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John Randall

The Return (Latest Version)


       (Personal Log Stardate 11712.04)


The USS Tobias docked at the starbase, and John made his way to the transporter room. "Energize," he told the chief, and a few seconds later, materialized aboard the starbase. He stepped down from the dais, nodded to the transporter officer, and strode out of the room. He made his way to a nearby turbolift, and stepped into the car. "Main Lobby," he snapped, and the lift sped off. He arrived a few moments later and stepped out of the car. He looked around for a moment, then made his way to the big circular desk in the middle of the cavernous room. He smiled at a pretty receptionist, and inquired about the Challenger. She consulted her computer terminal, then told him which dock the ship was berthed in. He thanked her and walked back to the turbolift. "Deck 4," he said, and the lift whisked him away.

It arrived moments later and he stepped out of the car. He walked over to the huge port in the west wall, and gazed at his home ship for a few moments. Then he looked around and spotted a nearby airlock. He walked over to it and the door rolled itself open at his approach. He stepped into the airlock and pulled out his communicator. "Challenger, one to beam up," he intoned, and a few seconds later a reply came back. "Stand by, energizing," came the voice of the transport chief, and John slowly dematerialized. He shimmered into existence on the transporter dais, and stepped down. He then smiled at the chief as the officer said, "Welcome home, Lieutenant." John replied, "Thank you, it's good to be back." The chief inquired, "How was the seminar?" Randall said, "You've been to one, you've been to 'em all. Mostly sitting around shooting the bull, but we did learn one or two new things." The chief grinned. "I can imagine," he replied. "Good to have you back." John nodded and left the room.

He strode down the corridor to the turbolift. "Deck 3," he said as he stepped into the car, and the lift sped off. It arrived a few moments later, and he exited the car; he made his way down the corridor to his cabin, and the door swished open at his approach. He walked inside and deposited his duffel bag on the sofa. 'Home again,' he thought to himself, and went into the bedroom. He stripped off his civvies, and went into the head to take a shower. 20 minutes later, he stepped out, toweled himself dry, and returned to the bedroom where he put on a fresh uniform. He then walked back into the living area, paused, sighed, and left the cabin. He rode the turbolift down to the engineering deck, and strode into his department.

He nodded at the starbase repair team, taking pains not to get in their way, and strode into his office. He sat down in the chair behind his desk and reclined back in it. He was home; this was where he belonged. He then straightened in the chair and sighed as he saw the PADDs that had accumulated on the desk. He ignored them for the moment and powered up the computer. He pulled up the status report on the Challenger and sat there reading. After a few moments, he then pulled up the report on the ship's last mission, his eyes narrowing as he read. He then nodded and sat back in the chair. A few minutes later, he accessed his personal e-mail, and found a message from his Vulcan-Romulan lady friend, T'Mira, who was actually an undercover agent for the Vulcan High Command.

John read the highly personal message, which brought him up to date on her activities, and she then told him she loved him and hoped to see him soon. He sat there a few moments, then wrote a return message and sent it to her e-mail inbox. He then thought of something, and pulled up the ship manifest. He had heard a rumor while at the seminar that the Challenger had undergone some personnel changes, and when the manifest appeared on the screen, he knew that the rumors were true. Commander Erica Rinax was gone, no longer the executive officer of the Challenger. And then, he saw that Anastasia Poldara was no longer even in Starfleet. She had resigned her commission. John sat there stunned as he read the script on the screen. The new acting chief science officer was someone named Caitlin Townsend. He read the meager information on the science officer, then sat back in his chair again. In his mind, he sent out a silent wish to Ana that she would be happy and safe with whatever she was going to do next in her life.

He then set to work on the pile of PADDs sitting on his desk. The crew of the Challenger was on leave aboard the starbase, and John was looking forward to seeing his friends Jeff Michaels and Steve Davis when they returned to the ship. He noted with satisfaction that Jeff had done a good job in his absence, and entered a commendation for his friend in the engineering status report. The pile dwindled slowly away as he pounded away at the keyboard.


Edited by John Randall
Forgot a digit on the stardate

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