[USS Vanguard] Mr. Bright Side, Part 1

  • From: "Andy W. Ho" <andywoho@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2005 15:55:47 -0700 (PDT)

OoC: I apologize for the multiple posts. Gmail seems to be very
inconsistent about Freelists.

Commodore Dominic Santos
USS Vanguard/Starbase Brigadoon/Nowhere In Particular
After "Phoenix Ascendant, Part 2"


"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

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 us?"

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 danger."

"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

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 belief."

"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

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

"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 E'thexx.

"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 promenade.

"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 Leah.

?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 asked.

?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

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

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 pair.

?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

?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?

[To be continued.]
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