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.”
“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.”
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.”
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
“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.