Late Night Delivery
Posted on 09/17/2019 @ 6:14pm by Lieutenant Vincent Kramer
Location: USS Trafalgar
Timeline: 3 days prior to Newton loosing power
It was an annoying sound. At first it was like a pesky insect to Vince, which he shewed at with his hand, yet the sound seemed so far away at the same time. The sound persisted and became louder and louder. For a time it sounded like something was beating on an un-reinforced wall, with an echo behind it. The sound became deeper and closer. Vince just wanted to pull his hair out at this point.
But as soon as he sat up, he realized that he was in a mostly darkened room with a sheet over him and the sound was only the communication chime. "What the heck!" Vince exclaimed. He glanced over at the chrono, which displayed 02:05. "Who the heck needs to talk to me at this time of night?" he asked to no one in particular as he rubbed his face, trying to wake up.
"Lights,” he called out. The room lights came up to 70%. He pulled the covers off and swung his feet off the side of the bed. Vince looked at the time again, 02:06. "Answer."
=^=Lt. Kramer?=^= Asked a mousy voice.
“Yes,” Vincent responded slightly frustrated. “This better be good.”
=^=Yes Sir,=^= the voice continued, =^=My apologies for this late hour.=^=
“Spit it out young man,” Kramer demanded.
=^=Sir, this is Petty Officer Winkle . . .=^=
Vince kind of snickered quietly and rolled his eyes at the name. “Okay, Winkle, spit it out.”
Winkle continued, =^=There is a crate that is in Cargo Bay 18. It requires your signature.=^=
Vincent wiped his face again, shaking his head slightly, "What do you mean? Why in the galaxy would I need to be woken up during my sleep period and not just have a message left for me?"
=^=Yes Sir,=^= Winkle interjected, =^=I was getting to that. Security has determined that the large crate is emitting some unusual signals, and they require that this be dealt with immediately.=^=
Vinent twisted his face in thought of the situation then replied, "Alright. I see your point." He looked at the chrono again and added, "I can be there in 5 minutes. Will that be satisfactory?"
After a few seconds, Petty Officer Winkle came back to the comm, =^=Yes Sir. Security says that that would be adequate.=^=
"Alright then,” Kramer said standing and streatching. "I'll get dressed and be in Cargo Bay 18 in 5 minutes."
[Cargo Bay 18]
After getting confused which way was closer to a turbolift on Deck 4, Lt. Kramer finally made his way down to Deck 12 and entered Cargo Bay 18. He had not taken the time to put on his full uniform, but he figured his dark blue exercise outfit would do for this situation. The loose stretch material was very comfortable. He was glad he had also put on the light jacket, since it was much cooler here in this Cargo Bay.
Kramer noticed some activity, but it appeared that most workers were now leaving after having the cargo loaded and positioned into the Bay. Yet, standing to the side was an Ensign and 2 security personnel. Kramer recognized Ens. Stegall. He had met the young officer before a couple times, but mostly just in passing as everyone was saying hello and giving introductions. What was very peculiar were the 2 security personnel standing a bit closer to an unusual looking large crate. In Vincent's tired state, they looked like giants, standing with arms crossed, and probably not wanting to be here at this moment either.
Coming to a stop before the Ensign, "I'm Lieutenant Kramer. What's this all about Ensign? Stegall, isn't it?"
"Yes Sir, that's correct," he said pleasantly with a nod. He continued, "We met once on the . .", but was cut off.
Vincent rolled his eyes slightly, "Ensign, I would love to catch up with you some time, but now is not the time."
Stegall replied, "I understand Sir." He handed a PaDD to the Lieutenant and continued, "I do apologize for requiring that you come to the Cargo Bay at this hour, but this large encasement has come for you."
"I don't understand Ensign,” Vincent said sounding slightly frustrated. "Winkle said something about unusual signals being given off from the crate."
The Ensign cleared his throat, "Yes Sir. Iso-gradient kenosian waves have been identified coming from the case. They are not toxic or damaging, yet do cause problems with other equipment."
Kramer felt frustrated, "I'm fully aware what "Iso-gradient kenosian waves are, Ensign." Vincent was perplexed at that moment and raised an eyebrow and looked down at the PaDD. "Ya know. I do not recognize the description, the sender, nor this company from which it was dispatched from." He looked up again at the Ensign. "Who brought this to the station?"
Stegall replied, "It was the USS Bozeman, just arriving from the Sol System."
Vincent wiped his scruffy face with one hand, speaking softly and mostly to himself, "I wonder who could have sent this?"
"Irregardless Sir." Stegall pointed to the display Kramer held in his hands. "Iso-gradient kenosian waves coming from inside the casement."
Kramer asked himself out loud, "Why would anything be giving off iso-gradient kenosian waves."
"We do not know either sir,” the Ensign continued. "That is why security is here and it is necessary to evaluate it now and if necessary, open it, or dispose of it."
Kramer looked up from the PaDD at Ens. Stegall, to the security personnel, and back to the display in his hands. Letting his hands drop to his sides, Vincent walked over to the large crate. It was a large gray and white rectangular container. It was about 3 meters tall and the same wide, and about 12 meters long. Anything could be inside this massive container.
