Page 1

December 2008 – Volume 11

The Lost Star Trek Christmas Episode: “A Most Illogical Holiday” (1968)

Editor’s Column

Mr. Spock, with his pointy ears, is hailed as a messiah on a wintry world where elves toil for a mysterious master, revealed to be Santa just prior to the first commercial break. Santa, enraged, kills Ensign Jones and attacks the Enterprise in his sleigh. As Scotty works to keep the power flowing to the shields, Kirk and Bones infiltrate Santa’s headquarters. With the help of the comely and lonely Mrs. Claus, Kirk is led to the heart of the workshop, where he learns the truth: Santa is himself a pawn to a master computer, whose initial program is based on an ancient book of children’s Christmas tales. Kirk engages the master computer in a battle of wits, demanding the computer explain how it is physically possible for Santa to deliver gifts to all the children in the universe in a single night. The master computer, confronted with this computational anomaly, self-destructs; Santa, freed from mental enslavement, releases the elves and begins a new, democratic society. Back on the ship, Bones and Spock bicker about the meaning of Christmas, an argument which ends when Scotty appears on the bridge with egg nog made with Romulan Ale.

By Jeff Davis CO, CoE, U.S.S. Indiana

Filmed during the series’ run, this episode was never shown on network television and was offered in syndication only once, in 1975. Star Trek fans hint the episode was later personally destroyed by Gene Roddenberry. Rumor suggests Harlan Ellison may have written the original script; asked about the episode at 1978’s IgunaCon II science fiction convention, however, Ellison described the episode as “a quiescently glistening cherem of pus.” Copied from:

Greetings to all the members of Starfleet. Long time, no write. In fact, the last issue was March. That’s what 60 hour weeks at work will do to you. Slows your writing, slows your starship design work, slows everything. At least this time, it’s no longer a one man show. My Communications Officer, Captain Derek Sauls (he loves to hear the Captain part) likes to write reviews and commentary on the various series, so I talked him into sending one out for all of you to read. Then, with me writing the Captain Ryan Chronicles and the Twisted Tales leaves me with little time to write for the Indiana, so, my XO, Fleet Captain Walter Ewing and my Tactical Officer, Lieutenant jg Michael Kent, have taken up pen and P.A.D.D. to start a story of their own. It’s a small start, but we’ll keep you abreast of the action. And, since I’m now doing the College of Engineering at Starfleet Academy (yeah, shameless plug) and love doing starship design, I decided to turn my attention to one of the stars of the Chronicles: The Starship Proxima. And for all of you with an engineering bone, I have the low down on the Mark 1 version in this issue. So, Tally-ho!

What’s Inside Editor’s Column: Page 1 The Lost Episode: Page 1 Story 1:For Whom The Bells Toll: Page 2 Commentary: Amok Time : Page 17 Story 2;Our Romulan Is Missing: Page 19 Starship Report: Proxima Mk1: Page 25

PAGE 1 OF 28

December 2008 – Volume 11

For Whom The Bells Toll By Jeff Davis CO, CoE, U.S.S. Indiana

The following story takes place after the events of “A Dish Best Served Cold”.

Chapter 3 Ryan arrived at Staavm’s quarters feeling surprisingly confident. Or, at least, he thought he did. What was about to happen was the first step on a long and very different road for him. One that he had considered only once before, but had been glad he chose not to. This alone was enough to make him wonder. Staavm opened the door, still dressed in a Vulcan meditation robe. The impeccably clean white material was a striking contrast to her tanned looking skin and black hair. And he had to admit, he could see what Captain Logan saw in her. She was a brilliant academic and entrancingly beautiful at the same time. And some how, that thought just didn’t seem appropriate when referring to a Vulcan. Although, if he thought about it, most of the Vulcan females he had met possessed a certain statuesque, almost regal beauty. So maybe it wasn’t so outlandish of a thought. After all, it was normal for a human male to notice such things, wasn’t it? “You’re not ready. I can come back?” “There is no need Captain. I shall require only three point six minutes to complete my preparation.” With that, she returned to the bedroom of her quarters. Ryan couldn’t help himself. “Wow, I know guys who would kill for a date who’s that efficient,” he said to no one in particular. “I have heard that many human males find it frustrating to arrive for a date and discover that the female is not yet prepared. Yet the females indicate that they take a certain pleasure in making the males wait. Has this been a problem for yourself and the Lieutenant?” Ryan silently cursed himself. He always forgot about her Vulcan hearing. “No, not at all. In fact, ELAINE prides herself on being early or at least on time.” He put special emphasis on his prospective bride’s name. For some months now, Ryan had been trying to get Staavm to “loosen up,” to quit calling him Captain and the others she knew from the Proxima by their rank when they were in entirely non-duty social situations. So far, his success was less than inspiring. “That has been my experience with the Lieutenant as well.” “It’s Elaine.” “Sir?” “We’re not on duty. The rank is immaterial. It’s Elaine. And I’m Zeke.” “Yes, Sir. It is just that referring to you in that manner seems somewhat…unprofessional.” “On duty, or for fleet business, you’re right. But it’s not like we’re linking up for a meeting with Admiral Winchester. We’re in civilian attire, completely non-fleet related.” “But not on a date?” That caught him off guard. Where had that come from? Had his appreciation of her looks been that obvious? “Uh, no. That’s for you and that other Captain. We’re just friends.” “I would agree.” “Good. So, we can get going?”

PAGE 2 OF 28

December 2008 – Volume 11 “By all means.” Ryan’s communicator suddenly chirped, and followed it with a call from the bridge. “Captain, you have a subspace communication arriving.” “Can you take a message? I was just headed dockside.” Ryan was trying to place the voice, but couldn’t quite get it. “I think you want this one, Sir. It’s from Botchok, and she says it’s urgent.” Ryan realized there were only two people that could be. Samine or Draily. If it was Samine, something was up, again, of a public nature. If it was Draily, then something had happened to Samine. Neither boded well. “Pipe it down here.” Turning to excuse himself, he went to Staavm’s computer terminal and punched in his access code. Samine appeared, which was a mild relief. “What can I help you with, Princess?” “Some big things are going on, Zeke. I can’t explain it all now, but I need you to look into something, please.” “Name it.” “Do you know a planet we call Stet?” He remembered the name, now what did it refer to? “I think we call it Rolion III.” Staavm spoke up “Yes, Captain. Rolion III Class M in the sub-temperate point of the spectrum. Excellent agricultural resources. It was colonized about 40 Earth years ago by Human and Orion colonists, both intent on using the planet as an agricultural food resource. There are special agreements in place to guarantee that neither government will attempt to take control, although, for defensive purposes, the planet is considered officially by both as a Federation protectorate.” “Good evening Staavm,” smiled Samine. “Good morning, I believe it is for you, Mastress.” “You’re right. It’s been a busy day.” “Thank you, Lieutenant-Commander.” Ryan hoped she got the hint. And she did, stepping into her bedroom. “I love having a walking set of Funk and Wagnall’s on hand.” “A what?” chuckled Samine. “Encyclopedia. So what’s up?” “We have been doing some research and discovered that several Houses have lost a large number of ships and crews on the run between Stet and Botchok. On top of that, one of the recent ones, which we just discovered this morning, or, yesterday morning, actually, involved the son of a House leader. It is important, as the father is dying, slowly, and this is his only remaining son.” “Do you know where he is?” “No. We don’t even know if he’s alive. In each case, bodies have been recovered from the ships, all burned beyond recognition. But it’s not even enough to account for all the passengers or crew.” “Slave trade?” “That’s what I fear.” “Well, if it’s slave trade, and since Stet is a Federation protectorate, Starfleet will take a keen interest in it. It’ll be our responsibility to police the area.” “I knew they would. But this particular case is important, especially to the involved House. Zeke, you once told me of how the Federation had medical technology that could help them identify a corps, even if it was visibly unrecognizable?” “Yeah. The science of forensics. I was amazed that the Orions never developed something similar.” “I am curious if they could tell us if one of these bodies is the son?” “It would be a simple matter with genetic testing,” interrupted Staavm. She had been listening in, again. “And what would they need to supply to us, for this testing, Lieutenant-Commander?”

PAGE 3 OF 28

December 2008 – Volume 11 He was, as he liked to call it, “miffed,” and Staavm could tell, but it was her job to provide counsel on all things scientific to her captain. “I believe that undamaged genetic samples from as many persons traveling on the ships as possible, in addition to genetic samples from the recovered victims. These could then be compared to find matches.” “But where would we get the undamaged samples?” “Most often, from personal items. Hair recovered from a hair brush. Lost skin cells found on worn but unwashed garments. Anything they have had contact with could be a source. Only a few cells are needed. And I would be happy to assist in the investigation.” “And I will see if I can organize transport of the tissue samples. There has to be a starship patrolling your border that could pick up a package and forward it,” added Ryan. “With some luck, there will be a ship coming to Botchok soon.” “Something else is going on?” Samine debated privately about telling him, but it would get out soon enough. The Council had already taken the first steps. “We contacted the Federation government this evening. The Council has formally requested that a starship be sent to transport a delegation from the Council to Earth.” That got his attention. Ryan recognzed what this indicated: a complete change in the sociopolitical situation on the Orion homeworld. It was no longer house versus house. The Orions were uniting. “Yes, we know we need help and we are willing to become allies of the Federation to get it.”

