USS Eagle, NCC 2185
CAPTAIN'S LOG: STARDATE 200012.04
Title: More Questions than Answers, CO Logs: Stardate: 200012.04
Location: USS Eagle
Setting: The Bridge
CDR Kematsopoulos is on the bridge. He punches a button on the captain's
chair and readies the recording device. His tenor activates it.
Commander Nouristao Kematsopoulos here, as Acting Captain. The USS Eagle is still docked at Starbase Six. Our mission for now is to initiate and complete repairs best as possible from the engagement we had with the Romulans and to give some long overdue leave-taking opportunities to our crew.
He pauses and does not say out loud but thinks to himself, "Not all our requests have been granted for parts and modifications. Although it is customary to ask for more than you will receive, we have not even gotten enough of the fundamentals to get the job done. The repairs are going so slowly that it seems almost deliberate. Almost like they want us to wait around here for something. . . "
The Communications Officer, LT Schuler, interrupts Nouri's thoughts with a message from Rear Admiral Flayton. Commander Kematsopoulos attends to this privately and returns to the bridge to make another entry for the day.
Rear Admiral Flayton has contacted me and ordered that two severely injured civilians, one from Tureth and one from Galadon, be treated onboard the Eagle. This is highly unusual, to put it mildly. The Admiral stated unspecified reasons for the transfer. (i.e. He refused to say why.)
The Admiral did however send a list of their injuries to Sickbay. He definitely had the air of a man not wanting to answer questions. Why are the injured being sent to us? I do not know yet. The base has far superior medical facilities. Perhaps the CMO will find some answers.
I have authorized the recall of leave for Dr. Graham Perkins to personally supervise this most unusual request. I will have Science research the ships docked here. There seems to be a smaller number of Federation ships here than customary and a larger number of non-Federation vessels than usual for this starbase. Perhaps we can find some answers out this way as to what is transpiring.
LT Schuler appears again in front of the Acting Captain, with another message from Rear Admiral Flayton. Nouri hopes this one would be more informative than the last. He takes it privately as well and returns. He opens the recording device again, making his final entry for the day.
"CAPTAIN'S LOG STARDATE 200012.04 SUPPLEMENTAL
Rear Admiral Flayton has contacted me and ordered a new mission. The USS Eagle will transport and host negotiations between two hostile alien races, the Galadons and the Tureth. There is a long standing enmity between their races. Negotiations, etc., and general peace keeping duties will be most difficult. I will have Science do the necessary research for our visitors.
The admiral has ordered that our first priority be the modifications to create suitable VIP quarters. Additionally, all of the outstanding engineering requests have been granted.
Nouri sits uncomfortably in the chair thinking, "There is more going on here than the Admiral is telling ... so much more. What can it be?? And why are there more questions than answers?"
2. More Questions Than Answers: Room Service, Part One
Title: More Questions Than Answers: Room Service, Part One
Location: USS Eagle
Setting: VIP quarters
LCDR Valentina Tsiolkovsky, the Acting Chief Engineer, is working in one of the VIP rooms to finish the modifications that Rear Admiral Flayton had ordered. The door to the room is open and has an engineering cart set outside of it. Val is utterly disgusted with this type of assignment and wants to get the real work done. She is working alone in the room and cursing these "housekeeping duties" and mentally lists her impressive degrees and scientific papers. She sarcastically wonders if Starfleet wants her to leave mints on the pillow while she is in the room.
Suddenly an ensign she does not recognize bursts into the room. "Vhat (What) do you vhant (want)," she asks, startled, dropping the alignment probe she was using. It sinks deep into the plush carpeting. The man wearing the ensign uniform looks angry and trapped. Upon seeing her, he changes his expression instantly.
"I am sorry to trouble you. I got lost in these hallways. I just transferred on this morning," he stammers while edging closer to Val. The man who is smiling so nicely at Val is really the third intruder. He knows that he has run out of options for escape and needs a hostage. Security will have him cornered soon enough.
