[USS Vanguard] RPG: Welcome Home, Nick, or, The Heart of Elis

  • From: "andywoho@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx" <andywoho@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 3 Nov 2003 16:56:38 -0600

Capt. Dominic Cesar Santos
USS Vanguard
After all recent posts

"Coba del Rey, this is the USS Vanguard. We have you on our scanners and are 
tracking your progress. Follow these coordinates to Shuttlebay Two."

"Acknowledged, Vanguard. It's good to be home."

There was a pause. Usually not one to feel slighted if his crew didn't extend 
officer courtesy, Santos nevertheless furrowed his brow at the lack of response 
he received from Vanguard Control.

"Good to have you back, sir. Vanguard out."

The man in the pilot's seat turned to Capt. Santos.

"Who was that?" he asked.

"M.J. Valentine, I think. Our new Stellar Cartographer."

The pilot cocked an eyebrow. "Where's Yeoman Challis [NPC]?"

Santos shook his head.

[One hour later]

"Well, there she is," Santos said, grinning, half-standing in the co-pilot's 
chair to have a better look at the USS Vanguard.

"Home again," the pilot said.

"That's right," said Santos.

The two men grinned like children at Christmas as Santos transmitted the 
docking codes. The rear hatch opened underneath the Vanguard, allowing the 
captain's yacht Coba del Rey access to Shuttlebay Two, as instructed.

As the Coba del Rey touched down, Santos looked out and saw Executive Officer 
Soman Drath and Stellar Cartographer M.J. Valentine.

Santos gathered his knapsack and exited the craft.

"Welcome home, sir," Soman said.

Santos walked up to Soman and gave him a bear hug, lifting the man off the 

Soman's arms were splayed at his side, the XO unsure what to do.

"Dammit, it's good to be back!" Santos exclaimed.

"Glad to have you back," Valentine offered, smiling and nodding at the Captain.

"Sir, do you require a report on ship and crew's status?"

Unusually detail-oriented and empathetic almost to the point of telepathic, 
Soman seemed preoccupied instead. Santos sensed a weight with his Executive 
Officer. His first thought was to wonder what had occurred onboard the Vanguard 
in his absence.

The pilot of the Coba del Rey stepped off the vessel and out of the shadows.

Santos's eyes followed Soman's. Santos sensed a bit of the weight lift off 
Soman as a huge grin spread across his face.

"As I live and breathe, Sam McCaw, you pirate!"

Chief Engineering Officer Sam McCaw exited the Coba and stood in cargo pants, a 
Hawaiian print shirt and sandals. He scratched his beard absent-mindedly, the 
boyish rakishness replaced for the moment by the discomfort of having the 
attention brought to bear on him.

"Look who I found wandering Venice Beach."

"We knew you'd be gone a while, Sam, but no one thought you'd be gone such a 
long time!" Soman walked up to McCaw, who offered his hand for a handshake. 
Instead, Soman gripped his ear and looked at him.

"You still walk with the Prophets, Sam." Soman nodded with approval.

"Yeah, well, I walked with a lot of women who thought they were goddesses, if 
that's what you're getting at. How are you doing, Commander? I heard you've 
been tearing up my Engineering section. Someone had to straighten things out."

"We can have our reunion later," Santos said. "Right now, I need to drop my 
things off and check-in on the bridge. Walk with me, Commander...? And Mister 
Valentine, do you think you can show McCaw his quarters?"

"Certainly, sir," she said.

As the doors slid shut behind Santos, he heard McCaw say, ?So, Stellar 
Cartography, huh? Y?know, that used to be my job here??

Santos and Soman made their way to Santos?s Ready Room.

?So what did you want to speak to me about? What couldn?t wait until I settled 
in?? Santos grinned when he said this, but Soman caught a hint of bewilderment 
and frustration, too.

Soman escorted Santos past the bridge and into his ready room.

Santos asked, ?Why isn?t Mandrake at his station??

Soman waited until Santos had a chance to feed the macaw, Prism (who had only 
been returned that morning) before saying what he had to say.

?Sir,? Soman said. ?At 0640 this morning, the Arizona, Kurzweil and Livy 
relieved us at Galinia-4.?

?Well, good,? Santos said. ?It was my understanding they should have done it 
weeks ago.?

Soman shook his head. ?We?ve been around-the-clock and on the ground for weeks.?

Santos shot out of his char. ?WEEKS?!?

?Sir, the reinforcements never arrived until now. We?ve been deployed as 
military patrol, medics, relief workers and government affairs officers on 
Galinia-4 up until the last 24 hours.?

?And how the hell did Trevor Elis let this continue? Where was his sense of 
responsibility in all this??

Soman removed a PADD from his tunic and placed it before Santos. Santos could 
see it was encrypted ?Eyes Only? and prepared by Connor Vogel and Roch Chase.

?Why don?t you tell me what?s on this PADD, Commander,? Santos said.

?Trevor Robert Elis, captain of the late USS New Orleans, husband of Eileen, 
deceased, father to Hebron, six, and Trevor, Junior, eight--both deceased.

?Captain Elis was ordered to Galinia-4 for a First Contact meeting with the 
Royal Family. They had applied for membership following their first successful 
warp flight. It was widely known they would have been accepted; all that 
remained were the formalities.

?Intelligence by the Royal Family were weak on the rebel factions.

?No one ever expected them to storm the palace the night they were holding a 
banquet to celebrate their impending acceptance into the Federation. Elis and 
his family and most of the senior staff of the New Orleans were there.

?They began executing the party guests when the Royals wouldn?t give up the 
warp technology.

?The rebels managed to kill most of the New Orleans?s crew and Elis?s family 
before Galinian security forces finally managed to storm the palace and put 
down the insurrection.

?Dear god,? Santos said. Then he looked up. ?They should have had Elis in 
long-term rehab?what the hell was he doing here??

?He applied for another command. He told Starfleet that he knew the situation 
best, that he could quell the uprising before it got too out of hand, that the 
Galinian entry into the Federation was worth saving.?

?He wanted to redeem himself. He wanted his family?s death?and the death of his 
crew?to mean something.? Santos said.

?I don?t know about that, sir. What I do know is that Elis told us yesterday 
that the reinforcements had finally arrived, and that you were being dispatched 
back to the Vanguard. And then he submitted his resignation.

?I?ve taken command of the Vanguard in your absence. Elis has moved into 
temporary quarters, and he hasn?t come out. I?ve had food taken to his 
quarters. We?re on approach to Starbase 412 now. They?re better equipped to 
deal with this mess and to help resupply the Vanguard.?

Santos sat looking at the PADD. He was so still, Soman began to think maybe he 
should be left alone. As Soman nodded and turned to leave, Santos asked, ?How?s 
the crew??

?Tired, sir,? Soman said.

?Have them all taken off regular duty shifts. Maintain the minimum crew 
necessary to keep the ship afloat and life support functioning. And even then, 
no one works more than a four-hour shift.?

?Yes, sir,? Soman said. ?And thank you.?

Santos nodded. ?You?re welcome. And now, if you don?t mind, Commander, you?ve 
done an excellent job, but I think I want to be alone for a few minutes.?

Soman nodded and without another word, left Santos?s Ready Room. As the doors 
slid shut behind him, he caught a glimpse of Santos sitting at his desk, 
staring at the PADD.

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