NOVEMBER 2003

Author: Lieutenant JG Mackenzie O'Connell
Title: n/c
ON

USS PEGASUS, MAIN ENGINEERING
CONCURRENT WITH SL#02

Mac stood, leaning against the master systems display, staring at the warp core. It was humming along quite nicely, the rhythmic pulsing almost a lullaby to the engineer. They were on their way back from the beautiful new Akira's shakedown run, and everything was pretty quiet in Engineering. Most of the work that could be done off-base had been either finished or put away until they docked. There was a general good feeling in the air. The ship was going home, and soon we would be able to relax.

Suddenly, the warp core slowed, and a shudder that only an engineer would notice ran through the ship. ~Three... two... one...~ thought the ACEO to himself. As if on cue, the doors to the Chief Engineer's office opened and Anna Coltrane, who had been finishing some last-minute reports, stepped out.

Tugging absently at his uniform vest, Mac grinned and walked around the MSD towards her. "Ready t' bring her in, Boss?" he asked, letting his Irish accent slip through. He reached up and pushed a few stray strands of hair behind his ear as he walked.

"Wouldn't miss it for the world, Lieutenant," she replied, a grin as wide as the Irishman's crossing her face. "Now let's do this. If you would..." she trailed off, and smiled. Mac nodded in return, and with a grin, turned to begin the formal lock-down protocol for Engineering.

Taking a breath, Mac began barking orders in a bellow, his voice heard by every one of the forty-odd engineers and technicians on duty in the cavernous engine room.. "All hands, General Quarters! Take your stations! Let's lock 'er down and go home!"

Mac turned and took his place opposite Anna at the pool table, grinning at the various whoops and yells that followed the announcement. "A little over the top, as usual Lieutenant," said Anna through a chuckle. "But it'll do."

A FEW MINUTES LATER
ON FINAL APPROACH TO SB247

"Watch the flow regulators to the impluse engines, Mac," said Anna. "They get finicky when we get going really slow."

"I'm on it, Boss," replied Mac with a grin. "Adjusting flow by point-zero- two-four. There we go."

"Alright, let's take the warp drive offline," said Anna as she entered commands into her side of the pool table. "Cutting matter/antimatter flow, switching to fusion power." There was a slight shift in the ship's vibrations as the massive fusion engines engaged.

"Okay... Reaction in the chamber is slowing," reported Mac. "Down to eighty- five percent... seventy... sixty... fifty..."

Anna nodded, and began entering another series of commands. "Injectors going offline... Venting excess plasma."

A few meters from them, the warp core was visibly slowing, shutting down, going to sleep. Anna continued to announce her commands, and Mac watched the status of the ship's restrained chaos that was its primary propulsion system. The reaction in which matter and antimatter annhilated each other, providing energyfor the ship, was slowing. The pulses slowed, the core's light dimmed, and both eventually ceased altogether. All the while, engineers around the room monitored their stations and did their part in shutting the massive machine down.

"Reaction at zero," reported Mac with a smile. "Dilithium matrix is inert." He tapped through a few more displays. "We've just cleared the base's doors."

"Good," said Anna. "Lock down the warp core and open the umbilical ports."

"Yes, ma'am. Ports open," Mac said. Both he and Anna watched the status displays as the engineers and technicians tucked the core into bed. After a moment, they could feel the change in vibration in the deck as the impulse engines disengaged and the ship went to station-keeping. "Umbilicals and docks attaching... All green."

"Okay, shut down the reactors and switch all systems to starbase control, "ordered Anna. "Make sure that--" She was interrupted by the Captain's voice over the intercom.

+ALL HANDS, now hear this. This is the Captain speaking. We are now docked with Starbase 247. All hands are now approved for shore leave. Stay close, people, we never know when we're going to need to ship out. That is all.+

Cries of joy and a loud applause erupted in Engineering. Mac and Anna stood there, goofy grins on their faces as they listened to the commotion that was even louder than before. They both stepped away from the pool table and watched as the crew celebrated the end of the ship's first cruise.

Once the commotion had died down some, Anna turned to Mac with a mischevious grin on her face. "Alright, Lieutenant. This is one instance where I'm gonna pull rank and let you liaise with the Starbase's engineers. I've got some time to spend with my girls."

"Never let it be said that you weren't a generous woman," replied Mac with a grin. "Understood. Go have fun with the twins. I won't be long here."

"I've heard rumors of an officer's get-together later tonight. Perhaps I'll see ya there." said Anna as she walked towards the door. "Have a good shoreleave!"

"You as well," called Mac as she walked out the blast doors. He turned back to the pool table and got back to work.

