ONE MORE TIME! Star Traks is owned by Alan Decker (It's the last one, so I'm going first!) CBS, Paramount, and Viacom own Star Trek, but this isn't their last one. Trek keeps going and going and...

Author: Alan Decker
Copyright: 2002

Star Traks: The Lost Years #20



Alan Decker

“Where to begin… The events following Captain Alexander Rydell’s decision to retire didn’t just happen one after the other in a nice story, you know. Life doesn’t usually work that way, I’ve noticed. Actually, I guess some of it did happen the very next day. Let’s start with the letter…”




STARDATE: 54996.4


I know you folks at Command are busy, so I’ll keep this short and sweet. I’m outta here. Okay. Maybe not quite that short, but the message remains the same. I, Alexander Rydell, being of sound mind and body despite several attempts against it, have decided that the time has come to move on to the next phase of my life. I will be redirecting the Secondprize to my new resort, The Suburb, and as soon as we arrive there, you can consider me retired. Mention that you’re with Starfleet Command, and you’ll receive 10% percent off a dinner at our soon-to-be-galacticly-famous Stone Boat Cafe.

Thanks for the memories,

Captain Alexander Rydell USS Secondprize


As soon as she stepped into Seven Backward, Lieutenant Andrea Carr had an overwhelming urge to track down the source of the horrible racket that suddenly assaulted her ears and destroy it. Her eyes searched around until they locked onto Commander Travis Dillon, who was seated on a bar stool over in the corner singing morosely into a microphone.

One dream in my heart

One love to be living for

One dream to be living for

This nearly was mine

One girl for my dreams

One partner in paradise

This promise of paradise

This nearly was mine

Dillon had a hollow look in his eyes, which stared outward but focused on nothing. Deciding to let him continue in his misery, Carr headed over toward the viewports where Commander Scott Baird and his wife, Lieutenant Commander Emily Sullivan, sat attempting to eat their breakfast despite Dillon’s caterwauling.

“He’s taking this pretty hard,” Sullivan said as Carr sat down. “Patricia didn’t tell him she was leaving the ship.”

Close to my heart she came

Only to fly away

Only to fly as day

Flies from moonlight

“Evidently Jaroch isn’t taking it very well either,” Carr said. “He showed up at Counselor Webber’s office just as I was leaving.”

“You and Webber are speaking to each other?” Baird asked surprised. The last time they’d really been in the same room together, they’d nearly beaten each other to bloody pulps for control of the Secondprize.

“She invited me to come by. We hugged. We laughed. We’re fine.”

“But Jaroch’s not, huh?” Sullivan said.

“I guess not. I didn’t realize he had any feelings for Lieutenant Commander Hawkins.”

“Where the hell have you been?” Baird said.

Now, now I’m alone

Still dreaming of paradise

Still saying that paradise

Once nearly was mine

“I know Dillon’s had the rug pulled out from under him, but if he doesn’t stop, I’m going to kill him,” Baird grumbled.

“Maybe the next song will be better,” Carr offered helpfully.

“The next one will be this one. He’s been singing it over and over and…”

The comm system suddenly crackled to life, cutting Baird off. Even Dillon stopped his wailing to listen. “Attention, ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking,” Rydell’s voice announced. “I hate to just drop this on you all like this, but I’m retiring. As we speak, the Secondprize is headed toward The Suburb, at which point the lovely Miss Karina Durham and I will be disembarking. There’ll be time for the individual goodbyes later, but, for now, let me say thank you and that you’ve been a wonderful audience. Rydell out.”

Carr, Sullivan, and Baird stared at each other in stunned silence. “I don’t f***ing believe this,” Baird muttered finally.

Over in the corner, Commander Dillon sat quietly, microphone still in hand. He blinked several times as his mind processed what it had just heard.

“Gotta go,” he suddenly blurted, leaping down off of his stool and racing out of Seven Backward.

Behind the bar, Karina Durham smiled. Rydell had actually gone through with it. Despite his talk, she didn’t really believe that he would, even though she knew that more than anything Rydell wanted to be at The Suburb. Be at The Suburb with her, that is. For some reason, her smile broadened.




STARDATE: 55003.7


As some of you may have already heard, Captain Alexander Rydell of the USS Secondprize has rather abruptly decided to leave Starfleet. Congratulations to Admiral Harlan Baxter for winning the betting pool. He was the only one to correctly guess that Rydell would retire rather than be killed or vanish mysteriously, so it doesn’t really matter that he was thirty years off on the correct date. The “Good Riddance” party has been scheduled for tomorrow at 1900 hours in the Admiralty Lounge…assuming Rydell doesn’t do anything annoying like change his mind.


Admiral Thomas Wagner


“Are you sure you’re ready for this?” Karina Durham asked, giving soon-to-be-former-Captain Alexander Rydell’s hand a squeeze as they approached Transporter Room One.

“Why wouldn’t I be?” Rydell replied with a less-than-convincing smile.

“Oh, I don’t know. You’re leaving your ship and crew of seven years and completely changing your life. It’s the kind of thing that might give some people second thoughts.”

“Are you saying I’m some people, then?”

“Just asking.”

Rydell looked around at the corridors of his ship. And in some ways, no matter what, it would always be his ship. But in the end, as he’d once told the crew, the ship was really just a machine; it was the people inside it that mattered. “I’m going to miss them,” Rydell said. “But it’s time.”

The couple reached the doors to Transporter Room One, which slid open revealing Commander Travis Dillon, Commander Jaroch, Commander Scott Baird, Lieutenant Commander Emily Sullivan, Lieutenant Andrea Carr, Counselor Claire Webber, Doctor Beth Aldridge, and, standing behind the transporter console, Lieutenant Commander Monica Vaughn.

