Subject: FRONTIER: Morning on the Frontier
[Bleep bleep bleep]
Angus awoke with a start and hastily silenced the alarm. He took in his
surroundings and was satified that he was on the floor in his own room, he
remembered without any difficulty the events of the previous night and he
made a mental note to find out what had happened after he'd fallen asleep.
He looked at his chronometer and saw that his shift was due to start in
just under an hour. He got himself ready and headed to the sickbay to see
how the casualties were bearing up.
He reached the door just as Louise was leaving, "You okay?" he asked.
She frowned, "I'm fine, just tell Ruth that when you see her."
"I take it she wasn't wanting you to leave."
"She wants me to stay in... for observation. I've spent too damn long in
that sickbay already, I can barely remember what my own room looks like."
With that she pushed past him and walked down the corridor.
Angus stepped through the door and into the sickbay, and seeing Ruth
sitting by the desk in the corner of the room went over to her.
She looked up at him and with a slight sneer said, "Let me guess, you're
looking for a hangover cure."
"No, actually I feel fine." he replied pleasantly, "I came to apologise
about last night, I wasn't quite myself."
"You mean you're *not* always arrogant, loud and inconsiderate?"
"Only when I'm drunk and someone that I'm responsible for is murdered in
"I'm sorry, I didn't..."
He cut her off quickly, "You don't need to apologise to me, I was angry but
I had no right to take it out on you."
"Take a seat." she said, and once he'd sat down she walked behind him and
put her hands to his shoulders, "Your muscles are in knots, when was the
last time you had some proper relaxation?"
Angus hesitated for a moment while he felt the soothing motion of Ruth's
hands before replying, "Not since we left Epsilon."
"I think you should consider taking some time off."
"I'm not sure I can afford to, I don't want to risk a repeat of last
"Well at least delegate your responsibility a bit more more, I'm sure
Patrick or Leana could handle some of it."
Angus sighed, "I suppose so."
"Say, have you heard? Last night, when Patrick and Leana were checking the
quarters, they caught none other than Keanu Maren, Joanna Houston, and the
"Joanne Calidan," suggested Angus.
"Yeah. In *bed* together. What do you make of that?"
"There's nothing strange about it, three drunken crewmen sharing in wild
debauchery in their quarters."
"I was thinking more about Houston than the other two. Doesn't strike me
as being normal behaviour for her."
Angus shrugged, "She may have been created in a laboratory by a group of
balding scientists with too much spare time but she *is* capable of making
her own decisions. It's not inconceivable that she might decide on a
change of character once in a while."
"Hmm. Well, we'll see." She finished massaging his shoulders. "There."
Angus flexed his arms and let out a sigh of relief, "Thanks, that feels
"Any time," she smiled.
FRONTIER Ready Room
"Enter," said Ramsay, poring over a diagrammatic computer simulation.
Lynne Smythe, Joanne Calidan, and David Ferrost filed into the ready room.
"I'll be brief; Ensign Smythe, you're our new flight control officer. Lt.
Calidan, you have Ops. Ensign Ferrost, you'll fill in as Transporter
Chief, but for the most part you should be staying in Engineering.
"Captain... I'm not sure I'm cut out to pilot a starship," said Smythe.
"I've worked mostly with fighters."
"I disagree," said Ramsay. "I didn't pick you for your piloting skills.
More your ability to keep calm under fire. Go on, tell me that doesn't
She hesitated, then straightened up and said, "I'll do my best sir."
"Good. Now, was there anything else?"
"Dismissed." He wondered just how far into Alpha shift he'd be working to
get everything prepared.
As Alpha shift bustled into Engineering, Lukas got ready to leave. He
noticed Graim Fieve was still intent on his task. "Are you staying on for
"I think I might," was the reply.
"Well, nobody can say you haven't got a Vulcan's physiology," said Lukas.
"As you well know, I am half Betazoid."
"You sure don't look it."
"Damn right I don't."
Lukas paused for a moment, not looking at anyone in particular. just
"You're not thinking about *her* again, are you?" asked Graim.
Lukas' expression lost some of it's vacancy. "Can you blame me? We're the
same race, we grew up in the same town, we're serving on the same ship, my
quarters are next door to hers... and she doesn't even talk to me. Well?"
"Have *you* tried talking to *her*?"
"No. I was going to, then she started getting chummy with that security
chief of ours."
"Don't tell me you're... jealous?
"Yes. No. Well, you know how it is. I'd feel out of place."
"You won't know, until you try. See you later."
Lukas grunted and left his friend behind.
A little later
FRONTIER Ready Room
"Enter," said Ramsay, his eyes focussed on the task in hand. He looked up
briefly as Keanu Maren and Joanna Houston walked in.
