Saturday, June 5, 2010

A Vacation on Risa


We have arrived at Risa.  It's been two years since I've taken a holiday, and, while technically Cmdr. Kaa, Counselor Pouget and I are attending a conference sponsored by the Federation Academic Corsortium for the Study of Psychology, the lecture series is mercifully spread out over the next four mornings.  This leaves the rest of the afternoons and evenings to take in everything Risa has to offer, and I plan on making the most of it.  Hopefully, this will be my last log entry until the Conference is complete. 

"What a magnificent view.  I've never been so glad to leave my pheremone inhibitor injections, and my Starfleet rank, at the door." 

"Speaking of magnificent views....."

"Greetings Admiral Croft.  My name is Elayni.  What is ours is yours."

Croft:  ::broad smile:: "Please, I'm on holiday,  my name is Ethan.  Leave it to the Risans to be even more beautiful than their planet."

Elayni:  "What is your pleasure Ethan?  A mudbath?  A massage?  Kirback riding on the western shores?"

Croft:  ::enthusiastically:: "Yes!"


Female Vacationer:  "Oh excuse me, I was about to offer my new friend Ethan Jahmah'haron."

Male Vacationer: "As was I."

Croft:  ::smiles broadly and takes both of their hands::  "I'm willing to share if you are."


"Oh what a night!  This is the perfect vacation.  I'll just rest up here for a bit...."

::giggles::  Hello Ethan.  I'm Mira and this is my twin sister Haeress.  We're friends with one of your companions last evening.  We were wondering if you would like to share our bed?  We've never experienced intimacy with a Bacchi before."

Croft:  ::Stretches::  "Twins hmm?  Well, I -am- a big advocate of the benefits of intercultural exchange.  Lead on."


"Okay let's just put this Horgon away today and try to relax a bit.  Yes, there we are peace and quiet for my aching muscles.  By the holy elements I'm not the young buck I used to be."

Female Vacationer:  "Oh you're the Bacchi Ethan right?  Oh you delicious man!  You -have- to join us for our beach dance party."

Ethan Croft:  ::considers his aching muscles, then looks over the woman::  "Will there be lots of bouncing type dancing?"

Female Vacationer:  ::bounces up and down enthusiastically::  "Oh yes yes there will be!"

Croft:  ::getting up slowly::  Well, how can I say no to that?"

Female Vacationer:  "Oh, and this is my new friend Drounn."

Croft:  "Nice antennae!"


My time away from The Serenity has already ended, as quickly as it begun.  The conference was immensely interesting, though I find my most memorable experiences were interacting with the cosmopolitan population of the very aptly named "Pleasure Planet."   I can't remember ever having more fun, or more of a marathon work out session, than this holiday.  I almost find it a relief to return to active duty!"

Handsome Male Vacationer:  "Hello, my name is D'chash, would you like to..."

Croft:  "...Let me stop you right there buddy.  My vacation is over.  ::rubs his neck in pain::  Maybe next time."

Runabout to Risa


We have broken orbit from Vulcan and are on course to the Gamma Orianis Sector to begin our new charting assignment.  Commander Baxter informs me that she has authorized a request from Cmdr. Nox and Lt. T'ien to test a new method of harmonic distribution during our travel time that may make our shields more effective.  I am looking forward to the results.  Stellar sciences reports a new protostar developing on our course.  I am on my way to consult with Commander Kaa on this new development, and seek his feedback if this discovery warrants a course correction.

Rear Admiral Croft:  "Mare, I'd like to speak to you for a moment about the new protostar discovered by Stellar Sciences."

Cmdr Kaa:  "Ah yes, I was very excited.  I'm looking forward to seeing Lt. Varush's analysis when I get back."

Croft:  "Get back?"

Kaa:  "Yes Admiral.  Counselor Pouget and I are taking the runabout to the Psychology conference on Risa.  Lt. Varush will be leading the protostar study.  Had you forgotten the conference?"

Croft:  ::looking disoriented::  "Um, yes, I must have.  My apologies Commander.  Serenity has been involved in many back-to-back high profile missions.  The stress must be more powerful than I realized."

