The Official UFPSF
Fifth Fleet Newsletter

A Ready Room Ramblings – A View from the Bridge
A Sci-Fact News
A Fifth Fleet Funnies – Featuring “IKEA Instruction Manuals”
A Sci-Fi & Genre News
A Star Trek: Dauntless – “Walkabout”

Volume 6 – Issue 11
August 2014
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Ready Room Ramblings
A View from the Bridge

Attention all hands;

I plan on making some changes to the Fifth Fleet
website ( to make the Stories
Archive better organized (on the back-end side of
things, all on the server) and – if all goes as
planned – make the file sizes smaller so we can fit
more stories in the future without worrying about
running out of room. As a result, the Stories
Archive (just the individual stories themselves, not
the Archive homepage or the individual years) will
come off-line as of Saturday, 02 August 2014 and
(hopefully) be back on-line again a week later by
Friday, 08 August 2014. If I have any problems, I
will post the delay and expected return date of the
Archive in the Latest News section on the Fleet
Home Page.

Moving on, please join me in congratulating the
following crew member on being promoted,
effective 01 August 2014:
Karen Clark, promoted to Petty Officer 3

This month’s Fifth Fleet Funnies features more
IKEA directions and – just in time for the
upcoming release of “Guardians of the Galaxy” –
How to Watch a Marvel Cinematic Universe

Finally, in this month’s Fifth Fleet adventure, the
non-corporeal Daminian crew members aboard the
Dauntless try an experiment in the holodeck in the
hopes of creating simulated humanoid bodies.
What could possibly go wrong? Find out this
month in “Walkabout” by PJK.

Star Trek Birthdays for the month of August;
07 – Cirroc Lofton (Jake Sisko – DS9)
19 – Gene Roddenberry (GBotG & Creator – TOS,
19 – Jonathan Frakes (Capt William Riker – TNG)
19 – Diana Muldaur (Dr Kate Pulaski – TNG)
24 – Jennifer Lien (Kes – VOY)
26 – Chris Pine (Capt James T. Kirk – AltST)
28 – Gates McFadden (Dr Beverly Crusher – TNG)

Ahead Ludicrous Speed!
~Cap’n Pete

Subspace Chatter – Third Edition
Vol. 06, #11 – August 2014
The UFPSF Fifth Fleet Newsletter
© 2014 Gem Productions

Star Trek and related marks are trademarks of CBS Studios, Inc
A SUBSPACE CHATTER A Page 3 A Vol. 06, #11 A
Sci-Fact News

Russia test launches first new space rocket since Soviet era
By Alissa de Carbonnel, from Reuters
9 July 2014
Submitted by Lt Chris Post

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia launched its first
new design of space rocket since the Soviet era
from the northern military space port of Plesetsk on
Wednesday, aiming to break its reliance on foreign
suppliers as well as the Baikonur cosmodrome in

Workers carry a part of a Russian Angara rocket to
put it on display as they prepare for the MAKS-2009
international air show in Zhukovsky, outside
Moscow, August 14, 2009.

The Angara rocket’s quiet debut was in marked
contrast to the live broadcast of an embarrassing
aborted first launch attempt, watched by President
Vladimir Putin via video link from the Kremlin.

“The first test launch of the light-class Angara-
1.2PP space rocket was conducted by the Air and
Space Defence Forces,” Russia’s Defence Ministry
said in a statement, cited by Russian news

The rocket blasted off at 1600 Moscow time (1200
GMT), it said, on a planned roughly 20 minute
suborbital short flight across Russia’s Arctic coast

More than two decades in the works, the new
generation Angara rockets are a key to President
Vladimir Putin’s effort to reform a once-pioneering
space industry hobbled after years of budget cuts
and a brain drain in the 1990s.

The designer of the first stage RD-191 engine,
Energomash, blamed the failure on its first trial
launch on a drop in the pressure of the liquid
oxygen tank.

The rocket is the first entirely designed and built
within post-Soviet Russia’s borders - ordered by
then President Boris Yeltsin in the 1990s to break
dependence on other ex-Soviet republics and a
launch pad Russia leases from Kazakhstan.

A potential commercial rival to Arianespace of
France and Californian-based SpaceX, a heavier
version of the modular launcher is designed to
replace Russia’s workhorse Proton rocket which
has suffered an embarrassing litany of failures.

But industry experts estimate its development has
cost billions of dollars and the Angara rockets will
only become commercially viable in another
decade if launched from a new cosmodrome Russia
is building in the far east.

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Private Cargo Vessel Launching to Space Station Saturday
By Mike Wall, Senior Writer – From
9 July 2014
Submitted by Lt Chris Post

The Antares Rocket for Orb-2 Mission is seen being lifted onto the Transporter/Erector/Launcher (TEL). The stage
one core for the next mission (Orb-3) lies at the left.

A private spaceship is scheduled to launch on its
second contracted cargo mission to the
International Space Station this Saturday (July 12).

The unmanned Cygnus spacecraft, built by
Virginia-based Orbital Sciences Corp., is slated to
blast off atop an Antares rocket from NASA’s
Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia at 1:14 p.m.
EDT (1714 GMT) on Saturday. You can watch the
liftoff live on, courtesy of NASA TV.

The liftoff had been planned for Friday afternoon
(July 11), but thunderstorms in the Wallops area on
Tuesday night (July 8) delayed the rollout of
Antares to its pad, pushing the launch back by one

If all goes according to plan, Cygnus will arrive at
the space station on Tuesday morning (July 15),
when astronauts will grapple it using the orbiting
lab’s huge robotic arm, NASA officials said.

Cygnus was originally supposed to launch on this
mission in May. But an AJ-26 engine, which
powers Antares, failed during a ground test at
NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi on
May 22, prompting an investigation and delay.

The private vessel is packed with 3,653 lbs. (1,657
kilograms) of supplies, spare parts and science
experiments. Among the cargo are some tiny
Earth-observing satellites built by the San
Francisco-based startup Planet Labs, which also
put 28 CubeSats on the first Cygnus mission to the
space station this past January.

Those 28 craft were deployed from the orbiting lab
to form “Flock 1,” the world’s largest constellation
of Earth-imaging satellites.

Orbital Sciences holds a $1.9 billion NASA
contract to make eight cargo deliveries to the space
station for the agency. And it’s not the only
company with such a deal; SpaceX’s $1.6 billion
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contract calls for the California-based firm to fly
12 missions using its robotic Dragon capsule and
Falcon 9 rocket.

SpaceX has successfully completed three of these
flights, with the last one lifting off this past April.

Whereas the Dragon capsule is reusable, Cygnus is
designed to burn up in Earth’s atmosphere upon re-
entry. Cygnus will remain berthed to the orbiting
lab for about 40 days on this mission, Orbital
Sciences representatives said. Then, astronauts will
load the vessel up with 2,967 lbs. (1,346 kg) of
trash and send Cygnus off to its fiery demise.

Singing Solar Shockwave Confirms Voyager Is In Interstellar Space
By Brid-Aine Parnell, from
9 July 2014
Submitted by Lt Chris Post

Legendary NASA spacecraft Voyager 1 has been
hit by another “tsunami wave” of solar activity,
confirming that it’s definitely sailing through
interstellar space.