Looking at the display on the side of the container, Kramer flipped through several pages of documentation on the digital display. He finally said, "I don't see anything here that even describes what is inside." He turned to look at Ens. Stegall and the tall security personnel.
“Well Sir," Stegall began, "it is up to you if it is opened now or taken out to a safe location and then opened."
Kramer was very aware of what that entailed. He really didn't want to go through that procedure. Yet, before any one there could stop him, Vincent reached up and activated the opening process on the case.
The case made a loud, CLUNK, which startled everyone, except Kramer. In fact, both security guards had pulled their weapons in reaction to the sound and backed away cautiously.
"Take it easy boys,” Vincent cautioned them. He looked down at the PaDD and the iso-gradient kenosian waves were no longer being give off. "Well, that's odd." He then showed the display in his hands to the Ensign.
Kramer then announced, "All right, everyone step back. This appears to have an opening process." He stepped forward and entered the command, and quickly stepped back as well.
The large casement began to move. The upper portion split in the middle and angle up. The ends then elongated about a quarter meter, releasing the interlocking side panels. The long side that they were on began to hinge down toward where hey stood, while the ends hinged down as well. The long sections in the air folded in half as they moved. It only took about 20 seconds for it all to open up, lay out flat, and stop moving.
Before them was an object covered in a milky white liner of some kind. Kramer looked down at his PaDD again, "Still no iso-gradient kenosian waves. What ever was here has stopped." He looked again at the Ensign and the security personnel before stepping forward. He reached up and grabbed the liner material and pulled with both hands. With a little bit of effort the material ripped at a perforated line and Vincent walked backwards toward the other end.
Everyone stopped for a minute and looked upon the object. It was stark white with sleek markings and windows at one end. Emossed on the side was what appeared to be a comet with its tail in Silver, lined in red and the name in near the bow, SS Starfire.
Vincent was amazed. Before him sat a shuttle craft. He was slightly dumbstruck, because he had seen this style of craft once before.
"It's a shuttle craft," Stegall blurted out.
"Not just any shuttle,” Kramer corrected, "But one I designed about 12 years ago." He walked along the side, sliding his hand gracefully upon its hull. Mostly to himself, “I though I would never see it made.”
Ens. Stegall looked a little uncertain by that remark. "You designed this Sir, but 12 years ago, you would have been about 16 or 18," he sounded hesitant to believe such a statement. "Oh," he then exclaimed. "There’s a control screen on the side by what appears to be the door."
Lt. Kramer stepped up to the ship near the screen. The exterior door was flush with the hull. Only a thin line and slight color change helped him to see it as the door. Vince reached up and barely touching the smooth black screen forward of the door. The screen came to life with indicators for operational controls. He pressed the two button sequence to open the hatch.
The panel began to speak, =^=Greetings Vincent Kramer. I do apologize for the elaborateness of the present. . . =^=
Present, Vince thought.
=^=My name is Dr. Harold Ranney. I have a very large holding in several of the manufacturing facilities on Earth, Mars, and a few other places within the Federation. I assume you recognize the styling of the craft before you. Yes, I found this design, your design, a couple years ago and was very impressed with the redistribution of energy throughout its on-board systems, as well as the high agility of the craft. It has a very unique design of integration of technology new and old."
The group looked at each other again in disblief, as all of hem stepped forward closer to the hatch and Kramer.
The voice continued, =^=In any case, I really liked the design. I did make a few updates to the modifications and added some other modern necessities. I made one for myself and loved it so much, that I decided to make one for the original designer as well. Don’t worry. I checked with a few Admirals that owe me favors and I’m allowed to give it to you and for you to take it with you to where ever you are servicing Starfleet.=^=
Vince was shocked and a bit overcome by this news, as his jaw dropped and couldn’t think of a thing to say. The control panel displayed the shape of a hand, and Kramer placed his right hand upon its surface.
The door on the shuttle activated and opened by dropping inside and then moving up inside the hull. At the same time, below the door a step extended half way to the ground. The voice continued, =^=It took me about a year to find out who had created the design. Mr. Kramer, you need to put your name on more of your designs. Hah.=^=
Vincent looked back at Stegall in disbelief. He took a step toward the open doorway, but the security guards stepped up quicker, "Sir, I do not think . . "
Kramer just waved them off and stepped into the craft. It was small and compact, although could easily seat 6. He took a few steps closer to the flight controls. There were the front two seats for pilot and co-pilot, no doubt, and then there were 4 comfortable looking padded chairs that when touched swiveled about with a rocking action.
The voice continued, =^=It's all yours Mr. Kramer, with my complements. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed building it.=^=
Vincent settled himself down into the pilot’s seat. He looked about the controls. They were just like the control layout he had made so many years ago. He truly could not believe it. Vince then became concerned, because he had just received transfer orders. He wasn’t sure how the Captain of his new duty station would approve of a private shuttle aboard his or her Starship. But, Dr. Ranney had said it would all be okay.
With a smile Kramer announced, “Mr. Stegall, please report the arrival of the Shuttle, SS Firestar, to the flight control office.” He continued to look about the controls and displays.
“Yes Sir!” Stegall replied energetically.
LTjg Vincent Kramer