A half hour later, Ryan and Staavm were making their way through the civilian sector, though Ryan’s mind was elsewhere. “This is extraordinary. They are making a conscious decision to change their society. It will require such a fundamental change in their basic beliefs and attitudes.” “Are not the Orions considered to be a “shrinking” race?” “If you mean that they’re becoming extinct’ as far as being an active part of the galactic community, yes. They find it harder and harder to compete for interstellar trade. Their numbers are dwindling, their sphere of influence collapsing. And it’s mostly because of the way the houses compete with each other. The Ferengi have been called the “yankee traders” of the galaxy, but the Orions really add new definition to the term. The Ferengi, at least, have some direction and organization, thanks to the Grand Nagus and their governmental organizations that hand out contracts and divvy up the trade. It can get dirty and underhanded, but at least there is a forward focus. The Orions have never had that. Well, at least not for eons. They’re actually one of the oldest of the starfaring races. Some believe they were traveling the galaxy before the Vulcans.” “It would seem that they are desperate.” “I think you’re right. They have finally realized that it’s either change or fade into the galactic sunset.” “Is not what they are proposing similar to what Lendrel wanted? To unite all Orions under one banner?” “Yes and no. He did want to unite them, but he planned on doing it by force. He would have been resisted and we probably would have seen an Orion civil war.” He had to chuckle at that thought. “That would have been interesting. A civil war consisting of thirty or more armies, each with their own agendas. It’d have been more like a large sporting tournament, except the losers would be dying.” “However, if the Council can exercise its authority and gain the upper hand, and do so with the agreement of all or most of the Houses, then the transition should go more smoothly. I wish them success. It appears to be the best answer for all.” Staavm hoped they could succeed. Her limited contact with the Orions had been “active” but pleasant overall. Despite Lendrel, she believed they were a

PAGE 4 OF 28

December 2008 – Volume 11 good people, worth helping. And it was admirable that such a proud people were willing to admit that they needed help. “And that is where the Federation comes in. We have a system in place that works. They need a system that works in the best interests of all and can give them focus and we have one. We do it with whole planets, they will have to make it work among the Houses, but the principles are the same.” “It will be required to construct an Orion infrastructure to support such a system, something independent of the Houses.” “Correct. They will need a Ministry of Trade or something like that to get all their business activities under control and working for everyone. Maybe some social and definitely some scientific programs. That will be hard since most of the techincal expertise is centered in the Gray race, which are the least numerous and most endangered. They’ll have to include a police force and defense forces to protect Orion interests. You don’t do that overnight, and that’s what they’re counting on. If they can get a treaty of support and mutual defense with the Federation, they know that Starfleet will be committed to helping them until they’re able to stand on their own.” “And the Federation will gain a reliable trading partner who is close by and will compete with the Klingon traders operating in the area.” “As well as a buffer zone against others, now that we know the Lyrans are being active again.” Ryan suddenly realized that Staavm had stopped and was watching him. “Something wrong?” “We have arrived at our destination.” “Oh! Yeah, the jeweler’s shop. I’d forgot.” “Obviously.” Ryan looked in the window to see an elderly man polishing the transparent aluminum cases that displayed the jewelry. No one else was around. “Not terribly busy, is he?” “The shop was much more full the night I was here with Elaine. Perhaps it is the time of day?” “That’s fine with me. I never like to rush a salesman.” Ryan opened the door and heard a bell ring. A simple old brass bell, attached to the simple hinged door with a simple string. “Pretty low technology.” “Elaine had remarked that she liked this shop because of its old style. She said it felt “homey”.” “May I help you, Captain?” called the old man. Ryan looked at his clothes quickly. Had he put his rank pips on out of habit or something? He couldn’t find them. “How’d you know?” “Son, I’ve been here for thirty-eight years. It got boring trying to differentiate the Fleet from civilian about twenty years ago, so I decided to try my hand at something harder. I’m getting pretty good at it. Is there something I can show you?” Ryan glanced at Staavm, since she knew what they were looking for. “I was here two nights ago with a friend. She was a human woman, approximately my height, dark brown hair.” The old man tipped his head back a bit to look through his old fashioned glasses at Staavm. He took a long look at her, seeming to be flipping through the pages of his memory, looking for the right image. “She was a little bigger than you, hair just above the shoulders, Bright eyes. Brightest brown eyes I can recall seeing.” “I believe you remember us.” “I believe you’re right. Let’s see, the bride-to-be was looking at two rings in this case over here.” He slid off a stool he had been perched on and Ryan realized just how short this fellow was. He couldn’t have been more than a meter and a half, and the green suit made Ryan think of a leprechaun. “They were in here.” The old jeweler pulled out a small rack displaying several rings and selected one, laying it on a soft circular matt on the counter for inspection. “That’s one. But I don’t see the other.” “Nor do I. I believe you called it a “marquis” diamond.” “That’s right. The one I sold this morning. But, I do make all my own merchandise. I could whip you up another one. How soon do you need it.”

PAGE 5 OF 28

December 2008 – Volume 11 “I hadn’t really planned that far ahead, yet,” replied Ryan “The decision to act was just made this morning.” “It is a pity,” remarked Staavm. “She showed great interest in that one.” “I know I don’t have any more natural diamonds like that one available, but I can get them in a day or two. While I’m waiting for that, I can be working on the ring itself. I can probably have it for you in about three days. Maybe a little sooner. It all depends on the condition of the diamond when it arrives. I may have to perform a few cuts to get it just right.” “I don’t see that as a problem.” “Do you know the young lady’s ring size?” “I have not the slightest idea.” “I believe this may help.” Staavm handed the jeweler a data card, which he took to his back room and inserted into his computer terminal. Ryan and Staavm heard a loud fit of laughter moments before the little man returned to the showroom. “You took a scan of her hand while she had it on. Now that’s resourceful. Sneaky, but resourceful. I knew I liked you, Vulcan.” “I was aware that my captain would need the information,” commented Staavm while glancing toward Ryan. “Eventually.” Laughing more, the jeweler commented to Ryan, “Please tell me you’re smart enough to put her on your command staff?” “Chief Science Officer.” “And a good one at that, I see. So, shall I order the diamond?” “Yes, please.” “Good. I just need some information from you and we will be done. The old man motioned for Ryan to follow him and went to a second computer terminal at the other end of the counter. Looking at the rings, Staavm noticed a small, simple silver band, unadorned with engravings or stones. The size appeared correct, and the shiny brilliance of the polished surface was oddly enticing. Gently, she picked it up and slid it onto her ring finger. She stared at her hand, finding the feel of the ring to not be objectionable at all. That had been the main reason that she had begun carrying the ring that Captain Logan had given her on a chain. It was large and a little bulky, and she felt uncomfortable with it on. This, however, was much smaller and lighter. Much nicer. Logan’s ring meant a great deal to her, but this was something she felt she could work with. And at the other end of the counter, Ryan caught her examination of the ring. “You know, somehow, I thought that they were both admiring those rings,” commented the jeweler. First time I ever saw a Vulcan take an interest in rings.” “I can testify that she is not your ordinary Vulcan.” Ryan glanced toward his science officer again and made a mental note to speak with Captain Logan the first chance he had. “How’d you know she wasn’t the bride-to-be?” “Thirty-eight years and I have never seen a groom bring the bride in to pick out the ring. It’s always the bride’s friend. After all, if the bride picks it out, it’s not much of a surprise. You’re a starship captain, you should know that achieving surprise is half the battle.” Yes, he did. And, considering that Elaine had been in here looking at these rings, he wondered if surprise was even possible? “Good morning, Captain Logan.” Captain Nathan Logan pulled his head out of the cabinet he had been working in and looked up to see Admiral Thomas Winchester staring down at him. “Sir. I wasn’t aware you were coming on board, or I would have greeted you.” He felt derelict in his duty. As the new commanding officer on Bonaparte, he should have known the admiral was coming and afforded him the necessary respectful courtesies. Which made him wonder: what was Najania up to? She had the conn right now.

PAGE 6 OF 28

December 2008 – Volume 11 “That’s all right, Captain. This isn’t meant to be a formal visit anyway. I came to get your opinions on some subjects. By the way, don’t you have an engineering staff?” “Yes, Sir, I do. And they’re a good one. I just have this urge to be hands-on sometimes. With us in dock, I thought I’d indulge myself a bit.” “A design engineer who is hands-on as well. I like that. Which is why I’m here. Can we find someplace private?” “Certainly. I need to check in on the Bridge, if you’d care to join me, we can use the Ready Room.” “That would be fine.” They arrived on the Bridge with Logan giving Najania a nasty “why wasn’t I warned” glare. All she could do was remind herself to apologize later and explain. The Admiral had beamed on board unanounced. Najania had believed that it was just more of the crew and base shipyard personnel coming and going. Not until he arrived on the Bridge to ask where the Captain was had she known. And the Admiral had asked her to let him go down unannounced. She was a Lieutenant, for crying out loud. What was she supposed to do, say no to an Admiral? The Captain and Admiral entered the Ready Room and Logan realized that he had not done anything with it since the previous resident had left. And Admiral Winchester noted it. “Haven’t made yourself at home yet?” “No, actually. I was more interested in getting the ship repaired properly. The Admiral came and got her personal stuff, but I haven’t done anything else with it.” “Then, I wonder?” Admiral Winchester went to a small cabinet and opened it to reveal a small liquor cabinet. Inside, he found a bottle he recognized. Removing it from the cabinet, he confirmed his hunch. “She always did have good taste in scotch. Do you mind?” “Take it, Sir. I don’t drink.” Winchester gave him an appraising look. “Then it sounds like I came to the right person.” He found a shot glass and poured a small drink. Logan was amazed at how little it was. After replacing the bottle’s cork, the Admiral lifted the glass and sipped ever so slightly. “Oh, yes. That’s the good stuff. Sure you won’t join me?” “I had a grandfather with a history of violence under the influence. I take after him in other ways so I decided years ago not to take any chances.” “I can respect that.” Winchester took another sip, looking every bit the connosieur. “So, have you heard any of the scuttlebutt about the Orions?” “No, Sir. I’ve been rather occupied.” “Then let me catch you up. The Botchok Planetary Council contacted the Federation Council early this morning. They have asked formally for Federation assistance in a variety of areas, not the least of which is of a defensive nature. The Council wants to form a standing defensive fleet for their worlds.” “From what I know, that is extraordinary. They’ve always relied on ships borrowed from the various houses.” “Correct. But, that’s about to change. And they are asking for our help.” “So how can the Bonaparte help?” “The Bonaparte, yes, but also you. You designed this ship, and the fighters that serve aboard her. I can’t believe that you haven’t got other ideas, either already designed or floating around in your dreams.” “Actually, I do have some.” Logan had a lot of ideas, actually, some of which he had already began unofficial work on. Some additional fighter designs, some smaller ships, even a couple of space station designs. “Then I want you to start looking at them from a practical standpoint. The Orions want to move quickly, yet get the most for their credits. It’s my understanding that there is a person they want to act as a liason to the person in charge from the Federation side. I don’t know who that is yet, but I’m sure that information will be forthcoming.”

