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‘Taking Stock - with Expedition' [A Captain's Prerogative]

The office of Commodore Georgetown, Starbase 49

"Of course as is customary, we shall have a farewell party n one of our VIP lounges."

"That is very kind of you Commodore but I'd sooner get the Kestrel out back on patrol where we belong." Georgetown tried, unsuccessfully, to hide his relief. McGregor was keen to press a point. "Too many of the scum out on the border have had a holiday of sorts while we have been holed up here."

Beaming, Georgetown asked expectantly, "Shall you be leaving Starbase 49 soon?"

With what Georgetown found to be surprising enthusiasm, McGregor cheerily replied, "I shall endeavour to do so with expedition."

"Soon then!"

"Yes with expedition. Your Chief Hashap reports that all the repairs have been made and the Kestrel is space worthy once again. More importantly, my chief engineer is of the same opinion. So I'd like to take my leave of Starbase 49 within the next forty-eight hours."

"Well if that is your wish and intention I will do all I can do to ..."

"Expedite matters! Great, because there is actually one other matter, you will recall during the attack my docking shuttle was destroyed."

A little thrown off guard by the turn of the conversation, Georgetown nevertheless pointed out the bald fact. "When you smashed it into the criminal's get away vessel."

"I recall the details clearly Commodore and I are glad you do too, since after all lost said shuttle in the act of trying to save my vessel after the failures of station security."

Georgetown was tempted to lean over and buzz in the security personnel he had standing ready in a nearby corridor. "I hope we are not going to have a repeat of our last meeting Captain."

"I trust not Commodore I merely was stating the facts."

"As you see them."

"How else might I state them? Look Georgetown, you've kindly allowed the repairs to the Kestrel to take priority so all I ask is you extend the courtesies and allow me my replacement."

"Captain, might I point out that not only have I pushed your repairs through, I've also had to source many parts that are now no longer standard among ship of the line, thereby making the task all the more difficult."

"I have exacting standards and I hardly need point out to you that the Kestrel is not considered a ship of the line."

"No but it is a ship serving the border and a vital role in protecting and policing the Federation. As such it ought to be at its most cutting edge."

"Such as being outfitted with a replacement shuttle. Thank you for seeing my need." McGregor beamed smugly.

Somewhere, somehow, Georgetown found a backbone. "Captain I can not and will not replace your shuttle. Now why don't you make good your request to leave my Starbase? This is really too much!"

"Fine, fine. If you're going to be difficult." McGregor stood up darkly and Georgetown's backbone almost disappeared, as he feared McGregor meant physical harm. "I will bid ye farewell then Commodore. Commander Cartwright will contact you with when the Kestrel is ready to depart."

Georgetown surprised at the almost conciliatory tone of the Captain and followed him as he departed the office. In the lobby seated opposite the commodore's aide, McGregor and Georgetown spied Captain Tyler Ramsey of the Galaxy class Manhattan. Seated at the far end of the room, being pointedly ignored by Tyler Ramsey, staring vacantly into space was McGregor's mysterious helm officer Mnu Subrelqui aka Stanley.

"Tyler Ramsey."

"Captain McGregor. I hope that you are satisfied with your repairs, as the Commodore informs me my ship's overhaul is delayed until such time as they are complete." Ramsey stood setting aside the reading materials he was indifferent to.

"Not to worry old chap. Me and the commodore are all finished with. Thank you for being so patient and accommodating captain. It must have been a pain having to wait on little old Kestrel." McGregor clapped Ramsey on the arm as he walked past.

"Come along then Stanley. Oh heaven's I forgot to ask Commodore but perhaps Captain Ramsey can also help answer my request." Georgetown and Ramsey exchanged a glance with one another, part intrigued and part annoyed. "It's just before we depart, Stanley here wondered if you could recommend a good porn shop on the Starbase."

"Captain McGregor!"

Tyler Ramsey gritted his teeth and snarled quietly as passing corridor traffic stopped to listen in on McGregor's quite vocal request. "Get out of here McGregor. We have no recommendations for you."

Still quite vocal, McGregor turned and to Stanley, but honestly directed out into the corridor, "I'm afraid they can't recommend a good porn shop Stan. Maybe I should have asked them to recommend a bad one! Come on we've work to do we can't be standing around talking shop ... s ... porn or otherwise."

McGregor strolled gleefully away from the office with Stanley at his side. After a time Stanley enquired. "Why Captain did you deliberately choose to anger the commodore and cause him embarrassment?"

"I like it, that's why. Such easy sport."

Stanley cocked his head as he mulled over these words. "I do not see how it helps us in any way."

"Trust me Stan. Trust me."

They came to a larger thoroughfare that opened up into a plaza with many eateries and shops selling their wares. McGregor scanned the milling populace and saw the new ensigns, Jex and Cutler, enter a group waiting to enter a public holosuite. Across the way he spied Judith Monroe hang her head forlornly at the retreating form of one of her revolving door beaus. He stopped for a moment and took in Judith's lonely form.

"Do you wish to converse with the doctor?"

McGregor didn't answer immediately. "What? No, no, leave her be she doesn't want to talk to anyone."

"Are you sure Captain? I know even after all these years I find it difficult to read some human emotions but I do think the doctor appears somewhat ..." he paused to consider the correct emotion, "sad, lonely."

"No, she's fine come on. We've to meet Rah."

"Oh. Where?"

McGregor grinned mischievously. "The hangar deck of course."

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