, so to speak.” Ottair blushed furiously and coughed “Well, yes, I did explain the particular extenuating circumstances.” She was embarrassed. “Since the Romulans and the Klingons both now have warrants out for your detention, where will you go now?” Jones replied. “Where the winds take me. I have a ship full of Tribbles now, thanks to your Captain!” Jones took Ottair’s hands in his own. “I sincerely, sincerely thank you, dear Lady, and apologize for any upset I may have caused you personally.” Ottair let his hands go. “As I always say, I’m a Starfleet officer. I do my duty, Mr. Jones, nothing more, nothing less.” Jones walked toward the transporter pad and turned. “Now who is telling lies, Commander? We both know that this time it was personal. I owe you, Commander Stephanie Ottair. Perhaps next time you stop off at Starbase 67, we may meet there? I often pass through.” Ottair smiled. “Well, there is a little place called Hunter’s Moon I’ve heard of.” As he began to disappear into the effects of the transporter, Cyrano Jones blew Stephanie Ottair a kiss. “It’s a date.” He vanished. Ottair turned to Ensign Wood who stood at attention. “That never happened, Ensign. Do I make myself clear?” Wood nodded. “Absolutely, Commander.”

U.S.S. Grissom, Conference Room (3 hours later) J.T. Esteban looked at the petite, blonde, beautiful figure of Dr. Carol Marcus on the viewer. “I can’t believe this. Are you sure of this?” he asked. Carol Marcus nodded gravely. “I can confirm that Deltan refugees from Cinera Base made it as far as Regula One. Cinera Base was entirely destroyed in a mysterious explosion. Few escaped. I’ve left a message for Admiral Morrow to contact me. He was in a meeting with Grand Admiral Turner.” “Thank you, Dr. Marcus, for bringing this to my attention. I will of course get further information from Admiral Morrow as soon as Starfleet arrives on the scene of the explosion. I presume you want to talk to your son now. I’ll have Childers patch you through.”


~ Star Trek: Grissom

Chapter 7:

“One Moment of Humanity”

page: 32 ~

Carol Marcus nodded again. “Yes, I need to liaise with his team. Please keep me posted if you hear anything further about Cinera.” The buzzer on the conference room door began to ring repeatedly. “Excuse me, Dr. Marcus,” said Esteban, transferring her call to Childers. “Enter,” he said, annoyed by the incessant buzzing sound. A furious Vindi S’Raazh swept into the room, accompanied by Muggle. “Jonathan, I went to start my autopsy on the Romulans, and I find that my Sickbay is bereft of its Chief Nurse. Why is Thorsen questioning him? How dare you do this to one of my staff without consulting me first!” “Calm down Vindi. Calm down. It’s a matter of Security,” said Esteban. “Security? Security? I don’t give a damn about Security! Murphy is a loyal member of this crew, and I want him released, NOW!” Esteban raised his voice. “Vindi, this is ship’s business! You will not speak to your Captain in that tone or I will suspend you from duty. Is that understood?” Vindi was still livid and lashed out. “Oh, I understand. Captain. I understand perfectly. Now when will my Chief Nurse be released?” Esteban turned his back on Vindi. “I believe Mr. Thorsen has already finished questioning Nurse Murphy. If you had bothered to check with me before storming up here from Sickbay, I could have told you this.” Vindi calmed slightly. “If this is a business meeting, CAPTAIN, then I might point out that next time you target Sickbay staff, go through your CMO.” She picked up Muggle quickly, who yelped in alarmed surprise, and stormed out. Esteban sighed. This day just got worse. Again the buzzer sounded. “Enter” said Esteban, wearily. Lt. Juan Casas entered, accompanied by Lt. Commander Christopher Chattman. “Gentlemen, what can I do for you?” ask Esteban. “Captain” said Casas. “We have found the perpetrator of the Tribble incident.” “Excellent work, men” said Esteban. “Who was it?” Chattman blushed, lowered his head and spoke slowly. “Me, sir.” Esteban was stunned for a moment, but composed himself. “Mr. Casas, please leave us.” Casas nodded and left. “Lord, but I’m fed up of being sent out of the room,” he thought to himself as he exited.


~ Star Trek: Grissom

Chapter 7:

“One Moment of Humanity”

page: 33 ~

Esteban turned to Chattman. “Chattman, your behavior since Starbase 67 has been abysmal. Your work is shoddy, and your attitude is, quite frankly, appalling. For the moment, I am relieving you of the duties associated with Lt. Commander. You are hereby demoted to Lieutenant. I’ll talk to Commander Ottair about a role for you on Grissom, if indeed there is one.” Chattman looked startled. ‘Sir, please. I can explain, I thought it, the Tribble that is, was neutered...” Esteban raised his voice and spoke over Chattman. “LIEUTENTANT Chattman. You are to report to your quarters and stay there until Commander Ottair and I decide what to do with you. Dismissed!” “But sir!” exclaimed Chattman, then halting. He was almost in tears. It must be the bloody pheromones from kissing Aabin, he thought. He turned and rushed out of the conference room. He stood in the corridor outside, his back to the wall. He was crushed. Had he gained Aabin, only to lose his career? Did it matter? Did any of it really matter, he wondered? “What am I going to do?” he sobbed. However, at this hour the corridor was empty, so nobody heard him. He left for his quarters. Esteban slumped into the nearest chair. He felt physically fine, but mentally drained, as if a massive weight was bearing down upon him. He hated what had happened with Vindi. He hated how he had handled it. This mission was making him paranoid. The door buzzer chimed again. He sat up, straightened his uniform, and spoke. “Enter.” Lt. Rebecca Sato entered the room. “Sir, I was wondering if I might have a moment of your time. It’s kind of important.” Esteban sighed wearily. “Isn’t everything, Rebecca? I really hope this isn’t more bad news.” Rebecca Sato smiled shyly. “No, sir. At least, I don’t think so.” “And?” said Esteban. “I’m pregnant, sir,” said Sato. Suddenly J.T. Esteban felt that weight lift off his shoulders, and a glimmer of hope sprang into his psyche. “Why Lieutenant, that’s simply wonderful.”

~ FIN

~


~ Star Trek: Grissom

Chapter 7:

“One Moment of Humanity”

STAR TREK: GRISSOM PRODUCTIONS would especially like to thank: Bodo Hartwig Rob Caves and Hidden Frontier Productions Nick Cook and Star Trek Intrepid Productions Adrian Howard Jones Andrew Brown Joseph Bonice and Star Trek: Lexington Productions Brad Hathaway and Star Trek: U.S.S. Hathaway Productions Brian “Arkady” Childers Rick Pike Jonathan Rofeta and the Star Trek: Expanded Universe Wiki Michael Hudson The Cast and Crew of Star Trek: Grissom Audio Programs

For more information on our written prose chapters and audio presentations, please visit us on our website at:

http://www.startrekgrissom.com/ And be sure to check out the Star Trek: Grissom section on the Hidden Frontier forums at:

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page: 34 ~

Star Trek: Grissom-Chapter 7: One Moment of Humanity  

Chapter 7 in the Star Trek Grissom saga

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