Frontier

© 2007 MultiMapper
All Rights Reserved
Edited by The Radio Rancher

For full disclaimer and Copyright information visit Copyright/Disclaimer Page. Continuation of viewing this document is deemed acceptance of all terms on the preceding link. While these stories are provided for free, I would appreciate it if those who were able would consider contributing to this artist via my Patreon.

Chapter 20

In the week and a half since leaving Earth, things on the Yorktown had finally fallen into a familiar routine.

Each morning Vincent would wake early and go to the gym to train in hand-to-hand combat with Thaelan. After a good physical workout, both would enjoy a leisurely breakfast with Joe and Darin before their duty shift. Vincent would work half the day at his duty station, then after lunch he would move to an auxiliary station to work on his lessons for school. The only excitement that occurred is when Joe thought that Vincent had started choking during his lessons. It turned out that Vincent was just trying to perfect the 'K'Agh' sound for his conversational Klingon class.

After work each day Vincent would spend some time with Benny, JonJon and Channing either in the J Deck observation lounge or in the Rec Hall watching people. Even though Channing had been certified as fit for duty, he continued to spend his off duty time with the boys, enjoying it as much as they did.

Vincent and T'Lani would have dinner together each evening after her duty shift ended, then they would spend an hour or so together either meditating while joined in their bond or quietly talking in one of the many observation lounges on the ship.

Each night Joe would check on Vincent after he had fallen asleep and find him snuggled into his pillow with a contented smile.

* * * * *

After a series of warm up stretches and one time through the standard fighting stances, Thaelan motioned for Vincent to walk with him to the other side of the gym.

"Thus far you have been practicing different techniques and stances. Today you will have an enemy to fight." Thaelan said seriously.

"I'm going to fight you?" Vincent asked hesitantly.

"No. There will come a point when we will spar to develop your timing and fighting technique. But for now, *this* will be your enemy." Thaelan said as he indicated a heavy workout bag.

"He does look kinda mean." Vincent said with a smile.

"This bag is your enemy. He has offended you personally and besmirched your family name." Thaelan said intensely.

"Um, Thaelan. My family's name was smirched up pretty bad before this bag ever showed up." Vincent said honestly.

"Very well, then he has insulted your Daddy Joe." Thaelan said seriously.

Vincent got a determined look in his eyes and moved to attack.

"Ha CHA." Vincent screamed as he punched with the heel of his hand the way Thaelan had taught him.

"You have the proper intent, but you need to focus your attack deeper. You are not trying to slap your enemy, your target is inside. Try again, but this time focus your attack a few centimeters inside your target." Thaelan said patiently.

"Okay, but you need to get me started again... What did he say about Daddy Joe?" Vincent asked as he held his focus on the bag in front of him.

"This miserable training bag said that your Daddy Joe was an undisciplined officer and unworthy to be in Starfleet." Thaelan said grimly.

"Ha CHA!" Vincent screamed as he attacked the bag again. After he had impacted the bag with the heel of his right hand, Vincent followed through with an uppercut with his left hand.

Thaelan nodded his approval and watched carefully so he could offer suggestions.

Vincent's eyes narrowed and he gritted his teeth as he began to lose himself in the experience.

Thaelan watched silently as Vincent continued to hit the work out bag with more and more intensity.

"Vincent..." Thaelan said hesitantly as he noticed the fury in Vincent's expression.

Sweat started running into Vincent's eyes as he pounded the bag faster and harder.

"Vincent, the training bag is sorry and has taken back everything he said about Joe. You need to stop now." Thaelan said with concern.

A series of growls emanated from Vincent as he put the force of his entire body behind the punches.

"Crewman Winters. Stop!" Thaelan said forcefully.

Vincent suddenly stopped and looked at Thaelan with wild eyes as he was shaking with his rage.

"Breathe Vincent. Draw calm and peace into yourself with each breath." Thaelan said slowly.

Vincent had his hands clenched at his sides as his body stood rigid.

"Vincent. Calm yourself." Thaelan said quietly.

A confused look came over Vincent's face, then his eyes started to well up with tears.

Thaelan didn't understand exactly what was happening in Vincent's mind, but he recognized emotional pain when he saw it.

Without thought, Thaelan stepped forward and pulled Vincent into a comforting hug.

Vincent started crying and buried his face into Thaelan's chest.

Thaelan put his hand on the back of Vincent's head and quietly said, "I think this exercise has awakened some forgotten pain within you. It is good to let it out. You don't need to keep it inside."

