NOVEMBER 2003

Author: Cdr Claryx Vahl
Title: "A course for disaster"
ON:

== Trenetor IV ==
= Suburb of the Capital City =

*Claryx completed the visit of the barn she had rented for the duration of the shoreleave. Formerly a storage area for tools and hay, it had been converted into a rudimentary bedroom, with just a bed and a wardrobe, set so close together that the whole area felt empty.

Claryx : *To herself, as she opens the only window, looking on rows upon rows of fields.* Interior designers are probably as rare as gold on this planet...

*Although simple, the view had its beauty, specially when one was so used to the high-tech environment of a starship. No beeping or buzzing noise, just the wind and a relentless sun. It was the ideal surrounding if all you wanted was a bit of peace.

One could even raise a family here, far from the troubles of the galaxy. Not that she would want to... After all, no place was ever safe. Claryx's mind was being drawn to memories of the occupation of Betazed by the Dominion forces, when a distant sound brought her back to reality. The computer that she had left downstairs was cheerfully announcing the reception of an incoming message.*

Claryx : *While running down the stairs.* If it's an invitation to join a banquet with the city's officials and their clique, I swear that I'll spend the rest of this shoreleave in sickbay, pretending I'm too sick to walk!

*But when she sat down in front of the terminal, instead of the jovial face of the Mayor, she saw the serious features of the ACSO.*

Gol'Khar : *With his usual loud voice.* +Will you be joining me tonight at the Colonial Commerce Building? There is a ... *searching for the english equivalent of the Klingon word he had in mind.* party, given in honour of the delegate sent by the Klingon High Council.+

Claryx : *Discreetly turning down the volume of her computer.* I had other things planned, Gol'Khar. *Seeing that he wasn't buying her words.* You know very well that this kind of gathering isn't for me!

Gol'Khar : +But I have already told the delegate that you would be present.+

Claryx : Well, since it's out of the question that you could have lied, as it would damage your honour, tell him that I have changed my mind. You can even insist on the fact that it's a Betazoid trait if you want.

Gol'Khar : +I will not lie, in any way! The delegate is a woman. And you _will_ join me!+

Claryx : *Catching a red light, blinking at the left hand corner of the screen, announcing another message.* Oh no, I won't!

Gol'Khar : *Looking behind him, to check that no one was around.* +P l e a s e!+

Claryx : "Please" is no longer a magic word on Betazed. Listen, Gol'Khar, in as much as I would like to torture you a bit more, I have another communication on hold. I will come to your party, but I'll be as sulky as hell, so you are forewarned!

Gol'Khar : *Big grin.* +Forewarned, and happy. The party starts at 20.00. I'll wait near the door for you.+

*Claryx smiled as she ended the communication, thinking he would look like a mere bodyguard waiting outside like that. Then she took the second call and an unknown face appeared. One that told Claryx that troubles were on their way...

The woman on the screen, an Admiral from her uniform, and most certainly in her sixties, had that fake smile she had seen many times on instructors. The kind of expression that betrayed a hint of sadism as they were about to reveal news they knew were going to upset the classroom.*

Admiral (npc) : +Commander Vahl?+

Claryx : *Raising both eyebrows at the question. The message was after all addressed to her via a private channel.* That's me, yes. You have me at a disadvantage!

Admiral : +Admiral Tiral. I am here to announce that you have been selected to participate in a special project. Data about the objectives are being downloaded to your terminal as we speak. You are to get familiar with this information and report to the SS Katara, a Betazed merchant ship that will arrive on Trenetor IV in 5 days. Your Captain has received a scripted message concerning your new assignment.+

Claryx : *Blinking nervously.* Betazed people don't do secret projects, and, no disrespect intended, Admiral, but I already have an assignment, that I don't intend to shorten.

Tiral : +Your reluctance is only natural, and I must say, typical of our new recruits. Do not forget, however, that your career belongs to the Federation. Your expertise, both as a telepath and an engineer is needed on Darona, were you will be working with a team of experts that have been specially selected.+

Claryx : *Still finding that all this sounded like a bad joke. Maybe she should have Crewman Locke trace the origin and path of this communication?* Darona is at the other end of the galaxy, it will take ages to...

Tiral : +Do not worry about transportation, Cmdr. It is not your field of expertise. We are all more efficient when we limit ourselves to what we know. The download is now complete. Bon voyage. Admiral Tiral out.+

*Claryx blinked again, almost unaware that the screen had turned black. She could have probably stayed like that quite a while, lost in contradictory thoughts, but her commbadge chirped.*

Crowley : +What the hell is happening, Claryx?!? I have just received the weirdest message ever telling me that the Fleet has deemed necessary to send you on a different assignment? Did you request a transfer?+

Claryx : I didn't Captain. I... I've just received the same message myself, from an Admiral Tiral.

