“When they said Kagutsuchi was being rebuilt, they weren’t kidding,” Lt. Commander William Thomas, or just Will remarked.
Their shuttle approached the ship. Each person had their personal effects with them, else they would have taken the transporters. This was the last shuttle. On board were Captain Hawkwood, Lt. Commander Thomas, Lieutenant Etrum, and Ensign Narshu.
“New weapons technology, new shields, new engines, new warp core…” Captain Elizabeth Hawkwood, just Beth to her friends, noted, “List goes on. According to the report, about seventy percent of the ship was rebuilt.”
“Will be like taking a new ship out,” the Bolian Lieutenant Etrum Neevo said, “I’ve never piloted a new ship before.”
“Our first mission will just be a shakedown cruise,” Beth said, “You’ll have a chance to get used to the helm Etrum.”
“I sure hope so,” Etrum said.
“Better get used to it,” Ensign Narshu said, “Or else I might take your job. I am cleared to pilot a Prometheus class ship.”
“Shuttle, you are cleared to land,” a feminine voice said.
“Thank you Kagutsuchi,” Etrum said.
The shuttle slipped into the rear of the ship. Air was quickly flooded into the roof after the bay doors closed. As they did, Commander T’Bumo and Lieutenant Nephenee led a small security honor guard to meet the shuttle. Nephenee withdrew a whistle and sounded the Captain’s aboard signal.
Captain Hawkwood was the first out. The honor guard provided a salute. “Captain, welcome aboard,” Commander T’Bumo said. She was one of the highest ranking Romulans in Starfleet. Her homeworld of Telair had seceded from the Romulan Empire and applied for Federation membership and protection shortly after the Hobus Supernova had destroyed Romulus. Since then Telair had been on the front of near constant Romulan and Reman ‘pirate’ attacks. This had motivated T’Bumo to join Starfleet.
“Thank you T’Bumo,” Beth said, “Who has the bridge?”
“Lieutenant Commander Ayanami,” she said.
“Good,” Beth responded, “And it is nice to finally be aboard. The honor guard was a nice touch.”
“Thank you, sir,” the Andorian Lieutenant said.
“We shall stow our personal effects in our quarters and then we shall get this shakedown cruise underway,” Beth announced.
“Very well,” T’Bumo said, “Lieutenant Nephenee, please escort Lieutenant Commander Thomas and Lieutenant Neevo to their quarters, they are very close to each other. Captain, if you would follow me please.”
Nephenee turned to the honor guard and announced, “Dismissed.”
As they boarded the lifts, Beth turned to T’Bumo and said, “T’Bumo, what are your impressions of the work that has been done on the Kagutsuchi?”
“The experimental technology leaves some to be desired. My cursory inspections of the engineering deck and tetryon pulse generators leave me worried,” T’Bumo said.
“Anything in particular?”
“The new EPS conduits have yet to be properly tested. Furthermore, I am not quite sure about the familiarity of the installation crew for the pulse generators with what they were installing,” T’Bumo said.
“Well there will be time to test the former en route and upon reaching the Devitar Asteroid Field we will be testing the latter,” Beth said.
“Hence the shakedown cruise,” T’Bumo said.
“Exactly,” Beth answered.
The lift stopped and Beth and T’Bumo disembarked.
“Your quarters Captain,” T’Bumo said stopping at a door. It was Ithary’s old quarters.
The door opened an Beth haphazardly tossed her bag on the desk. “Well let’s to the bridge and get this underway.”
“Yes, sir,” T’Bumo said.
The bridge was a bustle of activity. It was still the familiar bridge that the Kagutsuchi had before. Somewhat darker in lighting and color, but otherwise unchanged. Around the sides of the ship were stations for communications, sciences, environmental control, damage control, and engineering. In the center was a pit where helm and operations were located. Above that was the Captain’s chair. Her chair.
“Welcome to the bridge, Captain,” Lieutenant Commander Rei Ayanami said in her usual quiet and unemotional voice. She was at her science station.
“Thank you, Ayanami,” Beth said.
Beth took her seat and made a few adjustments. She was shorter then whoever had installed this seat.
Also at their stations was her Communications Officer Ensign Ulmek Sihar from Betazed, the bookish Ensign Nigel Grant was manning the damage control station, the Vulcan Ensign Delvok was manning the engineering station, and finally Lieutenant Rythor was manning the operations station in the ops pit.
“As soon as the helm, security, and environmental officers get here we can be on our way,” T’Bumo reported.
