[USS Vanguard] RP: The Reunion

  • From: Andy <andywoho@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: vanguard <ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 16 Jun 2010 21:17:08 -0500

Dominic Cesar Santos rose to his feet, wiping the soil off his hands on the
pant-legs of his utility uniform.
He looked around at his greenhouse, satisfied by what he saw. The flora of
113 worlds were represented here, their unique needs quietly and efficiently
met through technology, ingenuity and sometimes, sheer desperation and

The real prize was a Vulcan hemlock, which only bloomed once every ten
years. Santos had discovered upon relocating it to his current post that he
could force it to bloom once every six months for a three or four day
period. It was currently in bloom.

As Santos exited the greenhouse, he brushed against a large, leafy frond,
which responded by turning toward his touch and emitting a low hum. The
frond turned many vibrant hues and then returned to its natural green.

Santos stood in the doorway of the greenhouse.

"Computer," he said. The low chirp signalled the computer's acknowledgement.
Santos mused that the computer chirp of Federation computers became more
pleasant with each passing generation.

"Time," Santos ordered.

"The time is oh seven fifty-five," came the neutrally-accented male voice.
Computer voices became more and more natural sounding, as well, Santos
mused. Most Federation computers now also contained bioneural gel-paks,
which seemed astonishing during the era when Admiral Janeway's starship,
Voyager, was lost in the Delta Quadrant (with this amazing technology), but
the technology was fairly standard if not a bit obsolete. (Having returned
to his original division of Operations, Santos loved staying on top of the
new technology.)

"Activate Adjutant," Santos ordered. The air in front of Santos shimmered
and coalesced around a Terran form.

"Please state the nature of your personal and/or professional needs," the
hologram said, blandly.

"Prentiss, review my schedule," Santos ordered.

"You have an oh-eight-hundred appointment with the counselor, an appointment
with Dr. Hsu at oh-nine-thirty and a review of station security at
eleven-hundred. Shall I continue?"

"No, that will be all."

Prentiss nodded, shimmered and disappeared.

Santos exited the greenhouse toward the turbolift. He entered the turbolift
and commanded, "Deck One."

He exited the turbolift onto Deck One, the main level of Starbase Roebling.
The station's engineering, medical and support offices were housed here,
along with all entrances to shuttlebays, docks and senior officers' private
offices. The restaurants and lounges were also found here. Although he could
have visited the counselor's office directly, Santos found walking through
this area an enjoyable diversion in the morning, as the officers, personnel
and civilian inhabitants started their day.

Starbase Roebling's main function was an engineering and operations depot,
where shuttles and starships stopped for repairs and resupply. More
cutting-edge research into engineering, computer sciences and life sciences
also took place on base. All in all, this deep in Federation territory, the
station was generally safe from factions hostile to the Federation.

(Hirogen pirates had been appearing more and more frequently inside
Federation territory, striking their targets and apparently disappearing as
quickly as they had appeared. Making the situation worse, the Remans had
been aggressively rebuilding their forces following the destruction of
Romulus, their ability to gather resources and build powerful and
lightning-fast starships aided them in this regard. Lately, the Remans had
raised red flags all along the Neutral Zone as they demanded more
contributions from Romulan member worlds, perhaps fearing that the Empire
would collapse once the Romulan capital world collapsed.)

Starbase Roebling was a quiet, efficient marvel of a starbase. While it
rarely caught Starfleet's notice, its officers and crews contributed to the
scientific and engineering mission. When the position was offered to
Commodore Santos following the decommission of Vanguard (and his own second
rehabilitation), Santos took the post with reluctance, hoping for another
starship command and that somehow, his officers (who had advanced to other
postings) would accept another starship posting with him. It didn't happen
like that. But Santos found himself satisfied with the base and what he had
accomplished once he was back in Operations.

However, Santos sometimes found himself sitting in the Deck One-and-a-Half
Lounge, sipping a light whiskey and water, staring out the large viewport as
a Sovereign-class starship or Australia-class heavy cruiser or even a
Farragut-class blockade runner docked at his base then went to warp for
parts unknown.

Santos made his way through the atrium and took the steps to the counselor's

He rang the chime and heard the lyrical voice bid him "Enter!"

He walked into Dr. Shelton O'Riley's office. It was a sufficient office, but
most of the space was taken up by gewgaws and children's drawings,
anatomical models and PADDs flipped open to something Dr. O'Riley had been
in the middle of reading. A pair of skis and ski poles were propped against
one wall. Plants were in various stages of life and death. Some had been
gifts from Santos himself.

Dr. O'Riley looked up and smiled.

"Horse walks into a bar," she said in a musical Irish accent.

"Bartender says, 'Why the long face?'" Santos finished.

"Stop me if you've heard that one," she said.

"Too late," Santos said.

She greeted all patients the same way.

Dr. O'Riley smiled and indicated the chair across from her. Santos sat.

"So..." she said, "how are you?" She settled into her chair and sipped from
a mug, the steam rising from her cup. Santos smelled chamomile and lemon.

Santos shrugged.

"Oh, don't give me that," she said. "You are here for your monthly
appointment. In these difficult times, me old son, they are mandatory, they
are, but you and I usually just chit-chat, I sign your PADD, say how well
adjusted and normal you are, and you are off. Today, you seem different."

"How do I seem different?"

O'Riley narrowed her eyes at him and grimaced. She settled into her chair,
the clutter around her suddenly gone. The office suddenly became just her
and her commanding officer. It was why she was so good at her job, and why
under Santos, she was the second officer, a decision that did not sit well
initially with the base's engineers, scientists and medical researchers.

"Do you know what they say about answering a question with another
question?" Dr. O'Riley asked.

"It depends if you ask psychologists or law enforcement, actually," Santos

"Right you are. But because I am a Board certified and licensed
psychologist, I say you are avoiding the issue."

Santos walked to the replicator, making himself at home. "Orange juice,
chilled." The drink materialized and he sipped, walking back to his chair
and sitting down.

"It's the reunion, isn't it?" she asked.

Santos cocked an eyebrow and grinned at her.

"Ah, the Vanguard reunion. It's that time of year. The annual get-together
of your old crewmates from the Vanguard. For a week once a year, you all
drop what you are doing, they travel here to see you, you laugh, you eat,
you drink, you tell old stories and then cry for a bit, and promise to get
together more often." Dr. O'Riley clutched her hands over her heart and
grinned at him.

Santos merely smiled at her.

"Why is it bothering you, then, Nick? Every year, you have a good time."

"It's been five years," he said.

"Five years since you were last together as a crew," she said, nodding.

"Yes," he said. "And every year, I'm afraid the group that shows up will be
just a little smaller."

"That they've forgotten or don't care," she said.

"You know, I wonder how many more years we can do this. Sooner or later,
we're going to move on."

"They were good years," she said.

"Very good years."

"You still care about them."

"Very much."

"Then you should enjoy every minute of it. You can't go back," she said.
"Let the past be the past."

"Those were good years. My one regret, my one fear, is that I've let any of
those people down, in any way."

Santos and Dr. O'Riley continued their session, and to an outsider, it would
appear as if they were just having a conversation. As Santos spoke, he
thought about the day or two ahead and the crew of the Vanguard who would be

They were coming, and Santos felt alive all over again.

USS Vanguard: http://www.ncv80221.net/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:

  • » [USS Vanguard] RP: The Reunion - Andy