One Ill Turn 6

Star Trek: Mayweather

Stardate: 2381.79
USS Mayweather in Deep Space

“Captain, we are approaching long range sensor range of Deep Space 15,” Ensign Ford reported from his station at Ops.

“Give me a full scan.”

“Aye, sir.”

Ford turned to his station and began the scan. Captain O’Sullivan sighed internally. This was it. He’d had a week to brood about his brother’s death and it had brought him no closer to solace. Now there was no more holo-suite to build, no more endless warping through space to give him an excuse to ignore his duties. Now there was a mission at hand. He addressed Lieutenant M’Tel at the helm.

“Drop us out of warp. Slow to impulse.”

“Aye, Captain.”

“Ensign?”

Deep Space 15
Deep Space 15

“Captain, I show three vessels orbiting Deep Space 15. One reads as the USS Hood. The other two are USS McCoy and USS Pasteur. The station itself appears to be heavily damaged. I am showing multiple hull breaches.”

“Very well. Hail the station, Ensign.”

“Channel open, sir.”

Deep Space 15, this is Captain O’Sullivan of the USS Mayweather.”

Mayweather, this is Commander Franklin. Good to see you.”

“Sorry we are late to the party, Commander.”

“Nonsense, Captain. You are right on time.”

“Anything we can do for you, Commander?”

“Starfleet Command says you are to take tactical command of the situation. Hood is coordinating repairs, while McCoy is taking care of our personnel.”

“Very well. We’ll stand guard. Let us know if you need anything further.”

“Will do, Captain. Thank you. 15 out.”

“M’Tel, put us in orbit. Commander Sulkhan, put us at Yellow Alert.”

“Aye, Sir.”

O’Sullivan turned to his first officer. “Commander, coordinate with Hood and McCoy. If we can lend assistance, see that we do so. I don’t intend our crew to twiddle their thumbs even if we have to.”

“Yes, Captain.”

“I’ll be in my ready room. You have the bridge, Commander.”

*****

It was less than a few hours later that all hell broke loose. O’Sullivan was reading status reports from Deep Space 15, when his tactical officer’s voice sounded through the comm.

“RED ALERT. Captain to the bridge!”

He lurched from his seat and ran the few feet to the bridge.

“Report!”

Lt. Commander Sulkhan called out. “Sir, three Gorn warships have dropped out of warp. They are closing on the station. They have armed weapons.”

“Onscreen!” O’Sullivan yelled. “Hail them!”

“No response, Captain.” Commander Zal.

“Sir, they’ve opened fire!” Suddenly the bridge rocked, as did the rest of the ship.

O’Sullivan: “Return fire. Keep us between them and the station.”

Red phaser fire lanced out from several emitters on the hull and struck targets on the Gorn ships. Small explosions leaped into space. Static from shields flared briefly.

Sulkhan: “Hood has joined the fight. They’ve taken heavy damage to their port nacelle.”

Zal: “The flanking warship is targeting DS15.”

O’Sullivan: “Come about. Ready quantum torpedoes. Target their warp core.”

Sulkhan: “Ready, sir!”

O’Sullivan: “Fire!!”

A spread of green points of light leaped from underneath the starship. The torpedoes impacted the rear of the Gorn ship.

Sulkhan: “Direct hit! They are withdrawing.”

To hell with that, thought O’Sullivan. “Target them again. Fire when ready.”

Sulkhan: “Aye, sir.”

Zal: “Captain? They’re out of the fight…”

O’Sullivan ignored her. “You heard the order, Lt. Commander.”

Sulkhan: “Aye, Sir. Firing.”

Another lethal payload leapt from the Mayweather. Seconds later the floundering Gorn ship exploded spectacularly.

Zal: “Sir, the other two ships are breaking off. They’ve gone to warp.”

O’Sullivan: “Stand down Red Alert. Report.”

Ford: “Sir, the Pasteur is heavily damaged. They have emergency power only. McCoy is crippled. Hood reports functional, but they’ve lost their engines. We’ve sustained moderate damage, but we’ll live. Repair crews are responding. Medical reports 10 wounded. Reports are still coming in from the fleet.”

“I got it, Ensign.”

Popping up a display on his chair arm, O’Sullivan read through the reports. In the back of his mind, something was screaming. His brother was a week dead, and now this attack. Deep Space 15 hadnt been hit, but half the Pasteur’s crew was dead or wounded and the USS McCoy’s captain was in a coma. Only Hood reported minor casualties. It apparently helped being a ship of line and not a medical frigate when attacked, it seemed. What did the Gorn want? Why attack?

Commander Zal spoke up.

“Why the attack, sir?”

“I don’t know. Contact Starfleet Command. Inform them of the situation. Send out a distress call. We can’t deal with this ourselves.”

“Aye, sir.”

A tense hour passed. No one was sure the Gorn wouldn’t return. It was somewhat a miracle that they didn’t. The attack was as surprising as their lack of reprisal. The whole situation was mystifying. In the meantime, Mayweather licked it’s wounds. Now instead of one station being damaged, one station and three starships were down.

Ford: “Sir, three Vulcan ships and two Andorian battle cruisers have dropped out of warp. They are asking what they can do to help.”

“Have the Vulcans coordinate with Doctor Paloma to treat the wounded. Tell the Andorians to form a defensive perimeter.”

