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Friday, June 26, 2009

Personal Log: Adrian Stevens, Quartermaster - Entry 3

This is just for fun. Any resemblance to people who work at the space center is intentional, although these characters aren't really them. Any resemblance to an actual mission is your imagination.
Aleta Clegg,
Space Center Educator
Space Center Quartermaster
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Personal Log: Adrian Stevens, Quartermaster - Entry 3

“Quartermaster Stevens! Captain wants you in his office. Now!”

I sighed, rolling off the bunk.

The security guard, chosen more for his fighting skills than his thinking skills, frowned at the open door to the cell. “Why are you in the brig?”

“Lieutenant Bradley put me under arrest. So I reported to the brig. No one was manning the desk, though, so I checked myself in.”

“And them?”

“Turner and Quan’Li? Guilty by association. Let them sleep.” I brushed past him. “How bad was the damage?”

“Hit and run, but they took out the warp drive and a bunch of other systems.” He shrugged. “The ship is secure for now. When is dinner?”

“Ask Bradley.” I stepped around him and headed for the nearest lift.

Captain Herring sat at his desk, officers hurrying through his office in a steady stream. All signs of a crisis in progress, but one under the iron control of the captain’s steely gaze. He glanced up in time to notice me. He did not look happy. He waved the officers out.

I entered his office, dreading the lecture I knew he would deliver.

“Quartermaster.” Captain Herring waited for me to approach.

I glanced at an empty chair, then decided against sitting. I’d pushed too far already. “Sir?”

“Where is my dinner?”

“Blown up with the replicators, I expect.” So much for respect and talking my way out of trouble. Sometimes my mouth says things before my brain gets involved.

Captain Herring’s glare turned to pure ice.

“Sir, we’ve been working twenty hours a day trying to cook in a galley designed to serve no more than fifty. We’re running out of food we can cook that way. We need the replicators back online. We can’t keep feeding two hundred.”

“One hundred eighty three. We had seventeen casualties in the attack.”

His answer was milder than I expected.

“I need a full inventory of supplies,” he continued.

“Sir, we’re already stretched too thin trying to keep everyone fed. There are only three of us in the galley. I don’t have time to do a full inventory.”

“As quartermaster, it is your duty to keep me apprised of supply levels.”

I told him what I thought of that duty on top of everything else. I’d expected serving on the Voyager to be a breeze–top of the line equipment, plenty of staff, a relaxing break. I’d never been so wrong in my life.

Captain Herring merely lifted one eyebrow at my language. “I’m assigning Alpha and Bravo squads to you. I want the entire crew fed in the next four hours. And, I want a full inventory on my desk in the next two. We are meeting with the Lusitania in six hours. I need to know what supplies to requisition.”

The Lusitania was a huge support ship currently assigned with the Third Fleet. I knew too much about her. I’d spent two months cleaning all three hundred toilets as penance a few years back.

“If I may ask, sir, who attacked us?” I wanted at least a little information. Maybe I should have taken the posting to the prison kitchen.

“Marauders, we don’t know who.” Herring tapped his com button. “Get me a shipwide channel.”

I opened my mouth.

He lifted his finger, silencing me. “This is the captain speaking.” His voice echoed through the halls of the ship. “We have been attacked by marauders of an unknown origin. The ship has sustained damage to the warp systems and the shields. Repairs are underway. All stations will remain on high alert until further notice. That is all.” He touched the comm button. “You will open the auxiliary galley on deck two to feed the officers on duty. The inventory report will be on my desk in no less than two hours, the entire crew will be fed in the next four. Do I make myself clear?”

“Yes, sir.” Unless I wanted shot and shoved out an airlock as a real mutineer, I had no choice but to agree.

“I’ll alert Alpha and Bravo squads to report to the galley for your orders.” He swiveled his chair, dismissing me.

“Great,” I muttered as I stalked back through the ship to the galley. “Fourteen marines in my kitchen. Lot of help they’ll be.”

Quan’Li and Turner both waited in the galley. It was a disaster. The pots had spilled during the fight. Food splattered every surface.

“We’ve got four hours to feed the entire crew,” I said. “And two hours to make a complete inventory of the ship. But,” I held my hand up to stop the complaints I knew were coming, “we do have two squads of marines to help. Turner, take four of them and open deck two galley. Take whatever supplies you need. Quan’Li, you’ve got the main galley. I’ll take two marines and get the inventory done. I’ll leave the rest with you.”

They both nodded. They weren’t happy, but orders were orders. And direct orders had to be obeyed.

Boots thumped in the hall, loud and in step. Our marines had arrived. We divided them up. Turner and his four loaded up supplies and left for the command galley. I took two with me. Quan’Li set the others to scrubbing up spills.

I sent one to the weapons controls to get a list from the officer in charge. I sent the other to sickbay while I went to the engineering sections.

They met me back by the main supply room half an hour later, lists in hand.

“That takes care of the easy part,” I said. “Now we get to count bins.”

“Yes, ma’am,” one of them, LeGrange, said as he saluted me.

I opened the door to the first storage locker. “You take the left, you take the far right, I’ll do the middle.” I tabbed through the clipboard to the proper page.

“What are we counting, ma’am?”

“Anything that looks more than half empty, make a note,” I said. Captain Herring could decide what was vital to requisition. As long as it included parts for the replicators, I’d be happy.

I started down the aisle, checking labels and boxes.

The lights flickered to red, alarms blared.

The marines thundered towards the door, which slid closed and locked just before they reached it.

“Standard precaution under red alert,” I said. “We’re locked in here until the alert is canceled.”

“Probably just a drill,” LeGrange said. “We’ll keep counting, ma’am.”

The ship rocked. The lights shut off, plunging us into darkness briefly. The emergency light glowed sickly green above us.

“Or not,” Fells, the other marine answered.

The alarms changed.

“Intruders.” LeGrange drew his phaser.

“They’re at the bridge!” Fells fingered his comm badge.

The overhead speakers crackled to life.

“Crew of the ship Voyager, this is Del’Brugado of the Fellucian Marauders. I have captured your ship. Further resistance will be met with deadly force. Surrender peacefully and we will let you live. As our slaves!”

Fells pounded on the door.

“Stop it, you idiot!” I grabbed his arm. “Come this way. I’ve got an idea.”

I led them to the back of the supply room. I popped the cover off an access panel.

“Repair access conduit. We can use it to get to deck seven, and from there, we can get into the main engineering crawl spaces.”

“And the three of us are going to take back our ship!” Fells clapped his hand on his phaser.

“Set phasers to maximum,” LeGrange said, thumbing the dial on his. “This isn’t going to be easy.”

“No, but it is going to be fun.” Fells grinned like a maniac.

I rolled my eyes and crawled into the conduit.
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