"I've got a very big task for Engineering," he began. "The warp core we
have is frazzled beyond repair. So after careful deliberation, taking into
account all component supplies, I have decided it is feasible to build a
replacement warp core, with enough power to get us home in a week or so."
He paused, then added, "I'm not fussed which of you is directing the
project, just get it done and done *fast*. We don't have an awful lot of
time. Now, here's a detailed plan to get you started." He handed a
PADD to Houston. "I think you'll find I've covered most of the procedure.
Houston scanned the PADD rapidly and replied, "I have none, sir."
"Me neither," added Maren.
"Very good. I'll try and get some rest, it's been a long night. Then I
might come down and see how you're getting on."
"Aye sir," replied Houston.
Joanna didn't speak to Keanu until they were in the turbolift. She stopped
the lift and said, "Keanu, about last night-"
"It's alright, I can understand you had to go to the bridge," he replied a
"That is not what I mean. I... last night, my programming failed to
"I want to thank you for it."
"But surely... isn't it a problem?"
"No, of course not. It just means... I can do what I want. Instead of
being prevented by a line of programming inside my head. It is still
there, but it only serves as a guide now. Keanu," she said, moving closer
to him, "I want to pursue a relationship. With you." She kissed him
lightly on the lips.
Keanu stopped her, "I'm not sure I want a relationship with you. Last night
was... a mistake." Houston turned away. If Keanu didn't know any better he
would have thought she was upset, *But that's impossible - she doesn't have
emotions... does she?*
Joanna released the lift, and to his surprise she got out at Deck Two,
rather than Deck Three where Engineering was located. She brushed past him
hurriedly, off down the corridor.
"Where are you going?" he called, but she didn't reply.
Keanu sighed and said to the turbolift, "Deck Three." He didn't think any
more of it.
Patrick looked over Joanne's shoulder at the scanner readings, "I think
you may be right ensign, whatever that is, it's not empty space."
"Some sort of anomaly perhaps?" she asked.
Patrick shook his head slightly, "No, the reading's too clean, there's no
interference or sensor noise. Anyway, it's following us. A cloaked ship
is more likely, or better still, a sensor echo. The sensors on this ship
are way below standard, even long range scans can pick up noise from inside
Lynne looked over to him and asked, "Shall I attempt to evade sir?"
"Negative, if it's a sensor echo it'll just follow us, and if it's a
cloaked ship it'll... follow us. Keep an eye on it and inform me if you
see any changes." He returned to the captains chair and sat down. He
tapped the comm button on the arm rest, "Engineering, what's your estimate
until warp power?"
[We're still trying to come up with a feasible design, it's going to take a
few days at least.]
[Approximately three days.]
He closed the comm, "Joanne, if that blip doesn't change in six hours call
a yellow alert." He looked at the unmoving starscape on the viewer and
wondered how long it would take to get back to Epsilon at this speed, and
he came to realise just how far from home he was. Too far. It seemed to
him that Tolstoy was too far from anywhere, a small planet in a far corner
of a big galaxy.
He withdrew from his thoughts as Leana walked onto the bridge.
"Why so grim?" she inquired.
"It's nothing," he replied, "I was just thinking about something."
She walked to his chair and put an arm around his shoulder, "Homesick
again?" she asked.
Patrick glared at her, "Quit bugging me sister. If you're here to do
something, do it."
She laughed and threw a mock salute, "Yes *sir*." and then walked to the
back of the room.
Patrick's gaze returned to the viewer, the scene hadn't changed one little
FRONTIER Ready Room
"Enter," said Ramsay without looking up, his voice weary from lack of
The doors parted to admit Leana. "Captain?"
He continued studying the screen for some time before looking up. "Sorry,
Lieutenant. What is it?"
She took a seat; he guessed it might be bad news, and lots of it.
"Captain... when we were checking the rooms last night, myself and Patrick
caught Houston, Maren, and Calidan in a rather... compomising situation. I
thought you should hear about it from someone who was there, rather than in
"Does anyone else know about this?" asked Ramsay, his expression hardening
"Well, I... I'm sorry sir, it's probably going to be all over the ship by
the end of the day."
"Damn." He looked positively haggard, the spark was gone from his eyes.
"I'll deal with Houston. Meanwhile, try and play the rumours down, could
"Dismissed." She watched his hand snake to the comms panel, but didn't
hear him say, "Houston, report to my Ready Room immediately."
* Allan MacLennan *
* [Lt.] Angus Murray *
"Put your faith in God and keep your powder dry."
S [Captain] William Ramsay, CO FRONTIER S
D A [Cmdr] Caroline Ramsay, rodXO FRONTIER A D
R M [Lt.Cmdr] Joanna Houston, aXO FRONTIER M R
A M M A
W E "He said, `You're too late. We're everywhere'." E W
D Odo, Star Trek: DS9 D
also featuring Dale Forster
as Keanu Maren