Part of USS Denver: The Fujiwhara Effect and USS Denver: Eye of the Storm

Eat Me, Drink Me

Holodecks of Heracles, Watership, and Zebulon Pike
March 12, 2400 13:00
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They had linked the holodecks of the three ships together so that the three crews could interact in “person”.  Rebecca was in uniform now and Peter was at her side as the holodeck doors parted to reveal the conference lounge of a very familiar ship to her.

“Is this the Denver?” Rebecca asked amusement in her voice as she looked around the simulated lounge. 

Peter shrugged, “Given that it’s probably your last mission before you hang up your pips, seemed appropriate to go back to where it all started one last time.”  He stepped inside and walked around the room, “She was a good ship for us.  As shiny as the Watership is, sometimes I think about the old girl.”  He chuckled, “Every so often I take a walk on her decks in here when I’m getting wistful.”  Crawford gestured around, “I managed to get it mostly right.”

“It even smells like the Denver,” Rebecca said impressed.

Crawford chuckled, “I am an operations officer, after all.”  He stepped to the table and tapped at the console.  “Connecting the holodeck programs in 3…2…1.”  The computer beeped and slowly the others began to appear.

As the officers of the three ships started to appear in holographic form Rebecca took her seat at her old position at the head of the table.  It was almost like old times.   She had a fleeting thought that she would voluntarily demote herself back down to captain and take up starship command again, but that was a game for the young.

Ethan looked around the observation lounge and saw his stepmother.  The woman had been the only mother he knew and he smiled at the sight of her. Rebecca stood and the two hugged before finding their seats.

“I didn’t expect to see you onboard a starship again,” Ethan teased.

“Neither did I, but you had to come up lost so I had to get the old band back together.”

“Mom!” Aimee exclaimed and crossed the room tears in her eyes.  Another round of hugs and they settled into their seats.

“What’s this I hear about an engagement?” Rebecca asked Aimee. 

“To him,” Aimee grinned poking the large Scotsman in the belly. “This is Dougal MacDonald.”

“A pleasure to meet you, ma’am,” Dougal said in his thick highland accent. 

Rebecca sized up Dougal and gave her daughter a knowing nod. “MacDonald eh? Well pleased to meet you.”

“Yes, of course, Admiral,” Dougal said nervously. 

Ethan was becoming aware of the others having appeared.  Feeling a little uncomfortable with the family reunion being on open display he cleared his throat,  “Perhaps this could wait.”

Rebecca looked around,  nodded, “Yes of course.   Pete, you want to get this briefing on the road?”

Crawford had remained standing and had quietly shifted over to hug his daughter, Carolyn.  They had exchanged quiet words of encouragement and she’d hugged him before stepping back where her crew stood.  He was heartened to see his daughter and to see her well.  Peter returned his attention to the group, “To the road we go.”  He tapped the console on the table, “We did the foundational work here on the Watership, and thanks to the combined efforts of the other two crews, we’ve managed to get a pretty solid plan in place.”  He tapped the table again and walked through the process they were about to undertake from process to piece and back again.  Each part of the process was thoroughly detailed and everyone on each command team had a job, sometimes even two.  He walked them through the backup plans for each ship, how fast things would move, and why they were only going to get one shot at this.  In turn, he looked to each member of the gathered crew, “This is not impossible…I have every confidence in every single one of us.  We must only believe in success…to imagine or even think of failure, in this case, will make this undertaking heavier than any of us can lift to the finish line.”

Ethan spoke, “If I’m putting the dots together here that means one of our ships has to remain in this reality.  Once the deflector is disengaged the rift closes and that’s it.”

“We dinnae want to leave a ship here for just anyone to find,” Dougal observed. 

Ethan sighed, “That’s solved using a self-destruct sequence set on say a fifteen-minute timer?”

“Trinity is going to kick your ass cowboy,” Jolie whispered after leaning into Ethan’s ear.

 “Yeah, it will have to be the Pike,” Ethan agreed, “It’s  the only real choice.”  There was a tinge of sadness in his voice as realization sank in.

