Author’s Note: Since most of you are doing something else today (in the States, that is) I can go ahead and get the posting of Chapter 5 out of the way. I think this is the last (or second to the last) of the sneak peek chapters, so you may have already read it.
“Red alert, this is a red alert! Captain Kirk to the bridge; all senior officers’ report. I repeat, this is a red alert; this is not a drill!”
The turbolift door to the bridge swished open revealing Kirk.
“Report, Mr. Chekov.” He said, moving to take his chair.
“Keptain, priority one distress call from the Gamma II Research Station.”
Kirk turned to Spock for confirmation.
“Spock, I thought that Gamma II was an unmanned communications relay station.”
Spock was still bent over his long-range scanner when he replied.
“Correct, Captain. The station captures, relays, and archives all Federation communication’s traffic within this quadrant. It is programmed to signal a priority one distress call in the event of atmospheric or planetary disturbances. It is difficult to tell at this distance, but I believe the readings I am receiving are seismic in nature.”
“Very well,” said Kirk, turning back to the tactical officer. “Stand down from red alert.”
“Compute course and speed to Gamma II.”
“On our present heading, if we proceed to Gamma II at warp six we can be there within thirty minutes, Keptain.”
Lay in a course.”
“Mr. Sulu, warp six.”
Kirk swiveled his chair to address the first officer once more.
“Put together an away team. I want Giotto and we will need a geologist; Rawlins if he’s available, and someone from communications: what’s that new Ensign’s name, Keller, Kelso?”
“Ensign Kelowitz, sir.”
“Yes, Kelowitz, let’s give her something to do for a change.”
Spock raised an eyebrow.
“Unfortunately, Ensign Kelowitz is currently unavailable. And he is on the sick and injured list, I believe.”
“Well, find someone else; I’ll meet you all in the transporter room in thirty; you have the Con, Mr. Spock.”
As the turbolift doors swished to a close, Spock turned back to his station. He knew better then to turn in the opposite direction. He could feel Nyota’s eyes boring into the back of his head and he was certain that she wore an expression on her face that said that she was going down to Gamma II or his life would be made extremely difficult if he failed to acquiesce to her demands. He did not look up as he spoke.
“Lieutenant Uhura, would you please contact Lieutenant Palmer.”
“Palmer?” she asked.
Only he was able to detect the mildly indignant tone buried deep within her reply.
“Yes, Lieutenant Palmer; or did you have someone else in mind to relieve you from your duties on the bridge.”
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Author’s footnote: No complaints about how short it is. The next chapter will male up for the lack of this ones length.