These waves, which affect cosmic rays and plasma,
are one of the indications that suggested to
scientists back in 2013 that the craft had finally left
our Sun’s influence – also known as the

“Normally, interstellar space is like a quiet lake,”
said Ed Stone of CalTech, the mission’s project
scientist since 1972. “But when our sun has a burst,
it sends a shock wave outward that reaches
Voyager about a year later. The wave causes the
plasma surrounding the spacecraft to sing.”

This artist’s concept shows the Voyager 1 spacecraft entering the space between stars. Interstellar space is dominated
by plasma, ionized gas (illustrated here as brownish haze), that was thrown off by giant stars millions of years ago.
(Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

The newest of these singing waves from our Sun
confirm that Voyager is in the space between the
stars, which is filled with a thin soup of charged
particles known as plasma. Although the craft has
still to pass the final halo of comets marking the
edge of our Solar System, the data from the waves
show that it broke through the solar-wind-filled
bubble around our Sun in 2012.

Voyager is now the farthest human-made probe
from Earth and the first ever craft to enter
interstellar space.
A SUBSPACE CHATTER A Page 6 A Vol. 06, #11 A

“We’re excited to analyse these new data. So far,
we can say that it confirms we are in interstellar
space,” said Don Gurnett of the University of Iowa,
principal investigator for the plasma wave

The craft has left the sphere of our Sun’s influence,
but it still feels its presence in the shock waves
from its solar flares. When the Sun is going
through a period of increased activity, it can
explosively fling material from its surface into
space in a coronal mass ejection (CME). These
explosions generate shock waves, three of which
have hit Voyager since it entered interstellar space.

Although scientists now know the craft made the
breakthrough in 2012, the first wave was too small
to be noticed at the time and was only discovered
later. The second wave registered on the probe’s
cosmic ray instrument in March of 2013. Cosmic
rays, energetic charged particles that come from
nearby stars in the galaxy, are affected by the Sun’s
shock waves as well. The pulses push the particles
around like buoys on the ocean in a tsunami,
allowing researchers to register the wave.

The waves have a wholly different effect on
plasma however, oscillating the plasma electrons
so that they sing.

“The tsunami wave rings the plasma like a bell,”
said Stone. “While the plasma wave instrument lets
us measure the frequency of this ringing, the
cosmic ray instrument reveals what struck the bell
– the shock wave from the sun.”

This frequency is what allowed the scientists to
confirm Voyager’s position. Because denser
plasma oscillates faster, they were able to see that
in 2013, Voyager was flying through plasma that
was 40 times denser than what had been measured
before – a telltale sign of insterstellar space.

The third wave, which hit Voyager in March of this
year, yielded the same density findings as the
second, confirming that the craft is sailing through
the otherwise silent space between the stars.

Fifth Fleet Funnies

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IKEA Instruction Manuals for Sci-Fi Objects

A SUBSPACE CHATTER A Page 8 A Vol. 06, #11 A

A SUBSPACE CHATTER A Page 9 A Vol. 06, #11 A

A SUBSPACE CHATTER A Page 10 A Vol. 06, #11 A
How to Watch a Marvel Cinematic Universe Movie:

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Sci-Fi & Genre News

Star Trek fan Anthony Sforz builds replica Star Trek his basement

(Editor’s note: I don’t know whether to go to this guy’s house to congratulate him, or beat him silly!)

A Star Trek obsessive has boldly gone where no fan has gone before - by
building a replica ship worth a staggering $511,155 in his basement. Anthony
Sforza, 48, has loved the show for as long as he can remember and started
collecting action figures in the 1980s. Pictures by Ruaridh Connellan.

In 2010 - after amassing a huge collection of costumes, figures and props
totaling more than 300 items - he started on his most ambitious project to date.

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He spent three years and more than 1,500 hours recreating the interior of the iconic Enterprise
ship in his Long Island basement in New York.

The married father of two, said: “It was very difficult at first to find materials that they used
on the show. I tried to call them but getting an answer was impossible. Fortunately I was able
to purchase a piece of the original set which I pulled apart to find out the exact paint and
materials that were used - that’s how I created the basement.”

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Anthony’s two sons Michael and Daniel are delighted with their father’s
basement and love the show almost as much as he does. Daniel, 7 said: “I
think that it’s cool because he has all the belts and badges and everything is
here to show just how much he loves Star Trek.”

His 11-year-old son Michael, added: “I
would love to do something like this
when I’m older - it would be pretty cool
and I think it would be a good addition
to any home.”

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Despite spending so much time constructing his spaceship interior - which is modelled on the
NX-01 from the show’s latest incarnation, Enterprise - Anthony still has the full support of his
wife Annette, 46...

She said: “When Anthony first told me his vision for the basement I couldn’t see it the way he
did until he started building it. Once that started happening we all started getting very excited
because we were seeing his vision come to fruition. I think it’s wonderful, I admire him so
much for being able to put vision into something like this and for it to look so incredible - it’s
wonderful and I’m so proud of him.”

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An exterior view of Anthony Sforza’s home in Long Island, New York

A model of a transporter console

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A large collection of phaser guns

Star Trek collectables from Anthony Sforza’s Star Trek collection at his home

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Star Trek next generation uniforms hang in Anthony Sforza’s basement

Star Trek Next Generation’s tactical uniform
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7 Life Lessons You Can Learn From ‘Star Trek’
By David Borgenicht

Let me start out by coming clean: I am a closet

I went to my first “Star Trek” convention when I
was nine. I have owned dozens of “Star Trek” toys,
models, props and books over the years (and yes, I
used to make my Kirk and Uhura action figures
kiss). I even have a communicator app on my
iPhone (and I’m eagerly waiting for the tricorder
app now that Siri has arrived). I don’t own a
uniform, but I wish I did (Hint hint: Channukah’s
coming, family. I’ll take the classic Captain’s shirt
in M, please, so that it rips easier when I get into

My love of “Star Trek” began at an early age and
has lasted to this day. But why? It isn’t just because
of the campy sets and costumes that are still iconic.
It isn’t because of the terrific performance by
Leonard Nimoy (Spock) or Captain Kirk’s
Shatnerific overacting. It isn’t even because of the
superb sci-fi storytelling and writing or the fact that
the toys and accoutrements were (and are) so cool
that the culture seems to be obsessed with making
them real. Although all of that is true.

No, my love of “Trek” has lasted this long because
of what I have learned from my friends on the
Enterprise over the years.

From the joys of exploration to the simple
pleasures of curling up in your own quarters (often
with a hot yeoman and a cold drink), from the
value of friendship to the value of calling
someone’s bluff, I’ve learned dozens of life skills,
lessons and even values from the iconic show that
ran only three years in prime time when it
originally debuted (before I was born).

I think that’s what ultimately motivated me to
create and publish (via my company, Quirk Books)
an attempt to familiarize children today (including
my own) with the world of “Trek.”

There are no great life lessons in “THE STAR
learning the difference between BIG and LITTLE,
HOT and COLD would certainly serve anyone
well). But beyond the basics of opposites, the book
is a great way to introduce kids to the world and
characters of “Star Trek,” in the hopes that
someday they will come back to it and begin to
appreciate its power and cultural resonance.

