by Lt Cmdr Wayne Smith
by Lt Cmdr Wayne Smith
First Officer’s Log: Stardate 22519.5: The USS Southern Cross on Patrol along the neutral zone between the Romulan Empire and Gorn held space.
Captain Bruce O’Brien sits in his ready room going through crew reports when he door chimes. O’Brien looks up from the reports, “Enter!”
The first officer Wayne Smith stepped into the Spartan-like room. “Sir, we have just picked up a distress call from a Gorn Transport ship in sector 67. They report they are under attack from Romulans.”
“Plot an intercept course. Fastest possible speed. Inform the Gorn that we are on the way. How long will it take us to get to the area?”
Smith frowned, “We will be there in 30 standard minutes, sir. Would you like to go to red alert?”
“Yes sound General Quarters, number one.” Smith exited the room, carrying out the orders. Red lights soon flashed as the familiar klaxon sounded, alerting the crew to man their assigned stations.
The ‘Cross decelerated out of warp near the vessel. “Report!” bellowed O’Brien to Ensign Stubblefield, a recent transfer to the Akira class vessel. “The Gorn ship’s reactor core is breaching, sir. Destruction is eminent!”
“Bridge to transporter room three! Chief, lock on and transport all life signs to Medical!”
“Bridge to Medical". Prepare for wounded Doctor”
“Smith, you’re with me, Ens. Jacobs, you have the conn and Send a to Security detachment to medical” The Captain and the XO trotted to meet the Gorn. “Remember, Smith, the Gorn admire strength and respect. Be tough. Don’t back down.”
“Bridge to Captain O’Brien,” Ens. Jacobs sounded a little shaken, “the Gorn ship has just exploded, sir!” “Did we get all the survivors?”
“Yes sir, eight in total-- all sent to Medical, as ordered.”
Two imposing security members of the stepped aside as the Medical door slid open for O’Brien and Smith. “Doctor Chapel, report!” Smith said stiffly as he glanced to the Gorn crew, practically ducking to fit in the room.
Doctor Chapel, obviously busy with scanning her new patients, barely looked up from her tricorder, “One in critical condition, the others have minor injuries. That’s apparently the Captain over there; he’s hurt worse than most.”
Her head nodded ever so slightly toward the largest Gorn in the room. He was an imposing figure of a being. Obviously bigger than the average Gorn, he made everyone in the room look like adolescents.
O’Brien walked to the Gorn captain. Although thankful for universal translator technology, O’Brien realized the power and impression non-verbal communication can make. He stood tall, directly in front of the Gorn, looking directly in his multifaceted eyes. He wanted to show respect and strength, but the Gorn was a tower of strength, even in his battered condition. The Gorn did not look good. “Greetings, my name is Bruce O’Brien. I am Captain of this vessel, the USS Southern Cross. Captain, what is your name?”
Moving closer to O’Brien, the Gorn simply replied “Secha” through clenched teeth.
“Captain Secha who was attacking your craft?” The room felt suddenly tense, one could cut the air in Medical with a knife. Captain Secha stomped around the Medical bay with a fury and spat out “Romulans! They attacked us-- without any provocation! They are Cowardly Dogs! We are a transport vessel carrying relief supplies for one of our colonies!”
“O’Brien to Bridge". Any sign of another ship in our sector Ensign Jacobs?” “No sir, no activity” replied Jacobs through the communications terminal. “Thank you, O’Brien out.”
“Okay. Captain Secha, we will keep scanning this sector and take you to the nearest Gorn settlement. After your injuries have been tended by Doctor Chapel, security will see your crew to temporary quarters.”
Secha lumbered to O’Brien and offered an outstretched hand. “I would like to thank you and your crew Captain O’Brien for our timely rescue.” With that Secha, turned and walked away to tend to his crew.
Leaving Medical, O’Brien turned to the security team. “Lieutenant Tuting, escort the uninjured Gorn crew to guest quarters. Ensure the others are also escorted when cleared to leave Medical by Doctor Chapel. I want a security officer posted outside all Gorn quarters.”
“Number one, with me". We need to discuss this situation in my ready room in one hour if you please.”
“O’Brien to Bridge". Set course to the nearest Gorn settlement.” “Aye, sir.” responded Lt. Fisher.
With all the Gorn on board and safely in their quarters and sick bay we stay at red alert and scan for the Romulan ship.
Meanwhile down in medical the Doctor is having some issues with the Gorn physiology as Starfleet has not had a great deal of contact with them and even less with treating injuries.
Secha approached Chapel, “Doctor, what you can do for my crew?” Chapel looked concerned, “Captain I have limited information on your species so I am having trouble treating the injuries.”
The Gorn captain reached out and handed her a small electronic device, similar to a PADD. “This will help you. It has all our medical files on it from the ship as well as a medical database.”
Doctor Chapel scanned through the device but flinched as it is in “Gorn language” Captain Secha notices a confused look on the Doctors face and approaches her “Doctor what is wrong?”