Dillon, who was closest to the door, immediately burst into song:

“For he’s a jolly good fellow

For he’s a jolly good fellow

For he’s a jolly good FELLOW!!!

Which nobody can deny!”

“Thanks, Dillon,” Rydell laughed. “But I have no say on whether or not you’ll get command when I leave.”

Dillon’s broad smile vanished. “Oh. Well…I still meant it.”

“Sure you did,” Rydell said, clapping his First Officer on the shoulder. “And believe it or not, I might actually miss you.”

“That’s kind of you to say, sir. Goodbye…and good luck.”

“Good luck to you as well. But I want you to remember something, Dillon. There’s more to all this than sitting in the center seat. If you think command is going to make your life complete, you’re going to be really disappointed when you get there.”

“So I will get there?” Dillon probed.

“You’re hopeless. You know that?” Rydell said laughing.

“I still can’t believe that you’re leaving,” Counselor Webber exclaimed, rushing over and grabbing Rydell in a stronger-than-usual bear-hug.

“Dammit, Webber! Put the man down,” Dr. Aldridge said. “I don’t want to have to knit any bones before he leaves.”

Webber released Rydell, who quickly sucked in a big breath of air to make up for the oxygen the Counselor had rammed out of his lungs.

“You going to miss that, too?” Commander Baird asked.

“Of course he is,” Webber said. “Everybody needs a good squnch now and then.”

“I’ll try and keep him stocked,” Karina said as Rydell headed over to Jaroch.

“Tell everybody in there goodbye for me,” Rydell said, poking Jaroch lightly on the side of the head.

“They do not place nearly as much significance upon this event as I do,” Jaroch replied, shaking Rydell’s hand. “Your presence on the Secondprize will be sorely missed…and I am not just saying that because Commander Dillon may end up in command.”

Rydell smiled. “That means a lot, Jaroch. You’re going to make a fine captain one day.”

“If that is indeed the case, it will be due to what I have learned serving under you.”

“So where’s everybody else?” Rydell asked jovially, quickly changing the subject before this turned into an all-out mush-fest.

“Frankly, sir, they all are experiencing the after-effects of alcohol following last night’s Farewell Luau,” Commander Jaroch replied.

“Which means I get to spend the rest of the day repairing liver damage,” Dr. Aldridge groused. “Now get over here and hug me goodbye before I kill you for serving real liquor.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Rydell said, wrapping his arms around Aldridge.

“Remember we’re up here if you get bored running a hotel for spoiled tourists,” Aldridge said.

“How could I forget?”

With the hugs started, the goodbyes began in earnest.

“I actually wrote a poem for the occasion,” Lieutenant Carr said, hugging Rydell. “But they voted against me reading it.”

Rydell chuckled. “I’m sure it was great,” he said, letting go of Carr.

“You never got to know great,” Lieutenant Commander Vaughn said sultrily as she wrapped her hands around Rydell and grabbed his rear end.

“Hey now!” Karina called out playfully. “That’s enough of that. And don’t think I didn’t see what you were…or should I say what you were not wearing underneath that grass skirt last night.”

“He’s all yours,” Vaughn said, holding up her hands innocently.

“He is? Woah. Maybe I spoke too quickly. You sure you don’t want him back?”

“Oh no. You’re stuck with him,” Vaughn said, stepping over to give Karina a goodbye hug.

“Goodbye, sir,” Lieutenant Commander Sullivan said, holding Rydell tightly. “And thank you.”

“I didn’t do anything,” Rydell replied.

“Oh yeah,” Commander Baird said. “Who do you think gave her the idea to try for a First Officer spot?”

“I have no doubt you’ll get one,” Rydell said. He leaned in closer to Sullivan. “But don’t get one here. And you’d damn well better comm me when you make captain.”

“I will, sir,” Sullivan said, releasing her grip on Rydell.

“I guess that just leaves you, Scott,” Rydell said, shaking Baird’s hand.

“Yeah yeah. Thanks for totally f***ing up my life,” Baird grumbled.

“He doesn’t want you to leave,” Sullivan said, leaning her head on her husband’s shoulder. “Isn’t that sweet?”

“F*** you.”

“And that’s something else I’ll miss,” Rydell said. “Commander, it has truly been an honor and a pleasure. You’re a hell of an engineer and an even better friend.” Baird shifted uncomfortably, unsure of how to respond to such an honest, completely cynicism-free sentiment. Fortunately, Rydell let him off of the hook.

“On that note, I think it’s high time we let you all get on with your Starfleet lives,” Rydell said, stepping up onto the transporter pad with Karina Durham.

“Coordinates set,” Lieutenant Commander Vaughn said, taking up her position behind the transporter console. “And your belongings are already there to meet you.”

“Then I guess we’re all set,” Rydell said. “You folks keep it together up here.”

The Secondprize officers looked around at each other and smiled. “Not a problem,” they replied in unison.

“Glad to hear it,” Rydell said. He stopped, taking one last look around at his gathered officers. If there was ever a point that he needed a holocam, this was it. But somehow he knew, even as his life became filled with the day-to-day operations of The Suburb Resort and Spa, that he’d never forget this moment, which meant it was time to leave before anyone said anything to screw it up…and high time to go start his new life.

Alexander Rydell then uttered his final command as the Captain of the USS Secondprize. “Energize.”





