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Meanwhile, Back On The Homestead

Posted on May 07, 2018 @ 1:41am by Commander Jacob Crichton
Edited on on May 07, 2018 @ 1:42am

Mission: The Trouble With Triticale

= Meanwhile, Back On The Homestead =

(cont’d from “The Plot Thickens”)


SCENE: Bridge
STARDATE: [2.18] 0506.1720

The crisp voice of Lt. Jasmine Yu finished delivering her report:

[[We’ve requested that one of the PHOENIX’s medical officers be given access to Rusa’s examination report, if not Rusa herself. Perhaps Dr. Jos or Dr. Foster will find something the local doctor missed.]]

Kane nodded. “See if they’ll consent to bringing Rusa aboard the PHOENIX. Our medical facilities are far more comprehensive than those on the surface.”

[[Aye sir. Yu out.]]

Kane sat back in the CO’s chair and turned to look at Jake. “Your thoughts, commander?”

“I think Jasmine’s theory about the holoprojectors is a good place to start,” Jake said after a moment’s consideration. “That kind of tech leaves a trace, as would most conventional attempts at masking it. It should be easy enough to rig up a planet-wide scan and at least narrow the possibilities.”

“You mean have Commander Malin-Argo rig up a planet-wide scan,” Kane corrected quietly.

Jake closed his eyes. “Yes. Of course.”

“Is there something on your mind, Commander?”

“No, sir,” Jake said, then immediately contradicted himself by continuing: “I just mean that I could look over whatever modifications Malin-Argo comes up with, to make sure he hasn’t missed anything. Something as relatively small as a holoprojector could easily be overlooked when you’re looking at a whole planet.”

“Commander Malin-Argo is an exceptionally competent engineer, bulwarked by some exceptionally competent support staff,” Kane observed. “I’m sure he won’t miss anything.”

“Of course not, sir.”

Kane gave Jake a sidelong glance. “You’re going to have let go of Main Engineering sooner or later, Jake.”

Jake sighed. “I’m finding that’s easier said than done.”

“If there are concerns from his staff, you haven’t mentioned them.”

Jake shook his head. To be honest, aside from some initial friction, Maynell, Ryan, and the others seem to have come around to Malin-Argo’s command style. Efficiency reports have improved across the board. Jake didn’t think the Grazerite would be elected Prom King anytime soon, but the fact of the matter was that he’d made Main Engineering his own. Jake wondered if that might be the real reason for the friction that existed between them; seeing another officer taking over what had been Jake’s department, Jake’s team, and to then start changing things around… Jake knew it wasn’t fair, but he couldn’t help but see Malin-Argo as an interloper, and that was made somehow worse by seeing how the Grazerite had come to be accepted by the rest of the staff.

Jake pushed these thoughts out of his head. It wasn’t fair to his former team, or to Malin-Argo himself for that matter. Nobody had forced Jake to take the promotion, and he couldn’t expect John Maynell, Asta Elgin, or Lynette Ryan to start deliberately underperforming out of some warped sense of loyalty.

“It’s fine, sir,” Jake said. “I’ll inform Malin-Argo to start making the necessary arrangements. And I’ll have Dr. Crow on standby to assist if needed.”

Kane nodded. “Good. Even if they don’t find anything, we can at least eliminate some avenues of investigation.”

“Now we just need to worry about what kind of effect the Klingons’ transmission will have down on Planet Foghorn Leghorn,” Jake mused. “What do you think Sompek’s people will have to say about this?”

“It’s hard to say,” said Kane, choosing to ignore Jake’s colorful description of Sherman’s Planet as he so often did many of the Commander’s malapropos remarks. “Sompek is a farmer, not a warrior. He wants the pureblood Klingons to have more representation in the local culture, but it’s hard to imagine him fitting in with someone like Is’toQ. But I’m worried that, with the bombing, increased racial tensions might push some of the local Klingons away from the Federation, and Is’toQ’s message could make that division a lot worse.”

“Do you think Is’toQ is deliberately trying to foment unrest among the colonists?”

Kane turned to look at Jake. “Do you?”

“I can’t see what he gets out of it,” Jake said. “There’s not enough Klingons on Sherman’s Planet to overthrow the local government, and that’s not even considering the ones who wouldn’t want to fight. Worst-case scenario, Starfleet gets involved and rounds up the troublemakers. And if Is’toQ is secretly spoiling for a fight, more Stafleet vessels in orbit don’t improve his chances.”

Kane gave a half-smile. He might make a First Officer out of Jake Crichton yet. “Good reasoning, as far as it goes. It might also be possible Is’toQ would be happy to content himself with a valorous defeat. He is a Klingon, after all.”

“He’d have a valorous defeat even if we didn’t have backup.”

Kane nodded. “Quite so. And anyway, sowing political discord isn’t exactly the Klingons’ style. I think it’s more likely there are other elements at play here of which we are not yet aware.”

“So that makes Is’toQ’s arrival, what? Bad timing?”

“Or exceedingly good timing, for the right people,” Kane said. He drummed his fingers on the armrest of the CO’s chair, trying to see his way through to the end of several possibilities. In the end, he gave up - at this point, there were still too many variables. “This guesswork can only take us so far. Have Malin-Argo get started on those sensor sweeps. In the meantime, I think I’d like to find out just what Is’toQ thought he was doing with his transmission. We’ll have to keep a wary eye on our guests until we hear back from command.”

“Aye sir,” Jake said. He rose to his feet. He took a few paces towards the turbolift, then stopped. He turned back to Kane. “I guess there’s one other possibility, sir.”

Kane turned to his First Officer with interest. “And that is?”

“Maybe these aren’t the Klingons the Federation remembers.”

“What do you mean?”

“Having their homeworld conquered, decades of recovery, in-fighting, rebuilding their government… maybe the new Klingon Powers-That-Be aren’t so averse to a little underhanded politicking anymore. A lot can change in 50 years.”

Jake turned to leave as Kane settled back in the CO’s chair. He stared at the Klingon fleet on the main viewscreen and reflected on Jake’s parting words.

A lot can change in 50 years. Quite a lot indeed.


NRPG: I think I kind of remember how to do this. ;-)

Shawn Putnam
Jake Crichton
Executive Officer


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