[USS Vanguard] RPG: In Action

  • From: "andywoho@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx" <andywoho@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 7 Oct 2003 08:54:49 -0500

Capt. Trevor Elis
USS Vanguard
After all recent posts

"Were you simply waiting for that guerilla to accost us, Cynan, or was your 
timing merely fortuitous?" Darkwater asked Mandrake.

Mandrake gave Darkwater a lopsided grin, and replied, "Ah, well, that's the 
question you'll be asking yourself at supper tonight, isn't it?"

Darkwater frowned. "And what in hell's name does that mean?"

Mandrake turned and looked at the masses of refugees huddled in a corner of the 
building. "I was preoccupied, that's all.  I just made it planet-side. What are 
we going to do with these people, Kieran?"

Darkwater shook his head and sighed. It was the first time that Mandrake could 
remember seeing even a hint of resignation in the A&A Officer's face. "Damned 
if I know. I was hoping the captain would have some idea."

[At that moment]

Zena Quetan walked onto the bridge. She surveyed the scene looking for Captain 

Elis was standing, predictably enough, at parade rest, keeping a watch on the 
forward viewer. The viewer had been modified to show the planet's surface on 
one half. The other half was sub-divided to display data the Vanguard was 
gathering on the situation on the ground, along with video images.

The video showed an away team (Zena recognized team Bravo-3) bursting into a 
tenement building. There were shouts as the Vanguard team entered, followed by 
an eerie silence, and then phaser-fire erupted, along with shouts from inside. 
Purple phaser trails shot out from the building.

 From the sound of the battle, Zena couldn't tell who was being hit, and 
whether the Vanguard team was losing or winning the battle.

Without turning, Elis said, "Mister Quetan--report."

"Captain, Mandrake and Darkwater's team is on the ground at the primary power 
junction, attempting to restore power. Mandrake just sent his report. There was 
an incident, but they have it under control. It turns out that..."

Elis cut her off. "That is all I need to know. They are capable officers 
capable of making command decisions in the wild."

Quetan bit her lower lip and resisted the urge to deck Elis. The benefit of 
several lifetimes' worth of Trill patience helped. But only just.

"Bravo-2 has landed in the second continent and have begun to roust the 
guerilla camp. They were successful but have two casualties. Bravo-4 suppressed 
a riot at the food distribution center. If we're going to continue to dispense 
food, we're going to need more supplies."

Elis didn't move. Quetan stood there, without knowing what to do, until Elis 
finally said, "Thank you, Mister Quetan. You're dismissed."

Quetan turned to leave, then made up her mind to say something else. "Sir," she 
said. He continued to remain stock-still. "With all due respect, if we are 
going to succeed at this mission, we need a timetable and a plan that allows us 
to be proactive in combating hostile situations before they occur, and we need 
to stop reacting to these situations. We have been here for several days and 
continue to get hurt on the ground. We also need to know that the Federation 
task force sent as the second team will arrive, and when. And..."

Elis said, very quietly, managing not to be rude, "The scuttlebutt is that 
there is a Federation presence already on the planet. Make contact with him as 
soon as you can. [Tony? :)]

"Again, you're dismissed, Lietuenant."

Quetan managed not to stomp off the bridge. Mostly.


"You are sure there is nothing in the Command Handbook that would compel Capt. 
Elis to disclose what he knows about this mission?" Soman asked Aliyah Lopez.

Lopez shook her head.

Soman, Lopez, M. J. Valentine, Roch Chase and Jaav E'thexx sat in a corner of 
Event Horizon.

"On the contrary, Drath, the commanding officer is given wide discretionary 
powers in what to disclose and what not to disclose. One way to interpret the 
general order is that a commanding officer could all but take a starship into 
the most extraordinary circumstances and say next to nothing to his crew other 
than 'Open hailing frequencies,' 'Raise shields,' or 'Fire phasers.'"

"By the prophets, that is insane." Soman said, slumping back in his chair.

"Tell me, Commander, as the number two on this ship, isn't it your duty to know 
these sorts of regulations in the event Captain Santos is incapacitated?" 
E?thexx asked.

That wrested a smile out of Soman.

"I know what Captain Santos expects from each of us, and I know how this ship 
is run. I know Starfleet gives a lot of discretion in how each starship is run."

Chase finally spoke up. "We must be ready to concede that Captain Santos may 
not return."

"Well, Mr. Glass-Is-Half-Empty, I think it's safe to say that we're aware of 
that. We may be in for the long haul with Captain Elis. And this mission." 
Valentine looked at Chase without flinching.

Soman ran a hand over his tired face. "I need to be planet-side in a few hours. 
I'm going to get some sleep before I go down."

"Why don't you get some sleep, Drath? I mean, how much sleep have you had in 
the last couple of nights?" Lopez asked.

Soman smiled and put a hand on her shoulder. "Don't worry about me. I'll 

"Jaav? Isn't there something you can do? Can't you force him to take fewer 
shifts and get more sleep?"

The counselor shook his head.

As Soman rose, the others rose in respect. He smiled weakly and made his way 
out of Event Horizon.

At the bar, Ceelak Nostrova was tapping a PADD.

Desdemona slid on the bar stool next to her and said, "Hey. What are you 
doing?" It was a friendly gesture and not unfriendly, if a little nosy/curious.

Nostrova shook his/her head. "These Terrans. On my planet, we are warriors. We 
work in concert. When we commit to a course of action, we are all committed as 
one. There is no hesitation, and we rarely question our superiors."

Desdemona looked at the other officers, sitting quietly and nursing their 
drinks. She caught Chase's eye. The barkeep smiled and waved at him. He turned 
back to his drink.

"What you need to understand if you're ever going to understand Terrans?and 
Soman--, Ceelak, is that they prize their individuality. Why do you think they 
fear the Borg that much? They could imagine nothing worse than some 
puppetmaster behind the curtain telling them how to feel, what to think, what 
to do. They would rather die than lose their independence, their freedom, their 
ability to express their opinions."

"But Starfleet..."

"...is an organization that encourages, even prizes debate. Yes, it's a 
quasi-military organization constructed in a top-down fashion. But that's 
different than an organization that forces its party-line down the throat of 
its followers and then reinforces those ideas by force."

"Is it, Desdemona? Is it really?"

"Let's hope so. For their sakes. Their people fought and died in wars centuries 
ago just to avoid that sort of oppression. Their entire legacy is based around 
one ideal: the dream of freedom. They would fight to the last against anyone 
who threatened to take away their livelihood."

"You are not making much sense."

Desdemona smiled and patted Ceelak on the hand. "I know, dear, I'm just tired. 
I'm just tired watching what they're going through. Now, do you want another 

When Desdemona turned from the coffeemaker, Nostrova had "evolved" into his/her 
male form.

"I better not," he said. "I'll be up all night. And I need at least two hours 
of sleep. The...switch is much more difficult to control when I don't have at 
least two. We don't know why."

At that moment, Quetan?s voice over the intercom: ?All senior officers, report 
to duty stations.?

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