STARDATE: 55043.7


We regret to inform you that we will no longer be able to fulfill your request to transfer Cmdr. T’Bon, the Chief Engineer of the USS Oppenheimer, to Deneria Dry Dock due to the fact that she is currently dead. Please let us know if we may assist you in any of your future staffing needs.


Lt. Gracie Houbiloiluud


Lieutenant Commander Emily Sullivan stood in front of her bedroom mirror straightening her commbadge on her uniform when she heard the doors to the quarters she shared with her husband, Commander Scott Baird, slide open and shut. She was about to call out a hello to Baird when she heard the humming.

Her first instinct was to call Security because there was obviously an intruder in her quarters. Then, listening more closely, she realized that the humming indeed sounded like Scott Baird.

“Honey?” she called.

“It’s me,” Baird replied. Sullivan finished adjusting her uniform and headed out into the living area where Baird had planted himself on the sofa, a padd in his hand and a broad grin on his face.

“Oookay. Is this sudden bout of happiness due to alien possession, a brain-hijacking parasite, or a mood-altering spore, just so I know what I’m dealing with.”

Baird handed the padd to her. “It’s from Deneria.” Several months earlier, Baird had interviewed for the position of Supervising Refit and Repair Officer of the Deneria Dry Dock facility, a position he was subsequently passed over for in favor of the Chief Engineer of the USS Oppenheimer.

Sullivan read down the padd. “You…you got the post?” she said in disbelief. “But they already picked…”

“Her ship blew up. Go figure. The job’s mine now.”

Sullivan kept reading, then started to chuckle. “Hon, did you read this?”

“What kind of dumb ass question is that? Of course I read it.”

“All of it?”


“Even the part about you having to have a profanity filter installed?”

“What?” Baird shouted, snatching the padd away from her. He quickly found the section Sullivan was talking about. “Those f***ing bastard ass F***S!”




STARDATE: 55097.4


Congratulations on your recent promotion! As a newly-minted Captain, you must be feeling a bit overwhelmed by the whole new universe of possibilities and, yes, responsibilities that has opened up before you. That’s why you need to know that the SCCS is here for you. The SCCS is your complete source for tips, tactics, and, if you need it, an understanding colleague. And the best part is…you’re already a member by virtue of your rank! So once again, Congratulations! We look forward to serving you throughout your career.


Your Friends and Colleagues at SCCS


As he sat at the desk in the ready room, Captain Jaroch couldn’t help but feel that the place was decidedly under-decorated. Of course, the fact that he hadn’t brought in a single personal item may have had something to do with it.

The door chime pulled him away from considering the problem any further. “Come in,” he said as he typed a quick reminder into his desk computer to consider some sort of decorative style for what was now his ready room

Counselor Webber stepped inside, but stopped after only a few feet.

“Is there a problem?” Jaroch asked as Webber looked around.

“It’s just…I haven’t been in here since he left. It’s a bit strange.”

“For me as well,” Jaroch said, gesturing for Webber to sit down across from him. “Is there something in particular that you wished to discuss?” Honestly, he already knew the answer. It wasn’t exactly a secret.

“You’re going to have to talk to him,” Webber said.

“If I am not mistaken, you are the counselor, Counselor.”

“He’s not responding to my comms…or anyone else’s. He hasn’t even stepped outside of his quarters for a week.”

Jaroch leaned back in his chair. “And what leads you to believe that he will speak to me?”

“Have you talked to him since you got promoted?” Webber asked.

Jaroch didn’t respond.

“That’s what I thought,” Webber continued. “I know you don’t want to do this, but you’re the one with the best shot of getting a reaction out of him.”

“Has it occurred to you that this reaction may very well be violent?” Jaroch asked.

Webber rose from her seat, stepped behind Jaroch, and begin rubbing his shoulders. “It’s nothing to worry about. I’ll be there with you.”

Jaroch’s head involuntarily lolled back as Webber worked her magic on the muscles of his neck. “I will have you know that I find this method of coercion to be most unfair,” he mumbled.

“I can’t help it if my prior relationship with the captain gives me certain insights into his likes and dislikes.”

“Of course,” Jaroch said with a smirk.

“Does this mean you’ll go see Commander Dillon?”

“Yes…but do not think that you will be able to come in here whenever you like and bend me to your will. Our past romantic entanglement does not give you special access.”

“Then I guess I’ll have to start sleeping with you again,” Webber joked as Jaroch stood up. She immediately saw his shoulders tense. “I was kidding, Captain. Just relax.”

“I will relax after we see Commander Dillon,” Jaroch replied. “At which point I believe you will owe me another neck rub.”

“If you can get through to Dillon, I’ll make it a full back massage.”

Jaroch was at the door in a flash, drawing a satisfied grin from Webber. There was just something nice about having somebody in command who actually needed the services of a counselor every once in a while. She missed Alexander Rydell terribly, but as far as her professional services went, he was just too centered to really require them.

“I must admit to having second thoughts about not bringing security with us,” Jaroch remarked as he and Counselor Webber stood outside of the door to Commander Dillon’s quarters. “Or at the very least a phaser.”

“You can take him,” Webber said reassuringly.

“I have no doubt of that; however, I would prefer not to incur any injuries in the process.” He adjusted his uniform, then straightened up to his full height. “Very well. Let us get this over with.” He touched the door chime.

As expected, there was no response.

“Jaroch to Commander Dillon.”

No response.

“This would suggest that he has no desire to speak to me either.”

“Somebody is going to have to go in there at some point,” Webber said. “And the sooner we do it, the better it will be for everyone.”