OFF

Lieutenant JG Mackenzie O'Connell
Assistant Chief Engineer
USS Pegasus-D

OCTOBER 2003

Author: Ens. Laura Crawford
Title: n/c
ON:

<<USS Pegasus Bridge>>
=After last post=

Captain McManus had remained in his ready room after the meeting. None of the senior staff could understand the reason for this, but Lt. Cmdr. Montgomery had ordered them to leave the Captain until he was ready to rejoin the bridge.

Laura had not been at the meeting; she was not a senior staff member, nor did she really want to be. She was happy just being Ensign Crawford, Chief CONN Officer. ONLY CONN Officer, to be more precise.

Laura had never really understood this. Why, out of all the personnel in Starfleet, was she the only one willing to pilot the USS Pegasus? Was it cursed or something?

She would ask some of the other crew later about that. Right now, she had to pilot the ship.

Crawford: *to Soren* Sir, where are we heading now?

Soren: Starbase 243, Ensign. We need to inform Starfleet that the Pegasus is ready for duty.

Crawford: Aye sir. Course laid in for Starbase 243.

Soren: Engage.

The stars on the viewscreen elongated, and the ship made a jump to warp speed. The holographic viewscreen disengaged as usual, and Laura turned to face Soren.

Crawford: Sir, may I ask a question?

Soren: Depends what it is, Ensign.

Crawford: Sir, what's wrong with the Captain?

Soren: It is none of your concern at the moment, Ensign. Captain McManus' affairs are his concern alone. If he wants our help, he will ask for it.

Crawford: *going red* Sorry sir.

Soren: Don't worry about it, Ensign. Just concentrate on the helm.

Crawford: Aye sir.

OFF:

Ensign Laura Crawford
Chief CONN Officer
USS Pegasus NCC-53847-D

MAY 2003

Author: Ens. Andril Bretanna
Title: n/c
ON:

SB 247
Secondary Docking Bay Four

Andril Bretanna had just stepped away from the viewport in front of the little Saber Class ship when his commbadge chirped in broadcast mode.

"All Hands U.S.S. Pegasus, report to Secondary Docking Bay Four, viewport 4A immediately. That is all."

The young Corovan spun in place and looked around. He was standing in front of the Pegasus, so he naturally assumed that he was in the right place. As such he waited, and waited.

Before long, he was approached by an Admiral. He stood rigidly at attention for several long minutes before the senior Officer noticed him. He seemed to be wrapped up in his own thoughts. Eventually the he waved absently at the young officer,

"Relax young man, this isn't an inspection."

"Yessir." Andril stood at ease.

The admiral grinned and said "No kid, I said relax." He then went back to examining the vessel in the viewport.

Andril loosed a half pent breath and reached into a pocket on his Type VI uniform (normally these had no pockets, but he always replicated his pants to have two of them in the front). His hand came back with a small square package wrapped in paper. He opened the paper and popped the fragrant square inside his mouth. He then chewed, releasing more fragrance.

After a time, the human wrinkled his nose a little and looked around saying "What is that smell..." his voice trailed off and he looked at Andril with his jaw working frantically.

"Ensign, what do you have in your mouth?" His face was inquisitive, but his tone brooked no nonsense
"Gum sir." came the simple reply.
"Gum?"
"Yessir, Gum." after a pause Andril added "would you like some sir?"

Against his better judgement, the older human nodded and was presented with a paper-wrapped little square of his own, which he unwrapped and took a sniff of...

"What is this smell?" he asked
"Simulated grape flavor." came the reply
The admiral laughed a little as he chewed and looked back at the Pegasus. After a time he said;

"You know, I was standing watching her like this when she was first commissioned. She was one of the first Sabers off the line. The Dockhounds were proud of her. They said she had spirit." His eyes were far away, as though he was standing there at the time.

"What are 'Dockhounds' sir?" chewing more slowly now, Andril forgot his prior nervousness. This Admiral seemed able to put those around him at ease with little or no effort.

"Drydock Engineers Ensign. Those are the people you see in SEWG gear and hard-packs with heavy tools and vacuum sealed PADD's tethered to them floating along the hulls of ships in drydock. If you are standing near a viewport when a ship leaves drydock, you will usually see one or two of them waving at you as you pull out. They say the design engineers know their ships inside and out, and I suppose that's true, but it's the Dockhounds who build her, snap her together beginning with her spine outwards. They are sometimes called Starship Midwives." the admiral chewed a little more as Andril listened;

"You see, a Dockhound doesn't just know every inch on a ship she builds, she also knows her soul. Ships's have a soul Ensign, don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise. They have souls as surely as I am standing here, and there isn't a Dockhound who will deny that it is so - hell even Vulcan Drydock Engineers will agree with that and you know what they're like." the older officer paused and then smiled a little;

"When Pegasus-C came off the line, the Dockhounds all smiled just a little wider, like an adult standing near a sweet child watching it dance a little or sing. They knew then as I know now that she was special, that she would shine."

