"Captain we have reached the coordinates received, but there is no sign of a ship here." The tactical officer stated a little miffed.
"James, do you really think they would send us out here on a wild goose chase?" Captain Davis asked with a knowing grin. "They help so many people including yourself. Think about it James."
"LT. Ellis, change our scan settings to scan outside of our normal parameters." Smiling he turned to communications officer Williams. "On all channels begin hailing the ship."
"Vendra, there is a ship out there and it isn't one of ours." Dexi said in a worried tone.
"Dexi, let us see if they hail us. Then we will disengage the bend system." Vendra, said looking around the deck to those who were left.
"They are hailing us Vendra" Dexi said nervously.
"Celtra, turn off the bend system make us visible." Vendra told the young lad. "Hopefully, they don’t poop themselves when we disengage the system.
"Captain there is a ship on the scanners it is massive. If they are not the ship, we are looking for we might be toast." Ellis rattled off, still looking in shock at the scans.
"Cool it, like I have said several times we are fine." Captain Davis told LT. Ellis up until the ship began to materialize on screen. "Holy Satan Shit Pipes, Damn that’s one massive ship. How big is it?"
"Captain it is eight times larger than our ship. Their weapons are nonfunctional. Life support is currently showing only one deck active. Life signs sixty-one." Ellis rattled off then took a deep breathe. "Captain their life support systems are failing they have less than thirty minutes of oxygen left. Their communications system is almost nonfunctional. They can hear us at least."
"LT. James, Ensign Raymond come with me to transporter room one. We are going over there so we can begin the rescue." Captain Davis stated calmly walking to the turbo shaft. "LT. Ellis you have the bridge."
"LT. Williams Please, let the ship know we are transporting three people abord to begin rescue, since we have determined their communications systems are failing." LT. Ellis stated then began checking all the instruments on the captain's chair. "I'll be damned if we get the captain killed because we don’t keep the other ship informed of what we are doing."
"Vendra, the other ship is sending three members of her crew over to begin the rescue operations." Dexi said still worrying after the last attack he was not happy about more people being on board. "They are asking for us to stand still they are beginning transport."
"I don't believe anyone will be getting up anytime soon." Vendra said while waving his hand around the deck. "They are either asleep, injured or dead."
Just to their left an odd sound started followed by gold and yellow sparkles signified the arrival of their help. Upon first look they looked almost identical to them except for their hair color, height, and thumbs.
Captain Davis turned around and spotted three people standing near a console and slowly and cautiously began walking over to them. "Hello, my name is Captain Anderson Davis. We are here to help get everyone to safety." The man said while wondering if they spoke the same language.
"Captain Anderson, my name is Cadtain Vendra engineering trainee. I am the highest ranked member of the crew left from our ship." Vendra stated with a sad longing look. "This is all who remain on our ship and our ship is beyond repair."
"Cadtain, we can transport everyone on to our ship and attempt to tow your ship back to the nearest star base." Captain Davis stated and then wincing when he saw the sour look on the engineer's face. "I apologize if I have said something wrong."
"I feel there is some confusion over my name. We have had dealings with other races who think our first name is not the family name. But I am called Vendra, my family name is Cadtain. " Vendra stated surprising the captain. "I must apologize, because I called you by your name and not your family name."
"If this is our only miss communication then we are fine." Captain Davis chuckled briefly before shaking his hand. "Is there anyone else on board or anything else we need to transport to the ship?"
"Captain, we will need to at minimum download the computer core or transport it aboard your ship, so we have access to our history and medical information. Then once we have everything on your ship, we will self-destruct our ship to keep anyone from using it for evil. " Vendra stated knowing he had surprised the Captain. "Besides, if anyone misused the weapons systems, once repaired then we would feel responsible for the misuse."
"Understood, let's get started by getting everyone off the ship first. Then we will have a team assist with removing the data core." He said hoping they could get everyone off before the ship lost its life support failed.
"Doctor, so you are saying the oldest member of the crew is a teenager?" Captain Davis asked slightly confused to say the least. "They look like adults how can this be?"
"Captain, it might be easier on both you and the doctor to come to your cargo bay. I can give you more answers to your question to put you at ease." Vendra said to both men in their mind. "Then again you might just value the scans your computers took."