Peter spoke up, “She’s done plenty of good in her life, Ethan.  I’m sorry she has to go this way…I can’t imagine being in your shoes.”

Ethan shrugged.   “Okay, what do we need to do?”

 

USS Zebulon Pike, Engineering: 13:00 Hours…

Sub-Commander Audren Swiftblade watched as the Narlin-style cloaking device was separated from the ship and loaded into a crate already sitting on an anti-grav sled by a pair of holographic engineers.   For five years and countless missions she had overseen the cloak’s operation on the ship and now that was coming to an end.

“Logically I knew this day would come,” Audren said to Carolyn who was standing next to her, “But I didn’t see it ending this way.  It… it seems wrong abandoning this ship.  This was our home away from home.”

Carolyn understood Swiftblade’s feelings.  She had only been a part of the PIke crew briefly but had come to love the old Raven class ship as her first assignment.  “I learned from my father that nothing lasts forever…nothing gold can stay gold…eventually it fades.”  She ran her hands across the console, “Leaving her alone…and in another universe feels as if we’re running away.”  The chief engineer chuckled, “I don’t think any of us want to stay here, mind you…maybe thinking about this as more of a sacrifice to save the rest of us helps?”

“No, of course not,” Audren replied.   “Just sudden and unexpected.  Now that my job is done, what can I do to help you?”

Crawford pulled out the PADD, “We need to make sure every single piece of Starfleet technology is nulled as much as possible.  Even though she’ll be torn apart, I don’t want to even chance the risk of something getting through.”  She looked around, “Some of it will obviously need to be functional until the end, but I’m not going to let my first Chief job be the one that gives someone access to something they shouldn’t.  Split the list in half?  The first one finished…,”  she looked to Audren, “What’s a drink that brings you an uncontrolled sense of joy?”

“I don’t believe I have such a drink,” the Hylon replied.  “However,  perhaps the closest is Spring Wine.  I make it on my estate on Talaria. It is quite good.”

USS Zebulon Pike, Bridge: 13:00 Hours…

Commander Ethan Talon stood at the dedication plaque.  He had hung it himself shortly after rescuing the ship.  At the time it had been named Meadowlark. He didn’t think it was a fitting name then, and now he was convinced it really wasn’t an appropriate name for the ship.  She had been a good ship.

He dug into his pocket and removed a pen knife.  Flipping open the blade he began to pry the plaque off the wall.  After a few pops from fasteners, the bronze rectangle came free into his hand.

Jolie walked onto the bridge with Vausees in tow, she nodded to Ethan as she looked a Vausees.

“Ethan, I am sorry that you will need to sac this ship. I can download its A.I and memory banks into a separate server on the Heracles if you want to save it,” Vausees said as she placed her hands on the back of the command chair as she watched him remove the plaque from the bulkhead.

He looked around and took a deep breath.  “Nah, it’s fine. I got my souvenir,” he said displaying the plaque in his hand.  “Who knows if I’ll get my own command again.  We’ll see how the fleet treats this.   I may just walk away to my ranch and raise my kids. A court-martial is almost guaranteed with losing a ship, but I’m certain I will be acquitted.   I don’t see any other option do you?”

Vausees shook her head, “You can’t be court-martialed. Remember this ship and her crew don’t technically exist in the eyes of the fleet.”

Vausees grinned as she stood there. “Besides, I’ll stake my pips on it if I need to to keep you out of the brig, and if you do decide that it is time to hang up the dusters and settle down, you had better let me know where in Montana you are,” she teased “Because I still need a best man for my wedding. Speaking of which; where is, your sister and this Dougal that I have been informed I need to speak with?”

Ethan laughed,  “My ranch is on Terra Alpha.   The Crawfords have a ranch in Montana. Best man?” He shrugged and let that go, “Yeah Aimee and Dougal have been hinting at tying the knot for a few days now.”

Vausees looked over her shoulder and shrugged at his comment, a sheepish grin on her lips. “See you on the other side Commander,” she stated as she exited out of the Pike’s bridge and headed for the Heracles.