Vincent heard the words and nodded as he continued to cry.

"If you want to talk about your pain, I am here to listen. I swear to you that nothing you say will go any further." Thaelan said in a whisper.

"I saw... I was thinking about my dad... not Daddy Joe. My real dad... I saw him and... and..." Vincent said before erupting into a fresh wave of tears.

Thaelan closed his eyes in pain as he remembered Joe telling him that Vincent had been physically and emotionally abused by his biological father.

"Vincent. This is a safe place to let out your pain. I will help you. We will continue to do these exercises until you have worked out all the hurt and pain that you carry... And I will be here to listen whenever you need me." Thaelan finished quietly.

"Thank you Thaelan." Vincent said as he began to regain control.

"You saw my pain when we met and sought to ease it. Now it is only right that I do the same for you." Thaelan said gently.

"I don't even know what that was... I just... I wanted to hurt it. I wanted to make the bag feel pain." Vincent said in confusion as he tried to identify what he had been feeling.

"Vincent. Every starship carries a staff of mental health professionals..." Thaelan began to say.

"You think I'm crazy?" Vincent asked as he pulled away.

"No. Not crazy. But I think that this... rage that you carry has a source. Our training is allowing you to release your feelings in a physical manner, and I believe that this is a good thing. But I also think you should consider seeking advice about how to deal with what is at the core of what you are feeling." Thaelan said carefully.

"I... What if I just stop training? I mean, if I don't train, then that won't happen again, right?" Vincent asked hopefully.

"Vincent, I believe that keeping this bottled up within you would be the worst thing that you could possibly do because it will allow the rage to grow inside you and get stronger... until one day something may trigger this feeling again and it could end up being too powerful for you to control." Thaelan said seriously.

Vincent nodded slowly.

"You have the opportunity to deal with this while it is still relatively minor. Please consider carefully and do the wise thing." Thaelan said imploringly.

"You're not going to make me?" Vincent asked cautiously.

"No Vincent. This decision must be yours. I will offer my advice, but in the end, I will abide by whatever decision you make." Thaelan said seriously.

Vincent slowly nodded, then said, "Thank you Thaelan. I really don't want to do it... but I guess being an adult isn't always about what you want. Sometimes it's about what you need."

Thaelan smiled at the statement and said, "If only more adults came to that realization, the universe would be a much more peaceful place."

Vincent smiled at the statement, then looked at the clock to see how much time they had left.

Thaelan followed his gaze and said, "I think we've done enough for today."

"When I go to talk to someone about this will you go with me?" Vincent asked hopefully.

"I had assumed that you would want Joe to go with you." Thaelan said as he started walking toward the shower room.

"I don't want to hurt him..." Vincent said quietly, then hurried to say, "I don't want to hurt you either, but I don't think it will hurt you as bad as it would Daddy Joe or Darin."

Thaelan smiled at the statement, then said, "I understand what you mean and I agree with your reasoning. If your counselor will allow it, I would be honored to go through this experience with you."

"Thank you Thaelan. I'm sorry if I'm being a little kid by not wanting to do this alone." Vincent said shyly.

Thaelan smiled and said, "Asking for the support of ones friends and family is not a sign of immaturity, quite the reverse."

Vincent thought about the statement for a moment then smiled.

"Unless you want to watch me disrobe, I suggest you move to another cubicle." Thaelan said as he began to take off his shirt.

Vincent looked around and realized that he was in the changing area of the shower room.

"Um. No thanks Thaelan. I'm sure you've got a nice butt and everything..." Vincent trailed off as he walked away.

Thaelan smiled at the statement, then got to the business of changing out of his workout clothes.

* * * * *

"Did you two have? a good workout this morning?" Joe asked as he approached the table with a tray of food.

Vincent looked at Thaelan with question, not knowing how he should respond to that.

"Vincent has progressed to the next level of his training." Thaelan said calmly.

"Way to go Champ." Joe said with a smile of pride at Vincent.

"Hey guys." A friendly voice said from nearby.

"Hi Channing, how are you guys doing this morning?" Darin asked happily as he watched Channing placing a tray of food on the next table.

"I'm fine but the guys are a little bit down." Channing said as he glanced back at Benny and JonJon taking their places at the table.

"What's wrong?" Joe asked with concern.

"Well, since it looks like we have about three more weeks till we reach the new colony, the governors of the colony decided that the kids need to be in school." Channing said with a shrug.

