Orions Angels by the bluesman
Summary: A young Lt. Dylan serving on the Enterprise under Chris Pike, gets more than he bargained for on shore leave.
Categories: Original Series Characters: Ensemble Cast - Multiple
Genre: Action/Adventure
Warnings: Adult Language, Adult Situations
Challenges: None
Series: None
Chapters: 10 Completed: Yes Word count: 18458 Read: 10978 Published: 09 Nov 2011 Updated: 09 Nov 2011

1. Chapter 1 by the bluesman

2. Chapter 2 by the bluesman

3. Chapter 3 by the bluesman

4. Chapter 4 by the bluesman

5. Chapter 5 by the bluesman

6. Chapter 6 by the bluesman

7. Chapter 7 by the bluesman

8. Chapter 8 by the bluesman

9. Chapter 9 by the bluesman

10. Chapter 10 by the bluesman

Chapter 1 by the bluesman
Lieutenant Merrick Dylan enjoyed his job. His office was the bridge of the U.S.S Enterprise, his desk the helm console. Lt. Dylan was an excellent pilot and officer. Dylan had earned Captain Pike's respect during the years they served together. The navigator, Jose Tyler also appreciated Dylan's skills and together they made a very good team which Pike was happy to have on board.

The Enterprise was in orbit above Star Base 4. She had just completed a harrowing mission that was stressful on the entire crew. After nearly two months almost non stop work and some very close calls, Captain Pike rewarded the crew with shore leave on the surface, while the Enterprise was getting some repairs done by the engineering staff and Star Base crew.

Lt. Dylan was relaxing at a bar with Jose Tyler and warrant officer Gina Rowe. Captain Pike knew the crew would engage in some drinking along with many other activities offered at the base, but trusted his crew to be responsible. Tyler, Rowe and Dylan were enjoying some chicken wings, onion rings and their favorite spirits.

Jose Tyler raised his glass high, “Ladies and gentlemen a toast to the Enterprise, a damn fine ship.”

“To the Enterprise!” all three said in unison.

“To Captain Pike, a damn fine starship Captain,” said Rowe.

“To Captain Pike,” All three said together.

“Your turn, Rick,” said Rowe.

“Okay, let me think,” replied Dylan as he once again lifted his glass. “To... Mister Spock. “A damn fine Vulcan!

“To Mister Spock,” all three said. “Live long and prosper!”

The officers laughed and enjoyed their food and drinks. The bar was moderately full of base personnel, Enterprise crew and civilians. An over weight balding man was sitting in a corner booth. He had a high forehead, a large bulbous nose, and big thick bushy eyebrows giving him a rather troll like appearance.

He wore a large fur coat that made him look like a Canadian trapper and a very fat muskrat. The large odd looking man was an Inaurian, and had a talent for illegal activities. He was familiar with Star Base personnel, but knew the three officers he was monitoring were transients by the arrowhead patches they wore.

“Hello suckers.” He got up and went over to the visitors from the Enterprise.

“Greetings,” boomed the round furry coated man. “Officers, may I join you?”

Before anyone could respond, the man sat down anyway. The man snapped his fingers. A very sexy green skinned Orion woman approached. Tyler and Dylan noticed three Orion women when they first came in.

They were hard not to notice. The women were all very beautiful and exotic. The women were dressed in typical Orion fashion, which was almost nothing. A bikini top which barely covered their ample chest, a short skirt that looked more like a metallic mesh net that allowed a nice view of their long legs and strappy gladiator style sandals. The woman stopped at the table, smiling at the trio from the Enterprise but giving the large man a look of disdain.

“What do you want,” asked the green exotic woman.

“I want to buy our friends a round,” replied the troll like man. “What are you all drinking?”

“Thank you, Mister…,” asked Tyler.

“Noxx, you can call me Noxx.”

“All right,” Tyler continued. “A beer for Gina here, a Romulan ale for me and a mojito for Rick.”

“Very good,” replied Noxx. “What are standing there for? Drinks! Now, woman!”

“Shut up,” replied the woman as she walked away.

Dylan, Tyler and Rowe felt a little awkward with how Noxx treated the Orion. Noxx looked slightly embarrassed by the Orion's defiance, but Orions were like that. Noxx erased his frustration and showed a big smile.

“Tell me, friends,” Noxx said. “What brings you here this evening?”

“Well, we are on shore leave while we are having our ship repaired.” Tyler finished his drink and looked forward to the next one.

“Shore leave you say? Very interesting indeed”

The Orion woman returned with a tray of drinks. She began serving them as if she were a waitress that worked in the bar.

“A beer for you, lovely lady,” The Orion woman passed out the drinks. “A Romulan ale for the handsome gentleman and for you, dream boat, your mo-jee-toh. And finally for you, Noxx, a tall glass of absolutely nothing.”

Noxx scowled at the Orion and motioned for the other two green women to come over. The other two women slowly walked over to Noxx. As if in well rehearsed drill team, the woman that served the drinks stood next to Dylan, another next to Tyler and the last one next to Rowe. There was a strange dynamic the women displayed toward Noxx. One minute they were submissive and the next they were openly defiant towards him. The women were polite to the Enterprise officers, but seemed to have contempt for Noxx.

“Lady and gentleman,” said Noxx. “May I present Orion's Angels. For a very reasonable sum, these exotic specimens will show you a night you will never forget. They are highly skilled at meeting your every desire and will wait on you hand and foot. You will not find a more excellent trio of experts at meeting your every pleasure in the galaxy. Introduce yourself to our new friends, girls.”

“I'm Melody.” Melody leaned over sliding her arms around Dylan.

“I'm Rhapsody,” Rhapsody slid herself into Tyler's lap and began teasing his hair with her fingers.

“I'm Symphony.” Symphony knelt slipping an arm around Rowe's shoulder.

“I'm leaving.” Rowe gently stepped away from Symphony.

“Excuse me, Miss,” Noxx reached in a pocket and produced a small leather bound book. “If these specimens are not to your liking, I can find a suitable man for you or what ever may meet your preference.”

“Listen, Noxx. I have no problem with our Orion friends here. I am sure they are fine upstanding, hardworking girls, even though I don’t condone their line of work. What I object to is the dumpy, fat chunk of filth wrapped sleaze ball across the table that employs them. Tyler, give me your phaser.”

“Yeah,” said Symphony who gave motioned for a high five with Rowe. Rowe reciprocated.

“Shoot the rotten scumbag,” added Melody.

“I left my phaser on the ship. Sorry,” Tyler said.

Noxx was more embarrassed by the solidarity between the Orions than Rowe's insults and threats. He really didn't care what Rowe said to him, he was interested in making some money tonight and would stop at nothing to reach that goal.

“I'll be at the bar, if anyone would care to join me,” said Rowe.

Rowe turned to leave, but grabbed the plates of chicken and onion rings leaving the men with the green women and their drinks. Symphony was not bothered by Rowe's departure. Symphony turned her attention to Tyler, putting hand on his neck and gently rubbing it. Rhapsody put her hand on Tyler's thigh.

“Oh boy,” sighed Tyler. “Symphony, would you please stop rubbing my thigh?”

“I'm Rhapsody, that's Symphony.” Rhapsody didn't understand why Tyler couldn't tell the women apart.

“Does it really matter?”

The Orion women had the same slinky sexy out fits, as minimal as those were, only in different colors. The only other differentiating feature was their hair. Melody had long hair, Rhapsody's hair was shoulder length and Symphony's hair was the shortest of all of them. Dylan gently pushed Melody away as he stood up.

“Noxx, thank you for the drinks, but I think it is time that you leave,” said Dylan.

“Listen to the man and beat it,” added Rhapsody.

Noxx became nervous. He was going to close the deal if it took all night and ran into the middle of next week.

“Gentlemen, just hear me out,” Noxx said not wanting to let his potential clients get away. “I do offer a military discount you know.”

“We have already said no, that's it.” Dylan grew frustrated with Noxx's hard sell.

“Fair enough, I don't do this for just anybody, you understand. I am willing to let you have twice the time for half the price. You can't get a better deal than that in the entire sector, I am telling you. Come on, how does that sound, huh? Huh? Come on, work with me. You gotta give me something here.”

“Give him a kick in the ass,” said Melody.

Noxx was of course lying. His strategy was to have the Orion women seduce his potential clients to get them to their guard down, have them engage in an evening of wild sexual pleasure and then when it was over mark up the original quoted price by two hundred percent. The pheromones that the Orion women gave off helped considerably in manipulating the men into forgetting about the original low price.

Noxx usually avoided seasoned officers. His targets were usually other traders, private charter pilots, corrupt politicians and young Starfleet officers just in after a long deep space journey. It was an easy game, and earth men were particularly vulnerable to the effects of the Orion women.

“Mr. Noxx, you are trying my patience,” Dylan said. “Now, back the hell off, before I ruin your night. Ladies have a pleasant evening. Let's go, Tyler.”

Dylan and Tyler turned to leave. Noxx grabbed Melody by the arm. The next thing they heard was Noxx shouting so loud the entire bar could hear it. Rowe turned to see what was going on, so did the rest of the bar. All eyes were trained on the drama unfolding in the middle of the bar.

“You worthless piece of Orion gutter trash,” Noxx shouted. “How the hell could you let clients get away? You cost me a lot of money tonight! You stupid little green bi--”

“Owww,” said Melody. “Let go of me!”

“Noxx,” Dylan shouted. “Let her go. She has done nothing wrong. You’re the one being a first class jerk.”

Noxx squeezed Melody's arm tighter. “Stop it! You're hurting me!”

Noxx held onto Melody a minute longer, his big hand tightening like a vice on Melody's wrist. Noxx released Melody. As she stepped away, Noxx gave Melody a hefty shove, sending her to the floor. Tyler went to Melody, helping her to her feet. Noxx turned to find Dylan stepping aggressively toward him.

“I have had about enough of this,” said Dylan.
Chapter 2 by the bluesman
The punch Dylan delivered sent Noxx shuffling backwards into a table which collapsed due to his heavy frame. When Dylan turned around there were four more Inaurians standing there, ready for a fight. Tyler didn't see it coming. A fist met his cheek knocking him off his feet. Dylan charged the Inaurian that hit Tyler.

Dylan dove into the Inaurian, tackling him. A couple of patrons broke their fall, which caused them to get into the fight. Another Inuarian pulled Dylan up and threw him across the room. A bottle flew in Rowe's direction. She ducked, the bottle arcing over her head and it smashed against the wall. Rowe slammed the rest of her beer and picked up a chair. Rowe ran up to the man that heaved Dylan and swung the chair straight into his chest.

Noxx came to wanting to get in the fight. Melody grabbed a full bottle off a nearby table. She cracked it against the base of Noxx's skull, knocking him out once again. Melody enjoyed that. She looked around and saw two Inaurians giving Dylan quite a thrashing. Melody ran jumped up onto a table, launching her self into the men that were on Dylan. The mass of bodies fell like bowing pins.

“Isn't this fun,” Melody asked.

“I'm having a blast, darlin'.” Dylan grabbed Melody and shielded her from the table that flew above them and crashed on the two men just a few feet away.

People started to evacuate the bar. Some stayed and joined the fight which was growing into a full blown riot by the minute. Tyler and Rowe had their hands full but managed to meet up in the middle of the chaos.

