[USS Vanguard] RPG: Starbase Brigadoon

  • From: "Andy W. Ho" <andywoho@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: USS-Vanguard <ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 21 Jun 2002 07:19:51 -0700 (PDT)

OoC: This occurs sometime a few months after Alexa's post celebrating
Santos's promotion and slightly after all current events and before the
"symbiote" post I last wrote. (Still with me?)

I'm not playing favorites; just picking up with a few old friends who
have posted regularly in the past who haven't started anything on their
own and seem to need a "nudge". Next time? Posting with those folks who
have been good enough to post lately.

For anyone who's been mentioned--and even those who haven't--would like
to post, I would love to see it. And I'm sure I'm not alone. C'mon,
folks--it's summer vacation! Plenty of time, right? ;-)

BTW, yes, I know the Web page needs some overhauling. I have yet to
come to a decision on a host. I may also register a domain name. I'll
be reworking all of that in the VERY near future. And you can expect a
sneak peek soon.

Thanks again to all you players. Without you, it wouldn't be possible.


Fleet Captain Dominic Santos
After [all current events]
Starbase Brigadoon


Dominic Santos gently ran his hands over the petals.

"Gardenia showing signs of discoloration. Disease?" He toggled off his
recorder and sighed. Hydroponics was funny. Humanoids often adapted
quickly to life off-world. Flora were different, as the first colonists
learned. If one were lucky, the implanted flora flourished out of its

Santos chose the gardenia because few enthusiasts had been successful
in non-Terran environments. Humidity and warm weather were essential.
This was in direct contrast to most starbase conditions, which required
low humidity and cool temperatures.

Setting aside an area for plant care helped, but the hydroponics bay
was currently set to simulate Autumn--not ideal for gardenia.

When faced with a difficult choice, Santos often preferred to sit
quietly and come to his own conclusions.

That's why I like horticulture, Santos thought, grinning. It's a
precise, leisurely activity.

He had to move the gardenia. He had done what he could, and it would
not survive much longer. Santos scratched his chin and rose to his

He found Desdemona at one of Starbase Brigadoon's four lounges.

"...wait. Hold on, Thrall! I didn't say Bolian whiskey came cheap. I
said I had it, I could ship it, and it would cost you. Last week, when
you were throwing a party for the fourth minister on Andoria Prime and
waited until the last moment to order you didn't care about cost or the
lengths I went to finding a cargo ship."

Santos smiled and watched Des jabbing a finger in the face of a
speechless Dopterian. [See:
http://www.shakaar.demon.co.uk/archive/encyc/sect2.htm ] The captain
marveled at her portable visual communicator. Des always had the most
wondeful toys, he mused. But in her current line of work, she had to,
he supposed.

"That's right...the cost of two weeks' wages. And I paid upfront
because you were BROKE. You were BROKE from fronting the cost of the
party. It's not my fault the minister doesn't have the money to pay
you. You should have gotten a deposit. Always get a deposit. I'll make
this simple on you--if I don't see the credits in my account in four
Standard days, I have some Nausicaan friends who would be REAL
interested in talking with you. ... No, no--that's not a threat.
They're looking to get paid, too. Out."

She stabbed a finger at the keys, blacking out the Dopterian's image
just as he opened his mouth to reply. The Vanguard's former bar hostess
threw the communicator on the table and crossed her arms.

A Ferengi Santos recognized as Torque scurried over with a tray. She
waved him away with an impatient flicker of her hand. He scurried
behind the bar. Des threw her head back.

"If you're busy, I can come back later," Santos said.

She came to attention instantly and fixed her gaze on him. Then she
offered Captain Dominic Santos a warm smile.

"Nick! You're so busy, I hardly see you anymore. For you? I always have
time. I have some of that nice pipe tobacco from Turkana IV
[http://www.startrek.com/library/individ.asp?ID=112475] you like."

Santos pulled out a chair, turned it, and straddled it. "Not today. I
need a good shipping company."

Desdemona pursed her lips and considered the question. "I know the
best." She frowned. "But why would you need a good shipping company? If
you need to get something moving, take it yourself. Tell McCaw you need
the Vanguard, and...oh. Never mind."

"Somehow, I don't think her new captain would approve." Santos smiled

"Forget him. He's a hard-ass. You and I can go for a drink later.
Forget St. Cloud ever existed."

"That sounds good. But what I really need is a shipper. I need to move
some gardenia buds. For Howie Howerton on Deep Space 15."

"That's in the boonies. And it'll cost you."

"Charge him for it. He'll pay."


Santos grabbed the glass in front of Desdemona and drained it in one
gulp without bothering to ask what it was.

Setting the glass on the table, he said: "Because his mother lives with
him on DS15. And she misses her gardenias."


"All right, Al, keep an eye on the neutrino packet. Finesse her--not
too much, not too little." Sam McCaw's hands flew over his panels,
managing the Vanguard's temporal systems.

"Aye, sir." Alvon Stratford coolly assessed the situation.

The USS Vanguard's Engineering Bay was a flurry of activity. Engineers
and science officers marched to and fro, exchanging PADDs and offering
advice to one another.

The excitement in Sam McCaw's voice was hard to miss. "On my mark...And

The quantum singularity core hummed and shimmered.

There was a flash of light.

McCaw watched as the apple disappeared, flickered, and reappeared,

"Damn! I think we got 'em!"

Suddenly, klaxons shrieked as the Vanguard's override systems warned
McCaw and Stratford that the system was overloading.

"Shut her down! Shut her down!" McCaw yelled at the officers crewing
the engineering platforms on the second level.