Kaa:  ::nicitating membranes slide rhythmically over his eyes::  "Understandable.  ::looks anxiously back at the data streaming by on his sciences console::  "If there's nothing else?"

Croft:  "Sure Commander." 

::Admiral Croft walks over to talk to Counselor Pouget::

::thoughtfully::  "Counselor, I understand that you and Dr. Kaa will be leaving for Risa soon.  Who exactly is speaking at this conference again?"

Counselor Pouget:  ::slight Provencale accent::  "Deanna Troi-Riker is keynoting on the rapid acculturation work that is being done with the Federation dual-citizen program."

Croft:  "Oh I loved her earlier paper on the Enterprise's encounter with the Tamarians.  ::sighs::  I hope you and Kaa have a wonderful time."

Pouget:  "There's room on the runabout if you want to join us sir."

Croft:  "No, thank you Counselor, there's too much work to be done here."

Pouget:  ::folds her arms::  "There's always going to be work to do here sir.  Do I really need to tell a former Contact Specialist how important it is to change your routine occassionally?  Risa -is- lovely this time of year."

Croft:  "You know damn well that Risa is -always- lovely.  ::thinking for a moment::  "I suppose you're correct."  ::turns to address his First Officer::  "Commander Baxter, you will command The Serenity during this survey mission.  I'll be joining our Contact Specialist and Chief Science Officer on Risa."

First Officer Robin Baxter:  ::clipped London west-side accent::  "Very good sir."


Cmdr. Kaa, Lt. Cmdr. Pouget, and I are en route to the Psychology Conference on Risa.  I am looking forward to hearing Deanna Troi-Riker speak, as well as a welcome few days of not having to take my pheremone inhibitor injections.

Commander Kaa:  "Admiral I'm getting a distress call.  It's from the Federation Freighter 'Good Fortune'."

Rear Admiral Croft:  ::looks up from his pleasure reading and sits up in his chair::  "Put it through."

"This is Federation Cargo Transport Ship Good Fortune.  We have experienced severe navigational problems and have collided with two other vessels in our convoy.  Require immediate assistance."

Croft:  "Good Fortune this is Admiral Ethan Croft onboard the Federation Runabout Liffey.  We are en route to your position."


We have arrived at the Good Fortune's coordinates.  This portion of space is frought with subspace eddys left over during the sphere builder's influence in the expanse.  It appears several of the stationary navigational beacons in the area have malfunctioned.  Counselor Pouget and I will beam over to the freighter convoy while Commander Kaa will take The Liffey to repair the beacons.

Counselor Pouget:  "There isn't as much debris as you would expect from this kind of collision.  Hopefully that means things aren't too bad over there." 

Croft:  "We'll find out soon enough.  Kaa, beam us over to the Good Fortune's bridge."

Commander Kaa:  "Liffey to Admiral Croft.  I've repaired the last of the beacons.  On my way back now.  Liffey out."


The USS Lantree has responded to the Good Fortune's distress call.  With my thanks to Captain Parillo and her crew, Counselor Pouget, Commander Kaa and I will proceed to our original destination of Risa.

A Summons to Vulcan


Following our sojourn to Andoria Prime The Serenity has been summoned to Vulcan so that I may be debriefed regarding my recent attempt to broker peace with the Undine.  I will be debriefed by Ambassador Jean-Luc Picard.  To say that I am intimidated at the prospect of meeting the man responsible for saving the Federation so many times over is an understatement.  It has been many years since I studied on Vulcan as an undergraduate, and despite my time among their ritual driven society, I still find myself dreading the formal pomp and circumstance that accompany the debriefing almost as much as the debriefing itself.


In full dress uniform, I have beamed down to the Circle of Ceremony where I am to meet Ambassador Picard.  Now surrounded by the dust clouds and crimson sandstone, I find myself remembering a calm and tranquility that does not come easily for a species as emotionally driven as the Bae-ae-kai.  Hopefully, there will be time to socialize with the ambassador amid all of the ceremony.

Croft:  "I am Rear Admiral Ethan Oberon Croft.  I am here to meet Ambassador Jean-Luc Picard.  I exist to serve."

Ceremonial Guard:  "Your service honors us.  You will proceed to the Tower of Diplomacy to begin your appointment."