“Didn't you or Dylan bring a phaser?” Rowe caught a breath.

“Didn't think we'd need em.” Tyler ducked as a glass flew by his face. “See ya later!”

As Symphony was running for cover, a man grabbed her by the waist.

“Come here, baby!” He took Symphony and heaved her across his shoulder. “Let's get outa here!”

Rowe pushed some one off her and caught the man carrying Symphony toward the door. Dodging flying bottles, glasses and fists she managed to run front of the man with Symphony. The man stopped and smiled and grabbed Rowe's wrist with his free hand.

“I like blondes,” he said. “You can come too!”

“Go to hell!” Rowe planted one foot firmly and with other kicked the man right where it hurt the most.

He dropped Symphony as he fell to his knees holding groin. Rowe then planted her knee into the man's face and he fell backwards rolling over onto his side. Symphony gave him a powerful kick to the gut.
Tyler saw Dylan fly past him and slam into a wall. Tyler helped Dylan up only to catch a fist in his face. Dylan took out the guy that hit Tyler with a couple punches.

Noxx was up again enjoying the carnage going on all around him. Noxx was looking for his girls, but it was difficult in the fighting. As Noxx walked through the rapidly deteriorating situation, he pushed a couple of women out of his way.

Noxx was choosing targets that were smaller than him while avoiding people that would pose a challenge. Melody grabbed a glass off a table, slamming down its contents. She observed Noxx making his way around the bar, preying on people that were much weaker than him. She ran towards Noxx.

Melody hit Noxx square in the back sending him though a decorative divider and finally crashing into a neon sign. Melody's momentum caused her to fall on top of Noxx. He was dazed and bleeding. Melody had hoped he was in pain. Melody reached inside Noxx's fur coat bringing out a large pouch. She took a load of currency out tossing the pouch aside. Melody wasn't stealing from Noxx, although that wouldn't have bothered her. Melody merely took money that Noxx had owed the girls for past jobs that he had been keeping from them.

The security klaxons had been sounding for a while, but in the noise no one could hear them. Somehow Tyler, Rowe and Dylan met up. Melody and the Orions managed to find Dylan. Dylan was amazed that with all the green skin showing none of the girls had so much as a scratch on them. The bar was completely wrecked. Tables and chairs were smashed. Broken glass littered the floor.

“Security is on their way,” Dylan huffed between breaths. “You ladies better get out of here before they arrive.”

“He's probably right,” offered Rhapsody.

Melody started to leave then turned and pulled Dylan to her, kissing him hard on the mouth. Under better circumstances, Dylan would have enjoyed it, but right know he didn't have time. Dylan had to use a little force to push Melody off him.

“Thank you.” She smiled.

Rhapsody and Symphony kissed each Tyler on the cheek. It made Tyler's evening. Symphony turned to Rowe, extending her hand.

“Perhaps we better just shake hands?”

“Aw, what the hell.” Rowe gave Symphony a quick hug. “Dylan over there, the window.”

“Got it,” Dlyan took Melody's hand and quickly lead the Orions to the window.

Dylan picked up a metal chair and heaved it into the window smashing it open. The window was high, but Noxx's big frame was slumped over beneath it, and made a perfect stool. In a last moment of revenge, perhaps even humiliation. Melody, Rhapsody and Symphony stepped up onto Noxx, through the window, and escaped into the night.

When Dylan turned around, the room was full of red shirted Star base security that were arresting people and breaking up a few minor fights that were still going on. A couple patrons pointed out Dylan to the security team. A few security officers approached Dylan, Rowe and Tyler.

“Come with us,” one of the team commanded.

Dylan, Tyler and Rowe were held in a security room and questioned for around fifteen minutes before they were transferred to the base medical wing to have their injuries taken care of. Tyler and Rowe only sustained minor cuts and bruises. Dylan took most of the damage and he was feeling it. Dylan was feeling pain almost every where. A nurse entered the medical bay where Dylan was waiting on one of several bio beds. The nurse picked up a hypo spray and injected Dylan.

“This will help with the pain.” The nurse injected Dylan. “The doctor will be with you shortly.”

After a minute the pain was slowly lifting. It didn't do a lot for his throbbing head. The doctor came in with a medical scanner and tricorder. Dylan was amused that the doctor was very attractive. She had shoulder length auburn hair and brown eyes and a great looking body. Her blue mini skirt showed off Dr. West’s toned and gracefully curvy legs. Dylan guessed that she was between thirty and thirty three years old. Dylan started to focus on her attractive features instead of his spinning head. The doctor began scanning Dylan.

“Lieutenant Dylan, I'm Doctor Veronica West,” She continued her scans. “It’s nice to meet you. So you’re the one responsible for making me work late tonight.”

“You’re a right sexy little number, aren’t you,” replied Dylan.

“Well thank you for that, sugah, but I am detecting high levels of Orion pheromones which are making you a little, shall we say “frisky”. How many of those girls were you hanging around with tonight? I can give you something to counter act the effects, but it will take a while for it to wear off. How about telling me what happened.”

“A guy was harassing some Orion women,” replied Dylan. “I swooped in and defended their honor.”

“And this led to a fight no doubt. It's good to know chivalry still exists.”

Dylan noticed Dr. West's accent, it was southern but he couldn't quite tell from where. He thought it was nice. Although the pain was gradually fading, Dylan suddenly felt sick and like he might pass out.

“I'm a little dizzy, doctor,” said Dylan.

“That's because you have a little concussion. I need you to lie down,” replied Dr. West as she helped Dylan turn and held his neck while easing him down.

“Lay back slowly. I got ya, darlin',” said Doctor West. “That's it, nice and easy.”

Dr. West looked at the monitor above the bed checking Dylan's vitals. She prepped another hypo spray, injecting Dylan with it.

“This will help reduce the swelling in your brain. All right, sugah, let's get the rest of you checked out.”

Dr. West found mostly cuts and bruises on Dylan weren’t that bad. His left hand was swollen and the scans indicated that Dylan had broken a couple fingers and his wrist in the fight. Dr. West went to work on healing those.

In the reception area, Tyler and Rowe waited patiently on their friend. They were wondering what kind of discipline they would get for their little stunt.

Tyler thought they’d all get a couple days in the brig or Pike would make them clean every lavatory on the Enterprise for a month. Tyler thought what ever Pike would throw at them would be okay with him. He felt good knowing he helped the Orions get away from their abusive and horrid boss, Noxx.

“We're probably going to spend a couple nights in the brig,” said Rowe.

“Perhaps, but this is the most fun I have had in long time. It won’t be that bad,” replied Tyler.

Dr. West finished patching up Dylan. He had a few bandages and a wrap on his wrist. Dylan was beginning to feel better but the Orion pheromones were hanging in his system. Dr. West did some final checks on Dylan and gave him the all clear.

“You're good to go, Lieutenant,” said Dr. West. “Keep that wrist wrapped up and come back and see me in a couple days, so I can check that everything is okay.”

“Can Dr. Boyce do that?” asked Dylan.

“Phil Boyce? Dr. Boyce is a fine physician, but I like to finish what I start. I'll let him know I'd like to see you. All right, go get some rest.”

Dylan nodded. Dr. West smiled and left. Dylan caught up with Rowe and Tyler outside the base in a well lit court yard. As the three friends were talking, Dylan noticed some rustling in the trees and bushes nearby. Dylan shrugged it off.

“Pssst!” said a voice from the foliage. Dylan looked in that direction. “Hey you, Earth man. Come over here.”

Dylan walked over to the area where he heard the voices. But he could not find who was calling him. The meds, the injuries and the pheromones all were clouding Dylan’s mind. He then felt something smack him in the fore head. The object fell to the ground. It was a sandal very much like the kind the Orion women wore. One by one the Orion women stepped out from behind their cover. The night and the green skin of the Orions made them difficult to see, Dylan thought it was funny.

“Well, hello again, ladies,” said Dylan. “I didn’t see you there in the bushes.”

“Yeah, we kind of blend in don’t we?” said Rhapsody.

Melody picked up her sandal steadying herself against Dylan as she slipped it back on.

“What are you doing here?” Rick asked.

“We're trying to stay away from Noxx,” replied Melody.

“Good idea. I'd also suggest a new line of work.”

“The work is not that bad, it's who we used to work for that is the problem. Anyway, we wanted to thank you for what you did for us tonight. We appreciate it,” said Symphony.

“It's okay, I am glad that you weren't hurt.”

“Listen, earth man, we'd like to give you a free one for helping us,” said Rhapsody.

“My name is Rick. A free what?”

Melody pulled Dylan close to her and whispered into his ear, a variety of erotic and sexual acts the women were offering him. The Orion pheromones were back in full force and Dylan had a hard time resisting what Melody was suggesting. Dylan had to gently push Melody away from him. The meds that Dr. West gave Dylan helped counter act the effects, but the Orion pheromones were very strong.

“That sounds like a wonderful time,” said Dylan. “I appreciate the very generous offer, but I can't. I want to but I can't.'

“Is it because we are green?” asked Rhapsody.

“Not at all. No, it's nothing like that. I think you are all very attractive, but I just came from seeing a doctor who instructed me to get some rest. I also might be in just a little trouble with my Captain.”

“Very well. Perhaps when you are rested then?”

“We'll see.”

Melody smiled and winked at Dylan. “See ya around, Rick.”

Symphony blew Dylan a kiss. Rhapsody ran her hand up Dylan's back across his shoulder and down his arm.

“Bye bye,” Rhapsody said.

Dylan watched the three exotic and sexy alien women leave. Rowe and Tyler approached Dylan.

“What did they want,” asked Rowe.

“You don't want to know,” replied Dylan with a grin.

“I do,” added Tyler.

Lt. Dylan's communicator beeped. Dylan flipped it open. “Dylan here.”

“Dylan, Pike. You, Tyler and Rowe get your butts up here on the double,” replied Pike who did not seem happy at all and understandably so. “And that means five minutes ago.”
Chapter 3 by the bluesman
Ten minutes later back on the ship, Lt. Dylan stood outside the briefing room awaiting his fate. The doors opened and Lt. Jose Tyler stepped out along with Rowe. Tyler and Rowe were appetizers. Dylan was going to be the main course, desert and coffee.

“Good luck in there, Rick,” said Tyler as he walked away.

“Dylan, get in here,” Captain Pike demanded.

Dylan walked into the briefing room to face his Board of Inquiry, Captain Pike and the calm, cool and sometimes intimidating Number One. Dylan stopped in front of the desk where Pike was sitting and snapped to attention. Dylan's uniform was ripped, sliced and a little blood spattered from the fight. Dylan was battered, bruised and exhausted. He tried to think of more pleasant things of the evening like the Orions and the incredibly stunning Dr. West. There was no avoiding the storm called hurricane Pike that was about to blow in with full force.

Dylan had no time to shower and get himself more presentable. Number One was to Pike's left and slightly behind him. Captain Pike looked over the reports of the incident from Star base Security. Captain Pike looked up at Dylan. Pike leered at Dylan with his cold blue eyes. Dylan felt like those eyes could cut through his soul like a phaser beam. After what seemed like an eternity, Captain Pike rose and spoke. This was the calm before the storm.

“How are your injuries,” asked Pike.

“I'll live sir,” replied Dylan.