McCaw watched as the apple reappeared. All that remained was a charred,
smoking core. He briefed heavily through his mouth and looked at

"Well," he began, "at least it wasn't the Vulcan ambassador."

"Yes, sir."

A communication chirp issued over McCaw's badge.

=/\= "St. Cloud to the Chief Engineer. Come in."

McCaw bowed his head and warily ran his hands through his hair.

Without waiting for a reply, the communicator chirped again.

=/\= "Chief Engineer, I need your report."

=/\= "I'm on my way, Captain."

McCaw clasped his hand on Stratford's shoulder. "I'll see you later. If
he doesn't have my guts for garters first."

"Yes, sir," Stratford said, returning immediately to his panels.

McCaw made his way to the captain's ready room on the Vanguard. He took
a deep breath and inched his way forward. As the doors opened, he
studied the interior and remarked (to himself) for the nth time how
bare it was.

Captain Piers St. Cloud sat behind the desk, pressing buttons on his
PADD. Never one to trust the starbase or starship communications relay
("Not secure"), he preferred his own devices, demanding better devices
from his engineers and security personnel. His personal PADD served as
his central computing device. It even integrated communications.

"I need to warn you I'm recording this conversation," St. Cloud said

"That's fine, sir," McCaw said.

St. Cloud placed the PADD on his desk and looked at McCaw.


"The temporal transporters are still offline. We're having problems
aligning the power relays..."

"When can you have this done?"

"I don't know, sir."

St. Cloud studied McCaw with a withering glance. "I don't need
questions, Engineer. I have plenty of those. I need answers. Starfleet
has been on me to produce results. Results for which they've waited a
year. Results that your crew and your former captain were unable to
provide. I intend to do things a little differently."

McCaw bit the side of his cheek and swallowed the answer he wanted to
give St. Cloud.

"I'll endeavour to do my best, Captain. I already am."

"'Your best'? Then you'll just have to do better than that. Dismised"
St. Cloud went back to his PADD.

Sam turned and walked out. He managed to make it to the corridor before
punching a bulkhead. A few officers passing at the end of the corridor
watched him and wisely kept walking.


Qbed sat on a cliff overlooking a Brazilian beach. She hugged her knees
to her chest and gently rocked herself.

Only it wasn't really a beach and that meant it wasn't really a sea
breeze or sea gulls or sunsets or Earth skies.

But the holodeck was convincing.

Since their return to base, Qbed had more time on her hands than ever.
She found it an unwelcome change and strove to fill that void.

In the afternoons, she meditated. She found it helped. From time to
time, she would have glances of "insight." She didn't think it had to
do with her "Q-ness." It was more like...spotting something at the
bottom of a murky river.

Qbed stood up. "Computer, end program, and save, Qbed, Romeo-7."

The young Q-not-Q walked back to her quarters. She stopped at Doppler's
Silk Emporium and looked at some handkerchiefs. The human behind the
counter tried to draw her into the store. She shook her head and he let
her go without saying another word. He had been in business long enough
to know when someone was serious about shopping.

Qbed entered her quarters. It was dark. That's funny, she thought, I
always leave the lights on.

Then suddenly, like a firecracker exploding in a dark room, it came to
her: "Someone's been here." She didn't know if that was a "Q" insight
or her humanoid instincts, which grew sharper day by day.

She thought about calling D'Angelo or Tails to Ennien, then thought
better of it. She didn't want to look foolish. And she knew she
shouldn't feel that way, that if anything were to happen to her again,
they would call her foolish for not calling on them.

But she didn't "sense" any danger. Whoever had been here--if there had
been someone--had already left.

She looked toward her bed. Something sat on her pillow.

Qbed inched closer. It appeared to be a book. Bound in red velvet with
black. No title.

She picked it up, looking around the room as if she were invading
someone's privacy.

"This is YOUR room!" she thought.

The book felt very old, as if it would fall apart if she breathed on

She turned the cover. The lump in her throat fell into her stomach. She
knew the Q Continuum never kept written records. Why would they need

And this may be a clever forgery, but it was signed "From a friend,
KD." (Kieran Darkwater? Kye, Dellan? Kraft Dinner?)

The title: "Confessions of a Q."


He was the kingmaker. And the widowmaker.

He had come this far, and he wouldn't fail.

He had seen empires fall, and he had brought life into this galaxy.

He had eliminated the Federation's enemies, and its people didn't even

They didn't want to know. Asleep in their comfortable beds, on a world
where the commerce and the weather were regulated at the whim of the
ruling elite.

Sheep. Cattle. Lambs led to the slaughter.

And here he was now on this forsaken starbase. An "alliance" between
Romulan and Federation.

Oh, god, the Romulans. The thought of working with them made him ill.
If only Santos and his mongrel crew could see what he had seen. If they
knew the atrocities of the Dominion War, on both sides, they wouldn't
be so quick to welcome the barbarians into their midst.

Santos. Santos. Dominic. Cesar. Santos.

For what he had done/what he was about to do/what could never, ever
come to pass, Santos could not be allowed to continue.

Dominic Santos would die.

[Next: Part II--Soman Drath, Dr Droin/Zena Quetan, Jaav E'thexx, Kieran
Darkwater and of course Cynan Mandrake. More from the assassin?]

OoC2: No, we're not getting a new captain, and certainly not St. Cloud,
who, yes, is based on some people I know (nobody playing the sim). ;-)

Do You Yahoo!?
Yahoo! - Official partner of 2002 FIFA World Cup
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: Starbase Brigadoon