Continuing to stammer, as if he were groping for the right words, he inches closer. Suddenly, when he judges the distance to be about right, he lunges in an attempt to grab her. They struggle for control. It is not as easy as he had anticipated.
"There was one good thing about the thick carpeting," she thought as she hit the deck with a loud thunk, striking her head solidly. She is stunned for a second and then springs up, her blond hair flying, her jaw resolute, teeth clenched and her mind set. Now it's her turn. She aims a savage snap kick at his knee. He dodges at the last moment and absorbs the vicious blow with his thigh. Pain shoots up his leg, but he is still standing.
The intruder maneuvers and gets the advantage on her. He hits her hard in the mouth, knocking out one of her teeth and loosening several others. But that only made her madder and more determined. Meanwhile, the Chief of Security arrives outside room and finds door locked.
LCDR Tsiolkovsky had studied and excelled in the hand to hand combat courses she learned at the Academy and had spent the last three years working to improve her skills. But this is not enough, the intruder had at least ten more years of training than she did. He clearly held most of the advantages, but she had a quick mind to compensate. More importantly, though, she had the advantage of being mad. As anyone who knew her mother and father could report, this was a dangerous thing. She had inherited a temper from both of them that was to be avoided at all costs. And Valentina had a headstart on being mad before the intruder arrived.
She slams her fist into his midsection, square on his solar plexus. He gasps and grabs the probe lying on the floor. He gets up quickly and lunges again for her, bringing his right hand out to strike her with the probe. She grabs his right forearm, capturing it in a hold and brings it swiftly down over her knee. With a loud "snap", the probe sinks into the plush carpeting once again.
CDR Bond was now able to override the lockout and enters. But Val and the intruder are too close and move too fast for him to get a clear shot.
Her assailant counter punches her with the other arm. Val reels for a moment. Then she thinks of something that even made her madder. Perhaps this is the saboteur who had damaged her precious ship. POW! She deals him a particularly hard and vicious blow. Then he counters and she grabs his arm. She flips him easily and then moves closer. She stands above him, putting her well polished boot over his throat to crush it. "Move and I'll khill (kill) you," she says spitting out a second tooth.
As LCDR Valentina Tsiolkovsky tries to catch her breath, she finally notices that CDR Bond has entered the room. "Vell tavereesh (Well comrade), don't just stare there. Are you going to do cleaning of room or shall I get him ready for forensics?" Val asks Adam.
Val ran her tongue over her gums where her missing teeth used to be. She felt a third tooth wiggle in her mouth. Part of her hoped this scum moved.
3. More Questions Than Answers: Room Service, Part Two
Title: More Questions Than Answers: Room Service, Part Two
Location: USS Eagle
Setting: Turbo Lift One
Commander Nouristao Kematsopoulos is exhausted. It had been a long day or was it two by now? Perhaps three? He sighs and leans on the walls of the turbo lift. It continues its descent to the deck where his quarters are located. He was finally going off duty to get some much needed sleep. Nouri could not remember the last time he slept.
The doors open before he reaches his floor. He looks at the floor indicator and sees that the lift has stopped at one of the floors designated for the new VIP quarters. The Chief Engineer enters the lift. LCDR Valentina Tsiolkovsky is badly bruised and bleeding.
"Val, what happened?" Nouri asks, concerned.
"Intruder," she replies as she spat out something from her mouth. Nouri stares her blood on the deck and back to Val. He moves quickly to help her. The Chief Engineer's pain increases and she doubles over.
"Val??" Nouri asks, catching her as he tries to help her up.
"I am fine," she replies, trying to joke. LCDR Tsiolkovsky tries to smile but it is too painful, "You should khaff (have) see the other guy." CDR Kematsopoulos uses one arm to support her and other one to pull the command lever on turbo lift.
"Sickbay," he orders.
