Subject: SB EPSILON: Home, Sweet Home

SD 80717

SB Epsilon
Auxiliary Shuttle Bay

     "Lt. Ramsay?" said a mustard-uniformed security officer as
Will stepped through the airlock and into Starbase Epsilon.

     "Yes, that's me," Will replied warily.  He noticed another
two security men a few paces away trying to look inconspicuous.

     "Welcome back.  I'll escort you and your wife to quarters. 
Security reasons, you understand."

     Will sighed, "Yes, I understand."  He'd had enough of all
this screening.  Before they'd docked at Epsilon, he'd had to
pass a retinal, fingerprint and voice check.  The DNA test would
take a little time longer, but he got the general impression that
even with the covert Operation Curiosity concluded, security was
still damn tight.  He waited while Caroline emerged with
Christopher in a shoulder harness.

     Her eyes darted back and forth along the stark lines of the
deserted shuttle bay, occupied only by them and the security
guards.  "What's up?" Caroline asked curiously, hugging the baby
close with her right arm.

     "We're being escorted to quarters," commented Ramsay.  In
a slightly curt tone he added, "Nothing to worry about,

     "Oh," she said, a little suspiciously.

     "If you'll come this way," suggested the security officer,
making to walk toward the door.

     "What about the others in the shuttle?" asked Ramsay.

     "Tell them to stay put for now, we'll be sending more teams
out to escort them to their quarters."

     Ramsay stepped back and poked his head back through the door
of the shuttle.  "Everyone stay put until your escort arrives."

     They soon found themselves walking through corridors with
the officer taking the point, the guards to the rear.  All three
seemed to be on edge, Ramsay noted.  And wherever they looked,
there was none of the usual pedestrian traffic normally
associated with a base this size.  Just more security guards,
posted at each intersection, armed with phasers. 

     They soon came to an unmarked door.  The security officer
said, "Here we are," and tapped in a combination at the panel. 
The door slid smoothly open to reveal well-furnished quarters.

     They moved inside.  "If you need to go anywhere, take a
guard with you.  And please note that for now, you'll not be able
to access the public areas of the base, for your own safety."

     "We can visit the other crew members?" asked Caroline.

     "Not everyone, I'm afraid.  Not all of you are in top-
security, it'd be impossible to manage.  But as soon as we've
established there's no security risk, you'll be free to roam the

     "What's the risk?" inquired Ramsay.

     The security officer sighed.  "Somehow, there's been a leak
about your surviving the destruction of the Frontier.  We suspect
some Kzinti terrorist groups may move in, try to make the most
of the situation.  We have to convince them for now that the
Frontier was destroyed with its crew on board.  One of your
officers hasn't exactly made it very easy."  He cleared his

     "Who?" asked Ramsay, although he already had an idea of who
it was.

     "Lt. Houston.  She was transmitting on an unscrambled
channel, and the shuttle she was in made some pretty un-covert
manoeuvres.  I think we might be able to explain it away, but
only time will tell."

     Ramsay rolled his eyes.  "She's trouble.  Big trouble.  I
hope she gets what's coming to her."

     "Well, the news is StarFleet upheld your reprimand, in fact
they're considering a disciplinary hearing.  She'll get what's
coming to her all right.  Mind you, it's a shame at this kind of

     "What time would that be?"

     "Her creator, Bruce Maddox, died a few weeks ago of natural
causes.  If my guess is right, it should shake her up just a

     "I can imagine," agreed Ramsay.  "Well, I hate to keep you
here, if you've got a busy day."

     "Good day, Lieutenant," smiled the security officer as he
smartly left their quarters, the doors closing on the two
security guards posted by their door.

     "Maybe it's just my imagination," said Caroline as she
gently laid Christopher in his cot, "but that man seemed to be
awfully well-briefed."

     Will laughed, "You could be right there, you know."

Main Shuttle Bay

     As Houston casually left the shuttle, with Kief still asleep
inside, she was suddenly aware of four, perhaps six humanoids,
to either side of the door.  She spun on her heel to face three
security guards on her left, but in an instant the three to her
right had moved in, attempting to pin her arms to her sides.

     Before she was able to throw them off, she felt a strange
sensation extend throughout her entire being.  System diagnostics
reported a complete loss of motor function, there being
indications of external interference.  Yes, there was a metallic
object affixed to her back, producing disruptive counter signals
that rendered her helpless.

     In a moment she had extrapolated that the only individuals
capable of producing such a device were those that had created
her.  Evidently StarFleet had sought professional advice on how
best to restrain a being with several times the strength and
agility of a regular organic humanoid.  Houston started to review
her most recent actions, and found herself beginning to regret
them, although of course given the same situation she would most
likely have duplicated those actions.  This was the thought which
was with her as the transporter beam was activated, and she found
herself in a holding cell.

     The device was removed from her back, and the security
guards had barely enough time to get away and raise the field
before she got up, looking decidedly humiliated.

                    Respectfully submitted:
                         Sam M. Edwards

                the man with no e-mail account

                       Primary Characters
                     Lt(jg) William Ramsay
                     Lt(jg) Caroline Ramsay
                     Lt(jg) Joanna Houston

                    "Resistance is futile."

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