PAGE 7 OF 28

December 2008 – Volume 11 “Do we know the manufacturing conditions? Will Federation companies be making this stuff or Orions?” “Both, in all likelihood.” Logan nodded. “Well, I can start with some simple ideas, things that can be produced quickly and cheaply till they become comfortable with it. From what I hear, the Orions aren’t the most technically skilled people, with exceptions, of course. Then we can move up from there.” “A reasonable beginning. In the mean time, I do have another task for the Bonaparte.” “Name it.” “The Botchok Council wishes to send a delegation to Earth to begin these talks as quickly as possible. They stand ready to travel, but they have asked for a Federation ship to escort them.” “What about Captain Ryan and the Proxima?” “That was the requested ship, but Proxima is not really in any condition to go back out there. At least, not for a while.” The Admiral took another sip of the scotch, obviously relishing it. “That is exceptional.” “Sir, if that’s what’s needed, I am willing to let Captain Ryan take command.” “Don’t see the need. First, if this goes as I’ve planned, you need to get comfortable with these people and they need to do the same with you. Second, although I have the utmost…respect…for Captain Ryan, I want another person we can turn to in the dealings with the Orions. Preferrably another Starfleet person, though I have little doubt that people from the Diplomatic Corps will be involved as well. I do know Ryan’s background with respect to certain Orions and I’d just like to have a back-up.” “If what you speak of is what I think, I don’t think it is an issue any more.” Winchester chuckled. “Whether I win the pool or not?” “With all due respect Sir, I think you took the sucker bet.” “Think so? Well, to be truthful, I hope you’re right. I’ve heard favorable things about this young lady and her affect on the Captain. Actually, I know her father. Good man. Three daughters and no sons. All beautiful and smart. That must have been nerve racking. Poor fellow. But, I digress. I need you to take Bonaparte back to Botchok and escort them in.” “That won’t be a problem in general, except we could use a fresh coat of paint if we’re going on dipomatic duties. She’s still a little grungy from repairs.” “How long?” “Three days.” “Done.” Winchester quickly swigged down what was left in his glass. “Oh, that’s good.” “Well then, maybe you would be interested in this.” Logan went to the bunk room off the ready room and returned with a case. Opening it, he revealed eleven more bottles of the same liquor. “Oh, now there is a sight. That’s enough to keep me till retirement.” “Then we’ll consider it an early retirement gift, for medicinal purposes only, of course. I’ll have it sent to your quarters.” The Admiral carefully set the partial bottle back in its place, completing the dozen. “I always like to keep the family together. Thank you very much.” “My pleasure. And I’ll advise you as soon as we’re finished.” “Please do. In the mean time, I’ll keep you abreast of whatever develops. I don’t expect it to be much, least not until you get their delegation back to Earth.”

Chapter 4 Elaine arrived at the family estate late in the afternoon. She had been depressed herself after the confrontation with her sister and had spent the afternoon roaming downtown Vancouver. But, sooner or later, she knew she would have to go see her father and hoped that there would be no more confrontations. In general, she and her father got along well, but he was always sticking up for Edith on the mourning issue.

PAGE 8 OF 28

December 2008 – Volume 11 She transported in to a location near the house and went to the door. When she knocked, an older woman answered. “May I help you?” Surprised, Elaine looked quickly at the address. It was correct. “I was looking for Victor Whiting.” “You must be Elaine. Yes, he’s here. Come in, child.” “Child?” thought Elaine. She hadn’t been called that in a long time. “He’s in the kitchen, working on a coming home dinner,” said the older woman. “Really?” Elaine didn’t like the sound of that. Her dad had never been much of a cook. Down right awful one, in fact. Making her way from the entry area to the kitchen, she found Victor, clad in chef’s apron and hat, working away on some fresh vegetables. “Ah, I was correct. Welcome home!” He quickly wiped his hands with a towel and came around the island to hug her. “I was expecting you earlier?” “I met Edith for lunch.” “How was she?” “Not good. Didn’t take us long to get on the subject of John.” “Yes. Not surprising, of late. It’s one of the reasons I decided to have this dinner. I thought we could kick off the holidays in proper fashion, with family. Perhaps we can help her get her mind elsewhere.” “Oops.” “Pardon?” “Well, I was hoping to have a guest by tonight, to meet you all.” Elaine glanced at the older woman, wondering why she was here if it was supposed to be family. “Oh, forgive me. You two haven’t been introduced. Elaine, this is Amelia Dassault, and Amelia, this is my youngest, and admittedly, my pride and joy, Elaine.” “It’s a pleasure to finally meet you, child. I have heard a great deal about you.” Elaine gave her dad a cock-eyed glance, wondering exactly what this woman had heard. “I hope at least some of it was good?” “Glowing, actually. Your father is very proud of you, following him into the fleet.” “Well, I wish I could say it was to keep him proud, but I have to admit more selfish reasons. I wanted an education and they could offer it, in the field I wanted.” “There’s certainly nothing wrong with that. In fact, I have to admit the same.” “I told you she had a head on her shoulders.” Victor was positively beaming, which was fine, but something seemed to be up, here. Elaine couldn’t put her finger on it, but there was definitely something going on. And Elaine wanted to know more. “You mean, you were fleet as well?” “For about ten years. I worked at Starfleet Medical before a pharmaceutical company recruited me to work on some projects for them. So, I went into the civilian sector and was happily working there, till a year ago.” “Bio-chemistry?” “With an organic specialty.” This woman wasn’t a fool, that was for sure. “Interesting. I’m in astrophysics, myself.” “I envy you a bit. Somehow, I doubt that you get space sick.” “On a starship, you don’t have time.” “Part of the reason I left was that I discovered that I couldn’t stand the thought of being in space. I couldn’t go on a ship and walk past a portal. I’d get queasy everytime.” “How’d you manage in fleet?” “I was here at a research facility most of the time, except for a sort stay on Jupiter Station. Even that was better, it seemed, just having a planet nearby. It seemed that I had a problem with being in the middle of nowhere.” “So, Dad, is Edy coming tonight?” “She’s supposed to, along with little Amelia.”

PAGE 9 OF 28

December 2008 – Volume 11 “What about Liz?” “I just don’t know. She said she was busy.” Elizabeth, the middle daughter could never be counted on. Some people talked about middle children being the “black sheep” of the family amd there were times when Elizabeth seemed to go out of her way to prove that it was true. “I’ve set a place for her, just in case.” “Good, except is there room for one more?” Victor stopped cold, hands still in the large turkey he was preparing to stuff. “Did you find someone for Edy to meet?” “Oh, Victor!” exclaimed Amelia. “This is twice now that she has alluded to wanting to bring a young man by to meet the family this evening and you have completely ignored it.” “I heard her, but I was really hoping to keep my youngest here at home, to take care of me in my later years. How am I supposed to do that when she’s bringing young men around to meet the family?” “You screwed that up when you sent me into Starfleet.” “Actually, I was hoping you would have command of your own ship by then and could ferry your old man around the galaxy.” “And have you dropping by all the time? I’d like a little life of my own.” “So, is he someone I might know?” “Quite possibly.” “He’s Starfleet! Excellent!” Elaine rolled her eyes. She could have brought home an enlisted Horta and as long as it was Starfleet, her father would be happy. “Victor, there are other men out there beside Starfleet.” “Perhaps so, my love, but it shows that he’s of good character.” Elaine thought of the individuals they had faced just a few day ago, working with Lendrel and the Lyrans, and was a bit skeptical of her father’s certainty. But she wasn’t going to say anything about it. And where did this “my love” come from? The doorbell chimed and Amelia went to get it. In her absence, Elaine decided to find out. “My love?” “Yes. Uh, well. I haven’t told anyone yet, as I wanted to talk to you all.” “You’ve proposed?” “Not yet. I wanted to talk to you and your sisters first, another reason for tonight.” “But she’s here?” “Yes. I had not planned on that. It seems that we may find ourselves meeting surreptitiously. But while we’re here, what do you think?” “I’ve barely met her!” Elaine had one quick objection. “She’s not Starfleet?” “But she was. It’s better than nothing.” “Edy’s going to flip.” “Actually, she and Amelia have met several times. They appear to get along quite well.” “Hi, Dad!” Edy entered, with a very tired looking six-year-old in tow. She glanced at Elaine, nodded sheepishly and gave her dad a big hug. “Oh, yes. I’m glad you could make it. Amelia, how is my little princess?” The six year old was caught in the middle of a yawn, but finally managed a sleepy “Fine.” “They wore them out in school today. I think she could use a quick nap. Can I use one of the bedrooms?” “Of course. Dinner is still a couple of hours away, at least.” “Yeah, Dad. Looks like you’re pulling out all the stops.” Edy glanced Elaine’s direction, this look indicating that she knew something was up. “It’s not even Christmas yet.” “Since when did I need a holiday to prepare a meal for my family?”

