[USS Vanguard] The Magnificent... Four?

  • From: Kent Kavan <tonykavan@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 02:10:27 -0700 (PDT)

Chief Petty Officer Craig Kavan
USS Vanguard
After "All Roads Lead to Carillon"
Craig pulled the front of his wide-brimmed hat down closer to his eyes to 
shield them from the bright sun as he entertained the thought that they may as 
well have beamed onto the star it was that blasted hot.
The wide brimmed hat had seemed silly at first, but after being exposed to the 
sun he quickly began to appreciate it.  What he couldn't understand though, was 
why the frilling computer had seen fit to outfit him with a long sleeve shirt.  
He'd rolled the sleeves up but it didn't seem to help much.  It was still just 
plain hot.
In retrospect, he'd rather be sweating his tail off right now than be back on 
the bridge.  That last stand off was tense, and very out of character for the 
ship's officers.  In his experience they'd all been behaving strangly for the 
last couple of days, but for the Doc to suddenly try and take command...  And 
for Valentine to react like she did, and then that crack from the Doc about 
enlisted personell...  The whole thing left him with an uneasy feeling.  
"Later," he told himself and hefted his Winchester rifle.  The computer had 
called it a "thirty aught six," or some other such non-sense.  He knew that it 
had something to do with the type of projectile it fired, but he couldn't place 
its relative size as compared to any other weapon of the age.  He no more knew 
what "thirty aught six" meant than if the computer had told him the rifle was a 
"purple people eater."
Craig watched the horizon while Ceelak scanned the surrounding area with a 
"As best as I can tell Commodore, we're right on top of where team one landed."
Santos turned to Kavan.  "Chief, try the ship."
Craig reached in between the buttons of his shirt and tapped the communicator 
stuck to his undershirt.  Instead of the usual chirp the communicator made a 
noise best described as a low pitched burp.  
Santos had a sour expression on his face and turned to look at the horizon.  He 
seemed about to speak when a horse and rider appeared at the top of the closest 
hill at a full gallop and headed straight at them.
Instinctively, the foursome began to spread out and Craig looked for cover 
which he found in the form of a shallow ditch close by.  Craig looked over the 
primitive sights of the ancient weapon and as the rider got closer he realized 
that it was a young girl, no more than fifteen.  She was filthy, covered in 
dirt and a smear of blood stained her light colored dress.  What concerned 
Craig the most though, was the look in her eyes.  Shocked, terrified, the girl 
wore the expression that he'd seen too many times on missions like this.
She reigned the horse to a stop as she came closer.  Commodroe Santos moved 
closer to speak with her and caught the girl as she practically fell out of the 
saddle, mumbling and exhausted.
Immediately, Doctor Droin produced a medical tricorder from a hidden pocket and 
scanned her while Craig and Ceelak began a leap-frog to the top of the hill to 
see if the girl had been followed.  Craig moved first while Ceelak covered him 
and vice-versa until Craig, staying as low as possible, crawled to the military 
crest of the hill to afford himself a view of the other side.
They had transported in near a village, near as he could tell, it was a good 
three or kilometers off to the east with one dirt road leading in from the 
north and continuing through town to the south.  Ceelak joined him and scanned 
the town with a pair of field glasses.  Craig heard him click his tounge and 
then he handed the binoculars to Craig.
"Look at the center of town."
Craig zoomed the binoculars in where Ceelak suggested.  Craig knew the remnants 
of a fire-fight when he saw one.  Plasma weapons or projectile, the town square 
had the same look to it.  Ten or fifteen bodies laying in various places.  
Craig saw more than one shocked person scrambling about, trying to decide what 
they should do.  No weapons were currently in view, whatever had happened, it 
was over now.  Most disconcerting however, was the look of the damage.
Craig left Ceelak where he was as a lookout and returned to where the Commodore 
was squating in the dirt next to the young girl.  Doctor Droin had tucked away 
her equipment and was trying to coax the girl into drinking some water.
Santos looked up as Craig approached.  "Chief?"
"Commodore, there's a town about three or four kilometers the other side of the 
hill.  Near as we can tell, they've had some kind of a fire-fight.  Several 
bodies still in the square.  Doesn't look like they have any idea what to do."
"Daddy!"  The girl suddenly cried out and began to sob.  She leaned into Doctor 
Droin who hugged the girl to her protectively.
Santos sighed.  "All we've been able to get from her is something about 
bandits, and that they killed her father."  He thought for a moment.  "I 
wonder...  Chief, could you see the..."  He stood up and motioned for Craig to 
follow him out of ear shot of the distraught girl before continuing at a near 
"Chief you said that everyone seemed lost, that no-one was taking control?"
Craig nodded and responded in a low voice, "Yes sir.  Like..."  Craig realized 
where Santos' line of thought was going.  "You suppose that someone came in and 
killed everyone in charge?  City council, sheriff or marshall...?"
"Doctors, teachers..."  Santos sighed as he finished Craig's sentance.  "Anyone 
in any type of government or leadership position.  It wasn't that uncommon for 
outlaw bands to take over small towns, make them pay tribute, that type of 
thing.  If a town tried to stand up to them, well, retribution could be 
The Chief's brow furrowed as he thought that over.  "I've read novels and 
played holodeck programs from this era, but I thought some of that was blown 
out of proportion."  Craig shook the thought away.  Out of proportion seemed to 
be the norm rather than the exception lately.  "What's our next move sir?"  
Crag asked his CO.
"Well Chief, if you were here on an away mission with orders to blend in, and 
this sort of thing happened close to where you were assigned what would you do?"
"I'd be dipped in a Tholian hot wax before I'd stand by and let innocent people 
Santos nodded.  "Let's home away team one has the same idea.  This may be our 
best chance to catch up to them.  The trick is to not do anything to violate 
the Prime Directive."
As Santos turned to walk back to Droin and the girl, Craig stopped him by 
grabbing his arm.  "About the Prime Directive sir."
Santos turned back, "Yes Chief?"
"Sir, I think it may be too late.  There was some evidence on a few of the 
buildings of energy weapon discharge.  There may already be someone else here 
violating the hell out of the Prime Directive."

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