"Well Doctor, would you care to join me on a trip to the cargo bay?" Captain Davis said taken off guard. "Besides, I think we both want some hard-core facts rather than guesses."
"Let us get on with this Captain, before they make me crap myself with a loud mental voice again." Doctor Mason said looking around wildly for the next scare.
"Doctor, do you think they know we are on are way?" Captain Davis said with a smile looking at his old friend.
"The answer you seek is yes." Vendra stated this time only in the captain's mind. "Wouldn't want him to require a shower and shorts."
The captain turned his head and tried to hold back from laughing at the doctor and failed miserably.
Upon entering the cargo bay, the captain spotted the young man sitting at a small table. He was waving them over almost animatedly.
"Captain, Doctor before we begin is there a name you prefer verses the titles." The young man asked with a smile, wondering if they would drop the titles. He always preferred titles, only when necessary.
"Anderson or Andi works fine for me in non-formal settings." The captain answered grinning about how confident this teenager was with him.
"Andi, I will remember in non-formal settings." Vendra said aloud to the captain, however he also told the captain in his mind "Thank You for the compliment Andi. Since we lost all the elders it has been difficult to keep my confidence up."
"Vendra, I always go by Mason only when we are being formal does Doctor need to be added to it." Mason said hoping the young man would ask more later.
"Mason, I will ask more later." Vendra answered in his mind and just nodded his head to the Doctor.
"Other than the physical differences between our species, we do age differently. We are considered an adult at an age twenty-six only because we live to around one hundred seventy-six years of age on average." Vendra stated precisely. "We can start work on starships at the age of seven. We have a faster retention of data than your species. Most of our society is telepathic unfortunately we learn full control of once we are twenty-eight."
"Vendra, what happened to the adults who were in the same room you were in?" Andi asked trying to find out more from Vendra.
"They were trying to keep us alive. Our people believe if there is a life and death situation then the children must survive. " Vendra stated before stopping as his emotional control slipped. "They took their life so we could continue. "
Mason ran over to the young man to comfort him. "Andi, how long till we meet up with Clan Short?"
"At maximum warp, a little over nine days." Andi stated looking around. He had never wanted children because he had feared he would be a horrible father.
Andi was startled as four of the rescued children walked up to him. As one voice they spoke to him softly. "Andi, we wanted to let you know. You would be an excellent father. Everything in your thoughts says it to be true. Please do not put yourself down with a notion of being a bad father. We would love to have you as a father."
"Andi, you might want to take them up on the offer." Mason said while holding Vendra as the tears just flowed. "The only downside is our aging versus theirs."
"Andi, we have successfully removed the main computer core and memory module from their ship. We really should consider having them design the computer cores for Starfleet. Talk about a simple install or removal." Chief Engineer Daniels stated while looking at the group of kids snuggling into Andi's side. "Andi, I hope I am not overstepping or interrupting, but you should consider making them family."
"Alex, I have already told him just as much. But we can't twist the Captains arm just so he can have a family he loves." Mason said as Vendra started purring into his chest.
"Mason, it looks to me you're in the same boat." Alex stated while pointing at his favorite doctor. "Beside we still haven't checked in with Family Clan Short or asked them how their people handle adoptions."
"We will gladly discuss adoptions when we meet up with Clan Short." Vendra said as he began to calm down and unwind from Mason. "Now we need to move to at least one sector away and detonate the ship. Also, we need to make sure no one else is within the sector so we don't blow them up too."
"Vendra, do you want to join me on the bridge to ensure the destruction of the ship?" Andi asked not sure if Vendra was up for watching his home away from home being destroyed.
"Andi, instead of going to the bridge may I go to engineer with Alex, to assist with caring for this ship." Vendra hoped Alex would not be offended by not being called by his title. He trusted this crew to do as asked regarding the destruction of the ship. "May, we all go to engineering?" Vendra pointed to the other four.
"Alex, do you have any problem with them going to engineering?" Andi asked knowing the answer but asking because it was totally up to him.
"No, definitely not a problem." Alex said, hoping they would enjoy his department and maybe it would take their minds off everything going on. "Come on guys to engineering we go."
Mason and Andi sat there watching the six of them walk off to engineering. "It's funny Andi, they make Alex look and act like a teenager again. " Mason said with a grin waiting for a mental response. "He has looked happier now than in the past weeks."