As if on cue, Lieutenants Etrum and Nephenee and Ensign Narshu arrived. Laughing. “So what did you do?” Narshu asked.
“Only thing I could do. I swallowed it,” Etrum said.
A fresh round of laughter came about. Then they noticed that the lift had stopped. “Oh. Hello Captain,” Narshu said.
“Glad to see you three are becoming fast friends,” Beth said, “Etrum, once we have the ship out of space dock, you will tell the story to us and give us a good laugh.”
“Yes, Captain, will be a pleasure,” Etrum said with a smile as he strode to his station.
“Captain, I am in engineering and we look good to go,” Will reported.
“Glad to hear,” Beth responded.
“Took six pine air fresheners to get rid of that new hovercar smell,” Will reported, “But we did it. Warp core is looking good.”
“Excellent. Etrum, take us out. One quarter impulse,” Beth ordered.
“Aye, Aye,” Etrum said, “One quarter impulse.”
“Our destination will be Devitar Asteroid Field where we will shoot a few pieces of debris to ensure the weapons work and then back to Stardock for future orders,” Beth said. What could go wrong?
Wash Yarrow beat the side of the console with a wrench. After a couple of blows the console had reset itself. “There. The old beat with a wrench trick always works,” Wash announced. He was a man who had not aged well. He looked to be in his early fifties, overweight, a mix of black and grey stubble on his face, and short, dark grey hair.
“Uhh, are you sure you should be rough on it like that?” asked a young shipman who looked to be sixteenish. “I mean it’s a very important piece of machinery that monitors the warp core.”
Wash put his arm around his youngest crewmember. “Listen kid, I knows I hired ya to take care of my warp core for me, and these past couple runs you have a bang up job. But sometimes, Holly just needs a firm hand.”
“And what Wash means by that, is a firm wrench,” a one eyed Klingon laughed.
“Right you are Kesk,” Yarrow said, “So Clint…”
“Matt,” the young man said.
“Right, Matt, next time Holly be givin’ you troubles, feel frees to whap her a little,” Yarrow said, handing the wrench to Clint…Matt…whoever. “C’mon Kesk, let’s get back to that bottle of Saurian Brandy we ‘found’ on that last job. You want to come with Pete?”
“No thanks, skipper. I’m not old enough yet. And it’s…” the young man started.
“Oh, right, Fred, right?” Wash said, “C’mon Dave, it’ll put some hair on yer chest and stop you from squeakin’ so much.”
“I get it, Wash. Matt here has a crush on that straight-laced Doc Kera,” Kesk said, “She is a mighty pretty one. Bit thin for my tastes. I likes my girls with some fight and muscle in them.”
“Well, yeah…” Matt said sheepishly.
“Don’t sweat it Steve,” Wash said, “She is a mighty fine young lady. Best of luck to ya.”
As Wash and Kesk started leaving, a rumbling sound started coming from the warp core.
“What in god’s name is that?” asked Wash.
“Oh no…” Matt said furiously tapping buttons on the console, “That reset jammed one of the si-valves open.”
“Well…unjam it!” Wash said.
A hissing sound erupted from the core.
“You know, something tells me that is not good,” Kesk said.
“Captain!” someone from the front of the ship called, “Orions inbound. I count five…no six corvettes.”
A look of worry flushed over Wash. “Oh no…” he said.
“You know, getting hammered on Saurian Brandy seems like a pretty good plan at this time,” Kesk said.
“Captain, I am receiving a distress signal from a merchant vessel, the SS Holly Reynolds,” announced Ensign Ulmek.
“On speakers,” Beth said.
“This is Captain Washington Yarrow of the SS Holly Reynolds. Our warp core is malfunctioning and we are being attacked by six Orion vessels. Please, anyone! If the Orions don’t destroy us our warp core will!”
“The SS Holly Reynolds is an independent merchant vessel owned by Washington Yarrow. It usually operates in areas of less scrutiny and CapTain Yarrow has been suspected of smuggling in the past,” Ayanami said.
“Right, but we need to render assistance. That message sounded pretty distressed,” Beth said, “Helm, plot a course for the distressed vessel. Maximum warp.”
“Yes, sir,” Etrum said.
“Ulmek, transmit the Holly Reynolds a message that we are on our way,” Beth ordered.
“Right away,” Ulmek answered.