Jaroch sighed. “Computer, open Commander Dillon’s quarters. Authorization Jaroch 93684825HG673GTTIO25763885892074FDWOENGHTSL3658G2327DJ38AN30STG30SH297T52BD90.”

Webber stared at Jaroch wide-eyed. “Wow. That’s certainly a…long authorization code.”

“I did not want to select one that could be easily memorized by others.”

“I don’t think you’ll have a problem there,” Webber replied as the doors to Dillon’s quarters slid open.

Jaroch and Webber stepped cautiously inside as the sounds of various blips and chirps and hums surrounded them.

“Is it just me or does it sound like the bridge in here?” Webber asked.

Jaroch nodded distractedly. His gaze was currently locked on Dillon’s living area, which had been rearranged more than a little, with the chairs, sofa, and coffee table now particularly placed around Dillon. As for the man in questions, he was sitting in a perfect replica of the bridge command chair facing his wall monitor, which was currently showing the very-popular “warpin’ through space” screensaver.

“Increase speed to warp six, Mister Sofa!” Dillon ordered, leaning forward in his chair intently. “Bridge to engineering. Keep an eye on those plasma injectors, Mister Toilet!”

For one of the few times in his life, Jaroch found himself completely at a loss for words.

“Were you…expecting this?” Jaroch asked finally.

Webber shook her head. “I knew he would take you being promoted over him badly, but maybe that combined with Hawkins leaving…”

Dillon’s head suddenly whipped toward them, his face blazing with fury. “Intruder alert! Phasers on KILL, Mister Coffee Table!”

“He may still be a little touchy about Hawkins,” Webber observed.


“Touchy?” Jaroch said. “The man is completely out of his mind.”

“Dammit, Coffee Table! You couldn’t hit a rampaging mugatu at three feet,” Dillon snapped, yanking his own hand phaser out of his uniform.

“I believe that is our cue to depart…quickly,” Jaroch said. He dove toward the doors just as Dillon fired, the beam narrowly missing Webber.

“TRAVIS! That was not nice!” Webber scolded.

“You can discuss this with him later, Counselor,” Jaroch said, yanking Webber out into the corridor. The doors closed, sealing them off from Dillon. “Computer, flood Commander Dillon’s quarters with anesthezine.”

Webber shook her head sadly. “I’ll see about drawing up a counseling schedule for him.”

“No offense to your abilities, Counselor, but Commander Dillon is going to need far more than the occasional hug from you.”

“You mean…Tantalus Five?” Webber asked.

“Frankly, I would rather not send him there,” Jaroch replied. “I have…issues with their security. However, I do not see an alternative.” Jaroch turned to head off down the corridor.

“Where are you going?” Webber asked.

“To contact Admiral Wagner. He needs to be informed of the situation immediately.”

“Didn’t you want that back massage?”

“And he will be informed of the situation immediately after my back massage,” Jaroch said, spinning on his heel back toward Webber.


STARSHIP: USS Orleans NCC-29718

NAME OF LOST OFFICER: Cmdr. Adrian Taber

POST: First Officer (NOTE: For Non-Bridge Officers, File Form 582-K)



CAUSE OF LOSS: X Death __ Alien Abduction __ Temporal Anomaly __ Unknown/Other


During a heated weapons exchange between the Orleans and an Orion Syndicate BorderRunner, Cmdr. Taber slipped in the shower and broke his neck, killing him instantly. Our CMO has ruled it Death By Misadventure, and I have immediately instituted regulations forbidding water showers during combat. And, yes, I am WELL aware this is the third first officer I’ve lost in a bathroom. Thanks for reminding me.

PREFERRED REPLACEMENT OFFICER: Lieutenant Commander Emily Sullivan



After entering their quarters and seeing his wife sitting quietly on the sofa, her eyes stuck open in what could only be described as stunned shock, Commander Scott Baird quickly came to the conclusion that the reality of the situation had finally gotten to Lieutenant Commander Emily Sullivan.

To be honest, he wasn’t surprised. There were only three days left until Baird was due to depart for Deneria Dry Dock to take over as the dock’s Supervising Refit and Repair Officer, but up until now, Sullivan had been taking her husband’s impending move rather well. Yes, Baird would be moving, but it also meant that they’d have a stable home somewhere instead of on a constantly moving starship.

“You okay?” Baird asked, plopping himself down on the sofa beside Sullivan.

She nodded blankly.

“Good. I don’t think I’m up for a crying fit today.”

A slow smile spread across Sullivan’s face. “You aren’t going to believe this,” she said.

“If this is your way of demanding a divorce, it’s not funny,” Baird joked.

Sullivan reached forward, picked a padd up off of the coffee table, and set it in Baird’s lap. He scanned through the document quickly until he hit the important part.

“First Officer! F***, YEAH!” He suddenly grabbed his wife, yanking her up off of the sofa and swinging her around in his arms several times before finally setting her back down on her feet.

“Did you happened to notice whose ship it is?” Sullivan asked.

Baird looked back down at the transfer order. “Jack Woodall?” Baird broke down laughing.

“Sure. Laugh, asshole, but you realize what this means?”

“Yeah. He really liked serving with your hologram while we had him drugged and locked in the holodeck a few months ago,” Baird said.

“Exactly. He doesn’t even really know me,” Sullivan replied.

“Then it’ll be the perfect time to introduce yourself.”

Sullivan sat back down on the sofa, resting her chin in her hands. “I don’t know…”

“Do you think you’re ready for the job?”

“That’s not the issue,” Sullivan said.

“Wrong. That’s the only issue. Now are you ready?” Baird asked forcefully.

“Hell yes!” Sullivan said standing up from the sofa.