Andi, looked to Mason and then back at Alex and company walking away. "He has needed this for a while. Hopefully, he opens up to them about what has happened."
Randal sat reading the logs of the USS Potemkin as they proceeded with the rescue and then requested destruction of the remains of the transport ship. He started making notes of the crew and children. While he was busy making these notes he missed the door opening.
"Randall, what have you found out?" Shay asked scaring the shit out of Randall.
"Why must you practice scaring me? They have just finished the rescue and recovery of the crew and children and they have removed the ships computer core and data modules per the request of the acting captain." Randall said still shocked about the age and size difference of the children. "Shay, will we be able to meet up with them before they make it to Earth or what has been decided?"
"Randall, we are still working Earthside on a few projects. We will probably meet them here." Shay said then wondering if Randall was feeling alright, this was not his normal reaction. "Is there anything else I can help you with Randall?"
"We need to recruit a few people from the Potemkin Crew." Randall said slowly. "They need help just as much as those teenagers who were rescued."
"Captain, there are three members of their crew who lost family in the attack on Earth. They need to come home to deal with their emotional strain." Randall said slowly as the tears began to fall. "Alex, lost his entire family from the attack. His family died in the town we have been rebuilding."
Shay slowly walked over to Randall and pulled him into a hug. "How long have you been working on this information? Have you had a break recently?" Shay soothingly asked Randall worried he had been doing too much without asking for assistance.
"I am sorry Shay; I haven’t been able to sleep for more than two hours at a time since we entered this universe. I know we are doing important work, but I want to do more. There must be more I can personally do to help others." Randall said as Shay rubbed circles on his back.
"Randall, I will reach out to Alligator Alley to see if there is anything more you can assist with to help, However I do expect you to take breaks otherwise it will be detrimental to your health." Shay soothingly spoke as he listened to Randall.
"I will try to sleep but it is difficult." Randall said softly.
Shay nodded and tapped his communicator. "Marky, please report to the communications room. Bring your medical kit." Shay paused thoughtfully.
"Shay, I am on my way." Marky said and then appeared in the room faster than someone could say strawberry flavored pizza.
B'elanna, stopped to look at the man standing in the middle of the shuttle bay wearing a purple and gray pinstriped suit. "Excuse me just who are you? And where did you come from?"
"My name is Himantri, I am from the dealership and here to get signature for the delivery of the order your Captain made on our planet for the FT4's. But most recently, I just left the Quacker Sparrow." Himantri said pleasantly while holding on to his thumb print reader.
"Captain" B'elanna, said as she tapped her COMM badge.
"Go ahead" Shay said with a smile hearing the frustration in B'elannas voice. As he walked to the nearest terminal to see what had her feathers ruffled.
"Himantri, is here to deliver the FT4's you ordered."
"See if he will let you sign for it. If not, then let me know and I'll be down shortly." Shay said watching everything unfold in the shuttle bay on the monitor in the communication room. "Shay Out."
Before B'elanna could say or do anything the little man walked over to her and held the thumb print reader out. "Yes, you will do. Just place your left thumb on the reader and everything will be done."
"Like this?" B'elanna asked but as soon as she placed her thumb on the reader the man and the reader disappeared followed by three sporty looking shuttle crafts appearing in the shuttle bay. "Holy Shit!"
"Do you like them?" Shay asked while walking over to her with Randall in tow. "Only one of them is staying on the ship. One goes to Alligator Alley and the other one goes to the Patriarch. Can you guess which one is ours?"
"Shay, I would guess the gloss black with purple and gray pinstripes is yours." B'elanna said looking at it as she just wanted to examine every inch of it. "Can I have a ride in this one?"
"As soon as Tom arrives you and him both are cleared to take this ship on a test flight. I want to know if there are any problems with it. Besides, this ship is not just for me but for our crew. We are family correct?" Shay said watching Randall examining every inch of the ship. "This is a FT4, with all the bells and whistles. Randall if you want you can go on the test flight too."
Randall did a massive fist pump and then screamed "Yes" and looked around with an apologetic look.
"Once you're done with the test flight then you must promise me you will get some sleep. Otherwise, I will be forced to turn Annika loose on you." Shay said grinning hoping Randall knew he was serious.
"Yes, daddy. I will take my nap when I get home." Randall said and then broke into a run as Shay lazily chased him around the shuttle bay.