Zal: “Starfleet Command is coming through.”

O’Sullivan: “Onscreen.”

The image shifted from that of smoking starships to the grim face of Admiral Janeway.

“Rough day, Captain?”

“You could say that, Admiral.”

“We are dispatching what help we can. In the meantime, I want you to move into Gorn space. Contact the Gorn Hegemony and ascertain why we were attacked.”

“With all due respect, Admiral, we have enough to deal with here without going looking to pick a fight.”

“A fight is precisely what you shouldn’t pick. Starfleet considers this a prelude to war. Make sure that it doesn’t become a declaration of one. After fighting the Dominion, we are hardly in a position to fight the Gorn.”

“Admiral…”

“You have your orders, Captain.”

Damn. I’d rather launch an all out assault than play diplomat. The bastards attacked us while we were wounded! O’Sullivan thought. But all he said was “Yes, Admiral.”

With a nod, Janeway ended her transmission.

“Commander, recall Doctor Paloma and our damage control teams from DS15. Have the Hood take over here. We have some Gorn to find.”

“Aye, sir.”

USS Mayweather
USS Mayweather

A few minutes later Ford reported in. “All sections report ready. Everyone is back aboard.”

“Lieutenant M’Tel, set a course for Gorn space. Warp 7.”

“Aye, sir.”

The USS Mayweather warped out of one situation and into another.

 

THE USS MAYWEATHER WILL RETURN IN “The Gorn” COMING SOON!

One Ill Turn 5

Star Trek: Mayweather

Stardate: 2381.77
USS Mayweather in Deep Space

The rumble of the ship’s engines soothed Commander Tucker’s mind and lulled him into a gentle sleep.

All week, while the ship was at high warp, he had maintained the ship’s engines, making sure that everything was in order. Given that USS Mayweather was one of the more advanced starships in the Federation fleet, that didn’t take much doing. Consequently, given the lack of recreational facilities aboard, the captain had given Tucker a secondary mission a few days earlier.

“Ah, come in Commander. I have something I want to discuss with you.”

Tucker eased into the captain’s ready room and took a seat.

“What can I do for you, Cap’n?” he asked in that soft southern drawl of his.

Mayweather is a decent ship, but she’s a bit lacking, Commander.”

“How’s that, Cap’n? From what I’ve seen in engineering she’s the finest you could ask for in a ship of this size.”

“That she is, but unlike a larger vessel, she doesn’t have as much recreational space aboard.”

“Ya know, I had noticed. All we’ve got is a small rec room down on Deck 7. What do you want me to do, convert a cargo bay into a gymnasium?”

“Not quite. Look here.”

Captain O’Sullivan pulled out a PADD showing deck by deck layout of the ship. He pointed to a section of the schematics.

“Here, on Deck 3, is an auxiliary lab. Mayweather was originally designed as a science vessel, but our mandate is a little different. Right now we aren’t using it for anything, correct?”

“Right. I think Doc has borrowed some of it for medical storage.”

“Ah. No big deal. Now, here’s my idea: what would it take to convert that lab into a holo-suite?”

holodeck
holodeck

“Hmm. Not a bad idea, Cap’n. Off the top of my head, we’d have to replicate some more holo emitters and reconfigure the deck plating, but that shouldn’t be too hard. Mostly it just takes removing what’s in the lab. We’d also have to reconfigure this bulkhead here and here, to make the lab more a rectangle than a triangle.” His fingers indicated sections of the schematic.

“How long do you think it would take?”

“Should have it finished a day or two from Deep Space 15, sir. I’ll get a few teams on it right away.”

“Very good, Commander.”

And that was that. “Operation: Holo-Suite” was underway. For the engineer, it was a unique project. He had never reconfigured part of a starship before, and it was exciting. Most large ships had several full holo-decks, large cargo bay sized rooms devoted to creating holographic scenarios. Given Mayweather’s small size and original design specifications, scientific labs were deemed more important. She had another lab on the other side of Deck 3, opposite Sickbay, that was another general purpose science lab which should be plenty for whatever scientific missions the Powers That Be at Starfleet dreamed up for Mayweather and her crew. But this way, with a smaller, but still fully functional holo-suite, they would at last have a space to let off some steam from time to time, other than the general rec room at the bottom of the ship, which only held exercise equipment.

Given that he shared a room with Ensign Ford, the ensign knew about the changes before anyone. He and Tucker stayed up late that first night designing on PADDs and passing ideas back and forth. It was the start of a new relationship. At first they had butted heads over having to share quarters, and while Tucker still meant to discuss it with the Quartermaster, his initial disdain for a roommate faded in his excitement in building a holo-suite. Here was someone with whom to share his enthusiasm. Ford also had a bit of the writer bug in him, so he volunteered to create a few programs to install in the holo-suite database.

Therefore, while Tucker and his engineering crews realigned bulkheads, installed holographic emitters, swapped hull plating, and rerouted power conduits, Ford and a few of the operations staff configured part of the main computer to store holo-programs and the Ensign got about programming.

Tucker slept on, and in the morning did his rounds of engineering. Everything was in order, so he met, as was becoming usual, Ensign Ford in the Officer’s Mess on Deck 2. They sat at a table with a window into space and discussed holo-programs.

