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Posted on Jun 04, 2020 @ 10:29pm by Commander Jacob Crichton & Lieutenant Tulla Keiku
Edited on on Jun 04, 2020 @ 10:30pm

Mission: Dog Days Of Summer

= Switcheroo =

(cont’d from “Jasmine. Wei and Fun With Friends”)


Scene: Cargo Bay 2

“Set up the beds over there,” Sidney Bartlett said as a pair of marines, each holding one end of a portable biobed, duck-walked past him. Two more followed behind, and then Sidney saw the familiar face of Commander Jake Crichton. Jake was carrying one end of another biobed, and Bartlett guessed that the closely-cropped copper hair on the back of the head of the person holding the other end and backing towards him belonged to Major Kassandra Thytos.

“This is very kind of you, Commander, but I’m sure the ship’s support staff could have managed--” Bartlett began.

“Don’t worry about it,” Jake said, as he and Thytos stepped around him and lowered the biobed to the deck next to its mate. “We’re in drydock, I didn’t have much else to do.”

“Speak for yerself,” Thytos muttered. “I had other plans.”

“Your marines can do burpees later,” Jake smirked. “Besides, haven’t you heard the good news from Romulus? War is so 2432. You might get to retire after all, Tannenbaum.”

Kass Thytos didn’t laugh much - at least, not unless she was drunk - but Jake could usually get a small smile out of her. This time, it wasn’t there.

Bartlett, meanwhile, was standing, hands on his hips, and looking around at the stacks of crates the marine compliment had already carried into the cargo bay. His head nodded once at each crate, making a mental tally of all the medical supplies that were being moved in. Of course each crate would be scanned and inventoried - Bartlett would have to liaise with Ops for that, and Jake had already asked Lt. Solorzano to come down to help.

“There’s a few more beds to load in, plus some diagnostic equipment,” Bartlett said, turning to smile at Kass and Jake. “But it’s a good start.”

“Well, let’s get you--” Jake started.

[[Dalziel to Commander Crichton.]]

Jake shrugged at the interruption and tapped his commbadge. “Crichton here.”

[[Commander,]] Eve said. [[It’s Ben.]]

Even over the comm, something in Eve’s voice gave Jake a sinking feeling in his stomach. Kass seemed to hear it too; she instantly rose to her full height, her posture straightening, weight balanced evenly, ready to move.

“What is it?” Jake asked.

[[He’s not on board the ship.]]


Location: Starbase 56
Scene: Docking Ring

He wasn’t home; he knew that much.

The last thing he remembered was being home, with his family. Then he had gotten really drowsy even though it was the middle of the afternoon. He had woken up a few times, and he saw stars out a window, but they weren’t any kind of stars that he had known.

Then the stars stopped moving, and a woman he kind of vaguely remembered seeing, dragged him out of where he had been. Everytime he tried to open his mouth, she slammed her hand over it.

Finally she said as she parked him behind some shipping crates, “Stay here, stay quiet and you’ll see your father.”

The boy was more confused by that comment than anything else. He had a mother. His sister had been dead many years ago, long before he had been born so she was nothing but a ghost in mind. But his father? He hadn’t seen his father in so long...he wasn’t sure what he looked like, that his father was a wish that he couldn’t even admit to having.

After some interminable amount of time, the thin woman with short blonde hair came back. This time with a boy who looked just like him: blue skin, white hair, violet eyes. He was fighting against her much more than he did. The boy wondered why he was doing that and if he should have been fighting too; he was so afraid more than anything else, a fear rooted in his bones. He knew what happened to those that fought back.

You were beaten down. Unless you happened to be The Warrior.

He was the son of The Warrior, so most people left him alone. But he wasn’t her and he couldn’t fight like her, no matter how hard he tried. So he hid a lot; he was used to it. This other boy, the one who looked like him, wasn’t used to hiding.