I would say there are seven life lessons I learned
from “Star Trek” that I take with me to this day.
These are lessons I hope to pass along to my own
children someday--but for now, I will share them
with the interweb:

1.The best way to travel is to boldly go where no one has gone before. This is true for vacations, for self-
exploration, for life itself. If you want your days filled with adventure, laughter, love, learning and the
occasional mind-meld, follow this route.

2.The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few--or the one. Sometimes you must make great sacrifices
for the greater good. And, like the Genesis device, it will all come back around.

3.Expressing your emotions is a healthy thing. Sure, McCoy seemed angry all the time when exclaiming,
“Dammit, Jim! I’m a doctor not a mechanic/bricklayer/soothsayer,” but he knew that by expressing his anger
and frustration it wouldn’t get the best of him and he could then perform at his peak capacity.

4.When estimating how long a job will take, overestimate--and when you do better your captain will always be
impressed. Replace the word “captain” with “teacher” or “mom/dad” and you’ll see what I mean. Sure, Mr.
Scott might have been telling the truth--maybe it would take six hours to get the warp engines back online in the
heat of the battle. Or maybe he was padding things so he looked good. Either way, when the engines did come
back on line, everyone was happy.

5.Wearing red makes you a target. This is true of cars, dresses and, most especially, shirts. Red gets you
noticed--which is good if you want to be noticed, bad if you don’t want to end up vaporized.

A SUBSPACE CHATTER A Page 19 A Vol. 06, #11 A
6.When you don’t know what to say, pause. It will give you the time to figure it out. Or at the very least, you’ll
sound like you’re being thoughtful. “But....Spock.....why?”

7.The most powerful force in the universe is friendship. It’s more powerful than phasers, photon torpedos, even
more powerful than the force itself. With friends, you can accomplish any task, escape any perilous situation,
defeat any enemy--and you get to laugh together when it’s all over.

I am convinced that these lessons will serve us all,
adults and children, well as we seek out new life,
new civilizations, new experiences. In short, thanks
to “Star Trek,” we may all live long and prosper.

Fleet Captain Peter J. Koester, commanding officer of the Sovereign-class Federation starship USS
Dauntless, stepped out of his ready room – where he had been completing the latest round of officer fitness
reports – to find a strange sight: the immense reptilian ‘exchange officer’ Ensign Karr’rinak apparently talking
to himself.
“What musssst it feel like, to bathe in the energiessss of the warp nasssellessss?” the Kairn was asking.
Koester stopped between the science console and his ready room doors to contemplate the scene for a moment,
wondering why Karr’rinack would be pondering such a question. His curiosity was abated when a second voice
– sounding slightly mechanical and speaking with a British accent – was heard from the Kairn officer’s
“I don’t have a sense of touch as you think of it, Ensign, so I therefore cannot ‘feel’ as you do,” replied
the voice of Commander Spot, the non-corporeal Daminian science officer whose physical appearance was
nothing more than a small circle of red light currently appearing atop the science console. “Though since my
Academy days I have occasionally wondered what it would be like to possess a physical body and be able to
interact with the crew much as you do every day. To have sight, and hearing, and touch – not just data from the
computer systems and sensors I interface with. And my daughter Dot has expressed similar wishes quite often
of late. I suppose it’s due mainly to being raised here aboard the Dauntless instead of having been ‘born’ on
The Captain could not resist any longer. He stepped over to the nearby console as he said, “I’m sure
there must be some way you can simulate a physical body, Commander. After all, you interface directly with
the computer systems on an everyday basis. Couldn’t you use the holodeck to simulate a physicality for
yourself and Dot?”
“It is an idea I have never considered before, Captain,” Spot replied, this time through Koester’s
“Well, when you consider it, the EMH program is nothing more than the computer creating a physical
body it can use to interact directly with the crew in the role of medical provider. I don’t see why you and Dot
would not be able to do something similar.”
“An interesting hypothesis, Captain,” Spot remarked. “It may require looking into further.”
“Well, good luck, Commander,” Koester said as he resumed his movement toward the turbolift. “Let
me know how it goes.”
“I will, Captain. Thank you.”

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Space, the Final Frontier...
These are the voyages of the starship Dauntless!

Star Trek: Dauntless

“Walkabout” by PJK

‘You wanted to see me, Father?’
The small circle of pink light appeared on the holosuite deck beside the circle of red light that was
Commander Spot. While neither Daminian could technically ‘see,’ being capable of sensing the environment
around them, Dot had easily picked up common language during her time among corporeal beings aboard the
‘Yes, Daughter,’ Spot replied in the manner common among Daminians, a direct sharing of data
through what appeared to be short arcs of electrical energy between the two entities. ‘Fleet Captain
Koester proposed an idea to me on the bridge earlier that I thought may intrigue you. He
suggested we make use of the holodeck to create simulated physical bodies we can inhabit
to experience what it would be like to live as corporeal, physical beings.’
‘Is that even possible, Father?’ Dot asked, sounding doubtful in her data transmissions.
‘The Captain pointed out that the Dauntless’ computer already performs such a
function in the form of the Emergency Medical Hologram, allowing the computer to see,
hear, feel, taste, and smell in its interactions with the corporeal crew.’
‘Father! Why have we never considered this idea before! Now that I consider it,
the concept is so obvious!’
‘Perhaps because it was SO obvious we overlooked the possibility, Daughter,’ Spot
‘When can we attempt this?’ Dot asked.
‘Right away, if you wish,’ Spot replied. ‘I have booked the holosuite for the next
several hours.’
‘This is so exciting!’ Dot remarked.