“What do you think about a scenario set in the ancient American West? I was thinking about setting up an old-style saloon, with poker tables. I know a few of the officers play cards, and several of the enlisted crew do as well. We could have regularly scheduled games.”

“Sounds terrific to me. I always did kinda want to be a cowboy. Yee-haw!” Tucker’s animated shout drew a few glances from the other officers.

“I know! How about a re-creation of the Enterprise bridge, you know, the original 1701. We could play Cap’n Kirk and explore the galaxy with his original bridge crew?”

Ensign Ford didn’t seem as convinced. “Or maybe the NX-01 and we could play as Captain Archer. I could even program a holographic beagle.” But thinking about that gave him an idea.

“Puppies!”

“I beg your pardon?”

“Everybody loves puppies. I should program a puppy nursery. I haven’t had a dog since I was a kid. That would be a great stress reliever for the crew.”

This time it was Commander Tucker’s turn to shake his head.

“Knock yerself out, Ensign. But I do like the idea of a Wild West saloon. Don’t ferget that one.”

“I won’t, sir.”

Tucker finished his coffee.

“Well, I should be getting back to it. Aren’t you due on the bridge?”

“Right, sir. See you at 1400. My shift ends on the bridge and I want to give a hand in the holo-suite.”

“Sounds like a plan.”

And with one thing leading to another, Tucker never did get to talk to the Quartermaster about getting his own room. Besides, now whenever he needed time to himself, all he had to do was schedule time in the almost finished holo-suite.

As promised, it was completed a day before the ship was to rendezvous with Deep Space 15. The senior officers gathered at the doors to the new Holo-Suite 1.

Captain O’Sullivan raised a glass of champagne.

“To Commander Tucker, and his hard working crew of engineers, and to Ensign Ford’s superb programming skills. I now declare Holo-Suite 1 open for business.”

The senior officers drained their glasses and stepped out of the USS Mayweather and into the ancient western Holliday Saloon.

The holographic bartender shouted out as they entered,

“What’ll it be, strangers?”

One Ill Turn 4

Star Trek: Mayweather

Stardate: 2381.73
USS Mayweather in Deep Space

“But, sir…” Lt. Commander Tucker was saying. “Quartermaster said that you gave the order and apparently only you can rescind the order.”

O’Sullivan rubbed his temples. Given the week long trip to Deep Space 15, he decided to get to know his bridge crew a little better, but at the moment that involved settling a rooming dispute between Commander Tucker and Ensign Ford that he could not care any less about.

“Look, Commander, as I said, I gave no such order, and furthermore, the Quartermaster takes care of room assignments for a reason: so I don’t have to. Work it out with him.”

Tucker sighed. “Aye, Cap’n.”

“Now, if there isn’t anything else, send Commander Sulkhan in.”

“Aye, sir.”

Commander Tucker got up and left the captain’s ready room. For a few minutes, the captain had a bit of peace. He had already met with Ensign Ford, the happy go-get-’em ops officer. That man’s positivity could really irritate someone, that someone being Captain O’Sullivan. Not that O’Sullivan had anything against happy people, he just didn’t tend to be all that positive himself, and preferred someone who was a bit more reserved.

The door whooshed open admitting his tactical officer, Sulkhan. Someone like Sulkhan. Thus far the captain had yet to hear him say an extraneous word. Captain O’Sullivan gestured towards the chair sitting opposite his desk.

“Please, have a seat, Commander.”

The Gargoy officer sat down, carefully folding his wings behind his back. His wings had a slighty tendency to extend slightly when he was walking. Sulkhan came from a planet called Gargoria, one of the smaller planets in the United Federation of Planets. To O’Sullivan’s knowledge, he was one of only a few Gargoys serving in Starfleet.

“From what I understand, there are not many of your species in Starfleet, Commander.”

“No, sir.”

“Get lonely much?”

“No, sir.”

There followed a few seconds of silence.

“Good. Well, Commander, as we haven’t formally met, I am Sean O’Sullivan. I am pleased to have you aboard. From what Admiral Janeway tells me, you are a fine officer.”

“Thank you, sir.”

A few more seconds of silence followed. O’Sullivan was enjoying a pleasant conversation, for once today.

“As far as our mission goes,” the Captain continued, “I don’t know that there will be much for you to do. We will be one of four ships on station, though only one other, the USS Hood, has any armaments. The other two are strictly resupply craft. I do not anticipate any trouble, but we will be on the borders of the Gorn Alliance and the Tholian Assembly. Neither is too happy with Deep Space 15 being so near their territory, so they may try to take advantage of the situation somehow. I consider this to be unlikely, but possible.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Have you participated in any combat, Commander?”

Sulkhan smiled, the first overt facial expression that Captain O’Sullivan had seen him make.

“Yes, sir.” And, for the first time, he elaborated: “I was a Gargoy commando during the unification of my home world, some 50 years ago. I commanded an orbital attack wing.”

“Well, feel free to think of the Mayweather as your personal attack craft if it comes to combat. We certainly aren’t much bigger than one.”

“Thank you, sir.”

“That’ll be all, Commander. You may return to your post.”

Sulkhan merely nodded before standing and exiting the room.

