Literary Challenge #9 : Shore Leave
Hello and welcome to another edition of our writers' challenges! :cool:
Today we start the two-week run of the ninth Literary Challenge: Shore Leave
For the past six weeks, you and your crew have been working tirelessly as you completed orders to investigate a 10-planet system in the Pelia Sector Block. While none of them were inhabited with any intelligent life, over 300 new species of vegetation was found; each had to be throughly documented and entered into the database. Now that your mission is complete, you and your crew have been granted a one-week shore leave. Where do you go and what do you do? Do you go with a group or go solo? Did run into anything unexpected? Write a Personal Log entry letting us know.
This is the writer's thread -- only entries should be made here.
The Discussion Thread can be found HERE.
We also have an Index of previous challenges HERE.
The rules may change from one challenge to another, but I'd like to remind everyone what the base rules are. These may grow as we move on, so also feel free to give feedback!
Truth be told, I am exhausted. I know we all have our assigned duties and responsibilities, but if I'm honest with myself, I am forced to admit that six weeks of updating a database isn't my favorite. Exploring ten planets and documenting everything we find is gruelling work. I almost began hoping to see a Borg probe warp into the system.
And now...now I have a decision to make. That's what command is about, right? Making tough decisions. Well, this is a tough one. As I said, I am exhausted. I need rest and relaxation or I'll drop. The ship needs a captain at 100%, and I am most definitely not at 100%.
But by the stars, I really hate shore leave. Not the concept, of course; in theory, shore leave should be wonderful. Yet somehow, it never is. Something happens, something goes wrong, or I stumble into some mess and before you know it I'm having to save someone or run for my life or who knows what.
I've talked to other captains. This doesn't just happen to me. It's common. Going on shore leave always seems to blow up in a Starfleet captain's face.
Perhaps the problem is where I go. I always choose either a quiet, restful place or a traditional vacation place like Risa. What I really need is a wilderness that nobody in his or her right mind would visit.
Here I come, Rura Penthe.
Obviously I wouldn't risk taking the Stockdale into Klingon space, though the cloak sure would've helped. And while I could probably get clearance using my credentials as Ambassador, I could hardly list my real destination, or even explain why I wanted to go.
Fortunately my Chief Engineer had a thought or two. Commander Albar has rigged up my yacht with a signature masker. It will mask my yacht's energy signature, and active scans will be patched and re-broadcast so that it looks like they passed through...nothing. In theory, anyway; he hasn't tested this yet. Lucky me. And of course, it won't stop a visual check.
I'm approaching the Rura Penthe system. So far I think I've gone unnoticed. The trick, Commander Albar says, is to make no sudden turns or other maneuvers that might expend more energy than the masker can cover up. Exactly what that limit is, he couldn't say, so I'm just playing it safe.
I'll still need to try and stay out of visual range of any patrols. It won't be that hard; Rura Penthe isn't heavily guarded. It doesn't need to be. And I don't plan on getting close to the actual detention area.
I'll grab my gear, clip a transporter recall chip to my shoulder, put on a large number of coats, and beam out as soon as I'm in transporter range.
OK, this is cold.
I mean, this is cold. I think Breen would turn up the heat, here.
I thought that exploring here would be fun, but to be honest, it's pretty dull. Unless you like snow and ice. There's lots of snow and ice.
I do not like snow and ice.
My tricorder shows a spot about two kilometers away where the temperature is almost 30 degrees higher, so I'm going to go check that out. If there's nothing interesting there, I think I'll beam up and, once my fingers thaw enough to operate the ship's controls, go back home.
If I didn't know better, I'd swear it was a campsite. I'm picking up residual emissions from a heat flare, and it looks like someone cleared out a circle. I knew there was a reason to bring a hand phaser.
I don't see anything left, though: no trash, no food remains, no evidence of tents or other shelter having been set up. The tricorder isn't picking up life signs, but those can be masked. I just can't figure out why the hell someone would sneak around this place. Is there some kind of mythic buried treasure on Rura Penthe that I haven't heard about? Do Klingons have myths about pirates? I bet Orions do, but stKNARGH!
No idea how long I was unconscious. No idea what hit me. My phaser's gone. My tricorder's gone. Looks like most of my gear is gone. Wish my vision would clear a bit; all I see is fuzzy white.