* * * *

Fleet Captain Koester was relaxing in his quarters, his pet Nanook curled up beside him on the couch
as he often did, when his combadge activated.
“Commander Spot to Captain Koester.”
Koester put down the padd he had been using to play a game and tapped his combadge.
“This is the Captain. Go ahead, Commander.”
“Captain, could you please come to Holosuite 3? Dot and I have something we wish to share with
Unable to recall an occasion when Spot had made use of the holodeck and intrigued by the invitation,
Koester got up off the couch and grabbed his uniform jacket from the chair behind his desk as he headed toward
the door of his quarters, saying, “On my way, Commander.”
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Several minutes later, Koester was standing before the door of Holosuite 3. There he found Counselor
Tanzia Gera standing. To both their puzzlement, the holosuite was not running any program.
“Did Spot call you here too, Tanzi?” Koester asked.
“Yes, Captain,” the red-haired joined-Trill ship’s counselor replied. “Any idea why?”
“None at all. I don’t think Spot has ever used the holodeck before.”
“Why would a non-corporeal entity need a holodeck?” Gera asked.
With a shrug of his shoulders, Koester touched the door control and the maroon doors parted before the
pair. Both stepped inside to find the holosuite in normal stand-by mode. “Commander Spot?” Koester called
“Right here, Captain,” replied Spot’s British-accented, slightly-mechanical sounding voice through the
captain’s combadge. Koester looked down to see two small circles of light – one red, the other pink – right in
front of the toes of his boots.
“What is it you and Dot wanted to show us, Mister Spot?” Koester asked, still curious.
“Dot and I took your advice and have spent the last hour trying to create physical bodies using the
holosuite. We wanted both your and Counselor Gera’s opinions on what we have accomplished.”
“I’m intrigued,” Gera said with a glance at the captain.
“Go ahead, Mister Spot,” Koester prompted.
Now Dot’s feminine voice could be heard through the captain’s combadge as she said, “Computer,
activate Dot Physical Structure Program 1.”
As Koester and Gera watched, the circle of pink light that was Dot was replaced by a cylinder-shaped
object that almost appeared to be pink gelatin as wide in diameter as Dot normally appeared and about ten
centimeters in height. As soon as it had completed forming, it seemed to melt, spreading flat across the grey
gridded deck. Koester unconsciously took a step back away from the blob, which started following after his
feet with a sickening slurping sound.
“We have not yet been able to program the physical body with a method of verbal communication, but
what do you think so far, Captain? Counselor?” Spot’s voice asked.
“Um...,” Gera hedged, trying to keep a look of disgust from her face.
“To be truthful, Commander – and please don’t either of you take this the wrong way – but I’m having
bad flashbacks to mid-twentieth century Grade-B horror movies,” Koester replied as he side-stepped Dot, who
continued to slurp after his feet as he moved, almost as if by magnetic attraction. “What is Dot supposed to
“Dot was so excited by the prospect of having a physical body that the most logical method seemed to
be for the computer to create a physical representation of the energy patterns Dot and I are made up of,” Spot
explained. “It seemed the simplest solution at the time. I guess we forgot to take into account the effects of
atmospheric pressure and gravitational force when we designed this program. We do not normally have to
concern ourselves with either factor.”
“Please forgive me, but when I suggested you make use of the holodeck I assumed you were going to
try and create a physical body that was more... humanoid?” Koester said. “I thought that would allow you your
greatest latitude to interact with the crew.”
“Perhaps you are correct, Captain,” Spot said with what Koester thought sounded like a sigh.
“Counselor Gera, do you share the Captain’s opinion?”
“To be truthful, I think almost anything would be an improvement over Dot the blob,” Gera remarked.
“But a humanoid body would be the best choice if your intent is to interact with the crew. If it’s just you and
Dot, you can be whatever physical form you’re most comfortable with.”
“Since the intent was to physically interact with the rest of the Dauntless crew to some degree, I must
agree with your assessment,” Spot remarked. “Dot, you may discontinue your program now.”
Koester watched as the melted puddle of goo near his feet seemed to dissolve away, replaced by the
familiar small circle of pink light.
“Back to the drawing board, Father?” she asked.
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“To use the cliché, yes,” Spot replied. “But where do we start designing a humanoid physicality? I
am, of course, aware of the basic humanoid anatomy, but am unfamiliar with how the parts actually interrelate
with each other.”
“May I make another suggestion?” Koester asked.
“Of course, sir.”
“You’re on a holodeck, Commander. There are dozens – probably hundreds – of programs in the
computer that utilize humanoid characters. Perhaps you can use one of those programs as a basis for your
bodies. That sounds like a good place to start.”
“Why didn’t we think of that, Father?” Dot asked.
“Captain, for a physical entity with limited ability to interface with the ship’s computer, you certainly
seem to be able to grasp some of our options for creating these programs better than we have.”
“Years of playing around in holodeck simulations have allowed me to understand the limits of the
technology pretty well, Commander,” Koester said with a smile as both he and Gera turned toward the holosuite
door. “Let me know how it goes. Good luck, you two.”
“Thank you again, Captain. And you too, Counselor,” Spot replied as both exited the room.

* * * *

Doctor Leonard Kelley, Chief Medical Officer of the starship Dauntless, was sitting in his office in
sickbay, reviewing drug inventories and making note of which supplies could be easily replicated and which
had to be requisitioned from the Fifth Fleet command base. His review was interrupted by what sounded like
the ship’s computer clearing its throat.
Curious, he lowered the padd he had been reading and looked around. Nothing seemed out of the
ordinary until he noticed the circle of pink light moving back and forth across the top of his desk, as if pacing.
“Something I can do for you, Miss Dot?” Kelley finally asked.
“Good afternoon, Doctor,” Dot said through the CMO’s combadge. “I was wondering if you would
mind if I activated the EMH? I have some questions only he can answer.”
“Medical questions?” Kelley asked.
“More like anatomical,” Dot responded.
“Anatomical? What do you mean?” Kelley asked, obviously confused.
“Father and I are trying to determine how best to program a humanoid character on the holodeck, and
the EMH being photonic in nature, I thought he might have some unique insight into the process.”
“I see,” Kelley said with a smile. “I’m not sure how much help the Doctor will be to your project, but
you have my permission to make your inquiries.”
“Thanks, Doctor,” Dot replied, her light circle already gone from the desk – now appearing in the
center of sickbay. “Computer, activate the EMH.”
The form of a bald human man with stern features wearing a typical Starfleet medical-division uniform
formed in the center of sickbay. “Please state the nature of the medical emergency,” he said once activated,
looking around in obvious confusion. “Hello? Is there a reason I have been activated?”
“Hello, Doctor. I was hoping you might be able to help me with a project I am working on.”
The EMH continued to look around with a confused expression on his face.
“Down here, Doctor.”
The EMH looked down at the deck, his expression changing slightly as he realized who it was
addressing him.
“Dot! What brings you to sickbay? Surely you aren’t sick, are you?”
“Actually, I have need of your expertise in the field of computer programming.”
“My only expertise in computer programming is the fact I happen to be a computer program,” the
Doctor remarked.
A SUBSPACE CHATTER A Page 23 A Vol. 06, #11 A
“Which is what I need right now,” Dot said before explaining what she and her father were attempting
to do. The EMH – who at first appeared annoyed by his seemingly frivolous activation – became quite
fascinated by the goals of the Daminian’s project.
“So you want to create a humanoid body based on existing holodeck character parameters? And you
will be able to interface with these programs – being able to see, hear, smell, touch, and taste through them?
Fascinating. This project could result in a scientific paper! But considering the ease with which you and your
father can interface with the ship’s computer already, I see no reason why this idea will not work.”
“So you will help us?” Dot asked with excitement.
“I supposed I could offer you a few pointers,” the Doctor replied with a tone of pride.
“Can you go to Holosuite 3?”
“Computer,” the EMH said, looking slightly up toward the overhead. “Transfer Emergency Medical
Hologram program to Holosuite 3.”
A second later, the Doctor faded from view, and Dot rushed out of sickbay at the speed of light to join
him and her father in the holosuite.
Moments later, the EMH re-appeared in the empty holosuite. He looked down and – as expected – saw
the round circles of light – one red, the other pink – of the two Daminian crew members.
“Where shall we start, Commander?” he asked.
“Can you give us access to your program so we can better comprehend where we need to begin,
“Keep in mind, the majority of my program consists of medical sub-routines and my encyclopedic
knowledge of all things medical in nature,” the Doctor said, sounding boastful. “You’re not going to need
those, unless you and Dot intend to replace me in sickbay.”
“Nothing and no one could ever replace you, Doctor,” Spot assured.
The Doctor appeared to twitch – as if working out a kink in his neck – then looked at Spot and said,
“Access granted.”
“Thank you, Doctor. This should not take long.”