O’Sullivan breathed deeply. Three down, two to go. For his next meeting, the ship’s ranking medical officer, he decided to take a stroll down to Sickbay. He felt like stretching his legs a little after sitting on the bridge and sitting in his ready room. Exiting his ready room, he walked the corridor around the front curve of the bridge and down past the conference room and his quarters. Once in the turbolift he murmured “Deck 3” and waited during the short ride down. Though his ship wasn’t a monstrosity like a Galaxy or Sovereign class ship, and not afforded of all the comforts of such, at least it didn’t take forever to ride 12 decks down to reach somebody.

It was another short walk from the turbolift to Sickbay, and once there he was greeted with a small bustle of activity. His chief medical officer, Doctor Paloma, was advising a junior medical officer in the treatment of a crewman.

O’Sullivan intended to stand by and watch, but Paloma greeted him immediately.

“Captain. What can I do for you?”

“Oh, nothing much, Doctor. I am here for our meet and greet appointment.”

The doctor swept several locks her dark hair back behind one ear.

“I would have come to you.”

“Quite alright. I felt like a little walk anyway. What happened here?”

“Just a small accident in engineering. Minor plasma burns.”

“My own fault, Captain.” The crewman spoke up.

O’Sullivan acknowledged him with a curt nod and a tight smile.

“If you have a moment, Doctor…?”

“Certainly.”

They removed to a small office off the end of Sickbay. Captain O’Sullivan remained standing as Dr. Paloma took her seat behind a tiny desk.

“Finding everything you need, Doctor?”

“Certainly. The Mayweather’s medical facilities are as well equipped as any in Starfleet. We  even have an EMH (emergency medical hologram) program.”

After the debacle with the USS Voyager‘s EMH program, and his subsequent battle for full rights and privileges as a member of the Federation and an officer in Starfleet, Starfleet was fazing out the EMH deployment aboard starships. The less holographic people there were, the fewer of them could develop sentience. Not that Starfleet had anything against non-biological people, but they certainly hadn’t intended to create a new race with the creation of an emergency holographic physician.

“Really? Well, we will have to keep his programming under close scrutiny.”

“No worries, Captain. I don’t intend to ever activate him.”

O’Sullivan shrugged.

“Your choice, of course Doctor. I won’t interfere in your sickbay. You are responsible for any creatures you create, Dr. Frankenstein.” He smirked and Paloma laughed respectfully at the joke.

“Well, let me know if you need anything. I’ll be on the bridge.”

“Thank you, Captain. Thanks for stopping by.”

O’Sullivan nodded and left the officer, nodding to the medical staff as he left Sickbay. The crewman was already gone, his burns having been treated quickly and efficiently. Utilizing the turbolift once more, O’Sullivan returned to the bridge.

Ensign Ford yelled out: “Captain on the bridge!” and before O’Sullivan could sit down, Lieutenant M’tel turned at the helm. “Turn for my meet and greet, Captain?” She smiled a feline smile, full of sharp teeth.

“No, Lieutenant. I already know you. Be about your duties.”

“Aye, sir.”

O’Sullivan walked over to ops. There Ensign Ford looked up at, eager as a puppy.

“Yes, Captain? Anything I can do for?”

“Yes, actually. Never do that again.”

Ford looked confused.

“What, sir?”

“Announce my presence. It’s unnecessary.”

“But it is protocol, sir.”

“To hell with that particular protocol. That’s an order, Ensign. I ever hear that again, I’ll have you cleaning warp manifolds with a toothbrush for a week. Understood?”

“Aye, aye, sir.”

“Good.”

O’Sullivan returned to his seat in the middle of the bridge. Commander Zal looked up from  the console on the side of her chair and arched an eyebrow at the captain.

“What was that all about?”

“Huh? Oh, nothing. I just never liked being announced.”

“Careful, Captain. Some of the crew are beginning to think you are a thundercloud in boots. You are getting a reputation as a grouch.”

“Good.” O’Sullivan smiled a wicked little smile. “Wouldn’t want word to get out that I am a nice guy. Might have a mutiny on my hands.”

“Humph.”

“You disapprove?”

Zal laughed. “Far be it from me to criticize my captain’s command techniques.”

Now it was O’Sullivan’s turn to “Humph”.

He turned to Ensign Ford and gave him a noncommittal smile. “What’s our current situation, Ensign?”

“On course for Deep Space 15, sir. Warp factor 7. Current speed will have us there in just over a week. All systems nominal, sir.”

“Very good. Helm, increase to Warp 9, that should shave off a few days. I’m getting bored.”

M’Tel smiled. “Aye, sir.”

There was a slight rumble as the engines turned it up a notch.

O’Sullivan leaned back in his seat.

“And they said captaining a starship was one adventure after another. See the galaxy, they said. Meet new civilizations and new worlds, they said. Said nothing about the endless journey there, they didn’t say.”

“Careful, Captain. You’re grousing again.”

O’Sullivan retaliated on his first officer by standing up and declaring, “You have the bridge, Commander. I’ll be in my quarters if you need me,” and effectively trapping Zal on the bridge until he specifically relieved her of temporary command. She fumed silently after a curt, “Aye, sir.” Gods, but he loved sparring with that woman.

O’Sullivan left the bridge and entered his quarters. Alone with his thoughts, he almost broke down crying. He had often bantered with his brother like that, years ago. It had been years since he had seen his brother alive, and then his brother died in space. That same space sped quietly by the windows in his quarters, long lines of stars one after the other. Uncaring, unknowing, empty space. Empty like O’Sullivan’s soul.