Ah, there we are. Well that helps. Still lots of white, though I must admit it's sharper.
Oh, now there we go. Tracks. Time to find out what the hell is going on. Looks like they go over this hill -- yep. And hey, is that a Romulan pointing a disruptor at me? Well that's just fabulous.
Even better, I think that's a tricobalt charge he's got. A big one. He's planning on blowing up Rura Penthe? Why would someone do that? It makes no sense.
He's shouting something at me, but I can't hear him. I doubt I'd like it, anyway. So while he's yammering, I leap at him and grab his disruptor arm, shoving it down and to the right. He fires, and manages to blast the arming mechanism of the tricobalt device. Well, hey, I've saved Rura Penthe. Think J'mpok will pin a medal on my chest?
Bleargh...that was a hell of a right cross. I've still got hold of his disruptor arm, but his other is damned strong. A couple more of those and I'm out -- and I might not wake back up.
His arm comes down towards my head. I plant my legs and surge upwards and instead his fist crushes into my shoulder.
And hits my transporter recall chip.
There's no sign of a Romulan ship in orbit, but then there wouldn't be. I warp out and run back to Federation space as fast as I can.
How the hell do I report all this to Admiral Quinn?
The Week Off
U.S.S. Nightingale, Captain's Log. Commander Mat reporting.
We have been given a week's shore leave by Starfleet Command. Jinx took her two Trill passengers and went off to Trill to relax. She said something about caves and pools. And rocks too. Nothing to shoot, nothing to drink, so I wasn't really interested. It didn't sound like something you should do when out to relax and blow off steam.
Before she left, so told me to head to Risa to let the crew have their breaks, so that's where we are now. I've just allowed the second party to beam down. I lost the pool for the first batch. I bet that crewman Finlay would be the first back to the ship, but I was wrong. Timmons got himself injured while fishing. The idiot fell in too close to the rapids. The pool went to Vranlek. He said it would be Timmons. My bet for round two is Wilson. He has some fool idea about skydiving. I've not decided if we'll be bringing him back to go to sickbay or the morgue.
One and Two have declined shore leave, saying they prefer to continue working. Jinx said they might, so I let them. Odd though, but then what do you expect from Borg?
Vranlek sent an encrypted message while we were en route, and has requested he take his shore leave later in the week. I think he has arranged to meet with some of his Reman resistance friends.
Henriette is on planet now. She is effectively in charge of the people down there, but knowing her, she is sat on a beach somewhere with a cocktail. That alien Rotolayso is down there with her.
Tiss is staying about ship as well. He is currently in holodeck 3, hunting Targ, or something. It sounds interesting, I may have a look later when I am off duty.
Vranlek (and Tiss when Vranlek goes on leave) will be acting as my second-in-command until Jinx gets back.
Captains Log, Addendum.
I won the pool for round two. Wilson managed to break three legs, 4 arms, and twelve ribs during his skydive. Most of the broken bones were his own, but there were other casualities. Fortunately, the boat he crashed into was carrying someone trained in first aid who could stabilise the injured until they could be beamed back up. The doctor says he should be back on duty by the time leave is over.
Respite, However Brief Part 1
"Thank Manna Mordeth, I thought we'd never be let off."
Krovennan slumped slightly in his chair as the Blacksabre-E orbited Earth, he had just received a hail with the most gglorious news he had heard in a long time.
For six weeks Krovennan and his crew had gotten what could only be described as some kinnd of divine punishment, cataloguing 300 speciees of new pplants, most of which useless, was not what Krovennan or his crew were made for. Tallasa, who was sitting in the chair to Krovennan's left, was the first to speak to Krovennan.
"So, where shall we go? A week of doing whatever we want is what the crew needs, after cataloguing several new species of carrots, I'll just be glad to lie down for a week."
"Well now, we have plenty of options, Risa, Earth, Andoria, Vulcan, DS9, Drozana. But we can only pick one, Drehera, are you getting anything from the crew?"
"Nothing I can ascertain for certain Vice Admiral, I can feel everyone is happy about the shore leave, but I cant make out which one would be the best choice based on their emotional responses to certain ideas, theres too many different choices."
"Seems to me like we need somewhere with everything."
"You have a plan Vice Admiral?"
"Yes Dorryd, I want you to activate Navigation Protocol 00A-4, set a course for that location at maximum warp once you are ready."
