Aboard The USS De Leon, NCC 76777
Chapter Description: The Lower Decks crew is called in to clean up a sister starship.
Mariner grumbled as she ran her grappling laser across the hallway
tiles. “I don’t see why we got called away from our free time in
the Delta quadrant just to run a cleaning service!” she groused.
because the De Leon is one of our sister ships in the
California-class, Beckett,” responded Brad Boimler, “There’s a
rotation roster for cleaning up abandoned ships and the Cerritos turn
came up is all.”
grumbled to herself and continued her task. The sooner they completed
it, the sooner they might return to their free time.
D’ Vana Tende went about her work with her usual Orion optimism. As
she hummed an old pirate tune, the decks steadily became sparkly
clean as she walked on them with her laser polisher.
Her pristine work impressed Sam Rutherford, who had dropped his clean-up tools
for a laser spanner. As he meticulously adjusted a minor
environmental control monitor for optimum efficiency, he remarked,
“Looking clean, Ensign Tende!”
on the Cerritos, Captain Carol Freeman caught up on her log entries
for the day.
date 100340.33,” she began, “The Cerritos is cleaning up the disaster on the USS Ponce De Leon after the examiners
and forensic experts examined the ship from stem to stern, and did not find
any answers about the disappearance of the entire ship’s crew.”
computer records, visual, audio, and even the scent of the incident are absent. The only evidence that the previous crew
had been present for the incident at all is the large amount of
completely intact clothing strewn about the ship.”
all tests for biological, nanotech, chemical, and radiation show
perfectly normal readings and results on the ship. My crew has been
called in to return the ship to a presentable state, pick up the
scattered clothes, and if possible, run a manual scan for anything
that could have caused the disappearance of a full crew and its
complement aboard our sister ship. Log entry complete, Freeman out!”
Freeman sat back in her command chair and rubbed her temples. Her gut
instinct told her that something was up, but until someone could
figure it out, she had to risk her ship and crew while that was
happening. She picked up her coffee and sipped it while contemplating
the next task of importance on her ever-growing “list of things
that captains do”.
had been easier when I was just an ensign,” she said aloud and
instantly regretted it as Jack Ransom’s ears pricked and he
attempted to ingratiate himself into her for the umpteenth time.
hear you, Carol!” he began, “It’s the boring times like this
that I miss the action and adventure! Of talking peace treaties with
my fists and cold, hard muscles!”
interrupted him before he could continue his rant, “Um, okay Jack,
thank you! I’ll take that under advisement. Have you found out
what’s causing the power drain in decks five through twelve of the
the power loss? It started when we entered the same orbit as
the De Leon and it's tapered off considerably. Nothing out of the
ordinary shows up on our level two diagnostic, but we’ll figure it
out by the time we’re ready to leave. I’m certain of it!”
you, Jack, carry on, then! Oh, let the command staff know that I’m
holding an informal dinner to discuss any ties they might have had
with the De Leon at 1900 hours ship’s time.”
do, Carol!” said Jack eagerly as he went to inform the relevant
personnel and complete his day's tasks before shift change.
on the ship, Beckett, bored with the clean-up and happy that most of
the scut work was now nearly complete, took a little "break".
Under their instructions, the cleanup crew cleaned the captain’s cabin last.
Beckett figured it had something to do with professional courtesy. It
didn’t stop her from doing a little sleuthing on her own, however.
she opened the door to the captain’s quarters, the first thing that
hit her was its spaciousness. She had been in her mother and
father’s quarters on the various ships they served, but
when she entered this room, something about it just seemed-.
she let slip as she looked around the room. It was the standard size
of any captain’s quarters. The furniture was standard Starfleet
Issue and took up the same amount of space that they had designed it to do. Still, she felt that the room was larger than it should be.
She shuddered and focused on her impromptu investigation.
she saw were Ensigns Rutherford, Tende, and Boimler all doing their version of an investigation. Rutherford checked the computer
terminal, Tende examined the carpet and walls for traces of skin and
hair to examine while Boimler checked the deceased captain’s
scheduling logs for errors.
can’t leave you guys alone for a minute, can I?” smirked Beckett. She felt intensely happy that "her crew" of merry men weren't letting her down.
spoke from his inspection of the logs. “She had a very light
schedule at the end. There are just a few minor entries up to the
time the of the erasure of the rest of her logs.”
advised, “I can confirm the prior investigators found nothing in the code and it’s all standard issue with no
modifications other than the prerequisite patches that are applied
before they locked the system down for its voyage. Sorry, Mariner!”
continued to scan the walls and carpet. She looked over to Beckett
and excitedly said, “I don’t know what those forensic guys did to
call their investigation complete, but I’ve found something that
might be significant!”
eyes in the room turned to her. She blushed bright green at the
intense stares and continued, “There are DNA and hair samples from
various crew members.”
Sorry. They show the captain and her crew’s ages were three months
to forty-three years.”
the three months might be a visitor with a baby, but what do their
ages have to do with anything?”
Beckett addressed her question at Boimler and Rutherford. They shook their heads to show that they didn’t
understand what Ensign Tende had found out, either.
Tende looked back at her teammates with a blank expression. Then it
hit her why they were confused.
DNA and hair evidence is of the crew from the ages of three months to
forty-three years,” she repeated.
“ALL AT THE SAME TIME!”
Bleep!” Ensign Mariner exclaimed.