PAGE 10 OF 28

December 2008 – Volume 11 “Since mom banned you from the kitchen,” reminded Elaine, coming around the kitchen’s island and reaching for Amelia. “You want to use Aunt Elaine’s bed, the big fluffy one?” Amelia slowly nodded her head and let herself be picked up into her aunt’s arms and carried upstairs, her mother following close behind. “So when were you going to tell me?” asked Elaine. “You mean about Amelia? I had intended to tell you at lunch, but that didn’t work out. But either way, I think he plans to propose.” “Already told me as much. I think he’s looking for us to approve it first.” “Well, I don’t see a problem with it. She’s nice, treats him well, loves Amelia.” “That’s a good start.” “You have reservations?” “I think, it’s just more of…I don’t know…having to learn to call someone else Mom.” “She doesn’t want you to.” “Really?” “She told me that she wasn’t my mother, no insult intended, and therefore didn’t feel that it was appropriate. She’d rather we call her Amelia.” “Well, maybe it’s for the better, then. She apparently taught him to cook. I hope.” “Don’t worry. He hasn’t burned water in months.” “I never worried about his burning things. It’s what he was mixing up that worried me.”

The French Riviera. Wondeful beaches, beautidul ocean…and gorgeous ladies, in the traditional french bikinis, sunbathing. Why had he not vacationed here? Then it dawned on him: he disliked the heat. Ryan was sweating furiously, which was not unusual for him. It felt like the “dog days” of summer here and he had not liked those from his youth in Ohio. This was warmer. It also explained why tropical islands had never held much allure to him either. And probably explained why he and Elaine seemed to like the same climates. Speaking of Elaine, he needed to hurry. He had missed the evening meal with her, without giving her an explanation. Actually he had told her no specific time, but he felt late. Or was it just that he missed her? Interestingly enough, not all the gorgeous young ladies here were human. He recognized a few other races as well, including Deltans and others. The problem was going to be finding his quarry. There were a lot of people here. But it shouldn’t be that difficult to locate one craggy old doctor. Staavm stepped up beside him, lightly attired in a one piece swimsuit herself, and Ryan once again recognized what Captain Logan saw in his science officer. She was quite statuesque, suitable for a modelling career. “So, is this the fabled one-piece?” Captain Logan had told him about their first meeting on the trip back from Botchok. Ryan, feeling a little protective of his science officer, had decided to evaluate the Captain himself, behind Staavm’s back. Yes, he had been meddling, and Staavm had found out when Logan told her, but had not taken it as such. Instead, she had seemed flattered that he had checked up on her. “Indeed, it is.” Staavm seemed able to tell his thoughts, for there was a quirky look to her, like she knew what he was thinking and relished it. “You didn’t have to come. I planned on getting her help and have her come see you.” “I know Dr, Pulaski, and you, Captain. We cannot guarantee her agreement. If not, I intend to “pick her brain”.” Captain and science officer strolled the beach, seeking out the ship’s medical officer, but were having little luck in the easterly direction. Finally, they reversed course and proceeded west, finally

PAGE 11 OF 28

December 2008 – Volume 11 coming across not just Dr. Pulaski, who was fast asleep on a large beach blanket, but the ship’s counselor, Dr. Friedman as well. “Captain, Lt. Commander. This is quite a surprise. What brings you to this part of the world?” asked the counselor. Ryan looked down at the dozing doctor. “Sleeping Beauty, actually. I need her help with something.” “Something serious happen?” “Something serious is in the works, but I need her medical wisdom, for an investigation actually.” “Flattery will get you no where,” muttered Pulaski. Stifly, she started to prop herself up, then decided that it would be far easier to just roll over. Ryan was surprised at the doctor’s appearance. She wasn’t exacty a young woman, but in that green one-piece swimsuit, she could give a number of younger women a run for their credits. “I know better than to try and flatter you, Doctor. It just goes to your head. Besides, this is genuinely meant, as your skills in the area I need help in are quite good.” Ryan sat down in the sand, followed by Staavm. Sydney leaned forward in his beach chair, obviously interested in the conversation. “So, I guess it wouldn’t help to tell you that you look ravishing in that suit?” Pulaski pondered for a moment. Was he actually meaning it, or making fun of her. With the Captain, it could be hard to tell at times. “Shouldn’t you be in Vancouver?” “Actually, yes, but It’s a few hours earlier there.” “Of course. For a minute there, I was wondering if I needed to advise Elaine.” Pulaski glanced toward Staavm, obviously noting the Vulcan’s appearance, in sharp contrast to the Captain, who was definitely not dressed for a day at the beach. Staavm’s eyebrow rose slightly as she directed her look at Ryan. “Logically, it would appear that we make a “cute couple”.” “Actually, it’s all you, darling.” “Thank you, my love,” responded the Vulcan, doing a very Victorian imitation. Friedman chuckled. “Tell me, Staavm, have Vulcans ever participated in the theater?” “I know of none on the professional level, though that does not rule out the possibility. However, to Vulcans, debating is as entertaining as theater is to humans. In a logical manner, of course.” “Of course. You should try it. I think you would be quite talented.” “Alright, that’s enough out of the peanut gallery.” Pulaski was not really in the mood for this sparring and small talk. She was tired. After assisting an old medical school chum in some research that had gone on all day and most of the night, she was bushed. She had sleep to catch up on. “You said you needed help, Captain?” Ryan explained the situation as Samine had told him, including Samine’s request for forensic help in identifying the victims. “As long as we can get original genetic samples, it’ll be easy. If not, we can try matching family DNA, get samples from the parents and cross match them that way. I think it can be done, though there may be some we can’t positively match.” “I know they would appreciate any help. They’re deeply concerned that one of the dead could be the son of an influential House leader. If so, it’s his last son and heir.” “Please tell me there’s not going to be another fight on Botchok over that?” “Doubtful, though possible. It has happened before. But, if you can prove he wasn’t already a casualty, we can begin trying to figure out what happened to him and maybe rule it out completely.” “Alright, where is this taking place?” Pulaski sounded exasperated, but her desire to help, as always, was overriding her better judgement. That and her body’s nagging demand for sleep. “We would like you and Staavm to go to Botchok and conduct the investigation there. The Orions are eager to learn from us and this would be a good starting point. Your ship leaves in two days, max. Captain Logan is taking the Bonaparte back there to pick up a delegation from the Botchok Planetary Council and return them here for negotiations. He’ll drop you two on Botchok to begin your investigation.”

PAGE 12 OF 28

December 2008 – Volume 11 “There’s a lot of equipment I may need.” “Prepare a list and get it to Staavm by the end of the day. We’ll see that it gets filled.” “Alright. This sounds important so you know I’ll be there.” She eyed Sydney, who had an unusally curious look on his face. “May we add Dr. Friedman to the roster? He could prove useful in dealing with the Orions.” “Probably a good idea. I’ll get it cleared with Admiral Winchester.” “Fine. Now, may I please relax and rest a while?” “Not a problem. Lt. Commander, I believe we are finished. Perhaps we should leave the lovely young lady to enjoy her time away from sickbay.” Ryan and Staavm got up and started away. “It takes a lot more than flattery to get a date!” muttered Pulaski. “I should hope so, or I wouldn’t consider the date worthwhile,” replied Ryan, with a wide chessie cat grin. “Oh, go propose to someone. Just not me.” “Good advice, Doctor. I think I’ll take it.” Katherine laid back down on the blanket and tried to close her eyes, which then snapped back open quite suddenly. “He knows about the pool!” “Of course. Staavm probably told him,” answered Sydney. “Haven’t you figured it out by now? She tells him everything.” “He’ll propose just to spite me.” “That’s what you get for betting against love.” Katherine turned her head just enough to look after the retreating captain and science officer. “He needs to propose to her.” “I think she’s counting on someone else.” “What are you talking about?” “Patient confidentialty, of course.” Sydney smiled, knowing that would have his companion stewing for a bit.

Ryan materialized on the sidewalk in front of the Whiting house. He looked around, at the other houses in immediate visual range. None were too close, but he imagined that they were within hearing range, especially on clear nights. The old style brick home wasn’t as old as the building style tried to imply. Though the design th looked like something out of the 19 century, Elaine had told him that it was only about fifty years old, having been built by her mother’s father, who had a penchant for antiques. But, he had changes made, including modern appliances, communications, etc. So the old fellow wasn’t completely prudish about it. And, in general, the house was bigger than was typical of the original time period, giving more comfortable living spaces. Well, this was the big moment. Meet the future in-laws. He had been told that this could make or break a marriage. Stepping to the front door, he rang and waited. When it opened, an older woman was there, for a moment. Elaine practically pushed her out of the way to get outside, pulling the door closed behind her. Pulling Zeke aside, she kissed him quickly. “Where were you?” “Business. There is some stuff up on Botchok, again.” Elaine grew concerned. “What now?” “Not that important, right now. I’m here for you, for the day. After I got things set, I told the Admiral to “buzz off”.” “I’ll bet he loved that.” “He didn’t seem to mind, which worries me more.”

