Tyran was still on the Bridge when Captain Evans arrived to take over the Alpha shift. The Captain was late because he'd been attending an impromptu re-naming ceremony of the Ronin's Delta Flyer.
"Captain, we're approaching the asteroid field." Tyran announced, rising from the command chair.
"Good." Ryan replied. "Bridge to Pendragon. You're cleared for launch."
[Pendragon here. See you in two weeks.] Tricia replied over the comm link.
"Pendragon ?" Tyran enquired.
"That's what the mysterious announcement and meeting was about this morning." Ryan replied. "And you chose to take a double shift and miss it all."
"Dinara's got the day off, so we thought we'd use the time to extend the honeymoon period." Tyran said. "We're meeting for breakfast in the mess hall and then she's got some exotic holo-program she want's us to try."
"Then I'll see you at the staff meeting tomorrow." Captain Evans enquired.
"If Dinara let's me out." Tyran replied.
With that remark, Tyran left the Bridge.
"The Delta Flyer has left the shuttle bay." A.J Talsmin announced from the Ops station.
Ryan looked at A.J.
"Sorry Captain, the Pendragon has left the shuttle bay." Talsmin said correcting himself.
"Helm, resume our present course." Captain Evans ordered.
The Ronin sped away, leaving the smaller craft alone.
"Time to go." Lieutenant Gregholt announced from the tactical station as they watched the Ronin fly away.
"Not just yet. "Tricia replied from the Helm. "We've another piece of 'cargo' to be brought aboard."
"More cargo ?" Steven enquired.
"A very special passenger, arriving by special delivery." Tricia replied.
Just then a small transport craft left the asteroid field.
Gregholt was the first to notice the vessel on the sensors.
"Vessel approaching from the asteroid field. Looks like a class three cargo transport." Steven announced.
"That will be our passenger." Tricia replied.
[Cargo vessel Nevada to shuttle craft Delta Flyer.] A voice announced.
"This is the Delta Flyer vessel 'Pendragon' to Nevada. How may we be of assistance ?" Tricia replied.
[Pendragon, we have a passenger awaiting transfer.] The voice stated.
"Nevada, you are cleared to transport your passenger." Tricia said.
Behind them, the familiar sound of a transporter beam could be heard. As the noise dissipated a small, cloaked figure was left behind.
"Pendragon to Nevada." Tricia announced "We have your passenger."
[Take good care of her. Nevada out.]
With that the cargo vessel warped off into the distance.
"Hello Tricia, you're looking well." The cloaked figure said in a female voice, pulling the hood from her head. "Who's your friend ?"
"Hello Klara, it's good to see you again. >From what I've heard through Captain Evans, we've both seen our fair amount of action lately." Tricia replied. "Klara, this is Lieutenant Steven Gregholt, the Ronin's Chief Engineer. Steven, this is an old friend of both myself and Captain Evans."
"Pleased to meet you." Steven said, attempting to take Klara's hand and kiss it.
Instinctively, Klara 'pushed' him away, without touching him.
"What happened there ?" Steven asked as he fell back into his seat.
"I'm sorry." Klara apologised. "Force of habit I'm afraid."
"No harm done." Steven replied. "Won't you take a seat ?." He said, pointing at the Ops station across from him.
Klara sat down at the Ops console.
"Well are we going to sit around here all day reminiscing or are we going to head for Valaria." Klara remarked, as she looked around the Delta Flyer's flight deck.
Tricia turned her chair around to face the front and started to move the Pendragon into the asteroid field. Five hours later they were through to the other side and heading for Valaria.
"That's our course laid in, how about some lunch ?" Tricia enquired.
"Sounds good to me." Steven replied "Klara ?"
"OK." Klara said.
The three of them headed towards the rear crew compartment and Tricia replicated some lunch.
"So where are you from ?" Gregholt enquired.
"Start with the hard questions why don't you." Tricia remarked sarcastically.