Crowley : *Checking the info still displayed on his screen.* +Yeah... Coming source, Jarkana City, on Darona.+

Claryx : *Absent-mindedly.* That's the 6th planet ringing the Betazed sun, Captain. Nothing much there except farms and a prison for the mentally insane... I know they had some troubles over there before the Dominion war...

Crowley : +I'll tell you what, it's this whole thing that is insane!! StarFleet Command has even sent me the regular red tape for the nomination of a new First Officer!+

Claryx : *White voice.* Who will it be?

Crowley : +Am I the only one to be shocked, here, or what? For your information, I haven't consulted them yet!.+

Claryx : *Biting her lower lip.* I need to spend some time alone, Captain. Besides, seeing what appears on my screen, I have a huge load of data to review...

OFF :

Cmdr. Claryx Vahl
XO
USS Arizona

OCTOBER 2003

Author: Lt Cdr Gol'khar
Title: "Cardassia calling"
ON:

==Main Science Department==

Once again, during yet another of the Arizona's more challenging periods, specialists from the science team were aiding communications expert, Lt Archer, in modifying a class six probe. This being more ideally suited to the task expected of it, especially if they were to relay a convincing message that appeared to originate from Cardassia Prime.

Gol'Khar, Archer, Havet Storm and Angus McDuff(npc) were huddled together over the now open casing of the probe. The workbenches beside them were filled with a bewildering array of components and tools, each part ready to be put into place once the final decisions were settled as to how they would mask the identity of the probe itself.

"I want some ideas on making this as anonymous as possible." *Gol'Khar said, looking at the faces around him.* "We can't have any sign of its federation origins, or this plan simply won't work."

"Firstly, sir. I think we should remove all traces of its main sensing devices." *Storm suggested after some consideration.* "After all, the probe shouldn't need its whole complement just to run this errand."

"Yes, that's true!" *Archer agreed, noting the excess payload.* "Also, I think that once it's completed its task, we should make sure that it has some sort of self destruction mechanism built into it?.

"Och aye!" *Angus said, adding,* "It will cut yon message off suddenly, ye ken. Sort o' make it harder for them Cardassians to get a triangulation and lock on the source o' tha bonnie message o'oors." *Smiles.*

"You know... I like it!" *Replied Gol'Khar, thinking carefully about the logistics of their proposals.* "We'd best get working on it right now. The sooner we can get this probe on its merry way, the better I'll like it. *Frowns slightly.*

"We'll need some extra power to boost the holo-emitter." *Archer said, thinking about the nebula and how the signal would have to be strong enough to penetrate it.* " I suggest an output ratio of five point two to one should be adequate to allow for the nebula's density, and for all the distortion that will be encountered by our probe's signal."

Each of the team worked quickly and efficiently as they stripped away all the non-essential parts, replacing them with items required to let the probe to carry out its deed. Archer prepared a device that would send out recognised Cardassian emergency ID codes at repeat intervals, just in order to make the message appear more authentic. Whilst Storm took very special care to fit a small shielded detonator and explosives, making doubly sure that it was powerful enough to destroy the probe completely, once it became necessary.

Although the team worked in unison to complete their jobs, each had their own thoughts about why they were in this predicament in the first place. But no one voiced their feelings openly, since there seemed little point in trying to talk about something they had little or no control over. The only sounds were from material brushing against material, metal ringing against metal and a good deal of sighing...

OFF

Lt Cmdr Gol'Khar
ACSO
USS Arizona

SEPTEMBER 2003

Author: Ens. Simo Hayha
Title: "Finished Line"

SEPTEMBER 2003

Author: Lt Cdr Natasha Cruix
Title: "But it's fast" Part 2
ON:

==USS Verne==

Stern nudged Simo. He had been dreaming mathematical shapes. He sat up. "I'm ready," he said, taking a sip from the tube inside his helmet. "I'll take over."

"Don't bother Hayha," Stern said. "We're almost there."

The little ship put a hole through a thin barrier and then surfaced and blew the hatch. They helped Nurse Smirch up to the surface.

Daylight, ack. Simo's eyes weren't ready for it. And now the ship was rocking. He didn't like that bobbing and rocking.

He cracked his helmet seal. The air smelled strange, almost decayed. No filtration. Salty, and rotting vegetation. He didn't like it. Strange animals made even stranger noises.