PAGE 13 OF 28

December 2008 – Volume 11 “Stop it! No worries. We have a day off and free and together.” She put her arms around him and proceeded to greet him more passionately, as she had wanted to before. “Wow!” Elaine broke contact abruptly at the sound of the voice, one that surprised her. “Liz?” “I haven’t seen you use a lip lock like that since Marty Tobin,” the tall black haired woman commented, an immense cockeyed grin on her face. Elaine’s expression changed quickly to a “Oh please, don’t!” look. “Hey, but that was years ago!” exclaimed Liz. “It’s about time you got some more practice.” Turning quickly to Ryan, Elaine whispered “Hold that thought,” and skipped down the steps to hug her sister. “And where were you? We wanted you for dinner last night.” “Yeah, well, you’re Starfleet. You know how work gets in the way.” “But you’re not.” “Well, I had a director quit on us and I seem to be the only one who can change his mind. Me and some good bourbon.” “Oh.” “The short of it is, he agreed to come back to work, and is being punished by a real hangover. That should teach him.” “Pity, you missed a interesting family dinner.” Elaine beckoned for Ryan to join them. “Have you heard of an Amelia?” Liz thought for a moment. “Assuming you’re not talking about my niece, I think Edy may have mentioned her.” “Well, get used to it. Dad proposed last night.” Liz stopped dead. “Our Dad?” Elaine confirmed it with an emphatic nod. “Okay. I guess she must be Starfleet?” “Former actually. She get’s space sick.” “Then how’d she get into Starfleet?” “Bio-chemist, medical division.” “Okay. So who’s the prisoner?” “Liz…this is Ezekiel Ryan.” “Zeke, please.” Ryan offered his hand, but Liz was having nothing of that. She came forward and wrapped her arms around him with a big hug. Zeke could feel her hands giving him a quick frisking. “Handshake heck.” Liz planted a kiss on him, but not too long of one. “You’re a member of the family now. We do things right.” Releasing her hug, she turned to Elaine, hiding her face from Ryan, and silently mouthing a “OOOOH!” to her sister. She then quickly turned to Ryan again. “Zeke, you’re Starfleet I bet?” “Yeah.” “What is it with this family? Oh well, welcome aboard anyway, Captain.” “How’d you know?” asked Zeke. Liz looked surprised for a moment. “What are you doing, sleeping your way to the top?” she asked Elaine. “It’s a dog-eat-dog world. You gotta do what you gotta do. Promotions are hard to come by these days.” Liz glanced at the front of the house and commented “And we gotta get inside before they push their faces through that window.” Indeed, everyone inside was pushed against the window to view the new arrivals. Everyone from Victor to little Amelia. Liz started to the door and Elaine started to follow, then saw the huge smile on Zeke’s face. “What?”

PAGE 14 OF 28

December 2008 – Volume 11 “Your dad has proposed, quite out of the blue, apparently, and well…” Zeke motioned toward Liz, “she’s a hoot.” “Oh, that’s just an ordinary day around here. Wait till it gets exciting.” Then Elaine headed for the door. Ryan could barely hold back a laugh. “I’m working on it.”

Loord came to the cockpit of his modified Klingon heavy fighter and settled into the pilot’s seat. The navigational system had warned him that they were approaching their destination, but he wanted to check for himself. That system, as well as others, had been acting odd lately and he could not discover the reason for the malfunctions. He was beginning to wonder if he simply needed to replace the old crate, but he had to admit a certain fondness for it. This time, it was correct. They were right on target, in the middle of nowhere. Literally. There wasn’t an inhabited planet in well over a parsec. That made some sense, but not in other ways. So far off the beaten paths, it would be easy for pirates to operate with so little support for their victims available. Starfleet normally patrolled out here, but with their numbers depleted from the Dominion War, there just weren’t as many patrols coming through as there used to be. If one could discover the schedule of patrols, one could operate out here undetected. On the other hand, this was so far off the normal spacelanes, it was only lightly traveled. For the most part, it was traffic between the Orion homeworlds and Stet, and not much else. That wasn’t exactly a happy hunting ground for pirates. Pirates tended to need larger “crops” to harvest to be profitable. Loord’s “partner in crime” as the Mastress called them, Draily Toormas, entered and wriggled into her co-pilot’s seat. Despite being relatively small, she still found the ship cramped. But it could be “cozy,” under the right circumstances. “Did we find it?” “If you mean the correct coordinates, yeah.” “But no easy answers?” “No.” “So much for dreaming. Okay, this is where the ships were found. Assuming they were on the usual direct path from Stet to Botchok, their path would have been this.” Draily pointed to the line projected onto the main viewport that enclosed the cockpit. “And there is nothing along that path that screams “Pirate hideout?” “There is nothing on that path period. That’s why this area has always been fairly secure. There are no available bases.” “That we know of.” “Technically, you’re correct. But, anything out here would have to be artificially created and sustained, and that is an expense that pirates will not go to. They’re in the business to make money, not spend it.” “Trying to say they’re good Orions?” “That’s one reason you see a lot of Orions in the trade. Yes.” “Then what do we do?” “I don’t know yet. We could begin by investigating some of the planets closest to the normal navigational routes, see if we detect something that seems out of the ordinary. We do have one advantage for that, especially if we limit oursleves to passive sensors.” “The cloak.” “Yeah. We get fairly close to a system with the cloak raised, then go completely “silent” and wait. With the cloak up, we may be able to trick someone into making a move when they think the coast is clear.” “Where do we start?”

PAGE 15 OF 28

December 2008 – Volume 11 “I say we start at this end and work our way toward Stet, simply because it will get us doing something the fastest.” “That seems as good of a plan as any. Get us on course and I’ll check in with Samine, see if she has any newer information. Then we can go silent as needed.” Loord selected his first subject of investigation and began entering the specifications to the navigational computer while Draily checked in with her sister. Samine arrived in her conference room to find Master Verbery waiting on her. “I see by your countenance that you have bad news.” “More of the same, I am afraid. We have compiled a detailed list of ships and persons deemed “lost” in the process. It grows longer.” He handed a datapad to Samine, who examined it thoroughly before commenting. “Fourty-seven ships, and almost three hundred persons? How could this many have avoided notice?” “It is spread equally among the houses. Everyone has lost some, but not enough to cause alarm.” Verbery paused for effect, as it seemed was his habit. An orator to the end. “Who ever has done this has been very clever. They are making sure that it appears to no one individual house as if they are suffering unduly. The price of doing business, you might say.” “It’s a price we can’t pay any more. If Master Noeburl’s son had not been a victim, this could have gone on for quite a while. But now we know.” “Yes. And it is further proof of what you and I have been saying. We must unite the Orion peoples and work together to end this waste. And I think this seals it. I have been discussing this with other council members. Everyone, except Thormelicay, is in agreement.” “And why can’t he see that this is for his benefit as well?” “Unless it isn’t. and how could that be, unless he is the one behind this piracy.” “I agree that he is quickly becoming the prime suspect, but we need proof before we make accusations.” “I agree. That is why I think he should be excluded from the delegation to Earth. It opens up too many opportunities for him to sabotage the negotiations.” “Oh, he doesn’t need to be on Earth to do that. He has an extensive reach as it is.” Samine pondered the situation and came to a different line of reasoning. “Perhaps it would be best to make sure he does go.” “That thinking concerns me. First, I would hate to be on a ship with him. Second, why bring the carnivore into the poultry warehouse?” “So that we may keep him on a leash, where we can see him. If he is here, we cannot see his next act of petty theft before he has escaped into the trees. But if we are observing him, we have the opportunity to see the signs of his treachery before he strikes.” Verbery thought a moment. He began to see the beauty of Mastress Toormas’ thoughts. “You plan to give him some lead, then let him walk into a snare.” “Right under the noses of the watch beasts.” Samine realized that this may work out better than she had thought. “And, this “poultry,” as you called it, has teeth. They will not hesitate to bite back. It is hardly our fault if he happens to lose a finger or toe…” “Or his head, hopefully.”