Dorryd typed few commands into his console, followed by several small beeps before he looked at the readout on his console and turned to face Krovennan again.
"Sir, these co-ordinates will take us into Deep Space, there isn't anything out there."
"Not quite so Dorryd, set a course."
The Blacksabre-E pulled away from Earth orbit and headed for beyond the solar system, rocketing past Earth Spacedock in seconds, once past the system, the warp core began to hum lowly, gradually becoming louder and higher pitched, a small glow from the four nacelles built up, and suddenly, the ship roared into movement, travelling the stars as fast as the core could manage.
It didn't take long before the Blacksabre reappeared at it's intended destination, Krovennan ordered the viewscreen on, to be greeted by empty space.
"Sir, I don't understand, what is your plan?"
"Well Tallasa, I suggest you look again."
Tallasa did so, only to be greeted by a small instantaneous flash directly in front of them, followed by a keening sound and the opening of a massive wormhole, the wormhole bathed the bridge in a bright turquoise glow, making Tallasa recoil slightly while her eyes adjusted. When Tallasa looked again, she was struck with realisation.
"Vice Admiral, is this what I think it is?"
"Indeed, this is the wormhole I came through six years ago, on the other side is the territory of my people, and just a bit further, lies my home system, with every possible terrain you can imagine spread across 7 planets in two systems. Patch me into the ship comms please Dale, I'd like to address the crew."
"Aye sir, patching now...your in sir."
"Attention crewmen of the Blacksabre-E, as you know, Starfleet has given us a week of Shore Leave, so I plan to give something back to the fine crew that has served with me for three years, if you havent already, look out your nearest viewport and you should see a littl suprise I have for you. We'll be going rather further abroad for this one, so I give you the fastest way to another corner of the galaxy, the Harpy's Nest Wormhole.
There will be no determined holiday, as we have the measn to take you to whatever destination you please, I'm going to organise some shuttles to head to the different planets while in transit, in the meantime, pack for your preferred shore leave, it'll take us two hours to reach Vilscaran Space, shuttles leave in four. Darksabre out."
"I imagine the next few hours will be rather hectic."
"No doubt Tallasa, but we'll worry about it later, Dorryd, through the wormhole, then set course for Vilscar, we'll park the ship there."
The Blacksabre-E entered the wormhole and reached it's destination on time, the Vilscaran ships passed as if nothing was different, inciting gasps of awe from some of the less veteran crew members when they passed some of the larger ad more impressive ships. Soon, 7 shuttles were prepared, one for each planet, Krovennan entered the bustling Shuttlebay with a small bag, he would be heading for Storindel Coast on Vilscar itself.
Krovennan found the shuttle he needed and took a seat, the cargo bay had been refitted to hold a large amount of people, just enough as it turned out, he noticed Tallasa, Anderson and Gohlren on board as well. Gohlren had expressed interest in heading for Ossal, the capital of Vilscar, so he would not see her at the coast in all likelihood.
The Shuttles departed in quick succession, those leaving the system engaging the Warp drives almost as soon as they cleared the planet's orbit, Krovennan's suttle headed for the planet surface at a steep incline, but the artificial gravity removed any evidence of it.
A small jolt from the shuttle heralded the entry into the planet's atmosphere, Krovennan took a deep breath and allowed himself to relax for a second.
It was good to be home...
Respite, However Brief Part 2
Krovennan relaxed on one of the many beaches along Storindel Coast, this part of Vilscar was quite warm, but just a few miles inland lay a deep forest, where Anderson was residing now, on a camping trip with a few other crewmen.
Krovennan felt refreshed to see not a Uniform in sight, everyon had changed into more appropriate clothing, last thing they needed was heatstroke from those uniforms to keep them in sickbay for the whole shore leave. Krovennan himself had changed, a thin dark red shirt and grey trousers was a welcome relief from his black Vice Admiral Coat, he kept his combadge close however, just in case.
Krovennan was reading a Holo-Paper under a large tree when he heard a familiar voice from above him.
"Mind if I sit next to you sir? I need to get out of the sun for a bit."
Tallasa ws standing over Krovennan, she had also discarded her uniform for a red bikini, she had been trying to sunbathe, though Krovennan was personally not sure how blue skin worked in the sun.