Nouristao looks worriedly at her, his dark eyes shining with concern. Nouri looks hurriedly at the floor indicator and back at Val, hoping that he can get her to Sickbay in time. Not too long ago he almost died from injuries he had suffered at the hands of a Romulan spy and saboteur. She looks worse than he did then. Valentina looks back at him and tries to focus. She had been in love with him since they were teenagers when she met him in 2284 at the Daystrom Technological Institute's Summer Symposium for Young Scientists. Now it was nine years later. If only she could tell him how she felt. If only she had told him before his last two promotions, then perhaps they might have had a chance. Another wave of pain hit her. She knew that she was in serious trouble.
"Nouri, Nouri I . . ." the rest of the words fail to escape as they always had. She collapses against him, unconscious. Nouristao staggers for a moment under the sudden, dead weight of her limp body and accesses the emergency comm in the turbolift.
"Sickbay. Medical emergency. Val is injured and unconscious," CDR Kematsopoulos orders.
He tried hard not to think about the last time he held someone covered in blood and heard their last words. It did not work. For a fleeting moment he looked down at Val's red blood stained face and blond hair and saw instead his wife's pale face, her black hair covered in green blood. Nouristao picks Val up, struggling to dispel the image of his wife's last moments. Nouri prays he'll get Val to Sickbay fast enough to save her.
4. More Questions Than Answers: Room Service, Part Three
Title: More Questions Than Answers: Room Service, Part Three
Location: USS Eagle
Setting: Turbo Lift One
Nouristao checked Valentina's vitals as he wondered what was taking the lift so long. From what his grandmother taught him, Nouri knew she did not have long left. The doors of the turbolift opened and Nouri carried Val quickly out. He put her gently down on a biobed in Sickbay. When AMOs came, Nouri moved out of their way quickly. He was careful to stay out of their way and not interrupt their work with questions. His grandmother, who raised him for his latter years, was a skilled physician and surgeon, so he had some idea what was going on. The best thing he could do now was to get out of the way and let Medical do their job.
The Acting Captain looked around at Sickbay. It was pretty busy. In addition to the usual, he saw three ensigns under heavy guard, the two men who were in the duel and the dying Ambassador from Tureth. "Just what was going on here?" he wondered.
"And this is just a beginning," CDR Kematsopoulos groaned inwardly. "How bad will things get when the all visitors officially arrive?" His head hurt from lack of sleep and this assignment. He grabbed yet another cup of coffee in an effort to clear his head. CDR Kematsopoulos accessed Sickbay's patient logs from a terminal that was not in use. The ensigns he saw may not really be ensigns at all. They were discovered leaving one of the VIP rooms. Mr. Bond and Mr. Roarke had given them pursuit and caught two of them. The third ensign, who was worse off than Val, was the one she fought and subdued.
CDR Kematsopoulos checked the records. New crew members transferred from the personnel detachment on the Starbase was their "official" story. What is the real one? And what is their purpose here? Had they achieved their objective? Would someone else be sent now, since these three fellows had been caught? Was there anyone left to catch?
Nouri sent a status request to Security and instructions to increase security as another stab from his sleep deprivation headache hit. He downed some more caffeine and began accupressure to try to dismiss it.
CDR Kematsopoulos retrieved a copy of Mr. Clines' report, sat down in the waiting area and tried again to make more sense out of it and read between the official lines. "More questions than answers," he thought. He did not like this at all. As he reread the report, his exhausted body finally took over and he fell asleep. This was the first real sleep he had in twenty hours.
An AMO came in to give him an update on Val's condition, but let the Commander sleep instead. Dr. Pangloss made sure the Acting Captain was not interrupted with matters that could wait. He checked the time logs and discovered what he had suspected, that the new Executive Officer had been shorting himself on sleep. CDR Kematsopoulos had not retired to his quarters in some time. Perhaps he had snuck a power nap of four hours. Perhaps not.
Six hours in two days looked like the most sleep that Kematsopoulos may have had. Dr. Pangloss thought, "This is not good. A classic case of Atlas Syndrome, not uncommon for officers who have recently taken on new duties.
The new XO would have to learn how to pace himself and the ship would have to let him. The condition was only intensified by the added responsibility of being Acting Captain until the CO could return to duty." The AMO went back to the waiting room, he left orders not to wake the Acting Captain until he was needed.