Shay took a seat at his communications terminal when it blinked to life and a young preteen just nodded. "You can always take a small away mission." The tween stated then pointed at his head.
"How did you know what I was going to request?" Shay said in shock.
"I pointed to my head. I heard your thoughts, plus it helps Buddy has already called and made a request." The tween said with a slight huff. "Why do things the difficult way?"
Snap, the terminal turned off.
"Buddy, what request did you send?" Shay asked slightly confused by the previous conversation.
"Well, I requested for a few of us to go meet up with the Potemkin via one of the new FT4's as a shake-down cruise so to say and I wanted Randall to have a slight break." Buddy said to his partner. "Plus, we have a few bridge crews who are chomping at the bit. They want to help as many as possible. While we are working to rebuild a town only so many are on the surface at any given moment."
"Do I need to allow more people down or am I missing something?" Shay said knowing he did not have much experience with rescues. He had more experience with chasing someone down and terming them.
"Call Annika to our room for a few minutes." Buddy stated calmly. "Besides, you can pack your bag while we wait on her to show up."
Shay looked up toward the ceiling out of habit. "Computer page Annika to our quarters."
Suddenly a voice replied. "Please deposit twenty-five cents for the next fifteen pages!"
"Ugg, wonder who played with the paging system." Shay mumbled then began rubbing his temples.
"Computer page crewman Damintz to our cabin." Buddy asked politely.
Buddy and Shay had just finished packing a bag when the door chimed. "Enter."
Annika and Damintz slowly entered the room while looking around in amazement at all the artifacts decorating the room. "Captain is this part of the Relinzer project?" Annika asked curiously.
"Annika, it is part of project Relinzer however this is from adaptation one." Shay said surprised Annika knew about this piece.
"Shay, she is a walking library of knowledge why are you surprised?" Buddy said pointing at Annika. "No offense Annika."
"If I was offended you would know and so would half of the ship." Annika said with a dark smile.
Shay raised his hands to get everyone focused. "Annika, a few of us will be going out to meet up with the USS Potemkin. They were sent to rescue the people whose distress call we received. I want you to head up rebuild efforts here on earth."
"I will strive to ensure we meet all deadlines, while ensuring to everyone is given a chance to help." Annika said while looking at Damintz.
"Damintz, I want you to see to overall crew morale and ensure those hard heads are taking rest breaks when needed. Also get with Bradley and he can let you know a few things to look for with this stubborn crew." Shay added waiting for the wise assed comments to start.
"Captain I have no problem with the task. But I have no real authority. Remember, I came on board as a cook only." Damintz stated trying not to piss off Shay again.
"Damintz, you are more than just a cook. You are our family. And starting today you are a Lieutenant in charge of ship scheduling and crew morale." Shay said waiting for the downfall to start.
Buddy, Shay, Jack and Marky stood in the shuttle bay waiting for Tom, B'elanna and Randall to return from the test flight. Shay was not surprised in the least when he saw a sparkle of reflection from the ship and then in a blink it was parked in the Shuttle bay.
"Welcome back guys how was the flight?" Shay asked and then noticed Randall was nowhere to be seen. "Where is Randall?"
"The flight went well; I love this ship she is fast and very responsive. Randall flew her first and then once we swapped pilots, he passed out cold. Was going to ask for medical support but I see medical is here." Tom said thumbing to Marky as he boarded the shuttle.
"Tom, go pack a bag for a trip for a few days and come back to this ship, Bradley has medical. And Chakotay has the bridge. B'elanna I'll leave it up to you if you want to join us on our misadventure." Shay said pointing to the shuttle.
"Shay, I can leave Reg in charge of Engineering. I would like to go on this adventure." B'elanna said looking at her captain softly. "Besides what trouble can this crew get in to circling the Earth?"
"That works, take twenty minutes and get everything lined up and grab your gear and come back here." Shay said but was impressed as he was not able to finish as B'elanna took off at a run for the turbo lift.
"Shay will Annika be alright with Ted and Tad?" Buddy said a little worried for her sanity.
"Buddy they will be very well behaved and so will Annika" Shay said to Buddy. "Besides if they don't behave then maybe they will be Borg? We could possibly return to find Annika asking Daddy Data for assistance."
"Do you think the plan worked?" Ted asked Tad.