"You may indeed Tallasa, I was just reading. Why did you pick the beach anyway? I would have thought that you would have joined Gyzit on Tolvar."
Tallasa sat down in a deckchair next to Krovennan, she seemed relived to be in the shade.
"Tolvar's an ice planet, I would have just gone to Andoria if I craved the cold, I decided to try something a bit out of the norm."
"I see, I wonder how he's getting on right now."
"Probably climbing a mountain with nothing more than a pair of ice picks and a handful of rations, besides, its Gohlren I'm thinking about, shes probably going to be buying several new bags just to carry whatever she bought."
"Gohlren will probably be still in Holad District, the amount of fashion shops there is absurd, bet you som of the Ensigns have been hired to help her carry around the purchases."
"Yeah, I wouldn't be suprised if the shuttle had to make two trips."
"Anderson's not in any danger of predators in that arm of the forest, Dale's gone off to a resort with Gruturu, Kel's with Gyzit, Roopaw's visiting family, Saavip is visiting a religious monument for research, as usual, and Rini should be enjoying the Manna'gahr tournament seems everyone is fine."
"Yeah, I think I'll go get a drink, I'll see you at the hotel this evening."
The rest of the week passed with very little incident, and when it came time to return, the crew re-entered Federation space ready for whatever lay ahead, the brief respite doing them the world of good.
The Lies that Bind
Vata lay on her side on the silk cushions watching D’Nara teach Yahta the chain dance. Vata had to admit that D’Nara was a much better teacher than she herself was. She just didn’t have the patience to teach like D’Nara does. So that being the case she had hired D’Nara to teach her daughter Yahta the fine points of dance. Dance was one of the essential skills of an Orion woman and Vata was determined that her daughter would master these skills and be prepared for the rigors of life as a woman.
She reached out and took a small Tospit out of a bowl on the table in front of her. She looked at the fruit a moment before delicately biting into it. The Juice was sweet and tangy on her tongue. She looked at the deep red meat of the fruit and thought about her life and how she had reached this point. It had been an interesting journey so far and she was quiet pleased with how it was turning out.
Especially finding this planet in the condition she had. A colony world of Earth, populated by humans and on the verge of extinction. These people had been forgotten by the Federation and Starfleet over 80 years before. They had landed and began to build their world when they began to have problems. In the end they lost their subspace transmitters in a landslide. Then the worst happened. A virus had struck their crops.
Very little of their Earth crops survived from year to year. Very little on the planet was edible and what was available was not processed properly by the human digestive system. So they waited. They waited for supply shipments from the federation to arrive. They waited for a starship to enter orbit to check on the colonies status. They waited and as they waited hope turned to fear. Fear turned to anger. Anger turned to hatred. Then Vata arrived.
When she arrived she discovered the condition of the settlements and the condition of the settlers. So Vata provided. She provided food and technology. She brought technology that eradicated the virus and allowed the settlers to grow enough food to feed them. She brought technology that allowed the local foods to be processed and made edible by humans. Medicine to remove the problems caused in their bodies by the eating of the unprocessed local foods. But mainly she brought them contact with the rest of the universe. In gratitude for what she has done she was placed in great esteem by the people. Vata has slowly turned that into a position of power over the planet.
Vata looked over at the human male who had entered the room. He bowed before her.
“Yes Po, What is it?”
“The Chairman is here to see you Mistress.”
“Alright tell him I will be there in a minute. Put him in my office.” She said.
“Yes Mistress.” He said as he bowed again and turned and left the room. She continued to sit there a few more moments enjoying the sight of her child dancing. She finally got up to leave and told her daughter. “You are as graceful as D’Nara and I am so proud of you.”
Yahta frowned for a moment. “Mother I don’t want to learn to dance.” She said quietly.
“You will learn to dance. You will be prepared for the world outside this house.” She turned and left the room. Ever since that nasty little situation with Rear Admiral Mercy Phailies Yahta has not been the same. Bad enough a rogue Starfleet Admiral Kidnaps her daughter and threatens to kill her. But then she had to “enlist” the help of Ambassador O’Ryon, also of Starfleet, to get her back. Vata just was not sure which was worse, Phailies or O’Ryon. Phailies only threatened to kill the child and scared her a bit. O’Ryon filled her head with ideas. Ideas that keep coming back and causing problems between the two of them.
