[USS Vanguard] RPG: All Roads Lead to Carillon

  • From: Andy Ho <andywoho@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: vanguard <ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 9 Aug 2005 15:30:44 -0500

Commodore Dominic Santos
USS Vanguard
After "The Chair"

[From Kavan: "The Chair"]

"Chief?" He heard Lieutenant Valentine speak from somewhere else on
the bridge. He opened his eyes and observed that everyone on the
bridge was looking at him.

Craig quickly recovered his composure, mostly. "Lieutenant, we seemed
to be unable to communicate with the away team."


Valentine exchanged a look with Lopez-Fitzgerald. The two left their
chairs and joined Kavan at the console.

"Er," Valentine began, "how long have we lost contact?"

Kavan studied his console. "Approximately 47 standard minutes, ma'am."

"Can you re-establish communication?" Valentine asked Kavan.

"It's the first thing I tried," Kavan replied.

"How *are* we in contact with the two teams?" Lopez-Fitzgerald asked.

"Each team member has a standard communicator hidden on his or her
person," Kavan patiently explained.

"This isn't good, is it?" Valentine asked.

"No, ma'am," Kavan said. "It's not."

"Can we widen the sensor sweep? Try to locate them that way?" Valentine ask=

Kavan shook his head as he looked at the console. "Our sensors are
somehow being blocked."

"How is that possible?" Valentine asked, more to herself than anyone else.

From the Security/Tactical station, Ceelak Nostrova studied Valentine,
Lopez-Fitzgerald and Kavan wordlessly.

Nostrova tapped her comm badge. =3D/\=3D "Nostrova to Droin. I think you
should come up to the Bridge, Doctor. Right away." =3D/\=3D


Santos sat on a small stone bridge and stared into the water. He
heard, rather than felt, the presence next to him.

She sat next to him and stared into the water, mirroring him.

"All roads lead to Beta Lachesis," the woman said.

Without turning, Santos recognized the voice of his adjutant, Evelyn
Caprice, who had been at his side during the first Vanguard mission
but departed shortly after.

"Bonjour, Nick," she greeted him. "It's been a long time, non?"

"A few years, Cappie. How have you been keeping yourself?"

"Surviving," the adjutant said.

"C'est vrai, c'est vrai," Santos said. ("It's true, it's true.")

"Ca va, Dominic?" Caprice asked.

Santos looked up at the clear blue sky.

"You know, it's funny. I just realized that it's never cloudless in
Bath. Which is why this is a dream, or a hallucination, or I'm in the
Nexus, or any number of things."

Caprice said nothing.

"Cappie, I just learned that a woman who died during this vessel's
first cruise was my daughter, a daughter I never even knew I had. How
do you *think* I feel?"

Caprice opened her fist. Santos watched as a dove flew up, up into the
sky, so high that it soon flew too high for him to see it.

"Mon capitaine," Caprice said, "Stark has found her peace. How about you?"

Santos closed his eyes and prepared a reply. When he opened them, he
found himself on another planet. From what he knew of it, it looked
like Bajor.

From behind Santos: "All roads lead to Beta Lachesis."

Santos turned and came face-to-face with Soman Drath. The Vanguard's
former executive officer was dressed in the robes of a Bajoran vedek.

"Drath," Santos smiled. "How is the pilgrimage?"

Soman Drath scratched at a beard he didn't have when he had been on
the Vanguard.

"Enlightening," Drath said. "It's a shame that Terrans no longer take
walkabout or pilgrimage. You would be surprised what you would learn
about yourself."

Santos grinned. "I'm sure."

"You no doubt seek what I have to say about this situation with
Kristen Stark. I have no wisdom to offer you, other than this: You
were a fine captain. A good friend. I was proud to have served as your
ship's executive officer. I feel I learned from you."

Santos closed his eyes and rubbed his temples.

When he opened his eyes, he saw Zena Quetan.

"Zena...?" he asked.

Quetan grinned at him. "We need you, Nick. Hurry."

"What...?" Then he stopped.

Kristen Stark walked out from behind Quetan.

Quetan glanced at her momentarily.

Stark approached Santos. "Father..." she began.

