[USS Vanguard] RPG: Across the Sea

  • From: Andy <andywoho@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: vanguard <ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 27 Jun 2010 03:52:56 -0500

Commodore Dominic Cesar Santos
Starbase Roebling
After "On My Way," prior to "Also on the Way"
Commodore Dominic Santos sipped his orange juice and listened to the reports
by the Roebling department heads.

Maribel Reyes and Takashi Sutton, the stellar cartographer and her Academy
cadet trainee, had discovered a wormhole about 50 light years from the base
and had taken the Runabout Yamdrok-Tso to catalog it. Commodore Santos had
invited Cynan Mandrake to accompany them, and he had accepted. Santos
thought it would be a unique and exciting opportunity for Cynan while Santos
completed base responsibilities.

"So, again, no major incidents on base this week, except for a
misunderstanding with the Grizzelan ambassador. She entered her hibernation
cycle and will need her suite for another five months." Neil Bollinger, a
Caribbean-Briton who headed the Security department, completed his report
and placed his PADD on the table.

"Noted," Santos said, dryly. He nodded at his holographic adjutant,
Prentiss, sitting at his side, quietly noting the meeting. Santos knew that
although she appeared completely still, she was recording every detail of
the meeting and could upload the recording into the holodeck, if necessary.

Commander Larek presented the report from Engineering. Larek's mother had
been a member of the Vulcan delegation who had welcomed the first Ocampan
mission to the Alpha Quadrant. The Vulcans had managed to duplicate the
communications array in the Delta Quadrant that had allowed Admiral Janeway
and the crew of the Voyager to communicate with Earth during their time in
the Delta Quadrant. The Vulcans had made contact with the Ocampans and
assisted the first Ocampan delegation to the Alpha Quadrant.

Because of the relatively short life spans of the Ocampans, time and speed
were crucial considerations; even with Vulcan technology improving the
Ocampan craft, the Ocampan ship had been a multi-generational ship. The
first Ocampan crew knew they wouldn't live to see the Alpha Quadrant. They
also knew that their children, born aboard their starship, Comra's Compass,
would not live long enough to return to Ocampa.

Larek's grandfather and grandmother had died before reaching the Alpha
Quadrant. Her father had led the mission when the Ocampans finally arrived
on Vulcan. Somehow, he had convinced Larek's mother to forgo the often long
and complicated courtship rituals involved in Vulcan relationships. Her
mother had agreed it would be "illogical." And so Larek's father had been
five years old when he had become a father, middle-aged by Ocampan
standards. Larek's mother had been 60 years old, young by Vulcan's.  She had
admired his age and wisdom. He had admired her intelligence, gentleness and
youth. It was a strange universe.

Dr. Shelton O'Riley and Dr. Stephen Hsu represented the Medical departments
aboard the base, and they, along with the Executive Officer, who had the
improbable name of John Smith, comprised the entire senior staff.

On the surface, there was nothing remarkable or even memorable about
Commander John Smith. He was of average height, average weight, had brown
hair, brown eyes, and his complexion (along with some of his facial
characteristics) could have suggested any (or a mix) of the major Terran
ethnic groups.  But that was where Smith's ordinariness ended. For one
thing, he had named himself "John Smith." Or, to be more precise, the name
had been chosen for him when he was an adult.

When the Federation starship Burnside had made a visit to the Pyxis Villa
colony, they had discovered the entire colony had disappeared--all
inhabitants, all structures. They had found John Smith wandering where Pyxis
Villa should have been, the only living person on the planet. He had no
memory of the colony or what had happened to the colony. In fact, he had no
memories at all before Pyxis Villa. It was as if he had spontaneously
appeared, fully grown, at the site of a dead colony.

Smith had come under the care of Burnside's chief medical officer, Dr. Peter
Argo, who called him "John Smith" to signify his "unknown" status. (In fact,
his full name was "John X Smith.") Smith was transported to the Vulcan
Science Academy to work with some of their best kohlinar masters in an
attempt to discover his past (and work out what had happened to Pyxis Villa
colony). The Vulcans discovered nothing of his past, but to their
astonishment, did discover something remarkable: Smith was an unparalleled
genius in mathematics.

He stayed at the Vulcan Science Academy and was educated there, taking the
name "John Smith" for himself, and joined Starfleet after his education.
While there was some initial resistance to Smith (Dr. O'Riley asked Santos
if he ever considered that Smith himself was responsible for the colony's
destruction, to which Santos replied, "If he did, I believe he really
doesn't remember"), the engineers and scientists at Roebling were impressed
by his genius in mathematics. Roebling needed Smith, as much as Smith needed

Santos found Smith to be a quiet, capable executive and a trustworthy number
one. He had rarely seen Smith lose his temper or show impatience. On the
other hand, Smith seemed to have no outside interests to speak of. He
didn't, for example, often visit the Deck One-and-a-Half Lounge, and
although he had selected April 1 (historically, April Fool's Day on Earth)
as his birthday, never celebrated it and had seemed extremely annoyed the
one time Werth had made the mistake of throwing a surprise party in his

Chess and mathematics were his only interests, although Santos often
suspected that he had to lower his game by a few degrees in order to
convince anyone on Roebling to play with him.

Commander Smith was often integral to solving difficult engineering and
mathematics problems on base, and what he lacked in inspiration or feeling
or joie de vivre (all things Santos admired in his former executives on
Vanguard, from Stark to Soman to Zena Quetan), he made up for in
even-temperedness, knowledge and the ability to command when called upon to
do so.

Santos came back to the present as Larek finished her report on waste
disposal and the station's power cores. Santos thanked her and nodded at
Smith. Smith slowly shook his head, indicating he had nothing to report,
which didn't surprise Santos.

Santos dismissed the senior staff, who knew that Santos may be busy with the
Vanguard reunion and to give their commanding officer a wide berth. Santos'
feelings tended to run...high where the Vanguard was involved.

Santos retired to his quarters. Whenever Santos walked into his quarters, it
was not unlike every stay he had ever had in a hotel room, away from home.
The room always seemed too quiet, too much in need of something, anything,
to fill it with personality, color and life.

Santos studied the computer on his table and noticed a message.

He browsed the message and smiled when he saw it was from Zena Quetan.

He ordered the computer to play back the message. The Starfleet and Roebling
insignias were instantly replaced with the image of Zena Quetan, behind the
controls of a shuttlecraft.

"Hello, Nick," she began, smiling. "I promised you I would make the reunion
this year, and I'm good for it! I'm on my way now. Tell the dockmasters at
Roebling to save my space. It's the one reserved for the captain of the USS
Meridian." She paused, as if mulling over a memory. "I'll be there soon. And
I've been looking forward to it." Santos watched as she reached for a
control between her and his screen. The image faded out immediately,
replaced by the Roebling insignia.

Santos sat back and smiled at the screen. He played the message again. After
he had watched it for a second time, he ordered, "Computer, begin

"Zena, thank you for the message. I've warned the dockmaster. In fact, I
have emergency crews on standby. They know to be on the lookout for one
reckless starship captain behind the controls of a shuttlecraft." He smiled.
"I'm looking forward to seeing you, too. We've got your favorite drinks and
food all ready for you. I'll see you soon. Safe trip and, uh, just get here

Santos reached for a button on his computer and stopped recording his
message. "Computer, send message, Captain Zena Quetan, USS Meridian." The
computer chimed.
Santos sat back in his chair and laced his fingers behind his head.

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