<USS Banshee> "A Whole New World"

  • From: "Brad Ruder" <GroundZero@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ussbanshee@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 16 Sep 2002 15:35:31 -0700

?A Whole New World?
by Lieutenant Josh Asper

?Lark to Asper.?

Josh rolled over on his bed; his eyes wide awake at the vocal intrusion. He tapped his bare chest, not realizing that he had removed his communicator and placed it on the table next to his bed. Reaching over and tapping it gently, Josh relaxed again on his pillows. ?Asper here, what do you want Tom??

?I hate to disturb you, Lieutenant??

?I was hoping you would, you?d be a sick person if you get pleasure out of this.? Josh?s eyes felt like they were tied to one thousand kilogram weights ? trying to keep his eyes open was like training for the Starfleet Olympics.

?I heard that you are going to be the acting Shogun Squadron Pilot leader...?

?No, Lark, that doesn?t mean that you don?t have to take the test like everyone else on board. Try studying, there are tons of books available for you to get prepared.? Josh?s mouth perked up in a smile as he wrapped his arms around the back of his head. He glanced at the chronometer on the table next to his bed: o-three-hundred.

Lark laughed, ?I know that, but YOU have to take the test before you are officially the leader of the shogun pilots. The band of merry rebels is betting that you can?t even pass the primary tests that include using your equipment.?

Sitting straight up as if he had awoken from a horrible nightmare, Josh eyes flung the ?weights? aside. He kicked his feet off the side of his bed and set them on the cold floor. He stood to his feet and began to cross his quarters. ?What do you have in mind, Tom? I?m assuming that you?re some how mixed with this and you have something betting that I can do it.?

?Lieutenant, I would never...?

?What?d you bet, Lark?? Josh threw on a black sleeveless shirt and pulled on his workout shorts. ?I?m guessing some holodeck time, replicator rations, or that awesome model of the USS Enterprise-E. That?s worth its weight in latinum, and split among the eight shogun pilots that would make a pretty penny.?

?I know that it is.? Lark seemed hesitant, or even desperate from the sound of his voice and the obvious quiver in it.

Josh shrugged as he laced up his tennis shoes, ?You put up the Enterprise! Are you nuts? It?s a good thing that I?m here and there isn?t a chance that I won?t pass those tests, I mean, if Hiddukel can do it, anyone can.? Josh didn?t mind much about bashing his fellow officer; it was all in the spirit of fun.

?Hey, Devon wasn?t a bad guy. Anyway, I want you to win obviously, so I?ve got some things set up in the fighter bay, do you have time to come down here.? Apparently, in his desperate situation of possibly losing his prized possession, he didn?t realize that it was in the middle of the night.

Josh laughed as he was already in the turbolift heading there, ?I?m on my way, and next time, check the time.?

Lark laughed again over the communication system, ?Yes, sir.?

***** ***** ***** ***** ***** *****

As the doors to the shuttle bay loomed up ahead, Josh came to terms with reality that he would be dog tired on his shift that started in just under four hours. If he made this quick, if it were possible, he would be back for at least an hour nap. He didn?t care much, sleep and work were the only things that he could use as an excuse to not think of Sara. Even with sleep, the moments before he passed into unconsciousness, his mind would wander to her presence.

Stepping inside the metal door frame, his eyes locked on Lark who was pacing silently in front of a row of shogun fighters. Josh took a step to his right and onto the lift pad that would drop him to the lower level; Lark was still unaware of his presence. Josh moved slowly over to Tom, who was deep in thought. ?All right, Tom, what do you want me to do??

?Save me??

Josh couldn?t stop himself from letting a laugh escape his lips, ?It?s OK, I?ll do everything that I can. Not only is your holy Enterprise shrine in peril, I have a reputation and a girl to impress.?

?A girl? I thought that you and Lieutenant Crusher were through??

?Who said anything about impressing Sara?? Josh smiled as he stepped a short distance to his right to run his hand down the smooth metallic exterior of the fighter that would soon be in his capable hands.

Lark leaned against the fighter as well and showed interest, ?Who is it this time??

?Not like it?s any of your business, but a cute lady in the medical department. You may know her as Heather?? Josh?s smile seemed to triple in size as he looked at the equipment that littered the ground in front of the fighter. ?What is this stuff??

?This is your test, this is the complete Shogun Fighter Equipment Pack.?

?And that means what to me?? Josh?s curiosity spiked, but he was still uncertain about how to proceed, if there was a way for him to do just that.

Lark walked over to a rather bulky piece of equipment that resembled an anti-gravity suit and lifted it up. ?This is a Type 3 SEWG, it?s the current form of environmental protection.?


Lark meandered his way across the rest of the crowded equipment and then started loading several smaller items into a large container, and eventually pushed it into Josh?s directions with a menacing moan that showed Josh just how heavy this stuff was. ?This is your Tactical Kit, take a look.?