"You don't have to go to school do you JonJon?" Vincent asked slowly.

"No. But Benny's going to be in school and Channing's going to be at work. There's nothing for me and Fizgig to do all day." JonJon said frankly.

Vincent thought for a moment, then said, "Let me check on some stuff and maybe I can come up with something for you."

"Like what?" Channing asked curiously.

"I don't? know for sure, but I bet I'll find something. I have an idea." Vincent said with a smile.

"Uh oh. When my little brother has an idea, we're all in trouble." Darin said in a teasing voice.

"Watch it. I know where you sleep." Vincent said with menace.

Darin blushed as Joe looked at him inquiringly.

Vincent looked back and forth between the two, trying to figure out what was going on.

"I kind of spent the night with Rad." Darin said shyly.

Vincent thought for a moment, then hesitantly asked, "How did you 'kind of' spend the night with Rad?"

"Darin came back to deflector control about half an hour before you got up for your training." Joe said with a mischievous smile.

"I'm sorry if I woke you up. I was trying to be quiet." Darin said shyly.

"Don't worry about it, you didn't wake me. Lou told me about it when I got up." Joe said with a smile.

"So did you guys, um... Do it?" Vincent asked uncomfortably.

"What do you and T'Lani do when you're alone?" Darin asked seriously.

Vincent looked at Darin with surprise at the question.

"Rad and I stayed up late talking and lost track of time. But when something physical does happen between us, I would rather it be just between the two of us." Darin said gently.

"I'm sorry Darin. I didn't mean to be nosey. It's just that I really like Rad and... I guess I want to know how things are going. I promise I won't ask again." Vincent finished quietly.

"That's fine little brother. I tell you what, right now Rad and I are dating each other exclusively. If and when the day comes that we choose to make a more formal commitment, you'll be the first person to know." Darin finished with a smile.

"That'd be great." Vincent finished happily.

"Where is Rad this morning?" Channing asked curiously from the next table.

"Chief Morgan wanted to talk to him before his shift this morning. They're having breakfast in the Engineering conference room." Darin said irritably.

"Don't worry Darin. You'll get to see him after work." Vincent said with a sympathetic smile, understanding how much Darin wanted to spend every off-duty moment with Rad.

"Guys. It's almost that time." Joe said as he gathered his breakfast dishes.

"Already?" Vincent asked irritably.

"What's wrong? You're usually eager to get to work in the morning." Joe asked with concern.

"I just feel... I don't know... kind of achy. I think maybe I worked out too hard." Vincent said as he considered how he was feeling.

"Then why don't you go on up to sickbay for a quick scan before you take your station this morning?" Joe asked quietly.

"It doesn't really hurt or anything, it's just... there." Vincent said slowly.

"Crewman Winters. Report to sickbay." Joe said firmly.

"Yes sir." Vincent said reluctantly.

"I'll go with you Vincent." JonJon said as he gathered his dishes.

"Okay... Where's Fizgig?" Vincent asked as he looked around.

"I took him to the observation lounge with me this morning and he fell asleep. He was sleeping so good when it was time to go to breakfast that I didn't want to wake him. We could go check on him on the way to sickbay if that's okay." JonJon asked hopefully as they stood.

"Yeah. Sounds good." Vincent said with a smile as he carried his dishes away from the table.

* * * * *

"Husband, are you well?" T'Lani asked when she saw Vincent and JonJon walk into the sickbay.

"I think so, I think I just worked out a little bit too hard this morning. My joints are kinda achy." Vincent said as he looked into her eyes.

"Please lie down on a biobed so I may take some preliminary readings." T'Lani said seriously.

Vincent climbed onto the biobed and waited as T'Lani initiated the scans.

T'Lani looked at the readings carefully, then said, "I will return shortly."

Vincent nodded, then watched as she left the room.

"Does it hurt a lot?" JonJon asked quietly.

"No, it's kind of like the way you feel a few hours after you've skinned your knee. It doesn't really hurt that bad, but you can still feel that it's there." Vincent said consideringly.

"What do we have here?" Dr. Raul asked as he walked into the room.

"I think I might have worked out too hard this morning. I'm feeling a little achy." Vincent said quietly.

Dr. Raul looked at the readings carefully, then at T'Lani who was approaching with a data padd.

"Here is the chart." She said quietly.

"I see." Dr. Raul said, then began to work the controls on the head of the biobed.

"What's wrong with me?" Vincent asked carefully.