“T‘Bumo, Nigel, Nephenee, Doctor Selvok, and…” Beth said as she scanned the bridge. Narshu had her hand in air and was waving it around furiously. “Narshu will beam aboard and assist with repairs or evacuation. Get to the tactical room and prepare for possible combat. The Orions are probably going to be beaming over to grab as much cargo as they can.”
“Holly Richards,” said an Orion over the ship’s communications, “You will negotiate for your release.”
“Not gonna happen, greenie,” Wash said, “Our warp core is about to overload and take all of you with us.”
“Ha, do you think we will fall for that bluff?” the Orion said. Another Orion came into view. There was some whispering in the background between the first Orion and the newcomer followed by the Orion’s eyes widening and she said, “Oh really? He is not bluffing?” She turned back to Wash. “Alright, negotiations are over. We are beaming over and grabbing what we can.”
“Figures…” Kesk said.
“Everyone grab a weapon. We are gonna…I don’t know what we are gonna do…” Wash said.
“Sir, a Federation ship is responding to our distress signal. They will be here soon,” a crewmember said.
The Kagutsuchi exited warp on the edge of a rocky debris field. “The signal was originating from around here,” Etrum said.
“Lieutenant Etrum is correct,” Ayanami announced, “I am detecting an overloading warp core. Most likely it is the Holly Reynolds.”
“Set a course,” Beth ordered.
He rocky field was much denser then an asteroid field. “The debris field combined with the overloading warp core is interfering with long range scanning. I am not detecting any additional ships as of yet,” Rei said.
“Still, power on shields,” Beth ordered.
“Doing so now,” Rythor said.
“Sir, I have Captain Wash on comms,” Ulmek said as she punched it through.
“Thank god you’re here,” Wash said, “Orions are closing and firing on us. We have diverted all power to the shields. But I don’t know how much longer they will hold.”
“Be patient, Captain,” Beth said, “I am Captain Beth Hawkwood of the USS Kagutsuchi. We will assist you.”
“Two corvettes detected,” Rei said.
“Targeting,” Rythor said.
“They are scanning us. They want to keep their distance,” Rei said.
“Broadcast a message to them, Ulmek,”
“Doing so,” Ulmek said.
“This is Captain Beth Hawkwood of the United Federation of planets. Vacate the area immediately,” she said.
“And this is Matron Eliat, you are outnumbered Captain. I suggest you withdraw while you can,” was the response.
“Right, I count that as a challenge. Rythor, fire on the closest Orion corvette,” Beth said.
“Weapons locked. Firing,” Rythor said.
“Rythor. Did you fire?” Beth asked.
“Yes,” Rythor said, “Let’s try that again…”
“Huh…” Rythor said.
“Delvok, any ideas?” Beth asked.
“There does not seem to be any issues with the power flow, Captain. Weapons power is flowing to the Tetryon Pulse Generators as expected.”
“The pulse generators…” T’Bumo said.
Beth rubbed her temples. “Will. I need you and a repair team to take a look at the pulse generators.”
“I am not detecting any damage, Captain,” Will said.
“I don’t think the generators were properly installed,” Beth said.
“That would be a problem,” Will said.
“Captain, the Orion corvettes are locking weapons on us,” Rei said.
“Did I just hear Ayanami correctly?” Will asked over the comm link, “Orions are targeting us?”
“Yes,” Beth said.
“Well this just keeps getting better and better…” Will said, “Right on it.”
Will pointed at the pulse generators. “Someone get me the manual for those things!”
Pine scented air fresheners could be seen dangling from the ceiling.
“Etrum, take evasive action,” Beth said.
“Right,” Etrum said.
“How about torpedoes?” Beth asked.
“No good,” Rythor said, “Something is overloading the targeting system.”
“I would suspect it is the power buildup to the pulse generators,” Delvok said.
Etrum dived behind an asteroid as a disruptor blast scoured the surface. The Orions were closing. Fast.
“What are they doing?” Wash asked.
“Uh…hiding,” Matt said, looking at a control console.
“What kind of rescue is this?” Wash said.
“Etrum, get us closer to the debris,” Beth said.
“Closer, sir?” asked Rythor.
“Yes. Let’s see how good these Orion pilots are,” Beth said.
“Orion Corvettes are fast, but notoriously slow to turn,” Rei said.
“Exactly,” Beth said, “We may be able to get them to crash themselves.”
“Ah, I see,” the Bolian helmsman said.
“Assuming we don’t crash ourselves,” Rei said.
“So this wire is supposed to lead to this conduit…” Will said looking at the schematic, “Or is it supposed to lead to this conduit…”
“No sir, that is the wrong wire. We need wire CC7. That is wire C7C,” another engineer said.