“You’re damn right you are,” Baird said, wrapping his arms around his wife and kissing her. “Come on,” he said, pulling her toward the door once their lips parted.

“Where are we going?”

“Dinner. It’s time to celebrate and rub some people’s noses in your promotion.”

“You always did know how to show a girl a good time,” Sullivan laughed as she followed her husband out into the corridor.

From the Office of the Admiral Sara Mandaly (Recently Deceased)

TO: Admiral Thomas Wagner

FROM: Commander Marianne Keaton

STARDATE: 55104.6

RE: Real Estate

As per our discussion last week, I checked the specifics of Admiral Mandaly’s will concerning the disposition of the asteroid she’d modified for her retirement home. No specific beneficiary was designated for the asteroid or the holodeck and living quarters contained within. In fact, shortly after her death, I found a message on her computer addressed to me insisting that I keep the existence of the asteroid a secret. I suppose I really shouldn’t have told you about it in the first place. In any case, I have no use for a holodeck embedded in an asteroid, so you are more than welcome to take it. I do not know what you want to use it for, and, frankly, I do not want to know. The time I spent working in your office taught me that sometimes it’s best not to ask questions, particularly if the USS Secondprize is involved, which I have this sneaking suspicion it is. Find attached the coordinates of the asteroid and the codes to activate the internal systems. I will be deleting all records of this correspondence. As far as I’m concerning, this never happened. Best of luck, sir,

Commander Marianne Keaton


The crew of the USS Secondprize was undoubtedly finding the behavior of their captain to be highly irregular at the moment, but that was not of any great concern to Captain Jaroch as he steered the Runabout Patapsco into the Serellian Asteroid Field toward his destination.

Jaroch had left the Secondprize three days earlier, leaving specific instructions with Lieutenant Carr not to move the ship from its current position in orbit around Rigel XI until he returned. Normally, Jaroch would have been comfortable with leaving the Secondprize under the command of his First Officer until he returned; however, that was impossible for two minor reasons:

1) His First Officer, Commander Dillon, was on the runabout with him.

2) Dillon was completely out of his mind.

All Jaroch had told the Secondprize crew upon his departure was that Dillon was being transferred to a place that would be less damaging to his psyche. Some immediately assumed Jaroch meant Tantalus V. Others believed Dillon was going to Starfleet Headquarters. Nobody there would notice one more lunatic running around.

In truth, Admiral Wagner, who had seen Jaroch’s point about Tantalus V’s inability to keep its patients from escaping and terrorizing the quadrant, had arranged for a counselor from another facility to move to this asteroid to oversee Dillon’s treatment for as long as it took.

As the runabout approached the small asteroid specified in Admiral Wagner’s communique, Jaroch tried hailing the counselor, who was already to have arrived. No response. Jaroch initiated a scan to make sure he was in the right place and detected one life sign and several photonic signatures indicating a holodeck in use. This did indeed appear to be the correct location.

Assuming that the counselor was otherwise occupied, Jaroch headed to the back of the runabout where Dillon lay. He’d been kept heavily sedated ever since the incident in his quarters, another fact that the majority of the Secondprize crew had been kept unaware of. They’d just assumed that Dillon was sulking, and, frankly, they were quite content to let Dillon do that in his quarters alone.

Jaroch programmed the runabout’s transporter, which then beamed Jaroch and the unconscious Dillon to the living area inside the asteroid. The room, as Jaroch expected, was deserted. Jaroch pulled Dillon up onto a sofa, then headed over the massive holodeck doors dominating the far wall of the living room. It was indeed in use.

“Computer, open holodeck doors,” Jaroch ordered.

The computer complied, allowing Jaroch to walk out into a forested area atop what appeared to be a mountain on Earth. A cool breeze blew by Jaroch as he took in the view of the mountain range beyond the trees. This counselor was evidently a nature lover.

Then Jaroch heard the giggling of several female voices. Following the sound, he came upon a rocky area which had formed a natural pool filled with steaming water. Inside said pool were five unclad human females who could only be described as nubile. With them was a balding, bearded man who could only be described as paunchy.

“Now who wants to rub Counselor Ray’s feet?” the man asked contentedly.

“Me! Me!” the woman all shouted eagerly, practically diving for his feet.

“Calm down, girls. There’s enough of Ray to go around.”

“That much is more than evident,” Captain Jaroch said disapprovingly.

The counselor’s head whipped around, his eyes widening in alarm as he spotted Jaroch. “Sorry, girls,” he said, scrambling out of the pool and pulling a towel around his waist. “Fun time’s over for today.”

“Awwwwwwww!” the women whined.

“Computer, end program,” Jaroch ordered. The mountain and its occupants shimmered out of existence, leaving only Jaroch and the now-naked counselor.

“Holographic towel,” the counselor said sheepishly, rushing over to his uniform, which sat in a pile in the corner of the holodeck. “I’m Counselor Miller,” he continued, pulling his clothes on. “I’ll be seeing to the care of Commander Dillon.”

“Captain Jaroch,” replied flatly. “You will find Commander Dillon unconscious on the sofa in the next room.

“All right,” Miller said. “Admiral Wagner was vague about all of this. He pretty much just asked me if I was willing to leave Waystation for an extended assignment, then, when I agreed, he told me the name of the patient. Is there anything else I should know?”

“Within the last couple of months, he has lost the woman he loves and his hope for ever commanding a starship, the combined effect of which was enough to wrench loose the last of his tenuous grip on reality.”

“So he’s retreated into his imagination,” Miller said.


“Then I guess he’s in the right place,” Miller said, looking around at the holodeck.