Captain Crowley shook Grella's hand proudly. "You made it in record time."

"Thank you, Sir, but it was a team effort."

"Of course."

A Zu hovered over them. "What ship is in second?"

"There is no second," said another Zu, looking at a scanner.

"They're about five hours behind," said Grella proudly.

The Zu were not pleased. There was a look of bitter disappointment on their lipless faces. The Arizona's crew silently soaked it in, relishing every second.

"There will be a victory dinner then ... I guess in about six hours," Havet said.

"Ooh," Grella said. "What is on the menu?"

"Seafood," Cruix said with a grin.

"Request permission to transport up and change," Simo asked Grella, desperately wanting out of that suit and off the bobbing ship.

"Contestants have to wait in the main promenade," Crowley said.

Simo trudged out to the promenade in the heavy suit made even more heavy by the high gravity, more and more afraid of diaper rash in the heat.

OFF:

Ensign Simo Hayha
Engineering, USS Arizona
ON

"Again!!"

[Planet side, charriot race course (trial run)]

Well, she did ask if the thing was fast, and as she continued to splash and crash her way through the race course, one thought kept going through her mind.

She was going to die.

Absolutely.

Unequivocally.

And if she wasn't dead by the time she got off this thing, then she was just as absolutely sure that she would be missing more than one of her limbs.

Straddling the 'ski, her torso lying horizontally against the machines' body, arms outstretched past her head, her hands gripping the controls in a white knuckled death grip, Nat not only felt ridiculous, but was positive she looked it as well.

This was Keeper's fault. Oh yes, as sure as her name is Natasha Cruix, this 'definately' was Keeper's fault. He'd goaded her into this! Oh yes!!! Never mind that in actual fact it had been her klingon pride. We just won't mention that. Noů

THIS WAS KEEPER'S FAULT!!!

Nat grimaced as the 'ski slammed through a wave, the impact jarring not only the machine, but her as well. As she struggled with the controls, she began to imagine what she was going to do to one James 'Keeper' Dalton, once she caught up to him.

She was concentrating so hard, that she didn't see the huge wave coming towards her. The 'ski was travelling pretty fast, and unbelievably, when it did hit the wave, it didn't crash through it instead, it started to climb.

"Fraq!!!" Nat yelled as she felt herself start to slide backwards off the 'ski. If it wasn't for the vice like grip she had on the controls, she would've fallen off.

Gritting her teeth, she tightened her legs around the 'ski, halting her slide.

Enough was enough.

As the 'ski climbed higher, Nat opened up the throttle. With a roar, the 'ski hurtled upů.upů.upů.

The motor squealed as the 'ski left the water and seemed to pause for a moment, suspended in the air, before it dropeed like a dead weight to the water below.

"Yeehaaa!!!" Nat yelled as the 'ski took off towards the finish line.

J'tskee(NPC) had waded into the water. "It is fast, is it not?"

Both hearts beating a drum roll in her chest, Nat turned to grin maniacally at the Zu. "Again!!!"

OFF

Lt Cmndr Nat Cruix
Chief Sec / Tac Officer
USS Arizona

AUGUST 2003

Author: Lt Cmdr Natasha Cruix
Title: "The Girls Got Game"
ON:

== Fred's Rock ==
== Rehb's Take Away ==

Leaning against the bar, sipping on her second can of diet coke, (OFF: Yuk!!! Prefer Pepsi!) Nat watched as the two Nausicans moved menacingly towards Grace and Claryx.

'Where the hell is Nat?' Grace thought to herself as she backed away from the Nausicans, then looked to her right. She tapped Claryx on the shoulder, and pointed to where Nat was sitting.

Claryx looked over her shoulder at Nat, noticing that the Lt Cmndr didn't look like she was going to move. "Uh.Nat??"

With a sigh and a final sip from the coke, Nat placed the can on the bar, uncrossed her legs, got up from the stool and took a step forward, to place herself before the Doctor and Commander, facing the two Nausicans.

She smiled. "You sure you two want to do this?" she asked, then casually flipped open the lower half of her coat to reveal the disruptor strapped to her left thigh.

The Nausicans hesitated for only a moment.

"Don't think you're fast enough to get the both of us with that." Nausican #1 said as he continued forward.

"No," Nat agreed, flipping open the other side of her coat, "but I am fast enough to get the both of you with this." She said smiling sweetly as she rested her hand against the blade strapped to her right thigh.

This time, the two would be assailants, hesitated little more than a second.

Nausican #2 turned to look at the Ferengi, who was still standing by the door. "Price just went up. Four bars."