The USS Mayweather warped on, deep into that empty space.

One Ill Turn 3

Star Trek: Mayweather

Stardate: 2381.71
USS Mayweather at Jupiter Station

It wasn’t until he reached Deck 4 that Lieutenant Commander James Tucker noticed anything awry. He was walking down the corridor from the turbolift, passing nothing but crew quarters.

“That’s odd.” he thought. The officers didn’t usually share a deck with the enlisted crew. He turned right, and continued walking past more crew quarters. He reached the end of the hall and made a left turn.

“Ah, here are larger quarters.” he murmured to himself. Reaching the end of hall he found his assigned berth. Pressing the door controls he walked forward – and walked into the door. It had failed to open. Instead the chime sounded, and from inside a muffled voice said, “Coming!” Seconds later, during which he stubbornly refused to massage his injured nose, the door opened on a fresh faced Ensign.

“Hello, sir. Sorry about that, I was just getting settled.”

Lt. Commander Tucker’s face showed every ounce of consternation he was feeling.

“I believe you are in my room, Ensign…?”

“Ford, sir. Whit Ford. I don’t think so, sir.” He craned his head out to look at the number posted on the wall. 409. “Yep. Quartermaster said I was on Deck 4, 9th berth.” He smiled, completely oblivious to Tucker’s mounting annoyance.

“Now that just can’t be right,” Tucker said, his voice carrying a Southern American twang. “Quartermaster just assigned me to 409.”

“Oh, well that makes sense.”

“Does it now?”

“Yes, sir. Why don’t you come in.”

Shouldering his bag, Tucker stepping into the room and looked around.

“I thought it was weird that there were two beds if this was a solo room.” Ensign Ford said. He gestured toward the middle of the room, past a bulkhead. There, instead of the regular single bed was indeed a pair of bunks, one atop the other.

“You gotta be kiddin’ me.”

“No, sir.” Ford walked over and resumed smoothing down the bedding on the top bunk. He had apparently just made up the bed. The bottom bunk had a set of sheets and blankets laid out, next to a few pillows, ready for the making.

“I’ll speak to the Quartermaster about this.” He tapped the commbadge affixed to his chest. “Commander Tucker to the Quartermaster.”

“Quartermaster here,” came the disembodied voice. “What can I do for you, Commander?”

“It seems you’ve made a mistake. Me and Mr. Ford here seem to be assigned the same quarters. What gives?”

“There is no mistake. Captain’s orders.”

“But the cap’n just got here!”

“I’m sorry commander, but you will have to room with Mr. Ford until I can talk to the captain and sort things out.”

“You gotta be kiddin’ me.” Tucker sighed loudly. “All right, Quartermaster. Tucker out.”

He turned to Ford.

“But I get the top bunk.”

For the first time Ford’s smile wavered. “But, sir, I already got the top bunk ready for me, sir.”

“To bad. I’m the ranking officer and I take the top bunk. Thanks for getting it ready for me, Ensign.”

“You’re welcome, sir.” Ford was no longer smiling. Instead he stooped and started to make the bottom bunk.

Through the intercom came the voice of Captain O’Sullivan.

“Attention crew of the Mayweather. This is Captain O’Sullivan. Report to your stations, we are about to depart Jupiter Station. Senior officers to the bridge.”

Ford jerked up, and smacked his head on the underside of the top bunk.

“Ow.” He rubbed the back of his head and scowled at Tucker, whose mood had instantly improved at the Ensign’s misfortune.

“Gotta go.” Tucker threw his bag onto the upper bunk and sauntered off.

“You know, this is my first time aboard a starship. I can’t wait to get underway.” “Mine too, sir.

He and Ford walked back down the corridors towards the turbolift before both paused somewhat suddenly.

“Wait, aren’t you the chief engineer?” Ford asked, clearly disturbed.

“Yeah-up, I am.”

“But you’ve never been in space.”

“Didn’t say that. Never been aboard a starship. Did my fleet rotation aboard Jupiter Station. But I taught at the academy for 8 years. Warp field operations and design.” He smiled, proud of his accomplishments.

“Oh. Good.” Ford sounded less than reassured. Stepping to, they both resumed their walk to the turbolift. Once there, they entered and indicated the bridge as their destination. The trip up only took a few seconds, and they entered the bridge from the right. Captain O’Sullivan was seated in the middle, next to the First Officer a woman named Zal and possessed of unnaturally long hair. Down at the helm was their felinoid pilot, M’Tel, orange fur resplendent in the lights of the bridge consoles and the glow from the view screen. Ensign Ford took up his station to the left of the helm, Main Starship Operations or Ops for short. Opposite him was the bridge engineering station, at which Lt. Commander Tucker sat. Behind the captain, at the Tactical station, stood an officer that Tucker knew by name only: Lt. Commander Sulkhan. Sulkhan had pale skin, white hair slicked back, and sprouting from his back, though kept folded back, a pair of feathered wings, mostly white, with a little black at the tips.

“That’s somethin’ you don’t see every day.” Tucker muttered. He checked his station. All systems normal. He said as much to his commanding officer.

“Engineering reports ready, Cap’n.”