Will gave the engineer a strange look. “Well then where is CC7?”
The other engineer looked around. “Up there. Maybe.”
“You sure about that?” Will asked, “Because this shows CC7 pretty near the bottom.”
“You have to hold it like this,” the engineer said, tilting the diagram about 20 degrees to the left.
“I am going to beat whoever drew this with a spanner,” Will said.
The ship rocked.
“You’re not going to make it,” Rythor said to Etrum.
“Yes I will,” Etrum said.
“No. you are going to fast,” Rythor said.
“Positive thoughts. Positive thoughts,” Etrum said.
The Kagutsuchi narrowly missed an asteroid. The Orion ship chasing them was not so lucky and clipped the asteroid, causing the light craft to spin into it’s sister. It’s sister was able to resist the hit and correct. The offending corvette was not so lucky…
“One corvette has impacted on the surface of an asteroid. It’s engines have suffered heavy damage, but it is transmitting a distress signal,” Rei said.
“More like that, Etrum,” Beth said.
“See? I am a leaf on the wind!” Etrum said to Rythor.
“Well keep that wind inside you, leaf, your breath is terrible,” Rythor said.
“Must be that tuna sandwich I had before we left space dock.”
“No that is definitely wire CC7A. See, it’s blue. CC7 is turquoise,” Petty Officer Revei said.
“Turquoise is a shade of blue!” yelled Will.
“Well not with this color coding system,” another engineer said.
“Somebody just tell me what to plug in!” Petty Officer Azrio shouted as he was suspended above the pulse generator.
“Wait! I’ve got it!” Revei said.
“You do?” Will asked.
“Yes. That wire is CC7B2, not CC7A,” Revei said.
Will smacked the back of Revei’s head.
The Orions had just beamed aboard. “Starfleet will make you pay,” Wash said.
“Oh I doubt it, human,” the Orion thug said, “Right. Now what sort of loot do we have here?”
“Gems! I bet it’s gems!” an Orion said.
“No way, it’s never gems. It might be gold though,” another said.
The first broke open a crate. “It’s…pants.”
The second broke another crate. “More pants.”
“Yeah, we is carrying a shipment of Levis out to a colony…” Wash said.
The leader Orion sighed. “Sometimes it just doesn’t pay to be a pirate. I mean, I have been space pirating for ten years and do you know how many shipments of gold, gems, or rare and exotic good I have hit?”
“Uhhh, no,” Wash said.
“None. Not a one. It’s always something like Leggs Eggs, or Duracell Batteries, or Levis. Last week we raided a cargo ship full of Victoria’s Secret Unmentionables. That was our best haul in months,” he said.
“Well then, why do you do it?” Wash asked.
“What, the unmentionables?” asked the Orion, “I don’t know, they feel good. Like I am wearing nothing at all. They also give me some nice support…”
“NO! Not that, the space piracy,” Wash said.
“Well, I like the hours. I always get to meet new people. The travel is nice. See the universe and all. But mostly, I just like being a bad guy,” he said.
Another hit rocked the Kagutsuchi. “Shields at forty percent,” Delvok said.
“The warp core on the Holly Reynolds is becoming increasingly unstable,” Rei said, “We have perhaps ten minutes.”
Etrum had crashed the one corvette and a second had limped away after loosing a good part of it’s hull to another asteroid, but two more had moved in front of the Kagutsuchi.
“Moving shield strength to the port shield,” Rythor said.
“Those guys are persistent,” Etrum said as he made another turn to avoid an asteroid.
“These two are staying back and engaging at range. It will take longer to destroy us with Lieutenant’s Etrum’s evasions, but meanwhile they will be pillaging the Holly Reynolds,” Rei said.
“Or the Reynolds will just detonate,” Beth said, “We can’t wait for that. Will! I need those pulse generators on NOW!”
“Will do,” Will said.
“I found it! This is wire CC7!” yelled Revei.
“Nevermind it!” Will shouted as he pulled out a phaser pistol, “I am doing what I should have done when we first started!”
“What? No! Don’t!” yelled Azrio, swing back and forth wildly on a line above the pulse generators.
Will fired a burst at the machines. There was a loud fizzling sound and then they started humming.
“Shields at seventeen percent,” Delvok announced.
“Leaf on the wind, leaf on the wind…” Etrum was muttering.
“You can do it, Etrum, you can do…SIR! Tetryons back online! Targeting overload cleared,” Rythor said.