“I cannot understand your language and it will take a while for our computer to download and translate it. Could you help with the translation, Captain?”
Secha looked at the doctor and took the medical PADD from her. “Where do we start, Doctor?” and with that the Gorn captain went to each patient with the doctor and helped with the treatment.
After the examination of his crew was completed and the injured treated, including himself he called “Doctor!” The Doctor approached the Gorn Captain with caution.
“Doctor Chapel, I have something I would like to say to you. While working with you, a human doctor, t I noticed how much care and professional attitude you have with my crew. I would like to express my gratitude to you by making you my Clan Brother because of the great respect and treatment you have given to me and my crew.”
Chapel looked shocked, not knowing what this meant. After a few seconds standing there with her jaw open, she approached Captain Secha and stiffened. Remembering her Starfleet xenobiology and xenocultural training, she looked him in the eye. “Captain Secha, I would be proud and I find it a great honor to be your clan brother!”
And with that said Captain Secha came forward and strongly embraced the doctor and handed her an emblem from his uniform. “This is my family crest. Keep it. Wear it with honor and every Gorn will know you are a member of the Secha Clan and they will show you due respect.”
Doctor Chapel accepted the emblem with great respect and again looked directly into the eyes of the Gorn captain. “I will wear this at all times and with that said she pinned it to her uniform.” Captain Secha smiled as much as a Gorn could smile.
“XO how long till we get to the settlement” O’Brien asked of Smith in the ready room.
Smith frowned “It will take twenty-four hours at warp six, sir.”
“Make arrangements for a reception for our Gorn guests at 1900 hours in the Lizard Lounge.” Smith, still with a somber look in his face replied “Yes, sir.”
“And, number one?”
“Try to cheer up!” O’Brien smiled.
“Yes, sir!” Smith smirked as we walked out of the ready room.
The reception was a relaxed affair. Secha approached O’Brien. “Ahh,” he said, “I like how you honor the reptilian species by naming places after them, Captain. And I would like to thank you again for the excellent treatment we have been given; especially your ‘Doctor Chapel.’ She has impressed me greatly.”
Captain O’Brien smiled, “The Doctor impresses me, too. Captain Secha, please allow me to show you our Lizard Lounge.” With that, O’Brien began the tour, explaining the different species in the holopictures and antique oil painting artwork.
If one had not been in the Lizard Lounge before, he would not know it is named after lizards. The interior has holopictures and antique paintings of all kinds from all of Earth decorating the walls.
The bar itself has a hand-made rare wooden counter, fashioned from Kauri, a native hard-wood from New Zealand. It was presented to the Southern Cross by the Director of the Federation Penal Settlement in Auckland when Commander Smith passed through the city while on shore leave, just prior to the ships’ final commissioning.
The wall to the starboard side of the main bar is adorned with a wooden Maori carving depicting Tangaroa the God of the Sea. This priceless piece was presented to the crew by the 11th Brigade Commander of the 6th Marine Division at the naming ceremony for the ship. This carving is one of a pair; the other – depicting Tumatauenga, the Maori God of War – hangs in the Officers Mess.
It was an ideal surrounding to meet with the Gorn on a relaxed level. The reception created an environment to learn about different cultures with no pressure.
Upon arriving at the settlement there was a short farewell and a slightly emotional parting for the Chapel and Secha as they had formed a special bond.
The Gorn survivors were beamed down to the planet with O’Brien and Chapel saying their farewells. As O’Brien was just about to signal the helm to order a new course, he was interrupted by a signal from the Bridge.
“Smith to Captain O’Brien.”
“Yes XO” O’Brien said “What is it?”
“I have a signal from the Planetary Governor asking if we could attend a ceremony in our honor this evening.”
“Please send an acceptance, number one”
“Yes, sir!” Smith replied with a smile.
We accepted the invitation and attended the brief ceremony with as a delegation. The representatives included those crew members vital to the Gorn rescue and hospitality: Captain O’Brien, myself, Lt. Commander Kirok, Dr. Chapel, Lt. j.g.’s Martin, Ried, Tuting, Robert and Josephine Fisher, and Ensign Stubblefield. The reception area was impressive it was substantially large and ornate with statues and paintings everywhere of their heroes and noted citizens. The Gorns offered a sampling of Gorn foods, drink, and music. After an hour, the Planetary Governor, Khaa, assembled the group to present awards to the crew members involved with the rescue.
The delegation from the Southern Cross accepted the awards with honor and found we have made a lasting impression on the Gorn People. Captain Secha was in attendance with his rescued crew. They all bowed as a sign of respect to us when we exited the building.
We hope this encounter will only strengthen the relationship between the Gorn and the United Federation of Planets.
Lt Cmdr Wayne Smith JP
XO USS Southern Cross
DOIC 377th MEU
Director of the college of Borg Technology