* * * *

Nearly thirty minutes later, the EMH was wandering around the perimeter of the holosuite in a bored
manner, occasionally looking closely at one or another of the holo-emitter diodes attached to the grid-like
frame, until Dot’s voice came from his combadge once again.
“I think we understand the basic complexities of your program, Doctor. It is really both quite simple
and quite ingenious.”
“Why, thank you Dot... I think,” the Doctor replied. “The chief programmer at Jupiter Station worked
hard and long on me.”
“Tell me what you think,” Dot added. “Computer, activate Dot Physical Structure Program 2.”
A humanoid body faded into existence directly in front of the EMH. There were some subtle
differences – such as the solid-black, almost Betazoid-like eyes – but it was pretty obvious upon which program
Dot had based her new physical body. The EMH was looking at his near-mirror image, right down to the
Starfleet uniform with the medical-blue shoulders and lack of any rank insignia on the chest panel.
“What do you think, Doctor?” said a strange-sounding voice coming from the mouth of the new
character, sounding like someone who had only recently learned how to speak and only then with some sort of
electronic vocorder.
“Well, I... um... I must say, Dot, I’m flattered that you chose to emulate my own appearance, but...”
The EMH’s voice faded as his expression became a cross between embarrassment and discomfort.
“But what?” Dot asked.
“Well, it’s just not... you!” The Doctor’s response made Dot’s similar artificial face frown. “I
understand you’re excited and you want to make these holographic bodies quickly, but you should only use the
A SUBSPACE CHATTER A Page 24 A Vol. 06, #11 A
programs available to you in the computer as basic templates. The physical form should be unique to you. For
one thing, to this point everyone aboard the Dauntless has considered you to be female...”
“Daminians do not have any actual gender, Doctor,” Spot interjected. “We are energy-based non-
corporeal entities.”
“I understand that, Commander. Perhaps better than most. But as far as the crew is concerned, you
have always been a ‘he,’ and Dot has always been your ‘daughter.’” He turned his attention back on his own
near-mirror image. “A bald head and masculine features do not suit how I would picture you, Dot. Use the
holo-character programs as a basis but you need to make them distinctive. After all, none of the rest of the crew
has exact duplicates, do they?”
“Commander Riker does,” Dot protested.
“Lieutenant Commander Riker is a special case, and even then he tries to make himself look different
enough from his ‘brother’ that people can easily tell them apart.”
“I guess I understand what you mean,” Dot said, looking slightly downcast. She then looked up at the
Doctor and said, “You said this appearance is not how you would ‘picture me.’ How WOULD you picture me,
“Well, first of all, I would have to say you need a feminine body...,” the EMH replied.

* * * *

Captain’s log, stardate 67809.4:
The Dauntless has completed a routine survey of the class-M second planet in the
Adven star system. We are now on course toward our next assignment in System J-
20, where we will rendezvous with the starship Sun Tzu, which will be transporting
several transferring members of our crew back to Starbase 719.
Koester, commanding Dauntless, out.

Fleet Captain Koester was enjoying dinner in 10-Forward with his ‘foster daughter’ and operations
officer Lieutenant (JG) Cassie Koester on one of the rare opportunities when both of their duty schedules
allowed them the time to get together over an evening meal. The Captain had just finished his main course and
was contemplating dessert when the voice of Commander Spot sounded from his combadge.
“Commander Spot to Captain Koester.”
Koester tapped his communicator and replied, “Go ahead, Commander.”
“Captain, do you have a spare moment? I would like your opinion of something down in Holodeck 1.”
“Well, I’m just finishing dinner with Lieutenant Koester at the moment. Would it be alright if she
comes along?”
“Of course, sir! I would love to hear the Leftenant’s opinion as well.”
“Then we’ll be down in a few minutes,” Koester said before signing off.
As the pair were heading toward the nearest turbolift, Cassie asked the Captain, “Why does Mister
Spot want to see us on the holodeck?”
“I’m not sure, but I think I can guess.” He then told her about his blob encounter in the holosuite the
week prior and what he expected they might find upon arriving at the holodeck.
When the Captain and Cassie finally reached the heavy red doors of the holodeck, they were mildly
surprised to find Counselor Gera already standing there, talking to the starship’s first officer Commander Setton
To’Lock Arbelo and the XO’s daughter, science officer Lieutenant (JG) Annika Arbelo-Eeta.
“You too, Skipper?” Arbelo asked as he noticed his commanding officer approach. “Any idea why
we’re all here?”
“I guess we’ll find out in a moment. Computer, is Holodeck 1 active?”
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“Holodeck program complete. Enter when ready,” the computer’s feminine voice responded as the
doors slowly slid open. The group stepped inside to find the holodeck apparently turned off, only two
seemingly human people standing inside. One looked like an adult male with dark hair combed straight back
and intense-looking deep-set eyes, wearing casual civilian clothes. The other looked like a teenaged girl with
brown hair pulled back in a single ponytail, wearing a skirt. The girl had what looked like a pink Indian bindi
dot in the middle of her forehead. Neither Cassie, Arbelo, Gera, nor Arbelo-Eeta recognized either of them,
though to the captain they both appeared vaguely familiar.
“Who are these people, Dad?” Annika Arbelo-Eeta whispered to her father.
“I don’t know,” Arbelo replied.
Koester stepped closer to the two strangers as he said, “I’ve seen characters that look very similar to
the two of you in my holodeck programs. But there’s something different. You’re not just characters. There’s
‘life’ behind your eyes, not just some computer program.” He then pointed at the man and added, “If you are
who I think you are, you’re out of uniform, Mister.”
“My apologies, Captain,” the man said in a British accent before adding, “Computer, alter program
Spot Physical Structure Program 6 to appear in standard Starfleet science-division duty uniform; rank of
The clothes on the man immediately changed to that of a blue-shouldered Starfleet duty uniform with
the three square gold pips of a commander’s rank insignia on the chest panel.
“Spot?!” Arbelo said in amazement.
“And Dot!” exclaimed the teenaged girl with the dot on her forehead.
“This is amazing!” Counselor Gera remarked, stepping over and touching Dot’s humanoid arm. “It
even feels like real flesh. How did you do it?”
“A lot of trial and error and some major help from the EMH,” Dot replied. “Do you really like it?”
“They’re wonderful!” Cassie Koester pronounced. “You can actually see, hear, smell, and everything
else in those bodies?”
“Dot and I are interfacing directly with the computer code that creates these holographic simulations,
so we can do everything you can do,” Spot replied, taking several steps closer to Cassie. “I can finally say, with
true meaning, it is wonderful to see you, Leftenant.”
“This reminds me of an old 21
century Earth movie I heard about, where humans were able to control
genetically-engineered alien bodies in order to explore and work on an alien planet hostile to human life,”
Captain Koester remarked to Gera.
“We haven’t really had a chance to completely test out our new bodies,” Dot said as the others
gathered closer to examine the two Daminians. “We were hoping you might have some time to help us test
them out in a holodeck program?”
“Well, I need to be on duty on the bridge in about three hours, but until then, I don’t see why not,”
Cassie Koester replied.
“If you really want to test out those new bodies, you’re going to need something with a lot of running,
and jumping, and activity,” Arbelo remarked. “Computer, load program ‘Arbelo-Skatsball-League-Playoffs-
2288’ and run program.”
The empty holodeck quickly transformed into a standard field and locker room for the playing of a
highly competitive team sport that had been popular during Arbelo’s initial tour in Starfleet in the late-23

century – a sport that had faded in popularity during the nearly eighty years he and his starship crew had been
missing – a combination of soccer, lacrosse, and hockey played on levitating hoverboards. Several uniforms
and skatsboards also appeared, and the participants quickly changed to face their computer-generated opponents
on the field.

