[USS Vanguard] RPG: Self-preservation

  • From: "andywoho@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx" <andywoho@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 29 Mar 2004 12:48:58 -0600

Capt. Dominic Santos
USS Vanguard
Moments after "Not so cut and dry"

[From Jonathon's post:]

"What if we 'transplanted' the core, into one of the larger shuttles, or maybe 
even the Coba Del Ray? That would give the virus some sort of 'body' so to 
speak," Sam McCaw looked around the table to see how his suggestion was 

Connor Vogel looked uncomfortable with the idea. 

"I'm not sure allowing this virus to simply roam freely, even if only in a 
shuttle, is entirely safe. We'd have to take precautions. I suggest that if we 
did proceed with some sort of transplant, we remove the phaser and 
micro-torpedo systems, and strip propulsion to bare impulse to limit the 
craft's abilities." He stated, various nods of agreement came from around the 
room, everyone waited for the one that mattered. 

[New, from Andy:]

"Can we simply substitute the computer core from the Coba del Rey with the 
Vanguard's?" Santos asked with some doubt.

Sam McCaw shook his head. "It would be tricky. We're talking about simultaneous 
transport. There would be a few seconds when the Vanguard would be powerless. 
We would go from warp to nothing. During that time, life support, intertial 
dampeners, emergency systems, navigation--all of it would be non functioning. 
And if it doesn't come back up, none of us would be around to hit the 'On' 

Soman Drath nodded his head as he listened to McCaw. "Agreed."

"There has to be another option, a third option."

Santos looked at Quetan. "There is."

Soman Drath looked at them both and then he understood.

On the bridge, Highwaij was at his customary communications post while Mandrake 
had returned to his position at helm. To his left sat M.J. Valentine, Stellar 
Cartographer and navigator.

Sam Mcaw was busy studying the boards behind Santos, at the Engineering 
readout. Soman Drath stood to the right of Mandrake, staring at the viewscreen. 
The viewscreen showed that the Vanguard continued to hurtle toward distant 
stars, its speed out of control and continuing to accelerate.

Zena Quetan was at the Science station left of Sam Mcaw, studying the 
holographic display of the computer core. Jaav E'thexx stood next to Capt. 

Chief Petty Officer Craig Kavan stood to the right of Sam's engineering 
station, keeping an eye on power distribution and gathering reports from all 
areas of the ship, making sure that everyone had reported to their emegency 

Santos caught Soman's eye and began: =/\= "Computer, initiate self-destruct. 
Authorization: Captain Dominic Santos, five seven xray zulu." =/\=

Soman nodded: =/\= "Computer, recognize Executive Officer Soman Drath." =/\= 
Soman gave his command code.

Zena Quetan did the same.

There was a pause that seemed longer than usual. Santos began to wonder if they 
had lost control of the self-destruct system, too, but he knew that the system 
had secondary and adjunct backups to guard against failure, to prevent either 
sabotage, accident, a member of the command staff destroying the ship under 
duress, alien...

=/\= "Self-destruct sequence initiated." =/\= The computer, as always, made 
this announcement tonelessly, as if it were reporting meatloaf for dinner in 
Event Horizon.

=/\= "USS Vanguard will self-destruct in four minutes, fifty seconds." =/\=

=/\= "Computer, display countdown clock on viewscreen." =/\=

At the top of the viewscreen, "04:44" appeared.

Santos sat down. The bridge crew continued to study their boards, silently. 
This continued until "03:58" when Santos took a deep breath and said, "You 
know, this reminds me of the time that I was working for the Victoria Harbor 
Library. Benny Chan convinced me to write an algorithm that would display an 
error whenever anyone performed a search of the database. But the error message 
would read, 'Your search has resulted in a malfunction; please contact...' and 
we left the information of our headmaster."

There were some polite chuckles around the bridge.

=/\= "Self destruct in three minutes, thirty seconds," =/\= the computer said.

"Anybody know any jokes?" Santos asked.

After a few seconds, McCaw said, "I do."

"Well, let's have it," Santos said.

"A Vulcan, an Andorian, and a Pakled go to see a dabo girl..."

(Approximately two and a half minutes later...)

"...so she says, 'If that's your antenna, then what's this in..."

Computer: =/\= "One minute to self destruct." =/\=

"The joke will have to wait," Santos said. He turned to Soman.

"Thoughts, Mister Soman?"

"We are 30, maybe 40, seconds from the point of no return. Either the 
'lifeform' will release its control on the Vanguard, or it won't."

=/\= "Thirty seconds to self destruct...29, 28, 27..." =/\=

Mandrake spun around, "Sir, if you cancel the self destruct, we may yet regain 

"I concur," Kavan said.

As Santos considered it, the ship suddenly dropped out of warp.

McCaw's fingers danced over his board. "Sir, we've regained control of the 
primary systems!"

Santos was out of his chair. "Change all command codes, isolate the contagion." 
He tilted his head.

=/\= "17, 16, 15..." =/\=

=/\= "Computer, cancel self destruct." =/\=

The computer chirped, but at least it stopped counting.

"Do Executive Officer Soman Drath and Second Officer Zena Quetan concur?"

"Yes!!" the both yelled in unison.

=/\= "Self destruct sequence cancelled." =/\=

There was a collective sigh of relief on the bridge as people who hadn't 
realized they were holding their breath suddenly released it.

"Well, it wasn't that close. We had about ten seconds," Mandrake said.

"Not really," McCaw replied. "Because of the contagion, our universal clock was 
off about ten seconds. It's resetting itself to the nearest satellite now."

"That's good to know," Mandrake said. "Captain, permission to change my pants, 

"Granted. Ms Valentine, set course for Earth and steady as she goes; Chief, 
make sure everyone knows we're out of danger; Mister McCaw, Zena, you're with 
me. Let's make sure the contagion stays isolated and we have complete control 
over our systems. Security will have to investigate the causes later. Drath, 
you have the bridge."

Quetan turned to Santos. "Well done, Captain. Your ruse worked."

Santos grinned. "Never underestimate a sentient--or partly sentient--being's 
desire for self preservation."
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