“Thank you, Mr. Tucker.”

The captain keyed a command on his chair.

“Captain’s Log: Stardate Two Three Eight One Point Seven One. We are getting underway for Deep Space 15 to aid in repair and re-serviceing of the station.” With a keystroke he ended his log entry. Apparently O’Sullivan wasn’t one for long narrations.

“Helm, take us out. Retract all moorings, release the docking clamps. One quarter impulse power until we clear Jupiter Station.”

From M’Tel: “Aye, sir.”

“Commander Sulkhan, raise the shields.” That was an odd order, especially while in the heart of the Federation space.

From Sulkhan, a deep bass: “Aye, Captain. Shields at maximum.”

The view screen showed the curve of Jupiter off to the left and open space beyond.

“We are clear of Jupiter Station, Captain.”

“Plot a course for Deep Space 15, Lieutenant. Warp 7.”

“Course laid in, sir.”

“Engage.”

From his console, Lt. Commander Tucker watched his warp engines come online as power was shunted through relays to the warp nacelles. Ahead, on the view screen, stars changed from points of light to streaks.

The USS Mayweather vanished from Jupiter orbit into deep space with a twinkle of light.

Mayweather
Mayweather

 

One Ill Turn 2

Star Trek: Mayweather

Stardate: 2381.71
Earth

Captain Sean O’Sullivan and Admiral Kathryn Janeway materialized aboard a small shuttle. At the helm was a young woman with extremely long hair, done up in a tight braid that was wrapped mostly around a short staff thrust through her uniform belt. There  was just enough slack in her braid to allow her to turn her head with ease. She turned in her seat to acknowledge her passengers.

“Admiral. Captain. Welcome about the Archangel.”

The Admiral spoke. “Captain O’Sullivan meet Commander Zal.”

O’Sullivan nodded. “We already know each other. We were stationed aboard the Yorktown together, but then it was Lieutenant Zal. Congratulations on your promotion, Commander.”

“Thank you, sir. Nice to see you again. My condolences.”

O’Sullivan nodded. He turned to Admiral Janeway. “Mission briefing, Admiral?”

“Yes.  Commander, plot a course to the Mayweather.”

“Aye, sir.” Zal turned her attention back to the instrument panel in front of her. Outside the viewport, Earth swung around, followed by the Moon and a void of stars replaced the view. The ship accelerated.

Jupiter Station in twenty minutes, Admiral.”

“Thank you. Now, Captain, you will be assuming command of the USS Mayweather. She is a Nova class ship, into Jupiter Station for refitting. Previously she saw duty as an explorer, but Starfleet command wants her ready for any number of situations you may encounter. We are upgrading the hull plating, weapons, sensors, installing extended range transporters, and giving a boost to her warp corp.” She handed the captain a PADD*. “Your chief engineer is Lieutenant Commander James Tucker. Until recently he was a professor of Advanced Warp Theory at Starfleet Academy, but he is uniquely suited to understand the modifications we are making to Mayweather’s engines.”

“Very well. What is my mission?”

“As I mentioned earlier, Deep Space 15 was hit by meteor shower. Officially your mission is to aid in repairs and relief efforts.”

“Officially?”

“Yes. Unofficially you are there to monitor nearby regions. Deep Space 15 sits adjacent to a number of hostile regions who may take advantage of the situation. The other ships we are sending are not equipped for battle or for defending against marauders. You will be the front line of defense until Deep Space 15 is operational.”

“Understood.”

“The rest of your crew are already en route or aboard Mayweather. Commander Zal will be your first officer.”

“Excellent. Thank you, Admiral.” Captain O’Sullivan was pleased. Having Zal at his side was about the best he could have hoped for. Having served together already, he knew her and knew they both shared a sense of the cavalier, neither being too faithful to Starfleet rules and regulations. This was a boring assignment he was being given, but at least with Zal it could be an interestingly boring assignment. Even the possibility of marauders didn’t do much to raise his spirits. His was a babysitting mission and he knew it. A mission to give the grief stricken captain something to do while he sorted through his personal issues. He didn’t quite resent the mission, after all, it was something to do, but he almost resented it.

“Any questions, Captain?”

“None, sir. Thank you. I look forward to getting underway.”

From the front of the shuttle, Commander Zal reported, “Jupiter Station approaching.”

Jupiter Station
Jupiter Station

The Archangel banked around the massive planet of Jupiter, and the twin monopods of Jupiter Station came into view. Each pod supported three discs at the top, and various arms and gantries jutted outwards. A few other shuttles were orbiting the station, flying to and fro. Docked on one of the arms was a Nova class ship that could only be the USS Mayweather. Docked opposite her was a long, slender ship that O’Sullivan recognized immediately.

“Is that Voyager?” he almost gasped. The ship was legendary. The only ship more famous was the USS Enterprise, currently on deep space exploration assignment.

“Yes. We are here for a reunion tour of the solar system.”

Meanwhile the Voyager had vanished and the saucer section of the USS Mayweather had superseded the view out the viewport. The Archangel swung around and sidled up underneath of the saucer, fitting into a perfectly shaped berth.

“Prepare for docking.” Commander Zal locked down the necessary controls and those aboard could hear docking clamps taking hold of the shuttle.

“Well, good luck, Captain, Commander. I’ll be in touch.” Admiral Janeway moved towards the transporter pad at the rear of the shuttle.