“That was my intention,” Jaroch said. “And now I will leave him in your care.” Jaroch moved to tap his commbadge.

“Wait!” Miller said. “Who should I send progress reports to?”

“File them in the asteroid’s databanks, if you wish,” Jaroch replied. “I am sure that someone will check on Dillon…eventually.” He tapped the commbadge. “Jaroch to Patapsco. Energize.”

A moment later, Jaroch was gone, leaving Counselor Miller alone to devise his course of treatment. After several seconds of thought, Miller shrugged and headed out into the living area, staying just long enough to get Dillon and drag him back into the holodeck.

“Computer, create the bridge of a Federation starship. I don’t really care which one. Generic crew, but they should consider Commander Dillon here to be the captain. Create a set of quarters for me and have two female yeomen waiting for me there. Pull their templates out of my database. You know what I like,” Miller said with a grin.

As the bridge and its crew shimmered into existence, Miller headed into the turbolift to debrief his yeomen. A short time later, Dillon began to stir as the effects of the sedatives wore off. Reaching out, his arm hit the base of a chair. Dillon opened his bleary eyes, which gradually focused to reveal that he was in front of a command chair. He pulled himself up into the chair groggily, searching his memory for some idea as to where he was or how he’d gotten here.

“Orders, Captain?” the helm officer asked, turning around in his chair.

Captain? Oh! Of course! This was HIS ship. And HIS crew. Everything was exactly like it was supposed to be.

“Take us to our next mission, Lieutenant,” Dillon said, quickly adjusting to his new surroundings.

“Aye, sir.”

“And if we happen to run across Captain Alexander Rydell or the USS Secondprize on our way there, destroy them on sight. Okay?”

“Of course, Captain.

Dillon smiled and leaned back in his command chair, perfectly content in his belief that all was right in HIS universe.

Roger and Caroline Durham
Request the Honor of Your Presence
At the Marriage of their Daughter,
Karina Ashley Durham
Captain Alexander Beaumont Rydell (Retired)
on Stardate 55274.6
at The Suburb Resort and Spa, Chess Lawn
Third Moon of Hujinor Two
Reception to Follow


“…and so by the power invested in me by the United Federation of Planets, I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss.” Captain Lisa Beck took a slight step back as she finished speaking, giving the newlyweds plenty of room for that all-important first kiss as a married couple.

Alexander Rydell and Karina Durham wasted no time, moving together in one of those passionate kisses that reminded Beck just how long it had been since she’d had a real date, a situation she had every intention of resolving as soon as she returned to Waystation.

As the witnesses to the wedding ceremony stood up and applauded, the new couple stepped off of the platform floating in a small pool that been set up in The Suburb’s Chess Lawn (so named because of the life-sized chess board painted on the grass that allowed visitors to The Suburb to participate in a chess game either as players or pieces) and proceeded down the aisle, both of their faces grinning broadly.

Within twenty minutes of the end of the ceremony, The Suburb staff had completely transformed the Chess Lawn from outdoor wedding chapel into an outdoor reception pavilion complete with bandstand and buffet.

“So I guess some congratulations are in order, Captain,” Captain Beck said as she approached Captain Jaroch and shook his hand.

“Thank you, Captain,” Jaroch said with a courteous nod of his head.

“Somehow it feels like I just congratulated you on a promotion. You certainly didn’t waste much time at the Commander rank.”

“Neither did you, as I recall.”

“You’ve got me there,” Beck said, looking around at the guests.

“The ceremony was quite pleasant,” Jaroch said, searching for another conversational topic. As usual in his interactions with Beck, he found himself without anything to discuss within a very short period of time. “However, I am puzzled by the pool.”

“It was the only way I could marry them here,” Beck replied. “Captains only marry people on the vessel, or station in my case, that they’re in command of, so Alexander decided that the platform was a boat and that I was the captain of it. Problem solved. But somebody really needs to take that out of the Starfleet wedding regulations.”

“Indeed,” Jaroch said absently as his eyes locked on Patricia Hawkins, dressed in civilian clothing, who was currently talking to Commander Scott Baird and Commander Emily Sullivan, both of whom had traveled in from their new posts. “Excuse me,” he said, walking off toward Hawkins.

“Good talking to you,” Beck said with a smirk. She spotted Lieutenant Commander Craig Porter talking to Lieutenant Andrea Carr and Counselor Claire Webber. Then, finally, she found Alexander Rydell and Karina Durham surrounded by well-wishers and headed off in their direction to get in line for her turn with the newlyweds.

Jaroch, meanwhile, stopped himself a few feet away from Hawkins, Baird, and Sullivan. Just what did he plan to say? Small talk had never exactly been a strong suit. The problem solved itself as Hawkins spotted him and waved him over.

“I hope I am not interrupting,” Jaroch said as he joined the group.

“You outrank us, so you can pretty much interrupt whenever you want,” Sullivan joked. “It’s good to see you, sir.”

“And you. I trust that the you are adjusting adequately to the Orleans.”

“Captain Woodall and I had a few bumps at first, but we’re slowly melding into a functional unit.”

“The f*** better meld, or I’m coming after his ass,” Baird muttered.

“Don’t mind him,” Sullivan said, patting her husband on the arm. “Deneria promised to do something to take care of his language.”

“F*** you.”

“Get it out while you can, hon.”

Baird and Sullivan suddenly realized that Jaroch was paying absolutely no attention to them. Instead, he was busy gazing at Hawkins.

“Hello,” Hawkins said somewhat nervously.

“And to you,” Jaroch replied with a nod.