"Just give me a moment and I'll be able to tell you for sure." Dr. Raul said in concentration.

JonJon moved from Vincent's side to get a better view of the biobed's readings.

"You did a good job spotting this T'Lani. I would have been inclined to accept your husband's explanation about the workout." Dr. Raul said in thought.

"What is it?" Vincent asked as he turned to see the monitor for himself.

"Crewman Winters. I would suggest that?you make arrangements to get some new uniforms made soon. It appears that you are beginning a growth spurt." Dr. Raul said with a smile as he pulled a hypospray out of the bedside cabinet.

"I'm getting taller?" Vincent asked with confusion.

"Exactly right. I'm going to give you a very mild pain reliever that should help with the discomfort and a vitamin supplement to compensate for what is being used by the tissue building that is going on in your? body." Dr. Raul said professionally as he pressed the hypospray into Vincent's neck.

"Don't be concerned if you find that you have an increased appetite for the next few weeks. Your body simply needs building materials." Dr. Raul said professionally.

"Okay. Thank you Doctor." Vincent said as he sat up on the biobed.

"I'm making a note in your file. If you have need of further pain medication, all you need to do is come to sickbay and ask for it. The nurse on duty will be able to get it for you." Dr. Raul said seriously.

"Thank you Dr. Raul. I need to get to work now." Vincent said as he realized that the achy sensation in his joints had stopped.

"Just come and see us if anything else concerns you. That's what we're here for." Dr. Raul said with a kind smile.

Vincent hopped down off the bed and walked to T'Lani.

"I'll see you tonight." Vincent said as he took her hand into his.

"At the conclusion of your duties, come to sickbay and we can assess your condition and administer more vitamins and medication if it is warranted." T'Lani said quietly.

"As you say, my Wife." Vincent said happily.

After a moment of holding T'Lani's hand and looking into her eyes, Vincent reluctantly let go and left to begin his day at work.

* * * * *

"So what's the verdict?" Joe asked curiously as Vincent and JonJon walked into Deflector Control.

"Growth spurt." Vincent said timidly.

"Oh. I guess we'd better look into getting you a new supply of uniforms." Joe said carefully.

"Yeah. That's what Dr. Raul suggested." Vincent said as he took his seat at station three.

"So what are you going to do today JonJon?" Joe asked casually.

"I don't know. With Vincent at work and Benny at school, there's not much for me to do." JonJon said as he cuddled Fizgig to his chest.

Vincent started typing on his station and drew the attention of everyone in the room.

When he had finished keying in his message and sent it off, he turned to see all eyes in the room focused on him.

"I kinda had an idea for JonJon, but it's not something I can really talk about." Vincent said shyly.

"Can you give me a hint?" JonJon asked carefully.

"Nope. You're just going to have to trust me." Vincent said with a smile as he started going through his system checks.

"I do trust you Vincent... but I still want to know." JonJon said impatiently.

"I'm showing a green board on all consoles. I'm beginning a subsystem diagnostic." Vincent said as he worked the controls of his station.

"Acknowledged." Thaelan said from the main console.

Vincent nodded, then saw the icon of an incoming text message on his screen.

After a moment to get all his diagnostics started, Vincent opened the message window, then began to smile.

"What is it?" JonJon asked hopefully.

"Well, I thought that since you don't need to go to school, that maybe you could get a job." Vincent said with a mischievous smile.

"A job? Doing what?" JonJon asked hesitantly.

"I don't know yet, but Cyril is going to meet you up on the recreation deck to talk about getting a job that you can do while everyone else is busy... and he said that you can bring Fizgig with you." Vincent finished with accomplishment.

"Really? Okay. I'll go see what he can figure out for me." JonJon said happily.

"Let me know what you come up with." Vincent said with a smile.

JonJon gave Vincent a quick nod, then hurried out of the room.

* * * * *

The hum of the engines abruptly changed as everyone looked around.

"All hands, battle stations. This is not a drill. Battle stations." Came over the comm.

After a moment, Connie and Jimmy hurried out of the supply room, adjusting their uniforms.

"Alpha, deflector control. Beta, Engineering. Gamma, Auxiliary Bridge. I'm on the main bridge, lets go." Joe said quickly.

"I've got one." Joe said as he grabbed a communicator on his way out the door.

Vincent and Darin hurried to their stations and began to assess the status of the shields.

Jimmy ran to the lockers and grabbed two tool cases.

Connie walked to the rack of communicators by the door and said, "Beta's got 2, 3 and 4."