PAGE 16 OF 28

December 2008 – Volume 11

A Commentary: Amok Time By Derek Sauls Communications Officer, U.S.S. Indiana

This episode aired at midnight Saturday in the Indianapolis area and I (being old and tired {but still great looking and hip} ) recorded it. But, I have a few comments. By the way...I'd love to read a little something from one of YOU guys. Yes, you have kids and a job and other things to do I. The work is what I do for money. THIS is what I do for fun and me-time. I baby-sat my grandson this weekend, so I've earned this. This has got to be THE MOST memorable episode in Trek history. We Trekkers have talked it to death and analyzed it over and over for decades. I will now add my"typed commentary". Sure, it's a 40 year old show and a little far-fetched, but I like it and I think you do too. 1) Looking at the "plak-tow" from Spock's point of view, I would imagine it had to have gradually built up and not hit him suddenly as it appeared to in the show. I'd say the episode portrayed a sudden onset of the symptoms, therefore a logical officer would have taken steps to minimize the impact of a debilitating condition that he knows is inevitable. This shouldn't have been a surprise to Spock and BTW where were his parents!? Vulcan Space Authority put through a call from T'Pring while Enterprise was being cleared for orbit, why couldn't Spock have called up the folks and had them there? It was his first MARRIAGE. The folks would want to see how their match worked out. I'm sure Amanda would have wanted to see her little boy get married. I have had to take sudden leave while in the military, and it was never fun to "walk a chit through". Especally before an inspection or special evolution. I guess the first officer only has the skipper to see about leave. RHIP and all. The secrecy and embarrassment of the pon farr could have been avoided if he had just applied for leave a little earlier. Sounds like my old XO. Super that Kirk disobeyed a Starfleet movement directive and went to Vulcan anyway, stating that "He (Spock) saved my life a dozen times over -- I think that's worth a career.". 2) You'd think that if Spock was going to beam down for his wedding ceremony, he'd have dressed up a little. Sure, he was mentally messed up and deep in the "plaktow", but he had mental clarity enough to ask Kirk and McCoy to come along. He observes Vulcan customs, prides himself on his logic, and plays the Vulcan lyre on the rec-deck. Surely he has some traditional Vulcan attire for formal occasions? 3) The new graphics of the land bridges and highlands are great. I wish we could have seen more. I understand there are colossi (statues)holding lirpas on another part of the planet. It would have been great to see them. Sadly, these scenes were added at the expense of another of my favorite scenes - the one where Spock says "my eyes are flame, my HEART is flame." I think they could have dispensed with one of the earlier shipboard scenes and left that "flame" bit in. I'm not a purist as I've said, so I'll let it slide.

PAGE 17 OF 28

December 2008 – Volume 11 4) Still love Celia Lovsky as T'Pau. Stately, authoritarian, businesslike and surprisingly gentle and tolerant of Kirk and McCoy's presence at the Spock's Koonut-ka-lif-fee. She calmly asks Spock: "Are our ceremonies for outworlders?" 5) Surely not all Vulcans on the planet are as stuck-up and logical as Sarek and others we've met. There must be a lower-class form of Vulcan that gets off on scandal and tabloids. Lonely old Vulcan biddies living with their house full of spayed pet sehlats and nothing better to do than watch the Trivee. This "Kal-if-fee" (challenge) is always a possibility at the ancient ceremony, but I don't suppose it often happens on a planet full of oh-so-superior Vulcans. Careful steps are taken to ensure the children are bonded properly so that when the time comes, the ceremony goes off without a hitch. This T'Pring gal wanting to run off with Stonn would have made the Vulcan tabloids bigger than the Brad Pitt-Jennifer Aniston thing or the Britney and K-Fed story. Spock, if you'll remember, is the only Vulcan in StarFleet at this time and would have to be very well known. His public fallout with his dad over his choice to join and serve with Humans. His dad being a prominent ambassador and married to a human woman. T'Pring herself said Vulcans consider Spock almost a legend and she didn't want to be consort to a legend. And her choosing an outworlder to be her champion (so that whether or not he won, she'd still have Stonn) would have had tongues wagging planet-wide. Spock complimented her, saying "Logical. Flawlessly logical." I bet he was thinking "SLUT" the whole time too. 6) I don't think Spock was what we'd call a legend to his people. For the reasons listed above, he was probably well known, but not well approved of by Vulcans. Notorious would be a better word. I think he'd be frowned upon by stodgy Vulcans and talked about behind his back. Maybe I'm attributing too many human traits to Vulcans.

PAGE 18 OF 28

December 2008 – Volume 11

Our Romulan Is Missing By Walter Ewing, Executive Officer, U.S.S. Indiana Michael Kent, Tactical Officer, U.S.S. Indiana Edited by Jeff Davis, Commanding Officer, U.S.S. Indiana

“Captain’s Log, Stardate 56410.3. The Indiana has been pulled off routine patrol duty on the edge of Orion space to rendezvous with U.S.S. Centurion. Admiral Katherine Janeway has beamed aboard, along with a Marine non-com with no explanation, and no additional explanation. Something is definitely afoot, as Sherlock Holmes might have said. Pity I don’t have Holmes sense of intuition, otherwise I might be able to deduce what that something is and quit worrying about it. Or maybe not.” Admiral Janeway Looked across the briefing room table at Captain Davis, decided it was time, and called for the computer to put her on ship-wide intercom. “Fleet Captain Asker, Ensign Michael Kent, Report to the Admirals’ briefing room immediately!” The two met at the turbo-lift. Ensign Kent, retaining a well disciplined demeanor, spoke calmly in Vulcan to his cohort. “What trouble have you gotten us into this time?” The Ensign, orphaned at an early age on Vulcan was well trained in the ways of his adoptive parents. The self-control had given him a remarkable edge during his education. Asker, who was half Klingon, quarter Bajoran and quarter Vulcan, had been a friend and companion since childhood and whose unrestrained antics kept the youngster and him in constant hot water as they grew up on Vulcan. Asker’s inclusion of Kent in his wild activities was unknowingly responsible for the young transplanted earthling retaining his sanity. They entered the briefing room in animated conversation causing Captain Davis to sigh and mumble “They’re at it again.” “Pardon?” asked Admiral Janeway. Captain Davis chuckled “Those two are always chattering to each other in Vulcan and it always sounds so harsh – it drives me nuts! Further the universal translator in the comm system frequently ceases ship wide to work selectively with the Vulcan language so that their interaction isn’t toned down. No one can trace the problem, but I do have my suspicions.” Admiral Janeway smirked. “You should learn Vulcan, it’s a fascinating language.” “Fleet Captain Asker and Ensign Kent reporting as ordered sir!”, added Asker. Janeway answered nonchalantly: “Take a seat gentlemen. This is Marine Chief Warrant Officer Ming.” The diminutive delicate looking earthling nodded. “I have a mission for the four of you.” “Captain Davis will serve as the mission commander; Warrant Officer Ming – security; the two of you have specialty skills and knowledge which I believe is vital to the success of this assignment. It is unusual to delegate such a task to you as most of you are of high rank and naturally I am reluctant to do so, but the unusual parameters determined your selection.” Lifting her head as though addressing the bare ceiling “Computer! Authorization Janeway, 7341765, this compartment is in security isolation.” “Security isolation initiated,” answered the computer. Turning her attention back to the assembled officers, the Admiral went on. “All that transpires here is totally secret, computer monitoring and recording is suspended until the hatch is opened, breaking the seal.” Janeway leaned back in her chair before beginning. “The mission you’ve been selected for is highly unusual and even more sensitive for reasons both obvious and classified. The three of you know each other very well but to be clear as to the rationale for you’re being chosen as well as providing for Warrant Officer Ming’s edification I’ll go over the basis for your selection.

PAGE 19 OF 28

December 2008 – Volume 11 “In command I have you, Captain Davis, as you are an exemplary engineer with command expertise combined with special operations training. You are well studied in Starfleet history of the last century and the mechanical and political effects of the rapid growth in both, all with the unusual hobby of the primitive black powder weapons of historic earth. I’ve heard that you and these two,” nodding at Asker and Kent, “go on primitive forays on the holodeck together. Both hobbies may serve you better than you might ever guess. “Security is Ming’s forte. Outstanding is her expertise with edged weapons and in general small weapons found on the multitude of other worlds of Starfleet’s acquaintance. Not to be omitted is her reputation as a sniper. She also holds black belts in several disciplines so don’t let her petit appearance and her hobby, which has earned her recognition as a master oriental chef, fool you. “Fleet Captain Asker, you are an enigma; a mustang catapulting from medic to RN to an MD and then Executive Officer, all while generating a terrible reputation for getting into trouble. You didn’t just graduate from the Vulcan science academy. Oh no, you had to graduate with honors in the field of genetics! You’re fluent in Vulcan, Klingon, Bajoran, and Ferengi as well as several other languages and dialects. You have studied and made a hobby of what is known of the history of Earth pertaining to North America of the late twentieth century. Then, not only do you share Captain Davis’ fondness for the primitive black powder weapons of historic earth, but you are actually qualified in the instruction of their use and maintenance. How do you use that on the holodeck? On second thought, never mind.” “Ensign Kent, our junior tactical officer. Your friend Mr. Asker got a head start on you, but having graduated recently from StarFleet Academy with honors I’m told that you are a force to be reckoned with. Just how did you get Masters Degrees simultaneously in Temporal Esoteric Theory and th History, specializing in Earth’s 19 century while surpassing all your classmates at Starfleet? Again, never mind. I suppose that’s why you share fondness for the primitive black powder weapons and are also qualified in their instruction. I’ll bet you’re behind the antics of the three of you on the holodeck. But I digress...” “The mission: A Romulan scientist has been discovered defecting with information the nature of which can only be judged by the voracity of his pursuers and the method by which he is eluding them. He has expertise in temporal science that will be understandable only to you Ensign Kent, and has successfully utilized his knowledge to evade his pursuers by visiting earth during the turmoil of certain periods of history. “Time travel? He utilizes time travel?” Interrupted Ensign Kent A hearty laugh erupted from Asker to the Ensigns’ slip of Vulcan like control. (Time travel was still a subject not discussed in polite Vulcan society.) “Yes” answered the Admiral. “But” “Later” she scolded with raised hand, the Ensign diligently recovered most of his composure. “These periods are what precipitated your selection for contacting and rescuing the scientist. We are counting on your specialized knowledge and talents to avoid detection as well as averting distortions in the time continuum. The Romulan doesn’t know you and will obviously consider that you are a party to his capture. How you can convince him otherwise is one of the many problems that I’m sure you’ll encounter. “The technical aspect of your transport through time is a very well guarded secret, as I’m sure you’ll agree it should be. 90 odd years ago Captain Kirk stumbled across the ruins of a very large and ancient city. We haven’t a clue as to who lived there or what became of them. The city is a stretch of barren wasteland hundreds of kilometers across and, in places, more than a kilometer deep with absolutely no trace of their technology save one - a portal, or as it calls itself, ‘The Guardian of Forever’. Yes, it, the gateway, talks. It will answer specific questions in the native language of the questioner irrespective of the language of the question. One can step through the gate into any time period in any