Croft:  "Odd, the ceremony is 2 minutes overdue.  Nice to know Ambassador Picard is able to hold onto his humanity around all this logic and precision."

"Ambassador Croft, I am Admiral T'Ress of the Starfleet Command Vulcan Adjunct.  Ambassador Picard has been recalled to Earth for an urgent matter.  You will debrief me.  You have 57 minutes for this meeting.  Begin."

Croft:  ::looking disappointed::  "Understood."


My debriefing complete, I am preparing to return to The Serenity.  While I was not able to meet Ambassador Picard, I was told by the Commanding Officer of Starfleet Operations on Vulcan that my career so far has been "satisfactory."  I cannot remember ever receiving a higher compliment.  Commander Baxter informs me that The Serenity has been ordered to chart several newly discovered systems in the Gamma Orianis Sector.  However, we will not need to leave Vulcan for 50 hours, so I have extened shore leave for the crew.  On a personal note, I will use this time to connect with Faculty with whom I studied during my tenure at the Vulcan Science Academy.

"A perfect synergy of function and aesthetics....I had almost forgotten how remarkable this place was.  It was nice to see again."

Andoria Prime and Family Ties


We have arrived in Andorian space to allow two of my science officers, Ensign Darke ch'Vene and Lt. Anyse zh'Vene, to begin their family leave so they may participate in the mating rituals necessary to begin a pregnancy cycle.  Although we will be short an astrobiologist and paleontologist, as Andorian mating requires all four genders of the parents, I am happy to give my permission.  As is customary in Andorian tradition, I will be beaming down as The Vene's commanding officer in order to bless their efforts.

Ensign ch'Vene:  "Ah smell that crisp Andorian air!  We have been away too long!"

Admiral Croft:  ::shivering slightly::  "We're going indoors at some point, right Ensign??"

"So much ice!  This planet is beautiful, but remind me to bring my Captain's Jacket next time!"

Q and the Art of Time Travel


The Serenity is in orbit of a previously undiscovered planet in the Gamma Orianis Sector.  The planet is M class, and our Science Chief Kaa Mare is positively flustered with excitement over a possible life form reading that appears to be naturally emitting tachyons.  Dr. Kaa has orchestrated away teams, and we will beam down shortly.  This mission is a welcome change from our recent diplomatic intrigue, and a good opportunity to observe how the new crew will function together.

Admiral Croft:  ::smiling::  "It seems our eagar science chief has gotten lost in his work again.  Have you seen him recently Nox?"

Cmdr Nox:  "Not since his team checked in an hour ago.  This could be a dangerous place Admiral, and Dr. Kaa is -not- good at keeping his lobes to the ground."

Croft:  "It's natural to get excited about something of this magnitude Commander.  I think we can give him a little leeway.  After all, you were positively giddy after uncovering that True Way subterfuge last month."

Nox:  ::eyes narrow in annoyance::  "THAT was important and tangible.  Crawling around in the underbrush and ferns of this forest for some lemur that throws off radiation is dubious at best.  He would be better off if he observed Rule of Acquisition 102, 'nature decays, but latinum lasts forever.' "

Croft:  ::chuckling::  "You could be right."  ::taps communicator::  "Commander Kaa, your status?"

Xenobiologist:  "Sir, Ensign Baatu here.  Dr. Kaa is halfway up a tree trying to coaxe this lemur species down."

Croft:  "Understood Ensign.  Please remind him that his team needs to change rotation in the next hour."

Xenobiologist:  "Yes sir."

::Communicator Chirps::  "Croft here."

Operations Officer Asiro:  "Sir, Admiral Quinn is hailing."

Croft:  "Put him through Yamilè."

Admiral Quinn:  "Rear Admiral, The Copernicus reported that it engaged the Borg less than 5 minutes ago.  You are the closest ship.  I've ordered reinforcements, but they may not arrive in time.  Get The Serenity to that system as fast as possible!"

Croft:  ::face paling::  "Yes sir!  Serenity, beam up all away teams immediately and set course for The Copernicus, maximum warp!"




Strategic Opeations Officer Nox:  "Borg in firing range Admiral.  Copernicus is badly damaged.  Hull integrity 17%.  Shields down to 5%."