Josh took a step forward and examined the contents of the box. ?Kelbonite and Bemonite ore-coated tent, a transporter inhibitor, camouflage field, Type 3B phaser rifle, Type 2 hand phaser, a dozen photon grenades, and one kick-ass isomagnetic disintegrator.? Josh looked up from the box of ?toys? and then back into it. ?I get to use this??

?I don?t really know; the tests vary based on the Captain discretion. That can be based on how much she likes you, or how well you taste after you?re barbecued. My philosophy is that you train for everything and you?ll know everything.? Lark shifted his weight and moved to yet another loaded cargo container and moved it towards Josh, taking the Tactical Kit and maneuvering it under the fighter.

?And this would be??

?Medical Kit, go ahead, Doctor.? Lark tried to make a joke, not withstanding, but watched as Josh got onto his knees to examine the small objects.

?It comes in three medical kit containers.?

?It?s designed for easy access.?

Josh continued his search, ?Two hyposprays, one medical tricorder, a defibrillator?? Josh paused as he examined the device in his grip. ?What the hell am I supposed to use this for? Am I supposed to shock the hell out of myself?? Josh?s voice shifted into a more silly and playful voice, ?Oh, God, I?m dying. Time to hook a warp core to my chest, that will start my heart.?

?OK, so the system isn?t perfect.? Lark seemed not to catch the blatant humor in Josh?s voice and seemed content on focusing on Josh?s search. Josh assumed that Lark had put himself in a potential emotionally devastating situation.

?Dermal regenerator, a wound kit for when I?m out killing members of the Jem?Hadar, neural pads, a cortical stimulator, thrombic modulator, and what the hell is this?? Josh pulled a huge package that had the universal medical sign on it.

Lark smiled as he knelt down next to Josh, ?That would be your medical compounds kit. It can fix anything, with anything, at any time, at any place, with conditions??

?I get it, Tom, thanks.? Josh laughed as he pat Lark on the shoulder and opened the package, vials that fit hyposprays were littered around the inside. Each had a different color with a different dose amount. ?They think of everything, don?t they??

?Of course, we?re members of Starfleet, our motto is ?be prepared?.?

?That?s the Boy Scouts, Tom.?

?Either way, we always are, aren?t we?? Lark laughed for the first time in about an hour and ran a hand through his hair.

?Yes, I guess you?re right. OK, we have dermalplast, hyperzine, hyronalin, formazinec, inaprovaline, netinaline, lectrazine, tiroxilin, tirioxin, triptacedrine, ciortolin, corophizine, and dexalin. I know what a good amount of these do; I?m glad that I took my recommended years of medical training. Plus, I went through primary training for these beasts; there isn?t anything that they can do that I don?t know. As far as me doing them efficiently, well, you just never know.?

?That?s good, because I just know what aspirin does.?

?I?m assuming that I?ve got an Engineering kit or something to that affect in here, don?t I?? Josh?s eyes roamed the remaining equipment, some of it he recognized and others it looked like something out of the future.

?Yes, right here.? Lark again stepped over the equipment that was spread over the floor and lifted another box into Josh?s grasp. ?Your repair kit.?

Josh set the box down on the floor with a metallic rapping sound and then moved around to knee down beside it. His hands dove into the box and removed several engineering tools that were unfamiliar to him, and then he pulled out routine repair instruments. ?Hyperspanner, I hate these things. Here?s a coil spanner, a micro inducer, a plasma torch, and whatever the hell that thing is.?

?That would be a Gravitic Caliper. It regulates your plasma flow through your warp and engine systems. You won?t really need it unless you crash on a planet. And that would be a bipolar torch, not a plasma torch. There similar, but not the same thing.? Lark was like a dictionary.

?Anything else??

?We have your emergency ration kit, and the utility kit.?

Retrieving the kit that Lark had talked about, Josh was glad that he saw it was the last of the group of boxes. ?So, I?ve got a PADD, pattern enhancers, a tricorder, and eighty hours of oxygen. That?s great, but where the hell are my magazines?? Josh smiled at his joke as Lark looked at him like a deer looking into the headlights.

?It would be an efficient use of space.?

?Lark, it was a joke, lighten up.?

?Oh, that was funny.? Lark laughed the fake laugh that people do when they?re nervous or embarrassed. ?And then you have your food.?

Josh smiled as he reached into the last box, ?Sixteen water packs, which converts into roughly 250 milliliters of water, and a week supply of food. Well, there isn?t a replicator with would be an even better use of space.?

?That concludes the equipment, know we have the technical specifications??

?Tom, can we do this after my shift tomorrow. I?m due on the bridge at o-four-hundred, and I would like to get some sleep so I won?t end up being served with potatoes and rice. Is that OK with you? I mean, if I get barbecued, I will throw you out an airlock.?

?That?s cool, as long as I don?t lose my Enterprise model.?

?Don?t worry, Lark, I won?t let that happen. Besides, you aren?t supposed to be gambling anyway; it?s against ship policy.? Josh put his arm over Lark?s shoulder as they walked out of the shuttle bay.

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