PAGE 20 OF 28

December 2008 – Volume 11 world he designates. The possibility for havoc I’m sure you’ll agree is unimaginable and that is why you have been entrusted with this mission.” “The scientist’ name is Solar, I have a small file with a holoprojection of his likeness, though I doubt it will be of any use as he has doubtlessly disguised himself many times over by now. However you may find something useful, so get to know Dr. Solar before you set out. “Our sources indicate that he is using, if I can put this in the present tense, three time periods for eluding his pursuers. “You may find him ‘close to home’, on the Excelsior under Captain Sulu at the time of the explosion on the Klingon moon, Praxis. You are familiar with the particulars of that tumultuous period aren’t you Captain Davis? “ Davis nodded affirmatively. “Captain Sulu knows enough to welcome you and give support with the autonomy you need. He doesn’t have a clue as to your mission or that you are from this time period so be especially circumspect in your communication with him. He was navigator on the Enterprise when Captain Kirk discovered the Guardian of Forever. “The next time period is Earth, United States, California, the Bay Area, right near where StarFleet Command will be built in a couple of hundred years, that’s right, old Earth calendar 1960. He’ll be associated with some kind of motor cycle club.” “How do you know such details?” Interrupted Asker. “Classified, need to know Basis, and you don’t need to know! To continue, The American Civil War – second year, June 1862 – I thought that would grab your attention Ensign.” Janeway allowed herself the luxury of a chuckle at the Ensigns’ startled attention before continuing. “A Union cavalry under a Major-General Pope in the Army of the Potomac, the references are garbled when we try to get more detail.” “At that time there was a lot of confusion caused by infighting and politics, President Lincoln made some unfortunate decisions in his appointments as he was trying to find the best organizational structure for success.” volunteered Kent. Janeway looked at the Ensign as she continued. “You’ll need to take special care to not be seized as spies; I’m of the understanding that such were quickly dispatched – if you get my implications.” The Ensign just raised an eyebrow – he knew precisely her meaning. “Captain Davis, as I am sending you, your XO and tactical officer on an away mission, virtually decapitating the Indiana’s chain of command, I will stay on as acting Captain until your return. You have six hours to prepare. We will meet here in five hours for your final briefing. By that time the ship will be in the classified solar system near the planet where you will find ‘The Guardian’. Draw all supplies you think you’ll need. Oh, you’ll need a craft. Do you have any particular type in mind?” Davis shrugged. “I should think a long range runabout should suffice, thank you.” “When you report to me at 1900 hours your runabout will be in the bay fully prepared for you. That will be all for now. Captain Davis, take charge of your away party, dismissed!” The four stood and filed toward the exit. As the hatch opened, Janeway called out “Oh, by the way,” pointing to the ensign, “You’re out of uniform - Lieutenant Junior Grade Kent - see to it! Kent turned in a sharp about face, nodded and said “aye, aye Sir.” He did another about face and followed the rest out. As the hatch closed behind the four leaving Admiral Janeway alone she again addressed the ceiling “Computer! Authorization Janeway, 7341765, as of this time all duties and responsibilities of Ships’ Captain are transferred to myself, until further notice. Captain Davis, Fleet Captain Asker, and Lieutenant Junior Grade Kent are logged out on an away mission on my authorization. No report concerning the away mission is to be filed without my approval.” “Admiral Katherine Janeway is logged as Acting Commanding Officer, effective immediately. All command codes have been transferred. Away team has been logged as relieved for unspecified duties.”

PAGE 21 OF 28

December 2008 – Volume 11 She then rose slowly, and exited to take the turbo-lift to the bridge. In the passage way, the four fell into step silently, stunned that in less than ten minutes their lives have been severely altered by revelations and responsibilities they had never dreamed of. Ming was the first to speak; “Hey guys, I don’t know the first thing about chemically powered projectile weapons. She said that you two were instructors, so you’d better get me up to speed fast.” Asker burst into a cheerful, stress breaking laugh, during which Kent responded “With your skills we’ll have you familiar with them in an hour, an expert in two.” Davis snorted, his mind was racing with trying to sort out problems that he could see arising that made her concerns trivial. “Asker, we’ve got to get you to sick bay and do something about obscuring or concealing your ‘pretty’ head! Ensign – I mean Lieutenant – congratulations by the way – why don’t you take Ming to an available holodeck and get her education with black powder started. We’ll join you once I’m satisfied we can be seen ‘in public’ with Captain Asker.” Forty five minutes later the holodeck opened to admit Davis and a quite large and somewhat intimidating-looking ‘human.’ “We just couldn’t get him to look sociable.” Davis cheerfully volunteered. Kent responded “Well, we’ll have people keeping their distance and that sounds like a good thing for where we’re going.” Asker grumbled “My nose just doesn’t feel right.” The scene on the holodeck was a familiar one for all but Ming. It was the current understanding of the wooded hills of Virginia of the 1860s. Targets were placed at twenty five yards and fifty yards for pistol, then intervals of fifty up to two hundred yards for the rifle. Ming was not only proving Kent correct in that she was grasping the training as fast as information could be given, but was enthusiastically enjoying the discipline of the arms as one born to them. Kent was exhausted by the pace of the concentrated training and readily welcomed Davis and Asker to take over. Ming had mastered the revolver and was just starting to work with a rifle which was almost twice as long as she was tall. A half an hour later the hundred fifty yard target was the object of her concentrated fire. After three shots Captain Asker shook his head. “Ah, I hate to say it but it seems that you only hit it one of three this time, and you were doing so well.” Ming looked downrange and grimaced. “I’d like a closer look if you don’t mind.” All four trotted down towards the target, Ming started a girlish giggle while yet fifty yards away. She could see a single triangular hole made by three .58 caliber lead balls. “I knew I didn’t miss!” she gushed. Asker quipped “Hmm, I was wrong I see.” Kent allowed himself the hint of a grin. At the end of two hours, as promised, Warrant Officer Ming was not only an expert with the use and care of black powder weapons but acclimated to the conditions of the environment believed to exist in the area of conflict. The three were giving Asker a good natured ribbing about his ‘new’ features for which he was responding in kind as the four were exiting the holodeck. Admiral Janeway was passing just in time to catch a smattering of the ‘banter.’ They were all aware of her at the same time as she waved her hand dismissively and shook her head “I don’t even want to know.” They watched her pass, seriousness eclipsing the repartee as the purpose for everything resurfaced. They stood in silence for a few seconds aware that they were suddenly directionless. Captain Davis, taking charge as was his habit, broke the stillness “I’ve taken care of Asker and now it’s your turn, Ming. Where we’re going your gender may be as problematic as your Asian ancestry.” Ming held her hand in an obvious sign of silence and whispered “As your security officer I caution that we speak in more secure surroundings than a passageway.” “Of course, we’ll meet in my quarters in one hour – that’ll be about eighteen hundred hours – give us a little time to ‘process’ the recent turn of events. Dismissed.” As Davis strode off towards the nearest turbo-lift, Asker addressed the two beside him “I don’t know about your two, but I’m famished.” Kent’s lips curled in an impish grin he never could restrain while with his unruly partner. “The universe could be in chaos and you would stop for a snack.”