Andril was young, and the young were prone to making less than adroit comments at times. So it in a way was no surprise when all he said was "She is small sir."

The admiral reacted as though something acrid had been stuck under his nose "And here I thought you had a brain...Of course she is small, she is supposed to be. That's the Potter Doctrine for you. I do hope you know what the Potter Doctrine is?"

Andril thought a moment and then said "Yes Admiral, the Potter Doctrine states that a starship can only have three or four primary mission types regardless of its size - anything else is just a waste of resources and energy. So, the ideal is to design ships with a smaller overall size - as small as possible - and then task them only with one or two primary missions, thereby making Starfleet more versatile."

The older man nodded as he kept watching the Pegasus. "That's not how it was actually put to the Fleet Brass mind you." his grin spread across his face and Andril got the distinct impression that this admiral enjoyed strife among his peers. "I was sitting in the Auditorium Hall that day about ten years ago or so when little Davie Potter gave that lecture. Third year Cadet he was. Just a little slip of a kid. But the topic line he wrote for his lecture drew just about every free staff and flag officer in San Francisco that day. There was ALL the Joint Chiefs, the Apropriator General, the Quartermaster General, Admiral Nicheyev, Admiral Nogumo, Admiral Galen...then there were the line officers, who KNEW what Potter said was right. They knew in their heart of hearts that Starfleet could never watch over a rapidly expanding federation with six or so Galaxies, twelve Nebulas and a handful of second rate over the hill ships and one-shot prototypes. They knew something had to give." He chewed his gum thoughtfully as he took a deep breath;

"Buuut...the brass wouldn't listen, at least not at first. To them, what he said was a slap in the face. Most of these people had older relatives who were responsible for things like the Consitution, Constellation and Ambassador Classes. To them, the Galaxy was just a natural design evolution. Bigger was better." The Admiral trailed off, so Andril spoke up;

"What made them listen?" he asked. The Admiral turned and fixed him with a solid gaze "Wolf 359 made them listen Ensign. The Borg wiped most of the first line and nearly all of the second line ships out there. Those that were left were in no shape to do much of anything other than limp home."

"But our technology at the time was no match for the Borg, so what difference would it have made?" Asked the Corovan.

"It still isn't really a match for the Borg Ensign, but that isn't the point. The battle itself just told us what we already knew. The REAL lesson Wolf 359 taught us was that we didn't have enough ships. Plain and simple. Not enough boats afloat. We lost nearly all our fleet because we comitted nearly all our fleet."

"So what happened then sir?"

"Well, we already had the Advanced Starship Design Bureau going, we just expanded it and allocated better people and resources, we snapped up Lieutenant Potter and put him to work. We also gathered up a particularly incensed and psychologically wounded young Lieutenant Commander to help us build Starfleet's first true warship...but that is a tale for another time." the older man looked more closely at Andril and asked "Anyways, what are you doing standing here staring at soon to be decommissioned starships?"

The young Corovan blinked a few times "Come again sir?"

"The Pegasus, she is soon to be decommissioned."

"How in the name of the stars am I supposed to serve on her if she is being decommissioned?"

"You were assigned to the Pegasus?"

"Yes sir I was."

The admiral snorted and replied "The crew is gathering at another viewport in this bay. You had better get there soon or they will declare you AWOL, jump in the new Pegasus and take off without you." Andril became a swirl of activity. He gathered up his bags hastily, stuck a hunk of cornbread into his mouth and took off.

"Ensign?" the admiral called out and when Andril looked at him he pointed in the opposite direction "That way." he said and soon the Corovan was gone.

The admiral chuckled at the positivity of youth, swallowed his gum and lit up a cigar. The assembled crew of the Pegasus all turned and watched Andril as he ran down the corridor towards them. The young Corovan's eyes strayed too long meeting the eyes of his new crewmates appologetically and he ran headlong into a support structure and fell flat on his tuckuss. To make matters worse, he swallowed the piece of cornbread he had in his mouth whole and it felt like a fist going down his throat...he felt it a somewhat welcome distraction from the fact that he now looked like a king-sized twit.

Off:

Ensign Andril Bretanna
Operations Branch
U.S.S. Pegasus




home page
next page