* * * *

A SUBSPACE CHATTER A Page 26 A Vol. 06, #11 A
“Sound red alert!” Fleet Captain Koester ordered. “Helm, report!”
“Speed still increasing!” replied Roby Lipsom from the helm station in front of and slightly to the right
of the captain. “Maneuvering thrusters had no effect! We’re still being drawn in!”
Koester, his frustration mounting, slammed his fist against the intercom button on the arm of his
command chair. “Bridge to engineering. I need more power on the warp engines or we’re all dead in less than
thirty seconds!”
“Bridge, the warp core is currently at 110% of rated output,” Commander Jeff Bloom quickly
responded back. “I can boost it up to 125% for a short period, but we’re going to crack a few warp coils and
render the warp drive useless if we do!”
“We haven’t got a choice, Jeff. I need that power!”
There was a brief pause from the intercom, during which Dot – sitting in the first officer’s seat to the
right of the captain – could feel a new vibration shudder through the decks and the sound coming from the warp
engines was notably further strained. Both sensations were utterly new to her.
“Warp core output increased to 125% of normal rated output,” Bloom announced. “That’s all I can
give you bridge.”
“Let’s hope it’s enough,” Koester said, not loud enough for Bloom to hear over the sounds of the
starship straining around them, only loud enough for Dot to hear, before the captain looked at the helmsman.
“Helm, sheer us away from the black hole!”
“Altering course now!” Lipsom announced. The Dauntless continued to shudder violently for several
seconds more, then – like a rock being flung by a slingshot – the starship broke free of the intense gravity of the
collapsed star and tumbled away from the black hole.
On the bridge, just about the entire crew were flung from their seats; only Lipsom at the helm and
Wyatt Cerilli at ops, Annika Arbelo-Eeta at sciences, and Dot managing to hold on to their consoles or seat to
keep from flying over the back of their chairs.
It had been several weeks since Dot and Spot had programmed their holographic bodies, and Dot,
Ensign Arbelo-Eeta, and Lipsom were in the holodeck once again. They had programmed the computer to
simulate the bridge of the USS Dauntless, recreating another of the starship’s missions that had occurred prior to
Dot programming her simulated humanoid body. While Lipsom sat at the helm, replacing the helmsman who
had actually been on duty that day, Annika Arbelo-Eeta stood at the science console monitoring the hull stresses
that had occurred during that particular crisis while Dot tried to experience and enjoy all the new sensations the
program was providing to her, though she was having trouble doing so.
It took nearly a minute after the Dauntless had slingshot for Koester to fully come to his senses, having
been flung back against the base of the master situations monitor with Counselor Gera. Dot could hear moans
coming from around the entire bridge.
“Helm, all stop!” the simulated Koester ordered before adding, “Computer, activate the Emergency
Medical Hologram.”
A bald-headed man wearing a medical division uniform with no rank insignia on it appeared in the
middle of the bridge just as the straining sounds of the ship around them quieted, eventually ceasing. “Please
state the nature of the medical emergency?”
“Computer, freeze program,” Dot – who now appeared to be a teenaged Bajoran girl with short red
hair, still displaying a small dot on her forehead the same color as her own natural appearance – ordered.
Immediately the simulation came to an end in the middle of the bridge crew picking themselves up and the
holographic Doctor appearing to treat the injured.
“What’s the matter, Dot?” Arbelo-Eeta asked.
“These holodeck simulations are really good and all, but it’s starting to get boring,” Dot complained.
“Computer, end simulation program.” As the scenery of the starship bridge faded around them, Dot added, “I
wish I could get off this holodeck in my humanoid body. See what’s really outside those doors.”
“You can program a complete simulation of the Dauntless if you want,” Lipsom suggested.
A SUBSPACE CHATTER A Page 27 A Vol. 06, #11 A
“But it would still only be a simulation,” Dot reiterated. “I need to get off this holodeck. Walk in the
real arboretum and smell the real flowers. Share lunch with you guys in 10-Forward or hang out in your
quarters. Put my hands on a real shuttlecraft!”
“You know, the bridge and 10-Forward have holo-diodes installed to allow the EMH to treat injured
crew members or set up a triage unit in the lounge. Why can’t you go to those places that way?” Arbelo-Eeta
“Because the holo-diodes in all areas of the ship outside of the holodecks and holosuites are strictly
reserved for emergency purposes only,” Dot replied. “That means only the EMH. I know. I tried.”
“There’s got to be some way... Some sort of technology that would allow you to use your holographic
body off the holodeck,” Lipsom remarked.
“If there is, I haven’t heard of it,” Dot said dejectedly. “Computer, exit.” The large, heavy doors out
to the corridor opened, and Dot looked longingly in their direction before finally saying, “Computer, save
current parameters for program Dot Physical Structure 9 and discontinue.”
The computer bleeped acknowledgement and a moment later the female Bajoran body faded out of
existence, replaced by a small circle of pink light on the deck.
“Dot, where are you going?” Lipsom asked.
“I need to go talk with the EMH,” Dot replied through Arbelo-Eeta’s combadge. “I’ll catch up with
you guys later.” And in a split-second, she was gone.

