[USS Vanguard] Operation: Marathon, or, If I Only Had a Symbiont

  • From: "Andy W. Ho" <andywoho@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: USS Vanguard <ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2002 20:50:52 -0800 (PST)

Capt. Dominic Cesar Santos
Captain's Dining Room
Following "The Old Renewed"

Santos looked around at the others. Their reactions ran the range from
apprehension to giddy excitement.

Santos had to admit a bit of guilty excitement; never having served
with a Trill, he didn't know much about them beyond what he learned
from his second officer, Zena Quetan.

The invitation to host one of Zena's former...hosts was too good to

"What else should I be doing?" Santos smiled at Jaav E'thexx and Zena

"Just relax," E'thexx smiled back. "Try to remain focused on where you
are, what you're doing. We'll be ready in a moment."

Zena Quetan sat with her arms comfortably on the rests. She smiled a
strange, serene, knowing smile.

"If you're all ready? Let's begin."


Sam McCaw arrived on the bridge and stood by Challis as he relieved her
from his station.

"A-heh-hem," Highwaij cleared his throat.

Sam looked up.

"Sorry," Sam gave Highwaij a lopsided grin.

"I've never known you to be late, Sam."

"You've been in the captain's chair--what? A few hours?"

Mark caught a fleeting grin from Highwaij and felt one spread over his
own face.

=/\= "Bridge to Science."

=/\= "Science, Darkwater here."

=/\= "All right, are you ready to proceed with the first set of buoys?"

=/\= "Willing and able. Just give the word."

"As of 0800 hours, Lieutenant Highwaij, temporarily in command of USS
Vanguard, is ready to proceed with Stage 1-1-A of Operation: Marathon.
Please have that noted for the official log, Crewman Challis."

"Aye, sir. Noted."

Operation: Marathon was a daring experiment left over from the Dominion
War. Starfleet's Corps of Engineers believed that with the proper
signal enhancement strategically placed with the addition of "signal
buoys" spaced no more than 25 light years equi-distant from the last,
it was theoretically possible to transport living matter over great
distances, "bouncing" the transporter signal from Point A to Point B
through the buoy relay stations in space.

The Vanguard had been ordered to test and deploy the buoys and to
somehow safeguard each one against sabotage or destruction. The crew
shuddered to think what would happen should one of the buoys be
rendered incapable without the knowledge of the staff crewing a "Point
A" relay station. Vokar had coined the phrase "railroad line split" to
illustrate the disastrous consequences. Santos thought it was an apt

=/\= "Kieran, release Buoy double-A and monitor its progress."

=/\= "Aye, releasing Buoy double-A from Shuttlebay One. Trajectory
looks good. Green lights across the board. I have communication with
the buoy. Buoy will transmit a signal every thirty seconds on its
status...ah, there's the first ping now." =/\=

Applause rippled across the bridge.

"Good work, everyone," Highwaij smiled. =/\= "Well done, Mr Darkwater."

=/\= "Buoy double-A is stable and holding its position. Why don't we
continue on the next one? Let me guess: Buoy AB?" =/\=

Highwaij chuckled. =/\= "Just so. Mr Challis, set a course 25 light
years from this location and engage at warp one-point-five."

"Aye, sir, course and heading laid in."

The Vanguard turned toward a blue nebula and went to warp, and in
space, the illusion that the timeship had suddenly grown longer before
disappearing in a corona of white light would have appeared to a
casual, spacebound observer.

The ship had been in flight less than two minutes when a yellow warning
lit up McCaw's panel.

Highwaij was next to him instantly.

"What is it?" Highwaij asked.

Highwaij opened his mouth again, and was cut off when McCaw tilted his
head up: =/\= "McCaw to Darkwater. What's the status of Buoy A-A?" 

"The buoy seems fine, Mr McCaw. I have normal readings; I suggest you
check yours."

=/\= "Check the readout again." =/\=

There was a long silence.

=/\= "The event log shows that something passed through the buoy. It
seemed to have targeted the buoy's point of origin. In this case, us."

Highwaij snapped around. "Tails, go to yellow alert. Lock down the
ship. Check for intruders."

Tails to Ennien tilted her head at Highwaij and ran from the bridge.

"What do you think it is?" Highwaij asked McCaw.

"Whatever it is, I hope it's friendly."


OoC: Zena Quetan and a small party will be starting/finishing a Trill
ceremony. Whether they will "be themselves" before the Borg come
remains to be seen. Mel? If you'll give us a bit of Trill

What/who/if anything came through Buoy AA onto the Vanguard is up to
the rest of the staff. An interesting note: My original post began with
Mandrake on the bridge and McCaw in Operations. Then I remembered some
surprises Mel had in store for us, which required a little tweaking.

Just copy and paste names, right? Wrong. Your characters are so strong,
I had to re-read each line and make additions and changes where
appropriate, thinking "That character would never say/do that!"

Hope you enjoy playing off this segment. More to come from me as it's
turned back over to each of you. Have fun!


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