"It depends upon your point of view I suppose, where I'm from. Genetically I'm human, but up until a few months ago I'd never see or heard of Earth, the Federation or Starfleet. I was 'created' in a lab by a race of aliens called the Proletarians. They wanted me use me to spy on others." Klara stated. "As for where I come from, I was 'born' on October 27th, 2360 your time, on a planet in the M-303B star cluster, which is part of the Andromeda Cirrus galaxy."
"So you're not from around here then." Steven joked.
Klara's face never flinched and Tricia just smiled from across the table.
"You'll have excuse Klara, she's spent most of her lift around Vulcan's and her alien creators. Neither of them have a sense of humour." Tricia said, attempting to calm the situation.
Gregholt was aware of the Ronin's trip to the Milky Way's closest neighbour, but most of the information about that time had been classified and compartmentalised. As most of the crew from that time were either dead or transferred elsewhere, most of what he knew was second or third hand. Now here was someone who could give him first hand knowledge.
"Don't even think about it." Tricia said in an annoying voice.
"What ?." Steven said
"Don't ask about the Ronin's involvement in the Andromeda Cirrus galaxy. You know that those of us who are still around have been told not to talk about it to anyone, not even each other." Tricia replied.
"OK, OK." Steven said admitting that he wasn't getting anywhere.
They finished their meal in silence.
"What are all these boxes ?" Klara enquired.
"Computer equipment mainly." Steven replied. "The Valarian government has requested some specialised equipment from the Federation. As Valaria is in the process of making a formal application to join the Federation and because of their assistance with the Gemini device, they've granted the request. Which reminds me, we've still not discovered what the computer program is."
"Let's take a look then." Tricia replied.
The three of them headed back to the flight deck.
"How long until we reach Valaria ?" Klara asked.
"About a day and a half." Tricia replied.
Gregholt started to work at the Ops station.
"The holo-emitters are on-line." He announced. "Computer, integrate the program Valaria medical database one Alpha and access the holo-emitter system."
In the middle of the cockpit, a male figure appeared.
"Doesn't say much." Klara stated.
"Something's wrong." Steven announced, frantically trying to ascertain the problem and find a solution. "All the primary sub-routines are frozen."
"I recognise this person, now where have I seen him before." Tricia said walking around the holo-image.
"Got it." Steven shouted. "I've managed to access the programs speech sub-routines."
"Please state the nature of the medical emergency." The hologram announced.
"Not another EMH." Steven said.
"No wait, that's it." Tricia said, "I know who this is. His name is Doctor Julian Bashir, he was the chief medical officer on Deep Space 9. He was also the template that Lewis Zimmermann used to create the 'long-term medical hologram'."
"So this is a LTMH." Gregholt remarked. "You don't see many of these around."
"Handsome." Klara replied.
"What would the Valarian want with a LTMH ?" Tricia enquired.
"Given the current situation on Valaria, a LTMH would be a remarkable tool. With the combine medical knowledge available to the Federation, what could be better than a walking, talking medical encyclopeadia." Gregholt replied. "Especially one that's able to learn and adapt."
"What sort of situation ?" Klara asked.
"For some reason, a strain of Klingon flu has managed to develop on Valaria. It's bad enough when a Klingon gets it, but the Valarian's are suffering greatly. They think that it was contracted by one of their diplomats when she visited Kronos. The flu has somehow 'mutated' and is effected most of the population." Gregholt stated.
"Klingon flu, what a thing to contract." Tricia remarked. "Let's turn our friend off and get back to work."
With that the three of them continued on to Valaria.
"Valarian flight control, this is the Delta Flyer 'Pendragon' of the USS Ronin. We are requesting landing clearance." Tricia announced.
[Welcome, clearance granted]
"Thank you Valarian flight control. Pendragon out." Tricia acknowledged.
Within the hour the three members
of the Pendragon crew had landed and left the shuttle. As they looked around,
they noticed how quiet the spaceport was. There were very few people around
and those that were going about their business had full face masks.