“Come on,” Sullivan said to Baird. “I’m hungry.”

“Yeah. Good idea,” Baird said as they headed toward the buffet.

“How is Mookow?” Jaroch asked once he and Hawkins were alone.

“Fine. We had a job come up for this weekend, so he’s taking care of that while I’m here.”

“I see. And are you enjoying your new line of work?”

“Oh yeah. I’ve shot nineteen Cardassians and six Klingons in the last month alone.”

“How satisfying for you.”

“It is,” Hawkins said. “But what about you? Do you like having the center seat?”

Jaroch nodded. “To be honest, I had never thought much about commanding a starship on a permanent basis, but now that I have the position, I must admit to enjoying it. Of course, my prior knowledge of the crew is helpful in that regard.”

Hawkins looked around at the other guests. “Travis didn’t come?”

“He was not feeling up to it,” Jaroch replied flatly. It was not exactly a lie, and Jaroch had no desire to possibly cause Hawkins to feel guilty over Commander Dillon’s mental breakdown.

“I hate to admit it, but I’m kind of relieved. I never told him I was leaving the Secondprize, and I seriously doubt he took it well.”

Jaroch said nothing.

“Uh huh. I knew it. Look, I don’t want to talk about Travis anymore. I made my decision. I’m happy with Mookow. That’s the end of it.”

“Very well,” Jaroch said. “May I suggest something to take our minds off of the topic?”

“Absolutely,” Hawkins said.

Jaroch extended his hand to her. “Would you care to dance?”

“I didn’t know you danced.”

“I do not; however, I am more than willing to make an exception for you.”

Hawkins laughed. “How can I refuse that?” she said, taking his hand and walking with him toward the other dancing couples in front of the bandstand.

A short distance away, Captain Beck finally managed to get to Rydell and Karina Durham. “Now serving number three-thousand twelve,” Rydell joked as Beck approached.

“Sorry. I lost my number,” Beck replied.

“Woah! Back to the end of the line!” Karina said with a laugh.

“Congratulations,” Beck said, hugging them both in turn.

“Thank you,” Rydell said. “And thank you agreeing to perform the ceremony.”

“Seeing as how you first consummated your relationship in one of my turbolifts, it seemed only appropriate.”

“You know about that?” Karina said.

“We have good internal sensors and Sean Russell running them.”

“That explains that then,” Rydell said. “The man never did have an ounce of tact when it came to other people’s sex lives.”

“Or his own,” Beck replied, gesturing toward the edge of the Chess Lawn where Russell and Lieutenant Commander Monica Vaughn were charging toward the bushes, practically ripping each other’s clothes off as they went. “Okay. That’s enough of that,” she said, turning away from the spectacle. “So when do I get to meet your parents?”

Rydell and Karina Durham exchanged a glance. “Mine are over there with Dr. Aldridge,” Karina said.

“That’s one set,” Beck said, focusing on Rydell.

“Mine…couldn’t make it,” he said.

“Oh,” Beck said uncomfortably. “Sorry about that. But this is a nice place you’ve got here,” she continued, changing the subject.

“We like it,” Rydell said, happy that Beck had dropped the parent issue. It was true that his parents couldn’t make it. They were currently busy running their hotel on Bransonis, but Rydell also didn’t think that this was the time for his crew to find out that he was the son of galactic singing stars Fabe and Mabe. “You need to come for a stay sometime,” he finished.

“I’d like that…as long as you’re actually going to be here,” Beck said with a smile.

“You don’t think I can stay away from Starfleet, huh?”

“The thought crossed my mind.”

“Starfleet is a way of life, but it’s not mine. I’ve got everything I need right here,” Rydell said, pulling Karina closer to him.

Seeing Rydell and Karina together, Captain Beck realized that Rydell was right. He wouldn’t be back. Rydell had found the life he wanted, and Beck couldn’t be more happy for him.

From the Expansive Office Suite of Fleet Admiral Nosira Ra’al



STARDATE: 55274.7


Our office has received the revised USS Secondprize command structure submitted by your office on Stardate 55270. That list, as submitted, follows:

Commanding Officer - Captain Jaroch

First Officer - Commander Vacant

Helm Officer - Lieutenant Andrea Carr

Operations Officer - Ensign Bill Woodville

Tactical Officer - Lieutenant Robert Prescott

Chief Engineer - Lieutenant Commander Monica Vaughn

Chief Medical Officer - Doctor Elizabeth Aldridge

While Starfleet Command generally prefers that a science officer be assigned, we are willing to wave that requirement considering the extensive science background of the Secondprize’s Captain. We cannot, however, overlook the fact that the Secondprize currently does not have a First Officer. And, no, I do not believe that “Commander Vacant” is a real person. Now, this office was quite willing to place the Secondprize’s prior First Officer, Commander Travis Dillon, on “Extended Special Assignment” without asking questions about what this assignment was or where it would be occurring. That is as far as we can bend, though. The USS Secondprize will be assigned a new First Officer. In fact, Fleet Admiral Ra’al feels that, with Alexander Rydell out of the way, this is a perfect opportunity to try to bring the Secondprize back into the fold. Therefore, she will select Commander Dillon’s replacement personally from elsewhere in the Fleet.


Commodore Ed Gould


The first thing Captain Jaroch noticed as he and Lieutenant Carr stepped out onto the Secondprize bridge after beaming up from The Suburb was Ensign Bill Woodville scurrying back to his post at the Operations console as Lieutenant Robert Prescott, the Secondprize’s Security Chief/Tactical Officer quickly typed a command, clearing whatever it was that he and Woodville had been looking at before Jaroch’s arrival.