“You may not live through what I am about to do to you. Mister, just what the hell were you thinking,” Pike wasn't so much asking but shouting.

“I don't appreciate my officers starting riots, Mister Dylan. Especially at one of our own Star Bases! I hope I will be able to sit down because the base commander spent twenty minutes chewing my ass off! He said I can not maintain discipline of my crew and accused me of losing control of my officers! He thinks I have a ship load of loose cannons!”

Pike had to pause for a moment to catch his breath.

“You know Dylan,” Pike continued. “I could understand if this was some dive on a remote outpost at the ass end of space. I could overlook that one. But no, you had pick a fight at a Star Base with so much polished brass down there you need sunglasses! This is not how my officers conduct themselves! There were several injuries to customers, not mention the property damage to the bar, which by the way, was completely destroyed!”

All Dylan could do was stand there and take it. Pike was right, the base security reports were right and there were fifty people at the bar who saw Dylan throw the first punch. Pike circled around the desk, then sat down and cooled off for a minute. Dylan stood there at attention like a statue just like he was back in basic training at the academy. The way Pike was yelling at him, he couldn't help but think that Pike was a drill instructor at one point. It was not a good cop bad cop routine, Number One just remained indifferent.

Pike was tired and exhausted from a mission that while successful did not go well. He was on a short fuse to begin with and the last thing in the world he needed was Starfleet superiors coming down on him.

“All right, Lt,” said Number One. “Let's hear your side of it.”

“Tyler, Rowe and I were having drinks,” reported Dylan. “An Inaurian approached us and attempted to sell us sex with three Orion women. We refused, the Inaurian kept insisting. We kept refusing. He kept trying to talk us into the deal. We tried to get rid of him. He grew angry and was going to take it out one of the girls. He grabbed her and shoved her to the floor.”

“And that's when all hell broke loose?” asked Pike.

“No sir,” added Dylan. “All hell broke loose after I hit the Inaurian.”

“Lieutenant, you are on very thin ice here,” Number One's tone was firm, firmer than it usually was.

“I know that, sir,” Dylan continued. “I accept responsibility for the entire incident. Tyler joined in the fight only after the Inaurian hit me. Rowe walked away at first, but came to help us out when she saw Tyler and I taking a beating. They did participate in the fight, but I was the one who started it. May I make a request, sir?”

“No. But go ahead anyway.”

“Captain, let Rowe and Tyler off this one. Or at least go easy on them. This incident was not their fault. As I just mentioned it was mine. Rowe and Tyler shouldn’t have to suffer for my bad judgment, sir.”

“Are you sincere about that?” Pike inquired.

“Absolutely sir.”

“I appreciate that, Dylan. You're in a lot of trouble, but you have integrity,” Pike offered. “I’d love to bust you in rank and leave you on the base, but you are a damn fine pilot and I need you at the helm.”

“Well at least your stories consistent and they all match with the base security report,” said Number One.

“Dylan, have you ever dealt with Inaurians before,” Pike seemed a little cooled off but still on edge.

“Tonight was the first time I have encountered them, sir.”

“The Inaurians love to provoke people and start things like this. I don't understand it. Maybe that's how they get their rocks off, I don't know. In the future, perhaps you had better steer clear of them. I'd also suggest a little research on their culture. You will have plenty of time to study.”

“Yes sir. What's the damage?”

“I'm not going to dock your liberty, Lord knows you earned that. Effective immediately, thirty hours confined to quarters and a double shift on bridge duty. You can use the rest of your liberty when you've done your time. Dismissed.”

Dylan nodded, did an about face and walked to the door.

“Dylan, wait a minute,” said Pike.

“Sir,” asked Dylan.

Pike closed a couple of folders. “Were the Orion girls hurt?”

“Not a hair on their pretty green heads, sir.” Dylan didn't offer that the Orions joined in the melee and seemed to enjoy it.

“Allright, mister,” Pike said barely smiling. “Get outa here.”

For the first time during this whole ordeal, Pike let out a smile. Dylan did not hang around. As Dylan was heading to his quarters, he passed Dr. Phillip Boyce who noticed the briefing room doors were still open. The doctor stepped inside. Pike look up from his material.

“What can I do for you Phil,” asked Pike.

“You can join your crew down on the base and relax,” replied Dr. Boyce.

“Come on, we have been through this,” Pike huffed.

“Chris, you are exhausted. That last mission was hell on everyone. You need a break as much as everyone else on this ship. We aren't scheduled to leave for another week, so you have the time. We
had a talk very much like this before the Talosian situation. Keep this pace up and you are going to crack and I may not be able to help you.”

“Doctor, I know my limits.”

“I don’t think you do, Chris. You have been beyond your limits for months.”

Number One stayed silent. She wanted no part of this and kept out of it. Pike rifled though his material, avoiding the doctor's prodding. The room was quiet for a few minutes as Dr. Boyce waited for a response that he would never get. The fact was that the doctor was right and Pike knew it.

“All right,” said Dr. Boyce. “I can see I need to get out the big guns. I need you to take seventy two hours off this ship.”

“Or what?” asked Pike.

“Or I will deem you unfit for command until I decide other wise. As the CMO I am the only one on the ship who can.”

“You wouldn't.”

“Oh yes I most definitely would. I have the certificate prepared and all I need to do is sign it.”

Pike gave up, sighing. “All right, doctor. Here are my terms. I will disappear from this ship for three days, when and only when the crew has had their rotation of leave, deal?”

“Sure,” replied Dr. Boyce.

“Captain, you really should get off the ship for a while,” said Number One.

“You are not helping, Number One.” retorted Pike. “You are in luck, Doctor. I have to go down to the base tomorrow and smooth things with over with the brass anyway.”

“That's not exactly what I had in mind,” replied Boyce.
“But it’s a start. Perhaps a case of Romulan Ale will help.”

Dylan entered his quarters. He took off his torn uniform shirt, throwing it across a chair. Dylan thought Pike's choice of discipline was interesting. The ship wasn’t going anywhere for two weeks and yet he is stuck in his quarters for thirty hours. Still, it was better than the brig or manually mopping the hangar deck.

Dylan was exhausted from the fight and his injuries and the butt chewing that Pike gave him. If Dylan had to do it over again, he would not have changed anything. Dylan stretched out on his bed and thought he might catch up on some reading while he was in hack.

Dylan had to laugh. He had met three very sexy Orion women and one very attractive doctor in one evening, and here he was stuck on the ship. On the positive side Dylan would see that cute doctor in a couple of days.

“Why the hell do you do this to yourself, Dylan,” he asked himself.
Chapter 4 by the bluesman
Dr. Veronica West had relatively few patients, spending most of the day on reports and medical paperwork. She had noticed that the young officer from the Enterprise that was in her sick bay a few nights ago missed the follow up. Dr. West was concerned for Dylan as her patient and did want to complete her follow up with him. Plus it would get her off the Star Base campus for a while.

Captain Pike, Spock and Number One were in the briefing room going over ship’s business and the repairs to the Enterprise. Captain Pike looked over some of the reports. The intercom buzzed.

“Captain Pike, I have a Dr. West from the Star Base for you,” said the Comm officer.

“Very well, put it through,” Pike continued looking over the reports.

“Captain Pike, this Dr. West, Star Base medical,” said Dr. West.

“Yes, Dr. West, what can I do for you?”

“I examined one of your officers for injuries he sustained in the fight the other night, a Lt. Merrick Dylan. He missed his follow up and I was wandering if I might beam up to the ship and make sure he’s okay?”

“Lt. Dylan was put in hack by me for destroying the bar and starting the fight.”

“I understand, sir. I still need to complete my follow up with Lt. Dylan so I can close my files on him. I have cleared this with Dr. Boyce.”

“Very well, Doctor. One of my officers will escort you to Dylan’s quarters.”

“Thank you, Captain.”

“Mister Spock?”

“Of course, Captain.”

Spock arrived at the transporter room just as Dr. West was stepping off the platform. Dr. West approached the tall handsome Vulcan.

“Hi, sugah. Dr. Veronica West,” she said, hand extended.

“Greetings, I am not …”sug-ahh”. I am Spock,” replied the Vulcan. “Welcome aboard. This way, please.”

Merrick Dylan spent the last thirty hours resting, reading, listening to music and communicating with Tyler and Rowe about the incident that everyone was talking about.

His quarters were better than the brig, and Dylan was willing to accept this blemish on his otherwise spotless record. On the other hand, Dylan has not been the only Starfleet officer that has been in scuffle or two at a bar. The fact was if you serve in Starfleet long enough, eventually at some point you were bound to be in a bar fight. Earth in the mid twenty third century was more civilized. However life out on the edge of space was often not.

Dylan was putting a golf ball into an Enterprise mug that was turned on its side. Dylan lined up the shot and tapped the ball. The ball arced gracefully and popped into the mug. The door chime rang.

“Come on in,” Dylan turned to see Dr. West step into his quarters followed by Mister Spock.

“You have a visitor, Lt Dylan,” said Spock. “If you will excuse me, Dr. West, I am needed on the bridge. Lt. Dylan.”

“See ya around, Spock.” Dylan picked up his ball. Spock nodded as he left.

“You missed your appointment with me, Lt,” said Dr. West.

“I apologize, there’s not much I can do about that,” replied Dylan. “Captain Pike is tough, but he’s fair.”

“I understand. Do you play golf?”

“More simulation than golf, but I play when I can.”

“May I?”

Dylan handed Dr. West the putter. Dr. West put her tricorder and medical kit on the table. Dr West gripped the putter, swung back and gently tapped the ball. The ball went straight into the cup. Dylan nodded approvingly as Dr West handed the club back to Dylan.

“Nice. I take it you are a golfer also?

“I enjoy it. Well I am not here to practice my putting,” said Dr. West. “I’m here to make sure you are ok.”

“I’m fine, Dr. West,” replied Dylan.

“I’ll be the judge of that,” Dr West picked up her tricorder and a medical scanner. “By the way, you can call me Ronnie. Have a seat over on your bed, big boy.”

“Yes ma’am.”

Dylan sat on his bed as Dr. West began scanning him. Captain Pike actually did Dr. West a favor, as the confinement to quarters allowed Dylan to recover from his injuries. Dr. West liked the results of her scans and test.

“You’ve healed up incredibly well, Mister Dylan,” said Dr. West. “Thanks to my brilliant medical skills and the modern miracles of 23rd century medicine, of course. I'm not seeing any sign of a concussion, your cuts and bruises have healed up nicely and I am only getting trace elements of the Orion pheromones. How is the wrist?”

“It's still a little sore but it's feeling much better,” replied Dylan.

“The soreness will clear up in a day or two. But the broken bones have healed. Looks like you are good to go.”

Dr. West packed up her things. Dylan didn't want her to leave, but wasn't sure what he could do to make her stay. Dr. West slung her tricorder over shoulder. She smiled at Dylan.

“Take care of your self,” said Dr. West. “A bit of advice, stay away from Orion women.”

“I will try,” replied Dylan. “Thanks for patching me up.”

“It's my job, darlin.”

Just as Dr West stepped to the doors, Captain Pike entered. Dylan still under discipline snapped to his feet at attention and stood there like a cadet. Pike thought Dylan had enough.

“At ease, Dylan,” said Pike. “Dr. Veronica West, I presume?”

“Yes, captain.” replied Dr West. “I am Dr. West.”