"Yes, they are leaving us with Annika." Tad said conspiratorially to Ted.
"She, was correct they would leave us with her. We must help with the town and this gives us the time needed to ensure everything is in place." Ted said while looking at the multiple Padds laying around the room.
"Captain, we are being hailed by Shuttle Craft Wynndigo One." LT. Williams said with a smile looking to Captain Davis. "They are with Clan Short."
"Give them permission to land in the shuttle bay and we will meet them there." Andi said with a smile, remembering the report he had received about that captain's introduction to the clan. "Hopefully, this will be a tame clan event."
"What do you mean?" LT. Williams asked calmly.
"Come on down and experience it yourself." Andi said while walking towards the turbo shaft. "Ask Vendra to join us in shuttle bay one."
They stopped and waited for the turbo shaft to become available. Once it arrived, they boarded.
"Lance, what do you know of Clan Short? Other than they are children rescuing children." Andi asked as the door closed.
"Not much at all. I just haven’t had time to allocate to researching them." Lance said to Andi, feeling his captain would be upset with his lack of knowledge.
"Lance, just so you know. I am not upset but a little concerned about how you will react to the events which will be soon to follow." Andi said after telling the turbo shaft where to go.
"Andi, there are many things I am trying to keep up with, they are just not on my radar so to say."
"Well, they will be soon. They may even be able to help with a few of those tasks. Just ask them or if you need my help just ask. The current captain of the Saratoga is not what you will expect. Nor is his crew. Try to look past what you can see for whom they really are." Andi said cryptically trying not to give away the ending as well as trying to prepare him.
As the door opened "Andi, I will see how to proceed after we meet them."
They arrived in time to see the shuttle enter the bay quickly and stop before the barriers. Vendra stood there staring as the group exited the shuttle.
"Why can't I hear those three's thoughts?" Vendra said in shock pointing in a non-threatening manner.
"Simple, we three are androids or machines." Shay said to the perplexed adult. "Permission to come aboard Captain?"
"Welcome aboard." Andi stated waiting for the shock. "May I introduce you to Vendra he was one of the sixty-one Teenagers we rescued."
The sound of Tom and B'elanna synchronized comment was precious Vendra thought and then rushed over to help support them as they began to sway.
"Captain, my name is Shay. Captain of the Saratoga." Shay said gently watching to see who would collapse next.
Vendra turned his head sharply due to not hearing this child's comment correctly in his head. "A Child as Captain. An Android Child as Captain. Child, Captain. Android Captain Child, Captain. Android Captain. Huh?" Vendra chanted as he slowly collapsed to the floor with B'elanna and Tom along for the ride.
Marky and Buddy walked over to steady Vendra.
"See Lance this is why I told you to keep up with events having to do with Clan Short." Captain Davis said and then turned to notice he was also on the floor with another member of the new arrivals beside him.
"I take it you have seen this occur before due to your lack of response." Shay asked waving his hand around at those on the ground.
"I read every incident report dealing with first contacts and Clan Short caused accidental distress." Andi said holding his hand out to Shay. "Besides, I have knowledge beyond the normal scope of things."
"Do you mean the darker side of things?" Shay asked guardedly.
"Yes, things most captains would be afraid of. "Andi, stated then looked closer at Shay. "Are you a previous asset of the darker side?"
"Yes, and we will discuss this further once we take care of everything else for the rescue." Shay stated with no room for misunderstanding.
Vendra slowly got back up leaving Tom and B'elanna for the moment. "Shay, how old are you?"
"The answer is difficult since we are from a different universe. Our crew was from a universe which was dying off. Prior to us arriving here. Most of the crew were adults. Myself and a few others were holographic in nature. We were crewmembers or defenses to keep the crew inline with Starfleet." Shay said as a single tear rolled down his cheek. "My program never keep up with date or time online. It only kept up with relevant numbers to my mission."
"Relevant numbers how dreadful, then may I ask to join in with your meeting later?" Vendra asked eyeing both. Knowing the answer from Andi, but waiting for an answer from this youngster was difficult.
"Vendra, you may join as long as the Captain has no issues with it." Shay said rubbing his temples like they hurt.
Authors Note: We have a few more new faces and friends. An away team trying to help others as well as help Randall. What adventures shall we go on next, only time will tell. This is not a cliffhanger compared to other stories.