Prior to the beginning of Ion storms in the Pulson Nebula
The USS Adventure had completed its undercover mission. They docked at Starbase 157 to debrief. Most of the crew completed their surgery to regain their appearances in just a few hours, but for R'Tor the doctors told him it was going to take an extra day or two for him.
Since R'Tor needed time to recover, he gave the crew some much needed R&R. Commander Mark Russell caught a transport to Risa, Dr. Val set off for a small Vulcan colony, and Colt decided to explore the trade markets of Japori II.
As for R'Tor, when the doctors finished the second day he was extraordinarily happy to have his tail reconnected. While he did not doubt the doctor's skill, he tended to flinch each time he twitched his tail too fast. After a few days, he started to believe his tail was not going to fall off.
CAPTAIN'S LOG STARDATE 74932.29
Starfleet Command contacted me to let me know of a change in our mission. We were initially scheduled to join Task Force 17 in the Delta Quadrant, but now it appears we will remain in the Alpha Quadrant a while longer. I have not received a full brief yet, however it was suggests that the Adventure will have need of a highly qualified pilot. With that in my, I made a personal request that Starfleet Command was good enough to honor. I can think of no other person better qualified. He arrives at Starbase 157 later in the day.
FEBRUARY 3, 2344 - 08:30 STARBASE 157
Edward Clark stepped through the airlock and standing on the other side with his arms crossed as his old friend. “R'Tor!" He stated in surprise as he gave his friend a hug, "How the heck are you?” With a quick thump on his back the large Caitian showed his appreciation and he turned to escort Clark down the hall.
As they walked they caught up on the minor details in each others life. “You seem to be a bit surprised to see me.” R'Tor commented. “I take it you did not read your orders.” He continued.
Ed shook his head in response. “Not really." He shrugged, "Half the time, I just need to know where and when I needed to be.”
R'Tor responded with a chuckle as he was amused by his friend's lack of attention to detail. He handed him a PADD, “Maybe you should take a look.”
Edward took a few more steps as he read the PADD and then something caught his eye that caused him to stop short. “What the heck?” He called after R'Tor who had continued down the hallway. “Are you kidding?” Watched as his friend's tail flicked back and forth in amusement. R'Tor's laughter resonated as he turned a corner.
Edward readjusted his duffel bag's strap and jogged after him. “Whats the meaning of this?” He called as he waved the PADD after his friend till he caught up to R'Tor and walked next to him.
R'Tor stopped and looked over at him, “I had hopped you wouldn't mind, so I pulled a few strings.” And gave a shrug.
He sighed heavily, knowing his friend had just been trying to help after had a difficult few years. Finally he spoke up. “Well, its not like we can expect you to command and fly the ship at the same time, can we."
R'Tor gave a smirk that showed one of his fangs. “Come on, I'll show you the ship.”
BRIDGE OF THE USS ADVENTURE
R'Tor entered the bridge followed closely by Ensign Edward Clark. “I believe you will find the bridge - cozy.” He purred.
Edward did not know what to expect, as the Adventure was only about 140 meters long and the smallest vessel he operated was a 23 meter runabout. He was immediately struck by the compact design. “Cozy?" He stated in mock astonishment. “Not the word I would use.”
The command chair was in the center of the bridge upon a slightly raised platform and flanked by a small control panel. To starboard there were two stations, one for operations and another was a multi-use console for engineering. Across the bridge on the port side was a tactical station.
Edward walked to the flight control station, directly forward of the command chair. He examined the panel, “You think we could make a few adjustments?”
R'Tor's ears twitched. “What do you mean?” He asked intrigued by the idea.
Edward pointed to the console, “Right here, if we expanded the console it could allow the pilot to operate tactical also, it could increase reaction time. He sat down in the flight control seat and showed R'Tor how rearranging the panel would improve performance.
“Ahhh..” R'Tor thought about it a moment. He prowled the bridge and mulled over the thought. “I'll have engineering take a look at it. However.” R'Tor interjected, “I would prefer to keep tactical separate.”
Before Edward could object, R'Tor held his hand up and continue, “Until we have a chance to work out all the….snagss.."
Edward got out of the flight control station. “Well, buddy.” He stated while looking around the bridge. “What else you have to show me on this ship?”
“Just this.” He reached into his pocket and handed it to Edward.
Edward blinked a few times and looked up from his hand. At first he was speechless. “What?, why?” He asked shaking his head.
R'Tor crossed his arms. “Because, I am your commanding officer and you deserve it.”
“I..I…don't know what to say.” Edward was shaken by the generosity of his friend. He looked at the gold pip in his hand.
With an extended furry hand, R'Tor congratulated Edward. “Welcome to the Adventure, Lieutenant Clark.”
Lt. Clark smile and shook his commander's hand vigorously.
UPON THE USS ADVENTURE DOCKED AT STARBASE 157
The crew of the Adventure would start returning from shore leave in the next 24 hours. Newly promoted Lt. Edward Clark sat as the comm station reviewing the different evasive patterns already programed in the ship's system and attempted to devise a few of his own.
A low growl emanated from R'Tor as he rested in his room with subtle music. He had fallen asleep in his favorite chair while reading.
An alert signaled sounded, followed by The ship's computer voice boomed into the captain's room. “Priority message coming in from Starfleet Command.”
R'Tor woke and reacted with his cat like reflexes, as he dashed to his display to read the message.
“Oh no!” He exclaimed.
(TBC in Time & Squalls Part II).