“Chris Pike. I wanted to thank you for taking care of my helmsman here.”

“Nice to meet you Captain. It's a pleasure to be aboard the Enterprise. Your officer has a clean bill of health and is fit to return to duty an time.”

“That's great. Do you think I can trust Mister High Risk Insurance here to escort you back to the transporter room?”

“Oh, I think so, Captain”

“Dylan, escort Dr. West to the transporter room. You're off confinement as of now, time served. Report to the bridge at oh four thirty tomorrow.”

“Oh- four thrity. Thank you, sir,” said Dylan.

“Thanks again, Dr. West,” said Pike.

Dylan was relieved to at least be out of his small quarters, but it was more of a cell block transfer than anything else. The Enterprise wasn’t going anywhere, and Dylan was looking at a double shift on the bridge holding the ship in orbit above the base. The ship’s computer could easily handle that duty. On the other hand, Dylan considered his discipline more than fair.

Dr. West nodded as Pike went on his way. Dylan motioned the direction to the nearest transporter room. Along the way Dylan and Dr. West made small talk. They found out a little about each other. Dylan had wished the transporter room was further away, but they were there all too soon. Dylan couldn't put his finger on it, but there was something about Veronica West that he found fascinating. She was very attractive there was no question about that. Perhaps it was her southern accent or charm or her intelligence. What ever it was, Dylan wanted to see her again at least one more time before the Enterprise left orbit.

“Would you like to see more of the Enterprise,” asked Dylan. “There’s more to her than my quarters and this curved metal hallway.”

“I’d love to, sugah,” replied Dr. West. “But I really should get back to work. I wouldn’t mind if you took me out to dinner, though. Do have plans tonight?”

“A card game with Tyler and Rowe, but I’ll get out of it.”

Dr. West produced a card with her information and gave it to Dylan.

“See ya around 1830 hours,” asked Dr. West as she stepped onto the transporter pad. “I’m in the residential wing of the base.”

“1830, residential wing,” replied Dylan.

On board Noxx's cargo ship Noxx looked for the Orion girls. He searched the ship as he did the last couple of nights, ending at their quarters. The girls’ room was a 20 by 20 foot box with a table in the center, beds along one side, stacked three high into a recess into the wall. A small head was across the room which also had closet space and a laundry processor. The quarters were modest but not uncomfortable.
Of course underneath the metal and utilitarian nature of the quarters, the Orion girls had added a woman's touch to the place. Noxx sat down at the center table.

“They come back,” said Noxx to himself. “They usually come back.”

“What the hell did you do to them,” replied one of Noxx's crew as he stepped into the room. “Perhaps you pushed them too far.”

“Feh! Are they here?” The crewman nodded. “Bring them in.”

Three large men entered the room. Noxx motioned for them to join him at the table. Noxx produced a bottle of Romulan Ale, Suaruan Brandy and some other spirits. The three men started drinking as soon as the bottles hit the table. Noxx wanted them to drink. Just about everything he did was a scam or scheme. Noxx joined them.

“All right, Noxx, you said you have a job for us,” said one of the men. “Now what the hell is it?”

“Three Orion slave girls have gone missing,” Noxx produced a pad with digital photos of the Orion women. “I want to find them.”

“That's it? Find some Orions?”

“Yeah. They work for me and I want them back. They are good at what they do and are a huge profit center for me. I want them returned relatively undamaged.”

“What's the payment?”

“Ten thousand for each girl brought back to me.”

One of the bounty hunters looked over the pictures of the sexy and exotic green women, looked at Noxx then took a drink. He looked at the pictures again.

“Not enough, Noxx,” said one of the men.

“That's the payment. No more. I am going to give you half now and you will get the other half when you deliver the girls. The girls are precious cargo and again, if I see any damage on them I will begin deducting from your payment. Are we clear?”

“Not really,” replied one of the men. “But you will get your cargo back unharmed.”

Of course Noxx had no intention of paying the rest of the money. Noxx pulled out a leather pouch from his fur jacket and counted out fifteen thousand. Noxx slid the currency across the table then refilled everyone’s drinks.

Gina Rowe was hanging out in Dylan’s quarters as he was getting ready for the evening. She was playing with a golf ball by rolling it across the desk. Dylan came out of the head and pulled a fresh gold command shirt from his locker. He threw it on over a black t-shirt and rubbed some gel through his hair. He turned to Rowe seeking her approval. Rowe raised a brow and nodded.

“Wow Dylan. You almost look good enough that I’d go out with you,” said Rowe with a chuckle. “I see you in that gold and black uniform almost every day.”

“Very funny,” replied Dylan.

“Are you seeing your Orion friends this evening?” Rowe was now tossing the ball up gently and catching it in her hand.

“You wish. I am having dinner with that doc from the starbase,” replied Dylan.

“Got a thing for her do ya?”

“I don’t know we just met.”

Rowe saw Dylan pull a type 1 hand phaser from his locker and stick it to the Velcro strip on his pants. Dylan pulled the sides of his shirt down to conceal the weapon.

“A phaser on a date,” asked Rowe.

“Remember last time,” replied Dylan.

Dylan strode into the transporter room to find Captain Pike and Number One in full dress uniform stepping onto the pad. Dylan joined them. As soon as Dylan was on the pad Pike nodded to the transporter chief. As the chief worked the controls the trio shimmered in a sparkling gold energy and disappeared. They materialized in the atrium lobby of the Starbase.

“Where are you off to, sir,” asked Dylan.

“Dinner with Commodore Lockhart and some of his staff,” replied Pike. “And you?”

“Dinner with a friend.”

“Right,” Pike turned to leave.

“Dylan,” said Number One.

“Yes sir,” replied Dylan.

“Behave yourself.” Number One smiled, winked at Dylan and turned to join Pike.

Normally Number One was all business. Certainly an experienced officer and seasoned professional, but she was hard to get to know. She did on occasion have little moments like this. Dylan did admire his Executive Officer and respected her. He was proud to serve with such a capable and dynamic officer. Dylan turned and walked to toward the turbolift bay.

Pike and Number One walked slowly to one of the many private dining rooms on the base. Number One noticed that Pike seemed focused on something. She knew Pike very well and could read him accurately. Away from the crew and in relative privacy she put a hand on Pikes arm.

“Something on your mind, Chris,” asked Number One.

“Chris” Pike thought. It was rare when she called him by name, and when she did it meant that his XO was deeply concerned about him. Pike slowed his walk and came to a stop.

“I have been thinking, Number One,” said Pike. “Phil is right. Even with this down time while ship is being repaired I have been working my butt off. I may not have a chance to relax for a while once we are under way. I’d love to do some horseback riding and get away from everything for a couple days.”

“Are you saying you might actually take some time off?”

“That’s exactly what I am saying.”

“Well good for you, Chris. You need it.”

Pike and Number One resumed their walk.

“The thing is,” said Pike. “You need some time away from the ship too.”

Number One stopped. “Excuse me, sir?”

Back to sir now, Pike thought. “Spock is perfectly capable of running the ship, we’re not going anywhere.”

“I have no doubt Spock can run the ship, but-“

“But nothing, I’m ordering you to take 2 or 3 days off.” Pike interrupted.

Number One thought a minute. “I don’t have to follow that order, sir.”

Pike nodded. “Disobeying an order is a serious offense. And you have a spotless record.
Besides, disobey the order and I’ll….”

Pike and Number One stood in awkward silence for a moment.

Pike continued. “I’ll bust you in rank and give Lt. Dylan a promotion.”

“Oh, Lord not that. The kid’s a good pilot, but command? You wouldn’t,” replied
Number One.

“Try me. We can talk about this later, we’re here.”

“Did you have to insult me like that, sir?”

Pike put hand on Number One’s shoulder and laughed as they entered the dining room.

Dylan knocked on Dr. West’s door. Dr. West opened it a few seconds later inviting Dylan into her home. Dr. West’s small apartment seemed huge compared to Dylan’s dorm room like quarters. It was warm, inviting and tastefully designed. Dylan thought it might be nice to spend the evening here instead of going out.

“This is my place, welcome,” said Dr. West. “I’m just about ready. I just need to grab my bag, a jacket and some shoes.”

“Take you time.”

Dr. West disappeared into her bedroom for a moment and returned. Dylan was struck by her classiness and attractive choice of evening attire. Dylan thought Veronica looked good at the medical facility, but out of a uniform she was incredibly stunning. Dylan couldn’t help but take in the view. Veronica was outfitted in a tan shirt, a black jacket, a black short skirt and black high heels.

“You look incredible,” said Dylan.

“Well, thank you, honey.” Veronica looked Dylan over. “You look like you just came from work. But I love a man in uniform. Are we ready, darlin? I know a great place in town. They have the best cheeseburgers in the sector.”

On board the Enterprise, Gina Rowe was shuffling a deck of cards at a table in the recreation room. It wasn’t too long before Jose Tyler joined her. Rowe started dealing the cards as Tyler pulled up a chair. Tyler looked around. Dylan, Rowe and Tyler hung out a lot off duty and played cards a couple times a week.

“Where’s Rick,” asked Tyler. “Pike probably has him scrubbing lavs from bow to stern.”

“Our dear friend Rick is down on the planet,” replied Rowe sorting her cards. “The boy has a date with that hot doctor.”

“Oh, really? Think he will be okay without his wingmen? Hit me.”

“I don’t know. I am on the bridge with him tomorrow. I will find out.” Rowe laid down a card.

“Eighteen.” Tyler laid his cards down. “Let me know what you hear.”

“Fourteen. Will do, buddy.”

Tyler took the cards and re shuffled the deck. Mister Spock approached. Tyler offered up a chair. “Greetings. May I join you?”

“Of course, Mister Spock,” replied Rowe. “Care to sub for Dylan tonight?”

“Thank you, no. I am merely here to observe the game,” said Spock.

“Oh, come on Spock,” said Tyler. “You will learn more if you participate.”

“Very well. Please explain the rules of your game.”

Gina Rowe smiled as Tyler dealt the cards. “The game is blackjack, the objective is to…”

On the surface, Dylan and Dr. West were having good time. A nice casual dinner with engaging conversation was what they both needed. The club was elegant and classy with live music, and outdoor patio and the menu ranged from burgers to steak to plomeek soup. Dylan learned that Dr. West was in medical administration for a year, but wanted to heal people more than administrate. Dr West learned that Dylan loved his job flying the Enterprise and seeing the galaxy. Dr. West was from Suwanee, Georiga. Dr. West teased Dylan for being a Yankee from Illinois. The couple talked some more and laughed. A waiter approached and asked for their drink orders.

“I will have a vodka martini, shaken not stirred and lemon peel,” said Veronica.

“Make it two, my good man,” replied Dylan.

“Hold on a second. My handsome young friend here will have a non alcoholic beer. You can go ahead and bring the double martinis though.” Dr. West smiled.

The waiter nodded and left. Dylan was stunned and confused. He gave Veronica a “what the hell” look. Veronica smiled.

“Aren’t you at the helm of your ship tomorrow,” asked Dr. West.

“Yeah, but what’s that got to do with anything,” replied Dylan.

“As my patient I am just looking out for you. Alcohol mixed with whatever traces of the Orion pheromones no matter how small left in your system can be quite dangerous. Trust me, my friend. You need to stay dry tonight.”