“Yes, Admiral. Thank you.” O’Sullivan nodded to Commander Zal.

The Commander tapped the comm badge on her breast. “Voyager, prepare to receive the Admiral.” A voice sounded over the comm channel. “Standing by.”

Commander Zal manipulated the transporter controls, and with a faint whine and a whoosh of twinkling light the Admiral vanished.

“Well, Commander. It will be good to working with you again.”

“Likewise, Captain. Hopefully this assignment will be more fun than it sounds.”

O’Sullivan smirked. “I doubt it. After you, Commander.” He motioned to the rear airlock.

Pressing a control, the door slid aside and a gentle breeze told of the exchange of air between the Mayweather and the Archangel. On the other side of the airlock was a felinoid creature. She resembled a humanoid lioness. What fur protruded from the sleeves and collar of her uniform was bright orange, with flecks of white. Her tail danced ever so slightly behind her.

“Welcome aboard the USS Mayweather, Captain. Commander. I am Lieutenant M’Tel, your helmsman.” She held out a paw. Zal and O’Sullivan shook “hands” and introduced themselves. M’Tel seemed surprised that neither had anything with them.

“You two pack light.”

Commander Zal looked towards O’Sullivan. “I already have my stuff aboard. Captain?”

“I don’t need anything the replicator can’t provide. Shall we?”

“Certainly. This way.” M’Tel led the way to the nearest turbo lift. The doors whisked aside, then closed behind the three. M’Tel called out to the automated ‘lift systems: “Bridge”. The turbo lift beeped, then started moving.

O’Sullivan scowled down at the floor beneath his feet. Ireland to the bridge of a starship in twenty minutes. His brother’s grave probably wasn’t even covered with dirt yet. He sighed. Maybe he did need a cushy assignment for awhile. His brother’s death weighed heavy on his soul.

The doors whooshed open. M’Tel and Zal stepped out. O’Sullivan stayed where he stood, glowering for a moment longer, then he took a deep breath. The bridge and his newest command beckoned. He stepped onto the bridge. A crewman stood and called out:

“Captain on the bridge!”

 

*a PADD is a personal access display device, Star Trek’s version of an iPad like device

One Ill Turn 1

Star Trek: Mayweather

“ONE ILL TURN”

Stardate: 2381.71
Earth

An antigravity sled slowly lowered a coffin into the hole in the ground. It was draped with two flags, one the sky blue of the United Federation of Planets, the other the old green, white, and orange of ancient Ireland. While the old territorial boundaries no longer mattered, there remained territorial pride for some.

This was an old family, with an old tradition. Normally Starfleet officers were buried “at sea”, that is, sealed in a deactivated torpedo and shot from their last post, usually a starship. In this case, only a burial in the home plot would do. It was raining, a gentle spring rainfall, slickening the grass and dampening the dirt. Water beaded on the roses held in the hands of the mourners.

One of those mourners was Starfleet Captain Sean O’Sullivan, and it was his brother who was being buried this day. O’Sullivan smirked sadly for a brief moment. There was nothing to bury, besides the coffin. His brother had been vaporized, along with his ship, out in the vast reaches of the Alpha Quadrant of the Milky Way galaxy. But the elder O’Sullivan, the Captain’s mother, had insisted on a burial with a coffin with full Starfleet honors. The Captain appreciated the tradition in it, but he only felt the emptiness, both of his own soul and the coffin that had almost disappeared from sight. His mother started to weep again, and he rested a hand on her shoulder. She reached up, placed her hand on his as his brother’s coffin vanished below the ground.

O’Sullivan helped her to stand, and walked with her to the edge of the grave. She stared down at the coffin for a few seconds, then tossed her handful of roses down onto it. There was a small rainbow for a second, glittering in the arcs of water shed off the edge of the rose petals. O’Sullivan helped his mother back to his seat before returning to the grave. He knelt down to grab a handful of dirt. Standing up, he let it drift through his fingers, then he snapped to attention and saluted his brother’s grave. He stood for a moment longer, then returned to his mother’s side. The other mourners now passed by the graveside, some flinging flowers, others dirt, some just standing and staring. Most were family of some relation or another, others were Starfleet, comrades and colleagues. There were a few offworlders, but most were human. A woman of regal bearing and short stature paused briefly at the grave before returning to stand next to O’Sullivan. Her hair was done up in a bun and she wore the uniform of a Starfleet Vice Admiral. She said nothing for a second, then leaned over and whispered to O’Sullivan.

“We need you.”

O’Sullivan looked down to his mother and she nodded briefly before returning her gaze towards the grave. Most of the other mourners had moved off. O’Sullivan turned to the Admiral.

“Admiral.” He indicated with his hand that she should precede him. They walked a short distance from the graveside. She spoke.

“Captain, there has been an accident. Deep Space 15 encountered a meteor shower this morning, and her hull was breached in multiple places. We are putting together a relief and rescue fleet. I need you to command one of the ships we are sending. Your crew is already being assembled for you.”

“Admiral…” he began. She cut him off by raising a hand.

“I know. You were going to spend time with your family, but duty calls, Captain. You have my sympathies for your loss.”

Captain O’Sullivan looked over his shoulder. His mother was standing, talking with an uncle. He turned back to the Admiral. She was looking sadly up at him.