* * * *

Several seconds later, Dot was back in sickbay, having a conversation with the holographic Doctor.
“Don’t get me wrong, Doctor. I’m still enjoying all the new sensations I am experiencing in the
holographic body. I’m just starting to feel a little trapped.”
“That’s to be expected, Dot,” the EMH replied. “You’re used to being able to go anywhere you desire
aboard the ship, from the bridge to the warp core, in literally an instant. In your humanoid form, you’re rather
limited in where you can go.”
“That’s my point. I want to get off the holodeck. Isn’t there some way my program can access all the
same places you can go? After all, you’re allowed on the bridge, and in 10-Forward and the shuttlebays, and
here in sickbay...”
“Well, of course I have access to sickbay. It would be rather silly if a doctor didn’t have access to
sickbay. But as for the bridge and all those other places you mentioned, I can only access them during an
emergency situation, and then I need to be called there. It’s not like I can simply transfer my program to 10-
Forward right this moment if I wanted to.”
“But maybe you should be able to!” Dot remarked.
“Look, Dot,” the Doctor said. “I’ll talk to Fleet Captain Koester and see if he will alter the parameters
defining usage of the holo-diodes located in other areas of the ship. Perhaps he will agree...?”
“Don’t bother, Doctor,” Dot said rather rudely.
“What’s the matter, Dot?”
“Even if the Captain were to approve such a change, it’s only a temporary solution. Even if I could go
visit 10-Forward or the shuttlebays in my humanoid body, I’m still never going to be able to leave the ship that
way. I’ll never be able to take part in an away mission or enjoy shore leave with my friends. Maybe making a
humanoid body and interacting with the crew wasn’t such a great idea after all.”
“Don’t be so despondent, Dot,” the Doctor said. “Perhaps I know of a way...”
“Like what, Doctor?” Dot asked, sounding slightly more cheerful in spite of herself.
“Several years ago I heard rumors about a device called a mobile holo-emitter,” the Doctor explained.
“I think it was developed and used by a Mark-1 EMH like myself that was originally installed in the sickbay of
the starship USS Voyager.”
“Originally installed?” Dot asked.
A SUBSPACE CHATTER A Page 28 A Vol. 06, #11 A
“Yes. Apparently this device... this mobile emitter... allowed him to not only leave sickbay and move
around the ship at will, but to leave the ship whenever he wanted. After Voyager managed to return to the
Alpha Quadrant, that particular Doctor was recognized as a photonic life-form of his own and allowed to
transfer off the ship and into a research lab. I understand he was studying the Borg and looking into ways to
reverse the assimilation process.”
“Is there any way you can contact the other EMH and find out more about this mobile emitter?” Dot
asked excitedly.
“I’m not sure,” the Doctor replied. “Last I heard he had been posted to Copernicus Station, the
research base our starship briefly visited several weeks ago, before the Collective attacked it. There’s no telling
where he might be... or even if he still exists... now.”
“But there’s a chance!”
“Please don’t get your hopes up, Dot,” the Doctor said. “As I said, what I heard was merely a rumor.
And if the rumor is true, the device in question may be so complex it might be impossible to duplicate. Perhaps
I should not have even mentioned it to you.”
“But you did, and there’s a chance it could work! Thank you, Doctor!” Dot quickly said before
disappearing from sickbay to tell her friends the news.

* * * *

The next morning, Counselor Gera walked into sickbay to remind Doctor Kelley that they had the
senior staff’s weekly briefing coming up in less than an hour. As she entered sickbay, she could hear loud
voices that sounded like they were arguing coming from the CMO’s office. Curious, the red-haired Trill
woman walked over to see what was happening. She was surprised to find the sickbay’s Emergency Medical
Hologram sitting at the desk in the office arguing with what looked like himself on the monitor atop the desk.
“I can assure you, I’m quite satisfied with my program the way it is,” the EMH was saying. “This
request is not to exploit the technology you have developed. It is to allow two members of our crew to have
free mobility of the ship...”
“This technology could be very dangerous in the wrong hands,” the mirror-image EMH replied
through the monitor. “There is a reason Starfleet R&D has chosen to keep this device a secret. The technology
has not yet been completely studied, and for good reason. Sure, it wasn’t so important when Voyager was
trapped in the Delta Quadrant, but technically, my having it is a potential violation of the Temporal Prime
“Temporal Prime Directive? There is no such thing!” the Doctor protested.
“Not yet, but there will be some day. I have it on good authority,” the other Doctor remarked, his
expression belying the fact he knew he should not have said even as much as he already had.
“Are you saying you somehow obtained this device... this mobile emitter... ...from the future?!” the
Doctor asked incredulously.
“I said no such thing,” the Doctor on the monitor replied defensively. “Technically speaking, I
obtained it from the past, but that’s too long a story to get into right now.”
“So what you’re really saying is that this device you have is beyond secret in nature and that Starfleet
will not let you share it in any way?” The image of the Doctor on the screen appeared stone-faced. The EMH
behind the desk sighed and added, “Very well. I knew I should not have mentioned this to Dot and get her
hopes up unnecessarily.”
“What is it you wanted the design of my emitter for?” the EMH on the screen asked.
“We have two Daminian crew members aboard the Dauntless who recently created holographic
humanoid bodies to allow themselves to interact with the rest of the crew, but it limits them to the holodecks
when in use. I was hoping if we could recreate your device it might grant them a degree of... mobility, as it
A SUBSPACE CHATTER A Page 29 A Vol. 06, #11 A
“I see,” the other Doctor remarked. “Daminians are a non-corporeal race, if I recall correctly. I would
be interesting to learn how they interface with the photonic bodies they have created.”
“I can send you all the data we have so far,” the EMH offered.
The Doctor on the monitor screen appeared as if he was having an internal debate with himself.
Finally he said, “I’ll transmit the schematics of my mobile emitter to you in an encoded subspace transmission.”
Before the EMH could say anything in way of thanks, the other Doctor added, “I’m only doing this because
your Captain is a close friend of Admiral Janeway. And because you are currently so far beyond Federation
space that I shouldn’t have to worry about this technology getting loose. You can’t share these technical
schematics with anyone but your Daminian crew members.”
“You have my word, Doctor,” the EMH promised with a smile.
“Expect my transmission soon. Copernicus Station, out.”
As the screen went black, Gera stepped further into the office and said, “Congratulations, Doctor. I
think Dot is going to be very happy.”
The EMH, who was not aware of the counselor’s presence until she spoke, looked up at Gera with
surprise before saying, “I may have solved one problem, but in retrospect I believe I have created another.”
“How so, Doctor?”
“The Doctor is sending me the technical schematics of his mobile emitter. How am I going to actually
build one? I’m a doctor, not an engineer.”
“Might I make a suggestion?”
“Of course.”
“Why don’t you talk to Lieutenant Faggio-Hyland? She’s our resident holo-technology expert. If
anyone can rig-together a self-contained holo-emitter diode and make it work, she can. And I think you can
trust her to keep the design a secret.”
“An excellent idea, Counselor. Thank you.”

* * * *

A few weeks later, Dot was in 10-Forward, playing a game of Kadis-kot on a computer monitor with
Annika Arbelo-Eeta when the intercom activated.
“Emergency Medical Hologram to Dot.”
“Yes, Doctor?” Dot replied.
“Dot, would you please report to Holodeck 1?” the Doctor said.
“On my way, Doctor. I hope you don’t mind if we finish this game later, Annika?”
“No, go ahead. I need to go check on some lab results in Science Lab 2 anyway,” Arbelo-Eeta replied,
getting out of her chair.
Half a second later, Dot was on the deck inside Holodeck 1 between the feet of the Doctor and one of
the starship’s engineers, Lieutenant Joella Faggio-Hyland.
“You wanted to see me, Doctor?” she asked.
“Yes, Dot. Lieutenant Faggio-Hyland and I have a surprise for you.”
“Dot, could you please activate your humanoid body?” Faggio-Hyland requested as she held a device a
little bigger than a combadge.
“Sure,” Dot said. “Computer, activate program Dot Physical Structure 11.”