“Didn’t you give me something for that?”

“Yes, I did sugar bear, but the meds do not eliminate all the pheromones. There pheromones will fade in time, about two to three days. Maybe longer.”

“I am stuck at the helm monitoring the monitors and all I need to do is keep the ship in orbit above the base. The ship can fly herself in a stable orbit. Or if you really need a crew member there a blinded folded tribble could do it.”

“Tribbles don’t have hands.”


The drinks arrived and the waiter took the orders for their food. Veronica ordered up two loaded cheeseburgers. Not exactly healthy, but the tastes and textures were to die for. A band took to a small stage. The emcee walked out to an old bullet style microphone. The band plugged in and donned their instruments. Dylan barely noticed the activity on stage as he and Veronica were engaged in conversation.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” said the emcee. “I am proud to present tonight’s entertainment. You know them, you love them, give it up for the soulful sounds and the brilliant blues of the Green Machine!”

Applause erupted as the emcee walked off the stage and three very beautiful Orions took the stage. Dylan turned his attention to the stage, just as the music began. Dylan could not believe it. On stage singing old earth jazz and blues standards were the three Orion women Dylan encountered earlier at the Starbase bar. Dylan started scanning around the place looking for Noxx and his goons. His focus was like a laser. Dr. West could see something had grabbed his attention. Dr. West called him a couple times, but he didn’t hear her.

“Merrick. Lt. Dylan.” Dr. West’s calls went unheard.

A tall man, that was well dressed but rough around the edges got up from his table and walked by Dylan and Veronica on his way outside. Dr. West continued to try to get Dylan’s attention but nothing was working.

“Dr. West to Lt Dylan, come in!” said Dr. West.

Dr. West rolled her eyes slamming the rest of her first martini. She took a big swig if her second. Veronica kicked Dylan in his shin hitting a mess of nerves with her shoe that got Dylan to at least look her direction. Dylan was still focused, despite the brief pain. But at least he was now focused on looking into Veronica’s eyes. Dr. West held Rick’s wrist.

“Rick, what are you looking for,” asked Dr. West.

“Trouble,” Rick replied.
Chapter 5 by the bluesman
The morning was crisp and beautiful, a slight bite in the cool mountain air. Chris Pike breathed in the fresh mountain air and enjoyed it. He was in five hundred miles of unspoiled park land. He had rented a horse and a small cabin. The cabin was in a valley between two mountain ranges and a shallow but wide mountain stream curved its way between them.

For Pike this was a slice of pure heaven. As much as he liked the service, he liked this even more. No settling border disputes, getting involved with diplomatic entanglements between worlds, fighting Klingons or facing unknown threats in deep space or hundred other things starship captains had to deal with. Pike realized he didn’t take nearly as much time off as he deserved. The only technology Pike brought with him was a hand phaser and a communicator.

Pike left orders with Spock to not contact him unless there was an absolute reason to.
Pike was in outdoor gear, jeans, hiking boots a long sleeve sweater and had brought a heavy jacket with him. So far the weather was not an issue. Pike went down to the stream where his horse was taking in a cold drink. He gave the beautiful animal a carrot like vegetable native to the planet.

Nearby a fire was going with his breakfast. Pike had caught a couple salmon like fish from the stream. He would eat one of fish and smoke the other to take with him. Pike filled a couple canteens with the fresh water then went to check on the fish.

As Pike enjoyed the fish, he looked at a map of the park and planned a ride that would take most of the day. He was going to enjoy the hell out of it. Pike couldn’t help but occasionally think of work. He thought of checking in with Spock to see how things were, but stopped himself. He wondered how Number One was enjoying her leave as well.

He had to trick her to get her off the ship and had a security detail escort her off the Enterpise . Pike beamed down with her and checked her into a resort to make sure she was at least starting to take a much needed break. The fact was everyone needed a break, even the senior officers.

Pike thought briefly of his helmsman. How much trouble could Dylan get into spending twelve hours on the bridge just keeping the ship in orbit, a job a first year Academy pleeb could do in his sleep. But knowing Dylan, there had to be a way. He quickly dismissed that thought. If Dylan did get in trouble, Spock was capable of dealing with it and Pike did not know to know abut it he did. Pike took his time with his breakfast as he took in the quiet and calm of the location.
Chapter 6 by the bluesman
Above the planet, aboard the Enterprise, Dylan monitored his panel. There wasn’t much to monitor as all systems were in the green and the ship was on auto pilot. In the right seat was Gina Rowe. Tyler has been assigned to help the engineering crew with repairs.

The bridge had minimal crew at the stations. With about a third of the crew left on the ship and the rest all on liberty, the ship did not require as many personnel to operate. Mister Spock was at his station calibrating his instruments. Spock would never admit it but he liked to get more performance out of his equipment and often helped other departments do the same.

Most of the repairs to the ship had been completed on the interior of the ship, now it was time to finish up work on the hull.
The Enterprise had to wait in line as there was another ship in the queue and the two other dry docks were unavailable with ships parked in them, a civilian liner, the other an Andorian merchant ship.

“Mister Spock,” said the communications officer. “The dock master has cleared us for approach and berthing in dry dock 3.”

“Very well,” replied Spock as he moved to take the center seat. “Mister Dylan, do you think you can put the ship into dry dock with out destroying anything?”

Laughter came from the bridge crew even Dylan. It seemed Dylan’s fight in the bar has spread trough out the ship.
“Good one, Mister Spock,” said Rowe. “I didn’t think Vuclans could be funny.”

“We have our moments, Mister Rowe,” replied Spock. “Humor is a concept I do not understand, and I am afraid my rare attempts at it often are not successful.”

“You should try it more, Mister Spock,” added Rowe.
“I will consider it. Mister Dylan, you may proceed with docking.”

“Aye sir,” acknowledged Dylan.

Dylan was thrilled that he got to do some real piloting. He took the ship off auto pilot and took over manual control. Dylan gave the Enterprise a little push from the impulse engines then cut them back to maneuver. The orbital office complex that hovered on the lower left of the viewer rolled out of sight as Dylan turned the ship. The rest of the way to the dock would be a series of precision bursts from the thrusters.

Within a few minutes the huge dry dock structure came into view. A small dot at first then it grew bigger as the ship approached. Spock thought Dylan was coming in a little hot, but said nothing.

Dylan turned the ship again to line up for the approach. The dock was a huge rust orange open box with spotlights and equipment to repair thing on the exterior of the ship. Designed and built by Probert Heavy industries, the huge open frame box could be extended and retracted to accommodate ships of different sizes.

Moving a one thousand foot, seventeen story tall ship into a larger structure was no small feat even though the maneuver was done at several star bases on a frequent basis. The dock grew larger on the viewer. Dylan rolled the Enterprise thirty degrees starboard to match the angle of the dock.

The inertia of the first kick from the impulse engines carried the Enterprise steadily to her destination. Dylan was making small corrections all the way in. Rowe was monitoring Dylan’s piloting and was watching her panel. Dylan need to roll about three degrees to part to get the approach vector perfect.

The dock was getting closer now as it filled the full with of the viewscreen and still a little to fast. The Enterprise coasted a little more then Dylan began braking as the ship entered the dock. Dylan matched the velocity of the dock and even though the viewer it looked as if the ship was stopped, the dock and the Enterprise and the dock were now in a synchronous orbit and floated gracefully together. Dylan checked his panel and put the ship back on auto pilot.

“And that folks, is how we do that,” said Dylan with an air of confidence as he high fived Rowe.

“Mister Spock, docking maneuver complete,” reported Dylan.
“Very well,” replied Spock.

It was thirteen thirty hours. Despite the lack of sleep Dylan was holding up well.

“Mister Dylan, Mister Rowe you may take your lunch,” said Spock. “I will see you back here at fourteen thirty.”

Dylan and Rowe got up and moved toward he turbo lift as the communications and engineering officer took their places at helm and navigation. Spock returned to his science station to continue his work there.

“Can we bring you anything from the mess hall, Mister Spock,” asked Rowe.

“Some Vulcan spice tea would be appreciated,” replied Spock.

Rowe nodded and stepped into the turbo lift. She turned to Dylan.

“How are holding up,” she asked.

“Okay for now. Pike at least gave me the next couple days off,” replied Rowe.

“Any plans to see the doctor friend of yours?”

“Not yet.”
Chapter 7 by the bluesman
Noxx had moved his ship several times. He even took on a few legitimate sub orbital cargo runs and some trade deals. His crew and the three bounty hunters were all in the ships lounge. Most of the ship was Spartan and utilitarian as it didn’t need to be fancy for the work it did. The lounge area was a contrast to the rest of the ship and was well furnished and more finished than the rest of the ship.

It was a great place to relax for the crew on long cargo runs. The men were discussing ways to re capture the Orions. Noxx did not look it but he was quite intelligent. That is what made him a very good con man and why he got away with a lot of his scams.

“The man who shot you at the club,” said Noxx. “Tell me about him.”

The man that Dylan had stunned in the club was the only one of the bounty hunters that got a good look at him. The other two were distracted by the Orion women.

“He was star feet, tall black hair,” replied the man. “He didn’t like it when I asked his woman to dance.”

“What color was his uniform?”

“Gold. The woman was wearing a black jacket and skirt and was quite the looker.”

Things started to click for Noxx. He remembered his three hired guns all knocked out when he arrived at the club. The couple he saw kissing outside was probably no more than twenty or thirty years from the club and their clothes matched the description.

The distance from the club that Noxx saw Dylan and Dr. West kissing was about right for some one leaving the club after Dylan stunned the first bounty hunter. Noxx poured himself a drink as he thought for a moment. Noxx might have made a great analyst if he weren’t involved in criminal activities.

The bounty hunters told Noxx that when they woke up from being shot, there was no trace of the Orions, or the couple Noxx saw. It was reasonable to think that the Orions were at least left with the couple he saw kissing.

It was also reasonable to think that the man kissing the woman, even though he didn’t see his face was the man that gave Noxx quite the beating the other night. Noxx knew there had to be away to find out who these people were.

“Noxx we know the girls are working at the night club, we could try and grab them again,” said one of the bounty hunters.

“That’s no good,” replied Noxx. “They know we are coming for them. If they see us they will take action. They are out in the open and in public on purpose. Orion women are incredibly intelligent and they can impair the judgment of men. That’s why I use them to rip off people. Look what happen to you two. You didn’t see the man who shot you because you chasing tail.”

“We should be able to get three women back, we out number them and we are stronger,” said one of Noxx’s crew.

“We should,” Noxx refilled his glass.“But these are no ordinary women.”

Noxx was coming up with a plan. He knew that most of humans on the planet lived or worked at the huge star base. He knew that the man that protected the Orions was a transient and not one that was stationed at the base. He actually cares for these women and that, in Noxx’s mind was his weakness. Noxx could use that to his advantage.
Noxx had committed himself to getting the Orions back and he would not leave the planet until he had them. Security and the base and the local police would make kidnapping the girls difficult but not impossible. The Orions had gotten away from Noxx twice and it was trying his patience.

The Orions were indeed very skillful at escape and evasion. The girls remained at their hotel, but changed rooms. They stuck together, but varied their routines. They varied the times they would leave for and depart the night club, they stayed in view and in crowded populated areas and they took different routes to and from the night club. Taking them would be difficult, but not impossible.

