[USS Vanguard] RPG: Gone todash

  • From: "andywoho@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx" <andywoho@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 18 Oct 2004 16:33:53 -0500

Capt. Dominic Santos
USS Vanguard
After "Santos Versus Darkwater"

"Anything?" Zena Quetan clasped her hands behind her back and studied M.J. 
Valentine, currently occupying the navigator's seat next to helm officer Cynan 

"No, ma'am," Valentined replied.

"'Sir,' will do," Quetan said, then added, more gently, "Once you've gone 
through enough hosts, you remember what it was like to be a man."

The bridge crew chuckled, and Zena grinned. Inwardly, she sighed.

Situation report: The Federation timeship Vanguard, having just slipped a trap 
designed to keep them prisoner on a planet with nigh-immortal beings, had just 
jumped from the fire to the frying pan, so to speak. The crew of the Vanguard 
were proceeding through the Borg conduit designed to carry the Borg long 
distances between their base of operations and distant systems not yet 
assimilated into the hive.

Now, as evidenced by their initial foray into the conduit, their instruments 
were useless in navigating the conduit, and the possibility that the strange 
temporal qualities of the conduit may affect their trip, throwing off their 
calculations not simply in distance but also time--by some millennia!--was not 
out of the realm of possibility.

To make things worse, their best hope to survive this disaster was laid up in 
the sickbay. Captain Dominic Cesar Santos had been informed by agents from the 
future that one day, he would sign a peace treaty with the Borg, and in so 
doing, help usher in a new Golden Age for the Federation. He had also come to 
believe that this was the time, but that he would die before the mission was 

 From every angle, this was unbelievably difficult, dangerous and, yes, even 
foolish. However, the crew trusted Santos and had decided to band together to 
complete this mission, at the risk of their lives.

Zena hoped it wouldn't come to that, but knew it might. Secretly, she even felt 
it was unavoidable.

What she didn't know because she simply wasn't made that way was the trust, 
devotion and faith that the crew placed in her. They loved her for her quiet 
strength and her fierce will. Her courage was second to none. The Chief 
Scientist's mind had often made incredible leaps of deduction that shed new 
light on their missions.

If anyone other than Santos or Soman had to be in charge, they were glad it was 
Zena. As Father had once told Santos, "Faith and fear are exclusive--they 
cannot occupy the heart or mind at the same time." That the Vanguard's officers 
were fearful was not in question; the faith they had in Zena overshadowed it 
and allowed them to perform at the level Captain Santos knew they were capable 

He would have been proud, indeed, to see them now. Very proud.

Zena glanced at Highwaij and cocked an eyebrow. The communications officer had 
been listening for any random "chatter" while they were in the conduit, hoping 
for signs of other ships that may be able to lend support. Of course, it was 
unspoken, but obviously, he was on the lookout for Borg vessels patrolling the 
conduit. His head shake was then both good and bad news.

Zena strolled back up toward the Engineering and Science consoles rear of the 

Sam McCaw looked up from his board.

"What do you think, Sam? Will our instruments ever function?"

McCaw shook his head. "They're in upheaval. This morning, I queried the 
Vanguard computer for the universal time and our present coordinates. It gave 
me a recipe for something called 'Cheeseburger in Paradise.'"

Zena half shrugged. "Was it any good?"

"I wouldn't have used so much bleu cheese dressing myself, but I like the idea 
of diced vidalia onions."

Zena smiled ruefully. "Send the recipe to Des; we'll all sit down and eat 
Cheeseburgers in Paradise tonight."

"Aye, sir," McCaw replied. "May we have real beef?"

"Why not?" She patted him on the shoulder. "Do your best."

=/\= "Bridge, Sickbay." =/\=

=/\= "Sickbay, bridge. Report." =/\=

=/\= "The captain is awake. I don't know how long I can keep him conscious. If 
you need to talk to him, you better do it now." =/\=

Zena watched the bridge crew try not to react to this news, but a palpable 
sense of relief washed over those within earshot.

=/\= "Thank you, Doctor. I'm on my way. Bridge out." =/\=

Zena turned toward Mandrake. "Commander, you have the bridge."

Mandrake leapt from his position, nodding at Valentine first, who took his 

"Like hell I do," Mandrake said. "Mister McCaw, the bridge is yours. Try not to 
run her into any Borg cubes."

McCaw gave him a "Very funny" look.

"I'm coming with you," Mandrake said, telling Quetan what she could obviously 

They leapt into the turbolift together.

"Sickbay," Quetan said.

"Going my way?" Mandrake asked Quetan. She gave him a wry smile.

In sickbay, Mandrake and Quetan arrived just in time to see Santos stirring. 
Although his wounds had been dressed and he had been dressed in appropriate 
attire for his visit to sickbay, the lighting in sickbay accented all the 
damage that had been done during his battle with Photonic-"Kieran".

"What's happening, Doctor?" Quetan asked Droin.

"He's not all the way under, but he's not responding anymore."

Droin leaned over and put her face close to Santos's.

"Nick!" She snapped her fingers near his left ear. "Can you hear me? Nick!"

The only reply she received was some mumbling and head thrashing.

Droin looked at Cynan and Zena and shook her head.

"As you can see, he's faded out again."

"How often is he coming to?" Mandrake asked.

"You're seeing it. There's a theory that when a patient is in coma or coma-like 
state, their brains, their minds, are still active. It's why we talk to those 
people in a coma."

Mandrake nodded, looking far away. Droin noted it and reminded herself to ask 
him what had happened and who he had known who had been in a coma.

Her drifting off (she had not slept in nearly 30 hours) was interrupted by 
Santos getting louder and irate.

"...Ng. Uh. No, don't do that...Liza, professor. I'll be responsib...Henny, I 
need your help...one ugh good reason, Bonapart..."

Mandrake frowned at Zena, who shook her head. "I'll explain later," she said. 
"They were friends of his from the Academy. Liza you know."

At the mention of Liza, Santos's former wife, Mandrake made a face as if 
someone had just told him that they would be taking away his swords and banning 
him from his holodeck training exercises. Mandrake's memories of his mission 
for Elizabeth Merchant-Santos were not pleasant ones.

"He's saying something else." The trio bent down to listen more closely.

"Hm," Quetan said. "Sounds like...'queue'?"

Mandrake frowned deeper. "Maybe like 'cue'?"

Their eyes suddenly bulged open.

They shot up at the same time and looked at each other, eyes wide. Cynan 
Mandrake, Zena Quetan and Dr. Droin said, in unison, one name:

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