The Ferengi sputtered. "You agreed to two!"

Nausican #1 shrugged his shoulders. "You said they were unarmed, and human." He jerked a thumb towards Nat, "This one's obviously Klingon."

"But..but..but.." The Ferengi stammered, "you agreed!!!!"

Nausican #2 sighed. "Four strips," he repeated, "and pay now."

"You can't do this!!!" The Ferengi shrieked. "A contract is a contract!"

"Only if it's been paid for upfront." Added Nausican #1, "and you haven't paid us."

"The 73rd rule of acquisition." The Ferengi replied.

"Means nothing to us," Ended Nausican #2. He turned to his companion. "Let's go."

The Ferengi was now irate. His normally pallid grey skin was taking on a decidedly sickly, well sicklier, hue. "You wait!" He screeched, "You wait till Mr Big.."

Nausican #1 growled at him, "Watch your mouth, Ferengi."

"Or we'll close it," added Nausican #2, "permanent like."

Snapoing his mouth shut with a very audible snap, the Ferengi looked at the 2 Nausicans with quite obvious fear. "I..I.I." He stuttered as he backed towards the door.

"Tell you what," Nat said, taking a step towards the Nausicans. "I'll give you 2 strips of latinum if you stop him from leaving."

This time, Nat was sure the Ferengi's eyes were going to bug right out of his head. "Here!!!" He reached into his pocket and took out a handful of latinum strips. "Here!! Take it, take it all! Just do what you promised."

The two Nausicans looked at the fistful of money, then both slowly turned to grin at Nat.

"A crud." Nat muttered to herself..

Moments later.. a metal stool came bursting out through one of the windows, showering shards of broken glass everywhere, quickly followed by a bloody-faced Nausican.

Crowley turned to grin at Gol'khar. "I think she's got everything under control."

As Gol'khar was about to reply, another beaten and bloody Nausican sailed out of the broken window.

Gol'khar chuckled. "I think so too." He agreed.

Suddenly, their ears were assailed by a high pitched squeal. Cringing the three men looked towards the bar doors as they were thrown open, and the most terrified Ferengi they had ever seen, came dashing out.

He didn't get very far.

Before the hapless alien had taken more than a few steps, there was a blur of movement from the broken window, and he had been brought to the ground by a figure which had launched itself at him.

Crowley, Nemzek and Gol'khar gathered around the two figures on the ground.

"Everything alright here?" Nemzek asked, realizing that one of the figures belonged to the Arizona's Chief Sec / Tac officer.

Getting to her feet, Nat dusted herself off as she grinned at Nemzek. "Everything is fine." She replied, then reached down to grab the Ferengi by one of his earlobes, pulling him to his feet. "Everything is just great."

OFF

Lt Cmndr Natasha 'Nat' Cruix
Chief Security / Tactical Officer
USS Arizona

JULY 2003

Author: Ens. Jezai Yol
Title: "Not quite routine examination"

JULY 2003

Author: Cdr Claryx Vahl
Title: "Take the damn body away, and have fun with it!"
ON:

== USS Arizona ==
== Sickbay ==

Yol finished the last section of his report hastily, as he was eager to get some real sleep as soon as possible. He set down the report on Dr. Kelly's desk, straightened his uniform, and stopped briefly as his hand went numb. It tended to happen often when he worked for long periods of time, he found it to be a sort of protest. After rubbing his palm vigorously for a few moments, he stepped out of the office.

Yol glanced at T'vel, the EMH, and spoke.

Yol: There are supposed to be two new crew members reporting in for medical exams sometime soon, a human and a...Trill. Just thought I'd keep you up to date.

In his rush to tell the EMH of the crew members impending arrival, he hadn't heard the swish of the doors opening.

T'vel(EMH): *coolly* I believe one of them has already arrived, Doctor.

Yol: *muttering* Of course, such would be my luck.

Yol turned around and found the Trill cadet. He reminded Yol of a marine, he looked far too....well.._neat_ to be real. Then again, that may have been because all sense of orderliness seemed to have left Jezai after he had joined the Yol symbiont.

Yol: *distantly* Welcome to the Arizona, Cadet Hayha, I believe it is?

Hayha nodded. As Yol scanned him wordlessly, he wondered why he hadn't just let T'vel take care of this. After all, he was off duty.

Admit it, it's because you're curious. I was curious too, though I never actually knew a real K'lee'ke.

Yol was always unnerved when he felt Shona so strongly. Shona almost never showed in Yol's actions or thoughts, usually it was Mani, or Resaa or Treshai, and even on occasion Wester. But almost never Shona.