Noxx tried to remember in detail everything about the couple he saw kissing outside the club. Noxx could not see the woman’s face, but he did remember her clothes and her reddish brown hair. That and the description of the bounty hunter that asked her to dance. It wasn’t a lot to go on but it was a start.

“You,” Noxx pointed to the bounty hunter that saw Veronica close up. “You have seen this woman’s face. There is a high probability she lives or works at the base, most of the humans on this planet do. Change your clothes, she has seen you also. Go to the starbase and hang out in the public areas. Walk around and look like you have a purpose. When you find her contact me and we will take her quickly.”

“Noxx,” said one of his crew. “That is not a good idea. If she is Starfleet we could have them all over us. If she does not report for duty or-“

“Don’t worry about that,” answered Noxx. “We only need her long enough to get the officer here that tore up the bar. He will come for her.”

“Are you sure?”

“Count on it.”

Rowe walked Dylan to his quarters after his long day on the bridge. Now, finally he could think about some serious rack time. They reached Dylan’s door. All Dylan wanted to do was get in there and get into bed.

“That was some fancy flying today when we docked,” said Gina. “I think you impressed Mister Spock. Listen I am meeting Tyler for dinner. Care to join us?”

“Gina, nothing would please me more, and I appreciate the offer,” replied Dylan. “But I really need to get in my rack.”

“I know. I thought I’d ask.” Gina smiled and patted Dylan on the cheek. “Sleep tight, hot shot.”

Dylan nodded as Gina headed to the mess hall. Dylan stepped into his quarters and straight to his bed. He didn’t bother taking off his uniform and he was asleep in less than five minutes.
Chapter 8 by the bluesman
Down on the Star Base the bounty hunter that was searching for Dr. West was in professional civilian clothes. He did not stay in one area too long and made his way around to the library and some of the outdoor parks around the base.

He had been there all day looking for her. It was boring but Noxx was still paying him and his associates and sometimes part of his job was to blend in and observe things. And if he was going to observe Dr. West that wasn’t a bad thing.

He had been there all day and had not eaten. He was getting hungry and went to one of the many public dining facilities on the base. He sat down ordered a drink and took out a padd . He acted like he was working on something while often looking around the place trying to find his target.

His food came and the bounty hunter took his time and enjoyed his meal. He was about half way through it when three Starfleet officers came in and sat down at a table all in blue uniforms indicating medical or sciences. One of them was a man with hair who looked to be in his sixties, the other was an Andorian male and the third in the trio was a tall woman with auburn hair and attractive features.

It was her. The bounty hunter was disappointed she wasn’t wearing the Starfleet mini skirts. She had on the black uniform pants instead. The bounty hunter didn’t look at them too long. He went back to his meal only glancing up at the doctors occasionally. The older man got up and went to the bath room. The bounty hunter got up and followed the doctor.

The men did their business, and the bounty hunter made sure to wash his hands next to the older gentleman. The bounty hunter put his hands into a glowing blue energy screen below the mirror that sterilized the hands.

“Excuse me, sir,” said the bounty hunter. “The red head doctor you are with?”

“Yes,” replied the older man replied.

“She patched me up after the bar fight the other night. Could you give me her name again?”

“Dr. Veronica West.”

“West…that’s it. Thank you.”

The bounty hunter left the bathroom. He finished his dinner, paid and left. He waited outside for the doctors to leave. He managed to follow Dr. West undetected to her apartment on the residential wing. He watched her enter her apartment then pulled out a communicator.

“Noxx, I have her. Her name is Veronica West, she just entered her residence,” said the bounty hunter.

“If we are going to do this, now is the time. She is alone. I am sending you co ordinates.”

Veronica was stunned by what she found in her apartment. The Orions were gone, but the girls had put all the food away, cleaned the kitchen and laundered and folded all the bedding which was stacked neatly on the couch. The Orions left Veronica’s apartment in better shape when the arrived. She had to smile.

Maybe she would give Rick another chance before he shipped out. Veronica walked across to her bedroom to change. There was an odd humming sound like a swarm of insects buzzing around followed by a shimmering green light. Two men materialized one in front of Veronica and one behind. She didn’t have time to react.

The man behind grabbed her quickly and was trained in how to apply the Vulcan nerve pinch which was painless, but rendered Veronica unconscious. As quickly as the men beamed in they were out with no evidence that they were there.

Dylan was the last to join Rowe and Tyler in her quarters for the card game. Tyler was surprised to see Dylan after his long day. Gina had drinks and snacks out for the game, Dylan helped himself before joining his friends at the table.

“How are you holding up,” asked Tyler.

“I’m fine. Deal the cards, man,” replied Dylan.

“How are the repairs coming,” asked Rowe.

“All right. You should see the new QEV-335 they are installing,” replied Tyler.

“I didn’t think those were ready yet,” commented Dylan.
“We are one of the first in the fleet to get them.” Tyler gave a proud smile that his ship was getting the best equipment in the fleet.”

“Boys are we gonna talk,” asked Rowe. “Or are we gonna play cards?”

Veronica woke up to find herself on a long black leather couch. She tried to get her bearings as she sat up. She didn’t know how long she was out or where she was. She saw Noxx sitting across form her. He put a glass of water and a plate of food down in front of her. Noxx was smiling.

“You better eat something,” Noxx said. “You may be here a long time.”

“Where’s here,” asked Veronica as she looked around.

“You are a guest on my vessel. My name is Noxx. These are my associates.”

Veronica nibbled at some of the food and saw the bounty hunters and Noxx’s crew. She remembered the one guy that asked her to dance. He smiled and waved at Dr. West.

“How about that dance now, honey,” he said.

“Listen mister, the name is West and the title is Doctor,” said Veronica. “You got that? What do you want with me, Noxx?”

“We want you to call your friend for us. The one you were making out with outside the club.”

“He’s a Starfleet officer. He will bring help.”

“I don’t think he will. Not if you to want to see each other again. You see your friend stole some of my property and I want it back. He has also caused me to lose a great deal of money over this.”

“The Orion girls? They are not anyone’s property,” said Veronica.

“Actually they are. I bought them at a slave auction some time ago.”

Veronica took her water, shaking her head. Veronica knew her country’s history with slavery and couldn’t believe there were worlds that still practiced it. She sized up the situation. One girl against Noxx, four of his crew and the three bounty hunters was not favorable odds. She would not try to fight them. Better to sit tight and await rescue.

The threat of harm was there, but Veronica picked up that they needed her for something. Kidnapping a Starfleet officer was also not a good idea. Noxx could have the security from the base on him and his men or the forces of the Enterprise to bear, if they even knew where Veronica was.

“Ya know, Noxx,” said Veronica. “I am due back at the base tomorrow and if I miss too much work people are going to start asking questions.”

Veronica lied. She was off for the next three days, but Noxx didn’t know that.

“We plan on keeping you here no longer than we have to,” replied Noxx. “How long you stay is really up to your friend and what he says.”

“What are you talking about? What friend?”
Noxx handed Veronica her communicator. She took it.
“The man I saw you getting very friendly with the other night. Call him. Get him down here. Do this and no harm will come to you.”

Veronica didn’t trust what Noxx was saying, but she thought that getting Dylan on the surface was a good idea. Veronica held the communicator before she opened it. She sat back calmly and crossed her legs. Even though Veronica was wearing pants and kitten heel boots, Noxx enjoyed looking at her legs. Noxx sat back.

“Nice boots,” said Noxx.

“I’m glad you like them,” replied Veronica. “Perhaps you’d like to find out why I call this pair “the nutcrackers.”

The men laughed. Noxx laughed for a moment, but didn’t take to being insulted well. He got enough of that from the Orions. Noxx changed his expression suddenly and was now absolutely business. He leaned forward in an aggressive posture.

“Call your friend. Right now,” said Noxx in a threatening tone.

Dylan, Rowe and Tyler were well into their card game by now. They were enjoying the game and each others company. Rowe had just won a hand at five card stud and Tyler was shuffling for the next game. Dylan’s communicator chirped. He flipped it open.

“Dylan here,” he said.

“Hello Rick, it’s Veronica,” replied Dr. West. “Are you doing anything tonight?”

“Just playing cards with some friends, what’s up?”

“Feel like meeting me for coffee tonight?”

Noxx rolled his eyes and grew impatient. He grabbed the communicator aggressively from Veronica and stood up.

“Rick,” asked Noxx. “This is Noxx. I have your pretty little friend here. Before you get any funny ideas of rescuing her, she is safe and she is being treated well. For now. Now, listen to me very carefully. I want my property back and you are going to deliver it to me.”

“Why should I Noxx,” asked Dylan.

“Consider it pay back for when you assaulted me. Deliver my women and this will end and I will release your friend. If you don’t play my game my way, I can’t be sure how safe the pretty doctor will be with me. It’s up to you.”

“I will not be intimidated by you, Noxx."

“I’m sending you a beam down location. Have the Orions with you, no tricks. Be there in an hour.”

The transmission ended. Rowe and Tyler heard every word of the conversation. Gina put her cards down on the table and gave Rick a raised brow. Rick paused a minute.

“Are you guys up for a little rescue mission,” asked Rick.
Chapter 9 by the bluesman
The beam down point was about fifty yards from where Noxx actually was. Dylan saw Noxx and Veronica sitting on a bench on a platform over looking a water feature. The strategy was to purposely have Dylan walk in alone. Dylan looked around for Noxx’s back up, but did not see anyone. The area was full of people heading to the entertainment districts and enjoying the beautiful setting. Dylan approached Noxx. Tyler and Row approached from the other side, boxing Noxx in. Noxx saw Dylan coming to him.

“You don’t listen very well,” said Noxx. “Where are the Orions?”

“I don’t know. I never promised I’d bring them,” replied Dylan. “Are you okay, Ronnie?”

“I am fine,” she replied.

Dylan took Veronica’s hand and helped her up. Noxx took her other arm and stopped her from getting up. Dylan sighed.

“Remove your hand from her arm, or I will break it,” said Dylan.

Noxx held on to Veronica’s arm a moment then let go. Noxx was surprisingly calm for not getting his girls back.

“Dylan, you just don’t expect to collect your friend here and just walk away, do you,” asked Noxx.

“That’s exactly what I am going to do,” replied Rick.

“I’m not leaving with out my women, Dylan,” Noxx shot.

“I suggest that you do.”

“I didn’t want this to get ugly, but it will. I will not stop until I have those girls back.”

Noxx went on ranting as Dylan and Veronica walked away. They caught up with row and Tyler who were keeping an eye on Dylan from a distance. Everyone was relieved that things ended up without getting into another fight. Veronica slipped an arm around Rick and gently kissed him on the cheek.

“Thanks,” said Veronica. “How about that coffee? My place?”

“That sounds nice,” replied Rick.

Veronica looked at Rowe and Tyler. “You are welcome to join us.”

“Oh, we wouldn’t want to intrude,” replied Tyler.

“You won’t be trust me. There’s pecan pie too.”

Fifteen minutes later, Veronica was pouring coffee as her guests were enjoying slices of homemade pecan pie. The atmosphere was very nice and Veronica was a gracious host. Veronica’s door chime rang. She excused herself to go answer it. When she opened the door, on the other side were three Orion women. Ronnie shook her head in disbelief, and invited them in.