The blonde lady looked at him and said, “They’ll come for you soon.” And then she went off with the struggling boy as red lights flashed around him.


Scene: Corridor

Jake and Kass were walking quickly through the corridor. If not for the clusters of Starfleet engineers, many of whom were carrying bulky equipment or coils of opti-cable, Jake would have been running. Along the walls, the yellow alert lights were pulsing.

They rounded a corner, passing a turbolift, whose doors hissed open as they approached. Eve Dalziel and Jasmine Yu exited the lift, falling into step with Jake and Kass as they walked by.

“Starbase 56 has initiated a full lockdown,” Jasmine said. “No ships can disembark until they give the all-clear.”

“How did he get off the ship in the first place?” Jake asked. The question, directed at the ship’s chief security officer, came out more harshly than Jake had intended, but Jasmine didn’t look ruffled.

“There’s nothing in the transporter logs,” she said. “I have Silsby reviewing the PHOENIX’s biometric sensors to see if we can pinpoint the exact moment Benito left the ship. If we can do that, we’ll know more about how it happened.”

“We’re going to find him, Jake,” Eve said. “Security on the starbase is conducting a full sweep. Even if he somehow made it onto some other ship, they won’t be leaving until Ben is found.”

“You don’t understand,” Jake said. “He wouldn’t just leave the ship on his own. That means he either went with somebody, or…”

He didn’t finish the “or”. He didn’t have to.


Location: Starbase 56
Scene: Docking Ring

Suddenly a man came forward dressed in clothing he had never seen. Tapping a metal device on his chest he said something about turning off the red alert. “They’ve been looking for you,” the man said.

Suddenly a girl who wasn’t much older than him came running over. “Ben! We’ve been looking for you,” she said. “Jake is going to be pissed off. They had to do a red alert everywhere for you!”

The boy looked at her and then looked around to see if she was speaking to the boy who just left. Belatedly he realized she was speaking to him. Nibbling his lip he said, “Who’s Ben?”

The girl stopped and shook her head. “Anklebiter, don’t be an idiot.” Waving her hand to come along she said, “Come on.”

“Who are you?” he asked.

“Oh sweet baby Kahless on a pogo stick, you’re being more difficult than normal,” the girl said. Groaning she pointed to herself and said, “Me, Dahlia, sister.” Pointing to him she said, “You, Ben, brother.”

The boy didn’t say anything to that as he watched a tall man come over, completely in shock at seeing him for the first time in years.

“Ben’s gone dumb, Jake,” Dahlia said.

“My name is not Ben,” he whispered, not able to take his eyes off the man. “It’s Billy.”


Jake saw a cluster of security officers, and a few meters ahead of them, he recognized the long, golden hair of his step-daugher, Dahlia. In front of Dahlia, he thought he could see another figure. He quickened his pace, and recognized his son. Immediately, the tight coil in his stomach loosened. God, if something had happened to Ben…

And yet, as he got closer, his pace began to slow. The boy was looking at him now, the familiar pale-blue eyes wide with… with…

Not terror, exactly, but *something*.

Dahlia turned to glance at Jake over her shoulder as he approached. “Ben’s gone dumb, Jake.”

The boy said something, so faintly that Jake couldn’t make it out.

“Don’t mumble,” Dahlia said, turning to frown at her brother. “You’re in big trouble, mister. Jake, tell him how much trouble he’s in.”

The boy was looking around now, his eyes flitting rapidly between Dahlia and Jake. Tears had started to pool at the corners, and in a moment would begin streaming down his pale-blue cheeks.

Jake had come to a stop a few feet away. Seeing the boy cry, all his fatherly instincts compelled him forward - and yet, he still hesitated.

“Ben?” Jake asked.

The boy looked at him. Slowly, he shook his head.


A Joint-Post by…

Sarah Albertini-Bond
Ambassador Xana Bonviva


Dr. Tulla Keiku, LT


Shawn Putnam
Jake Crichton, Commander
Executive Officer


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