Yol looked up at Hayha, and thought of the times he and Coco had discussed the K'lee'ke in private. He knew that many Trill on the homeworld would have on thought in their mind at the moment: Kansanmurha. His father among them, undoubtedly. But his father was dead now, and he himself didn't condone such practices.

Trying to ignore the pounding of his head and the anxiousness to just get back to his quarters Yol shut the tricorder.

Yol: You're in perfect health. Feel free to go.

Yol was feeling so dizzy by this time that he wasn't sure if Hayha responded or not. He rushed out of sickbay and made way towards his quarters as quickly as possible, nervous and irritated.

OFF:

Dr. Jezai Yol (Ensign)
ACMO
USS Arizona
ON

== Freighter ==

*Dirk Klemski (npc) stared at the main viewscreen showing the Excelsior class ship which had suddenly appeared in his vicinity, hailing him right away. Despite this, he nonetheless contemplated his options, aghast at the speed at witch the C.O. of DS-31 had unleashed his menace. The Arizona was already here, and if its Captain was only half as nasty as his previous interlocutor, he would no doubt make no qualms in turning his livelihood into ashes.*

Klemski : *Finally hailing the Arizona back.* Alright, Captain Crowley, I know when I've lost the battle. The body I've picked up is not much of a prize anyway. It's just an old dry prune who was unlucky enough to...

Crowley : ++No need to turn this into a novel, Mr Klemski. Just give us the co-ordinates of this body. Unless of course you fancy playing hide and seek with our sensors?++

Klemski : Do I look that stupid?? Take the damn body away, and have fun with it!

Crowley : ++See, it's not that painful to abide by the law... It would also be advisable for you not to leave this sector, just in case we have some questions we'd like to ask you.++

Klemski : *Rolling his eyes in annoyance.* Can't you ask them questions now?? I'm a busy man, I can't just linger around, losing money and do absolutely nothing!

Crowley : ++The Trenetor sector is your limit. If you know what's good for you, you'll keep to it. Crowley out.++

Moments later...
== USS Arizona ; Sickbay ==

*Doctors Kelly, Yol and Vahl, all wearing a mask were staring at the a dried-out body, which was bearing more resemblance to a centuries old mummy, than the human male it had recently been.*

Vahl : *Not feeling overly comfortable in front of this sight.* It looks to be civilian. Unless of course he was a Starfleet officer on shoreleave.

Yol : He has certainly seen better days, but he doesn't look to me to be the Starfleet type. Besides it looks like he was shot dead by a disruptor, and in a sector where we are the only Federation presence to patrol. And as far as we know, no one has reported the disappearance of anyone in this area.

Kelly : *All business while preparing a few hyposprays.* I'm afraid there is nothing as hazy as hypothesis. This man could be anyone. And the only way to be sure whom we are dealing with, is to work with his DNA. Take a sample and check with our files database.

Vahl : *Watching as Kelly was taking her sample.* Although, if he was born on a remote colony, this search will be a bit pointless, won't it? Besides, with the type of planets we have in this sector, I wouldn't be at all surprised if investigating them will be far more fruitful... If people accept to talk that is.

Kelly : I'd agree with you. But believe me, Claryx, this DNA will reveal more information to us than making speculations.

Yol : *Nodding at what the CMO had just said.* If you'll excuse me, Commander Vahl, I'll need to work on the other samples we need.

Vahl : *Turning a bit pale at imagining what this implied.* I'll be on the Bridge, then...
[continued below]
[continued from above right]
Three hours later...
== USS Arizona ; Bridge ==

*While the Captain was reviewing the file of Klemski, which probably resembles hundreds of other "traders" scouring this sector, a call from sickbay brought him back to the case at hand.*

Kelly : *Oblivious to the fact her words were broadcast to the whole of the Bridge.* ++I don't know why it's so important to retrieve information about this dead body which is now invading my sickbay, Michael. But I have the information you want.++

Crowley : This is because it looks more like a murder than a peaceful death, Dr Kelly. The least we can do, is to give him back to his family.

Kelly : ++Anyway... The subject is a male caucasian. Aged 45. 1m70. Time of death is more difficult to define, due to the combined effect of space, plus the disruptor blast which literally destroyed his chest. But I doubt it can have been more than one month.++

Crowley : Does the subject has a name, I mean, that we know of?

Kelly : His DNA directed me to one Earth file... Tannen, Jack. I'll let you do the rest of the homework, because I haven't finished yet running my own tests and sampling.

OFF:

Cmdr. Claryx Vahl
XO
USS Arizona




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