“Rick, it’s for you,” said Veronica.

Dylan got up to check out who would be asking for him. He was surprised to see the Orions. Melody greeted Dylan with a hug. Tyler was glad to see the girls too. Veronica offered the Orions coffee, stepping into the kitchen to fetch more mugs and start a fresh pot. After greeting the other women Dylan got down to business.

Melody smiled. “We heard you were in town and wanted to say hello.”

“The Orions heard I was in town? How,” thought Dylan. It didn’t matter.

“Melody, listen you have got to get out of here,” said Dylan. “I know I have said it before but I mean it.”
“Our ship will arrive tomorrow,” replied Melody. “We can evade Noxx for one more day.”

“We won’t have to do that, Mel, look,” Symphony handed Melody her communicator.

The black screen had some numbers across the top and a text message that read: EXECUTE, EXECUTE, EXECUTE. The Orion women stood there in silence for a moment. Dylan knew something was going on but couldn’t put his finger on it. He had a sense that there was a little more to the Orions than what he actually knew.

“We need to tell him,” said Symphony.

Melody hesitated, but she spoke. “We are not what we appear to be. We work for the Orion Syndicate. Noxx has been making things difficult for us, and we are here to disrupt his network pay him back. We just received our orders to take him down and face the Syndicate bosses.”
“I wasn’t aware of any Orion Syndicate,” added Rowe.

“There’s a reason for that,” said Rhapsody.

“You girls are agents in the Orion Syndicate,” asked Tyler.

“We didn’t say that, and we will thank you to not mention the Syndicate outside this room,” replied Symphony.

“So the exotic alien call girl thing was all just a ruse,” asked Dylan. “What about your clients?”

“Drugged,” replied Melody. “Our clients would be sleeping but would remember a wild night of pleasure and fantasy. The whole point of this operation was to get close to Noxx and then bring him down.”

“That’s brilliant,” offered Rowe. “Out con the con man.”
“Rick, we are prepared to handle Noxx and his crew,” said Melody. “Not his extra muscle. We could use some help on this one.”

“Rick, we are in enough trouble with Pike already,” added Tyler. “We could be in a lot more if we do this.”

“Just help us take out his security we will handle the rest,” said Symphony.

Dylan wasn’t sure but was inclined to help. He didn’t like Noxx from the beginning and it would be nice to see him get s what’s coming, but Tyler was right. It wasn’t just Pike and Number One they had to worry about. Pulling off a stunt like this under the shadow of some very high command officials in Starfleet was on the brink of insanity.
It could very well mean the end of Dylan’s career and his colleagues if things didn’t go right. Dylan looked at Veronica for some sign of support.

“Don’t look at me, sugah. You are on your own.” Veronica sipped her coffee. “But come back here if you get hurt. I’ll patch you up. I don’t exactly approve, but Noxx did kidnap me.”

“Jose, Gina you don’t have to do this,” said Dylan.

“You don’t either,” replied Gina. “How hard can taking out some amateur thugs be? You in, Jose?”

Tyler nodded, which got him a hug from Rhapsody.

“Well it looks like we have a team,” said Melody. “We better do this now. Noxx is not as stupid as he looks. We’ll brief you on the way.”

With that the Orions stepped out of Veronica’s apartment. Tyler and Rowe followed. Dylan put on his jacket and was the last out when Veronica took his arm, pulling him to her. Dylan’s eyes met hers. Veronica held his arm for a moment.

“Don’t get yourself beat up too bad this time okay, hon,” said Veronica. She kissed Dylan on the cheek.

“Save us some of that pie. See ya later,” replied Dylan as he joined the others.

The Orions and Starfleet officers headed out. Symphony’s communicator was a multi functional device. She was able to get a fix on Noxx’s ship. Noxx parked his ship just beyond the city limits. Far enough out to not attracted attention but close enough to walk into town and make business deals. Noxx’s ship was also unregistered and he didn’t need the hassle of acquiring pesky landing permits.

About forty minutes later, they arrived at Noxx’s ship. They stopped about fifty yards out. Dylan and Melody peeked up from behind some rocks. Two of Noxx’s men were outside the ship near the boarding ramp with the rest of the men inside. Melody turned to the others.

“Two guards outside the ship,” said Melody. “The rest are inside”

“We can take them out at this range with phaser pistols, but I suggest we go in close,” added Dylan. “I hate to actually say this but we will need a diversion.”

“That’s our department my man,” said Melody. “Noxx wants us back so all we need to do is walk right up to them. Rick, will you cover our flank?”

Dylan nodded as he drew his Type 2 phaser from his jacket.

“We know every inch of that ship. Once we are in, stick close to us. Dylan and I will take the flight deck, the rest of you hit the lounge,” said Melody. “Any questions?”

“Let’s just go,” said Rowe.

The thugs outside Noxx’s ship heard footsteps approaching. One of them hit a switch on the ramp support beam and activated a flood light. There they were. The Orion women just walking back on their own accord. The men were instantly focused on the women walking to them.

“Well, well…look who decided to come back,” said one of the men.

“Where’s Noxx,” asked Melody.

“He’s on the flight deck,” the man replied.

“And the others?”

“In the lounge.”

That’s all they needed. Dylan grabbed on man from behind. He stuck the phaser into his back and shot him at point blank range on heavy stun. The man collapsed with little resistance. The other man raised his weapon toward Dylan, but Tyler kicked the man’s legs out causing him to fall hard to the ground.

Rowe mopped up by firing a short burst from her phaser and rendering the man unconscious. The Starfleet officers joined the Orions. Melody lead Dylan away from the group.

“Before we take the lounge we need to stop by engineering and make sure this crate doesn’t leave orbit, said Symphony.

Soon they were in the small engineering room with Rhapsody and Rowe outside the room standing watch. Symphony, Tyler and Rowe began to pull circuit breakers and disengage fail safe system. Tyler was familiar with the system which made it simple to know what to do to disable the ship with out blowing it up. Tyler took his phaser and cut through some cables, then took the cooling plants off line.

“That oughta do it,” said Tyler.

The flight deck was rather large. There were four seats for the pilot, co pilot, navigator and engineer. Noxx had the ship modified so that it could be flown with one pilot. He was communicating with leads to try and track down the Orion women, speaking with people about corrupt deals. He was so focused that he did not hear Melody’s approach from directly behind him. Melody walked around Noxx directly in front of him.

She sat on the instrument panel, raising a leg and placing her foot on Noxx’s chest. Noxx had quite the view of this lovely green creature before him. Melody pushed Noxx back into the seat, digging her high heel deeply into his chest causing Noxx some discomfort.

“It’s about time you came back,” said Noxx. “Perhaps we can get back to work.”

“Shut up, Noxx,” replied Melody. “Your main concern is staying alive for the next few minutes.”

Noxx was never one to listen or follow directions, even when he was being threatened or in a bad situation. Dismissing Melody’s threat, he put his hand on her thigh. A moment later Noxx felt the tip of the beam emitter of a phaser pressed into his cheek. Noxx was distracted by Melody rhat he didn’t hear Dylan come from behind.

“I’d suggest you remove your hand,” said Dylan. “Do you know what a phaser will do to your face at this range?”
“You won’t kill me, Dylan,” replied Noxx.

“I didn’t say I would, however I am not above permanent disfigurement.”

Symphony peeked into the lounge quickly. Half the men were at the bar, the others were on the couches. Symphony held up her hand and indicated the number of men with her fingers. Symphony pulled Tyler close to her and whispered softly into his ear.

“Follow our lead, dear,” whispered Symphony.

Symphony and Rhapsody stepped into the lounge, doing that slinky Orion walk in formation and in perfect synch. Just the simple act of the Orions walking into the room was enough to get the men’s attention, even Tyler’s. Gina could sense it and she palm slapped Tyler on the back of his head.

“Stay focused,” whispered Rowe.

Symphony joined the men at the bar. Rhapsody joined the men at the couches. Symphony placed herself strategically behind the small bar and leaned over giving the men a nice view of her ample and barely covered bosom. Symphony wrapped her fingers around a bottle underneath the bar. Rhapsody put her leg up on a small table which all the men at the couches were drawn to.

“You know, Noxx is very pissed at you girls,” said one of the men.

Symphony smiled, “We really don’t care.”

She took the bottle and walked over to join Rhapsody, the men in tow. That was it. With the men’s backs to the door, Tyler and Gina rushed in. Tyler stunned one of the men, Gina got the other. The third one turned grabbed Tyler’s wrist and delivered a punch to his stomach. Rowe shot a phaser burst but missed.

Despite the pain, Tyler came charging back tackling the man who punched him. Tyler rolled off of him and away giving Gina a clear shot. She hit the man square in the chest with her shot. While Tyler and Gina were engaged, Rhapsody pivoted and kicked one of the men square in the jaw sending backward over the couch. Symphony swung the bottle and cracked it into the other man’s face with a heavy dull thump. It knocked the man to the floor but the bottle didn’t break.

The two remaining men were disoriented but still in the fight. The man nearest man to Rhapsody kicke her legs out form under her and she fell square on her butt. As the man was getting up, Gina took aim and knocked him out with a single shot. Melody planted the bottle into the other man’s face. The time the bottle broke, bits of glass and the contents spraying every where. The last man was down, in a lot of pain but not out.

Tyler had recovered his phaser. The last man tried to get up slowly but Tyler and Rowe had their phasers aimed at him.

“Just stay down,” said Gina.

The man hesitated a moment then tried to get up again. That got him a shot from Tyler’s phaser, which finally took him out of the fight. Quickly the Orions and Starfleet officers collected the men’s weapons.

“All right, let’s take out the trash,” said Gina.

On the flight deck, Dylan and Melody were still with Noxx. Noxx was in a situation he did not like, but he was sure he’d find a way out of it. Melody removed her foot from Noxx’s chest. She reached into his furry jacket. She reached into a pocket and pulled a small leather bound book. Melody flipped through the pages and nodded.

“What’s that,” asked Dylan.

“This is Noxx’s network of contacts and associates,” replied Melody. “This is the only record of it. He didn’t store this on any computer or memory chip and kept it on his person at all times to prevent what I just did.”

“What do you intend to do with that,” asked Noxx.

Melody smiled. “We are going to make your life miserable Noxx. Screwing with the Syndicate was not a very good idea. From this point on the Syndicate owns you.”

“What are you going to do with him?”

“He will be used as an intelligence asset to bring down his network, and when is no longer useful he will spend a very long time in an Orion prison if he is lucky. We have what we need. Let’s go, Noxx.”

Noxx got up. He said nothing as he was escorted off the flight deck. The doorway to the flight deck was narrow, only one person at a time could go through. Melody went first, followed by Noxx, then Dylan. Noxx casually brushed his hand against a switch on a panel. Out of no where a burst of gas and steam poured from overhead jets. Noxx pushed Melody forward, sending her to her knees.

With Dylan disoriented Noxx grabbed him and threw him into the wall, then punched him just to get some enjoyment out of it. Quickly Noxx stepped back onto the flight deck. As soon as he crossed the threshold, the door slammed shut and locked. Dyan got up quicky recovered his phaser and tried to blast the door panel off. Melody touched Dylan.

“That’s not gonna work, we gotta get off this ship,” said Melody.