“Nice wedding?” Prescott asked innocently.

“It was pleasant,” Jaroch replied, taking his seat in the command chair as Carr did the same at the helm.

“At least some people on board were able to enjoy it,” Ensign Woodville said pointedly.

“Captain Rydell would have liked to invite everyone; however, he and Karina Durham decided on a small ceremony. It certainly was not meant as a slight against anyone not specifically invited.”

“Easy for him to say,” Prescott said. “He got to dance with Patricia Hawkins.”

“How did you know that?” Jaroch asked, turning to face his tactical officer.

“Well…um…news travels fast on this ship,” Prescott replied.

“But not backwards in time. You could not be aware of the event until after we returned from the wedding, which did not happen until just now. And I seriously doubt Doctor Aldridge, Lieutenant Commander Vaughn, Counselor Webber or Lieutenant Carr ran to the nearest intercom to inform you of my dance card as soon as they beamed aboard.”

“We used the sensors,” Woodville said, drawing an angry glare from Prescott. “What? He was going to find out!”

“You didn’t have to spoil the mystery for him then,” Prescott replied as a bemused Jaroch watched the exchange.

“My only response is that I hope you allowed the rest of the crew to watch the ceremony as well,” Jaroch said

“We did,” Woodville said.

“Good. Now if there is nothing else…” Jaroch said.

Prescott shifted his feet hesitantly. “Well…”

“Yes?” Jaroch asked.

“We received a communique from Admiral Wagner while you were away,” Woodville said, drawing another glare from Prescott. “What? You were about to tell him anyway!”

“That’s not the point! I’m not telling you anything ever again.”

“Gentlemen, could I hear about the Admiral’s message?”

“You’re going to love this.” Prescott sent the message to the viewscreen. “Oh, by the way, it was addressed to the Secondprize in general, which is why we looked at it,” Prescott said.

“That being the case, I sincerely doubt you have violated Federation security,” Jaroch replied, reading through Admiral Wagner’s communique quickly. A new First Officer…from outside of the Secondprize. “I suppose this was to be expected,” Jaroch said with a sigh. “Although, I cannot say that I am happy about it.”

“Me either,” Carr grumbled.

“What do you care?” Prescott asked.

“We don’t even know this Commander Leirnak person,” Carr said, looking at the name in the communique.

“I would have preferred that Starfleet allowed me the option to promote from within,” Jaroch said. “Most captains are allowed to choose their own First Officer, and the Secondprize requires a certain personality.”

“I’d take the job,” Carr said.

“Right,” Prescott scoffed.

“Actually, I firmly believe that in a few years you will be an excellent candidate. You certainly have shown solid ability up until now,” Jaroch said.

“Thank you, sir,” Carr said with a smile, which quickly turned into a positively evil stare as she focused on Prescott.

“Anyway,” Prescott said, rapidly breaking eye contact with Carr. “We are to proceed to Starbase 26 to pick him up. And it is a him. I checked his service record. He’s a Tarkalian.”

“Lay in a course and engage at warp five,” Jaroch said to Carr.

“He looks like a bit of an order nut,” Woodville said, turning to look at Jaroch.

“Oh yeah,” Prescott agreed. “Evidently he had the Chief Engineer of his last ship alphabetize the spare parts.”

“You’re kidding!” Carr said with a laugh.

“Nope. Dead serious. We’ve already got a pool going to see how long he’ll last.”

“Count me in,” Carr said.

“I’ve already got one month,” Woodville said.

“And I still think you’re nuts,” Prescott said. “There’s no way…”

“Ahem,” Captain Jaroch said, clearing his throat loudly. The other bridge officers quickly fell silent.

“Sorry, sir,” Prescott said sheepishly.

“Thank you,” Jaroch said. “Now please put me down for fifteen days, three hours, eighteen minutes.”

“Why then?” Carr said. “If I can ask.”

“You may,” Jaroch said. “If you will check your calendars, you will note that that particular time will be exactly five minutes after the beginning of Lieutenant Commander Vaughn’s birthday celebration, which, if this Commander Leirnak is the type of man you say he is and considering the show Vaughn put on last year, should be just enough time for his head to explode.”

“Should we just give him the credits now?” Woodville asked.

“The man is good,” Prescott admitted.

“That,” Jaroch said with a confident smile as he leaned back into his command chair, “is why I am the captain.”

And the Secondprize sailed on.


“Smashing,” Captain Reginald Bain, commanding officer of the USS Anomaly, a Starfleet vessel operating in the early 26th century, said unenthusiastically from the rock where it seemed like he’d been sitting for an eternity listening to this blasted Forever entity drone on and on. It was enough to make him regret beaming down here in the first place. But no. He just HAD to see how there could be a cavern with a breathable atmosphere in the center of a pulsar.

“I believe he’s done, Captain,” Lieutenant Commander Tovar, Bain’s Tac-Ops Officer said from the patch of rocky floor where he’d curled up to try and nap.

Bain immediately perked up. “Lovely story, Forever…even if it did happen over a century ago. Right. I suppose we should be going then.”


Bain thought for a moment. “Not this trip.” He pinched the commpip on his collar. “Bain to Anomaly. Beam Tovar and I back at once.”

A moment later, Forever was once again alone.

“OH WELL,” Forever sighed. “MAYBE NEXT CENTURY…”


And that does it for Star Traks: The Lost Years! If you haven’t read Please Hold For Oblivion yet, now would be a fantastic time. If you have…um…well, I really don’t have anything else to say. Bye bye now.