[USS Vanguard] Family First

  • From: Kent Kavan <tonykavan@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 8 Nov 2004 01:12:33 -0800 (PST)

Chief Petty Officer Craig Kavan
San Francisco, Earth
Hilarious...  That was the only way to describe what Craig had just seen.  He 
was nearly incapable of breathing he was laughing so hard.  Tears streamed down 
his face and he was bent with his hands on his knees trying to keep from 
falling over.
Kelly was, naturally, not as amused.  Of course she was the subject of his 
laughter.  A dancer, and as such a normally very graceful woman, who had just 
tripped and fallen.  That in itself wasn't funny.  It was that she had fallen 
face first in the cake she had painstakingly baked for desert that was so funny.
He was lauging so hard that he didn't see his wife scoop up a gob of the 
chocolate frosting and sling it across the table at him where it splattered all 
over his uniform.  That stopped his laughter, but only briefly before he dove 
over the table to tackle her...  Gently of course, and started tickling her.  
Now she was the one laughing.  Then the baby started to cry and the couple 
stopped goofing off.
"See what you did?"  Kelly said to him with mock admonishment as Craig stood up 
and walked into Arwen's room.  Craig scooped his six month old daughter out of 
the crib and, making the silly faces that always made Arwen smile, cradled her 
to his chest as he re-entered the kitchen where his wife was cleaning the 
chocolate cake off of the floor.  A glance at the time showed that it was 2200 
Craig hadn't returned to their small apartment until almost 2130.  A long day 
of simulator testing at the academy had kept him later than he'd hoped.  He'd 
come home to find that Kelly had kept dinner warm for him in spite of the late 
For the briefest moment something hadn't felt right, and he'd nearly convinced 
himself that he'd been dreaming until Kelly had kissed him.  That solidified 
the entire day for him and now he couldn't remember why he'd been confused when 
he'd gotten home.
Kelly finished cleaning up the floor and led Craig out onto the balcony with 
their daughter still in Craig's arms.  Arwen had quieted and now she was 
holding on to his uniform shirt in one of her tiny hands while Craig continued 
to rock her gently in the moonlight.
Their apartment was modest, but boasted a spectacular view of San Francisco.  
The entire town seemed laid out before them and Craig couldn't help but injoy 
the expansive view after years of living on a starship.
Kelly took Arwen out of Craig's arms and leaned back against the railing, 
facing him.
"So...  How's your first semester going?"  Kelly of course was thrilled with 
his current assignment to the Academy.  Especially with a new baby in their 
family.  It gave them a chance for some stability.  Not something they'd had a 
lot of in the first three years of their marriage.
"It's going ok so far," Craig answered quietly so as not to keep Arwen awake.  
"I've been assisting Professor Lohan in the advanced tactics simulator.  I 
think I'm learning as much as I'm teaching."
Kelly stood on her tip toes and kissed him on the cheek.  "You don't have to 
lie to me.  I know you want to be back out on a starship, but I really want to 
wait until Arwen gets older."
Craig couldn't help but notice how Kelly's black hair shone in the moonlight, 
and the way it made her eyes sparkle.  Craig would do anything for her, and 
he'd even offered to leave Starfleet.  She'd declined but when they discovered 
that she was pregnant, she'd asked him to request a transfer off of the USS 
Venture.  That was when he'd taken the position he was in now.  Basically as a 
teacher's aid at Starfleet Academy.  It was different, no stress, no danger... 
no adventure.  But he had to learn to put his family first now.
"I know I can tell you the truth.  I really do think this is an interesting 
assignment, and it's not at all what I expected."
Arwen was finally asleep again so Craig followed Kelly inside and kissed Arwen 
on the forehead before Kelly laid her down in her crib.  As they walked back 
into the living room Craig continued.
"I expected to be treated as a secretary.  But it hasn't been like that at 
all."  Crag sat on the couch and Kelly snuggled up to him as he kept talking.  
"Professor Lohan values my input, even asks my opinions on things in front of 
the class."
Kelly interjected, "He should.  I was with you on that first tour on the 
Venture after we got married." 
She was referring to the border skirmishes the Venture had been in on the 
Cardassian border.  Things there hadn't yet escalated into all out war but 
would someday soon.
"Today, for example, a cadet in the simulator made a move that you can't teach 
someone to do.  She had to be born with a certain amount of natural talent to 
do what she did.  Of course, like so many other simulator runs, she was 
destined to fail.  The simulator is programmed only to allow a succesful 
outcome if the cadet reacts the way the 'manual' says that she's supposed to.
"The manuver she did could nearly be described as brilliant, but the computer 
didn't see it that way.  It shut her down and the Professor came down pretty 
harshly on her."
"I've always thought that was a stupid way to teach something."  Kelly said. 
Craig nodded.  He thought the system should reward students for thinking 
outside the box, but it didn't.  It was almost as if they wanted all of their 
future ship captains to respond to every situation the exact same way.
Craig continued with his story.  "Professor Lohan agrees.  But he made a good 
point by saying that she needs to learn the book, and if we reward them for 
thinking outside the box too early, they won't learn the box to begin with.  I 
see where he's coming from of course, all the cadets need to learn basic 
tactics before they can learn advanced.  But I hope we dont' squash their 
"So what happened to the cadet?"  Kelly asked.
---Earlier that day.---
"Even the best pilots in the galaxy couldn't of gotten themselves out of that 
situation, almost every system failed! and besides you terminated the program 
so how do you know I wouldn't have pulled off an amazing crash landing?!" Zena 
snapped back
Professor Lohan scowled at her "Improve or fail...The choice is yours" 

With that he spun round and exited.

Zena stormed out shortly afterwards. 
Lohan came into the simulator control room where Craig had watched the entire 
"I think you were a little too hard on her Professor.  She's right.  I was 
watching the telemetry.  She'd have pulled that landing off."
Lohan sighed and put a fatherly hand on Craig's shoulder.  "I know that Petty 
Officer.  But it wasn't the way she should have done it.  She needs to know 
procedure.  Proper procedure would have prevented that mess altogether and you 
know that as well as I do.  As for being too hard on her...  Maybe your right.  
Go after her and tell her what you just told me.  She'll feel better about what 
happened and I still get to keep my evil professor facade."  The nearly elderly 
man chuckled softly and Craig was amazed that the cadets felt that he was the 
most intimidating professor around.
"Aye sir," was all Craig said as he left.

Craig found Cadet Quetan further down the corridor with Cadet Santos.
"Cadet Quetan,"  Craig called down the hall.  "Can I speak with you for a 
moment please?"
Craig saw her say something to Santos who continued outside as Quetan met Craig 
in the corridor.
"Cadet, I just wanted to tell you that was some of the best flying I've seen 
this semester.  I was watching the telemetry, you were right.  A landing would 
have been possible.  Heck it took me three tries this morning to figure out 
what the computer wanted."
The young lady actually seemed to brighten somewhat at Craig's praise.  "Thank 
you Petty Officer.  Try telling that to Professor Doom back there."
"Actually I did, but...  Well for some reason he likes having all the Cadets 
slightly afraid of him so he wouldn't have admitted that to you himself.  But 
for what it's worth, I think you did fine."
Shortly afterwards, Craig returned to the simulator room where Professor Lohan 
was giving a nearly identical speech to another Cadet.

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