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The Station part 6

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      Station Log Supplemental.
      The view of the station was replaced by Commander Straider.
      "I almost cannot believe I saying this. "Today, we are being presented a brand new runabout by the grateful High Minister of Pordona as a token of appreciation for rescuing some members of his family on a Star Cruiser that ran into trouble a couple of months ago." He smiled broadly.
      "I have here the entire log entry of the encounter." He cleared his throat dramatically.

      "Log Entry: Star Date 45342.4 Ensign MarcTall towed in a Gaunto Brothers Cruiser today. The ship had lost a warp plasma regulator and needed some help to get back underway. Mr. Martin had the unit fixed in about an hour, there were no injuries, one extremely elderly passenger was evaluated by Doctor Swain and pronounced healthy enough to continue. The ship was under way again in three hours."

      He smiled at the camera. "For that, towing in the ship, repairing it, Doctor Swain looking at the Minister's Grandmother, and setting them on their way, we are getting a new RIO GRANDE class runabout." He nodded slowly. "Not bad for half a day's work."
      The TRAVASS was ushered into the shuttle bay with great ceremony. The High Minister himself was on board the new ship and made a grand show of handing over the banner of the small ship.
      There was a Star Fleet Commodore amongst the dignitaries present. And he felt the need to make a speech about the whole thing even though he had been informed it was happening only in the middle of the whole process.
      Commander Straider smiled and nodded and accepted the whole thing graciously.
      There was an official dinner, a tour of the station for the Minister, and then they were gone.
      Lieutenant Welden got out of her dress uniform and gave the runabout her stamp of approval. "This is the first brand new, never commissioned anywhere else, ship of any description this base has ever seen." She patted the pilot's seat. "Not even broke in yet." She looked at the weapons station. "Other than the shakedown cruise, that station's never been turned on."
      The Commander sat in the copilot's seat and appraised the controls. "Fancy. I'll have to learn how to fly again."
      "Nobody on the station is rated on this design." She said seriously. "Ready to go back to school?"
      "Let's do it." Straider said, she laughed, "I mean let's learn how to fly this thing."
      "Yes sir." She faked a pout.
      "Of course this will require some time in a simulator." The Commander grinned.
      "Of course our holosuites can't run a simulator good enough to check us out on."
      "So of course I'll have to check you out in here and the simulator to make sure you know what you're doing."
      She looked over at him. "Are you talking about flying the shuttle..."
      "Runabout." He corrected.
      "Shuttle..." She continued. "Or something else altogether."
      He took a deep breath. "Both." Then he turned to her and smiled. "You looked great in your Class A today."
      She turned in the pilot seat toward him. She wasn't wearing her dress uniform now. "I think I look better without it."
      The Commander bit the inside of his lip. He didn't answer.
      "You've got the specs for the simulator. Let's go see if we can get the holosuite to cooperate." She grinned.
      "Sounds good."

      Commander Straider smiled from the monitor once again. "It took us almost two weeks of almost constant work to pass muster on the runabout. Well, that includes over three days of arguing with a holographic programmer at Star Fleet about reconfiguring the various particulars of the suite and its program to run the simulator.
      "According to him, the model of holosuite we had simply couldn't do it. The fact that we already had half the simulation running on it wasn't important. But eventually he came around to our side, and we got it to run the majority of the program.
      "And launch in ten, nine, eight, handing off control to on board systems, five, four, maneuvering thrusters to full, two, one. Go!"
      The TRAVASS lifted away from the shuttle bay floor and eased out into space.
      "All systems running within specs." The Commander said from the pilot's seat.
      Lieutenant Welden, in a flight suit for the occasion, ran through the sensors and other normal operational protocols. She reported all systems normal.
      "Clear for warp." Davis on the station said to them.
      "Very good. Once around the block, patrol route seven." Straider said.
      "See you in a few."
      They ran through a short checklist of essential systems then he pushed the controls forward in the age-old motion of bringing the ship to warp.
      "Wow. I'm impressed." Straider said.
      "What?" Welden asked.
      "That was so smooth I almost didn't believe we made the jump."
      "Showing warp two. You want me to break it down to kilometers per second?"
      "No thanks. Warp two is fine."
      They grinned at each other.
      "Warp three." He said, she checked it and agreed.
      "Base to TRAVASS. Your telemetry is perfect."
      "Same here. This thing is a beauty." Straider answered.
      Her maiden voyage was a success. They brought it out of warp and glided toward the station.
      "Manual landing clearance requested." The Commander said.
      "Repeat that TRAVASS."
      "I want to land her manually." He said plainly.
      "Your neck. Emergency crew on the way." Davis said almost seriously.
      The emergency crew wasn't needed.
      Straider crept in through the space door. The small space ship hung over the landing pad hovering like a humming bird. Then it slowly sat down, without even a slight thud.
      "Very good." Welden kidded him. "My grandfather lands his speeder the same way."
      Straider ignored her. "You're next young lady."
      Welden said she welcomed the challenge.
      And she showed him up on the landing.
      Before long the runabout was handling the majority of the long distance errands and missions for the station. The oldest shuttle was partially retired from support duty and used only for short runs or observation missions. The middle-aged shuttle was converted to a patrol and fighter support craft. The newest had another scanner installed and began its conversion to a science ship.
      Not to be outdone. The fleet sent the station a brace of new fighters.
      "Boy they really hurt themselves sending these things." Welden said appraising the fighters.
      "The DSF-23 was the hottest thing going." Davis said, he liked them.
      "Two years ago." MarcTall said with a skeptical face.
      "Still, they're newer than what we're flying now."
      The Vulcan looked at the ships with a jaded eye. "Which says exactly nothing about their effectiveness for what we do."
      The Commander shook his head. "I'm not sending them back. The extra fuel cells are on their way, with them installed they'll have plenty of range for patrols."
      "In the mean time, the immediate area around the station will be the most thoroughly patrolled region in the sector." MarcTall said sternly.
      "You do have a sense of humor Ensign." The Commander said.
      "No sir. I don't. Lieutenant Davis has removed our current ships from the duty rotation."
      Straider looked at his duty officer.
      "I got carried away. I'll change it immediately."
      The view showed the new fighters, then the station exterior.

Continued in: The Station Part 7

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[NOTE:This Story Is FAN FICTION. This presentation carries the copyright The Media Desk, 2005. Author retains all rights, including the right of approval for publication. STAR TREK, and all images and situations affiliated with STAR TREK are originally owned and copyrighted by PARAMOUNT STUDIOS and other entities. They are used in this story without intent to harm or otherwise defame PARAMOUNT or the estate of Gene Roddenberry. If either of those parties object to it, the story will be pulled immediately. The Media Desk is not in any way affiliated with PARAMOUNT. For information contact Levite. Email- drleftover[~at-]themediadesk[~dot-]com (email scrambled to screw with spammer robots), or surface mail to: The Media Desk, PO Box 1276, Dover, DE 19903 ]