[USS Vanguard] RPG: Look Back, Face Forward

  • From: "Andy W. Ho" <andywoho@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: USS-Vanguard <ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 17 Sep 2002 22:34:28 -0700 (PDT)

Fleet Captain Dominic Santos
USS Vanguard
Shortly following Mack's "Realization"

Some parties are legendary across the galaxy. The Bolian New Year
Celebration lasts six weeks. The Ferengi Anniversary of the Unified
Monetary System is renowned for its debauchery and revelry. Even
Vulcans know to stay away from North America during Earth Day

But the Vanguard's officers and crew under Fleet Captain Dominic
Santos's return to the helm gave them all a run for their money.

It was their first night back on the ship, and it was the banquet to
end all banquets. It was scheduled for 1800, but started around 1600.
Santos turned a blind eye to crew members who snuck off duty to get
together before the banquet and prepare for what looked to be an
all-night affair.

Desdemona reopened the Event Horizon to much fanfare, offering an open
bar and a feast that rivaled and surpassed the first she ever served on
Vanguard. (Of course, she kept a running tab on the liquor. Her mother,
after all, did not raise a fool.)

At 2100, hours later than expected, Dominic Santos rose to the podium.
He smiled at the gathered officers and waited for them to quiet.

Suddenly, much against his expectations, the crowd turned and a wave of
noise engulfed Santos.

Someone (it may have been Sam McCaw) started the chant: "Vanguard,
Van-guard, VAN-GUARD!" until it rose to a mighty crescendo, and like a
wave of noise, broke against Santos. Catcalls and wolf whistles
accompanied the cheering.

Santos spread his arms wide. "Welcome back!" he exclaimed to further
cheering. "And thank you!"

"I'll make this brief because I don't think you're following too well
right now--" Much laughter at this. "I'd like you to join me and
welcome Lieutenant Roch Chase. Where is our intrepid new security

There was a commotion in back as Chase was passed from officer to
officer until he was presented at the front of the lounge. Desdemona,
leaning forward on her bar, watched quietly and rolled her eyes with a

"Here he is! Let's welcome him, and give him a hand for his
bravery...or his lack of judgment!" Applaud they did.

"And now, may I present to you, our one, our only, promotion tonight.
Our candidate is quite the crewman. An exceptional officer, a loyal
friend, a brave soldier, and a generous human being, his time's long in

"Cynan Mandrake, step forward." He did, with some surprise.

"Lieutenant Junior Grade Cynan Mandrake, for duty above and beyond to
this ship and her crew, I present to you the rank of 'lieutenant,' with
all rights and privileges thereof. Take a bow, Mister!"

[Mark, would you like to say a few words?]

"Before I finish, I want to thank you all for being here, and most of
all, for believing in this ship and each other. We're taking a second
chance with this; let's make it worthwhile. I'm sure you'll join me and
make it so. Thank you."

Santos stepped off the podium, and Desdemona handed him a towel.

"Quite a performance, boss. Wipe your brow," she said with a smirk.
"Want a drink?"

"The usual," Santos replied.

Desdemona turned to the bar silently and turned back with a tumbler
filled with an amber-colored liquor. She handed it to him and watched
as he drained it.

"You know, I've been meaning to talk with you about that."

"What's that?" Santos said, one eye on her, the other scanning the

"That," she said, pointing at the glass. "I can understand that when
you were on Brigadoon. Hell, I've heard Starfleet *expects* a little
vice in its station commanders. Supposed to keep them sane spending all
that time in one place."

Santos stiffened noticeably, as he usually did when confronted with
personal criticism. It was one of his few failings.

"Your point?" he asked, a bit chillingly.

"My point is, there's an old saying on El-Aura: 'Only Hazelwood could
pilot the Exxon Valdez.'"

"What the hell does that mean?" Santos asked, relaxing slightly.
Desdemona breathed a silent sigh of relief to see the change in the

"My point is--well, take it easy. I'd hate to see you lose a position
you worked so hard to regain to something as trivial as this. That's
all. Consider it a bit of fluff from a friend."

"Point taken and filed, Des. Thanks."

Santos turned...

...and came face-to-face with someone he least expected to see.

Admiral Vanier Kung-Lao Lee strolled toward him, with Santos's (and
Lee's former) executive officer, Soman Drath, at his side, smiling fit
to bust.

"Admiral!" Santos exclaimed warmly.

"Nick." Lee nodded at him. "Quite a shindig you have going here."

"I'm glad you could make it. I'm not sure I expected you. I haven't
seen you since Kristen's memorial service. And you didn't seem eager

[Note: Lt. Kristen Stark was executive officer aboard USS Astoria, the
former incarnation of this simulation, and Capt. Vanier Kung-Lao Lee's
first officer.]

"Yes, well, I'm here because you seem to have misplaced someone," Lee
said curtly, cutting off Santos's recollection of Stark. Santos caught
it immediately and tried to change tack.

"Mister Soman, back at last," Santos directed his comments at Drath.

Soman scratched the back of his head absent-mindedly, standing between
his former and current commanders.

"I'll tell you sometime about my adventures, sir," Soman said.

"I'm eager to hear it," Santos said, smiling.

