[USS Vanguard] RPG: The Floodgate

  • From: "Andy W. Ho" <andywoho@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: USS Vanguard <ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 4 Dec 2001 20:52:38 -0800 (PST)

[Previously, from Randi (Qbed).]

Qbed looked out the main "viewscreen" as Vanguard recovered.  She bit
her lip and summoned all her limited telepathic powers. 
Goodbye...thanks, she projected to--hopefully--all the crew.

[Previously, from Jayne (Desdemona).]

Santos turned in time to see Des disappear in the shimmering yellow of
a Ferengi transporter.  She held out a hand towards him, and then she
was gone.

[And now...]

Admiral Vanier Kung-Lao Lee
Somewhere on Earth
X years following the events at Hearth II

Admiral Kung Lee studied his options carefully. One meant certain
victory, the other certain disaster, and either--maybe both--held a
trap. His opponent was wily, creative, unpredictable.

With a sigh, Lee moved his knight and captured his opponent?s black

His opponent looked across the table and smiled. He gave his eyeglasses
one final polish with the end of his shirt and placed them on his face,
blinking at the board. He clucked his tongue, and the black queen
swooped in on the knight.

Lee shook his head.

?Checkmate in four moves,? the man with the glasses said.

?I think you better look again,? Lee replied. ?Stalemate in three.?

The man looked at the table, puzzled, but with a mixture of odd

?So it is, Admiral. Well done.? His eyeglasses caught the afternoon
light as he reached across the table and shook Lee?s hand.

??If I don?t lose, then my opponent doesn?t win,?? Lee recited.

?From Dominic Santos? book. The chapter on his later meetings with the
Vorgon.? The man nodded with approval and genuine warmth.

Lee smiled and nodded at the other man sitting at the table with him.
The two men sat on marble benches and faced one another across a marble
tabletop supporting a glass two-dee chess set. The distant chirp of
birds across a long, grassy plain was the only sound breaking up the

Capt. Dominic Santos would have recognized the man whose chess tactics
nearly confounded Admiral Lee. He had been at Starfleet Operations the
day Santos was reviewed for his posting aboard Vanguard. What would
have surprised him was the man, known only as ?Walker,? hadn?t appeared
to age a day since sitting silently at Santos? question-and-answer

Admiral Lee, on the other hand, was beginning to show traces of gray in
his visibly thinning hair.

?Do you think he?s ready?? Lee asked Walker.

?Soon,? Walker said. ?Very soon. In the meantime, let us meet some of
your old friends.?

Before Lee could ask What friends?, the telltale whine of a transporter
signature cut the air, and the space in front of the table shimmered
and died as three figures stepped forward. Lee was pleased, but not
surprised, to see Tails to Ennien, Kristen Stark and Nirsh an?Kharh.

?Come. We have much to discuss,? Walker said. He turned and walked
toward the house.
Capt. Dominic Santos
USS Vanguard ? Main Bridge
Moments following Qbed and Desdemona?s posts

Moments. Life, Santos firmly believed, came down to a sheer number of
crucial moments. A momentary lapse in judgment. A momentary decision. A
momentary error that forever changes the course of one?s life.

And, of course, there were the moments one wishes one could capture and
replay over and over, like a favorite musical recording. A moment in
the morning lasting a brief period, that time when the sun has just
risen and one feels like the only inhabitant of a very inhabited

Or a smile.

Or a gift.

Or a time when one feels right.

Dominic Santos had a secret. And that secret was that he hadn?t felt
very right since the Breen?s attack crippled his former ship, the USS
Gauntlet, forcing Santos to order his crew to evacuate. Which, of
course, led to their deaths. Which, of course, also led to his
six-month purgatory on that forsaken planet.

As he watched Mandrake?s eyes go wide as the navigation controls failed
and watched Desdemona disappear off his bridge and sensed Qbed?s
despair across light-years, a mental image of a collapsing house of
playing cards flashed in his mind.

Would he be witness to another disaster on a starship he helmed?

No. A denial as great as anything he had ever felt rose in Santos.

And he rushed to Mandrake?s side.

?Reroute secondary battery stores to navigation and navigation

?Completed,? the computer replied.

?Try it again,? Santos turned to Mandrake.

Mandrake touched the button that ignited the navigational engines.

They quietly hissed to life, and instantly, the crew felt their mad
rush toward the planet below beginning to slow.

Mandrake jumped behind the console and set the ship on a more normal
descent. The other officers rushed to their stations.

?We?re slowing and resuming normal course toward the planet?s surface.
The Snapdragons?it?s worked. They?re deactivated.? Mandrake looked up
from his console and smiled.

Small cheers rose around the bridge.

?Excellent work, everyone,? Santos beamed. ?What about the other ship??

Highwaij scanned his boards. ?Gone, sir. The Ferengi, too.?

?Let?s land this bird and we?ll start talking about rescue. Sam??

McCaw turned toward the captain.

?I heard her, too,? Santos said.

McCaw nodded.

?We?ll get her back. I?m not losing her?or anyone else?today. Stake a
claim on it.?

Less than ten minutes later, they were planetside. Santos, Soman, and
Kye appeared in transporter light to the dock guards. They raised their

Annoyed and almost angry, Santos walked through them, smacking the
nearest guard?s phaser rifle out of his face. He approached the only
man not in uniform, assuming correctly this was the dockmaster.

?I?ll take the load of trilithium. We need to leave as soon as

?I?m afraid I can?t.?

?Why not!?

?There are procedures. We can?t hurry it along even if we wanted. It
will take 48 hours.?

Santos stuck a finger in the man?s face. ?In 48 hours, two of my crew
can be and will be halfway across the galaxy. Find a way.?

?You?don?t?understand. It?s not our decision. It?s the system??

Santos lowered his head and thought quickly.

?Can I send two shuttles off-planet??

?Yes, but??

?Fine. I have two parties leaving within the hour. I will take charge
here and sign off on the trilithium. =/\= Santos to Vanguard. Three to
beam aboard. =/\=?

Shuttlebay Two:

Santos turned toward the group he had assembled.

?We haven?t had word from Angel One. At this point, I can only go by my
instinct and assume they?re in dire need. Here?s what I want:

?Sam McCaw, Cynan Mandrake, Soman Drath, and Denville D?Angelo?take the
Avalanche and make best speed to Angel One. Assist Zena with whatever
she may need, but remember she?s in command. Your mission is to locate
Q if their party is unable. Give me a report when you arrive.?

Santos turned to the other group.

?Dellan Kye, Alvon Stratford, Chen?ki, Vokar?retrieve Desdemona at all
costs. Go silent unless you?ve located and rescued her. And take the

?Mister Highwaij and Mister Petrov will remain here with me.?

He turned to them all.

?Are my orders clear??

There were replies of ?Yes, sir!?

?Let?s get to it.?

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