* * * *

The wood doors to 10-Forward parted and Fleet Captain Koester stepped in with Counselor Gera, the
two conversing.
“I have to admit, Jeff’s been getting a little irritable lately. Snapping at his staff, being snippy with me
and Monster. It’s highly unusual for him. The Eng usually has a laid-back, easy-going personality,” Koester
A SUBSPACE CHATTER A Page 30 A Vol. 06, #11 A
was saying. “I hope he’s not starting to undergo some form of pon farr? Since he does not repress his
emotions, I never thought he would go through anything like that. Is there any way you could find a way to
speak to him for a bit, Counselor? Perhaps determine what is bothering him?”
“I’ll see if I can get together with him after the morning meeting tomorrow,” Gera replied as the two
officers picked out a table near the middle of the lounge and sat down. Koester turned to look for a waiter to
order his lunch when he first noticed the unfamiliar girl passing out drinks. She was wearing everyday civilian
clothes instead of the uniform the lounge wait-staff normally wore. He then noticed Kia Tenn, the Bajoran
lounge hostess, watching the girl from behind the bar with a slight smile, as if supervising a new employee and
satisfied with the work she was doing.
After dropping off several other drinks and a plate of food, the girl finally approached the table where
Koester and Gera sat. Even up close, the petite blue-eyed, blonde-haired girl looked unfamiliar to the captain.
“Good afternoon, Captain. Counselor Gera. What can I get for you today?” She smiled at Koester,
and that was when he noticed the small pink bindi on her forehead.
“Dot?!?” The girl smiled wider and nodded. “But... How...??” Koester looked around, as if to assure
himself he was in the actual 10-Forward lounge and not a holographic simulation.
Dot pointed to a small metallic device attached to her sleeve. “Thanks to this,” she said.
“What is it?” Koester asked, looking closer at the device with fascination.
“It’s called a mobile emitter. The EMH and Lieutenant Faggio-Hyland built it for me. The self-
contained power cell only lasts about six hours, but it allows me to get out of the holodeck in my humanoid
persona and interact with the crew. The actual crew, not simulations on the holodeck.”
“And how do you like it so far?” Counselor Gera asked.
“It’s been amazing!” Dot replied. “I’ve visited the main shuttlebay control booth and watched them
launch shuttlecraft! I strolled through the arboretum... That place smells incredible! And I’ve been helping
Tenn out here in the lounge. It’s been great getting to see the faces... the REAL faces! ...of all the crew as they
pass through here!” She looked at the captain as she added, “I’d really like to help out aboard the ship more as I
experience what life is like as a humanoid, Captain. Not just stuck being a waitress here in the lounge.”
Koester looked at the apparently-teenaged girl, a smile slowly spreading on his lips as he said, “Dot,
you have impressed me with your initiative. I’ll make a deal with you.” Dot looked at the captain with excited
anticipation as he added, “I can’t make you a member of the crew. You need to attend the Academy like your
father did for that to happen. But I will let you join the Fleet Space Cadet Corps unit aboard the ship and then
find some sort of duties for you here until the day you enter the Academy comes. Duties that will both
challenge and stimulate you. How does that sound?”
A wide grin appeared on Dot’s humanoid face as she replied, “It sounds perfect, Captain.”

The End

Coming Next Month in Subspace Chatter:

Commander Jeffrey Bloom, the Dauntless’ emotional Vulcan chief engineer, entered main engineering. At the
center of the large open space, the warp core thrummed like a contented cat as the starship traveled at low warp speed.
Bloom walked past the warp core and its associated coolant tanks toward the consoles on each side near the aft area –
beneath the plasma conduits that directed electroplasma from the core to power the warp drive nacelles. He appeared to be
observing his junior staff perform their routine duties, occasionally tapping a series of commands into one console or
another before walking back around the core to the master systems display console, where his assistant chief engineer – Lt
Commander Amanda Windsor – stood monitoring major systems.
“Good afternoon, Commander,” Windsor greeted in her typical British accent. “Forget to do something during
your duty shift?”
A SUBSPACE CHATTER A Page 31 A Vol. 06, #11 A
“Just compiling some statistics regarding engine performance,” Bloom replied as he tapped more commands into
the console. “It’s been a while since Captain Koester has had us running the warp drive at such a slow speed for a
prolonged period of time, and I wanted to see what the efficiencies were like at relatively low power levels.”
“Warp drive is purring like a kitten, Commander,” Windsor said proudly. “By the way, are you planning to attend
the concert tomorrow evening? Setton and I were... What are you doing, Commander?”
Windsor started moving closer to the area of the control console where Bloom was standing as she noticed he was
not merely calling up performance monitoring displays but actually reconfiguring the console for intruder alert status.
“None of your concern,” Bloom replied, his voice taking on an angry tone that had not been present only a
moment earlier.
“But, Commander, if you reconfig...,” Windsor started to say when Bloom unexpectedly lashed out at her, his
open hand hitting the assistant chief engineer right on the nose and sending her falling backward hard. She slammed her
head on the deck and lost consciousness. Bloom looked around, noting several of the other engineering staff had seen his
attack on Windsor and were momentarily frozen in shock before several started moving toward him with the intent to
restrain. He quickly pulled an emergency mask from a locker under the console and pressed two controls. An almost
imperceptible hissing sound filled the space at the same time the warp core’s thrumming increased in speed.

* * * *

“Commander Arbelo,” said Lieutenant William Hyland-Faggio from the helm. “Our speed has increased by three
warp factors.”
Commander Setton To’Lock Arbelo, first officer of the Sovereign-class starship Dauntless, sat up straighter in the
center seat. “Slow us back down to warp two, Lieutenant. We don’t want to arrive back at the starbase too early.”
Hyland-Faggio tapped a series of commands into the helm. His eyebrows knit in annoyance when nothing
happened. He tried again with the same result before turning halfway around and reporting, “Helm control is not
responding, Commander.”
His sense of alarm going up moderately, Arbelo activated the intercom on the arm of the command chair and said,
“Bridge to engineering.” After several seconds with no response, he added, “Engineering, this is the bridge. Commander
Windsor, please respond.”
As he was awaiting a response of some kind, the doors to the captain’s ready room swished open and Fleet
Captain Peter J. Koester emerged.
“What’s going on, Exec?” he asked. “Why have we increased speed?”
“Unsure, Skipper,” Arbelo replied. “Mister Hyland-Faggio has lost helm control, and engineering is not
“Captain, a new course is being input into the helm,” Hyland-Faggio reported. We’re coming right to course 300
mark 3.”
“Where is the course input originating from?” Koester asked.
Hyland-Faggio consulted his instruments, then looked at the captain and said, “Main engineering, sir.”
“Monster, I’m going down there to find out what’s going on,” Koester said to his first officer as he moved toward
the nearest turbolift. “Contact me by communicator if anything...”
Koester stopped talking as Marine Captain Jeong-Hwan – the tactical officer – suddenly fell to the deck. Koester
moved to examine the Denebian Marine officer when Lieutenant Joella Faggio-Hyland sitting at the engineering station
across the bridge collapsed forward onto her console. It was then that the captain could just make out the nearly
indiscernible hissing sound.
“Exec! Clear the bridge! Someone is pumping anesthezine ga...!”
Koester himself fell to the deck, and everything went black.

Be back again next month as the Dauntless is hijacked. But by whom? And for what nefarious purpose? Find
out in next month’s Fifth Fleet season-ending adventure, “Broken Arrow.”

A SUBSPACE CHATTER A Page 32 A Vol. 06, #11 A


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