“Alright, Etrum, bring us about to face the Orions,” Beth said.
“Yay,” Etrum said.
“Rythor, fire at will,” Beth said.
“Locked cannons on the nearest Orion, firing,” he said.
A spray of blue bolts erupted from the front of the ship, tearing through the corvette’s shields like they weren’t even there. Fires erupted from several points on the ship. It began veering away. A quantum torpedo struck it’s side, blowing it apart.
“One vessel, destroyed,” announced Ayanami.
“Continue, Rythor,” Beth said.
“Yes, Captain,” Rythor said.
Another spray of bolts hammered the next Orion ship. Once again, it’s shields seemed useless. However not even a torpedo was needed as it’s warp core detonated in a brilliant fireball.
“Alright, let’s help the Holly Reynolds,” Beth said.
The Orion’s hand-held buzzed. “Yeah, whatya want? Yeah...Huh…You don’t say…Pants…No, just pants…Yes, we did a thorough check for gold…We checked there…no gems either…we found a half empty bottle of Saurian Brandy…Okay…Whenever.”
“What?” asked Wash.
“Seems that the Federation ship has stopped flying around like…something that flies around a lot and destroyed two of our ships. So we are bugging out. With the pants,” the Orion said.
“Oh. And us?” asked Wash.
“Standard leave to die,” the Orion said.
“Hmm, too bad,” Wash said.
“Yeah. Look, I really wish I could take you with us, but Matron’s orders. But you guys have been great. Oh and Matt, good luck with the doctor. You two are perfect for each other. Or would be if you weren’t about to die in a fiery warp core overload,” the Orion said.
“T’Bumo, we are making approach,” Beth said, “Be ready to beam over to the Holly Reynolds, rescue the crew, and get back, fast.”
“Acknowledged,” T’Bumo said.
“I count seven Orion life signs on board the Holly Reynolds,” Rei said, “The crew manifest does not list any Orions among the crew.”
“Thank you Ayanami,” Beth said.
“The two remaining Corvettes are not disengaging. One has turned to face us and is charging weapons,” Rythor said.
“Destroy it,” Beth said.
“Yes, sir,” Rythor said.
The tetryon bolts erupted from the Kagutsuchi, strafing the Orion ship. It turned and began fleeing.
“Ignore it, cripple the other one,” Beth ordered.
“Transporter signals. It is beaming the Holly Reynold’s cargo aboard,” Rei said.
“Targeting, firing,” Rythor said.
Like the others, tetryon bolts impacted and crippled the ship. Fires were pulsing. “Alright, T’Bumo, get there and get back. Be aware of Orions on board.”
“Beaming out now,” T’Bumo said.
T’Bumo, Nigel, Nephenee, Selvok, an Narshu beamed onto the Holly Reynolds.
Nephenee had arrived next to an Orion. She slammed her rifle butt into him, knocking him to the ground.
“Freeze, Starfleet!” Narshu shouted, pointing a phaser rifle at one of the Orions.
“Oh well, piracy was good while it lasted,” the leader said.
“Captain Washington Yarrow, is this your entire crew?” T’Bumo asked.
“Yes, the Orions gathered us all in here,” Wash said.
“Alright, Kagutsuchi, beam us up,” T’Bumo said, “Take the Orions too.”
“Commencing beam out,” Delvok said.
Azrio and Revei escorted the captured Orions to the brig. Selvok was looking over the Holly Reynold’s’s crew.
“Well that was exciting,” Beth said to Ayanami as she was looking over the scene.
“Quite,” Rei said.
“Well, at least the ship works. Now,” Beth said.
Rei simply nodded.
“And we seem to be a bit more comfortable with each other,” Beth said, “You did a good job. We all did.”
“Yes,” Rei said.
T’Bumo approached Beth. “Shall we proceed to the planned shakedown cruise?”
“No T’Bumo, I feel we have given the Kagutsuchi a good run. We will call this a successful shakedown,” Beth said.
“As you wish,” T’Bumo said.
Beth had returned to her quarters. She placed a picture of her and her command crew from shortly before they had departed Earth on her desk. “This will be an interesting experience in going boldly where no man has gone before.”
In fact, I think you should see about posting it on FanFiction.Net. Of course, you'll need to set up a FanFiction.Net Account before you can post stories on it, but doing so doesn't cost any money. Heck, I even have a few stories up there myself.
Anything more where this story came from?
EDIT: Also, do you think we could get a Soundtrack to go along with the story?