“I know what it is like to lose family, Captain.” And O’Sullivan knew that, too. Vice Admiral Kathryn Janeway was a legend in Starfleet. She had commanded her ship, the USS Voyager, lost for seven years in the unexplored regions of the Delta Quadrant and she and her crew had become family. Not all of their family returned home to their hero’s welcome.

“Allow me to say goodbye and I will be right with you, Admiral.”

“Of course.”

O’Sullivan walked back over to his mother. She already knew what he was about to say and she spoke first.

“Go, son. Seamus did his duty. Do yours. I am proud of you. So was he. Never forget that.”

He nodded, and hugged her. Turning he spared one last look at the grave, and the coffin within.

Returning to the Admiral, he sighed. “I’m ready.”

She touched a communicator on her breast and spoke quietly. “Two to beam up.”

Seconds later there was a sensation like a cold breeze from above, then Ireland, and Earth, vanished.

Space…the final frontier.
These are the voyages of the starship Mayweather.
Her mission:
To explore strange new worlds…
 to seek out new life, and new civilizations…
to boldly go where no one has gone before.

 

Star Trek: Mayweather

Today I introduce a new writing project: Star Trek: Mayweather. It is my intention to write a Star Trek “show” in a serialized format on my blog. This is something that I have wanted to do for a long time, and now I am finally daring to do it. I am a huge Star Trek fan, and hope to do justice to the legacy of Gene Roddenberry and the Star Trek shows and films that already exist. More than anything though this is “just for me”. I don’t particularly care if it goes anywhere or accomplishes anything, I am writing it first and foremost for my own enjoyment. Legally this is a fan fiction as I have no contract or permission to write a Star Trek novel. So, all Star Trek contained herein is only a tribute and used under fair use license and isn’t for resale or profit and Star Trek is the sole property of those who own it.

I am sharing it with you because I believe in sharing my work, and I find it almost impossible to write if my writing goes “nowhere”. So here it is, in all its nerdy, fan fiction glory: Star Trek: Mayweather.

Star Trek: Mayweather takes place just after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis, and just before the destruction of Romulus as depicted in the 2009 film Star Trek. This takes place in the prime universe.

Star Trek: Mayweather follows Captain O’Sullivan, a man struggling with anger and depression over the recent death of his brother. His mission is to solve crises across the galaxy as they occur, and operate in a support capacity to larger missions as needed. His ship is the NCC-72187 the USS Mayweather, a Nova-class starship, small, agile, and possessed of a small crew, perfect for her mission.

I do hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Coming soon to my blog on a computer near you.

Little Poems

I sat down to sharpen a pencil, because I was depressed and couldn’t fathom anything more. I ended up with 12 lines of iambic pentameter and two little poems. There might be something to this. Seriously, these poems are not great or amazing, but I am so happy right now, in a depressed sort of way. Without further ado…

The Bills

The bills are stacked some ten or twenty high
they must be paid today or soon or else
someone may come to take away my funds
and leave me high and dry without much fun

 

Albatross

But you cannot take ‘way the sky from me
it is my home my life my everything

my little albatross is fair and wise
beyond her years she flies with me for luck
she reads the minds of lesser folk its true
but freak or not my River is my crew

 

The second poem is inspired by the TV show Firefly, and once I figured out that albatross had enough syllables to scan into iambic pentameter the rest of the poem kinda flowed. But like I said, these are rough and simple, but they make me smile because of reasons.

 

About Me

Hello.

If you are new to this blog, welcome. If you aren’t, welcome all the same.

I hope you enjoy your time here. Whether you are an old or new reader, maybe you don’t know me personally and are wondering about me. Wonder no more. I have written a short bio and included a picture of myself on my new “About Me” page which you can access via the link back there or via the link on the menu bar above this post.

I am glad you decided to stop by and read what I wrote, I hope you do so often. Thanks.

Phil Redbeard

The Poet Within

Previously today I wrote about wanting to write more poetry. Today I went to Barnes and Noble and bought a notebook for my poetical playings. On the cover it says “In the midst of our lives, we must find the magic that makes our souls soar.” This for me is the perfect quote. It is exactly what I want to do: in the midst of my depression, find something that can make my soul soar and make me able to be creative and maybe, just maybe, a little bit happy.

Today I was able to do this. I found my notebook, bought it, and then found a quiet corner of B&N and sat down and worked through the first chapter of Ode Less Traveled. Fry, the author, introduced meter and iambic pentameter in particular. The exercises involved identifying iambic pentameter and the stresses in each line and then writing some iambs of my own. It was a little difficult as I am a bit rusty and unused to writing in formal meter, but I had fun. As a result, I even wrote a couple little poems. They aren’t spectacular or amazing, but they are written in iambic pentameter, an accomplishment for me. Enjoy!

The Books All Sit

The books all sit upon the shelves in rows
and wait for some to come and buy their souls
they speak with many words and some with songs
of joy or sorrowful they weep and cry
the words all run and wash away today
oh please, won’t you buy one to save its life?

Down and Out

My pencil is not full of lead or ink
but it is running out of writing steam
eraser is a nub and now I need
a new pencil to write, unwrite these lines
of poetry and nonsensical lines

That, as they say, is That. The Poet Within is coming free.