Tarius O’Ryon was a man of many qualities. Some of them were things that Vata found fascinating. Yet there where some she just could not fathom. Unfortunately for her it appeared that Yahta had latched onto those qualities that Vata could not understand. One of those qualities was to trust just anyone. Life was hard and ruthless and you did not just trust anyone. And those that you did trust you still kept an eye on. If you didn’t watch your back you ended up dead, and rather quickly at that.
Vata’s small bare feet padded down the marble tiled flooring of the corridor leading to her office. Her thoughts where definitely on the dark side because of her daughter. As she walked she was not sure what she was going to do. There had been a rumor that she had heard that her daughter actually thought she could run off and join Starfleet. By all the gods, as much as she liked O’Ryon, and she really did like him, she was going to shoot the man herself if that was true.
As she approached the door to her office she stopped and shook herself a moment clearing her head of thoughts of her daughter. She has a planet to run right now and she needed her head back where it needed to be. The people of this planet had basically given themselves to her and she intended for it to stay that way. She put on her best smile and opened the double doors to her office. It was a beautiful office. Extremely ornate and richly furnished with the finest furniture she could acquire. The desk was lavish and ornate with actual gold pressed latinum inlaid as part of the decorations. However there was only one chair and it was behind her desk.
Standing in the middle of the office was an Elderly human male. He was middle aged with greying hair at his temples. He was wearing the more traditional dress of the inhabitants of this world. It was anachronistic from what she could gather. Her research indicated it was called a “Business Suit” on earth. Humans for some reason felt that you had to dress up when actually conducting a business arrangement.
This man though actually wore the clothes as a status of his office. Prior to her arrival he has been the “Chairman of the Party” and the de-facto leader of the planet. Seems that the people, when they came here, felt that they could make an old form of government, developed on earth called “Communism”, actually work. She had looked that up also and had laughed at human foolishness. He was still the Chairman but he worked for her. They had given her the official title of “Tia-Pan” and out side of her own house most of them referred to her as that.
“Good morning Chang.” She said as she walked in. her bare feet sinking into the deep soft carpet as she crossed the room toward her desk.
“Good morning Tia-pan, you wished to see me?” his voice carrying curiosity and just a touch hope. Her pheromones where still working she thought with a slight smile.
“Yes Chang there is a problem I want fixed and it will be fixed immediately.” She said her voice turning hard. She reached onto her desk and pulled of a PaDD and handed it to Chang. “It seems that Minister Yang has been skimming money of the top of my hospital construction projects. It is to stop immediately and he is to be punished.”
Chang looked at the PaDD a moment as it sat in his hands with a touch of anger. “It will be done immediately Tia-Pan!” he said. Chang really did not know how it was that Vata found things like this. It always amazed him when she did. It was like she knew what everyone on the planet was doing at any one time.
“Also Chang, I will be leaving planet shortly. I will be taking several ships with me. The Hai Chi, The Ying Swei and the Chao Ho will be going. I will also be taking The Amar and of course Hotspur. That will leave 7 ships in system for defense of the system.” The first 3 ships she had listed were all locally built Hai Yung class destroyers. The Amar was her K’Tinga class cruiser she had been given by the KDF for her handing them the data files from the computer core of the Hotspur. Hotspur was her pride and joy. A federation Excelsior class battleship that she had captured. Of course having her access codes and locking the crew out of their own computer had made it almost too easy but she wasn’t complaining. Sometimes it was amazing what you could do with 7 little digits, if they where the right digits of course.
Chang looked a bit disheartened at the news. Almost like a small animal about to be abandoned by its mother. She stepped a bit closer and started to straiten his tie. “I’m sure you will make sure everything is taken care of till I get home right?” she said softly and looked up at him slightly. His demeanor changed immediately.
“You can count on me Tai-Pan!” he said determinedly.
Vata patted him on the chest “Good, I knew I could count on you Chang. Now go take care of that nasty bit of business you have in your hand.”
“Yes Tai-Pan.” And he bowed to her then turned and headed for the doors.
“Oh and Chang,”
“Yes Tia-Pan?” he said turning back towards her.
“Yang has 3 children. His wife is involved in this also. She is not to be harmed. Take her to the side and explain to her the error of her ways and then ensure she and the children are taken care of. Its bad enough they will lose their father.” She said.
