[USS Vanguard] Re: The last X years.

  • From: Andy <andywoho@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 18 Jun 2010 20:23:41 -0500

Commodore Dominic Santos
Starbase Roebling
After "The last X years"
Star Trek Wiki: http://memory-alpha.org/wiki/Portal:Main

Entry on "Lurians": http://memory-alpha.org/wiki/Lurian

Santos and Mandrake studied one another. Santos noticed Mandrake's hands,
coarser after years of working the land, and noticed his complexion, ruddy
and tanned from days spent in the open air, under the Albion sun. Most of
all, he noticed the look in Mandrake's eyes. The young pilot with the dark,
haunted eyes who had been Vanguard's first (and as far as Santos was
concerned only) helmsman was gone. In his place was the man whose eyes
seemed clearer, his posture taller, his laugh more ready and forthcoming.

Mandrake seemed bursting with life, taking in everything around him. Santos
watched as Mandrake observed the Vulcan engineer, Lt. Tarek, at the next
table, arguing with a pair of Bynar scientists. (Santos recognized 110 and
001.) A Deltan Dabo hostess took the table on the other side, opened her
change purse and extracted a long cigarillo. Her bald head was decorated
with an Earth Chinese dragon tattoo that ran from one end of her scalp to
the other. She caught Mandrake's stare and looked back at him,
unflinchingly, then grinned. Behind Santos and Mandrake, a young Klingon
warrior, her bath'leth casually strung across her back, strolled by with a
Xindi-Arboreal diplomat.

Mandrake studied Santos and saw the deepening crow's feet around Santos'
eyes. His hair had added a little more gray and was cut even shorter than
the last time he had seen the commodore.

The Lurian hostess shuffled over and before Santos or Mandrake could even
place their orders, began rattling off the entire bar and food menu,
including variations on all drinks. Santos held up a hand, and she abruptly

"I'll have an Albion Bitter," Santos said. He nodded at Mandrake. "In honor
of my good friend."

Mandrake waited for Santos to finish then looked up at the Lurian. "I'll
have a Vulcan mineral water. No ice."

The Lurian gave a little bow and retreated to fill the order.

"You don't hire them for their looks," Mandrake said.

"Werth is a very good hostess," Santos said. "But she'll talk your ear off
if you let her."

"Typical Lurian," Mandrake laughed.

Santos grinned. "You know who drinks mineral water?"

"Old men like us?" Mandrake replied.

"No. People who wish they had something stronger but don't want to."

Santos expected a rebuke from Mandrake but was surprised when he shrugged.
"I'm still laying off. I feel better for it."

Mandrake looked around at the Deck One-and-a-Half Lounge.

"You know...sitting here with you, I can't help but imagine that Des should
be taking our drink orders, dispensing some advice, occasionally scolding us
when necessary."

"I know," Santos agreed.

"Where is Des?" Mandrake asked.

Santos opened his mouth to speak, and Werth returned with their drinks on a
clear tray. The drinks seemed to float in mid-air. She placed the beer and
water in front of them and started to rattle off the food specials again.

Santos interrupted her. "That will be all for now. Thank you, Werth."

She bowed and walked back toward the bar.

Santos drained half his glass in one go. Mandrake noticed but said nothing.

"I hear from Des from time to time. After the...after the Vanguard, she
bounced here and there. Occasionally, I'd get a communique from some place
or other, 'Greetings from Ceti Alpha V! Don't eat the worms; they'll give
you a headache!' That sort of thing."

Mandrake laughed.

"How's my namesake?" Santos asked, smiling.

"Why don't you see for yourself?" Mandrake said. He reached into his bag and
produced a holo-recorder. He turned it toward Santos and pressed the button
on the front.

An image of a woman and a small boy appeared on the table in front of them.
She was hugging him to her chest and holding his hand, moving it up and

"Can you say hello?" she said. "Hello, Uncle Nick."

He laughed brightly. A bolt lanced Santos' heart. "Hello...Uncle Nick!"
Little Dominic squealed in delight.

"Hi, Nick," she said. "The next time you're within a hundred light years,
Cynan and I insist you come see us! The tractor is almost back to normal,
even though we still haven't found the cat. All is forgiven. Come enjoy the
food, and we've got more than cow tipping. Okay, I'm going to sign off
before I sound like a travel brochure for Albion!" She puckered her lips and
covered her mouth with her hand, blowing Santos a loud kiss. She and Little
Dominic waved at the holorecorder as the image faded.

Santos turned toward Mandrake and nodded. "Thank you."

"You're welcome." He slid the imaging device toward Santos. "Take it. It's
for you."

Santos placed the device next to him and thought about the place on the
shelf in his ready room where it would join its kin.

"How's Elizabeth?" Mandrake asked.

"She's fine."

"And your little girl?"

"Elizabeth and May moved to Hong Kong. Elizabeth said she wanted May to see
where I grew up, even if I'm not there."

"You'll excuse me for saying this..." Mandrake said.

"Go ahead," Santos prompted.

"But that seems very typical of Elizabeth," Mandrake said, his anger rising.
"On the one hand, she does something kind, like raising your daughter where
you grew up. And on the other hand, she reminds you that you're not on Earth
to raise her."

Santos sipped his beer and said nothing.

"We've made a lot of changes to the station since you were last here. Why
don't I give you a tour and show you the guest quarters?"

Mandrake pushed his glass away and stood up. "Sounds good."

As they exited the lounge, Mandrake remarked, "You know, I couldn't help
notice when I came in that you have Flight Control on a five-person

Santos nodded. "With a station of this size, that's not unusual. In fact, it
could be bigger, but the computers are efficient."

"You could do the same with three."

Santos looked at Mandrake. "How would that work?"

"Instead of working a five-person crew for a five-hour shift over a 25 hour
day, reduce the work cycle into a 24 hour day with three-person crews
working four hours each and appoint two supervisors. That way, they work
less but are more alert when they are on shift. And your supervisors will
appreciate the vote of confidence."

Santos grinned and shook his head. "You're the best damn flight control
officer I ever met. And you still have it."

Mandrake laughed. "You can take the boy out of Starfleet, but you can't take
the Starfleet out of the boy."

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