She put a finger to her lips, asking him to be quiet. Then, she put
her mouth by his ear and a hand to shield what she was saying, as if
imparting a secret.

Santos listened to the secret that Stark shared with him.

On the Bridge:

"...can we do about this?" Valentine asked Kavan.

"We have to consider the mission may be compromised at this point and
assemble a security detail prepared any number of eventualities: a
hostage situation, members of both teams either injured...or dead."

Lopez-Fitzgerald put her hands to her mouth, as if praying.

Dr. Xristha Droin emerged on the Bridge and quickly scanned the personnel.

"What the hell is going on here?" the Chief Medical Officer asked.

Kavan turned to her. "Ma'am, I have just informed Lieutenants
Valentine and Lopez-Fitzgerald that we have lost contact with both
away teams. We are considering our options."

Droin strolled up to Valentine.

"M.J.," she said quietly, but forcefully, "I need you to cede command
of this vessel to me."

Valentine took a deep breath. "With all due respect, Doctor, I was
left in command of this vessel..."

"...by Chief Petty Officer Kavan, lieutenant, who as enlisted
personnel, should never have been left in command by the captain in
the first place."

"Are you questioning the commodore's orders, Xristha?" Valentine
asked. "To be blunt, I am a bridge officer, while you are a member of
the Medical/Science team."

Droin shook her head and continued to shake her head as she replied,
"M.J., don't do this. Do not create a crisis in the chain of command.
At the current time, I am the ranking senior officer aboard this
vessel. I am equipped and prepared to deal with any crisis in the
absence of its captain."

"Where *is* Nick?" Lopez-Fitzgerald asked.

"Nick Santos is currently under my care in sickbay--"

"Then why aren't you down there, Doctor?" Valentine asked.

Droin continued as if Valentine hadn't made the statement. "--and is
either still under sedation, or, if he has come around, may be in a
catatonic state. In either case, as the Chief Medical Officer of this
vessel, I've determined that at the present time, Commodore Dominic
Santos is unfit for command."

"What!" Lopez-Fitzgerald exclaimed.

"We're wasting time," Droin said. "Give me command of this vessel. We
need to establish the location and condition of both away teams."

"Well, at least we agree on something," Valentine said. "We're wasting time=

"What the hell is going on here?"

Kavan, Droin, Valentine, Lopez-Fitzgerald and Nostrova turned to find
Dominic Santos exiting the turbolift. He looked unsteady, and dark
circles had appeared under his eyes, but even so, Kavan would have
staked the commodore in a bat'leth tournament against Klingon

"Commodore," Droin said officially, "you should be resting in sickbay.
Where's Jaav? He should have stopped you from leaving Sickbay."

"I knocked him down and fled sickbay," Santos replied. They were all stunne=

"Just kidding," Santos said.

"I'm right here," E'thexx said, exiting the turbolift.

Santos looked at Valentine.

"Lieutenant, I relieve you of command," Santos said.

Lt. Valentine stood a little taller. "Sir, I so stand relieved."

Santos nodded at her. "Thank you."

He looked at them all. "We'll talk about what happened here later. For
right now, report the situation to me."

Kavan quickly did.

Santos appeared lost in thought for a brief moment. Then, he ordered:
"We're going to assemble an away team, transport down planetside to
Carillon and locate the missing away teams ourselves. I'll lead Team

"Droin, Kavan, Nostrova: you're with me."

As Santos turned toward the turbolift, he was met with
acknowledgements: "Sir," "Aye, sir" and "Yes, Commodore."

As the quartet entered the turbolift, Santos ordered: =3D/\=3D "Computer,
Ancient West clothing." =3D/\=3D

Moments later, Santos, Kavan, Droin and Nostrova reappeared on the
surface of Carillon.

Santos was struck immediately by the dust and heat.

Santos wore an olive shirt over blue dungarees, snakeskin boots and a
black hat, which he pulled lower to shield his face from the sun. An
oiled gunbelt hung low on his hip. His weapon of choice, a modified
Colt Peacemaker, sat in the holster, like a rattlesnake coiled to

Over Santos' shoulder hung a bow and a quiver of arrows.

He looked at the others, dressed similarly, and nodded.

"Let's go," Dominic Santos said.

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