[USS Vanguard] Mr. Bright Side, Part 1

  • From: Andy Ho <andywoho@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: vanguard <ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2005 17:49:04 -0500

"On approach to Brigadoon," Highwaij announced. "Brigadoon docking control 
has confirmed. They have us on short range."
"Audio only," Santos ordered.

"Audio," Highwaij confirmed.

=/\= "Vanguard, you are cleared for docking bay 5-E. You know the drill. 
Follow the lights." =/\=

=/\= "Acknowledged, Dockmaster. And thank you." =/\=

=/\= "Ah, roger that, Vanguard. Welcome home." =/\=

"Slow to impulse," Santos ordered. "Dock 5-E, nice and easy."

"When am I not?" Mandrake grinned.

On the viewscreen, ebony space shimmered as Brigadoon decloaked for the 
Vanguard's approach.

The Vanguard slowed, then finally stopped, as the timeship found its berth.

Its lights winked out, section by section, until the only visible light was 
the one that would never be extinguished, the one that identified the ship 
as "USS Vanguard NCV-80221."

The dock's lights flickered on and swept the Vanguard.

"Thank you, Mister Mandrake," Santos told the helmsman, who nodded without 
turning from the viewscreen.

=/\= "All hands, now arriving at Brigadoon. Forty-eight hours shore leave, 
to be used at your discretion. Delta skeleton team, meet me in shuttle bay 
two to discuss duty rotation. Kavan out." =/\=


Starbase Brigadoon cloaked.


Yeoman Challis [non-playing character, aka "npc"] stood patiently and 
watched as Dominic Santos paced his ready room.

"Do we have any notable crew changes?" Santos asked as he gathered his 

"Crewman T'Del will be taking her maternity leave. She will be disembarking 
at Brigadoon and continuing to Andoria so that she may give birth near the 
Fountain of Life."

"Andoria? But she's Vulcan, isn't she? Security Department? Second year with 

Challis nodded and smiled. "Her life mate is Andorian. Clie has been 
awaiting her return to his homeworld. It's tradition that..."

"...Andorians give birth near the Fountain of Life, right." Santos sat 
quietly. "All this time, she was on this mapcap mission to the Borg 
homeworld. I ordered that. I put her and the life of her unborn child in 

"Because she trusted you," said Jaav E'thexx, from the corner where he had 
been studying and listening to Santos. "She knew her husband may not see the 
birth of their child on Andoria, but she believed in your mission. And she 
still does."

Challis glanced at E'thexx, then at her PADD. "She wanted me to tell you 
that it has been 'fascinating' serving aboard the Vanguard, and after the 
birth of her child, she would 'be honored' if you would reconsider her for 
her current position."

"Yeoman, send a message to Chief Security Officer Shar: keep the position in 
Security vacant until such time that T'Del feels she can resume her duties."

Challis smiled and nodded. "Aye, sir. Anything else?"

"What are Andorian birth customs? Would it be...gauche to send a gift?" 
Santos asked.

Jaav cleared his throat. "It is customary for both the mother of the female 
and the mother of the male to cohabitate under the same roof with the new 
parents for one moon cycle. They are expected to teach the new mother 
everything they know about mothering, to bond as females do. It is 
considered very sacred, a very important tradition. It is also considered a 
sign of good fortune and long life for the child if the two mothers do not 
squabble during the ceremony, which is known as the 'Dep'la'fon.'"

Santos frowned. "How long is one Andorian moon cycle? In standard?"

"About two and a half months, Earth moon cycle," Challis replied.

"I'm surprised more families don't annihilate themselves halfway through the 
'Dep'la'fon,'" Santos cocked an eyebrow.

"Only because it is considered to be ill tidings if the two mothers fight, 
they bear it. But the moment the moon cycle ends, the two women have been 
known to engage in blood feud. This is known as the 'Dep'la'na.' It is quite 
common, actually. As a matter of fact, the Third Empire came to an end 
because of Dep'la'na when the Countess and the Queen could not agree on the 
raising of the newborn princess."

Santos grinned at E'thexx.

"But as far as I know, sending a gift would be fine."

Santos used the back of his hand to scratch his chin in thought. "Challis, 
place an order with Hoppin' John's Florist on Brigadoon. Have them order the 
most beautiful bouquet with the following message: 'To life, hope and 
happiness. Your friends on the Vanguard. IDIC.'"