PAGE 22 OF 28

December 2008 – Volume 11 Ming snickered and responded. “He’s got a point. We could all benefit from a light meal and it would be enough of a distraction to help us focus later.” Kent lifted an eyebrow and responded as would a Vulcan but with a good-humored twist. “Then I must concede as I am outnumbered.” They found the nearest lounge which was empty at the moment, ordered their desired serving of food from the replicator and sat at a table farthest from the entrance. Noting Asker’s drink of prune juice Ming, asked teasingly “Prune juice? What a strange choice.” Kent was the one to respond “He has it on good authority – from Lieutenant Commander Worf – that it’s a warriors’ drink” With that Ming walked up to the replicator, ordered “Prune juice, chilled”, picked up the glass and seated herself between her two companions. “Ugh! Warn me next time about your sense of taste.” The two exchanged amused communicating glances. Asker laughed and said “Then don’t follow Michael when he orders the Scottish meal of haggis; the boiled mix of onions and oatmeal together with minced heart, liver and lungs of a sheep stuffed in the stomach. I have a bit of difficulty with that one.” Kent came back with “You have trouble? What about that dish you are so fond of – Gagh, which you eat alive and wash down with blood wine.” Ming, smirked at the two. “Enough you two. I’m no queasy school girl to be ‘played’ by a pair of pranksters like you! Yeh, I know your reputation, you’re notorious when you two get together. Besides, I’ve had both haggis and gagh – wouldn’t recommend either to a friend – but blood wine, ah, that brings back memories.” The two looked at each other. Then Kent grinned as Asker roared with laughter “Ashal, we’ve been caught in the act. Good for you Ming!” Ming smiled at her congratulations and turned with a quizzical look “Ashal? He addresses you as Ashal, that’s Vulcan, but it’s not in your record.” “Not that a casual observer would note, but it is Vulcan for my given name.” Kent quietly responded. “That’s right, you were both raised on Vulcan. My, what an odd pair you make. How did you become such fast friends anyway?” “I found him.” Asker volunteered good-naturedly. “What! Now this I’ve got to hear, you’re kidding right?” As the two were engrossed in conversation they were unaware of Kent’s reaction to the memories. Withdrawing as though an opaque curtain had been pulled between him and the animated pair, he sat expressionless. “Not a bit.” Asker’s voice subtly dropped to a more serious tone as he related the tale. “I was sixyear’s-old in Federation standard. While exploring the inhospitable surroundings that were my playground on Vulcan, I caught the scent of blood not familiar to me in the hot dry air. Intrigued, I followed the slender thread to the ruins of a small vehicle that had been deliberately disabled and the inhabitants ruthlessly butchered. There I found the only recognizable occupant barely clinging to life, a deeply wounded four year old Terran. He was peering out of the stowage compartment he had been hastily crammed into. I did what I could, then carried the waif on my back, trotting better than twenty five kilometers to the nearest habitat. We’ve been close ever since. I know I can count on Ashal, and he knows that I’ll be there when needed.” “But, but what brought about such a slaughter? And on Vulcan no less!” “No one knows. How the perpetrators got there or left is a mystery as there were no signs of another vehicle or use of a transporter. The hapless occupants of the craft were of no known importance, that is, not anyone who would fear assassination. Ashal’s parents were young missionaries on their way to replace the retiring minister at a small habitation not far from where it happened. The Vulcan authorities found no reason for the slaughter. No valuables were taken or information retrieved, murder for the sake of murder was the logical conclusion.” “But that’s not logical, especially on Vulcan!”

PAGE 23 OF 28

December 2008 – Volume 11 “Vulcan authorities from the High Council on down habitually disdain anything involving other species, especially human, as unworthy of investigative energy.” Kent looked at Ming “You speak Vulcan.” Ming responded “Is required in, ah, province of earth where I, hmm, grew up. Little practice, so difficult to speak.” Kent, with a decided non-Vulcan glint in his eye, said in a mocking tone “Poor Captain Davis.” Ming, remembering Davis’ grumpy comments earlier about the sporadic malfunction of the universal translator, caught the implication immediately and held her sides trying to talk through the laughter “Why you, you guys are as bad as they say! Oh my, what have I gotten myself into?” Asker noted “Uh, it’s about time. We’d better get going; I don’t like being late and Captain Davis has ways of making tardy officers pay.” As they strolled toward the turbolift, Ming asked “What if Davis gets one of those direct language plugs, you know those devices that connect directly to the vocal center of your brain and he learns Vulcan? You can’t speak the new language until you can educate your tongue, but you can certainly understand what is being said.” Askers’ low rumbling Vulcan reverberated in the corridor. “Mission accomplished.” Ming covered her mouth with both hands to suppress the delighted chuckle. Asker pressed the announcer and a moment later, the door slid silently open. The door slid closed after the three entered and Davis waved them toward the table. “Sit down and let’s get to business. Computer! Authorization Davis, 4548228, this compartment is in security isolation.” “Security isolation initiated,” answered the computer. “Well, Ming, your physical appearance wouldn’t be noticed as unusual on another starship or even in the twentieth century, but both your sex and your Asian features would stand out in the nineteenth century and that worries me. Ensign, Lieutenant, do you have any ideas? “Her stature shouldn’t be noticeable in that time period as long as she doesn’t stand too close to Asker. Young men died beside older men, sometimes three generations of the same family were buried in the same mass grave. Her obvious sexual traits however are a bit of a giveaway.” Ming blushed slightly looking shyly down at her ample cleavage. “These are natural, I didn’t have any augmentation.” “There are ways to temporarily ‘give them up’ without long term damage. You will then easily pass for a young man once we get you a bit more bridge on your nose and round out those almond eyes.” Asker could see it not being difficult to cover Ming’s identity with a little medical trickery. “Great, we’ll just be four guys out on the town,” added Davis.

PAGE 24 OF 28

December 2008 – Volume 11





.I .S

By Jeff Davis Chief of Engineering, U.S.S. Indiana

S U.

Fresh from the Slips

The Proxima Class MK.1 I’ve been working on this for quite a while. How Long? Well, anyone who was on the U.S.S. Questar back in 2001 probably remembers the story Orion’s Folly. It was written as a fan-fiction story about the Questar and her crew, but also introduced a set of characters I had been contemplating for some time. Enter Captain Ezekiel Ryan and his crew. And more importantly, their “ride”: The Starship Proxima. After the second story, Demon-Possessed, was well under way, the “Captain Ryan Chronicles” were born In Orion’s Folly, the reader is introduced to the U.S.S. Proxima, A one-off starship that, by the time of the Dominion War, when the story was set, is actually in its third incarnation. As the Mark III, Proxima, NCC-71130, was approaching 800 meters in length and had grown into the role of fleet battlewagon. But this is a few years into her service. She had entered service nearly fifteen years previously. Commissioned as the Mark I in 2365, The Proxima had been designed as a low tech alternative to the Galaxy Class. Many at Starfleet command were concerned about the high level of new technology and innovative design features that were a part of the new, large exploration cruiser. Some at the Admiralty feared that such a sophisticated vessel may never leave drydock due to design bug and other problems. While proponents of the Galaxy Class guaranteed a flawless, on-time launch and shakedown, detractors predicted routine system failures and launch delays of a year or more. Consequently, Starfleet authorized construction of a second, simpler design. Based on existing design principles, the design was meant to offer a low-risk alternative in case the Galaxy Class’ detractors were right. The basic configuration chose was closer to a enlarged Excelsior, with a circular

PAGE 25 OF 28

December 2008 – Volume 11 primary hull, enlarged secondary hull connected through a full width “neck”, and a shuttle bay located under the long fantail cutout. The major difference was the use of long, wing-like structures to support the warp nacelles, replacing the somewhat fragile looking struts of the Excelsior. Launching almost a year ahead of the Galaxy, Proxima left Utopia Planitia Construction Slip 4 with numerous systems not installed. Though designed to carry a weapons package similar to the Galaxy, with two additional torpedo tubes, only the dorsal and ventral collimators on the saucer were installed. No torpedo tubes or torpedo handling systems were installed and only half the deflector shield generators were operational. No science labs were fitted out, and sickbay was half of its later capacity, though it was fitted with what was state of the art in medical scanners and surgical equipment at the time. Roughly 60% of the crew quarters were incomplete. On the other hand, The warp core, originally rated at 10% less power than the Galaxy’s, was powered up to 112% of rating during testing in the early part of her shakedown cruise. The impulse drives were also run up to 110% two months later, after initial problems with the deuterium control valves were overcome. After the trouble-free, on-time launch of the Galaxy, the Admiralty decided that while it no longer needed the Proxima Class for series production, the Proxima was too well built to waste. However, with modifications, it was large and powerful enough to test nearly any new equipment that Starfleet wished. Over the next few years, Proxima was the test site for numerous hardware and systems. Two different impulse drive systems were tested, along with a total of six different collimator phaser designs, including new systems intended for the Akira and Intrepid Classes. Five torpedo launchers designs were tested, as well as several changes and upgrades to the torpedoes themselves. Sensor fits and upgrades were numerous and routine as Starfleet continued to try and find new and various ways to boost sensor range and sensitivity, hoping to defeat the new generation of Romulan cloaking devices. In 2368, Proxima returned to Utopia Planitia for refit to what came to be called the “Mark II” configuration

PAGE 26 OF 28

December 2008 – Volume 11

Be sure to watch for the next release of Imaginations Unlimited, Volume 12 Past volumes of Imaginations Unlimited may be downloaded in PDF form from: or by emailing the editor at

and most importantly

PAGE 27 OF 28

December 2008 – Volume 11

Disclaimer (The Fine Print)

Imaginations Unlimited Jeff Davis Editor – Proofing – Typing – Layout Imaginations Unlimited is published as opportunity permits, to provide an artistic output for fan fiction writers of Region 01 and Starfleet International. It is open to any member who wishes to submit works of fictional literature, including stories, poetry and ‘filking’. No commercial solicitations permitted. Editor reserves the right to edit for length, spelling and, with the author’s permission, for content. Please make submissions of items to Artwork and graphics were obtained either from the author, author’s submitting representative, or with permission from a specified website. Miscellaneous clipart obtained via Microsoft software packages. Star Trek; Star Trek: The Next Generation; Star Trek: Deep Space Nine; Star: Voyager; STARFLEET; STARFLEET ACADEMY are all trademarks of Paramount Pictures, A VIACOM Company. No Infringement Intended. STARFLEET – The International STAR TREK Fan Association, Inc. is a non profit corporation in the State of North Carolina. No Infringement Intended. STARFLEET of Indianapolis, Indiana (U.S.S. Indiana, NCC-79158) is intended as a non-profit entity not connected with Paramount, VIACOM, or Star Trek:The Official Fan Club. No Infringement Intended.

PAGE 28 OF 28

Imaginations Unlimited Vol.11 Dec 2008  

Christmas edition of the official fanzine of Region 1, Starfleet International, as featured on Day 4 of the Twelve Trek Days of Christmas 20...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you