“Understood Tai-Pan. It will be as you say.” He said and then he bowed again then turned and left
After he left a tall Klingon female walked in. “why did you do that?” She asked.
“Do what K’Tara?” Vata replied.
“Let the mother live even though she is a thief and stealing from you?” K’Tara asked.
Vata smiled. K’Tara was one of the very few people in the universe that Vata trusted. She was also one of the few people who did not have to call her mistress. She was someone who Vata knew she could trust with anything even her life. It was why K’Tara knew she could ask her questions and expect to actually get an answer. “If I killed the mother also then the children would possibly grow up to hate me. They could become a threat to me or to Yahta in the future. But if I allow the mother to not only live but take care of her and the kids then I not only look benevolent to them but to the people of this world also. I then become a hero in the eyes of the world and the husband becomes that much more despised. All the while showing anyone who will try and steal from me that it is a death sentence. It is really simple once you think about it.” Vata said smiling.
K’Tara looked at her and nodded seeing the wisdom in those words.
“Well what’s the word from the High Command?” Vata asked.
K’Tara handed Vata a PaDD. Vata took it and opened the only file on it. She began going through the information and finally stopped at a picture of a federation captain. Has soft graceful features and pale skin. She was very pretty but her most striking feature was her eyes. Her irises looked like liquid mercury or molten silver. “very pretty.” She said “And from what I have read here we have a lot of work in front of us. Have the kitchen bring some food and drink up and we will get started. I want to be underway by dawn tomorrow.”
K’Tara nodded and Left...
When She's Right, She' Right
Personal Log: Captain Soriedem Leah Cim
The past six weeks have been exhausting to say the least. The USS Tobarrus had been charting a previously unknown system in the Pelia Sector Block. The system is not unlike many of the others that we have found in the area. To summarize the report we transmitted to Starfleet a few hours ago, the system consisted of 10 resource rich planets with no signs of intelligent life (past or present). The upside of the mission was the vegetation that we had discovered with more than 300 new species cataloged and documented.
It was my privilege to name a new species of Leptoceras fimbriatum, after my life mate, Audria. The Audriaris fibriatum is a vibrant orchid with an exquisite form and sweet fragrance, just like my darling Audria. She was pleased that I had considered her, but she insisted that I do not show her unjust favoritism among the crew. Reluctantly, I acquiesced and named all 314 species of plants after the team of botanists that discovered them. When we ran out of names, we named them after the rest of the Tobarrus’ crew. It added hours of work to our report to Starfleet before transmission, but there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for that woman – no matter how crazy she makes me sometimes.
Take for example Shore leave. After Starfleet command received our report, they issued the crew of the Tobarrus some much needed shore leave. You would figure that we would come to an agreement as to where to go, and what to do on our short vacation. However, it is never that simple. I have been cooped up in this ship for too long. All I wanted was to get out, breathe some fresh air, spread my wings and fly – preferably somewhere nice, warm, and tropical – like Risa. So, where are we going, you may be wondering? Not Risa, that’s for sure.
Sometimes, I wonder why I went to all the trouble of rescuing her from the Borg. Then, she smiles or winks at me, and I know that I would do it all over again. Women … That woman!
When word came in about shore leave, I immediately informed the crew. I ordered all of my senior officers to enjoy themselves, and gave the junior officers, ensigns, and the handful of cadets onboard the bad news. While we were enjoying some much needed time off, they will be our proverbial designated drivers. In order to give them some command experience, they will be taking the Tobarrus on a supervised, week-long training tour of the Sirius Sector with stops on Earth, Andoria, Tellar Prime, Risa, and a half dozen other stops along the way.
Giving a ship as powerful as the Tobarrus to a rag-tag crew of junior officers and ensigns in a time of war isn’t necessarily the Tobarri way of doing things. But, as Audria likes to remind me, “Starfleet is not the Tobarri Protectorate, and we are a long way from Tobarrus.” What could I say? When she’s right, she’s right.
So, here I am in a cramped shuttle craft with half a dozen Rigellians on our way to Rigel for some spiritual ritual, while my ship travels at high warp in the opposite direction. Through the view screen, I watch the USS Tobarrus disappear into the black recesses of space, and wonder to myself if I will ever see her again. If I dared to voice these thoughts, Audria wouldn’t hesitate to pummel some sense into me. So, I’ll keep these thoughts and this log to myself.
