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John Randall

Service On A Klingon Ship


        (Personal Log Stardate 11802.05)

John packed a duffel bag with spare uniforms to take over to the Klingon vessel that the senior crew of the Challenger would be serving aboard. He then had the computer replicate a medieval-style dagger for him as a backup weapon, and for show to the Klingons, who respected strength above all else, or at least a show of position of strength. He inspected the weapon, nodded, shrugged, and clipped it to his belt.

He then made his way out of his cabin and strode down the corridor to the turbolift. He rode the 'lift to deck ten where transporter room 1 resided. He exited the lift and walked down the corridor to the transporter room. He entered and strode straight to the transporter dais. He walked up on it and poised himself for the beamover to the Klingon vessel. The rest of the away team came into the room and joined him on the pad. Captain Ja'Lale then nodded to the transporter chief. The officer checked his panel, then looked up at the captain. "Energize," Ja'Lale ordered, and the away team shimmered out of existence.

They re-materialized in a dimly lit room about half the size of the Challenger's transporter room. As they got their eyes acclimated to the lower light settings, a door slid open and in walked a group of burly Klingons. John immediately went on guard, his senses on full alert as the two groups studied each other briefly. Then, one of the Klingons stepped forward. "Greetings," he said into his universal translator. "I am Gronk," and he also told what house he was from, but John was tuning it out; his eyes were on the remaining Klingons. His right hand drifted down to rest on the butt of his phaser as he watched the Klingons stare at the away team. 

The captain of the Klingon vessel finished his introduction, and Ja'Lale responded for the away team. Gronk indicated that the Challenger officers would be assigned to their Klingon counterparts so they could learn the terminology and technology of the Klingon ship. The communications officer of the Challenger, Lieutenant Dvokr chim Hok, exchanged a few words with the Klingon captain in the Klingon vocabulary, and the Klingon captain was impressed by the Tellarite's capability to speak his language, though he took pains not to show it. Gronk invited the Challenger crew to dine with them in the mess hall, or if they preferred, to hone their skills in the sparring room. Most of the away team opted for the mess hall. John, on the other hand, wanted to get down to business, and not spend any more time on the Klingon vessel than he had to. He looked directly at the remaining Klingons and boldly asked, "Which one of you is the engineer?"

One of the Klingons stepped forward and said, "I am Marek, chief engineer of the Klongat. I presume you are the engineer of the Federation vessel?" John nodded. "That is correct," he answered. "Are you on a dinner break, or shall we go to engineering so I can begin learning your technology?" The Klingon answered, "I am anxious to get back to engineering myself. Follow me." So saying, he turned and walked out of the transporter room. John fell in behind the burly Klingon, and followed him to a turbolift. They entered the car, and Marek rasped out a command in his language. The lift sped off and stopped only a few moments later. The two beings exited the car and walked down a short corridor where they entered the engineering compartment.

John's eyes were instantly drawn to the double warp core setup in the middle of the room. The two tubes ran vertically up to another floor of the engineering compartment. John let his gaze roam for a few seconds around the compartment, ignoring the looks he was getting from the various other Klingons working in the compartment. John then turned to the burly Klingon. "I would like to begin immediately," he said. "My rank is lieutenant. How should I address you?" Marek answered, "My rank is jonpin, which I understand is the same as your rank in Starfleet." John nodded. "Very well," he replied. "I would like to begin learning your systems and terminology." Marek nodded and led him around the engineering compartment, pointing out various systems and controls. John pulled his tricorder from his belt, which made the Klingon flinch at first, but then he saw the readouts and the lighted buttons on the device, and knew it was not a weapon. He continued his tour with Randall around engineering, John recording everything on the tricorder.

The tour continued for the better part of a half hour, then Marek announced the tour was over. "I think you would like to go over what you have recorded," he said to Randall, "so I will leave you to your device. There is a matter I need to attend to on the upper floor. It is an adjustment I have to make to the starboard nacelle. You may come along if you wish." John nodded. "I would," he answered, and the Klingon nodded. Marek took Randall over to the warp core and then walked behind the assembly. There was a lift similar to the glass lift onboard the Challenger, and the two beings stepped into it. The lift rose, taking them to the top floor of the engineering compartment. They exited the lift, and Marek led John to a panel located on the west wall of the room. John again took out his tricorder and watched the Klingon as he made his adjustment. Marek then nodded to him, and they returned to the ground floor. The Klingon led Randall to a panel at the warp core assembly, and pointed out the adjustment he had made. John nodded, recording everything with his tricorder.

Marek then said, "I think that is enough for a while; you need to study what you have recorded, yes?" Randall nodded. "That is correct," he answered. The Klingon said, "I am now going to the mess hall to get some dinner. Feel free to join me." John answered, "I would like to know if it would be possible to convert one of your food replicators to Federation Standard. I mean no offense, but Klingon food doesn't agree with my body chemistry." Marek studied him a moment, then nodded. "No offense taken," he said. "You are a very straight talking human, which, to be honest, I find refreshing. We only have one food replicator, but most of what we eat is live food anyway, as you are no doubt aware," raising his eyebrows at the Challenger's chief engineer, who nodded in return. "So I will accompany you, and we will convert the replicator together," he finished, and John nodded again. "Your help is appreciated," he said, and the Klingon nodded.

The two beings left engineering and rode the lift to the mess hall. They entered to find the away team sitting at one end of a long table, and a group of Klingons at the other end. The away team had food in front of them, and were eyeing it hesitantly, especially the young science officer, Caitlin Townshend, who had a plate of what looked like tomatoes in front of her. John suppressed a smile, and followed Marek over to a machine on the wall. He turned on his tricorder and brought up several food items to display on the panel, and the equations for the items. He showed it to Marek, who merely nodded, and the two engineers set about deciphering the other's technology and terminology. The two groups seated at the table watched the engineers work.


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