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John Randall

The Next Mission Begins



  (Personal Log Stardate 11806.20)

The Challenger received word from Starfleet Command to travel to the Arcadian system to help establish trade and shipping routes with the non-aligned world. Arcadia was in Federation space, but was not a member, and, to anyone's knowledge, had ever asked to become a member. Captain Ja'Lale had the helmsman, Marine Gunnery Sergeant Hunter Matheson, lay in a course at warp 7 to the non-aligned world, and the ship sped off.

Investigations into the planet of Arcadia had revealed that the natives of that world were a lot like the captain's home planet of Chelon. The Arcadians were mostly aquatic beings, and were just starting to venture out into space. They had been the ones who had contacted Starfleet about the possible trade and shipping routes, and some felt that the Arcadians were possibly on the brink of asking to become a full-fledged member of the Federation.

During the trip to Arcadia, John was in engineering supervising his crew with the help of his two alpha shift command crewmates, Lieutenants Jeff Michaels and Susan Maloney. Maloney in particular had come a long way, John felt, and when he asked for her to take a supervisory role, she surprised him by accepting right away. Randall had been secretly pleased by Maloney's acceptance, and now knew he had two people on his alpha shift that he could trust to watch the crew.

Not long after the ship got underway toward Arcadia, John noticed a strange sound coming from one of the warp engines while he was sitting at the main console. He immediately arose from his chair and went back to the warp core station, which was manned by Lieutenant Brad Mason. Randall nodded to Mason, then looked at the readouts on the panel. He instantly saw something he didn't like, and whipped out his communicator.

"Randall to the bridge," the chief engineer said, and an answer came almost immediately. "Yes, Lieutenant, go ahead," answered Ja'Lale. "We have a problem with the starboard warp engine, sir," John reported. "Recommend we drop our speed to warp 5 until I assemble a team to check it out." Ja'Lale replied, "When will you have it fixed, Chief?" Randall said, "Depends on what I find, sir. I can give you an ETA in five minutes." The captain replied, "Very well, we will drop speed to warp 5. I will await your report." John said, "Aye, sir. Assembling a team now. Randall out."

The chief engineer called Michaels over and gave him the conn. He then assembled a team and they rode the glass elevator to the top floor of engineering. He led them down the corridor to the starboard engine room, used his card to gain entry, and led them inside. He told the team to use their tricorders to amass information while he himself went to the panel at the readout station. After about five minutes, the team had the problem pegged, and Randall pushed the 'com button. "Randall to Ja'Lale," he said, and the captain answered immediately. "Yes, Chief, go ahead," he/it said. "We have a coolant problem with the starboard engine, sir," said Randall. "Nothing major, but it will take a few minutes to repair. ETA 10 minutes, sir." The captain said, "Acceptable, Chief. Contact me when you are finished." Randall replied, "Aye, sir. Starting work now. Randall out."

John gave out instructions to his team, and they went to work. He stayed at the panel, making adjustments to the equations as needed while the team did their jobs. Ten minutes later, the job was finished, and the readouts showed the engine was back to nominal. John contacted Ja'Lale again and told him/it that the ship was safe to resume the warp 7 speed they had been traveling at earlier. The captain thanked him and signed off. Seconds later, the whine of the engine increased slightly, and John kept an eye on the readouts. Seeing everything was good, he nodded to his team, gave them a 'well done', and they returned to the ground floor of engineering.

The team returned to their regular posts/stations, and John made his way to the main console. Michaels informed him everything was good, and Randall told him to keep the conn while he went into his office. The chief engineer made his way to his office and sat down at the computer. He powered it up and brought up some more information on the Arcadians, which wasn't much. He then had an idea pop into his head, and he composed, then sent, an e-mail to the science officer of the Challenger, Lieutenant Caitlin Townshend. In the e-mail, John inquired if she had recovered from her time spent aboard the Klingon vessel on their last mission. A few moments later, a reply came stating that, yes, she was; the food on the Challenger was much better, and not having to worry about getting a dagger slipped between your ribs was relaxing, also. She thanked Randall for thinking of her, then signed off.

John laughed out loud at the food part, then sat back in his chair, smiling as he filed the e-mail from Townshend in his personal folder. He himself was very happy to be back on his home ship and in Federation space as well after their last mission. He then set to work logging reports onto the computer from the pile of PADDS on his desk. 'Some things never change', he mused to himself as he pounded away at the keyboard.



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