This little trip was Audria’s idea. She had become good friends with the newest addition to our crew, an astrophysist named Helna, who had told her about the ritual and invited us to participate. Audria gracefully accepted the invitation, and with it, my plans to leap from the tall Risian cliffs and soar were inexplicably and possibly indefinitely postponed. I just hope this ritual doesn’t require hours and hours of prostration. The things we are willing to endure for our loved ones.
Captain’s Personal Log – Supplemental.
As it turned out, the ritual was brief; if, in fact, it could be called a ritual at all. It involved a young woman, Helna’s youngest sister, apparently. The young woman had to climb the 3300 steps to the top, where she bowed, said a prayer to the spirits for protection and guidance and climbed back down. That was it – quick and painless. It was nothing like I had expected. Some of the more traditional Tobarri rituals lasted weeks, and were filled with trials that many would find torturous. But this was tame in comparison.
When the ritual was all over, we celebrated, and what a celebration it was. It lasted for days. There were hundreds of people in attendance. Music, dancing, food, and strong drink were shared by all. For a spiritual people, they certainly do know how to throw a party … Party? That’s not right. It was a festival; a celebration of epic proportions. And reluctantly, I have to admit that I had a great time, despite the fact that I did everything I could to avoid it. However, when they allowed Audria and I to climb to the top of the Temple, take flight, and explore the neighboring countryside from several hundred meters up, my entire attitude changed. Theirs was a wonderful little world and exactly what I was looking for in shore leave.
I hate to say it, but once again Audria was right. Just don’t let her know that I said it. I will never hear the end of it.
The Lies That Bind
2 weeks later entering the Bajorian operations area.
“Captains Log Supplemental,
The Tamerlaine has been assigned to assist with the reinforcement of the front line bases for the last 6 months. It has been exhausting duty. We have suffered some losses and have been damaged in at least one major engagement. After repairs Admiral Foxx has give us permission for shore leave at the nearest facility. That facility happens to be Deep Space 9. In a communiqué I had received some months ago it had been brought to my attention that this was now an open port. So now we may be recreating with the very people who actually fired on us and killed several members of the crew.
It does not take someone from Starfleet intelligence to realize there may be problems with this. But, the way I see it, My crew has earned the right to make a few hits and I just might help them to hit’em…
Personal Note Sometimes I think I got too much of my Great Grandfather Bela in me.
Marla Oxmyx out.”
Marla stood on the Observation deck of the promenade. She was suppose to meet her Exec. He was late as usual. For a Vulcan he was not very punctual. As she stood there she could see the Tamerlaine as she was docked on the upper pylon. The little Nova class ship seemed almost dwarfed by the docking pylon she was up against.
"Captain" A voice came from behind her catching her off guard. Marla turned towards the voice and found her first officer standing there.
"One of these days Sorek you're gonna do that and im gonna drill ya" Marla said her Iotian accent comming out.
"Captain i see no logial reason for you to get a Drill and "Drill" me." his eyebrow going up inquisitivly.
"Never mind" she said giving up. Though he would never admit it Marla was pretty sure Sorek had a low and especially evil sense of humor.
"Well I was thinking we could go to Quark's. I hear they have Tamarian Iced Wine that is really good."
Sorek just nodded his assent and the two of them headed to the lower level. After just a few moments they found themselves entering Quark's. where they found themselves a table and sat down. Marla ordered her drink and a Vulcan tea. As the waitress walked off, Marla looked at Sorek "So i know ya like chess but do you play any other games Sorek?"
"I find chess to be satisfactorly engaging for my tastes Captain." He replied matter of factly.
"Really? Well maybe i can teach you a new one. Especially since you been beat'n tha pants off me for the last 6 months." She said as she unzipped her uniform jacket and pulled a pack of playing cards out of the inside pocket.
"I'm Not sanguine about card games Captain, but i will play if you will teach me." Sorek replied.
"Well its a very tough game." she said "Might be beyond you." she said with a devilish smile as she laid down the gauntlet at Sorek's feet.
His eyebrow went up as he acknowledged the challenge in her voice.
"It's called .... Fizzbin." She said as she began to deal the cards.
Will continue on a new post.