"'IDIC'?" Challis asked.

"Infinite diversity, infinite combinations," the Counselor said, looking up, 
his chin resting in the palm of his hand. "It's a cornerstone of Vulcan 

"How does she plan on reaching Andoria?" Santos asked.

"I'm not sure," Challis said. "Gossamer Trailways, probably," Challis 
thought out loud, naming the only private transport company servicing the 
ultra-secret Starbase Brigadoon.

Santos shook his head. "We'll escort her to Andoria. She shouldn't have to 
take a transport with a group of strangers. She should be with us, her 
family and friends."

Challis' grin broke open. "Yes, sir." Challis made a note to contact T'Del.

Santos nodded. "Staff changes?"

E'thexx rose and placed a PADD in Santos' hand. "You'll be pleased to know 
we have finally located a suitable temporal specialist."

Santos glanced at the PADD. It featured a profile with the United Federation 
of Planets insignia in the top left corner, a photo of a young lieutenant on 
the right. Santos glanced quickly through the biography.

"The new temporal specialist, Luke Miller, is blind. He has requested no 
special treatment. We'll honor his wishes." Santos gave the PADD back to 

"Aye, sir," E'thexx and Challis said together.

"Is there anyone else?" Santos said. ("Walk with me, Jaav. I've been 
thinking about the Kountry Klingon barbecue on Brigadoon since the prisoner 
exchange mission.")

E'thexx said, "There is someone. We have someone interested in a civilian 
'observer' role."

"What is his or her background and area of interest?" Santos asked, walking 
through the umbilical and directly into the hustle and bustle of Brigadoon's 

"She describes her area of study as 'philoscience.' A maverick thinker, an 
independent. She's apparently quite the intellect."

Santos frowned as he rounded the corner of the promenade toward the Kountry 
Klingon. He only hoped there would be no line. "Where does she come from?"

"University of Pangea, I believe. Her given name is 'Leah.'"

The counselor took three steps before he realized that his commanding 
officer was no longer walking next to him.

E'thexx glanced back to see Santos staring ahead.

"Did you say 'Leah'?" Santos asked him.

"Yes, sir. Are you okay?"

"What is Leah's surname?" Santos asked.

E'thexx told him.

"Sir?" the counselor asked. "How do you feel?"

"Young," the Vanguard's commander said. "I feel young, Jaav."

Dr. E'thexx frowned, but smiled at his commander.

Santos tapped his communicator and requested the location of Luke Miller and 

"Luke Miller is located Nowhere in Particular." The computer indicated the 
same location for Leah.

"What does that mean-nowhere in particular? Is that a riddle?" the counselor 

"No," Santos grinned. "It's the name of the lounge on the Brigadoon."

"I've never been there," E'thexx said.

Santos started in the direction of the lounge.

"I know," he said. "I haven't been there in years."

[See: "If I Stand By and Do Nothing?" repost.]

Santos and E'thexx passed the Kountry Klingon as Sam McCaw and Shar took 
their table in the promenade seating area.

A Klingon in a greasy apron followed them.

"Y'all enjoy now!" the Klingon said cheerfully, placing two trays of food in 
front of them.

McCaw and Shar looked at the food.

"Didn't the captain say this was the best place for barbecue outside of 
Earth?" Shar said.

McCaw nodded and stared at his dinner. "This can't be right. It smells 

"Maybe he's having a joke at our expense??" Shar asked.

"I've never known the captain to play a joke. Not like this. This looks like 
it could make your extremities fall off."

Shar and McCaw watched Santos and E'thexx walk by quickly.

"Where's the fire?" Shar asked.

E'thexx glanced at him and shrugged.

Shar and McCaw left their meals behind and followed Santos and E'thexx.

Inside Nowhere in Particular, the Vanguard's officers stood at the entrance, 
letting their eyes adjust to the dim interior. Zena Quetan had joined them 
outside the Silk Emporium.

Santos recognized a face at the bar.

"Help yourselves to a drink. On me," Santos said.

"You don't have to tell me twice," McCaw said.

Santos spotted a lone Starfleet officer sitting at one end of the bar, 
nursing a drink. He was wearing a mustard jumpsuit, the standard travel 
attire in this era.

As Santos approached Luke Miller, a woman-a Trill-stepped in front of him.