The ship began vibrating as the engines spun up. Outside the ship, Rowe was chaining the last captured man. She fused the chain to a piece of stolen equipment that Noxx was panning to sell with her phaser. She felt the ground vibrate and heard the whine of engines. The Orions and Starfleet offices cleared the area. The ship slowly began to lift off.

It shifted slightly throwing Dylan off the boarding ramp. Dylan landed on his back and saw the ship continue to climb slowly. Dylan quckily got up and shouted for Melody to jump before the ship got to high.

At about fifteen feet, Melody leapt off the ramp landing square on Dylan. He was knocked back to the ground. The engines got much louder and began to kick up dirt and small rocks. Dylan and Melody could feel the heat form the thrusters. Dylan rolled Melody over and on top over her in attempt to protect her form the small debris pelting her bare skin.

The ship was now climbing though sixty feet and it made a hovering forty five degree turn. The roar of the engines was deafening as the ships vertical thrusters cut out and the horizontal thrusters kicked in. The ship accelerated down range slowly and still climbing. The ship wobbled a bit as it moved.

Noxx had his hands full with systems failures, overheating and guidance control. The ship was now at about two hundred feet and went into an uncontrolled forty degree bank. It made a one hundred and eighty degree turn, then sharply began to drop out of the sky.
Smoke began to pour from an engine, the ship now entering a slow descending spin. Dylan looked up only to see the crippled ship spinning directly toward him and Melody. It was going to be close.

The chained men did their best to curl up in cover and protect themselves. The spinning ship passed directly over head of the people on the ground at around eighty feet. Noxx engaged the braking thrusters but it was too late and he couldn’t recover in time. The ship stalled, slammed to ground shearing off the landing gear then bouncing into the air.

The ship slammed hard into the ground again and rested. He ship did not explode, but a small fire erupted. Noxx survived the crash, but was bruised up. He blew an emergency hatch and jumped out of the crumpled wreck.
The ship crashed into a horse shoe shaped ridge. Noxx was pinned.

The only direction he could travel was back toward where the people were about two hundred yards. Dylan helped Melody up. She dusted Dylan off. Tyler and Rowe joined up with Dylan and Melody, followed by Symphony and Rhapsody.

“Everyone all right,” asked Dylan.

The group nodded and acknowledged that they were okay and for the most part not injured. Noxx approached the group with his hands up. He was finally beat and he knew it. Noxx was quickly bound with a scrap chain and secured away from the other men. Dylan surveyed the area and looked at the wreck of the ship and the men. Melody walked up to him and slipped her arm around his wais

“Hell of a night,” said Rick.

“Indeed,” replied Melody.

“What’s going to happen to these men,"asked Rowe.

“We’re only interested in Noxx. We’ll throw the local authorities a bone and have them picked up in a day or so. They can all cool off for a while here. “

Dylan and Melody started to join the others.

“Dylan,” shouted Noxx. “If I see you again I will kill you.”

Dylan turned toward Noxx. “I’d like to kill you myself if we meet again but I think my green sexy Orion friends have other plans for you.”

Melody and Dylan walked away from Noxx to join the others. Melody was still holding on to Dylan.

“You have made friends in the Syndicate, Rick,” said Melody. “We owe you one. I owe you one.”

“Thank you,” replied Dylan. “I think. I am not quite sure how to take that.”

“Take it like this.” Melody held Dylan’s face in her hands and gave him a long, hard kiss on the mouth that he would not forget for a long time.

Dylan didn’t hear the others join up with them. Tyler shook his head.

“Do you believe this guy,” asked Tyler. “Rick, the girls have invited us back to their place for a little celebration. What do you think?”

“You go on,” replied Dylan. “I should probably stop back by Veronica’s and let her know we’re not dead.”

“She is welcome to join us,” said Symphony.

“I’ll ask her,” replied Dylan.

The chime at Dr. West’s apartment buzzed. She opened the door to find Dylan a little beat up and dirty from his adventure. She was glad to see him. She gave Dylan a hug and walked him to the couch. Dr West noticed small cuts and bruised on Dylan but they were superficial. She brought him a cup of coffee.

“Where are your friends,” asked Ronnie.

“The Orions are having a little victory party, we are invited, “ replied Dylan.

“Sounds fun, but why don’t we stay in tonight? What about Noxx?”

“Noxx will be out of commission for a long time.”

Ronnie nodded and sipped her coffee. “Good to know.”

Ronnie wondered but didn’t ask. Why did Rick do this? Why would he put his career on the line to help people he barely knew? It was crazy, but there was something honorable about it. Something that Ronnie liked. Dylan finished his coffee and set the mug down on a side table.

“Well, I wanted to let you know everyone was all right,” said Dylan. “Thanks for the coffee. I should probably get up to the ship.”

“You are more than welcome to stay, “ replied Ronnie. “I would very much like it if you would. You are growing on me, Lt. Dylan. Let’s talk.”

With that, Ronnie put her arm around Dylan. They shared more coffee, pecan pie and talked well into the night.
Chapter 10 by the bluesman
Author's Notes:
The final chapter of Orion's Angels ends with a tragic and touching moment.
On board the Enterprise, Dr. Boyce found Captain Pike in his quarters unpacking. Number One was sitting at a desk. Boyce smiled. He was proud of the tow of them for taking his advice no matter how reluctantly.

“Well Chris, how was it,” asked Boyce.

“Absolutely wonderful, Phil,” replied Pike. “I really should listen to you more.”

“And you, Number One. How was your shore leave?”
“It was very relaxing,” she replied.

“Come on, Exec, tell us more. What did you do,” asked Pike.

Number One shot Pike a look indicating back off and replied very sternly, “I relaxed.”

It was late afternoon down on the base. The Orion ship was on a landing platform.

It was a good looking vessel. Dylan was tempted to ask Melody if he could take it for a quick sub orbital flight. Dylan saw Noxx boarding with two huge Orion men escorting them, their faces hidden by the helmets they were wearing. Symphony and Rhapsody were already aboard. Dylan wasn’t exactly sure how all this ended up working itself out, but was glad it did.

“Well, I should probably board,” said Melody. “How about a hug for the road?”

Melody took Dylan into her arms and held him tightly. She then gave him one last kiss. Ronnie didn’t mind at first, but grew annoyed when the kiss turned into something more substantial. Melody released Dylan loosely, but didn’t let go.

“Stay out of trouble,” said Dylan.

“I’d suggest you follow your own advice,” replied Melody. She turned to Dr. West. “Hang on to this one. He’s a good man.”

“I am finding that out. Take care, sugah,” said Ronnie.

Melody gave Dylan a final look. She winked at him and smiled then started walking to the ship. Symphony and Rhapsody peered through the open passenger door of their ship waving at Dylan and d,r West. The Orion man helped Melody aboard as the engines started up. The door closed and a minute later the shuttle lifted off the pad, turned away from the base and speeded away into the sky. Dylan turned to Dr. West.

“So how has your day been,” asked Dylan.

“Okay so far,” replied Ronnie. “I had a very engaging interview with a Mister Robert Scorpio. Nice boy, but I think he likes me.”

“I’m a nice boy and you like me.”
“You’re different.”

Ronnie took Dylan’s hand as they walked back to the entrance of the pad terminal. “Come on. I’ll make you dinner.”

Flash forward to the recreation deck of the Lexington. Captain Dylan, Commander Chyles, Dr. West and Lt. Myers were finishing up a dinner together.

“And that is the tall tale of how I met Rick,” said Dr West.

“I never get tired of hearing it,” said Chyles.

“The amazing thing is every word of this epic adventure is true and part of history now,” added Dr. West.

Lt. Myers got a kick out of hearing the story for the first time. “Did you ever tell captain Pike abut all this, sir?”

Dylan laughed. “I did, at a reception when he made fleet Captain. I thought he was going to blow his stack but enough time had passed that nothing I said surprised him. Well, ladies and gentlemen I thank you for a nice dinner and some engaging, if not embarrassing conversation.”

“Good night, sir,” said Lt. Myers.

Chyles and Myers remained for another cup of coffee while Dr. West and Dylan left. They walked back to Dlyan’s quarters.

“Out of the people that could have ended up in my ER that night it had to be you,” said Dr. West.

“Comm to Captain Dylan,” came a voice through the intercom.

Dylan took a seat at the desk and flipped on the desktop viewer. “Dylan, go ahead.”

“We have an incoming message for you, sir. The code says personal, but its also flagged as very important,” replied the comm officer.

“Very well, put it through down here.”

The next image on the screen was the face of Dylan’s former first officer, Number One. She looked good and for the first time ever Dylan saw her in civilian clothes. Number One smiled at Dylan’s image.

“Hello, Rick,” said Number One. “It’s good to see you.”
“Good to see you to,” replied Rick. “How is retirement treating you.”

Number One and Dylan spent a couple minutes catching up, then she got to the point of her call.

“The reason I am contacting you…Rick it’s Chris. He’s been in a terrible accident,” said Number One.

“What happened?”

“Chris was on a J- class training vessel. A baffle plate let go. He was exposed to massive amounts of delta rays.”

Dr. West was stunned. She had seen first hand what delta rays can do to a person, and the effects are not pleasant at all.

Number One was nearly brought tears and her voce was shaky. “He saved a lot of young cadets at the expense of his on safety.”

“That sounds like our Captain Pike,” replied Dylan. “Damn. Is he…”

“Chris survived,” said Number One. “But he will never be the same. I am catching a ride on the Republic tomorrow to go see him. I am sorry I don’t have better news.”

“I appreciate you letting me know.”

“Listen, Rick I’d love to talk longer, but I have to go. It was good to see you, we’ll talk soon.”

Number One was overcome with emotions, she did want Dylan to see her break down, but he wouldn’t have thought any less of her. Number One had earned Dylan;s respect though many years of serving with her. But Dylan understood.

“Let me know if I can do anything for you or Chris,” said Dylan.

“I will. Take care, Rick.” Number One signed off.

The monitor faded to black. Dylan realized that this was the first time Number One had called him “Rick.” Number One was a tough cookie. He had never seen about to crack until just now. Number One was clearly devastated as Dylan was.

Dylan noticed two small glasses filled to the rim with Scotch. Ronnie had prepared them while Dylan and Number One were talking. Dylan took a glass and drank. Dylan was fighting very hard to hold back the tears. Ronnie had seen Dylan under pressure, tired and exhausted, beat up and battered, but she had never seen him like this. It cut through Dylan’s hear that Pike, a very physical and intelligent man, the leader that he was had been reduced to just an empty, scarred shell.Ronnie took Dylan’s hand and led him over to the bed. They sat down.

“Oh, Rick, I am so sorry,” said Ronnie. “I know how much Captain Pike meant to you.”

“That man wasn’t just my Captain and leader, Ronnie,” replied Dylan. “He was a mentor. Captain Pike recommended and pushed to help me get the job at Starfleet Academy. He personally promoted me twice. He also recommended me for promotion to Captain. I would not be where I am today without Chris Pike’s leadership, advice and training.”

Dylan went silent. Ronnie slid in close. There wasn’t a lot she could do but just be there for him. Ronnie took Dylan into her arms holding him tightly. Ronnie would stay with Dylan all night, holding him, doing the best she could to comfort him with tragic news. Dylan finally took Ronnie into his arms and held her as if he was hanging on for his very life.

The tears flowed like rain. It seemed like they would never end.
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