Captain Elizabeth Riker
We’ve finally wrapped up the last analyses of the data retrieved from the probes launched into the 10th and largest gas giant of this system in the Pelia Sector. The report is being finalized by the Science division and will be sent to Command within the hour.
The crew’s attitude is already changing, I can see it in their faces and I can hear it in their voices – faces that have been focused on study and voices that have been filled with serious intent and sometimes heated debate are now lifted by smiles and sound almost giddy with laughter.
Little do they know that I’ve considered these past six weeks as some of the most relaxing and joy-filled in my career. After so many years in command of a battle-honed fleet escort, I’ve never taken for granted the gift I’ve received by being placed in command of this grand exploration cruiser. I’ve taken such pleasure in walking through the geology, botany, exobiology and astrometrics labs and listening in on the scientists’ reports and even reveled in their ability to ponder over the larger questions of our universe.
We’re now on our way to Risa – towards Sector 001. They’ll happily jump off the Coronado and spend every single one of their 168 hours of leave stuffing themselves full of food, fun, drink, sports and sex. When they return they’ll be exhausted and happy.
Then I’ll have to inform them of our new orders.
I don’t have the heart to tell them yet. I want them to have these 168 hours to be devoid of any pressing worry. I don’t want them to even think of the Borg while they surf or party … or love.
As for how I’m going to spend the next 168 hours? I’ll be here on my ship and making her as fit as she can be to enter into the Gamma Orionis sector. I owe it to my crew to make sure the Coronado is ready for anything so they can survive what comes after Risa. My work is just now beginning.
Besides … I’ve been on vacation for the past six weeks.
Computer end recording.
"Captain's Personal Log: Starda--"
"Will you put that thing down and come to dinner?" Commander Sevak asked, with no small hint of exasperation from her voice, setting the last fork on the table.
"I'm just making a log entry." Vice Admiral Kim Sharp said, shutting the PADD off. She set it down on the coffee table in front of her and rose from the sofa, glancing out the window as the sky slowly into a dark purple as the sun sank below the Oregon Cascades. Smiling coyly, she approached her fiancee and leaned against a blonde colored chair on the opposite side of the dining table.
Sevak looked up from the place setting, her dark green eyes, sparkling under the warm light of the dining room lamp, showing off the growing irritation directed toward Kim. "We have been on leave for two weeks and you still can't stop thinking about work."
"I am simply recording what we did, today."
The more time she spent with the young Vulcan woman, the more she reminded her of her father, one of the Academy's senior Philosophy instructors who had been Kim's mentor following a disciplinary incident her Freshman year.
He was a quirky Vulcan, that followed some of Surak's more radical teachings. He also firmly believed in controlling his emotions and not suppressing them, and chose to express them openly. That lesson was undoubtedly passed down to Sevak, who now regarded her with an icy glare.
Pushing a strand of raven colored hair from her face, Sevak pursed her lips at the woman she had come to love. She had known Kim nearly half her life. At first, she had thought her reckless, and uncaring, but as she had gotten to know her over the years she had come to respect her and even regard her as a friend. The development of her romantic association with Kim was only a recent development, and much a surprise to her. Being as Kim was her direct commanding officer, there had been some hesitation between the two of them, but Starfleet Command seemed to have taken a more lenient stance on personal relationships among crew, so long as it didn't interfere with the professional judgments of either of them. So far so good, but the Admiral's renewed obsession with her work since the Stellar Drift's transfer to a new battlegroup was growing tiresome.
Each day, Sevak felt far more distant from her, and found herself looking forward to the day that the Galileo was ready for her command. She also had started to feel some regret at having accepted the marriage proposal.
"And what did we do today?" She asked, letting go of a sad sigh.
"I fixed my plane; we went to my nephew's baseball game with my brother and my daughter; you planted some marigolds; then we fixed dinner."
"I met with Captain Suari about repairs to the Stellar Drift, sent the analysis of the solar flare that hit us to the Federation Science Council, talked to Rear Admiral Hackenaw about Klingon ship movement--he wants us to come by Starfleet Intelligence tomorrow after Captain Bain's award ceremony."
"What happened to going to Oslo and interviewing caterers?" Sevak frowned.
"We can do that after. It shouldn't take long." Kim said quickly, hoping not to upset Sevak any further.
Sevak just stared at the tall, blonde haired human woman with irritation.
"Will you call the others in, please?"
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