"Still slipping and tripping after all these years, Captain?" she smiled.

Santos' face lit up as he recognized the Dabo worker he had met four years 
ago, here, when he took command of the Vanguard.

She laughed and gave him a hug.

"You don't remember my name, do you?" she grinned playfully.

Santos chuckled. "I don't. There's been too much water under the bridge 
since then."

"It's Martika. Martika Zal, now, actually. I'm Joined." She mentioned this 
proudly, without a trace of conceit.

Santos smiled and nodded. "You were studying art history at Central Trill, 
to increase your chances of being Joined. I remember."

"That's right. I did return to school. And I was Joined last year." Martika 
put her hand to her belly.

"That's wonderful," Santos beamed. "I'm happy for you."

Martika nodded, looking at Santos. "It was because of you, actually. You 
told me that I would make a good candidate for the Joining. I didn't know if 
you were handing me a line or not, but I decided I'd give it another try." 
She laughed. "And now, here I am. I teach art at the university. You should 
sit in one of my lectures."

"I just may do that," Santos nodded.

She smiled. "No, you won't. But I just wanted to say hello, anyway. I just 
happened to be here, looking up some old friends, when I heard the Vanguard 
had docked. I wanted to see you?and thank you."

Santos cocked an eyebrow. "Maybe I was just trying to give a Dabo worker a 
line??" He grinned. She returned it.

"No, you weren't," Martika Zal said. "I heard a hundred lines every night. 
You were different. You really thought I could do it, and then you had me 
believing, too." She stood on her tiptoes and pecked him on the cheek.

"You're a good man, Nick. I'm glad we met."

She squeezed his hand and smiled at him, mouthing "Bye."

Santos watched her go.

"Captain Santos?" said a voice behind him. Santos turned, and came face to 
face with Luke Miller. "Oh, excuse me, sir. I meant 'Commodore,' of course. 
The news is all over Brigadoon."

"Just call me Nick," Santos said. "Everyone does."

Miller laughed. "That's going to take some getting used to?Nick. The captain 
of the Spotter was a stickler for protocol."

"Careful, Mister Miller." Santos grinned. "Andrea Black was-and is-a good 
friend of mine."

"Oh, uh?sorry, sir. I didn't mean?"

Santos held up a hand. "At ease, Mister Miller. I'm well aware of Captain 
Black's peccadilloes."

Santos looked around. "Are you ready?"

"For??" Miller asked.

Before Santos could say, McCaw, Shar, Quetan, and E'thexx approached the 

"Hi, you must be Lukas," McCaw said, shaking hands with the temporal 

"Please call me Luke, Lieutenant McCaw," Miller grinned.

McCaw cocked an eyebrow. "Well, well! I see that my reputation precedes me!"

"I'm sure it does, sir," Miller said. "But I studied the command chart as 
soon as I had access to it. I know that you're my department head in 

They all laughed, and McCaw nodded with a grin on his face.

"Hey, he's just shy about the hero worship," McCaw shrugged.

They introduced themselves in turn and shook Miller's hand: "Zena Quetan, 
first officer," "Counselor Jaav E'thexx?my office is always open to you?" 
"Shar. I blow up things. It's fun."

"This is quite a welcome!" Miller said.

"Well, actually, Lukas. I came here to meet an old friend. But I'm glad we 
had the chance to meet," Santos said, nodding.

"Ah," Miller said. He sounded slightly disappointing.

Santos touched his badge. =/\= "Santos to Challis." =/\=

=/\= "Challis here." =/\=

=/\= "Mister Challis, Lieutenant Miller is aboard Brigadoon and will be 
ready to board the Vanguard at your convenience." =/\=

=/\= "We have everything ready for him. Just tell him to come by." =/\=

=/\= "Thank you, Challis. Santos out." =/\=

"Mister Miller, a pleasure. I look forward to working with you on board," 
Santos told Miller.

"Thank you, sir?I mean 'Nick.'"

Santos nodded and turned toward the bar. His heart was racing, and his 
stomach was in that happy knot known as anticipation. How long had it been 
since he'd seen Leah?

USS Vanguard: http://ncv80221.netfirms.com/default.htm
Vanguard Archives: http://www.freelists.org/archives/ncv80221
FreeLists: http://www.freelists.org

Trying to contact the USS Vanguard managers? Send an email to:

Other related posts: