[USS Vanguard] RPG: It's a Man's Man's Man's World

  • From: "Andy W. Ho" <andywoho@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: USS-Vanguard <ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 2 Oct 2002 10:44:34 -0700 (PDT)

Fleet Captain Dominic Santos
Following all recent posts
Location: USS Vanguard Briefing Chambers

Capt. Santos addressed the assembled in the Briefing Chambers.

"The Vanguard is undertaking its first temporal mission. Commander
Soman and I have selected a fact-finding mission for this purpose."

"Temporal archaeology?" asked Dr. Droin, eliciting a few laughs from
the senior staff.

"Maybe 'forensic temporalism,'" replied Sam McCaw.

"Thank you, the two of you," Santos said. "As I was saying, we're on a
joint discovery mission with the Starfleet Office of Outreach. Our
target is the Third World War, a subject that I've been told many of
you are familiar with. Perhaps a little too closely. I turn the mission
briefing over to Elizabeth Merchant."

There were a few murmurs from the audience as most realized this was
their captain's estranged wife.

"Thank you, Captain. As you know, the events leading up to the Third
World War remain, for the most part, lost to history. Until now. The
Vanguard's temporal transporters have a limited range, but due to Capt.
St. Cloud, they are functioning on a limited basis. We'll be taking the
Vanguard into Earth orbit and transporting a team of no more than six
back to the era known as the late twentieth century--1990, to be

"Contact with the populace will be limited. Each member of the temporal
away team will be stripped of rank and insignia and issued covert
operations uniforms, along with first-contact cloaking suits. The team
will spend no more than 72 hours data-gathering and observing in San
Francisco and signal the Vanguard with one of these--" Merchant held up
a device that looked like the tiny Type I phaser, now out of fashion
with security personnel. "It is a specially modulated neutrino device,
keyed to the Vanguard's quantum signature."

Santos stood up, preparing to dismiss the audience and assemble the
away team in his office. Merchant surprised him by continuing.

"The team chosen for this assignment will be the following: Cynan
Mandrake, She'ra Khan, Highwaij, Jaav E'thexx, Kieran Darkwater and
Desdemona Barrett-Brown."

The audience looked at one another, stunned at this breach of
etiquette. It was the captain's duty to assign the away team, and in
his absence, the XO, Soman Drath. It was obvious that this was an
unexpected turn of events for Santos, who tried to mask his surprise
(and fury).

Santos squeezed in on the podium. "That will be all. Final mission
briefing at 0800. All department heads and the away team should report
at that time."

The audience dispersed.

Outside the briefing chambers, McCaw caught E'thexx: "What was that

"I don't know," E'thexx said. "She's...strong-willed. It seems to be
all the captain can do to keep the mission from spinning out of

"I don't know whether to congratulate you, Jaav," D'Angelo told the

"I wouldn't," Dr. Droin said.

Inside the briefing chambers, Santos spun on Merchant.

"Care to tell me what the hell that was about?"

Elizabeth gathered her things as if she didn't understand. "What was
what, Nick?"

"That. The assignment of the away team.That's not for you to step in,

"It's a joint mission between Starfleet and the Office of Outreach,
Nick. I suggest you read the guidelines. You should have approached me
about the away team assignment. I'm taking the point because you didn't
consult me."

"You would have been part of the selection after the briefing, Liza.
You undermined me, and in doing so, you're undermining the mission!"

"Tell me you wouldn?t have chosen the same personnel."

"With the exception of Des, I probably would have. It's not the

Liza sighed, as if suddenly tired of the conversation. "The point is,
the team's been chosen, Nick, and you're just hurt because your pride's
on the line. And--'Des'?"

"It's what everyone calls her. Keep your ears open and your mouth shut.
For a change."

Capt. Santos stomped out of the Briefing Chambers.


She'ra Khan walked in and spotted Dr. Droin.

"Doctor," she said, "I was hoping you could help me with my...unique
issue." Khan pointed toward her ridged forehead.

"Why?" Droin said. "You heard from the Commissionner--you'll be
cloaked. They won't even see you."

"Well...I like to be safe than sorry. If anything goes wrong, I'd
rather no one on Earth had to see a part-alien."

"All right," Droin said. "Have a seat." Droin patted the examination
table. She circled Khan, looking at her forehead, murmuring "Uh-huh"
and "I see."

Droin walked to the replicator.

"Computer," Droin said. "One black knit stocking cap, medium."

The replicator hummed, and there sat a fabric hat. Droin snatched it
and placed it on Khan's head.

"There!" the Vanguard's chief medical officer said. "Perfect fit."

[Event Horizon]

The captain walked into the lounge. He was surprised to find himself
the only patron, but it was the pre-luncheon lull.

Desdemona came from the backroom, carrying a keg of drink. She
installed the keg and turned to him.

"Nick. What can I get you?"

"Orange juice," he said.

She poured the drink and turned back toward him. "Anything to eat?
Lunch isn't ready, but I can whip up a custom item from the replicator

"Grilled cheese," Santos said.

"Well, that's challenging. I don't know if I can handle that."

Santos chuckled.

"What's on your mind?"

"More like what's on yours," Desdemona said.

"What do you mean?"

"If you're worried me about me, don't. I've lived through the era.
Getting through this mission won't be a problem."

Santos drained his orange juice and turned his attention to the

"Maybe that's all I wanted to hear. Liza sprang this on me
unexpectedly. I know Vanguard is full of good people, but..."

"?But you don't like the thought of her making choices for you.
Especially when it comes to Vanguard. Well, rest easy, Nick. What's
done, is done. If you make any changes now, you'll shake the crew's

"Maybe that's what she was counting on--that I would go along to avoid
confusing the crew."

"Maybe it is, but so what? It's a good team, and you probably would
have gone with the same people."

"Except maybe you."

"Me? Well, why not me?" Desdemona said, throwing a hand towel on the
bar and feigning hurt.

Santos chuckled. "You're not Starfleet, for one thing."

"Oh, I've done a little of this and a little of that," Desdemona said.

Santos slid off the stool.

"Thanks for the chat. And the sandwich. I'll see you at the briefing."

"You're welcome for both," Desdemona said, turning toward the

"And Nick..." she said, catching him as he walked out the door,

[To be continued]

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