[USS Vanguard] RPG: Call Me Ishmael

  • From: "Andy W. Ho" <andywoho@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 19 May 2007 18:55:52 -0700 (PDT)

Commodore Dominic Santos
  Location: Unknown
  Timeframe: Unknown
  Dominic Cesar Santos came gradually to consciousness. Again, he was in a 
white room. Again, the air felt cool, and Santos shivered.
  He heard a soft mechanical chirp and a gently lilting voice ordered, "Please 
be calm. You are in no danger."
  Santos sat up on a bunk and ran his hands over his body. He was covered in a 
blue top and blue trousers. He plucked his top and looked at the emblem. It was 
the Starfleet caduceus.
  The door shushed open, and Santos was shocked to see two faces he felt he 
hadn't seen in a very long time.
  Captain Zena Quetan and Dr. Jaav E'thexx entered the small room where Santos 
had been sleeping. They both looked as if they had bad news to deliver. Santos 
also noticed their uniforms. Rather than the temporal services uniforms they 
had worn aboard the Vanguard, 
  Zena was wearing a crimson jumpsuit, indicating she had made a trip to see 
Santos. Dr. E'thexx wore the modern gray standard paired with a blue medical 
  "Zena?" Santos asked, smiling uncertainly. "Jaav?"
  Zena looked at Santos, and he noticed the cautiousness in her eyes regarding 
him in a way that he had never seen before. He was accustomed to a bright, 
cheerful alertness, attuned to his thoughts. Even Dr. E'thexx looked more 
solemn than usual.
  Finally, Zena's sunny smile broke across her face. "Hello, Nick," she said.
  "Hello," he replied.
  Dr. E'thexx turned to the door and spoke to an orderly. "Will you please give 
us some drinks? Coffee for me and the captain and an orange juice. Thank you."
  Zena Quetan took a seat at the small square table in the center of the room. 
"Would you like to join us, Nick?"
  Santos rose and took the chair opposite Zena's. Dr. E'thexx took a seat next 
to Zena.
  Zena looked at E'thexx, who nodded at her.
  "Nick, how much of the last two years do you remember?" she asked.
  Santos glanced away. He was uncomfortable. He knew he should know the answer 
to this question, but it didn't come right away, as it should have.
  "I remember...a mental asylum. I remember..." He stopped. He shook his head.
  Zena opened her mouth to speak. At that moment, the orderly re-entered the 
room and placed a tray containing tumblers before the threesome.
  Dr. E'thexx took a coffee and handed it to Zena. He took the orange juice and 
placed it before Santos. He took the last coffee and placed it before himself. 
He nodded at the orderly, dismissing him.
  Zena hadn't taken her eyes off Santos. She smiled her uncertain smile.
  "Nick, I have something to tell you. And this will come as a complete 
surprise to you. I need you to keep an open mind and remember that we're here 
for you, to answer any questions you may have."
  "Just tell me," Santos said quietly.
  "Nick, about four weeks ago, Starfleet Intelligence received an anonymous 
communique that a high-ranking, highly-decorated Starfleet officer had been 
brainwashed and had been held in a secret location near the Dominion Neutral 
  "Federation Marines and Starfleet Intelligence conducted a joint operation to 
locate and retrieve that officer. Even Section 31 came to the surface long 
enough to lend a hand."
  Santos grinned.
  Zena sipped her coffee before continuing. Santos noticed that E'thexx placed 
his hand on her shoulder in a gesture of reassurance.
  "The operation was a success. That officer was located earlier this week, 
rushed back to a medical facility and kept under observation. So far, he has 
done well."
  "Zena, where am I?" Santos asked.
  "Zena, why don't you tell me where I am?" Santos repeated.
  "Nick..." she said.
  "Zena!" he barked.
  "Nick. That officer was you."
  Santos felt his world give way. The floor spun. He couldn't see E'thexx or 
  "Nick, for at least two years, a Changeling has impersonated you. But we 
don't know how long. For at least two years, you have been held in what we 
believe is a Dominion mind-control facility."
  "That's...just not possible..." Santos said.
  Zena looked at Jaav.
  Dr. E'thexx said, "Nick, what is the last thing you remember?"
  "I remember...I remember...Carillon."
  Zena and E'thexx exchanged a look. Quetan spoke first. "Nick, at this point, 
we don't know how long a Changeling has been impersonating you. We don't know 
how long you have been missing in action, or which of your memories are false 
or implanted. Or both. Do you understand our dilemma?
  "We don't know how long we've served with the imposter. We don't know how 
many of your memories are genuine."
  Santos stared at the table. "My memories are real. My time aboard the 
Vanguard was real."
  He looked up.
  "The ship. I want to see the ship."
  Zena and E'thexx exchanged a look that made Santos' blood run cold.
  "What?" he asked again.
  "What!" he demanded.
  "Nick," Zena said. "The Vanguard was decommissioned a year ago."
  [To be continued]
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