A moment later Judy rushed into the room and grabbed a tool case.

She ran to the communicator rack then called out, "Gamma, 5 and 6." as she ran out the door.

The hum of the engines changed again and the 'red alert' klaxon sounded.

The level of tension in the room increased as everyone ran through their system checks.

The moment of intense concentration was broken by Debbie's voice on the intercom saying, "All Hands. Brace for impact."

"Hold on!" Ensign Thaelan called as he took hold of the main console.

Just as Darin and Vincent were taking firm hold of the consoles in front of them, the ship was rocked by a jolt.

A second jolt shook the room, then a beeping sounded at the main console.

Ensign Thaelan hit the comm and quickly said, "Go ahead."

"The engineering console just went completely dead." Connie said quickly.

"Standby Ensign Agropos. Crewman Winters, perform a diagnostic of the Engineering console." Ensign Thaelan said firmly.

"Yes sir." Vincent said quickly as he moved to station three.

Vincent grabbed the counter as the ship rocked again, then started running a level 2 diagnostic on the Engineering console's systems.

The room was jolted again, then Vincent heard a 'pft, pft, pft' sound and looked around.

"We just launched photon torpedoes." Ensign Thaelan said seriously.

There was a beeping from console one that distracted Vincent for a moment as he waited for the status check to complete.

"I'm showing a failure of the E1 power conduit, I'm bypassing." Darin said professionally.

Vincent looked down at his console and quickly said, "Engineering console shows a primary power feed interruption just inside the console... It's physical."

"Ensign Agropos, we are reading a primary power feed interruption in your console. Crewman Winters suggests that you plug the console in and try again." Thaelan said in a teasing voice.

"We'll do that." Connie said quickly.

Suddenly there was a shrill sound that filled the room, then multiple 'pft' sounds.

"Phasers and photon torpedoes." Ensign Thaelan said seriously.

"Have Vincent look at it now." Susan said quickly over the comm.

Vincent immediately initiated another level 2 diagnostic.

"Vincent?" Connie called out.

After a moment of waiting, Vincent happily said, "Engineering station shows as fully operational."

"Crewman Winters confirms that your console is fully operational." Ensign Thaelan said seriously as he worked the controls.

"I think it's over." Darin said as he looked around.

Vincent listened for a moment and realized that it had become quiet again.

"So what happened?" Vincent asked carefully.

"There were six enemy ships. One appears to be disabled, the others have fled. Beyond that, you know as much as I do. I am certain that by this time tomorrow the entire crew will know what happened. Humans are notorious gossips." Ensign Thaelan said with a teasing smile.

Vincent smiled at the statement? and said in his most logical voice, "As a Vulcan citizen, I must agree."

"Hey you two. No fair teaming up against me!" Darin said playfully as he worked the station one controls.

Ensign Thaelan smiled as he kept a close watch on his console.

"So who do you think attacked us? I mean, who could it be in this section of space?" Vincent asked curiously.

"A chance encounter with pirates would seem to be the most likely answer. The nearest inhabited system is Okuda and it's nearly two days away at maximum warp." Ensign Thaelan said consideringly.

"So you? think that someone was just in the wrong place at the wrong time when we happened by?" Darin asked curiously.

"I cannot say. I was simply speculating on the most likely opponent in this area of space." Ensign Thaelan said casually, then in a more serious tone asked, "What is the status of the E1 power conduit?"

"From the look of these readings, I'd guess that the conduit has been physically severed." Darin said in concentration.

Ensign Thaelan thought for a moment, then pressed the direct link to the Engineering console.

"Ensign Agropos, could you spare Crewman Tullis to visually inspect the E1 power conduit? Our readings indicate physical damage." Ensign Thaelan said seriously.

"He's already on his way." Connie said seriously.

"Keep me posted. Thaelan out." Ensign Thaelan said firmly, then disconnected the transmission.

Before Ensign Thaelan could ask, Darin called out, "Power systems are stable. Field strength optimum."

"All systems and sub-systems show normal function." Vincent called from station two.

Ensign Thaelan smiled at the efficiency of 'his' team.

"Tullis to Thaelan." Sounded over the main comm.

"Go ahead." Ensign Thaelan said seriously.

"There was a control failure in one of the torpedo launchers. Fortunately the torpedo only tore apart one of the launch tubes and some conduits. It didn't detonate." Jimmy said with relief.

"Understood. What is the damage to the E1 conduit?" Ensign Thaelan asked seriously.