Admiral Croft:  "Attack pattern Omega Three.  All weapons fire!"


::BOOMING DISEMBODIED VOICE::  "Oh no no no, this won't do at all!  One cube is no challenge.  THIS IS BORING!  There, let's add some more and make it more interesting!"

First Officer Robin Baxter:  ::London West-End Accent:: "Sir.  I don't believe it!  It's a Q!  Two more tactical cubes have just materialized out of nowhere."

Cmdr Nox:  "Sir, we're being targeted now on multiple vectors.  Shields down to 50%"

Croft:  "Ok, change of plan, Transporter room, prepare to beam all of The Copernicus's crew to Cargo Bay 5.  I refuse to be a pawn for the Q continuum's amusement.  We're cutting our losses and getting the Hell out of here!"

::Q appears on the bridge::

Q:  "Tsk tsk mon capitaine, like you can ruin my fun so easily.  Aunt Kathy would have known better."




Croft:  ::looking puzzled::  "What the??!  Q!  Where?  When?  My crew??  And, what the in the name of the holy elements happened to my uniform?"

Q:  "Hmm, not exactly the Picard level of elocution to which I'm normally accustomed.  Relax dull horns.  Your crew is safe, for now.  And, I changed that ghastly uniform choice.  Seriously, you might be good with the ladies, and the men, and all the other genders for that matter, but fashion sense is not your forte, so I helped you out.  Like I'm helping you now.  Frankly, you have bigger concerns than your threads my exotic friend."

Croft:  ::takes a deep breath::  "Q, I'm sure you know that my species LOVES a good prank, but this is a bit too far, even for us."  ::looks around::  "And how are you helping us exactly?  Where are we?"

Q: "Oh, and here I had hoped you'd be a bit more fun.  Now, your ancestors that visited ancient Greece, THOSE were satyrs who knew how to party!  ::sighs::  Oh well, if you insist on indulging in your human side's mediocrity, I suppose I can oblige.  You are on the USS Saratoga, and, ....this exciting Wolf 359.  Just look at all that magnificent carnage going on out there."

Croft:  ::EYES WIDE::  "This was Sisko's ship!"

Q:  "Oh good you're not completely useless after all.  Yes, it appears some other powers of wind and darkness have a little beef with "The Sisko,"  and have cracked the space/time continuum just enough to ensure his destruction.  That is, unless you and your hapless crew can stop them."

Croft:  "I see.  And, what's in this for you?"

Q:  "Oh, amusement really.  I -was- perfectly content to sit by and watch this all unfold, but, my dad told me what a great left hook Benjamin Sisko threw, and I -do- love a human that has the audacity to try and clock an omnipotent being.  So, my horny friend, you have -one- chance.  Stop the borg boarding parties long enough for the crew to get to their escape pods, and you preserve history.  Then I'll send you and your team back to your present."

Croft:  "And if we fail?"

Q:  "Oh well then you die and your existance changes irrevocably.  Toodles!"



Dr. Movaak:  "Agh!  I HATE THE Q!"

Security Chief T'ien:  ::WITH TYPICAL SHAOLIN TRANQUILITY::  "What is our situation sir?"

Croft:  "I'll shorthand it for you all.  Q.  Wolf 359.  The Saratoga.  Destroy Borg boarding parties.  Let survivors get to the escape pods."

T'ien:  "Let us get to work then."


A member of the Q continuum has transported us to Wolf 359, where we are to stop what sounds like a pah-wraith plot to wipe Captain Sisko from existance before his assignment to Deep Space Nine.  They have interfered sufficiently to allow borg boarding parties onto The Saratoga, which, according to my Security Chief, never happened.  We have fought several waves of borg invaders, as well as our own fatigue.  Despite overwhelming odds and particularly viscious borg, I am pleased to report that all escape pods have successfully launched from The Saratoga.  Question is, will the Q live up to his promise to return us to our timeline before The Saratoga's warp core goes critical?

Q:  "Well played mon capitaine.  You amuse me.  I may just have to come back sometime and visit you again.  Back to your timeline with you, and, please, trim that pretentious goatee, will you?"