Soman detected a hint of strain between the two men and stood
uncomfortably. Starfleet training or no, diplomacy was never his strong
point, reaching back as far as his days at the Academy. His Bajoran
upbringing fought him every time he tried to be circular in his
statements. This from a culture that prized directness.

"I see Zena. I think I ought to catch up. If you'll excuse me, er,

"As you were," Santos said, the same moment that Lee said, "Carry on."

They smiled at one another again.

It was Lee who broke the silence. "Quite a ship."

"Quite a crew," Santos replied. "Thanks to your guidance."

"I did my best," Lee said with a shrug. "I see some faces I've never
seen before. And a few others are absent."

Santos shrugged. Lee had a way of making him...uncomfortable.

Just then, they turned to see She'ra Khan bump into some crewmen as she
walked quickly out of the lounge.

They saw Roch Chase glance quickly at Mandrake then follow She'ra.
Mandrake stood still as a statue.

"If you'll excuse me, sir..." Santos said.

"Of course," Lee said, then: "Nick, we need to talk. Soon."

Santos nodded at him and departed.

He approached the one member of his crew who seemed to have the pulse
of everyone on-board.

"What was that about?" he asked Doctor Xristha Droin. The doctor and
head of the Vanguard's Medical Department stood with Doctor Jaav
E'thexx, the Vanguard's counselor.

"Don't look now, Nick, but I think we have another triangle forming."

"Acute or isosceles?" Santos asked.

"More like illogical," E'thexx replied.

Santos chuckled under his breath. "What do we do?"

"What, you're asking me?" Droin answered. "Aren't you the expert on
matters to do with the female heart?" She grinned and E'thexx laughed.
There was something...different about Jaav that Santos couldn't quite
place his finger on. Was it the new symbiont?

"Far from it, Doctors," Santos replied, running his fingers through his

"Seriously, though," Droin said, "I'd just leave it be for now. These
things have ways of working themselves out."

"Very well," Santos said, turning to leave. He turned briskly and
yelled over the crowd: "But if things go badly in command, medical, or
security, I'm placing the blame squarely on you!"

Droin raised a glass to him and smiled a tight smile at her captain,
nodding at his humor.

Santos caught Denville D'Angelo and Highwaij at the bar.

"Gentlemen," he nodded.

They raised their glasses and said hello, returning to their

That was what he liked about those two, Santos mused. They didn't stand
on ceremony. Refreshing to see career officers who didn't parrot the

At the buffet, Santos next encountered Zena Quetan, in an
uncharacteristically quiet mood.

"Penny for your thoughts, lieutenant?" Santos asked.

Quetan smiled back, looking up from a tray of fried scallops.

"They're not worth that much, trust me."

"Try me," Santos said. "Mmm, the shrimp's pretty good."

"I know. I tried it. I have to admit, the fare's better than when I
used to plan these things," Quetan said.

"So what's weighing your soul so heavily?" Santos said.

"It's nothing," Quetan said. "Well, okay--it's this thing with the
Trill Commission. It keeps coming back to haunt me. I just wonder when
it's going to be over. This time, we almost lost someone, and we've
changed Jaav, probably irrevocably."

"I don't know," Santos said, after a moment. "Jaav's a grown man. He's
handling himself very well. As for the Trill Commission, if they're
your worry, they're my worry. We'll get around to them."

"Thanks," Quetan smiled. "That means a lot to me right now."

"You're welcome," Santos said, touching her shoulder briefly. "Enjoy
the party. There's a saying on Earth: 'Tomorrow's another day.'"

"That's circular logic," Quetan said with a frown.

"No one ever said Terrans were logical," Santos said. "Especially not
the Vulcans."

As Quetan started to laugh, Santos spotted someone across the room.
"Excuse me."

Sam McCaw and Qbed stood quietly to one side.

"Party's this way," Santos said.

Qbed grinned weakly at him and said: "I feel poorly. Excuse me."

After she left, Santos looked at McCaw for an answer.

"She's still just not the same," McCaw said. "I'd give anything if the
Q Continuum would just give it all back to her."

"Things have a funny way of working out," Santos said.

"Is this your night for cliches, or are you just making your rounds?"
he asked.

Santos was taken aback, never having known McCaw to be rude.

McCaw caught himself and shook his head. "I'm sorry. I've been under a
lot of strain."

"It's understandable. Why don't you go see how Qbed is doing?"

Santos stared after Sam as he left. The crew, his crew, were being
challenged, but he had no doubt they would respond.

Then, Dominic Santos's world came crashing down.

"Captain, excuse me, I have someone here who insisted on seeing you
right away."

It was Talik [NPC]. Along with Chad Rea [NPC], they were the only two
officers assigned to him during his stay on Brigadoon who followed him
back to the Vanguard.

Dominic Santos turned around and came face-to-face with someone he had
both hoped and dreaded to see again.

In the outfit of the Federation Office of Diplomacy and Outreach she
represented, stood Elizabeth Merchant, formerly "Liza" Santos.

OoC: We're back!

Do you Yahoo!?
Yahoo! News - Today's headlines
USS Vanguard: http://vanguard.iwarp.com
Gamma Fleet: http://www.gammafleet.org.uk
_Free_Lists: http://www.freelists.org

Other related posts:

  • » [USS Vanguard] RPG: Look Back, Face Forward