"There's not enough left to repair. It's a total loss. We'll need to have it replaced when we're in dock." Jimmy said frankly.

"Understood. Compose a damage assessment report for Lieutenant Bowers immediately. Thaelan out." Ensign Thaelan said firmly, then disconnected the transmission.

"Jimmy didn't make the news. He just reported it." Darin said in a concerned voice.

Ensign Thaelan thought about the words for a moment then quietly said, "I get caught up in the moment and forget courtesy. It is more difficult than it appears."

"Just remember to tell Jimmy that you're sorry next time you see him and I'm sure he'll understand." Darin said seriously.

"I will do so at the first opportunity." Ensign Thaelan said as he looked over his console.

* * * * *

"Ensign Thaelan, report." Joe's voice said firmly over the intercom.

"The E1 power conduit has been severed. We have bypassed it. All other systems operating normally." Ensign Thaelan said efficiently.

"Acknowledged. When the captain stands down the red alert, I want all deflector control personnel to remain at battle stations until further notice." Joe said seriously.

"Yes sir." Ensign Thaelan said firmly.

"Bowers out." Joe said abruptly, then discontinued the transmission.

"Status?" Ensign Thaelan called out absently.

"Power distribution to the deflector is stable. E1 is bypassed. I show all standby circuits operating normally." Darin said carefully.

"It looks like a few things got knocked loose in the sub-sub-systems, but nothing that will effect performance. The field generators are working at optimum and the deflector dish shows no damage." Vincent said as he looked over the readings on his console.

"Console status?" Ensign Thaelan asked carefully.

Vincent hurried to the third station and glanced at it before saying, "All the consoles read as operational. The bridge station is showing a slight heat build-up, but it's not at a dangerous level. It always runs a little bit hot because the circuitry is packed in there so tight."

* * * * *

"So what's happening now?" Vincent asked into the silence that had fallen over the room.

"Nothing. My guess is that the Captain is calling for the surrender of the disabled ship." Thaelan said as he looked at his readings carefully.

"Do you think they're going to try to attack us again?" Darin asked quietly.

"I doubt it. My readings indicate that the ship is severely damaged... in fact, I don't think we're the ones who caused the damage." Thaelan said carefully.

"What do you mean?" Darin asked curiously as he stood from station one.

"Remain at your station Ensign. There are still five other ships unaccounted for." Thaelan said firmly.

Darin immediately sat back in his seat and said, "Yes sir."

"I was just assuming that all six ships were our enemies during the battle, but the damage of the ship before us is inconsistent with Federation weapons. Perhaps they are asking for political asylum." Thaelan said speculatively.

"Have we sent any repair teams or medical teams over to them?" Vincent asked in thought.

"No. I don't see any indication that we are offering any type of assistance." Thaelan said distantly.

"So we're not helping them or fighting them... what could that mean?" Vincent asked slowly.

"A plague ship?" Darin asked suddenly.

Thaelan thought about the question for a moment, then said, "That would be a possible explanation to fit the circumstances. But we can't jump to that conclusion. To know the answer for sure, we will just have to wait."

"And it's possible that we'll never know the answer." Vincent said in thought.

"Why do you say that?" Thaelan asked curiously.

"Because sometimes things happen that are classified and either no reason is given or stories are made up to cover up the truth." Vincent said darkly.

Darin thought about the proto-matter incident and nodded that he understood.

"You are correct Vincent. There are times when the truth is withheld to protect the greater good." Thaelan said slowly.

"I guess all we're going to be able to do right now is stay at our stations and wait." Vincent said with resignation.

"And be as prepared as we possibly can for another attack." Thaelan added seriously.

Vincent and Darin both began running their system checks with renewed commitment.

* * * * *

A beeping sound surprised Ensign Thaelan and he quickly switched over to the main comm unit.

"Deflector control." Ensign Thaelan said formally.

"Please have Crewman Winters go to briefing room one." Joe said in a serious voice.

"Right away sir." Ensign Thaelan said with surprise.

Vincent looked at Darin with concern.

"Go on. You'll be fine." Darin said with a smile of assurance.

Vincent reluctantly nodded and got up from his seat.

He walked to the supply locker and grabbed a small handful of couplers before heading for the door.

Ensign Thaelan looked at Darin with question.

"I can't explain why, but he thinks they're lucky." Darin said with a shrug.

Ensign Thaelan glanced at the door again, then went back to monitoring the main console.

To Be Continued...