5. More Questions Than Answers: Room Service, Part Four
Title: More Questions Than Answers: Room Service, Part Four
Setting: A specially modified Federation fast transport shuttle It was dark and smokey. The only lighting for the doomed shuttle was provided by the fires that ravaged the shuttle and the bursts of light from exploding machinery and a few usable work stations.
The alarms blared:
All personnel to life pods.
Warning: Life support failing
Warning: Emergency illumination off-line
Warning: Hull breach in thirty minutes at current rate of decay Abandon ship."
In the passenger's sleeping quarters, there was no light at all. LT Nouristao Kematsopoulos struggled to regain consciousness and lucidity. He was slightly concussed. "T'Nar," he said softly over and over. He tried to concentrate . . .
Location: USS Eagle
"Commander. Commander?," asks the nurse that Nouri tries to avoid as she looks for him in the emergency lighting in Sickbay. CDR Kematsopoulos wakes up and is disoriented for a moment from the dream. His momentary confusion is enhanced by the primary lighting being out.
"When am I?" he wonders.
"Commander?," the nurse queries.
"Yes," he replies, as he wakes up grateful to be released from the dream, but still not knowing quite what is going on. As the woman who belongs to the voice comes closer, he sees Nurse Capilla squinting in the poor lighting of the waiting area. Nouri then realizes when and where he is.
"Good, there you are! CDR Kematsopoulos, ship's power is out. Backup systems offline. Sickbay is relying on its emergency power cells. We are have trouble accessing any outside areas."
"Understood. I will attempt to regain contact the old-fashioned way. Have a yeoman or someone act as runner to communicate with other departments. I want a report from other departments ASAP including what happened." he orders. "Tell the yeoman that if shipwide power cannot be restored, priorities are life-support, comms and lighting." CDR Kematsopoulos directs.
6. More Questions Than Answers: Tick, Tick, Tick, ...
Title: More Questions Than Answers: Tick, Tick, Tick, ...
Location: USS Eagle
Setting: Main Engineering
Engineering was busy getting ready for the underway as best as they could. Their new CENG was in Sickbay dying; their AENG1's location was unknown. Their previous CENG was ill suffering from overwork, fatigue and exhaustion from running the ship in the COs absence.
The Eagle engineers prepared to install the new power conduits to the phaser system upgrade. As these new conduits created a redundant path from each of the Eagle's fusion reactors, it was necessary to shut down all the ship's reactors and rely totally on umbilical power from the station in order to accomplish the installation. It was not long before they had everything shut down and disconnected from the ship's power supplies.
Suddenly, the power feed from the station began to fluctuate. The engineers watched as all source indicators swung widely from one extreme to the other and the Eagle's computer struggled to compensate and keep a stable supply to the ship's systems. It would only be a matter of moments before an overload would trip the breakers and all power would be lost. Lt. Donner did his best to secure loads quickly and remove the overload. With the links to the ship's generators dismantled, no internal backups were on line.
Meanwhile, the CSEC and CSCI were still trapped in the VIP room with the device counting down when the protective force field surrounding the alien device flickered. PHZZZT! SNAP! POP! The feeder breakers on the station tripped and erupted in a shower of sparks. BZZZT. The level eight forcefield protecting CDR Bond, CDR Cline and Ensign Johnson vanished; the sound of its gentle was thrum gone. In the darkness of the VIP room all they could hear was the steady tick, tick, tick of the device, mere moments from detonation.
7. More Questions Than Answers: Room Service, Part Five
Title: More Questions Than Answers: Room Service, Part Five
Location: USS Eagle
Time: After "More Questions Than Answers: Room Service, Part Four"
Engineering quickly restored the power. In sickbay's operating theater, the CENG survived the disruption in power. Unfortunately, Ens. Johnson in Ambassador Toman's room did not. The forcefield around the bomb didn't re-activate in time and the bomb detonated, killing the young officer.